What’s Happening in Cancer Treatment? Are We Making Progress, or Are We Stuck?

Today we’re sharing another piece from our medical contributor, “Doc Gumshoe” — we have added the stock tickers to the companies he mentions for your researching convenience, but this survey of the state of cancer research — which will hopefully be good background help to folks trying to understand the basic science behind pitches for cancer cure stocks — is not a recommendation to buy or sell any company and, as always, the words and opinions here are his own.

In the past few weeks there have been a couple of news items that define the spectrum of cancer treatment today. At one end is the news that everyone has heard about – Angelina Jolie’s decision to undergo a double mastectomy, based on her genetic profile. At the other end is the sentencing of a Los Angeles physician, Christine Daniels, to fourteen years in the slammer for putting her patients on a totally fraudulent cancer “cure” that resulted in the deaths of several patients.

I won’t say much about Angelina’s decision itself, except that to my admittedly skeptical viewpoint, it was more a matter of peace of mind than of medical necessity. Many oncologists have weighed in with the perspective that careful monitoring would in all probability have detected breast cancer in time for successful treatment. In other words, they would not recommend a similar course for all women with the BRCA1 gene.

Following Big Data

However, what her decision was based on illustrates a powerful trend in cancer treatment, and, indeed, in current medical practice: that is, increasing reliance on Big Data, in this case, on sequencing the patient’s genome and looking for correlations with genetic information about cancers. The cancer establishment likes this. They know how to do it. There is already a repository of genetic information about cancers, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), funded by the National Cancer Institute. According to some experts, including Dr Michael Yaffe of MIT, the new data that is being dug up by further genomic analysis isn’t much different from the old data already in TCGA, but the NCI is spending about a quarter of a billion dollars a year on this approach, which may or may not lead, eventually, to improved treatment. And let us not forget, please, that treatment is what it’s about. Not more data.

But it’s hard to wean human beings from doing what they know how to do. If you’re a hammer, you want to solve the problem by pounding on a nail. If you’re a drunk looking for your house keys, you look under the street light, because that’s where the light is better, even if you dropped your keys a hundred feet away.

And this approach is safe. There are no failures. The researchers program their computers, the results emerge, grants are renewed, and everybody is happy. Except, maybe, the cancer patients who are waiting for news of a cure!

Why Are People Willing To Be Fooled by the Likes of Dr Christine Daniels?

From where I sit, the short answer is that after being promised a “cure for cancer” by lots of people, from Nixon’s declaration of “War on Cancer” more than 40 years ago on, no “cure for cancer” has turned up, and the news that comes out from the medical establishment promises nothing like a genuine cure for cancer. So it’s not exactly unexpected that when someone with a legitimate medical degree promises a cure, people would believe it. Of course, there have always been fraudulent cures, pitched by hucksters and crooks of nearly infinite varieties. But the underlying soft spot they aim for is the public’s disappointment. There’s a widespread view that mainstream medicine doesn’t have really effective cancer treatments. Cancer treatment, overall, gets a bad rap.

There May Never Be “A Cure for Cancer.”

That’s because, essentially, there isn’t any such thing as “cancer” in the singular. There are many, many different cancers. Therefore it’s highly unlikely that there will ever be a “cure” in the singular. What links these multiple cancers is the propensity of cancer cells to continue to subdivide and multiply indefinitely, and also their greedy, invasive, destructive character. These common characteristics do provide a target for treatment, however, as we’ll see later.

Possible Reasons for People’s Dim View of Current Cancer Treatment

More Heart Disease Survivors Means More Cancer Fatalities

Cancer mortality rates are down, but not that much. One reason is a sort of statistical artifact: death rates from the chief killer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), are down sharply. According to the NIH, yearly heart disease mortality declined from 307.4 per 100,000 population in 1950 to 134.6 per 100,000 in 1999, and it has continued to decline steeply since then. For example, in my home state of Connecticut, mortality from heart attacks was 66.6 per 100,000 in 1999 and 41.5 in 2006. The American Heart Association calculates that if the CVD mortality rate had remained at its 1963 peak, 621,000 additional CVD deaths would have taken place annually from about 1996 onward – that’s almost 10 million people. But those folks who escape dying of heart attacks don’t live forever – lots of them survive to succumb to something else, frequently the big C.

