QUESTION: I have a pt who first came to our clinic in the fall with hx of prostate cancer. He’d had his prostate removed and had received extensive radiation. When he arrived he walked poorly with 2 canes, had HTN, elevated blood sugar, fatigue, depression etc. We started a number of interventions including IVC. In 2 months his vitality changed. Its now 4 months – no canes, lots of energy, normal BP and blood sugars, no depression – he states that he hasn’t felt this good in 20+ years. He has no symptoms of prostate issues, however his psa has gone from 14 to 38. Can you help me figure out why the IVC would have caused this change in psa? I remember hearing years ago at a conference that IVC could temporarily increase psa or other inflammatory markers. I can’t remember the mechanism or whether it is in fact true. Other interventions generally over the 4 months included diet measures, lymphatic drainage remedies, oral vitamin C, lipoic acid, curcumin at 3grms per day, probiotic, vitamin D3 with K2- MK7, methylation support and mitochondrial support – rectal ozone treatments, B complex, adrenal support. He did 2 months of a herbal fungus detox as well. IVC has been twice a week. I can tell you that my Oncologist colleagues here would tell us that most of those would likely cause the “cancer to spread or increase” – I don’t buy it – but I’m sure you have heard such claims.
ANSWER: In my and the experience of others treating prostate cancer with immunologic therapies such as HDIVC, Germanium, Mistletoe etc, the use of PSA as an endpoint or marker is unwise if not following therapy and labs for more than 6-8 months minimum. I have some thoughts as to why, but in more than 50% of cases PSA and things like lymph node size will ‘appear’ worse when the disease is improving. This is especially common in the first 3 months of therapy.
1: Related to IVC? – we have not ever seen a “real” PSA increase with IVC and PrCA – there is a phenomenon called “tumor pseudoprogression” which does happen with especially oxidative Tx like IVC. It can cause tumor inflammation and an immune “halo” around it which is not tumor spread but immune activation. This could theoretically cause PSA to temporarily increase. – We have seen transient rise in other inflammatory markers during PrCA Tx like LDH, CRP etc.
2: PSA variability – We have had one case where the patient in IVC Tx had a significant PSA rise and when were-ran the PSA (right away) it was back to normal again. Conclusion was lab error which with PSA having multiple methodologies is very common.
3: Other thoughts are that if all the physical and quality of life issues are better, then there may be more biological energy to put into an immune response now causing a temp rise in PSA or other markers. Generally when we see all the QOL factors improving the patient and the cancer follow.