Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer Boulder / Denver

NatureMed in located in Boulder Colorado and has a complementary cancer care program that serves the greater Denver area. We offer complementary therapies that allow chemotherapy to work better while reducing side effects. This page is meant to help patients understand more about the use of sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) and cancer. Vitamin C is typically given intravenously in doses ranging from a few thousand milligrams to one hundred thousand milligrams. At high doses intravenous vitamin C is antiviral, promotes natural detoxification including mold toxins, kills cancer cells and can help regulate the immune system. All the treatments we use at NatureMed at our Boulder clinic are based on scientific evidence.  Therefore, the references for intravenous Vitamin C are listed below. Although the practice of IV C appears to have a great deal of promise in helping patients with cancer, we do not recommend IV Vitamin C alone as a viable treatment of cancer or as a replacement to conventional oncology care.

CANCER: In two Scottish studies, terminal cancer patients given intravenous vitamin C (10 g day-1) showed longer survival times than historical controls. A Japanese study yielded similar results, but 2 double-blind studies at the Mayo clinic using oral vitamin C (10 g day-1) showed no benefit. Oral vitamin C supplementation is unlikely to produce plasma ascorbate levels sufficient to kill tumor cells directly and it for this reason that we give it intravenously. Intravenous vitamin C is toxic to cancer cells turning into hydrogen peroxide inside cancer cells and causing these cells to die. Normal cells have a mechanism for combating the damage caused by hydrogen peroxide whereas cancer cells do not.  The use of intravenous vitamin C is currently being studied by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as an adjunctive therapy for cancer. Researchers from the NIH reported in the August 5, 2008 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that high-dose vitamin C reduced tumor weight and growth rate by about 50 percent in mice with brain, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. The researchers traced vitamin C's anti-cancer effect to the formation of hydrogen peroxide in the extracellular fluid surrounding the tumors. Normal cells were unaffected.

Current Human Trials on Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer

The University of Kansas Medical Center has a gynecologic cancer and antioxidant study underway headed by Dr. Drisko. Read more about it here.

Selected Scientific Papers on Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer

Effect of high-dose intravenous vitamin C on inflammation in cancer patients

Clinical experience with intravenous administration of ascorbic acid: achievable levels in blood for different states of inflammation and disease in cancer patients

Acorbate Induces Autophagy in Pancreatic Cancer

Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases

Other Uses for Intravenous Vitamin C

Antiviral Activity (Herpes, Epstein Barr, Hepatitis C) - Extracellular levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin c) attainable only by high-dose, intravenous administration, are reported to have in vitro and in vivo anti-cancer and anti-viral effects in humans and animals. Ascorbic acid briefly generates extracellular hydrogen peroxide, an oxidative stress specifically toxic to cancer cells and cells infected with viruses, including HCV, but not to normal cells. 

Mold Toxins (Mycotoxins)

Heavy Metals

Cardiovascular Disease

To schedule an appointment at our Boulder office call the front desk at 303.884.7557.

Padayatty SJ, Sun H, Wang Y, Riordan HD, Hewitt SM, Katz A, Wesley RA, Levine  M.Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Apr 6;140(7):533-7.
Padayatty SJ, Riordan HD, Hewitt SM, Katz A, Hoffer LJ, Levine M. Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases.CMAJ. 2006 Mar 28;174(7):937-42.
Duconge J, Miranda-Massari JR, Gonzalez MJ, Jackson JA, Warnock W, Riordan NH. Pharmacokinetics of vitamin C: insights into the oral and intravenous administration of ascorbate. P R Health Sci J. 2008 Mar;27(1):7-19. Review.
Riordan HD, Casciari JJ, González MJ, Riordan NH, Miranda-Massari JR, Taylor P, Jackson JA. A pilot clinical study of continuous intravenous ascorbate in terminal cancer patients. P R Health Sci J. 2005 Dec;24(4):269-76.
Riordan HD, Riordan NH, Jackson JA, Casciari JJ, Hunninghake R, González MJ, Mora EM, Miranda-Massari JR, Rosario N, Rivera A. Intravenous vitamin C as a chemotherapy agent: a report on clinical cases. P R Health Sci J. 2004 Jun;23(2):115-8.
Yeom CH, Jung GC, Song KJ. Changes of terminal cancer patients' health-related quality of life after high dose vitamin C administration. J Korean Med Sci. 2007 Feb;22(1):7-11.
Vincenzo Noto, MD, Henryk S. Taper, MD , Jiang Yi-Hua, MD , Jaak Janssens, MD , Jan Bonte, MD, William De Loecker, MD Effects of sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) and 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (vitamin K3) treatment on human tumor cell growth in vitro. I. Synergism of combined vitamin C and K3 action. Volume 63 Issue 5, Pages 901 - 906.
James M. Jamison, Jacques Gilloteaux, Henryk S. Taper, Pedro Buc Calderon and Jack L. Summers. Autoschizis: a novel cell death. Biochemical Pharmacology. Volume 63, Issue 10, 15 May 2002, Pages 1773-1783.
Jacques Gilloteaux, James M. Jamison, Heather E. Lorimer, David Jarjoura, Henryk S. Taper, Pedro B. Calderon, Deborah R. Neal and Jack L. Summers Autoschizis: a new form of cell death for human ovarian carcinoma cells following ascorbate:menadione treatment: Nuclear and DNA degradation.Tissue and Cell Volume 36, Issue 3, June 2004, Pages 197-209

