Does Vitamin C Help with Terminal Cancer?


Studies within the 1970s showed a unprecedented survival achieve in terminal most cancers sufferers with vitamin C, a “simple and relatively nontoxic therapy.” It’s no marvel it acquired lots of attention, especially when reported by a world-renowned scientist, Linus Pauling. But research within the 1980s found no such benefit, so scientists have been “left with the inevitable conclusion that the apparent positive results [in the original study] were the product of case-selection bias rather than treatment effectiveness.” In the 1990s, although, an alternate rationalization arose: The disappointing ’80s research solely used oral vitamin C, whereas the apparently profitable ’70s experiments additionally gave vitamin C intravenously, and we didn’t realize until the ’90s that the identical dose given intravenously can lead to dramatically larger ranges in the bloodstream than when taken orally. So perhaps high dose vitamin C does assist in terminal cancer, however perhaps solely when given intravenously. This is the subject of dialogue in my video The Role of Vitamin C in the Treatment of Terminal Cancer.

Encouraging case studies continued to be published. Regression, remission, and remedy had been documented in individual instances of advanced kidney cancer, bladder most cancers, and lymphoma, however that was three success tales out of how many? If it was three out of 100, and even three out of a thousand, then okay, if the remedy is sufficiently unhazardous. But there is evidence that IV vitamin C is extensively used within the various drugs world, as in 86 % of 172 practitioners surveyed. Just those 172 practitioners alone treated about 10,000 patients a yr, and producers are promoting lots of of hundreds of vials of these items within the United States. It’s not all being used for most cancers, but, presumably, a minimum of hundreds of most cancers patients are being handled yearly with IV vitamin C, making the publication of three exceptional case reviews seem less spectacular. So regardless of how superb these instances appeared, it’s attainable the cancers simply spontaneously regressed all on their own, and it was just a coincidence that it occurred after the sufferers got vitamin C. To know for positive, you must put it to the check.

To date, there have been some small pilot studies, and the results thus far have been disappointing. The excellent news is that even insane doses of IV vitamin C seem remarkably protected, but failed in a research of two dozen sufferers “to demonstrate anticancer activity.” Similar small studies have been published, during to the current, with results that are tantalizing however inconclusive. What we do know is that the current state of cancer chemotherapy is “unsatisfactory.” People have a notion that chemotherapy “will significantly enhance their chances of cure,” however when you put all our cancer-killing chemo collectively, the general contribution to five-year survival is on the order of two %—all these unwanted side effects for a 2.1 % survival price bump, at a cost of perhaps $100,000 per affected person per yr. So, it might be value wanting deeper into therapies like IV vitamin C. However, the shortage of monetary reward (since vitamin C can’t be patented and bought for $100,000) and bias towards various drugs “might dissuade typical investigators and funding businesses from significantly considering this strategy.”

So, many years later, what can we conclude? “After trials which have included a minimum of 1,609 patients over 33 years, we now have to conclude that we still have no idea whether Vitamin C has any clinically vital antitumor activity.” Although “there is currently no definitive evidence” of benefit, the Mayo Clinic’s randomized controlled trials “do not negate the potential benefit” based on what we now find out about oral-versus-IV routes of administration. So, we’re sort of back at square one: Does it work or not? There are highly polarized views on each side, however everyone’s working off the same incomplete knowledge. What we'd like are rigorously managed medical trials. The query, although, is what can we do until then?

If it was utterly nontoxic, one might argue, “Well, what have you got to lose?” But it is not—it’s only relatively unhazardous. For example, there have been uncommon but critical instances of kidney damage reported. After all, if it’s so protected, why did our our bodies evolve to so tightly control towards excess absorption? It also can be costly and time-consuming. Each infusion can value $100 to $200 out of pocket since insurance doesn’t pay for it, which could be quite a boon for various drugs practitioners. About 90 % of the hundreds of thousands of doses of vitamin C being allotted are in for-profit preparations, so there are financial pressures pushing in both directions, for and towards this remedy.

Given the relative security and expense, although, if controlled studies even find a small profit, it might be thought-about worthwhile. And in the event that they don’t, the vitamin C question could be put to relaxation once and for all. But “[i]n cancer remedy we at present do not have the posh of jettisoning probably efficient and unhazardous remedies. We ought to revisit promising avenues, with out prejudice and with open minds…”


This video is the third installment in a three-part collection. For the entire saga, watch the other two movies Intravenous Vitamin C for Terminal Cancer Patients and Vitamin C Supplements for Terminal Cancer Patients.

I talk about the conundrum of what do to about funding analysis of non-patentable natural remedies in Plants as Intellectual Property: Patently Wrong?.

Additional videos of interest embrace:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

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