Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT)

Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) is an innovative strategy for cancer drug delivery. With IPT treatments you can avoid the dose-related side effects of chemo, while increasing the effectiveness of cancer killing agents. Insulin is a powerful hormone that manages the delivery of glucose across cell membranes and into cells.


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Unlike normal cells, cancer cells have an appetite for glucose using it as a source of energy and burning through a great deal of it. Many cancer patients lose weight, because cancer cells require so much glucose they deprive normal cells of it, effectively starving them.


img_insulin_1Insulin Potentiation Therapy is used along with chemotherapy in the treatment of certain cancers. IPT has been found to reduce the harsh effects of standard chemotherapy.

The drugs administered during chemotherapy attack rapidly dividing cells without the ability to discriminate. In a tumor, cancer cells do not experience the rapidly dividing stage all at once, but instead take turns. When insulin is introduced it stimulates growth in the cells that were not yet in the growth stage. The metabolic modification by insulin renders more cells susceptible to a chemo attack, contributing to cancer cell death rate.


Multiple sessions are required, but the frequency of treatments is determined on a per patient basis. A typical treatment regimen can consist of biweekly sessions for up to nine weeks.


IPT was developed by Donato Perez Garcia, M.D. in 1930. Originally, IPT was used to treat syphilis, and later used to address chronic degenerative diseases and certain forms of cancer.


Typically, a dose of insulin is injected into the vein. Once the insulin has been absorbed a low dose of chemotherapy drugs follow. Sugar water is then injected to stop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) caused by the initial insulin injection.

What to Expect

img_insulin_4Recent findings published by the scientific medical literature report suggest that cancer cells create and secrete their own insulin, and have ten times the insulin receptors per cell than normal cells. With ten times the insulin receptors, the effect of administered insulin will be ten times higher on cancer cells than that of normal cells. This allows doctors to deliver an effective dose of chemotherapy drugs to the inside of cancer cells, using greatly reduced doses of the drugs, eliminating dose-related side effects.

The same mechanisms that are used by cancer cells to kill people are the same ones IPT manipulates to selectively potentiate chemo effects, and more effectively kill cancer cells. The side effects patients experience from chemotherapy result from actions taken against hair follicles, bone marrow, and cells lining the intestines and stomach. This causes hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and low blood cell counts. These cell types share a commonality with cancer cells which is that they are rapidly dividing.

How Insulin Works in IPT

Insulin acts as a biologic response modifier in IPT treatment, modifying:

  1. The biologic response of cancer cells so that it lowered doses of anticancer drugs, administered in conjunction with insulin, which kills cancer cells more effectively.
  2. Insulin modifies the cell membrane allowing more anticancer drugs into the cells.
  3. The growth of characteristics in tumors making more of the cancer cells vulnerable to anticancer drug effects.
  4. The excess of insulin-sensitive receptors on cancer cell membranes create a clear difference between cancer and normal cells allowing treatment of cancer cells without harming healthy cells.

Thanks to the ability to differentiate and the modified biologic response insulin produces, conventional chemotherapy drugs are targeted more specifically and more effectively, with greatly reduced doses of cell-killing drugs. As a result, tumors shrink, cancer cells die, and other tissues are spared from side-effects.

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Risks & Side Effects

Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) causes blood glucose to go down in patients, causing hypoglycemia. However, hypoglycemia is an anticipated side-effect of insulin, which is rapidly and effectively controlled with intravenous glucose infusions administered at the appropriate time.


Ayre SG, Perez Garcia y Bellon D, Perez Garcia D (1986). “Insulin potentiation therapy: a new concept in the management of chronic degenerative disease”. Med. Hypotheses 20 (2): 199–210. doi:10.1016/0306-9877(86)90126-X. PMID 3526099.

“Insulin potentiation therapy”. CAM-Cancer. Retrieved 2015-04-29.

Wider, Barbara (17 May 2013). “What cancer care providers need to know about CAM: the CAM-Cancer project”. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies (Wiley). Retrieved 2015-04-29.

Bcidaho.com: Blue Cross of Idaho. “Insulin Potentiation Therapy.”

Contemporarymedicine.net: “Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT).”