Two and a half years ago 27 year old Andrew Scarborough was suffering from fatigue, headaches and seizures. He suddenly collapsed with the worst headache in his life and was rushed to the hospital only to discover that he had an acutely hemorrhagic brain mass. Decompressive brain surgery and biopsy revealed a most serious form of brain cancer know as Grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma, inevitably fatal.
Andrew was devastated yet determined to fight his disease. He worked with his team of physicians and oncologists, following standard yet unproven therapies including radiation and chemotherapy. After months of ineffectiveness, major side effects, frustration, sadness and soul searching Andrew was at a crossroads.
Interestingly, Andrew was pursuing a master’s degree in nutritional therapy during this time. Although he was always health and fitness conscious his studies shook him to the core as he came to challenge standard nutritional doctrine. He wondered if a unique nutritional approach addressing the metabolic component of cancer, specifically a highly modified ketogenic diet might address his disease, seizures and symptoms.
Despite objection from Andrew’s initial doctors, he chose to discontinue standard therapies pursuing instead an unconventional approach via nutrition. Andrew was inspired by many including researchers Dominic D’agastiono, PhD, Thomas Seyfried, PhD and Adrienne Scheck, PhD who have all been seeking treatments for aggressive, rapidly growing and metabolically active cancers.
Andrew developed a highly specialized ancestral ketogenic diet based on the principles of evolutionary heath and healing. The diet is high in fat ~85%, almost void of carbohydrate and predominantly animal based nose-to-tail consumption. He also consumes ketone ester salts, specific supplements and will intermittently fast with the goal to metabolically starve his cancer.
Slowly Andrew noted improvements in energy, headaches and seizure frequency. He found an amazing group of supportive doctors including Dr. Kevin O’Neill at the Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College London where he lives. Andrew was able to stop all of his anti-seizure medication and at two years from diagnosis his doctors agreed that his tumor appeared to be in remission. His most recent scans now at two and a half years from diagnosis again demonstrate remission with a small area of remnant scar tissue.
Andrew remains determined and will continue to tweak his program including the addition of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Andrew plans to complete his studies and has been offered a research position at the Charing Cross hospital where he’s being treated, working with the Neuro-Oncology team and Dr. Scheck. The team is currently working on submitting proposals for human trials that will run in the UK and US addressing ketogenic diets alongside standard cancer treatment therapies. How cool is that! New Scientist will be featuring an article about Andrew and this research in the January 2016 issue. He’s knowledgeable, polite and humble. Although he refers to it as the Andrew method I much prefer calling his achievement The Scarborough Protocol.
Ivor Cummins and I had the opportunity to interview Andrew recently while attending Health Unplugged in London. We’ve had numerous conversations with Andrew, reviewed scans and doctor’s notes in preparation to bring you this information. Despite advances in modern medicine certain aggressive tumors remain difficult to treat. Andrew’s success to date represents a unique self-experiment that addresses cancer as a metabolic disease. I applaud Andrew’s effort along with his doctors support. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
Follow Andrew’s story on his blog: My Brain Cancer Story
Barrow Neurological Institute and Adrienne Scheck, PhD. Based in Phoenix AZ, USA
Dominic D’Agostino et al’s landmark cancer study here:
….and his great presentation on YouTube
Thomas Seyfried explains cancer as primarily a metabolic disease, not a genetic one, on YouTube
Thomas Sayfried’s book: Cancer as a Metabolic Disease
Nonprofit: The Charlie Foundation
Nonprofit: Matthews Friends
Zen, and the Art of Zero-Carb Living: Andrew discusses his progress in May of 2015
New Scientist: Ketogenic diet’s reputed anticancer credentials put to test
Metabolic therapy resources for brain cancer management from Andrew Scarbourough: Brain Cancer Options