New Drugs Are Usually Tested Only In Patients with Terminal Cancers

Another reason is that the new drugs for cancer have a huge hurdle to surmount to get approval from regulators, here or abroad. They have to demonstrate that at least they are not inferior to established treatments, which they can do only in clinical trials in patients with cancer. But these cannot be placebo-controlled trials, because it would be hugely unethical to put cancer patients in the placebo arm. Also, patients with newly-diagnosed cancers for which there are established treatments that work reasonably well are not going to consent to go into a trial where they might be on an experimental drug that might be a bust. So most new cancer drugs are studied initially in patients in whom other treatments have failed. That’s why sometimes you see that a new drug, approved by the FDA, results in only a few months longer life than the drug it was compared to. An example is a very promising drug from a booming biotech, Regeneron. Zaltrap improved survival by only a few months, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering decided not to use it, because it costs about twice as much per month ($11,000) as Avastin. But that doesn’t mean that in recently diagnosed, early stage cancers, drugs like Zaltrap might not be a significant improvement.

What Are the Real Numbers?

Here are the incidence & mortality figures for the most common cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute. These are what’s known as SEER Statistics (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results), and SEER data from the NCI are very well respected.

Type of cancer Projected new diagnoses 2012 Expected deaths 2012 Current fatality rate
All cancers 1,638,910

848,170 men

790,740 women

577,190 35.2%
Breast 226,870 39,510 17.4%
Colon/rectum 143,460 51,690 36%
Leukemia 47,150 23,540 49.9%
Liver 28,720 20,550 71.6%
Lymphoma 79,190 20,130 25.4%
Ovary 22,280 15,500 69.5%
Pancreas 43,920 37,390 85.1%
Prostate 241.740 28,170 11.7%
Skin (melanoma) 76,250 9,180 12%

 

(Note that the fatality rates are not part of the NCI SEER statistics – the expected deaths in 2012 are in patients whose diagnoses were made in previous years. The fatality rates in the new diagnoses are unknown at this time; those are my own calculations.)

The huge differences in predicted fatality rates are due to many factors – the aggressiveness of the cancer, the efficacy of the treatment modalities that are available, and the accuracy of the means of detection. The low prostate cancer fatality rate is partly due to the fact that this form of cancer progresses slowly, that detection of prostate cancer is effective (despite the efforts of the USPSTF to discourage PSA testing), and that radiation or, especially, surgery, for prostate cancer is curative in most cases. This is also true of breast cancer (and also despite the effort of the USPSTF to discourage mammograms in women in their 40s). The low melanoma fatality rate is also due to the relative ease of detection of this form of cancer. The high fatality rates for pancreatic, liver, and ovarian cancer probably have at least as much to do with the difficulty of detecting those cancers as with absence of effective treatment.

According to the National Cancer Institute, fatality rates have slightly declined in the past ten years – nothing spectacular, perhaps 1.5% over a ten year period, likely due to a combination of better detection and somewhat better treatment. Cancer prevalence in the US is about 12 million – or rather, that’s the estimated number of persons who have been diagnosed with cancer as of 2008. The NCI designates them as “cancer survivors,” meaning that they have been diagnosed and treated.

Current Cancer Treatment

If the cancer is an identifiable, locatable solid tumor, the plan is to kill it or cut it out, and poison any remaining cancer cells so that they don’t have a chance to recur. The effectiveness of surgery has greatly improved, owing mostly to enhanced imaging capabilities, as well as improved surgical skills. Surgery is often the most direct, immediate, and definitive treatment for some cancers, i.e., solid tumors that have not spread or metastasized. In some cases, surgery does not need to be followed up by any kind of drug therapy. The patient goes home, is monitored for signs of recurrence, and can genuinely be considered “cured.” However, I repeat, that’s “in some cases…”

Chemotherapy consists of giving the patient toxic chemicals that the cancer cells absorb more avidly than do the patient’s non-cancerous cells. The calculation is that the cancer cells greedily take in more of the poison than do the normal cells, so that the cancer cells die while the healthy cells survive. Nonetheless, chemotherapy can be exceedingly rough on patients and, by itself, is rarely completely curative. However, in combination with surgery, chemotherapy can result in long-term remission amounting, in effect, to a cure. A widely used cytotoxic drug is cyclophosphamide, marketed as Cytoxan, by Boehringer-Ingelheim, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Mead-Johnson, and others.

Radiation therapy has also greatly improved in effectiveness, due principally to the immensely improved accuracy of imaging techniques. External-beam radiation, which is used in solid tumors only, can now pinpoint the tumor precisely, and by changing the angle of the radiation beam in all dimensions, most of the radiation passes through the tumor only, with surrounding tissue getting much less exposure. In some cancers (e.g., prostate cancer), it’s possible to implant tiny pellets of radioactive material directly in the tumor, killing the cancer while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue.

