Brain Tumor Treatment Breakthrough!
Perhaps the most frightening malignancy one can be diagnosed with is a brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.
Median survival without treatment is 4.5 months. Aggressive conventional therapy buys about 10 months of added life.
You may remember Sen. Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme in May 2008. Despite intervention by brain tumor experts, Sen. Kennedy died in August 2009 — a mere 15 months later.
We at Life Extension have long evaluated new approaches to treat this deadly malignancy. We've been frustrated by the paucity of meaningful progress and our inability to make better treatment recommendations.
A study published in the September 5, 2013, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine may represent the most significant advance yet discovered in treating glioblastoma multiforme.
What follows is an overview of this therapy that is available right now to brain tumor patients:
- The cytomegalovirus has been suspected as facilitating the initiation and promotion of brain cancers. Most humans show exposure to cytomegalovirus, but relatively few harbor active viral infection.
- Doctors followed 75 glioblastoma multiforme patients and found the median overall survival of those with low-grade cytomegalovirus infection was 33 months. In patients with high-grade cytomegalovirus infection, median overall survival was 13 months.
- All but one of the glioblastoma multiforme patients studied had active cytomegalovirus infection, indicating that this virus may be involved in the development of this lethal malignancy.
- In glioblastoma multiforme patients with high-grade cytomegalovirus infection, 17.2% were alive at two years. Patients with low-grade cytomegalovirus infection had two-year survival rates of 63.6%. This suggests that high-grade active cytomegalovirus infection accelerates tumor progression.
- Valganciclovir is an FDA-approved drug used to treat cytomegalovirus infection.
- A group of glioblastoma multiforme patients was treated with valganciclovir and compared to a control group. Both groups received standard conventional therapy and both groups had a similar disease stage and surgical-resection grade.
- The rate of survival in the valganciclovir group was 62% at two years, whereas only 18% of the control group was still alive at two years.
- In glioblastoma multiforme patients who received valganciclovir for at least 6 months, the two year survival rate was 70%, with a median overall survival of 30.1 months.
- Glioblastoma multiforme patients that received continuous valganciclovir treatment had a two-year survival rate of 90%, with median overall survival of 56.4 months (4.7 years)!
- Current median overall survival of glioblastoma multiforme patients is 12–14 months.
- Recall the efforts made to prolong Sen. Kennedy's life and the best the experts at Duke University Medical Center could do was 15 months.
The implication from these findings is that suppressing active cytomegalovirus infections may reduce brain cancer risk. Most exciting is the clear indication that proper use of valganciclovir can produce an unheard of median survival of 56.4 months (4.7 years) in glioblastoma multiforme patients.
Not only does continuous use of valganciclovir substantially extend survival in glioblastoma multiforme patients, but it provides an opportunity to add in additional complementary therapies (like metformin) that could improve survival even more!
What Should Brain Tumor Patients Do?
Have your blood tested for presence of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibody and also the presence of active CMV infection.
The antibody test is called CMV IgG and it costs Life Extension members $59.
The test for active infection is called CMV IgM and it costs members $125.
Cancer patients can often have blood tests covered by their medical insurance as long as their oncologist prescribes it.
Glioblastoma multiforme patients who wish to follow the protocol that resulted in unprecedented survival improvements should take 900 mg of valganciclovir twice a day for three weeks followed by a maintenance dose of 450 mg twice a day indefinitely to be adjusted for side effects such as kidney impairment and bone marrow suppression.
Valganciclovir should be taken with fatty meals to enhance its absorption/bioavailability.
The price of valganciclovir is beyond outrageous, with the annual cost being around $50,000. There may be lower cost generics coming to market, and those whose blood test reveals active cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, which seems very prevalent in glioblastoma multiforme patients, should have the cost of valganciclovir covered by their medical insurance.
What Healthy Members Should Consider
Most adults will have antibodies to the cytomegalovirus due to prior exposure. The key factor is whether there is an active infection festering in your body that could predispose you to higher risks of many different cancers.
Cytomegalovirus is part of the herpes family, which means that it can lie dormant in your body for decades before emerging in response to a weakening of the immune system. Valganciclovir is often prescribed to organ transplant patients who take immune-suppressing drugs, HIV patients with weakened immune systems, and nowadays patients with chronic fatigue syndrome whose underlying cause is suspected CMV infection.
The steps that Life Extension members take to protect against immune senescence, such as maintaining youthful levels of DHEA, suppressing oxidative stress, and taking immune boosters like garlic and Reishi mushroom extracts, should help keep cytomegalovirus in check. But each individual is different, and reemergence of CMV infection is often asymptomatic in normally aging people.
The member price for the blood test (CMV IgM) that detects active cytomegalovirus infection is $125. If you order this test by November 15, we'll include a comprehensive complete blood count and blood chemistry at no additional cost (normal member price of this CBC/chemistry panel is $35).
To order the CMV IgM test to ascertain if you have active cytomegalovirus plus Life Extension's comprehensive CBC/Chemistry panel at the discounted total price of $125, call 1-800-208-3444.
Will Historic Human Carnage Repeat?
oma multiforme is a death sentence. Virtually no one survives long term. It kills 12,000 Americans each year and many more throughout the world.
The findings from this study showing vast survival improvement in brain cancer patients were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. Previous published studies corroborate the role that cytomegalovirus may have in human cancers and the potential benefit of valganciclovir.
Since 1980, Life Extension has been at the forefront of identifying off-label cancer drugs like cimetidine, aspirin, and metformin, but the world ignores us. When properly used, these three drugs could spare tens of thousands of Americans from agonizing cancer deaths each year, yet virtually no oncology group routinely prescribes them.
The benefits reported in the New England Journal of Medicine represent the most significant survival advance against this deadly brain malignancy in history, yet these findings were virtually ignored by the mainstream media even though the life-sparing drug (valganciclovir) is available right now.
It is illegal for the maker of valganciclovir to promote it as a treatment for brain cancer. The regulatory system in the United States requires that the maker of a drug conduct extensive clinical trials for each disease a drug is claimed to treat and then submit the trial results to the FDA for approval. Since valganciclovir is off-patent, there is little economic incentive for one company to conduct these expensive trials.
While it is legal for doctors to prescribe valganciclovir off-label, that does not protect a doctor's medical license if a patient has an adverse reaction. So many oncologists may refuse to prescribe valganciclovir despite findings that it can improve survival of glioblastoma multiforme patients more than three-fold.
So there is the real possibility 12,000 Americans will continue to perish from glioblastoma multiforme each year despite impressive findings showing that valganciclovir could spare them from premature death.
stoma multiforme patients whose blood test reveals active cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, but whose oncologist will not prescribe valganciclovir, may consider ordering it from other countries, though the cost even in Canada and Europe may still be prohibitively expensive. Since valganciclovir is approved to treat CMV, one should be able to locate a doctor who will prescribe the drug for its government-sanctioned indication.
My greatest concern is that this valganciclovir study published in the New England Journal of Medicine will be relegated to medical archives and not be utilized to save cancer patients, just as hundreds of published studies on metformin, aspirin, and cimetidine have been ignored by the medical establishment.
You can help end this absurd government-enforced censorship against medical innovation by forwarding this email to everyone you know, especially anyone you know who has been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme.
A more extensive, fully referenced version of this article will appear in an upcoming issue of Life Extension Magazine® … but due to the critical importance of this breakthrough finding, we are sending it out to every name on our email list in the hopes that at least some human lives may be spared.
For longer life,
William Faloon, Co-Founder
Life Extension Foundation®