Infusion Clinic

patient and nurse in infusion room

Another option for cancer patients

The infusion clinic, designed to accommodate 10 infusion patients at a time, includes two isolation rooms where infectious patients can receive treatment. Oncology patients are frequent visitors to the clinic where they receive intravenous ascorbate (vitamin C), which works as a pro-oxidant in cancer treatments. 

In addition to vitamin C infusions, our clinic also provides IV Magnesium and Glutathione. Magnesium infusions are a beneficial therapy being used for muscle pain, anxiety, headaches as well as to correct mineral imbalances. IV Glutathione has a large range of benefits for individuals struggling with neurologic symptoms related to Parkinson's disease, metal and environmental toxicity, and impaired liver detoxification.

Here are some questions and answers about intravenous vitamin C treatment.
Click on the "+" to view the answer.

What is the intravenous vitamin C cancer treatment?

Research shows that intravenous vitamin C at high doses, used in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiation, kills cancer cells in the early stages of cancer. We understand now that IV C is a pro-oxidant, not an antioxidant, because it generates hydrogen peroxide in the extracellular space. H2O2 is the drug that preferentially kills cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. For those in the later stages of cancer, the intravenous vitamin C protocol may improve the quality of life.

How do I know if the intravenous vitamin C therapy will work for my cancer?

Each individual responds differently, and we can't predict how different tumor types will react. A PET scan is usually a guidepost. If the PET is positive, the tumor usually responds to the vitamin C. If the PET is negative but there is active tumor present, the vitamin C is less effective in most cases. Vitamin C works best in the early stages of cancer when used in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiation. They will only consult patients who are also following along with a traditional oncologist.

How do I get a copy of the intravenous vitamin C protocol?

The protocol is intended for medical professionals only. Medical professionals seeking a copy of the protocol should fax a hand-signed request on their professional letterhead to 913-588-0012. We will provide the protocol via fax or email if an email address is provided.

I do not live in the Kansas City area; can I come to KUMED and get my IV Vitamin C infusions?

We highly recommend you find an area physician to do the intravenous Vitamin C infusions. Please visit the ACAM (American College for Advancement in Medicine) website http://www.acamnet.org to search for a physician near you.

May I take oral vitamin C (ascorbate) and get the same results?

Oral ascorbate is a vitamin and its uptake is tightly controlled and is an antioxidant. Intravenous ascorbate is a drug, allowing the development of hydrogen peroxide, (which means it is working as a pro-oxidant not an antioxidant like the oral form). Hydrogen peroxide is the agent responsible for targeted neoplastic cell death while leaving normal cells unharmed.

Is the protocol safe and is there a chemotherapy with which it should not be used?

A G6PD test must be done and results received before any infusions are given. Our physicians have found no contraindications to giving intravenous vitamin C with any chemotherapy when proper protocol is followed. It has been shown that the addition of any nutrient other than Vitamin C to the infusion decreases the effectiveness of the infusion. The protocol should NOT be administered in conjunction with methotrexate chemotherapy because of urine pH requirements.

What is a G6PD blood test and why should I get the results from that test before I start the vitamin C infusions?

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an inherited condition in which a person's body doesn't have enough of the G6PD enzyme. G6PD helps red blood cells function normally. Patients with this deficiency should not receive vitamin C infusions because it can cause hemolytic anemia.

Will intravenous vitamin C reduce the effectiveness of my chemotherapy or radiology treatments?

No. Research has shown that using the Vitamin C concurrently with chemotherapy or radiation will not decrease the effectiveness of these treatments. In addition, intravenous vitamin C is not an antioxidant; it is a pro-oxidant and, therefore, seems to augment the effectiveness of chemotherapy or radiation. Dr. Drisko and our other program physicians recommend giving it on the same day as the chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment.

Does the intake of large amounts of vitamin C contribute to the formation of oxalate-type kidney stones because of the metabolic conversion of vitamin C to oxalic acid?

This is an unlikely occurrence. Urinary oxalate (the salt of oxalic acid) can be easily monitored if the patient has a history of kidney stones.

I found a medical professional willing to do the vitamin C infusions, but they want to make additions such as B vitamins. Is that okay?

Medical professionals administering intravenous vitamin C should follow the protocol. Additions, such as B vitamins, may reduce the formation of Hydrogen Peroxide, which is the chemotherapeutic agent formed by intravenous vitamin C.

What's the frequency and duration of the vitamin C infusions?

Patients are started out at a low dosage and work their way up to the therapeutic level. Once at therapeutic level, the infusions will take between 2-3 hours. Recommendations for frequency and duration of infusions are made by one of our physicians and based on the presenting diagnosis and severity of the condition.

Will my insurance cover the costs of the vitamin C infusions?

They will not cover them in most cases. Alternative medicine doctors must use billing codes that are not usually accepted by insurance companies. And because vitamin C infusions are not FDA approved, insurance companies are not inclined to cover costs. Vitamin C infusions range in price from $125.00 to $160.00.

How do I become a patient of the Integrative Medicine Clinic?

Please visit the consultations section of our website by clicking on the following link for more information: http://integrativemed.kumc.edu/consult_services.htm

Do I qualify for any clinical trial research studies with intravenous vitamin C?

Please contact Jean Sunega at 913-588-6104 or email her at jsunega@kumc.edu to discuss possible involvement in one of our studies involving vitamin C.
Preparing for your appointment
Pencil filling out form graphicPlease take the time to read and complete the forms before your appointment. If they are not completed prior to your appointment, your appointment will need to be rescheduled. Questions? Call 913-588-6208. 

Last modified: Dec 03, 2013
Our Infusion Nurse

Elizabeth Schrick, RN
• Infusion Nurse

ID=x2257