Cancerfighter’s Weblog

Alternative cancer therapies and ideas

vitamin C research (2)

Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on April 30, 2008

Study Highlights Hospital Use of Vitamin C Instead of Chemotherapy to
Help Treat Cancer

By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, April 10, 2006, abstracted from “Intravenously
administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases” in the March 26,
2006 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal

One of the 20th century’s biggest proponents of  vitamin C  in promoting
health was Linus Pauling, the only person ever to win two Nobel
Prizes.(1) Known to take 18 grams of vitamin C per day,(2) Pauling used
vitamin C frequently to help treat  cancer . Pauling’s research(3) found
that terminal cancer patients who took 10 grams of vitamin C per day
survived more than 4.2 times as long (more than 210 days) than controls
(50 days). In another study of non-terminal cancer,(4) patients taking
10 grams of vitamin C per day had an average survival time about 300
days greater than that of the controls.

Despite those early studies, studies by the Mayo Clinic did not
reproduce this benefit of vitamin C in cancer patients(5, 6) yet vitamin
C continues to be used as an alternative cancer therapy.7 These
contrasting results seem to lie in whether the vitamin C is given orally
or intravenously. Linus Pauling‘s studies combined IV and oral
administration, whereas the Mayo Clinic studies used only oral

Recent research has found that very large doses of vitamin C will
increase plasma concentrations “only modestly” when given orally whereas
the same dosage given intravenously raises plasma concentrations more
than 25-times higher to levels that are toxic to cancer cells.(8)
As a result of IV vitamin C administration producing much higher blood
levels, a new study(9) has found that hospitals are offering vitamin C
treatment in place of chemotherapy and are seeing cancers go into

In one case, a 51 year-old woman with kidney cancer that had spread to
her lungs took 65 grams of vitamin C per week for 10 months as her only
medical treatment while she personally took thymus protein extract (no
dosage given), N-acetylcysteine (1500 mg per day) and whole thyroid
extract (30 mg per day). Although the cancer went into remission after
10 months, she continued to  smoke  and the cancer reappeared four years
later which did not respond to the vitamin C therapy.

In the second case, a 49 year-old man with bladder cancer received 30 g
of vitamin C twice per week for 3 months, followed by 30 g once every
1–2 months for four years as his only cancer treatment. The patient’s
personal supplement regimen was extensive and included  alpha lipoic
acid  (100 mg daily),  flaxseed oil  (3,000 mg daily),  probiotics ,
selenium  (400 mcg daily),  glucosamine/chondroitin  (2,000 mg daily)
and  glutathione  (no dosage given). Fortunately, the cancer went into
remission and the patient remains cancer-free nine years after diagnosis
with no symptoms of cancer.

Finally, a third case highlighted a 66 year-old woman with “untreated
stage III diffuse B-cell lymphoma”, which has a “dismal prognosis.” The
patient refused chemotherapy but instead elected to have radiation
therapy in conjunction with vitamin C treatment, taking 15 grams of
vitamin C twice per week for two months, 15 grams once to twice per week
for seven months, and then 15 grams once every 2–3 months for 1 year.
At the end of one year, the patient was in remission and “remains in
normal health” more than 10 years later. In this case, the researchers
admit that “a cure occurred in connection with intravenous vitamin C
In conclusion, vitamin C’s usefulness in treating cancer required high
blood levels of the antioxidant which are achievable only with IV
administration, especially for advanced cancers.

Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Danville, CA. You
can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at or visiting his website

1 “The Linus Pauling Papers” posted on the National Library of Medicine
2 “Fighting Cancer” posted on
3 Cameron E, Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive
treatment of cancer: prolongation of survival times in terminal human
cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1976;73:3685-9
4 Cameron E, Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive
treatment of cancer: reevaluation of prolongation of survival times in
terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1978;75:4538-42
5 Moertel CG. High-dose vitamin C versus placebo in the treatment of
patients with advanced cancer who have had no prior chemotherapy. A
randomized double-blind comparison. N Engl J Med 1985;312:137-41
6 Creagan ET, Moertel CG, O’Fallon JR, et al. Failure of high-dose
vitamin C (ascorbic acid) therapy to benefit patients with advanced
cancer. A controlled trial. N Engl J Med 1979;301:687-90
7 Bernstein BJ, Grasso T. Prevalence of complementary and alternative
use in cancer patients. J ClinOncol 2001;15:1267-72
8 Leung PY, Miyashita K, Young M, et al. Cytotoxic effect of ascorbate
and its derivatives on cultured malignant and nonmalignant cell lines.
Anticancer Res 1993;13:475-80
9 Sebastian J. Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy:
three cases. CMAJ 2006 174: 937-942


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