Category: News

The COC Protocol during the COVID-19 outbreak

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.

General Advice

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, casemanager@careoncology.com.

A note from our Medical Director, Dr. Charles Meakin, Regarding the COVID-19 Virus

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.

Sincerely,
Charles Meakin MD, MHA,
Care Oncology Chief Medical Officer
CareOncology.com

Interview with Travis Christofferson (Tripping Over The Truth)

Travis Christofferson Tripping Over the TruthTravis 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

Frustrated With The Healthcare System? Watch This

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.

-Aubrey Marcus

Travis Christofferson is a founder of Care Oncology US

The polypharmacy problem

Taking multiple different medications without proper medical supervision can cause more harm than good. You don’t have to do this alone.

Key Messages

  • 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.

Summary

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[1] 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.

References

Data from: Avoidable_Costs_in _US_Healthcare-IHII_AvoidableCosts_2013[1]_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.

 

[1] Data from: Avoidable_Costs_in _US_Healthcare-IHII_AvoidableCosts_2013[1]_Pg27

“Repurposing” off-patent drugs offers big hopes of new treatments

Towards the end of 2014 a 66-year-old British man named Alistair had a seizure. A scan revealed shocking news. He had an inoperable brain tumour—a glioblastoma—that was likely to kill him in a few years. Soon afterwards, he read a newspaper article suggesting that a cocktail of cheap, everyday drugs, chosen for their anti-cancer effects, had helped a patient with the same disease. His doctors were unimpressed but said: “We can’t stop you.”

Four years on Alistair is still taking this drug regimen alongside the “standard-of-care” treatment. The drug cocktail is prescribed by Care Oncology, a private clinic in London, which recommends a statin (a cholesterol-lowering drug), metformin (used to treat type-2 diabetes), doxycycline (an antibiotic) and mebendazole (an anti-worming agent). These may sound radical, but are actually safe, cheap, generic medicines with evidence of some anti-cancer effects. Nonetheless, their labels do not say they treat glioblastoma—nor any other cancer for that matter.

Read the full article about Care Oncology at The Economist

Our founder’s perspective

Our Mission

Care Oncology co-founder Dr Robin Bannister is a chemist and pharmaceutical scientist with 35 years’ experience working with licensed medicines. Close personal experience of cancer first turned his attention to the possibility of ‘repurposing’ licensed medicines to help treat the disease. Almost a decade later, Care Oncology is thriving in both the USA and the UK. Here is Robin’s story – the motivation, and the scientific drive, behind a very personal mission.

The beginnings of an idea

I am always fascinated by how little we actually know about new medicines when they are brought to market. It’s only with the passage of time and after long periods of use in humans that we really begin to understand exactly what it is that our medicines can do. Everyone of course knows the tale of aspirin derived from components of willow bark chewed by the ancient Egyptians for pain relief and even now, 2000 years later, we are starting to investigate its use in cancer.

Good science takes time – but I believe it doesn’t have to take that long.

Put simply, my passion is to understand old drugs better. My great friend and co-founder Greg Stoloff shares my belief and my frustration that potentially very useful medicines are not available to patients, and that it still takes far too long to develop a new drug.

Going back to the example of aspirin; as early as the 1950s people noticed that the way aspirin worked could potentially help in cancer. Yet here we are over 60 years later – and as far as cancer is concerned, this drug is still on the shelf. Only now are full clinical studies underway, and it will still be another few years before results of these studies are fully understood.

Greg and I talked about this conundrum for a long time. But the spark that lit the fire finally came in 2011, when my wife’s breast cancer became metastatic. And like so many who have faced that numbing reality, and felt that raw frustration, I asked myself what could I do to help? Greg was the first to listen and we realized that with our combined skills, we could do something practical – and so the Care Oncology Clinic was born.

Our guiding principles

From the very beginning we had three guiding principles:

One: We knew we wanted to work with already licensed drugs, as anything which looked promising could then be brought into the clinic very quickly. My wife did not have a lot of time.

Two: Modern medicine has such a lot to offer, and we wanted our treatment to build on that – I wanted my wife to have the best of the old and the new.  Only in this way could we build upon some of the hard-won knowledge and the gains that have been made in treatment over the years.

Three: We wanted to make a change that would not just help my wife but had the potential to help anyone with cancer. We knew that the only way to do this was to generate evidence showing that what we are doing works. We also knew that this evidence had to be of sufficient quality that it could be accepted by the entire medical community.

I wanted to realize my wife’s vision, and her wish to make a difference. She wanted to know that if cancer claimed her life, she had done something that could help make sure better treatments are available. She wanted to help people who must navigate a similar path. It’s a wish that I’m sure everyone is familiar with. We are all human.

The metabolic theory

So now we had our mission. I had the list of 6,000 or so compounds available in the Pharmacopeia of drugs and compounds as a starting point, and with this, we started to research aspects of cancer.

I was fascinated to learn about Otto Warburg’s original ground-breaking work in cell metabolism, for which he received the Nobel prize for medicine in 1931. Metabolism is the conversion of food to energy to run cellular processes and construct cellular building blocks. Warburg’s work really laid the foundations for the theory that the metabolism of cancer cells is fundamentally different to that of healthy non-cancerous cells. Since then, the science and understanding of cancer cell metabolism has of course hugely advanced, in a discipline now known as ‘metabolic oncology’.

Greg and I were convinced that manipulating the metabolic processes used by the vast majority of cancer cells represented a potentially effective way to target any cancer, regardless of type or stage. The theory goes that by using metabolically-targeted drugs to weaken the cancer cell’s ability to grow and thrive, the cell would then become much more susceptible to standard cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormone or immunotherapy. With this insight, we decided to search for already licensed drugs that could target these metabolic processes.

The search

We set about researching and ranking available evidence for existing licensed drugs which have a metabolic mechanism of action. This work was painstakingly centered around a number of scientific criteria we had predetermined as being very important.

Above all, we understood that whatever treatment we developed, it must not add significantly to the burden of a patient with cancer, who obviously can be very sick. Many patients must take cancer treatments which themselves can cause a range of difficult side-effects. It was therefore important that our treatment, which was to be taken alongside these standard treatments, was to be as gentle as possible from a side-effect perspective. Safety was very important to us, and we restricted our search only to drugs that had a strong record of use in the general population, (including in cancer patients). This way, we would have some evidence of their compatibility in patients who were also taking cancer treatments.

Next, we knew we wanted to find a combination of drugs that targeted related mechanisms involved in cancer cell metabolism. In this way the activity of each drug combined could potentially produce an additive or ‘synergistic’ effect and would definitely not interfere or impede each other. We termed this approach ‘mechanistic coherence’.  

Finally, we also wanted to make sure that the drugs already had as much published evidence as possible supporting their activity and use in cancer. We took evidence from all available sources and weighed this evidence very carefully.

The COC Protocol

During the development stage we studied and discarded a huge number of drugs from the protocol. For example, drugs that did not have a good safety profile in cancer patients, or which had questionable or mixed evidence of effectiveness, or no real mechanistic reason for inclusion.

There are a huge number of drugs out there with evidence of activity against cancer, but which did not meet our strict criteria for inclusion in the protocol. We eventually arrived at an optimal regimen of four medications: metformin, atorvastatin, mebendazole, and doxycycline. We chose this combination not only because they met all our criteria very well, but also for one other very important reason. We believe this specific combination, with this particular number of drugs, gives us the best chance not only of providing patient benefit, but also for gathering sufficient evidence to start achieving our original vision, of really making a difference to all patients with cancer.

The next steps

One problem which is repeatedly encountered, and is well understood in the field of ‘drug repurposing’, is that although for many of these drugs there is a growing base of evidence supporting their use in cancer (which includes ‘test tube’ based studies, animal studies, patient tumor studies, small clinical trials, and epidemiological studies), there are no Phase III randomized placebo controlled trials. These trials are historically considered the ‘gold standard’ for evidence of effectiveness in patients. But they are also enormously expensive to run. As the drugs we work with are already licensed, and usually off-patent, there is little financial incentive for commercial pharmaceutical companies to pursue their further development.

So, we recognize that to help as many people as possible, we need to produce our own ‘gold-standard equivalent’ patient evidence. Therefore, we are very focused on our own research, to produce and publish high-quality real world data from patients attending our clinic. This is the reason why we spent an enormous amount of time and effort in designing a clinical study which the regulators would approve and endorse. In 2017, we secured approval from the MHRA (the regulator in the United Kingdom, the equivalent of the FDA) and their Research Ethics Committee (the equivalent of an IRB in the USA) to conduct an “Interventional Service Evaluation” which we have named METRICS. This was a big achievement for us as it allows us to publish our outcomes and to share our findings with the world.

We believe that our initiative is one of the only ways through which it is possible to generate the evidence we need. And we really are incredibly grateful to every patient who attends the Care Oncology Clinic, and who is helping to turn our vision of bringing benefit to all patients with cancer into reality.

COC Protocol for Early Stage and Stable Disease

Historically, patients have often presented to Care Oncology physicians with advanced disease– either they have been diagnosed with a type of cancer associated with a particularly poor prognosis or they have suffered a recurrence/disease progression and feel their conventional treatment options are becoming more limited. 

