We are not winning the battle on cancer. The reason we are losing the battle against cancer is because the typical cancer establishment, focusing on external therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, have failed to recognize that cancer is present, because the immune system quit doing its job. Certainly they would reply and say we know the immune system is defunct. Then we would ask, why is it that most research and medical advances, over the last 50 years, have been predominantly about chemotherapy and radiation therapy? The answer of course is obvious. Money!!
We would likely all admit, even if we had to recover from surgery and deal with the toxic and damaging effects of chemotherapy and radiation, that we would do it, with little apprehension, if the remission rates were better than 75 percent. But we know, depending upon when cancer is found, the effectiveness and heroism of these three major therapies, fail to often to recover and secure even two years for most patients.
Perhaps our failings in general have been, because we do not have a unified cause of the rise of cancer. Genetics, environment, hormones, lifestyle, diet, emotions have all been linked to cancer. The reality is, its all of the above, and if that is true, then it will take a whole body approach to eradicate and return the body to a complete state of health, disease free.
So why do we still continue to participate and let the cancer specialists dictate monotherapies. Why are we not focusing on improving pathways of detoxification and elimination for the purpose of enhancing the immune system. It is true that both sides of medicine, the popular or current ones in majority favor and the new kids on the block (the alternative) docs, have neither found a perfect cure. Each has had its own successes and too many failures. Why not apply both sides simultaneously? Does it not make sense to improve and enhance the immune system while doing surgery and other heroic measures to slow down or stop a cancerous spread.
In the past few decades many theories on the rise of cancer have been proposed, extensively studied, and yet have failed to provide significant advances in treatment options or improved mortality. Neither surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation are designed to remind, reprogram, or stimulate the immune system to go after cancer. No in fact, all three are known to suppress, distract, and even destroy the only thing that can on its own destroy cancer.
Many alternative medicine doctors, have had extensive training in cancer alternatives, thus offering many supportive options to mainstream protocols. The addition of complementary medical therapies, to enhance, support, or some ways replace standard treatment protocols does improve outcomes. It has been theorized that cancer outcomes would improve greater than 50% overall with a combined approach.
Alternative cancer care may be best described as complementary care, combines the best of western medicine and naturopathic or alternative medicine for the benefit of the patient as a whole. Cancer is a systemic disease and though it may be isolated through radiology to a defined area, we treat the whole body and person to eradicate cancer, reduce risk of metastasis, and reduce risk of cancer recurrence. To this end we find it highly beneficial to involve the leading doctors in every field of specialty to do their part in helping a patient prevent cancer or achieve a quick and permanent cancer remission.
The fight against cancer begins within. The immune system is the key, as it works directly with the nervous and endocrine systems. The emotions we express as we face any disease can flatten or enhance parts of the immune system, helping us win the battle or letting the body succumb. Hope comes from self action. Taking control of a disease, through gaining knowledge and applying that information is an act of faith. Successful treatment requires changes in diet, lifestyle, and thinking, each contribution and enhancing immune awareness and activity.
OXYGEN DEPRIVATION LEADS to CANCER
The foundation of cancer treatment at East Valley Naturopathic Doctors is based on the profound research of Otto Warburg. Otto Warburg, M.D.,Ph.D., proved that a 35% reduction in oxygen caused any cell to either die or turn cancerous. Cancer is the body, at the cellular level, attempting to survive by reverting to a primitive survival mechanism. Surprisingly, it’s that simple. Most normal healthy cells get their energy by using oxygen in a process called “respiration.”
This can be contrasted with the way cells utilize energy without sufficient oxygen, called “fermentation.” Fermentation of sugar provides a way for cells to keep going even in the presence of partial oxygen deprivation. In the presence of oxygen deficiency, cells that can’t obtain enough energy through fermentation perish. But the cells which succeed in utilizing fermentation exhibit their innate will to survive; these are the ones that don’t die from the oxygen deficiency.
As directed by Nature, in using this alternative source of energy, our cells are fulfilling their primary mission, which is to stay alive and reproduce. This takes place on all levels for all living things, and in the case of oxygen deficiency, cells are struggling to survive in a hostile environment of humans’ own making. That’s right, we unknowingly have forced our own cells to become cancerous. After it begins, the disease worsens, since most humans hosting it never feel the cancer growing and so we don’t take corrective measures. Once it shows up in lab tests or imaging studies, you’ve been hosting the cancer cells for years, often decades.
Nature has given every cell the potential to survive without oxygen, through fermentation. If that potential is not developed enough, then the cell will die when the oxygen drops below the 35% threshold. If none of our cells could run without oxygen, they would die immediately with no possible chance of future survival.
Chronic deficiency of oxygen damages the mitochondria (energy producers) of the cell so the cell, if it can, reverts to the ancient energy source of fermentation of sugar. A cancer cell running on fermentation can stay alive (without growing) with just 20% of a normal cell’s energy. But one major problem is that this method is very inefficient. The cells that can run on fermentation without oxygen stay alive and become more prevalent as the other cells die.
There is a huge price to be paid: lack of cellular intelligence. These cells have the intelligence of “dumb yeast.” Cancer is not an “ultra intelligent” entity, as many misled researchers portray; instead, it is the “idiot cell” that can survive but do little more than reproduce more “idiot cells.” So these cells lose their differentiation as functional parts of the body and spread as useless masses of tissue, eventually interfering with and shutting down the body’s functions if nothing is done to prevent it.
Cancer is a Systemic Problem, Not a Local One. Many physicians think that cancer is a localized issue, meaning only the affected tissue is the problem because the genes are ruined there. This is incorrect. Cancer is not and has never been genetic in origin. What is correct is that the cancerous tissue is the MOST OXYGEN DEPRIVED TISSUE; that’s why that particular tissue became cancerous. It is established that chronic inflammation, as induced by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and environmental toxins, results in low oxygen saturation in local tissue. All treatments provided by East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, are targeted toward reversal of this oxygen deprivation and enhancing immune function that targets cancer cells.
Whether a patient chooses to participate completely with standard chemotherapy and radiation protocols, alternative medicine can reduce chemotherapy and radiation induced cancer by 80-100%, increase effectiveness of both chemotherapy and radiation therapy, reduce risk of metastases, stunt cancer growth and spread, increase life expectancy and reduce side effects. Alternative medicine is absolutely beneficial and perhaps completely necessary for cancer eradication and permanent remission.
Dr. Otto Warburg
Otto Warburg has been referred to as the greatest biochemist of the 20th century; the sheer number and magnitude of his discoveries qualify him as the most accomplished biochemist of all time.22 Dr. Warburg ranks with Galileo, Newton, Pauling, Feynman, and Einstein in terms of the importance of his discoveries. Dr. Warburg earned his Doctor of Chemistry at Berlin University in 1906, after initially studying under the great German chemist, Emil Fischer. Warburg then studied medicine and earned his Doctor of Medicine at Heidelberg University in 1911.23 His father was a famous physicist and university professor, and highly influenced young Warburg’s analytical ability. The famous biologist (and Nobel Prize-winner), Hans Krebs, tells us in his 1981 book,24 that Warburg had formed his life’s ambition to cure cancer (Dr. Warburg’s mother died of cancer) prior to his graduation from the university, and that, “…[It] became his ambition to make a major contribution to research into cancer and especially to find a cure.
Although he did not begin to work specifically on cancer until 1922, much of his earlier work appears in retrospect to have been a preparation for his fundamental attack on cancer.”25 In 1918, the year World War I ended, Warburg was appointed Professor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology in Berlin-Dahlem.26 In the 1920s, he carried on the research on respiratory enzymes, certain vitamins and minerals that the body requires for the utilization of oxygen in the cells, which eventually earned him the Nobel Prize in 1931. Today, these vitamins and minerals are termed “coenzymes.” In or about 1930, a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation was used to establish the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Cell Physiology in Dahlem, a suburb of Berlin. Dr. Warburg was appointed its director in 1931, and he remained there for the rest of his career.
In his 1931 presentation speech for Dr. Warburg’s Nobel Prize, Professor E. Hammarsten of the Royal Caroline Institute, member of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, made clear what he believed to be the groundbreaking nature of Dr. Warburg’s anticancer discoveries: “….The medical world expects great things from your experiments on cancer and other tumors, experiments which seem already to be sufficiently far advanced to be able to furnish an explanation for at least one cause of the destructive and unlimited growth of these tumors.”
Dr. Warburg Fostered Other Nobel Prize Winners. It is also worth noting that three of the scientists who studied and worked under Dr. Warburg’s tutelage—Otto Fritz Meyerhof, Hans Adolf Krebs and Axel Hugo Theodor Theorell—went on to win Nobel Prizes for their own discoveries—an unprecedented accomplishment. Dr. Warburg was one of the first cancer researchers and his insights and discoveries were incredible. Despite his early successes and honors, Dr. Warburg continued to make major fundamental discoveries throughout his later years as well, capping off an amazingly fruitful 60-year career in research. In addition, Dr. Warburg often created new tools for his research. For example, he discovered how to measure the pressure of oxygen in a living cell by developing a special manometer to measure the partial pressure of oxygen (pressure attributed to oxygen only)—a very important development that led to his discovery that low oxygen concentration and pressure always presaged the development of cancer. His insight in the area of experimental biochemical technique was singular. Dr. Warburg never lectured students, never served on committees, and never performed administrative work. He preferred to be regarded as an artisan―a highly skilled technician—and selected his staff on their technical ability only.
Dr. Warburg’s father was a noted physicist and Warburg learned to solve medical problems in the manner of a physicist. His training and background were very different than his contemporaries or today’s cancer researchers. Maybe this deficiency of training is the root cause of today’s cancer researcher’s failures.
