Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

Starving Cancer

by Les Cole, MD, ABAARM, ABIHM and Kathie Gonzales, ARNP, BC

Our understanding of cancer has changed dramatically over the past several decades. Unfortunately, most of this new understanding has not translated into improvements in therapy.

Understanding Cancer Cells

There are basically two types of cells that make up the cancer. The first are cancer stem cells (CSCs) that act like the “brains of the operation”. They determine how the cancer acts. The other cells are daughter cells of the CSCs and behave the same as the CSCs they came from except they multiply rapidly and out of control. Both CSCs and their daughter cells behave much differently than your body’s normal cells.

Along with surgery and radiation, the current treatment of cancer—chemotherapy—focuses on only one difference between cancer cells and your normal cells. This is the speed of daughter cancer cells growth. Chemotherapy is generally a poison to all of your cells, but the fast growing cancer cells take it up faster and so die sooner, but the side effects of chemo are evidence that your normal cells are also being damaged.

In addition, chemotherapy does not kill CSCs like it does the fast growing cancer daughter cells. That gives the CSCs enough time and stimulation to mutate, now leading to production of new, fast growing daughter cells that are resistant to chemotherapies and more likely to metastasize and become more aggressive, causing more damage.

Thankfully, there are many more differences between cancer cells and normal cells besides their rate of growth. These differences provide many more opportunities to treat the cancer. There are two main categories of differences: the signaling molecules of both CSCs and their daughter cancer cells behave much differently than your normal cells, and both CSCs and their daughter cancer cells feed (to produce energy) much differently than your normal cells. These provide for two different methods of attacking and killing both CSCs and daughter cancer cells.

We will look at each of these differences between your normal cells and the cancer cells—both CSCs and daughter cancer cells. And we will also look at what can be used to effectively treat each situation. These are very effective treatments. They consist of food, supplements and repurposed medicines. Obviously, the first two are, well, obvious! But what are repurposed medicines? These are medicines that have been used for years for specific conditions, but it has been discovered that they work very well against certain aspects of cancer. As such, these medications are used “off label”.

Abnormal Signaling Molecules

Signaling molecules in your normal cells when stimulated set off biochemical pathways that make all the things that are supposed to happen in your cells happen normally to keep your cells healthy. Obviously, something has gone wrong in cancer cells and it usually is one or more of these abnormal signaling molecules. Below are listed just two of the many signaling molecules that have gone wrong in cancer and the treatments that can be used to block its cancerous effect:

Hedgehog Signaling – present in the majority of cancers.

o   Berberine – various foods/supplement

o   Metformin – repurposed diabetes medication

o   Mebendazole – repurposed anti-parasite medication

Wnt/beta-catenin – associated with viral driven cancers

o   Aspirin – repurposed OTC medication

o   Dipyridamole – repurposed blood thinning medication

o   Niclosamide – repurposed anti-parasite medication (no longer manufactured)

Different and Varied Methods of Cancer Cells Feeding

Cancer cells feed (for energy production) very differently from your normal cells. Normal cells utilize glucose and fat in the Krebs cycle. Below are listed three of the many abnormal ways of cancer cells feeding and the repurposed medications and foods/supplements that block them:

Aerobic Glycolysis – the most common way cancer feeds

o   High Dose Intravenous Vitamin C

Cholesterol Pathways

o   Berberine – foods/supplement

o   Dipyridamole – repurposed medication (as above)

o   Luteolin – foods/supplement

o   Statins – repurposed cholesterol lowering medication

Glutamine OxPhos

o   Berberine – foods/supplement

o   Metformin – repurposed medication (as above)

o   Doxycycline – repurposed antibiotic medication

o   Niclosamide – repurposed medication (as above)

In summary, both CSCs and rapidly multiplying cancer daughter cells can be stymied in every direction they can take by food/supplements and repurposed medications. The research is there; we can utilize them safely and they have little to no toxicity. For patients who refuse chemotherapy, following this roadmap can be of great benefit. For patients who opt for chemotherapy, following this roadmap can significantly improve chemotherapy outcomes. There are a number of studies that show this: one showed a 35 percent cancer kill rate of temozolide chemotherapy for brain cancer, a 40 percent kill rate for metformin and a 94 percent kill rate for both together. Another study showed 38 percent kill rate for carmustine chemotherapy for brain cancer, an 86 percent kill rate for berberine and 91 percent kill rate for combined use.

Attend an upcoming free seminar, Starving, Cancer, presented by Dr. Les Cole, 6 p.m., March 17, at St. Petersburg Health & Wellness, 2100 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. Seating is limited; RSVP 727-202-6807 or visit