UI receives grant to start clinical trials for treatment of childhood cancer

Published: Nov. 28, 2017 at 11:07 PM CST
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The University of Iowa may be one step closer to using vitamin C to fight cancer. The university has received a grant to make it possible to start clinical trials for teens for a recently approved FDA drug of high-dosage vitamin C.

UI Staff Physician Doctor Varun Monga is the one who applied for the grant. He tells me he's excited to start the trials that could potentially save the lives of 40 people.

"I feel very honored to get this grant from St. Baldrick's and together with generous support from several patients and several people in the state of Iowa," said Monga.

St. Baldricks is a childhood cancer research foundation. They host head-shaving fundraisers for these types of grants.

The trials first started with mice then adults.

"It showed promising results," said Monga. "That's why we are now moving up to in human trials in young adults."

The clinical trials will focus mainly on teens from ages 13 and above. Doctor Monga says sarcoma, the deadly form of cancer involving soft tissues, typically affects patients in their teens. Combined with radiation and chemotherapy, the vitamin C will be injected through an IV.

"I'll be able to conduct this trial which would help us study the role of hydrous vitamin C in sarcoma patients and hopefully bring about a cure," said Monga.

Doctor Monga says the trials are catered towards patients with advanced sarcoma so only those are eligible to sign up. So far no families have enrolled yet.