Sodium dichloroacetate may provide a permanent solution for those with advanced colon cancer

Sodium dichloroacetate may provide a permanent solution for those with advanced colon cancer

Since 2007, people have been researching the possibility of utilizing dichloroacetate sodium (DCA) as a metabolic therapy for multiple cancers. According to the RECIST standards, a response is determined by measuring the decrease or disappearance of cancerous cells on imaging. DCA is known to impede cell growth in a laboratory setting, as well as inside the body, and does not encourage programmed cell death. In this report, the use of an oral medication with DCA managed to partially stabilize a 57-year-old woman’s stage 4 colon cancer with few side effects after four years. This is an uncommon utilization of DCA as a cell growth blocking drug, because stage 4 colon cancer tends to spread steadily and eventually cause disability and death.

This case report involved a 57-year-old woman whose stage 4 colon cancer was effectively managed with the use of oral DCA without the occurrence of any major side effects for more than 4 years. Although the response of DCA to cancer treatment is usually measured using RECIST criteria which involves measuring how much a tumor has shrunk or disappeared, in this particular case, DCA was shown to induce programmed cell death, also known as cytostasis.

In 2007, evidence was found in a rat in vitro and in vivo study that sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) could be used to treat lung, breast, and brain cancers by inhibiting mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase. Subsequently, DCA has been studied as a potential metabolic treatment for various types of cancer. Researchers have published studies demonstrating the safe ingestion of DCA for congenital lactic acidosis, and its lack of harm to the heart, lungs, kidneys, or bone marrow; peripheral neuropathy being the most common and severe side effect. When discontinued, delirium disappears. Some noted minimal liver enzyme elevation with no symptoms. The success of DCA in treating congenital lactic acidosis might have encouraged its usage for cancer, and several publications regarding cancer clinical research with DCA indicate a rising effectiveness. A number of studies note the short-term outcomes of DCA to late-stage patients.

Bonnet et al. (2007) observed that DCA can result in the death of cancer cells. This behavior is thought to be related to the Warburg effect and potassium ion channels located in the mitochondria. Evidence from various studies point to DCA being effective in targeting colorectal, prostate, ovarian, neuroblastoma, bronchial carcinoid, cervical, endometrial, cholangiocarcinoma, sarcoma and T-cell lymphoma cancers. It is assumed that DCA may also have anti-tumor effects. The alteration of HIF1-, V-ATPase, MCT1 and other genes like PUMA, GLUT1, Bcl2 and p53, may significantly influence cell health. Furthermore, laboratory studies often involve doses of DCA which cannot be adopted as a therapeutic remedy. According to Sun et al., low doses of DCA hinder cell expansion while consenting to extended apoptosis when taken concurrently with other medicines.  In their breast cancer in vivo research, they observed that DCA inhibited cell proliferation while failing to increase apoptosis.

Dactylcysteinol (DCA) showed promise in decreasing the spread of cancer in the lungs of rats with breast cancer. This implies that DCA may have the potential to act as a cancer stabilizing medication, just like products used to inhibit blood vessel growth. Nevertheless, no research in humans bolsters taking DCA as part of a long-term treatment plan.

Khan has been using DCA (an abbreviation for chenodeoxycholic acid) to treat cancer patients who haven’t responded to more traditional methods of treatment since 2007. A naturopathic physician came up with a natural therapy scheme in order to prevent dose-limiting neurotoxicity (Andrews). Oral DCA for neuroprotection was composed of acetyl L-carnitine, R-alpha lipoic acid, and benfotiamine. It has been reported that DCA has been beneficial for over 300 people with advanced cancer. Using natural neuroprotective drugs in combination with 20-25 mg/kg for two weeks, with a subsequent one-week break, has reduced neurotoxicity by 20%. Only 2% of patients showed elevated liver enzymes, however the symptoms were curable.

The patient in question had been given dental chloroacetic acid (DCA) treatment and the results had been seen to persist with cytostatic effects over a significant period of time. As the patient was suffering from stage 4 colorectal cancer and there was only a short median survival at 9-12 months through use of aggressive conventional palliative chemotherapy, their prognosis was bleak. Khan and Andrews decided to treat the patient with a range of natural neuroprotective drugs.

In March, a 57-year-old woman with a severe case of colon cancer was brought to the writer’s office. The patient had complained of recent constipation and back ache earlier in the year, leading to the diagnosis of rectal cancer. Due to the rectal tumor, a colonoscopy could not be done, which ended up being unsuccessful. Results of the pathology indicated it was a distinctive kind of colon cancer. Using CT scan, it was found that the patient had 3 centimeter metastases in their liver, small metastases in the lungs, and a ring-shaped rectal cancer, classifying the situation as stage 4 disease since the cancer margins were indistinguishable from the adjacent tissues on the CT scan.

The patient needed to have a loop ileostomy to relieve the blockage, but they did not take out the rectal tumor. Once they underwent the surgery, the patient started their FOLFIRI + bevacizumab treatment which led to a dip in their CEA marker from 260.9 ng/mL to 3.5 ng/mL within a short period of time, which indicated an early positive response to chemotherapy. Nevertheless, the success of chemotherapy eventually plateaued and at the point when the patient reached the author’s clinic, the chemotherapy had only enabled them to reach a stable status.

The patient was healthy prior to smoking twenty years ago. She consumed alcohol occasionally. Colon and stomach cancer were rife. Hydromorphone-ER Hydromorphone 32 mg twice daily 2-4 mg oral dose was administered for “breakthrough” discomfort, with chemotherapy, hydrogen peroxide enemas, oral vitamin C, and intermittent oral vitamin D thrown in. No one had allergies. Minor mouth ulcers due to chemotherapy, slight diarrhea (anticipated with ileostomy) and moderate intermittent rectal hemorrhage were observed. Discomfort at the upper right shoulder was reported at a level of 3 and lower back and sacrum pain was reported at 6 out of 10. This discomfort was believed to be related to liver metastases.

Since the chemotherapy was still proving effective and the patient was not having severe adverse reactions, it was decided to increase the drugs already being taken. A qualified natural healer was employed to construct a new course of treatment (Andrews). Ten thousand units of vitamin D was taken orally, fifty grams of vitamin C was administered intravenously, and forty-nine milligrams per kilogram of sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) was injected (made by Tokyo Chemical Industry in the U.S.).

R-alpha lipoic acid should be taken in a dosage of 150 milligrams three times per day, along with 500 milligrams of acetyl L-carnitine. Additionally, a dosage of 80 milligrams of benfotiamine should be consumed twice a day, and alpha lipoic acid (racemic) should be taken at 500 milligrams with each DCA dosage for minimizing potential side effects. Infusions of lipoic acid are best done at least two days apart from chemotherapy treatments in order to prevent any chances of drug interaction. Licorice extract, because of its antioxidant attributes, should not be taken on the same day as chemotherapy, or a day before or after the treatment.

In March 2012, we employed a comprehensive strategy and the dosage of DCA taken intravenously reached an amount of 4000 mg (66 mg/kg) per week with no negative outcomes observed. Even at a substantial amount, of how DCA works that induced minimal sleepiness.

The dosage of Metformin ranged from 500 mg to 1500 mg daily to boost the effects of chemotherapy on cancer cells. For the reduction of pain in the lower back caused by sacral neuropathy, Pregabalin was administered in a dose of 50 mg up to three times a day. As a result of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, the patient needed to avoid taking Metformin in order to prevent dehydration toxicity.

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Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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