Dichloroacetate (DCA): This Drug Appears to Cause Cancer Cells to Self-Destruct

An experimental cancer drug called DCA (dichloroacetate) shows promise in the fight against cancer by altering cancer cell metabolism and inducing apoptosis (cellular suicide); DCA appears to exert anti-tumor effects against several forms of cancer, including brain, endometrial, cervical, prostate, breast, colorectal cancers and many more.

DCA forces cancer cells to shift from their preferred method of generating energy (glycolysis) to the method normal cells prefer (glucose oxidation) and “reawakens” cancer cells’ mitochondria

There are serious side effects reported by some adults self-administering DCA, including peripheral neuropathy and encephalopathy, so they must know when, how to take and what with to control the cancer cell die off. Contact me for further info.

Optimizing your vitamin D level is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from cancer, a minimum of 10,000iu daily.

Certain foods mimic the actions of DCA without ANY side effects, such as broccoli and the spice turmeric. We advise taking l-glutamine daily with dca.

DCA should only be taken for 5 consecutive days, after this period a 2 day rest is needed but continue with l-glutamine and vitamin D.

A good clean diet is also advised.

According to the American Cancer Society, the odds you’ll develop cancer in your lifetime are one in two, if you’re a man, and one in three, if you’re a woman.1 But an experimental cancer drug shown to shrink tumors by correcting metabolic oddities in cancer cells shows promise in the fight against this deadly disease. The synthetic drug DCA (dichloroacetate) DOES indeed kill cancer cells, both in the lab and in human beings.

The first clinical trial, although small, involving patients with brain cancer (glioblastoma) was encouraging, and the results were published in Science of Translational Medicine in 2012 .

An interesting aspect of DCA is that it’s an inexpensive, non-patentable molecule, which makes it of minimal value to pharmaceutical companies that profit by patenting expensive new drugs. Therefore, clinical trials are slow to get going due to lack of funding by Big Pharma. Researchers must await sufficient money to trickle in from government sources and public donations before moving forward.

Rats Fed DCA Showed Dramatic Tumor Regression

The impetus behind most of the DCA research has been cardiologist Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. In 2007, Michelakis and his colleagues sparked a firestorm of interest when they announced rats fed DCA showed rapid tumor regression without any apparent side effects. Michelakis has been the first to say these results are preliminary and cautions cancer patients to refrain from running out and buying the drug, prior to clinical trials.

Yet, many desperate cancer patients with few remaining options are doing just that, and side effects ARE being reported.

There are three clinical trials involving use of DCA to treat cancer that are currently recruiting participants3. Some of these studies plan to combine DCA with other drugs and radiation, all known to have damaging effects in your body. However, if you have cancer and are tempted to participate, there are some things you should know in order to make an informed decision about the risk versus the benefits of this experimental treatment.

Cancer Cells and Healthy Cells Have Different Metabolic Processes

In order to understand how DCA kills cancer cells, it is necessary to understand a bit about how the cellular metabolism of cancer cells differs from that of your normal, healthy cells. Cancer cells have very different metabolic processes than normal cells, in terms of how they derive their energy.4 It’s a rather complicated distinction, so please bear with me as I try to explain it in the simplest terms possible.

There are two major pathways your cells use to covert sugar into energy: glucose oxidation and glycolysis:

1.Glucose oxidation is the primary energy metabolism in normal cells and takes place in your mitochondria, which are the little “power plants” inside your cell; it requires the presence of oxygen, as its name suggests. This is why you breathe and your heart beats to circulate oxygen throughout your body. Glucose oxidation is sometimes referred to as cellular respiration.

2.Glycolysis takes place in your cell’s cytoplasm. It can occur without the presence of oxygen. Glycolysis is less efficient for normal cells, but it is a cancer cell’s preferred means of energy metabolism, and it depends on the availability of sugar.

So, when your cells are oxygen-starved they have a backup plan. They can extract energy from sugar without the presence of oxygen, by glycolysis.

Pyruvate is required for glucose oxidation. There is an enzyme (pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, or PDK) that acts as gatekeeper to regulate the flow of pyruvate into the mitochondria. If PDK is active, it suppresses the transport of pyruvate into the mitochondria, and your cell is forced to rely on glycolysis, even if oxygen is available. If PDK is inactive, pyruvate is shuttled into the mitochondria, even if oxygen is low.

Unlike normal cells, cancer cells are masterful at deriving energy from glycolysis—they have very active PDK. The way to make a cancer cell unhappy is by suppressing PDK, forcing the cell to use glucose oxidation, instead of glycolysis. This is called the Warburg theory of cancer, or the Warburg hypothesis5. This is where DCA comes in.

DCA Instigates Mass Suicide among Cancer Cells

DCA suppresses PDK (the mitochondrial gatekeeper), and this fires up the cell’s mitochondria. Not only does this force the cancer cell to abandon its preferred metabolic process, but it flips the cell’s “suicide switch” as well. This happens because mitochondria are the primary regulators of apoptosis, or cellular suicide—they are loaded with sensors that react to abnormalities by pushing the cell’s self-destruct button.

When a cancer cell’s mitochondria realize it’s a cancer cell, it spontaneously kills itself. This is the reason chemotherapy and radiation result in such terrible side effects—your healthy cells actually die much more easily because of this self-destruct button.

