Megadose pantethine inhibits tumor growth
Pantethine is an analogue of vitamin B5, which has a remarkable cholesterol-lowering effect. Oncologists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published an animal study in Frontiers in Oncology in 2016 that suggests that pantethine may also have a role to play in the fight against cancer. In their research, the vitamin reduced the growth of ovarian tumors in mice. And no, their study was not sponsored by a manufacturer of supplements.
The researchers implanted Ovcar-3 ovarian tumors in the ovaries of mice. When MRI scans indicated the the tumors were about 100 cubic millimeters, the researchers started treated half of the mice with pantethine. This meant that they injected a large dose of pantethine into the small intestine of the mice daily.
If the mice had been adult humans, they would have received about 5-6 grams of pantethine daily. With oral administration, that would have been a few grams more. That dose is a factor of 10 above the highest doses that have been tested in human studies until now. Do not try this at home, folks.
The administration of pantethine halved the growth of the tumor, and also reduced the number of metastases to the lungs and the liver - and as a result the chance of the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen [ascites].
Pantethine did not affect the amount of Ki67 in the tumor, see above. Ki67 is a marker for cell division. However, pantethine increased the activity of the suicide protein caspase-3.
Below you can see how pantethine may slow the growth of tumors. The researchers found less phosphatidylcholine in the tumors. Cells, and this certainly applies to cancer cells, need phosphatidylcholine to build their membranes.
The researchers found no side effects.
"Pantethine represents a novel potential therapeutic option in patients with ovarian cancer, since it is a well-known and well-tolerated molecule", write the researchers. "Further in vivo preclinical studies are needed to confirm the beneficial role of pantethine in ovarian cancer and to better understand its mechanism of action."
Front Oncol. 2016 Nov 16;6:244.
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Cancer Prevention & Survival