Middendorf, Bobbye. Conscious Choice. April 2001, Vol. 14 No. 4, 28-29.
“The only way to make progress against evil, be it real or simply perceived as such, to make unremitting progress in the good. There are a lot of good things. Sunrises. Loving and caring for others. Sunsets. Fast red cars. Kraft chocolate caramels. And Insulin Potentiation Therapy. Clever molecular synergy. No magic bullet here, but rather a magic gun for shooting our conventional bullets more effectively.”
Focusing on the highest possible quality of patient care, while simultaneously caring for the whole person, has long been the professional credo of Dr. Steven Ayre, a nationally recognized medical innovator. Seeing the trauma that patients and their families encountered when faced with a diagnosis of cancer, Ayre has worked tirelessly throughout his medical career to offer hope and care within the framework of traditional medicine. He is currently a family physician and founder of Contemporary Medicine Center, in Burr Ridge, Illinois.
Through his unique three-comprehensive cancer care system, Ayre treats both the cancer patient and his or her family: “first, a method for treating the cancer; second, common-sense nutrition for restoring immune function; and third, mind-body techniques.” And though complementary modalities still raise the hackles of many conventional doctors, Ayre has company among the ranks of complementary and alternative health practitioners, including high profile physicians like Drs. Weil, Chopra, and Ornish.
Medical Renaissance in Cancer Chemotherapy
Even Ayre’s “step one” includes innovations, however. For example, cancer treatment at Contemporary Medicine is done using Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT). IPT as Dr. Ayre describes it, is “an innovation in cancer care using insulin to magnify the powerful cell-killing effects of ordinary chemotherapy drugs, which can then be used in very low doses. Because cancer cells have so many more insulin receptors than normal cells, insulin acts on them much more strongly. The end result here is that the chemotherapy drugs get effectively targeted just on the cancer cells to kill them with little or no effect on normal tissues.”
Thus, Ayre notes, “IPT can avoid the dose-related side effects of chemotherapy. Very importantly, being free from chemotherapy side effects means patients are much more available to do their work on nutritional and mind-body medicine. In addition, pre-surgical management with this approach in women newly diagnosed with breast cancer has been done with complete breast preservation.
Ayre says that IPT works best on carcinomas (breast, lung, prostate, colon) as opposed to sarcomas (soft tissue tumors of fat, fibrous tissue, muscle).
This treatment, which for more than fifty years has been used with cancer – and was used successfully with other illnesses before that – has not yet been scientifically proven with double blind random studies. But anecdotal evidence includes patients who experienced significantly improved quality of life and health. Ayre says that, if done early enough, his treatment results in increased health and vitality, even while decreasing the scope of, or even eliminating, the cancer within a small span of time. This means that patients lose little time in seeking more traditional options, should they choose to make that option.
The Roots of IPT
Some twenty-five years ago, Ayre determined to look specifically at available alternative treatments for cancer. He was drawn eventually, to a therapy developed by Donato Perez Garcia, Sr. M.D., a military doctor from Mexico. Called at that time, “Cellular Therapy to Change the Biophysical Biochemical Constants of the Blood or Donation Therapy,” this therapy used conventional medical treatments in a unique protocol. Recalls Ayre, “This approach to the solution really held my attention because it was medical – drugs, hormones, needles, and so forth, rather than enemas, apricot pits, and calf liver juice. This innovator of this wonderful therapy deserves, in my humble opinion, to receive the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Although Perez discovered insulin’s effectiveness in improving the uptake of medications in 1932, the first successful treatment of cancer with this therapy was in 1947. Ayre recounts the history of IPT. “Dr. Perez Garcia treated a patient with a squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. This patient subsequently survived – disease free – for another thirty years. Numerous other cancer cases followed, with many startling responses, particularly in patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated disease.
“In 1955 after Dr. Perez Garcia’s son, Donato Perez Garcia y Bellon, M.D., graduated from medical school, he joined his father at his clinic in central Mexico City. Together, father and son continued to expand the applications of IPT to more and more different diseases and, as before, continued to produce remarkable results. Dr. Perez Garcia y Bellon had a son himself, Dr. Donato Perez Garcia Jr., who earned his M.D. degree in 1983. In his turn, this youngest of the family namesake undertook the practice of IPT and continued the family heritage of producing remarkable clinical successes with this therapy.
