Researchers have discovered a new way to treat chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer by exploiting cancer cells’ proclivity for sugar.
Researchers have discovered a new way to treat chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer by exploiting cancer cells’ proclivity for sugar, according to doctors at Arizona cancer center EuroMed who support the rise of treatment alternatives.
Phoenix, Arizona (August 2013) — Researchers at the University of Southampton have announced a potential alternative for treating breast cancer that has become resistant to chemotherapy. The method is similar to one used by the medical team at EuroMed (www.euro-med.us), an Arizona cancer center that focuses on alternative treatment.
“The growing popularity of alternative cancer therapies is a good thing,” says Dr. Helen Watt, a physician at EuroMed. “It provides patients and their physicians with additional treatment options, and more treatment options could translate to increased rates of survival, not to mention treatments that are gentler or healthier for the body.”
The researchers at Southampton are exploiting cancer cells’ voracious need for sugar. Cancer cells rely on sugars to help proteins bind together to continue growing and multiplying. The research examines the use of chemicals called cyclic peptide inhibitors, which block the proteins that cancer cells need to grow.
Dr. Watt says she is always interested to learn of new cancer treatments from researchers around the world.
“EuroMed specializes in a variety of integrative cancer treatments,” says Dr. Watt, who is also a diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology and a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. “One method in particular that we use is related to the discovery the Southampton researchers have made. It’s called insulin potentiation therapy, and it also uses cancer’s need for sugar against the disease.”
In insulin potentiation therapy (IPT), the doctors at EuroMed introduce insulin into the body. This lowers the body’s blood sugar level, triggering fat metabolism in healthy cells. The drop in sugar causes the cancer cells to open up their membranes in an attempt to gather more fuel.
Then a small dose of chemotherapy medication followed by glucose is administered. As the cancer cells suck in the glucose, they also take in concentrated doses of chemotherapy medication.
“IPT allows us to use less chemo medication to treat the cancer,” Dr. Watt says, “which is healthier and better for the patient.”