DCA and CancerDCA as a Cancer Treatment - Sodium Dichloroacetate

The DCA, Tea & B1 Protocol

Alert: Do not add DCA to a hot or warm beverage.
DCA is unstable at higher temperatures and will decompose


Around the first of February 2008 we noticed that caffeinated tea (and probably coffee too) with Vitamin B1 appear strongly linked to the effectiveness of DCA. Two reports of apparent complete cancer disappearance were reported, and both patients drank large amounts of caffeinated black tea and took large doses of vitamin B1. A small (approx 20 people) phone and email survey supported this caffeine relationship, nearly 100 percent. Although we have seen some variation in this since, the correlation remains very strong.

Caffeine and theophylline increase metabolism and are known to help induce apoptosis. The caffeine link may explain why one person with a particular type of cancer responded while another with the same cancer did not respond: one drank caffeine and the other did not! A large survey is underway to test the validity of this correlation on a wider scale.

Additionally, we are looking at the possible synergy of DCA with a fat metabolism blocker. Vanadium and EGCG are two good candidates. Maybe better are etomoxir and orlistat (over the counter as Alli) [see Researchers find leukemia cells metabolize fat to avoid cell death]. The idea is that blocking both glycolysis and fat metabolism may force more cancer cells into aerobic metabolism. See our page on this idea.

The First Report of a Complete Lung Cancer Remission using DCA, Black Tea and Vitamin B1
First Report after the Initial Survey includes reports of pancreatic cancer and melanoma responses Second Report of a Complete NHL Remission using DCA, black tea and Vitamin B1
A Bile Duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma reduced to possible scar tissue
Tom McGhee's non small cell lung cancer. Using DCA, standard chemo and drinks caffeine

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Aspartame concern possibility: https://thedcasite.com/dcaforum/DCForumID4/83.html

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Recent research supports caffeine as a tool to fight cancer

Caffeine-Mediated Inhibition of Calcium Release Channel IP3R3 Blocks Glioblastoma invasion and Extends Survival. Justin Lee et. al, Cancer Res; 70(3) February 1, 1174 (2010)

Coffee, Tea, Caffeine Intake, and Risk of Adult Glioma in Three Prospective Cohort Studies 2009
Crystal N. Holick, Scott G. Smith, Edward Giovannucci and Dominique S. Michaud "Our findings suggest that consumption of caffeinated beverages, including coffee and tea, may reduce the risk of adult glioma, but further research is warranted to confirm these findings in other populations"

Caffeine inhibits cell proliferation and regulates PKA/GSK3β pathways in U87MG human glioma cells. Dec 30, 2010.

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A DCA, Caffeine & B1 Protocol

DCA-Brain cancer patients are at high risk.
click here
We have heard of severe responses in people who are on high doses of DCA
and taking caffeine. In one case the patient was on DCA only.
Plus, some people cannot tolerate high doses of caffeine.
Please exercise great caution in following this protocol.

Remember, we are not doctors and cannot give medical advice. We are sharing what we find to help you beat your cancer.

This is a summary based on the protocol used by Jeannette C. and Mark to achieve remissions. The preliminary survey we did indicates there is a very strong connection between remission and caffeine use with almost a 100 percent correlation, and is highly significant (<1/1000). The survey results indicate almost any caffeine source is fine. Vitamin B1 was used in both remission cases. B1 is critical in mitochondrial function and is depleted with high caffeine consumption. In addition, alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, magnesium are good ideas. In the cases where the patient does not respond to this combination, there is a prescription drug that might make the difference: Verapamil.

This is a protocol based on the remission cases:

DCA. Jeannette used a low rate of 10.5 mg/kg. Mark used a dose of about 12 mg/kg. Be aware that high doses of DCA with high caffeine consumption appear to increase the risk of tumor lysis issues. We strongly urge you to take low doses of DCA with caffeine. Do not put the DCA in the hot tea as the DCA will be de-activated .

