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Evolving Treatment Plan February 25, 2016

Posted by Dreamhealer in best vancouver naturopath, Chemotherapy, Healing, Supplements.
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Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc (Hons)

It is not unusual for patients to develop a treatment plan with their medical doctor or naturopathic physician and then remain on the same plan for many years. Of course there are times where the developed plan is optimal and in these cases there is no need to modify the plan. However, as the unique health circumstances of a patient evolve over time, so must the treatment plan. A plan that was optimal 5 years ago, may no longer be relevant or indicated now. This is why it is important to regularly follow up with your naturopathic physician to make sure that the developed plan is still the best treatment plan for you.

A great example of this is in the context of integrative cancer care. If a different chemotherapy is used, then clearly a follow up is indicated to make sure that there are no contraindications and that the plan is still safe and effective. If there is an upcoming surgery, whether it is related to cancer or not, there are simple changes that can be done to help you heal faster from that procedure. There are also times where a plan must be modified based on the particular symptoms that a patient is having. For example, prior to radiation there are naturopathic therapies which can be used to reduce side effects and enhance the effectiveness of the radiation. I would highly recommend these supports prior to initiating therapy but if specific side effects of radiation start to surface then we can add additional supports to address these concerns.

It seems obvious to point out that treatment plans must be modified to address your current health circumstances. But this is something that patients tend to forget in the chaos of life and appointments to various health care practitioners. Naturopathic doctors will take the time to go through your entire health history and modify the treatment plan accordingly.

Although your treatment plan should be dynamic, you also must use each therapy long enough to have any reasonable chance of having a therapeutic benefit. A common problem with many patients who self-prescribe supplements is that they constantly change the plan based on advice from friends or by looking at popular trends on the internet. This presents several obvious concerns which ultimately results in a more expensive and less effective plan. If you are taking many different supplements then there is no way of knowing what is actually working. By consuming large numbers of supplements this starts to interfere with the absorption of clinically useful quantities and the interactions between these supplements can hinder effectiveness of the plan.

The bottom line is that if you are taking a very long list of supplements then chances are that you do not have an optimal treatment plan. If this is the case then I would suggest that you seek a naturopathic doctor who can help you to eliminate supplements, not add to the list. At my practice I spend a significant portion of my time helping patients to simplify their treatment regimen and make it more targeted for their specific health concerns.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

Diabetes Drugs for Cancer? October 13, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in Diabetes, Naturopathic Medicine, oncology.
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2 comments

Diabetes drugs
Written by: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc (Hons)

Can drugs traditionally used for diabetes also be helpful with cancer? There is a growing body of evidence which indicates that both Metformin and a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones can be a useful adjunctive cancer therapy. The biochemical mechanism behind this anticancer effect is poorly defined but there are some intriguing theories about the mechanism of action.

Metformin is the first line drug for patients with Type 2 diabetes and it is certainly effective at getting the blood sugar under control. Diabetic patients who regularly take metformin have a lower risk of developing cancer1. Metformin activates an enzyme known as AMPK. A recent breakthrough has found a key regulator of AMPK to be a protein known as LKB1. LKB1 is a well recognized tumour suppressor. Activation of AMPK by metformin and exercise requires LKB1, and this would also explain why exercise is beneficial in the primary and secondary prevention of certain cancers2.

Recent studies strongly indicate that the anticancer effects of metformin are indeed linked to AMPK3. Metformin appears to selectively target cancer stem cells, and acts together with chemotherapy to block tumour growth and prolong remission4. When used with doxorubicin it acts synergistically to reduce tumour mass and relapse rates more effectively than either drug alone.

There is a completely different class of medications that is also used for diabetes which appears to have anticancer effects. The drug class is known as thiazolidinediones. One of the most well known drugs in this class is called Avandia. Even though both of these drugs are effective at treating diabetes they work by a completely different mechanisms. The thiazolidinediones activate a receptor called PPAR and by activating this receptor it triggers a cascade of reactions that are beneficial to patients fighting cancer6,7,8. The drug increases the activity of a key tumour suppressor called PTEN5. This tumour suppressor is a protein that halts the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting an enzyme known as PI3K. There are many types of cancer that are dependent on inhibiting the function of the tumour suppressor PTEN. The bottom line is that this drug helps to put the brakes on the growth of cancerous cells by activating PTEN.

