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Topical L-ascorbic acid formulation for a better management of non-melanoma skin cancer.


Pharmaceutics. 2021 Aug 4 ;13(8). Epub 2021 Aug 4. PMID: 34452162

Abstract Title: 

Topical L-Ascorbic Acid Formulation for a Better Management of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer: Perspective for Treatment Strategies.


L-ascorbic acid, is a well-known molecule, sometimes used as antioxidant for skin care. Nonetheless, few studies have taken in account its utility as topical treatment for non-melanoma skin vancer. Non-melanoma skin cancer includes basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma and is widespread worldwide with an increasing incidence. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the characteristics of L-ascorbic acid topical formulation, its percutaneous absorption and biochemical mechanism, focusing on its anti-cancer properties. In particular, it will be described how the pH and the concentration of the formulation are able to influence its distribution in the skin and tissues. We will report, the current knowledge on the pharmacokinetic aspects of L-ascorbic acid that allows us to reconsider it in the light of its ability to act as a prodrug and as an anticancer agent. Lastly, a short review with the aim to find any evidence of a possible clinical use of L-ascorbic acid for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer was made.

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