This patient-friendly article is about chemotherapy drug, PCV is a triple drug treatment for brain tumours and consists of Procarbazine, Carmustine and Vincristine. The following information is taken from an article written in 2005 and called the Butterfly. Click here to go to it.

We have a triple drug combination called PCV with a 75 per cent success rate my ex-wife and Catherine were told (I wasn’t allowed to see the oncologist I was ’trouble’). 

75 per cent success at what? Surviving 5 years? Surviving 2 minutes? Living until you’re 90? What? (You can see why everyone thought I was ’trouble’).

No answer.

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

Click Here

And here I start to show my anger and frustration. And my sadness for the cancer patients of Britain. It is borne out of double standards and unfairness. The very same people who criticise complementary therapies under the banner headline of ’No Clinical Trials’ should put their own houses in order first and ask themselves whether they really think the clinical trial results they praise so much are worth the paper they are printed on sometimes.

Procarbazine, Carmustine and Vincristine have each been tested individually, and as a triple agent. As a triple agent in 1994 clinical trials with just 24 people, 75 per cent did see ’a response’ of some sort. I won’t go in to what response or how long it lasted, as the data is almost non-existent. (Mean time before progression 15.4 months). Far more worrying is the Cedars-Sinai review on 7 such clinical trials. For example, in another 1996 trial (this time with a massive 32 patients), 91 per cent saw a response at some level.

However, as they highlight:

  • 29/32 patients responded to the treatment (91%)

  • 9/29 patients experienced hematological toxicity (31%)

  • 10/29 patients then had delayed treatments due to treatment-induced toxicities (35%)
Worse, they stressed it was important to incorporate a strict diet regime when using PCV because some foods interact badly with the drugs causing severe health problems (apparently eggs don’t go too well if you take PCV); and that the overall health risks in using these three drugs together are ’not insignificant’.

It’s like taking three atomic bombs to kill 100 terrorists hidden in the mountains.

Not surprisingly having seen this data now, Catherine had her white cells so destroyed by PCV that a second round of the cocktail was impossible. Even the injections she was given failed to resurrect them. However, my mumbo jumbo of Cat’s Claw, Echinacea, Astragalus, Curcumin and a little organic iron did bring them back to life, which just meant the experts could try something else on her, this time, new wonder drug, Temozolomide. Same result. No positive effect yet the same destruction of her natural defence system, so she could only have one round.

Temozolomide is a drug about which there has been incredible fuss in the UK after NICE refused initially to allow (pay for) its UK use.

Again, let’s look at the research:

At the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, New Orleans, June 7, 2004 and published in the March 10, 2005, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, with 573 glioblastoma multiforme patients (one group having just radiotherapy, the other radiotherapy plus temozolomide):

After two years, 26 per cent of patients taking temozolomide were alive compared to just 10 percent of those who had radiation only. The median survival in the radiation-plus-temozolomide group was 14.6 months compared to 12.1 months in the radiation-alone group. Progression-free survival - the amount of time before the tumor began to grow again - was 7.2 months in the temozolomide group and 5 months in the other group’.

Frankly, it’s a lot of fuss for a drug that does not work on everyone (actually since 2004 there is a test to determine if you are one of the lucky few   but no doctors in the UK seem to use it) and on average extends the tumour-free period by two months and 6 days.(And did anyone spot that median progression after PCV was 15.4 months but after Temozolomide was 7.2 months??)

I do know that Temozolomide can have a great success if you are genetically in tune with its abilities. That applies to about 20 per cent of patients. Gleevec can also deliver some positive results but the research was, at one stage, turned down by the FDA. 

Go to: 10 ways to improve your chemotherapy success and reduce side-effects

Other articles that you may find interesting are:

  1. A diet for Chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy overview
  3. A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies

Go to: Return to the CANCERactive drug list


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