The findings “strongly suggest that the time has come to test ascorbate combination therapy,” wrote cancer cell researchers Melanie McConnell, of Victoria University of Wellington, and Patries Herst, of University of Otago Wellington.
Dr. Robert Morgan, co-director of the gynecological cancers program at City of Hope, in Duarte, who was not involved in the study, agreed that the authors’ findings warranted further study. The trouble was, he said, there were now hundreds of other anti-cancer agents that also warranted further study.
“The issue with any type of cancer research is who’s going to pay for it,” Morgan said. “Pharma does it because they expect ultimately to find a drug that’s effective, helps patients and will make a profit for their shareholders. This is the kind of a drug that if somebody invested in it, they would not expect to make back their investment. That’s the issue.”
While Drisko said she hoped government would step in to fund larger trials, she suspected agencies like the National Cancer Institute would avoid offering grants due to ascorbate’s history.
At the NCI’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine, director Dr. Jeffrey White said the study had done much to explain the precise mechanisms by which ascorbate affects cancer cells, and that further investigation was warranted.
He also acknowledged that some grant reviewers might possibly view the subject with bias, but that he hoped they would focus on the science.
“There are certain things that carry with them a certain stigma, at least in the minds of some people who are involved with medicine and cancer research,” White said. “If a reviewer were to make comments that weren’t about the science, but that were more about the controversy, you hope the process would work that through ... research like this ought to carry the day.”