Research supports high dose vitamin C against cancer

2014 Research

Kansas University Medical School study on IVC

Researchers from the University of Kansas Integrative Medical Research Center have shown that the use of Intravenous vitamin C injections (IVC) seems to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. The study, in Science Translational Medicine, calls for large-scale government clinical trials. When given by injection, high dose vitamin C can also boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy said the scientists at KUMED. The work showed that the treatment could be effective for ovarian cancers but the scientists believe almost all cancers could be targeted.

Interest since Linus Pauling

Original work involving three separate studies by Linus Pauling had shown that high dose vitamin C given by injection (so called IVC) was effective against cancer. Other ‘trials’ then tried to confirm the studies but rather bizarrely instead of Intravenous injections, used oral doses of vitamin C. Many scientists have scoffed at this because oral vitamin C is known to be poorly absorbed (perhaps only 7% maximum) and so the so-called confirmation trials could never have replicated the cellular levels given through injection. 

On the CANCERactive website we have several reviews of this debate, with Dr Julian Kenyon of the Dove Clinic stressing the crucial importance of achieving high levels of vitamin C in the cancer cells.

KUMED research

The Kansas researchers injected vitamin C into human ovarian cancer cells in the lab, into mice, and into patients with advanced ovarian cancer. 

They found ovarian cancer cells were sensitive to vitamin C treatment, but normal cells were unharmed. 

When the IVC was given with chemotherapy drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel, the sample using mice had far higher responses; the drugs slowed tumour growth significantly. In the human patients fewer side-effects were reported. 

Who will fund a clinical trial?

Lead researcher Dr Jeanne Drisko, MD, said there was growing interest in the use of intravenous vitamin C by oncologists. "Patients are looking for safe and low-cost choices in their management of cancer," she told BBC News. "Intravenous vitamin C has that potential based on our basic science research and early clinical data."

One potential hurdle is that pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to fund clinical trials of intravenous vitamin C. "Because vitamin C has no patent potential, its development will not be supported by pharmaceutical companies," said lead researcher Qi Chen. "We believe that the time has arrived for research agencies to vigorously support thoughtful and meticulous clinical trials with intravenous vitamin C." 

In 2011 the American FDA caused controversy by attempting to ban the vitamin C used saying it was being used as a drug and therefore subject to drug approvals.

Further reading:  

CLICK HERE for an Interview with Dr Julian Kenyon of the Dove Clinic

Reference: Y. Ma, J. Chapman, M. Levine, K. Polireddy, J. Drisko, Q. Chen, High-Dose Parenteral Ascorbate Enhanced Chemosensitivity of Ovarian Cancer and Reduced Toxicity of Chemotherapy. Sci. Transl. Med. 6, 222ra18 (2014).

2014 Research
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