Dichloroacetic acid, which can also be known as bichloroacetic acid, consists of the chemical formula CHCl2 (BCA). It is similar to acetic acid but with two of its methyl group hydrogens replaced by chlorine atoms. Many different forms of dichloroacetates, such as its salts and esters, may have various possible uses. Recently, research has been conducted to see if dichloroacetates can be utilized as a potential form of medication due to their capability of suppressing pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase.
Studies done on living organisms and lab specimens suggest that DCA may slow down the progression of certain types of cancer, but there is not enough evidence at this time to recommend it as a form of treatment. DCA is an organic acid that contains halogens and dissociates into dichloroacetate when mixed with water, boasting a pKa of 1.35. However, it can be dangerous if inhaled, as it can cause damage to the mucous membranes and airways of the respiratory tract.
It has been found that Asparagopsis taxiformis seaweed contains a small quantity of dichloroacetic acid (DCA). This is formed when chlorine is added to drinking water, and is also a bi-product of the breakdown of chlorine-based drugs and compounds. To make DCA, trichloroacetic acid can be reduced, or a combination of chloral hydrate, calcium carbonate, sodium cyanide, and water with hydrochloric acid can be mixed. An alternative method is to mix hypochlorous acid with acetylene.
The effectiveness of chemical vaporization therapy is proven through the utilization of DCA and TCA for both medicinal treatments like the cauterization of genital warts and aesthetic functions like chemical peels and tattoo removal. Additionally, these chemicals can be employed to target and eliminate healthy cells.
Despite the fact that research revealed DCA was safe in a randomized trial, it had no beneficial effects on babies born with congenital lactic acidosis. When tested on 15 children with MELAS, a disorder involving reduced mitochondrial activity causing lactic acidosis, the drug resulted in severe nerve damage and no meaningful advantage, so the trial needed to be stopped prematurely. DCA was observed to reduce lactic acid levels in adult cancer patients, yet it had no tangible benefits for their welfare and did not increase their lifespan.
The results of multiple tests that compared DCA to other options showed that DCA did not have any beneficial effect in this case. This was regardless of the initial reports and lab experiments that had proposed it might help with lactic acidosis. Furthermore, the drug toxicity levels rose so much that the participants could not continue using it to do further tests.
In 2007, Evangelos Michelakis and his team of researchers from the University of Alberta revealed that administering sodium dichloroacetate (the sodium form of dichloroacetic acid) had a shrinking effect on tumors in rats and eliminated cancerous cells in laboratory testing. This discovery was featured in an article in New Scientist, which generated much interest among readers due to its potential to provide an accessible, safe and effective treatment for many types of cancer with DCA.
In the editorial that accompanied the study, it was highlighted that because pharmaceutical companies are unable to legally protect the cancer remedy through patenting, they have no motivation to pursue its approval. A later article in the same journal looked into potential harmful side effects such as nerve damage. It is currently illegal in the United States to offer any chemicals that are claimed to be cancer cures without prior approval from the Federal Drug Administration. Visit DCA Guide
The American Cancer Society reported in 2012 that there was insufficient proof to suggest that DCA should be utilized for cancer treatment. Medical experts caution that before using DCA, extreme care must be taken, and it should not be utilized outside of a supervised clinical experiment.
If you are looking to acquire the chemical, you might have a hard time. A swindler was convicted and sentenced to 33 months in prison because he deceived cancer patients by telling them the white powder he sold had the drug DCA in it, when it was just simple starch.
However, only a few people with glioblastoma were part of the single study using DCA with real people; it was not done to see how effective it was against the disease. The purpose was to find out if a particular dosage could be taken with no negative outcomes, such as neuropathy.
The five people who took part in the study were already receiving other treatments. Tests in lab and animal settings imply that DCA could potentially be used to eliminate glioblastoma from the body by making its changed mitochondria depolarized, causing the cancer cells to self-destruct. Experiments with neuroblastomas, which lack a typical mitochondrial structure, indicated that DCA had a successful impact on malignant, indestructible cells.
In 2016, a case report was done to explore the possibility of using DCA to address cancers impacting the central nervous system. Two years later, a study was conducted that showed that DCA could cause tumor cells to transition their metabolism from glycolysis to mitochondrial OXPHOS (the Warburg effect) and boost the levels of oxidative stress. This intensified reaction was not observed in normal cells.
In 2008, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology revealed that DCA trials had not resulted in any neuropathy, although this had been the cause for the termination of certain clinical studies. It is still uncertain how DCA causes this side effect, however laboratory studies on neurons have demonstrated that it can lead to a dose- and time-dependent removal of the protective layer around nerve cells. This demyelination was found to be somewhat reversible once the medication is stopped. However, in 2006 Kaufman et al. suggested that the damage was instead a length-dependent condition that affected the axons of sensory neurons and did not involve demyelination.
Researchers have been looking into whether DCA could be a beneficial treatment for those with chronic heart failure resulting from blocked blood vessels. Additionally, DCA may help speed up metabolism by increasing NADH levels, although if oxygen is present in sufficient quantities, NADH will be used up.