Home About the Center Our Team Laboratory Health Conditions Success Stories Lecture PDFs Literature & Articles Lectures & Events News & Views Actions On Your Visit Directions/Travel Visitor Information Dispensary Links Contact Us Disclaimer TACT2 Trial

 

 

 

 

 

Alternative and Complementary Medicine for Prostate Cancer

Originally presented to the Syracuse Man to Man Group on April 26, 2001

by Dr. Michael B. Schachter, M.D., C.N.S., F.A.C.A.M.

        Iím very happy to be here.  Let me briefly outline what I would like to do today.  Iím going to give you a short outline of some of the differences between complementary and conventional medicine because I think some of you are a bit in the dark about that.  Then Iíll move on to discuss, in general, the nature of cancer and some problems related to evaluation and treatment using only conventional means, where we get into some difficulties and some miscommunications between patients and oncologists.  Then I will introduce the complementary approach to cancer in general and then we will go specifically to prostate cancer, discussing very briefly an outline of diagnosis, staging, and treatment in terms of conventional therapy and then what complementary and alternative therapy can offer.  

First, Iíll discuss some of the differences and similarities between conventional and complementary medicine.  First of all, conventional medicine mostly concentrates on crisis.   It focuses on treating the patient when he becomes ill or has symptoms, especially acute illnesses. Complementary medicine tries to focus on prevention, trying to see if you're well, to keep you well, or what kinds of steps you can take to prevent illness and try to obtain optimal help.  Just because you donít have any symptoms doesnít necessarily mean you are optimally well.  You may be living with certain vague symptoms-Ėfatigue, exhaustion, etc.  We try to look and see whether there are some imbalances, which wouldnít necessarily be labeled a disease, but where you might benefit from what weíll be talking about, such as nutrition and vitamins and things like that.   

The second difference is that, in general, conventional doctors want to tell you what you should do and then you do it.  There isnít too much discussion or a partnership.  I think the complementary and alternative physician tries to spend more time with the patient and to educate and have the person take responsibility for his health.

Third, in conventional medicine, the approach to various chronic illnesses such as hypertension and arthritis, etc., in general is to use conventional prescription drugs that tend to suppress symptoms.  So, for example, if you have elevated blood pressure, youíll get a prescription for high blood pressure medication.  The complementary physician would explore other areas that may be involved.  He focuses on lifestyle factorsóthe nutrition, diet, exercise, and stress that may be contributing to the illness.  He looks at imbalances and tries to correct them with methods like diet, nutrition, vitamin, minerals, etc., rather than focusing on prescription drugs.  The conventional physician doesnít usually spend time looking at lifestyle factors, whereas the complementary and alternative physician focuses on that.  Conventional doctors generally use methods approved by mainstream medicine, e.g., results of double-blind placebo-controlled studies.  Whereas, complementary physicians are more open to using things even if they are not in mainstream, such as herbs or traditional methods, using some methods like acupuncture, which may have been around for thousands of years, even though they may not have the acceptance of organized medicine.  Because the kinds of treatments that the complementary and alternative doctors use are not economically driven by the pharmaceutical industry, there isnít the motivation to produce costly studies to get approval.  He uses relatively non-toxic substances, which may have some indirect evidence, but not these big, controlled, formal, double-blind studies.  

Conventional medicine emphasizes specialty care; you know, the pulmonologist, the gastroenterologist, the cardiologist, and frequently there is not great communication among them. Whereas, complementary and alternative medicine looks at some imbalances in the body--hormonal, vitamin, mineral, and so on, and might relate a certain deficiency with causing the cardiac and gastrointestinal symptoms altogether.  So, the emphasis is on the whole person and imbalances rather than super-specialties.  Conventional medicine emphasizes high-tech procedures, CAT scans and MRIís, and, although the alternative or complementary doctor often uses these expensive procedures, he also will tend to avoid major invasive procedures.  For example, he is less likely to immediately go for an angiogram than a conventional doctor in the cardiology field.   Conventional doctors will generally use surgery extensively, e.g., patients with enlarged prostates will frequently be told they need a TURP with the patient not really looking at all of the pluses and minuses related to that.   The complementary doctor tends to avoid surgery and uses it when clearly the benefits outweigh the risks.  In general, the conventional doctor is better than the complementary and alternative doctor in terms of acute care for trauma, for some kind of emergency requiring the technology and the treatment of the acute care doctor. The complementary doctors like to focus more on the chronic conditions and the lifestyle conditions rather than acute situations.   So, these are some of the differences. 

