Hype or hope?
According to the NCI, clinical studies using vitamin C in combination with other cancer drugs have shown mixed results. In some cases, patients felt that their quality of life improved. Other studies showed that tumors had stopped growing.
In some studies, however, vitamin C and conventional drugs used to treat cancer reacted with each other, and the result was that the treatment did not work.
A 2010 study by Levine revealed that U.S. complementary and alternative medicine practitioners frequently use vitamin C injections for a range of conditions – including cancer treatment – despite the fact that vitamin C is not licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose.
So is vitamin C just another hype? There is no simple answer to this question. Research has certainly shown that vitamin C has the power to kill cancer cells or change how cancer stem cells behave, at least in laboratory studies.
The NCI currently report five active trials investigating vitamin C in combination with other cancer drugs.
What is clear, however, is the passion and drive with which scientific and medical researchers are pursuing this question. Lives are at stake, and everyone wants to know if vitamin C will soon be at the frontline in the fight against cancer.