Low Dose Naltrexone for Cancer
Thanks to Dr. Raymond Chang for this enlightening discussion. See the original here.
Naltrexone for Cancer
Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist approved and used for management of alcohol and opioid dependency. Low dose naltrexone or LDN (at 1/10th of the dose used for drug rehab) however has been proposed as an off-label therapy for a broad range of immune disorders such as HIV, MS, autoimmune thyroiditis, and colitis, and is one of the more popular off-label treatments for cancer thanks to some promising trials, low toxicity, relative low cost and much internet publicity such as found on the Low Dose Naltrexone Homepage, LDN Science site and a Low Dose Naltrexone Forum. But what is the connection between cancer and opioids? And most importantly, does it work?
Opiates and Cancer
First some background on opioids and cancer. . .
Latest Research discovers mechanism of low-dose LDN on cell proliferative-related disorders.
Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania have discovered the mechanism by which a low dose of the opioid antagonist naltrexone (LDN), an agent used clinically (off-label) to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, exerts a profound inhibitory effect on cell proliferation. It has been postulated that opioid receptor blockade by LDN provokes a compensatory elevation in endogenous opioids and opioid receptors that can function after LDN is no longer available. Using a novel tissue culture model of LDN action, the mechanism of LDN has been found to target the opioid growth factor (OGF, [Met5]-enkephalin) and OGF receptor (OGFr) axis. This discovery, reported in the September 2011 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, provides new insights into the molecular pathway utilized by an increasingly important clinically prescribed agent that serves as a basic biological regulator of cell proliferative events related to pathobiological states such as cancer and autoimmune diseases
Although the antitumor effects of opiod antagonists were first noted by Drs. Zagon and McLaughlin in 1981 . . .