Since 2007, the potential of dichloroacetate sodium (DCA) as a metabolic therapy for certain types of cancer has been researched. According to the RECIST framework, a successful cancer treatment is something that diminishes or eliminates cancer on radiography. DCA acts in vitro and in vivo as a cytostatic agent and has no effect on apoptosis. A case study of a 57-year-old woman shows that taking an oral dose of DCA stabilized her stage 4 colon cancer without much adverse effects. It stands out as an unconventional approach to using DCA as a cytostatic agent as stage 4 colon cancer generally progresses over time and results in fatal outcomes.
It has been demonstrated that oral dichloroacetate sodium (DCA) is a potential cancer therapy. Results of experiments on people show that the effects are measured using RECIST criteria – how much something has reduced in size or gone away. DCA has also displayed evidence that it induces programmed cell death, as described in this report. A 57-year-old female, who had stage 4 colon cancer, was able to regulate it using oral DCA with no significant difficulties over the course of four years.
In 2007, a rat study conducted both in vitro and in vivo displayed that sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) had the capacity to cure human bronchial, breast, and brain cancers by preventing mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase. This has lead to DCA being tested as a metabolic therapy option for various illnesses. Stacpoole et al. have studied and published papers on DCA’s effectiveness when treating congenital lactic acidosis.
Research into DCA’s oral safety showed that it does not negatively affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, or bone marrow. Peripheral neuropathy is the only notable side effect that is treatable. If use of DCA is stopped, delirium will cease. In some cases, the liver enzymes might be increased but symptoms are not present. DCA seems to work quite well in treating congenital lactic acidosis which may have encouraged its utilization in cancer treatment. Four scholarly articles outline the effective use of DCA to combat cancer, particularly among late-stage patients; however, these treatments were only for a short duration.
Studies conducted in the laboratory environment sometimes make use of dosages of DCA that would not be suitable for therapeutic use. DCA can have different effects on cells depending on the dose: it can act as a cytostatic at lower doses and induce apoptosis when taken in combination with other drugs. A study by Sun et al. found that DCA can reduce cell proliferation without increasing the rate of apoptosis in a live animal breast cancer test. DCA was also shown to reduce the growth of metastases in the lungs of rats with breast cancer, indicating it may be as effective as anti-angiogenic drugs in providing stability to the disease. Unfortunately, there is still no evidence to back up the idea of using DCA over a long period of time in humans.
Since 2007, Khan has implemented DCA as an alternative treatment for individuals with cancer who had not responded well to traditional treatments. A naturopathic doctor designed a natural approach which involved taking acetyl L-carnitine, r-alpha lipoic acid and benfotiamine to help reduce dose-limiting neurotoxicity (Andrews). Research indicated that almost 300 cancer patients experienced benefits from using DCA. The natural drugs consumed with 20-25 mg/kg for two weeks with a week’s break saw a 20 % reduction in the probabilities of developing neuropathy. Nevertheless, some patients displayed increased liver enzymes, however the condition was brought under control.
A patient’s ingestion of DCA had enduring effects of cell inhibition. The outlook was not optimistic (people with stage 4 colorectal cancer usually lived 9-12 months with intense palliative chemotherapy). Khan and Andrews prescribed the patient natural medicines that provide neurological prevention.
In March, a 57-year-old woman visited the author’s clinic who had been struggling with new constipation and low back pain. Upon inspection, it was determined that she had advanced colorectal cancer, which had grown and impeded the possibility of performing a colonoscopy. Pathology testing revealed a differentiated colon cancer, and a CT scan identified 3 cm liver metastases, tiny lung metastases, and annular rectal carcinoma, making her stage 4 as it was difficult to make out margins of the cancer compared to the surrounding tissues.
This obstruction necessitated a loop ileostomy, yet the rectal tumor was not taken out. After surgery, the patient was subjected to FOLFIRI + bevacizumab therapy. The patient’s CEA marker lessened from 260.9 ng/mL previous to chemotherapy to 3.5 ng/mL before DCA care, manifesting a prompt response to chemotherapy. Treatment response ended up stalling. By the time the patient got to the author’s clinic, chemotherapy had just steadied.
The patient was generally in good health before taking up smoking two decades ago. Alcohol consumption occurred from time to time. Colon and stomach cancers were common. Hydromorphone-ER Hydromorphone 32 mg was set as a dosage for “breakthrough” discomfort, in addition to chemotherapy, hydrogen peroxide enemas, oral vitamin C, and oral vitamin D. No one reported any allergies. There were minor mouth sores due to chemotherapy, slight diarrhea (which is expected in cases of ileostomy), and moderate intermittent rectal bleeding. Upper right shoulder ache was at the level of 3, while the lower back and sacrum pain was measured at 6, which was thought to have been related to the spread of liver tumors.
It was decided to improve the patient’s current medicines since the chemotherapy was efficient and there hadn’t been serious adverse effects. Andrews, a naturopath, created a treatment plan that included 10,000 IU of vitamin D administered orally, 50 g of vitamin C given intravenously (i.v.), and 49 mg/kg of sodium dichloroacetate (DCA), also through i.v. delivery, provided by Tokyo Chemical Industry (U.S.) Natural supplements like R-alpha lipoic acid (150 mg three times a day), acetyl L-carnitine (500 mg three times a day), benfotiamine (80 mg twice a day), and alpha lipoic acid (racemic) (500 mg with each dosage of DCA) may help to reduce the side effects of DCA.
The plan for administering infusions was set up in March 2012 to ensure there were no possible drug interactions with chemotherapy, making sure to keep treatments at least two days apart. Licorice extract, known for its antioxidant properties, was not given on chemotherapy days or the days before or after. Despite the increased dosage of 4000 mg of DCA i.v. (66 mg/kg) having no adverse reactions, the patient only felt slight sleepiness.
The recommended dosage of Metformin for this patient was varying from 500 mg in one day up to 500 mg taken three times daily to boost sensitivity to chemotherapy. At the same time, Pregabalin was used to help with the pain of sacral neuropathy, beginning with 50 mg every day and gradually increasing to 50 mg three times every day. As a result of the side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting, the patient was forced to miss doses of Metformin in order to avoid the risk of dehydration toxicity.