Chemotherapy Causes Resistance & Spread of Cancer

by An Oasis of Healing on August 13, 2012

Chemotherapy Causes Resistance and Spread of Cancer – IPT to the Rescue

Peter Nelson of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle co-authored a study and published it in Nature Medicine this month detailing how chemotherapy not only produces resistance to chemotherapy by cancerous tumors but also stimulates its’ growth and metastasis (spread). 

Approximately 90% of people with metastatic cancer become resistant to chemotherapy.  This occurs readily in cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, pancreas and colon.

It was a surprise to researchers that a protein, previously identified as being involved in the development of normal cells, as well as some cancer cells, can be found in relatively high concentrations in the environment surrounding tumors having been treated with chemotherapy.  This protein, referred to as “WNT16B,” is taken up by nearby cancer cells, causing them to “grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy,” said Peter Nelson of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Also, it came as quite a surprise that the  fibroblasts, which are necessary for connective tissue strength, growth, and maintenance, as well as a myriad of other functions from wound healing to immunity, produce WNT16B in abundance due to exposure to excessive amounts of chemotherapy.

Even though this study has caused quite a “buzz” in the media, there is really nothing new about this information.  It has long been known that more than 60% of people undergoing conventional treatment for cancer die as a result of the treatment, not the cancer.  These deaths are most often the consequence of infection producing overwhelming sepsis (bacteria in the blood) due to chemotherapy induced immune suppression or extreme malnourishment due to chronic nausea and vomiting and generalized bowel dysfunction, resulting from chemotherapy and/or radiation.

For these reasons, a large percentage of the research that is presented at the annual ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) meetings involves methods of targeting cancer cells in an attempt to avoid the extensive collateral damage associated with standard, conventional protocols of chemotherapy administration. The method that is and has been “fashionable” in oncology research over the past several years has to do with the development and patenting of monoclonal antibodies to be used to target particular cancer cells.

An antibody is a type of molecule that the immune system produces in order to bind to and eliminate foreign substances, including cancer cells.  For some time now, scientists have been able to artificially manipulate this natural system so that antibodies are produced to attack certain parts of the cancer cell membrane (antigens) that are unique to cancer cells and not found on healthy cells.  That way, the antibody can specifically target the cancer cell and not all the other cells in the body.  This is a great idea but unfortunately, being artificially produced, whether or not the antibody “attacks” only the cancer cell cannot be known until it is tested in humans.  Several of these monoclonal antibodies have been produced and are in wide use at the present time.  The truth is that the complexity of biology and biochemistry is unfathomable and, as it turns out, these monoclonal antibodies that are now considered standard therapy for certain cancers, have multiple side effects ranging from causing cancer in other organs to damaging unrelated vital organs like the heart, producing heart failure, as well as some of the usual side effects seen with chemotherapy such as bone marrow suppression with its’ resulting decrease in red blood cells and white blood cells.

Fortunately, nature has provided a targeting mechanism to deliver chemotherapy to the cancer cells, which has no unexpected side effects.  And this method of administration has been known since 1933 and was first successfully used to treat cancer in 1943. 

This modality of chemotherapy administration involves the use of a naturally occurring molecule found in all mammals and non-mammalian vertebrates, including reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish, although it may differ slightly in structure from one species to another.  The insulin in hagfish, for example differ in only one amino acid from that of pig insulin and only two amino acids from that of human insulin.

Insulin has a myriad of consequences by triggering multiple biochemical processes in cells; however, the main purpose of insulin is to regulate energy production in the body by increasing uptake of glucose into cells and stimulating the production of fat deposition to store any excess glucose.  One of the enzymes that is stimulated by insulin is called delta-9-desaturase, which basically makes the membranes or “skin” of the cells liquid and permeable rather than relatively solid and impermeable. 