Other Strategies for Treating Cancer

As oncologists have learned more about cancer cells, they have tried to devise ways of getting rid of them without causing harm to neighboring non-cancerous cells.

Inhibiting the reproduction of cancer cells

Cancer cells, like all cells, reproduce by mitosis, or splitting. The difference between cancerous and non-cancerous cells, however, is that non-cancerous cells are subject to apoptosis, or programmed cell death. This sounds like a bad thing, but it’s actually a good thing for the health of the host organism – we grow new cells, so that most of cells in our bodies are relatively young and healthy.

However, cancer cells, left to their own insidious devices, will continue to reproduce endlessly. The process by which they do so is complex, but it involves dividing some of the cancer cell’s crucial components, such as chromosomes and microtubules. A number of drugs can significantly inhibit the process, and have shown great clinical benefit in some cancers. Many of these drugs are descendants of a compound which was first discovered in the bark of the Pacific yew tree and named “taxol” after that tree; since then, a number of taxol-based drugs have been developed. Taxol-based agents using this mechanism include paclitaxel (Taxol, Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY)); docetaxel (Taxotere, Sanofi-Aventis (SNY)), Abraxane (a newer formulation of paclitaxel from Celgene (CELG)) and others. Other anti-mitotic agents with different mechanisms include vinorelbine (Navelbine, from Abbott (ABT)), capecitabine (Xeloda, Genentech), which inhibits DNA synthesis, and others.

Another way of preventing cancer cells from reproducing indefinitely is targeting telomerases in cancer cells. These protect the ends of genes (telomeres), but if the telomeres are damaged, the cancer cells stop replicating. It is indeed a promising mechanism of action, but the only agent so far that has shown any promise in that area is Geron’s (GERN) imetelstat (GRN-163L).

Inhibiting the capacity of cancer cells to foster the growth of blood vessels

Like all cells, cancer cells need nourishment to survive, and they get it by inducing the growth of blood vessels (i.e., angiogenesis). Several strategies have been developed to inhibit tumor angiogenesis and thus starve and kill cancer cells. One is to target vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, which cancer cells release in amounts far greater than ordinary cells. Alternatively, the receptors for VEGF can be targeted.

A widely used drug targeting VEGF is bevacizumab (Avastin, from Genentech and Roche, RHHBY). Avastin is FDA approved in the US for a range of cancers, but breast cancer approval has been problematic. It was originally approved for breast cancer in 2004, but approval was revoked in November 2011 because, although it did target VEGF, it failed to show survival or quality of life benefit in breast cancer patients. Genentech/Roche are currently conducting more than hundred clinical trials with Avastin to try to regain the breast cancer license; many or most of these are in combination with other established or emerging drugs. Avastin is approved for ovarian cancer in the European Union, but not in the U. S.

A breast cancer variant in which tumor growth is fostered by another kind of growth factor is HER2 breast cancer, which is more difficult to treat than others. HER2 stands for human epidermal growth factor type 2, which is triggered by tyrosine kinase. A few agents in particular target this cancer type – lapatinib (Tykerb, from GlaxoSmithKline), which is typically used with capecitabine (Xeloda, from Genentech), also trastuzumab (Herceptin, from Genentech). Both of these agents inhibit angiogenesis.

Mobilizing viruses to attack cancer cells

Strange as it may seem, this approach has shown some success, and some of the big pharmaceutical companies have anted up hefty sums to acquire biotechs that have promising oncolytic viruses – “oncolytic” because they lyse, or destroy, cancer cells by attacking the cell wall. The trick is to mutate the virus, so that it’s less dangerous to the human host and more lethal to the cancer cells. In 2011, Amgen (AMGN) made a deal with a company called BioVex for $1.1 billion for an oncolytic virus called BioVex, which has the capacity of attacking melanomas that cannot be treated by surgery and are consequently exceedingly difficult to treat. BioVex has demonstrated a fairly high success rate in treating these melanomas. It is based on the cold-sore virus, which is not a huge threat to the host.

There are quite a few other oncolytic viruses currently under investigation. An outfit called Cold Genesys, Inc, in California, is working on recombinant adenoviruses to target bladder, breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancers. Another California outfit, Genelux, is looking at attenuated vaccinia viruses, which have shown effectiveness in head and neck tumors and advanced solid tumors. (The vaccinia virus is used to vaccinate people against smallpox.) A Canadian firm, Oncolytics Biotech (ONCY), has an agent, Reosyn, based on one of the reoviruses, which is now in Phase 3 trials against head and neck cancers and is being studied in lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. And an Australian biotech, Viralytics Ltd (VLA in Australia, VRACY pink sheets, teensy), has a couple of agents in clinical trials, based on the coxsackie virus, against ovarian, lung, gastric, and pancreatic cancers. An advantage of some of these agents is that they don’t have to be injected into the tumor cell, but can be given intravenously.

