Arginine is an amino acid used to increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy used for patients with brain metastases. Recently, the Weill Cornell Medicine and Angel H. Roffo Cancer Institute team conducted a trial using arginine to prove its effectiveness when administered orally. Researchers said nearly 78% of patients experienced partial or complete response from their tumors within 4 years. The main objective was to design arginine into an effective radiosensitizer for further application in radiotherapies. However, the mechanism of action and previous studies on arginine recommend its wide use as an anti-cancer agent.
The latest findings suggest that the combination of arginine and radiotherapy/chemotherapy/immunotherapy or arginine itself could help design a safe therapy. Researchers consider this amino acid to be a suitable source as it is cost effective and could easily travel through the blood to the brain. As tumors used high levels of nitric oxide (NO) molecules to survive, researchers thought of discovering or developing a new compound to treat cancer. That’s when researchers discovered that arginine helped regulate various processes in the body such as blood flow and upregulating NO synthases to increase NO levels to help tumor cells survive. .
It is therefore clear that controlling NO levels can help harness tumor growth. The use of arginine as a precursor to overload tumor cells with NO could help reduce the ability of tumor cells to repair themselves after radiation-induced DNA damage and thus confirm the effectiveness of amino acids. Brain or lung tumors could thus be killed by using high-dose arginine before radiotherapy. The positive effect of arginine on metastatic cancer patients suggests that it could possibly be the next cure for tumor patients. The latest study proves that arginine can not only attack tumor cells, but also enhance the activity of anti-tumor immune cells in the body.