Topic: DCA

I was doing some surfing and found a site about DCA, sodium dichloroacetate. It was found by a doctor at University of Alberta. I don't believe it is medically approved. The claims sound a bit fishy. Has anyone else ever heard of this or tried it? Thanks


green outline, top of page - between - User List and Profile - you find "Search''.
Enter: DCA and a few postings will appear re: the subject.  I believe that all come from Canada.
Good luck,
best wishes,



Hi Tflory,

No experience with DCA. In fact, I never heard about it before. I started reading about it and I couldn't stop. Just spent 3 hours on it.

Nature magazine article on the current state of DCA:

Cancer patients opt for unapproved drug … 6474a.html

One case report about miracle cure in one patient:

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Reversal with Dichloroacetate

Keep in mind, one case report doesn't prove DCA safety/effectiveness.

Clinical trials involving DCA … ate+cancer

One trial is completed but no results posted.

Found many articles on PubMed. At the first glance, most of them studied DCA in a dish. Need more time to sift through them.


Marion and Eli, thanks so much for the info. I will look into it more later today.I will also ask the doctor about it next week.


I sent an Email to University of Alberta about their development and if there were any trials running yet available.

This was their reply:

Having finished the clinical trial using DCA for the treatment of brain
cancer, we are hopeful our news about initial findings will allow us
and others to conduct larger scale trials with all forms of cancer a reality
in the near future. At present we have no enrolling trials at the University
of Alberta Hospital. 

We cannot recommend the use of DCA for the treatment of cancer as it is not yet approved for this use by the regulatory authorities.
We are sorry we cannot be of more immediate help.

The DCA Research Team


"Pull down your hat, strap on your spurs, and tighten the cinch. Let's ride this mustang."



When I did my research on DCA, I came across a small, private clinic in Toronto, Canada. They prescribe DCA "off-label" and provide medical supervision. Blood work review, etc. One of their pages mentions that "telemedicine" is an option (the patient doesn't have to travel to their site).

They don't sound like shysters, but they are very clearly a "for-profit" outfit. Please keep that in mind when you review their DCA info. The quality of their evidence does not come anywhere close to what you see in a formal clinical trial.

As always, please seek professional medical advice from your own oncologist before you try any alternative treatments.

Wishing you the best,


These links are for information purposes only. I'm not affiliated with this clinic in any way. I cannot vouch for their trustworthiness. Please do your own due diligence.

DCA Therapy - Main page


DCA Treatment Data

DCA Case Studies

7 (edited by eli Fri, 16 Mar 2012 17:25:42)


Some additional information for those interested in DCA:

The Official University of Alberta DCA Website

Follow the links on the left hand side:

News and Updates


New York Times article about experimental drugs that try to interfere with glucose metabolism in cancer cells. DCA is one of the drugs mentioned.

Fuel Lines of Tumors Are New Target … wanted=all


As soon as my husband was diagnosed with CC, we researched and found DCA. My son located some in China and sent them $900. After 3 weeks the company said the money would be returned and to send another $900.
We don't let the negativity of this experience affect us and needless to say, we located DCA much more cheaply.
We've been using it now for 2 months and my husband is doing very well and many symptoms are subsiding. Positive thoughts and DCA are working...........


I applaude you and I am praying for complete remission for your husband. Please keep us posted.

Keep the faith,

With God all things are possible. Believe!


DCA, Omeprazole and Tamoxifen for cholangiocarcinoma … _10507.pdf


I too have been on DCA I found it be good except that because I'm so sensative to the acid part of it. That all my joints became inflammed. My naturopath took me off it.  As he said he has never had a patient react so dramatically though the contraindications state that this could happen,


Hi Jilly49,

Would you mind posting more details about your experience with DCA.

1. What dose did you take? (in mg per kg of body weight)

2. What schedule did you follow?  I've seen different schedules used. Five days on, two days off; One week on, one week off; etc.

3. Did you take your daily DCA dose in one shot?  Or did you split it into smaller doses two-three times a day?

4. Did you use DCA powder or capsules?

5. Did you take any supplements with DCA, such as Vitamin B1 (thiamine) or coffeine?

6. How long did it take for the side effects to develop?

7. Have you experimented with lower doses to try and reduce the side effects?

Thank you very much in advance for taking time to answer these questions. Your answers will be of great help to other patients looking into DCA.



