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Vitamin C May Reduce Chemotherapy Side Effects and Boost Its Anticancer Properties

Injection of Vitamin C in high doses may increase the anticancer effects of chemotherapy according to a new American scientific study. Some researchers injected large quantities of vitamin C in mice and humans which has helped boost chemotherapy anti-cancer properties according to a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Researchers at the University of Kansas have tested in rodents and some patients the effects of vitamin C on chemotherapy. After grafted with human ovarian cancer cells in mice, they injected their vitamin C. They also administered the vitamin to patients with advanced ovarian cancer.

They found that the ovarian cancer cells were sensitive to treatment with vitamin C and non-diseased cells remained healthy. This treatment at high dose of vitamin C was administered in parallel to conventional chemotherapy. In fact, not only it has been effective in destroying cancer cells but also helped to reduce the chemotherapy side effects.

Clinical Trials

The researcher Jeanne Drisko, MD, co-author of the study, believes that "it is actually a good idea to use vitamin C in cancer treatment." She continued to say, "Patients are looking for safe and affordable treatments to better manage their cancer. Based on this study and early clinical data, vitamin C administered intravenously has exactly that potential. It is effective and accessible to all." 

But the use of vitamin C is facing an economic barrier. Pharmaceutical industries are unlikely to fund trials of vitamin C taken intravenously because there is no possibility of patenting natural products. "Because vitamin C cannot provide potential patent, development will not be supported by pharmaceutical companies," said Dr. Qi Chen, principal investigator of the study.

Dr. Kat Arney, head of communications of the English Institute "Cancer Research UK" reacted to this new study. "As the experiment was conducted on 22 patients, it is difficult to say whether high doses of vitamin C in injection have a real impact on patient survival. But it is interesting to note that it reduces side effects of chemotherapy "and concluded that" any potential cancer treatment should be carefully evaluated in large clinical trials to ensure it is safe for patients and effective. Further studies are needed before prescribing vitamin C to patients. "