DCA and CancerDCA as a Cancer Treatment - Sodium Dichloroacetate

Summary & Viewpoint

Commentary, by Jim Tassano:

DCA is an unpatentable drug. It is effective, cheap and safer than almost all standard chemotherapies. It is just one of many unpatentable compounds that can extend or save lives without devastating family finances. Unpatentable means that no person or company can own all rights to its uses.

We have sure had our battles bringing DCA to the world. The researchers at the University of Alberta fought us from the start. A lawyer connected to them wrote me and called theDCAsite.com a "criminal website". They proudly proclaim their involvement in the shutdown of buyDCA.com.

Most doctors won't have anything to do with DCA. I hear constantly from cancer patients and their supporters that their doctors refuse, sometimes angrily, to even listen to talk of DCA. Or they state they would lose their jobs if they helped a patient with DCA.

"Oracle" told me he was banned from a university cancer chat room for talking about DCA.

The FDA won't help. The FDA drug approval system is based on patents and profits. There is no system to approve unpatentable drugs. What company would risk spending hundreds of millions of dollars with no guarantee of approval for a drug they cannot own? And we cannot expect the government to spend money to get DCA and other unpatentable drugs approved, as it would put the government in direct competition with private industry.

The pharmaceutical companies will not want people using DCA, caffeine, vitamin B1 and citric acid curing their cancers. You cannot blame them, as they will lose a fortune if DCA proves to be a first treatment of choice. This would devastate their business and the cancer industry, said to be over $100 Billion in the U.S. alone. Currently the pharmaceutical industry is waging a war against supplements. They certainly do not want people to have access to compounds like DCA that can cost $20 to $30 A MONTH.

Congress won't help. The pharmaceutical industry contributes to election campaigns, swamps Washington with lobbyists, and offers many politicians jobs after their terms are over. Money talks in Washington, and the pharmaceutical lobby talks the loudest.

Despite decades of research and unthinkable sums of money, the death rates from most cancers are as high as they were in 1930. Being diagnosed with cancer is practically a death sentence, as well as a guarantee of great physical and financial suffering. The FDA-pharma system has failed miserably in cancer therapy.

Society has no simple solution, at least one that special interests will not try to hinder with campaigns of seeding doubt and buying legislative actions. We need to take action ourselves.

The following was written prior to the discovery of the potential caffeine-B1 link to DCA:

Here are some of the points of significance to us.

1. Dr. Michelakis and his team at the University of Alberta happened upon a remarkable new method of treating cancer by reactivating cancer cell mitochondria using sodium dichloroacetate, which causes cancer cell suicide.

2. The results were amazingly fast. Tumor shrinkage of 70% occurred within three weeks of the treatment. (Note that tumor shrinkage that rapid is not being reported in humans. Often we are seeing a 'normalization' of the cancer cells, in which they do not die but behave like normal cells. And not all human cancers seem to be responding to DCA, notably sarcomas. Many other tumor types are showing excellent responses in both animals and humans.)

3. The rats showed no side effects.

4. DCA was administered in drinking water. The rats just drank water containing the DCA.

5. My calculations of the dosage the rats consumed was in the range of 8 to 16 mg/kg, The Michelakis patent states a dosage of between 10mg/kg and 100 mg/kg. His patent speaks of a range of 25 to 50 mg/kg. The reports we hear indicate that is the range being used in the clinical studies at the U of A.

6. DCA has been used in numerous clinical situations, including Phase III trials. The U of A can skip Phase I trials because the clinical safety of DCA has already been established.

7. DCA has been used for many years as a treatment for some human metabolic conditions, most often at 25 mg/kg. DCA has the potential to cause some side effects. The most commonly stated side effect was nerve neuropathy, which is considered reversible, if it does occur.

8. DCA is one of the by-products of the chlorination of municipal drinking water. Consequently, much research has been done on the safety and toxicity of DCA. "No Observed Effect Levels" are established and published.

