Insulin Potentiated Therapy or IPT is an innovative cancer treatment featuring a low-dose chemotherapy protocol that uses roughly 75-90% less chemotherapy than the traditional treatments. IPT uses a combination of two orthodox drugs—Insulin and a chemotherapy drug. Proponents of IPT claim that it is more effective and can be administered more frequently with fewer side effects. Yet, IPT has many foes: the American Medical Association (AMA) has stopped most traditional doctors from using the low dose chemo in most states.
How IPT Works
Insulin potentiation therapy works by first injecting a dose of insulin into the vein. After the dose is absorbed, a low dose of chemo drugs is injected as well. The chemotherapy dose is typically 10% to 25% of the traditional dose. Following this, sugar water is injected to stop the possibility of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can be caused by the initial insulin dose. Despite a lack of clinical research proving efficacy, two main theories about how IPT might work exist. The first is predicated on the idea that insulin makes cells more permeable or porous, thus allowing chemo drugs to be absorbed more quickly into cancer cells. The second theory rests on the idea that insulin may cause cells to start dividing, which in turn would make them more susceptible to destruction. In any case, the current protocol for IPT is as follows:
- Inject a dose of insulin
- After the absorption of the insulin, inject a low dose of chemotherapy
- Inject sugar water in order to stave off hypoglycemia
Critics of IPT
As mentioned above, little medical research has been published proving the efficacy of the IPT protocol. Long-term outcomes, such as survival or remission, have never been published. Additionally, minimal case studies and trials have shown only temporary reductions in the size of tumors for some patients. Critics also cite the possible adverse effects of the therapy as reasons to stay away from IPT. Hypoglycemia is the most immediate risk, but critics also allege that the lower than normal doses of chemotherapy cause drug resistance. The development of drug resistance may make future treatment with standard, proven doses ineffective. And finally, in the case of certain cancers, such as breast and colon cancers, insulin may even promote tumor growth.