PROMISING RESULTS IN BREAST CANCER:
COENZYME Q10 EXCELS IN NEW DANISH STUDY
From The Cancer Chronicles #22
© July 1994 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
Last year, 32 patients with advanced, "high risk" breast cancer were treated
in Copenhagen with Coenzyme Q10. Also known as CoQ10 or ubiquinone, this
is generally classified as a "quasi" or "non-essential" nutrient. Each patients
was given antioxidants, fatty acids, as well as 90 mg of CoQ10 per day.
Six of these 32 patients showed partial tumor regressions on this
regimenslightly better than one-fourth of the women. One of these six,
a 59-year-old woman identified as "K.M." in the report, then increased her
dosage of CoQ10 to 390 mg per day in October, 1993. Remarkably, by November,
1993, doctors wrote, "the tumor was no longer palpable and in December of
last year, mammography confirmed the absence of tumor."
Encouraged by this, a 74-year old woman identified as "K.B." began taking
300 mg CoQ10 daily on October 12, 1993. On January 25, 1994 a clinical
examination revealed no evidence of the prior residual tumor, nor of distant
metastases. Since February, 1994, they wrote, she has continued on the treatment.
After three months, the Danish doctors reported: "The patient was in excellent
clinical condition and there was no residual tumor tissue."
This could represent an important advance in the treatment of breast cancer,
especially when it is combined with other non-toxic approaches, such as food
supplements. As the authors themselves point out, "breast cancer caused about
180,000 deaths in 1993 [46,000 in the U.S., ed.], more than that of any other
category of cancer. Even if the lives of only one out of five breast cases
were saved by CoQ10 that would be about 36,000 women and mothers."
Dr. Knud Lockwood, lead author of the study, notes that he has treated around
200 cases of breast cancer per year for the last 35 years. He has "never
seen a spontaneous complete regression of a 1.5 to 2.0 centimeter breast
tumor or a comparable regression on any conventional antitumor therapy."
These findings could have relevance for tumors other than those of the breast.
In 1993, Dr. Karl Folkers, of the Institute for Biomedical Research, University
of Texas, Austin showed that patients with lung, colon, and prostate cancer
also experienced extended survival when taking the co-enzyme. That is because
it is found in almost every living cell (hence the "ubiquitous" name),
especially in the cells' energy factories, or mitochondria. CoQ10 is needed
for the mitochondria to perform their job of oxidation, and as such, is essential
for life. Many conventional doctors consider CoQ10 supplements a waste of
time and money, even for cancer patients.
Karl Folkers has been researching CoQ10 for more than 30 years. Together
with his colleagues, he has tested relatively large doses of the co-enzyme
in heart patients. And indeed, at least one study has shown a beneficial
effect of taking CoQ10 for people with heart disease. An improvement was
seen in the percentage of blood emptied from the ventricle with each contraction,
the so-called ejection fraction. After two years on this treatment, no side
effects were noted.
This suggests another possible use. The conventional chemotherapeutic drug,
Adriamycin, is notorious for its potentially damaging effects on the heart
muscle. CoQ10 has been tested, quite logically, to decrease heart toxicity
of this drug. Here, too, it was quite successful.
In 1992, Folkers reported on eight patients, three of whom had cancer, who
were treated with 60 mg of CoQ10. They experienced a significant increase
in "gamma globulin" (IgG), a beneficial sign. In 1993 he reviewed the evidence
that CoQ10 can have an important impact on the immune system (Folkers, et
al., Biochem Biophys Res Comm 1993;193:88-92).
Folkers has also found that, in general, cancer patients have greater
deficiencies of CoQ10 than normal control subjects. This led to the recent
Danish clinical trial using CoQ10 as a treatment for cancer patients (Biochem
Biophy Res Comm 1994;133:1504- 1506).
CoQ10 is non-toxic and seems like a logical adjuvant treatment option for
many people with cancer. It is certainly inexpensive when compared to
other cancer treatments.
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