Cocktails of off-label drugs to fight Glioblastoma Multiforme

17 March 2020 0 By Roberto Pugliese

It’s been a while since I wanted to write something on the subject. A few days at home following measures to limit the spread of the new Coronavirus (Covid-19) gave me the opportunity to do it.

Many of the survivors of glioblastoma, think of the story of Ben Williams but not only, have used this approach. Also interesting is the story of a dentist who used this approach to save his wife who fell ill in 1999 and still in good health. The basic idea behind this approach is this: since glioblastoma multiforme is multifaceted, it is better to attack it in different ways so that at least someone or their synergistic effect could have the best and save the patient. To do this, you use all the available off-label drugs that have proven to be effective and do not have toxicity to kill the patient.

Faced with this approach, there are, as usual, favorable and contrary. The reasons for the favorable are essentially:

the patient is interested in healing, not understanding why he is healed;

looking for a single drug that is capable of defeating glioblastoma multiforme is impossible precisely because it is multifaceted.

The reasons for the opposites are:

  • the method is not scientific;
  • since glioblastoma thanks to its stem cells, develop resistance, if by chance it is not defeated, it will develop resistance to all the drugs used.

The questions I want to answer in this article are:

  • Is there a middle ground ie an effective way to use this approach?
  • In this way we can make this approach more effective or better useless to take 20 drugs if for the characteristics of the patient’s glioblastoma I am treating only 4 of these useful profits.

With the aim of learning more, I started reading articles and references and came across the story of Stephen Western who works with Ben Williams to keep his book “Surviving terminal cancer” up to date. Stephen maintains the blog cocktail and stories of our brain tumor that collects articles on the subject. Stephen also helps patients find the right path and gives advice to those who want to follow this approach.

Obviously it is not possible to take drugs at random and it is necessary to be followed by a doctor who is really difficult to find. These drugs are not normally supplied by the national health system as they are off-label. This approach should also not be used as an alternative to the traditional protocol but in addition if this is possible to reduce the risks of shortening instead of lengthening the patient’s life expectancy.

Continuing to search I found that the Care Oncology Clinic in Harley Street, London, has started to work to evaluate whether it uses a combination of safe, tolerable, current generic therapies, has slowed the growth of cancer and improves survival times in patients for which other treatments are no longer available or functioning. “Study of the safety, tolerability and efficacy of combined metabolic cancer treatments” (METRICS)” which aims to evaluate the treatment of participants with four metabolic drugs: Mebendazole (Vermox), Doxycycline (an Antibiotic), Atorvastatin (a statin for cholesterol) and Metformin (a drug for diabetics). It seems that these 4 off-label drugs have almost doubled survival in GBM. The data will be collected by examining the medical records of about 200 patients from May 2017 to May 2022. Results will be available in 2023.

The approach of this clinic is an answer to the first question I asked myself. Although we will know the results only in 2023 it is important to start the clinical trials for to have irrefutable data even if it is often difficult (for lack of funds) to pay for the experimentation with different drugs produced by different pharmaceutical cases.

The answer to the second question may instead come from precision medicine or from an approach very similar to that described in the story of Sam Kell.