Dr DV and CCIM are frequently consulted to care for patients being treated for cancer, or who are focused on preventing recurrence of cancer. The context of these consultations are either inpatient as internal medicine consultations in the hospital or as enteroimmunology
(microbiome repair) & endocrinology consultations in the community.
The process begins by making a consultation, creating an integrated plan of care (we’d be happy to discuss the case with your oncologist), proceeding with any diagnostic testing, and starting treatments. We can communicate with you even daily via our CCIM Membership program, so that you are truly supported.
Cancer treatments, whether immunotherapy or chemotherapy, involve killing cells which are rapidly reproducing- in addition to cancer cells, this can involve the following cells:
- Enterocytes(cells that line the small intestine)
- Colonocytes(cells that line the colon)
- Hepatocytes(cells that line the liver ducts)
- Endocrine organs(thyroid, adrenals, other hormone systems)
- Bone marrow
- Damage to these organs lead to symptoms such as anorexia, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, cytopenias, fatigue, insomnia, food intolerance, stomatitis; often these symptoms make cancer treatment more intolerable than the cancer itself.
Damage to these cells lead to predictable symptoms:
- Nausea, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, bowel bleeding
- Fatigue, insomnia, pain, arthralgia/myalgia (muscle or joint ache)
- Muscle spasms and chronic pain
Our service addresses these concerns:
- Balance gut bacteria (the microbiome1)
- Gut microbiome treatments (Enteroimmunology) can prevent colon cancer
- Improve health of enterocytes and Colonocytes-> repair of the intestinal lining
- Resolve Dysbiotic inflammation
- Microbiome testing is done by stool testing (covered by PPO insurances and Medicare)
- Intestinal & microbiome repair strategies
o Zinc Carnosine9 and manuka honey are useful for stomatitis / mucositis
o Resistant starch intake useful to prevent metastatic spread; prebiotic fiber is proven to lessen colon cancer metastases
o Ginger & cannabis oils are useful for cancer/chemo induced nausea
- Proactively replace deficient hormones, micronutrients, and neurotransmitters which we measure via blood/saliva/urine testing (pregnenolone, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, estriol all have anti-cancer effects and are benefical for sarcopenia).
- Use of EPO and neupogen proactively can address cytopenias (bone marrow suppression from chemo)
Integrative Oncology treatments: IV artesunate
Artesunate is the intravenous preparation of artemisinin, which is a plant noted for its anti-cancer effects. It works by inducing apoptosis (cell death) in cells that have a high iron content; cancer cells hoard iron, which is why they preferentially take in a lot of artesunate. This mechanism allows the artesunate to work effectively for many different types of cancer. At CCIM we have made independent investigations in labs at UCLA Medical Center confirming the cancer cell – killing effect of the artesunate we use.
- We compound artesunate for each patient.
- Dosing: Trial 60mg dose x 1, then increase to a goal of 600mg IV twice weekly
- Colon cancer https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484515/
- For Cancer:
- Oral artesunate is also useful for colon cancer
Integrative Oncology treatments: IV Vitamin C5
When IV Vitamin C is injected into the bloodstream, gets converted into dehydroascorbic acid which enters the cancer cell via the same receptor that glucose does (GLUT1). Once inside the cancer cell, antioxidants in the cancer cell try to convert the dehydroascorbic acid back into Vitamin C, and in the process, the cancer cell dies from oxidative stress
- Dosing: 15g trial x 1, then increase to a goal of 50g IV twice weekly, to a goal Vit C blood level of 350-400 mg/dl after treatment.
- Liver protection strategies:
o Silymarin6 (1-2g PO or 10-50mg/kg IV), curcumin, glutathione, NAC
- Neurologic tissue protection strategies
o Alpha lipoic acid
o Methyl cobalamin7
- Glutamine (10-20g/d) prevents multiple adverse effects during chemotherapy11
- Bone marrow protection strategies
o Astragalus10 1-4g/d
o Endocrine treatments (testosterone), EPO can prevent anemia
o Neupogen (administered in conjunction with oncologist)