3 comments on “Chemotherapy May Co-opt Healthy Cells to Support Tumors

  1. Unfortunately, nature has provided a targeting mechanism to deliver chemotherapy to the cancer cells, which has no unexpected side effects. And this method of administration has been known since 1933 and was first successfully used to treat cancer in 1943.

    This modality of chemotherapy administration involves the use of a naturally occurring molecule found in all mammals and non-mammalian vertebrates, including reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish, although it may differ slightly in structure from one species to another. The insulin in hagfish, for example differ in only one amino acid from that of pig insulin and only two amino acids from that of human insulin.

    Insulin has a myriad of consequences by triggering multiple biochemical processes in cells; however, the main purpose of insulin is to regulate energy production in the body by increasing uptake of glucose into cells and stimulating the production of fat deposition to store any excess glucose. One of the enzymes that is stimulated by insulin is called delta-9-desaturase, which basically makes the membranes or “skin” of the cells liquid and permeable rather than relatively solid and impermeable. Cancer cells are known to have from 6 to as much as 17 times more insulin receptors on their cells and these receptors have a 60% greater affinity (“stickiness”) for insulin. Increasing the insulin receptor status on their cell membranes is an essential survival mechanism undertaken by cancer cells because they metabolize sugar differently than healthy cells. Healthy cells use oxygen and glucose to produce energy very efficiently resulting in 38 ATP (energy ‘packages’) while cancer cells have lost the ability to utilize oxygen to enhance energy production hence they are considered anaerobic. Anaerobic energy production, as seen in primitive life forms is called fermentation or glycolysis and this is how cancer cells metabolize sugar for energy. This is extremely inefficient resulting in only 2 ATP for every molecule of glucose, instead of 38. Clearly, then the cancer cell which has to keep up with the body needs about 19 times more glucose (fuel) to survive and this is accomplished by increasing the number and affinity of insulin receptors on their cell membranes.

    The administration of chemotherapy after priming the cancer cells with small doses of insulin has become known as IPT (insulin potentiation therapy) and, is now being referred to as IPTLD, or insulin potentiation therapy with low dose chemotherapy. This method allows for the targeting of the cancer cells with chemotherapy while permitting relative sparing of the healthy cells. There is no hair loss or severe nausea and vomiting and all the other side effects usually observed with conventional chemotherapy are minimal, if at all.

    Clearly, this effective and gentle method of administering chemotherapy will result in very minimal production of the WNT16B protein and therefore will not, to any significant degree, stimulate cancer growth or metastases.

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