Saturday, 23 June 2018

Deuterium experiment part 1- Preparation.



This is the first stage of my deuterium depletion experiment. 

Please see links below the videos on Youtube to understand the link between deuterium and cancer and how you may effectively deplete deuterium from the body. 

The tests I have used will provide me with a baseline for levels of deuterium in the body. The kit I have used measures breath as a marker of deuterium in tissues and saliva or urine for deuterium in biological fluids. The two measures when taken together are used to determine the body's ability to deplete deuterium. 

Breath analysis


Deuterium depleted water (DDW)



Considerations about starting drinking the water.



Testing levels of deuterium in the body.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Orexin/hypocretic receptor signalling and cancer.

Let's consider Orexin/hypocretin receptor signalling and how we may exploit this system for brain cancer management.


As we can see in the diagrams below, orexin neutrons regulate various activities such as wakefulness, feeding, reward and thermogenesis.



A ketogenic diet, normalisation of sleep/wake cycles, fasting, stimulation of thermogenic pathways and giving the brain fuels it thrives on could act as key strategies we can adopt to take advantage of the fact that orexin appears to have potential as a novel, highly-specific treatment for various localised and metastatic cancers. This is not quite as simple as it may sound as you can always have too much of a 'good' stressor or thing before it becomes 'bad'- eustress vs distress.

We know of course that fat is a very efficient source of energy for the brain and ketone bodies are neuroprotective, the body energy level influences orexin neuronal activity to coordinate arousal and energy homeostasis. Management of chronic stress is also key as inputs from the lymbic system are important to regulate activity of orexin neutrons to evoke emotional arousal or fear-related responses.

Also consider that the brain has an abundance of mitochondria and the matrix water in the presence of cancer either by cause or effect appears to be high deuterium. Normal cells are very good at adapting to changes in levels of deuterium (in terms of reduction) but abnormal cells are not.

From my research on the subject it seems clear and viable that you can achieve greater mental stability by a kind of filtration process to deplete deuterium by drinking deuterium depleted water, as has been shown in studies of depressive disorders. We also see several studies on how deuterium depleted water can shrink tumours by restoring fumarate hydratase activity. Fumarate hydratase acts as a tumour suppressor. Here is an example of how fumarate hydratase and deuterium depletion control oncogenesis, effectively helping to put the breaks on cancer proliferation: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/74/19_Supplement/1426.short

I have little doubt that Orexin signalling cascades will also be affected by this in a positive way for cancer patients. A lot of this is theory, but it is backed by some sound science. I still have a lot of questions but I think I may have a few interesting theories on this.

Here is a nice review of orexin's unprecedented potential as a highly-specific treatment for various localised and metastatic cancers: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2050312117735774

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Reaction to Tessa Jowell's death, thoughts on repurposed drugs and deuterium. Update on Sativex.



Links relating to subjects mentioned: Deuterium content of water increases depression susceptibility https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432814004884 Ketogenic substrates, water and drugs promote deuterium depletion of mitochondrial metabolic matrix water, offering a means to prevent tumor cell growth.- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306987715004399#f0005 AKT as Locus of Hydrogen Bond Network in Cancer.- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28590011 Tumour Treating Fields- https://www.novocure.com/our-therapy/ Essential reading about water, especially if you're into all that reverse osmosis, alkaline stuff or drink tap water.- https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2013/472323/

Thursday, 8 March 2018

L-Carnitine, ketolytic enzymes and therapeutic ketogenic diets for cancer management.

L-Carnitine plays an absolutely vital role in the metabolism of fatty acids.

Mo Farah is recently, somewhat controversially been pruported to have had an injection of L-Carnitine before the 2014 London Marathon for performance gains. It is worth noting that Mo Farah is an endurance athlete, so fat is the predominant fuel source. Fat oxidation rate is high so if you can sustain this for a longer period of time you can improve limits of exhaustion.

Carnitine shuttle (1)
This IV administration by Mo Farah is now being seen by the media in this country as 'cheating within the rules' with increased scrutiny recently of 'marginal gains' in athletic performance and sport in general after the cycling 'scandal' with Team Sky riders making the most of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) that are known to improve performance for endurance athletes.



What helps athletes often has great potential for cancer patients- ie. infusion of nutrients, certain drugs, nutritional supplements, hyperbaric chambers, cold induced thermogenesis, infrared saunas, etc.

It is interesting....

Like Mo Farah I also take L-Carnitine because it ensures efficient transfer of long-chain fatty acids to mitochondria for subsequent β-oxidation. The brain has an abundance of mitochondria and if you subscribe to the mitochondrial defect theory of cancer as I do its kind of a no brainer (pun intended) that you would want to make the most of everything you can do to do try and restore mitochondrial function here. This can potentially be very beneficial for ensuring that ketone bodies produced during fasting, or fats on the ketogenic diet actually get used so that we can attempt to attain more healthy mitochondria.

This is what I take
There is exhaustive evidence showing how supplementation with L-Carnitine could benefit cancer patients, mostly for reducing general fatigue during chemotherapy (2) but also for normalising lipid metabolism for more general health (3). Anti-dementia effects have been proposed and suggested when co-administering L-Carnitine with medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) and other agents (5, 6). A higher rate of absorption would result in rapid perfusion of the liver, and a potent ketogenic response.