My guess is that some of these will turn out to be effective drugs.

The T-cell strategy

Yet another mechanism that is getting considerable attention is mobilizing the human immune system, especially T-cells, to attack cancer. There has been one very successful (as well as highly publicized) foray in this area, and the news is that the NCI is focusing a lot of attention, and spending a lot of money, on this approach. There was a New Yorker article by Jerome Groopman in April of 2012, which described this approach in three patients with leukemia. The approach entails harvesting a patient’s T-cells, modifying them so that they target the patient’s specific cancer cells, and then reinfusing them. The three patients had failed standard treatment and were not offered much hope, but the T-cell treatment has resulted in remission thus far.

This strategy would not in any way lead to the development of a drug that could be more widely used in cancer patients. And it sounds to me like a “last resort” type of treatment – maximally individualized and extremely expensive, but certainly worth further investigation. It’s an example of the “data-driven” approach that I mentioned earlier, and is perhaps its single success story.

Why Doesn’t Mainstream Medicine Pay Much Attention to “Miracle Cures?”

Most physicians have seen patients recover from serious illnesses for reasons they don’t understand. When you’re talking about cancer patients, the usual term is “spontaneous remission.” If the patient happened to be using some alternative treatment, not sanctioned by the medical establishment, that cuts no mustard with most doctors – they attribute it to the “post hoc propter hoc” fallacy, meaning that if event B takes place after event A, it’s tempting to say that event A caused event B.

However, it’s worth taking a look at the phenomenon of “spontaneous remission.” I don’t think it’s good science, or common sense, to accept that something happens without a reason. Something, or a combination of somethings, brings about spontaneous remission. A reasonable conjecture is that spontaneous remissions, as well as recovery from many illnesses, has a lot to do with our immune system, which is exceedingly complex and far from being completely understood.

So there may be components in some of those miracle cures that boost the immune system and result in those mysterious spontaneous remissions. However, before mainstream medicine accepts those alternative treatment forms, the mechanism of action has to be understood, and the results have to be able to be replicated. When that happens, the alternative treatments will be alternative no longer – they will enter the mainstream.

A miracle-touting website that popped into my inbox starts out with the scare headline – “did you know you have a 1 in 4 chance of dying of cancer?”

My answer: you have a 4 in 4 chance of dying of something. Our goal should be to postpone that eventuality, and to live a long, healthy, and happy life in the meantime.

* * * * * *

I’m having a good time writing these pieces, and I’m particularly enjoying the stream of responses. I’m gathering up some of these very interesting questions and responses and will try to address them in a future commentary. My best to all.

Michael Jorrin (aka Doc Gumshoe)


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57 Comments on " What’s Happening in Cancer Treatment? Are We Making Progress, or Are We Stuck?"

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Dale
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Dale
June 7, 2013 9:34 am

I noticed you did not pick up on the use of gold nanoparticles used for targeting tumors using drugs or electromagnetic energy. Not sure if lesser known companies are using gold nanoparticles.

Richard Vedder
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Richard Vedder
June 7, 2013 9:46 am

Since we have a 4 in 4 chance of dying it becomes the very most important thing to take care of in our time on earth; is there something after this life and where will I spend eternity?

tim
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June 7, 2013 4:40 pm

Believe in the living GOD and you will have eternal life

FarmGirl
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FarmGirl
June 8, 2013 6:47 am

Prove it.

Solyom
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June 8, 2013 9:51 am

IMNSHO God seems to respect man’s/woman’s freedom to chose. Proofs for God’s existence are not compelling but are logical. Being agnostic may be logical as well. But Karen Armstrong make a good case for believing in God. I suggest reading “The Case for God”.

misterht01
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misterht01
June 10, 2013 10:46 am

I agree totally. GOD is the owner of all creations and not in subject to anything created.

robsandstrom
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robsandstrom
June 7, 2013 10:08 am
Not the type of article I have come to expect from a source of financial “truths and fiction” but I’m glad it was published and I had the opportunity to be able to read this article. This was well written and will allow me to better understand some of the next “miracle drugs” that financial newsletters and companies may tout as being the reason their stock is going to soar. But more importantly to me, is that if I or my loved one’s become one of the statistic’s I will be better prepared to understand some of the accepted methodologies… Read more »
raven
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June 7, 2013 10:22 am

Very interesting indeed. Since cancer has been rampant in my immediate family, I am very conscious of anything new regarding “cures”. I am astounded at the very high figure of “all cancers for men” compared to women. Is that correct??
Thanks for the article.

