Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Martin Bergö finished his MD-PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and Biophysics at Umeå University 1998, after which he did a postdoc and worked as a staff scientist at the University of California, San Franscisco, USA. In 2004 he returned to Sweden and the University of Gothenburg, where he became a full professor in Molecular Medicine in 2010. Currently, he is a professor at Karolinska Institutet. His group focuses on defining the biochemical and medical importance of the posttranslational processing of CAAX proteins, including small GTPases of the Ras superfamily, and has developed a keen interest in the mechanisms by which the state of oxidation in a tissue affects human health, including cancer.
Antioxidants in diet and supplements are widely believed to protect against cancer, both before and after a cancer diagnosis. This belief fuels a billion-dollar world-wide industry. We have found that antioxidant supplementation markedly accelerates the progression and metastasis of lung cancer and malignant melanoma in mice and the invasive properties of cultured human cancer cell lines. These results suggest that oxidative stress limits tumor progression and metastasis and that antioxidant supplementation helps tumor cells overcome this limitation. These arguments, recently been supported by numerous other studies, suggest that although antioxidants may protect healthy cells from ROS-induced DNA damage and future tumor initiation, antioxidants also help tumor cells stay healthy and vigorous by overcoming oxidative stress. Thus, cancer patients and survivors, and people with increased cancer risks should avoid supplements containing antioxidants.
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