DCA – dichloroacetic acid

As early as 2007, the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, discovered how cancer cells dissolved when using a drug that had previously been used to treat rare metabolic disorders (lactic acidosis) in children. Unfortunately, since the drug is not patentable, no manufacturer has shown interest in pursuing this product. The drug is called DCA (dichloroacetate, dichloroacetic acid).

How does one come to believe that DCA can dissolve cancer cells?
Greek scientist Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, tested the effect of DCA on human cells in a test tube and discovered that DCA dissolved lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells.
Then rats were infected with human cancer cells so that they developed tumors. Now they were given water spiked with DCA to drink for a few weeks. After just one week, the tumors began to shrink, and after three months, the cancerous tumors were only half the size of those in the untreated animals, according to the report.

How does DCA work?
DCA has the ability to affect a cell’s mitochondria. DCA is said to “revive” the mitochondria.
It is known in science that the mitochondria of a degenerated cell are disturbed and no longer fulfill their normal tasks. The tasks are for example energy conversion and monitoring of the cell. If DCA is applied to the mitochondria, mitochondria can be restarted. This results in a resumption of normal energy conversion and monitoring. Now it can be recognized that it is a degenerated cell, apoptosis (cell destruction) is immediately initiated.
In short DCA can help repair the cell system (with mitochondria weakness) and thus affect cancer cells. DCA can activate the self-destruction of cancer cells.

Side effects of DCA
Compared to the toxicity of conventional cytostatic drugs, the side effects of DCA are negligible. Only long-term use over many weeks or high doses may cause mild peripheral nerve dysfunction, but this was reversible after discontinuation of the drug. In the individually adjusted administration, embedded in a treatment concept with supporting agents, only slight headaches could be observed as side effects.

DCA is available in German pharmacies as a prescription drug

Sources:
Pearson H. “Cancer patients opt for unapproved drug.” Nature. 2007 Mar 29;446(7135):474-5. (Cancer patients opt for unapproved drug).
Michelakis ED et al. “Dichloroacetate (DCA) as a potential metabolic-targeting therapy for cancer.” Br J Cancer. 2008 Oct 7;99(7):989-94. (Dichloroacetate (DCA) as a potential metabolic-targeting therapy for cancer.)
S. Bonnet et al. “A Mitochondria-K+ Channel Axis Is Suppressed in Cancer and Its Normalization Promotes Apoptosis and Inhibits Cancer Growth” Cancer Cell 11, 37-51; 2007 (A mitochondria-K+ channel axis is suppressed in cancer and its normalization promotes apoptosis and inhibits cancer growth).

DCA in glioblastoma (brain tumor).
In another paper (www.scienceTranslationalMedicine.org 12 May 2010, Vol 2 Issue 31 31ra34), Michaelakis describes the possibilities of using DCA in glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. In glioblastoma tissue, mitochondrial membrane hyperpolarization was measured and neutralized under DCA addition in vitro. Angiogenesis (new vessel formation) of the tumor was reduced.
In this work, five patients with glioblastoma were treated with oral DCA for 15 months. The dose-limiting toxicities were dose-dependent reversible peripheral neuropathies; there were no hematologic, hepatic, renal, or cardiac toxicities. Positive clinical effects were observed at doses that did not cause peripheral neuropathy.
Based on the available results (test tube, animal studies and human experience), DCA seems to be able to make an important contribution in holistic cancer care. The acceptable tolerability and the uncomplicated implementation make this substance an important pillar in the activation of mitochondrial activity….

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