Intravenous Vitamin C for Cancer Patients

Intravenous Vitamin C TherapyIn 1975, a remarkable case was reported of a 42-year old man suffering from a malignant form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, who experienced a dramatic regression of the cancer after being given large doses of vitamin C intravenously. He seemed cured; so, they stopped the vitamin C, and the cancer came surging back. So, they restarted the vitamin C, apparently inducing a second complete remission. Now, sometimes, cancer does just spontaneously regress—it’s rare, but not unheard of. So, one could argue that the first remission was spontaneous, and it was just a coincidence that it happened when they started the vitamin C, but given the trajectory the cancer was on, followed by the rapid remission, followed by the relapse when the vitamin C was stopped, followed by a second remission once restarted does strongly suggest the vitamin C had something to do with it.

Now, multiple spontaneous regressions do exist. There was a recent case, for example, of a woman with cervical cancer, apparently cured with radiation and chemo, but when the cancer came back, she refused further treatment; yet, the tumors disappeared on their own, and then came back, and then disappeared, then came back, and then disappeared, then came back, and then disappeared for a fourth spontaneous remission, and that was with no apparent treatment at all. So, it’s possible this vitamin C case is just a crazy coincidence fluke, and the vitamin C didn’t help at all. You never know until you put it to the test.

So, these researchers enlisted the help of Linus Pauling, considered the greatest chemist of the 20th century, who was known to be interested in vitamin C. If he couldn’t get funding, nobody could get funding, and he couldn’t get funding. They went to the National Cancer Institute with promising data on the first 40 cancer patients they treated with vitamin C and asked that they carry out a randomized double blind trial, meaning take a group of incurable cancer patients for which we have nothing more to offer, randomly split them up into two groups and infuse one group with vitamin C and the other group with something just saline, basically water, and see who lives longest. Neither the patients nor the doctors would know who got which, to eliminate bias and placebo effects. And they went back year after year after year asking for grants to study it themselves if the National Cancer Institute wasn’t going to do it , and they got rejected year, after year, after year. So, they scraped up whatever funds they could find and did their best with what they had and published their famous findings in 1976.

They didn’t have a controlled trial, but by that point, they had treated a hundred terminal cancer patients with vitamin C. So, they compared their progress to that of a thousand similar patients who didn’t get vitamin C. For each patient treated with vitamin C, they found ten patients about the same age with the same kind of cancer that had been treated at the same hospital but without the vitamin C infusions. This is what they found. Let’s look at breast cancer, for example. Here’s the survival curve for terminal breast cancer—remember these were all terminal cancer patients. As you can see, in the control group, within 100 days, more than 80% of the women were dead, but in the vitamin C group, half were still alive nearly a year later. They had women with terminal breast cancer still alive 2,270 days later and still counting.

The control groups for all the different cancers did predictably bad, with the vast majority dead within one to two hundred days, while the vitamin C treated patients appeared to do substantially better. All in all, the average survival time was four times as great for the vitamin C subjects: more than 200 days compared to only 50 days for the controls. The results, they conclude, clearly indicate that this simple and safe form of medication is of definite value in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer. So what happened?

Critics understandably attacked the study for using after-the-fact controls. You could see how this could introduce bias. If you consciously or unconsciously chose control group patients who were sicker than your treatment group patients, they would die sooner than your patients, but it would have nothing to do with the treatment; the control group folks just started out in a worse place. And, indeed, there’s evidence that is what happened—a full 20% of the control group died within a few days after being declared terminal compared to none in the treatment group, which really does sound fishy. But the trial was successful in finally convincing the National Cancer Institute to fund randomized controlled trials performed by the prestigious Mayo Clinic, no less. What did they find? We’ll find out, next.

Articles:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.
Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Dr. Greger Takes on Vitamin C for Cancer

Intravenous Vit C For Cancer PatientsVitamin C is no stranger to controversy. It took 40 years between when citrus fruits were shown to cure scurvy in the 1700’s and their widespread application. Is it possible we’re in the midst of a similar 40 year lag between vitamin C discovery and implementation? Research in the mid-70’s by Linus Pauling (considered the greatest chemist of the 20th century) purported to show that terminal cancer patients treated with vitamin C lived four times longer, and sometimes even 20 times longer than those who hadn’t. Alternative medicine practitioners continue to treat thousands of cancer patients with vitamin C, but why isn’t it the standard of care in mainstream medicine? Has it been successfully debunked or is it a Big Pharma conspiracy to suppress the truth? Find out what the science shows in my three-part video series coming soon to NutritionFacts.org:

  • Intravenous Vitamin C for Terminal Cancer Patients
  • Vitamin C Supplements for Terminal Cancer Patients
  • The Role of Vitamin C in the Treatment of Terminal Cancer

If you want to watch all three videos now, though, they are available as a video download as part of my new Latest in Clinical Nutrition volume 28 (all proceeds go to charity). It can also be ordered as a physical DVD. The vitamin C videos are all scheduled to go up on NutritionFacts.org next year, but you can download and watch them right now.