Liz R
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Liz R
June 7, 2013 11:05 am

Doc: Thoughtful and interesting piece. Of all the email that hits my inbox on a given day, yours are the ones I read thoroughly. Thankyou.

jac67
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jac67
June 7, 2013 11:13 am
I’m not sure if T cell therapy is the same as dendritic cell therapy, but a couple of companies have caught my eye relating to the later. Northwest Bio Theraputics (NWBO) and Imunocellular Theraputics (IMUC) have both has some very good success with treating cancers using dendritic cells and creating a process to teach them to target the cancer cell wherever it is in the body with NWBO in Phase III trials that may potentially have a product to sell as early as next year. Dendreon is already approved using dendritic cells to target cancer, however their high cost and… Read more »
Darrell
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Darrell
June 7, 2013 11:23 am

Please read the book written about; Renee Caisse, RN . A Canadian nurse who got a cure from the Ojiba indians. Check her out on the computer, etc. I’m old school, if it works, don’t mess with something else.

Matt Bierek
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June 7, 2013 11:57 am

Note to Karel on the very high figure; the table is a typo where the 1,638,910 number is the total of both, the men part is only 848,170 and women figure is the 790,740 as shown.

Aloysius
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Aloysius
June 7, 2013 12:01 pm
Excellent article and, no disrespect, but not a source I’d expect it from. As a still battling survivor who is fairly well read in all this, you have covered all the current approaches very well. None are perfect, cancer is complicated and it so irritates me when people say the drug companies and doctors are shutting down all the alternative voices, blah, blah, blah. My biggest issue is that I wish people would do a little research into some of those quack solutions before they tell me I just need to add this or that to my diet and that… Read more »
glennwarren
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glennwarren
June 7, 2013 12:06 pm

Dr. Jorrin:
Your table shows for All Cancers, Projected New Diagnoses2012, a thirteen-digit figure for men. Please correct this obvious typo.

Is the ‘Current Fatality Rate’ the deaths expected in 2012, or all the deaths in the out years, divided by all the cases?

Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
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June 7, 2013 1:13 pm

I think that was just a line break error on my part, apologies. Should be fixed now.

Michael Jorrin,
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Michael Jorrin (Doc Gumshoe)
June 7, 2013 1:17 pm

By my arithmetic, 848,170 (projected new diagnoses for men) plus 790,740 (women) adds to 1,638,910. A big number, not a typo; but also not 13 digits. Currrent fatality rate is SEER’s projection, based on recent fatality rates.

John Harris
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John Harris
June 7, 2013 12:06 pm
Intersting that you make little mention of Lymphomas nor of monoclonal antibodies like Rituxan, which work by enlisting your own immune system, that are often effective for lymphomas without the toxic traditional chemo. Rituxan is also used in combinatin with the toxic chemo drugs as well (like Trianda) – and indeed I am on such a combination presently, While there is no cure expected for very low grade (slow growing) lymphomas like mine, such treatment puts me in remission for 4-5 years at a time. This is my 4th set of treatments since my lymphoma was discovered in 1996.
Don Erickson
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June 7, 2013 12:16 pm
This guy is appreciative of this summary of data published in this venue. In fact I’m going to ensure my Urologist gets a copy. This is one of the best ‘generalizations’ of data I’ve seen in such a condensed manner. Most are too lengthy or to difficult to comprehend. THank you! (don Erickson is a prostate cancer since 2008. The biopsy indicated Gleason 9 (only 12 % of all prostate cancers). The selected treatment was IMRT (imaging radiation therapy) which put the cancer in submission for two years. At the end of 2012 I experienced post radiation tissue damage (experienced… Read more »
Alex Carne
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Alex Carne
June 7, 2013 12:34 pm

Thanks for the article. I worked in cancer research for over 10 years in the UK and I agree that there will never be a single cure due to the ubiquitous nature of the diferent types of cancer.However, it still amazes me how little progress has been made in the treatment even though I have been retired now for 10 years from cancer research but I appreciate the update as I am frequently being asked when will there be a cure. At least I can now reply in a more informed manner.

