What is IPT ?

How I describe IPT 

By Steven Ayre,  M.D.    5-06


Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) manipulates the mechanisms of malignancy to therapeutic advantage by employing insulin as a biologic response modifier of cancer cells’ endogenous molecular biology. The autonomous proliferation of malignancy is supported by autocrine secretion of insulin for glucose/energy uptake by cancer cells, and a similar autocrine and/or paracrine elaboration of cellular factors to stimulate cancer growth. Amongst these, the insulin-like growth factors have been identified as the most potent mitogens for cancer cells. Of primary importance for the appreciation of IPT is the little known fact that cancer cell membranes have six times more insulin receptors and ten times more IGF receptors, per cell, than the membranes of host normal tissues. Further, insulin can effectively cross-react with and activate cancer cell IGF receptors. Thus, per cell, cancer cells have sixteen times more insulin-sensitive receptors than normal tissues. As ligand effect is a function of receptor concentration, these facts serve to differentiate cancer from normal cells – a vital consideration for the safety of cancer chemotherapy using IPT. 


In the practice of IPT, 0.4 U/kg of human lispro insulin is adminstered intravenously through an established, indwelling intravenous line. Insulin acts to enhance anticancer drug cytotoxicity and safety via 1) a membrane permeability effect to increase the intracellular dose intensity of the drugs, 2) an effect of metabolic modification to increase the S-phase fraction in cancer cells, enhancing their susceptibility to cell-cycle phase-specific agents, and 3) an effect of  biochemical differentiation based on insulin receptor concentration that focuses the first two insulin effects predominantly on cancer cells, with a relative sparing of host normal tissues. To recapitulate, significantly lower doses of drug – about 10 % – can thus be targeted more specifically and more effectively to cancer cell populations that are more susceptible to the chemotherapy drug effects, all this occurring with a virtual elimination of the dose-related side effects of these powerful drugs. 


Because of its favorable side effect profile, cycles of low-dose chemotherapy with IPT may be done more frequently, usually once or twice a week. There is good patient acceptance of the mild adrenergic, hypoglycemic side effects of the protocol. Rapid disappearance of these side effects is the rule following the infusion of a prescribed quantity of hypertonic glucose solution. Performed properly with continuous close patient observation, the degree of hypoglycemia induced in an IPT treatment causes no neuroglycopenic symptoms. It is acknowledged that cancer chemotherapy can be debilitating for patients. In those undergoing treatment with IPT, an overall gentler experience provides the possibility for their concurrent involvement in other elements of a Comprehensive Cancer Care program, which includes Nutrition for immune system support, and Mind-Body Medicine to support a healing consciousness.




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