Building an off-label drugs protocol for cancer?

Building an off-label drugs protocol for cancer?

Using off-label drugs in an anti-cancer protocol is a hot topic among cancer patients and here is a practical guide of the top repurposed drugs being used by patients to help fight their cancer, alongside or instead of orthodox treatments.; plus a table of which cancers are treated by which drugs according to research.

Let's be clear. There are some interesting drugs not originally intended for cancer but which seem to offer anti-cancer benefits, for example in cutting blood sugar, reducing levels of blood fats, reducing inflammation, platelet lowering, or just the ability to attack and kill cancer cells. Many parasites and microbes, for example, share energy production enzymes with cancer cells, or other unique features such as microtubules. Something that kills a worm, can potentially kill a cancer cell. This is not my argument but that of top research scientists at cancer centres such as Johns Hopkins and MD Anderson. And they also argue 'Why look for expensive new drugs, when they already exist?" 

However, even though most of these drugs have been around for a long time and there side-effects are often minimal, putting together your own off-label drug protocol is far from safe. Niclosamide and Fenbendazole form a cocktail that is dangerous. We see people using four of five drugs in combination; sometimes they will be taking orthodox medicine simultaneously. This really isn't something you should be trying at home without professional help.

A practical guide to off-label drugs you might consider in an anti-cancer protocol

What people with cancer want to know is which off-label drugs could work with my cancer. So we have looked at this two ways:

1. Which repurposed drugs work with which cancers?

What does research and practical usage tell us?

First, cut your blood sugar and blood fat levels - We know some oncologists are using Metformin to cut blood sugar and stop a cancer feeding; at CANCERactive, we prefer Berberine because it doesn't stop there and attacks the cancer cell's energy pathway and is also an anti-inflammatory. There can also be contamination and liver side-effects with metformin. 

Some oncologists use Atorvastatin to reduce blood fats, since high blood fats increase cancer spread and reduce survival times. We also like natural Lycopene (for example, from tomatoes) for cancers such as prostate.

Atorvastatin is a lipophilic statin; it reduces blood fats but also crosses membranes to reduce fat in the tissues. Always take CoQ10 if you are going to take a statin. There is an increasing amount of positive research on statins in cancer.

Go to: Lipophilic statins fight cancer

Other 'universal' drugs are:

* Doxycycline - breast cancer, prostate cancer; converts cancer stem cells to mere mortals in conjunction with berberine or IVC; however it has its problems. See here

* Melatonin - Some oncologists refer to it as 'The sleeping drug'. But it reduces natural oestrogen, is anti-inflammatory and has at least 5 different ways of attacking cancer cells. It is almost universally effective. See Here

* Naltrexone - as Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and used with vitamin D and alpha lipoic acid, has almost universal ability to boost the immune system and provide some pain relief. Increasingly used with cannabis at night and CBD by day.

Then there are at least another 10 drugs with a number of research studies on specific cancers, for example, 

* Accutane - GBMneuroblastomabreast cancer (with metformin) and can correct cancer stem cells. (But accutane has strong side-effects)

* Celebrex - prostate, lung, breast, colorectal, brain cancer

* Cimetidine - colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, melanoma, kidney cancer; Independent review on Cimetidine and cancer HERE

* Dipyridamole - melanoma, colorectal, breast, TNBC (works well with the anti-histamine cimetidine)

* Fenbendazole GBMNSCLC, lymphoma, metastatic Colorectal Cancer, prostate cancer (also blocks uptake of sugar).

* Itraconozole - pancreatic, NHL, endometrial, NSCLC, prostate, breast cancer and TNBC

* Ivermectin - Lymphoma, leukemia, and solid tumours such as ovarian, TNBC and breast cancer.

* Mebendazole - GBM

* Niclosamide - colorectal cancer, prostate cancer; shown to knock back tumours and can correct cancer stem cells.

* Propranolol - Lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, pancreatic, prostate, stomach, leukemia, and ovarian cancer 

Wasn't that the most important list you need if you have a cancer stage/grade 3 or 4 and want to try something different?


A lot of patients simply ask their GP. But there are a group of Doctors in Glasgow (Clinic 158) who will prescribe on line. Call 0141 404 6255. 

2. Help to build a repurposed drug programme?

So what things do you need to consider?

1. Cancer uses histamines to help it form tumours and spread. There is research from multiple cancer centres on several antihistamines that increase survival times - For example, Cimetidine with colorectal cancer; Desloratadine and Loratadine with breast cancer: 

Go to:  Can antihistamines like Cimetidine, Desloratadine and Loratadine play an integrative role in cancer cure?

