20 Jan 2012

Vitamin cancer treatment not effective for scientist

2:44 pm on 20 January 2012

Scientist Sir Paul Callaghan says he did not find any evidence two alternative cancer treatments he was trialling were effective.

It was revealed last year that the physicist, who has terminal colon cancer, received high-dose intravenous vitamin C treatment and a Chinese herbal medicine during a six-month break from conventional treatment.

Sir Paul says he does not endorse either treatment and did not find any evidence that they were effective.

He told Radio New Zealand's Kiwi Summer programe that he felt duty bound to report his findings as his name has begun to be linked with the treatment and attempts made to suggest he endorses it.

"The thing that really worried me was that people were using my name to promote an alternative therapy and doing so in a way that ... given the full information wasn't fair and honest.

"I just wanted to set the record straight so that the New Zealand public knew what the outcome was in my case, that I wasn't advocating this and that for me personally it was of no benefit."

He says it is useful to hear case studies from individuals who have tried intravenous vitamin C but his negative result would suggest it is not worth conducting clinical trials.