What is Metronomic Chemotherapy ?
Metronomic chemotherapy is one of the biggest step forward in the history of
cancer treatment and is based on the understanding of the blood supply
in cancer tissue, or rather the possibility of controlling this so that
the cancer cannot grow.
For the patients, this new way of treatment is very interesting because it practically has no
side effects. The treatment primarily uses tablets and research shows
that this gives equally good results as the ordinary chemotherapy, in
which the highest possible doses are given every second or third week
and which produces more or less serious side effects.
Since 1970 global angiogenesis research has taken place at the Judah Folkman laboratories
at the Dana-Farber Institute in Boston USA . A majority of the world
leading angiogenesis researchers have been working here or in other
ways in close connection with Judah Folkman. Unfortunately, Judah
Folkman died January the 14th 2008 at Denver Airport of a heart attack
nearly 75-years old. For this reason, he unfortunately did not get the
Nobel Prize in medicine, which he really had deserved.
Angiogenesis means creation of new blood vessels from an existing blood vessel and
this is the most important way cancer cells use to get nutrition.
Normal chemotherapy also destroys the endothelial cells in the small
blood vessels but in the usual 2 – 3 weeks pause given before the next
chemotherapy, the blood vessel grows into the cancer again.
On February 23rd 2008, at the 28th annual German Cancer Congress, the
American cancer researcher D. McDonald from San Francisco presented an
interesting lecture at a symposium entitled: “Anti-angiogenesis,
Therapy for Solid Tumours”. McDonald showed pictures from his research
and demonstrated that already one day after the treatment with an
anti-angiogenesis remedy has been stopped, the endothelial cells (the
cells in the walls of the blood vessels) start sprouting and sending
out growth processes from the basal membrane. Within just one week from
stopping the anti-angiogenesis treatment, the blood vessels and the
blood supply to the cancer tumour are fully re-established.
The metronomic chemotherapy, just like the fast rhythm in the metronome,
given daily or every second day, does not allow the blood vessels to
re-establish. It does not matter which cancer cells it is about or if
perhaps they have become resistant. We do not attack cancer cells with
the metronomic therapy, it is the blood vessels that are attacked. You
can ask yourself if also the endothelial cells in the long run can
become resistant - and the answer is yes. However it takes a much
longer time then when the cancer cells become resistant and the normal
process under metronomic treatment can be as follows: At first the
tumour becomes smaller, then comes a long and stable period which can
last for years and finally the cancer grows again. You can then shift
to another metronomic chemotherapy or a combination of metronomic