Verrax J, Cadrobbi J, Delvaux M, Jamison JM, Gilloteaux J, Summers JL, Taper HS, Buc Calderon P. The association of vitamins C and K3 kills cancer cells mainly by autoschizis, a novel form of cell death. Basis for their potential use  as coadjuvants in anticancer therapy. Eur J Med Chem. 2003 May;38(5):451-7.Review. PubMed PMID: 12767595.
Calderon PB, Cadrobbi J, Marques C, Hong-Ngoc N, Jamison JM, Gilloteaux J, Summers JL, Taper HS. Potential therapeutic application of the association of vitamins C and K3 in cancer treatment. Curr Med Chem. 2002 Dec;9(24):2271-85. Review. PubMed PMID: 12470246.
Taper HS. Altered deoxyribonuclease activity in cancer cells and its role in non toxic adjuvant cancer therapy with mixed vitamins C and K3. Anticancer Res. 2008 Sep-Oct;28(5A):2727-32. Review. PubMed PMID: 19035302.
Jamison JM, Gilloteaux J, Taper HS, Calderon PB, Summers JL. Autoschizis: a novel cell death. Biochem Pharmacol. 2002 May 15;63(10):1773-83. Review. PubMed PMID: 12034362.
Gilloteaux J, Jamison JM, Arnold D, Summers JL. Autoschizis: another cell death for cancer cells induced by oxidative stress. Ital J Anat Embryol. 2001;106(2 Suppl 1):79-92. PubMed PMID: 11730000.
von Gruenigen VE, Jamison JM, Gilloteaux J, Lorimer HE, Summers M, Pollard RR, Gwin CA, Summers JL. The in vitro antitumor activity of vitamins C and K3 against ovarian carcinoma. Anticancer Res. 2003 Jul-Aug;23(4):3279-87. PubMed PMID: 12926064.
Zhang W, Negoro T, Satoh K, Jiang Y, Hashimoto K, Kikuchi H, Nishikawa H, Miyata T, Yamamoto Y, Nakano K, Yasumoto E, Nakayachi T, Mineno K, Satoh T, Sakagami H. Synergistic cytotoxic action of vitamin C and vitamin K3. Anticancer  Res. 2001 Sep-Oct;21(5):3439-44. PubMed PMID: 11848506.
Verrax J, Cadrobbi J, Marques C, Taper H, Habraken Y, Piette J, Calderon PB. Ascorbate potentiates the cytotoxicity of menadione leading to an oxidativestress that kills cancer cells by a non-apoptotic caspase-3 independent form of cell death. Apoptosis. 2004 Mar;9(2):223-33. PubMed PMID: 15004519.
Lasalvia-Prisco E, Cucchi S, Vázquez J, Lasalvia-Galante E, Golomar W, Gordon W. Serum markers variation consistent with autoschizis induced by ascorbic acid-menadione in patients with prostate cancer. Med Oncol. 2003;20(1):45-52. PubMed PMID: 12665684.
Ervin E, Jamison JM, Gilloteaux J, Docherty JJ, Jasso J, Summers JL. Characterization of the early events in vitamin C and K3-induced death of human bladder tumor cells. Scanning. 1998 Apr;20(3):210-1. PubMed PMID: 9604387.
Taper HS, Jamison JM, Gilloteaux J, Gwin CA, Gordon T, Summers JL. In vivo reactivation of DNases in implanted human prostate tumors after administration of a vitamin C/K(3) combination. J Histochem Cytochem. 2001 Jan;49(1):109-20. PubMed PMID: 11118483.
Gilloteaux J, Jamison JM, Arnold D, Ervin E, Eckroat L, Docherty JJ, Neal D,  Summers JL. Cancer cell necrosis by autoschizis: synergism of antitumor activity  of vitamin C: vitamin K3 on human bladder carcinoma T24 cells. Scanning. 1998 Nov;20(8):564-75. PubMed PMID: 9891940.