Researchers have found that cancer patients are often low in antioxidants and other nutrients essential in preventing and combating cancer.  Causes of this depletion include:

    • Inflammation and infection
    • Radiation and chemotherapy
    • The process of aging, which impairs digestion, reducing nutrient levels
    • Diets deficient in micronutrients due to over-farmed soil, transport of food, and other commercial agricultural practices
    • The body’s attempts to destroy cancer cells

Antioxidants are essential nutrients that the immune system uses to protect us against cancer.  Whenever cancer cells thrive, the body combats them with “oxygen products” such as ozone and nitric oxide (NO). These byproducts of our own immune system are a necessary evil of this inner warfare, causing “oxidative stress.”

Oxidative stress is a well-recognized cause of cancer that can result from exposure to a wide range of well-known carcinogens, including cigarette smoke, industrial and environmental toxins, pesticides and food additives, and thousands of other chemicals.

At the Medical Center Cologne, essentially all patients receive antioxidants nutrients, trace elements and minerals via IV (intravenously). In addition, electrolyte minerals are given to avoid dehydration during total-body hyperthermia. Patients also receive nutrient infusions during localized hyperthermia, to increase the efficacy of the treatment. Vitamins and trace minerals support immune function and repair mechanisms. 

Research has shown that providing antioxidant vitamins and minerals by infusion restores deficiencies much more quickly than would be possible with oral supplements alone. Regardless of how depleted patients are initially when they first arrive at the Center, typically within a few days they begin to feel the beneficial effects of the infusions. Often patients leave the clinic after a week to ten days, refreshed and energized. Those who were experiencing pain initially when they enter the program almost always find that they have much less or no pain at all.

 

Robert Gorter, MD, PhD,
Founder and Director, Medical Center Cologne

  • Selenium Infusions

    Selenium (sodium selenite) is a trace mineral with major antioxidant properties that has been found “well tolerated and easy to administer. Cancer patients are frequently depleted in this important nutrient.
    The research has shown that restoring selenium levels activates detoxification pathways which are essential in helping the body break down and metabolize medications and clear away toxins.

    In the past decade, studies on selenium have been conducted in the U.S., across Germany, and in Austria, China, Egypt, and India. This trace mineral is surprisingly important in supporting good immune function:

      • Improved red blood cells counts
      • Reduced destruction of white blood cells
      • Increased levels of T-cellsiv
      • Much lower rate of infections and side effects following chemotherapyiv
      • Reduced complications and edema following radiation therapyii
      • Inflammation brought under control quickly
      • Longer survivaliv

    The studies also reported the outcome of treatment for various types of cancer:

      • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma—20% improvement found when selenium was provided in combination with chemotherapyi
      • Head and neck cancers—in a study involving late stage cancer, 60% of patients experienced reduced edema (12 of the 20 patients)ii
      • Brain tumors—over 75% of patients experienced definite improvement, with fewer symptoms of nausea, vomiting, headache, vertigo, unsteady gait, speech disorders, and seizuresiii
      • Lymphedema—all patients receiving selenium infusions remained free of skin infection, whereas 50% of patients who did not receive this mineral developed these infections
  • B-complex

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  • α-lipoic acid

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  • Stibium

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  • Aurum

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Vitamin C Therapy

In our culture, there is a pervasive fear of fever.  Research has shown that vitamin C has both antioxidant and antitumor properties. In the past five years, intravenous vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has been studied at research centers that include the National Cancer Institute (NCI), McGill University in Canada, and the National Cancer Center of Japan. An NIH study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (2008) reported, “These data suggest that ascorbate as a pro-drug may have benefits in cancers with poor prognosis and limited therapeutic options.”

