Insulin and Cancer – a Primer

Insulin and Cancer

Imagine you are a good King and you invite your enemy (a bad king!) to dinner with the intent to poison him. Now, you are fairly confident you will succeed because he is a big, fat slob of a king, a gourmand in fact, who stuffs his face with food at every opportunity. This king eats ravenously with no consideration for esthetics and never bothers himself as to whether others are being well fed. He even brings his own gold-plated shovel (no fork and knife for him!) to the table and insists that all others at the table use chopsticks. Amazingly, he once had the royal doctors surgically enlarge his mouth so that he swallow copious amounts (shovel-fulls, in fact!) and he had his breathing apparatus changed so he can breathe even while in the very act of swallowing. (You are getting the picture why in fact he is a bad king – his subjects are starving while he grows and grows!). Now your advisors propose a plan. They suggest the following strategy: First you delay the meal for an uncomfortably long spell and then, while piling the table high with delicious treats, you regretfully inform the bad king that he only has 15 minutes to eat his fill. Then you sit back and observe him feed and once that culinary in-flowing tide is well set, you plan to spike his food and drink with your deadly poison. Does that strategy sound feasible? Would you bet your life on that plan? If you have cancer, you might have to.

The big fat slob of a king is, of course, the cancer cell growing out of control and starving all cells around it. You, the good King are the patient needing a life saving strategy. Those who starve at the table with chopsticks are your healthy cells trying to survive while the poison is good old chemotherapy drugs which no one denies does work – though typically only at considerable cost to the patient. Your advisors are doctors who have learned about IPT – insulin potentiation therapy.

It is time to talk about an important treatment called Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) which was developed in Mexico in the 1930s and has been used there as the treatment of choice for cancer since the 1950s! Are you curious that you have never heard about it until now! (Do the math – 1950 is 52 years ago or in more human terms, 2 generations of suffering has past since this technique has been available!)

IPT is an important treatment modality for use in cancer care because, although it is a chemotherapy-based treatment, it used at 1/10th the standard chemotherapy dosage and therefore often demonstrates powerful cancer killing results but without the debilitating, dose-related side effects.

What Is IPT?

IPT was created by Surgeon Lieutenant Dr. Donato Perez Garcia, Sr. in Mexico City during the 1930s. Between then and now, the therapy has been kept alive through its practice by Dr. Garcia’s son and grandson, both physicians.

IPT was developed empirically””that is, without the benefit of a complete scientific explication for it. The scientific truths that are now known about the relationships existing between cancer cells and insulin were not available earlier on. These were not discovered until the late 1970s.

IPT is not a miracle nor is it magic. It is simply good sound bio-chemically based medicine.

I first learned about this extraordinary therapy from Steven Ayre, M.D. who studied with Dr. Perez in Mexico. Dr. Ayre has subsequently elucidated the scientific rationale for this potent therapy.

Cancer Cells & Insulin

As we now know, cancer cells are pigs. In order to grow and metastasize, cancer cells require a lot of glucose (blood sugar) for their energy needs and they also need to eat more than their neighboring cells. Until recently we did not understand the mechanism of how the cancer cell managed to eat more than healthy cells. We now know that the cancer cells obtain their glucose in the same way normal cells do – through the actions of insulin. (Insulin is the “shovel” all cells use to ladle blood sugar into their cytoplasm) Until recently we thought that the insulin in the body comes only from the pancreas, but now we know that cancer cells produce their own insulin and also produce their own insulin receptors (this is like enlarging their mouths!). Not only do cancer cells make their own insulin (a very big surprise to doctors) but just as surprisingly, we now know that cancer cells are up to twenty times more sensitive to insulin than normal cells are (again, it is like they have bigger mouths!). So you see, a ravenous cancer cell hears the dinner bell and when blood sugar comes along, it get fat and other cells starve.

