what treatment is offered? Is this chemotherapy?
The cancer treatment we offer is distinctly different from chemotherapy and is free of
its side effects and frequent damage to the body. The heart of our technique is a new "off-label"
combination of two FDA-approved prescription medicines which in many cases work together to fight cancer, both directly and
by enhancing the activity of the body’s own immune system. It is an outpatient treatment, so we educate
our patients on exactly how to administer the medicines at home. We stay in very close contact to monitor
our patients’ progress and well-being. "Off-label" means that FDA-approved medicines are being used
in a capacity or application other than their primary marketed use. This is very frequently the case in cancer treatment
as physicians search for more effective therapies, and it is often the source of promising new treatments which may then be
subjected to formal clinical trials.
Is this an alternative medicine program?
We don’t tend to think of our treatment as an alternative
medicine program as that term is typically used, because we use only FDA-approved medicines and conduct our practice and patient
care to the exacting standards which sound medical practice demands and which every patient deserves. However,
the medicines we prescribe do happen to be derived from natural sources. One of them was originally discovered
as the product of a fungus (much like the first antibiotic, penicillin) and the other is a protein which the human body makes
in its immune system.
should I consider the cancer treatment program at NeoPlas Innovation?
This treatment program should be considered by patients who are not achieving satisfactory
control of their cancer with approved first-line therapy and patients who have been diagnosed with cancers which are known
to routinely progress despite the best currently available regimens. While we can never offer promises or guarantees
that our treatment will help you, selected patients may have a better chance of long-term survival with our treatment program
rather than using chemotherapy and/or radiation. You need to take a realistic look at what "standard" therapy
can offer in your situation. Does it have any chance of actually reducing your tumor or at least fully stopping its
growth? What will your life be like while you're on that treatment? If you've already used chemotherapy and your
cancer has persisted or returned, it may be time to realistically re-evaluate every option open to you. We strongly
encourage potential patients to investigate every possible option including formal clinical trials and to consider our treatment
program only if appropriate.
Would I be eligible for this treatment?
This cancer treatment method,
like every other cancer treatment, is not for everyone. We believe in strict adherence to the highest standards
of medicine and ethics. Part of that is helping you determine if there is another course of treatment you should be
choosing instead. If there is a treatment known to be effective for your diagnosis and stage, we will strongly encourage
you to pursue it. We also insist that every patient under care at NeoPlas Innovation continue an active doctor-patient
relationship with their local physicians. Not only do we wish to keep your other physicians informed of your progress,
but there are instances when it may be in your best interest to receive two kinds of therapy simultaneously.
general, our treatment may hold the best potential for patients with these diagnoses:
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (cancer of the pancreas)
Melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer)
Adenocarcinoma of the colon (colon cancer)
Renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer)
Mesothelioma (a type of lung cancer often associated with asbestos exposure)
Certain sarcomas, including rhabdomyosarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma,
osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and DSRCT
some cases, patients with these cancers may start in the program at any time. In other cases, patients are only accepted
if their cancer has continued to progress even after receiving other "first-line" therapies. Precise details for
eligibility are given on the "Medical Basis" page of this web site. If you're interested and think you
may be eligible we'll be happy to talk with you about it.
There are other criteria which also apply.
Patients must be in an adequate state of overall health to make office visits. You must be able to receive nutrition
and medications through the digestive system (by mouth or feeding tube). Liver and kidney function must be at adequate
levels which we can help determine in cooperation with your other physicians.
If you do begin this program, you'll
be taking one medicine by mouth several times each day and another by injection just under the skin three times each week.
We'll teach you how to handle these medicines and give yourself these simple injections. The administration of
these medicines takes place in your own home. Every patient enrolled receives the active treatment (no placebos).
We'll have extensive discussions with you about the side effects of these medicines, which are generally far
milder than traditional chemotherapy. We'll also advise you in detail about the possible risks of treatment. One
thing we'll emphasize to you repeatedly is that there is no guarantee that this treatment will help you. Our early work
has produced very good responses, but no conclusions about effectiveness can be drawn at present.
The ancient oath
of Hippocrates is still good medical practice: "First, do no harm." We will go to great lengths to make
sure that no patient takes undue risks of treatment and that no patient neglects another treatment which could have been expected
to provide significant benefit.
What if I do not meet the recommended eligibility criteria?
There are some patients who
are not ideal candidates for this program and yet have no other good options because their cancers have persisted and progressed
despite other therapy. In many cases, we may still make this regimen available to such patients, with these individuals
receiving exactly the same care as those who are more ideal candidates. If you feel that this may be your situation,
we will be happy to discuss it with you.
Shouldn't I just wait to see if my doctor
Even in this day and age, many patients simply let their physician make their treatment
decisions. Even though the overwhelming majority of physicians act with integrity, letting anyone else make
your decisions may not be the best way to help yourself. Many patients with deadly malignancies discover too late that
there might have been other options that they never heard about because they didn't ask the right questions. We believe
that cancer patients must become highly educated about their disease and relevant treatment options, seek advice from physicians,
and "take the driver's seat" themselves in order to receive the best care in a timely fashion.
approved drugs and treatments are simply not very effective for some of the worst cancers. And yet your doctor may not
have presented investigative or off-label treatment as a serious option. A few of the reasons
most patients are never directed toward newer or investigative treatments are these:
1. There are a multitude of clinical trials being offered around the nation, making it very
difficult for an oncologist to know what's going on in each of them. It takes a lot of time and effort, and therefore
you may be the person best suited and motivated to sort through what's reasonable for you.
2. Many physicians have
been trained to rely on "evidence-based medicine." That's a very good thing when used properly because it
means doctors don't use suspect treatments or medicines that don't have a reasonable basis. Unfortunately, many have
misapplied what should be a healthy skepticism and instead have no interest in anything that isn't already listed as a standard
indicated therapy. There are two obvious problems with just sticking to the same old treatments. First, as noted
above, many of them rarely give any significant benefit or increased survival. And second, if nothing new is ever tried,
there will never be any new knowledge or more effective treatments either now or in the future. A treatment program
should have the potential to help you first and foremost, and also to generate knowledge which will help others.
Some physicians are unwilling to suggest that patients look into treatment elsewhere even if they know the treatment
they can offer is not likely to result in much benefit. There can be a number of reasons for this.
patients don't want to know that their treatment isn't working all that well or has very little potential to enhance their
survival, and prefer instead to hear only hopeful-sounding statements. Many physicians sense this, or even assume it, and
limit information accordingly.
In short, we believe that it is a very poor idea for any patient with any diagnosis
to remain a passive participant. We believe that patients should learn as much as possible and ask the tough questions
about any treatment proposed. Cancer patients in particular need to ask for very direct and specific information on
proposed treatments. What benefit has it been shown to provide for most patients? Does it consistently increase
survival, and if so what is the data for how long an increase? Can it be expected to result in a complete response (that
is, eradication of the cancer)? What are the most common and most serious side effects? When you find that most
patients experience only a very modest added survival time and very few or none achieve a complete response, you may wish
to think about other options.
We also encourage patients to take on this role early in their cancer experience.
Cancer relentlessly progresses and weakens the body, and we often find that patients who might have been helped earlier in
their course have instead waited long enough that nothing can help them or they can no longer withstand any type of treatment.
The decisions are yours and you should investigate every option available to you. If you think this program
may be a good option for you, you may want to go on to the "Getting Started" page.