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MegaDose Vitamin C Treatment of Cancer

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 626
Joined: Mar 2010

I just posted the following in a separate thread but thought it might be useful to repost it in a thread of its own. I also do not know if this has been previously been discussed here or not.

I do know that I haven't seen such a discussion in the past 2 years that I've been hanging around here. If it's redundant, I apologize but I think those who have not seen/heard this info before, might find it useful.

-----------------------------------

I just happened to watch the video "Food Matters" in which it is asserted (around the 1 hr mark) that megadoses of Vitamin C delivered intravenously has been successful in killing cancer without any side effect.

This video is currently being offer online on the following site, but you can also get it in DVD format on Netflix:

http://foodmatters.tv/screening-event-cinema

This info was a bit startling to me and a quick Google search confirmed it. See:

http://www.alternative-cancer-care.com/Intravenous_Vitamin_C_IV.html

I would think that anyone w/advanced PCa or failed PCa treatment should look into this as an alternative to chemo and/or hormone therapy. Note, as mentioned in the article in the 2nd link, that Vitamin C taken after chemo may be less effective.

According to the following article, Vitamin C with the addition of Vitamin B3 (niacin) may also be useful in the treatment of cancer:

http://www.alternative-cancer-care.com/Vitamin_B3_Niacin.html

As noted in the video, your doctor may not believe or agree this but, if you insist on the treatment you "should" be able to get it. However, your insurer may not pay for it and obviously getting daily intravenous doses of Vitamin C would be very inconvenient (unless you're already hospitalized). So, if you decide to try this, you'll probably have to buy the vitamins OTC and take them orally on your own.

mrspjd
Posts: 691
Joined: Apr 2010

Here's another perspective on mega dose (& IV) Vitamin C as an alternative cancer tx: http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/c.html

"High Doses of Vitamin C Are Not Effective as a Cancer Treatment"

by Stephen Barrett, M.D. 
http://www.quackwatch.com/10Bio/bio.html
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Barrett#section_4

"The claim that vitamin C is useful in the treatment of cancer is largely attributable to Linus Pauling, Ph.D. In 1976 and 1978, he and a Scottish surgeon, Ewan Cameron, M.B., Ch.B., reported that patients treated with high doses of vitamin C had survived three to four times longer than similar patients who did not receive vitamin C supplements. The study was conducted during the early 1970s at the Vale of Leven Hospital in Loch Lomonside, Scotland. Dr. Cameron treated 100 advanced cancer patients with 10,000 milligrams grams of vitamin C per day. The clinical course of these patients was then compared with that of 1,000 patients of other doctors whose records were obtained from the same hospital, but who had received no vitamin C. The findings were published in 1976, with Pauling as co-author, in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences [1].
The 1976 report emphasized that all of the patients had been "treated initially in a perfectly conventional way, by operation, use of radiotherapy, and administration of hormones or cytotoxic substances." The vitamin C patients were reported to have a mean survival time 300 days longer than that of the controls. Moreover, the vitamin C patients were said to have shown an improvement in their quality of life. In response to doubts about the validity, reliability, and quality of the control population, Cameron and Pauling replaced some of the patients and controls and published another analysis in September 1978 in the same journal [2]. In 1979, two Japanese researchers affiliated with the Linus Pauling Institute claimed similar results in two studies totaling 130 cancer patients treated during the 1970s [3].

Faulty Design

The Pauling/Cameron study was not a clinical trial in which patients were compared to carefully matched patients chosen at random and followed using a standardized protocol. Instead, Pauling and Cameron attempted to reconstruct what happened to the control group by examining their medical records. Most cancer specialists and journal editors are extremely reluctant to accept this type of study for evaluating the validity of contemporary cancer therapy, primarily because bias may occur in selecting controls.

In 1982, William D. DeWys, M.D., chief of the clinical investigations branch of the National Cancer Institute's cancer therapy program, pointed out that the vitamin C and control groups had not been properly matched [4]. First he observed that no data had been published to demonstrate that the patients had been matched by stage of their disease, functional ability, weight loss, and sites of metastasis, all of which are important judging the stage of the disease. Then he pointed out that Cameron's patients began getting vitamin C when Cameron judged them "untreatable" and their subsequent survival was compared to that of the control patients from the time they had been labeled "untreatable."

