NYU Study Finds that Too Many Antioxidants May Cause Spread of Lung Cancer

DrugsAntioxidants which are touted as cancer preventive may spur the spread of lung cancer! Yes, you read it right. The new study was led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and Perlmutter Cancer Center and had made shocking reveals. The study was published in eminent scientific journal, Cell and their results reflect the nature of cancer cells. It revealed how mechanisms that protect cancer cells are connected by protein BACH1 to cancer cell migration and tissue invasion.

The researchers analyzed mice and human tissue to understand the spread of lung cancer. The team found that the protein called BACH1 connects cancer cell migration and tissue invasion to mechanisms protecting harmful cells. The latest study found that the high levels of NRF2 are responsible for overproduction of antioxidants. These then work to block the flow of chemical compound that protects the body from lung cancer cells. In addition to this, high levels of NRF2 also lead of high levels of BACH1 which further leads of lung cancer spread.

“Our results finally clarify the web of mechanisms surrounding the BACH 1 signal, and suggest that an already approved drug class may counter cancer spread in about 30 percent of lung adenocarcinoma patients,” says senior study author Michele Pagano, MD, chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at NYU School of Medicine.

Vitamin-EAnother study publishing in same edition of Cell, suggests that taking Vitamin E as a part of a dietary supplement increases the chances of lung cancer spread via its effect on BACH1. “For lung cancer patients, taking vitamin E may cause the same increases in cancer’s ability to spread as the NRF2 and KEAP1 mutations that our team has linked to shorter survival,” says study author Thales Papagiannakopoulos, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at NYU School of Medicine. “We hope these findings help to dispel the myth that antioxidants like vitamin E help to prevent every type of cancer.”

Though the studies make shocking results but a lot more is required to be done to come up at some conclusive results.

The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only.

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