What is conventional cancer therapy?  It removes the cancer in one way or another, by surgery, by radiation, or by chemotherapy.  What is Alternative Therapy?  It is any therapy used to treat cancer patients that does not fall under the definition of conventional treatments.

Now Iím going to talk about cancer, how it develops, how it relates to both heredity and the environment and what steps you might take to prevent it or to improve your therapeutic results if you already have it.  A lot of this information will be beneficial whether or not youíve had conventional therapy, are doing conventional therapy, or intend to do conventional therapy.  It will generally enhance and improve your situation.  In addition, you may benefit from these as an alternative to conventional treatment, because, as most of you know, conventional treatments often have problems associated with them.  Iím going to go over some of the dangers of conventional cancer treatment and the right questions to ask of doctors so you can get the right information to make an informed choice.  Also, you will see some of the benefits of alternative treatment.

Letís talk for a moment about how cancer develops.  Cancer is unregulated growth.  Cancer is the result of mutations in basically three classes of genes.  One is the proto-oncogene that regulates cell growth.  It tells the cells when to divide and is the so-called accelerator of cell growth.  On the other side of the proto-oncogenes are the tumor suppressor genes that tell the cells not to divide.  So you have these two in balance with each other.  If you get a mutation in a proto-oncogene, it becomes an oncogene and instead of telling the cells to divide at the right time, it tells the cells to divide at the wrong time and too frequently, so that the cells grow out of control.  On the other side, if you get a mutation in the tumor suppressor gene, it doesnít do its work of putting on the brakes and this is another way cancer develops.  The third class of genes is the DNA repair gene.  Its job is to repair any damage that occurs in other genes.  Accumulations of these mutations in the genes cause cancer.

What happens when these defects occur in a cell?  Letís say the cell develops a mutation either for one of two reasons, either you inherit it, or you get it from the environment.  What happens is that over time; mutations accumulate so that every time you accumulate another one, there will be a clone of cells that develops with these mutations in them.  One, two, or three mutations generally do not bring about a clinical cancer.  It requires about four or more of these mutations.  The more mutations that a cell has, the more dangerous and angry and unregulated it is and more likely it is to metastasize.  In prostate cancer, when weíre talking about Gleason scores the higher the Gleason score, the more mutations there are going to be in the cancer cell.  So, every time a cell has two mutations, it has a whole clone now, a whole number of cells with these two mutations.  Once one of those cells gets a third mutation and it begins to reproduce youíll have a clone of cells with three mutations.  Later on, maybe a couple of years later, you get a fourth mutation, and now you can get clinical cancer.

The question is what causes these mutations.  You can get them because you inherit them or from the environment.  What do I mean by the environment?  It's too much bad stuff, not enough good stuff, and exposure to chemicals and toxic pesticides.  An accumulation of these chemicals brings about the mutations.

Toxic chemicals and exposure to radiation cause cancer.  I want everybody to understand that to put some of the therapies that are being used into perspective.  When I say, too much bad stuff and not enough good stuff; the good stuff has to do with good nutrition, making sure that the body has all of the substances necessary to bring about health in the body.  So, not enough good stuff, antioxidants, e.g., vitamin A, C, and E and too much bad stuff, can bring about the development of mutations.  A normal cell gets one mutation, and the cell seems normal but predisposed to grow excessively.  With the second mutation, the cell begins to proliferate but is otherwise normal.  With a third, it starts to look a little bit funny, a few structural changes, but itís not quite cancer yet--itís like pre-cancerous.  And then, finally, it develops a fourth mutation, a more structurally abnormal cell.

In management of cancer, you can remove it with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.  These are ways of externally killing the cancer cells.  The problem with them is that not only do they kill cancer cells but they also tend to kill or damage normal cells, and that gives you your side effects

The Complementary and Alternative approach, whenever possible, is using substances that will be harmful to cancer cells but not normal cells.  We want to mobilize and use the bodyís own intrinsic mechanisms for killing cancer cells.  A lot of people donít really understand that we have cancer cells all the time in our bodies, but our bodiesí defenses get rid of these cancer cells.  The question is, can we, under the right circumstances, create an environment where the body can take care of the cancer cells without necessarily having to use the harsher approaches.