The importance of Dr. Warburg’s achievement was that he isolated the functional prime cause of cancer. Rather than working on a theoretical level too far removed from the physiological realities of cancer to be able to provide practical therapies and preventive programs, he described the actual conditions in the cells that set up and cause cancer, and by doing this, made it possible for others to later develop functional, practical ways to inhibit the development of cancer. Dr. Warburg spent the last 50 years of his life placing a significant emphasis on cancer research. It is appalling that no significant principle out of his numerous discoveries has been utilized by the U.S. medical research community for cancer prevention, treatment and remission retention. Despite the expression of opinions disputing the direction and validity of Warburg’s work, no scientist or researcher has ever disproved the validity, correctness or applicability of these important discoveries to the prevention and cure of cancer.
One important cancer scientist never wavered in his support for Dr. Warburg’s discoveries about the prime cause of cancer. In 1937, Dean Burk became a co-founder of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the United States. He headed its Cytochemistry department for over three decades. From 1950 until 1969, Burk spent most of his summers in Berlin, translating Warburg’s works into English. Burk himself wrote more than 250 scientific articles, and he won the American Chemical Society’s Hillebrand Prize in 1953 and the Gerhard Domagk Prize in 1965 “for distinguishing the differences between a normal cell and the one damaged by cancer.” Dean Burk co-authored with Hans Lineweaver the most frequently cited paper in biochemistry, “The determination of enzyme disassociation constants” (Journal of the American Chemical Society, 1934(9). At the National Cancer Institute since 1939, Dr. Burk retired as head of cytochemistry there in 1974. Dean Burke’s work was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.27 While other scientists became increasingly focused on aberrant genes and viruses as the supposed source of cancer in man, Burk continued to give full credit and credibility to Dr. Warburg’s discoveries about the formation of cancer cells. Burk never agreed with those who had replaced the search for truth with the more fashionable and fund-generating genetics research. Dr. Burk supported Dr. Warburg throughout his career and lifetime. Many universities, like Harvard, Oxford, and Heidelberg have awarded Dr. Warburg honorary degrees in recognition of his accomplishments. Unfortunately, a practical anticancer solution wasn’t available in Warburg’s time, like it is today.
Otto Warburg discovered, and clearly stated, the prime, most basic cause of cancer: too little oxygen to the cell. “We find by experiment about 35% inhibition of oxygen respiration already suffices to bring about such a transformation during cell growth.” That’s it! It sounds very simple, doesn’t it? Just 1/3 less oxygen than normal and you contract cancer. Based on meticulous experiments that he and many others verified numerous times, Dr. Warburg discovered and stated that the prime, number one cause of cancer is simply too little oxygen in the cell (hypoxia).
This cancer/oxygen connection information was published numerous times in current cancer journals. For example, in 1993, it was stated that “…[T]hat tumor oxygenation as determined with this standardized procedure appears to be a new independent prognostic factor influencing survival in advanced cancer of the uterine cervix, and, “The Cox proportional hazards model revealed that the median pO2 and the clinical stage according to the FIGO are independent, highly significant predictors of survival and recurrence-free survival, and in 1999, “Tumor oxygenation affects the prognosis of head and neck cancer independently of other known prognostic variables.”30 Obviously, today’s cancer researchers know lack of oxygen is related to cancer and its spread independently of any other cause, but they have no idea where to start to solve the cellular oxygenation problem.
Just by decreasing a cell’s oxygen content by about one-third, cancer is automatically induced. Nothing more is required for cancer to develop. Surprisingly, you won’t feel anything is wrong. This is why so many people develop cancer and are shocked because aside from having low energy, they didn’t feel sick. Dr. Warburg’s discovery was verified numerous times both in turning normal cells cancerous and showing that cancer doesn’t develop in highly oxygenated areas.
Secondary cancer causes. Virtually every supposed cause of cancer mentioned today in the health and nutritional press is a secondary cause. Secondary causes include things such as environment, chemical carcinogens, environmental and medical radiation, transfats, food additives, the chemicals in cigarette smoke, viruses, and even genetic mutations. There are innumerable secondary causes of cancer, and minimizing them and their harmful effects can be helpful in preventing cancer. But endlessly pursuing new secondary causes, like smoking, without explaining specifically what common effect they have on the cells has never, and will never, lead researchers to a real cancer cure. Dr. Warburg cautioned us again and again about wasting precious time pursuing secondary causes. Make no mistake about this, the thing every secondary cause of cancer has in common with every other one is that it leads, directly or indirectly, to insufficient oxygen in the cells. Therefore, if we directly address the question of how to get sufficient oxygen to the cells, we will have minimized the danger from every type of secondary cause.
What is a benign tumor according to Dr. Warburg? The cells of both tumors demonstrate essentially the same “mindlessness”—lost structure. Dr. Warburg had already verified and published this fact in 1925 in,The Journal of Cancer Research;. Here’s the important point:33 “[T]here has again arisen the tumor type—benign or malignant, depending upon the duration of the oxygen deficit.” The differences between malignant and benign tumors are differences in degree [of compromised respiration – DURATION of lack of oxygen] rather than kind.
The majority of this educational portion on Dr. Otto Warburg is gratefully provided by: Prof. Brian Scott Peskin, B.S.E.E., M.I.T
DIETARY PROTOCOLS for CANCER TREATMENT and PREVENTION
Five major factors describe the best diet for cancer and detoxification. First, the choices in food will cause the system to become more alkaline and less acidic. Second, the choices will reduce the common food intolerances known to cause fatigue and immune distractions. Thirdly, the food choices will lead to a reduction in known carcinogens. And fourth, food choices will have a greater concentration of living and active cofactors, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Lastly, food choices will lead to immune improvement by reducing the sources of foods that directly feed cancer and suppress immune function.
Alkaline diets concentrate on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and essential oils as the base diet. Avoidance of animal proteins is necessary, even if for a time. This means for sure avoid meats of any kinds, eggs, and dairy. Casein, which is the protein in dairy, is the only known protein to date, to be directly linked to cancer causation. The protein requirements for this type of diet, can be met with a focus on mixed non-gluten grains and legumes in at least 1 meal daily. Other protein sources can include the addition of soy, rice, or pea protein powders to smoothies or fresh juice.
Let fresh raw foods dominate the diet. Eat plentiful amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These are best consumed whole, unprocessed, organic, varied, and raw. Shop in the outer isles of the supermarket where fruits, vegetables and whole, unprocessed foods are found. Purchase Organic foods when possible. Visit www.foodnews.org/ for the most important fruits and vegetables to buy organic.
Consume fresh juiced vegetables and fruits two meals daily, as this can change the bodies metabolic tendencies and support detox faster than any other way. To the fresh juices you may add protein powders, and essential fatty acids as described below for additional and beneficial calories.
Consume quality essential oils in a 1:1 or 2:1 mixture of Omega 6 to Omega-3 oils. EFA supplementation significantly minimizes the risk of lack of cellular oxygen absorption which is the prime cause of cancer. Choose Udo’s or Barleans brand oils which are cold-pressed and un-adultered parent oils. If fish oil is used, choose a Parent Essential Oil (PEO) such as cod liver oil. Do not use derivatives such as DHA, EPA, ethyl ester or triglyceride from. Avoid fat consumption from any processed oil, other than cold-pressed nut and seed oils, olive oil and fats naturally found in nature. Dose 30-45 grams daily which is approximately 2-3 tablespoons.
Avoid common food intolerances or as determined through IgG Food Intolerance Testing. Firstly, avoid gluten containing grains including wheat, barley, oats, and rye. Gluten has become the most widespread food intolerance robbing the body of energy, stimulating autoimmunity, and distracting immune function. Wheat and gluten containing grains are found in biscuits, bologna, bouillon cubes, cakes, cereals, cookies, cooked meat dishes, chocolate candy, corn bread, crackers, doughnuts, dumplings, cocoa malt, flour, gin, gluten breads, gravies, pancakes, ice cream, liverwurst, lunch ham, macaroni, spaghetti and pastas, bread, waffles, muffins, crepes. Substitutes for wheat include buckwheat, rice, corn, quinoa, teff, farro, spelt, or amaranth, millet.
Consume whole complex grains to exceed no more than 100 grams daily. Grains are best consumed as whole cooked, unrefined or sprouted. This dosing is approximately equal to 2 cups of grain daily.
Next, avoid milk products. Dairy sensitivities or allergies can arise from the casein proteins, whey proteins, or lactose intolerance. Casein is the primary group of milk proteins used mostly in making cheese. Casein is found in most cow’s milk products and even non dairy foods as a food additive. On food labels casein may be listed as milk proteins, milk solids, caseinates, fortified proteins, curd and is found in butter, buttermilk, and all cheeses except for ricotta and goat’s cheese. Whey is another group of proteins including beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin found commonly in protein powders and as a food additive. Milk proteins are also found in cocoa-chocolates, cottage cheese, cream, cream cheese, evaporated cow’s milk, half and half, ice cream, imitation milk products, lactaid milk, margarine, milk chocolate, non-fat dry milk, skim milk, sour cream sour half and half, whey and yogurt. Substitutes for dairy include products made from oat milk, soy milk, and rice milk.
Third on the list is Yeast. Yeast includes Baker’s and Brewer’s yeast. Baker’s yeast is found in many breads, bagels, buns, rolls and pastries. Be sure to read labels on all baked goods, soups and canned goods. Brewer’s yeast is found in distilled vinegars, wine, beer, whiskey, brandy, rum and other fermented liquors (triple distilled vodkas and gins are generally safe due to the repeat distillation process). Also found in fermented forms of cider and root beer, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire, MSG, pickled vegetables, relishes, green olives, sauerkraut, horseradish, tamari, vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is the exception (Annie’s Dressing). Substitutes for yeast include yeast-free breads corn bread or tortillas, rice cakes.
