Believe Big Podcast

10 - IV C in the Cancer Arena with Dr. Lucas Tims

June 21, 2022 Autumn Burns
Believe Big Podcast
10 - IV C in the Cancer Arena with Dr. Lucas Tims
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Wow!  Do NOT miss this episode with Dr. Lucas Tims.  He's got so much FANTASTIC information for patients from his experience with high-dose Vitamin C!

Dr. Tims offers tips for patients with a new cancer diagnosis.  He shares how IV-C works in conjunction with standard of care therapies and mistletoe therapy; and he shares all of this information in a caring way that offers HOPE.

Connect with Dr. Lucas Tims at the Riordan Clinic:
https://riordanclinic.org/

Suggested Resource Links:

Ivelisse Page:

Hi, I'm Ivelisse Page and thanks for listening to the Believe Big podcast, the show where we take a deep dive into your healing with health experts, integrative practitioners, biblical faith leaders, and cancer thrivers from around the globe. Welcome to today's episode on the Believe Big podcast. My name is Ivelisse Page. Today's episode is all about the role IV-vitamin C has on cancer. My guest today, Dr. Lucas Tims. Dr. Lucas is an expert on naturopathic oncology and integrative cancer care. He specializes in IV vitamin C, mistletoe, ozone therapy, the immune system, and more in addition to patient care, Dr. Lucas enjoys doing research, teaching and writing for medical journals. He currently serves as the medical director at the Riordan Clinic. Welcome Dr. Tim's to the show.

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Thanks Ivelisse, excited to be here and to join your listeners and talk a little bit about IV vitamin C.

Ivelisse Page:

We are so appreciative and before we get into that, our listeners always liked to find out what our guest's favorite health tip is, and I know you have many, so can you share one with us?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Yeah. These are always kind of tough because you always have those few people that are like, well, that doesn't apply to me and it's tough to always give general tips, but a one that I think you can safely apply to everybody is a, I really like, and I've started doing this myself more recently, so I can speak from it personally, but I think gratitude journaling. I think there's a lot of magic that happens there, when people start to, even if it's not daily, but somewhat frequently, take some time to reflect and kind of look at things and figure out what they're thankful and grateful for, and write it down. Which makes it even more powerful. I think that's something that we could safely say everyone has the ability to do and is certainly only going to get people moving in the right direction towards health and happiness probably.

Ivelisse Page:

I completely agree I've seen the power of it personally in my life. And we actually came out with a gratitude journal in November because we really found how important it is to focus on the good things in our lives. And sometimes we have a hard time doing that when you're in the midst of a diagnosis. I love that health tip. I love reading in your bio that you grew up in a family where nutrition and organic eating were normal. What a gift! And you share that your upbringing combined with influential mentors during your undergraduate studies, that they helped pave your path towards naturopathic medicine, but I'm interested to find out what made you decide to specialize in cancer.

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Yeah, it's a kind of a series of events and experiences through my formative years, which drew me to medicine in general. And then more specifically naturopathic medicine, which honestly, growing up, I didn't know that was a different form of medicine. Cause that's kind of what my parents always did. And it just seemed like, oh yeah, we've got this herb, if you have a cold or flu, and we do homeopathy and we focus on nutrition and but learning that all medical schools really was just more surgery, pharmaceutical base trainings. That's what kind of got me interested in looking at these natural pathic programs are out there. Ultimately what led me there. And then when I got there for the first few years, I was a, wasn't quite sure what I wanted to specialize in. Definitely wasn't thinking cancer at all. And it was only by way of meeting my now wife who was, at the time we were just dating and, and just starting our relationship. But, very soon on, she was diagnosed with cancer. And that kinda, sent us into a bit of a whirlwind and, we really strengthened our relationship, but also going through that process with her sort of planted the seeds of passion for me in terms of wanting to work with cancer patients. And there was positives through it, but there was also a lot of things that I experienced through that process with her that, made me, even a little more, I guess, wanting to disrupt the normal model, that's out there, and that's ultimately kind of what led me down this path. And I think that we've, we've come full circle and I've been, I think, blessed to be part of a huge wave of momentum when it comes to integrative oncology and more, alternative, if you will viewpoints and approaches to dealing with cancer. And so I've been, I've been excited to be along for the ride and, I'm learning more every day and it's just, it's such a rewarding way to work with patients. What I've found. It's hard work, but it, you really get the chance to work with so many people in such an intimate level. And we see so many great success stories with our patients that I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Ivelisse Page:

Well, you definitely have that sense of curiosity along with humility that I think that we appreciate, going to see a physician and especially in your case, that understands what they're going through. Seeing the situation that you've dealt with your wife and being on that other side of the table, per se, knowing what you know now with everything in this world, what would be your best advice to someone who just found out they have cancer?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Yeah, that's actually, something I've thought about a lot and even, done some videos on and talk to a lot of patients about, is, okay, you're at step one, you just got the diagnosis. Like, what do you do? Right. First of all, you, go crazy. You say, oh shit. And you kinda like let things out and you get all that out of you first that's okay. But eventually a few days, a week later, you got to figure out a plan, right? And I think obviously my opinion is that, you want to be using as many different tools as possible because cancer, it's a tough beast to tame. And there's lots of great tools on both the traditional side, as well as the more integrative side. And so I would say don't get too, dogmatic in saying, well, I'm not going to do any natural therapies, my doctor won't let me do any natural therapies. And vice versa, don't say, well, I don't want to do any standard treatments or medications, I'll never do chemo. I'll never do surgery, I'll never do that. Be open to all the tools that are available, but be interested in finding what tools work best for you specifically. And I think that's where, I am able to enter into the team for patients early on, that's where I try to get them looking in terms of let's collect as much data as possible. Let's get lots of different opinions. Usually things are not moving quite as fast as people think they are. And you're better off taking a step back or two steps back sometimes, before you ultimately dive into what that initial treatment plan is going to look like.

Ivelisse Page:

Yeah, a hundred percent. And you said it right too. I think a lot of people hold onto one thing and there are so many tools. And I always say it's like a trivial pursuit piece that you're trying to put the right wedges and there's different pieces that need to fit to make the person whole. And it's never just one thing. So being open to what your body needs to, what your physicians are recommending, and then ultimately looking in and saying what is going to be best for my journey and you said that perfectly and I think that's great advice. So now

Dr. Lucas Tims:

I love the Trivial Pursuit analogy, I'm going to use that.

Ivelisse Page:

Okay, please do. Let's merge back now to the high-dose vitamin C. I know it's a foundational treatment at the Riordan Clinic for a variety of conditions besides cancer. Before we get deep dive into that, what are the other conditions that high dose vitamin C is good for?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Yeah, obviously we use it where we've done a lot of our research with IV-vitamin C at the Riordan Clinic and where we use it day in and day out is the majority with cancer patients or patients that have had cancer. But it also can be used in, I would say really any sort of chronic disease where there's a where there's an inflammation issue, which is usually most chronic disease. Auto-immune diseases, chronic infections, like Lyme disease, or other, co-infections like that chronic viral conditions or acute viral conditions. Coming off the heels of this recent viral pandemic, there was a ton of research that was put out that was, maybe not talked about quite a lot, but, in a lot of other countries, they were using IV vitamin C as a part of a bigger protocol to, to really support patients in the acute viral, uh, setting.

Ivelisse Page:

Wow. Well, and as it relates to cancer, what about high dose vitamin C that makes it effective in the treatment for cancer?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Boy it's there's been dissertations written on this and it's such a multi-faceted tool, it's it, really, and we continue to learn more about all the different levels and targets that, that it actually impacts when it comes to cancer. And not just the the cancer cell or the tumor, but the tumor microenvironment, the immune system, all the different players of the game, IV vitamin C seems to have not just a positive impact I think it's most notably, recognized as a adjunctive treatment to chemotherapy and radiation that can help to decrease toxicities and side effects. But I think we're, It hasn't really been, given its fair due in terms of its ability to be used as a monotherapy as well, in some situations, some types of malignancies and different stages. So its, I think right now, the fact that it's not a standard of care therapy used alongside traditional treatments is a shame because just as the ability to decrease the toxicities without interfering with the efficacy of those chemotherapy agents is awesome. But when you look at the things that really get me excited about IV, vitamin C and cancer are its ability to do some things that the traditional treatments can't do. And this is where we start looking at, and I may need to back up a little bit here for some of your listeners that don't quite understand this concept, but not all cancer cells are created equally. You actually have sort of two distinct types of cancer cells: cancer stem cells and cancer offspring. Okay. The cancer stem cells you can think of as kind of like the cells that are first on the scene that kind of initiate a tumor process. And then they give rise to these offspring cells. And roughly what we know is that for every one cancer stem cell, it gives rise to about one to 200 offspring. Okay. And so you can imagine that when you get a tumor, the size of millions and millions of cells, obviously the majority of that tumor is going to be offspring cells. And you're going to have a very small percentage of these cancer stem cells. Well, what chemotherapy and radiation have been shown to do very effectively is wipe out at least initially these offspring cells. Okay. These offspring cells are much more primitive in nature. They're much more one track mind. They tend to have one sort of mutation or pathway that are driving it. Initially. So what happens typically is patients go in for chemotherapy or radiation or some sort of treatment that mows down all these offspring cells and on a scan, because that makes up the bulk of the tumor, it looks like that tumor has gone away or it's shrunk down and they say the treatments are working and hallelujah and hurray let's keep going. What they're not really addressing and why cancer tends to keep coming back in a lot of individuals are those stem cells. Those stem cells can float in and out of a dormant state. And sometimes that happens. And that's why every once in a while, you'll see patients where, they just did standard of treatments and they had a good outcome. Right? We don't really know all the ways in which we can get those cancer stem cells into it, that dormant state, but we know that can happen that switch can flip. One of the things we do know that actually can be effective against the cancer stem cells is the IV vitamin C and what it's actually doing to these cancer stem cells, which are much more, they're much smarter cells. They're much more sophisticated and they're, and they have a much greater ability to adapt and mutate. Okay. And so this is when, like I was saying before, If you've wiped out that first kind of phase of the offspring cells, but the cancer stem cells end up kind of reawakening, there'll be mutated further and they'll give rise to a new set of offspring that have further mutations are more resistant to whatever the previous treatments were. Right? They're more aggressive. And so those stem cells are really what's driving that recurrence process there. And they're also what's driving the metastatic spread because when you've got a tumor, you always have cells that are shedding into the local blood supply. The offspring cells are not able to survive on their own, really once they've left that host tumor, but the stem cells that they dislodge and get into the bloodstream, these can travel around and ultimately seed a new tumor somewhere else. So they're really, these stem cells are at the heart of why cancer is so deadly and why it's so tough to treat sometimes. And IV vitamin C just happens to be, as far as I'm aware, our best treatment against those cells. And the real kicker is that oftentimes the vitamin C is not killing these cells. It's rehabilitating these cells and it's actually helping them to transition into a fully healthy stem cell. Which does actually, it's almost like a, it's like compounding interest because you not only take away a cancer cell, but you gain a adversary, you gain a healthy cell, which can help in that local tumor environment.

