With Jason Butcher, Joani Rogers Jackson, Elizabeth Sherwood, and Kelsey Hatfield. Discussing how the team overcame the shortage on certain medications.
There are many reasons Care Oncology has decided to utilize Mebendazole as part of the complete COC Protocol. The article below is an extensive review of the current literature.
We have selected Mebendazole in the COC Protocol because:
1. It has a human license
2. It is already demonstrated as safe in humans
3. It is already demonstrated as safe in humans with cancer
4. Has the right anticancer mechanisms of action
5. Has a significant amount of clinical data in cancer
6. Has cancer data that is covered by the existing dosage schedule
7. Can be prescribed and monitored by clinicians
8. Has the largest amount of scientific and medical data on its use in cancer
The other Benzimidazole drugs may have utility in cancer but it is only Mebendazole that satisfies all our criteria about both efficacy data patient safety and history of use.
Dr Ndabezinhle Mazibuko MBBS talks about the COC Protocol and its clinical study.
We brought Care Oncology to the United States almost four years ago. Since then, and because of COVID-19 now, the value offered by drug repurposing has captivated the public’s attention, as highlighted by this recent article in the New York Times. As one of the first companies to offer a combination of repurposed drugs as an adjuvant cancer therapy, we promised to do two things: Maintain a consistent formulation that is able to be safely administrated, and second, maintain a consistent formulation so the outcome can be measured and validated. Unlike some clinics that offer repurposed drugs for cancer, at Care Oncology we have embarked on wide-ranging, real-world clinical trial so patients and oncologists can see our outcomes for themselves. Last year, we published our first outcome data on glioblastoma.
No one disputes the fact that health care in the United States is in a state of crisis. We spend far more than any other industrialized nation on healthcare (20% of GDP versus 11% of GDP) and get less. However, we remain optimistic that this is changing. The market place is responding to the crisis. Innovative, value-based companies are being created like never before. Companies that offer proven value for the money paid.
Moreover, recognizing the need for responsible third-party validation of these newly formed health care companies has become critically important. The Validation Institute has become the trusted name to lead this critical mission. Their mission is to thoroughly vet health care companies so the general public and payers know if they offer recognized and proven value for their patients or not.
Today, we are incredibly proud to announce that we have passed the Validation Institute’s extremely rigorous validation process of data analysis, outcome claims, and value calculation. We have worked hard to get to this point. Early on, we recognized the tremendous value a responsibly delivered program of repurposed drugs offered to cancer patients, yet, it was not being offered at scale. Four years ago, we set out to change this knowing it was a marathon, not a sprint.
Today is a milestone. Tomorrow, we have even bigger aspirations. We have a clarity of mission like never before, and an unbridled energy to keep changing oncology for the better.
Hear from Nurse Joani and Kelsey on what’s happening TODAY at Care Oncology as a result of the COVID-19 Crisis.
Many more TODAY updates on the way from the Care Oncology Team!
We hope you and your family are well and keeping safe.
We are pleased to report that all our staff are currently in good health and we continue to run normally with all appointments taking place.
The COC Protocol during the COVID-19 outbreak
With this note, we felt it would be helpful to address a question which our doctors have been asked by a number of patients recently: is it useful to continue with the COC Protocol in a scenario where standard of care treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy are being paused or postponed?
The short answer is that yes, we believe it is. The COC Protocol down-regulates cancer cell metabolism (or in other words, it “starves” cancer cells) and therefore may be beneficial to you during a time where there is a wait for your standard of care to start or to resume.
While it is always our preference for the COC Protocol to run alongside standard of care wherever possible, the research literature and our own analysis of our Glioblastoma brain tumor cohort shows there is the potential for it to play a supportive role when administered as standalone therapy too – click here to read: Frontiers: A case study in Glioblastoma.
We would also like to further reassure you that none of the COC medications cause immunosuppression, and where it is safe and appropriate, our physicians will actively consider upward dose adjustments, particularly in a situation where systemic treatment has been interrupted.
Interval blood tests and other concerns
We understand that it may currently be difficult to arrange your usual follow up blood tests at your hospital or GP surgery and if this is the case, please contact us to discuss your situation. In line with our usual advice, we also ask that you contact us if you think you may be experiencing any adverse effects, symptoms of an infection/other symptoms of concern or have any general questions regarding your COC treatment at this time.
