Catie Spence

Vitamin C: A Controversial Cancer Treatment

The Scholar: Catie Spence

The Project: Vitamin C: A Controversial Cancer Treatment

The Essential Question: “My project was looking into vitamin c and its efficacy as a cancer treatment. It was comparing oral treatment versus intravenous treatment, and how much you would need for there to be an actual effect. I twas a personal project for me, because a family member of mine has gone through Vitamin C treatment and getting it intravenously, so I found that interesting and just looking into how Vitamin C works to fight against cancer.”

Surprising Discovery: “I would say being able to understand the mechanism and how it worked in the body, looking at it on a molecular level. It was interesting to see how things I learned in past classes, like biology, applied to this new concept that I was studying, because I recognized similar patterns of things I had studied before in this new project that I arrived at by myself.”

Biggest Challenge: “I had to comb through a lot of high-level research papers that were definitely hard to comprehend and break down, so it was definitely a challenge to understand those and convert it into a comprehensible research paper.”

Tip for Future Scholars: “I would say really go for a project that interests you and excites you, and is something you want to be studying. You are stuck with it for the whole trimester, and you have to put a lot of work into it, so make sure it’s something you want to do and find interesting.”

What’s a misconception people have about Vitamin C that your project helped shed light on? “I would say a lot of people look at Vitamin C as this magical cure for everything, but what my research found is that realistically taking a small supplement of vitamin c or just eating a lot of oranges, that isn’t going to be enough to have a huge effect on your health. It’s more that you have to take it in high-dose, intravenous treatments that can last for hours in order for it to have an effect.”