With cancer in women, it doesn't seem to matter whether you are ER+ve and ER-ve:

Go to: Antihistamines like Loratadine and Desloratadine increase breast cancer survival

The research suggests that you might use cimetidine for a year from one week after surgery to restrict loose cancer cells causing secondaries. The Karolinska Research suggests antihistamines such as Desloratadine or Loratadine may only need to be used for 6-10 weeks to deliver significant improvements in survival.  

Natural antihistamines do exist - for example, quercitin, bromelain, stinging nettle, vitamin C, ginkgo, elderberry, flavoids, vit,amin A, pycnogenol.

Non-specific Beta-blockers such as Propranolol seem to offer similar benefits but with longer-term use. Vanderbilt Cancer Clinic has shown that stress can induce metastases to the lungs and bones in mice and that propranolol can block this. Perhaps the biggest fan is Prof. Anil Sood at MD Anderson who has shown how stress keeps cancer cells alive and also controls metastases in humans. He has shown that using propranolol increases survival time with ovarian cancer by 4 years. It can block VEGF, and there is research in terms of reducing progression, and therefore increasing survival times with colorectal, breast, pancreatic, stomach, prostate, leukemia, angiosarcoma and lung cancer.

Go to: Beta-blocker Propranolol restricts progression, increases survival times

2. There are several serious oncologists in London who have been using old drugs, not originally intended for use with cancer, with grade 4, stage 4 patients. 

          2.1 For example, Metformin (the diabetes drug which cuts blood sugar has research with cancer) and Atorvastatin (the statin is used to reduce blood fat, and slow metastasis). Metformin may also possess anti-cancer benefits, but there is little evidence statins do. However since there are a vast number of studies now that show people with high blood fat levels have more metastases, cutting cholesterol is clearly an important strategy. 

Go to: Metformin and cancer 

Go to: Statins and cancer 

There are however two natural compounds berberine and lycopene - Berberine is a blood sugar lowering herb and has considerably more research on anti-cancer benefits than metformin; plus it is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Lycopene has blood lipid lowering benefits at least on a par with statins, it reduces the risk of aggressive and fatal prostate cancer, for example, and it is an antioxidant with action against cancer stem cells.

Go to: Berberine (my preference over metformin)

Go to: Berberine and breast cancer 

Go to: Lycopene and statins 

          2.2 Care Oncology use four core repurposed drugs for all cancers - Metformin, atorvastatin, mebendazole and doxycycline. And sometimes an anti-inflammatory Flarin (and sometimes the antihistamine Loratadine)

They claim to have had great results to date and to, at least, double life expectancy for people with cancer. 

Mebendazole this disrupts the growth of parasites by attacking tubulin and microtubules. The first is in the blood supply tubes to tumours; the latter (microtubules) are crucial to cancer cells.

Go to: Pinworm drug, Mebendazole, targets cancers like GBM and osteosarcoma 

Converting cancer stem cells?   

i) Doxycycline is used to convert cancer stem cells to ordinary cells. Cancer Stem cells are the primary reason why cancer returns. There is no current orthodox cancer drug available to deal with them. 

However, I'm not keen on the use of this antibiotic as it screws up your gut microbiome. However, if you have chemo or surgery, that might be the time to take doxycycline as it can't make the microbiome much worse. There is research from Prof. Michael Lisanti and his team in Manchester, Salford, that it does seem to work. Note the recommendation to use IVC or the much cheaper, Berberine with doxycycline.

Go to:  Vitamin C plus antibiotic, doxycycline, a lethal combination to cancer stem cells 

   ii) Retinoid Acid - Accutane - This also attacks cancer stem cells. Although Professor Ben Williams used it to beat his cancer,Accutane seems to have a lot of side-effects. Some oncologists use it with good levels of Resveratrol. is a form of vitamin A and used in cases of severe acne and genital warts, where it is highly effective. It was removed from the US market by manufacturer, Roche, after a number of claims that it caused IBS. It has already been used as an anti-cancer chemotherapy in the USA as it destroys rapidly dividing cells. WebMD reports that it is used officially to treat some cancers - there is some evidence it works against types of brain tumours preventing recurrence and it has been used against skin cancer. It does however seem to have more than its fair share of side-effects.

   iii) Niclosamide - seems to have three anti-cancer benefits - again it converts cancer stem cells to ordinary cancer cells, it has effects against p53 restricted cells (60% of all cancer) and it seems to shrink tumours 50%. 

