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Most IOICP physicians use the hormone insulin to lower a patient's blood sugar prior to administering chemotherapy. As the blood sugar drops, the cancer cells become starved for sugar and open wide all their receptors (doorways to the inside of the cell). When the chemo arrives, followed closely by glucose, the cancer cells are hungry. They drink in the chemo in the effort to get at the accompanying sugar. It's like a Trojan horse effect. The insulin shuttles the drugs primarily to the cancer cells, largely bypassing healthy cells. That targeting, that use of insulin as a biological response modifier, is called insulin potentiation therapy (IPT). It gets the job done with perhaps 1/10 the dose of chemo used in conventional oncology.
Insulin also can be used as a biological response modifier to target the delivery of natural biological agents. A partial list includes curcumin, artemisinin, silymarin, resveratrol, oxidative therapies, oxaloacetate, methylglyoxal, methylene blue, Poly-MVA, and Argentyn silver. Each has a different mode of action, but they all make life inhospitable to cancer cells.
"No one will ever make the claim that these are as effective as chemo, because we don't use them alone and no has ever studied the synergies," said Juergen Winkler, MD, of California. "However, we know chemo drugs have resistance problems. Cancer can easily handle one attack – that is why eventually cancer cells become resistant to one drug. But if you approach it as an octopus and attack cancer multiple ways with multiple substances, it is easier to defeat, in my experience. I customize each treatment for the patient based on sensitivity tests from RCGG labs or Voll (electroacupuncture) devices."
Just as IPT's use of insulin targets chemotherapy directly to cancer cells, insulin also targets biological agents so they have a better opportunity of actually getting inside the cell to do their job.
"Most people who choose a non-chemo-based course of treatment with use of insulin as a biological response modifier are trying to find a less toxic way of treatment," Winkler said. "They have seen what chemotherapy's toxicity has done to family or friends. They don't get a lot of hope with conventional treatments, especially with advanced diseases. They realize that their quality of life is the important thing."
Broda O. Barnes, MD, PhD, one of the world's foremost authorities on the thyroid gland, famously said, "Health begins and ends with the proper balance of the endocrine system." Barnes estimated that hypothyroidism affected as many as 40% of Americans in 1976. Since then, a national study showed that iodine levels in Americans have decreased 50% in the last 30 years. The body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones.
A 1977 study of 74 hypothyroid patients strongly suggested that thyroid hormone has a protective role in the prevention of cancer. Half the test subjects were treated with 2 or more grains of natural desiccated thyroid hormone; the other half got less than 1 grain or none at all.7 In the treated group of 31 patients, there was only one case of cancer. In the untreated group of 43 patients, there were 32 cases of cancer.
"Most people with hypothyroidism do not get properly diagnosed because the standard lab test merely measures the amounts of TSH, T3, and T4 circulating in the blood," said Richard Pooley, MD, of Connecticut. Thyroid hormone exerts its effect inside the cells, not in the bloodstream. The blood levels of these hormones correlate very poorly with the actual thyroid activity in the patient.
"I work with the Broda O. Barnes Foundation where we send 24-hour urine specimens to Belgium to measure the levels of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) along with cortisol and cortisol metabolites. This is arguably the best way of determining significant thyroid and cortisol deficiency. In the foundation's experience – which includes thousands of specimens and spans 3 decades – every patient with cancer is both thyroid and cortisol deficient. The foundation has also had several patients with end-stage metastatic cancer who have been cured after supplementing with natural thyroid hormone and physiological doses of hydrocortisone."
After puberty, people typically experience fluctuations in their hormone levels. By age 35, levels tend to plateau and then decline. This is an invitation to cancer and other chronic health problems. When dealing with cancer, your adrenal glands also get depleted quickly and they don't have the robustness needed to deal with the illness.
"Hormones are more important than vitamins," said Pooley. "Although vitamins and other nutrients play an important role in the function of the immune system, balance of the endocrine system is usually the deciding factor influencing immune function. Thyroid hormone, and even cortisol (contrary to conventional wisdom), are the most important hormones for optimizing immune function, and immune function is the key element in the cure of cancer. The immune system, when properly optimized, destroys only the cancer cells without any collateral damage to normal cells."
There is much agreement in the medical community that cancer often involves a failure of the immune system to recognize and kill off errant cells. The immune system is our first and best defense against cancer, and many other chronic diseases. Can we unlock the power of the immune system to treat cancer by way of a vaccine made from stemlike cells of the immune system?
William Decker, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, is on the leading edge of developing such a vaccine. The stemlike cells he works with are called dendritic cells and they are the generals of the immune system. They make all the decisions and send orders down the line. One of the platoons of soldiers down the line are the Th1 cells, part of the acquired immune system that goes after intracellular viral and bacterial infections.
"The Th1 cells are generally not very active in people with cancer and yet Th1 immunity is most important in cancer," said Decker. "We can help the body prime a more robust Th1 response by helping it recognize patterns important to the functioning of a virus or intracellular bacterium."
Decades ago, it was noticed that spontaneous tumor regression has followed many different types of infections. It is thought that these infections "wake up" the immune system by sending appropriate signals for a Th1 immune response to kick in. Cancer antigens may come along for the ride during such infections and result in spontaneous remissions.
"One of the proteins in dendritic cells is CTLA-4 (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4), the most famous immune regulatory molecule in the universe," said Decker. "Only very recently discovered to be expressed by dendritic cells, we now know dendritic cell CTLA-4 controls whether lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) are turned off or on during the initiation of an immune response. Normally, CTLA-4 signaling regulates the immune system by turning off lymphocytes so you don't get an inappropriate immune response. With cancer, if you block the activity of CTLA-4, you can turn on important downstream effects in generating CD8 T-cells which can kill cancer cells. CD8 T-cells are more functional when we get CTLA-4 out of the equation."
Decker and his team at Baylor are in development with a vaccine to downmodulate CTLA-4 expression. "CTLA-4 exists in dendritic cells; it is real, we have documented it. Other vaccines, targeting other modes of action, have possibly not performed well because even though they make an immune response against a specific protein, they don't address dendritic cell CTLA-4. What we are developing is a way to make the dendritic cells mimic something you typically only get with a real viral infection."
Thomas P. Hsia, MD, of California, is board certified in gastroenterology. He came to the conference thinking he would attend just the ozone seminar but decided to stay and check out the presentations. He was blown away.
"It opened my eyes to a lot of options out there," Hsia said. "As a mainstream professional, I was interested to see the validity and justification of my belief system that all disease – be it autoimmune, heart, diabetes, or cancer – is all part of the spectrum of too much toxicity (heavy metals, pesticides, toxic emotions) and too many nutritional deficits. Often in my world, the kind of information presented at this conference is considered interesting but something to ignore because there are so many points of departure from the conventional model in which we are trained. I am fascinated with all this information and the research behind it all."
Mary Budinger, NTC, is a certified nutritional therapist and an Emmy-award winning journalist. She teaches about nutrition and integrative medicine in Phoenix, Arizona; 602-494-1999.
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