Have you experience of intravenous vitamin C treatment?

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June 2011. To date I have had 5 courses of chemotherapy to control the disease. There seems to be no effective treatment for my condition, and in the last 18 months I have been more often on chemotherapy than off it. Having recently had a shoulder operation, I need a good 3 or 4 months off chemotherapy to enable my shoulder to heal. So I am considering having a course of intravenous vitamin C treatment in the hope of delaying the next relapse of symptoms and need for more chemotherapy. In the absence of so called 'gold standard' clinical trial evidence showing the effectiveness of this expensive alternative treatment, I would very much like to hear from anyone who has tried this treatment, or knows someone who has. What was your/their experience of the treatment, and did you/they get any benefits from it?

25 Replies

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  • I considered this shortly after I was diagnosed. Fortunately I didn't need it. It's being studied at the University of Kansas, but only with chemo. See this kumc.edu/news-listing-page/...

    If you go onto the American site Inspire - Ovarian Cancer National Alliance - and ask the same question you will find lots of women who have tried it.

    Since 2009, I haven't heard of any miracle results. It's very expensive - £10,000 plus for a course.

    Have you considered homeopathy? There is a medically qualified doctor, Dr Sosie Kassab, who practises at UCL and privately. She often prescribes mistletoe and various other remedies. Even if you see her privately, it's a lot cheaper than vit C.

    Best, Vx

  • Hi vipervictoria and thanks very much for taking the trouble to send me this helpful information. I will have a look at the 'Inspire' website as you suggest. Yes IV vit C is a major investment of time and money. I have found out that it will cost me at least £5,200. I did see a homeopath for a while near Sheffield, UK where I live, but it didn't help. I now see an 'alternative' doctor who has suggested the IV vit C and also mistletoe. I am glad you found you didn't need it and hope you are keeping reasonably well? Thanks again Caroline_W

  • Hi I can offer no help about this but I am a similar position having had considerable chemotherapy. I was diagnosed Feb 2007 stage 4. Had carbo/taxol and 4 years stable without treatment. Since 2011 I have had carbo/taxol, then carbo/gem then weekly taxol. My options are now limited and the SHO said I may have as little as 6 months. I can try caelyx but was warned slim chance. So I feel a great empathy for you.

    Carol

  • Hi Carol .. I was very moved by your post and I really hope Caelyx works well if you go ahead. Xx

  • Hi Carol and thanks for your reply. I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Bad enough to relapse in 2011 after 4 years of relative normality, then back on the chemotherapy treadmill with little to show for it except more bad news, which can be a self fulfilling prophecy, as you may know. You may yet confound the prognosis if you decide to have the caelyx - I do hope so. Caroline

  • Don't know if this will help at all, but in kind of the same situation as yours with the weekly taxol, I went to MD Anderson in Houston. Texas and they added Estrogen Suppressor to the taxol, seemed to really help. Came off Taxol and just on Suppressor in pill form. Been over two years now, and doing well.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, Hannakat. I went on a similar drug for a while but it didn't do any good - seems my cancer is not oestrogen sensitive. I am glad it is helping you to stay well and off the chemo. I wish I could find something to take to control my cancer that didn't inflict the collateral damage chemo does. It was a relief to be off weekly taxol which was doing more harm than good when the treatment was stopped. Best wishes, Caroline

  • I have no idea but I hope you get the information you want to make choices. Sending you all good wishes. X

  • Thanks very much for your good wishes, Tina. I am still researching the vit C and have asked the 'alternative' doctor who has suggested it if she can come up with some anecdotal evidence in support of the treatment based on her own practise. Caroline

  • Thanks very much, Tina All the best to you too. Caroline x

  • Hi Caroline,

    I did intravenous vit C and after the first treatment I felt a significant large boost in energy. The second time i had it, I did not feel the effect as strongly. The doctor recommended 6 courses, but I did not carry on with the other 4, perhaps I should have. I also received B Vit in the same time.

    Later I learned that the delivery system(the blood itself) is important even if one has the Vit C administered in the blood directly. If the blood is sticky or slow moving (high viscosity) it won't carry as much oxygen and nutrients to your cells. It's the quality of the blood itself, its free flowing liquid vs. sludging characteristics is what make the difference in the delivery of good nutrients to your tissues in adequate quantities. But also removal of toxins. If you can't feed and cleanse your tissues efficiently, you are in line for disease no matter which one.

    If you are battling cancer and take all good staff like enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants and hydrogen peroxide If the life-saving nutrient isn't arriving in your tissues in sufficient quantity, you are not really helped or protected by all this good work. IV vitamin C cannot work it's powerful magic if it isn't circulated enough, even when it is placed directly into the blood.