Antitumor activity. Researchers at the NIH National Cancer Institute have reported that “vitamin C at high concentrations is toxic to cancer cells in vitro [in the lab].”i

  • Dosage—Japanese researchers have indicated, “Higher concentrations of vitamin C induced apoptotic cell death in various tumor cell lines including oral squamous cell carcinoma and salivary gland tumor[s].
  • Response time—A research institute in Wichita found that when vitamin C was applied to cancer cells in the lab (with vitamin C levels comparable to an IV), the number of tumor cells began to drop within two days.
  • Human studies—Research conducted at McGill University in Canada reported that vitamin C “is selectively [cytotoxic] to many cancer cell lines and has in vivo anticancer activities [confirmed in patients] when administered alone or together with other agents.”ii This selective toxicity means that intravenous vitamin C is toxic to cancer cells, but not to healthy human cells.

Oral supplements or IV infusions? 
The choice of oral supplements or IV therapy is determined by the goal of therapy—whether the purpose to prevent cancer in healthy individuals, enhance the well-being of a patient with cancer, or to support anti-tumor activity. Studies that provided terminal cancer patients with oral megadoses of vitamin C found no benefit when a 10-gram dosage was given once a day. To examine this question further, NIH researchers compared vitamin C levels provided orally or by IV. They found that IV infusions produced blood levels of vitamin C that were “140-fold higher than those from maximum oral doses”i The conclusion of this NIH team was that “only intravenous administration of vitamin C [and not oral vitamin C] produces high plasma and urine concentrations that might have antitumor activity.”i

Types of cancers studied
The safety of vitamin C therapy was confirmed in a study evaluating patients with cancer of the kidneys, and also in clinical experience with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. The effectiveness of vitamin C has been evaluated for a number of other types of cancer as well:

  • Lab cultures of breast cancer tissue—laboratory research found that ascorbic acid and copper sulfate inhibited cell growth
  • Animal studies of ovarian, pancreatic, and brain cancers—significant decreases in cancer growth rates were noted in studies by the National Cancer Institute
  • Human studies of oral squamous cell carcinoma and salivary gland tumor cells—these cancers were found to respond to IV vitamin C therapy in clinical studiesiv
  • Acute leukemia—a beneficial response to nutrient therapy was observed in 43% of patients with advanced disease in a Korean study.

The absence of side effects
McGill researchers reported that in intravenous vitamin C therapy, “Adverse events and toxicity were minimal at all dose levels.”ii The most common adverse events reported for IV therapy with high-dose vitamin C were nausea, edema, and dry mouth or skin; and these were generally minor.” Of 24 patients receiving high doses of vitamin C in one study, one developed a kidney stone after 13 days of treatment and another experienced low potassium levels. Given the severity of the patients’ initial conditions, researchers concluded that “intravenous vitamin C therapy for cancer is relatively safe.”

Findings at the Medical Center Cologne
The Gorter protocol includes moderate doses of vitamin C, given intravenously during hyperthermia sessions. Clinical experience at the Center documents the exceptional safety of these infusions. For an average adult patient, 12.5 grams of vitamin C are given by IV in combination with electrolytes. These infusions have been found to increase the efficacy of the hyperthermia and have never lead to complications such as kidney stones or diarrhea.

  • References

    Riordan HD, Casciari JJ, González MJ, Riordan NH, Miranda-Massari JR, Taylor P, Jackson JA. A pilot clinical study of continuous intravenous ascorbate in terminal cancer patients. P R Health Sci J. 2005 Dec;24(4):269-76

    Waring AJ, Drake IM, Schorah CJ, White KL, Lynch DA, Axon AT, Dixon MF. Ascorbic acid and total vitamin C concentrations in plasma, gastric juice, and gastrointestinal mucosa: effects of gastritis and oral supplementation. Gut. 1996 Feb;38(2):171-6.

    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.

    Hoffer LJ, Levine M, Assouline S, Melnychuk D, Padayatty SJ, Rosadiuk K, Rousseau C, Robitaille L, Miller WH Jr. Phase I clinical trial of i.v. ascorbic acid in advanced malignancy. Ann Oncol. 2008 Nov;19(11):1969-74. Epub 2008 Jun 9.

    Sasazuki S, Hayashi T, Nakachi K, Sasaki S, Tsubono Y, Okubo S, Hayashi M, Tsugane S. Protective effect of vitamin C on oxidative stress: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2008 May;78(3):121-8.

