Sam is doing well – we played soccer with a bunch of other kids yesterday and it was great to see him get the exercise. He has had no pain since 12/22 so for that we are very thankful. He wants to play spring baseball and so today we’ll make sure we go out and work on his swing – his strength and speed need a bit of work but I always tell him we can do anything as long as we work hard. Saturday (today), we played miniature golf and he had (2) aces so we’re very proud to see that. Despite all of the chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation he has seen, he still has phenomenal eye-hand coordination. My wife updates his personal website at www.teamsam.com and includes stories of my other children, Andrew and Charlie.
One of the things I would like to do is to build a library of compelling case studies and preclinical publications that show ‘big results” – sustained responses in mice and men.
I don’t differentiate between chemotherapy and alternative/complementary medicine. I have been a snob in the past eschewing chemotherapy for alternative/complementary medicine while at other times reversing course. Now I know that the only questions are “does it work and how toxic is the treatment?”
With that stated, I would like to post a recently published paper using (2) very non-toxic agents, Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) and Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN), to help pancreatic cancer patients.
Pancreatic cancer is a very bad diagnosis and has claimed the lives of Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing the movie), Chuck Daly (head coach of the two-time NBA Champion Detroit Pistons and the head coach of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team featuring Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird), and Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon computer science professor, Mike Deaver (Deputy Chief of Staff in Ronald Reagan’s presidency), Andrew McKelvey (billionaire founder of Monster and TMP), and Gene Upshaw (Pro Football Hall of Fame).
Naltrexone is used to help wean alcoholics away from drinking; normal dose is 50mg day and the dose used in the anti-cancer protocol is 10 to 20x less. I have learned that dosing is huge – the same drug will have very different effects depending upon the dose.
What is interesting is that LDN has been researched in neuroblastoma way back in the mid ‘80s by Dr. Ian Zagon, PhD from Penn State University. There have been no clinical trials using LDN or a complementary medicine, Opioid Growth Factor, in neuroblastoma to-date.
A summary of the initial ALA/LDN protocol used to treat a pancreatic cancer patient is below along with a link to the most recent publication detailing the case reports in (3) additional patients.
I would love to be aware of more case studies so please let me know of others so I can build an online library that can be readily accessible to parents,patients, and doctors.
Thank you for stopping by…
Long-Term Survival with Alpha-Lipoic Acid (Intravenous), Multiple Antioxidants, and Low-Dose Naltrexone
A recent case report describes the long-term survival (>3 years) of a 46-year-old man who was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer of the pancreas (adenocarcinoma) which had spread to the liver (Berkson BM et al 2006). The patient had a 3.9 x 3.9 cm tumor in the head of the pancreas and 4 tumors in the liver, one of which was 5 to 6 cm in diameter. He was told there was not much that could be done for him, yet he was treated with one round of a typical chemotherapy regimen (Gemzar® (gemcitabine) and Paraplatin® (carboplatin)), which caused reduced blood cell counts but no tumor regression. He received a second opinion that any further treatment would be in vain, so he opted for an integrative medical approach (via the Integrative Medical Center of New Mexico).
For his non-cancer medical conditions he was given several antacids (Prevacid® 30 mg, Rolaids®), antibiotics (Primsol™/Gantanol®), antiulcer agents (Mylanta®, Pepto-Bismol®), and the anti-anxiety drug, Xanax®, and then he started an integrative therapy program, the ALA-LDN (Intravenous Alpha-Lipoic Acid- Low-Dose Naltrexone) protocol.
The ALA-LDN protocol comprised alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) (300 to 600 mg intravenously twice weekly), low-dose naltrexone (Vivitrol™)(3 to 4.5 mg at bedtime), and orally, ALA (300 mg twice daily), selenium (200 micrograms twice daily), silymarin (300 mg four times daily), and vitamin B complex (3 high-dose capsules daily). In addition, he maintained a strict dietary regimen, performed a stress-reduction and exercise program, and led a healthy lifestyle. Remarkably, after just one treatment of intravenous ALA his symptoms began to disappear, his quality of life improved, and he had no unwanted side effects.
His pancreatic cancer has remained stable for more than 3-years and he is free from symptoms. Several other patients are being treated with this protocol and, to date, with success (Berkson BM et al 2006). Thus, the ALA-LDN protocol could possibly extend the lives of those pancreatic cancer patients who have been led to believe that their cancer is terminal.
So How Does It Work? Alpha-lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant (Baraboi VA 2005), improves immune cells’ functions (Mantovani G et al 2000), increases homocysteine levels in cancer cells which is toxic to them (Hultberg B 2003), and prevents the activation of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) a key regulator of tumor development and progression (Sokoloski JA et al 1997;Suzuki YJ et al 1992;Vermeulen L et al. 2006). Selenium is useful in elevating antioxidant levels (Woutersen RA et al 1999; Zhan CD et al 2004) and silymarin is a selective COX-2 inhibitor (Cuendet M et al 2000a).
Low-dose naltrexone blocks opiate receptors causing the body to make large amounts of opiates in response, which in turn improve the immune response; specifically, natural killer cell cytotoxicity, B-cell and T-cell proliferation, and IFN-gamma production are maintained during times of immune suppression (Nelson CJ et al 2000).
Prevacid® is an antacid that also improves cell-mediated immunity, prevents immune suppression, and may also exert anti-inflammatory activity, all of which are important for cancer patients with impaired immune systems (Dattilo M et al 1998; Peddicord TE et al 1999).
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