Cancer cells are known to have from 6 to as much as 17 times more insulin receptors on their cells and these receptors have a 60% greater affinity (“stickiness”) for insulin.  Increasing the insulin receptor status on their cell membranes is an essential survival mechanism undertaken by cancer cells because they metabolize sugar differently than healthy cells.  Healthy cells use oxygen and glucose to produce energy very efficiently resulting in 38 ATP (energy ‘packages’) while cancer cells have lost the ability to utilize oxygen to enhance energy production hence they are considered anaerobic.  Anaerobic energy production, as seen in primitive life forms is called fermentation or glycolysis and this is how cancer cells metabolize sugar for energy.  This is extremely inefficient resulting in only 2 ATP for every molecule of glucose, instead of 38.  Clearly, then the cancer cell which has to keep up with the body needs about 19 times more glucose (fuel) to survive and this is accomplished by increasing the number and affinity of insulin receptors on their cell membranes.

The administration of chemotherapy after priming the cancer cells with small doses of insulin has become known as IPT (insulin potentiation therapy) and, is now being referred to as IPTLD, or insulin potentiation therapy with low dose chemotherapy.  This method allows for the targeting of the cancer cells with chemotherapy while permitting relative sparing of the healthy cells.  There is no hair loss or severe nausea and vomiting and all the other side effects usually observed with conventional chemotherapy are minimal, if at all.

Clearly, this effective and gentle method of administering chemotherapy will result in very minimal production of the WNT16B protein and therefore will not, to any significant degree, stimulate cancer growth or metastases.

Thomas Lodi, MD(H)
Integrative Oncology
Internal Medicine
Metabolic Medicine
Certified Nutrition Specialist

For more information about IPT and other modalities utilized in healing from cancer, call An Oasis of Healing at 480-834-5414.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Leave a Comment

    { 9 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Lyn Wiseski September 13, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    I am searching for the best place to undergo treatement. Can you please send me the statistics on survivial rates for all of your cancers, the treatments they utilized, and the stages of their cancers when they first underwent treatment with your center?

    Thank You,



    2 Ken koles September 19, 2012 at 3:22 AM



    3 lara October 28, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Can you please send me the statistics on survivial rates for all of your cancers, the treatments they used and stages of their cancers when they first underwent treatment with your center?
    Also, do you do a chemo sensitivity test and what is the cost.
    which are the recommended chemo for metastasis colon cancer that you use in the IPT form and what percentage of the regular dose is used when administered in the IPT form?



    4 John Spradling November 29, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Readng this article today after taking part in a preliminary discussion with Kimberly at An Oasis of healing makes this process easier to understand. Thank you for meeting with us today.


    5 Carleen Buschmann January 9, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    I am very much interesting undergo treatment. I live in Kentucky. Can you please send me the best place near by? I have already had chemo but I had bad reaction. Oncology dr will have new chemo start on Jan 22nd. I want to know ASAP. And also send me the statistics on survival rates for all your cancers, the treatments they utilized, and the stages of their cancers when they first underwent treatment with your center? I watched food matters DVD.
    Thank you,


    6 Georgetta Garcia February 4, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Would you be able to e-mail me further information on IPT as my brother has pancreatic cancer and is stage IV. He is to begin chemotheraphy as the cancer has spread from his pancreas to his spleen, lining of stomach and bile. I would like to find alternative treatments for him and also further information on your article about infrared sauna. Thank you so much for your information.
    Georgetta Garcia


    7 Ovarian Cancer September 13, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Second opinion needed desperately….Forsyth Medical Center, Winston Salem, NC Room# 9129


    8 Dil Meer September 20, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Dear Dr. Lodi
    I’ve had cancer of the lung since June, 2012 and have been on Tarceva since then. It was a stage 4 cancer mainly in the right lung and had spread to the left lung too. I have been taking Essiac Tea ever since and many supplements to support, and avoid sugar in my diet. I’ve also had a short 2 week program of detox , in July this year, and this August when I had my pet scan, it showed a great reduction of the tumor. At first it peaked at SUV 8 and now has come down to SUV 3 .
    I would now like to wean off from Tarceva, but will continue with the rest of the good work, and seek your opinion. Do you think it would be highly dangerous to attempt weaning off this drug , that is my question. And what course of action would you suggest for me.
    Dil Meer
    Houston TX


    9 Shante McCaughey August 23, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Can you please send me the statistics on your stomach cancer patients.. We are currently trying to choose a treatment center for my mom who had stage 4 stomach cancer. Thank you


    Previous post:

    Next post: