Vitamin C has long been co prescribed along with conventional drugs for treating cancer. However the evidence of its usefulness has been mixed. A recent study has revealed that high dose Vitamin C supplementation can improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy in the lab on mice.

According to US scientists High dose Vitamin C given as injections could be a safe, effective and economical treatment for ovarian and other forms of cancer. Vitamin C has been long used as an adjunct to treat cancers and as early as 1970s, chemist Linus Pauling reported that vitamin C given intravenously was effective in treating cancer. More studies are needed so that it can be proved that Vitamin C has a role in treating cancer.

Earlier some studies were conducted and Vitamin C was given orally but the results were not satisfactory and the study was abandoned. It is now known that Vitamin C is excreted quickly from the body when it is given orally.

Scientists at the University of Kansas say that when given by injection vitamin C is absorbed into the body, and can kill cancer cells without harming normal ones.

Vitamin C was injected into human ovarian cancer cells in the lab, into mice, and into patients with advanced ovarian cancer. It was found that the ovarian cancer cells were unusually sensitive to vitamin C treatment, but normal cells were unharmed. The treatment was carried out in tandem with conventional chemotherapy drugs and was found to slow tumor growth in mouse studies. Another small section of patients reported less side-effect when given vitamin C alongside chemotherapy.

Co-researcher Dr Jeanne Drisko feels that there is a growing interest in the use of vitamin C by oncologists.

Dr Jeanne Drisko said to BBC News, “Patients are looking for safe and low-cost choices in their management of cancer. Intravenous vitamin C has that potential based on our basic science research and early clinical data.”

However Pharmaceutical Companies are unlikely to run trials since Vitamins cannot be patented.

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