Maggie with the COC team in 2020
Home Clinical TreatmentsCare Oncology Metabolic Protocol The Care Oncology Clinic Protocol for Metabolic Cancer Treatment

The Care Oncology Clinic Protocol for Metabolic Cancer Treatment

by Maggie Jones

There are three prongs to my metabolic approach to cancer treatment: diet, stress management, and clinical treatments. For me, clinic treatment includes everything from sauna therapy to HBOT to Vitamin C injections and more. Among these, I believe the Care Oncology Clinic metabolic protocol using off-label drugs was most critical to my recovery.

How I discovered Care Oncology Clinic

The months after I was diagnosed were a period of frantic research. I was still working full time at the paper, but every free moment was spent pouring over research and literature. It didn’t take long for me to learn about the Warburg effect and Thomas Seyfriend’s extraordinary work on the metabolic theory of cancer. I read every book I could on the subject and found what I consider to be among of the most powerful cancer healing manuals: Travis Christofferson’s Tripping over the Truth, Dr. Nasha’s The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, Miriam Kalamian’s Keto for Cancer, and Jane McLelland’s How to Starve Cancer.

After reading these books and the supporting research, I knew that metformin and other off-label drugs could target my cancer’s lack of metabolic flexibility and enhance the benefits of my fasting and ketogenic diet.

I remember the thrill of elation and urgency that I felt when McLelland’s book mentioned a clinic in London that was offering these off-label drugs as part of a clinical trial funded by the NHS. I didn’t even finish the chapter before I headed to Google and discovered that Travis Christofferson himself had formed a non-profit to bring the same clinical trial to the US. I’m still overwhelmed by these incredible people and how their stories are saving lives, including mine.

What are Off-Label and Off-Patent Drugs?

“Off label use” of a drug is using it for a reason other than its approved use. For example, Benadryl is approved by the FDA for treating allergies. It also happens to make some people super sleepy and can therefore be used off-label as a sleep aid. Similarly, Metformin is approved by the FDA for treating high blood sugar as a result of diabetes but also happens to have a well-know effect of preventing cancer, slowing cancer progression and improving survival rates.

One trick with off-label use is that it’s not covered by most health insurance plans and rarely offered by doctors as it could open them up to lawsuits.

Well shoot, you think, everyone knows Benadryl makes you sleepy and metformin prevents and treats cancer, why doesn’t the FDA just approve those uses?

The reason is money. The clinical trial process required to attain FDA approval costs millions – sometimes billions – of dollars. Most of these off-label uses are for drugs that are also off-patent.

Off-patent drugs are those that are no longer covered by patent and so can be offered as generics by other pharmaceutical companies. When the patent on a product runs out, the price normally plummets as different manufacturers can now compete with each other on price. The downside of this is, without the opportunity to charge high prices for the drugs, there’s no incentive to pay the millions needed for a clinical trial to get FDA approval.

There can be a drug that everyone knows helps cancer but if there’s no way to make money off it, it will likely never go through the approval process. PSK is one of the most commonly prescribed cancer drugs in Japan. Because it’s an extract of a medicinal mushrooms that can’t be patented, we’ll likely never see it in the US. Same for fasting and keto. These show breathtaking results in small trials; because there’s no money in fasting, it faces an almost impossible road to becoming an FDA approved treatment.

What is Care Oncology?

Care Oncology Clinic is a non-profit that was formed to complete the final clinical trial process and gain approval for the use of inexpensive, off-label and off-patent drugs for cancer through a patient-funded model.

That is, they’re able to offer inexpensive drugs which have already been proven safe and effective against cancer to patients who desperately want them. The money patients pay – which is negligible compared to other cancer treatments – funds the “phase 3” trial required to eventually become standard of care.

You can see why I was so excited when I finally discovered them.

Maggie meeting her hero Travis Christofferson, author of Tripping over the Truth , a book which raised awareness of the existence of effective off-label, off-patent treatments for cancer. He then went on to enact real change in the world by founding the Foundation for Metabolic Therapies for Cancer and bringing Care Oncology to the US, an onerous process described in his book Curable.

