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This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription link and also the OMNS archive link are included.

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, September 22, 2005

Intravenous Vitamin C is Selectively Toxic to Cancer Cells

(OMNS) National Institutes of Health scientists have confirmed the concepts that vitamin C is selectively toxic to cancer cells and that tumor-toxic levels of vitamin C can be attained using intravenous administration. The article, published in the September 12, 2005 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1) concluded, “These findings give plausibility to intravenous ascorbic acid in cancer treatment.”

Orthomolecular medical researchers, including Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, have long recognized the great importance of vitamin C in fighting cancer. (2) Scientists associated with the Bio-Communications Research Institute (BRCI) in Wichita, Kansas have published 20 scientific articles on the subject. (3) BCRI researchers first reported in 1995 that vitamin C in sufficient amounts is selectively toxic to tumor cells. The authors concluded that tumor-toxic levels of vitamin C could be achieved only by giving the vitamin intravenously. Subsequent research from BCRI, published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2001 (4), was the first to describe in detail the pharmacokinetics of high doses of intravenous vitamin C.

"It is gratifying to have our research on vitamin C and cancer confirmed by scientists at the prestigious National Institutes of Health," said Neil Riordan, Ph.D., BCRI’s Research Director. “The findings reinforce our goal and commitment to pursue cutting edge cancer research,” added Michael Gonzalez, Ph.D., D.Sc. of the University of Puerto Rico.

BCRI’s vitamin C research was headed by its founder Hugh D. Riordan, M.D. The research team includes Dr. Xiaolong Meng, Dr. Joseph Casciari, Dr. Nina Mikirova, Dr. Jie Zhong, Dr. James A. Jackson, Dr. Don Davis, Dr. Jorge Miranda, Dr. Michael Gonzalez, Dr. Neil Riordan, and Mr. Paul Taylor.

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[1] Chen Q, Espey MG, Krishna MC, Mitchell JB, Corpe CP, Buettner GR, Shacter E, Levine M. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: Action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 20;102(38):13604-9. Epub 2005 Sep 12.

[2] Cameron E, Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1976 Oct;73(10):3685-9. The original paper is posted at Also: Cameron E, Pauling L, Leibovitz B. Ascorbic acid and cancer: a review. Cancer Res. 1979 Mar;39(3):663-81.

[3] Full text papers listed and accessible at no charge at

[4] Casciari, J.J., Riordan NH, Schmidt, T.L., Meng, X.L., Jackson JA, Riordan HD. Cytotoxicity of ascorbate, lipoic acid, and other antioxidants in hollow fibre in vitro tumours. British J Cancer. 2001, 84(11), 1544-1550.


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