Changes of Terminal Cancer Patients' Health-Related Quality of Life After High Dose Vitamin C Administration

J Korean Med Sci. 2007 Feb;22(1):7-11. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2007.22.1.7.


Over the years there has been a great deal of controversy on the effect of vitamin C on cancer. To investigate the effects of vitamin C on cancer patients' health-related quality of life, we prospectively studied 39 terminal cancer patients. All patients were given an intravenous administration of 10 g vitamin C twice with a 3-day interval and an oral intake of 4 g vitamin C daily for a week. And then we investigated demographic data and assessed changes in patients' quality of life after administration of vitamin C. Quality of life was assessed with EORTC QLQ-C30. In the global health/quality of life scale, health score improved from 36+/-18 to 55+/-16 after administration of vitamin C (p=0.001). In functional scale, the patients reported significantly higher scores for physical, role, emotional, and cognitive function after administration of vitamin C (p<0.05). In symptom scale, the patients reported significantly lower scores for fatigue, nausea/vomiting, pain, and appetite loss after administration of vitamin C (p<0.005). The other function and symptom scales were not significantly changed after administration of vitamin C. In terminal cancer patients, the quality of life is as important as cure. Although there is still controversy regarding anticancer effects of vitamin C, the use of vitamin C is considered a safe and effective therapy to improve the quality of life of terminal cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Terminal Care


  • Ascorbic Acid