Who are Care Oncology?

The original Harley Street clinic in London was founded by Dr. Robin Bannister and Gregory Stoloff. I was very fortunate to meet Robin at a COC staff party and his compassion is overwhelming. His personal story is touching and tragic, but he has funneled all his energy into saving lives by finding a way to get lifesaving drugs to patients.

Travis Christofferson, the author who raised awareness of effective off-label, off-patent treatments for cancer, went on to create the Foundation for Metabolic Therapies for Cancer and help bring COC to the US.

The clinic still has a physical presence on Harley Street in London but treatment can be offered remotely in, I believe, the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and most of Europe. Even while living in Hong Kong I was able to consult remotely and pick up my drugs in the US every quarter.

I’ve received treatment from both the US and UK teams and can confidently say that their staff is comprised of the most compassionate oncologists I’ve worked with. This says a lot given my treatment at three Hong Kong hospitals, the Mayo Clinic, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and two brain tumor specialists. Additionally, their nursing team is amazingly responsive and usually answers questions within 24 hours. What amazes me most, though, is that they’re so kind and personal. Anyway, enough gushing.

What is the Care Oncology Clinic (COC) Protocol?

The protocol consists of the following medication:

  • Metformin, a well-known diabetes drug with well-documented cancer prevention and treatment effects
  • Atorvastatin, a statin used extremely commonly to treat high cholesterol with added anti-cancer benefits
  • Mebendazole, a common anti-parasitic with anti-cancer effects. If you’ve heard about the guy who credits a dog-dewormer with his cancer recovery, this is the human version of fenbendazole, the drug he used.
  • Alternating months of doxycycline, a common antibiotic with, you guessed it anti-cancer benefits

The dosage varies depending on the patient’s unique situation and is usually adjusted over the course of treatment.

I’ll note here that these drugs are meant to be complimentary and used in addition to conventional treatment, not instead of the standard of care. In many cases, the benefits are synergistic with each other and with other treatments.

Are there Side Effects to the COC Protocol?

The drugs above all have reported side effects, one of which is improving cancer outcomes. There’s also the approved use: reducing blood sugar, reducing cholesterol, eliminating gut parasites, and killing bacteria. Aside from these, though, are another host of potential adverse effects including diarrhea (metformin), forgetfulness and body aches (atorvastatin), nausea (mebendazole) and killing off the body’s good bacteria (doxy). Most people won’t experience any adverse side effects but some may.

Personally, I had experienced some GI, memory and body ache side effects in the beginning. All got better over time and all were nothing compared to cancer or chemo.

How Much Does Care Oncology Clinic Cost?

In the US, the Care Oncology experience begins with a free phone call to confirm eligibility for the trial. If basic criteria are met, the first video consultation is scheduled and costs $800. They’ll prescribe the first 3 month’s medication to be delivered for about $60 USD.

Every 3 months you’ll have a follow-up video appointment for $295 to review your progress through blood work and a consult. You’ll then get delivery of your next 3 months for about $60USD.

In the UK, the drugs cost me about $130USD for three months, delivered. I’m not sure the cost of the consults but they may be covered under the NHS.

If you’re lucky enough to have a doctor who will prescribe the drugs for you outside of COC, that’s awesome. However, your results won’t be included as part of the clinical trial data. The more people who participate in the patient-funded COC study, the sooner these drugs are approved for all.

The author crashing the Care Oncology Clinic office party in January 2020 after bumping into these guys at the Metabolic Health Summit.

My Experience with Care Oncology Clinic

Within days of discovering the existence of Care Oncology in Jane McLelland’s book, I had an appointment. I was living in Hong Kong and so had the drugs delivered to a friend in the US where I picked them up and started taking them July 2019.