DeWys reasoned that if the two groups were comparable, the average time from the initial diagnosis to "untreatable" status should be similar for both groups. But they were not. He concluded that many of Cameron's patients had been labeled untreatable earlier in the course of their disease and would therefore be expected to live longer. DeWys also noted that more than 20% of the patients in the control group had died within a few days of being labeled untreatable, whereas none of Cameron's patients had died. This, too, suggested that Cameron's patients had had less advanced disease when they were labeled untreatable.

In the Japanese study, the treatment and control groups were treated with various doses and at different times, which made the conclusions even more questionable [5].

Mayo Study #1

In 1978, the Mayo Clinic embarked on a prospective, controlled, double-blind study designed to test Pauling and Cameron's claims. Each patient in this study had biopsy-proven cancer that was considered incurable and unsuitable for further chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation. The patients were randomized to receive 10 grams of vitamin C per day or a comparably flavored lactose placebo. All patients took a glycerin-coated capsule four times a day.

The patients were carefully selected so that those vitamin C placebo groups were equally matched. There were 60 patients in the vitamin C group and 63 in the placebo group. The age distributions were similar. There was a slight predominance of males, but the ratio of males to females was virtually identical. Performance status was measured using the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Scale, a clinical scale well recognized by cancer researchers. Most study patients had some disability from their disease, but only a small proportion were bedridden. Most patients had advanced gastrointestinal or lung cancer. Almost all had received chemotherapy, and a smaller proportion had undergone radiation therapy.

The results were noteworthy. About 25% of patients in both groups showed some improvement in appetite. Forty-two percent of the patients on placebo alone experienced enhancement of their level of activity. About 40% of the patients experienced mild nausea and vomiting, but the two groups had no statistically significant differences in the number of episodes. There were no survival differences between patients receiving vitamin C and those receiving the placebo. The median survival time was approximately seven weeks from the onset of therapy. The longest surviving patient in this trial had received the placebo. Overall, the study showed no benefit from vitamin C [6].

After the study was published, Pauling complained in a letter to the editor that most patients had had extensive prior chemotherapy and were therefore immunologically compromised—so no benefit from vitamin C in the patient population should be expected [7]. In response, the Mayo researchers pointed out that Pauling's own reports had said that all of his patients had undergone "perfectly conventional" therapy [8]. But Pauling maintained that only 4 of Cameron's 100 patients had received prior chemotherapy [7]. Curiously, at a meeting in February 1985 at the University of Arizona, Pauling stated that vitamin C therapy could be used along with all conventional forms of treatment [9].

A 1975 study at the Mayo Clinic had demonstrated that patients with advanced cancer can mount an immunological response. The study involved forty patients who had undergone chemotherapy for a gastrointestinal malignancy. Many of these patients had immune responses to BCG vaccine, indicating that people with advanced cancer are not uniformly or inevitably immunologically compromised [10]. Nevertheless, the Mayo researcher decided to retest vitamin C.

Mayo Study #2

Patients in the second Mayo study of vitamin C and cancer had tissue-proven colorectal adenocarcinoma that was considered incurable. They were ambulatory and had not had chemotherapy. Most had no symptoms. The patients were carefully classified according to the interval between the diagnosis of inoperable disease and entry into the study, the sites of metastasis, and whether there was a measurable area of tumor. A total of 51 patients were randomly allocated to vitamin C, and 49 patients were assigned to receive a milk-sugar placebo.

There were no objective regressions from either placebo or vitamin C for the 19 patients in each group who had measurable tumors. Among the patients who had symptoms when the study began, 7 (64%) of the 11 vitamin C patients and 11 (65%) of the 17 placebo patients claimed some degree of symptomatic relief. To be sure that patients were following the experimental protocol, urine specimens from five patients selected randomly from the treatment group and six patients from the control group were analyzed for vitamin C. The vitamin C patients had significant levels, while the five of the six placebo patients had negligible levels of urinary vitamin C. (The other patient was taking medications that made it impossible to interpret the test.)

The median survival for all patients was approximately 10-11 months, while that from entry into the study until "progression" was declared was about four months. (Progression was declared if a tumor increased significantly in size, new metastases occurred, symptoms or performance worsened substantially, or weight decreased 10% or more.) No meaningful differences were found between patients on vitamin C and those on placebo. Thus, there was no apparent benefit from treatment with high-dose vitamin C [11]

Mayo Study #3

Following publication of these results, some commentators suggested that the study patients might not have been representative of cancer patients as a whole—that perhaps there was a subtle selection or referral bias that may have skewed the results. So a third prospective, randomized, stratified study was conducted under the auspices of the North Central Cancer Treatment Group, an international, multi-institutional, collaborative oncology group. Based primarily at the Division of Oncology at the Mayo Clinic, the group also had input from community-based cancer specialists in the Upper Midwest, Louisiana, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Saskatchewan, Canada.