COVID-19 driving forward research into existing drugs
One silver lining of the current virus outbreak is that the spotlight is being shone on repurposing of medicines in a way that has never happened before. Different groups of researchers are busy evaluating how existing licensed medications could be usefully deployed in COVID-19 infection. For example, the following article from a well-respected French bioinformatics organisation examines possible druggable targets in COVID-19 and it is interesting to note that both metformin and atorvastatin are mentioned as two of the possible 97 agents that require further study in this context – click here to read: Repositioning common approved drugs against COVID-19
This underscores that well-conducted, robust research into repurposed medicines is a logical and important therapeutic strategy in cancer and many other disease processes.
CDC Guidelines: CDC guidelines
Cancer Research UK: CRUK – COVID-19
Finally, should you need to book a review or have any questions you’d like to discuss with our team, please get in touch with us at 1-800-392-1352, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amid the growing uncertainty related to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, Care Oncology would like to assure you that we are here for you during this challenging time.
All cancer patients, including our existing Care Oncology patients, may be concerned about best practices during this unprecedented time. For some patients, the risks associated with exposure to the virus and even moderate immune dysfunction may possibly present a more significant threat than a delay to your standard cancer therapy. You and your oncologist will need to decide if you can continue to receive your treatment given the strain that hospitals are under with treating people with the Coronavirus, or whether you should suspend your standard treatment for a while. Every individual situation is different, and these are personal decisions unique to your cancer aggressiveness, the local viral risk, available treatment resources, and you and your family’s wishes.
We are writing to confirm to you that the Care Oncology protocol should not cause immunosuppression nor should it change your risk to the COVID 19 virus. The Care Oncology protocol down-regulates the cancer cell metabolism (or starve the cancer cells) and may be beneficial to you during this time while you wait for your standard of care to start or to resume. The protocol should not impact your ability to fight off typical infections or this COVID 19 virus and may be helpful.
Through our online telemedicine platform, new or existing patients are evaluated via video conferencing without the need to travel to our clinics and to be exposed to the risks from the virus. Our medications are sent to your home in 2-4 days after the oncology consult to start therapy immediately. Our oncology nurses are on standby to promptly answer your questions, online or by telephone, for all our patients.
If you do become sick from the virus, and you find that you cannot take the Care Oncology medications, it is fine to stop them until you feel well enough to begin taking them again.
Throughout the world, every day, we are witnessing human kindness at its very best as people pull together and make sacrifices for the good of everyone else. At Care Oncology we recognize the unique challenges of today’s environment and have a team of Oncology doctors and nurses ready to serve your needs with coverage throughout the United States and most of Canada.
Charles Meakin MD, MHA,
Care Oncology Chief Medical Officer
Travis Christofferson , author of “Tripping Over The Truth,” sits down with Phil Mikan on their shared experiences with cancer treatment. Travis discusses his insights on doctor’s attitudes toward developing treatment methodology such as Care Oncology’s COC Protocol. Recorded: January 28, 2020 For more information, visit www.careoncology.com
Tripping over the Truth: How the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Is Overturning One of Medicine’s Most Entrenched Paradigms 1st Edition Available at Amazon
Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators is Trying to Transform our Health Care System Available at Amazon
This is one of the most important podcasts I have ever recorded. Travis Christofferson speaks on how metabolic conditions lay the foundation for many of our disease states. With better treatment methodologies, and better thinking around the system at large, we can drastically reframe the way we look at our health. Healthcare is a daunting beast, physically, emotionally, and financially–with cancer sitting at the helm. In his two books Tripping Over The Truth and Curable Travis reveals actionable strategies for you and your loved ones to not only optimize your likelihood of survival, but reframe the disease paradigm and take greater control of your livelihood. Please share this podcast and Travis’ books with anyone you know who has ever been touched by cancer or many of the diseases we discuss on the podcast. Who knows, it might just save someone’s life.
Travis Christofferson is a founder of Care Oncology US
Taking multiple different medications without proper medical supervision can cause more harm than good. You don’t have to do this alone.
- Taking more medications or supplements does not necessarily mean more benefit. Even the most common medicines and supplements can have potentially serious side-effects or can interact dangerously with other drugs, especially in the context of cancer.
- The risk of serious side-effects increases with every extra medication taken.
- At the Care Oncology clinic we regularly see patients who have become unwell through taking unregulated supplements or prescription medications without proper medical supervision. That’s why we believe that full and proper medical oversight by qualified clinicians is so vital.
- We also understand that as someone living with cancer, you want to help yourself as much as possible. We fully respect your right to do that.
- At Care Oncology, our specialist clinicians and nurses are here to help you safely navigate your repurposed medications. We do not judge, and we are here to help. If you have any questions about your medications, or any safety worries at all, please do come to us.