Ayre began studying with Perez Garcia y Bellon in November 1975. (The elder doctor had died in 1971.) Ayre began reviewing the anecdotal; evidence that the doctors had been collecting since 1932. Then he determined to follow up by developing the scientific rationale for what he had observed empirically. “I restrained myself from practicing this until I did the science behind it.”
Ayre jokes that he often tries to present a crash course in molecular biology when he gets on a roll discussing IPT. After the joke, he offers another crash course. In essence, he explains, cancer cells need a lot of glucose to fuel their rapid growth. Insulin is the hormone that makes glucose available to cells. To access more than its share of the body’s food, many cancer cells have up to ten times as many insulin receptors as normal cells. Ayre’s literature review also uncovered results showing that some cancer cells even produce their own insulin. Thus, using insulin in IPT becomes like a highlighter pen on cancer cells. With the aid of insulin, cancer-killing drugs can efficiently target just the cancer cells. As Ayre observes, “It’s not a magic bullet. It’s a magic gun that shoots conventional bullets more effectively.” His “conventional bullets” and the standard chemotherapy drugs, but delivered in dosages anywhere from 75-90 percent less than the standard method. In an article (“Hoisted by its Own Petard”) he explains how cancer cells’ unique make-up is the key to combating the disease and the clue to this treatment’s effectiveness.
With the blessings of his colleagues from Mexico, Ayre in 1986 1986 rechristened the treatment “IPT.” He published and presented for many years, hoping someone in the medical establishment would pick up on IPT and pursue further research. “I wanted to work in the conventional framework of the scientific medical establishment,” he explains. He’s been at it for twenty-five years. An online article about this process recounts, “By 1990, he had four articles published in the peer reviewed medical literature. He had presented his scientific theories about IPT at a number of national and international conferences. He had even undertaken two animal studies on the unorthodox actions of insulin on biomembranes.”
Recent presentations of his findings include a September 2000 “Best Case Series” in front of the Cancer Advisory Panel of the Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. He also presented papers in June 2000 at the Comprehensive Cancer Management Conference sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.
But by 1997, Ayre began to realize that interest ion his work was building at an impossibly slow pace. He identifies misoneism, the fear of change and the hatred of new things, as a barrier to getting this treatment accepted. “It’s hardwired in the human brain, “ he says, “but there’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come, and I think it’s time for IPT.” Ayre himself took up the practice of IPT in 1997. Recently, he has been teaching other doctors how to use it.
Ayre warns, however, that IPT, like conventional chemotherapy, is hardly failsafe. He routinely points out to his patients that “the intricacies of being human pretty much remain a mystery. There is thus no perfectly developed formula of medicine to grant one assurance of success in working against this disease: there is no cure for cancer.”
Still, Ayre believes in the value of IPT’s contribution to cancer treatment. He believes that the very word “doctor,” “which is Latin for teacher, holds a sacred quality. He believes that our society currently suffers from an imbalance between the sacred and the profane, but that “in times of crisis, what is valuable comes to the for.” He may well be correct. The International Oxidative Medicine Association (IOMA) recently honored him with an invitation to present the Charles H. Farr, M.D., and Ph.D. Memorial Scientific Lecture at its Spring 2001 Conference. There, he will receive a commemorative plaque from the IOMA in recognition of his work with IPT. He will also be making a presentation of his findings in May at the meeting of the American College for the Advancement of Medicine, the premier alternative medicine group.
Honors and awards aside, however, Ayre has already shown himself to be a thorough, reliable, and tireless practitioner of medicine as a healing vocation, a way to serve humankind. Perhaps what has kept him going these past twenty-five years is best summed up in his comment; “ There is a power in my human spirit that can work to achieve things that are good.”
Bobbye Middendorf is a writer, teacher, and artist in Chicago.
For more information on Dr. Steven Ayre, Contemporary Medicine and Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT), call 630-321-9010 or visit www.contemporarymedicine.net.