Insulin Potentiated Low Dose Chemotherapy, also know as Insulin Potentiated Therapy (IPT), is not only one of the progressive ways to treat cancer, but perhaps one of the most unknown as well. Though I am no medical student, when IPT was first explained to me, it sounded extremely logical, and struck me as a much more effective and targeted way of killing cancer cells. My mum only felt slightly nauseous during her first IPT session though she didn’t throw up. But after they adjusted the anti-nausea IV dosage, she didn’t feel any nausea at all or any other side effects throughout her 8 IPT sessions in 5 weeks. And amazingly, her cancer markers dropped steadily every week!
All cells, including cancer cells, need glucose in order to produce the energy necessary for survival. Cancer cells have developed a very effective strategy (glycolysis or fermentation), to ensure they survive; they grow many extra insulin receptors – 10-19x more than regular cells – on their surfaces in order to attract and utilize more of the circulating glucose than the other non-cancerous cells in the body.
Because cancer cells have more insulin receptors to uptake sugar, it is also how cancer cells are detected in a pet scan. A patient is injected with radioactive glucose that is preferentially taken up by cancer cells, which is why it shows a light up in the scan where there is cancer in the body. More insulin receptors on cancer cells is also why cancer patients with aggressive cancers lose weight rapidly – all the glucose is feeding the cancer cells rather than normal cells, leading to cachexia, which leads to death if untreated.
“By administering small amounts of insulin prior to the person eating that day, we are able to select the cancer cells from amongst all the other cells in the body because they are able to bind the insulin much more quickly, resulting in what is known as the “therapeutic window” (cancer cells are permeable while the other, normal cells are still hard and impermeable). There are a multitude of effects upon cells when insulin binds to them and one of these effects is that the cells become more permeable (creating openings) by stimulating an enzyme known as delta-9 desaturase. Once the cancer cells have been targeted by the insulin to open their doors, we then administer small amounts of the appropriate chemotherapeutic drugs, from 5% to 10% of the standard dose. Much of what we administer becomes absorbed into the cancer cells rather quickly and not into the normal cells because they are still relatively hard or impermeable. IPT, therefore, is able to take advantage of the powerful cytotoxic effects of standard chemotherapy without having to use high doses.” — Dr Thomas Lodi
What happens at the cellular level when IPT is administered?
If you MUST understand the detailed science of how IPT works like me, this is the BEST explanation from Sensagent.
“Cell membranes are largely made up of triglycerides, which are built of fatty acids... Insulin activates many enzymes, and one of the enzymes is called delta-9 desaturase, and the action of this enzyme is to de-saturate – to make a saturated fat into an unsaturated fat. Delta-9 desaturase – once it has been activated by insulin – de-saturates the fatty acids that make up the cell membrane of cancer cells.
This fatty acid – saturated stearic acid – has a melting point of 65 °C. Stearic acid, once it has been de-saturated by insulin, becomes mono-unsaturated oleic acid, which has a melting point of 5 °C. At physiologic temperatures (the temperature of the body, about 37.5 °C), tristearin – triglyceride with three stearic acids attached that composes the cancer cell membrane – is going to be more “waxy” than “oily” because of its higher melting point. This makes for a less permeable cell membrane. On the other hand, once the insulin has activated the enzyme delta-9 desaturase, the cell membrane of cancer cells is composed of triolein – the triglyceride with three oleic acids attached – with a melting point of 5 °C. This cell membrane will be more permeable at physiologic temperatures. The chemotherapy drugs are, thus, able to enter the cancer cells more easily because of the increased cell membrane permeability, providing the required intracellular dose intensity to kill the cancer.”
What happens during treatment?
My mum fasts for 6-8 hours before IPT. This is to ensure all the insulin that will be injected goes mostly to the cancer cells than having to deal with any glucose in the blood stream.
Then the nurses inject insulin and wait for 20-40 minutes, while checking blood sugar every 5 minutes to prevent hypoglycemia. During the wait, the cancer cells are saturated with insulin because they have 10-19x more insulin receptors than regular cells. The cancer cells become more permeable (than regular cancer cells before insulin / regular healthy cells) as explained above. Then 5-10% of chemotherapy drugs are administered and becomes preferentially taken up by the cancer cells rather than regular cells.
This targeted way of treating cancer is why my mum didn’t feel any side effects throughout her 8 IPT sessions in 5 weeks except for mild nausea on her first session and yet, her cancer markers dropped steadily every week! She didn’t suffer the hair loss, nausea, diarrhea, breakouts that the mainstream oncologists warned us about if she went through a full 100% dose conventional chemotherapy.
And then after IPT, my mum can have her favourite sweet fruits like durian and papayas to bring her blood sugar back up. Most of the patients look forward to IPT day because it is the only day they are allowed to have sweet fruits and food!
I am not against conventional chemotherapy and believe that it has been a tool to help many cancer patients go into remission. If not for the medical research, into chemotherapy danger, there would also not be drugs like 5FU or Oxaliplatin that can be used to target certain kind of cancer cells more effectively. But I also wonder how much of the disruptive side effects can be prevented if IPT was more commonly known. Dr Lodi told me an analogy that is very apt – IPT is like having a poisonous fly attack the burglar in your house, so your burglar gets hit but your house is intact. Wouldn’t you prefer that than throwing a grenade into your house, and see what is left over after it blows up?
The other complementary treatments my mum is undergoing for her cancer recovery (I will slowly write about each one as mum recovers!):
- Raw Diet, Vegan Diet and Juice Fast
- Electro Lymphatic Therapy (ELT)
- Colon Hydrotherapy (Colonics)
- Nefful Negative Ion Clothings from Japan
- Saline Flush, Coffee Enema, Wheatgrass Implant, Probiotic Implant
- Vitamin C High Dose IV
- Vitamin B17
- Ozone Therapy
- Insulin Potentiated Therapy (IPT)
- Exercise with Oxygen Therapy (EWOT)
- Breathing and Pilates Classes