    Sakagami H, Satoh K, Hakeda Y, Kumegawa M. Apoptosis-inducing activity of vitamin C and vitamin K. Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2000 Feb;46(1):129-43. Casciari JJ, Riordan NH, Schmidt TL, Meng XL, Jackson JA, Riordan HD.

    Cytotoxicity of ascorbate, lipoic acid, and other antioxidants in hollow fibre in vitro tumours. Br J Cancer. 2001 Jun 1;84(11):1544-50.

    Padayatty SJ, Levine M. Reevaluation of ascorbate in cancer treatment: emerging evidence, open minds and serendipity. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Aug;19(4):423-5.

    Margolin K, Atkins M, Sparano J, Sosman J, Weiss G, Lotze M, Doroshow J, Mier J, O’Boyle K, Fisher R, Campbell E, Rubin J, Federighi D, Bursten S. Prospective randomized trial of lisofylline for the prevention of toxicities of high-dose interleukin 2 therapy in advanced renal cancer and malignant melanoma. Clin Cancer Res. 1997 Apr;3(4):565-72.

    Riordan HD, Riordan NH, Jackson JA, Casciari JJ, Hunninghake R, Gonzalez MJ, Mora EM, Miranda-Massari JR, Rosario N, Rivera A. Intravenous vitamin C as a chemotherapy agent: a report on clinical cases. P R Health Sci J. 2004 Jun;23(2):115-8.

    González MJ, Mora EM, Miranda-Massari JR, Matta J, Riordan HD, Riordan NH. Inhibition of human breast carcinoma cell proliferation by ascorbate and copper. P R Health Sci J. 2002 Mar;21(1):21-3.

    Chen Q, Espey MG, Sun AY, Pooput C, Kirk KL, Krishna MC, Khosh DB, Drisko J, Levine M. Pharmacologic doses of ascorbate act as a prooxidant and decrease growth of aggressive tumor xenografts in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Aug 12;105(32):11105-9. Epub 2008 Aug 4.

    Park CH, Kimler BF, Yi SY, Park SH, Kim K, Jung CW, Kim SH, Lee ER, Rha M, Kim S, Park MH, Lee SJ, Park HK, Lee MH, Yoon SS, Min YH, Kim BS, Kim JA, Kim WS. Depletion of L-ascorbic acid alternating with its supplementation in the treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes. Eur J Haematol. 2009 Aug;83(2):108-18. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

    Gorter, R. Unpublished clinical data. Medical Center Cologne, Cologne, Germany, 2010.

    Micke O, Bruns F, Mücke R, Schäfer U, Glatzel M, DeVries AF, Schönekaes K, Kisters K, Büntzel J. Selenium in the treatment of radiation-associated secondary lymphedema. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003 May 1;56(1):40-9.

    Büntzel J. [Experiences with sodium selenite in treatment of acute and late adverse effects of radiochemotherapy of head-neck carcinomas. Cytoprotection Working Group in AK Supportive Measures in Oncology Within the scope of MASCC and DKG] [Article in German] Med Klin (Munich). 1999 Oct 15;94 Suppl 3:49-53.

    Pakdaman A. Symptomatic treatment of brain tumor patients with sodium selenite, oxygen, and other supportive measures. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1998 Apr-May;62(1-2):1-6.

    Asfour IA, El Shazly S, Fayek MH, Hegab HM, Raouf S, Moussa MA. Effect of high-dose sodium selenite therapy on polymorphonuclear leukocyte apoptosis in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2006 Apr;110(1):19-32.

    Kasseroller R. Sodium selenite as prophylaxis against erysipelas in secondary lymphedema. Anticancer Res. 1998 May-Jun;18(3C):2227-30.

    Zimmermann T, Leonhardt H, Kersting S, Albrecht S, Range U, Eckelt U. Reduction of postoperative lymphedema after oral tumor surgery with sodium selenite. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2005 Sep;106(3):193-203.

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