Editors' ChoiceCancer

Another strike against antioxidants

Sci. Signal.  13 Oct 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 398, pp. ec295
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad6035

Antioxidants are found in a variety of foods and dietary supplements and are frequently used with the goal of preventing cancer, but mounting evidence suggests that they may not be as beneficial as once thought. Clinical studies have shown mixed or no benefits, and other works demonstrated that antioxidants may accelerate the progression of lung cancer. Now, Le Gal et al. discovered that some common antioxidants increase the rate of melanoma cell migration and invasion and increase metastasis in a mouse model. These are early findings, and additional work will be required to confirm the generalizability of this observation. Nevertheless, the results suggest a need for caution in the use of antioxidants, especially for patients with existing cancer.

K. Le Gal, M. X. Ibrahim, C. Wiel, V. I. Sayin, M. K. Akula, C. Karlsson, M. G. Dalin, L. M. Akyürek, P. Lindahl, J. Nilsson, M. O. Bergo, Antioxidants can increase melanoma metastasis in mice. Sci. Transl. Med. 7, 308re8 (2015). [Abstract]