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I have a friend who was diagnosed with melanoma in 2012. Sam, not his real name, underwent standard-of-care therapy for melanoma. At the conclusion of the conventional (FDA approved) melanoma therapy Sam asked his oncologist “what do we do now?”
To which Sam’s oncologist looked at Sam and said “now we wait.” Telling Sam that there was nothing more to be done to treat his melanoma.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m glad that conventional oncology can treat Sam’s melanoma. I’m saying however, that there is much more to melanoma treatment than conventional “standard of care” therapies.
Set aside the fact that I don’t like to “wait.” I am a cancer survivor myself (of a different cancer) and I like to think that my own long-term remission is due to NOT waiting. But more importantly, the article linked and excerpted below, explains that a beta blocker called Propranolol reduces the risk of melanoma relapse and death.
Just as important, according to research linked and excerpted below, a non-toxic therapy called curcumin which also is anti-melanoma. While both therapies are well-researched, they are not “standard-of-care” for the treatment of melanoma. Don’t expect your oncologist to suggest either therapy if you have been diagnosed with melanoma.
Have you been diagnosed with melanoma? What stage? What is your prognosis? Scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“Propranolol, sold under the brand name Inderal among others, is a medication of the beta blocker class. It is used to treat high blood pressure, a number of types of irregular heart rate, thyrotoxicosis, capillary hemangiomas, performance anxiety, and essential tremors. It is used to prevent migraine headaches, and to prevent further heart problems in those with angina or previous heart attacks...’
“Patients with thick cutaneous melanoma treated with propranolol may have a reduced risk of recurrence and mortality, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.1
Evidence suggests that β-blockers may have anti-tumorigenic properties, and previous studies demonstrated that propranolol in particular may inhibit angiogenesis and migration of cancer cells, leading to a delay in disease progression…
A multivariate analysis adjusted for age, Breslow thickness, and ulceration revealed that propranolol-use was inversely related with recurrence, and reduced the recurrence risk by nearly 80% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.18; 95% CI, 0.04-0.89; P = .03).
No adverse events were reported by the PROP group. Six patients in the No-PROP arm died, 5 deaths attributed to melanoma, and 2 patients in the PROP arm died, with 1 death attributed to melanoma.
While the results of this study suggest that off-label propranolol may reduce the risk of disease progression in patients with melanoma, and the authors added that “the development of randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials is necessary to clarify a definitive role for β-blockers in protecting against the risk of progression of melanoma and to potentially identify the receptor subtype involved in the protective effect.”
“Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and is characterized by poor prognosis in its advanced stages because treatments are poorly effective and burdened with severe adverse effects…
Curcumin is a natural compound derived from Curcuma longa L. (turmeric) with anti-cancer properties, documented also in melanoma, and is well tolerated in humans. Pharmacological activity of curcumin is mediated by modulation of several pathways, such as JAK-2/STAT3, thus inhibiting melanoma cell migration and invasion and enhancing apoptosis of these cells.
The low oral bioavailability of curcumin has led to the development of curcumin analogues, such as EF24, with greater anti-tumor efficacy and metabolic stability… Curcumin has a potential role in the treatment of melanoma, though further studies are necessary to explore its clinical efficacy.
“Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin (CU) products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism”
A search of the Pubmed database for the word curcumin yields 601 studies spaning health topics from multiple myeloma and colorectal cancer, to chemotherapies that synergizes with CU, to Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis and more. Based on years of reading studies and personal accounts, I think it is safe to say that CU supplementation is safe and relatively inexpensive.
I have read about myeloma patients taking daily doses of CU from 400 milligrams to 8 grams (1000 milligrams = 1 gram). By almost any measure, CU is a safe, inexpensive wonder drug.
The only challenge is that CU is famously difficult to absorb in the body. In other words, a person has to mix curcumin with some sort of fat (coconut oil, chocolate, etc.) or take a brand of curcumin capsule that is already formulated to be more “bioavailable” in order to derive the full benefit of CU.
The study linked and exerpted below reviews different formulations of CU. The study itself lists the three most bioavailable formulation/brand of CU and I’ve added an excerpt from a further review from Consumerlab.com that lists four additional bioavailable brands of CU.
“CU is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is sold as an herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, food flavoring, and food coloring.“
“Curcumin is a widely studied natural compound which has shown tremendous in vitro therapeutic potential. Despite that, the clinical efficacy of the native CU is weak due to its low bioavailability and high metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract. During the last decade, researchers have come up with different formulations with a focus on improving the bioavailability of curcumin. As a result, a significant number of bioavailable curcumin-based formulations were introduced with the varying range of enhanced bioavailability.
The purpose of this review is to collate the published clinical studies of CU products with improved bioavailability over conventional (unformulated) CU. Based on the literature search, 11 curcumin formulations with available human bioavailability and pharmacokinetics data were included in this review. Further, the data on clinical study design, analytical method, pharmacokinetic parameters and other relevant details of each formulation were extracted.
Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism. The review hopes to provide a quick reference guide for anyone looking information on these bioavailable curcumin formulations.
Based on the published reports,
exhibited over 100-fold higher bioavailability relative to reference unformulated CU. Suggested mechanisms accounting for improved bioavailability of the formulations and details on the bioanalysis methods are also discussed.”
According to Consumerlab.com:
“Novasol has the highest bioavailability (185 x compared to unforumulated CU), followed by Curcuwin (136 x), Longvida (100 x), Meriva (48 x), BCM-95 (27 x), Curcumin C3 Complex + Bioperene (20 x), and then Theracumin (16 x).”