Support for adjunctive vitamin C treatment in cancer

March 6, 2009

Serious flaws in a recent study, which concluded that high doses of vitamin C reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs in the treatment of cancer, are revealed in the current issue of Alternative and Complementary Therapies, a journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

In the Medical Journal Watch column of the latest issue, Jack Challem, a personal nutrition coach and nutrition author from Tucson, Arizona, and a regular contributor to the Journal, challenges the findings of a study published in Cancer Research (2008;68:8031-8038), in which the authors conclude that vitamin C given to mice or cultured cells treated with common anti-cancer drugs reduces the antitumor effects of the chemotherapeutic agents.

Challem points out two main problems with the study: the oxidized form of vitamin C (dehydroascorbic acid) and not actual vitamin C (ascorbic acid) was used; and in the mouse experiments, the animals were given toxic doses of dehydroascorbic acid, a compound that is not used as a dietary supplement in humans.

"This study and the subsequent headlines [it generated] were a grievous disservice to physicians and patients with cancer," says Challem. He adds that "considerable positive research…has shown striking benefits from high-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in cancer cells and animals—and in actual human beings."

High-dose intravenous vitamin C is a common form of alternative and complementary therapy for patients receiving chemotherapeutic drugs and is believed to help bring about tumor cell death. In addition, it may promote postsurgical healing by enhancing collagen formation, and increase tissue resistance to tumor spread.

Challem suggests that, "The ideal therapeutic approach would be to tailor individual treatment, including IV vitamin C, from a menu of options."

More information: The report is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/act

Source: Mary Ann Liebert

Explore further: The benefits of fortifying flour with folic acid

Related Stories

The benefits of fortifying flour with folic acid

December 4, 2017
The UK Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced plans to halve the number of infant deaths, stillbirths and brain injuries by 2025. Yet successive UK governments have resisted expert advice to fortify flour with folic acid ...

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid intake may affect lupus outcomes

November 5, 2017
Higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with better sleep quality and a decrease in depressive symptoms in lupus patients, among other patient-reported outcomes, according to new research findings presented this ...

Does breast milk boost athletic performance in adults or cure cancer?

October 5, 2017
Does breast milk boost athletic performance in adults or cure cancer? Or is this all just a weird internet fetish?

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

September 21, 2017
A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how ...

Seven body organs you can live without

October 6, 2017
The human body is incredibly resilient. When you donate a pint of blood, you lose about 3.5 trillion red blood cells, but your body quickly replaces them. You can even lose large chunks of vital organs and live. For example, ...

Large amounts of folic acid shown to promote growth of breast cancer in rats

January 21, 2014
Folic acid supplements at levels consumed by breast cancer patients and survivors in North America promoted the growth of existing breast cancer in rats, new research found.

Recommended for you

Study prompts new ideas on cancers' origins

December 16, 2017
Rapidly dividing, yet aberrant stem cells are a major source of cancer. But a new study suggests that mature cells also play a key role in initiating cancer—a finding that could upend the way scientists think about the ...

What does hair loss have to teach us about cancer metastasis?

December 15, 2017
Understanding how cancer cells are able to metastasize—migrate from the primary tumor to distant sites in the body—and developing therapies to inhibit this process are the focus of many laboratories around the country. ...

Cancer immunotherapy may work better in patients with specific genes

December 15, 2017
Cancer cells arise when DNA is mutated, and these cells should be recognized as "foreign" by the immune system. However, cancer cells have found ways to evade detection by the immune system.

Scientists pinpoint gene to blame for poorer survival rate in early-onset breast cancer patients

December 15, 2017
A new study led by scientists at the University of Southampton has found that inherited variation in a particular gene may be to blame for the lower survival rate of patients diagnosed with early-onset breast cancer.

Scientists unlock structure of mTOR, a key cancer cell signaling protein

December 14, 2017
Researchers in the Sloan Kettering Institute have solved the structure of an important signaling molecule in cancer cells. They used a new technology called cryo-EM to visualize the structure in three dimensions. The detailed ...

'Bet hedging' explains the efficacy of many combination cancer therapies

December 14, 2017
The efficacy of many FDA-approved cancer drug combinations is not due to synergistic interactions between drugs, but rather to a form of "bet hedging," according to a new study published by Harvard Medical School researchers ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
2.5 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2009
It is obvious that the not-vitamin C, vitamin C study (Cancer Research (2008;68:8031-8038)) was designed, from the beginning by the industrial medical cartel, to fail. The cartel effectively uses the media as their dupes to disseminate the phony, deceptive results and the media goes along with it because of advertising revenue.

The medical cartel and their servants, the FDA, will do everything w/in their power to limit the availability and hide the effectiveness of ANY treatment that might damage their bottom line (or in the case of ca. 75% of the FDA employees, limit the possibility of going to work in the cartel).
gopher65
1 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2009
This guy is a nutrition coach (which requires no training). No background in the (real, non-social) sciences, no (real) research papers published (just new-agey magical-thinking garbage in fake journals), no credentials.

If someone who, you know, ISN'T A QUACK WITH A BOOK DEAL ON THE LINE comes out and bashes this study, I'll listen. Pharmaceutical companies certainly do publish fake studies from time to time for marketing purposes. But this guy doesn't count as such a person.
E_L_Earnhardt
1 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2009
Did you ever notice that "grass" doesn't grow much in the winter! Little to sell here, but if I didn't want rapid growth of organic cells I would consider the refrigerator!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.