Lisa posted a question about DCA success story in another thread: … hp?id=8513

Here's what Lisa wrote:

My husband found a gentleman that was diagnosed in 2008 with cc, he went on DCA and his last posting showed his cat scans with no evidence of cc. They do not put their last name, we are trying to validate if this is real or not. Is anyone familiar with this story or DCA ?

I'm copying my reply to Lisa here, so it doesn't get lost.


Hi Lisa,

I emailed Bill and Shirley about a month ago after finding this page:

They replied and offered to talk to me on the phone. I called and talked to both of them. They were very patient and answered all of my questions. I truly believe the story is very real.

The web page on is a bit convoluted. Here's his story as I understand it.

Bill and Shirley live in British Columbia, Canada. Bill is a veterinarian surgeon. He had a Whipple for extrahepatic CC in 2005. His cancer came back 18 months later in 2007. He started Gemcitabine chemo, but his oncologist told him it's for palliation only. Given the grim prognosis, he decided to give DCA a try. He took DCA at the same time as chemo. He stopped chemo after a while because he could not tolerate Gemcitabine. He continued to take DCA. Even though he stopped chemo, his cancer went back into remission, confirmed by the scans. His cancer remains in remission to this day. He attributes it entirely to DCA.

His initial dose of DCA was 15mg per kilogram of body weight. After a month or so, it caused some neuropathy side effects. Shaking hands, twitching eyes, and so on. Bill took a break from DCA. The side effects cleared after a week or so.

He resumed smaller dose of DCA, 12 mg per kilogram of body weight. This smaller dose caused the same neuropathy side effects. He took another break and again, the side effects went away.

He reduced DCA dose one more time, to 10 mg per kilogram of body weight.  He has been taking this dose for almost 5 years, without any side effects.

He takes DCA on a two week cycle. 5 days on, 9 days off.

He buys DCA as a powder. He dissolves his daily dose in 600cc of water. He drinks 200cc with food 3 times a day. recommends that DCA should be taken with caffeine and vitamin B1. Bill gets his caffeine from green tea. He drinks a lot of it. He does not take vitamin B1 separately; he takes multivitamin that includes some vitamin Bs.

It's a very interesting story. As I said, I exchanged emails and talked on the phone with him and his wife. I truly believe the story is true.


Wow, thank you everyone for such great information. This website is fantastic!

This Information Is Not Intended Nor Implied To Be A Substitute For Professional Medical Advice. You Should Always Seek The Advice Of Your Physician Or Other Qualified Health Care Provider


Hi, Eli ,
Thanks and happy Canada day and go shopping.
My sister in Toronto went down into the States to shop, she said things is much cheaper down here.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.


Thanks, Percy.

Bill's success story sounds very positive about DCA. To provide some balance, I will post the negatives.

American Cancer Society has a very informative page about DCA: … tate--dca-

Anyone contemplating DCA therapy should read the entire page very carefully. But this one section in particular:

Are there any possible problems or complications?

This substance may not have been thoroughly tested to find out how it interacts with medicines, foods, herbs, or supplements. Even though some reports of interactions and harmful effects may be published, full studies of interactions and effects are not often available. Because of these limitations, any information on ill effects and interactions below should be considered incomplete.

Some studies of people who took DCA for reasons other than cancer have found that it may cause drowsiness, fatigue, upset stomach, and lowered blood sugar levels. Some people had changes in their blood chemistry over time that suggested that their livers may have been affected. Liver function seemed to improve after DCA was stopped.

DCA may cause nerve damage in some people when taken for a long time (months or years) and can result in weakness and numbness in the arms and legs. This can lead to trouble walking. These nerve effects tend to get better over a period of weeks after the DCA is stopped. This effect has happened even in people who were taking thiamine (vitamin B1) to help prevent nerve damage.

In mice and rats that were given high doses, the effect on the nerves did not get better after DCA was stopped. Liver damage was also seen at high doses. Dogs that got higher doses had eye problems, trouble walking, and trouble breathing; some had diarrhea and weight loss. DCA causes liver cancer in lab rodents when put in their drinking water. Keep in mind, though, that drugs do not always affect people and animals in the same way. It is hard to say without further testing which of these effects might also happen in people, and whether higher DCA doses might cause permanent damage.