Ivelisse Page:

Yeah, I it's so similar. I, I know, Dr. Turner shares the analogy of walking into your basement and you see mold everywhere. And, the bleaching process that they do to clean up that mold, is toxic, but it gets rid of the mold and it's similar to the chemotherapy, but like the mold, if you don't add light and fans like the IV vitamin C you're talking about, or the mistletoe therapy or other things it's going to come back, it's it, the environment is still the same. So that's kind of what you're sharing, in a layman's term, as far as what that does in our body. I know that there are listeners today, we don't have time to dive into all the studies that have been done and proven how effective IV vitamin C is. But do you have a few that you could possibly share with us? Some studies that you really feel are really great that we can add to the notes that people can look at those further if they are interested?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Absolutely. There's really been in the last four years or so there've been, there've been some great systematic reviews that have been done that have looked at all the studies, which, oh, by the way, there's over like 200. We have everything from preclinical studies to phase one, phase two, there are active phase three trials that are happening, not in the U.S. but in other countries. There's really a lot of momentum going on, so I'd be happy to share some of those studies and, the problem is that until we until we sort of break down that barrier in terms of getting the FDA and the medical societies on board with it, we're never going to be able to do enough research where they're going to be happy, right? And so, no matter the fact that we have over 200 different clinical trials, it's been researched and used by the way for about 50 years. So most drugs or treatment, cancer treatments, they don't get used until they've been through a lot of research. And then when we start using them in clinical practice, we actually end up learning more about them. We have all of that clinical experience with IV vitamin C, decades of it, combined with the bench side research, if you will. And so it's at this point, I think we're going to get there in terms of it becoming widely accepted, but, it should have been done a long time ago, to be honest, when you actually, when you actually look at the research from own bias standpoint

Ivelisse Page:

I know with a mistletoe clinical trials that we're doing, the natural substances to get those put through those phases so that it can be incorporated to standard of care. It's a long process. And I think the cost of it that's one of our goals is to not only expand the research on mistletoe in the future, raising the funds for that, but other viable treatments like IV vitamin C and others that really need more funds to be able to put into the research side of it.

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Yeah, and it's not just, it's not just that it's not accepted and approved it's that unfortunately, a lot of people can't even access these therapies because of the cost because of the out-of-pocket cost. And so the fact that it's not approved also means that medicare and Medicare based insurance guidelines won't cover it and so that limits, our demographic in terms of people that we can support with these therapies, which is really a shame.

Ivelisse Page:

It really is. Well, I know that you're very familiar with mistletoe therapy as well. Can you share with us how IV vitamin C and mistletoe therapy work together?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Absolutely. I would say in the majority of my patients that come to me with a malignancy, with a cancer process, but we're doing those two therapies in 95% of them. There's some very few situations where we wouldn't use both those therapies. But I, I always love to use them because they're, while they're working on different levels, I kind of tell patients right away, I'm like, these are the therapies we're going to start with because I know that one, they're safe and two, that they're going to get the whole body moving in the right direction. And as you know yourself with mistletoe, it's a little bit more, focused on the immune response. Whereas, vitamin C has all those other, kind of multi-faceted areas, that can work in the tumor micro environment, but really what mistletoe's about is engaging your body's own ability to defend itself. And so a lot of people don't realize that your immune system is designed to get rid of cancer. And most of us, it's doing that on a daily basis, hundreds and hundreds and thousands of cells that are destined to probably at some point become a cancer cell are getting taken care of by our immune system. And so what we're trying to do with the mistletoe, is reignite that process and restore the factory settings, to the immune system where we've got more of those cancer fighting immune cells being produced on a daily basis. And oh, by the way, they're better at detecting cancer, which likes to kind of hide and cloak itself from our immune system. And so not only are we increasing the production of those cells, we're making them more responsive to the cancer as well.

