Cancer continues to be a major health concern for pets. Estimates are that 40 to 50 % of pets will develop cancer. Treatment has been expensive, debilitating and. for the most part, unsuccessful. Historically, cancer has been viewed as a disease caused by genetic mutations. Recently, a new theory as to the cause of cancer has been developed. The new theory is that cancer is a metabolic disease. The genetic changes seen in cancer are the effects of deranged metabolism, not the cause of the cancer. The metabolic theory of cancer was first proposed by Otto Warburg almost 100 years ago. Dr. Thomas Seyfried of Boston College is considered the godfather of the metabolic theory and deserves all the credit he gets.
The metabolic theory of cancer is based on the observation that cancer cells do not produce energy the same way normal cells do. Normal cells produce energy by a process called oxidative phosphorylation. What this means is that normal cells use oxygen to produce energy. Cancer cells do not use oxygen to produce energy. Rather, they produce energy by anaerobic fermentation. Cancer cells ferment glucose and glutamine, an amino acid, to produce energy. The functional significance of this is that it provides a different means to treat cancer. It is possible to starve cancer-to death- by restricting glucose and glutamine. Normal cells are not effected by this because they can utilize fuels that cancer cells cannot.
Normal cells can utilize ketones to produce energy, cancer cells cannot. Because of this, the ketogenic diet has become the mainstay of metabolic cancer therapy. In some cases, it has been possible to cure cancer simply by diet change. Of course, many other cases are not so simple. There are cases where conventional therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery may be appropriate. All of these conventional therapies are improved when utilized with a ketogenic diet. The dose of chemotherapy can be reduced to the point of no side effects. A ketogenic diet, along with high dose melatonin, greatly reduces the side effects of radiation.
High dose melatonin is only one of several functional therapies to treat cancer. High dose melatonin inhibits the ability of cancer cells to use glucose. Quercetin also inhibits glucose uptake by cells. Ashwagandha inhibits the metabolism of glutamine, as does EGCG extract of green tea. High dose vitamin C helps prevent the oxidative damage caused by ca e cells. All of these supplements, and others, are used in what is called the press pulse therapy. The press component deals with restricting glucose. It is applied during the entire course of therapy. The pulse component refers to restricting glutamine. It cannot be applied constantly because normal cells also require glutamine. So pulse therapy is done intermittently.
The metabolic theory of cancer with the press pulse therapy offers a simple- but not easy- treatment and cure for cancer. It has the added benefit of being inexpensive and can be done at home. If this treatment were to become widely accepted, euthanasia would no longer be the fate of the 50 % of pets that develop cancer.