Caffeine:. Caffeine has been involved in all remissions to date. Green tea, coffee and caffeine tablets have been reported to work. There have even been some responses linked to caffeinated sodas. Jeanette drank 10-12 cups of black tea. Mark drank 6-7 "double tea bag" cups. Thus, they both drank roughly 12 cups of black tea a day. The caffeine content of black tea can vary. Jeannette and Mark may have taken a daily dose of about 480 mg of caffeine per day. However, since the first remissions, we have had reports of success with lower doses of caffeine. I'd suggest caution at first, using a lower dose of caffeine. You can always raise the caffeine.

Black tea may be more important than coffee due to the presence of theophylline, in addition to caffeine. Theophylline is not found in green tea nor coffee. Source. And theophylline activates all four types of adenosine receptors, whereas caffeine only activates two types. See the table of subtypes.

If you really prefer coffee, then try adding a tea bag to your cup of coffee. It does appear that any caffeine source works.

Caffeine's effects on DCA appear to be dose-related: better response was found at the 1-12 cups of tea level. It appears that the dose of caffeine is more important than the dose of DCA. It is better to have a high dose of caffeine and a low dose of DCA than the opposite.

Warning on caffeine: not all people can take large amounts of caffeine. And you may not need to take a lot of caffeine. At the very least, try 1-2 cups of caffeinated green tea with the DCA. You may need to consult a health care professional prior to changing your caffeine intake. This is a note I got from a doctor about this topic: "For brain tumour patients, consuming large amount of caffeinated drinks can trigger a seizure. This is a very important issue, since a lot of glioblastoma patients are using DCA. It can also cause nervousness, insomnia and palpitations. For heart patients, this can also be dangerous."

Additionally, we are receiving reports that even after the patient stops taking DCA, continued caffeine intake may still be working with the DCA and may still produce TLS effects. This effect has been noticed for two days. Perhaps there is enough DCA left in the system, or the cells are still in a normalized state, allowing caffeine to still activate their metabolism and cause apoptosis (we hope that is what is going on). Using this approach might be a way to regulate the speed or rate of apoptosis to a level that the patient can handle. Regulate the caffeine intake to regulate the rate of apoptosis.

Conjugated linoleic acid
The use of conjugated linoleic acid might be a way of helping to drive cancer cells into apoptosis by additional pressure to force depolarization of the mitcochondria. See "Trans-10,cis-12 Conjugated linoleic acid induces depolarization of mitochondrial membranes in HT-29 human colon cancer cells: a possible mechanism for induction of apoptosis." Link to abstract. Here is a source.

Betulinic acid.

Betulinic acid might be a very promising material to combine with DCA and caffeine. Betulinic acid is a naturally occuring material, derivied from the bark of white birch trees. Betulinic acid is reported to have excellent anti-cancer activity. Betulinic acid "directly induces loss of transmembrane potential", from Activation of Mitochondria and Release of Mitochondrial Apoptogenic Factors by Betulinic Acid. (full paper) And the same paper states; "induction of mitochondrial permeability transition alone is sufficient to trigger the full apoptosis program and that some cytotoxic drugs such as BetA may induce apoptosis via a direct effect on mitochondria."

See also
Targeting mitochondrial apoptosis by betulinic acid in human cancers 2009

Sensitization for Anticancer Drug-Induced Apoptosis by Betulinic Acid

Discovery of betulinic acid as a selective inhibitor of human melanoma that functions by induction of apoptosis

Betulinic acid: A natural product with anticancer activity 2009


Vitamin B1. Jeannette used 500 mg a day. Mark used 1200 to 2500 mg a day.
Note that many people are now using benfotiamine as their B1 source.

1. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) levels are dramatically reduced by high levels of caffeine intake: "A lack of thiamine can be caused by .. foods high in anti-thiamine factors (tea, coffee, betel nuts)" Wikipedia Vitamin B1 supplementation may be needed when taking lots of caffeine.

2. Low thiamine levels can severely inhibit mitochondrial function. Thiamine deficiency results in metabolic acidosis and energy failure.

Magnesium and calcium supplementation: "Urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium was significantly elevated for six hours after the second dose of caffeine." Source.Caffeine can lower magnesium levels and Magnesium deficiency can cause fatigue, which some users of DCA and caffeine experience. This fatigue can be severe. Users of DCA and caffeine might also consider taking magnesium and calcium supplementation to counter the possible deficiencies caused by caffeine consumption.

