I did a little research because I wanted to understand how a Pet Scan worked. This is what I came up with. (Stay with me even if you don't exactly understand. As always, by the end I should be able to help the idea become a little bit clearer – and the things you don't need to know anyway will fall away.) What is a Pet Scan - how does it detect disease?
When you do a Pet scan, they use a radioactive medicine called 18 floral deoxyglucose which FLUORESCES when absorbed by a cancer cell. Then the radiologist can see it. THAT IS SIMPLE ENOUGH! What can the doctor see once cancer absorbs the medicine? The doctor can say whether or not the cancer is very active or not very active just by the fact of this radioactive material being selectively absorbed by cancer. How cool is that? Pet Scans are SUPER useful!
Now separately follow this:
Insulin Potentiation Therapy or IPT is a protocol which I think is worth mentioning. (‘The Kinder, Gentler Chemo’ by Dr. Linschitz and ‘Balance Your Health: Combining Conventional and Natural Medicine’ by Dr. Richard Sollazzo.)
This is the way this works - or let me say it like this: this is how I put this together in my untrained, laymen-type brain. IPT utilizes chemotherapy along with glucose and insulin to GET INTO and damage the cancer cells more selectively and effectively. AWESOME! How? Cancer cells have 1000 to 10,000 more insulin receptor sites than normal cells, and using the Pet Scan THEORY above to understand what cancer cells actually absorb (I mean it absorbs that 18 floral stuff, right?), then you can understand that with so many receptor sites (1000-10,000 each) a small amount of insulin will attach to a cancer cell.
Ok, but first you need to be careful with the insulin, right? Insulin should be administered by an experienced nurse in a safe and controlled environment (several glucose levels are taken). Once insulin is taken, it attaches to the cancer cells’ insulin receptor sites. 1000-10,000 of them, remember? Then the chemotherapy and other chosen substances are given, followed by glucose.
So? What does this mean? This technique double-bates the cancer cells to selectively take in the chemotherapy and whatever other agents used! Carol, say this in English, please? In other words: cancer cells have more insulin receptors than normal cells; therefore insulin should open the MANY doors into the cancer cell for the chemotherapy. Once chemo is given it is followed by a glucose “chaser” since cancer avidly consumes sugar (glucose). This pushes the medicines into the cells. The medicines are selectively "sandwiched" by insulin and glucose into the cancer cells.
Why does this seem to work? This selectively increases the delivery of medicines into the cancer cells, therefore increasing efficacy and decreasing side effects. Lower doses of chemo are typically utilized but at an increased frequency.
Why do lower doses seem to work? It is felt that since the cancer cells are better targeted with IPT, lower doses can be as effective if not more so than the conventional chemotherapy infusion delivery methods. Because of this, fewer side effects are seen with IPT. YAY!! There is an on-going clinical study regarding IPT and quality of life. SUPER! I love studies!!
What does conventional chemotherapy say about this? Conventional chemotherapy has utilized one aspect of IPT, that is low intensity (low dose of chemotherapy) and increasing density (increasing the frequency of administering chemotherapy). Which medicines seem to have been effective? Rituximab has been proven very effective in treating several types of cancers. Says who? On pg. 571 of the ‘American Society of Hematology Self-assessment Program, Fourth Edition,’ it is recommended to administer rituximab in a divided three-times-a-week schedule. This is recommended in order to reduce possible life-threatening side effects of this frequently utilized and potentially effective medication.
So why isn't everybody using this? Some conventional physicians ridicule IPT maybe without giving it a chance or maybe without fully understanding it. They call it dangerous because blood sugar is lowered with insulin. But....aren't there are millions of patients who use insulin on a daily basis for diabetes? Yes - and in this protocol, it is administered via a well established, safe protocol by trained and experienced nurses. The chemotherapeutic agents used to treat cancer have more potentially dangerous side effects than the IPT!
Any other objections? Yes - that the typical doses given in IPT are “so small they couldn’t be effective.” What say you to that objection? Typically 10 percent of the standard dose (sometimes higher doses are given) is given two times per week for the first and sometimes the second month of treatment. Simple math is that at the end of the month, 80 percent of the standard dose is given. Therefore, this should also not be an issue.
Who can use IPT? IPT shouldn’t be used for all cancers. So speak to your doctor. Why? There are cancers that can be treated by conventional therapies with a high success rate and a low side-effect profile. IPT should be considered when there isn’t an effective traditional chemotherapeutic protocol available or when the patient is end-stage and wants to extend survival time without being debilitated from aggressive, traditional chemotherapy.
Well, this changes my mind somewhat about conventional medicine. Like I said, I like Complimentary Medicine - and this fits my definition!