Opposing effects of low versus high concentrations of water soluble vitamins/dietary ingredients Vitamin C and niacin on colon cancer stem cells (CSCs).
Cell Biol Int. 2017 Oct ;41(10):1127-1145. Epub 2017 Aug 24. PMID: 28755485
Colorectal cancer is one of the global causes of cancer deaths. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) inside the tumour niche responsible for metastasis and relapses, and hence need to be targeted for cancer therapeutics. Although dietary fibre and lifestyle changes have been recommended as measures for colorectal cancer prevention, no such recommendations are available for using water soluble vitamins as prophylaxis measure for colorectal cancers. High dose of Vitamin C has been proven to selectively kill colon cancer cells having BRAF and KRAS mutations by inducing oxidative stress. In this study, we show for the first time the opposing effects of the low and high dose of Vitamin C and vitamin B3 on colon CSCs isolated from HT-29 and HCT-15 colorectal carcinoma cell lines. At small doses, both of these vitamins exerted a cell proliferative effect only on CSCs, while there was no change in the proliferation status of non-stem cancer cells and wild-type (WT) populations. On the other hand, the death effects induced by high doses of Vitamin C and B3 were of the order of 50-60% and∼30% on CSCs from HT-29 and HCT15, respectively. Interestingly, the control fibroblast cell line (NIH3T3) was highly refractory all the tested concentrations of Vitamin C and B3, except for the highest dose - 10,000 μg of Vitamin C that induced only 15% of cell death. Hence, these results indicate the future scope of use of therapeutic doses of Vitamin C and B3 especially in patients with advanced colorectal cancer.