Jim Gibson
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June 7, 2013 12:49 pm
Dendritic cell treatments have been done in Mexico for more than a decade. That was part of my lifesaving treatment regimen for a 98% fatal lung cancer. Blood is taken from one vein while it is centrifuged and then put back into another vein all in a continuing process. Some of the dendritic cells are captured by the centrifuge. These cells are treated and a portion is reentered into the patient and the rest frozen for injection progressively over a period of months. The equipment used to do the treatment is made by Baxter Labs of Ventura, California. But it… Read more »
FarmGirl
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FarmGirl
June 8, 2013 6:57 am

Thank you for telling the truth! The 1975 American Cancer Society yearbook said: “If you have a strong immune system, you will not get cancer.” That sentence was removed from later editions.

Read The Cancer Answer by Albert Carter to understand how people get cancer. Read Cancer-Free by Bill Henderson to understand how to cure it.

john7100
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john7100
June 9, 2013 2:15 pm

If the drug companies can’t figure a way to profit from cheap or alternative cancer treatments, then it is the government’s and private organizations’ job to get together to run clinical trials on the low cost treatments.

Joseph E Fasciani
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January 26, 2016 9:40 pm
Before Dr Ralston died, he offered his therapeutic approach to the five Big Pharma w/o charge, but they refused to make it. Why? Because in Canada you cannot patent a food or food component, so they would not get the $$$$$ they wanted! It laid in the University of Winnipeg’s Faculty of Medicine Archives for more than 40 years, until European reseachers used the Internet to see what had been published and/or neglected. Go to this site for a good summary: http://www.altheadistributor.com/john-ralston-davidson/, which includes a CTV documentary about him. I live in Esquimalt, by the way, and still very active… Read more »
david
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June 10, 2013 4:09 pm

where did you go in mexico?

T.Carroll
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T.Carroll
June 7, 2013 12:59 pm

Excellent article which clearly explained many aspects of a very difficult and emotionally-charged issue. I look forward to others explaining medical matters, not only cancer, in understandable language. Thank you.

Alferedo W. Boysen
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Alferedo W. Boysen
June 7, 2013 2:57 pm

The specialist for alternative treatments is Moss, see http://www.cancerdecisions.com
Her charges for advice and 6 month phone follow up, from hyperthermia to hydrogensuperoxyde and many more .

Jill Krol
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June 7, 2013 4:03 pm

Jim Gibson, you are blessed and may you see many more sunny days. My Sister did not survive a 3 1/2 year battle with ovarian cancer. I do want all of you who might know someone battling cancer that cfoa.org, which is completely free, will send a box of essentials to your door step. Your financial situation doesn’t matter. You do have to sign up and have your doctor sign the form.

johnnyb
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johnnyb
June 7, 2013 5:26 pm

The truth will set you free. Travis thanks for considering stepping outside the box as you have been selectively doing these past few months to present the “Village” an interesting essay which is very informative. “Trait vs Fate” an article in the May’03 Discovery Magazine is an extensive look into a surprising reason why some of us have certain symptoms and illnesses that others escape.

Rusty Brown in Canada
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Rusty Brown in Canada
June 8, 2013 3:21 am

Johnnyb: you mean “Discover Magazine” not “Discovery (sic) Magazine”. The latter appears to be religious propaganda aimed at young people with the obvious intent of steering them away from genuine scientific inquiry and onto biblical explanations for everything.

See the genuine article at:
http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13-grandmas-experiences-leave-epigenetic-mark-on-your-genes#.UbLamkDVCSo

johnnyb
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johnnyb
June 7, 2013 5:34 pm

Oops. I meant to say the May ‘2013 issue of Discovery Magazine not 2003. Thanks

who noze
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June 7, 2013 9:04 pm

I was diagnosed w/ ca of the lung the cure ws removal of prt of my lung now have shortness of breath as a result

leona-87
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leona-87
June 7, 2013 9:53 pm

“Let food be your medicine” is a saying I concur with. Ask any oncologist if cancer can survive in an alkaline environment. I am told the answer is no. So why are the treatments not aimed at raising our body ph? Answer $$$’s. Follow the money, Do we not all know that insurance and drug companies rule? IMHO

UweM
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UweM
June 8, 2013 9:47 am

Raising the body’s pH??? Leona, most cellular functions are driven by the actions of enzymes, complicated molecules that can only do their work if their molecular structure is intact. That structure is very dependent on the cell (body) maintaining a specific intracellular pH range, which is extremely narrow. Trying to change that would be akin to raising the body’s temperature, and as you know, even a small change has a significant effect.

dcfitser1
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dcfitser1
June 8, 2013 11:06 am

Excellent and informative article on very complex and important topi! Thanks!

