Vitamin D, Hydroxychloroquine and Pancreatic Cancer: What You Need to Know
While some chemotherapies are initially effective, pancreatic tumors often become resistant to them. The disease has also proven difficult to treat with newer approaches such as immunotherapy.
As a physician who does not practice alternative or complementary treatments, he is aware of the hurdles and arguments against recommending non-FDA approved treatments and has several concerns himself. He believes that if these concerns are adequately addressed, we can fill a void that is sorely lacking between patients looking for something experimental to improve their odds of survival (many of whom turn to inappropriate, futile alternative treatments) and the legitimate scientific community who has real hope to offer.
The graph below displays the test results of a Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer patient's tumor marker levels over time.
#1. Suppose no one survives Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer using standard treatment - the standard treatment of chemo/radiation/surgery received by Alex Trebek, Patrick Swayze, and Michael Landon. Why don't we INFORM ALL cancer patients that repurposed drugs are an option? Must you be a physician like Dr. Stephen Bigelsen to get the repurposed cocktail? Most of us would never know even to ask.
Very few people stumble upon repurposed drugs for cancer. As a result, 99.999% never get the type of treatment that Dr. Bigelsen did. And he tells his story that getting into a clinical trial is not all that helpful if you get only one drug, or only get the placebo, or if you wait until the late stages when cancer has returned in a resistant state.
Getting into a clinical trial after all else fails in cancer care is too little, too late. It may help the study, but it usually does little for the patient. Dr. Bigelsen got all the drugs started by writing a prescription for himself, something most of us cannot do.
The repurposed drug cocktails MUST BE STARTED EARLY.
It is the same with COVID-19. The earlier one starts the Ivermectin, the better. In India, entire households would begin the Ivermectin the moment one family member got sick. This strategy proved remarkably effective, and it did not produce deaths, strokes, or blood clots.
What is the point of all this? 1.9 million Americans contract cancer each year, and 600,000 die from the disease. These numbers, in my opinion, can be reduced by 1/3 by the widespread adoption of repurposed drug cocktails. Unfortunately, the standard of care for most cancers remains Chemo/Radiation/Surgery. I write a lot about the SAM cocktail, a combination of Statin/Aspirin/Metformin. Dr. Bigelsen writes about this as well.
A 2017 review — which reviewed more than 190 studies investigating how chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) affect cancer cells — describes how the malaria drugs may increase tumor sensitivity to existing cancer treatments.
Based on their findings, first study author Ciska Verbaanderd, from the University of Leuven in Belgium, and her colleagues say that the drugs “deserve further clinical investigations in several cancer types.”
Given that cancer is increasingly becoming resistant to existing therapies, there is a desperate need to uncover new ways to fight the disease.
Verbaanderd and colleagues believe that the drugs CQ and HCQ could help in this fight.
CQ and HCQ as cancer therapies
CQ and HCQ are medications used to prevent and treat malaria. They may also be used in the treatment of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. A wealth of
For their review, Verbaanderd and colleagues analyzed the results of more than 190 animal and human studies that assessed the effects of CQ and HCQ on different types of cancer.
According to the researchers, the aim of their review was “to inform further research and trials on repurposing CQ and HCQ as anti-cancer agents.”
The team uncovered evidence to suggest that CQ and HCQ could be effective for the treatment of a number of cancers, including glioblastoma — which is a deadly brain cancer — lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
“CQ and HCQ have been studied in multiple preclinical cancer models,” write the authors, “and have demonstrated activity on several cancer-supporting pathways and in combination with a broad range of other therapies.”
“[…] The majority of these studies have reported an improved therapeutic efficacy as compared with monotherapy with existing anti-cancer drugs,” they add.The review also indicates that both drugs are “safe and tolerable” as an anti-cancer therapy, though current evidence suggests that HCQ might pose fewer side effects.
How can CQ and HCQ fight cancer?
According to the team, their review highlights a number of mechanisms by which CQ and HCQ could help to treat cancer.
Firstly, there is evidence to suggest that the drugs can inhibit autophagy, which is the process whereby cells devour their own damaged or unnecessary components.
“Autophagic properties such as nutrient recycling can support cancer cell survival,” the authors note. “Moreover, key regulators of cell growth can be degraded and the DNA damage response can be suppressed through increased autophagy.”
“Therefore, inhibition of autophagy can be an interesting anti-cancer strategy when cancer cells start depending on autophagy for survival.”
The review also revealed that CQ and HCQ can block the CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling pathway, which previous research has associated with cancer progression.
Additionally, there is evidence that CQ can stabilize a protein called p53, which is a known tumor suppressor, and it may also help to normalize blood vessel dysfunction in tumors.“The benefits of vessel normalization include a decrease in tumor hypoxia, reduced cancer cell intravasation and metastasis, and an increase in chemotherapeutic drug delivery and response,” the authors explain.
Drugs could offer ‘significant clinical benefit’
Overall, Verbaanderd and colleagues believe that their study has highlighted the potential benefits of CQ and HCQ as a cancer treatment, as well as the mechanisms behind their anti-cancer properties.
The team notes that there are 30 clinical trials currently investigating the effects of CQ and HCQ against various cancer types.
Based on their review, the researchers conclude that these trials should focus on the efficacy of these medications, as well as the best doses and methods of administration.
Case report: stage 4 pancreatic cancer to remission using paricalcitol and hydroxychloroquine in addition to traditional chemotherapy by Stephen Bigelsen: I am a physician specializing in Allergy and Asthma, who in July 2016, had tumors in the head and the tail of the pancreas with scattered peritoneal metastases and a CA19-9 of 11,575 U/mL. Working with physicians from Weill-Cornell and Johns Hopkins, I began treatment with gemcitabine and capecitabine, plus IV Paricalcitol (25 mcg 3x’s/week) and hydroxychloroquine (600 mg BID). These are both safe and inexpensive treatment options that have shown success in pre-clinical models, phase 2 human trials, and are readily available. I have now enjoyed a complete response with my latest CA19-9 of just 15 U/mL and no evidence of active disease on my most recent CT scan.
Hydroxychloroquine in Previously Treated Patients With Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Hydroxychloroquine is approved for the treatment of non-cancerous illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematous. Researchers in the laboratory have tested tumors from patients with pancreatic cancer and have discovered that they have certain pathways inside the cells that promote growth and survival of the tumor. Hydroxychloroquine may inactivate these pathways and results in the death of pancreatic cancer cells.
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