Second Nature Care Blog

Integrative Cancer Protocols

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 27, 2021 6:00:00 AM / by Stephanie Finucane

Integrative Oncology and the Repurposing of Pharmaceutical Medications and Natural Supplements


Integrative oncology is a loosely defined approach to cancer treatment combining complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) with conventional cancer therapies. Ultimately, integrative therapy strives to empower patients to “prevent cancer and become active participants before, during, and beyond cancer treatment,” according to Sean Devlin, DO, HMD, MS, in an article entitled “Integrative Oncology and the Repurposing of Pharmaceutical Medications and Natural Supplements” found here.

Today, options in cancer treatment are expansive, and include increasingly personalized treatment plans tailored to individual patients based on genomic testing. For example, in addition to chemotherapy, new treatments include targeted therapies, small molecules, Car-T therapy, and immunotherapies.

The downside of recent treatment advances, however, is the deficiency of long-term safety and efficacy data. Just because a treatment is new does not mean it is safer or more effective than already approved treatment with a long track record of safety and efficacy. As Devlin writes, this is where repurposed medications and natural supplements come in. Drug repurposing, in which an already approved drug is used to treat a condition other than that it is officially indicated for, can be an “effective strategy to develop new therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer patients, with potentially fewer side effects and at a more affordable cost.”

In his article, Devlin explains that many repurposed drugs and natural treatments spanning multiple pharmacological categories that have demonstrated anti-cancer potential in lab and clinical studies. Repurposed treatment options that Devlin explores in his article include anti-diabetic drugs, cholesterol medication, antibiotics, and antifungals:

· Metformin

· Doxycycline

· Ivermectin

· Atorvastatin

· Mabendazole/albendazole

· Niclosamide

· Artemisinin

Similarly, Devlin presents the evidence for the use of many natural treatments, such as the following herbs, extracts, hormones, and vitamins:

· Melatonin

· Milk thistle

· Berberine

· Curcumin

· Quercetin

· Vitamin C

· Vitamin D To learn more, read the full article here.

We encourage patients with cancer to incorporate both repurposed pharmaceuticals and natural medicines as each one works on a different mechanism of action. 


Topics: Cancers

Stephanie Finucane

Written by Stephanie Finucane

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, FNP, RN, MS, CNS, LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963