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NEW YORK — A study shows vitamin C can kill and stop cancer cell growth in the two most aggressive forms of colorectal cancers in mice, giving hope it can be used as a treatment for people in the future.

The study, released by Science on Thursday, found that high doses of vitamin C, the amount found in about 300 oranges, stopped the growth of tumor cells found in colorectal cancers that carry KRAS or BRAF mutations. It was tested in mice.

“Further study is definitely needed to expand our understanding of these processes. But now that we know the mechanisms, we can utilize the knowledge wisely to get the desired effects,” Dr. Jihye Yun, lead author of the study, said to Weill Cornell Medicine.

The new finding still needs to be tested on humans, but it shows potential for developing a new treatment strategy to combat the colorectal cancers.

Colorectal cancers is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S. About 93,000 Americans are diagnosed each year, half of them are the two aggressive forms. These two forms of cancers are the most aggressive and don’t respond to any therapy treatments.