Cancer is increasing worldwide at a rapid pace. We still lose our loved ones to cancer despite all the advances in diagnostics and therapies. Cancer cells rapidly mutate and develop resistance. To reduce tumor burden and stabilize cancer, we need multiple modalities simultaneously to target sensitive cells, resistant cells as well as the cancer stem cells.
Successful cancer treatment often requires looking at the “whole” individual, starting from genetics and conception to environmental factors and lifestyle habits and then strengthening self-regulation and integration within the whole body, soul and spirit.
Our goal at SeeBeyond Medicine is to do all we can to support our patients with Integrative Oncology. While chemotherapy can be lifesaving, recent data shows high doses of chemotherapy can promote cancer cell resistance by inducing glycolytic phenotype and increasing cancer stem cells. Chemotherapy also comes with very unpleasant side effects.
Nutrition plays an important role in cancer and is rarely spoken about. Recent studies have looked at cancer metabolic status related to insulin and its potential impact on disease progression and overall survival. Anecdotal evidence points to limiting carbohydrate consumption and fasting practices can help patients tolerate chemotherapy better. Ketogenic diet and therapeutic fasting are commonly part of our treatment plan and must be done under close monitoring of a physician for it to work successfully and safely.
At our practice, metabolic and digestive indicators, gut microbiome, and food intolerances are tested to adjust and optimize macro and micronutrient intake for our cancer patients. Malnutrition in cancer patients can range from 15-80% depending on the types of cancer and staging. Studies have shown better prognosis in patients with good nutrition. Losing weight generally has negative prognostic implications.
Some other testing we offer is Genetic Cancer Screening and Molecular testing to give us more information about you but the newer targeted therapy that offers hope is high dose Vitamin C IV therapy and Mistletoe injections. The truth of the matter is that we still don’t have a good handle on how to cure cancer completely but there are holistic options to optimize your body.
We have used high dose IV Vitamin Therapy as a chemotherapeutic and biologic response modifying agent for cancer patients for over 12 years. We check your G6PD enzyme to make sure there will not be any hemolysis of red blood cells prior to infusion. Initially, we use a basic dose of vitamin C twice a week. We have often seen patients come back with improved well being and reduced pain at this basic dose. Once a patient tolerates the basic dose and wishes to increase the dosing of vitamin C, we increase slowly twice a week. At a high level, vitamin C starts to increase extracellular collagen production, “walling off” the tumor and improves immune function. Vitamin C is also preferentially toxic to the tumor cells because of a relative catalase deficiency. In order for the vitamin C to have a cytotoxic effect to kill tumor cells, serum concentration of 400mg/dL must be reached. We have frequently seen decreased tumor mass or complete resolution of cancer after a couple of cycles of high dose vitamin C IV treatments
Mistletoe is a white berry perhaps more known for Christmas traditions with mystical powers that bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. Mistletoe therapy is an integral part of integrative oncology in German speaking countries. Antitumor effects include indirect immune-mediated tumor inhibition, increase apoptosis, decrease angiogenesis and DNA stabilization. Mistletoe helps patients tolerate chemotherapy better and fight infections better by stimulating the bone marrow and increasing macrophage, lymphocytes and natural killer cells. It has neuroendocrine effects, regulating sleep-wake cycle, resulting in increased energy, mood and well-being sensation and decreased pain. Slight increase in body temperature within 12 hours of injection is a desired effect. Active Hyperthermia stimulates an antitumoral immune response.
Generally, subcutaneous mistletoe therapy is an adjective therapy to other modalities and it alone does not lead to tumor regression. It can lead to retardation or stagnation of tumor progression. However, if mistletoe therapy should lead to tumor regression, it usually takes a long period of 6-12 months. We strongly recommend combination of oncologic treatment to be done in combination.
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