Could LDN reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy?  

Akbar Khan, MD
Akbar Khan, MD
Medicor Cancer Centres and Sano Via Wellness

There is no reason to believe that LDN may reduce the effectiveness of chemo. In fact, several publications indicate the opposite: LDN is likely to boost the effectiveness of chemo. A 2016 paper by Liu, Dalgleish and others published in the International Journal of Oncology demonstrates that LDN enhances cancer cell kill when combined with chemo, in cell cultures. This effect is enhanced by a short break in LDN therapy around the time of chemo. In other words, “priming” the cancer cells with LDN before chemo can significantly enhance cell kill. Earlier publications by Zagon and others show that opioid growth factor (an endorphin produced in the body whose levels are boosted by LDN) can also enhance cancer kill when combined with chemo. One 2005 publication examines squamous cell carcinoma treated with paclitaxel chemo and another examines pancreatic cancer treated with gemcitabine chemo. Another potential benefit of LDN is immune strengthening which can reduce the risk of infection in theory, and also enhance natural anti-cancer immunity. For patients with mild cancer-related pain, LDN also can have the added benefit of pain reduction, through the mechanisms of increasing natural endorphin levels. When we combine the published studies with our extensive clinical experience combining LDN and various chemos for a variety of cancer types, we conclude that LDN is a therapy that should be seriously considered along with all chemo regimens, provided the patient is not taking a time-release or continuous opiate medication. For specific medical advice about your own therapy, please speak to an experienced LDN prescriber.