Another point thatís worth making is that toxins amplify each other's effects in the body.  In other words, when the two toxins are present together, the effect is much worse than if they are just added together. There was an interesting study in 1976.  Animals were fed a diet with red dye, sodium cyclamate, or an emulsifier:  all approved by the FDA at the time.  None of the animals suffered any ill effects when they were given one at a time.  When they were fed two together, they began to develop balding and scruffy fur, diarrhea, and retarded weight gain.  When the animals were fed all three of them, they all died.  So, it gives you an idea of this effect of the negative synergistic effect of these toxins.  Radiation exposure and pesticides are synergistic.  This is not to take anything away from the fact that radiation kills cancer cells:  this is what youíre trying to do with it.  I think itís also important to know that radiation and chemotherapy have side effects. They tend to be immune-suppressive, cause mutations, and they tend to be carcinogenic.  

What are the implications of the clonal mutation theory of cancer?  If you have a certain number of mutations and you increase the mutations in the cancer cells, you get another clone and the cancer tends to get more aggressive.  In some patients who are receiving some of the conventional treatments, the cells that donít die from the conventional treatment may develop more mutations. They may be more aggressive than before the conventional treatment was given. Once youíve had conventional treatment, a recurrence tends to be more aggressive. 

Hereís another problem I have:  the way conventional cancer treatments are evaluated and analyzed and assessed.  Most of the research and clinical results are based on whether or not a tumor shrinks.  If the tumor shrinks then the therapy is supposed to work.  If it doesnít shrink, then itís not working.  The problem is that there is not a very good relationship between shrinking tumors and survival of the patient.  It seems that it would be more important to check how long the patients survive rather than just shrinking tumors.  My concern is the tumor is shrunk but two or three months later there's metastases and the patient doesn't live any longer than if they had not had any conventional treatment at all.

There is often a miscommunication between the doctor and the patient. The patient is told that he has a chance of getting a response to the treatment, and the response is shrinking the tumor and not necessarily improved survival.  You need to ask if there are studies that show clear-cut benefit to your particular situation; and do the benefits outweigh the side effects.  Are there any non-toxic alternatives that might be used, either along with, to reduce the negative effects of the conventional treatment, or as an alternative?  Will the treatment just shrink the tumor, or is there a good chance of improving my survival or my quality of life?  These are important issues you want to speak to your physician about.  

Alternative Therapy assumes that the body has the ability to heal itself under the right circumstances. There is much less emphasis on destroying the tumor. There is more emphasis on preventing cancer, preventing it from spreading, and controlling it. The kinds of things that we use in alternative cancer therapies would be dietary changes, nutritional supplements, herbs, homeopathy, mind-body techniques, exercise, and many other things like that.  

A study of people who have had spontaneous remissions found that 87% had changed their diet, 55% had been on a detoxification program, and 65% took supplements.  Hereís an interesting difference between drugs and nutrients.  Drugs tend to have a very narrow range of therapeutic effect; at low doses theyíre not effective and at high doses they can be toxic.  Whereas, nutrients tend to be toxic at a much higher level and ineffective at a much lower level.  Just as toxic chemicals have a negative synergistic effect, nutrients have a positive synergistic effect in cancer therapy. 

Oncologists tell patients that they should not be on nutritional supplements if they are in radiation therapy or chemotherapy, because they will dilute the effect.  The reason they give is that these therapies cause free radicals and nutritional supplements tend to neutralize free radicals and interfere with the chemotherapy or the radiation. The fact is that the nutrients are much more helpful to normal cells than to cancer cells so that the net effect is that when you add nutrients to a program of chemo or radiation, the patients generally do better and they have fewer side effects.

The United States National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program, the SERO program, studied the longevity of 18 lung cancer patients on high doses of nutrients in combination with their standard chemo or radiation therapies.  This study was published in 1992.  They used high doses of vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, B6--all of these different nutrients and also these minerals--manganese, zinc, copper, selenium, and so on. The results were compared to NCI statistics for those patients not on high doses of nutrients.  At the end of six months, 50% of the NCI group who did not receive nutrients were alive, whereas 95% in the SERO group receiving nutrients were alive.  At the end of 2 Ĺ years, none of the NCI group were alive, whereas 40% of the SERO group were alive and still alive 6 years later.  This is mind-boggling and you would think that somebody would want to pick it up and repeat it.  

