One of the main detriments of having cancer is not the cancer itself, but its treatment. Chemotherapeutic drugs are toxic not only to cancer, but to normal body tissue as well. Reducing the collateral damage caused by traditional medicine is posited to help the body be stronger to fight off the disease. Doctors have been experimenting with a treatment that allows for smaller doses of chemo drugs, called Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT).
Developing this technology first required looking to the physiological differences between a cancer cell and a normal body cell, in order to attack a cancer cell in ways that would not affect body cells as much. IPT acts on the principle that all cells need glucose for energy, and while body cells utilize a combination of glucose, fats, and proteins for energy, cancer cells rely solely on glucose. In fact, a typical cancer cell membrane contains up to fifteen times more glucose receptors than a normal cell, allowing them to thrive and starve healthy cells of nutrition. These glucose receptors open up when insulin is introduced, making the cell more vulnerable to chemotherapeutic drugs.
As well as opening the cancer cells up for attack, insulin also stimulates cell division. It is during this period that the part of the cell responsible for replication is most exposed. Chemotherapy drugs administered during this time have a far greater chance of taking out a cancer’s ability to spread and grow. These two actions in combination force the cancer to expose itself to attack, allowing for a lower dose of chemotherapeutic drugs to effectively neutralize malignancy and kill the cells.
Clinical studies at Georgetown University show that isolated cancer cells absorbed chemo drugs at 15,000 times the normal rate when first exposed to insulin. In practical applications, a variety of different cancers have been treated with only 5-10% of typical chemotherapy doses required to achieve cell death. This equates to a 90-95% drop in chemo drugs and the side effects they incur. They also inhibit or destroy much of the body’s natural defense network. IPT aims to make chemo drugs more of a smart bomb, having them “aim” and do more damage to the cancer than healthy tissue.
This variety of treatment is still in its early developmental stages and is not widely accepted or utilized in hospitals. It is showing great promise, however, having been effective against cancers of the mesothelium (mesothelioma), prostate, lung, breast, pancreas, ovary, colon, and lymphatic system. Given the especially pessimistic prostate malignancy and mesothelioma prognosis, this new form of treatment could offer hope to those with particularly difficult struggles.
By: David Haas