Riordan Clinic Research Spotlight: IVC and Prostate Cancer

Changes in the rate of PSA progression and the level of alkaline phosphatase during high dose vitamin C treatment of patients with prostate cancer

Riordan Clinic scientist Nina Mikirova, PhD and Chief Medical Officer Ronald Hunninghake, MD have recently had an article published in the Journal of Functional Food for Health and Disease entitled “Changes in the rate of PSA progression and the level of alkaline phosphatase during high dose vitamin C treatment of patients with prostate cancer.”

Intravenous high dose vitamin C (IVC) is a commonly used therapy among naturopathic doctors and other integrative oncology healthcare practitioners. Many studies demonstrate evidence of a good safety profile of IVC treatments and improvement of the quality of life in cancer patients. IVC has been proposed as a treatment for cancer as an adjuvant in conjunction with other therapies.

To investigate high dose ascorbic acid potential in treating prostate cancer, a retrospective study was conducted using clinical data from the Riordan Clinic database that covered 20 years of patients’ treatment (1994-2015).

The purpose of this study was to determine if IVC therapy could suppress tumor growth in prostate cancer patients, and has an effect on suppression of metastatic osteoclastic processes in bones, expressed by alkaline phosphatase levels.

Data was collected on the following patient characteristics at diagnosis and during the courses of IVC therapy: tumor stage, Gleason score, serum prostate specific antigen (PSA), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels, and location of metastases.

In cases where pharmacokinetic data are available, it was found that patients with higher Gleason scores and/or with metastases attain lower plasma ascorbate levels with a given dose infusion. In addition, PSA and ALP concentrations correlated with Gleason scores and the presence of metastasis in our patient group.

There appears to be a correlation between the frequency of high dose vitamin C treatments and the tumor growth, with a decreasing of the rate of tumor marker PSA growth as IVC frequency increases. As the PSA concentration varies (depending upon tumor differentiation, tumor volume, and the extent of disease), the relationship between the PSA rate of change and frequencies of IVC treatment may indicate inhibitory effect of the treatment on the prostate cancer.

This study is the first to address dynamic changes of the easily available biomarker of metastasis ALP during alternative therapy by high dose IVC. ALP levels have been associated with the progression of skeletal metastases in patients with prostate cancer and also have been shown to be significant predictors of early death. While osteoclastic processes are seen as a potential target for prostate cancer therapy, chemotherapeutic drugs aimed at inhibition of these processes offer only a few months advantage over placebo in prolonging survival time, and often carry very serious side effects.

This study underlined the possibility of ALP decline, which is a marker of suppression of osteoblast bone formation by IVC treatment. In the several cases where we found both PSA and ALP measurements recorded, these variables tended to track each other, and they both tended to decrease during IVC therapy.

From the analysis of the data, both the tumor marker PSA and metastatic marker ALP demonstrated the clinical benefit of IVC for prostate cancer patients.

The full text of the article can be found at our website HERE.