All carcinogen laden food should be avoided. Avoid hydrogenated fats. Avoid hydrogenated fats — oils which have been made hard by the addition of hydrogen atoms (e.g., margarine, Crisco, processed mayonnaise, and processed peanut butter) — as they contain trans fatty acids. Old-fashioned nut butter that is not hydrogenated may be used. Saturated fats (e.g., butter, animal fats) are allowed in moderation. Unsaturated cold pressed vegetable oils (e.g., safflower, sesame, canola, sunflower, virgin olive oil) may be used. Avoid frying in vegetable oil, though broth may be used.
Avoid fluoride. Avoid fluoridated water (1 PPM) and all tap water, unless filtered appropriately. To filter fluoride from tap water, the filter must contain a reverse osmosis component. Use bottled spring water, distilled or filtered water. Avoid fluoride-containing supplements. Avoid dental fluoride treatments (10,000 PPM fluoride). Avoid fluoridated toothpaste (1,000 PPM). Toothpaste without fluoride and containing natural ingredients may be purchased at most health food stores. Examples are Auromere, Homeodent and certain Tom’s toothpastes.
Avoid chemicals added to food. Labels must be read. In some cases, labels do not reflect the chemicals in the food. Avoid artificial preservatives (e.g., BHA, BHT, MSG, nitrites, nitrates, sodium benzoate, etc.) commonly found in bread, crackers, and cereals. All processed, cured meats such as bologna, salami, frankfurters, corned beef and pastrami, should be avoided because of the addition of chemicals. Avoid artificial coloring as commonly found in frankfurters, soda, certain candy, maraschino cherries, juice drinks, etc. Avoid artificial flavoring commonly found in certain ice creams, frozen pies and candy. Avoid artificial sweeteners: aspartame (Nutrasweet), saccharine (Sweet ‘n Low), and sucralose (Splenda). All diet sodas, any diabetic foods, and other processed low calorie foods should be avoided. Stevia may be used as a sweetener.
Avoid sugar. Avoid as much as possible all foods containing added sugar (e.g. cakes, candies, ice cream, sodas, certain cereals, Jell-O, ketchup, etc.). Avoid high fructose corn syrup, white sugar, corn syrup, aspartame, Nutrasweet, Equal, sucralose, Splenda, acesulfame potassium, and saccharin. Acceptable: Sugar natural to food such as the natural sugar found in fruit may be eaten. Raw, unfiltered honey, unsulphured blackstrap molasses, pure maple syrup, rice syrup and date sugar may be used as acceptable sweeteners, but should be used in moderation. However, some people need to avoid these completely as well. Stevia is acceptable as a sweetener.
Avoid alcohol. Avoid all alcoholic beverages including liquor, beer and wine. Try naturally sparkling spring water with a twist of lemon or lime as your social drink.
Avoid caffeine. Avoid coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate as much as possible. It is advisable to also avoid decaffeinated coffee such as Sanka or Brim, as chemicals are used in the decaffeination process. Herb teas are not only acceptable substitutes, but often therapeutic.
In addition avoid bromine & bromide, chlorinated water, genetically modified foods( visit www.geneticroulette.com).
Focus the majority of the diet on fresh fruits and vegetables with juicing providing a concentrated and increased amount of antioxidants and vital nutrients for energy and immune function.Consume no or very little in the way of packaged foods, as they are more nutrient deplete due to processing and storage.
The last recommendation is to avoid white cane sugar at all costs. Sugar feeds one of the most problematic infections in the body called yeast. Yeast distracts and suppresses immune activity in a significant way. It acts like any other infection such as bacteria or viruses, which have been linked directly to cancer itself. Sugar has also been shown to significantly reduce immune activity for hours following even a teaspoon dose.
Consuming an alkaline diet is the first step in changing the body’s tumor favoring metabolism. Review detox protocols for additional information to revive and stimulate the immune system through detoxification.
Cancer Treatment Protocols
The following protocols are for suggestion only. Testing of immune function, natural killer cells(NKC), heavy metals, candida and other infections will result in more individualized protocols. In addition the staging of cancer and current treatment protocols have to be considered.
PHASE I: Detoxification
Phase II Liver & Bowel Detoxification- To maximize the detoxification pathways begin to follow the guidelines to enhance bowel motility and the micro-environment of the bowel. This will support the body’s innate ability to detoxify and enhance Phase II pathways of liver detoxification.
Diet Support- Follow the Dietary Cancer Guidelines for optimal nutritional support against cancer and for detoxification. The single greatest contributor to disease and lack of cellular response to therapy is systemic inflammation. Diet is the most frequent cause and greatest contributor of systemic inflammation.
Lifestyle Detoxification- Begin to implement the Lifestyle Guidelines for optimal immune support and detoxification. Many toxins and chemicals as are common in our environment lead to immune dysregulation and immune depression. These toxins also lead to inflammation decreasing cellular response to normal endocrine function and exocrine therapies. Strong consideration should be given to chelation therapy to remove the environmental burden.
Chang Shou, Hoxey Formula, or Essiac Tea- These herbal combinations provide a significant cellular support during detoxification. They have all shown anti-tumor activity. Dose 1 tbsp three times daily diluted in water or juice or prepared as a hot tea. You may use stevia to sweeten.
Multiple Vitamins and Minerals- Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are known to support and enhance chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery while diminishing the toxic side effects. Supplementation enhances quality of life and improves longevity without reducing the cytotoxic affects of traditional therapies. The foundation of nutrient replacement begins with a multiple vitamin and mineral formula. Dose the maximum recommended dose which is 4 capsules divided two times daily. Also consider adding B-Complex at 1 capsule twice daily.
Enhance Phase I Liver Detoxification- Most of the nutrients required for optimal Phase I detoxification through the liver are provided in the multiple protocols already recommended. Complete support is provided with just a few extra nutrients, such as Vitamin C, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), and Magnesium.
Coffee enemas or Colonics- Coffee enemas effectively stimulate the liver’s detoxification system through activation of the Phase II enzymes. Coffee enemas will enhance detoxification abilities and decrease toxicity symptoms particularly those associated with chemotherapy.
PHASE II: Endocrine Support
Thyroid or Iodine Support- Supplementation based on individual need according to laboratory tests. Thyroid requires doctor prescription. Iodine is a nutritional supplement which is also recommended in Phase IV: Tumor Regression
Low dose Cortisol (LDC) – Cortisol dose is based on individual need according to laboratory tests. Doctor prescription required. (Possibly covered by insurance.)
DHEA & Pregnenelone- These two hormones enhance adrenal function improving energy and all hormone production including cortisol, aldosteron, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. Dosing is individual and is based on laboratory tests.
PHASE III: Immune Enhancement
Low dose Naltrexone (LDN)- LDN has been shown to help in tumor regression by inducing increases of metenkephalin and beta endorphin in the blood stream, by inducing an increase in the number and density of opiate receptors on the tumor cell membranes inducing apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells, and by increasing the natural killer (NK) cell numbers and NK cell activity and lymphocyte activated CD8 numbers. Side effects may include intense dreaming during the first week. Dose Naltrexone 4.5mg 1 cap at bedtime. Doctor prescription required. (Medication not covered by insurance due to off-label use).
Curaphen- Extensive research over the last 50 years has indicated curcumin can both prevent and treat cancer. Curcumin can suppress tumor initiation, promotion, and metastasis. Dose 8,000mg daily or 1 capsule 2x daily.
Melatonin- Melatonin modifies tumor progression and increases life expectancy. Dose 20mg or 1 capsule daily at bed.
Green Tea- Green tea provides both anti-oxidant protection and slows tumor growth and progression. Dose 1650-1800mg or 2 capsules 3x daily or 4 cups daily
Trametes Versicolor (PSK)- Trametes Versicolor has a multitude of immune boosting effects and anti-tumor effects. Dose 4500mg or 1 capsule 3x daily.
Other vitamins, minerals or herbs may be recommended for radiation and chemotherapy enhancement and side effect mitigation.
PHASE IV: Tumor Regression
High Dose Vitamin C IV Therapy- High dose Vitamin C delivered intravenously serves as a non-toxic tumor treatment causing cancer cell death. Treatment recommended minimum twice to three times weekly.
Iodine- Iodine has been shown to significantly concentrate in thyroid, breast, prostate, and skin tissue. It has anti-cancer and mass resolving effects. The mechanism of action is believed to be through initiation of apoptosis. When iodine is taken in amounts at least 100x the RDA(>15mg/day), iodine can bind to other lipid and proteins in addition to thyroxine. The binding of iodine to the fat molecule lactone results in delta-iodolactone, which has been shown to regulate and promote apoptosis. These effects may extend to eighty percent of cancers which are epithelial in origin. Start dosing with 12.5mg or one tablet daily and increase by one tablet daily every three days until reaching 50mg once daily.
Enzyme Therapy- Dose 4 capsules 3 times daily ½ hour before meals.
Sodium Bicarbonate and Maple Syrup- Mix 3 parts organic maple syrup with 1 part aluminum free baking soda (Red Mill Brand) and stir on low heat (less than 120 degrees) for 10 minutes. Take 1 tsp three times daily.
DETOX and LIFESTYLE CANCER GUIDELINES
Nutrients for Detoxification. Follow a candida detox protocol and consume nutrients such as high dose multi nutrients, magnesium, NAC, glutamine, and probiotics.
Stress Management. Use any of various techniques, such as prayer, meditation, Qi Gong, yoga, massage, relaxing baths etc. to deal with stresses of life. Avoid taking on too many projects that deplete energy and detract from healing. Seek counseling or therapy as necessary.
