Researchers from Japan’s Toyo University now have evidence that a type of vitamin E can shrink mesothelioma tumors.
This occurs through disruption of an essential growth process of the individual cells making up those cancerous tissue masses.
The scientists looked at how effectively the vitamin E offshoot could interfere with production and release of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
T3E Disrupts Cancer-Growing Signal
VEGF enables mesothelioma cells to make their own blood vessels. Cells need blood vessels to bring them nutrition.
The nutrition they take from the inflow of blood through those vessels provides the energy the cells require to do their thing — which is get bigger, multiply and spread.
The researchers were able to suppress the expression of VEGF by exposing mesothelioma cells to sufficient levels of a vitamin E variant.
The variant is formally identified as 6-O-carboxypropyl-α-tocotrienol, or simply T3E.
According to the researchers, T3E caused a change in the molecular signaling mechanism. This mechanism tells the mesothelioma cells to make VEGF so that those blood vessels can be produced.
If you want to get really technical about it, the scientists said that T3E inhibits CoCl2 — cobalt chloride — from inducing VEGF expression via Yes signaling in mesothelioma cells.
As they wrote in the journal Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, “We found that CoCl2-induced hypoxia treatment leads to increased up-regulated hypoxia-inducible factor-2α and subsequently induced the secretion of VEGF in malignant mesothelioma cells.”
The researchers came away from the investigation more convinced than ever that mesothelioma treatment should be oriented around the targeting of VEGF.
They concluded that T3E is a right choice of weapon for the job.
Vitamin E’s Effect on Mesothelioma
Vitamin E has long been debated as a mesothelioma treatment without much in the way of agreement about its effectiveness — or even if it’s wise to use it.
According to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific evidence does not support claims that vitamin E significantly affects the growth of cancers that have already formed.”
Proponents of vitamin E point out that it’s an antioxidant.
Antioxidants are good because they’re said to stop molecular free-radicals from corrupting healthy cells and promoting their conversion to mesothelioma cells.
Fans of vitamin E also say it can improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and reduce the side effects of both.
Critics of vitamin E say it does neither and, in fact, makes chemotherapy and radiation therapy less effective.
The American Cancer Society points out that there have been too few clinical trials done to judge which of those two positions is correct.
For that reason, “most oncologists advise their patients to avoid antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements during treatment,” the American Cancer Society says.
The organization recommends you consult your doctor before taking vitamin E supplements while receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy.