Dr. Wai Liu is from St. George’s Hospital in London UK. He had just published a paper on how low dose naltrexone (LDN) can affect certain cancer cell lines in the laboratory that hopefully will drive clinical trials, then get approval for LDN as a treatment for cancer.
They took cells from patients with certain forms of cancer and compared the effects on the gene expression profiles by LDN, and conventional-dose naltrexone. Genes involved in cell cycling, the way cancer cells can grow, can be controlled in the way they proliferate. They showed LDN could target certain genes responsible for the cell cycle, and if that was exploited, they might get a handle on how cancer would grow. Indeed, they showed LDN does slow the growth of certain cancer cells via its effect on these particular proteins. As well, they found that because of the effects on the cell cycle, LDN increased the proteins that controlled the ability of a cell to undergo cell death, and increase cell killing in those cancer cells.
Furthermore, after administering LDN for a few days followed by no LDN for a recovery phase, they found continued cell killing, something bizarre to them, but similar to what happens with other drugs such as cannabinoids, or a couple other agents. In certain situations they saw LDN as having no effect on cancer cells, but during the recovery phase, there was a much improved level of cell killing.
They also used different schedules of chemotherapy alongside LDN, like gemcitabine, oxaliplatin, and something else like cyclophosphamide, as they are proven cytotoxic agents. They showed on a laboratory petri dish level, that when using both LDN and a number of cytotoxic agents, there was a much-increased level of proteins such as BAX, that regulate the ability of a cancer cell to undergo cell death. Understanding the profile of how drugs work lets you predict the best drugs to combine with the drug you’re testing. So for example, using a form of chemotherapy that requires BAX to be present and LDN results in cooperation between two different drugs.
Dr. Liu is not aware of doctors using this information clinically. There are many anecdotal reports of how LDN can help alleviate cancer symptoms or help with cancer treatment. More research is needed to show the benefits of LDN in cancer patients, and in combination with various chemotherapies or immunotherapies. LDN does things to cancer cells, and people are beginning to see the value in LDN. The more people hear and read about LDN, and with an increasing amount of scientific literature to support LDN as a cancer therapy, the better chance to attract funding for clinical trials.
Summary from Dr. Wai Liu, listen to the video for the show.
Keywords: LDN, low dose naltrexone, cancer, chemotherapy, immunotherapy
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