Naturopathic treatment of established cancer offers few predictable outcomes but there are some treatments that have potential benefits. Intravenous Vitamin C, Hyperthermia, Mistletoe, Careseng, and Insulin potentiation therapy are just a few therapies often implemented by Naturopathic Doctors as ancillary treatment or as a last resort when all mainstream therapies fail.

Despite the possible benefit of these agents the challenge remains. Which substances or combination of substances show evidence of positive outcome for patients with cancer? There is a natural molecule with the unique ability to prolong life in those with non small cell carcinoma lung cancer (NSCLC).

Looking at the past two decades of lung cancer
NSCLC accounts for approximately 80% of all new lung cancer cases, with over a half million people in North America and Europe diagnosed each year. Alarmingly, most patients diagnosed with NSCLC have late-stage disease or are non-operative (Stage IIIB or IV). The current standard of care for these patients is systemic chemotherapy. Even with the available therapy, the five-year survival rate for these patients is less than 3%.

In the past 25 years, despite billions of dollars of research and a plethora of chemotherapeutic drugs, the outcome for advanced stages of lung cancer are still grim. Excision is the uncontested best treatment for early stages of lung cancer, however this is not an option for lung cancer in advanced stages where there is lymph node involvement and bilateral infiltration.

For the time being, extending and improving quality of life in late stage cancer is the best that medicine has to offer. Recently, a natural biological molecule has come to the foreground of research for NSCLC.

Lactoferrin for extending your lifespan
Lactoferrin (LF) is an iron-binding glycoprotein that was initially identified in breast milk as a protein of mammary epithelial cells. LF is known to scavenge free iron in fluids and inflamed areas, suppressing free radical-mediated damage and decreasing the availability of the metal (specifically Fe3+) to invading microbial and neoplastic cells (cancer cells).

The immunomodulatory functions of bovine LF has been extensively studied in animal models. The mechanisms of action include activation of NK and lymphokine-activated killer cells. Interestingly, despite the preliminary bovine lactoferrin research, the recombinant human lactoferrin termed “Talactoferrin” (TLF) has been the focus of research in more large scale human trials.

Various clinical trials have displayed an increase in lifespan from 4.6 months to approximately 9 months in late stage NSCLC. Doubling lifespan in those with late stage non small cell carcinoma lung cancer that were not responsive to conventional chemotherapy is a huge breakthrough for an oral protein that causes very few side effects.

Very little progress has been made regarding management of advanced NSCLC over the past 25 years. It is interesting to note that an orally administered natural medicine is leading the way for improved outcomes in this terminal disease.

For specific suggestions please contact a Naturopathic doctor with a focus in cancer therapies. Additionally, discuss your condition with your family physician or specialists if you are taking natural therapies, as certain natural medicine treatments may be contraindicated with chemotherapeutic agents.

George Tardik B.Sc.(hon), RHN, RNCP, (ND cand.) has been practicing nutrition for 10 years. He is a fourth year intern at the Canadian College of Naturopathic medicine’s RSNC clinic. He’s been featured on CBC’s Newsworld, Marketplace and Sports Journal. George specializes in metabolism, weight-loss, diabetes and sports nutrition. He practices out of Nature’s Source. For booking appointments, please call 416.242.8500.