Antioxidants cause malignant melanoma to metastasize faster

Antioxidants cause malignant melanoma to metastasize faster
 

Previously researchers showed that antioxidants hastened and aggravated the progression of lung cancer. Mice that were given antioxidants developed additional and more aggressive tumors. Experiments on human lung cancer cells confirmed the results.

Given well-established evidence that free radicals can cause cancer, the research community had simply assumed that antioxidants, which destroy them, provide protection against the disease. Found in many nutritional supplements, antioxidants are widely marketed as a means of preventing cancer. Because the lung cancer studies called the collective wisdom into question, they attracted a great deal of attention.

Researchers  now found that antioxidants double the rate of metastasis in malignant melanoma, the most perilous type of skin cancer. Science Translational Medicine published these findings. Experiments on cell cultures from patients with malignant melanoma confirmed the new results.

Taking nutritional supplements containing antioxidants may unintentionally hasten the progression of a small tumor or premalignant lesion, neither of which is possible to detect. "Skin and suntan lotions sometimes contain beta carotene or vitamin E, both of which could potentially affect malignant melanoma cells in the same way as antioxidants in nutritional supplements," Professor says.

How antioxidants in lotions affect the course of malignant melanoma is currently being explored. Author stresses the need for additional research.

http://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/news-calendar/News_detail//antioxidants-cause-malignant-melanoma-to-metastasize-faster.cid1326572

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