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Cancer and

Vitamin C Therapy
for Patients
by Reagan Houston, MS, PE
Introduction are slightly mutated, and some may of sodium ascorbate both orally
Mainline cancer therapies are be highly mutated. Since all cancers and intravenously to treat over 1000
improving only slowly. Vitamin C mutate toward the same goal - rapid cancer patients. His recommended
for cancer therapy is safe, effective, growth - they become functionally regimen*^ was an initial ten-day
and with essentially no long term similar: advanced cancers consume period of IV vitamin C at 10,000 mg/
side effects. In 1969, the National glucose voraciously. Fortunately, day, followed by 10,000 mg/day of
Cancer Institute' (NCI) determined glucose intake makes cancers vitamin C orally and continuously.
how vitamin C safely kills cancer. controllable by vitamin C. Hoffer ran a test with 134 patients
The NCI lab test was confirmed By evaluating a clinical test of having 30 types of advanced
by clinical tests in Scotland and advanced cancers of many types as cancer. Hoffer prescribed a diet
Canada on hundreds of patients. a single disease or function, the trial low In meat, very low in sugar, but
This review summarizes problems by Abram Hoffer^'' becomes more high in fruits, vegetables, and water
with present therapies, safety, relevant and understandable. He (Table 1).* The vitamin C should be
and government regulations, and followed 134 patients for a period of taken in three or four divided doses
discusses what cancer patients can 15 years. Based on microevolution/ preferably with meals.
safely do to live longer. They can mutation, his clinical trial changes Additional supplements^^'^ that
improve their cancer therapy by a from a group of many anecdotes improve vitamin C therapy could
low glucose diet and adding vitamin toward a useful trial of a single include coenzyme QIO, alpha lipoic
C and other supplements to regular therapy for many types of cancer acid, and vitamins D3, K3, and E
therapies. having a single function. The in vitro succinate.
NCI test and Hoffer's clinical trial
What Is Cancer? show that vitamin C at sufficiently
high dosage will kill aggressive Table 1. Hoffer's Daily Regimen for
There are over 100 types of Cancer
cancer and many subtypes. cancers of many types.
When normal cells mutate toward Vitamin C 12,000 mg
uncontrolled growth, they Vitamin C Therapies range 3,000 to 40.000
ultimately become cancer. But Ewan Cameron and Linus Beta carotene 30,000 IU
cancer cells continue to mutate and Pauling^ found that vitamin C Vitamin B complex B-50 to B-100
microevolve toward even faster helped terminal, hospitalized
growth. Steve Hickey^ and Hilary cancer patients live about four Vitamin E 300 IU
Roberts beautifully explain this times as long as matched patients Selenium 600 meg
microevolution. Within a given not given vitamin C. Cameron Zinc 60 mg
cancer, some cells are normal, some administered vitamin C in the form


Hoffer has treated over thirty Table 3. Advantages of Vitamin C advanced malignant disease" is an
types of cancers with impressive Therapies'*^ unwarranted generalization. Their
results (Table 2). Most of his tests do not diminish the success
patients had advanced cancers • Systemic therapy rather than local
of Cameron's work.
that couid not be helped by • No long-term side effects
• Often relieves pain within two weeks
more surgery, radiation, or Basic Science
• Fifteen-year clinical test with 134
chemotherapy, ln Hoffer's test patients by Hoffer The National Cancer Institute'
group, those who refused vitamins • Over 1,300 patients treated by and the National Institute of
lived a median of only 2.6 months. Hoffer and 1,000 by Cameron Health'* reported on a mechanism
Those who accepted vitamins lived • Helpful with most or all types of by which vitamin C kills cancer.
45 months after seeing Hoffer. All cancer The ascorbate (reduced) form of
32 of the breast cancer patients • Apparently are not limited by cancer vitamin C reacts with free radicals
had surgery, radiation, and/or mutation
to form dehydroascorbate (DHA).
chemotherapy. The median life of • Economical
• Materials available over the counter
Free iron or copper may promote
these very sick patients who chose this in a Fenton reaction. The DHA
(use with professional supervision
to take vitamins was 70 months, enters the cancer cells through
for safety)
while those without vitamins lived • Safe for use now but development the channels that bring in glucose.
only 3.7 months. should improve results DHA competes with glucose to
enter cancer cells, so a low-glucose
Table 2. Median Survival of Other Vitamin C Regimens diet is helpful and may be critical.
Hoffer's Patients, Months^ Advanced cancers have excess
Irwin Stone'" reported on a
Type of With Without patient, JK, whose prostate cancer glucose channels to bring in the
Cancer Vitamins Vitamins after surgery and radiation had extra glucose that cancers require.
Breast 70 3.7 spread to his pelvis, lung, and rib Inside the cancer cells, the DHA
cage. At this diagnosis, he was is converted to ascorbate and
Uterus 99 4.0 hydrogen peroxide.' The hydrogen
declared terminal with one year to
Ovary 16 3.6 live. J chose a no-beef, no-candy peroxide kills cancer by a free-
Lung 17 2.0 diet and gradually increased his radical, oxidation process.'
Pancreas 40 2.4
oral vitamin C to 80,000 mg/day He Hydrogen peroxide can promote
was able to continue working every cell growth, but an excess of
All 30 Types 45 2.6 day. At one point while under high hydrogen peroxide can kill cancer
To all of his cancer patients, stress, he increased his vitamin C cells. The amount of catalase
Hoffer offered the vitamin regimen, to 150,000 mg/day (one-third of a in cancer cells is often severely
diet, and hope based on the pound) without having diarrhea! decreased. Catalase is an enzyme
results with earlier patients. Those He apparently lived eight years that neutralizes hydrogen peroxide
who accepted vitamins thus had after being declared terminal. and limits the oxidizing radicals in
three advantages over those who Creagan" and Moertel'^ claimed normal cells. Normal cells are not
rejected vitamins. Self-selection to repeat Cameron's test, but did harmed by iarge doses of vitamin
is typical of real life but not ideal not follow Cameron's instructions C, because they limit the intake of
for statistical evaluation. However or regimen. They did not find ascorbate and contain sufficient
self-selection would not explain the vitamin C to be helpful. Creagan's catalase to destroy the hydrogen
large difference in survival times. randomized test used patients peroxide normally produced.
Hoffer obtained good results with whose immune system had been Vitamin C has a short half-life in
oral-only vitamin C, apparently decimated by prior chemotherapy. blood plasma, about 30 minutes.
because he included a low-glucose Moertel administered vitamin C Oral ingestion gives a serum peak
diet, vitamin C, and supplements for an average of only 2.5 months, in about two hours, and the level
that helped vitamin C kill the although the test lasted over 14 then drops to half in about another
cancer. The therapies of Cameron months. Also, they administered hour. Thus, vitamin C should ideally
and Hoffer have many advantages vitamin C pills orally instead be taken in frequent, divided doses.
(Table 3). of by IV as Cameron had done. Note that Hoffer successfully used
Hoffer's vitamin therapy "has Diet and frequency of dosage 12,000 mg/day in three or four
given [his patients] more energy, were important but uncontrolled divided doses, mostly with meals.
improved depression and anxiety, variables. The modifications The divided intake would increase
created a sense of well-being, eased developed by Creagan and Moertei the minimum ascorbate level far
pain, and often eliminated pain showed that some regimens above a single dose. Vitamin C is an
entirely."^ do not work. Their claims that antioxidant in most of the body but
vitamin C is "not effective against


Cancer and Vitamin C Therapy

a cell-killing oxidant in cancer cells. Humans cannot make the The Status of Cancer Therapies
In vitro and in some animal tests, vitamin C they need, although most Radiation and chemotherapy
vitamin C at low or intermediate animals can. A 160-pound goat"^ can are limited, because they kill
levels can promote the growth of make 13,000 mg/day - a reasonable both healthy and cancerous
cancer cells more than normal dose for people with cancer. Table tissue. Therapies based on the
cells. Hoffer recommended at least 4 includes some of the precautions, characteristics of the genes in the
3,000 mg/day of ascorbate for side effects, and alternatives original, normal celts also have a
humans and avoided this problem. listed by Casciari'^ and others. limited time (months?) in which
Glucose limiting may be critical.'^ However, Cameron and Hoffer did to kill the cancer. As time passes,
Glucose promotes cancer growth, not report that they followed the the cancer cells microevolve to be
and DHA, tf in sufficient quantity, precautions in step 5 regarding the resistant to gene-based therapies.
can oxidize and kill cancer. It is deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate They mutate from siightly mutated
suggested that the ratio of DHA to dehydrogenase enzyme. Cameron's to aggressive cells that retain fewer
glucose may help determine the and Hoffer's experiences show that of the characteristics on which the
proper dose of vitamin C and may vitamin therapy must be continued gene therapy originally focused.
even predict the recovery rate for for years or continuously, although Prostate cancer, for example,
cancer patients. Perhaps higher the dosages can usually be reduced mutates from near normal to
dietary glucose can be balanced after several months. Thus cancer highly abnormal in appearance in
by a higher dose of ascorbate. can become a treatable chronic the five stages that contribute to
Further study is recommended. disease instead of an acute terminal the Gleason score. In some cases,
Meanwhile, the regimens described illness. advanced prostate cancers generate
by Hoffer and Stone are effective: a almost none of the prostate-specific
low glucose diet and oral vitamin antigen that describes the cancer.