As more research accumulates supporting the fact that these antidiabetic drugs can be used to treat cancer, one thing is becoming clear. The anticancer effect from these drugs is due to their influence on several different metabolic pathways. The great thing about these medications is that they have a long history of use and they are well established as safe adjunctive cancer therapies. Like any medication it has to be used in the right context and this therapy is not for everyone. A Naturopathic doctor who focuses in oncology will go through your entire case history to determine if this treatment is indicated. Contact your local naturopathic doctor to see if this therapy is right for you.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author.
He currently practices at his clinic, Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic, in Vancouver, BC where he focuses on integrative oncology.

References:
1) Evans, Josie MM, et al. “Metformin and reduced risk of cancer in diabetic patients.” Bmj 330.7503 (2005): 1304-1305.

2) Bauman AE.Updating the evidence that physical exercise is good for health: an epidemiologic review.J Sci Med Sport2004; 7:6–19.

3) Zakikhani, Mahvash, et al. “Metformin is an AMP kinase–dependent growth inhibitor for breast cancer cells.” Cancer research 66.21 (2006): 10269-10273.

4) Hirsch, Heather A., et al. “Metformin selectively targets cancer stem cells, and acts together with chemotherapy to block tumor growth and prolong remission.” Cancer research 69.19 (2009): 7507-7511.

5) Farrow, Buckminster, and B. Mark Evers. “Activation of PPARγ increases PTEN expression in pancreatic cancer cells.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 301.1 (2003): 50-53.

6) Bunt, Stephanie K., et al. “Rosiglitazone and Gemcitabine in combination reduces immune suppression and modulates T cell populations in pancreatic cancer.” Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy 62.2 (2013): 225-236.

7) Monami, Matteo, Ilaria Dicembrini, and Edoardo Mannucci. “Thiazolidinediones and cancer: results of a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.” Acta diabetologica 51.1 (2014): 91-101.

8) Srivastava, Nishi, et al. “Inhibition of Cancer Cell Proliferation by PPARγ Is Mediated by a Metabolic Switch that Increases Reactive Oxygen Species Levels.” Cell metabolism (2014).

Diabetes Drugs for Cancer? September 24, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in Cancer, cancer therapy, Diabetes, Naturopathic Doctor, naturpathic medicine.
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Diabetes drugs
Written by: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc (Hons)

Can drugs traditionally used for diabetes also be helpful with cancer? There is a growing body of evidence which indicates that both Metformin and a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones can be a useful adjunctive cancer therapy. The biochemical mechanism behind this anticancer effect is poorly defined but there are some intriguing theories about the mechanism of action.

Metformin is the first line drug for patients with Type 2 diabetes and it is certainly effective at getting the blood sugar under control. Diabetic patients who regularly take metformin have a lower risk of developing cancer1. Metformin activates an enzyme known as AMPK. A recent breakthrough has found a key regulator of AMPK to be a protein known as LKB1. LKB1 is a well recognized tumour suppressor. Activation of AMPK by metformin and exercise requires LKB1, and this would also explain why exercise is beneficial in the primary and secondary prevention of certain cancers2.

Recent studies strongly indicate that the anticancer effects of metformin are indeed linked to AMPK3. Metformin appears to selectively target cancer stem cells, and acts together with chemotherapy to block tumour growth and prolong remission4. When used with doxorubicin it acts synergistically to reduce tumour mass and relapse rates more effectively than either drug alone.

There is a completely different class of medications that is also used for diabetes which appears to have anticancer effects. The drug class is known as thiazolidinediones. One of the most well known drugs in this class is called Avandia. Even though both of these drugs are effective at treating diabetes they work by a completely different mechanisms. The thiazolidinediones activate a receptor called PPAR and by activating this receptor it triggers a cascade of reactions that are beneficial to patients fighting cancer6,7,8. The drug increases the activity of a key tumour suppressor called PTEN5. This tumour suppressor is a protein that halts the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting an enzyme known as PI3K. There are many types of cancer that are dependent on inhibiting the function of the tumour suppressor PTEN. The bottom line is that this drug helps to put the brakes on the growth of cancerous cells by activating PTEN.

As more research accumulates supporting the fact that these antidiabetic drugs can be used to treat cancer, one thing is becoming clear. The anticancer effect from these drugs is due to their influence on several different metabolic pathways. The great thing about these medications is that they have a long history of use and they are well established as safe adjunctive cancer therapies. Like any medication it has to be used in the right context and this therapy is not for everyone. A Naturopathic doctor who focuses in oncology will go through your entire case history to determine if this treatment is indicated. Contact your local naturopathic doctor to see if this therapy is right for you.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author.
He currently practices at his clinic, Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic, in Vancouver, BC where he focuses on integrative oncology.

References:
1) Evans, Josie MM, et al. “Metformin and reduced risk of cancer in diabetic patients.” Bmj 330.7503 (2005): 1304-1305.

2) Bauman AE.Updating the evidence that physical exercise is good for health: an epidemiologic review.J Sci Med Sport2004; 7:6–19.

3) Zakikhani, Mahvash, et al. “Metformin is an AMP kinase–dependent growth inhibitor for breast cancer cells.” Cancer research 66.21 (2006): 10269-10273.

4) Hirsch, Heather A., et al. “Metformin selectively targets cancer stem cells, and acts together with chemotherapy to block tumor growth and prolong remission.” Cancer research 69.19 (2009): 7507-7511.

5) Farrow, Buckminster, and B. Mark Evers. “Activation of PPARγ increases PTEN expression in pancreatic cancer cells.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 301.1 (2003): 50-53.

6) Bunt, Stephanie K., et al. “Rosiglitazone and Gemcitabine in combination reduces immune suppression and modulates T cell populations in pancreatic cancer.” Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy 62.2 (2013): 225-236.

7) Monami, Matteo, Ilaria Dicembrini, and Edoardo Mannucci. “Thiazolidinediones and cancer: results of a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.” Acta diabetologica 51.1 (2014): 91-101.

8) Srivastava, Nishi, et al. “Inhibition of Cancer Cell Proliferation by PPARγ Is Mediated by a Metabolic Switch that Increases Reactive Oxygen Species Levels.” Cell metabolism (2014).

Ginger Tea for Cancer September 21, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in Chemotherapy, Naturopathic Medicine, oncology.
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3 comments

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Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc

Often when looking for natural therapies patients turn to complicated exotic treatments. By doing this it is easy to forget about some of the more basic treatments that are also effective. A more complicated treatment plan is not necessarily more effective. A simple yet relatively unknown cancer treatment is ginger. There are a number of uses for ginger in an integrative cancer setting.

Ginger has some well documented anti-cancer effects and it has been shown to reduce side effects from chemotherapy. When a patient is treated with chemotherapy the goal is to get as much of the drug as possible into the cancer cells. Every cancer cell is very metabolically abnormal and it is appropriate to describe cancer cells as being sick cells. Due to this altered metabolism the cancer cells often have more transporter molecules on their surface to remove toxins from within the cell. This presents a problem when these cells are treated with chemotherapy because these cancer cells can eliminate the drug before it has the opportunity to work. These transporter proteins are essential to the survival of multi-drug resistant cancer cells.

Ginger inhibits the function of a key transporter protein known as P-gylcoprotein1,2,5. As a result when this is combined with certain chemotherapies it will result in a greater accumulation of chemotherapy inside cancer cells. This has been consistently observed in the scientific literature especially with the chemotherapy doxorubicin (also known as Adriamycin)5. The net effect is that it makes the chemotherapy more effective while reducing side effects1. There are many other natural therapies that have similar effects on cancer cells including quercetin and bitter melon6. Not only does ginger inhibit these critical transporter molecules, it also reduces inflammation7. Systemic inflammation is a major concern with cancer patients and it is often helpful to control this inflammation during these aggressive conventional therapies. Ginger suppresses the formation of inflammatory molecules in the body. It also seems to suppress the activity of genes that are directly involved in producing these inflammatory molecules.

A common side effect from chemotherapy is nausea and ginger tea is one of the most effective natural anti-nausea remedies. Ginger inhibits nausea due to its action as a potent 5-HT3 antagonist, which means that it inhibits the activity of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that also is strongly linked to nausea and vomiting. A strong ginger tea can often make a profound difference in patients that have stopped responding to conventional medications3,4. The ginger does not have to be taken in replacement of conventional anti-nausea medications. In fact, it works best if taken with conventional medications because then you have multiple pathways being inhibited rather than just one.

I have personally witnessed on many different occasions where patients have dramatic improvements from chemotherapy induced nausea when they use ginger tea. It is easy to make the ginger tea. Just go to your local grocery store and buy some fresh ginger root. Cut the ginger into small pieces until you have a handful of ginger slices, then place the ginger into a pot of boiling water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on to keep all the volatile oils contained within the tea. Filter the pieces of ginger out of the tea using a strainer and allow the tea to cool until it is a pleasant warm tea. Slowly sip at the tea and give it about 30 minutes to work. Some people find the tea more tolerable if honey is added after the ginger pieces have been filtered out.