This study included 71 patients on vitamin C and 73 patients on placebo. The patients were carefully matched by age and gender. Performance scores indicated that most of them had some disability from their advanced cancer. The sites of the primary cancers were virtually identical to those of the original study—primarily lung and colorectal cancer—and the distribution between treatment groups showed no meaningful differences by diagnosis or site. All had advanced cancer that had progressed after standard treatment.

Most patients had had prior chemotherapy, and a smaller proportion had undergone radiation therapy. The study found that the vitamin C group survived no longer than the placebo group. The median survival time was approximately one month, which is fundamentally the same as in the initial vitamin C study. The data did show something that was somewhat intriguing. At two weeks after the onset of therapy, some patients receiving vitamin C experienced substantial improvement in appetite, strength, and pain relief. However, these advantages quickly dissipated so that by 4-6 weeks, no meaningful advantage from vitamin C remained. The researchers concluded that vitamin C had provided transient symptomatic improvement in appetite and strength for a small pro-portion of treated patients. However, survival was not enhanced by vitamin C [12].

Thus, three prospectively randomized, placebo-controlled studies involving 367 patients documented no consistent benefit from vitamin C among cancer patients with advanced disease. Moreover, high doses of vitamin C can have significant adverse effects. High oral doses can cause diarrhea. High intravenous dosage has been reported to cause kidney failure due to clogging of the kidney tubules by oxalate crystals [13-15].

Laboratory Studies

A dispute between Pauling and Arthur Robinson, Ph.D., gives additional evidence of Pauling's advocacy of vitamin C megadosage was less than honest. Robinson, a former student and long-time associate of Pauling, helped found the Linus Pauling Institute and became its first president. According to an investigative report by James Lowell, Ph.D., in Nutrition Forum newsletter, Robinson's own research led him to conclude in 1978 that the high doses (5-10 grams per day) of vitamin C being recommended by Pauling might actually promote some types of cancer in mice [16]. Robinson told Lowell, for example, that animals fed quantities equivalent to Pauling's recommendations contracted skin cancer almost twice as frequently as the control group and that only doses of vitamin C that were nearly lethal had any protective effect. Shortly after reporting this to Pauling, Robinson was asked to resign from the institute, his experimental animals were killed, his scientific data were impounded, and some of the previous research results were destroyed. Pauling also declared publicly that Robinson's research was "amateurish" and inadequate. Robinson responded by suing the Institute and its trustees. In 1983, the suit was settled out of court for $575,000. In an interview quoted in Nature, Pauling said that the settlement "represented no more than compensation for loss of office and the cost of Robinson's legal fees." However, the court-approved agreement stated that $425,000 of the settlement was for slander and libel.

In 1994, Robinson and two colleagues summarized the results of four mouse studies he had carried out while working at the Pauling Institute [19]. Nearly all of the mice developed skin cancers (squamous cell carcinomas) following exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Altogether, 1,846 hairless mice received a total of 38 different diets. The researchers found that (a) the rate of onset and severity of tumors could be varied as much as 20-fold by just modifying dietary balance; (b) diets with the worst balance of nutrients had the greatest inhibitory effect on cancer growth; and (c) no cures or remissions were observed (although the researchers were not looking for this). In 1999, Robinson commented:

The results of these experiments caused an argument between Linus and me, which ended our 16-year period of work together. He was not willing to accept the experimentally proved fact that vitamin C in ordinary doses accelerated the growth rate of squamous cell carcinoma in these mice.

At the time, Linus was promoting his claim that "75% of all cancer can be prevented and cured by vitamin C alone." This claim proved to be without experimental foundation and not true. . . . Vitamin C increased the rate of growth of cancer at human equivalents of 1 to 5 grams per day, but suppressed the cancer growth rate at doses on the order of 100 grams per day (near the lethal dose), as do other measures of malnutrition [20].

