Terminal Cancer Chemo is said to be ineffective

I wonder if this is polically motivated?

Report from the AMA news from today. NYT.

End-stage cancer patients may not benefit from chemotherapy
The New York Times (7/24, Belluck, Subscription Publication) reports that research published in JAMA Oncology suggests that patients with end-stage cancer “may not benefit from…chemotherapy — and that for many, their quality of life may worsen in their final weeks compared with patients who forgo last-ditch treatment.” Investigators “followed 312 adult patients with a prognosis of six months or less to live.”

On its website, CBS News (7/24, Welch) reports that the investigators found that “giving chemotherapy to end-stage cancer patients near death was associated with worse quality of life among those who could still perform many daily life functions.” The researchers “also found that chemotherapy had no effect on the quality of life on less-functional patients close to death.”

The Washington Post (7/24, Johnson) “Wonkblog” reports that “In an accompanying editorial, two physicians from the Oregon Health and Science University wrote that there are only two reasons to give a patient chemotherapy, which can be time-consuming, expensive, and have side effects: it should either extend their lives or make their lives better.”

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9 responses to “Terminal Cancer Chemo is said to be ineffective

  1. A patient with end stage cancer already has a compromised/crappy immune system, and so conventional chemo therapy – basically poisoning the body – along with radiation and surgery will likely only make things worse.

    More interesting in this instance was the use of DCA on terminal patients in their 80s that was carried out in Alberta. Numerous references here:

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=alberta+dca+cancer

    As I recall, of the five patients trialed, one died, two didn’t get any better (meaning also that they didn’t get any worse), and two went into full remission. Consider those results whilst keeping in mind that the patients were all in their 80s – i.e. frail to begin with – and that they had already been beaten up with conventional therapies. Keeping in mind that some cancers do go into remission spontaneously, the results of this limited trial are, shall we say, intriguing.

    On a personal note, our elderly Labrador was diagnosed with cancer in his leg, and the vet wanted to amputate the limb. Since even after amputation he might have lived only three or four months longer, I opted instead to go the DCA route, and over the highly dubious skepticism of the vet. (“Congratulations Geoffrey, you’re a lab animal!”) I pointed out to him that the history of Science (and Medicine) is the history of heresies that proved correct, to keep an open mind on this, and that Geoffrey would be in to see him again in three months. (I also directed him to some of the DCA research and articles I knew of and suggested nicely that he give them a read; he was digging in his heels, so I doubt he did so.)

    I ordered some “lab grade” DCA from Canada – 100 grams for $200 dollars – and proceeded to dose 500mg out to him twice a day in a sugar-free cookie dough carrier. (Cancer loves sugar, so regular cookie dough was a no-no.)

    Three months later, Geoffrey went back to the vet and was X-rayed again. Ron – the vet – walked into the patient room and said: “Come here, I want to show you something.” Expecting to get yelled at, I followed him to the monitor where Geoffrey’s before and after X-rays were on display. Ron turns to me and says:
    “Do you see that?”

    Yeah, you guessed it; the cancer was gone, entirely disappeared.

    “Tell me what you did again?” And Dr. Ron began to quiz me about everything that happened between the first and second visits, and this time with a good deal of respect.

    That was about two and a half years ago. Geoffrey is still going strong, and I, personally am a believer in the efficacy of DCA as a cancer therapy, albeit still with some question marks in my on mind, spontaneous remissions and all that. I wish this stuff were better studied, and without the big pharma/FDA conflicts of interest and bureaucratic hand wringing and foot dragging. (It can’t be patented, it’s broad spectrum and it’s cheap and easy to use; just add it to the water. Doubtless that has a good deal to do with its being kept in the shadows.)

    From my perspective, DCA deserves a serious non-partisan look.

    Just a thought.

    VicB

  2. hey vic, you may assume that physicians like me use and like acronyms–nope.

    i only use acronyms when i know it is a good short cut and the other person knows my acronym.

    so what the hell is DCA?

    And I am a dog man, so tell me more–what kind of cancer did they thiink it was. Hows the patient?

  3. (And part two.)

    Geoffrey’s cancer was some sort of bone cancer. (Hey, I’m not a vet.) The diagnosis was verified by a specialist at the Vet School, so yeah, it was indeed cancer.

    To repeat, dosed it out to him twice a day, 500mg per dose in a sugar-free cookie dough carrier to get him to swallow it.* American Lab, aprox. 10 years old, un-nutered male**, a rescue off the street – no ID or chip – I found and dragged home. When I found him, weight was 52 pounds, two different kinds of mange. Intestinal worms. Heart worm ; three weeks at the vet for that one. (Kiss the new shot gun goodbye. A Benelli too!) Rotten teeth. Pancreatitis. When they were x-raying his leg they found BBs in him. Arthritis. And all this in addition to just the cancer that showed up after having him for two year or so.

    Probable history: Somebody in the military – he’s really at home around uniforms – had him, then got transferred and left him with somebody else, who then left him with somebody else…. Knows how to walk on a leash, follow commands (if he feels like it) and so on, so he was trained at some point. Eventually got out, got dumped, whatever, and was living rough for a very long time. Showed up a week or so after the 4th of July, so doubtless the noise spooked him (again).***

    So, doubtless a compromised immune system when he showed up. Despite more or less a straight meat diet since then**** – Canned dog food?! Never!! – and the high-end dried stuff 3 kinds – that is *always* down, his system might be compromised still, elderly dog and all that.

    And Geoffrey now? He’s still going strong. Weight 75-80. Takes over the whole bed. Has become the alpha-male for Cullen, a Cavalier. Barks his head off at the least little thing. The cat hates him. Big black pain in the ass.