Exercise daily. If you are already involved in an exercise routine continue to the best of your ability. If you are not, start with daily walks, working up to 30 minutes. Invite somebody whom you trust to join with you in your walks.
Relationships. Improve relationships, making them fruitful and fulfilling. To improve couples relationships, see the book Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, PhD for example.
Sunlight. Weather permitting expose yourself to sunlight during the day without sunglasses and without suntan lotion for at least 15 to 30 minutes (preferably more, without getting sunburned).
Sleep. Create an atmosphere for regenerative and restful sleep. Develop a bedtime routine which begins an hour before your recommended bedtime. Participate in activities that are relaxing or distracting without being stimulating.
Work. Balance work with recreation, exercise, and nurturing relationships.
Tobacco. Avoid cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc. Try to avoid inhaling other people’s smoke, as much as possible.
Recreational Drugs. Avoid marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens (like LSD) and generally all “recreational drugs.”
Unnecessary Prescription Drugs and OTC Medications. We are an over-medicated people. Among the leading causes of death, those that are medication related rank 4th. Drug interactions are a major problem. Medication use should be kept to a bare minimum.
Synthetic Hormones. As found in synthetic hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills. Bio-indentical hormones may be used if monitored carefully and there is a need, although in some cancers it may be contraindicated.
Mercury. Mercury is highly toxic and enters the tissues of the body to damage the nervous system, immune system and other systems. Amalgam dental fillings contain mercury. Fish contaminated with mercury (swordfish, some tuna, others) should be avoided or kept to a minimum. Mercury content of the body should be evaluated with blood tests and urine tests provoked with a chelating agent. Vaccines containing Thimerosal (mercury containing preservative) are potentially dangerous and should be avoided as much as possible. Thimerosal has recently been removed from some vaccines in the US, but is still present in flu vaccines.
Avoid exposure to synthetic chemicals. These include pesticides, paints and paint products, formaldehyde, etc.
Tight clothing that restricts lymphatic system drainage. Consider bras in women, which may be associated with breast cancer when worn more than 12 hours a day. Wear bras as little as possible. Bras should be as loose-fitting as possible.
Aluminum cookware and Teflon cookware. Avoid aluminum and Teflon cookware as aluminum tends to accumulate in the body and fluoride may be released from Teflon. Stainless steel, Pyrex, enamel, Corning and iron cookware may be used instead.
Electric blankets. The electric energy field interferes with the human energy field.
Hair dyes. Synthetic hair dyes increase risk for certain types of cancers. Some men’s hair dyes contain lead. Certain natural dyes may be more acceptable.
Anti-perspirant deodorants. These contain aluminum which is toxic, and they inhibit detoxification of the breasts and chest area. One example includes Jason’s which is a chemical free brand.
Lipstick containing lead (most of them do). Use lipsticks that do not contain lead.
High voltage power lines. Avoid these as much as possible. If your home is located near them, consider moving.
Waterbeds. The electric energy field used to warm the bed interferes with the human energy field.
Metal rimmed eyeglasses. The metal crossing the midline between the eyes weakens the human energy field.
Microwave ovens. Negative effect on food and harmful radiation in vicinity of microwave oven.
Suntan lotions. These may be used at times to prevent skin damage from the sun, but a moderate amount of sunlight (without sunburn) on the skin is necessary for optimal health to create vitamin D and probably other beneficial effects.
Electromagnetic fields. Be aware of the dangers of diagnostic x-rays, cell phones, magnetic fields from computers, microwave ovens, etc.
Cleaning products. Utilize chemical free or more natural cleaning products around the home and office.
REASON ONE. Chemotherapy and Radiation Induced Cancer Reduced 80-100%
Otto Warburg, M.D.,Ph.D., proved that a 35% reduction in oxygen caused any cell to either die or turn cancerous. Cancer is the body, at the cellular level, attempting to survive by reverting to a primitive survival mechanism. Surprisingly, it’s that simple. Most normal healthy cells get their energy by using oxygen in a process called “respiration.” This can be contrasted with the way cells utilize energy without sufficient oxygen, called “fermentation.” Fermentation of sugar provides a way for cells to keep going even in the presence of partial oxygen deprivation. In the presence of oxygen deficiency, cells that can’t obtain enough energy through fermentation perish. But the cells which succeed in utilizing fermentation exhibit their innate will to survive; these are the ones that don’t die from the oxygen deficiency.
As directed by Nature, in using this alternative source of energy, our cells are fulfilling their primary mission, which is to stay alive and reproduce. This takes place on all levels for all living things, and in the case of oxygen deficiency, cells are struggling to survive in a hostile environment of humans’ own making. That’s right we unknowingly have forced our own cells to become cancerous.
After it begins, the disease worsens, since most humans hosting it never feel the cancer growing and so we don’t take corrective measures. Once it shows up in lab tests, you’ve been hosting the cancer cells for years, often decades.
Nature has given every cell the potential to survive without oxygen, through fermentation. If that potential is not developed enough, then the cell will die when the oxygen drops below the 35% threshold. If none of our cells could run without oxygen, they would die immediately with no possible chance of future survival. Chronic deficiency of oxygen damages the mitochondria (energy producers) of the cell so the cell, if it can, reverts to the ancient energy source of fermentation of sugar. A cancer cell running on fermentation can stay alive (without growing) with just 20% of a normal cell’s energy.
But one major problem is that this method is very inefficient. The cells that can run on fermentation without oxygen stay alive and become more prevalent as the other cells die. But there is a huge price to be paid: lack of cellular intelligence-these cells have the intelligence of “dumb yeast” Cancer is not an “ultra intelligent” entity, as many misled researchers portray; instead, it is the “idiot cell” that can survive but do little more than reproduce more “idiot cells.” So these cells lose their differentiation as functional parts of the body and spread as useless masses of tissue, eventually interfering with and shutting down the body’s functions if nothing is done to prevent it.
Cancer is a Systemic Problem, Not a Local One. Many physicians think that cancer is a localized issue, meaning only the affected tissue is the problem because the genes are ruined there. This is incorrect. Cancer is not and has never been genetic in origin. What is correct is that the cancerous tissue is the MOST OXYGEN DEPRIVED TISSUE; that’s why that particular tissue became cancerous. However, you’ve got much more to worry about than only the one cancerous area. Many tissues are oxygen deprived along with the cancerous ones. I’d like to acknowledge Homer Macapintac, M.D., chair and professor of nuvlear medicine at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for stating this truth that women need to know: 1
Breast cancer is not a local problem. It is a systemic [whole body] disease.
Why are Cancers so resistant to treatment once they return years later?Oncologists will tell you that if cancer returns, then chemotherapy often won’t work again. It fails. The cancer will “outsmart it.” Never forget that cancer isn’t foreign, like a viral or bacterial invader. Therefore, there is nothing to “outsmart.” The reason for the returning cancer’s virulence requires understanding these technical points:
1. All cells respire, utilizing oxygen for energy. All cells can also ferment to a lesser or greater extent. This cellular capability to ferment existed from the beginning of time when life existed without oxygen.
2. Chemotherapy and radiation kill cells, both respiring (normal) ones, and cancerous (fermenting) ones. If respiration (oxygen transfer) falls below a specific minimum, even for a cancer cell, it will die. Normal cells survive chemo and radiation beter than cancer cells, because they start with a better respiration; therefore they have better residual respiration after chemo/radiation treatments.
3. However, during cancer’s latency period (the time where fermentation takes the place of the cells’ ruined respiration, causing full-blown cancer), the surviving descendents of the normal cells compensate for the decreased respiration with increased fermentation capability. Therefore, the cells that live and haven’t been killed are NOW prime candidates for a continued oxygen deficient environment. Lack of oxygen won’t kill these cells, because they thrive in a de-oxygenated environment. Therefore, they can easily become fully cancerous; they possess the EXACT CONDITIONS needed (high fermenting cellular capability bred through “treatment”) to cause more cancer in the future. The chemo and radiation will be much less effective this time around because we have created (through “treatment”) a more efficient cell that can better utilize fermentation with decreased respiration capability, i.e. cancer.
Remember, our cells are trying to stay alive, but they can’t get the necessary oxygen for respiration. In its absence, they run on sugar (carbohydrates), the energy source for fermentation. Cancer is the cells’ last ditch effort to survive. (And when cancer patients consume carbohydrates, they are feeding the cancer.)
How do we become oxygen deficient at the cellular level? Simple: through eating adultered oils and fats from the food processing industry and from your supermarket’s cooking oil section. These adultered oils have a long shelf-life but have lost their oxygenation ability. They started out containing the functional, vitally needed oxygen-transferring PEOs (Parent Essential Oils), but they were ruined by processing and refining. We are giving ourselves cancer by eating common, everyday processed foods. Transfats are only the “tip of the iceberg” of the methods used by food processors to obtain long shelf-life and ruin the oxygenation capability of fats.
Yet Nature, in her wisdom, has also provided us with an opportunity to fix the problem. Because full-blown cancer takes many years to develop, we have the opportunity to remedy the cells’ oxygen deficiency. The great news is that it has been proven that these pre-cancerous cells can be kept in check so they either stay benign or are killed as a result of the re-supply of cellular oxygen through sufficient amounts and proper ratio of PEOs.
Alternative Physicians accept that cancer is a systemic disease and strive to optimize oxygen transport and absorption across cell membranes to decrease cancer risk and recurrence.
REASON TWO. Adjunct Therapy Increases Effectiveness of both Chemotherapy and Radiation
Many readers unfortunately are undergoing treatment with radiation and chemotherapy. In May 2008 it was brought to my attention by the superb radiologist, Robert Kagan, M.D., Medical Director of MRI Scan & Imaging Centers in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, that increased cellular oxygen increases the effectiveness of both chemotherapy and radiation treatments in destroying cancer cells.
