January 4, 2008
Clinical trial to test vitamin C against non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, are initiating a trial to test the effects of high dose vitamin C in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
The study will be the first to test the effects of the vitamin when administered intravenously to NHL patients.
A team led by Daniel Monti, MD, who is the director of the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson, plans to enroll twenty patients for whom standard non-Hodgkin lymphoma therapy has been unsuccessful.
Trial participants will receive varying doses of intravenous vitamin C three times per week while being monitored for disease progression.
“This is a very unique study for a set of patients who have really run out of options,” Dr Monti stated. “Vitamin C administered intravenously has shown great promise in the laboratory and there has been some anecdotal data in cancer patients, but no one has really ever run a detailed study on humans.
Vitamin C doesn’t cost much and is very low in toxicity, making it a particularly desirable agent for further study.”
In vitro research at the NIH recently determined that the conversion of vitamin C to hydrogen peroxide that occurs when high amounts are administered intravenously destroys lymphoma cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
“Previous human studies have been flawed because the vitamin C was given orally versus intravenously,” Dr Monti observed. “The problem with that is the oral route tightly limits the amount of vitamin C that can get into the bloodstream. When vitamin C is given intravenously you can get up to 70 times more of the vitamin into the blood versus the same dose given orally.
It is these high blood levels that are required to get the mechanism of action, vitamin C converting to hydrogen peroxide around the cancer cells, to occur. Although other cancers could be a contender for this intervention, the preliminary data on non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells is why we decided to start with this disease.”
“As leaders in the field of integrative medicine, Jefferson is always seeking new and innovative therapies for our patients,” Dr Monti remarked. “We want to look in every corner for solutions.
This study is a unique collaboration of several clinical and research specialists. If this study yields positive data we will do further studies to expand the availability of this intriguing therapy.”
Source: Life Extension Foundation www.lef.org
Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
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