Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) for cancer

Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) for cancer

Insulin Potentiation Therapy, or IPT, uses the fact that cancer cells have many more insulin receptor sites than healthy cells, allowing low doses of insulin to potentiate the effects of very low doses of chemotherapy by aiding their transport into cancer cells; Sloan Kettering state that it has been used for many years with chemotherapy and other medications.

Insulin, Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 and cancer

Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) acknowledges the fact that cancer cells have approximately14 times more insulin receptor sites than healthy cells and so uses insulin to 'potentiate' very low doses of standard chemotherapy drugs into cancer cells. IPT is claimed to be a far less invasive than standard chemotherapy treatment. Because a cocktail of 5 or 6 chemotherapy drugs is normally used in IPT, practitioners believe it is more effective than standard chemotherapy.  As you would expect, the therapy is highly criticised in orthodox medical circles but there are clinics in America, Germany and South East Asia who advocate IPT and there is even a Regulatory Body. At CANCERactive we have had a good number of patients who have used IPT as part of a successful anti-cancer programme.

The insulin receptor sites are particularly high in numbers on cancer cells because a cancer cell's energy production system is so inefficient that more glucose is need to keep it growing. And yet more is needed because cancer cells want to grow fast. The many insulin receptors simply hoover-up passing glucose. However, Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 or IGF-1 is also important in proliferation, adhesion and migration of cancer cells, and certain IGF receptors are found over-expressed in many cancers. 

The use of insulin opens up the 'doors' on cancer cells so compounds can more easily cross the membrane.

But all cells have some insulin and IGF receptor sites, even healthy ones. So a parrallel aim is to reduce the metabolism of healthy cells so their uptake of the chemo is further reduced and this exposes the cancer cells to a higher percentage of the chemo drugs. This is achieved through prior fasting. We know from the work of Valter Longo and others that fasting for 24 hours causes the production of hormones called sirtuins and these 'shut down' healthy cells. Situins have no effect on cancer cells which keep feeding.

Go to: Fasting, calorie control and cancer

Not surprisingly then, expert oncologists using the treatment, first put the patient on a 24 hour fast; then they administer the insulin through injection, followed a while later by up to 6 different types of chemotherapy drugs at approximately a tenth of normal dose size. When this procedure is followed we have heard of excellent resonses from patient feedback.

Below, we also explain a variation of IPT called DPT.

Low dose chemo means less side-effects 

Insulin Potentiation Therapy was first developed in the 1930s in Mexico by Dr. Donato Perez Garcia, who followed the logic that since insulin was known to increase the uptake of sugar into cells, maybe it could help 'potentiate' other compounds to do this. Garcia treated a number of illnesses in this way. He then started using it with cancer patients.

"Follow the money" is an old adage - it is especially true in the Health and cancer Industry. In Cancer Watch we have presented research showing that you need 25% less Tamoxifen if you simultaneously take a 'total' vitamin E. More studies said the same was true of melatonin. Is either going to find support in this Pharma-dominated industry? Not surprisingly, the idea that a tenth to a fiftieth of their drug doing the same job as the full dose is bad for profits and so skeptic shills are dragged out of the woodwork to criticise IPT.

One criticism is that 'there is no evidence for claims that the chemo works better because of the action of insulin', that somehow insulin makes the drug work better. But no decent IPT Clinicc would make such a claim. There's no evidence to support this and that's not how IPT works anyway.

Next, a number of quack clinics just flood the patient with sugar from a drip and that 'opens up the insulin receptors'. Yes, it would - but on ALL cells, cancer or healtthy, and that's not the idea. A fast of at least 24 hours is essential to release sirtuins and shut the healthy cells down. This means less side-effects to healthy cells and more drug volume available for the cancer cells.

Then you come to the drugs - many breast cancer patients are given a cocktail of 5 or so bog-standard chemotherapies, like Carboplatin, Cyclophosphamide, Epirubicin, 5FU, Docetaxel. They might be given a steroid like Dexamethasone (one side-effect is it raises your blood sugar!), or anti-virals and anti-fungal drugs. The question is, "even at full dose are these drugs going to kill off the cancer or just reduce it by 70%?' So, beware the overclaim. And is the drug mix going to work for you? Some women with ovarian are treated like guinea pigs by normal oncologists. A drug tried and failed is followed by another drug which fails. Does administering 5 or 6 together give more chance of success? Actually Yes according to Professor Ben Williams who beat his brain tumour with his own cocktail of drugs on top of the orthodox. He felt the combination gave a cancer less chance of modifying its response which is what happens with one drug.