    Thanks for asking.

    Hope this helps. (And gives you food for thought, history of Science and Medicine and all that.)

    Just a thought.

    VicB3

    *Cancer just loves sugar as you no doubt know, so anything other than sugar free was a verboten. And I just knew that balance-beam dope scale I picked up at Habitat would come in handy one day.

    **And still un-nutered. Getting them fixed for no good reason is a dirty trick in my estimation, PC group think and all that.

    ***Labs are famous for developing an aversion to loud noises when they reach five or six years of age. And the 4th spooks a lot of animals in general.

    ****I do mean steak or chicken, whatever’s on sale, pan-fried medium in olive oil with garlic salt and pepper, about 3/4 pound per dog cut bite sized. Cost it out and you’ll find it’s actually cheaper than the canned stuff, and with zero waste. (The little Cavalier will eat far more than you’d expect.) Occasional hot dogs if everybody is feeling too lazy to cook.

  4. (For some reason, things are just not posting. Here’s part one A)
    Here you go:

    DCA = Dichloroacetic acid

    First read about it here:
    Cheap, ‘safe’ drug kills most cancers
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10971-cheap-safe-drug-kills-most-cancers/
    (Not exactly a third-rate blog by some some guy in his basement writing in his underwear. muttering darkly to himself about Illuminati conspiracies or some such thing.)

  5. (And part one B)

    The one study/human trial I mentioned:
    Cancer drug resurfaces and threatens false optimism
    https://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/05/cure-for-cancer-resurfaces-and.html

    More New Scientist stuff here:
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=new+scientist+dca+cancer

  6. (And part one C)

    The Wiki on DCA:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichloroacetic_acid
    (Yeah, I know, it’s Wikipedia; don’t start.)

    More DCA – Cancer stuff here:
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=dca+cancer

    .

  7. (And finally part one D.)
    Where I bought mine:

    (Changed their website evidently; they used to be called The DCA Store )

    String them all together for a complete text. Sorry about the bother.

  8. I guess a link to Pure DCA was throwing things off.

  9. (Christ, what a mess. Evidently a link to a commercial sit was throwing things off. OK, let’s see if we can work around that and not leave you with a cut and paste monstrosity.)

    Here you go:

    DCA = Dichloroacetic acid

    First read about it here:
    Cheap, ‘safe’ drug kills most cancers
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10971-cheap-safe-drug-kills-most-cancers/
    (Not exactly a third-rate blog by some some guy in his basement writing in his underwear. muttering darkly to himself about Illuminati conspiracies or some such thing.)

    The one study/human trial I mentioned:
    Cancer drug resurfaces and threatens false optimism
    https://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/05/cure-for-cancer-resurfaces-and.html

    More New Scientist stuff here:
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=new+scientist+dca+cancer

    The Wiki on DCA:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichloroacetic_acid
    (Yeah, I know, it’s Wikipedia; don’t start.)

    More DCA – Cancer stuff here:
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=dca+cancer

    Where I bought mine:
    (Google Pure DCA
    (Changed their website evidently; they used to be called TheDCAstore.com.)

    Geoffrey’s cancer was some sort of bone cancer. (Hey, I’m not a vet.) The diagnosis was verified by a specialist at the Vet School, so yeah, it was indeed cancer.

    To repeat, dosed it out to him twice a day, 500mg per dose in a sugar-free cookie dough carrier to get him to swallow it.* American Lab, aprox. 10 years old, un-nutered male**, a rescue off the street – no ID or chip – I found and dragged home. When I found him, weight was 52 pounds, two different kinds of mange. Intestinal worms. Heart worm ; three weeks at the vet for that one. (Kiss the new shot gun goodbye. A Benelli too!) Rotten teeth. Pancreatitis. When they were x-raying his leg they found BBs in him. Arthritis. And all this in addition to just the cancer that showed up after having him for two year or so.

    Probable history: Somebody in the military – he’s really at home around uniforms – had him, then got transferred and left him with somebody else, who then left him with somebody else…. Knows how to walk on a leash, follow commands (if he feels like it) and so on, so he was trained at some point. Eventually got out, got dumped, whatever, and was living rough for a very long time. Showed up a week or so after the 4th of July, so doubtless the noise spooked him (again).***

    So, doubtless a compromised immune system when he showed up. Despite more or less a straight meat diet since then**** – Canned dog food?! Never!! – and the high-end dried stuff 3 kinds – that is *always* down, his system might be compromised still, elderly dog and all that.

    And Geoffrey now? He’s still going strong. Weight 75-80. Takes over the whole bed. Has become the alpha-male for Cullen, a Cavalier. Barks his head off at the least little thing. The cat hates him. Big black pain in the ass.

    Thanks for asking.

    Hope this helps. (And gives you food for thought, history of Science and Medicine and all that.)

    Just a thought.

    VicB3

    *Cancer just loves sugar as you no doubt know, so anything other than sugar free was a verboten. And I just knew that balance-beam dope scale I picked up at Habitat would come in handy one day.

    **And still un-nutered. Getting them fixed for no good reason is a dirty trick in my estimation, PC group think and all that.

    ***Labs are famous for developing an aversion to loud noises when they reach five or six years of age. And the 4th spooks a lot of animals in general.

    ****I do mean steak or chicken, whatever’s on sale, pan-fried medium in olive oil with garlic salt and pepper, about 3/4 pound per dog cut bite sized. Cost it out and you’ll find it’s actually cheaper than the canned stuff, and with zero waste. (The little Cavalier will eat far more than you’d expect.) Occasional hot dogs if everybody is feeling too lazy to cook.

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