Metformin (GlucoPhage) Cancer and the FDA.

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posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 03:53 PM
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I have cancer. There. I said it out loud in a public forum. I have cancer which is recurrent metastasized and, unfortunately, terminal. In the past year or so, I have been through every treatment you can possibly think of for a cancer that is very treatable but my body is letting me down. I am still fairly well and I can do most things still but that my end is very near is certain, according to the doctors. It is too bad because there are many things I still want to do and as I have kids, they are a huge part of what I want to experience and do, still.

As the Doctors have pretty much nothing for me anymore, except for a last Chemo treatment, I went on to look for alternatives. Now of course there are many, many alternative cures touted on the Internet but I have always remained skeptical.

For me the link of your body and what you eat was made clear when I went for a PET scan in order to find out if the shadows in my lungs were malignant. They injected me with a Glucose solution fused with a radioactive isotope. The mechanics of this is as follows: Because malignant cells metabolizes glucose (and in this case radioactive glucose) at a higher rate, the malignant cells will light up like lights in a christmas tree. They surely did and they found four growths in my lungs.

Now, this really put a seed in my brain. Glucose is fuel for cancer cells. Cancer cells eat up glucose at a faster rate. What can stop that? I decided to limit my intake of sugar and white starchy food.

Then I came across a story in a newspaper regarding metformin (Glucophage) and how it has some anti cancerous properties. It didn't go into much detail but as my partner is taking metformin (borderline diabetic) I knew a little about what it was. I wanted to know more and after doing a bit more research I am certain and determined that this is going to prolong my life significantly.

I will outline here why I’m certain: the studies that have been performed on Diabetics and Cancer are pretty conclusive and there is evidence that Metformin with Chemotherapy is more effective than Chemotherapy alone. I’m determined because this drug is NOT going to be used as a standard issue for Cancer treatment in the near future. Not because it is dangerous but for more sinister reasons:

Here is a little history

Metformin is derived from French Lilac (Galega officinalis) and has been around as medication for a number of ailments, like diabetes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), for the past 50 years. It is also used for weight maintenance and for cardiovascular health, and when it was initially discovered, antiviral properties were also observed. It really is a workhorse in the medical world with few side effects. Now as it has been prescribed for so many years, there have been some interesting observations made in the field. People (diabetics) who take metformin have a reduced risk of getting cancer than those who don’t.

How it works is not fully understood but what is known is that it works three-fold: It targets Cancer Stem cells , it stops glucose needed by the cancer cells to multiply, and it targets Cancer Cells that lack the P53 Gene.

Here is some of the research data that I have found in medical journals and articles on the Internet:

Results of a study (from 2000-2004): Increased Cancer-Related Mortality for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Who Use Sulfonylureas or Insulin




RESULTS—Cancer mortality over follow-up was 4.9% (162 of 3,340) for sulfonylurea monotherapy users, 3.5% (245 of 6,969) for metformin users, and 5.8% (84 of 1,443) for subjects who used insulin. After multivariate adjustment, the sulfonylurea cohort had greater cancer-related mortality compared with the metformin cohort


Source


In this study they weren’t sure if the decreased mortality rate was due to the protective properties of Metformin but a number of subsequent studies will back the conclusion that it did.

Another study from 2005, Tayside UK

Conclusion: “Metformin may reduce the risk of cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes”

source

A study from 2007 is a more forceful in its claims:

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that a commonly prescribed diabetes drug kills tumor cells that lack a key regulatory gene called p53.




More than half of all human cancers have lost the p53 gene. Yet even in an era of molecularly targeted therapies scientists have had trouble figuring out how to compensate for the absence of a gene. Unlike a genetic mutation that changes the function or activity of a gene, which can be inhibited by a well-tailored drug, loss of a gene leaves nothing for the drug to target.

Thompson and his team, however, have been accumulating evidence over the last several years that p53, best known as a regulator of cell division, controls several metabolic pathways in cells. For potential cancer therapies, that means a drug that affects pathways controlled by p53 could help control p53-deficient tumors.
Significantly, the regulation of metabolic pathways by p53 is also influenced by metformin, the most widely used diabetes drug. Metformin activates the metabolic enzyme AMPK (AMP activated protein kinase), which exerts changes on cellular metabolism by affecting p53 function. Two observational studies already show that diabetic patients who take metformin have a lower rate of cancer diagnosis and mortality than other diabetics.

