I'd like to revisit the use of artemisinin and other natural compounds to add to the standard-of-care medicines and radiotherapy currently used in the fight against brain tumors. So far, we've had limited but hopeful results. Has anyone else had success with artemisinin or its derivatives?
My husband, aged 61, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma-grade IV in April 2016. The discovery of a mass in his left parietal lobe, accompanied by so much swelling was quite a shock, since he was such a productive person up to that point. He rode his bike to work daily, went on lecture tours (he's a medical researcher, ironically), wrote endless grant proposals, played classical guitar, etc. The only thing we could point to as being an issue was mild aphasia for about two years, which we had blamed on stress and insomnia.
He had 92% of the tumor removed at the end of April. Three weeks later, the tumor had started to regrow to the point where they wanted to begin Temozolomide + radiation immediately. He completed a 6-week regimen of both, taken concurrently, and with Chinese herbals (artemisinin, curcumin, and leukozepin) added during the last week. Three weeks later, his scan showed a beaten-up, "leaky" tumor, that was about 50% larger - a combination of true tumor growth and inflammation. Also noted on his path report: "Exophytic growth towards splenium of corpus callosum and occipital lobe has progressed."
For those of you who are knowledgeable about genetic markers, he has the MDM4, PTEN, and TP53 mutations. His IDH1 and IDH2 are wild type. His MGMT promoter gene is 97% unmethylated, unfortunately.
I brought this abstract (link attached) to the last consult and gave it to his oncologist: Artesunate enhances the antiproliferative effect of temozolomide on U87MG and A172 glioblastoma cell lines. His oncologist was happy enough with this scan result that he let Husband continue on the artemisinin and temozolomide for Round 2, which will be higher doses of both but for only 5 days. After that, another scan will be taken after letting the inflammation clear out, on August 29th. We'll get the results on August 31st.
If you have any experience/information that you could share on combining artemisinin, artesunate, etc with traditional GBM meds, including immunotherapy, I would be so grateful to hear from you! - ABM