You must have professional guidance when developing a cancer treatment plan. A Naturopathic Doctor can help you to develop a safe and effective treatment plan. Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hons) Molecular biology, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology.http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

References:

1) Pereira, M. M., et al. “Zingiber officinale Roscoe (ginger) as an adjuvant in cancer treatment: a review.” Journal of BU ON.: official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology 16.3 (2010): 414-424.

2) Nabekura, Tomohiro, Shizu Kamiyama, and Shuji Kitagawa. “Effects of dietary chemopreventive phytochemicals on P-glycoprotein function.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 327.3 (2005): 866-870.

3) Pillai, Anu Kochanujan, et al. “Anti‐emetic effect of ginger powder versus placebo as an add‐on therapy in children and young adults receiving high emetogenic chemotherapy.” Pediatric blood & cancer 56.2 (2011): 234-238.

4) Ryan, Julie L., et al. “Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces acute chemotherapy-induced nausea: a URCC CCOP study of 576 patients.” Supportive care in cancer 20.7 (2012): 1479-1489.

5) Angelini, A., et al. “Modulation of multidrug resistance P-glycoprotein activity by antiemetic compounds in human doxorubicin-resistant sarcoma cells (MES-SA/Dx-5): implications on cancer therapy.” Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 27.4 (2012): 1029-1037.

6) Kwatra, Deep, et al. “Bitter melon extracts enhance the activity of chemotherapeutic agents through the modulation of multiple drug resistance.” Journal of pharmaceutical sciences 102.12 (2013): 4444-4454.

7) Grzanna, Reinhard, Lars Lindmark, and Carmelita G. Frondoza. “Ginger-an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions.” Journal of medicinal food 8.2 (2005): 125-132.

Hyperthermia: An Emerging Adjunctive Cancer Therapy August 11, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in Healing.
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2 comments

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Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc

Hyperthermia is an emerging therapy that has great potential as an adjunctive cancer therapy. In Germany, hyperthermia, also known as “oncothermia” has been used for decades in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation. These advanced medical devices significantly heat up the tumour and this causes profound metabolic changes within cancer cells that make them more vulnerable to conventional therapies1,2,3.

It is important to point out that hyperthermia is very different from an infrared sauna or the application of a heat pack. A loco-regional hyperthermia device is a state-of-the-art medical device that significantly heats the tissues surrounding a tumour1. You will not heat any tumour effectively without these advanced devices, especially if it is a deeper tumour. Recent research emphasizes the importance of a loco-regional hyperthermia device that possesses at least two active electrodes along with enough power to target deep areas in the body. Currently there are only a few clinics in North America that have these devices.

So how does hyperthermia work? The application of heat will cause major metabolic changes in cancerous cells including protein denaturation and aggregation which triggers cell arrest and inactivation of protein synthesis6. The heat also causes alterations in cellular membrane permeability and results in decreased levels of ATP7,8. The proteins within the nucleus of cancerous cells appear to be particularly vulnerable to the effects of hyperthermia2. In other words, the heat adds substantial stress to the cancerous cells and these metabolic changes that occur make them vulnerable to chemotherapy and radiation3,4,5.

hyperthermia cancer treatment

The goal of any conventional cancer therapy is to damage the abnormal cells as effectively as possible. It is clear that the application of heat adds a substantial amount of stress to these abnormal cells. The combination of the stress from the heat and chemotherapy or radiation is overwhelming for cancer cells. There is a potent synergy with these therapies and hyperthermia should be seriously considered for any patient undergoing chemotherapy or radiation for a solid tumour.

Hyperthermia during Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is one of the fundamental tools used in a conventional cancer setting. It involves the use of drugs that are often toxic to both cancer cells and healthy cells. The objective when doing chemotherapy is to damage the abnormal cells without causing harm to healthy cells. Cancer cells within a tumour are inherently poor at distributing heat because the cells are so tightly packed together. Normal cells based on their spatial arrangement are more efficient at dispersing heat. Several studies indicate that cancer cells are more susceptible to heat injury than normal cells2,14. Hyperthermia is a adjunctive therapy that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy and the metabolic reasons for this effect are obvious. Hyperthermia is cytotoxic to cancer cells within a tumour and this works synergistically with the cytotoxic properties of chemotherapy. Here are some of the effects that the application of heat has on cancer cells while a patient is doing chemotherapy.