Other topics I take on in this volume include preserving immunity in athletes, how to change your microbiome, the French paradox, the use of fennel seeds and ginger for menstrual cramps. The one that most changed my own family’s diet was Lead Contamination of Tea, in which I do a breakdown of the risks and benefits for green, white, black, and oolong tea for children, pregnant women, and adults in general.

The current batch of videos from volume 27 on NutritionFacts.org just ran out, so starting next month and running until February, I’ll be rolling out the videos from this new DVD, volume 28. The DVDs give folks the opportunity to sneak-preview videos months ahead of time, watch them all straight through, and share them as gifts, but there is nothing on the DVDs that won’t eventually end up free online at NutritionFacts.org. If you’d like the works–50+ hours of video–you can get the complete DVD collection.
Here’s the list of chapters from the new volume 28 DVD — a preview of what’s to come over the next few months online here at NutritionFacts.org:
  1. Preserving Athlete Immunity with Chlorella
  2. How to Reduce the Risk of Sudden Death
  3. What’s Your Gut Microbiome Enterotype?
  4. How to Change Your Enterotype
  5. The Five to One Fiber Rule
  6. Is the Fiber Theory Wrong?
  7. Evidence-Based Nutrition
  8. What Explains the French Paradox?
  9. Resveratrol Impairs Exercise Benefits
  10.  The Healthy Food Movement: Strength in Unity
  11.  Lead Contamination of Tea
  12.  Are There Foods With Negative Calories?
  13.  Eating More to Weigh Less
  14.  Intravenous Vitamin C for Terminal Cancer Patients
  15.  Vitamin C Supplements for Terminal Cancer Patients
  16.  The Role of Vitamin C in the Treatment of Terminal Cancer
  17.  The Alzheimer’s Gene: Controlling ApoE
  18.  Turmeric Curcumin for Prediabetes
  19.  Heart Disease May Start in the Womb
  20.  The Evidence That Salt Raises Blood Pressure
  21.  Omega-3’s and the Eskimo Fish Tale
  22.  Antibacterial Toothpaste: Harmful, Helpful, or Harmless?
  23.  Fennel Seeds for Menstrual Cramps and PMS
  24.  Protein Source: An Acid Test for Kidney Function
  25.  Preventing Skin Cancer From the Inside Out
  26.  When Drugs & Diets Don’t Lower Diabetes Deaths

Order my new DVD at DrGreger.org/dvds or through Amazon. It can also be ordered as a video download at DrGreger.org/downloads.

DVD Subscription

If you were a regular supporter, you’d already be a vitamin C expert by now, having already received the new DVD. I come out with new DVDs every 9 weeks. If you’d like to automatically receive them before they’re even available to the public, please consider becoming a monthly donor.

Anyone signing up on the donation page to become a $15 monthly contributor will receive the next three DVDs for free (as physical DVDs, downloads, or both–your choice), and anyone signing up as a $25 monthly contributor will get a whole year’s worth of new DVDs. If you’re already signed up and didn’t receive your volume 28 yet, please email Tommasina@NutritionFacts.org and she’ll make everything all better.

If you’d rather just watch all the videos online as they launch, but would still like to support my work of helping to educate millions about healthy eating, you can make a tax-deductible donation to my 501c3 nonprofit organization NutritionFacts.org using a credit card, a direct PayPal link, or by sending a check to “NutritionFacts.org” PO Box 11400, Takoma Park, MD 20913.

HOW NOT TO DIE Book Update

I can’t wait! My new book How Not to Die comes out on December 8th, so there’s less than one week left to take advantage of my offer to sign and personalize copies for yourself and everyone on your gift list. Go to http://nutritionfacts.org/bookplates/ for more information. All proceeds I receive from the sales of all my books, DVDs and speaking engagements are donated to the nonprofit organization that keeps NutritionFacts.org alive, from which I receive no compensation.

Did you see the Publisher’s Weekly review? They concluded: “This evidence-based guide unpacks information useful to carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike, making a strong case for the healing power of food.”

I give thanks for all those who have supported my life’s mission to reduce suffering and save lives.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Featured Photo Source: Intravenous Vit C For Cancer

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