Impact of Intravenous Vitamin C Administration in Reducing Severity of Symptoms in Breast Cancer Patients During Treatment.
Cureus. 2021 May 6 ;13(5):e14867. Epub 2021 May 6. PMID: 34113504
Introduction Alternative medicine during treatment is often used to make the quality of life (QoL) better. Women with early-stage breast cancer, particularly the ones who possess lower QoL, are more prone to opt for complementary medicine. This study aims to explore the effects exerted by intravenous vitamin C (IVC) on symptoms and adverse events associated with breast cancer treatment. Methods This single-center, parallel-group, single-blind interventional study was conducted in the oncology ward of a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan. For this study, after informed consent was taken, breast cancer patients with Union for International Cancer Control stages IIA to IIIb were included in the study. Three hundred and fifty (n = 350) patients were randomized into two groups at a ratio of 1:1. Study group was randomized to receive 25 grams per week of IVC at a rate of 15 grams per hour for four weeks in addition to their current standard treatment, and the control group received placebo (normal saline drip with label removed) in addition to their current standard treatment. Results In patients who had received IVC, there was a significant decrease in the mean severity score after 28 days for the following symptoms: nausea (2.65 ± 0.62 vs.2.59 ± 0.68; p-value: 0.0003), loss of appetite (2.26 ± 0.51 vs. 2.11 ± 0.52; p-value: 0.007), tumor pain (2.22 ± 0.45 vs. 1.99 ± 0.40, p-value:<0.0001), fatigue (3.11± 0.32 vs. 2.87 ± 0.29; p-value:<0.0001), and insomnia (2.59± 0.35 vs. 2.32 ± 0.36, p-value:<0.0001). Conclusion Our study showed improvement in the mean severity score of nausea, fatigue, tumor pain, loss of appetite, and fatigue. More studies are also needed to assess the long-term effects of IVC in the cancer management. This shall help incorporate the use of IVC in standard practice to make the journey of cancer management comfortable for the patients.