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Naturopathic Medicine Blog

Pancreatic Cancer and High Dose Vitamin C

Posted Jan 25th, 2021 in Tips, Naturopathic Medicine, News

Pancreatic Cancer is an Aggressive Disease that claims the lives of many people all over the world. According to the recent statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society, in 2020 6000 people would be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, and as high as 5300 would die from it.  https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/pancreatic/statistics/?region=on 

 

Most people with Pancreatic Cancer Present with an advanced stage (Stage 4) with a spread to the Liver and locoregional Lymph nodes, this is not because they ignore any symptoms related to this disease when it starts, but because, most of the time, the Pancreatic Cancer does not cause lots of symptoms when it starts given the fact that it is located deep in the abdomen that causes delay in the symptoms when the disease is small, however, when the cancer grows in size and starts to spread to distant sites such as the liver,  patients start to feel it existence due to the pressure it exerts on the surrounding normal organs such as the liver and peritoneum.

With advanced stages of pancreatic cancers, patients develop symptoms such as an abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, loss of weight and in the advanced stages, Jaundice may happen (yellowish discoloration of the skin and or conjunctiva of the eyes).

The Medical Oncology Treatment for an advanced stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer is based mainly on Chemotherapy regimens such as FOLFRINOX with an intravenous twice or thrice weekly infusions for 6 months duration. The expected outcome from chemotherapy for these patients is usually very limited with an exceedingly low survival or disease control rates. Additionally, the toxic effects of these chemotherapy combinations (such as nausea, vomiting, impaired immunity, diarrhea, fatigue, weakness and peripheral neuropathy) worsen the situation of patients with this disease and increases their suffering.

 

The use of the High Dose Vitamin C for Cancer has been thought of for many years as an adjunctive treatment with chemotherapy and sometimes as a sole treatment after failure of the chemotherapy or lack of response to chemotherapy. The core mechanism of action of the high dose vitamin C in Pancreatic Cancer is the creation of high amounts of Hydrogen Peroxide around the Cancer Cell environment that prevents the Cancer Cells from dividing and thriving. A second mechanism is that High Dose Vitamin C interferes with the blood flow to the Cancer Cells, a process called Angiogenesis Prevention which is very similar to other targeted agents used for cancer treatment such as Avastin (Bevacizumab), and this results in reduced nutrition to the Cancer cells. Finally, High Dose Vitamin C promotes a process called Apoptosis (or programmed cell death) which means reversal of the unlimited division capacity of the cancer cells to be less dividing and ultimately limited growth and spread.

The clinical research on using the high dose vitamin C and Pancreatic Cancer is limited, however, the preliminary data of using the High Dose Vitamin C in Pancreatic Cancer are encouraging.

Today, I am presenting a recent research on the Pancreatic Cancer and High Dose Vitamin C

This research was published in 2018 in the Journal of Anti- Cancer Drugs by Drisko J et al from the department of Medicine at Kansas City. It was about a case report of a 68 years old male patient with stage 4 pancreatic cancer with liver and lymph nodes metastases who declined chemotherapy FOLFRINOX as the expected benefit was very limited and the toxicity profile was high. He preferred to use the High Dose Intravenous Vitamin C twice weekly at a dose range of  75-125 grams of Vitamin C each time. This patient showed a near complete response and stayed alive for 4 years after the start of the high Dose Vitamin C, he passed away from other health problems,

For further details and information about this research, you can click this link  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5882293/pdf/cad-29-373.pdf 

 

In conclusion: The use of High Dose Vitamin C in Pancreatic Cancer can be very promising, and it is recommended to start more clinical trials addressing the role of the high dose vitamin C and pancreatic cancer especially for advanced or metastatic disease.  

 

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