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?   Before PSA, it was diagnosed either because the doctor felt a lump when he did a rectal examination, or you wound up walking in with bone pain and the physician found bone metastases with a bone scan.  Now, itís diagnosed because almost everybody is getting a PSA.  If the PSA is a little elevated, youíre given a rectal exam, and a biopsy, and your prostate cancer is diagnosed

Staging prostate cancer is dependent upon the location, where the cancer is.  Is it just in the prostate?  Can a lump be felt in a DRE?  Has it gone beyond the prostate capsule?  Has it spread to other areas?  Stage A is microscopic cancer located only within the prostate and cannot be felt in a DRE.  Stage B is a palpable lump within the prostate felt in a DRE.  Stage C involves a large mass involving all or most of the prostate and can extend beyond the prostate capsule.  Stage D is metastatic cancer.  If it has spread to the lymph nodes, it would be D1.  If it has spread to the lymph nodes and possibly the bones or the lungs or the liver it would be D2.  Most of the time a D2 cancer is in the bones but could also be in these other areas.

The Gleason score has to do with what the cancer cells taken from a biopsy look like under the microscope, from normal to extremely bizarre.  If the cancer cell from a sample looks very weird, it gets a score of 5.  If the cell looks almost normal, it gets a score of 1.  The score from a second sample is added to the first to give a Gleason score from 2 to10.  A ten is the worst.  An 8 or 9 is a high Gleason score and indicates a poor prognosis.  A 5 or 6 would be in the middle, getting better, and 2 or 3 would be good.  The Gleason score is very important in terms of prognosis because there seems to be a strong relationship between Gleason score and the likelihood of survival in five, 10, or 15 years.  More factors have to be included, but the Gleason score is so important when looking at the results of the conventional treatment programs. 

A doctor at Wayne State did something very interesting.  Over a four-year period he performed biopsies on the prostate of men who had died in auto accidents.  The results were published in the Journal of Urology.  He found that the incidence of prostate cancer was much higher than had previously been thought.  There was a high incidence of Prostatic intra-epithelial neoplasia, which is a precancerous lesion.  Evidence of prostate cancer cells was found in 25% of men in their 30ís, in 30% men in their 40ís, in 40% of men in their 50ís, in 50% of men in their 60ís, and in 70% of men in their 70ís.   This is very high incidence of prostate cancer, much higher than had previously been thought prior to this study.   

Itís important to understand that PSA is a protein thatís produced by both benign prostate cells and malignant cells.  So you would expect to have a certain PSA value and basically itís normal.  Itís not normal, for example, to have a zero PSA unless youíve had surgery and the whole prostate has been removed.  In general, though, if you have a value of about 2, it's perfectly normal.  When it goes up to between 4 and10, most of the time itís either prostatitis or BPH but it could be cancer and in fact, it could be cancer even with a normal PSA.  Thirty percent of patients with prostate cancer have a normal PSA.  A PSA between 10 and 20 is very suspicious for cancer, and over 20, itís most likely cancer.  Keep in mind; it can't be said that a person doesnít have cancer with a lower PSA judging from the study I just showed you.  It may be possible to miss cancer even though the prostate is biopsied.   

What are the conventional treatments?

bullet

Radical prostatectomy--either the nerve sparing or the non-nerve sparing.   If the cancer is confined and with a very skilled surgeon, nerve sparing is possible.  About 50% of the people who have this operation are potent.  With non-nerve sparing, 100% will be impotent as a result of the surgery, because the nerves involved are removed

bullet

External beam radiation--7000 rads, a little perspective.  A total body dose of 7000 rads is lethal. By focusing it in a small area it isn't lethal but disrupts cell growth where it is delivered

bullet

Hormonal Therapy--testosterone ablation, either removing the testes or administering Lupron or Zolodex along with androgen blockers like Eulexin or Casodex.  Later when the cancer is refractive, other drugs like ketoconazole or Nizoral, are given to block the adrenal glands from producing the testosterone.

bullet

Cryotherapy--freezing the prostate is another procedure that is not as widely accepted as the others.

bullet

Chemotherapy--usually administered in advanced cases but is being used more often and earlier in the progress of prostate cancer.  My opinion, looking at the data, is that chemotherapy is not very successful against prostate cancer.  I think the risks outweigh the benefits, especially if there are alternatives you can try.  