9. The University of Alberta has held this discovery secret for more that a year. If you look at the patent page, you will see they originally filed for the use patent in 2005. That filing is not available to the public. They had one year to file for the International use patent, which is publicly available. And they did just that, filing on the same date, one year later, in 2006. (This observation provided to The DCA Site by David Springer.)


DCA is potentially the best new approach to cancer treatment in years, especially given its low cost. The Michelakis team shrank human cancer tumors in rats by 75% in just three weeks using a chemical that is already considered safe enough to use in the treatment of serious and fatal metabolic diseases.

DCA is cheap, costing about $1 to $2 a day (at a 10mg/kg dose). DCA is easily self-administered: dissolve DCA in water and drink it. For pets, DCA therapy can cost just pennies a day.

However, DCA is not patentable. No large company will pay hundreds of millions of dollars on a compound they cannot own.. We cannot expect the government to fund research to compete with private companies. DCA will not get FDA approval without massive political pressure. The FDA drug approval system, based on patents, has created a devastating gap in our health care system. We are paying the price for this in lives, pain and suffering and money. It is our hope that the readers of this site will support the use of DCA as an accepted mainstream treatment for cancer.


Talk with your doctor to see if this is an appropriate treatment for you. It is chemotherapy and although practically non-toxic compared to any standard accepted cancer treatments, we strongly encourage you to not self-medicate and to work with a physician. DCA use must be considered experimental.

Unfortunately, most doctors will not help you with DCA or any alternative care. There is severe professional pressure to comply with medical standards and simply no money in it for them.

This page, titled Chemotherapy Kickbacks and Drug Industry Manipulation gives a quick and hard look at the rebates, kickbacks and other ways that drug companies use to manipulate many doctors. You need to know that your oncologist is not necessarily working in YOUR best interest. We encourage you to find a doctor willing to help you with DCA and alternatives.

The risks of a DCA-based therapy are trivial compared to those of accepted cancer therapy. Radiation, chemotherapy and surgery all have major side effects. DCA may give the safest alternative to cutting, burning or poisoning our bodies.

Over 1500 people die every day from cancer in the United States alone. Millions die around the globe, and most of the people of the world cannot access or afford modern cancer therapy.

We were asked to pull our link to the University of Alberta DCA clinical trial donations website at the request of the legal counsel of the University of Alberta on March 22, 2007. If you want to help fund DCA research, you have to go find it yourself. This site is completely independent of the University of Alberta and has no affiliation with them at all.

Clinical Trials: In October of 2007 Health Canada gave approval for the University of Alberta to conduct clinical trials. The clinical studies are underway. The plan is to test DCA on 50 glioblastoma patients from the Edmonton area only .A description of these trials is at the ClinicalTrials.gov website. I received a great email describing clearly the trials and what may happen afterwards. Click here to read details and expectations of the clinical trials.

The fierce debate rages on over whether society should strictly follow a "proper" procedure (one that could take years) to approve DCA or allow terminal cancer patients to choose an alternative treatment, such as DCA, with the possibility of extending their lives. Will allowing terminal cancer patients to take DCA interfere with clinical trials? Should terminal cancer patients have the right to try to save their own lives?

When theDCAsite.com was started, there were no plans nor funding for DCA research and clinical trials and the general consensus was that DCA research and production would be abandoned. TheDCAsite.com was formed as an outreach to help cancer patients get information and share their stories. TheDCAsite.com supports a patient's right to live, to weigh their own options and the right to have access to their chosen treatment.

Just because a compound cannot be patented is not sufficient reason to deny us access to it. The FDA drug approval system is based on patents and profits. No drug company can be expected to pay the hundreds of millions of dollars to approve a compound that it cannot own. And we cannot expect the government to step in and pay, because it is unfair to private industry. This is a serious dilemma.

The health of the people are at odds with the interests of the cancer industry. DCA works, and it works as well or better than any approved cancer therapy. For about a dollar a day. The cancer industry will not want DCA approved.

If you have questions not answered here, email us. and let us know.