Health Salon

Your Source for Cutting Edge Information in Alternative Health Care thats hard to find.

  • Subscribe

    • AddThis Feed Button


Low Dose Naltrexone, LDN, for Crohn’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Autoimmune Diseases, and Central Nervous System Disorders.

30th December 2007 by Arrow Durfee Posted in Uncategorized

In Brief

Although prospective, controlled clinical trials on LDN in the treatment of cancer are yet to be accomplished, as of March 2004 clinical “off-label” use of this medication by Dr. Bihari in some 450 patients with cancer — almost all of whom had failed to respond to standard treatments — suggests that more than 60% of patients with cancer may significantly benefit from LDN.

Of the 354 patients with whom Dr. Bihari had regular follow-up, 86 have shown objective signs of significant tumor shrinkage, at least a 75% reduction. 125 patients have stabilized and/or are moving toward remission.

Dr. Bihari’s results sharply contrast to prior usual cancer treatment outcomes: either a cancer-induced death or a total cure. LDN therapy presents a viable third alternative, the possible long-term stabilization and/or gradual reduction of tumor mass volume.

Thus, with LDN, cancer can — in some cases — become a manageable chronic disease. Patients have the possibility of living free of symptoms, without, in many cases, the crippling side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

> How It Works

Low dose naltrexone might exert its effects on tumor growth through a mix of three possible mechanisms:

By inducing increases of metenkephalin (an endorphin produced in large amounts in the adrenal medulla) and beta endorphin in the blood stream;
By inducing an increase in the number and density of opiate receptors on the tumor cell membranes, thereby making them more responsive to the growth-inhibiting effects of the already-present levels of endorphins, which induce apoptosis (cell death) in the cancer cells; and
By increasing the natural killer (NK) cell numbers and NK cell activity and lymphocyte activated CD8 numbers, which are quite responsive to increased levels of endorphins.1 (abstract)
> Cancers that are reported by Dr. Bihari to apparently respond to LDN:
Bladder Cancer
Breast Cancer
Colon & Rectal Cancer
Liver Cancer
Lung Cancer (Non-Small Cell)
Lymphocytic Leukemia (chronic)
Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s)
Malignant Melanoma
Multiple Myeloma
Ovarian Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer
Prostate Cancer (untreated)
Renal Cell Carcinoma
Throat Cancer
Uterine Cancer
> What the Future Holds

If the results of trials of low dose naltrexone in certain cancers are positive, the drug could eventually become an additional mainstay of cancer treatment — adjunctive with chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer cell growth inhibitor receptor agonists — or even a replacement for current therapies, as primary treatment for those cancers that show little response to standard therapies.

Recent Developments

> As of March 2004

Since February 1999, Dr. Bihari has begun treatment of some 450 cancer patients with LDN. Since many of these patients, particularly those seen before October 2000, were seen only once in consultation with medical follow-up by their oncologists, Dr. Bihari is missing up-to-date follow-up data on 96 patients.

As of March 2004, of the remaining 354 patients, 84 have died, all but 4 of cancer-related causes. Most of these deaths have occurred in the first 8 to 12 weeks on LDN. For the most part, these were patients who were quite ill when first seen, and had exhausted all other treatment possibilities. Of the remaining 270 patients, 220 have been on LDN for six months or longer. Of these, 86 have shown significant movement toward remission, identified for this purpose as a reduction of at least 75% in tumor mass and tumor-related symptoms. Of the other 134 patients, 9 have continued to show tumor progression, whereas the other 125 have stabilized and/or are moving toward remission but do not yet meet the 75% reduction criterion.

Related Posts:

6 Responses to “Low Dose Naltrexone, LDN, for Crohn’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Autoimmune Diseases, and Central Nervous System Disorders.”

  1. Arrow Durfee Says:

    Recent Developments

    > Treating HIV Using LDN Alone

    Dr. Bihari reports that, as of November 2001, a group of 18 such patients had an average of 9.5 years of known HIV-positive status. They had been taking LDN continuously for an average of almost 7 years, and none had participated in regular maintenance therapy with HAART. Had these patients been untreated, their CD4 counts by now should have been at quite low levels and their clinical status should have been perilous.

    Instead, the most recent laboratory data for these patients shows that the vital indicators of immune status have, on average, declined only minimally during the many years. The average CD4 count within the group is 445 cells (normal = 550-1500) and the average CD4% is 28.6% (normal = 27%-53%). And, indeed, they all remain free of opportunistic infections and other indicators of AIDS.

    All of these patients started with CD4 counts of greater than 300. Dr. Bihari indicates that most patients with lower CD4 counts showed a decline in CD4 number and percentage over time, though much more slowly than untreated patients used to.

    > LDN Plus Antiretroviral Therapy

    Since the advent of HAART 5 years ago, Dr. Bihari has used it in combination with low dose naltrexone in all of his patients with lower CD4s. As of 2002, nearly all of his 175 patients in this category are on at least one protease inhibitor and either nevirapine or two nucleoside analogues. The group who began 5 years ago numbered 102 patients; there have been 3 dropouts since. There have been at least three interesting findings in this group:

    The viral load breakthrough rate in 5 years has been only 14% in the 102 patients who have been taking LDN along with HAART for that full time period. More than 85% have remained HIV RNA-PCR undetectable during this period. Reports from other treatment groups have shown an average breakthrough rate of 30-50% in the first twelve months, and 60-70% by the end of three years. The only difference in the treatment approach that could explain this is that all of Dr. Bihari’s HIV patients are taking low dose naltrexone.

    Seventy-five percent of those on HAART and low dose naltrexone, including the few with viral-load breakthroughs, are showing a slow secondary rise in CD4s, which generally begins after 18 months on HAART. This late rise in CD4s in all cases has been persistent in all cases. In the 99 long-term patients, there has been a mean rise of CD4’s from 285 to 496 (87%). This is significantly greater than the rise seen with HAART alone. The medical literature does not appear to have studies showing this phenomenon in patients not on LDN.

    None of the more than 175 patients on protease inhibitors have developed any sign of lipodystrophy, except for four who stopped naltrexone. These are four patients who stopped naltrexone in their early months of HAART, all of whom began to develop lipodystrophy six to nine months later. All four eventually resumed naltrexone. Three experienced complete reversal of lipodystrophy signs after nine or ten months back on the medication. The other has shown significant movement toward reversal at twelve months. Dr. Bihari speculates about the relative role of high cortisol levels and low endorphin levels in the development of lipodystrophy. He suggests that LDN’s ability to raise endorphins to counterbalance the cortisol may be responsible for its protective role.

    > HIV/AIDS in the Developing World

    A new project has been initiated with the cooperation of Dr. Bihari. This aims to acquaint all of the developing nations about the potential of LDN in dealing with the AIDS pandemic.

  2. Jack Ashton Says:

    An interesting and informative diary. An inspiration to sufferers of Crohn’s disease to keep looking for a remedy that works for them and to never give up and sink into depression.

  3. IggyDalrymple Says:

    Low Dose Naltrexone available at IAS,
    although it seems expensive.

  4. Arrow Durfee Says:

    Thanks, Iggy. Good to know.

  5. Cher Says:

    Living symptom free with Crohns is my daily prayer for my 10 year old niece. I scour the internet for articles like this one looking for hope.

  6. Arrow Durfee Says:

    I personally know someone who has successfully treated his crohns disease and is now symptom free. He used MMS and then LDN. He says the MMS eliminated the symptoms and the LDN keeps the disease away.

    You can do to this forum and talk with him. Just post your question about crohns. He will likely respond.