    Then there's the issue of watchful waiting.  Forget watchful waiting, and Iíll tell you why in a moment.  You basically watch the person carefully and see whether thereís any evidence of spread rather than jumping into the conventional therapy.  Watchful waiting is considered for prostate cancer patients perhaps more than other cancers.  Other possible therapy alternatives are not offered at this point in time.  In general, a urologist, a radiologist or even your G.P., most of the time, will not tell you about other alternatives that you can think about.  Youíll have to find them on your own. Let me make another point.  Complementary and alternative treatments are not physician driven; they are patient driven because itís the patient who, now, especially with the Internet, does the research. The patient usually has more time than the doctor.  He can research a topic and frequently they will learn about complementary and alternative treatments.  From a 1994 study only 1% of Stage A or B patients were aware of diet or other alternative therapies.  Thatís changed in the last few years, but in general, thatís not something you will get from a conventional doctor.

    What are some of the reasons that one might question the current protocol?  What happens when a man has an elevated PSA?  He immediately goes to an urologist, has a biopsy, and is found to have probably confined prostate cancer.  He's lucky and can have a radical prostatectomy and have his life saved.  Let's look at that for a minute.  Is the PSA a benefit or a boon?  In JAMA editorials and other publications people say, in effect, the PSA is more of a negative than a positive because it gives men a one-way ticket through to either radiation or surgery.  In many cases, it isnít necessary.  We donít know in which cases itís necessary and in which it isnít, and even if we say it is necessary, weíre not sure that these therapies actually do what they're supposed to do.

    A reason for questioning conventional protocols for prostate cancers is that itís a slow growing disease in many cases, and it takes time to evaluate the treatment.  Itís hard to be sure just how well a patient has done.  You can easily evaluate that the tumor has shrunk or that the PSA has gone down, but to me, thatís not so important.  How long a person lives from the time of diagnosis, and what is his quality of life are the two issues that should be most important and, I think, probably are most important to the patients.

    Often, the disease is dormant for many years and the patient dies with the disease rather than from it.  Thatís not happening so much any more because of the PSA.  Before, if a man didnít have a lump on the prostate, there was no issue of biopsy and therapy.  As I showed you from the study, prostate cancer is very common, so if youíre going to have a PSA test and a biopsy and then surgery or radiation, the question is, is it necessary?  We have more frequent diagnosis due to PSA, the trans-rectal ultrasound, and multiple biopsies.  Treatment has value only if it is demonstrated to be more effective than doing nothing. The major active treatments for early prostate cancer are surgery and radiation.  From my reading of the literature, and others may disagree, I do not see clear-cut evidence, statistically-significant evidence, that having these conventional treatments clearly show an improvement in survival.  

    In a study published in JAMA, February 12, 1997, titled "Fifteen-year survival in Prostate Cancer:  A Prospective, Population-Based Study in Sweden," the corrected 15-year survival rate in 223 patients who did not have radical prostatectomies was the same (81%) as those who did.  In the only randomized study comparing survival between surgery and watchful waiting, there has been no difference shown in survival after 23 years of follow-up (Iverson, P., et al., Scan J Urol Nephrol, 1995,172, Suppl;65-72).  In three recent reviews of nonrandomized studies, the investigators found little evidence of survival benefit after radical surgery compared with deferred treatment and irradiation (1) Adollfsson, J., et al., Cancer, 1993; (2) Austenfeld, M.D., et al., J Urol, 1994; (3) Wasson, J. H., et. al., Arch Fam Med, 1993.

    In one of these (Adollfsson), a meta-analysis was done on studies published since 1980.  The authors found that the weighted mean of reported disease-specific survival at 10 years was 93% for radical prostatectomy, 83% for deferred treatment and 74% for external beam radiation--so surgery seemed to convey a slight non-statistically significant advantage to doing nothing, but radiation appears to be worse than doing nothing.  Although, again, not statistically significant.

    So, people constantly have to make decisions on the basis of incomplete information.  You basically need to try to learn everything you can, look into it yourself, and see what is right for you.

    This might lead one to watchful waiting, doing nothing.  Is there any alternative to watchful waiting?  The answer is, ďI think there is.Ē  There are various alternative non-toxic treatments.  Iím going to give you some things to think about.  I can tell you right now these are not well proven. However, the upside is that in general, the side effects will be that you'll be healthier. The things that you do such as improving your diet, taking nutritional supplements, are designed to really make you healthier; instead of negative side effects, youíll get positive side effects.  So, the worst that can happen is it doesnít work.  Itís not going to harm you in anyway, except possibly to your pocketbook, because most of the time these treatments are not covered, and for the time and effort that it takes to change lifestyle.

