Low-dose Chemotherapy is being studied/used in the treatment of cancer to avoid the devastating side effects of conventional chemotherapy. Historically, oncologists have used the highest possible dose that the body can tolerate in order to kill as many cancer cells as possible. cite web | author= | title=Jefferson Study Shows Low Concentrations of Chemotherapy Drugs Reduce Tumor Size and Have Antiangiogenic Effects | url=http://www.kimmelcancercenter.org/kcc/clinical/kccnews/LowDose.htm | date=April 18, 2003 | publisher=Kimmel Cancer Center, Jefferson Cancer Network | accessdate=2006-10-22 - study on mice in which human choriocarcinoma had been implanted] After high-dose treatments the body reacts, sometimes quite severely. Unfortunately normal cells, vital organs and the
immune systemoften cannot tolerate the chemo's poisonous assaultOr|date=September 2007. Infections from external causes become a leading threat of death.
Some have suggested that the chemotherapy "cure is worse than the cancer"Fact|date=February 2007 because of the hair loss and constant vomiting that are so common in chemo patients. Some in the patient community state that death by chemotherapy is actually common. They claim the incidence of death by chemotherapy is invisible to most researchers because of the way that deaths are reported to the authorities.Fact|date=February 2007
Some major pharmaceutical companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get FDA approval for drugs to restore cancer patients' immune system. [cite news | author=Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program | title=Amgen Receives European Commission Approval For Both Aranesp and Neulasta in Oncology -- These Unique, Long-Acting Molecules Represent Major Advances in Improving The Management of Anaemia and of Chemotherapy-Induced Infections | url=http://ctep.cancer.gov/resources/gcig/news1.html | publisher=National Cancer Institute | accessdate=2006-10-22]
Forms of low-dose chemotherapy
The following forms of low-dose chemotherapy have been proposed. They are not always widely available treatments at hospitals.
Oral low-dose chemotherapy
Patients are given chemotherapy drugs orally very frequently. This approach can be very effective for some cancer and can minimize side effects for some people. More patients are using oral chemo than ever before. [cite news | author= | title=Oral Chemotherapy Will Play a Larger Role in Cancer Treatment | url=http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=29230 | date=17 Aug 2005 | publisher=Medical News Today | accessdate=2006-10-22] [cite journal | author=Smith I , Johnston S, O'Brien M , Hickish T, de Boer R, Norton A, Cirkel D, Barton C | title=Low-Dose Oral Fluorouracil With Eniluracil as First-Line Chemotherapy Against Advanced Breast Cancer: A Phase II Study | journal=Journal of Clinical Oncology | volume=18 | issue=12 | pages=2378–84 | year=2000 | month=Jun | url=http://www.jco.org/cgi/content/full/18/12/2378 | pmid=10856097]
Low-dose chemotherapy and antiangiogenesis
Adam Dicker, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, supports that chemotherapy is often used in the highest possible doses. They are rethinking chemotherapy because of the antiangiogenic effects of lowdose chemotherapy given on a more frequent basis than conventional chemo. They have shown excellent antiangiogenic results in the laboratory.
Insulin potentiation therapy low-dose chemotherapy
Although yet to be proven, Insulin potentiation therapy (IPT) proponents suggest that insulin modifies cancer cells receptivity to being penetrated by the chemotherapy. Cancer cells secrete their own insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) which work together to consume your body's nutrients to grow cancer. Cancer cell membranes have about sixteen times more insulin and IGF receptors than normal cells and these receptors react with synthetic insulin. When insulin is administered, the cancer starves for glucose and generates enzyme activity that makes the cell membrane more permeable. The chemotherapy drug gets absorbed by the cancer. By using the very same mechanisms that cancer cells use to grow and kill people, IPT channels the chemotherapy drug directly inside the cancer cells leaving normal cells alone. [ [http://www.elkabest.org The Elka Best Foundation] ] [cite web | author=Cancer Advisory Panel for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAPCAM) | title=Minutes of the Third Meeting | url=http://nccam.nih.gov/about/advisory/capcam/minutes/2000sept.htm | date=September 18, 2000 | publisher=National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine | accessdate=2006-10-22]
Insulin therapyis not the same as IPT Low-dose Chemotherapy. Insulinon its own modulates the transportation of nutrients and more throughout the body. There have been several attempts to use insulin in a variety functions that have proven ill advised.
There are many other researchers looking for low-dose chemotherapy treatments. [cite web | title=Low Dose Chemotherapy | url=http://www.cancerprotocol.com/low_dose_chemotherapy.html | publisher=CancerProtocol.com | accessdate=2006-10-22] [cite journal | author = Lu W, Li Y, He X, Chen Y | title = Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with cirrhosis: evaluation of two kinds of dosages of anticancer drugs and analysis of prognostic factors | journal = Hepatogastroenterology | volume = 50 | issue = 54 | pages = 2079–83 | year = | pmid = 14696468] [cite journal | author=Strum S | title=Important Principles in Chemotherapy: Regimens Treating And Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer (AIPC) | journal=PCRI Insights | year=1999 | month=Dec | volume=2 | issue=4 | url=http://www.prostate-cancer.org/education/sidefx/Strum_PrinciplesInChemotherapy.html | format=Reprint | accessdate=2006-10-22]
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