Source

Now there are many more studies mostly of human cancer cells In Vitro and tests on Mice that show time and again the efficacy of Metformin as a treatment in the prevention of cancer.

More interesting reading found here:

www.healthyfellow.com...


Chemotherapy and Metformin

There is some evidence to show that Metformin in combination with Chemotherapy is more effective than Chemo alone :

Metformin Selectively Targets Cancer Stem Cells, and Acts Together with Chemotherapy to Block Tumor Growth and Prolong Remission



Conclusion: “Metformin (met) selectively kills cancer stem cells and functions synergistically with doxorubicin” “Strikingly, metformin preferentially kills cancer stem cells”.

sourceSource

There are a couple of Clinical Trials going on humans in different countries looking at the effects of Metformin and Cancer.

You can find more info on it here:

www.trialscentral.org...

and


meeting.ascopubs.org...

USA:

Source

Results probably won’t be known for at least 5 years. Meanwhile we wait. Unfortunately I haven’t the time.

Wait until my second post before responding. Coming up in 5.




posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:05 PM
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But now for the sinister part of the of this story.



I have presented many credible and diverse sources all claiming the same thing. Metformin is pretty much as close to a silver bullet as we have ever come. It targets a wide variety of malignancies and both prevents and potentially cures cancer in combination with Chemotherapy. It has a good track record, without clinical trials, but with large studies, in the field, that shows that it has had some major successes in prevention. This drug has been on the market for decades and there are, of course, side effects but none that can be prevented by a simple B12 and B6 supplement and staying away from alcohol. I don’t believe that they weigh up against the benefits.

Now I have reiterated that this drug has been on the market for decades, EXCEPT for the United States. The FDA didn’t approve this drug until 1994.

www.pslgroup.com...

Why this is, is anybody’s guess, but I’ll have a go.

This drug does not have patent protection. It can be manufactured by any pharmaceutical company. It’s gone Generic as they say.
This is also why the Clinical Trials are not done by Big Pharma as there is no money in it . Cancer Institutes and other Charities fund all these trials.

Here is some more History.

Orginal Manufacturer: Merck KGaA. (Original manufacturers of Morphine and Cocaine)

Once they lost their world patent protection (and I cannot seem to find when they did but my guess is also around 1994). In November 1994 Merck sells Calgon Vestal Laboratories to Bristol-Myers Squibb. After FDA approval in December 1994 Glucophage was manufactured by Lipha Pharmaceuticals Co (a subsidiary of Merck). of New York City; its U.S. distributor is Bristol-Myers Squibb of Princeton, N.J.

Source

I have found that BMS and Merck have a long history together.


Merck's beginnings can be traced back to Friedrich Jacob Merck's 1668 purchase of an apothecary in Darmstadt, Germany, called 'At the Sign of the Angel.' Located next to a castle moat, this store remained in the Merck family for generations.
The pharmacy was transformed by Heinrich Emmanuel Merck into a drug manufactory in 1827. His first products were morphine, codeine, and coc aine. By the time he died in 1855, products made by his company, known as E. Merck AG, were used worldwide. In 1887 E. Merck sent a representative, Theodore Weicker, to the United States to set up a sales office. Weicker (who would go on to own drug powerhouse Bristol-Myers Squibb) was joined by George Merck, the 24-year-old grandson of Heinrich Emmanuel Merck in 1891. In 1899, the younger Merck and Weicker acquired a 150-acre plant site in Rahway, New Jersey, and started production in 1903. Weicker left the firm the following year.


Source

Whether or not Weicker left amicably I have not yet found any evidence on. More than likely they became direct competitors, initially.

BMS lost the patent protection in the US by 2002 (not for the lack of trying. They fought this tooth and nail) after which it became generic and was manufactured by quite a few more companies.


