(12/03/12) - Adding vitamins and cutting back on chemo may be the key to killing some cancers. Vitamin injections, coupled with low dose chemotherapy are considered an alternative cancer treatment. Some patients swear by and others call it a waste of time.
Chemo to kill it, radiation to burn it, or surgery to cut it out? Greg Babcock tried the standard therapies, but when his testicular cancer came back, the busy ad exec didn't want harsh treatments to slow him down.
"I knew there had to be an alternative," Greg says.
He found one. Every week, high-dose vitamins are pumped into his arm to boost his immune system.
"When the immune system is compromised, that continues to sort of feed the cancer," says Pete Ewens, of Natural Horizons Wellness Center.
The vitamins are combined with IPT, or Insulin Potentiation Therapy. Patients fast, then receive the insulin.
Ewens says the idea is to starve the cancer cells. "Now, it's going to eat anything that comes down the pipeline."
IPT is followed up with a dose amounting to about 10 percent of standard chemo. The very low dose has less harsh side effects. In fact, patients at Natural Horizons say they have more energy than before treatment.
But oncologist Dr. David Riseberg says vitamin infusions and IPT are unproven treatments. "This is kind of on the edge, and there is really no good data to support its use. I think you got to stick with where the science is."
One small study did find 10 breast cancer patients who received IPT had smaller increases in tumor size than those on chemo. But the American Cancer Society issued this statement, "no scientific studies that show safety and effectiveness have been published in available peer-reviewed journals. These claims cannot be verified."
Greg says it worked for him. "After 12 weeks, I'm 100 percent cancer free."
The vitamin cocktails and IPT infusions are personalized for each patient depending on their needs. The treatments are expensive, running hundreds of dollars per week.
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