Increased Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)

Reactive oxygen species are highly reactive molecules which damage DNA and other essential components within cancerous cells. Many chemotherapy drugs work by generating reactive oxygen species which damage these rapidly growing cells. Elevated temperatures increase the rates of biochemical reactions and the net effect is that cell metabolism is increased. This is relevant to patients undergoing chemotherapy because the increased cell metabolism will cause a significant elevation in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress9,10,11. The application of heat causes increased generation of ROS such as hydrogen peroxide and superoxide. Not only does heat increase the generation of ROS, it also makes these molecules more reactive12. The net effect is a significant increase in the formation and activity of ROS within cancerous cells.

Many of the most commonly used chemotherapies operate by generating oxidative stress within cancer cells. This is why patients are told by their oncologists to avoid high doses of antioxidants. If the mechanism of action of a drug is to create oxidative stress then it is logical that you should avoid mega doses of antioxidants which could neutralize this effect. What is so exciting about localized hyperthermia is that it will heat up the tumour and this will only result in increased oxidative stress in the immediate environment of the tumour. When hyperthermia is combined with chemotherapy it generates much more free radicals in the tumour9, thus making the chemotherapy more effective.

Physiological changes with Hyperthermia

One of the biggest challenges with chemotherapy is effectively delivering the drug to the tumour. Tumours have a terrible blood supply because the cells are so densely packed together. Often when chemotherapy is infused into a patient very small amounts of that drug actually get to the tumour13. When any tissue in the human body is heated it results in the dilation of blood vessels. Thus by applying heat to the tumour you are increasing blood flow into that tumour which allows more effective delivery of the drug to the tumour. This is critically important for patients treating solid tumours with chemotherapy. It is essential to actually deliver the drug to the tumour and hyperthermia enhances enhances that delivery.

Chemotherapy often weakens the immune system which is a problem because a functioning immune system is necessary to fight cancer. Chemotherapy or radiation will not be effective if the immune system is not capable of cleaning up the metabolic mess. The application of heat appears to stimulate various elements of the immune system15,16. It is well-documented that the heat will increase the migration of immune cells to the target site and increase the activity of immune cells in the area.

Laboratory and in vivo studies have shown that the combined use of hyperthermia and chemotherapy leads to increased cytotoxic effects of several anti-cancer drugs such as cisplatin, anthracyclines, cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, nitrosoureas, belomycin, mitomycin and melphalan26,27,28,29,30. For some of these drugs the interactions between heat and drug are extremely synergistic31. These results clearly demonstrate that the effects chemotherapy are enhanced by hyperthermia.

Reversal of chemotherapy resistance

The biggest fear with chemotherapy is that the cancer becomes resistant to the drug. This severely limits the patients options and results in an aggressive, resistant cancer. There is a great deal of genetic diversity within a tumour. As a consequence, with every round of chemotherapy you are killing cells which are sensitive to that drug leaving behind cells that are resistant. As more resistant cells survive eventually the cancer no longer responds to that drug and the therapy must then be changed.

The most exciting effect of hyperthermia in the context of chemotherapy is that it has the ability to reverse resistance to certain chemotherapy drugs17,18,19,20. There are several obvious metabolic reasons why hyperthermia could have this effect on cancer cells. There is evidence to suggest that multi-drug resistant (MDR) cells are particularly vulnerable to the effects of hyperthermia21. This is incredibly important in the fight against cancer because by definition these cells are resistant to chemotherapy. These cells that become resistant to drugs often do not display cross-resistance to heat and as a consequence they are still vulnerable to hyperthermia32.

It is not unusual to have patients stop responding to a drug after several rounds. Only when the chemotherapy is combined with hyperthermia does the cancer start responding again to the same drug. In other words, the application of heat triggered a reversal of chemotherapy resistance and it allowed these patients to continue therapy when there were few options available.

Summary of Hyperthermia and Chemotherapy

In summary the evidence supporting the application of loco-regional hyperthermia as an adjunct to chemotherapy is strong and the reasons are obvious. By heating the tumour it enhances the delivery of the drug to the cancerous cells by increasing blood flow into the tumour. The heat also results in increased immune presence and activity in the vicinity of the tumour. Most importantly, hyperthermia damages the drug resistant cells and in some cases it reverses the chemotherapy resistance so commonly seen after repeated rounds of chemotherapy. In general, the most effective heat-drug sequence is drug treatment immediately before heat delivery. In other words, you should start the hyperthermia as soon as possible after receiving the chemotherapy infusion.

