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MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

Soccerfreaks...you're the first person I thought to ask about this article since your the smartest person I know! :) Opinions please?

DCA is potentially the best new approach to cancer treatment in years, especially given its low cost. The Michelakis team shrank human cancer tumors in rats by 75% in just three weeks using a chemical that is already considered safe enough to use in the treatment of serious and fatal metabolic diseases.

DCA is cheap, costing about $1 to $2 a day (at a 10mg/kg dose). DCA is easily self-administered: dissolve DCA in water and drink it. For pets, DCA therapy can cost just pennies a day.

However, DCA is not patentable. No large company will pay hundreds of millions of dollars on a compound they cannot own.. We cannot expect the government to fund research to compete with private companies. DCA will not get FDA approval without massive political pressure. The FDA drug approval system, based on patents, has created a devastating gap in our health care system. We are paying the price for this in lives, pain and suffering and money. It is our hope that the readers of this site will support the use of DCA as an accepted mainstream treatment for cancer.

IS DCA WORTH TRYING?

Talk with your doctor to see if this is an appropriate treatment for you. It is chemotherapy and although practically non-toxic compared to any standard accepted cancer treatments, we strongly encourage you to not self-medicate and to work with a physician. DCA use must be considered experimental.

Unfortunately, most doctors will not help you with DCA or any alternative care. There is severe professional pressure to comply with medical standards and simply no money in it for them.

This page, titled Chemotherapy Kickbacks and Drug Industry Manipulation gives a quick and hard look at the rebates, kickbacks and other ways that drug companies use to manipulate many doctors. You need to know that your oncologist is not necessarily working in YOUR best interest. We encourage you to find a doctor willing to help you with DCA and alternatives.

The risks of a DCA-based therapy are trivial compared to those of accepted cancer therapy. Radiation, chemotherapy and surgery all have major side effects. DCA may give the safest alternative to cutting, burning or poisoning our bodies.

Over 1500 people die every day from cancer in the United States alone. Millions die around the globe, and most of the people of the world cannot access or afford modern cancer therapy.

We were asked to pull our link to the University of Alberta DCA clinical trial donations website at the request of the legal counsel of the University of Alberta on March 22, 2007. If you want to help fund DCA research, you have to go find it yourself. This site is completely independent of the University of Alberta and has no affiliation with them at all.

Clinical Trials: In October of 2007 Health Canada gave approval for the University of Alberta to conduct clinical trials. The clinical studies are underway. The plan is to test DCA on 50 glioblastoma patients from the Edmonton area only .A description of these trials is at the ClinicalTrials.gov website. I received a great email describing clearly the trials and what may happen afterwards. Click here to read details and expectations of the clinical trials.

The fierce debate rages on over whether society should strictly follow a "proper" procedure (one that could take years) to approve DCA or allow terminal cancer patients to choose an alternative treatment, such as DCA, with the possibility of extending their lives. Will allowing terminal cancer patients to take DCA interfere with clinical trials? Should terminal cancer patients have the right to try to save their own lives?

When theDCAsite.com was started, there were no plans nor funding for DCA research and clinical trials and the general consensus was that DCA research and production would be abandoned. TheDCAsite.com was formed as an outreach to help cancer patients get information and share their stories. TheDCAsite.com supports a patient's right to live, to weigh their own options and the right to have access to their chosen treatment.

Just because a compound cannot be patented is not sufficient reason to deny us access to it. The FDA drug approval system is based on patents and profits. No drug company can be expected to pay the hundreds of millions of dollars to approve a compound that it cannot own. And we cannot expect the government to step in and pay, because it is unfair to private industry. This is a serious dilemma.

The health of the people are at odds with the interests of the cancer industry. DCA works, and it works as well or better than any approved cancer therapy. For about a dollar a day. The cancer industry will not want DCA approved.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Michelle, I appreciate the thought, but am frankly not up to it. There are a bunch of people on this site smarter than me. Nonetheless, I did do a search for DCA and discovered a few things about it that were rather disturbing.

For one, on a site dedicated to touting DCA's curative powers, none of the human studies listed had to do with cancer and a number were terminated because of the toxicity of the drug. Even in some of the 'true stories' about the drug's success, patients typically wrote of how they had to be removed from DCA on occasion when the side effects (neuropathy, for one) became too acute to handle.

In any event, Michelle, as with any alternative therapy, do not go this route without some guidance from your trusted medical team. Even on the DCA site, those who took the drug did so in combination with chemotherapy and/or radiation and the site's creators and purported researchers never suggested taking it RATHER THAN traditional therapies.

But let me hand this off to someone more in the know than me. Dr. Len Lichtenfeld was deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society at the time the excerpts from which this article were taken was published by ABC News' online site. It seems to me a rather fair assessment:

BEGINNING OF EXCERPT: [Although I didn't have access to all of the articles, one underlying theme stood out: DCA is an organic chemical that causes liver cancer in laboratory mice when put in their drinking water.

It is not nontoxic. It is a byproduct of another chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE), which has been a source of concern as a cancer-causing agent for some time.

Here is what the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has to say about TCE:

"HIGHLIGHTS: Trichloroethylene is a colorless liquid which is used as a solvent for cleaning metal parts. Drinking or breathing high levels of trichloroethylene may cause nervous system effects, liver and lung damage, abnormal heartbeat, coma, and possibly death."

So before you start going out and adding DCA to your drinking water to prevent cancer, a degree of caution would be very prudent at this point.

Another item that came up in the Google search was a 1983 article from the New England Journal of Medicine.

Here is a quote from that article:

"Despite improvement in their lactic acidemia, all patients but one died of their underlying disease. No serious drug-related toxicity occurred. We conclude that dichloroacetate is a safe and effective adjunct in the treatment of patients with lactic acidosis, although the ultimate prognosis may depend on the underlying disease."

In other words, the treatment was a success, but the patient died.

But experience is the best teacher in my opinion.

For example, even in the short time my blog has been in "production," I have written articles on other relatively nontoxic substances and their potential role in either preventing or reducing the burden of cancer.

New discoveries about vitamin C and vitamin D come to mind.

We haven't seen the hue and cry about getting these vitamins into cancer clinical trials, yet based on evidence similar to the DCA paper, there is equal reason to believe that either or both of these vitamins may have a role in cancer prevention and/or cancer treatment.

It is indeed a long, difficult road that must be traveled to demonstrate that an exciting new idea actually works in the treatment of cancer.

So, pardon me if I am a skeptic. As Jessica Rabbit said, "I am just drawn that way."

But I am also an optimist, as I have said many times in these pages. I do believe that there are exciting new developments in cancer treatment emerging from laboratories around the world. Maybe DCA is one of them.

It's just that I believe in patience, prudence and caution, because my experience has taught me that those are the best guidelines to follow in assessing reports such as the one in Cancer Cell.

It is way too soon to know whether this is a cancer treatment breakthrough or an urban legend or something in between.

I am acutely aware that there are cancer patients out there who are fighting every day for their survival, hoping that there is one last chance to get a treatment that may prolong or save their lives.

For some of you out there to inappropriately make them feel that DCA is the answer to their prayers based on this single early-stage report in a medical research journal is, in my opinion, not acceptable at best -- and despicable at worst. ] END OF EXCERPT

Now, that excerpt, Michelle, is two years old, and there ARE people using DCA when they feel there is no other option, some of them claiming success.

I am not smart enough to know the answers. I know that when you feel you are at the end of your tether, you are apt to try anything, and I can smell a scam from a mile away most of the time. This one, however, doesn't smell like a scam so much as hope, whether earned yet or not.

Personally, I would always alert my doctors before trying anything, I would hear them out. Since they are administering care, it seems reasonable that they should be in on this addition to treatment, as it might adversely affect what THEY are trying to do.

I wish I could be of more help.

Best wishes to you and your husband.

Take care,

Joe

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

I really appreciate your input on this! I knew that asking you would be a good move on my part! ha ha

We will see the onc doctor this afternoon and I will certainly ask him his opinion on this. Although reading about it is rather frightening to say the least. It just sounds very risky to me. But nonetheless I will certainly ask the doc about it.

Thanks again my friend!

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