C at 12,000 mg/day up to bowel Table 4. Precautions with High-Dose Vitamin C therapy does not
tolerance. Vitamin C have a therapeutic time interval,
because cancers evolve toward
Vitamin C Is Safe 1. Build up the dose slowly by about increased glucose intake and
1,000 or 2,000 mg/day to minimize thus toward greater sensitivity
Many people have taken 30,000
diarrhea and other problems. Be
mg/day for years. Some doctors'^ careful if there is a large load of
to vitamin C. Patients have safely
have given 200,000 mg/day by IV. advanced cancer. taken massive doses for periods of
Some claim that vitamin C "might" 2. If necessary, decrease the dose many years. Vitamin C appears to
cause kidney stones, although slowly to allow the body to adjust. control early-stage cancer, but this
doctors who give large doses of 3. Vitamin C - especially ascorbic acid needs verification.
vitamin C rarely see stones in their - may cause gas, upset stomach,
patients. Ascorbic acid can make or skin itch. If this problem occurs, Therapy Choices
the urine acidic to dissolve some consider using sodium ascorbate or Surgery, radiation, and
calcium ascorbate.
stones. chemotherapy can generally
4. Excess sodium intake from sodium
Excessive vitamin C can cause ascorbate Is possible. Consider
be used with vitamin C therapy
diarrhea. People with cancer can using potassium ascorbate or (Lamson,'^ Stoute'**). Mainline
frequently take and need oral ascorbic acid. therapies can have permanent
vitamin C at 30,000 mg/day, while 5. Some people have a rare and undesirable side effects, but
well peopie have a typical limit of deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate vitamin C therapy can sometimes
3,000 to 10,000 mg/day. If peopie dehydrogenase enzyme, and large provide equivalent therapy without
on therapeutic doses of vitamin C doses may cause acute anemia. long-term side effects. By using
develop diarrhea, the dose should 6. For their own safety, people should both conventional and vitamin C
work with a doctor knowledgeable therapies^^ together, the patient
be reduced. Actually, diarrhea
about vitamins.
is a useful indicator, because it can often receive the best possible
7. Patients should be checked for renal
provides a simple measure of the insufficiency, chronic hemodialysis,
proper dosage for each individual. unusual forms of iron overload, For cancer prevention, Hoffer
Hoffer's patients, who took from calcium buildup, and oxalate stone recommends his basic regimen
3,000 to 40,000 mg/day, illustrate formation. with dosages cut in half or one-
the wide range of dosages suitable 8. Some people may not be able to use fourth. For eariy or slow-growing
for individual cancer therapy. high doses of vitamin C. cancers, Hoffer's regimen may
suffice if carefully monitored.


Cancer and Vitamin C Therapy
For more advanced or aggressive Acceptance To require vitamins to pass tests
cancers, surgery and radiation Vitamin C and supplements have that radiation and chemotherapies
may be required along with been effective at controlling cancer, have not and cannot pass
Hoffer's regimen augmented with but vitamin C is not officially demonstrates questionable logic.
enough vitamin C to almost cause approved for cancer therapy. US Hickey" states: 'The argument that
diarrhea, plus other vitamins government regulations' require (or the benefits have not been 'proven'
and supplements as mentioned required) that materials considered is unscientific; such a statement
above. In some cases, and with for chemotherapy testing be lethal could always be applied, no matter
medical supervision, patients forsmallanimalsatdosesof 500mg/ how strong the evidence. Indeed,
may wish to temporarily delay kg. This restriction makes testing a the conventional idea that large-
surgery, radiation, and especially million dollar expense. Money for scale ciinicai trials are required is
chemotherapy while using Hoffer's properly testing non-patentable scientifically unsupportable." The
regimen to see if vitamins control vitamin C has been available only cost of repeating Hoffer's regimen
their cancer. rarely. M. Stephenson^' has started for a few years is minimal compared
an FDA-approved, phase 1 trial of IV to the value of lives probably
Procedures for Administering ascorbate at 50,000 mg four times saved.
