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The Stanford IPT Research Initiative (SIPTRI)

        This proposal was submitted by IPTQ webhost Chris Duffield PhD, to 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 private donors.


        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 protocol.


Insulin potentiation therapy (IPT) is a medical procedure that uses insulin followed by glucose to:

  1. Increase the effectiveness of many different medications, in much smaller doses, with reduced or eliminated side effects;
  2. Deliver the medications better to all parts of the body (including the CNS); and
  3. Alter physiology in beneficial ways such as immune stimulation and angiogenesis.

        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 drink.

        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 model.

        Today there are a number of factors which make IPT more attractive and more likely to be adopted by the medical community:

  1. Insulin is better understood, and the literature fully supports the results reported for years by IPT doctors.
  2. 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 the agenda.
  3. 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 nontoxic.
  4. 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:

  1. 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 Area.
  2. 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.
  3. Organize a seminar series about IPT and other nondiabetic uses of insulin to help develop this community.
  4. 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 industry.
  5. Help develop standards for IPT training and certification.
  6. Serve as a center for initiating clinical trials of IPT in developing countries, particularly for treatment of epidemic infectious diseases.
  7. 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 IPT.

        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:

  1. 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.
  2. Greater knowledge about the non-diabetic uses and properties of insulin in humans and animals.
  3. Development of medical devices and drug packaging that support the IPT protocol.

Future Support: 

        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.

Why Stanford: 

        Nowhere else in the world is there such a concentration of intellectual, technological, and financial resources.  Also, this is where I live and enjoy working.

Why me: 

        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.



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