People who are very sick do not process the drug as quickly as those who are healthier, so that people with health problems may build up toxic amounts of DCA over time.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use DCA. People who are getting other cancer treatment with similar side effects (such as liver or nerve damage) might expect to have these effects worsened. Anyone who is taking DCA should be under a doctor's care to watch for liver damage and problems with blood chemistry that may result.

It is not clear if DCA might also affect a person's risk for getting a new cancer. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed dichloroacetic acid as "likely" to be a cancer-causing agent in humans, although this is based mainly on studies in animals. Dichloroacetic acid is also on the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) list as a cancer-causing agent and as a cause of reproductive harm in men. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) does not have enough studies on people to be sure, but based on the evidence that is now available, says that dichloroacetic acid can "possibly" cause cancer in humans.

Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying standard care for cancer may have serious health consequences.

18 (edited by eli Mon, 02 Jul 2012 10:14:55)


Environmental Protection Agency information on DCA toxicity:

Again, anyone contemplating DCA therapy should read the entire EPA page very carefully.

One quote for now:

II.A. Evidence for Human Carcinogenicity

II.A.1. Weight-of-Evidence Characterization

EPA finds there are no data on humans indicating that DCA is a carcinogen. However, there is sufficient evidence to conclude that DCA is carcinogenic in at least two species of experimental animals. A statistically significant and dose-related incidence of hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas occur in male and female mice, and male rats. Large foci of cellular alteration (LFCA, formerly called hyperplastic nodules), which are expected to progress into hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas, increased in rats and mice. Additional support is provided by: (1) the number of independent studies reporting consistently positive results and at roughly comparable doses, (2) site concordance for tumor formation between two species, (3) clear evidence of a dose-response relationship for tumor incidence and multiplicity, and (4) apparent development of tumors from more than one hepatic cell line and no clear data supporting a cohesive mode of action. Therefore, EPA believes that DCA is likely to be a carcinogen in humans.


Hi, Eli,
That is a very careful and thoughtful thing for you to post the pros and cons about this treatment as well as others in the future.
As always, you can serve this community with your unbiased analysis and I appreciate the time and effort you put in besides taking care of wife.
How's your wife doing?
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.


Percy, thanks for your kind words. My wife is going for a CT scan tomorrow. See my post in the general section. That's all I'm going to say right now.


I keep an eye on the DCA discussion forum over at  One of the members there is a medical oncologist, Dr. Stephen B. Strum.

I thought I'd share a message that Dr. Strum posted a few days ago. Please note, this is not a recommendation to use DCA. I'm just sharing what I learned.

Dr. Strum wrote:

I am an MD, oncologist, in cancer medicine since 1963.  I have used DCA and we have just submitted a manuscript involving a man with NHL (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) who had failed chemo and then went into a complete remission using ONLY DCA.  His remission continues now at 4 years and 8 months.

We are starting an active research protocol in the Bahamas (Nassau) shortly.  For those of you who have advanced cancer and are in dire straits, and who have access to DCA of biological grade, the dose we have used (but do not know for sure the optimal dose) is 10 mg/kg.  This is dissolved in cold water and given as two 5 mg/kg doses about 12 hours apart.  Usually we rest the patient on Saturdays and Sundays but perhaps in the first two weeks consider every day.

Adjuncts to be used with DCA are really needing clarification.  We just do not know what is best to use with DCA.  The gentlemen above used the following:

DCA mixed with 1 can of Mountain Dew (contains 55mg caffeine).
Vitamin B1 @ 500mg/day (Country Life brand).
Alpha lipoic acid 600mg twice daily (Doctor’s Best brand).
Also took Jarrow Green Tea 500mg capsule twice daily containing 74mg of EGCG per 500mg.

Caffeine in Jarrow Green Tea 500mg capsule = 35mg; therefore 70mg of caffeine + 55mg in Mountain Dew = 125mg per day caffeine.

Ideally, you need to find a healthcare practitioner who will follow the patient.

In those patients with BC (breast cancer) or CRC (colorectal cancer) it appears from the peer-reviewed literature involving human tumor cell lines (not studied in patients yet) that DCA shows synergy with 5-FU (used in both CRC and BC) and also that taxanes such as Taxol and Taxotere may have synergy with DCA.

I hope this helps.

Stephen B. Strum, MD, FACP