Perhaps an important consideration: 

If you are thinking of taking this as a brain cancer patient however, it may be worth some exploration to see if your tumour has increased activity of ketolytic enzymes to see if it can use fats to proliferate. You can ask about this from histological findings. 

Ketone body ketolytic enzymes to assess expression of include (4): 

Succinyl CoA: 3 Oxoacid CoA Transferase (OXCT1)
3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (BDH1 and BDH2) 
Acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase 1 (ACAT1) 


This can be the case in more aggressive tumours rather than typically lower grade, more solid tumours. I suspect this may be because the tumour is more diffuse, and as such the cell membrane may lack integrity and become more permeable. This is a theory I have based on research looking at alterations of membrane integrity and cellular constituents in neuroblastoma and glioma cells (8). 

I could be completely wrong with that theory, but either way there is often an overexpression of Fatty Acid Synthase (FASN) in high grade gliomas (7), a key lipogenic enzyme in glioma stem cells (GSCs), as well as other important metabolic enzymes, meaning aggressive tumours will try to use whatever they can to grow and thrive and are excellent at adapting to use alternative fuels when you restrict main substrates. These tumours will use glucose, amino acids, fats and nucleic acids for energy, and while the demand will be different for each, as the tumour becomes more aggressive the amounts will change and it becomes more and more resistant to even the most aggressive treatments. 







6. Odle, J., 1997. New insights into the utilization of medium-chain triglycerides by the neonate: observations from a piglet model. The Journal of nutrition127(6), pp.1061-1067.



Thursday, 1 March 2018

Telomere biology and cancer

When I was first diagnosed I asked my oncologist about my prognosis and was told... 'well the good news is that you are still quite young.' He then went on to tell me dates for both the best and worst case scenarios. 

With biological age being so important for survival I asked 'Well then what if I just try and keep my biological age as young as possible?'. He said, 'Interesting point, well you can certainly try.'....

Telomere biology- try to stay young by supplementing with a bioavailable form of magnesium, vital for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Most of us are deficient and supplementation can improve sleep, energy levels, reduce seizure activity for those of us with epilepsy and improve mood.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

World Cancer Day

I am in my 5th year since being diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. I should be happy right? Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Its complicated. 
There have been many occasions that I didn't think I would make it this far. I feel incredibly fortunate, but even now I am still picking up all the pieces and coping with a 'new normal'. You learn to cope better with time, but its like grieving for a life lost. There is a new me that I don't recognise and have had to get to know, even if the essence of who I am stays the same, if you look closely behind the eyes can tell a different story.
Sometimes people may just think I should leave it behind me and 'get on with it', but I can't, as, like it or not, its with me every day and I am scarred by it. The invisible disabilities,- the uncertainty,- and 'living in the moment' is how I live. day by day. I have to... and I have little choice. 
Every day I experience some type of brain dysfunction that keeps me on my toes despite my best efforts to control it all. Mind over grey matter you could say... though it doesn't always go to plan. 
Today I am thinking of all those who have lost their battle as well as all those still fighting. I don't like all these war like terms to describe such indescribable and personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences, but its all we have sometimes as its incredibly difficult to sum it all up with the appropriate words. 
How can you? Its all relative and its so personal. 
Behind the smiles, laughs and appearances on social media and in public I remain somewhat empty inside, part of me is still missing. I get incredibly frustrated at times when I feel my seizure threshold is low and I can't have the social life I used to have or be as active as I used to be. I am a very introspective person and I can beat myself up at times whenever I am left alone with my thoughts. At the same time I am a problem solver and a perfectionist, desperately trying to find solutions to every problem. What if sometimes there are no solutions? We can still try our best to 'manage' I suppose. 
Part of me feels bad about thinking this as I feel I should be happy to just be able to not have grand mal seizures and be able to walk and talk. My speech will get slurred on occasion and I get some worrying sensations, but I haven't completely lost the speech in a while now. Sometimes people misread my body language because parts of my face go numb, but I try to hide this. Inside this pains me and it is a constant reminder that I have limits now. 
I try my hardest to have a positive outlook on life, but I experience an empty feeling that I've had ever since my first seizure and then all I have had to deal with since my diagnosis. Then there is my age, the time in life where you typically start to feel about romantic love, a career, a family, etc. My experiences undoubtely make me think long and hard about this and what to do. A cancer diagnosis affects so many aspects of someone's life, and often those around them. 
I have experienced profound loss, losing good friends and losing parts of my life that I previously took for granted. 
Whenever I hear of someone who has 'lost their battle', a part of me dies a little too as I feel the pain that is left behind with loved ones having to somehow pick up the pieces. I could never appropriately sum up in words how I really feel. 
Every day I have a unique pain and internal suffering, yet I have moments of delirious happiness where I look at the simplest things in life with the wonderment they deserve while everyone else seems to just pass by and not see the beauty. Everyone has their struggles, I understand that, but there is light. Life is a series of moments and there is light and shade. Every good story has this, and your life is a story. How do you want it to be? People, places and experiences that make me smile. These are the good moments that I cherish, and I have had that this weekend as I reflect and enjoy the beauty of nature. I am grateful for these moments and I have been able to control my symptoms very well over the past couple of weeks with just a few wobbles. I am also grateful that I have been able to share this indirectly with friends. 
There will always be moments of pain and I don't want to hide this any more. I know my symptom triggers, but again, these are scars and it has taken me a good few years to come to terms with this. For me personally it is my brain, which is kind of important, but I still have empathy for others with other types of cancer because there are unique aspects of it that are difficult to understand unless you have been there. 
Its all relative and everyone has their struggles, even people without cancer, but there is the other side of it to... 
The other side is that it really opens your eyes. 
Depending on how you choose to deal with it, a cancer diagnosis can open your eyes to what you are truly capable of and it can allow you to see the world in a different way. You realise that many of the clichès are true and you have an appreciation of the fact that 'life is short' and we must make the most of it. Sometimes, admittedly, it takes time to realise this, even after a cancer diagnosis.
I am incredibly thankful for what I have and to still be here and I'm working hard to stay happy but I'm still working on it 5 years on. I still believe my cancer is incurable and will be back in future, I don't know when, and I don't think this is being negative, as it is what it is. It is an incurable form of cancer and regrettably I had some palliative treatment for it, which for this type of cancer ironically increases risk of recurrence the longer you live. That might sound strange to some, but they don't expect you to live long enough to experience that. Sometimes living longer than your life expectancy puts you under a strange kind of pressure to be happy, and I'm working out what happiness really means to me. This is something everyone probably thinks about from time to time, but I've had a massive kick up the bum and its been a pretty wild ride.
I also feel I have a duty to try my best to make things better for myself and others in future. I promise I will try my very best to do all I can and while I do that I will make efforts to be a better person and to live the life that I want to live. 
LIFE IS FOR LIVING! 
This is the greatest message of all and one that I feel we all need to remember. 
I wish for a world where we can at least say that cancer is a chronic condition we can live WITH than one that we die OF. I think this is possible and it is why I am hopeful I will be successful in an important interview I have coming up on the 22nd of this month. 
I wish for a better future for all cancer patients and their families and I'll try my very best to make some kind of impact, however small. 
Thank you for all your love and support along the way, it genuinely means so much to me and keeps me sane! 

