Vitamin E may decrease cancer risks in people with a genetic condition that makes them more vulnerable to developing the disease, a new study shows.
Cleveland Clinic researchers have found that vitamin E may have a beneficial effect on genetic mutations in people with Cowden Syndrome – a disease that predisposes them to several types of cancer, including breast and thyroid disease.
In findings published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, Dr. Charis Eng and colleagues said they have discovered a defect in so-called SDH genes – responsible for energy production – leads to changes that leave the body more susceptible to cancer. But laboratory tests determined vitamin E may counteract those effects.
"These findings support the notion that vitamin E may be useful as an anti-cancer therapeutic adjunct or preventive agent, especially for [Cowden Syndrome] patients harboring SDH mutations, and its protective properties should be further explored," said Eng.
About one in 200,000 people are affected by Cowden Syndrome, which increases the risk of developing breast cancer 85 percent and thyroid cancer 35 percent.
The Cleveland Clinic study was funded, in part, by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute.