Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine - Martha M. Grout, MD, MD(H)
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An Alphabet of Good Health in a Sick World by Martha M. Grout MD, MD(H) and Mary Budinger
An Alphabet Of Good Health
In A Sick World


IPTLDSM – Insulin Potentiation Therapy Low Dose for Cancer

The conventional treatment for cancer is the familiar trio of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. The subsequent devastation to the immune system and the organs – especially the liver and heart – is significant. The reduced quality of life, including losing one's hair, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, low white count, susceptibility to infection, damage to the immune system, etc is also pretty hard to take.

Best Answer for Cancer Foundation:

The name IPT (Insulin Potentiation Therapy) was changed in 2009 to IPTLDSM (Insulin Potentiation Targeted Low Dose).

IPTLDSM is the name chosen by Annie Brandt and the Board of Directors of the Best Answer for Cancer Foundation to more accurately describe the therapy. Same therapy, slightly different name to better express the concept.
In conventional treatment, chemotherapy drugs must be administered in doses high enough to kill a large number of cancer cells without killing the body's immune system and intestinal tract. It's a balancing act. Patients are given as much chemotherapy as their body can tolerate. It is like killing flies with a cannonball instead of fly swatter. You get rid of some flies, yes, but you have a lot of collateral damage. Good cells die along with the bad. Over time (and sometimes a fairly short period of time, days rather than weeks), this massive bombardment can lead to extremely low blood counts, organ failure, and death. Because an already poorly functioning immune system is subjected to radiation and toxic drugs, it is difficult to deliver a "cure."[1]

A time-tested, modified form of chemotherapy has been used successfully and safely around the world for more than 70 years. It is called IPTLDSM, or Insulin Potentiation Therapy Low Dose.

IPTLD™ uses between 10 and 25% of the dosage of a conventional chemotherapy regime. It provides a safer, much gentler alternative to conventional chemotherapy, without the harsh side effects. When combined with complementary therapies to nurture the body, it is also more effective. It is a smart way to approach cancer based on what makes cancer cells vulnerable.

Sugar and Cancer

There is a key difference between cancer cells and healthy cells: cancer cells run exclusively on sugar and glutamine, the amino acid found in high concentration in animal proteins. Cancer cells have a ravenous need to consume the glucose (sugar) found in the blood stream. Glucose is their unique source of energy, and because of the relatively inefficient way cancer cells burn this fuel, they use up a great deal of it. This is why cancer patients lose so much weight. Because cancer cells require so much glucose, they virtually steal it away from the body's normal cells, thus starving them.

To help sugar get inside the cancer cells, they are equipped with 10-16 times as many insulin receptors as healthy cells.[2,3] Insulin manages the delivery of glucose across cell membranes into the cells. Put another way, insulin escorts glucose through the cell membrane, into the interior where the glucose provides energy to keep the cell alive.

PET scanIf you have had a PET scan, you have seen this connection between sugar and cancer cells at work. A PET scan is performed by injecting a radioactive agent attached to a glucose molecule into a vein. The cancer cells, always ravenous for sugar, take up the glucose much faster than healthy cells. The radioactive agent gets into the cell along with the glucose. Bingo – the scan produces a three-dimensional picture of a cancerous mass.

Targeted Therapy

Now, what would happen if, in addition to glucose, you add a little bit of chemotherapy to the mixture? Bingo – the chemotherapy drugs are dragged in to the cancer cells along with that glucose that they so crave. The healthy cells are not bombarded. This is why patients undergoing IPT do not experience the severe side effects of conventional therapy. Generally, IPT patients do not go bald, nor do they experience severe nausea or organ damage.

IPT uses only
10 - 25% of the
amount of drugs
The word "potentiate" means to make stronger or more effective. In this case, it means that insulin makes the chemotherapy more effective. A 1981 study conducted at George Washington University showed that when the chemotherapy drug, methotrexate, is combined with insulin, the drug's cell-killing effect increased by a factor of 10,000.[4] Because insulin enhances the effectiveness of the drugs, IPT uses only 10% to 25% of standard dose drugs. There is no need to overwhelm a patient with large quantities of drugs in the hope that the drugs will kill the cancer before they kill the patient's immune system.

There is a second way that insulin helps us defeat cancer. Insulin stimulates cells to grow, which they do by dividing. Cancer cells are most vulnerable to many chemotherapeutic agents when they are dividing.[5] With IPT, we use insulin's stimulating properties to catch more cancer cells in the process of dividing, so more of the drugs are absorbed than if division had not been encouraged.

A third way insulin helps is with detoxification. Insulin increases "cellular permeability." Glucose goes in easier, and the low dose chemo goes in easier. The door swings both ways - toxins and debris from dying tumor cells also pass out much easier. Insulin facilitates the detoxification so necessary with cancer.

Complementary Therapies

There is universal agreement that cancer is a failure of the immune system. We feel strongly that "killing the cancer" is only one part of the job. Re-training and strengthening the immune system is another part of our job. Our patients continue to thrive and often end up with a healthier immune system than when they started treatment.

We use complementary therapies to nourish the body and protect the organs, to create a more robust immune system and incidentally to create a hostile inner terrain for cancer.

As a tumor grows, the body may acclimate to the presence of abnormal cell growth, fooling the brain into accepting the cancer as a normal presence in the system. After the tumor is removed, the body may still respond as if it were still present, much like an amputee's "phantom limb" syndrome.

One school of thought maintains that the brain sends messages that support re-growth of tumors. Another school of thought teaches that each organ system reflects particular emotions, both positive and negative. When illness strikes, generally the cause originates in the mental or emotional sphere, and manifests in that part of the body which is most vulnerable.

So, for instance, if we have been sexually abused as children, we may very likely develop cancer of the female organs. If we see ourselves as powerless, we may well develop cancer of the pancreas. If we are full of fear, bladder or kidney cancer is often the end result.

It’s not that we intend to become ill, not at all. But our bodies will hold the messages of those experiences that we are too small or too powerless to deal with. We hold those messages in the form of neurotransmitters, second messengers, inflammatory markers, muscle tension, and habitual responses to situations. If our parents were alcoholic, we tend to marry alcoholics. If our parents beat us, or put us down all the time, we tend to marry people who also beat us and denigrate us.

That does not mean that we cannot change our attitude. But first, we have to see our attitude for what it is.

Acupuncture has been used successfully to retrain the body's immune system to defeat cancer, and correct or erase faulty body signals conducive to cancer.[6]

Dr. Otto Warburg's description of the environment of the cancer cell:

A normal healthy cell undergoes an adverse change when it can no longer take in oxygen to convert glucose into energy. In the absence of oxygen, the cell reverts to a primal nutritional program to nourish itself by converting glucose through the process of fermentation. The lactic acid produced by fermentation lowers the cell pH and destroys the ability of DNA and RNA to control cell division. Cancer cells then begin to multiply without restraint.
Oxygen defeats cancer on a fundamental level. Some 75 years ago, Dr. Otto Warburg was awarded two Nobel prizes for demonstrating that cancer occurs when cells weaken due to lack of oxygen.[7] According to Dr. Warburg, that weakness causes the environment to become more acidic – a perfect environment for the growth of pathogens and cancer. When we increase the amount of oxygen in the tissues by using a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, or simply by breathing oxygen-enriched air, we make the environment inside our bodies much less friendly to cancer cells. Advanced cancer patients can be 1000 times more acidic than a healthy person. One way to make low-dose chemotherapy more effective is to insure that cancer cells are adequately oxygenated and not acidic.

Infrared saunas offer another approach to defeat cancer, through the use of elevated body temperature. When fighting pathogens, the body sometimes creates a fever to raise the internal temperature to kill unwanted cells. We use the same principle with infrared saunas. Also, saunas are a great way to detoxify. As a tumor shrinks, it sheds a large quantity of debris. Saunas assist the body's efforts to move out the toxins through the sweat.

The Photon Genius is a form of infrared sauna which not only uses heat – like a regular sauna – but also coherent light frequencies, to restore a sense of order to the cells of the body, as the light is carried around by our own red blood cells.

Therapeutic doses of vitamin C, administered intravenously, have been proven to defeat cancer cells. The National Institutes of Health confirmed in 2005 that vitamin C is selectively toxic to cancer cells and that tumor-toxic levels of vitamin C can be attained using intravenous administration.[8]

Poly-MVA, or lipoic acid palladium complex, helps to regenerate damaged mitochondria[9], thus restoring pre-cancerous cells to the normal oxidative metabolism, while enhancing peroxide-induced damage to cancerous cells through the generation of peroxides and other stress molecules which cancerous cells cannot tolerate.

We also make use of anti-oxidants like glutathione, various herbs and botanical preparations, coffee enemas, and chelation. Special attention is paid to nourishing the liver, the key organ for that all-important job of detoxification.

We use nutritional therapy with all our patients. The cornerstone is a low glycemic diet – very low sugar loads, no refined foods, nothing in a box, nothing with chemicals or colorings in it. And you would be surprised how much of the supermarket is devoted to things with chemicals and colorings. Take a look at the snack and cracker aisle some time. We also use anti-angiogenic therapy – largely through diet, consumption of those foods which heal the blood vessel walls and decrease their responsiveness to the siren calls of tiny tumors for more blood.[10,11] All our patients are encouraged (and taught) to do vegetable juicing every day. We help them learn how to cook, if necessary. After all, how many people have been on a gluten-free diet for 20 years? Certainly not most of those who come to our office.

An important part of the therapy involves fasting, to promote starvation responses in the tumor cells. Since normal cells have a protective mechanism that shuts down their metabolism when fuel is scarce, they are protected when food is in short supply.[12] Fasting the day before chemotherapy is highly recommended, and fasting for at least 8-10 hours before IPTLDSM therapy is required at the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine.

After administering IPT, along with vitamins, herbs, immune enhancers, and chelation, repeat testing 4-6 weeks later will often show that the cancer has regressed, or even disappeared.

IPT's Positive Impact on Cachexia

The culprit behind perhaps half the cancer deaths is a wasting syndrome called cachexia (pronounced "ka-kek-see-ah"). Patients lose weight and literally starve to death.

Because cancer cells need even more energy than regular cells, the cancer cells gobble up the incoming nutrition first. Your healthy cells get what is left over which can mean the rest of your cells starve when conventional treatment leaves you too nauseated to eat. The tumor stays strong, but the patient wastes away.

The hypoglycemic pulse that occurs with the administration of insulin actually helps the body assimilate the nutrition in food – vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Because IPT is a gentler approach, patients do not get the severe bouts of nausea so common with conventional chemotherapy due to destruction of the rapidly dividing and always renewed cells lining the intestinal tract.

The Cellular Genetics Test

Which chemo drugs shall we use? Which complementary therapies are right for you?

Unlike conventional chemotherapy treatment, IPTLD™ is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You are unique, and your response to various drugs and complementary therapies is not necessarily the same as the next person's.

Think back to a time when you had a bladder infection. The lab tested your urine sample against different antibiotics to find out which ones were most effective at killing the bacteria. We use the same concept when choosing therapies for chemotherapy.

We take a sample of your blood (and a fresh tissue sample, if available) and test it against the chemo drugs and the various complementary therapies to find out what will be most effective for you. We also look at the genetic makeup of your individual tumor. When we custom tailor your therapy, you have a better result.

We use a laboratory which does the actual cell cultures in Greece, although it has branches all over the world. The test is not inexpensive, and insurance usually does not pay for this test. But we strongly feel it is the best money you will ever spend. We include this test in our charges for the initial 8 weeks of treatment.

