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Sodium Dichloroacetate (DCA)

The sodium salt of dichloroacetic acid with potential anti-cancer activity. This agent may stimulate apoptosis [programmed cell death] in cancer cells.

What is DCA?

Source: DCA Guide
Sodium dichloroacetate (commonly referred to as DCA) is a salt of sodium and dichloroacetatic acid. The formula of this compound is Cl2 CH COONa. The structure of the molecule is similar to a combination of table salt and vinegar.

Under normal conditions, the material appears in powder form, white color and is soluble in water.

Sodium dichloroacetate is not patentable and has no restrictions on being transported, it can be freely sold without serious regulations.

The compound can be synthesized in laboratories or found as a side product in chlorinated water. DCA can be naturally aquired in a variety of red algae such as Asparagopsis taxiformis.

DCA and Curcumin

This 2018 study concluded:
Apoptosis was the major event contributing to the synergistically boosted antiproliferative effect. Coupling DCA treatment with curcumin may rationally be expected to lower the DCA dose needed and relatively reduce accompanying toxicity and oxidative damage while enhancing anticancer potential. This novel ‘add-on’ approach is, thus, of enormous value to the current DCA therapy.

This study says: Based on our clinical experience, combined with existing publications, off-label DCA therapy is an option for patients with limited available conventional treatments, once they understand and accept the risks and benefits of therapy. This case report shows that even in advanced stage disease, DCA has the potential to prolong life without impacting a patient’s quality of life, as compared to chemotherapy with its frequent debilitating side effects or compromise in physiological function.

Case Report
A 57 years old female attended the study author’s (Khan) clinic in Medicor Cancer Centres Inc., Toronto, Canada in March 2012 seeking therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer. At that stage, chemotherapy was causing minimal disease reduction, and was essentially just maintaining stability.

Since the chemotherapy was still effective, and the patient was not experiencing any serious side effects, the initial approach was to support the patient’s existing therapy, not replace it. An integrative plan was made in cooperation with a naturopathic physician (Andrews)…

In summary, after receiving conventional chemotherapy for approximately 18 mo, the patient received intravenous DCA therapy with concurrent chemotherapy for approximately 6 mo, followed by intravenous and oral DCA therapy with no concurrent conventional cancer therapy for nearly 4 years. During the treatment with oral DCA, the patient experienced stable disease by CT scans, and stable disease by CEA tumour marker measurement.

The study authors said “This case of DCA therapy in a patient with advanced stage 4 colon cancer demonstrates long-term stable disease according to clinical, biochemical and radiologic criteria. The duration of stability while on DCA without other active chemotherapy is currently 46 mo (nearly 4 years), with a survival time since the initial diagnosis of stage 4 colorectal cancer of 6 years. Based on the National Cancer Institute’s SEER cancer statistics review 1975-2011, the 5-year relative survival rate for females diagnosed with stage IV colon/rectal cancer was 14.4% . While it cannot be definitively concluded that DCA has been efficacious, survival for this length of time in the absence of ongoing chemotherapy would be of relatively low probability. Cytostatic rather than cytotoxic effects of DCA on colorectal and other cancer cells have been reported and support this clinical finding. To date the patient remains clinically well and she remains on DCA therapy.

This case report gives details of a 49-year-old non-smoker woman with inoperable Stage IIIb Non-Small-Cell lung Cancer and leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LMC). Upon introduction of oral dichloroacetate (DCA), she survived approximately 64 weeks (454 days) following palliative whole brain radiation without the need for chemotherapy or further targeted therapy to specifically address the LMC.

The authors say: “Our case report demonstrates the general feasibility of concurrent administration of DCA with other treatment modalities for patients with LMC related to NSCLC.”

This study aimed to investigate the antitumor effect of DCA combined with 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) on colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. Four human CRC cell lines were treated with DCA or 5-FU, or a combination of DCA and 5-FU.

The study authors say they demonstrate that DCA not only reduced cell viability and proliferation, but also have the synergistic antitumor efficiency with chemotherapeutic agent 5-FU in vitro in CRC cells. Meanwhile, DCA has no significant effects on noncancerous cells. Furthermore… DCA-induced apoptosis contributes to its synergistic antitumor effect. Compared with DCA or 5-FU alone, combination usage of these two drugs promotes apoptosis of CRC cells.

This is a case report of TM, a 52-year old male who was first diagnosed at age 46 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in June 2007.

Following chemotherapy, TM was considered to be in complete remission as of January 2008. However, in september 2008, he was examined by a head and neck surgeon, who described a large mass of matted nodes in his neck.

The medical record described TM as being extremely upset with
the side effects of nausea and vomiting from the prior chemotherapy administered in 2007

Per his own research he decided to embark on a treatment regimen involving DCA (dichloroacetate) and various supplements, which he began in September 2008.

Within 2 weeks of starting this regimen, TM reported significant reduction in night sweats, low grade fever, anorexia and fatigue. One month after initiation of the DCA protocol, the neck nodes were noticeably smaller, and at 2 months no nodes were palpable. At 71 days into the DCA protocol, complete resolution of all systemic symptoms had occurred. TM reported a good energy level and appetite, the ability to sleep well and no side effects.
However, in 2010 the local oncologists concluded that the patients lymphoma had recurred, and options for local treatment were discussed. TM again refused further chemotherapy and continued on DCA.
Hematology-oncology follow-up in January 2011 indicated a 2.0 cm left cervical lymph node. Again, options for further treatment were discussed but all were refused.
As of November 2012, TM reports that he is fine and without systemic symptoms.
FDG PET/CT imaging and laboratory testing were carried out in November 2012. The FDG study was completely normal. All laboratory tests, other than a lipid elevation of triglycerides and LDL, are normal

Cancer stem cells

Study: DCA could significantly affect cancer stem cell fraction and contribute to cancer eradication. Collectively, these findings provide a strong rationale towards novel clinical translational studies of DCA in cancer therapy.

The most common side effects caused by Dichloroacetate:

▪ Peripheral neuropathy.
(experienced by up to 20% of people who use DCA).

▪ Sleepiness, mental fogginess, confusion
(experienced by up to 20% of people who use DCA).

The rare side effects caused by Dichloroacetate:

▪ Heartburn, nausea, digestive disorders.

▪ Pain at the tumor site (temporary and then resolves).

▪ Mild liver enzyme (AST, ALT, GGT) elevation, without symptoms.

▪ Increased anxiety, mood changes, hallucinations.

Source: DCAGuide

Where can I get this treatment and more information?

Sodium Dichloroacetate is available  from DCA Lab in some Health food Stores and Online.


1. Some cancer therapies can conflict with others. Do not start ANY therapy without consulting your doctor to ensure it’s safe and beneficial to do so.
2. Just because any given therapy worked for someone else does not necessarily mean it will work for you.
3. Although there are many viable alternative cancer treatments, there isn’t a “best” treatment for a certain type or stage of cancer.

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