Karina Lund

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Sara Rockwell


Despite the common usage of high-dose vitamin C among breast cancer patients, the published medical literature is not in agreement as to how mega-dose vitamin C may interact with conventional therapy to affect clinical outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interaction of mega-dose vitamin C with radiation therapy and with doxorubicin in the treatment of breast cancer. Cultures of EMT6 mouse mammary tumor cells were treated concurrently with varying dose of vitamin C and either radiation or doxorubicin. A clonogenic assay was then performed to determine the surviving fraction of the cells. The surviving fractions of cells in cultures receiving different doses of vitamin C were compared among themselves as well as with controls and dose response curves were generated. Results show that ascorbic acid administered in concentrations of 1 mM or 10 mM 4 hours before x-irradiation protected the cells from radiation-induced cytotoxicity. The dose-modifying factors for 1 mM and 10 mM ascorbic acid as compared to controls were 1.23 and 1.37 respectively. These results support the hypothesis that mega dose vitamin C, when taken concurrently with radiation therapy, protects cancer cells from the cytotoxic effects of ionizing radiation. No evidence was found to suggest that mega-dose vitamin C alters the antineoplastic effects of doxorubicin.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access