Over thirty years ago, Linus Pauling and other investigators published research indicating that vitamin C in high doses improved outcomes for patients with terminal cancer. A follow-up study done by the Mayo clinic failed to support Pauling’s findings, and high dose vitamin C was considered ineffective. The main difference between these two studies was that Pauling used IV and oral vitamin C, while the Mayo clinic study used only oral vitamin C.
Recent research now supports Pauling’s original findings. In doses only achievable through IV delivery, vitamin C creates a type of pro-oxidant stress, which harms cancer cells while normal cells remain unaffected. This explains why Pauling and the Mayo clinic had different results, as it is impossible to reach levels high enough to cause this pro-oxidant effect by oral supplementation.
There are numerous trials for IV vitamin C, both published and ongoing, that are showing benefits to cancer patients. A recent study found enhanced chemosensitivity of ovarian cancer and a reduction in the toxicity associated side effects with the chemotherapeutic agents used.
At Acacia, we follow the proven protocols for IV vitamin C therapy developed by Dr. Drisko and Dr. Sullivan at the University of Kansas Medical Centre. We consider it best practice to use IV vitamin C alongside standard medical care such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
In consultation with your Naturopathic Doctor you will decide if IV vitamin C is an effective treatment for your specific condition. This will include a thorough assessment in the initial visit, at which time lab work will be required prior to proceeding with treatment. The typical lab work required prior to IV vitamin C is liver and kidney function tests, G6PD Status, and a complete blood count with differential.
IV vitamin C treatments will last between 1 and 3 hours and are usually given 2-3 times a week for active cancers, and once a week for maintenance once the cancer is in remission. Patients who achieve remission are encouraged to continue IV vitamin C therapy for 1 full year. After this, tapering is required at 1-2 times a month for a few months before discontinuing.
For optimal results, patients are encouraged to follow their individual supplementation and nutritional regimes prescribed by their Naturopathic Doctor throughout their treatment.
On treatment days, patients sit in our comfortable IV therapy chairs in our IV room. We will provide water or herbal/green tea. Patients are encouraged to bring a small snack. A small catheter is placed in a large vein in the arm and secured there for the duration of the treatment. The infusion is started and monitored by our Registered Nurse or Naturopathic Doctor. Patients can read, use iPads or personal computers, listen to music, enjoy a cup of tea and snack as needed. There is a small amount of discomfort with the insertion of the catheter, but after that the treatment is typically painless.
Smokers are not eligible for this treatment as it renders it less effective. IV vitamin C cannot be used with the chemotherapy agent/drug Methotrexate.