The RESEARCH GENETIC CANCER CENTRE LTD is headed by Dr. Ioannis Papasotiriou, an oncologist. He has developed a way of isolating circulating tumor cells from peripheral blood, growing them in cell culture, and testing them for chemosensitivity, as well as sensitivity to alternative/biological/botanical agents.

Only a few populations of tumor cells actually develop the ability to invade other tissues and create metastatic spread of tumor. These cells are known as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and many of them are cancer stem cells. The RGCC test isolates and measures these cells, then grows them in such a way that they do not mutate during the growth process. The cells can then be tested against various chemotherapeutic agents, as well as many alternative/botanical/nutrient remedies.

Also, metastatic cancer cells can vary genetically from the primary tumor. At least two studies with breast cancer patients have demonstrated that CTC can be HER2 positive while the primary breast tumor can be HER2 negative.[14,15] Another study with prostate cancer demonstrated the same phenomenon. [16]

A landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 compared women with lymph node-positive breast cancer who received the standard trio of chemotherapy drugs – Adriamycin®, Cytoxan®, and Taxol® (called ACT) to women who did not receive any chemotherapy. Their HER2 status was also determined – the genetic characteristic of the cancer. Researchers discovered that women who were HER2 negative and estrogen receptor positive did not benefit at all from taking Taxol®.[17] Because approximately two thirds of women with breast cancer fall into this category, the ramifications of this study are immense. So much for the ineffectiveness of the one-size-fits-all approach to cancer.

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2008 measured the effectiveness of an anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimen in 5,354 women with early-stage breast cancer. Anthracyclines are a class of chemotherapy drugs of which Adriamycin® is a key member. Scientists determined that women with early-stage breast cancer who were HER2 negative derived absolutely no benefit from taking Adriamycin® or other anthracycline drugs.[18] Given that approximately 80% of breast cancers are HER2 negative, then only 1 out of 5 women with breast cancer can benefit from these drugs that have considerable toxicity associated with their use. In another study, 7% of patients treated with Adriamycin® developed congestive heart failure.[19] They apparently did not have Poly-MVA available to them.

Frequency of Treatments

With standard chemotherapy, treatments are often spaced several weeks apart, to allow the body to recover from the harsh effects of the treatment. Since the standard dose chemotherapy attacks all rapidly dividing cells, almost every patient experiences hair loss, and frequently they develop diarrhea and intestinal tract ulcerations as well. Treatment is often limited by the number and severity of the "side effects" which the patient experiences. In addition, the length of time between treatments allows the tumor cells which were not killed initially to continue growing. Sometimes the cells not killed become resistant to the chemotherapeutic agent which was used, and by spacing the treatments so far apart (in order to protect the life of the patient) the resistant population of cells is allowed to take over.

IPTLDSM is a more enlightened paradigm which tailors treatment towards the individual uniqueness of your body and your cancer. With IPT therapy, we generally start with low-dose chemotherapy agents twice a week for the couple of weeks. The frequency may then be reduced to once a week, and eventually to once every 2-3 months, until there is no further sign of cancer cells in the blood, and the tumor is no longer visible by conventional means. Chemotherapy agents are interspersed with complementary therapies. So on Monday, for example, you may receive chemotherapy agents and on Wednesday, you may receive intravenous vitamin C.

How to Begin

We encourage you to request an orientation so you can make an educated decision. There is no charge for this. Come meet the doctors and staff, and tour the clinic. Meet other patients. The course of action you choose is a significant commitment, and one that will impact those around you. Feel free to bring family to the orientation. Ask every question that is on your mind.

For your first appointment (after the orientation visit), plan to spend two hours with us. Bring all your medical records and test results. We will ask you to fill out a history form ahead of time so you can do that at home where you have access to information about prior vaccinations, surgeries, mercury fillings and root canals, major emotional traumas you have experienced in life, etc.

