This treatment modality is thought to manage symptoms of cancer, side effects from conventional therapies and/or control pain. Hydrazine sulfate should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What does hydrazine sulfate therapy involve?
Hydrazine sulfate is a chemical commonly used in industrial products, such as rocket fuel, rust-prevention products and insecticides. It is also used to treat symptoms associated with cancer. Hydrazine sulfate is usually taken orally with meals but may also be injected. Treatment lasts for 35 to 40 days, and after the patient has rested for two to six weeks, the course can be repeated as needed.
How is hydrazine sulfate thought to manage specific symptoms of cancer, side effects of conventional therapies and/or control pain?
Hydrazine sulfate is proposed to alleviate cancer-associated cachexia, the extensive loss of body weight and muscle mass experienced by some patients with advance malignant disease, by increasing appetite. According to some researchers, tumors get required energy for replication and growth from normal body functions, causing an energy "drain" from vital body functions. Hydrazine sulfate is claimed to deprive the tumor of the energy it needs and, therefore, halts the progressive decline of the patient.
What has been proven about the benefit of hydrazine sulfate therapy?
The National Cancer Institute conducted a human studies literature review of hydrazine sulfate and found several studies applicable to cancer. Results varied in the studies reviewed by NCI. Some randomized clinical trials report that hydrazine sulfate did not increase patient survival time and only resulted in temporary alleviation from pain, fever and weight loss. Other studies report that patients treated with hydrazine sulfate had more normal body metabolism, weight gain and improved appetite. In 1994, the National Cancer Institute supported four randomized clinical trials. One study reported a survival advantage for patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with hydrazine sulfate compared to control patients. The other three studies failed to demonstrate any significant advantages of hydrazine sulfate treatment.
What is the potential risk or harm of hydrazine sulfate therapy?
Hydrazine sulfate may produce some transient side effects including nausea, vomiting, itching, dizziness, impaired motor function and numbness of the extremities. Combined use of hydrazine sulfate with tranquilizers, barbiturates, alcohol and foods high in tyramine (aged cheeses, fermented products) can increase patient morbidity. Liver damage may occur with high doses of hydrazine sulfate. Hydrazine sulfate is not known to be carcinogenic in humans.
How much does hydrazine sulfate therapy cost?
Hydrazine sulfate is not currently approved for use in the complementary care of cancer patients in the U.S. and cannot be prescribed by doctors for patients. Hydrazine sulfate costs approximately $25 for 100 capsules.
For additional information:
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 7923
Gaithersburg, MD 20898
Telephone: (888) 644-6226
Web site: http://nccam.nih.gov
Syracuse Cancer Research Institute, Inc.
600 East Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13202-311
Telephone: (315) 472-6616
Web site: http://scri.ngen.com/
(The Institute will not respond to patients or individuals. Health care providers must contact the Institute directly.)
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources
1515 Holcombe Boulevard
Houston, TX 77030
Telephone: (800) 392-1611
Web site: www.mdanderson.org/departments/CIMER/
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.