Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT)


IPT, or insulin potentiation therapy, involves the use of insulin to enhance the efficacy of other chemotherapeutic drugs concurrently being given to the cancer patient. It is believed that this therapy is one of the safer, more reliable and innovative methods of treating cancer. As insulin potentiation therapy is conjunctively given with chemotherapy, the efficiency of the latter is improved, and as a result, fewer drugs need to be used. This treatment, also, does not involve any form of radiation, so it does not subject the patient to those unfavorable symptoms and side effects.

How Does IPT Work?

Insulin potentiation therapy is given in combination with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. It helps chemotherapy drugs to go directly to the cancer cells that need to be destroyed. This mechanism may be explained by the fact that cancer cells have more receptor cells, approximately 16 times more than normal, healthy cells. When insulin is introduced to the patient, it attaches to each of the cancer cells’ insulin receptors. This allows the walls of the cancer cells to open up to receive the glucose and other substances it needs for growth. However, chemotherapy is also introduced to the patients and targets these cancer cells directly. The opened cell walls permit these drugs to penetrate cancer cells more easily and to work effectively in destroying them.

Advantages of IPT  With Different Types of Cancer

Positive information regarding the effectiveness and advantages of insulin potentiation therapy may be gathered from individual reports. However, not many scientific studies have been conducted and published in medical journals. Supporters of this alternative therapy claim that this therapy may be beneficial to patients diagnosed with cancer of the colon and breast, based on case studies that do exist.

Opposing these claims, some clinical studies have been done regarding the use of insulin as a complementary medicine for chemotherapy. In a study carried out by Call R, it was concluded that insulin may be mitogenic, or may cause cancer cell division, hence facilitating the spread of cancer cells to other structures. This study was associated with different types of cancer including prostate, breast, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers. Some medical journals on diabetes also assert that diabetic patients taking insulin may be at a greater risk of developing cancer.

As there are different views on whether insulin works effectively or otherwise, further studies have yet to be done to present accurate and conclusive data.

What is the Effect of IPT on Metastasis?

Some published studies assert that individuals with higher levels of insulin or insulin-like growth factors in the body may be at greater risk of developing prostate, breast, colon, and lung cancer. A study headed by Wu Y, together with other investigators, aimed to determine the role of these factors, specifically of IGF-I, in regards to whether it would stimulate tumor growth or metastasis in mice transplanted with colon cancer cells. There were two groups of mice out of which one group was injected with IGF-I, and the control group was spared from IGF-I but injected with saline solution. In the group that received a saline solution, tumor growth in the cecum and metastasis to the liver were observed. This study shows that these insulin-related factors may regulate tumor development and metastasis of colon cancer.

Does IPT Enhance the Effect of Chemotherapy?

It is not surprising that practitioners of insulin potentiation therapy would support the idea that this therapy enhances the effect of chemotherapy in a positive way. By the given name of the therapy itself, insulin is thought to potentiate or enhance the effect of chemotherapy, leading to fewer chemotherapeutic drugs being needed to achieve similar results. Also, supporters claim that this combination will permit chemotherapeutic drugs to targets cells directly. In this way, less harm should be done to the normal healthy cells. The occurrence of side effects such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss and fever should also be minimized since fewer drugs are used.

In a case study of a colorectal cancer patient who was given insulin potentiation therapy for eight weeks together with other therapeutic drugs, a remarkable improvement was observed. The initial tumor was no longer present when follow-up exams were done, and no regional and distant metastases were observed.

Another case study was presented involving a patient diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer with extensive metastasis to the bone. Insulin potentiation therapy was administered weekly together with other drugs, including homeopathic detoxification and high doses of Vitamin C, where both were injected intravenously. After two years of treatment, the breast mass was no longer visible, although there was some thickening of tissues within the area. Bone marrow metabolic activity was also not observed.

The case studies presented above were isolated cases showing the possible effect of insulin potentiation therapy when combined with chemotherapy. Further studies still need to be conducted to provide additional data regarding its effectiveness.

Can IPT Reduce the Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation?

It is thought that, with the use of insulin potentiation therapy in combination with chemotherapy, fewer drugs may be used, or they may be used in lower doses. As fewer drugs are used, fewer side effects are experienced by the patient. The occurrence of nausea, vomiting, hair loss and fever is reduced.

As noted, there has as yet been no research demonstrating the effect of insulin potentiation therapy when combined with radiation. As a result, data about whether this therapy reduces the side effects of radiation cannot be presented.

It is important to emphasize that, although the practitioners of this therapy make positive claims for it, no scientific studies have been conducted to confirm its efficacy.

Does IPT Influence the Immune System?

Practitioners of insulin potentiation therapy assert that its combination with chemotherapeutic drugs should allow for a reduction of the dose needed without altering its curative effect. Chemotherapeutic drugs are said to have some adverse side effects that include the weakening of the immune system, for the reason that these drugs can also destroy the normal healthy cells. If fewer drugs may be used, fewer side effects may occur, and deterioration of the immune system may be reduced, if not prevented.

Does IPT Increase Quality of Life and Survival Rate?

If the information provided by the practitioners and supporters holds true, insulin potentiation therapy can provide improved quality of life for a cancer patient. This is achieved when the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs are reduced. Some case studies also indicate that it may be able to cure cancer effectively. Since limited information is available, further studies should be conducted to determine its effectiveness.

In Brief

It is suggested that Insulin potentiates the action of a chemotherapeutic drug and makes it more effective in fighting cancer with a reduced incidence of side effects. IPT should be carefully considered in cancer patients with failure of all other options. The combination of chemotherapy and insulin offers promising success in overcoming the burden of cancer, and it should be highly encouraged to bring a positive change in the area of cancer treatment.


Effects of Insulin Potentiation Therapy

  •    Reduces side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs
  •    Improves quality of life

Insulin Potentiation Therapy and Chemotherapy

  •    Enhances chemotherapeutic effect

Insulin Potentiation Therapy and Radiotherapy

  •    Not enough studies available for a statement

Cancer types alleged to respond positively to IPT

  •    Breast Cancer
  •    Colorectal Cancer




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