Vitamin C per week for prostate cancer. Some Drug and vitamin companies,
Cameron's initial 50 cancer question the need for expensive in fairness to their stockholders,
patients'^ mostly received IV tests on safe, well-known vitamins. cannot run expensive randomized
ascorbic acid at 10,000 mg/day, In spite ofthe obvious advantages or double-blind tests on
while 17 received only oral vitamin of Cameron's and Hoffer's cancer unpatentable vitamins. Perhaps an
C. Many of his terminal patients regimens, correct randomized tests altruistic philanthropy could fund
left the hospital, but their cancer have not been run. Neither Creagan suitable tests to demonstrate the
sometimes returned if they stopped nor Moertel followed Cameron's ability of oral vitamin C to increase
taking oral vitamin C. Hoffer regimen. The medical community patients' life and comfort and
prescribed oral vitamin C, other requires that new cancer therapies promote acceptance of vitamin C.
vitamins and supplements, and a be proven by large, randomized,
low-meat, low-sugar diet. In vitro and preferably double-blind tests. Doctor-Patient Relations
tests by Riordan^" showed that the However, surgery, radiation, and High-dose vitamin C cancer
levels of vitamin C required to kill chemotherapy were each accepted therapy is not approved in the US.
various cancers were well above in desperation without randomized The Food and Drug Administration
the serum level easily obtainable by tests against each other. More and state medical boards enforce
oral vitamin C. He also showed that recently, new therapies are subject this regulation to prevent unsafe
vitamin K3 and alpha lipoic acid to testing. Neither radiation nor therapies from replacing or delaying
greatly improved vitamin C therapy. chemotherapy can be given accepted therapies. In other words,
Riordan and others decided that IV randomized and double-blind oncologists are not allowed to
vitamin C was warranted and have tests versus each other because prescribe high-dose vitamin C as a
treated patients with a regimen of the obvious and debilitating cancer therapy. If a cancer patient
such as sodium ascorbate at side effects. These therapies asks his oncologist to prescribe
15,000 to 100,000 mg by four-hour were accepted based on historic vitamin C, the doctor will probably
IV given one to three times per experience.
week plus oral vitamin C and other
supplements. Results have been
good based on clinical case reports. Nutritional Support for Sports Endurance
Hoffer was successful with oral-only
vitamin C, because he enhanced it Your patients typically prepare for exercise by stretching, warming up,
with other supplements and diet. wearing the proper apparel, and drinking water. You can help them
Hickey recommends oral vitamin address the internal demands placed on their bodies during physical
C together with supplements that activity, such as stress on the joints, lactic acid build-up, and increased
generate hydrogen peroxide plus oxygen demands, with the following whole food supplements from
a low-glucose diet. He feels that
Standard Process®; Ligaplex® II, Cataplex® B, and Cardio-Plus®. Call
pulsed IV vitamin C may kill weak
cancer cells while letting stronger 800-558-8740 to order these products or receive additional information."
cells microevolve to be more •These statements have rot been evaluated by the Food and Drug AdminislratJon. These products
are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


say no. The oncologist might vitamin C therapy quietly because Notes
also say that high-dose vitamin their doctor does not approve, but 1. Benade L, Howard T and Burke D. Synergistic
killings of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells
C is unsafe - that is his training. this too can be risky. by ascorbate and 3 amino-1, 2. 4-trlazoie.
Actually, high-dose vitamin C is safe Oncology. l969;23:33-43.
2. Hickey S & Roberts H. Ascorbale. The Science of
- far safer than standard therapies. Conclusion Vitamin C. United Kingdom: Lightning Source
Fortunately, a cancer patient who Advanced cancers are UK Ltd (ISBN 1-4116-0724-4); 2004.
3. Hoffer A, Pauling L. Hardin Jones biostatistlcal
wants to use Hoffer's therapy functionally quite similar - they analysis of mortality data for cohorts of cancer
has options. The patient can ask, take in mostly glucose. Hoffer's patients with a large fraction surviving at the
termination of the study and a comparison of
"Have any of your cancer patients regimen with high-dose vitamin survival times of cancer patients receiving
used high-dose vitamin C and did C is well demonstrated and safe iarge regular doses of vitamin C and other
nutrients with similar patients not receiving
they do well?" Some patients have enough to use now with medical those doses. J of Orthomolecutar Medicine.
said to their doctor: "I plan to use supervision. Hoffer's therapy could 1990;5:143-I54.
