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LE Magazine August 2006


Low plasma coenzyme Q10 levels as an independent prognostic factor for melanoma progression

BACKGROUND: Abnormally low plasma levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) have been found in patients with cancer of the breast, lung, or pancreas. OBJECTIVE: A prospective study of patients with melanoma was conducted to assess the usefulness of CoQ10 plasma levels in predicting the risk of metastasis and the duration of the metastasis-free interval. METHODS: Between January 1997 and August 2004, plasma CoQ10 levels were measured with high-performance liquid chromatography in 117 consecutive melanoma patients without clinical or instrumental evidence of metastasis according to American Joint Committee on Cancer criteria and in 125 matched volunteers without clinically suspect pigmented lesions. Patients taking CoQ10 or cholesterol-lowering medications and those with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus were excluded from the study. Multiple statistical methods were used to evaluate differences between patients and control subjects and between patients who did (32.5%) and did not (67.5%) develop metastases during follow-up. RESULTS: CoQ10 levels were significantly lower in patients than in control subjects (t test: P < .0001) and in patients who developed metastases than in the metastasis-free subgroup (t test: P < .0001). Logistic regression analysis indicated that plasma CoQ10 levels were a significant predictor of metastasis (P = .0013). The odds ratio for metastatic disease in patients with CoQ10 levels that were less than 0.6 mg/L (the low-end value of the range measured in a normal population) was 7.9, and the metastasis-free interval was almost double in patients with CoQ10 levels 0.6 mg/L or higher (Kaplan-Meier analysis: P < .001). LIMITATIONS: A study with a larger sample, which is currently being recruited, and a longer follow-up will doubtlessly increase the statistical power and enable survival statistics to be obtained. CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of our findings suggests that baseline plasma CoQ10 levels are a powerful and independent prognostic factor that can be used to estimate the risk for melanoma progression.

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Feb;54(2):234-41

Coenzyme Q differentially modulates phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase gene expression and free radicals production in malignant and non-malignant prostate cells.

The aim of this study was to investigate the role of coenzyme Q on the mRNA abundance of PHGPx and the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in two different cell lines from human prostate, a line of non cancer cells (PNT2) and a line of cancer cells (PC3). Results showed that malignant cells markedly differ in their response to coenzyme Q compared to non-malignant cells, with no changes in PHGPx expression and greater ROS production. Furthermore coenzyme Q supplementation significantly lowered cell growth of the PC3 cancer line without affecting the PNT2. If these results are confirmed with additional experiments, it could represent a novel and interesting approach on the biomedical use of coenzyme Q10 in cancer therapy.

Biofactors. 2003;18(1-4):265-70

Skeletal myopathy associated with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor therapy: potential benefit of coenzyme Q10 therapy.

Zidovudine (ZDV) has been associated with ‘ragged-red’ fibre myopathy, due to its effects on myocyte mitochondria. Usually this is reversible with cessation of ZDV. We report a 52-year-old man, who in 1985 developed ragged-red fibre myopathy 14 years after diagnosis of HIV infection while on effective ZDV-based combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). He was treated with the mitochondrial anti-oxidant coenzyme Q10 and made an excellent recovery, without change of ARTs. This suggests a novel therapy for further investigation targeted at ZDV induced myopathy, potentially allowing continuation of antiviral treatments including ZDV.

Int J STD AIDS. 2005 Dec;16(12):827-9

Safety assessment of coenzyme Q10 (Kaneka Q10) in healthy subjects: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

The safety profile of Coenzyme Q10 (Kaneka Q10) at high doses for healthy subjects was assessed in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Kaneka Q10 in capsule form was taken for 4 weeks at doses of 300, 600, and 900 mg/day by a total of eighty-eight adult volunteers. No serious adverse events were observed in any group. Adverse events were reported in 16 volunteers with placebo, in 12 volunteers with the 300 mg dose, in 20 volunteers with the 600 mg, dose and in 16 volunteers with the 900 mg dose. The most commonly reported events included common cold symptoms and gastrointestinal effects such as abdominal pain and soft feces. These events exhibited no dose-dependency and were judged to have no relationship to Kaneka Q10. Changes observed in hematology, blood biochemistry, and urinalysis were not dose-related and were judged not to be clinically significant. The plasma CoQ10 concentration after 8-month withdrawal was almost the same as that before administration. These findings showed that Kaneka Q10 was well-tolerated and safe for healthy adults at intake of up to 900 mg/day.

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2006 Apr;44(3):212-8

Randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in patients with acute myocardial infarction.

