Vitamin E inhibits melanoma growth in mice

Surgery. 2002 Jan;131(1):85-91. doi: 10.1067/msy.2002.119191.


Background: Previous work has demonstrated that vitamin E succinate (VES), an ester analogue of vitamin E, inhibits the growth of melanoma in vitro. However, there is no information about the effect of VES on melanoma in vivo. We investigated the effect of VES on melanoma in vitro and in vivo.

Methods: The effect of VES on the proliferation and apoptosis of the B16F10 murine melanoma cell line was determined by a modified Cell Titer 96 AQ assay and a cell death detection enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. The in vivo effect of VES on B16F10 melanoma cells allografted in athymic nude mice was investigated. The mechanism of the in vivo antitumor effect of VES was determined by immunohistochemical detection of proliferation and apoptosis.

Results: VES decreased cell proliferation (P =.0001) and increased cell apoptosis (P =.0001) in a dose-dependent manner in vitro. Also, VES significantly inhibited melanoma growth in mice (P =.0013). The VES antitumor effect in vivo was associated with a significant increase in the melanoma apoptosis rate (P =.0256).

Conclusions: This is the first report of the antimelanoma effect of VES in vivo. The mechanism of the antimelanoma effect of VES in vivo involves the promotion of tumor cell apoptosis. These findings support future investigations of VES as a therapeutic micronutrient against melanoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology
  • Melanoma, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Tocopherols
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vitamin E / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Vitamin E
  • Tocopherols