Insulin Potentation Therapy – Treatment at a Glance
By Dr. Steven Ayre
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 IPT, cancer cell membranes also have six times more insulin receptors and ten times more IGF receptors, per cell, than the membranes of host normal tissues. Further, insulin can cross-react with and activate cancer cell IGF receptors. Thus, per cell, cancer has 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.
In light of these revelations, exogenous 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, sparing host normal tissues. Significantly less drug 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 this favorable side effect profile, cycles of low-dose chemotherapy with IPT may be done more frequently. There is good patient acceptance of the hypoglycemic side effect of insulin in this protocol, and the “rescue phenomenon” occasioned by the timely administration of hypertonic glucose actually serves to provide patients with an experiential metaphor for the rapid recovery of their well being. It is acknowledged that cancer treatment can often be debilitating for patients. In those undergoing treatment with IPT, an overall gentler experience promotes their concurrent use of other important elements in a program of Comprehensive Cancer Care, which includes nutrition for immune system support, and mind-body medicine to support a healing consciousness.