Go to:  Repurposed tapeworm drug, Niclosamide, can kill cancer cells 

Natural compounds know to correct cancer stem cells include - vitamin D3, feverfew, ursolic acid (in Holy Basil and pistacchio nuts), EGCG (green tea), genestein (soy, red clover), lycopene, curcumin - turmeric, resveratrol, ashwagandha, delphinidin (blueberries, raspberries) (1)

3. If you don’t want pay for a visit to a prescribing doctor or Care Oncology there is an alternative to Mebendazole. 

Fenbendazole - is easier to get hold of - try contacting Pet Store suppliers and finding 'Panacur'. It must not be taken with Niclosamide. Fenbendazole was originally discovered by chance when scintists found they could give some rates brain tumours. The rats had been de-wormed with Fenbendazole. One gentleman Joe Tippens developed a protocol and beat his Grade 4, stage 4 NSCLC in three months, using CBD and vitamin D as well. Fenbendazole is taken for three days, then you have 4 days off.

Go to: Anti-Worm drug, Fenbendazole, effective at killing cancer cells 

4. Most Doctors call Melatonin a drug. The Sleeping drug. I have always believed melatonin was an essential cancer preventer especially for people with disturbed sleep patterns (long-haul air hostesses, night shift workers) but actually it acts in about 5 ways directly against cancer. I did a conference with the American melatonin expert Professor Russell Reiter - he argues that everybody with cancer should take 20 mg of melatonin 45 minutes before bed. Professor Ben Williams used it as part of his brain cancer protocol.

Go to: Melatonin self-defence against cancer and, Melatonin helps chemotherapy work, increases survival and reduces side-effects

5. There are two drugs that seem particularly useful against cancer: 

          5.1 Itraconazole –  This is really worth considering if you are taking anti-cancer drugs as it seems very useful if you are taking drugs because it lowers chemo-resistance and increases survival times. It is a simple anti-fungal with few side-effects and attacks mTor and AMPK to drivers of cancer. There is research on breast cancer, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer and others.

Go to: Repurposing anti-fungal Itraconazole as an anti-cancer agent 

           5.2 Dipyridamole – Again this is worth considering but whether you are having drugs or not. It has few, if any, side-effects and is widely prescribed to reduce DVT and stroke risk. It acts by reducing levels of platelets (as does curcumin) and platelets are essential for cancer growth, forming blood supplies and metastases. The drug also reduces inflammation and primary tumour size, progression and metastases. 

Go to: Repurposed Dipyridamole as a cancer treatmen

6. Celebrex – This has fans on the Internet who claim it kills cancer cells. Yes there is one study. But really it is an anti-inflammatory and may reduce cancer spread. Not as much information as I would have liked. 

Go to:  Cancer cells self-destruct with Celebrex 

7. Naltrexone – finally a very interesting off-label drug is Naltrexone; but instead of taking 300-500 mg, you take a very low dose of 0.5 to 4.5mg. It is used for pain relief and immune boosting.

Low Dose Naltrexone, or LDN has been described as 'better than the new immunotherapy drugs' and it is known to help in pain management. You pulse it (3 days on and 3 off) and you can use Cannabis oil and/or CBD with it to increase both immune response and pain relief.

Go to: Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) as a cancer treatment

It looks like practitioners for breast, ovarian and similar cancers get the best results with 1 part THC: 4 parts CBD. Brain tumours it is 1:1.

3. How Jane McLelland beat her cancer using off label drugs

Jane McLelland, who was first diagnosed with cervical cancer, and then after having chemotherapy developed leukemia and was deemed Stage 4, Grade 4 in 1999, beat her cancer by using a mixture of diet, exercise, supplements, herbs and off-label drugs. Jane has written a book 'How to Starve Cancer', which is an important read if you really do want to plan an off-label protocol.

(To order the book - call 0203 186 1006).

Jane also has a Facebook group - Jane McLelland Off-label drugs for cancer. This is well worth joining (and it's free) if you want to see what others have done, or ask advice, or you want to get hold of the drugs.

Finally, I have a completely updated summary article concerning 'Off-Label' drugs here: 

Repurposed old drugs as new and effective cancer treatments

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1. 25 natural compounds that target cancer stem cells - Anticancer Res. 2015 Nov ;35(11):5773-88. PMID: 26503998

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