Darrell Reid
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Darrell Reid
June 8, 2013 6:12 pm

There are numerous purported cancer cures of interest and very believable testimonials.
Health Science Institute reports many which seem worthwhile…I have been a member of HSI for many years and find their newsletter very beneficial. The stories of suppressed
medical treatments are legion, and I find it hard to believe that a nation that could decide to send men to the moon and accomplish such a feat within ten years could spend almost a century and Trillions of dollars without finding a viable solution other than “cut and burn” radiation/chemotherapy.

djoka
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djoka
June 9, 2013 10:22 am

Many thanks for very informative article.
George,
gmgorex@rogers.com

Ken Fortin
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Ken Fortin
June 9, 2013 10:22 am

Cancer cures in the U.S. are readily accepted as long as they’re not too good. After all, we would not want to put a multi trillion dollar industry out of business now, would we !?

gerry
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June 9, 2013 8:25 pm
I have had the great privilege of being a doctor for thirty six years ,I have not made a great deal of money nor do I want to. I work in Europe,so maybe things are different in the U SA But when I read so much negativity and suspicion towards the medical profession ,I do not recognise it as the profession to which I belong. As Michael Jorrin writes this is a very complicated and as of yet largely unknown science. No doctor in my experience would hold back or hide any piece of knowledge if he knew it would… Read more »
John Monaghan
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John Monaghan
June 10, 2013 7:40 pm
My wife Died in August of 2009 of misdiagnosed Acral Lentiginous melanoma. She is (was) of Danish and Irish ancestry. If she had seen an Asian or Black doctor i suppose the diagnosis would have been correct. As it was she had the condition for three years,it was misdiagnosed and in spite of the fact that she saw perhaps 8 people with post graduate degrees went through procedure after test after procedure for 5 months the disease remained unidentified and the course of the disease was missed. The initial recognition that she had cancer was from a laboratory, the MD… Read more »
misterht01
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misterht01
June 10, 2013 10:50 am

I’m not sure about cancer drugs but Ian Cooper of Speed Retirement is relentlessly pumping BLGX (Biologix Hair Inc.) by saying “it treats the TRUE cause of hair loss” and the best opportunity to get in is now.

hblytt
Member
9
hblytt
June 10, 2013 10:08 pm

A good friend of mine has been a cancer researcher at a medical school for 30 years. His educated recommendation: eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, less red meat and refined carbohydrates.

hblytt
Member
9
hblytt
June 10, 2013 10:12 pm

He stresses this is for prevention & treatment both. Your best defence is your immune system.

Joseph E Fasciani
Guest
0
June 11, 2013 11:07 am
A very fine posting, one of the BEST on the Internet, IMO! You may wish to learn about a remarkable Canadian MD, Dr John Raulston Davison, of Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a cancer specialist he researched novel approaches, finally discovering materials in nine-day old fertilised chicken eggs in 1929, which greatly enhanced his patients immune systems and aided their recovery. His work was well-documented and peer-reviewed, however after his passing in 1943 attention moved to other researchers. It wasn’t until almost 50 years later that the pursuit of fertilised egg extract was revived by Norway’s foremost expert on egg research, Dr.… Read more »
Isabelle
Guest
0
Isabelle
June 6, 2015 4:21 pm
Where can I find Laminine in Victoria, BC? I just found out about this product and it fascinates me. If it truly works the way they say, I am ready to try it myself. It just makes sense that attending to the immune system is what we need. The body can repair itself given it has what it needs (in this case the full spectrum of amino acids). It is clear to me that all the enzymes need to be present in order to heal ANYTHING. I was looking at stem cell research and this came to me through another… Read more »
Joseph E Fasciani
Guest
0
January 26, 2016 5:59 pm
Dear Isabelle; I regret the overly-long delay in responding to you, but I’d just left for Quadra Island, BC, to help my daughter Lela prep her house for sale in Spring, 2016, and I only got back a few weeks ago. There were more than 6,000 emails for me to sort through, and of course I missed a lot of the ones from some websites, such as this one. I suggest you research this site http://www.cluuz.com/Default.aspx?r=10&list=y&yahoo=y&deep=y&p=true&c=true&ph=true&e=true&a=true&d=true&dt=false&q=Dr+John+Raulston+DavisonDr for several excellent articles about this very good man, who deserved the Nobel in medicine, and cured or greatly improved so many people. My… Read more »
Joseph E Fasciani
Guest
0
January 27, 2016 1:19 pm
And speaking of insomnia… I had from birth a blocked R nostril that reduced the flow of air to my brain by at least 50% or more, causing very severe sleep apnea. It was so bad that until I started on the Big L as I like to call it that I’d never slept more than 4.5 hours in my life. I was awake & alert the rest of the time, and never took naps. It allowed me to lead an unbelievably productive life, but I was difficult to live w/in a marriage, as well as crashing cars. In spite… Read more »
Myron Martin
Author
206
June 11, 2013 7:17 pm
Cancer was virtually unknown a century ago, so would it not be prudent to ask, “what has changed” in our modern society in terms of environment and food supply? Our grand-parents were mainly farmers and produced much of their own food and most importantly, ate it in their NATURAL STATE, i.e fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains ground at the local mill, freshly slaughtered, grass fed animals etc. They did not eat highly processed foods that needed artificial chemical preservatives. Nitrites and nitrates are particularly suspect and dangerous, I personally do not eat processed meats as a regular part of… Read more »
Joseph E Fasciani
Guest
0
January 26, 2016 6:17 pm

