Researchers Make Vitamin E Offshoot a Potent Cancer Killer
Researchers here have learned how a derivative of vitamin E causes the death of cancer cells. The researchers then used that knowledge to make the agent an even more potent cancer killer.
The compound, called vitamin E succinate, or alpha tocopheryl succinate, is taken by some people as a nutritional supplement, mainly for its antioxidant properties. In addition, it has a weak ability to kill cancer cells, and it has been tested as a cancer chemopreventive agent.
The substance kills cancer cells by causing them to undergo a natural process known as programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Until now, no one knew how the agent caused this to happen.
These findings answer that question and also indicate that the molecule's antitumor activity is separate from its antioxidant effect.
The study, led by researchers with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center