Metastasis is the general term used to describe the spread of cancer cells from the primary tumor to surrounding tissues and to distant organs and is a primary cause of cancer morbidity and mortality.(Source).
Metastasis involves a complex series of sequential and interrelated steps. In order to complete the metastatic cascade, cancer cells must detach from the primary tumor, intravasate into the circulation and lymphatic system, evade immune attack, extravasate at a distant capillary bed, and invade and proliferate in distant organs (Source).
Metastatic cells also establish a microenvironment that facilitates angiogenesis and proliferation, resulting in macroscopic, malignant secondary tumors. A difficulty in better characterizing the molecular mechanisms of metastasis comes in large part from the lack of animal models that manifest all steps of the cascade. Although the major steps of metastasis are well documented, the process by which metastatic cells arise from within populations of non-metastatic cells of the primary tumor has not been well elucidated. (Source). The ACR Institute is working on this problem.
ACRI’s Holistic Recommendations, for starts
1. Modified Citrus Pectin or MCP: Typical adult dose ranging from 6-30 grams divided throughout the day. 15 grams is usually the normal doses, divided in three daily doses. But because of the metastasis-angiogenesis promoting surgery and the accompanying stress, it may be wise to increase that dose to 20-25 grams per day. If the bloodwork and biomarkers show no signs of cancer progession and if the Circulating Tumor cell test also shows no sign of CTC (circulatiog tumor cells) activity, then we can go back down to 10-15 grams. But without knowing, it’s important to have a good amount of this substance floating in the bloodstream most of the time to avoid the cancer adhesion molecules from taking effect.
Action mechanism: In order for metastasis to occur, cancerous cells must first bind or clump together. The molecule called galectin is thought responsible for much of cancer’s metastatic potential by providing the binding site (Guess et al. 2003). MCP appears small enough to access and bind tightly with galectins, inhibiting (or blocking) aggregation of tumor cells and adhesion to surrounding tissue (Kidd 1996). Deprived of the capacity to adhere, cancer cells fail to metastasize.
Evidence of efficiency: Research shows that metastasis of breast cancer cell lines requires aggregation and adhesion of the cancerous cells to tissue endothelium in order for it to invade neighboring structures (Glinsky et al. 2000). To test the anti-adhesive properties of MCP, researchers evaluated (in an in vitro model) breast carcinoma cell lines MCF-7 and T-47D. The study concluded that MCP countered the adhesion of malignant cells to blood vessel endothelium and subsequently inhibited metastasis (Naik et al. 1995). MCP decreased metastasis of melanoma to the lung by more than 90% in laboratory animals (Platt et al. 1992). Men with prostate cancer who took 15 grams of MCP a day, they had a slowdown in the doubling time of their PSA levels. (Lengthening of doubling time represents a decrease in the rate of cancer growth.) According to Dr. Kenneth Pienta (leader of the Michigan Cancer Foundation), MCP may be the first oral method of preventing spontaneous prostate cancer metastasis (Pienta et al. 1995; Guess et al. 2003).
Evidence of safety: Modified citrus pectin (MCP), also known as fractionated pectin, is a complex polysaccharide obtained from the peel and pulp of citrus fruits. Through pH and temperature modifications, the pectin is broken down into shorter, nonbranched, galactose-rich, carbohydrate chains. The shorter chains dissolve more readily in water, making them better absorbed than ordinary, long-chain pectin. The short polysaccharide units afford MCP its ability to access and bind tightly to galactose-binding lectins (galectins) on the surface of certain types of cancers. By binding to lectins, MCP is able to powerfully address the threat of metastasis (Strum et al. 1999). No signs of adverse effects have been reported.
Research has shown that cancer surgery, among other deleterious effects, increases tumor cell adhesion (Kate, 2004). Therefore, it is critically important for the person undergoing cancer surgery to take measures that can help to neutralize the surgery-induced increase in cancer cell adhesion. MCP can help to do that.
There are many other holistic techniques to put in place both preventively and when the metastatic cascade is ongoing. For more details, the viewer can set up a coaching session.
Christian Joubert (ACRI director)