Dichloroacetate (DCA) is a synthetic drug, but it is a very simple compound similar to a chemical combination of salt and vinegar. It has shown signs of being beneficial with multiple cancer types, including glioblastoma, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer,lung cancer and in metastatic carcinomas.
DCA works at a cellular level by reducing the mitochondrial membrane potential of cancer cells. Reducing the mitochondrial membrane potential allows for apoptosis, or natural cell death, which is suppressed in cancer cells. DCA does not poison the cells like cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs and does not affect healthy cells. DCA also specifically targets cancer cells by interfering with the use of glucose, starving the cell of energy. It does not starve healthy cells of energy.
Research has shown that DCA can stabilize tumours, decrease tumour size and in some cases complete remission was achieved. It is safe to take DCA in combination with other certain chemotherapy agents, and research has suggested that in some cases it appears to be helpful when used concurrently. It has been shown to provide other health benefits including:
- Decreases cancer pain when used for palliative care.
- Improves the heart's pumping efficiency while not increasing the oxygen demand. This can improve heart failure and/or angina.
- Shown to provide slight improvement in control of blood glucose. Generally medications for diabetes do not need to be changed. However, blood glucose monitoring can determine if a slight reduction of medications like insulin is required.
We have administered numerous DCA infusions safely in the clinic with majority of our Patients not experiencing side effects. Potential and unlikely side effects of DCA can include peripheral neuropathy (tingling/numbness of hands/feet), fatigue, confusion and nausea. All of these side effects are reversible and resolve quickly (less than 24hrs) after the infusion. If side effects occur, dosages will be fine tuned.
IV DCA can be given alone or in combination with other IV treatments such as Alpha Lipoic Acid or Vitamin C.
DCA (dichloroacetate). (2014). Medicore Cancer Centers. Retrieved from http://medicorcancer.com/treatments/dca-therapy/dca-faqs/
Habib, C., Parmar, G. (2012). Dichloroacetate (DCA). Application in cancer management. Integrated Healthcare Practitioners. 80-85. Retrieved from http://ihpmagazine.com.
Kahn, Akbar. (2013). DCA: Guidelines for Clinical Use. OncANP 2013 Conference. Toronto, ON. Medicore Cancer Centers.
Kahn, Akbar. (2011). Use of Oral Dicholoracetate for Palliation of Leg Pain Arising from Metastatic Poorly Differentiated Carcinoma: A Case Report. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 14(5), 1-5.
McKinney, Neil. (2012). Natruopathic Oncology: An Encyclopedia Guide for Patients & Physicians (2nd ed.). Vancouver, BC: Liason Press.