Nicky Boardman could have been struggling with the growth for five years before he was eventually diagnosed with cancer of the appendix in May 2013. However, it was only confirmed after he collapsed outside the Apple store he managed in Bluewater shopping centre, Kent, two months earlier.
A man died after his 'irritable bowel syndrome' turned out to be a 6kg tumour the size of a domestic cat.
Nicky Boardman, of Dartford, could have been struggling with the growth for five years before he was eventually diagnosed with cancer of the appendix in May 2013.
However, it was only confirmed after he collapsed outside the Apple store he managed in Bluewater shopping centre, Kent, two months earlier.
Given as an add-on to chemotherapy, it could be used to prevent tumour recurrence and further progression of the disease.
It has been studied internationally as a potential treatment for cancer patients for more than four decades.
Despite being known to help boost the immune system, proven results for its effects on cancer have been relatively scarce.
Previous research has even shown that it increases the risk of the disease by triggering a biological process that damages DNA.
Cancer stem cells are considered to be one of the biggest causes of chemotherapy resistance.
This is known to lead to treatment failure in patients with advanced forms of the disease, allowing it to spread across the body.
In an attempt to disrupt their metabolism, they tested a range of seven substances, according to the study published in the journal Oncotarget.
Three of these were natural products, including vitamin C, honey-bee derivative CAPE and milk thistle extract silibinin.
Epilepsy drug stiripentol was also monitored, alongside experimental drugs such as actinonin, FK866 and 2-DG.
This should not prompt anyone receiving treatment for cancer to change their diet or treatment plan
Anna Perman, of Cancer Research UK
Actinonin and FK866 were found to be the most potent, suggesting two potential treatments for future scientific research.
Natural products also halted the growth of the cancerous cells, with vitamin C outperforming 2-DG tenfold in terms of potency.
Dr Gloria Bonuccelli, also involved in the study, said: 'Our results indicate it is a promising agent for clinical trials.'
Anna Perman, Cancer Research UK’s senior science information manager, said: 'This is an early stage study and hasn’t been tested in patients.
'In fact, some doctors think that antioxidants like vitamin C might interfere with chemotherapy which we know can be effective treatment.
'The important thing for cancer patients to remember is that this study is looking at the action of vitamin C in the laboratory, not the effect of eating foods or supplements that contain vitamin C.
'This should not prompt anyone receiving treatment for cancer to change their diet or treatment plan.'