It was extremely gratifying to learn of this, since the Peskin Protocol was designed to increase cellular oxygen throughout the body, including at cancerous sites.
Therefore, in addition to the capability of increased oxygenation to prevent cancer’s initial occurrence
and to arrest it at existing sites, it also makes current oncological treatments more effective. Here’s what James B. Mitchell, Ph.D., head of the tumor biology (NCI-radiation biology branch) section at the National Cancer Institute, reported in an article published by Radiological Society of North America (4/23/2008):
• “…‘[T]hey were able to successfully measure oxygen levels in tumors,’ which could be important because ‘tumors with higher concentrations of oxygen [are] more susceptible to radiation.’
• “Lower oxygen level ‘in the tumor allows tumor cells to survive more easily by making the DNA destruction more difficult.’
• “‘Chemotherapy drugs also don’t work as well when tumors have less oxygen.’ ” (emphasis added)
I immediately began searching medical journal articles to see if this critical concept was well-understood. The following comments comprise a representative sample of what I found
• “A priori knowledge of spatial and temporal changes in partial pressure of oxygen (oxygenation; pO2) in solid tumors, a key prognostic factor in cancer treatment outcome, could greatly improve treatment planning inradiotherapy and chemotherapy.”2 (emphasis added)
• “Despite significant evidence of a role of hypoxia [low cellular oxygen] in cellular resistance to ionizing radiation–induced toxicity, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. This study focused on the influence of hypoxia on radiation-induced signals in TK6 human lymphoblastoid cells.3(emphasis added)
• “A large body of published evidence points to tumor hypoxia as a major obstacle to effective treatment of tumors using ionizing radiation4,5 because cells exposed to radiation under hypoxic conditions are approximately thrice [3 times] more resistant than when treated under aerobic conditions.6(emphasis added)
• “In an attempt to enhance the efficacy of clinical radiation therapy, hypoxic cells were a major target because it takes approximately three times the radiation dose to achieve the same proportion of cell survival under hypoxia compared to cells in normoxic [normal] conditions. The biochemical role of oxygen was in fixing, or making permanent, the damage done to the critical DNA target.7 (emphasis added)
• “Solid tumors frequently contain large regions with low oxygen concentrations (hypoxia). The hypoxic microenvironment induces adaptive changes to tumor cell metabolism, and this alteration can further distort the local microenvironment. The net result of these tumor specific changes is a microenvironment that inhibits many standard cytotoxic anticancer therapies [“chemotherapy”] and predicts for a poor clinical outcome.8(emphasis added)
• “Hypoxia and anemia (which contributes to tumor hypoxia) can lead to ionizing radiation and chemotherapy resistance by depriving tumor cells of the oxygen essential for the cytotoxic activities of these agents. Hypoxia may also reduce tumor sensitivity to radiation therapy and chemotherapy through one or more indirect mechanisms that include proteomic and genomic changes.9 (emphasis added)
• “Poor and fluctuating blood flow (which leads to acute hypoxia) as well as increased diffusion distances (which lead to chronic hypoxia) can result in thediminished and erratic distribution of chemotherapeutic agents, with a consequent effect on their therapeutic efficacy.10 (emphasis added)
• “Also, some chemotherapeutic agents, for example, cyclophosphamide, carboplatin (ParaplatinR; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Princeton, NJ), and doxorubicin (AdriamycinR; Bedford Laboratories; Bedford, OH), have been shown to beoxygen dependent under both in vivo [inside the body] and in vitro conditions.11,12,13,14,15 (emphasis added)
Only specific dietary changes can permanently affect oxygen transfer to cells. An Alternative Physician is trained in nutrition to understand the biochemical needs to optimize oxygen transport and absorption across cell membranes.
REASON THREE. Blood Speed and Viscosity Determine Risk of Metastases
Dr. Warburg understood that slow blood speed allowed cancer to metastasize. Later, other researchers showed that if you can keep a localized cancer from metastasizing, your risk of dying from cancer decreases by an amazing 10-fold! Even though you may have cancer, you won’t die from cancer. Blood speed and viscosity have a connection to the spread of cancer.
This is a surprising, seldom-mentioned fact that was pointed out by world-renowned molecular biologist Robert Weinberg, from my alma mater, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Weinberg was a former director of the Oncology Research Laboratory at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts and stated in his book:16 “Of those patients who succumb to cancer, fewer than 10% die from tumors that continue to grow at the same site where they originally took root. In the great majority of cases, the killers are the metastases—colonies of cancer cells that have left the site of the original, primary tumor and have settled elsewhere in the body. It is these migrants, or rather the new tumors that they seed, that usually cause death.”
What causes metastasis? Blood clots. This is known, too:17 “Dr. L. Michaels of Canada reasoned that if no clots were allowed to form, then metastasis from a primary tumor could not occur, and that people with only primary cancers would in that case be in a much safer situation. This he proved to be the case. He studied the medical histories of a large number of heart and stroke patients kept on permanent anti-coagulant drug treatment [anti-clotting] to protect their blood circulation, to ascertain the incidence of cancer deaths among them, and found the incidence to be only one-eighth of the expected number. The study covered the equivalent of 1569 patient-years and there was not a single case of death by cancer metastasis in the group.”
What prevents blood from “sticking together” and is also Nature’s natural blood-thinner that prevents blood clots? No, it’s not omega-3 like you are constantly told. Parent omega-6 is much more powerful. AA (arachadonic acid) is a critical omega-6 derivative and major biochemical component which occurs in virtually every cell we have. It is the building block of the most potent anti-aggretory (“helps blood thinning”) agent known, termed prostacyclin. AA also inhibits platelet adhesion making it a natural “blood thinner.” AA even helps SOLVE vascular problems as a response to injury.18
Specific dietary changes and specific supplements can significantly improve blood viscosity. Alternative Physicians are trained to implement the most effective drugless therapies to reduce risk of metastasis.
REASON FOUR. Sugar Feeds Cancer
Cancer cells can’t live on either fats or proteins. It is important to understand that cancer cells use carbohydrate as their primary source of fuel.19 Therefore, once cancer has begun to develop even a little, carbohydrate consumption can only worsen the cancer because it provides the sugar the cancer
cells need to live on. Any cancer patient should adhere to a high-protein, low carbohydrate diet.
The fact that cancer cells idolize sugar is well known. It was reported in “The Insulin Connection,” by Brenda Goodman in U.S. News & World Report,September 5, 2005, pages 60-62 that: “Cancer cells have six to ten times the number of insulin receptors…So, if extra hormone hits a pre-existing cancer cell, it makes a bad thing much worse.”
“ For cancer, insulin [a response from carbohydrate consumption] is like pouring gasoline on a fire,’ says Pamela Goodwin, director of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.” Therefore, reducing consumption of sugar/carbohydrates significantly will deprive existing cancer cells of their “food” and help strengthen your body’s immune system.
In addition Dr. Warburg’s research showed that slowing the speed of blood flow can lead to cancer by reducing the amount of oxygen reaching the cells through the blood. The glucose from carbohydrates “sticks” to your blood protein. This sticking of glucose to your blood protein is technically termed “glycosylation” in the medical textbooks, and glycosylation slows down the blood flow. Therefore, an overabundance of carbohydrates in the diet will slow the speed of the bloodstream. This reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the cells and contributes to setting up the conditions under which cancer can develop.
Dr. Warburg said: “To prevent cancer it is therefore proposed first to keep the speed of the blood stream so high that the venous blood still contains sufficient oxygen; second, to keep high the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood…”
Diet does matter in the successful treatment and remission from cancer. Get your information from someone who believes and recognizes how important food choices are in the treatment and remission of cancer.
REASON FIVE. Nutrient Supplementation Increases Life Expectancy and Reduces Side Effects
by Charles B. Simone, M.MS., M.D.,with Nicole L. Simone, B.S.E., Charles B. Simone, II copyright© 1999 Simone Protective Cancer Center
Today’s oncology care
Although chemotherapy and radiation therapy continue to have a role in cancer treatment, they produce morbidity. Despite the introduction of radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy with biological response modifiers, despite CT scans, MR scans, and all the other new medical technology, lifespans for almost every form of adult cancer have remained constant, except cervical and lung cancer. This means, there has been no significant progress in cancer treatment.
Nutritional modification, including the use of antioxidants and other nutrients, and proper lifestyle factors can dramatically decrease morbidity and side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well as increase response rates. Some reports have shown that nutritional and lifestyle modification can actually increase survival. It has been proven that chemotherapeutic agents and radiation therapy reduce the serum levels of certain nutrients, especially antioxidants. The decreased levels of these antioxidants result from lipid peroxidation.
Do vitamins and minerals interfere with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy?
I am frequently asked this by patients because they have been advised not to take supplements during treatment. The scientific literature has clearly addressed this question:
•The early clinical studies were performed at the National Cancer Institute using an antioxidant called N-acetyl cysteine that was found to protect the heart from the cardiac toxicity of adriamycin, but did not interfere with the tumor-killing capability of the drug. An antioxidant, dexrazoxane (ICRF-187), protects the heart from the effects of adriamycin without affecting the antitumor effect. Cellular studies, animal studies, and human studies demonstrate that vitamins A, E, C, and K, beta-carotene and selenium, as single agents or in combination, all protect against the toxicity of adriamycin and enhance its cancer-killing effects.
•In vitro cellular studies and animal studies using vitamins C, A, K, E, D, B6, B12, beta-carotene, selenium, or cysteine as single agents or in combination given concomitantly with chemotherapy, or tamoxifen, or interferon alpha-2b, or radiation, or combinations of these modalities show the same effect: Increased tumor killing and increased protection of normal tissues.
