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26 Feb 2016


QUESTION: What is the research behind high dose vitamin c dosage and use in oncology?

ANSWER: High-dose IV ascorbic acid up to 1.5g /kg/day appears to be well-tolerated (1), may improve the quality of life of terminal cancer patients (2), and reduce chemotherapy-associated toxicity in patients with ovarian cancer (4). This led to a renewed interest in studying high-dose IV vitamin C as an anticancer treatment (1) (3). However, it should be regarded as an investigational drug and used only in a clinical trial setting.

  1. Hoffer LJ, Levine M, Assouline S, et al. Phase I clinical trial of i.v. ascorbic acid in advanced malignancy. Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology / ESMO. Nov 2008;19(11):1969-1974.
  2. Yeom CH, Jung GC, Song KJ. Changes of terminal cancer patients’ health-related quality of life after high dose vitamin C administration. Journal of Korean medical science. Feb 2007;22(1):7-11.
  3. Padayatty SJ, Riordan HD, Hewitt SM, et al. Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne. Mar 28 2006;174(7):937-942.
  4. Ma Y, Chapman J, Levine M. High-Dose Parenteral Ascorbate Enhanced Chemosensitivity of Ovarian Cancer and Reduced Toxicity of Chemotherapy. Sci Transl Med. 5 February 2014. Vol. 6, Issue 222, p. 222ra18. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3007154.