The Promise of Metabolic Therapy

The therapies that treat cancer as a metabolic disease exhibit incredible promise.  The main stumbling block right now is that nobody knows how to make money from the molecules that treat cancer metabolically, because they are mostly non-patentable – so little attention gets paid.

What follows is two case studies of cancer patients whom tried drugs that exploit the metabolic deficiencies of cancer, after their respective standard treatment protocols had failed. Case studies of individuals treating themselves with metabolic therapies give light to the underling potential of these simple and nontoxic molecules.

The first case study reveals a man fighting for his life against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  After the state of the art chemotherapy failed, and the cancer returned aggressively months later, he decided to treat himself with a molecule called dichloroacetate or DCA – not wanting to go through the nausea and fatigue caused by the chemotherapy again. (We do not advocate any experimental treatment without first consulting your physician)


Dichloroacetate is a simple, cheap molecule

DCA appears to work by forcing the cancer cell to oxidize glucose, rather than allowing it to ferment glucose to lactic acid, the preferred pathway for cancer cells.  In doing so, DCA restores the ability of the cancer cells defective mitochondria to commit apoptosis (programed cell death).

After doing his own research, he began to mix 1000 mg of DCA into a bottle of Mt. Dew every morning – “Within 2 weeks of starting this regimen, the patient reported significant reduction in night sweats, low grade fever, anorexia and fatigue. One month after initiation of the DCA protocol, the neck nodes were noticeably smaller, and at 2 months no nodes were palpable. At 71 days into the DCA protocol, complete resolution of all systemic symptoms had occurred. The patient reported a good energy level and appetite, the ability to sleep well and no side effects.”

A of November 2012, four years after beginning DCA, he reported that he is fine and without systemic symptoms. He notes waxing and waning of small nodes in his neck which he says are pea-sized. He reports continued use of his DCA protocol but states that he decreased the frequency of DCA dosing to three times per week. He states that his energy level is excellent, and that he is working full time. Read his Case Study here.

The second case study begins in November of 1996 when a previously healthy 44 year old women developed adult-onset seizures.  A MRI revealed the presence of tumors in her brain, and she was given a diagnosis of a malignant glioma.  Malignant gliomas are the worst of the worst – with a mean survival of less than 12 months, even after standard treatment consisting of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.  The tumor responded to the radiation and chemotherapy initially, but then returned aggressively – typical of gliomas.  More chemo was administered but the tumor continued to progress.



In March of 1998 she began taking pheynalbuterate. Cancer primarily uses two compounds for energy; glucose and glutamine.  Cancer cells are restricted to glucose and glutamine because they are unable to produce energy through oxidation, the way healthy cells do.  Pheynalbuterate is able to block the cancer cell form utilizing glutamine.

After the dose was adjusted to minimize side effects, the patient was followed with serial MRI scans every two months, showing a steady decrease in the tumor size.  After nine months of phenylbutyrate, the tumor regressed completely. Furthermore, the remission has been maintained. The phenylbutyrate and Dilantin were discontinued in July 2000 because of elevation of liver function.  She continued to be in clinical remission four years after she began taking phenylbutyrate, despite its discontinuation. She is also seizure free, off anticonvulsant medication, and has a maximal Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS) of 100%.  Read this Case Study here.

There are many other metabolic therapies that have shown incredible promise, including 3-bromopyruvate, 2-deoxy-D-glucose, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  Many studies have also shown the synergistic effect of these therapies when combined with the ketogenic diet (KD) – targeting cancer cells from multiple avenues.  The ketogenic diet puts the cancer cell under metabolic and oxidative stress increasing the adjunctive therapies efficacy exponentially.  This synergistic relationship has been shown with the KD and 2-deoxy-D-glucose, the KD and hyperbaric oxygen therapies, the KD and radiation, and the KD and DON (a glutamine inhibitor similar to phenylbutyrate.)  What if 3 or 4 of these therapies were combined at once, each increasing the efficacy of the other?  The excitement generated by the results of these simple metabolic therapies is justified.

Unfortunately they fall into a funding black-hole because they are unable to generate profit.  This is the point where capitalism and the overall benefit of the populous diverge.  No one is to blame – it is just a manifestation of circumstance.  This is why we are here; we want to pick up the baton of metabolic therapy for the millions of people suffering from cancer.

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