        Some patients go on an intensive program to build up their system instead of passive watchful waiting.  There are so many treatments available that it's not easy to judge where to begin.  Iíve been working in this field for 25 years and I think it is possible for people who are open to it to try a variety of things to determine whatís going to be best for them.  Deal with as many risk factors and many problems as you can, correct them, and carefully monitor with PSA and DRE.  Iím not a big fan of doing repeated biopsies.  I have the feeling, like others, that it increases the risk of spreading, increases the risk of inflammation, and makes things worse by repeatedly invading the prostate.

        What are the complementary and alternative treatments?  These are the categories, but they all don't apply to everyone.  

        Education - I think itís important for the person to have a good understanding of his disease. What Iím sharing with you are the kinds of things that I share with my patients in an individual consultation.  I give them the material and discuss it with them.  I tell them what I would do in their circumstances but the decision is theirs.

        Dietary recommendations--Stay away from processed foods as much as possible.  Eat natural foods, preferably organic because of the issue of pesticides.  Eat vegetables, salads, cooked vegetables, fruit, whole grains whenever possible.  Then, on an individual basis, work out whether people have certain food sensitivities.  I do not have a fixed diet that I apply to everyone. I try to individualize it.

        Detoxification methods, fresh air, and natural light--There is a lot of evidence accumulating that most of us are suffering from light deficiency.  Spending as much time as you can outside in the fresh air and sunlight has a very positive effect on the body and the immune system.

Oral supplements--There are three categories, vitamins, minerals, enzymes.

Some of the vitamins that appear to be very useful are vitamins A, C, E, sometimes the B vitamins.  All of these vitamins are well known effects on cancer.

Next, we go into the minerals.  Selenium is one of the minerals.   Selenium deficiency is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, and pancreas and skin cancer.  I want to tell you about a multi-centered double blind placebo control study that was published in JAMA.  Patients were given either 200 mcg. of selenium or a placebo and followed for a number of years.  It prevented a number of cancers.  There was a 50% drop in cancer mortality in general in the group that got selenium, a 41% drop in incidence.  In particular, there was almost a 63% reduction in prostate cancer with this simple, inexpensive selenium tablet.  Could you imagine what would be on the front page of The New York Times if this were a drug that some company had patented?  Many doctors havenít even heard of this.  Anyway, itís not a bad idea to take 200 mcg. of selenium a day.  Taking higher doses can be toxic, but sometimes a higher dose is given to cancer patients.  

Hereís another group of useful nutrients.   Enzymes have two functions. They help digest food. They also can get into the blood stream and help dissolve certain things like the coating around cancer cells or certain other soluble factors that help control cancer.  I think almost all patients should be on high dose enzymes as long as they can tolerate them and the dose is regulated.  If taken with meals, enzymes help digestion.  If taken between meals, enzymes get into the blood stream. 

Thereís a tremendous amount of information on PC-SPES on the Internet.  There are now three universities who have done studies with PC-SPES, Columbia, Kentucky, and I think, UCLA.  All of them have found dramatic, positive effects with PC-SPES.  Prostate cancer patients, who have failed all therapies including the combined hormonal blockade, still respond to PC-SPES with a reduction in PSA and probably increased survival.  Itís hard to say, at this point, because the studies havenít been long enough.  Itís classified as a supplement, available over-the-counter, but it is pretty expensive.  The problem is that it has side effects.  It can cause estrogenic effects such as breast tenderness, including enlargement, reduced libido, just as in an anti-testosterone program.  You can get blood clots.  I do not use this as my first line in most prostate cancer patients because of this.  I might use this before combined hormone blockade.  I think itís good to know about.   

How many know about Coenzyme Q-10?  This is an interesting study that's still ongoing. I donít think the final results have been published. Fifteen prostate cancer patients, who had already failed conventional therapy and had rising PSAís, were given 200 mg. of CO-Q10 three times a day.  One patient died of another illness within three months.  The other fourteen continued in the study. Suddenly at the end of four months, four patientsí PSAís stabilized and stayed that way for the rest of the study, and the other ten patientsí PSAís went down from an average of 20 to an average of 5 by the end of the study, with absolutely no problems.  This is an important study, because the side effects were that it strengthened the heart, it improved the immune system, it lowered blood pressure, it improved ability to exercise.  These side effects are quite a contrast to those of conventional treatments.  It's important to note there was a delay of four months in the effect of CO-Q10 because sometimes these nutrient treatments take many months to work.  

