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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, September 15, 2010

Cancer and Vitamin C:
Evidence-Based Censorship

(OMNS September 15, 2010) The very first paper in the Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal's special issue on cancer condemns vitamin C therapy for cancer. (1) Furthermore, that Journal has refused publication of a letter correcting the article's numerous errors. We have therefore decided to provide OMNS readers with that rebuttal letter, below:

It is entirely false to assert that we do not know how much vitamin C is effective against cancer. Indeed, the opposite is true: we do know, and we are failing our duty to patients when we fail to recommend vitamin C as adjunctive cancer therapy.

There are many controlled studies that demonstrate that vitamin C is indeed effective against cancer, improving length of life and quality of life. Positive studies have typically used between 10,000 and 100,000 mg/day intravenously. As Dr. Fernando Cabanillas correctly noted, success with 10,000 mg/day by IV was initially reported back in the 1970s by Cameron and Pauling. But Dr. Cabanillas has then omitted some key information. It is important to note that the negative, much-touted Moertel-Mayo studies were not true replications of Cameron and Pauling's work, as A) they used oral doses only, and B) vitamin C was discontinued at the first sign of disease progression. Would we administer injectable chemotherapy orally, and then discontinue chemotherapy if the patient worsened? No, we would administer it properly, and stay with it.

Dr. Cabanillas also neglects to mention that Pauling and Cameron's work was promptly confirmed, first at Japan's Saga University by Murata et al. Dr. Murata employed over 30,000 mg per day and had even better results with terminally ill cancer patients. (2) In the words of Dr. Louis Lasagna of the University of Rochester Medical School, "It seems indefensible not to at least try substantial doses of vitamin C in these patients." (3)

And again contrary to Dr. Cabanillas' statements, many clinical reports from orthomolecular (nutritional) physicians including Dr. Hugh Riordan and colleagues do in fact indicate that IV vitamin C is effective. Says Dr. James A. Jackson, "Dr. Riordan's IV protocol (4) starts out at 15,000 mg intravenous ascorbate and slowly goes up. It is given twice a week. The IVs are continued until the post-IV vitamin C levels reach what our research established as the killing level of 350 to 400 mg/dL. This has been verified. (5) Once this level is reached, the frequency of the IV may be reduced to once a week, or to one or two times a month."

There is no absolutely reliable cure for cancer. Conventional chemotherapy contributes only 2.1% to five year cancer survival in the USA. (6) But with vitamin C, we are on the right track. It has been reported since McCormick in the 1950s (7,8,9) that cancer patients invariably have abnormally low levels of the vitamin. Vitamin C is vital to a cancer patient. What is dangerous is vitamin deficiency. What is even more dangerous is warning people off the very therapy that may help them, and frequently has been shown to make a significant difference.

Precisely how significant remains to be seen. But there are intriguing indications. Linus Pauling took 18,000 mg/day of vitamin C. Pauling died from cancer in 1994. Dr. Charles Moertel of the Mayo Clinic, critic of vitamin C, died of cancer the same year. Moertel was 66. Pauling was 93. Did vitamin C fail to cure Pauling's cancer? If so, then not taking vitamin C failed to cure Moertel's. Pauling lived 27 years longer with ascorbate than Moertel lived without it.

Andrew W. Saul
Editor, OMNS

(end of letter)

Vitamin C does not interfere with conventional cancer treatment

Victor Marcial, M.D., an oncologist in Puerto Rico, says:

"We studied patients with advanced cancer (stage 4). 40 patients received 40,000-75,000 mg intravenously several times a week. These are patients that have not responded to other treatments. The initial tumor response rate was achieved in 75% of patients, defined as a 50% reduction or more in tumor size. . . As a radiation oncologist, I also give radiation therapy. Vitamin C has two effects. It increases the beneficial effects of radiation and chemotherapy and decreases the adverse effects. But this is not a subtle effect, is not 15-20%. It's a dramatic effect. Once you start using IV vitamin C, the effect is so dramatic that it is difficult to go back to not using it."

Ralph Campbell, M.D., a Montana pediatrician, writes:

"More and more oncologists are admitting that a course of chemo disrupts the immune system to the point of allowing more cancer down the pike. It would seem reasonable for post-chemo patients to enter a regimen of high antioxidants intake as soon as they can."

Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., explains why vitamin C does not interfere with chemotherapy at

Taking action

More and more medical doctors support adjunctive vitamin C therapy for cancer. The PRHSJ needs to publish both sides of the story. If you would like encourage them to do so, you may write directly to:

Luis M. Vil , M.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal

Zoila Figueroa
PO Box 365067, San Juan PR 00936-5067

For more information about vitamin C cancer therapy:

You can watch an excerpt from the movie FOODMATTERS discussing vitamin C therapy for cancer at

Free download of the Riordan protocol at

La medicina ortomolecular en español:

1)Presentan primera guía ortomolecular para el manejo del cáncer:

2) Video de los comentarios del Dr. Victor Marcial:


(1) PRHSJ, Vol 29, No 3, Sept, 2010. Read the paper, or the entire issue, at The direct download link for the paper in question is

(2) Murata, A., Morishige, F. and Yamaguchi, H. (1982) Prolongation of survival times of terminal cancer patients by administration of large doses of ascorbate. International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research Suppl., 23, 1982, p. 103-113. Also in Hanck, A., ed. (1982) Vitamin C: New Clinical Applications. Bern: Huber, 103-113.



(5) Padayatty SJ, Sun H, Wang Y, Riordan HD, Hewitt SM, Katz A, Wesley RA, Levine M. Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Apr 6;140(7):533-7. Free full-text article at or as a pdf download at

See also: Padayatty SJ, Riordan HD, Hewitt SM, Katz A, Hoffer LJ, and Levine M. Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases. CMAJ. 2006 March 28; 174(7): 937-942. Free full-text article at

(6) Morgan G, Ward R, Barton M. The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2004 Dec;16(8):549-60.

(7) McCormick WJ. Cancer: the preconditioning factor in pathogenesis; a new etiologic approach. Arch Pediatr. 1954 Oct;71(10):313-22. Also: McCormick WJ. [Cancer: predisposition as pathogenesis; new data on its etiology.] Union Med Can. 1955 Mar;84(3):272-7. French.

(8) McCormick WJ. Cancer: a collagen disease, secondary to a nutritional deficiency. Arch Pediatr. 1959 Apr;76(4):166-71. Also: McCormick WJ. [Is cancer a collagen disease attributable to vitamin C deficiency.] Union Med Can. 1959 Jun;88(6):700-4. French.

(9) McCormick WJ. Have we forgotten the lesson of scurvy? J Applied Nutrition, 1962, 15(1,2) p 4-12.

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Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (Canada)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
James A. Jackson, Ph.D. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
Gert E. Shuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email:

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