Vitamin C Fighting Ovarian Cancer

Vitamin C Fighting Ovarian Cancer

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Feb 6, 2014, at 9:50 pm


ACCORDING TO A CLINICAL TRIAL, hazardous side effects are less likely to be found in patients with ovarian cancer when they are given high-dose vitamin C injections than those treated with chemotherapy alone. This study was too small to prove that the presence of the vitamin fights cancer, but there are accompanying studies with mice that suggest it. The mice were implanted with human ovarian cancer cells and the ones that were injected with vitamin C along with chemo showed a decrease in tumor cells than with chemotherapy alone.

Linus Pauling, a Nobel-prizewinning chemist, conducted studies in the 70s that advocated the use of vitamin C to fight tumors, but was not validated in larger clinical trials. Unfortunately, the concept of vitamin C in cancer treatments is rather rejected among many scientists and physicians.

Regardless of these reactions, people with cancer are flocking to the treatment, says Jeanne Drisko, physician at University of Kansas Hospital. Drisko and her colleagues chose to take a closer look at the use of vitamin C, or ascorbate. They noted that the earlier trials with this vitamin consisted of injection of high doses while the larger follow-ups had used oral doses. They found that the body processes ascorbate differently when received orally and when received intravenously. When processed orally, vitamin C acts as antioxidants and protects the cells from damage-causing compounds that have oxygen. When the body processes it intravenously, it can have the opposite effect stimulating the formation of hydrogen peroxide, one of the oxygen-holding compounds that also causes damage to cancer cells.

Drisko and her team found that high amounts of ascorbate damaged DNA in ovarian cancer cells grown in culture and also contributed to the cells’ deaths. They followed up on the results from the mice studies with a clinical trial consisting of 25 patients with ovarian cancer, 13 of whom received vitamin C injection along with chemotherapy. These people were less likely to report side effects from their treatments.

Although it it warned that this approach may not work for all types of cancer, it has been decided to work on more of these studies in larger clinical trials to see if there are significant results, especially because there are many people seeking out this treatment.

To read the full article, visit Scientific American

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

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