Dogs and cats should be able to follow this protocol too. Click here.

ECGC is a component in teas. It might help DCA by simultaneously blocking fat metabolism. See this page for a discussion of simultaneously blocking fat metabolism. If you read the great result of Tim McGough, notice that Lulu gave Tim green tea extract every day. The Mountain Dew supplied caffeine and some citric acid. This could be very significant.

Citric acid (or lemon juice). This is popping up more and more on emails I get from people reporting good responses. It is safe and cheap. It really looks like a smart move to add citric acid (or lemon juice) and maybe even baking soda to your anti-cancer attack. Here are some links to use of citric acid reported on the Reports page: 1, 2 The doses reported vary from one teaspoon two to three times a day (equivalent to about 8-12 grams day total) to 20 grams a day.

Alpha Lipoic Acid: ALA, a common dietary supplement, is known to synergize with DCA. ALA improves mitochondrial function. Many cancer patients take ALA. We have been told that ALA has eliminated peripheral neuropathy. ALA appears a logical addition to the protocol.

CoEnzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is another dietary supplement taken by many cancer patients. As Wikipedia points out, "Ninety-five percent of all the human body’s energy requirements (ATP) is converted with the aid of CoQ10." Taking CoQ10 appears to be another smart choice.

Verapamil and Indole-3-carbinol are some options that might reduce the risk of resistance to DCA. Verapamil is a prescription drug, a calcium channel blocker. Indole-3-carbinol is a natural compound shown also to increase effectiveness of chemos.See our page on them.

Magnesium is of special interest since it can lower calcium levels in cells. The Dr. Jason Wong paper on endometrial cancer states that "Apoptosis is mediated by decreased intracellular calcium levels." We saw an incredible response in "Eric's" lymphoma after he started using verapamil. See the Reports page for the story.

Interestingly, caffeine lowers calcium levels too.
For example, "Results indicate that caffeine interacts with a site closely associated with the voltage-dependent calcium channels in myometrial cells and, in turn, inhibits calcium influx" from Caffeine-induced inhibition of calcium channel current in cultured smooth muscle cells from pregnant rat myometrium and
"it inhibits Ca channel " Voltage -dependent suppression of calcium current by caffeine in single smooth muscle cells of the guinea-pig urinary bladder

Raise your pH A page showing that metastasis is encouraged by low pH. You can take action on your own to force your pH back to normal and make your body a more hostile environment for cancer cells.


Some Caffeine Information

Caffeine content of tea:
Table of caffeine content of teas. The U. K. Tea Council places the caffeine content of tea between 33 and 50 mg/ 190 ml (6.4 ounces) The caffeine content varies with the variety of the plant, soil, season etc, as well as the brewing time. 40 mg is a good working number for tea.

Caffeine content of coffee:Evaluation of Current caffeine Content of Coffee Beverages

How much caffeine is safe?
"For most people, moderate doses of caffeine — 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) a day — aren't harmful. However, excessive caffeine — more than 500 mg a day — can cause irritability, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and diarrhea." Source

"But the American Dietetic Association – as well as the Food Standards Agency in the UK – advises people not to consume more than 300mg of caffeine per day. Health Canada advises consumers to limit their caffeine intake to 400 to 450 mg per day. This advice is particularly aimed at pregnant women, who, studies indicate, have greater risk of miscarriage or babies with low birth weight if they exceed the 300mg barrier." Source

"While newborn infants metabolize caffeine slowly, children from less than 1 year to adolescence metabolize caffeine about twice as fast as non-smoking adults." from Caffeine and Children.

Caffeine increases metabolic rates

** Caffeine and theophylline are adenosine antagonists **

This may be close to the reason caffeine, especially tea. works so well. Caffeine and theophylline both bind to the adenosine receptors and increases the metabolic activity of the cell. Both are adenosine antagonists.

"The principal mode of action of caffeine is as an antagonist of adenosine receptors" from Wikipedia

"The adenosine A1 receptor has been found to be ubiquitous throughout the entire body. This receptor has an inhibitory function on most of the tissues in which it rests. In the brain, it slows metabolic activity by a combination of actions."

