Ascorbic-acid Treatment for Progressive Bone Metastases After Radiotherapy: A Pilot Study

Altern Ther Health Med. 2014 Oct:20 Suppl 2:16-20.


Context • Researchers have reported improved survival rates for patients with cancer when 10-75 g of vitamin C (ascorbic acid, or AA) is administered intravenously. AA exhibits a cytotoxic effect upon entering a cancer cell. Objective • The current study examined the benefits of intravenous administration of AA in treatment of bone metastases. Design • The study was a pilot study. Setting • The study was performed at Bezmialem Vakif University Medical Facility (BVUMF) in the Department of Radiation Oncology, from 2010-2012. Participants • Participants were 11 cancer patients with bone metastases who were unresponsive to standard cancer treatments and who experienced the following issues after receiving a total of 3000 cGy of radiotherapy: (1) intensifying pain, (2) an increase in metastatic sites, and/or (3) a deterioration in general health. Intervention • The 11 patients received 2.5 g of AA in a physiological saline solution, within 1 h period with 3-10 applications following at 1-wk intervals. Outcome Measures • The ECOG Performance Scale and Visual Analog Scale were used to assess performance and pain. Results • Among the participants administered AA, the mean reduction in pain was 55%, and the median survival time was 10 mo. Participants experienced a 40% grade-I gastrointestinal toxicity and a 30% urinary toxicity. Conclusions • Given the study's results, the current research team found considerable encouragement in the use of AA after radiotherapy for treatment of patients with bone metastases. Toxicity was in the acceptable range for AA treatment.