Insulin potentiation therapy (IPT) refers to the use of insulin along with lower doses of chemotherapy to treat cancer. It is also sometimes used with other types of treatments for chronic diseases.
IPT was developed in Mexico by Dr. Donato Perez Garcia, Sr., around the same time insulin had begun to be used in schizophrenics. In fact, some of those who support IPT note that, at this early stage, patients with cancer were also put into an insulin coma. Dr. Perez used this technique to try to treat several types of cancer. His son, Donato Perez Garcia Bellon, and grandson, Donato Perez Garcia, Jr., have followed in his footsteps. A physician from the United States, Dr. Steven G. Ayre, is a supporter of IPT and has published some descriptions of the theory behind it.
One very small published study that looked at IPT was done in Uruguay. It included 30 women with breast cancer that was resistant to mainstream therapies. Of these women, 10 got insulin alone, 10 got methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug) alone, and 10 received IPT using both drugs. After 8 weeks, the researchers reported that the women in the IPT group had smaller increases in tumor size than either of the other groups. Even though they used lower doses of methotrexate than usual, there were some side effects (mouth sores) noted in the IPT group. This study did not look at survival, quality of life, well being, or lasting effects. No long-term improvements were shown by this study.
Most of the information about IPT comes from individuals (anecdotal reports.) Even among these, however, there is no evidence that the people who report being helped by IPT were followed up long enough to find out if the treatment worked.
There are also concerns about using lower doses of chemotherapy drugs. When chemotherapy drugs are tested in clinical trials, their effects are carefully monitored to learn which dose will have most effect on the cancer while keeping the side effects as low as possible. There is no evidence that chemotherapy at a fraction of the recommended (tested) dose can produce the same effect as the full dose if insulin is used with it.
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