No one of the CANCERactive patients who has had IPT has reported any of the side-effects normally associated with standard chemotherapy. We have seen patients for whom IPT has worked remarkably well. However we have seen cases where it has not worked so well. We have also seen cases where it worked wonderfully when the patient was on the treatment, and the cancer came back with a vengeance when they stopped.

The Cost of IPT

And that is an issue. IPT is expensive. A trip to a clinic can be $5,000 a week and patients may only be able to afford a few sessions of IPT. I am told by the experts like Dr. Thomas Lodi, who sits on the IPT Regulatory Board in the USA, that a course usually runs to about 6 sessions. And private oncology clinics may well use other treatments alongside, like immunotherapy.

You also need to look at the drugs administered. One Australian patient reported that 1 of his drugs came from Switzerland, but the other 4 were generic copies from India.

And there's another concern from CANCERactive, as you would expect! If you had standard drugs, we'd be building a programme around them to rebuild your health - oxygen therapy, exercise, juicing, addressing a fatty liver, gut rebuild, diet, supplements, inflammation control. For too many people who head off to a clinic for IPT, all this stops. And we believe it's the package that matters, not a single treatment.

The cancer survivor who developed IPT as a cancer therapy

Richard Linchitz, MD, is the founder of the Linchitz Medical Wellness Center ( in Glen Cove, NY.

In 1998, Dr. Linchitz was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, despite never having smoked. With a bleak prognosis, he had surgery but developed his own therapy plan. A survivor, 5 years later he was back in his practice, but this time using his own plan to treat others. In the clinic he uses IPT, and adds supplements and lifestyle changes, just as he did for himself.

Linchitz is president of the Integrative Medicine Consortium in America.

“The key to effective treatment is to not only kill cancer but also make the person healthier. Cancer cells, which contain six to 17 times more insulin receptors than healthy cells, survive by eluding mechanisms to knock them off. IPT selectively targets cancer cells, which need glucose to thrive.”

IPT beats cellular resistance to drugs

According to Linchitz, slow-growing cancerous tumors are less sensitive to chemo than fast growing ones. In fact, when cancer tumours are under chemotherapy attack most just shut down, often even waiting for the chemo to damage adjacent healthy cells, which then make proteins which cancer uses to grow and protect itself. The research to support this we have covered on Cancer Watch several times.

He believe that if a high glucose, high insulin mix is administered, it can cause a gear change in the slow growing cancer and send it into a growth phase making it more vulnerable to chemotherapy attack. An added benefit is that a lower than normal dose of drugs is highly potent (hence ’potentiation’); the IPT has opened up the cancer cells to be more receptive to chemo attack. Clearly an added benefit is lowered levels of side-effects. As we said above, you need to be very careful on the use of sugar.

Steven G. Ayre, M.D., in 'Treating Cancer with Insulin Potentiation Therapy' adds, "Not only is IPT more effective than normal chemotherapy, it can be administered more frequently".

Typically IPT drug doses are 'fractionated' - just fractions of the standard dose at about 10 per cent of normal levels. For example,

Cisplatin.                      150 mg reduced to 15 mg
5-Fluorouracil               1,500 mg reduced to 200 mg
Methotrexate                60 mg reduced to 10 mg
Cyclophosphamide      1,500 mg reduced to 200 mg

IPT can also help chemo get across the blood brain barrier. Brain cancer cells adore glucose, and brain tumour patients with high blood glucose levels survive least.

Is there any research on IPT?

A study done on breast cancer patients who had stopped responding to chemo in 2003, showed no response in the group continuing on chemo, or the group taking insulin. But a third group taking insulin and low dose chemo showed a significant anti-cancer response.

So what is DPT?

Dimethyl Sulfoxide or DMSO is a free-radical scavenger, and antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory agent and has also been shown to be protective when having radiotherapy. It has been found to delay the spread of cancer, and even prolong survival rates. And it has been found to be capable of potentiating chemotherapy treatments and helping them get into cancer cells and avoid chemo-resistance.

Some clinics combine IPT with DMSO. It seems to bind to the chemotherapy drugs and works synergystically with the insulin to get the maximum amount of drugs into the cancer cell.

Clinics for IPT

There are IPT clinics in America, Germany and the Far East. All are private and you have to pay. In Arizona there's an Oasis of Healing and in Bangkok there's Akesis, with Dr. Thomas Lodi. Hufeland, St George and PraxisKlinik are three in German offering IPT. Paracelsus in Switzerland is another. Readers must make absolutely sure on the cost and whether their particular cancer has seen successful treatments at that particular clinic. All these clInics have specialities and it is important to find out how experienced they are with IPT, and DPT.


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