Long-term remission of adenoid cystic tongue carcinoma with low dose naltrexone and vitamin D3--a case report
Oral Health Dent Manag
Naltrexone (ReVia®) is a long-acting oral pure opiate antagonist which is approved for the treatment of alcohol addiction as a 50mg per day tablet. The mechanism of action is complete opiate blockade, which removes the pleasure sensation derived from drinking alcohol (created by endorphins). Low Dose Naltrexone ("LDN") in the range of 3-4.5 mg per day has been shown to have the opposite effect - brief opiate receptor blockade with resulting upregulation of endogenous opiate production. Through the work of Bihari and Zagon, it has been determined that the level of the endogenous opiate methionine-enkephalin is increased by LDN. Met-enkephalin is involved in regulating cell proliferation and can inhibit cancer cell growth in multiple cell lines. Increased met-enkepahlin levels created by LDN thus have the potential to inhibit cancer growth in humans. Phase II human trials of met-enkephalin, case reports published by Berkson and Rubin, and the clinical experience of Bihari confirmed the potential role of LDN in treating pancreatic and other cancers. However, large scale trials are lacking and are unlikely to be funded given the current non-proprietary status of naltrexone. A case report is presented of successful treatment of adenoid cystic carcinoma as further evidence of LDN's potential as a unique non-toxic cancer therapy.