We have an integrative cancer therapy program that provides an approach for the short and the long term – the treatment is tough enough to defeat cancer in the short term, yet leave your body nourished and empowered to ward off cancer on its own in the long term so the cancer does not return.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions about IPTLDSM

"Nothing in life is to be feared.
It is only to be understood."

- Marie Curie, awarded Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry


[1] Morgan G, Ward R et al. The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2004 Dec;16(8):549-60.

[2] Milazzo G, Giorgina F, Belfiore A et al. Insulin Receptor Expression and Function in Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines. CANCER RESEARCH 52, 3924-3930, July 15, 1992

[3] Belfiore A, Malaguarnera R. Insulin receptor and cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2011 Jul 4;18(4):R125-47. doi: 10.1530/ERC-11-0074.

[4] Alabaster, A; Vonderhaar, B; Shafie S. Metabolic modification by insulin enhances methotrexate cytotoxicity in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol. 17:1223-1228

[5] Scavo LM, Karas et al. Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I Stimulates Both Cell Growth and Lipogenesis during Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Adipocytes. J Clin Endocrin Metab 89;7:3542-3552.

[6] Litsey T. Acupuncture vs. Cancer: Re-Engaging the Body's Immune System . AcupunctureToday. October, 2003, Vol. 04, Issue 10

[7] Downloaded 02-24-13.

[8] Chen Q, Espey MG, Krishna MC, Mitchell JB, Corpe CP, Buettner GR, Shacter E, Levine M. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 20; 102(38):13604-9.

[9] Sudheesh NP, Ajith TA, Janardhanan KK, Krishnan CV. Effect of POLY-MVA, a palladium alpha-lipoic acid complex formulation against declined mitochondrial antioxidant status in the myocardium of aged rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jul;48(7):1858-62. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.04.022.

[10] Li WW, Li VW, Hutnik M, Chiou AS. Tumor angiogenesis as a target for dietary cancer prevention. J Oncol. 2012;2012:879623. doi: 10.1155/2012/879623.

[11] Arulselvan P, Wen CC, Lan CW, Chen YH, Wei WC, Yang NS. Dietary administration of scallion extract effectively inhibits colorectal tumor growth: cellular and molecular mechanisms in mice. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44658.

[12] Lee C, Longo VD. Fasting vs dietary restriction in cellular protection and cancer treatment: from model organisms to patients. Oncogene. 2011 Jul 28;30(30):3305-16. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.91.

[13 Apostolou P, Toloudi M, Chatziioannou M, Ioannou E, Papasotiriou I. Cancer stem cells stemness transcription factors expression correlates with breast cancer disease stage. Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2012 Nov;7(6):415-9.

[14] S Meng, D Tripathy, et al; HER-2 gene amplification can be acquired as breast cancer progresses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. June 22, 2004;101(25):9393-8.

[15] P. Wόlfing, J Borchard, et al; HER2-positive circulating tumor cells indicate poor clinical outcome in stage I to III breast cancer patients. Clin Cancer Res. March 15, 2006;12(6):1715-20.

[16] CA Olsson, GM De Vries, et al; The use of RT-PCR for prostate-specific antigen assay to predict potential surgical failures before radical prostatectomy: molecular staging of prostate cancer. Br J Urol. March 7, 1996;7(3):411-7.

[17] DF Hayes, AD Thor, et al; Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) Investigators. HER2 and response to paclitaxel in node-positive breast cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, October 11, 2007;357(15):1496-506.

[18] A Gennari, MP Sormani ,et al; HER2 status and efficacy of adjuvant anthracyclines in early breast cancer: a pooled analysis of randomized trials. J Natl Cancer Inst. January 2, 2008; 100(1):14-20.

[19] SM Swain, FS Whaley, MS Ewer; Congestive heart failure in patients treated with doxorubicin: a retrospective analysis of three trials. Cancer. June 1, 2003; 97(11):2869-79.


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