Ask the Doctor – Melanoma
Alternative Treatments for Melanoma
Dear Dr. Rona: My father was diagnosed a few weeks ago with Stage 4 melanoma. He is 68 years old and a personal trainer – very fit and healthy. There were two malignant tumours found in his brain, one of which they successfully removed (it was through the biopsy on that tumour that they discovered it was a Stage 4 melanoma). The other tumour is too deep to remove.
Tests on his organs, bones, and skin have turned up no main location of the cancer. The doctor is recommending that my father undergo radiation therapy for one month, with no guarantee we will have any positive results.
My father won’t do it, and we support his decision. We want to pursue alternative treatments, but we have been inundated with well-meaning, though overwhelming, suggestions from our friends and family, regarding potential ways to cure this. Knowing these details, what do you recommend?
Thank you and bless you!
Kaila Krayewski ~ Pickering, ON
Dear Kaila: Melanoma (skin cancer) can metastasize to any organ, the brain being a particularly common site. Unfortunately, at Stage 4 metastatic melanoma is generally incurable and survival for such patients is usually less than one year, according to most experts. Conventional treatments therefore are considered to be palliative.
As you have mentioned in your letter, there are numerous different alternative therapies out there that could be recommended to treat metastatic melanoma. It can get quite confusing for people in your father’s situation.
The first thing I would do to find the best alternative therapies for your father is to contact Dr. Ralph W. Moss, the world’s foremost researcher on alternative medicine for cancer. He has a published report on what the best alternatives are for treating melanoma, which can be downloaded for a fee ($297 U.S. funds) from his website at: http://tinyurl.com/ojx5ct8. You can also arrange a consultation with Dr. Moss for a more personalized approach. [1,5]
Eating more melanoma-fighting foods is helpful. These include high sulforaphane foods like organic broccoli sprouts, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. Organic milled flax, blueberries, apples, and watercress are also cancer fighters.
Additionally, with some guidance from a naturopath or complementary and alternative medical (CAM) doctor, consider using one or more of the anti-cancer natural remedies listed here:
A) Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez of New York has published some case histories of individuals with metastatic melanoma living 15 to 17 years after diagnosis, through the use of high doses of pancreatin (pancreatic digestive enzymes), taken many times throughout the day. Digestive enzymes are generally recommended by natural health professionals to alleviate digestive disturbances when taken with meals. In addition, when proteolitic (protein-digesting) enzymes are taken in high doses between meals, they are known to have a potent anti-inflammatory effect and can slow down the progression of many cancers, including melanoma.[3,5]
B) Vitamin C (intravenous and oral) in very high doses has been shown to have some benefit in treating melanoma. This type of megadosing should be supervised by a naturopath or a CAM doctor. 
C) Glutathione (3000 mg or more, intravenous or oral), the body’s master antioxidant, has also shown promise in retarding the growth of melanoma. Orally, there is only one form of glutathione (Setria) that will be absorbed from the GI tract with any degree of reliability to combat cancer. 
D) Curcumin (BCM-95 fraction) is an extract of turmeric that has also been shown to fight many cancers, including melanoma. This can be taken orally with food (1000 mg or more, 3 times daily). Do not use any other forms of curcumin except the BCM-95 fraction if you want anti-cancer benefits. Intravenous curcumin would also be effective but this form is not easily available at this time. [8,9]
E) Low dose Naltrexone is a drug that can modulate the immune system so that it fights cancer more effectively. While it remains unproven as a cancer therapy, the safety factor is high and numerous reports are encouraging. 
F) Essiac tea is a mixture of the herbs burdock root, slippery elm bark, sheep sorrel, and Turkish rhubarb. The formula was discovered by Canadian nurse Rene Caisse who used it to treat cancer patients. It has been shown to strengthen the immune system to fight many different cancers. 
G) Vitamin D is a potent cancer fighter. Deficiency is associated with a higher risk of melanoma, and low levels are connected to faster spread of the disease. [11,12]
H) Melatonin in fairly high doses (20 mg or more daily) has some melanoma-killing properties and is well worth taking. 
I) Selenium can also halt the spread of melanoma, according to some recent studies.
J) Other antioxidants (CoQ10, vitamin E, Lycopene, alpha-lipoic acid, N-acetyl-cysteine, quercetin, and others) have been recommended as anti-cancer agents. See Ralph Moss’ book Antioxidants Against Cancer (available at Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/ohjfdqf)
I recommend you see a naturopath or a CAM doctor; either can help individualize the therapy for your father.
Wishing you success in pursuing healthy alternatives.
1] Ralph W. Moss Antioxidants Against Cancer. http://tinyurl.com/ohjfdqf
2] Kasper DL, Braunwald E, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Longo, DL, Jameson JL. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 16th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2005:503
3] Melanoma: http://www.dr-gonzalez.com/melanoma.htm
4] Essiac Tea (i): www.essiacfromcanada.com, (ii): http://tinyurl.com/po93a4m
5] Ralph W. Moss Report on Melanoma: http://tinyurl.com/o4k67v5
6] Complete Remission of Widely Metastatic Melanoma: A Case Report: http://tinyurl.com/ph99eda
7] Setria Glutathione: http://setriaglutathione.com
8] Curcumin for Melanoma: http://tinyurl.com/o9dggzy
9] Curcumin BCM-95: http://tinyurl.com/qa37w4f
10] Protocol for Low Dose Naltrexone for Cancer: http://tinyurl.com/ngfwx83
11] Melanoma and Vitamin D (i): http://tinyurl.com/o3h6kyq
12] Melanoma and Vitamin D (ii): http://tinyurl.com/q4qnuos
13] Melanoma and Melatonin: http://tinyurl.com/p33ug8c
14] Selenium Overview: http://tinyurl.com/p6oo4ew