Not strange, maybe, but that fact that orthodox doctors were testing out grapefruit juice on cancer cases is little short of amazing!
The study’s main finding was that grapefruit juice might allow treatment using smaller drug dosages, therefore reducing side effects and perhaps costs.
Sirolimus (Rapamune) is an immunosuppressant and not approved as a cancer drug. Its primary use is to prevent rejection after kidney transplants.
Some early studies suggest that sirolimus may have tumor-fighting effects. Derivatives of the drug are used in kidney cancer and breast cancer.
But sirolimus has poor bioavailability, meaning it isn’t absorbed well and not much gets into the blood (14% or so).
When grapefruit juice is taken concomitantly, absorption was much higher. Do as well as increasing the benefits of this drug, it could allow lower doses and hence cost saving.
Sirolimus costs around $1,000 a month. If it could be combined with drinking grapefruit juice, the cost would drop to about $300 a month.
With cancer drugs costing anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 per month, here is a mechanism that might allow us to significantly reduce the cost.
But there are wider implications. This is a proof of principle that grapefruit juice could be used in this way.
The report was published Aug. 7 in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. It compared the benefits of adjunct therapy, using grapefruit juice and ketoconazole. The ketoconazole did slightly better, allowing the sirolimus to be reduced to 16 mg a week. With grapefruit juice, 25 mg a week was needed.
That’s far less than the toxic standard dose of 90 mg. Serious side effects, such as nausea and diarrhea started above 45 mg weekly, so this is good news for some sufferers.
No-one (including me), is saying that grapefruit juice might make a cancer treatment on its own. But it would certainly be something to take in addition to whatever therapy you may have opted for, whether chemo or holistic alternatives.
Another win for nature!
[Aug. 7, 2012, Clinical Cancer Research]