Hyperthermia during Radiation therapy

One of the most promising aspects of hyperthermia in cancer treatment is the ability to eliminate radiation-resistant tumour cells3. Hyperthermia is recognized as one of the most effective radio-sensitizers known. The basis for this effect is that hyperthermia has the ability to kill cells that are under conditions of hypoxia (low oxygen), low pH and that are in the S-phase of cell division. These are all conditions that allow cells to become resistant to radiation. This is why hyperthermia can be effective at increasing the effectiveness of radiation. It has the ability to kill those cells which would otherwise be resistant to the radiation.

It has been suggested that part of the mechanism for this radio-sensitizing effect is that hyperthermia interferes with the repair of radiation-induced DNA damage. Several studies have indeed observed that hyperthermia increased the amount of radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations22,23. A major part of this radio-sensitizing effect appears to be due to the inhibition of base excision repair of DNA damage24,25. The purpose of radiation is to damage the DNA of cancerous cells. The application of heat makes it challenging for these cancer cells to repair from this damage.

At least 19 randomized studies using a combination of hyperthermia with radiotherapy, chemotherapy or both, have shown significant improvements in clinical outcomes of oncology patients, without a significant increase in side effects33. The combination of hyperthermia with radiation resulted in higher complete response rates, accompanied by improved local tumour control rates and better overall survival rates in many Phase II clinical trials34,35,36,37,38,39. These results consistently demonstrate a synergy between hyperthermia and radiation.

Summary of Hyperthermia

When looking at the evidence there is a clear and consistent trend. Localized hyperthermia has significant potential as an adjunctive cancer therapy. The application of heat using these advanced medical devices increases the effectiveness or chemotherapy and radiation. Hyperthermia reduces the risk of the cancer developing resistance to chemotherapy or radiation. At the end of the day the goal is to use every tool at our disposal to increase the effectiveness of conventional therapies and destroy the cancerous cells. Hyperthermia is a potent adjunctive therapy that can help to accomplish that goal.

Medical centres around the world are using this technology to enhance the positive benefits of chemotherapy and radiation. Currently there are only a few clinics in North America that offer hyperthermia as an adjunctive cancer therapy. Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic in Vancouver, BC is one such clinic that offers this service.

References:

1) Noh, Jae Myoung, et al. “In vivo verification of regional hyperthermia in the liver.” Radiation oncology journal 32.4 (2014): 256-261.

2) Sugahara, Tsutomu, et al. “Kadota fund international forum 2004. Application of thermal stress for the improvement of health, 15–18 June 2004, Awaji Yumebutai international conference center, Awaji island, Hyogo, Japan. Final report.”International journal of hyperthermia: the official journal of European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology, North American Hyperthermia Group 24.2 (2008): 123.

3) Bettaieb, Ahmed, Paulina K. Wrzal, and Diana A. Averill-Bates. “Hyperthermia: Cancer treatment and beyond.” Cancer treatment—conventional and innovative approaches (2013).

4) van der Zee, Jill. “Heating the patient: a promising approach?.” Annals of oncology 13.8 (2002): 1173-1184.

5) Van der Zee, J. “Hyperthermia in addition to radiotherapy.” Clinical Oncology 19.3 (2007): S18.

6) Lepock, James R. “How do cells respond to their thermal environment?.” International journal of hyperthermia 21.8 (2005): 681-687.

7) Richter, Klaus, Martin Haslbeck, and Johannes Buchner. “The heat shock response: life on the verge of death.”Molecular cell 40.2 (2010): 253-266.

8) Sonna, Larry A., et al. “Invited review: effects of heat and cold stress on mammalian gene expression.” Journal of Applied Physiology 92.4 (2002): 1725-1742.

9) Moriyama-Gonda, N., et al. “Heat–Induced Cellular Damage and Tolerance in Combination with Adriamycin for the PC–3 Prostate Cancer Cell Line: Relationships with Cytotoxicity, Reactive Oxygen Species and Heat Shock Protein 70 Expression.” European urology 38.2 (2000): 235-240.

10) Katschinski, Dörthe M., et al. “Role of tumor necrosis factor α in hyperthermia-induced apoptosis of human leukemia cells.” Cancer research 59.14 (1999): 3404-3410.

11) Bettaieb, Ahmed, and Diana A. Averill-Bates. “Thermotolerance induced at a fever temperature of 40 C protects cells against hyperthermia-induced apoptosis mediated by death receptor signalling.” Biochemistry and Cell Biology 86.6 (2008): 521-538.

