Modified citrus pectin and cimetidine

 I have been taking modified citrus pectin (15 grams) and cimetidine (800 mg) every  day since I was diagnosed with "high risk" cancer.  They are supposed to bind with " free swimming" cancer cells in the blood, preventing them from spreading.  Has anyone else used them for this reason?  (I stopped taking them today per Dr's order as I am one week away from surgery and they are worried these medications may complicate the surgery.  I will start back up after the operation.)

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  • Dr. Isaac Eliaz [Econugenics] developed MCP (modified citrus pectin).  Citrus pectin is a long-chain indigestible carbohydrate & the "modification" results in fragments small enough to be taken up by the gut & circulate in the blood.

    Galectin-3 is a protein which has a binding area that binds to carbohydrate.  There is nothing necessarily special about citrus pectin, in that any short-chain pectin will bind to galectin-3 situated on the surface of a cell.

    Galectin-3 is involved in cell adhesion.  The theory is that, with enough circulating MCP, the galectin-3 on circulating PCa cells will be gummed-up, & the cells will not be able to dock.

    As an aside - recognize that the body is very efficient at zapping circulating cancer cells.  Such cells become "invisible" if they connect with a microclot, so the primary strategy IMO is to counter dysfunctional coagulation.

    But, in theory, MCP should make metastasis much more difficult.  (& this might be useful even if mets already exist.)

    What is the evidence - bearing in mind that Dr. Myers has dismissed the product as ineffective?

    In a 1997 study [1] by Pienta, investigating PCa cell preferential adhesion to bone marrow:

    "Our adhesion and inhibition data suggest that pectin-carbohydrate interactions are important, because a polyclonal antibody to galectin-3 inhibits prostate cancer cell binding to HBME-1 by 58%."

    Earlier (1995), Pienta had experiment with MCP on rats [2]:

    "Compared with 15 or 16 control rats that had lung metastases on day 30, seven of 14 rats in the 0.1% and nine of 16 rats in the 1.0% modified citrus-pectin group had statistically significant ... reductions in lung metastases. The lungs of the 1.0% modified citrus pectin-treated rats had significantly ... fewer metastatic colonies than control groups (9 colonies ...] in the control group compared with 1 colony +/- 1 in the treated group)."

    A 1999 paper [3] undermined the idea of galectin-3 as a useful target:

    "... galectin-3 expression was significantly decreased in primary carcinoma and metastatic disease compared with normal and premalignant tissue."

    & a different team had the same message the following year [4]:

    "We furthered our studies by examining a series of human prostate tissue samples for expression of galectin-3. Overall, approximately 60-70% of the normal tissue examined demonstrated heterogenous expression of galectin-3. In stage II tumors, however, there was a dramatic decrease in galectin-3 expression in both PIN and tumor sections, with only 10.5% (2/19) of these samples expressing this protein. Stage III tumors also demonstrated a decreased expression of galectin-3, although this downregulation was not as dramatic, with 35% of PIN samples and 52% of tumor tissue expressing galectin-3"

    Also in 2000, another lab reported [5]:

    "In prostatic cancer cells, galectin-3 was usually not expressed or decreased compared with the normal glands."

    However:

    "Interestingly, when galectin-3 was detected in the cancer cells, it was consistently excluded from the nucleus and only present in the cytoplasmic compartment."

    Galectin-3 in the nucleus would not be relevant for docking to bone marrow.  The authors hypothesized:

    "that galectin-3 might play anti-tumor activities when present in the nucleus, whereas it could favor tumor progression when expressed in the cytoplasm."

    "Cytoplasmic expression of galectin-3 in the carcinoma cells was an independent predictor of disease progression"

    Dr Strum's name appears on a 2003 paper [6]:

    "This trial investigated the tolerability and effect of modified citrus pectin (Pecta-Sol) in 13 men with prostate cancer and biochemical prostate-specific antigen (PSA) failure after localized treatment, that is, radical prostatectomy, radiation, or cryosurgery. A total of 13 men were evaluated for tolerability and 10 for efficacy. Changes in the prostate-specific antigen doubling time (PSADT) of the 10 men were the primary end point in the study. We found that the PSADT increased ... in seven (70%) of 10 men after taking MCP for 12 months compared to before taking MCP. This study suggests that MCP may lengthen the PSADT in men with recurrent prostate cancer."

