Does anyone have any insights or experience with ICE chemotherapy that you'd care to share. It's the recommended treatment for my 83 year old mother, who's battling both Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She's already had 12 cycles of ABVD in 2008 (to treat the Hodgkin's Disease) and 3 cycles of Rituxan in 2010 (for the treatment of NH Lymphoma). Both treatments were very rough on her... and, now... she's faced with the depressing thought of undergoing yet a third round of chemo. Any thoughts?
2 cycles of ICE Chemo did, indeed, reduce the size of the Lymphoma growths. However, the process and the aggressive full dose amounts of conventional Chemo proved to be far more than my 83 year old mother could possibly tolerate.
She is now undergoing alternative/ non-conventional Chemo treatments called IPT (Insulin Potentiation or Potentiated Therapy). The theory behind this type of treatment is that Cancer has a multitude of receptors that are highly attracted to and fueled by sugar in a manner that does not exist with healthy non-Cancer cells.
Insulin is first injected into the patient to lower blood sugar levels. Then (perhaps within 5 minutes) a low dose (approximately 10% of conventional Chemo dosages) along with a sugary substance is infused into the patient. The Cancer, which is by now, vastly sugar-starved absorbs the sugary Chemo substance... with the Cancer being essentially fooled or tricked into absorbing the toxic Chemo drugs. And, healthy non-Cancerous cells are left relatively unharmed as they're not as highly receptive to sugar.
It's not new science as this method has been in practice in other countries and has been around for about some 60 years or so; but, it's not widely known about nor utilized much in the USA. But, there are few doctors here in America who use this method. And, thankfully, we were able to locate 2 brilliant doctors who think "outside the box," right here in So. California, and who administer these relatively safe and effective treatments.
The good thing about it is that my mom has had just 2 treatments and she already seems to be responding well with little to no negative side effects. The drawback is that most, if not all, health insurance companies consider IPT to be experimental (which it really isn't) and won't cover its costs. And, while it's significantly less costly than conventional Chemotherapy, it's not cheap as each treatment costs anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 per treatment... and the average patient needs 22 treatments.
I'll be sure to post her progress in this forum.
Thanks again for your concern and being the 1st and only person who cared enough to respond.
Thanks so much for the comments and the follow up. Ugh on the cost of treatments, but I am glad to hear that she is responding without the negative side effects. I've had to watch several relatives go under cancer treatments and it all depends on the person it seems. The more determined they are the more success the treatment has. Definitely keep us updated, I find it fascinating how the body needs to lower sugar levels to fight the cancer.
... just found out today (Nov. 3rd) that Blue Shield Of California agreed to cover 65% of the expenses for IPT... which, although is not the usual 90% coverage that would ordinarily be allowed for conventional treatments, it's something. But, I suspect that this is the exception and not the rule.
We made the case that since my mom had already undergone conventional Chemo three times within a three year period... with little to no success... some measure of coverage should then be approved for a different/ non-conventional approach.
Oh what a relief that is to some extent, I am mean granted it's not the usual 90% but it's something. Nothing is more heart wrenching when you have to worry about finances and health :( Check in once she starts treatment and let me know how it goes. Thoughts definitely go out to you right now.
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