At LEMMO Integrated Cancer & Care Centre, we provide a diverse range of intravenous therapies. Treatments are customized to each individual patient and may be used to address symptoms such as fatigue, pain, nausea, cachexia (the weight-loss process in advanced cancer), and neuropathy. Moreover, we also focus on oxygen-based treatments and supporting the immune system, organs (i.e. liver), and a diverse list of medicines and natural-based agents used in cancer care and which can also be used alongside a person’s conventional treatment program.
Intravenous Glutathione in Cancer Treatment
Glutathione is a tri-peptide thiol (sulfhydryl-containing) compound which is the major intracellular antioxidant in the body. A human study suggests oral glutathione is poorly absorbed, with negligible or little blood concentrations found after administration of a single 3 g oral dose.
This conclusion is contradicted by a rat study which found dietary glutathione was absorbed in a dose-dependent manner, and remained elevated in the plasma for three hours after administration. Aerosol administration of glutathione is an effective means of delivery to the plasma, as is intravenous administration. Glutathione is thought to be non-toxic to humans, although one study found a 5 g oral daily dose was associated with stomach irritation and sulfur odor.
A case report from Japan in 1984 raised the possibility that glutathione might be an effective treatment for hepato-cellular carcinoma. A trial of six hepato-carcinoma patients on 5 g oral glutathione daily found regression or stagnation of tumor growth in three patients. One patient also had a reduction in alpha-fetoprotein (a tumor marker) from 496 to 5. Two patients of the six survived for one year. These patients were both women, raising the possibility of a sex-dependent effect.
In a rat study, oral administration of glutathione caused regression of liver tumors, and increased survival of tumor-bearing animals. The usefulness of glutathione as an anti-tumor agent may be limited to the liver, kidney, and peripheral neurons, as these are the only tissues believed to have sufficient transport enzymes for cellular uptake.
Glutathione with Radiation
A randomized pilot trial with 45 participants investigated the radio-protective effect of glutathione. Patients were administered 1200 mg glutathione or saline placebo intravenously 15 minutes prior to pelvic radiotherapy. Patients receiving glutathione suffered less from post-therapy diarrhea (28%, compared to 52% of controls) and were more likely to complete the treatment cycle (71% to 52%). Although the sample size was too small to show significance, the authors concluded glutathione was unlikely to interfere with the effect of radiation on cancers. The argument was not based on patient outcome.
Glutathione with Chemotherapy
The use of cisplatin (chemotherapy) and glutathione concurrently has been studied in several small human trials. One human trial found 3,000mg/m2 of intravenous glutathione given 20 minutes prior to cisplatin (100 mg/m2) led to a significant reduction in nephrotoxicity in patients with ovarian cancer compared with those receiving cisplatin alone. There was a trend toward greater tumor response in the glutathione group–73 percent, compared to 62 percent in the control group. A similar trial using smaller doses of glutathione (2500 mg/m2) and cisplatin (50 – 75 mg/m2) did not find the reduction in nephrotoxicity reported above. However, the trend toward greater tumor response with glutathione treatment (72% response, compared to 52% in controls) was comparable.
A double-blind trial studied the neuro-protective effect of intravenous glutathione (1500 mg/m2) during cisplatin treatment for gastric cancer. After nine weeks, no patient of the 24 receiving glutathione, but 16 of 18 patients receiving placebo, had developed neuropathy symptoms. Again, a trend toward greater tumor response (76%, compared to 52% in controls) was seen with glutathione treatment.
Glutathione also appears to protect against the neurotoxicity of oxaliplatin chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of colorectal and other cancers, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial reported in the Aug. 15 2002 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Even better, this in-expensive antioxidant does not adversely affect the effectiveness of oxaliplatin.
“The lack of toxicity and interference with oxaliplatin activity, as well as its low economic cost, makes glutathione an ideal new drug for the prevention of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy in colorectal cancer patients,” write Stefano Cascinu, MD, and colleagues from the Universitaria di Parma in Italy.
“These findings may have important clinical implications. In several cases, despite good clinical activity, treatment with oxaliplatin must be discontinued because of the onset of toxicity,” the authors write, noting expanding use of oxaliplatin in several other cancers as well as in the adjuvant setting.
“The concomitant use of glutathione may allow the administration of an effective treatment for a more prolonged time. In fact, in the group without glutathione, none of the patients could receive further oxaliplatin treatment because of the development of toxicity. Conversely, in the glutathione treated group, seven patients did not develop any sign of clinical neurotoxicity and could continue on treatment.”
Other Intravenous Treatments offered at our centre include (but not limited to):
- Chelation (DMPS, EDTA)
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Lipoic Acid
- Menadione (Vitamin K3)
- Myer’s Cocktail
- Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation
- Intravenous medical laser therapy (i.e. red, blue, green spectrums)
- Vitamin C