Laboratory studies have found that vitamin C may interfere with the effectiveness of five anti-cancer drugs. First, the researchers gave a vitamin C product to cancer cells that were treated with chemotherapy and found that the 30% to 70% fewer cancer cells were killed. Then they injected mice with cancer cells, administered chemotherapy, and found that cells grew into tumors much faster in the mice that received pre-treatment vitamin C. The researchers warned that although results in animals are not necessarily applicable to humans, vitamin C supplementation during cancer treatment may interfere with the effect of chemotherapy in humans [21].

Recent test-tube studies of cancer cells suggest that vitamin C can play a role in cancer development or suppression. Reports of these studies have been widely promoted with speculations that high-doses of vitamin C will eventually be proven useful against human cancers. I doubt that these speculations are correct.

The Bottom Line

Linus Pauling's claim that high-dose vitamin C prolonged the life of cancer patients was based on improper statistical analysis of data from a case series. Subsequent clinical trials found no benefit from what he recommended. Case reports indicate that high-dose vitamin C can produce kidney damage. And laboratory studies have shown that vitamin C might even accelerate cancer growth. Thus, even if supplementary vitamin C is eventually be found to have some use in fighting cancer, that role is not likely to be extensive. Despite these hard facts, many people still claim that high doses of vitamin C are useful as a cancer treatment. Responsible health professionals should clarify this issue so that patients neither forfeit scientific care nor put themselves at risk by using a product that has no demonstrated merit."

References listed @: http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/c.html

Samsungtech1
Posts: 350
Joined: Jan 2011

Mrspjd,
Thank you. Nothing like getting your ducks in a row. Unfortunately some of us are out there on the edge. We are looking for some hope and help. Most times if we do our homework we can sidestep alot of this stuff. I figure that if it was real it would be mentioned everywhere, Once in awhile we

Thanks again,

Miker

laserlight's picture
laserlight
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2012

Thank you for the information. Being a cancer survior and paitent I am always looking into the various treatment methods. Only a person with cancer can understand this fully.

I do feel that there are treatment methods out there that are outside the normal medical practice.

Diet is a big one and herbal treatments that other informed members have brought to this forum.

There is no guarantee cure for cancer, but if a treatment can reduce the reocourance or stop the progression then why not research and study it.

I have found that information always helps, We as prostate cancer surviors need to stay informed.

When the thinking becomes narrowed, then we might overlook or pass by a method that might work in our case.

I try and stay away from forming a rigid mindset with this. I am no expert in this and have worked on keeping an open mind in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Keep up the inputs

Kurt

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 626
Joined: Mar 2010

Your welcome, Kurt.

I am also of a mind to consider all options and was not suggesting that megaDose Vitamin C is in any way a "miracle cure" for PCa or any other cancer. I just found the film and articles interesting because so little has seemed to be mentioned about them here.

Those who believe (as suggested in the video) that the negative view of megaDose Vitamin C (and other homeopathic therapies) may in large part sponspored by the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry have a point.

While Mrs. PJD (as is her habit spends a great deal of bandwidth trying to assert her point of view by overwhelming us with information (in this case the idea that there is any merit whatsoever in megaDose Vitamin C), I find it interesting that very little note has been made of the potential benefits of megaDose Vitamin C in cancer treatment, as illustrated by the patient case studies discussed in in the paper published by what appears to be a distinguished panel of scientists from the National Institutes of Health and associated organizations.

My opinion entirely unsupported in any way (as Mrs. PJD, I am sure will point out) was (and still is) that IF you are someone who has an advanced form of cancer that has NOT been successfully treated by conventional methods, what's the risk of giving megaDose Vitamin C a try, since there are apparently no negative side effects (certainly no worse than dying from cancer) from taking such doses of Vitamin C?

Who knows? You can attack the positive studies and assertions regarding megaDose Vitamin C all you like, but if you, like the patients in the case studies, might somehow respond to the therapy and are able to achieve some longevity or even a "cure" as a result of it, why not try it? Just seems like something to seriously consider to me.

laserlight's picture
laserlight
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2012

I spend time on other sites and have been able to find some very good discussions and information on PC. A lot of these sites donot have the background noise, and it makes it easy to spend time on. I donot know how you feel about Face Book, but my one daughter kept pushing for me to set up an account, so to keep in contact with my family I did.

I have found a lot of good positive information about PC on this site and other links. You might want to try it.

There are sites that promote a full circle approach to Prostate cancer treatment.

I and my wife have been looking into the treatment methods and there appears to be success here at times. The alternative treatments need to be looked at and considered.

All of us here for the most part are lay persons when it comes to Prostate cancer. There are some members on this site that have a great amount of knowledge on PC and they present it in a respectfull manor.

I think that we need to keep an open mind on treatments and research information. I myself enjoy information like this, it gives you food for thought.

I modified my life style due to PC and donot regret it, in fact I have been healthy excluding PC.

Keep up the input

Kurt

caseyh
Posts: 63
Joined: May 2002

I believe that this forum is best used to convey ideas and experiences that are valuable to us as PCa survivors. That includes ideas that some may find to be bogus. I doubt that anyone contributing to this site has the medical or academic background to evaluate the vast body of medical literature that would be necessary to voice an informed opinion. That is best left to professionals like Dr. Myers, who literally spends several hours a day reading new studies and adding those findings to his already vast knowledge of the literature. Quick Google searches might reveal that there is some controversy about a subject, but the results from a search engine that is limited in scope should also be viewed skeptically. Lets encourage new ideas and different perspectives for viewing old ideas.

Thanks Swing for your post!

Samsungtech1
Posts: 350
Joined: Jan 2011

I usually do not comment on holistic cures unless I have seen proof. I researched Vitamin C, mega doses, and everywhere I looked it said it was rubbish. To be fair I went to a couple of sights that supported, as opposed to being neutral, on mega doses. They definetly support this, butnthe doctors they quote have been discredited since 1998.
To me, personally, I do not care what anyone tries, it just might work. Mega doses of vitamin C seem to be discredited all over the web. The side effects are worrisome, and your Onc would have to approve it-due to interaction of drugs.

I have read of research with a part of marijuana, I believe it was called CB1, but not sure that have proven good results. At least it has scientists backing it up.

Mike

laserlight's picture
laserlight
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2012

There is a large group out there that follow holistic cures and they do work. And it is something that I feel needs to be looked at.

My approach to cancer treatment has been a full circle approach, medical, diet, and life style changes. On my end it is working.

When ever I encounter a problem I look at all sides and try to understand the whole picture.

I have done this with Prostate cancer. Every type cancer that you research on line comes back with all types of information, good and bad.

Treatment in the end, centers around what the cancer paitient feels is the best for them.

Now if you reserach marijuana there is a lot of information on this as far as cancer fighting goes, but the people doing this reaserch are up against mindsets that refuse to look at all treatment methods. A natural plant that can cure cancer, think about it. What would happen to the medical industry as we know it. Take care

Kurt

Samsungtech1
Posts: 350
Joined: Jan 2011

Kurt.
Right now am trying CB1 just to make sure it works. Feels good to me. Matter of fact it feels really great. I remember you live in CA. I am coming out there next month to visit some friends. Want to go out? I will bring my friends. Should be great. Leave them if you want. They are all women. Full of mischief.

Check out discussions on. Mega doses of Vit. C. No one is supporting it.

Mike

laserlight's picture
laserlight
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2012

I am not taking a stand on suporting Vit C, what I am doing is supporting input as far as cancer treatment goes. I feel that all treatment methods should be looked at as far as treatment goes. And people have a right to ask questions and pass information along.

The forum here, people come and ask questions and present information. This is good and needs to continue.

I am not a expert in this area and for the most part welcome all input, like I have said before you need information when working with this cancer.

I had a long discussion with one of my doctors on various cancer studies. It was indicated to me that some of these studies can become flawed during the process of gathering and collecting data. This is understandable.

Also how many subjects were part of the study, and was it a double blind study. it goes on.

Like I have indicated before most of the people here are lay people and are trying to understand and gather information.

I myself am in no posistion to pass judgement on treatment methods.

The invite sounds good, but I live in Oregon, and yes I would like to have a BEER with you, Ralph and the others here. Kongo, Hunter, Swing and the rest of the group, I will buy.

Take care Kurt

mrspjd
Posts: 691
Joined: Apr 2010

Mike,

You're welcome. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say "bogus claims," but possibly it's more hype than hope. I understand all too well that those with end stage cancer must examine all options available to them, including alternative therapies & go for it, if they must. Regardless of my personal views, I wanted to offer a balanced look at the issue...two sides to the same coin, so to speak.  As always, caveat emptor, or in this case, medical consumer be aware. 

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