Modulation of Cytokines in Cancer Patients by Intravenous Ascorbate Therapy

Cells produce cytokines in response to a variety of stresses, including infection, physical trauma, and carcinogen-induced injury. Cytokines stimulate a coordinated host response aimed at tissue protection and healing. However, failure of the body to resolve an injury can lead to persistent cytokine production

and tissue damage. Chronic cytokine production with angiogenesis and inflammation during tumor growth is an example of this.

Cancer cells release various cytokines and growth factors into their surroundings, recruiting and reprogramming other cell types in order to establish a tumor microenvironment.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of treatment by intravenous vitamin C (IVC) on cytokines and tumor markers. We measured 174 cytokines and additional 54 proteins and tumor markers in cancer patients before and after a series of IVC treatments.

Some of our key findings:

  • We are able to show that average z-scores for several inflammatory and angiogenesis promoting cytokines are positive, indicating that they are higher than averages for healthy controls, and that their levels decreased over the time course of treatment. Of the cytokines that are thought to be important in angiogenesis and inflammation, we saw dramatic decreases in EGF, FGF, IL-4, IL-10, lymphotactin, MCP-1, MIP, TARC, TGF-α, and TGF-β.
  • We computed two parameters, the angiogenesis score and the inflammation score, to provide an ‘average’ z-score for cytokines involved in these processes. These scores decreased noticeably during the time period of treatments, with changes being more dramatic in the cancer patients, who had elevated levels of inflammatory and angiogenic cytokines prior to treatment
  • Our most encouraging data may have been the measurements of fifty-eight proteins and markers in four cancer patients. We found that serum concentrations of tumor markers decreased during the time period of IVC treatment.  In addition to the marker decreases, we saw reductions in cMyc and Ras, two proteins implicated for being upregulated in cancer.
  • We also saw increases in some proteins that might be considered beneficial in combating cancer, including c-Jun, which plays a role in differentiation and apoptosis, and the DNA repair agents BRCA1 and 2.
  • Our data confirm the inhibition and positive regulation of the part of cytokines responsible for angiogenesis and inflammation after six IVC treatments.
  • The results of the study were published in Medical Science Monitor Journal: “Modulation of Cytokines in Cancer Patients by Intravenous Ascorbate Therapy.” Nina Mikirova, Neil Riordan, Joseph Casciari. Medical Science Monitor. 2016; 22:14-25