Friday, 12 January 2018

Blue light blocking glasses and cancer, epilepsy

These are the best blue light blocking glasses I have had and they don't look dorky. If you understand about the negative effects of artificial light at night you will understand how useful these can be to normalise natural melatonin secretion in the evenings. Endogenous melatonin produced by the pineal gland is one the most potent anti-cancer molecules known to man, as I have mentioned previously in this blog. The most noticeable benefit for me is improved seizure control after sunset. The effect of melatonin and sleep aids has been investigated for years as potential anti convulsive agents for good reason and the mechanisms of action go beyond improved sleep quality (although this is still HUGELY important for seizure control).

Blue light blocking glasses from BLUblox- https://www.blublox.com
Melatonin is a very powerful antioxidant with numerous physiological functions. The interplay between clock genes and light entering the retina is an intricate, delicate process that regulates normal cell division and associated regulatory processes. Clock genes can even influence the pharmacokinetics of chemotherapeutic agents so this is worth investigating and asking your oncologist if you are a patient reading this. You can then determine what time of day might be most effective for the type of chemotherapy you are taking. If you would like to learn more, the official name for this form of study is Chronopharmacology.


Known mechanisms of melatonin

The mechanisms underlying melatonin's ability to interfere with tumour metastases are numerous and involves several mechanisms involved with modulation of cell-cell and cell-matrix interaction (3).

General functions include:

a) Direct free radical scavenging, 

b) Ttimulation of antioxidative enzymes, 

c) Increasing the efficiency of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and reducing electron leakage (thereby lowering free radical generation), and augmenting the efficiency of other antioxidants. 



Fig. 1- several mechanisms for the known effects of melatonin. (1)


'There may be other functions of melatonin, yet undiscovered, which enhance its ability to protect against molecular damage by oxygen and nitrogen-based toxic reactants. 

Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have documented the ability of both physiological and pharmacological concentrations to melatonin to protect against free radical destruction.' (2



References:

1. Jung, B. and Ahmad, N., 2006. Melatonin in cancer management: progress and promise. Cancer Research66(20), pp.9789-9793.

2. Reiter, R.J., Tan, D.X., Mayo, J.C., Sainz, R.M., Leon, J. and Czarnocki, Z., 2003. Melatonin as an antioxidant: biochemical mechanisms and pathophysiological implications in humans. ACTA BIOCHIMICA POLONICA-ENGLISH EDITION-50(4), pp.1129-1146.

3. Su, S.C., Hsieh, M.J., Yang, W.E., Chung, W.H., Reiter, R.J. and Yang, S.F., 2017. Cancer metastasis: Mechanisms of inhibition by melatonin. Journal of pineal research62(1).