Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) is an alternative form of chemotherapy that directly targets malignant tumors and cancer cells without harming the immune system. The therapy was developed and introduced in the 1930s by Dr. Donato Perez Garcia of Mexico and was designed to increase the permeability of cell membranes. The treatment uses insulin to enhance the effects of chemotherapy.
Cancer cells have highly active insulin receptors that cause them to thrive on glucose in the body. Therefore, sugar that is consumed helps the cancer to spread. Knowing this information, IPT was designed to specifically target cancer cells by attracting them to the chemo drugs by administering insulin to open the cell receptors so that the drugs are fully absorbed. Furthermore, since insulin potentiates the chemo, the amount of drugs administered to patients are lowered, thus leading to fewer side effects, a stronger immune system and a better quality of life.
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, breast cancer patients are often ordered a minimum of 10 IPT treatments depending on their stage and progress throughout the program. However, many new patients are often unaware of IPT or what to expect from their first appointment. Here are a few things that breast cancer patients should be aware of for their first IPT.
Before Starting Treatments
Invest in a PICC Line or Port
Similar to conventional chemotherapy, it’s important that patients have either a PICC line or a port in order for a LifeWorks nurse practitioner to safely perform the procedure. For those who are unaware of what these are, a PICC is a long, thin, flexible catheter (that looks like a tube) that is usually inserted into a large vein in one arm (preferably the non-dominant arm). On the other hand, a port is a device that is surgically placed underneath one’s skin on the chest or upper arm. Since it’s likely that patients will be receiving the procedure a few times during the week (especially for the first two weeks), both devices are designed to make the infusions easier on the body and veins. There are pros and cons to both, however deciding on which device is best for the patient entirely depends on lifestyle and the amount of treatments that one will need.
Bring Fruit, Protein and Juice
Before administering the chemo drugs, the nurse practitioner will first drop the patient’s blood sugar levels using insulin. This is done to deprive the cancer cells of their energy, making them more vulnerable in order to later absorb the low dose chemotherapy. Since patients will be advised to not eat or drink anything except for water six hours prior to their treatment, it’s critical to have juice, a form of protein and some fruit to increase blood sugar levels after the procedure is complete.
Communication with the Nurse Practitioner
During the first IPT, the nurse practitioner will sit down and explain all elements of the procedure before proceeding with the treatment. Expect to read and go over consent forms and other information in order to fully understand it. All questions and concerns regarding the procedure should be communicated during this time.
During the Treatment
Dropping the Blood Sugar
Patients will sit in a comfortable cushioned chair for the duration of the treatment. Subsequently, insulin will be injected into the patient’s port or PICC line which will drop their blood sugar to low (but safe) levels to open cancer cell receptors. This will vary for each patient but should take approximately 20 to 30 minutes. During the process, patients may feel sweaty, nauseous, lightheaded or dizzy due to symptoms of hypoglycemia, however this is only temporary.
Administering the Chemo
After the patient’s blood sugar has dropped, the nurse practitioner will then administer the chemo through their PICC line or Port. Expect the first IPT treatment to take about two hours while proceeding treatments are about 90 minutes.
Other Included Medications
After the chemo is administered, the nurse practitioner will give additional medication to help stimulate red and white blood cell production, stabilize immunity and detox the body of all toxins. This step is designed to ensure the patient’s liver continues to function normally and to minimize all other side effects of the treatment.
After the Treatment
By this point, the patient will be asked to eat the food that they were asked to bring. The food should contain natural sugars to attract the cancer cells to the chemotherapy. Simultaneously, these sugars should increase one’s blood sugar back to normal levels.
After all ordered IPT treatments are completed, patients suffering from breast cancer (and other cancer types) will be ordered a PET scan to review their progress. Results will determine if they need further IPT treatments and how often.
Looking for Alternative Breast Cancer Treatments?
LifeWorks Wellness Center is one of Florida’s top holistic care facilities that is well-known for its successful natural treatments, especially for those with cancer and Lyme disease. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and are interested in seeking alternative treatment methods, please call to schedule an appointment with a LifeWorks practitioner at 727-466-6789.