According to the findings of a recent study, high doses of Vitamin C could help in halting the progression of a deadly blood cancer. According to the reports, vitamin C helps in encouraging faulty stem cells present in the bone marrow of a person to die.
The researchers of the study said that certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells. However, in many patients with a particular kind of leukaemia, these blood cells eventually die.
Commenting on the findings of the study, a professor at New York University (NYU) in the US, Benjamin Neel said, “We are excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukaemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies.”
Reports state that changes in the genetic code of a person which reduce the TET2 function are generally found in 10 percent of patients who have acute acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), at least 30 percent of patients who have a form of pre-leukaemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in 50 percent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia.
These forms of blood cancers can increase the chances of infection, can cause anaemia and can also cause bleeding as abnormal stem cells in the bone marrow multiply until they interfere with blood cell production. Reports state that the number of such cases of blood cancers increases as the population ages.
In order to reach the findings, the researchers studied the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, which is one of the four nucleic acid “letters” that comprise the DNA code in genes. The research team genetically engineered mice so that they could switch the TET2 gene in them on or off according to the convenience of their experiment.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Cell.