IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Scientists at the University of Iowa are looking at how vitamin C may actually help kill cancer cells.
It's not just regular vitamin C tablets used as a supplement, but rather high levels of vitamin C used through an IV.
Last month researchers published a study on the effects of high-dose vitamin C on cancer cells and they specifically looked at what effects high-dose vitamin C has on pancreatic and brain cancer cells.
They treated the cancer-bearing mice with vitamin C that was administered using an IV, and in doing so, they noticed that the high-dose vitamin C actually attacked the cancer cells.
These mice were treated daily with a high level of vitamin C, matching what is being given in ongoing clinical trials.
“The tumors grew much more slowly when they were treated with the vitamin C compared to no treatment at all,” says Dr. Garry Buettner, a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Iowa.
Back in 2011 when researchers gave vitamin C to cancer patients, they found that some patients were actually living longer.
And now they're using high-dose vitamin C alongside certain cancer treatments, like radiation and chemotherapy, to see if it'll benefit patients.
“So we're hoping to get greater tumor shrinkage or at least slow growth to improve patient outcomes,” says Dr. Buettner.
The research is being funded by the National Institute of Health.
The research team hopes to publish their findings from clinical trials that use high-dose vitamin C as a part of cancer treatment later this year.