12) Lord-Fontaine, Stephanie, and Diana A. Averill. “Enhancement of cytotoxicity of hydrogen peroxide by hyperthermia in chinese hamster ovary cells: role of antioxidant defenses.” Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 363.2 (1999): 283-295.

13) Drummond, Daryl C., et al. “Optimizing liposomes for delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to solid tumors.”Pharmacological reviews 51.4 (1999): 691-744.

14) Babbs, C. F., and D. P. DeWitt. “Physical principles of local heat therapy for cancer.” Medical instrumentation 15.6 (1980): 367-373.

15) Bogovič, J., et al. “Posttreatment histology and microcirculation status of osteogenic sarcoma after a neoadjuvant chemo-and radiotherapy in combination with local electromagnetic hyperthermia.” Oncology Research and Treatment 24.1 (2001): 55-58.

16) Calderwood, Stuart K., Salamatu S. Mambula, and PHILLIP J. GRAY. “Extracellular heat shock proteins in cell signaling and immunity.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1113.1 (2007): 28-39.

17) Towle, L. R. “Hyperthermia and drug resistance.” Hyperthermia and oncology 4 (1994): 91-113.

18) Herman, Terence S., et al. “Reversal of resistance to methotrexate by hyperthermia in Chinese hamster ovary cells.”Cancer research 41.10 (1981): 3840-3843.

19) Raaphorst, G. P., et al. “A comparison of hyperthermia cisplatin sensitization in human ovarian carcinoma and glioma cell lines sensitive and resistant to cisplatin treatment.” Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology 37.6 (1996): 574-580.

20) Wallner, Kent E., Michael Banda, and Gloria C. Li. “Hyperthermic enhancement of cell killing by mitomycin C in mitomycin C-resistant Chinese hamster ovary cells.” Cancer research 47.5 (1987): 1308-1312.

21) Uckun, Fatih M., et al. “Radiation and heat sensitivity of human T-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) clones displaying multiple drug resistance (MDR).” International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics 23.1 (1992): 115-125.

22) Dewey, W. C., and L. E. Hopwood. “„Sapareto, SA, and Gerweck, LE, 1977,” Cellular responses to combinations of hyperthermia and radiation,”.” Radiology 123: 463-474.

23) Dewey, William C., Stephen A. Sapareto, and David A. Betten. “Hyperthermic radiosensitization of synchronous Chinese hamster cells: relationship between lethality and chromosomal aberrations.” Radiation research 76.1 (1978): 48-59.

24) Dikomey, HH Kampinga, E. “Hyperthermic radiosensitization: mode of action and clinical relevance.” International journal of radiation biology 77.4 (2001): 399-408.

25) H. KAMPINGA, AWT KONINGS, AJ EVERS, JF BRUNSTING, N. MISFUD, and RL ANDERSON, H. “Resistance to heat radiosensitization and protein damage in thermotolerant and thermoresistant cells.” International journal of radiation biology 71.3 (1997): 315-326.

26) Hildebrandt, Bert, et al. “The cellular and molecular basis of hyperthermia.” Critical reviews in oncology/hematology43.1 (2002): 33-56.

27) Bates, Diana A., and William J. Mackillop. “Hyperthermia, adriamycin transport, and cytotoxicity in drug-sensitive and-resistant Chinese hamster ovary cells.” Cancer research 46.11 (1986): 5477-5481.

28) Issels, Rolf D. “Hyperthermia adds to chemotherapy.” European Journal of Cancer 44.17 (2008): 2546-2554.

29) Engelhardt, R. “Rationale for clinical application of hyperthermia and drugs.” Strahlentherapie und Onkologie: Organ der Deutschen Röntgengesellschaft…[et al] 163.7 (1987): 428.

30) Dahl, O. “Interaction of hyperthermia and chemotherapy.” Application of Hyperthermia in the Treatment of Cancer. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1988. 157-169.

31) Kampinga, Harm H. “Cell biological effects of hyperthermia alone or combined with radiation or drugs: a short introduction to newcomers in the field.” International journal of hyperthermia 22.3 (2006): 191-196.

32) Souslova, Tatiana, and Diana A. Averill-Bates. “Multidrug-resistant hela cells overexpressing MRP1 exhibit sensitivity to cell killing by hyperthermia: interactions with etoposide.” International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics 60.5 (2004): 1538-1551.

33) van der Zee, Jill, et al. “The Kadota Fund International Forum 2004-Clinical group consensus*.” International Journal of Hyperthermia 24.2 (2008): 111-122.