Are you aware of the substantial research that has been done in Europe, mostly in peer-reviewed Italian medical journals, that demonstrate the presence of sugars in EVERY form of cancer?
Also go to http://rense.com/ for the extensive archives there on this and related medical topics.
Good health and thanks for your good message!

Michael Jorrin,
Guest
0
Michael Jorrin (aka Doc Gumshoe)
June 12, 2013 1:40 pm
Reading all your comments was a definite high! I’ve noted some of the specific semi-alternative treatment modalities that some of you mentioned, & in the next Doc Gumshoe installment I’ll be poking at some of them to see what makes them tick. A recurrent theme seems to be that clinical trials & subsequent FDA approval of drugs is artificially limited by Big Pharma’s reluctance to spend huge amounts of money on new drug development unless the prospects are that the drug will sell for big bucks, and inexpensive remedies don’t fit that pattern. Is there an element of truth in… Read more »
s111
Irregular
0
s111
June 13, 2013 4:45 am
gary
Guest
0
gary
June 14, 2013 12:27 pm

Great article. would love to see you dive into alternative treatments and expose the fake ones from those with a track record of recovery and cure.

ezmoney
Member
2
ezmoney
August 3, 2013 8:33 pm
Take a look at INOVIO Pharmaceuticals Ticker symbol (INO). they won first in class for phase one for their Aids vaccine. Peer reviewed at universities. They are in phase one and two and three for various block buster therapies… clinical trials for Aids , hep b, hep c , hemorrhagic fever… They own 400 patents in synthetic DNA technology. Using Synthetic DNA made from nano materials infused in purified water and hit with an electrical charge device before injection… it’s called electroporation… this is technology that will totally disrupt the biotech industry. Paradigmshift about to happen… Watch the july 2… Read more »
ezmoney
Member
2
ezmoney
August 3, 2013 9:40 pm
Here is more info from Univerity of Pennsylvania, Synthetic DNA http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23659301 Expert Rev Vaccines. 2013 May;12(5):537-54. doi: 10.1586/erv.13.33. Synthetic DNA vaccine strategies against persistent viral infections. Villarreal DO, Talbott KT, Choo DK, Shedlock DJ, Weiner DB. Source University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Abstract The human body has developed an elaborate defense system against microbial pathogens and foreign antigens. However, particular microbes have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to evade immune surveillance, allowing persistence within the human host. In an effort to combat such infections, intensive research has focused on the… Read more »
noel garrido
Guest
0
August 30, 2013 9:58 am

Fortify our immune system says it all. How? Eat lots of veggies and fruits, exercise to prevent CVD, follow the Basic Four Food Groups diet, take supplements as needed. I am 67 years old and in excellent health. :))

Ilenia
Guest
0
January 30, 2014 11:08 pm

Thanks for sharing these informations to the readers. All the informations given in this page is new up to my knowledge. There are many patients waiting for the treatments.

Mikha
Guest
0
September 12, 2015 6:36 am
was positive. They came up with no caecnr present. So my doctor was very adamant that he was not wrong and so I went back to the hospital two months later and they did their own biopsy which came back negative. In fact they were surprised that my Urologist even did a biopsy on a PSA that was only 2.0 and that had increased one point in a year based on my family doctor’s information. Here are some original mistakes to watch out for all of you who may experieince this: my family doctor who said my PSA went up… Read more »
Rusty Brown in Canada
Guest
0
Rusty Brown in Canada
January 27, 2016 8:36 am

“…Something, or a combination of somethings,
brings about spontaneous remission…”
Or, as the doctor might say “what have you been eating lately? What have you added to your diet?”

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