    Immediate after I was diagnosed(2011) I had a live blood test at a friend that happened to be a naturopath and I could see how my blood was sticky. It looked like It was all strung together in clumpy ropes called rouleaux (a French origin word). The red cells were electro-statically stuck together. Clumps don't flow well through capillaries, they don't take up oxygen so efficiently and they squeeze and inhibit the function of immune cells. This is bad news for cancer patient.

    At that time I just have a number of supplements that I was given without knowing or understanding what they were and what they where for, but the next test the blood looked much better without clumps.

    Later I learned that FIR sauna achieves a thin blood (low viscosity and no clumping), with lot of hydration and electrolytes (coconut water) and walking 5 minutes a day bare footed in wet grass to remove electrostatic charge.

    Now I am learning that there are other things like VieLight - laser light therapy (L4T) to improve the delivery system( the blood) so all kinds of helpful nutrition like IV vit C to work effectively. IV vit C costs a lot, so better have it not in vain.

    So yes, the vit C is very good and effective on condition that the blood is in good condition.

    I was not sorry for having the treatment. In China they have this treatment as normal in the hospital for viral infections, so why not?

    Hope that this answered some of your question.

  • Hi Naomi and thanks very much for taking the time to send me all this helpful information. I have been told repeatedly at the hospital following blood tests that I was a bit de-hydrated and should drink more. What you have said confirmed the importance of this. You have obviously done a lot of your own research, and you are the first person to respond who has actually tried IV vitamin C, so thanks for your comments. I hope you don't mind me asking you one or two further questions. Did you finish the course of treatment early because of cost, or because it didn't achieve what you were expecting, or both? Did you have any blood tests done before and after the treatment, including CA125? In my case the level of CA125 correlates well with the activity level of my ovarian cancer, so I would definitely have this done before and after the treatment. How are you yourself - are you managing to keep well? Thanks and best wishes, Caroline_W

  • I did regular tests of CA125, not so much to test the vit C effectiveness, but as a routine. I discontinued the treatment because of both cost and because the second time I felt no considerable effect on the energy levels as the first time.

    Thank you I am generally well, I do not feel tired and am treating some back pains at the moment, the last CA125 was normal.

    Hope you will get better, would be good if you see an integrative doctor and/or a naturopath to do a live blood test. That will check the blood situation and prescribe the management.

    Hydration will be very much improved if you would drink coconut water 1-2L/day, it contains a high level of potassium and other minerals (the electrolytes) and the minerals are biologically available since they are sourced from plants. Drinking just water would require mineral intake from some other sources, the pills are not organics(not from plants) , stay away from such as much as possible especially calcium. All those juicing greens and fruits have as scope mineralization and nutrition.

    I myself ferment the coconut water with Kefir so I get the electrolytes and the probiotics in one go and drinking it away from the meals. Today a neighbour gave me another thing for fermentation named Combucha. She ferments the cold Roibost (high in antioxidant and no caffeine) tea (40 tea bags for 1 L) with it and she drinks it regularly. I will have it ready hope by tomorrow to try it.

    The natural healers believe that one of the causes for cancer is lack of minerals especially the trace elements that are responsible to bond the proteins in the DNA to the helix.

    Beres Drops, if you heard about them were made by the Hungarian biochemist that long time ago have tested the soil in Hungary in the area where cancer was very common in order to find out why such an epidemic of cancer happened in some places but not others. He arrived at the conclusion that the food they were growing was depleted of minerals. He created these Beres Drops, people in Europe's health retreats use them for cancer patients. I also found good reports on them made by an organization that looks into the natural treatments that are effective for cancer. It was 4 years ago and I lost the link to that organization and forgot its name so I can not refer you there unfortunately. But I can find some for Beres drops:

    beres-international.com/ber...

    I was also told that the proteins in the DNA are bound between themselves with iodine and the helix is made of polyzaharides. So it is important to have all these elements to keep the DNA together, repairs of it are made every night while we sleep. A good source of organic minerals and trace minerals, iodine, a good digestion of proteins(need enzymes), polyzaharides (good source is aloe vera) and a good delivery system (the healthy blood rich in oxygen) should fix the DNA while we sleep. The big C has little chance to survive when nutrients come in.

    To this vit D and C supplementation is to slow down the speed of cell multiplication and water soluble antioxidant to help the processes.

    Get well soon!