 Let me just say a word about high doses of intravenous vitamin C.  Vitamin C tends to induce the production of hydrogen peroxide in normal cells and cancer cells.   Hydrogen peroxide is cytotoxic; it kills normal cells and cancer cells.  However, normal cells have enzymes called superoxide dismutates, which gets rid of this hydrogen peroxide and protects the normal cells. We have patients coming in every day, getting anywhere between 10 and 50,000 mg. of intravenous vitamin C with no side effects.  This is a perfect chemotherapy; it kills cancer cells and leaves normal cells alone.  Intravenous vitamin C is an intrinsic part of many of our patient's therapy.

We also do bio-oxidative therapies like the intravenous hydrogen peroxide in low doses to stimulate the immune system.  We do various types of detoxification.  Often, balancing hormones is very important.  Some people think that testosterone is really a bad guy and causes prostate cancer.  I donít think that it does.  Testosterone causes differentiation of cells.  In other words, you need testosterone to get the secondary sex characteristics and the genital changes and so on.  Cancer is not a differentiating disease; itís an undifferentiated disease.  The cancer cells become more primitive and more undifferentiated whereas testosterone has the opposite effect, in general.  Thatís one point.  The second point is, if testosterone is so bad and causes prostate cancer, why donít we have more adolescents with prostate cancer, because they and the 20-year-olds are the ones with high testosterone levels, not the guys in their 60ís and 70ís.  Their testosterone levels are already on the floor most of the time when they get prostate cancer.   Frequently, they have actually lower levels than non-prostate cancer patients.  For these reasons I have grave reservations about assertions that testosterone has something to do with causing prostate cancer.  You need it to build your muscles and your heart muscle too.  It tends to protect you against diabetes; it occludes osteoporosis, and increases resistance to infection.  

Naltrexone seems to offer great benefits to a significant minority of cancer patients.  How does it work?  You have to know something about two hormones called beta-endorphin and metateplin produced by the adrenal glands and the pituitary glands mostly while one is asleep.  People with sleep problems have difficulty producing enough of them. These, by the way, are the ďfeel-goodĒ hormones or natural opioids.  Cells around the body, including many cancer cells, have opioid receptors.  Metateplin and endorphins enhance immune functioning and are frequently deficient in cancer patients.  If one takes 1.5 to 4.5 mg a day of Naltrexone made up by a compounding pharmacy, it stimulates the production of beta-endorphin and metateplin by two to three times.  The Naltrexone is gone within three to four hours after youíve taken it at bedtime but the beta-endorphin and metateplin remain elevated all day.  They activate anti-growth factors in cancer and they stimulate the opioid receptors.  If the opioid receptors are stimulated while the cancer cell is undergoing cell division, it causes cell death

        The controlled amino acid treatment, or CAAT program, is very interesting especially for people who have advanced prostate cancer.  It involves a diet which is unusual, to say the least.  Itís low in protein, low in carbohydrates, and moderately high in fat, just the opposite of what you've been told to do.  Itís a special diet of special amino acid blends and some supplements.  It attacks cancer in four different ways.   It reduces new blood vessel formation.  It reduces growth factors like insulin growth factor and human growth factor that stimulate cancers.  It works similarly to the way a lot of the chemotherapy agents do; it tends to reduce the cancer cellís ability to replicate DNA.  Lastly, It attacks glycolysis, which is how cancer cells produce energy.  Cancer cells produce almost all of their energy without oxygen.  Normal cells produce energy mostly by using oxygen.  The program is set up so that glycolysis is inhibited, but a normal cellís energy process is not affected.  There are different amino acid formulas, depending upon what cancer you have.   For example, a prostate cancer patient would have a different formula than a melanoma patient.  This gives you some idea of the CAAT program.  So, if your disease is not under control, you might very well want to look into this.

        I've given you much to think about. Thank you.  

© 2001 Michael B. Schachter

 

 

 

Important Note: You are encouraged to seek the advice of a competent medical professional
before making any decisions that could affect your health. See our disclaimer.

©2016 Michael B. Schachter, M.D., P.C. 
Reproduction of the content of this website is strictly prohibited.