Vitamin C can CURE cancer but won’t be funded for human trials because money can’t be made on it, claim an alternative therapy doctor promoting the £3,000 treatment across Manchester.
Dr Francisco Contreras, an exponent of integrative treatment, claims Vitamin C treatment can kill cancer cells but since it can’t be patented no companies are investing in human trials.
However the therapy is being touted for use across Greater Manchester – at a cost of more than £3,000.
Yes To Life’s website, a charity who back integrative cancer therapies, lists various centres across the region and beyond that provide the pricey and non-trialled therapy.
Lavender Ribbon clinic in Ashton-under-Lyne offer the course of treatment for a whopping £3,140.
However medical experts have dismissed alternative treatments such as Vitamin C as quackery and a ‘waste of time and money’.
Speaking at the event at Manchester Conference Centre last week, Dr Contreras backed Vitamin C as a potential cure for cancer.
“[Vitamin C] does kill cancer cells – but in labs and animals. If somebody tells you Vitamin C doesn’t kill cancer cells, they are wrong – it does.”
Dr Contreras, whose Oasis of Hope cancer treatment centre in Mexico has been labelled dubious by health watchdog site Quackwatch, added: “What has not happened is the next step, which is clinical trials in humans.
“Why? Because it costs hundreds of millions to conduct trials and that money is never going to come back because it [Vitamin C] is not patentable.
“But that does not mean it is not scientifically based. In Mexico, where things are a lot more open, we were able to do the trial and we are very convinced that it does what the researchers said it would do.”
The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, a world-leading cancer treatment and research institution, describes the therapies advocated by Dr Contreras and others as showing no evidence of efficacy.
However, Dr Contreras added: “Nobody is looking to cure appendicitis with alternatives because the surgery is so effective.
“We are looking for alternative cancer treatments because the results are dismal. We should be ashamed. So let’s open up, let’s think outside of the box.”
However Dr Iain Brassington, a medical ethics expert from the University of Manchester, explained that while alternative treatments are ‘just not going to work’, patients cannot be stopped from using them if they do no harm.
CURE OR QUACK: Yes to Life seminar discuss alternative therapy of Vitamin C
He told MM: “A lot of what they are pushing seems pretty hokey. But they are not explicitly encouraging people to use these treatments as a substitute for real medicine.
“I would never say there is absolutely no way they are ever going to work for anyone, but the evidence isn’t there. If it was then it would be being used.
“A lot of integrative medicine is quite unobjectionable in itself – a lot of things are quite weird, but they don’t do any harm – the problem is when people start to see it as an alternative to real medicine.
“As long as these treatments are not actively harmful then you have to accept that if people want to make daft decisions they are allowed to do so.”
The charity’s founder, Robin Daly, believes that patients should be trusted to sort fact from fiction when making decisions about using alternative cancer treatments.
He said: “I don’t think there is any danger in people being informed.
“The danger is that they are uninformed and they die because they are not informed. Our experience is that the people who come to us are very responsible about things.
“If it seems to us that they are being a bit rash, we will encourage them to get some good advice from somebody and they take it. They are not stupid, they want to stay alive.
“All they are interested in is staying alive so why would they be stupid about it? To give people information does not mean they are going to go off and do stupid things.”
Image courtesy of Partha S. Sahan, with thanks, inset courtesy of Yes to Life, with thanks.