A simple compound like Vitamin C does not fascinate medical community to the extent as a new complex molecule does. Unfortunately, the time-tested benefits of this vitamin are always kept hidden from the common people for an unknown reason. Research conducted from time to time has found its positive effects in at least 200 diseases.
Vitamin C is not yet included in FDA approved drug lists, so doctors should not prescribe it as a medicine to treat some conditions. However, the study result of the University of Kansas on vitamin C has made the medical community think newly about its use in ovarian cancer as a treatment option.
Ovarian cancer fighting effects of high-dose vitamin C
A study conducted at the University of Kansas Medical Center suggests that parenteral administration of high-dose vitamin C along with standard chemotherapy may accelerate the death of cancer cells and also reduce the chemotherapy-related toxicity.
In the study the intravenous formula of vitamin C and traditional chemotherapeutic drugs like carboplatin and paclitaxel were combinedly applied to ovarian cancer cells of animals and humans. The researchers observed a cessation of tumor growth in-vitro and reduced adverse effects of chemotherapy in patients. The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
According to the statement of Qi Chen, PhD, a senior author of the study and an Assistant Professor of the Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics Department of KU Medical Center and the Department of Integrative Medicine, pharmacokinetic variations of different formulations of vitamin C have made intravenous vitamin C more effective than oral form in cancer cell killing. However, both forms are safe for normal cells.
In a clinical trial, 27 patients diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer were included to see the effects of high dose vitamin C. All of them were treated with conventional chemotherapy like paclitaxel or carboplatin and some of them were given high-dose IV vitamin C. They were kept under observation for the next five years. Researchers noticed that vitamin C treated patients showed minimal toxicity of chemotherapy drugs.
Lab investigation of the test animals revealed that only high doses of vitamin C in intravenous route can promote the death of cancer cells and vital organs like liver, kidney and spleen are not affected at these doses.
Complementary and alternative care practitioners have started to use high-dose intravenous vitamin C in the treatment of cancer. But, due to medical regulations and insufficient clinical trials, conventional doctors still hesitate to use it. Researchers have been inspired by the recent studies to get a better perception of the molecular mechanisms involved in the cancer fighting effects of vitamin C.