Around 1 million patients end up in US hospitals every year as a result of using prescribed medications. Taking multiple medications, sometimes called polypharmacy, can increase risk of side effects, poor outcomes and even death. With each additional medication and supplement, the risk of adverse outcomes due to medication interactions is also increased. . This is why our specialist clinicians take extreme care when prescribing the Care Oncology protocol medications, and each patient is regularly monitored for potential issues.
Every day our clinic hears from patients who have encountered problems caused by taking other medications alongside the Care Oncology protocol, without proper medical supervision. Some have ended up in the ER because they have added an unregulated supplement alongside their usual Care Oncology regimen. Others have suffered severe symptoms such as internal bleeding or liver problems as a result of using regular prescription medications without proper monitoring.
Cancer medicine requires constant balancing of potential risks and benefits against an ever-changing background of disease. But we also understand that as someone living with cancer, you want to help yourself as much as possible. That’s why we are here to help you safely navigate your own complex situation. You don’t have to do this alone.
More medicines can mean more risk
Taking more medications does not necessarily mean more benefit. Mismanaged or unregulated polypharmacy is a significant driver of prescription drug-related hospitalizations, and research shows that the risk of having a drug-related health issue increases by 10% for every extra medication taken (Gandhi et al., 2003). A patient taking ten medications has twice the risk of death compared to a patient taking just one (Leelakanok et al., 2017). In the US, polypharmacy mismanagement is estimated to result in healthcare costs of at least $1.3 billion every year, mostly due to inpatient care, visits to the ER and hospitalization as a result of complications and adverse side-effects. Put simply, if you take more medications, no matter how safe they are, you become much more likely to suffer a serious side-effect or drug-drug interaction as a result.
Even the most common medicines can have potentially serious side-effects, especially in the context of cancer. One reason for this is because both the disease and the standard-of-care treatments given can place body systems under extreme strain. The risk directly escalates with the number of medications used. Mild side-effects caused by just one medication can soon become problematic when several medications with the same or similar side-effects are used together.
Even painkillers carry risk
The widely used painkiller acetaminophen/Tylenol is invaluable in providing pain relief caused by cancer and cancer-related treatments. Yet this common medication can be toxic to the liver and fatal at high-doses – even in patients with no other health issues. In the context of cancer, extra care must be taken as acetaminophen is often used alongside chemotherapy drugs, which can also stress the liver and increase the risk of liver damage. Careful monitoring is required, even for this very common and very safe drug, to make sure the liver is not placed under undue strain.
Aspirin is another well-used analgesic, and some patients take this medication for its potential anticancer effects. However, aspirin can also cause severe internal bleeding if taken for too long, at the wrong dose, in combination with other medications, or with a background of certain health issues. At Care Oncology we regularly see patients who have become unwell from taking long-term or high-dose aspirin alongside their other cancer medications without medical supervision. Some of these patients have ended up in the ER.
Supplements are drugs too
Did you know that some types of supplements can cause toxic effects, or can interfere with your standard-of-care treatments and Care Oncology Protocol medications?
Any supplement which has an effect on the body will also have other side-effects, and can also potentially interact with other drugs too. And because many supplements are unregulated, these effects are not necessarily as well understood as for prescribed medications. We know of patients who have become unwell from taking supplements alongside their usual treatments and the Care Oncology Protocol. Common issues include:
- Severe gastrointestinal side-effects or serious blood pressure issues which have required ER treatment as a result of taking berberine alongside other medications,
- Liver problems caused by taking too much curcumin,
- Life-threatening illness due to taking high-dose combinations of multiple supplements alongside other treatments.
We can help by providing information and advice; please do tell us every medication and supplement you are taking, so we can make sure we’re giving you the best medical supervision that we can. While nobody fully knows the effects, the side-effects and the interactions of every supplement, we may have encountered the situation before, or we may have knowledge of that supplement.
Appropriate medical advice is essential
We commonly see patients who have developed issues when using combinations of medications and supplements suggested online, which have then been prescribed by multiple doctors, or by non-specialist doctors who cannot provide cohesive oversight in the context of a patient’s condition. For example, we have had patients who suffer daily nosebleeds due to taking warfarin alongside anti-inflammatory medications such as dexamethasone. And we have seen others with an increased risk of seizures caused by taking medications which lower their seizure threshold, such as the anti‑malarial drug chloroquine and tricyclic antidepressants. This is an especially important issue in cancer patients with disease of the brain.