•Human studies involving over 1,960 patients have been done using single or multiple nutrients in combination with systemic treatment and/or radiation treatment demonstrating that nutrients produce a higher response rate, lower side effects, and even increased survival.
•An increase in survival for cancer patients is uncommon with any treatment. But an increase in survival has been demonstrated for patients who received vitamin A or antioxidants in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This finding was observed for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, breast cancer, gastric cancer, oral cavity cancer, and upper aerodigestive cancers. Patients who were given beta-carotene and anthaxanthin while undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation lived longer with an increase in disease-free intervals. And antioxidant treatment with chemotherapy and radiation prolonged survival for patients with small cell lung cancer compared with patients who did not receive antioxidants.
•The effects of one chemotherapeutic agent, methotrexate, can be reversed with folinic acid, which is an analog of folic acid. Folic acid itself does not reverse methotrexate’s effects. In order to reverse the effects of methotrexate, folinic acid has to be given in high doses. Folinic acid cannot be obtained over-the-counter. It is only available by prescription.
Efficacy of Antioxidants
Antioxidants neutralize harmful chemicals called free radicals that occur in the body and constantly arise from fatty foods, smoking, alcohol, environmental pollutants, toxins, carcinogens, iron, smog, and radiation. Free radicals attack vital cell structures and cause damage contributing to the development of certain disease (i.e., cancer, cardiovascular, arthritis, cataracts).
Antioxidants protect normal cells and other tissues by fighting free radicals and the oxidative reaction that is caused by free radicals. Antioxidant nutrients include beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, selenium, copper, zinc, bioflavonoids, and cysteine. There are now more than 200 studies that shown antioxidants can help decrease the risk of developing cancer.
One of the most recent investigations took place in Linxian, China. Researchers from the Cancer Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences teamed up with researchers at the United States National Cancer Institute and studied nearly 30,000 adults, randomized over a five-year period into four different groups receiving different nutrients during that period. Here is a brief summary of the study:
•It was the first large-scale intervention trial in a prospective randomized fashion to demonstrate that three antioxidant nutrients together-beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium-significantly reduced total mortality (9%) especially from all cancers (13%) and particularly stomach cancer (21%).
•These antioxidant nutrients also prevented the risk of cancer in humans.
•These antioxidant nutrients substantially reduced the prevalence of cataracts in the oldest patients (aged 65 to 74 years).
•These antioxidant nutrients also reduced the mortality from stroke. Many other studies demonstrated similar findings, including the Finland Study, the Switzerland Study, the Hawaiian Study, and studies involving people at high risk for developing endometrial cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, small cell lung cancer, oral pharyngeal cancer, and others. All studies show that protection is conferred to those who consume antioxidants and other nutrients.
Studies of pre-cancerous conditions
Scores of studies, from all over the world, have shown that antioxidants can decrease the risk of pre-cancerous lesions from developing into a full-blown cancer.
The Linxian, China study investigated 3,300 patients with esophageal dysplasia which is a precursor to developing esophageal cancer. The same team of researchers from China and the United States examined the results of the study, which was an intervention study, the best type of clinical design. The group that received the multiple vitamin-mineral supplement daily for six years had:
Lower mortality from esophageal and upper stomach cancers (8%)
Lower mortality rate in general (7%)
Lower rate of death from cancer in any site (4%)
Lower risk of dying of a stroke (38%)
While the duration of this trial was very short (six years) and the doses of the nutrients were far too low compared to other trials, the patients who took the supplements had much better results than the control group of patients who took no supplements. Other studies show that people who have colon polyps, abnormal cervical Pap smears, or other pre-cancerous conditions, all do better and can reverse the trend toward a cancer if they take certain antioxidants and other nutrients.
But what about beta-carotene specifically? There have been reports from the CARET and ATBC studies that beta-carotene increased the incidence of lung cancer in heavy smokers who drank alcohol and were exposed to asbestos. I want to address this issue with the following thoughts:
Over 200 studies have demonstrated that beta-carotene is safe and can lower the risk of developing cancer and cardiovascular disease.
All intervention studies show that beta-carotene and other nutrients can decrease cancer rates and cancer progression.
A total of 22 epidemiological studies that included 400,000 smokers and nonsmokers have shown those who had a high blood level of beta-carotene had a lower incidence and mortality of lung cancer. None of these studies reported any association with an increased incidence of lung cancer. In fact, the reduction in risk was even more pronounced in smokers than in nonsmokers.
The principal investigator has publicly said that the findings are too preliminary to discuss and the data were not statistically significant.
The smokers in these studies who had high beta carotene serum levels at the start of the study had the lowest incidence of lung cancer.
Most of the study participants were alcoholics, and all of them ate a high fat diet – both risk factors dramatically and independently increase the risk of developing cancer.
Beta carotene did not increase the risk of lung cancer for those who smoked less than 20 cigarettes a day and drank little or no alcohol.
To my knowledge, no information was gathered concerning other lifestyle risk factors that also would contribute to a poor outcome.
Beta-carotene works most efficiently at the early stages of carcinogenesis, not at the later stages when a cancer is already formed – as was the case with the patients in the CARET and ATBC studies. Cancers are started between 10 and 20 years before symptoms occur or our technology can detect them.
The fact remains, beta-carotene:
Is the most powerful antioxidant.
Neutralizes singlet oxygen, a powerfully damaging chemical.
Enhances immune system function.
Is very safe and nontoxic.
It is important to rely on the synergism of all the antioxidants, including the carotenoids, and also the B’s, etc., as well as lifestyle changes to decrease one’s risk of cancer and heart disease. It is foolish to expect that a single nutrient can give the “green light” to continue lifestyle behavior that will cause disease.
Nutrition and lifestyle factors can profoundly reduce toxic side effects and improve the results of conventional treatments. In a recent study of 50 patients with early stage breast cancer, I evaluated the treatment side effects of radiation alone, or radiation combined with chemotherapy, while the patient took therapeutic doses of nutrients. Patients also followed the Simone Ten Point Plan (see Table 1). The patients were asked to evaluate their own response to the treatment in terms of impacts of treatment on their quality of life. The major rationale behind our nutritional plan is that it contains a well-rounded supply of antioxidants and immune enhancing nutrients. The results of the study were impressive:
More than 90% of both groups noted improvement in their physical symptoms, cognitive ability, performance, sexual dysfunction, general well-being, and life satisfaction.
Not one subject in either group reported a worsening of symptoms. Patients who follow the Ten Point Plan and use certain vitamins and minerals report few side effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Twenty studies with more than 2,700 patients that investigated lifestyle modification that includes dietary changes, nutrient supplementation, and other lifestyle changes demonstrated a lower recurrence rate and an increase in survival. The patients in these studies had the following cancers: breast, ovarian, cervical, uterine, head and neck, lung, pancreatic, prostate, and bladder.
Cancer patients should modify their lifestyles using the Ten Point Plan, which includes modifying nutritional factors and taking certain vitamins and minerals, especially if they are receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation. The studies indicate that it is important to take the correct nutrients to reduce side effects, enhance conventional therapies, and increase outcomes (table 2).
“WHY YOU NEED ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE EVEN WITH CHEMOTHERAPY AND RADIATION” section is based on information in the new book, The Hidden Story of Cancer, authored by Brian Peskin. For further information seewww.BrianPeskin.com.
“REASON FIVE. Nutrient Supplementation Increases Life Expectancy and Reduces Side Effects” section is provided by Charles B. Simone, M.MS., M.D.,with Nicole L. Simone, B.S.E., Charles B. Simone, II copyright© 1999 Simone Protective Cancer Center. For more information and the Ten Point Plan see www.drsimone.com
NUTRIENT SUPPORT DURING RADIATION AND CHEMOTHERAPY
The chart below contains recommended doses for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants known to be supportive while undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery. Use the dose ranges to customize dosing. Multi-Nutrients Detox will cover these needs.
Vitamin A (acetate)
Natural Beta Carotene with mixed carotenoids)
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
Natural Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopheryl succinate)
Ascorbic acid 100% (pure powder)
Thiamine HCl (B-1)
Riboflavin (pure powder B-2)
Calcium pantothenate (B-5)
Pyridoxine HCl (B-6)
Pyridoxal 5′ phosphate (activated B-6)
Methylcobalamin (pure B-12)
Folic acid (pure powder)
Biotin (pure powder)
Quercetin dihydrate min. 90% by HPLC
Iodine (potassium iodide)
Vanadium (vanadyl sulfate)
*Dosing is continuous and discontinued 24 hours before chemotherapy and radiation therapy until 48 hours following treatment.
Immune depression- All chemotherapeutic regimens can cause depression of the immune system. This often occurs through bone marrow suppression, leading to a decrease in white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Blood transfusion can be utilized to improve both red blood cells and platelets. Low white blood cell count or Neutropenia requires injections such G-CSF (Neulasta, Neupogen, filgrastin, or lenograstin). Alternative supplements are known to prevent or diminish the myelosuppression associated with chemotherapy. These nutrients are specific to your specific chemotherapy protocol. A complete blood count(CBC) will be used to monitor potential blood cell suppression.
Kidney damage- Certain chemotherapeutics can cause damage to the filtering cells of the kidney. Kidney function is monitored also through simple labs. Specific nutrients may be recommended while undergoing treatment with certain chemotherapeutics.
Peripheral Neuropathy- Damage to peripheral nerves results from use of certain chemotherapy drugs. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, or burning of hands or feet, loss of sensation of touch and or positional sense. Specific nutrients have been well established in there ability to prevent or diminish the potential neuropathic side effects of chemotherapy.