  • Hi Naomi88 thanks again for your reply and all the information - you are a mine of information! I am glad you are well and that your CA125 is normal. Mine hasn't been normal for two years and climbs as high as 1000 or even 2000 when I have a relapse of cancer symptoms. With chemo, they have got it down to 50. I am not on chemo at the moment, but am worried I may relapse before my shoulder is healed. I was very interested to read what you said about mineral deficiencies causing damage to DNA. I am in the care of a National Health Service hospital, which monitors my condition with blood tests and CT scans, and administers chemotherapy as and when I need it, which unfortunately is becoming more often. They are a 'centre of excellence' for conventional medicine, and carry out clinical trials and cancer research, but they have nothing to do with 'alternative' or dietary treatments. The just say eat a good diet with plenty of fruit and veg. For 'alternative' treatments, I see another doctor who is 3 -4 hours drive away, and she has prescribed a course of dietary supplements, organised the 'chemo-sensitivity' test I had done 18 months ago, and most recently, she has recommended the IV vit C treatment I am considering - 3 treatments per week for 5 weeks costing £5,500 - a lot of time and money. The results of the chemo-sensitivity test showed my cancer was sensitive to vit C, but that is the only evidence I have found to support this treatment so far, so its a dilemma. Thanks again for your help and interest. Caroline_Wh

  • I see , these 15 are many treatments and come to a large cost. Could you ask that you get Vit Bs at the same time through IV. I cant remember why were they given in the same time, but was something about it. Ask anyway.

    I see that you view vit C in relation with cancer cells only. It is more complex than that and vit C will do much more then that. I am glad that you were prescribed more than the vit C.

  • Hi there Caroline, I have not tried this regime. I do empathise with you regarding the shoulder surgery as I had to get this done , It is painful to say the least. I had shoulder decompression and arthoscopy no scar evident but a lot of pain at the time. I have read about vitamin C infusion but I am not sure if they are available here. My onc believes in chemo and nothing else not even vit c tablet which I do sneak now and again during colds etc. Well if vit c is in the food we eat it cant do a lot of harm can it but I am also interested in what others have said about it not being effective if your blood is sticky, I would suggest a good healthy diet while you are off chemo maybe juicing with green apples ginger celery and carrots and kiwis every day to start your day. Hopefully you wont need to go back into treatment as soon as you think and in the meantime your body is getting a rest

  • Thanks, Suzuki for your encouragement, suggestions and sympathy! The shoulder has been quite painful since the operation, especially at night, but it was almost as painful before the operation, whereas now it has been repaired and I am on the mend. Best wishes, Caroline

  • That is good news, yes the pain does lessen but my mobility on rotatation didnt return fully. Well I am always the akward patient. Best of luck in what ever you decide to go with as regards the infusion, I finished my fourth chemo almost a year ago but have been left on Avastin for maintenance. Like you I dont know what lies ahead but stay positive a lot of the time. OC is more manageable than it was when I started down the road in 2006 and new drugs are hopefully in the offing

  • Hi. I had intravenous vitamin c and Ozone therapy after my chemo. I have been asked whether it worked in the past and the honest answer is I don't know. I did feel better but don't know if it was due to the fact that my treatment stopped and i was getting the chance to build myself up again. My Oncologist told me to take no supplements or vitamins during chemo and I followed his advice. I did tell him

    I was taking it afterwards to try and boost my energy levels and his concerns were more around the cost as there was nothing to support the benefits. Would I take it again ? Yes. I'm sorry this may not be of any help but it's the honest answer. We are fortunate that it doesn't seem to be as costly in N.I as it is in UK so that is also a factor in why I would definitely do it again. If you look at Dr Finbar Magee, Synergy Healthcare in Belfast you will see his background. This is the doctor I see for this treatment.

    Julie x

  • Hi Julie40 thanks very much for your reply, interesting comments and information. If I do decide to have this treatment, I am going to have a blood test before and after and see if it brings the CA125 down. That will provide me with a more objective test of its effectiveness, in addition to how it makes me feel. Cost effectiveness is an issue, because the course of vit C treatment I have been recommended to have works out at £5,500, but the only evidence I have so far is the result of a 'chemo-sensitivity' test I had done 18 months ago, which indicated my cancer was sensitive to vitC. Caroline_W

  • hi, I came to see the response you wrote to me and I find no posts at all here.

  • Sorry for the previous message, all the posts appeared after i posted it. don't understand but anyway now i can read the response.

  • Came back to this conversation and I can not see the posts. It happened last time too. They became vizible only after I posted something.

    How does it disapear and why? Is the conversation about vit C threatening to anyone that the posts are made invizible?

  • No, I haven't.

    Just in case you've not already seen this:

    mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/...

    keep us posted!

  • Thanks, Mac27

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