The reason cancer is so fast growing is that the mitochondria have been deactivated, so the cells evade apoptosis, as well as being able to grow in the absence of oxygen (glycolysis)6. DCA reverses this. In effect, DCA directly causes cancer cell apoptosis and works synergistically other cancer therapies, such as radiation, gene therapy, and viral therapy. A number of scientific studies have been performed to date, and most are encouraging.

DCA–Cancer Research Review

Most of the studies thus far have been done on cell cultures in the lab (in vitro), as opposed to on cancer patients themselves (in vivo). Yet the results are impressively consistent across the board, suggesting DCA is effective against a wide variety of cancer types. The DCA Site7 has a good list of all clinical studies through 2011.

The study that sparked the DCA excitement appeared in Cancer Cell in January 2008 According to an article in the Edmonton Journal9 in the 2007 rat study, DCA killed lung, breast, and brain cancer cells but left healthy cells alone. The rats’ tumors decreased by up to 70 percent in three weeks of DCA treatment, without negative side effects.

This announcement led to a cyclone of excitement from cancer patients everywhere who scrambled to get their hands on the new “cancer cure,” in spite of warnings from Michelakis himself (and others) against prematurely self-medicating with the compound. Several more studies soon followed, including the first clinical trial2 involving brain cancer patients. In that trial, the research team selected five glioblastoma patients with a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer. They treated them with oral DCA for 15 months.

Tumor tissue was compared before and after DCA treatment in three of the five patients. In all three, there were signs that the tumor growth had slowed, and more cancer cells were undergoing programmed cell death after the treatment with DCA. Unfortunately, one of the five patients died. Another had “debulking” surgery before completing the full course of DCA treatment. Below are some of the other DCA cancer studies, all within the past five years. (Note that none of these involved human subjects.)

•Endometrial Cancer: DCA causes apoptosis in endometrial cancer cells.10

•Prostate Cancer: DCA produces significant cytotoxic effects in prostate cancer cells11

•Breast Cancer: DCA has anti-proliferative properties against breast cancer cells and caused apoptosis of those cells12

•Colorectal Cancer: DCA reduced colon cancer tumors by 20 to 40 percent13

•Cervical Cancer: Researchers concluded DCA is a quick and effective cure for advanced cervical carcinoma14

For comprehensive information about DCA’s method of action, history, and related scientific research, refers to The DCA Site7, and to this 2011 article in the International Journal of Cancer15. It should be noted that caffeine may radically increases the effects of DCA16. In fact, this effect is so pronounced that some researchers are working on developing a “DCA-caffeine” cancer treatment protocol.

Now that you’re aware of DCA’s cancer-fighting effects, let’s take a look at the adverse effects identified thus far.

DCA’s Side Effects

DCA is not a natural agent—it’s a chemical produced in the water chlorination process. It’s a small molecule, which accounts for one of its major advantages: DCA is easily absorbed by your body and can reach areas other drugs can’t, such as your brain, which is why it’s of particular interest for treating brain cancers. This, however, can be a two-edged sword, because any compound that easily permeates your brain can exert all sorts of unexpected and worrisome neurological effects.

DCA is a byproduct of another chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE), a volatile organic compound believed to cause cancer. TCE is used mainly as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts, but is also used in adhesives, paint removers, and typewriter correction fluids. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reports TCE is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” and may cause birth defects. They state TCE may also cause the following17 when not controlled:

•Skin rashes

•Nerve, kidney, and liver damage

•Impaired heart and immune function



When DCA is added to the drinking water of laboratory mice, it causes liver cancer. While DCA may offer hope and a novel approach to treating cancer, it is far from a “miracle cure.” Of course, chemotherapy drugs are quite toxic as well!

DCA has been used successfully in children with metabolic disorders, with no signs of toxic poisoning. But adults appear to suffer more adverse effects—especially peripheral neuropathy and encephalopathy, such as the case described in a letter to the editor of the Journal of Neurology18. According to a survey performed by The DCA Site19, there are a fair number of serious side effects reported by those taking DCA, many of them neurological. Research suggests the side effects are at least somewhat dose-dependent, but safe dosing guidelines have not yet been established.

In the online survey, the side effects reported by DCA users include:

Tingling and numbness in the fingers, toes and lips; peripheral neuropathy Leg weakness Hand tremors Ankle swelling Increased urination

Mild nausea Anxiety and depression Dizziness Sleepiness Breathing “heavier” than usual

The above is the reason for the 5 day weekly protocol

So, if you’re already using a cancer medication, DCA’s effects are going to be unpredictable and potentially dangerous. This underscores the importance of fully understanding the mechanisms of action of an agent before it enters clinical trials.

A Safer Alternative: FOODS that Cause Cancer Cells to Self-Destruct

What if there were natural agents that induced cancer cell suicide, without the side effects of DCA? As it turns out, these agents DO exist—and you may already have some in your kitchen pantry or supplement cabinet. Here are a few21:


•Curcumin (the active agent in the spice turmeric)

•Capsaicin (the compound that makes hot peppers hot)

•Se-methylselenocysteine aka methylselenocysteine (found in garlic and broccoli)

•Ellagic acid (from pomegranates and other fruits)

Since this document was written we have had many success stories but you do need to understand the dosing and what you should be taking to control the cancer die off. We had had no negative effects when using this combination.

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