• GlaxoSmithKline
• Andrx Laboratories, Inc
• Par Pharmaceutical, Inc.
• Watson Laboratories, Inc
• Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
• Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals
• Caraco

Source

Source


I am still not at the core of this story yet but I feel that I am getting close. Merck and Bristol, Myer Squibb actually have a long history together but I just can’t find anything above board that reflects this, besides their genesis and the sale of a Merck Company to BMS. There seems to be a big void of collaboration before that.

Now there has been a bit of discussion on Glucophage (Metformin) shown in the Congressional Record of the House in June 2003





The extraordinary thing is that they are discussing the difference in price between the Germany and the US for the same drug (Glucophage or Metformin). $5 in Germany and $100 in the US. For a drug that has no patent protection and is manufactured by more than one company in the US. Why so expensive? Is there price fixing going on? All these questions are yet to be answered.

Source

Kate Stahl, as discussed by Messrs Hoekstra and Gutknecht is a bit of a hero who passed away last year.


…when she reached her mid-70s, and she and her husband could not afford his prescription drugs, she did something about it. She got on a bus to Canada -- one of the first to head north on a mission to bring back cheaper prescription drugs, a violation of federal law. After that, she became a dedicated activist, left-wing radical and the sweet, grandmotherly face on a successful national campaign for better pricing of prescription drugs for the elderly


www.startribune.com...

These guys are staunch Republicans so it is remarkable that they’re arguments are not really in favour of Big Pharma. They seem straight-laced guys for the most part from what I have seen, but I of course, would like to know it if that’s not true.


I think the Pharmaceutical Companies are on the one hand price fixing , lying in bed together over patents and distribution rights, and on the other hand fierce competitors trying to push smaller companies out. However, I would love to hear your input on all of this. This is a few days research and I am sure that all of us together we can get to the bottom of this.

My question remains. WHY DIDN’T the FDA approve Glucophage until 1994??



As for me: I am taking Metformin. I am not telling my Oncologist and I will start Chemo as soon as possible. I will let you know as to my progress so you may learn something from this. I will be the ATS Guinea pig so to speak .

I hope this will be a thread that is open for discussion on Metformin, Merck and BMS and the FDA in particular.
edit on 8/1/11 by Lebowski achiever because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:06 PM
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Just wanted to give you a super duper massive squeezy hug.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:13 PM
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reply to post by KatieVA
 


Thanks Katie. Appreciate it. But I would like to say. I didn't make this thread for sympathy! I get that enough already and am sick of it haha.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by Lebowski achiever
reply to post by KatieVA
 


Thanks Katie. Appreciate it. But I would like to say. I didn't make this thread for sympathy! I get that enough already and am sick of it haha.


Aww, of course! Let's say the hug was because you're so brilliant for putting this information out there for others



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:17 PM
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reply to post by KatieVA
 


LOL. I will also be a guinea pig. I am taking Metformin already although I am not diabetic and starting Chemo very soon.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by Lebowski achiever
 


Just skimmed through the posts and wanted to add a little insight. It might not have a drastic effect on the studies, but it could add some context.

In the study comparing cancer mortality in patients taking sulfonylureas versus those taking metformin, they are leaving on big variable out. Metformin is typically given early in a diabetic's disease process, while sulfonylureas are reserved for "last-ditch" drug combinations (rarely given alone, at least not anymore). So, in my mind at least, the patients on metformin would of course have a lower cancer mortality, because they are likely in better condition overall when compared to patients on sulfonylureas, as they haven't been diabetic for as long, or are managing it better.
edit on 1/8/2011 by VneZonyDostupa because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:27 PM
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It's great that you're taking initiative in this way - and thanks for the information in metformin, which I didn't know before and which is fascinating. All the very,very best wishes for a successful experiment!

You might also want to consider taking some lemon juice every day - I guess it can't hurt, it's easy and not expensive, and I've been reading some interesting info about lemons and cancer cells.

robertfoo.blogspot.com...



edit on 8-1-2011 by wcitizen because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by Lebowski achiever
 


Lebowski (one of my fave movies too), thanks for the VERY interesting info. Cancer is a HUGE, profitable industry in the US.

