Do Low Cost Drugs Really Work in Treating Cancer?

Fascinating evidence backs the use inexpensive drugs for treatment of cancer.

Posted Mar 17, 2017

I want to share with you information about an amazing clinic that specializes in providing cancer treatments that may complement and enhance ‘standard of care therapy’ ie radio and chemotherapy.

When I was first diagnosed I was lucky enough to find an “independent cancer consultant” (yes – hard to find believe it or not), based in New York, Dr. Henry Dreher.  He wasn’t in the business of making money – his sole aim was to find integrative medicines and therapies to enhance existing cancer care – and he did an amazing job.  Sadly, Henry is no longer with us and I have struggled and struggled to find somebody to replace him.

After much research, I came across the Care Oncology Clinic - which is based in London.  I found it through a renowned oncologist in London, Professor Justin Stebbings who has the vision to think outside the box.  Justin is one of the oncologists, scientists, and doctors behind this clinic – and I am thrilled to have discovered it because it means I can continue with my “off label” medications, which I am sure are part of the reason I am here today.

The medications used by the COC are existing medicines that have been re-purposed and are well understood, with low levels of side effects, offering an acceptable quality of life.  The beneficial effect of these drugs have been backed up by research from leading institutions including, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University and Memorial Sloan Kettering.

And what about the actual drugs used? They are not dangerous and are certainly not an 'alternative' treatment, as it is given in addition to a patient's standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The treatment is simply a daily cocktail of four cheap, well-known medicines.  Two of the medicines are among the most widely prescribed drugs in the world - a cholesterol-lowering statin, and metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. Then there is the antibiotic doxycycline, and mebendazole, which is prescribed for worm infestations.

What is unusual about these drugs is the way they work. They affect the energy-making system - or metabolism - of cancer cells and make it harder for the cells to use the glucose in the bloodstream to grow. In other words, they help starve the cancer—a 'side-effect' in addition to their licensed use. Healthy cells don't suffer from the drugs' effect because they make energy in a different way.

The treatment is also extremely cheap—the cost for a year's supply of the drugs is between £200 and £400. This is unheard of in cancer treatment.

I find it extraordinary that to my knowledge, treatments using these, safe, existing medicines have not been available in the wider field of oncology care.  But the reason why is because it is almost impossible to get drug companies to pay to run trials of drugs that aren't protected by a patent – as there is little or no profit in it for them.  It all boils down to money and that is so wrong.

About the Author

Lucy O'Donnell

Lucy O’Donnell is a cancer life coach and the author of Cancer is My Teacher.

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