However, there are good reasons to also consider the adjunctive COC Protocol if you are a patient with either an early stage cancer diagnosis or someone who is currently well with more advanced stage 3 or 4 disease. Indeed, the likelihood of a positive outcome is greater than with late-stage presentation.

First, a significant body of research literature suggests that using anti-metabolic drugs such as metformin and statins as adjunctive therapy to standard of care can enhance overall treatment response.

Second, in a scenario where the patient is well in him/herself and/or has a lighter burden of disease, there may be an even greater likelihood of effective disease control.

Our own cohort analysis of 95 patients with Glioblastoma IV (the most common and aggressive type of primary brain tumour in adults) supports this conclusion. These patients were all prescribed the COC protocol alongside their standard of care treatment. Median overall survival of the cohort as whole is considerably better than median overall survival with standard of care alone (https://www.abta.org/tumor_types/glioblastoma-gbm/).  But, those patients who commenced the COC protocol during or soon after first line chemo-radiotherapy have a longer median overall survival than those coming to it after having suffered progression/recurrence. 

Importantly, in‘’well patients” with a good performance status, we would also expect to see better compliance with the COC protocol medicines and fewer side-effects and/or a requirement to interrupt or stop treatment as a result of abnormal blood counts or organ function. 

In addition to the work we are undertaking, a number of other studies are currently underway to explore reduced relapse in patients taking anti-metabolic medications, for example, the very large Cancer Research UK funded ADD-Aspirin trial enrolling 11,000 patients across 5 different types of cancer.

When a patient hears that they are well and perhaps ‘in remission’, they often assume that this means they are cured and are done with treatment. While the words‘remission’ and ‘no evidence of disease’ (NED) are clearly good news and can mark a major positive turning point in someone’s care and overall health,unfortunately, the true situation is often more complicated.

There is no way for doctors to know that all of the cancer cells in your body are gone, which is why many doctors don’t use the word “cured.” If cancer cells do come back, it usually happens within the 5 years following the first diagnosis and treatment. 5 year survival rates or survival statistics are available for all the different types of cancer seen in the community. These statistics are based on research from information gathered on hundreds or thousands of people with a specific cancer.

An overall survival rate includes people of all ages and health conditions who have been diagnosed with a specific cancer, including those diagnosed very early and those diagnosed very late.

Doctors are then often able to provide more detailed statistics based on the stage of cancer at diagnosis. For instance, 56% or a little more than half, of people diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer live for at least five years after diagnosis. The five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with late stage lung cancer that has spread (metastasised) to other areas of the body is 5%.

Because survival rates can’t tell you everything there is to know about your individual situation, the statistics may seem impersonal and unhelpful. But, many people feel that that knowing as much as possible about their cancer, actually helps them to reduce their anxiety, as they can then analyze the different options available to them.  

While, of course, it’s up to each individual patient to decide just how much they want to know about survival rates and overall prognosis, Care Oncology physicians believe the risk/benefit of metabolic adjunctive treatment to be in the patient’s favour if there is judged to be a significant risk of cancer progression or recurrence.

The COC protocol is:

  • Evidence-based; the weight of the available data demonstrates a significant opportunity for patient benefit. Some mechanisms which underpin the utility of the protocol drugs may be particularly helpful in a preventative setting e.g. inhibition of Cancer Stem Cells.
  • Low toxicity, generally well-tolerated and ‘easy to do’ (i.e. tablets, capsules to be taken at home).
  • An adjunctive therapy with a low drug interaction burden which can be incorporated alongside other lines of treatment
  • Almost always safe to combine with standard of care treatments (chemo-, radio-, hormone-, immuno-therapy)
  • Able to potentiate standard treatments by making cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy or radiotherapy than would otherwise be the case.

Click here for more information and research references

Click here to check your eligibility for the COC Protocol

FutureTechPodcast: Understanding and Treating Cancer: Epigenetics, Metabolic Therapy, and Repurposed Drugs

What’s the ultimate cause of cancer? Travis Christofferson is interviewed on the FutureTechPodcast.

It’s not an easy question to answer, and according to Travis Christofferson, author of Tripping Over the Truth: The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer, there’s no single cause, but a series of complex interactions and events that depend at least somewhat on our environment. Christofferson explains this in terms of epigenetic responses, which result in the turning off or on of certain genes–allowing some to be expressed and blocking others from being expressed. Diet, toxins, medications, and even loneliness are just a few of the factors that could trigger epigenetic responses and ultimately contribute to the determination of whether or not someone will develop cancer.