Ivelisse Page:

And so are there any side effects to high dose vitamin C? Any risks?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

I noticed vitamin C is very safe outside of a few situations. One, patients need to have properly functioning kidneys, as you would probably with any IV therapy. But if patients have a bunch of kidney stones or they're in stage four, stage three, stage four kidney failure, you have to be careful with it. There's also a rare genetic mutation called G6PD deficiency, where, you know, which we test all it, we screen all of our patients for that. And if you're going to get IV vitamin C somewhere, you better demand that they do that because it's really the one situation where you could possibly be in a life-threatening type issue with IV vitamin C, if they gave you high enough dose, and you did have that rare mutation. It actually can cause your red blood cells to hemolyze to burst and you can get all kinds of bad side effects and it can be fatal. So we always screen that. We always look at people's kidney function. There are a few chemotherapy drugs that are really aren't honestly used that much anymore, mostly used in like multiple myeloma, where there were some studies that showed that it could exacerbate the side effects of those drugs. So we usually hold them in those situations, but, otherwise, there's not a lot of contraindications or, other cancer therapies that it would interfere with.

Ivelisse Page:

Okay. Yeah. And I know like with mistletoe, there's like a loading process to make sure that patients are receiving the right dosage for them. Is that the same for high dose vitamin C or is there a standard protocol you use?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

It is, and I'm glad you brought that up. Cause I think a lot of people, that I see that either come to us or that I talk to, they're actually not being dosed correctly with the IV vitamin C. And part of that is because they're not really being, um, titrated up and tested properly to see that if they're getting into that therapeutic range. What some of the Riordan Clinic's research on IV vitamin C showed is that you get sort of the full spectrum of the anti-cancer effects of IV vitamin C, once you reach it, reach a certain concentration in the bloodstream. It's 350 milligrams per deciliter, basically. But if you're not up to that range, you may still be getting some benefit, but you're really not getting all the benefits. And so we always test people's blood with a blood test directly after several different doses to see what dose gets them into that range. Because some people 50 grams is enough. Some people need 75. Sometimes we've got to go up to a hundred. We've had people up to as high as 150 grams of vitamin C and one infusion in order to get them up to that therapeutic range. And so everyone's a little bit different. Some of the factors can be your body mass, how large you are. Usually the larger you are, the bigger dose you need. Your disease burden, so if you have a lot of cancer in your body, you might need a higher dose. If you're a smoker or you have other things that are creating a poor circulation in the body, that could be another reason why. But the dosing is a big issue. And I see that a lot of clinics that are maybe offering IV vitamin C, but don't have a lot of experience with it, are just sort of offering a set dose to everybody and saying, well, we just give everybody 50 grams or we give everybody 60 grams, whatever. Some people that might be helpful for, but a lot of people it's not.

Ivelisse Page:

Well, that's really important for people to ask. I'm sure, when they're investigating clinics to see, what exactly would be their protocol, is that what you would recommend them asking?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Yeah, I would say, ask them how they're they determine their therapeutic dosing. Some clinics will use a workaround using a glucometer test, which you can do before and after the IV and use the Delta. And that can kind of get you in the right range. The gold standard is still the HPLC blood test, which we actually offer at the Riordan Clinic and any clinic out there we can ship them a kit. And they can actually draw that blood into that tube, send it to our lab in Wichita and we will run that HPLC test for them.

Ivelisse Page:

That's fantastic. Okay, great. So how quickly do you see people responding to the IV vitamin C therapy?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

It really varies Ivelisse, it depends on a lot of factors. We've seen some people that just have, those miraculous type turnarounds within, within that first week of being in our clinic where, I recall a nurse patient that came to me a few months ago. And she was really struggling when she got here. And really not had not been given much hope back home, kind of been sent home on hospice. Was wheeled in here and functionally just not doing well. And the, the day-to-day change over maybe just a three to four day period of treating her with IV vitamin C. She was dancing around the clinic and, eating again and her color came back and she was just so, uh, she was a different person. And she was back to enjoying life. So sometimes we see it that quickly, but I would say, it's not uncommon for it to maybe take a few months as well. And oftentimes the more inflammation that's happening in the body. The more other types of toxicities that are going on in the body, those can present other hurdles that we need to sort of get over for patients to, to ultimately see that, that response. Whether it's the tumor response or whether it's this, their body and their, the rest of the part of their body waking up and kind of coming back to life as well. So it can vary a lot, but it's really nice to see those patients when it works quickly. And that is not uncommon.