About ten years ago, I complained to a pharmacist about the high cost of my prescription. Her response was, "Oh that's nothing, we have people here who spend over a $1,000 a MONTH on drugs." I was astounded and asked what they had. She replied, "Cancer."

Naturopaths have known for DECADES that cancer cells feed on sugar.

I really wish you would check out natural cures for cancer. Natural cures for cancer have existed for over a hundred years. These cures have been SUPPRESSED. Good people have been sent to prison for daring to speak outloud about these methods.

Take a look at a recent ATS thread on the apricot seed cure. Don't laugh, there's more to this than you'd think.
Edgar Cayce recommended something almost identical decades before he died. (Cayce died in 1945.)

SeaWind



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by SeaWind
 


Thanks, man. I have checked out that thread. I am still not convinced. As I said earlier, I am going to be a guinea pig seeing I have nothing to lose and let you know how I get on.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


Very interesting but I would say that is not the only reason why Metformin is so good. It also is effective on people who have cancer already and they are expanding on that. There also has been success in killing In Vitro Human Cancer Cells with Metformin.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:41 PM
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reply to post by wcitizen
 


Thanks for the tip. I am also eating a lot of Blackberries and can easily incorporate lemons. I will check out your blog too.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by Lebowski achiever
 


Oh, it certainly isn't the only factor, sure. I'm actually very interested in this, having seen a few studies on it around the hospital myself. I just thought I would point out one little issue with that study in particular.

Great work, otherwise



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:52 PM
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not an expert so take this with a grain of salt. (yes, definitely stay away from sugar)

and stay away from chemo
in my family, those that didn't die of heart attacks or diabetes died of cancer
and as many have pointed out most doctors will chose not to go that way

if you are looking into alternatives (other than laetril)
you could look here:

www.educate-yourself.org...
especially the Forbidden Cures section
Forbidden Cures


don't let some of the topics on this site put you off, some are pretty fringe

don't know for sure, but MMS is supposed to help as it also gets more oxygen into the tissues.
Ozone
Hash-oil

can't remember the details but some sort of plant/herb from Native American Medicine traditions

and I'm sure that there's info on this site hopefully somebody with a better memory, info and links will show up to share.
positive mental attitude of course is a major factor in you getting better

get better.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by DerepentLEstranger
 


What a disgusting thing to do, taking advantage of someone with a serious disease to push a ridiculous, unfounded snake oil.

Chemotherapy and early detection have caused significant increases in survival among all cancers.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 05:03 PM
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reply to post by DerepentLEstranger
 


Thank you for this. I would like to say that I want to discuss the workings of Metformin and why it wasn't approved by the FDA until 1994. As I said, I am pretty skeptical so I would like to limit myself to discuss just what is in this thread.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


Chill! I got this under control.



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 05:10 PM
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Very Interesting.

Glucophage is also used to treat infertility.

Glucophage can also be used to treat PCOS.

Glucophage can also be used to treat Insulin Resitance, also refered to as Syndrome X. Insulin Resistance is not taken seriously by many GPs, and they tend to test with glucose test which actually won't give you a useful result.

Glucophage can help manage issue with Metabolic Disease.

Glucophage is currently only used for fertility issues, and then promptly stopped. Even though the people who need it for fertility issues probably have some underlying issue with Glucose and Insulin and metabolic behaviour. Even this use is considered "off box."

Glucose is added to plenty of processed food.

It is extremely difficult to get a supply of Glucophage without a prescription.

There is something that stinks to high heaven about Glucose in the food supply.


It might further interest you that in combination with estrogen and estrogen-like chemicals, cancers take off like Hulk getting mad. So you add in the plentiful number of estrogen-acting chemicals in our environment and food supply and packaging, with glucose.....well you have a perfect combination to feed cancer.
edit on 2011/1/8 by Aeons because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by Aeons
 


Wow, that's great information you are giving there! I like it. Could you expand a bit more? Provide some linkage?




posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 05:21 PM
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reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


not pushing or selling anything just providing info into alternatives it's the OP's health, body and life

just trying to be helpful

spare me your righteous indignation

anything the FDA Pushes is not to be trusted

best of luck Lebowski achiever



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