Why Vitamin C Could Be an Excellent Complementary Remedy to Conventional Therapies for Breast Cancer

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Nov 9;21(21):8397. doi: 10.3390/ijms21218397.


The most frequent cancer in women is breast cancer, which is a major cause of death. Currently, there are many pharmacological therapies that have made possible the cure and resolution of this tumor. However, these therapies are accompanied by numerous collateral effects that influence the quality of life (QoL) of the patients to varying degrees. For this reason, attention is turning to the use of complementary medicine to improve QoL. In particular, there are increased trials of intravenous injection of vitamin C at high doses to enhance the antitumor activity of drugs and/or decrease their side effects. This review intends to underline the anticancer mechanisms of vitamin C that could explain its efficacy for treating breast cancer, and why the use of vitamin C at high doses could help patients with breast cancer to enhance the efficacy of pharmacological therapies and/or decrease their side effects.

Keywords: anti-cancer mechanisms; ascorbic acid; breast cancer; comblementary medicine; reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Complementary Therapies / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Ascorbic Acid