Vomiting- Chemotherapy stimulates the vomiting center in the periphery. Currently the 5-HT3 inhibitors are the most effective antiemetics available. These include Zofran, Anzemet, Kytril and the newest Aloxi. These are often administered with chemotherapy treatments so ask your doctor if these medications may be helpful for you.
Heart damage- Some chemotherapy agents can cause heart muscle damage causing weakness and diminished ability to pump and circulate blood.
Other symptoms may include diarrhea, loss of appetite, mouth ulcers, and fatigue are prevented and improved through specific and highly beneficial supplements.
Add the following indicated nutrients recommended based upon your specific chemotherapy in addition to the already recommended Multi-Nutrients Detox
Dose 400iu or 1 capsule 1x daily
Dose 80-100mg or 1 capsule 3x daily
Dose 20 mg or 1 capsule 1x daily at bed
Dose 4500mg or 1 capsule 3x daily
Dose 1,000mg or 2 capsules 2x daily
Dose 1 capsule 3x daily
Dose 10 grams 3x/day for 10 days starting 24 hours after chemotherapy
Dose 100 mg or 1 capsule 3x daily
Dose 1650-1800mg or 2 capsules 3x daily or 4 cups daily
Dose 300mg or 1 capsule 3x daily
Dose 8,000 mg daily or 1 capsule 2x daily
Dose 1,000mg 3x daily
Dose 1,000mg 3x day of and 48 hours post treatment
Dose 200mg or 1 capsule 2x daily
Dose 1000mg or 1 capsule 2x daily
*Dosing is continuous and discontinued 24 hours before chemotherapy and radiation therapy until 48 hours following treatment.
High Dose Vitamin C IV Therapy
High dose Vitamin C IV therapy is one of the most promising alternative therapies in the fight against cancer and also one of the most misunderstood. Contrary to studies based on oral dosing of Vitamin C which showed no effect, intravenous Vitamin C therapy has been proven to be an effective method of raising extracellular levels of vitamin C.
Levine and associates have examined extensively the body’s absorption of vitamin C and found that while oral intake does reach a saturation point, “when you give doses intravenously they go through the roof in the blood and then they are cleared.”
According to Levine, a 10 gram dose of vitamin C given intravenously produces bloodstream concentrations more than 25-fold higher than concentrations achieved from the same oral dose. Working with cell lines in the laboratory, they used high doses of vitamin C that could only be achieved by IV administration. Levine reported, “At the highest concentration of ascorbic acid, if given intravenously, they don’t touch normal cells and they kill lots of cancer cells.”According to the study, vitamin C led to the formation of hydrogen peroxide, a chemical that can kill cells. This suggests a potential mechanism for therapy.
High doses of vitamin C given intravenously have the interesting effect of being an oxidative treatment. We all know that vitamin C taken orally acts as an antioxidant, but very high doses given intravenously, usually between 25-100 grams have a pro-oxidative effect. The mechanism involves the generation of hydrogen peroxide within the tissues that accumulate the vitamin C. One postulated mechanism of this formation involves vitamin C displacing iron from its carrier protein, with the subsequent intracellular generation of hydrogen peroxide. This is selectively toxic to cancer cells because they lack an enzyme that other healthy cells have in abundance called catalase.
Catalase is one of the fastest enzymes ever studied. Its’ job is to do the following conversion: H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) –> 2 H2O (water) + O2 (oxygen)
The products water and oxygen are of course harmless. If this reaction does not occur efficiently due to lack of the catalase enzyme (i.e. in cancer cells) the hydrogen peroxide can react with the displaced iron and create an excess of free radicals. These free radicals then stimulate apoptosis or cell suicide in the cancer cells sparing normal or healthy cells.
High dose vitamin C is delivered through IV treatments as a slow drip over 45 minutes to 3 hours 1-3 times per week. They are painless, completely non-toxic, and very few if any side effects.
Ozone Therapy is an immune enhancing therapy for the treatment of many diseases including cancer, hepatitis, arthritis, and chronic bacterial and viral infections. Ozone is a chemical compound consisting of three oxygen atoms O3, a highly energetic form of normal atmospheric oxygen (O2). At room temperature, O3 is a colorless gas with a characteristic odor (eg after thunderstorms, at high altitudes or near the sea etc). Due to its being an extremely powerful oxidizing agent and a highly effective disinfectant, it is used throughout the world to destroy germs in water treatment installations supplying drinking water.
Medical ozone is always a mixture of purest ozone and purest oxygen. Ozone concentration is determined according to the medical indication and the patient’s condition. Medical ozone has highly pronounced bactericidal, fungicidal, and virostatic properties, and is thus widely used in disinfecting infected wounds, as well as in bacterially and virally produced diseases. Its ability to stimulate the circulation is useful in the treatment of circulatory disorders and makes it valuable in revitalizing organic functions.
Ozone reactivates the immune system. As a response to this activation through ozone, the body’s immune cells produce special messengers called cytokins. These inform other immune cells, setting off a cascade of positive changes throughout the immune system, which resist disease. This means that the application of medical ozone is extremely useful for immune activation in patients with a low immune status and/or immune deficit.
Ozone Therapy is performed by drawing 150-200mL of blood and infusing it within ozone produced from pure oxygen. This freshly ozonated blood is then infused back into the patient. Treatments are used in conjunction with other specifically indicated nutrient and IV Therapies.
H2O2 Therapy or Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) IV therapy.
H2O2 IV therapy delivers a dose of hydrogen peroxide directly into circulation. Hydrogen Peroxide stimulates the immune system in the same way Vitamin C, but with the addition of increasing immune awareness within the circulation. It has the ability to stimulate apoptosis [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apoptosis] of viral and bacterial infections throughout the body. IV Hydrogen Peroxide is much more effective and better tolerated than oral H2O2 which is often administered in oral dilutions for chronic immune conditions such as cancer and chronic viral infections.
The most controversial alternative procedure has to be the coffee enema. Along with other detoxification routines, the coffee enema is a central part of both the Gerson and the Kelley programs. An enema is “a fluid injected into the rectum for the purpose of clearing out the bowel, or of administering drugs or food.” The word itself comes from the Greek en-hienai, meaning to “send or inject into.” The enema has been called “one of the oldest medical procedures still in use today.” Tribal women in Africa, and elsewhere, routinely use it on their children. The earliest medical text in existence, the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, (1,500 B.C.) mentions it. Millennia before, the Pharaoh had a “guardian of the anus,” a special doctor one of whose purposes was to administer the royal enema. The Greeks wrote of the fabled cleanliness of the Egyptians, which included the internal cleansing of their systems through emetics and enemas. They employed these on three consecutive days every month said Herodotus (II.77) or at intervals of three or four days, according to the later historian Diodorus. The Egyptians “believed that diseases were engendered by superfluities of the food”, a modern-sounding theory!
Enemas were known in ancient Sumeria, Babylonia, India, Greece and China. American Indians independently invented it, using a syringe made of an animal bladder and a hollow leg bone. Pre-Columbian South Americans fashioned latex into the first rubber enema bags and tubes. In fact, there is hardly a region of the world where people did not discover or adapt the enema. It is more ubiquitous than the wheel. Enemas are found in world literature from Aristophanes to Shakespeare, Gulliver Travels to Peyton Place.
In pre-revolutionary France a daily enema after dinner was de rigueur. It was not only considered indispensable for health but practiced for good complexion as well. Louis XIV is said to have taken over 2,000 in his lifetime. For centuries, enemas were a routine home remedy. Then, within living memory, the routine use of enemas died out. The main times that doctors employ them nowadays is before or after surgery and childbirth. Difficult and potentially dangerous barium enemas before colonic X rays are of course still a favorite of allopathic doctors.
But why coffee? This bean has an interesting history. It was imported in Arabia in the early 1500’s by the Sufi religious mystics, who used it to fight drowsiness while praying. It was especially prized for its medicinal qualities, in both the Near East and Europe. No one knows when the first daring soul filled the enema bag with a quart of java. What is known is that the coffee enema appeared at least as early as 1917 and was found in the prestigious Merck Manual until 1972. In the 1920s German scientists found that a caffeine solution could open the bile ducts and stimulate the production of bile in the liver of experimental animals.
Dr. Max Gerson used this clinically as part of a general detoxification regimen, first for tuberculosis, then cancer. Caffeine, he postulated, will travel up the hemorrhoidal to the portal vein and thence to the liver itself. Gerson noted some remarkable effects of this procedure. For instance, Patients could dispense with all painkillers once on the enemas.
Many people have noted the paradoxical calming effect of coffee enemas. And while coffee enemas can relieve constipation, Gerson cautioned: “Patients have to know that the coffee enemas are not given for the function of the intestines but for the stimulation of the liver.”
Coffee enemas were an established part of medical practice when Dr. Max Gerson introduced them into cancer therapy in the 1930s. Basing himself on German laboratory work, Gerson believed that caffeine could stimulate the liver and gall bladder to discharge bile. He felt this process could contribute to the health of the cancer patient.
Although the coffee enema has been heaped with scorn, there has been some independent scientific work that gives credence to this concept. In 1981, for instance, Dr. Lee Wattenberg and his colleagues were able to show that substances found in coffee— kahweol and cafestol palmitate—promote the activity of a key enzyme system, glutathione S-transferase, above the norm. This system detoxifies a vast array of electrophiles from the bloodstream and, according to Gar Hildenbrand of the Gerson Institute, “must be regarded as an important mechanism for carcinogen detoxification.” This enzyme group is responsible for neutralizing free radicals, harmful chemicals now commonly implicated in the initiation of cancer. In mice, for example, these systems are enhanced 600 percent in the liver and 700 percent in the bowel when coffee beans are added to the mice’s diet.
