Vitamin C for Cancer Reconsidered



Reported March 29, 2006

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Following studies conducted in the 1970s, two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling touted the benefits of high-dose vitamin C for cancer patients. Since that time, though, the treatment has remained highly controversial. Critics say the study was full of problems, and many follow-up studies — including those performed at the Mayo Clinic — found the treatment ineffective. Now, results of three recent case studies published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal show the treatment may, in fact, help some cancer patients live longer lives cancer-free.

Sebastian Padayatty, M.D., and Mark Levine, M.D., discuss three cases of advanced cancers in their report. “Patients had unexpectedly long survival times after receiving high-dose intravenous vitamin C therapy.”

They used the guidelines from the National Cancer Institute for their case studies and say, “In light of recent clinical pharmacokinetic findings and in vitro evidence of anti-tumor mechanisms, these case reports indicate that the role of high-dose intravenous vitamin C therapy in cancer treatment should be reassessed.”

The first case involved a 51-year-old woman with kidney cancer. She chose to forego conventional treatment and instead opted for alternative therapies including high-dose vitamin C therapy delivered twice a week for 10 months. Researchers say scans taken following therapy show the tumors disappeared, and the cancer was kept in remission for four years. The patient, a smoker, ultimately developed lung cancer that did not respond to the same therapy and became fatal.

Another report, that of a 49-year-old man with bladder cancer, also suggested the treatment may be effective. He, too, opted to use high-dose vitamin C therapy and other alternative methods to treat his cancer. Nine years after being diagnosed, the patient is in good health with no recurrence of the disease.

Finally, the third case study examines the status of a women diagnosed with lymphoma. She agreed to radiation but declined chemotherapy, choosing instead to be treated with high-dose vitamin C. Ten years after her diagnosis, the patient remains in normal health.

Based on these findings, the study authors say, “Further clinical study as to safety and efficacy of intravenous vitamin C is warranted.”

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2006;174:937-942

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