The effects of oral treatment with coenzyme Q10 (120 mg/d) were compared for 28 days in 73 (intervention group A) and 71 (placebo group B) patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). After treatment, angina pectoris (9.5 vs. 28.1), total arrhythmias (9.5% vs. 25.3%), and poor left ventricular function (8.2% vs. 22.5%) were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in the coenzyme Q group than placebo group. Total cardiac events, including cardiac deaths and nonfatal infarction, were also significantly reduced in the coenzyme Q10 group compared with the placebo group (15.0% vs. 30.9%, P < 0.02). The extent of cardiac disease, elevation in cardiac enzymes, and oxidative stress at entry to the study were comparable between the two groups. Lipid peroxides, diene conjugates, and malondialdehyde, which are indicators of oxidative stress, showed a greater reduction in the treatment group than in the placebo group. The antioxidants vitamin A, E, and C and beta-carotene, which were lower initially after AMI, increased more in the coenzyme Q10 group than in the placebo group. These findings suggest that coenzyme Q10 can provide rapid protective effects in patients with AMI if administered within 3 days of the onset of symptoms. More studies in a larger number of patients and long-term follow-up are needed to confirm our results.

Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1998 Sep;12(4):347-53

Usefulness of coenzyme Q10 in clinical cardiology: a long-term study.

Over an eight year period (1985-1993), we treated 424 patients with various forms of cardiovascular disease by adding coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to their medical regimens. Doses of CoQ10 ranged from 75 to 600 mg/day by mouth (average 242 mg). Treatment was primarily guided by the patient’s clinical response. In many instances, CoQ10 levels were employed with the aim of producing a whole blood level greater than or equal to 2.10 micrograms/ml (average 2.92 micrograms/ml, n = 297). Patients were followed for an average of 17.8 months, with a total accumulation of 632 patient years. Eleven patients were omitted from this study: 10 due to non-compliance and one who experienced nausea. Eighteen deaths occurred during the study period with 10 attributable to cardiac causes. Patients were divided into six diagnostic categories: ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM), dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), primary diastolic dysfunction (PDD), hypertension (HTN), mitral valve prolapse (MVP) and valvular heart disease (VHD). For the entire group and for each diagnostic category, we evaluated clinical response according to the New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional scale, and found significant improvement. Of 424 patients, 58% improved by one NYHA class, 28% by two classes and 1.2% by three classes. A statistically significant improvement in myocardial function was documented using the following echocardiographic parameters: left ventricular wall thickness, mitral valve inflow slope and fractional shortening. Before treatment with CoQ10, most patients were taking from one to five cardiac medications. During this study, overall medication requirements dropped considerably: 43% stopped between one and three drugs. Only 6% of the patients required the addition of one drug. No apparent side effects from CoQ10 treatment were noted other than a single case of transient nausea. In conclusion, CoQ10 is a safe and effective adjunctive treatment for a broad range of cardiovascular diseases, producing gratifying clinical responses while easing the medical and financial burden of multidrug therapy.

Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppl:s165-75

Effects of coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease: evidence of slowing of the functional decline.

BACKGROUND: Parkinson disease (PD) is a degenerative neurological disorder for which no treatment has been shown to slow the progression. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a range of dosages of coenzyme Q10 is safe and well tolerated and could slow the functional decline in PD. DESIGN: Multicenter, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, double-blind, dosage-ranging trial. SETTING: Academic movement disorders clinics. PATIENTS: Eighty subjects with early PD who did not require treatment for their disability. INTERVENTIONS: Random assignment to placebo or coenzyme Q10 at dosages of 300, 600, or 1200 mg/d. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The subjects underwent evaluation with the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) at the screening, baseline, and 1-, 4-, 8-, 12-, and 16-month visits. They were followed up for 16 months or until disability requiring treatment with levodopa had developed. The primary response variable was the change in the total score on the UPDRS from baseline to the last visit. RESULTS: The adjusted mean total UPDRS changes were +11.99 for the placebo group, +8.81 for the 300-mg/d group, +10.82 for the 600-mg/d group, and +6.69 for the 1200-mg/d group. The P value for the primary analysis, a test for a linear trend between the dosage and the mean change in the total UPDRS score, was.09, which met our prespecified criteria for a positive trend for the trial. A prespecified, secondary analysis was the comparison of each treatment group with the placebo group, and the difference between the 1200-mg/d and placebo groups was significant (P =.04). CONCLUSIONS: Coenzyme Q10 was safe and well tolerated at dosages of up to 1200 mg/d. Less disability developed in subjects assigned to coenzyme Q10 than in those assigned to placebo, and the benefit was greatest in subjects receiving the highest dosage. Coenzyme Q10 appears to slow the progressive deterioration of function in PD, but these results need to be confirmed in a larger study.

Arch Neurol. 2002 Oct;59(10):1541-50

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