An article just published in the journal
Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology caught my eye. The title:
Pharmacokinetics of metronomic chemotherapy: a neglected but crucial aspect.
Georgia (not her real name) has recurrent breast cancer. She was diagnosed
five years ago with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), and did agree to
chemotherapy, but refused mastectomy.
By last year she became aware that the breast biopsy scar had never really
healed, but was becoming more thickened and a little inflamed. She then
had a lumpectomy and lymph node biopsy. Lymph nodes were positive, and
the cancer had now begun to invade the breast, outside the ducts.
Nevertheless, tests of circulating tumor cells (CellSearch®) were negative.
She came to our office for thermography last year. The images were highly
suggestive of breast cancer at the site of the previous biopsy. Surgery
was recommended. The patient went to another healthcare practitioner,
did chelation therapy to remove heavy metals, and a fair amount of nutritional/oxidizing
therapies, but no further chemotherapy or surgery.
The patient presented once again to our office 6 months later for repeat
thermographic evaluation. This time the area of inflammation (and presumed
cancer) appeared to be enlarging and spreading.
So now we have a patient who had done what should have been adequate chemotherapy,
then did chelation and nutritional therapy ongoing, and whose tumor is
What are her options?
Surgery, radiation and conventional chemotherapy are always an option. Insurance covers these treatments. Oncologists and
surgeons are well prepared to use these modalities to, as one of my patients
said, “slash, burn and poison” the tumor. Chemotherapy is
not very effective in the long run, but it is the accepted modality of
treatment at the moment.
So our patient could always choose to have a mastectomy and radiation treatments
to the chest and lymph nodes. And then she could choose to have standard
chemotherapy for recurrent cancer, and hope that her immune system survived
the treatment and that she didn’t get too sick from it.
Or she could choose an
integrative approach to cancer treatment.
She has cancer. It is growing and spreading. She needs some form of therapy
which will destroy tumor cells, while supporting and nourishing the rest
of her body.
Low glycemic – low carbohydrate – food choices are her first option. Cancer cells have large numbers of insulin receptors
on their surface, so that they can have first crack at any molecules of
glucose (sugar) that the blood carries. Cancer cells require large amounts
of glucose for their survival, much larger amounts than any other cells
in the body.
What about cancer-specific treatment?
Metronomic chemotherapy – which can be used with pretty much any solid tumor – would
be an excellent choice for this patient – even just to give her
some more symptom-free time and decent quality of life.
Metronomic chemotherapy uses a very low dose of an old chemotherapeutic
agent (cyclophosphamide, Cytoxan®) both to prevent the development
of new blood vessels and to decrease the production of immune system regulatory
T cells, thus exposing the tumor to recognition, attack and potential
destruction by our own immune systems.
The dose is so low that there are virtually no side effects. The potential
benefit is enormous.
Metronomic chemotherapy seems like a no-brainer to me for pretty much any
solid tumor. It makes so much sense, has such good support in the literature,
and has so few side-effects.
This form of therapy has been described in the literature since at least
the early 1980s. And yet, it is considered “experimental”
(forty years after its initial description) and most insurance companies
not only require prior authorization for the (inexpensive) drugs used,
but often refuse to pay.
Metronomic chemotherapy has practically no toxicity – as it is described
in the literature – and remarkable effectiveness in prolonging life
without major side effects.
If you can live with cancer and not experience illness, that seems to me
to be the next best outcome of cancer treatment.
So why does insurance require lengthy preauthorization for such treatment?
The cost is low – less than $250 per month cash price. The benefit
is high. Chemotherapy drugs can cost in the thousands of dollars per month.
What was that definition of insanity? Keep on doing what you have always
done, expecting that this time the results will be different?
Maybe it's time for a change...
For more information on metronomic chemotherapy, click
free 15-minute consultation with one of our doctors, please call us at 480-240-2600 to speak with
our new patient coordinator and schedule a time.
For more information on other non-standard forms of chemotherapy, such as
insulin potentiated low dose chemotherapy, click