34) Group, International Collaborative Hyperthermia, et al. “Radiotherapy with or without hyperthermia in the treatment of superficial localized breast cancer: Results from five randomized controlled trials.” International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics 35.4 (1996): 731-744.

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Mistletoe the Parasite July 13, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in cancer therapy, Naturopathic Medicine.
Tags: , ,
2 comments

Mistletoe

Written by: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND, BSc(Hon)

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that directly derives almost all of its nutrition from other flowering plants. By parasitizing other plants, they have a competitive advantage over many other forms of life because they do not have to compete in soil for their water and nutrient needs. This description of mistletoe sounds surprisingly similar to how cancer operates. When you look at mistletoe growing on a tree it looks very much like a tumour. Cancer gets all of its nutrition from other cells within the human body and it has a competitive advantage because it does not abide by the same rules as other cells in the body.

It turns out the mistletoe can be used to effectively treat cancer, even in advanced cases1,2,3. In North America this is often considered a “fringe treatment” yet if you go to Germany this is a mainstream therapy that is well established by the scientific community. The use of mistletoe dramatically reduces the side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation. The effects are so dramatic that some countries have already made this the standard of care for cancer treatment. The use of mistletoe as the new standard of care was of huge financial benefit to these countries because of the significant decrease in complications from chemotherapy and radiation.

Although there are several different ways to administer mistletoe, the most common is regular subcutaneous injections. This involves the use of small insulin needles and injecting the mistletoe just under the skin. After injecting the mistletoe lectins the immune system immediately begins to attack the injected fluid resulting in a small red rash around the injection site. This immune activation is an excellent outcome in the context of cancer. By activating the immune system at the site of injection it consequently activates the immune system in the entire body.

Mistletoe has been shown to stimulate increases in the number and the activity of several types of white blood cells4. Immune-system-enhancing cytokines, such as interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor -alpha, are released by white blood cells after exposure to mistletoe extracts5,6. Other evidence suggests that mistletoe exerts its cytotoxic effects by interfering with protein synthesis in target cells and by inducing apoptosis7.

Just like any cancer therapy it is essential that it is used in the right context. When this therapy is used there will initially be a swelling of the tumour, this is a consequence of the immune activation. If there are any detectable masses contained within the skull, then clearly swelling is not desirable. Mistletoe therapy is contraindicated in patients that have any detectable mass in the brain. It also must be used with caution on patients that are are cachexic and malnourished. The sudden release of cytokines associated with immune activation can worsen the malnourished state.

Mistletoe therapy only costs approximately $250 dollars per month and it can be used in conjunction with other medical therapies. I regularly use mistletoe with my patients at the clinic and it is an effective cancer therapy when used appropriately. On a regular basis I see patients improve when they use this therapy as part of a comprehensive integrative cancer therapy. Contact Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic to see if this is the right therapy for you.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

References:
1. Mistletoe. In: Murray MT: The Healing Power of Herbs. Roseville, Calif: Prima Publishing, 1995, pp 253-9.

2. Samtleben R, Hajto T, Hostanska K, et al.: Mistletoe lectins as immunostimulants (chemistry, pharmacology and clinic). In: Wagner H, ed.: Immunomodulatory Agents from Plants. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhauser Verlag, 1999, pp 223-41.

3. Hajto T, Lanzrein C: Natural killer and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity activities and large granular lymphocyte frequencies in Viscum album-treated breast cancer patients. Oncology 43 (2): 93-7, 1986.

4. Büssing A, Regnery A, Schweizer K: Effects of Viscum album L. on cyclophosphamide-treated peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro: sister chromatid exchanges and activation/proliferation marker expression. Cancer Lett 94 (2): 199-205, 1995.

5. Hajto T: Immunomodulatory effects of iscador: a Viscum album preparation. Oncology 43 (Suppl 1): 51-65, 1986.

6. Hajto T, Hostanska K, Frei K, et al.: Increased secretion of tumor necrosis factors alpha, interleukin 1, and interleukin 6 by human mononuclear cells exposed to beta-galactoside-specific lectin from clinically applied mistletoe extract. Cancer Res 50 (11): 3322-6, 1990.

7. Mengs U, Schwarz T, Bulitta M, et al.: Antitumoral effects of an intravesically applied aqueous mistletoe extract on urinary bladder carcinoma MB49 in mice. Anticancer Res 20 (5B ): 3565-8, 2000 Sep- Oct.

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