Ivelisse Page:

How rewarding is that? So I know also, you're kind of the expert on both sides and I've heard that mistletoe has a warming effect on the body and IV vitamin C has a cooling effect on the body. And there are some that kind of combine them both in a bag. And I was told that the new standard is that on the days you're doing mistletoe, not to do IV vitamin C or the injections. What is your recommendation? What's the recent, standard for using them both?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Yeah, I think that, I think if you look at people or practitioners that are, that are fairly well experienced with both therapies, I think that there is a general consensus to avoid them on the same day. I'm not saying that, there's, if there's doctors that are combining them, that they're, they don't know what they're doing, I'm just saying that I think there's more of a trend towards trying to space those out and I don't know if we really have a evidence-based way in terms of like physiologically, this is what's happening in the body to really support that. But I think from a, from an experience standpoint, seeing how patients respond to the different therapies, thinking about the therapies more energetically and constitutionally, to me, it makes a lot of sense, And so that's the lens that I look through it at. I'm not saying that they're not going to be effective if you do them on the same day, but we do prefer to space those apart. And I generally, when I talk to the my colleagues that I really trust in practice, I think they're doing the same.

Ivelisse Page:

Okay. So I can't believe time has gone by so quickly and we have probably two minutes left or so, is there anything that I haven't asked that you feel would be important for our listeners to hear?

Dr. Lucas Tims:

Well, I just think, a lot of times patients get told that IV vitamin C is not appropriate for them by their traditional oncologist. That it will interfere with chemo or radiation or we don't quite know if it's safe or, you're wasting your money and, those kind of one-off, kind of canned lines that they get from the oncologist. I would just say, if you're listening to this and you haven't been completely convinced that IV vitamin C isn't for you. Give us a call. I think that, it's probably along with mistletoe, probably the top two things you could do to support yourself through a cancer journey, in terms of not only the overall outcome, but the quality of life and just how good you're going to feel going through the other treatments or not. Don't be afraid to reach out to practitioners that are experienced in these therapies rather than just listening to what the traditional oncologists are telling you about them.

Ivelisse Page:

Great advice, such great advice. Well, thank you Dr. Lucas for being with us today, and we will put your information in the show notes as well for patients and families and physicians who want to reach out to you and find out more about what you all do at the Riordan Clinic. And, on behalf of Believe Big I just really wanna thank you so much for the care you give to the patients that come to see you. And we really see a big difference in their lives. And we just thank you for that.

Dr. Lucas Tims:

It's my pleasure Ivelisse and thank you for all you guys do as well. You guys support our patients, tremendously, through a lot of different ways and thanks for everything you do. It's been a pleasure.

Ivelisse Page:

If you enjoyed this episode and you'd like to help support our podcast, please subscribe and share it with others. Be sure to visit believebig.org to access show notes and discover our bonus content. Thanks again. And keep believing big!

What is your favorite health tip?
What made you decide to specialize in cancer
What is your best advice for someone who just found out they have cancer?
Besides cancer, what other conditions is high-dose Vitamin C good for?
Why is high-dose Vitamin C effective in the treatment against cancer?
Two types of cancer cells, described by Dr. Tims
Can you share how IV-C and Mistletoe therapy work together?
Are there any side effects or risks with high-dose Vitamin C?
Is there a standard protocol with high-dose Vitamin C or is there a loading process for patients as with Mistlteo?
Patients should inquire about a clinic's protocol and therapeutic dosing with IV-C.
How quickly do you see people responding to the IV-C therapy?
What is your recommendation for using IV-C and Mistletoe at the same time?
Is there anything important our listeners need to hear before we close today's discussion?