By Dr Amtul Qudoos Farhat, United Medicine Group, Canada
When we meet the long term cancer survivors, we learn clearly how they have utilized various modalities of therapies to fight their disease and achieve ultimate recovery. Based on such evidence, more and more patients are now asking to be treated by an integrative approach for their cancer. A universal cure for cancer is still a dream and complete remission is rare. In fact the recurrence chances are likely to be higher after radiation and chemotherapy. The Healers community needs to come to terms that scientific and evidence based knowledge need to be integrated in the best interest of our cancer clients.
Integrative approach in the treatment of cancer has opened a whole new chapter of multidisciplinary Integrative approach of cancer treatment. Mixed protocols are being used which combine conventional as well as alternative anti cancer therapies.
Many fields of Medicine including conventional medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy and eastern medicine have remedies to offer which either destroy or shrink the tumor size or enhance patients own immune system to fight the cancer or detoxify and cleanse the organs. They also have been shown to enhance conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatment, decrease side effects of these base therapies and dramatically increase survival times in virtually all stages of most cancers.
Some of these therapies are discussed here:
Targeted Low dose Chemotherapy.
Conventional Chemotherapeutic drugs can be used in low dosage to achieve desirable results by targeting them specifically to the cancer cells or selectively enhancing their availability to cancer cells. This can be done by combining it with Hyaluronic Acid or Insulin therapy and/or other intravenous therapies such as high dose of Vitamin C, Hydrogen peroxide and Alpha Lipoic acid or Poly MVA. Chemosestivity helps to choose the best effective drug in a specific cancer. With such measures the dose of chemotherapy can be decreased by up to 30%. This improves tolerance by the patient and minimizes the side effects. The frequency of treatment may be increased. Supplementary therapies help enhance the immune system of patient. Therefore patient has power to fight his disease by natural defence of his body.
Insulin Potentiation Therapy
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA):
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is found in red meat, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, and yeast. It is also made in small amounts in the human body. Alpha Lipoic Acid has been found to have a number of positive impacts in relation to cancer:
• It protects a complex called NF kappa B which is involved in controlling cell division and is often damaged in cancer cells due to free radicals. Free radicals induced damage to NF kappa B activates the Oncogenes which may disrupt the cell cycle resulting in uncontrollable growth.
• Early studies of cells grown in the laboratory have suggested that Lipoic Acid may cause cancer cells to commit suicide, a process known as Apoptosis.
• ALA can regenerate antioxidants, such as glutathione, vitamin C and vitamin E.
• ALA in conjunction with N-Acetyl Cysteine has been found to repair functional defects in the immune systems of cancer. Several studies since the mid-1980s have shown it to increase Natural Killer (NK) cell activity and exhibit anti-tumor activity.
• Lipoic Acid plays an important role in metabolism or the way that cells process chemicals in the body. Recent research has shown it is helpful in treating nerve damage in diabetics. These properties help fight some of the side effects of Chemotherapy. It is available as pills, capsules and injections. Most studies have used doses of 300 to 600 milligrams (mg) daily.
Occasionally patient may complain of upset stomachs or skin rashes. High doses of Lipoic Acid supplements may lower blood sugar levels.
Poly MVA OR Palladium Lipoic Acid Complex (LAPd):
It is a non toxic substance with unique property of being water and fat soluble. Such dual solubility makes its penetration in to the cells easy. It also crosses blood brain barrier with ease. Therefore the most remarkable results of PolyMVA were documented in Brain tumours.
Poly MVA denatures cancer cell proteins due to unique respiratory features of cancer cells such as low Oxygen demand and free electron release at mitochondrial level. It also releases Cytochrome C and forms an Apoptotic Complex which activates a cascade of enzymes resulting in malignant cell death. It is a powerful Antioxidant and provides additional energy to cells via mitochondrial electron transfer. For these reasons it is widely used as a health supplement in normal people.
Professor Rudy Falk was the first one use Poly MVA in cancer patients in 1991. Therapy was combined with chemotherapy and radiation. The best responses were seen in solid tumours. In 2004 Dr Forsythe from Reno Nevada presented a clinical study of 212 patients and reported 77 % response in stage 4 cancer patients who were treated by Intravenous PolyMVA.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
It is a naturally occurring substance abundantly found in cellular matrix. It has clinical and cosmetic applications in various field of medicine including Dermatology, Orthopaedics and Ophthalmology.
Every normal cell has some Hyaluronic Acid receptors on its surface. Cancer cells have thousands of such receptors which allow free transport of HA across the cell membrane. Logically speaking, any drug which is bound to Hyaluronic Acid will be delivered in high concentration to the cancer cells. Therefore it is used to target the cancer cells selectively by combining it with low dose of Chemotherapy
Anti Angiogenic Drugs:
Angiogenesis is a natural dynamic process of new blood vessel formation and growth. The process is triggered by hypoxia or low O2, inflammation and stress at certain site. It is regulated at the cellular level through a balance between Proteins, Growth Factors (Vascular Endothelium derived Growth Factor-VEGF) and Antiangiogenic Factors. In healthy adults angiogenesis is limited to reproduction and wound healing. Angiogenesis also occur in Rheumatoid arthritis, Diabetic and cancer.