At Care Oncology, we use oncologists and oncology nurses for support because they fully understand the full context of your cancer, the complex treatments that go with it, and how to safely integrate medications. We are a group of open-minded clinicians who can help you safely navigate your repurposed medications. We do not judge, and we are here to help. If you have any questions about your medications, or any safety worries at all, please do come to us.
Some other common issues from our clinic
We understand the goal of wanting to defeat cancer and doing all you can in terms of treatments. Every day we manage issues which have arisen due to the challenge of taking numerous medications and supplements without the oversight of a specialized Care Oncology clinician. Some common safety issues we have encountered include:
- Using out of date medications Out-of-date medicines can cause serious illness, we have even known of patients ending up in the ER, in part through taking expired medications.
- Using medicines provided by family and friends We always recommend proper medical supervision, as only trained clinicians can fully understand your specific situation, and how best to help you.
- Ordering counterfeit medications from countries where regulation is minimal. Medications ordered online may not be properly regulated, and without accountability, there is no way to be sure that what arrives is real and safe.
- Taking veterinary medicines, or other drugs with little or no data in humans. Medications designed for animals are not tested for human use. Nobody knows exactly how these drugs will affect the human body, or how they will react in the presence of other medications. There is usually no need to take these medications, as there are always much safer, and more effective alternatives. For example, mebendazole is the human equivalent of the veterinary treatment fenbendazole. Both drugs have very similar mechanism of action, but mebendazole has passed extensive safety and effectiveness checks and has been licensed for use in humans. There is also more anticancer data for mebendazole than there is for fenbendazole.
Why do we take patient safety so seriously?
At Care Oncology our overall aim is to repurpose certain already licensed and common medications to help treat cancer. But managing patient safety in this context comes with special responsibilities.
We know people with cancer must live with very specific, often very complex conditions, and are often already undergoing treatments that may be difficult to tolerate.. Maintaining overall patient safety and comfort is very important to us, and we take it very seriously.
When we developed the Care Oncology Protocol, we deliberately chose only those medications which are supported by huge amounts of safety data garnered from years of clinical use. And this is also one reason why we don’t prescribe other medications, which might not have the same level of safety data supporting their use. We also don’t recommend the unsupervised addition of other medications and supplements to the Care Oncology Protocol regimen without having a full understanding of all potential risks.
Our expert oncologists are on your side
Our oncologist and specialist nurses are here to care for you, here to help and guide you through every step of this particularly difficult and confusing time. We will stay with you, talk to you, and give you honest advice, without judgement. We will also not prescribe anything that we think is not in your best interests. We want to help you get the best outcome you can, while also staying safe.
No drug is completely risk-free. Even the Care Oncology Protocol medications have some well-defined safety flags which our oncology team know how to monitor, and can address appropriately should they ever arise. The vast majority of patients (over 85%) who take the Care Oncology Protocol can take all four medications over the long-term without any issues. You can read more about our research safety data in our first scientific research paper, available online here. Our oncology nurses are also available to provide more information as well as to provide symptom management and problem solving for those taking the Care Oncology protocol.
The Care Oncology Protocol is so well tolerated in our patients for a number of reasons: because we understand these medications, because we fully monitor each patient and take care to understand each personal situation, because of the extensive data research we carried out when developing this specific combination, and last but not least, because of our own experience treating thousands of patients with these medications in our own clinic. We are building on this existing knowledge every day- crafting and refining how and when we treat our patients with different cancers, at different stages, and under different conditions.
If you have any questions around your care, or any other medications you are taking and how they might interact with the Care Oncology Protocol medications, please do get in touch with your Care Oncology Nurse and we will be very happy to help you.
Data from: Avoidable_Costs_in _US_Healthcare-IHII_AvoidableCosts_2013_Pg27
Agrawal, S., Vamadevan, P., Mazibuko, N., Bannister, R., Swery, R., Wilson, S., and Edwards, S. (2019). A New Method for Ethical and Efficient Evidence Generation for Off-Label Medication Use in Oncology (A Case Study in Glioblastoma). Front. Pharmacol. 10.
Gandhi, T.K., Weingart, S.N., Borus, J., Seger, A.C., Peterson, J., Burdick, E., Seger, D.L., Shu, K., Federico, F., Leape, L.L., et al. (2003). Adverse Drug Events in Ambulatory Care. New England Journal of Medicine 348, 1556–1564.
Leelakanok, N., Holcombe, A.L., Lund, B.C., Gu, X., and Schweizer, M.L. (2017). Association between polypharmacy and death: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) 57, 729-738.e10.
 Data from: Avoidable_Costs_in _US_Healthcare-IHII_AvoidableCosts_2013_Pg27