Scientists at the Perlmutter Cancer Center at New York University (NYU) Langone Health in New York City, have studied the effect of vitamin C on blood cancer and found it halts and even reverses the effects in mice with TET2 leukemia-promoting genetic deficiency. In their study, published in Cell, the researchers found that the absence of the TET2 proteins unceasingly drives a pre-leukemic state in hematopoietic stem cells, but that increasing TET2’s enzymatic activity with high dose vitamin C can make up for low levels of the protein in deficient mice. In plain speak, faulty stem cells in bone marrow start to multiply, triggering the growth of deadly tumors, but vitamin C drives a chemical counter balance that tells the faulty cells to stand-down and cease activity.
Mutations in the genetic code that reduce TET2 enzymatic activity are found in:
- In nearly 50% of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia.
- In 30% of those with a form of pre-leukaemia called myelodysplastic syndrome.
- In 10% of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
The research team encouraged by the positive results of therapeutic doses of vitamin C, decided to add a class of anticancer drugs called PARP inhibitors to the intravenous solution. PARP inhibitors are a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, explains first author, Doctor Luisa Cimmino, of New York University Langone Health. The PARP inhibitor increased the potency of the vitamin C treatment, making it even harder for the leukemic stem cells to self-propagate.
High-dose vitamin C is considered “one of those natural alternative health treatments” that many doctors look down upon. Money doesn’t pour into studying its promising potential as a cancer fighter because it is natural and therefore pharmaceutical companies cannot patent it, for great profit. Usually, as a treatment vitamin C is given by intravenous (IV) infusion to achieve much higher levels in the blood than can be taken orally without stomach upset. The rest of these facts come from the National Cancer Institute:
Research studies indicate that high doses of vitamin C may slow the growth and spread of liver, prostate, pancreatic, colon, and other types of cancer cells.
- Animal studies have shown that high-dose vitamin C treatment blocks tumor growth in certain models of pancreatic, ovarian cancers, sarcoma, liver, prostate and malignant mesothelioma.
- Some human studies of high-dose IV vitamin C in patients with cancer have shown improvements in physical, mental, and emotional functions, nausea and vomiting, symptoms of fatigue, pain, and appetite loss.
- Intravenous high-dose vitamin C has caused very few side effects in clinical trials.
Even with all these studies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of IV high-dose vitamin C as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition. And therefore insurance companies will not cover IV high-dose vitamin C even as an add-on treatment.