University of Iowa researchers taking second look at vitamin C for cancer … – KCRG

IOWA CITY — Researchers at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are retesting a cancer treatment that was once dismissed decades ago.

In the 1980s, a Mayo Clinic study found that orally consuming high levels of vitamin C did not kill cancer cells. Now, UIHC doctors and scientists are taking another look at the idea, but with one distinct difference: the use of an IV.

“Orally, if you were to consume that same amount, our bodies would get rid of it, we’d urinate it out or lose it other ways,” said Bryan Allen, an assistant professor of radiation and oncology. “This way it’s hopefully going to go into the bloodstream, get to the tumor, and act as a radiation and chemotherapy sensitizer.”

In petri dishes, putting vitamin C on cancerous brain cells has successfully killed off all the cancer.

Now, a small group of patients are undergoing the treatment — including Mary Kluesner, who is battling a deadly form of brain cancer.

“[The doctor] said it would kill me, and it was a very fast and aggressive tumor,” Kluesner said.

But when doctors told her about the vitamin C treatment, Kluesner knew she had to try it. Even if it didn’t help her tumor.

“If I can help someone down the road, that’s the best thing I can do,” she said.

Doctors are also using the treatment on pancreatic and lung cancer cells. They say in the first phase of the study, the treatment appeared safe, with minimal side effects.

“And the good thing is, normal cells are resistant to this and they survive,” said Dr. Joseph Cullen, professor of surgery.

Doctors hope to enter phase two of the study within six months to a year. That will involve a larger group of participants and taking a closer look at the effectiveness of the vitamin.

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