Now that we know what we have just learned about cancer and insulin, how can we modify our standard cancer treatments so that we can give chemotherapy in such a way that we call kill more cancer cells with lower dosages of chemotherapy so that we have greater treatment successes and less human suffering due to side-effects? The short answer is to call up Dr. Perez Garcia in Mexico, finnagle an invitation to go pay him a visit, go review his decades worth of medical records, talk with his happy, relieved patients and request the opportunity to learn his IPT protocols. Alternatively, you can continue this exercise of thought: If insulin creates passage for glucose from the blood into cells, can insulin also facilitate the influx of chemotherapy drugs to pass more easily from the blood to the inside of the cancer cells? If so, do you think that modifying insulin levels might facilitate the targeted killing of cancer cells with lower dosages of chemotherapy agents? (Hint: remember that this easier passage of chemo drugs into healthy cells does not happen because the normal cells, as we learned, aren’t nearly as sensitive to insulin as cancer cells are. They don’t have a big shovel to compete with the cancer cells for food! This factor is also very important in reducing chemotherapy drug side-effects on the normal cells. Dr. Perez Garcia and Dr. Steven Ayre report that, in the majority of cases treated with low-dose chemotherapy – together with IPT – all the drug side effects are virtually eliminated while cancer kill rates rival those of normal chemotherapy protocols. Intriguing? No?

21st Century Cancer Treatment:

The common practice in modern cancer management is to simply remover tumors surgically or to destroy cancer cells using chemotherapy and radiation. There is some merit sometimes in these unfortunate approaches to cancer especially is the cancer is very advanced. Increasingly though, people recognize the need to do more to kill or remove the tumor (“debulking the cancer burden” in oncological terms). Think of the big mushroom growing off of a tree trunk. (You have seen these shelf mushroom in the woods perhaps?) It’s presence is unsightly and suggests that the tree is not in optimal health. So you and I might want to “improve” the tree’s health by taking an ax and cutting the mushroom off the tree trunk. “There. That looks better!” we think while congratulating ourselves. Of course, this effort is short-sighted because the entire tree is permeated with fungal remnants. The visible mushroom, in fact, was actually only the symptom, not the cause of the mushroom problem. Cutting it off does little benefit as a new mushroom will immediately start to grow back. So it is with much of current cancer treatments. By killing cancer cells and not changing the environment which nourished those cells in the first place, we only buy a bit of time. Real cancer treatment requires biochemical nutrition to rebuild a damaged immune system and a certain approach to the spirit and soul of the patient in order to stack the cards in favor of heath.

The Importance of Nutrition

Cancer does not develop to any significant or symptomatic degree in a healthy human body. Therefore, in order for it to show it’s terrifying face, something must have long since been out of balance. Nutrition is a critically important science to understand if one is to maintain or regain health. However, by “nutrition” I do not simply mean what one puts in one’s mouth (artificial sweeteners vs. raw honey, organic vs. pesticided food). In addition, I teach my patients to consider nutrition as including everything we breathe (pollution vs. clean air) , smell (pertro-chemicals vs. fragrant flowers), see (scary “slasher” movies or the evening news for that matter vs. gazing at sunsets and baby faces) , touch (plastic vs. wood) as well as what ideas we allow to careen around within our mind (worries vs. confidence) and what feelings we allow to ransack our soul (appreciation vs. bitterness). These are profound and deeply personal issues which go to our core of health and must be attended to if health is to be reclaimed.

About Bradford S. Weeks, M.D.

Bradford S. Weeks, M.D. is a nutritionally oriented medical doctor whose practice includes all ages and all illnesses. He offers conventional, as well as preventive medical and psychiatric care.

Dr. Weeks believes that getting to the root of the problem and balancing the biochemistry is always more effective than simply suppressing the symptoms with commonly prescribed drugs. This is defined as biomedical or nutritional medicine. However, being a conventionally trained medical doctor, Dr. Weeks is licensed to prescribe medications, which he does not hesitate to use when it is medically appropriate to do so. In this way, Dr. Weeks offers his patients the best of conventional and complementary medicine.

For more information about Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) and other complementary medical and psychiatric options, please contact Bradford S. Weeks, M.D. at The Weeks Clinic 360.341.2303 or

…..Oh, and by the way, the bad king dies in the end and the kingdom rejoices in its vibrant renewed sense of health while celebrating the wisdom and courage of the Good King. (Happily, the advisors get to keep their job!)

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