VITAMIN C GIVES CHEMOTHERAPY A BOOST
A new study published in Science Translational Medicine on February 5, 2014 indicates that high-dose Vitamin C may increase the effect of anticancer drugs – chemotherapy – following a laboratory study in mice and patients.
Administered by injection into mice, Vitamin C could be a safe, effective and low-cost treatment, especially for ovarian cancers, but also other cancers, explain the American scientists authors of the study. Researchers are now calling for large-scale government clinical trials, even though drug companies are unlikely to test because vitamins can not be patented.
Vitamin C has long been used as a therapeutic alternative for cancer. In the seventies, the chemist Linus Pauling (1901-1994) indicated that vitamin C administered intravenously was effective in the treatment of cancer.
However, clinical trials from oral vitamin C failed to replicate the effect, and research was discontinued. It is now known that the human body rapidly excretes vitamin C when taken orally. Scientists at the University of Kansas, at the base of this recent study, say that when vitamin C is given by injection, it is absorbed into the body, and can kill cancer cells without harming “normal” cells.
The researchers injected vitamin C into human ovarian cancer cells in the laboratory, in mice, and in patients with advanced ovarian cancer. They found ovarian cancer cells that were sensitive to vitamin C treatment, but normal cells were “safe and sound”.
The treatment worked in tandem with drugs – chemotherapy – to slow down tumor growth in mouse studies. Meanwhile, a small group of patients reported fewer side effects when a combination of vitamin C and chemotherapy was given. There is therefore a growing interest in the use of vitamin C by oncologists, but a potential hurdle is that pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to fund trials with vitamin C intravenously because there is no possibility of patenting natural products.
In addition to unlocking funds to invest this potential, we hope that this cancer treatment can be carefully evaluated with clinical trials to ensure that it is safe and effective, and save the many cancer patients who suffer in the world. Recall that “8.2 million deaths were caused by cancer in 2012” according to WHO figures.
Update 20 February 2014: Announced in an article by Sciences et Avenir entitled “Stroke: vitamin C deficiency is a risk factor”: “A recent study reveals that a vitamin C deficiency could be a risk factor for stroke. »; “[…] In total, in the group of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage, 41% had a normal vitamin C level, 45% had a moderate deficit and 14% were severely deficient. On the contrary, in the control group of healthy people, 74% of controls had a normal level, 26% a moderate deficit and none was deficient.