The controversial idea of using high doses of Vitamin C to treat cancer is being reintroduced by research at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The idea of using Vitamin C to kill cancer gained popularity in the late 1970s. However, a Mayo Clinic study in the early 80s contradicted these findings, indicating oral Vitamin C was ineffective against cancer.

However, the research team believes that this study is different from the Mayo Clinic study because it focuses on intravenous Vitamin C. This method allows doctors to administer the nutrient at much higher and more effective levels than with oral ingestion.

Scientists want to find out if they can fight cancer by injecting patients with large amounts of Vitamin C. This treatment is in addition to traditional cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Researchers started these preclinical trials in 2008, by testing the Vitamin C treatment on cancer cell and mice. Researchers were able to successfully slow tumors growth during these trials.

The high-dose of Vitamin C seems to work by creating hydrogen peroxide that kills cancer cells without harming other cells.

The current trials underway are focused on finding out whether intravenous, high –dose Vitamin C is safe and well-tolerated in human patients.

To date these phase one trials have shown the treatment to be safe and tolerable for patients with pancreatic cancer. Other trials are also testing the safety of this new treatment in patients with brain cancer and lung cancer.

Unfortunately the team has not yet tested whether Vitamin C can kill tumors in human patients, however, initial research shows that this treatment may have promise.

The hope is to test the treatment’s efficacy in humans during a second phase of research in late 2015 or early 2016.

In order to achieve this goal, the research team is seeking a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to fund research costs primarily from phase two.

Grant money from the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Healthcare System have funded phase one and preclinical trials.

Gerry Oginski
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