4. Hoffer A. Vitamin C and Cancer, Discovery,
vitamin C." If the doctor shows be especially attractive for patients Recovery. Controversy. Kingston. Ontario:
understanding without necessarily with rare types of cancer who have Quarry Press; 2000.
showing approval, the patient has no avaiiabie therapy. Vitamin C may 5. Cameron E and Pauling L. Cancer and Vitamin
C. Philadelphia, PA: Camlno Books:1993.
a suitable doctor. If the doctor change cancer from being an acute 6. Cameron E. A protocol for the use of vitamin C
repeats that vitamin C is unsafe, terminal disease into chronic one. in the treatment of cancer. Medical Hypotheses.
the patient can ask for scientific Further development of Hoffer's 7. Hoffer A. Letter to R. Houston, [written
evidence. regimen is recommended, and it communication] January 18, 2005.
8. Hickey .S, Roberts H. Cancer Nutrilion and
The patient, for safety, should holds great promise of becoming Survival. United Kingdom: Lightning Source UK
give the doctor information on all of the preferred cancer therapy, Ltd; 2004 (ISBN |.4116-6339-x).
9. Houston R. Vitamins Can Kill Cancer. Wesl
his supplements and dosages even especially with systemic cancers. Conshohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing; 2006
(ISBN 0-7414-3253-6).
if the doctor dislikes vitamins. Many 10. Stone I. Letter to A. Sient-Gyorgl. Dated August
patients also work with nutritionists Reagan Houston, MS, PE 30.1982, downloaded 6/1/2005.
or similar professionals to better (Professional Engineer) U. Creagan ET. Moertel CG. OTallon JR. et al.
Failure of high-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
understand vitamin therapy, its h@cancertherapies.org therapy to benefit patients with advanced
possible problems and advantages. 600 Carolina Village Rd. #165 cancer. New England J of Medicine 1979;3OI:687-
Many doctors use vitamin C to Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792 12. Moertel CG, Fleming TR. Creagan ET, Rubin J,
"strengthen" cancer patients, 828-692-3722 O'Conneil MJ, Ames MM. High-dose vitamin
C versus piacebo in the treatment of patients
even though these doctors are www.cancertherapies.org. with advanced cancer who have had no prior
not certified to "treat" cancer. The chemotherapy. New England J of Medicine.
cautious choice of words may be Acknowledgements 13. Chen Q, et al. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid
necessary for legal reasons. Because We thank Abram Hoffer and Steve concentrations selectively kill cancer cells:
Action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen
the vitamins and supplements are Hickey for extensive comments peroxide to tissues. PNAS- 2005; 102:13604-
easily available over the counter, a and discussion. This work has not 13609.
patient could treat his own cancer 14. Ely JT.GIycemic modulation of tumor tolerance.
received financial support. J of Orthomolecular Medicine. 19%;ll(l):23-34.
but this is risky. Some patients use 15. Cathcart RF. Vitamin C, titrating to bowel
tolerance, anascorbla. and acute induced
scurvy. Medical Hypotheses- 1981;7:1359-1376.
16. Casciari JJ, et al. Cytotoxicity of ascorbate,
Reagan Houston, a research chemical lipoic acid and other antioxidants in hollow
engineer, was leader of a prostate cancer fiber in vitro tumours. British Journal of Cancer.
support group. When his prostate cancer 2001:84:1544-1550.
17. Lamson DW. Brignall MS. Antioxidants and
was diagnosed ten years ago, his PSA, a cancer therapy II: quick reference guide.
measure of the cancer, was eiglit and doubling Alternative Medical Review. 2000; 5(2): 152-163.
every six months - a sign of aggressive 18. Stoute JA. The use of vitamin C with
chemotherapy in cancer treatment: an
cancer. A PSA of four or iess is normal. He annotated bibliography. J of Orthomotecular
chose intermittent triple hormone therapy Medicine. 2004:19(4):198-245.
(Lupron, Eulexin, and Proscar) and Hoffer- 19. Cameron E, Campbell A. The orthomolecular
treatment of cancer IL Clinical trial of high-dose
type vitamins, both highly experimental in ascorbic acid supplements in advanced human
1997. After one year, he stopped the Lupron cancer. Chem.-Bio. Interactions. 1974;9:285-315.
and Eulexin but continued the Proscar and 20. Riordan NH, Riordan HD. Meng X, U Y, Jackson
JA. intravenous ascorbate as a tumor cytotoxic
vitamins. His PSA has averaged 0.6 for the last chemotherapeutic agent. Medical Hypotheses.
eight years and is now 0.6. He has never had I995;44:2O7-213.
surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation of any 21. Lis CG. FDA approves trial of intravenous
vitamin C for anti-cancer therapy. Life
kind. Extension. 2007;May;18. ,