New cancer treatment being explored in GB
Dr. Kevin Bethel of the Family Wellness Center has confirmed to The Freeport News that he is working in collaboration with a doctor at Johns Hopkins Innovation Centre for a new treatment for cancer called Metablox.
Having already treated 10 patients here on the Island, Bethel informed that the IAT Clinic Freeport has been selected as a center to offer this innovative therapy for cancer.
“Metablox exploits metabolic differences between cancer cells and healthy cells,” the local doctor explained.
“Due to the selective killing of cancer cells, Metablox does not have typical side effects related to the damaging of healthy cells,” Bethel informed.
He pointed out that Metablox is an experimental medicine with a great promise. Dr. Bethel first learnt of Metablox when attending a seminar in Germany last year.
“Most patients who used Metablox have been enjoying recurrence-free life. In most cases, the tumor burden was reduced by 90-95 percent and what’s left stopped growing. In a few cases, tumors were reduced below the level of detection. Life returned to normal during Metablox treatment as the side effects have been close to none. These are remarkable improvements for patients with terminal cancer,” Dr. Bethel said.
The new treatment is expected to revolutionize the cancer program around the world and Dr. Bethel anticipates a growing acceptance of the product.
“Metablox is a formulation that specifically kills cancer cells by shutting down the cancer-specific metabolism. Metablox is administered by intravenous injection. Upon injection, key ingredients of Metablox are taken up by cancer. These ingredients then home in on enzymes necessary to maintain high levels of energy production. In response, apoptosis is triggered in the cancer cells due to the loss of their energy production mechanism, leading to cell death,” Bethel detailed.
“As Metablox targets cancer metabolism, which is common to any and all forms of cancer, it can be used for any type of cancer,” Bethel noted.
The local doctor said that the side effects of taking Metablox are minimal as compared to traditional anti-cancer drugs.
Bethel recognizes that although clinical testing has not reached substantial numbers at this point and “although we have not documented their outcomes in a systematic way other than their survival, more than 90 percent of the people have lived and are still living beyond their doctors’ predictions. More importantly, because of almost nonexistence of side effects, the patient’s quality of life has been dramatically improved.”
Bethel informed that a patient goes through five infusions per week for three weeks.
“After having one or two weeks of break, the physician will examine the patient, and repeat the three-week cycle up to two more times to a total of nine weeks. Once the tumor is resolved, a patient would have a week long treatment every three to six months,” Dr. Bethel established.
“This means that the person able to stay on Grand Bahama for three months, can benefit from this treatment, hence it is ideal for locals suffering from cancer,” Bethel added.
Dr. Bethel told The Freeport News of the long process of offering Metabox to patients in the U.S.
“To do so, it would take 10-12 years until we secure the FDA approval. Securing an approval requires clinical trials. Clinical trials for a cancer drug costs on average $300-$500 million over a seven-nine year period. We have approached drug companies and venture capital companies to finance the U.S. clinical trial. We were turned down because Metablox is a combination of known compounds, and this means a patent cannot be secured over its composition. Without a patent, drug companies and other financing institutions are not willing to invest. Also, 10-12 years is a time some patients cannot afford.”
“Metablox is available in jurisdictions where treatment with experimental drugs is allowed either on a compassionate use doctrine, or where freedom to treat oneself with his/her own choice without interference from the government is guaranteed as basic human rights. Clinics offering Metablox are within two hours of flying from major cities of the U.S.” Bethel claimed.
In conclusion, Dr. Bethel said “Primarily I am offering treatment to locals, but in the long term after completed clinical trials, this will be opened to anyone able to stay on the Island for three months. This treatment will be looked at seriously and will be in the news a lot in the coming years.