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The potential role of vitamin C in empowering cancer immunotherapy

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journal contribution
submitted on 2023-10-16, 07:24 and posted on 2023-10-16, 13:27 authored by Takwa Bedhiafi, Varghese Philipose Inchakalody, Queenie Fernandes, Sarra Mestiri, Nashiru Billa, Shahab Uddin, Maysaloun Merhi, Said Dermime

Vitamin C also known as L-ascorbic acid is a nutrient naturally occurring in many fruits and vegetables and widely known for its potent antioxidant activity. Several studies have highlighted the importance of using high dose vitamin C as an adjuvant anti-cancer therapy. Interestingly, it has been shown that vitamin C is able to modulate the anti-cancer immune response and to help to overcome the resistance to immune checkpoints blockade (ICB) drugs such as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CLTA-4) and programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1/PD-1) inhibitors. Indeed, it was reported that vitamin C regulates several mechanisms developed by cancer cells to escape T cells immune response and resist ICB. Understanding the role of vitamin C in the anti-tumor immune response will pave the way to the development of novel combination therapies that would enhance the response of cancer patients to ICB immunotherapy. In this review, we discuss the effect of vitamin C on the immune system and its potential role in empowering cancer immunotherapy through its pro-oxidant potential, its ability to modulate epigenetic factors and its capacity to regulate the expression of different cytokines involved in the immune response.

Other Information

Published in: Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy
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Additional institutions affiliated with: Academic Health – HMC, Qatar University HEALTH


Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • Interim Translational Research Institute - HMC
  • National Center for Cancer Care and Research - HMC
  • Dermatology Institute - HMC
  • Qatar University
  • Laboratory Animal Research Center - QU
  • College of Medicine - QU HEALTH
  • College of Pharmacy - QU HEALTH
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Health and Life Sciences - HBKU

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