The Stanford IPT Research Initiative (SIPTRI)
This proposal was submitted by IPTQ
webhost Chris Duffield
the Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program Committee of Stanford's Bio-X
program on May 16, 2000. (Bio-X funds are part of large gift to Stanford from
information technology entrepreneur Jim Clark.) Unfortunately, my proposal
did not make it past the first cut, largely because I am only a Visiting Scholar
at Stanford, and not a faculty member. I am still
enthusiastic about starting such a research initiative, and am in
discussions with faculty members of Stanford Medical School, and with potential
The Stanford IPT Research Initiative
will act to make Stanford University the premier world center for insulin
potentiation therapy (IPT) research and implementation. It will also undertake
interdisciplinary projects to develop medical devices that support the IPT
Insulin potentiation therapy (IPT) is a medical procedure that uses insulin
followed by glucose to:
- Increase the effectiveness of many different medications, in much smaller
doses, with reduced or eliminated side effects;
- Deliver the medications better to all parts of the body (including the
- Alter physiology in beneficial ways such as immune stimulation and
The IPT procedure is simple:
Intravenous insulin followed by a period of observation during which oral and
intramuscular drugs are given. When symptoms of mild hypoglycemia develop,
intravenous drugs are administered, followed by intravenous glucose and a sugar
The IPT procedure is safe:
In over 120 doctor-years of practice, there has never been a fatality due to the
procedure itself. The patient is always under medical observation, and in rare
cases of insulin hypersensitivity, intravenous glucose can be given immediately.
The IPT procedure is reported
to be effective: IPT has been used to obtain unprecedented fast and
successful results in treatment of a wide variety of diseases: many types of
cancer, infectious diseases, arthritic syndromes, respiratory diseases,
cardiovascular diseases, and neurological diseases. IPT is a "magic
gun" which makes regular drugs into "magic bullets". Widespread
application is most likely first for cancer chemotherapy, where intravenous
infusion is already used, and only simple modifications of the protocol would be
needed to eliminate side effects and produce better outcomes for patients.
IPT is an orphan procedure.
Discovered in 1926 and developed in the 1930s-1950s, it was demonstrated
repeatedly at US academic and military hospitals. Despite 70 years of consistent
efforts by IPT doctors to publicize their remarkable successes and teach their
technique, IPT has never been widely adopted, and laboratory research and
clinical trials have never been carried out. Most likely this is because the
technique is significantly different from existing procedures, and because sharp
dose reduction does not fit into the standard pharmaceutical company business
Today there are a number of
factors which make IPT more attractive and more likely to be adopted by the
- Insulin is better understood, and the literature fully supports the
results reported for years by IPT doctors.
- Health care costs are out of control, and there is increasing openness to
procedures which can reduce costs and improve outcomes. Government and
health care providers, more than the pharma companies, are now determining
- Medicine now competes directly with alternative therapies. It would be to
the advantage of MDs to offer a treatment that is more effective, safer, and
- IPT information is now more available than it ever has been, through a
website that I have created: www.IPTQ.org
A revival of interest in IPT
research and implementation will create an opportunity to develop medical
devices and drug packaging systems that support the procedure. And the
discoverer of IPT developed, decades ago, a simple colorimetric electrochemical
blood analysis system that deserves investigation, and possible improvement with
the optics and electronics of today.
Stanford IPT Research Initiative -- Project Goals:
- Deliver information about IPT to key doctors and departments at Stanford
Medical Center and School of Medicine, as well as at UCSF and around the Bay
- Stimulate collaborative laboratory research and clinical trials with IPT
in several medical departments, by offering the challenge, by attracting
funds, and by fostering a community of IPT researchers.
- Organize a seminar series about IPT and other nondiabetic uses of insulin
to help develop this community.
- Begin research in collaboration between various Stanford medical and
engineering departments to develop medical devices and drug packaging
systems that help support IPT. These could include multimodal hypoglycemia
monitors, smart timed dose dispensers, possible oral or inhaled delivery
systems, and improvements on the colorimetric electrochemical blood analysis
system developed by the IPT discoverer for diagnosis and treatment
monitoring. Results of these collaborations could spin off to
- Help develop standards for IPT training and certification.
- Serve as a center for initiating clinical trials of IPT in developing
countries, particularly for treatment of epidemic infectious diseases.
- Present papers at conferences and in journals.
People and Disciplines Involved:
As the founding director and coordinator of the Stanford IPT Research
Initiative, I would seek collaborators on a broad scale. I do not have any
specific collaborators chosen yet. However, I think that it is clear that once
this initiative gets underway, faculty members in many departments will realize
the potential that IPT offers, and will become interested in participating.
For example, I can see potential for fruitful
collaborations ... to help coordinate several IPT clinical
trials for children. I would especially like to see trials for cancer (fewer
bald kids), asthma (possible rapid long-lasting relief), and HIV/AIDS. ...to
help coordinate several IPT clinical trials for adults. I would especially like
to see trials for breast cancer (fewer mastectomies and side effects), lung
cancer (faster, nonsurgical treatments), and prostate cancer (better results,
fewer side effects). ...to investigate IPT for protecting neurons
and for stimulating myelination and regeneration of axons after stroke or spinal
cord injury. ...to do imaging studies of the destruction and disappearance of
tumors during IPT. (Anecdotally, the process is very unusual.)
...to stimulate investigation of some of the molecular mechanisms involved in
Clearly, there are many ... talented faculty members throughout Stanford who
could find IPT within their scope of interest. More molecular biologists will
become involved as funding grows. It will be interesting to use gene chips to
look at gene expression during IPT. As we understand the mechanisms of IPT
better, new treatment and pharmaceutical strategies will suggest themselves. I
will also collaborate with at least one biomedical engineer (as yet
undesignated) on the medical device projects outlined previously. I would like
to work with Stanford political scientists and bioethicists to understand the
historic barriers to IPT acceptance, and how to overcome them. And I would like
to work with ... others at the Graduate School of Business to develop a business
model to help make IPT more attractive to health care providers.
Impacts on Biology, Technology, and Medicine:
The Stanford IPT Research Initiative will result in:
- Testing, improvement, and widespread adoption of IPT, a simple, safe, and
reportedly extremely effective medical procedure that could reduce costs and
improve patient outcomes for many diseases. IPT has waited in the
wings for much too long.
- Greater knowledge about the non-diabetic uses and properties of insulin in
humans and animals.
- Development of medical devices and drug packaging that support the IPT
The Stanford IPT Research Initiative will clearly fulfill its
long-term goals only through attracting funding from outside sources. If the 120
doctor-years of anecdotal successes for IPT begin to be validated, there will be
no shortage of funds from government agencies, philanthropists, foundations, and
other sources. Royalties from medical devices which support the IPT protocol
will also help fund continued operations. I anticipate that there will be at
least one IPT nonprofit organization formed and spun off, which will also help
support our efforts.
Nowhere else in the world is there such a concentration of intellectual,
technological, and financial resources. Also, this is where I live and
I have been involved with IPT research and education for 14 years, the only
non-MD to be involved for so long. I have a long-standing friendship and a good
working relationship with the pioneering IPT doctors. I would be
instrumental in attracting them to the Bay Area to share their knowledge, teach
their techniques, and help design clinical trial protocols at Stanford. I am
also in possession of a unique and large archive of historical IPT information.
And I am the webhost of the first and only comprehensive website on the subject
of IPT, www.IPTQ.com . Clearly, the Stanford IPT Research Initiative would be a
natural outgrowth of my life.