My blood tumor markers were already on their way down as of May 2019 after starting lorlatinib. I was still following my whole foods, plant-based functional keto diet and had intensified my fasting routine. All this to say: It’s impossible to know where to attribute the fact that my first scan after beginning the COC protocol was the first scan that showed I was No Evidence of Disease.

I’m writing this ten months after that scan and I’m still taking the protocol and I still have no active disease. As I’ve slowly, gently, and somewhat nervously backed off the heavy doses of medication and supplements that I used while the cancer was still spreading, I’ve modulated dosage of some COC drugs. Nevertheless, it will be many years before I consider abandoning them altogether. The miracle I experienced while taking the protocol isn’t something I want to put at risk.

From left to right: Dr. Chuck Meakin, my deeply compassionate oncologist and Medical Director for the US operation of Care Oncology; the wildly responsive and helpful Tabea Jaeckel from Clinic Operations; Me; and Jason Butcher, Head of the US operation and husband to Tabea. It feels like such a family shop doing this world-changing work.

You may also like

8 comments

Ida Johnsson August 18, 2020 - 8:55 pm

I’ve been on the protocol since October 2019 and my experience with the UK COC team really has been as great as you describe it here.

Reply
Maggie Jones August 19, 2020 - 1:12 pm

Awesome!! It’s so good to know you’re having a good experience consulting them from outside of the UK! Ndaba is so amazing – along with Ralph, Robin, Declan and the whole team out there! So good to hear from you, Ida!

Reply
G August 21, 2020 - 5:34 pm

Hello Maggie, your absence on social media for a while made me really worry. Came to your web site to see any news and came across your last post on Care Oncology. What a great information I got, both you are doing great and so much new about the treatment you got. Sending you hugs and best wishes. Please keep on going girl!

Reply
Maggie Jones August 21, 2020 - 5:53 pm

Hi! Thank you so much!! I hope to get back to Instagram soon – I miss that community so much! Thanks for finding me here! xoxo

Reply
gema maria August 28, 2020 - 6:32 pm

Hi. I was wondering if you had diabetes or sugar problems before or after your diagnosis, so that they sent you metformin, or they prescribed it because cancer is metabolic, thank you. Blessings

Reply
Maggie Jones August 28, 2020 - 7:59 pm

Hi! No diabetes or other metabolic issues. Metformin is a well known metabolic treatment for cancer. Here’s a great article from the New York Times about it https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/25/opinion/repurposing-drugs-cancer.html

Best! Maggie

Reply
Rose Harrington November 11, 2020 - 12:01 am

Metformin is discontinued for sugar maintenance due to side effects. All of these drugs have side effects
Doesn’t the Keto diet regulate the sugar? I have been following Dr. Nasa Winters’s book and diet for 16 months.
I have lost 20 lbs and I have kept it off. I’m more concerned about the fat from Keto and believe the Cholesrstrol medication may help regulate fat, leaving nothing for cancer cells to eat. but the doctor wants to put me on Astrzeneca because it inhibits damage to blood cells. Any thoughts?
I have decided to do chemotherapy. I found you while researching fasting. Your site is amazing Lots of food for thought.

Reply
Maggie Jones November 16, 2020 - 7:39 pm

Hi Rose,
Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m very sorry for what you’re suffering. You’ve found great information in Dr. Nasha’s book and she is an inspiration to me as well.
I’m afraid I can’t offer medical advice or comment on your particular case. However, you’re absolutely correct that keto reduces and regulates blood sugar. For me, the addition of metformin helped reduce my blood sugar even more. I also experienced some adverse effects but they were nothing compared to the adverse effects I suffered from chemo and radiation.
You hit the nail on the head that these medications all have side effects – the most important side effect being they lead to better cancer outcomes even though they’re only currently approved for treating high blood sugar, high cholesterol, bacterial and fungal infections. The goal of the Care Oncology trial is to get that side effect to become an FDA approved primary effect. Right now, doctors may know the cancer-fighting benefits of these drugs but could risk losing their insurance if they prescribe them off label. Here’s hoping they are approved soon and more lives are extended!

Reply

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More