The blood vessels formed in healthy individuals are orderly, mature, uniform and stable.
Cancer cells need quick Angiogenesis to meet their demands for rapid growth. Blood vessels formed in cancer are disorganized, immature, with irregular lumen and leaky walls. Such differences in the blood supply help target chemotherapies specifically to the cancer cell.
One such natural substance is Liquid Cartilage Extract (LCE) which is frozen marine animal extract. It inhibits signals to the endothelium, inhibiting its proliferation and Matrix formation.
There are other natural substances which have similar properties such as garlic, Ginseng, Green Tea, Turmeric, Milk Thistle and soy. Avastin has also shows similar actions.
High Dose Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the time old Antioxidant which has shown Anti-tumoral activity in higher doses. The effect is potentiated by combining it with Hyaluronic acid. Magnesium and Vitamin B6 are added to inhibit oxalate stones formation. Doses, as high as 100grams, given intravenously can be tolerated with out any side effects.
Vitamin C is known to induce haemolysis in G6PD deficient patient. Therefore G6PD status of patient is checked prior to using very high intravenous.
Hydrogen peroxide, Hyperbaric Oxygen and Ozone therapy are used to give Oxygen burst to cancer cells.
• Dendritic Cell Vaccine:
Cancer possibly is the result of a failing immune system. The Dendritic cells play crucial role in this failure. Dendritic cells pass the tumor cells information to the natural killer cells so the immune system can destroy the tumor. In cancer patients these cells are in and around the tumor and in an immature form which make them less likely to migrate to lymph nodes to pass the information.
Based on this information a comprehensive cancer vaccine could be prepared either from cancer tissue or from urine of the patient. The vaccine is comprised of:
• Tumor-specific antigen injections
• Cytokine injections to stimulate Dendritic cells maturation.
• Heat shock protein/tumor specific antigen injections that act as “antigen chaperones” to the Dendritic cells.
Clinical responses were reported in greater than 40% in breast cancer patients of all stages, 63% in melanoma, and a 67% response in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients. Other cancers including colorectal, lung mesothelioma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and thyroid have also shown significant clinical responses to the immunotherapy.
This is a biomodular homeopathic German medication for the treatment of cancer. It activates the immune system on one hand and also influences directly the differentiation of the tumor cell. It has a zytostatic effect due to its ingredients such as liver and placenta.
This is first line homeopathic choice for thymus therapy. Thymus factors help bone derived lymphocytes to develop in to mature, immunologically competent cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
Clinical studies have shown that Ney thymun increases the functional power of T lymphocytes, stimulates natural killer cells, produces an increase in autogemc interferons, and inhibits the growth of melanoma cells.
Natural Killer Cells Stimulants:
These include AHCC, MGN III, 1P6, NK Immune etc.
Mistletoe contains a cytotoxic lectin, viscumin which is both cytotoxic and immunostimulatory. It induces tumor necrosis, increases natural killer cell activity, increases production of interleukins 1 and 6; activates macrophages; induces programmed cell death (apoptosis), and protects DNA in normal cells during chemotherapy.
A German study done by Dr. Ronald Grossarth-Maticek of the Institute for Preventive Medicine in Heidelberg shows that, when used as adjunctive treatment in patients with a variety of cancers, it can increase survival time by as much as 40%. Research indicates that mistletoe extract is most effective when used in conjunction with conventional medical care for the treatment of solid tumors such as breast cancer.
Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy:
Cancer cell is coated with a protein lining that prevents the body’s normal defenses from getting to the cancer cell. If we can dissolve the protein lining from around the cancer cell, the body’s normal defenses, the leukocytes or the white blood cells will be able to destroy the cancer cell.
One such enzyme is Wobenzym which was designed in 1960 in Germany. It contains plant-based enzymes Bromelain and Papain. It has natural anti-inflammatory, anti thrombolytictic, anti arrhythmic agent. The enzyme help dissolve the protein coat around cancer cells making it frail and unstable. It also supports a healthy immune system. A siter product of Wobenzyme called Wobe Mugos has been approved for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma.
Detoxification, Life Style and Diet Changes
Removal of toxins (Heavy metals, Xenoestrogens, Pesticides) from the body is considered as a very important part of the treatment. A variety of approaches are used
Which includes colon cleansing, fasting, chelation, water therapy, heat therapy and nutritional, herbal, and homeopathic methods. This helps liver to release stored toxins into the digestive system to be eliminated. Increasing the water intake is another excellent way to get rid of toxins in the body.
It is also very important to implement good nutrition, exercise, and maintain emotional balance. Avoid preservatives, chemicals, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, red meats, and sugar. The diet should be based on organic whole grains, beans, juicing most raw vegetables, and some low sugar containing fruits.
Body Mind and Energy Therapies
These therapies are to support behavioral patterns during recovery. Many patients with chronic illness satisfied with that level of function. This may be the cause of patient’s poor response to biological treatment. It can block the immune response. Meditation and Reiki are healing techniques that help balance physical, mental and emotional energy flows. Reflexology stimulates healing using pressure points on feet and hands.