"Caffeine, along with theophylline have been found to antagonize both A1 and A2a receptors in the brain. " Source. Notice that theophylline activates all four types.

"By nature of caffeine's purine structure it binds to some of the same receptors as adenosine. The pharmacological effects of adenosine may therefore be blunted in individuals who are taking large quantities of methylxanthines (e.g., caffeine (found in coffee) and theophylline (found predominantly in tea)." from Wikipedia article on Adenosine.

This means that caffeine and theophylline both act to increase the metabolic rate of cells which may help DCA enter the cells or work within the cell.

Caffeine increases the metabolic rate, additional info:

"Caffeine increases the level of circulating fatty acids. This has been shown to increase the oxidation of these fuels, hence enhancing fat oxidation. Caffeine has been used for years by runners and endurance people to enhance fatty acid metabolism. It's particularly effective in those who are not habitual users." Source

Effects of caffeine on energy metabolism, heart rate, and methylxanthine metabolism in lean and obese women shows that "the stimulation of energy expenditure was mediated by a concomitant increase in lipid and carbohydrate oxidation." and that body mass alters the effects of caffeine.

"In addition, fat oxidation was significantly higher (12%) when subjects consumed the full-strength tea rather than water" source

"Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se. The green tea extract may play a role in the control of body composition via sympathetic activation of thermogenesis, fat oxidation, or both." source

Caffeine increases lipid peroxidation. Source

Caffeine crosses the blood–brain barrier. Source.

Caffeine can help induce apoptosis:

Caffeine induces cytochrome P4501A2: induction of CYP1A2 by tea in rats.

Caffeine Sensitizes Human H358 Cell Line to p53-mediated Apoptosis by Inducing Mitochondrial Translocation and Conformational Change of BAX Protein

Administration of green tea or caffeine enhances the disappearance of UVB-induced patches of mutant p53 positive epidermal cells in SKH-1 mice

Induction of Apoptosis by Caffeine Is Mediated by the p53, Bax, and Caspase 3 Pathways

"Cells treated with caffeine at concentrations as high as 10 mM exhibited several characteristics of apoptosis. In addition, caffeine was shown to increase the caspase-3 activity. These results suggest that high-dose of caffeine induces apoptosis in human neuroblastoma cells, probably by increasing the caspase-3 enzyme activity." from Caffeine induces apoptosis in human neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-MC.

"This study suggests that the concentration of caffeine is of critical importance because high doses of caffeine induce apoptosis " Apoptosis induced by different doses of caffeine on Chinese hamster ovary cells

Here is an abstract showing that caffeine was included with standard chemotherapy to produce an amazingly rare remission: A case of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma showed complete remission with chemotherapy.

Caffeine Tablets:

Caffeine tablets are available for purchase without a prescription. Just Google "caffeine tablets"

This site gives a listing of the caffeine content of many drinks. Notice there are some caffeinated syrups listed that contain 100 or more mg of caffeine per ounce.

Relative Binding Affinities on Adenosine Receptors

"Caffeine and related methylxanthines had similar binding affinities at A1 and A2a sites with rank orders of drug binding affinities (theophylline > paraxanthine ≥ caffeine >> theobromine) similar to other species."
Antagonism of adenosine receptors by caffeine and caffeine metabolites in equine forebrain tissues

Pets and Caffeine
Pets should be able to tolerate caffeine easily
within the levels given in the protocol.

This article by Dr. Stephen Pittenger gives an excellent summary of caffeine toxicity and pets. From this article:

1. The median lethal dose (LD50) of caffeine in dogs is 140 mg/kg.
2. The minimum toxic doses are not established, but potentially lethal doses of caffeine vary from 110-200 mg/kg in the dog and 80-150 mg/kg in the cat.

The dose used by Jeannette and Mark were about 480 mg a day. If they weighed 150 pounds, then the dose was about 7 mg/kg. That is far below the toxic level in either cats or dogs.

Note, 10 May 2008. A great response in a dog with bladder cancer was reported, using DCA and caffeine. Link.


Blocking Metastasis by altering pH