    The study is small, it's old, & it is the only human study we have.

    A 2007 paper [7] caught my eye when it was published:

    "Commercially available fractionated pectin powder (FPP) induced apoptosis (approximately 40-fold above non-treated cells) in both cell lines ... Conversely, citrus pectin (CP) and the pH-modified CP, PectaSol, had little or no apoptotic activity."

    I suspected that FPP was made by Thorne.  I contacted Debra Mohnen & requested the full-text of the paper.  A very nice lady & an expert on pectin - not cancer - she said that she had been surprised by the interest the study had stirred up in men with PCa.  & yes, the Thorne product was used.

    I contacted Thorne & found that the head of research was unaware of the study, let alone with the paper.  Thorne seemed clueless & eventually dumped the product in favor of ... PectaSol.  Crazy.

    The difference? Chain fragmentation in PectaSol is achieved by changing the pH, whereas Thorne used heat.

    In 2010, Katz did a cell study to compare the new PectaSol-C with the old PectSol. [8]  Nothing exciting about the upgrade.

    In 2012, Eliaz was involved in a cell study of PectaSol-C (MCP) + ProstaCaid (a sister product).  [9]  Seems designed to improve sales of ProstaCaid.

    "Although low concentrations of MCP (0.25-1.0 mg/mL) do not suppress cell adhesion of ... prostate cancer cells, the combination of MCP with ... {ProstaCaid} synergistically inhibits adhesion of these cells."

    ProstaCaid is an everything but the kitchen sink product that costs $5 / day at the full dose.

    At this stage, PectaSol-C dominates the shortened-chain pectin market, which seems moribund in the PCa world.  A large PCa study might breathe life into the product but that would be a big investment for Eliaz.

    I am disappointed in the disappearance of the Thorne product, which possibly interfered with the ability of metastatic cells to form colonies.  But PectaSol-C might have some benefit.  Apart from nattokinase, which dissolves microclots that might be used in metastasis, it's the only product that targets circulating cancer cells.  It possibly has incremental value that would hardly be noticed by a single user.  I should start using mine again, before it goes bad.  Does pectin go bad?

    -Patrick

    [1] jnci.oxfordjournals.org/con...

    [2] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/785...

    [3] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/105...

    [4] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/108...

    [5] onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi...

    [6] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/146...

    [7] glycob.oxfordjournals.org/c...

    [8] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/204...

    [9] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/225...

  • Thank you for the information.  I had concern about getting the mcp with the right molecular weight (Mwt).  The use of acids/bases vs heat to tear it up into smaller units may also effect any functional end groups  or side groups on the mcp.  Nothing I have read indicates that there are any negative effects for taking it.  After the operation I am going to start taking spit again.  If it just makes me feel better - well that is not a bad thing.  If it actually works - so much the better.  

  • I have been using cimetidine for several years....to minimize cancer mets. There were some convincing articles that Life Extension Foundation published. However, I don't think they have done much for me....got a liver met and several lung mets while taking.Who knows ? But it is cheap with no side effects.

  • We too were disappointed that Thorne dropped their product.  There was chatter that  Eliaz could have bought it, but didn't.  Patrick, with that study now in front of Thorne, is it possible they would once again pick it up?

    It has been known to have been a better product.  Are you referring to the Thorne product you have?

  • Genie,

    Thorne never capitalized on the study.  For all I know, they soon forgot about it.

    &, ultimately, maybe they were not selling much of their fractionated product.  How many men with PCa used it?  Easier to stop producing it & carry the Eliaz product.

    Who knows?  Too bad.

    -Patrick

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