A 1982 Study of Digitalis for 

Cancer was Funded by NCI

A woman I know, named Helen, sent me a series of articles and information about this. She is a woman with breast cancer and a desire to learn and share information.

According to the papers sent: Dr. Bjorn Stenkvist of University Hospital in Upsalla Sweden was able to study the use of digitalis actually digoxin) in women with breast cancer. This was a two arm trial, patients taking the actual medicine and those on placebo (pretend pill). Results were said to be very good and were published in the New England Journal of Medicine February 3, 1982. Helen actually wrote to Stenkvist and enclosed his reply. He expressed astonishment that no subsequent trials were done with this substance. Dr. Stenkvist also discussed his upcoming article that speculates about the mode of action of digitalis. He suggests it probably effects proliferation rather than the cancer cell's ability to spread. He said that cardiologist with whom he spoke said it would not be a problem nor dangerous to use digitalis in women with breast cancer but no heart disease.

In his 1982 study which was a five year follow-up of women, those taking digitalis (cardiac glycosides)had so many less incidences of recurrence. Example of 40 women, only 1 recurred, while in the placebo arm of 88, there were 21 recurrences. After this study was published, several physicians offered their clinical experiences with patients taking digitalis and suggested that they had seen a benefit in such patients.

Dr. Johan Haux, MD in Norway is currently looking into this and reported to Helen that he found that higher does (but still non-toxic) were more potent in treating cancer. Symptoms of overdosage include; anorexia, nausea, disturbed color vision, and cardia arrythmia. The commonly used digitalis drugs are digoxin and digitoxin.

(From Dr.Haux) In fact, in many countries digoxin and other cardiac glycosides have replaced digitoxin. Therapeutic plasma concentration for digoxin is 0.5 - 2 ng/ml and for digitoxin 15 - 33 ng/ml. 25 - 50 ng/ml of digitoxin is toxic for many patients and 25 - 50 ng/ml of digoxin is for sure a toxic concentration. Dr. Haux is referring to information about dosages that WAS INCORRECTLY STATED HERE UP UNTIL January 24, 2000. (Sorry for this misinformation).


Dr. Johan Haux's site

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