Dr. Peter Lechner, who is investigating the Gerson method at the Landeskrankenhaus of Graz, Austria, has reported that “coffee enemas have a definite effect on the colon which can be observed with an endoscope.” F.W. Cope (1977) has postulated the existence of a “tissue damage syndrome.” When cells are challenged by poison, oxygen deprivation, malnutrition or a physical trauma they lose potassium, take on sodium and chloride, and swell up with excess water.
Another scientist (Ling) has suggested that water in a normal cell is contained in an “ice-like” structure. Being alive requires not just the right chemicals but the right chemical structure. Cells normally have a preference for potassium over sodium but when a cell is damaged it begins to prefer sodium. This craving results in a damaged ability of cells to repair themselves and to utilize energy. Further, damaged cells produce toxins; around tumors are zones of “wounded” but still non-malignant tissue, swollen with salt and water.
Gerson believed it axiomatic that cancer could not exist in normal metabolism. He pointed to the fact that scientists often had to damage an animal’s thyroid and adrenals just to get a transplanted tumor to “take.”He directed his efforts toward creating normal metabolism in the tissue surrounding a tumor.
It is the liver and small bowel which neutralize the most common tissue toxins: polyamines, ammonia, toxic-bound nitrogen, and electrophiles.These detoxification systems are probably enhanced by the coffee enema. Physiological Chemistry and Physics has stated that “caffeine enemas cause dilation of bile ducts, which facilitates excretion of toxic cancer breakdown products by the liver and dialysis of toxic products across the colonic wall.” In addition, theophylline and theobromine (two other chemicals in coffee) dilate blood vessels and counter inflammation of the gut; the palmitates enhance the enzyme system responsible for the removal of toxic free radicals from the serum;and the fluid of the enema then stimulates the visceral nervous system to promote peristalsis and the transit of diluted toxic bile from the duodenum and out the rectum.
Since the enema is generally held for 15 minutes, and all the blood in the body passes through the liver every three minutes, “these enemas represent a form of dialysis of blood across the gut wall” (Healing Newsletter, #13, May-June, 1986).
No medical procedure is without risk and a potential danger, they say, is physical damage to the rectum—”fatal bowel perforation and necrosis” which have been associated with “various other types of enema.” The risk of perforation comes from the insertion device used. At the Gerson clinic, for instance, they use a short nozzle which couldn’t inflict much harm; Gonzalez uses a soft rubber colon tube. In neither case would this caveat seem to apply.
In general, coffee enemas are an important tool for physicians who try to detoxify the body. This is not to say they are a panacea. They certainly require much more research.
Immune function is enhanced through detoxification protocols. Enhanced immune function leads to increased ability for detoxification. Coffee enemas support restoration of the biochemical environment of the body through enhancing detoxification. With a newly activated immune system the tumor is attacked by a newly primed immune system and rapidly broken down to cause what we now know as “tumour lysis syndrome”. This is a dangerous state of affairs which, if unrelieved, can lead to coma and death due to the accumulation of toxic by-products of the breakdown.
Coffee enemas effectively avoid this by stimulating the liver’s detoxification systems. Coffee enemas appear to stimulate the activation of the glutathione-S-transferase Phase II enzymes which catalyse the conjugation reactions of xenobiotics with glutathione. The active ingredients in coffee enemas appear to be kahweol and cafestol, the palmitate constituent of green coffee beans. Recent clinical trials have also demonstrated that coffee enemas make a significant difference to late stage pain control in cancer, reducing the need for opiates.
Directions: Prepare the coffee solution by boiling uncovered, 1 quart of distilled water with 3 rounded tablespoons of coffee grounds (not instant), for 3 minutes. Cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Strain and cool to body temperature. Begin by filling the enema bottle with the coffee solution. Administer by lying on your right side, with both legs drawn close to the abdomen. Retain the enema solution for 10-15 minutes.
From The Cancer Chronicles #6 and #7 © Autumn 1990 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
Immune and Surgery Support
The article you are about to read is earth-shattering. It provides overwhelming and compelling data that surgery itself is a significant cause of metastasis. The good news is that a wide variety of methods have been identified to protect against surgically-induced recurrence and metastasis. Armed with this knowledge, a cancer patient can follow simple steps ahead of time to dramatically improve their odds of a cure.
You would think that cancer surgeons would figure this out themselves. After all, everything discussed in the following chapter is based on what is published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Sadly, the assembly-line mentality of conventional doctors too often results in these important decisions being overlooked. As you will read, it is critical that the right choices be made before surgery in order to derive optimal benefits.
It is our sincere desire that the following chapter will educate not only patients, but also their surgeons in a way that will revolutionize the way cancer surgeries are planned and carried out in the future. If you are a newly diagnosed cancer patient, the suggestions made in this article are available right now to reduce painful and life-threatening complications, while simultaneously protecting against surgically-induced metastasis and recurrence of the primary tumor.
The surgical removal of the primary tumor has been the cornerstone of treatment for the great majority of cancers. The rationale for this approach is straightforward: if you can get rid of the cancer by simply removing it from the body, then a cure can likely be achieved. Unfortunately, this approach does not take into account that after surgery the cancer will frequently metastasize (spread to different organs). Quite often the metastatic recurrence is far more serious than the original tumor. In fact, for many cancers it is the metastatic recurrence and not the primary tumor that ultimately proves to be fatal.1
In a shocking irony, a growing body of scientific evidence has revealed that cancer surgery can increase the risk of metastasis.2 This would fly in the face of conventional medical thinking, but the facts are undeniable. To gain a better understanding of how surgery can increase the risk of metastasis, let’s first discuss the actual process of cancer
metastasis. A complicated sequence of events must occur in order for cancer to spread to another part of the body.2 Isolated cancer cells that break away from the primary tumor must first breach the connective tissue immediately surrounding the cancer. Once the cancer cell has broken free of the surrounding connective tissue, the next step is to enter a blood or lymphatic vessel. This is easier said than done, as entry into a blood vessel requires the cancer cell to secrete enzymes that degrade the basement membrane of the blood vessel.3 Entry into a blood vessel is vitally important for the aspiring metastatic cancer cell, since it uses the bloodstream as a highway for transportation to other vital organs of the body, such as the liver, brain, or lungs, where it can form a new deadly tumor.
Now that the lone cancer cell has finally entered the bloodstream, its problems have only just begun. Traveling within the bloodstream can be a hazardous journey for cancer cells. Turbulence from the fast moving blood can damage and destroy the cancer cell. Furthermore, cancer cells must avoid detection and destruction from white blood cells circulating in the blood stream. To complete its voyage, the rogue cancer cell must adhere to the lining of the blood vessel, where it degrades through and exits the basement membrane of the blood vessel. Its final task is to burrow through the surrounding connective tissue to arrive at the organ that is its final destination. Now the cancer cell can multiply and form a growing colony that serves as the foundation for a new metastatic cancer. Time is working against these solitary cancer cells. This entire sequence of events must happen quickly, since these cells have a limited life span.1
We now see that cancer metastasis is a complicated and difficult process. Fraught with peril, very few free-standing cancer cells survive this arduous journey.2 The probability of cancer cells surviving this journey and forming new metastases can be increased by anything that serves to make this process easier.
In a groundbreaking study published in the medical journal Annals of Surgery in 2009, researchers reported that cancer surgery itself can create an environment in the body that greatly lessens the obstacles to metastasis that cancers cells must normally face.2
Just as concerning is the revelation that cancer surgery can produce an alternate route of metastasis that bypasses natural barriers. During cancer surgery, the removal of the tumor almost always disrupts the structural integrity of the tumor and/or the blood vessels feeding the tumor. This can lead to an unobstructed dispersal of cancer cells into the bloodstream, or seeding of these cancer cells directly into the chest or abdomen.4-7 This surgery-induced, alternate route, can greatly simplify the path to metastasis.
To illustrate, a study published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2001 compared the survival of women with breast cancer who had their tumors removed surgically, to the survival of women with breast cancer who did not have surgery. As expected, the findings established that surgery substantially improved survival in the early years.
However, further analysis of the data determined that women who had surgery had a spike in their risk of death at eight years that was not evident in the group who did not have surgery.8 In their interpretation of the results, the authors of the study stated: A reasonable hypothesis to explain the observed patterns of the hazard functions [risk of cancer death] is to assume that, primary tumor removal may result in sudden acceleration of metastatic process.
Another group of researchers commenting on a study examining the surgical treatment of colon cancer were far bolder in their conclusions: “This finding strongly supports that surgery alters the natural course of the disease by elongating life expectancy in
the greater part of the patient population, but also by simultaneously shortening survival in a smaller subset of patients. Thus, both experimental and clinical evidence support that surgery, although greatly reducing tumor mass and potentially curative, paradoxically can also augment metastasis development.2
Given these disturbing findings, what can individuals undergoing surgery for their cancers do to protect themselves against an increased risk of metastasis? A worthwhile strategy would be to examine all of the mechanisms by which surgery promotes
metastasis, and then create a comprehensive plan that counteracts each and every one of these mechanisms.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: CANCER SURGERY
Surgical removal of cancer typically provides the best chance of disease-free survival. A growing body of evidence suggests that cancer surgery itself may increase the risk of
metastasis (spread to other areas) via numerous mechanisms including: increasing cancer
cell adhesion, suppressing immune function, promoting angiogenesis, and stimulating
inflammation. Since metastatic disease is often deadlier than the original tumor, it is important to utilize preventive strategies to prevent cancer metastasis.
Steps to help prevent cancer metastasis include: combating cancer cell adhesion,
supporting immune health, heightening immune surveillance, inhibiting angiogenesis,
minimizing inflammation, and choosing surgeons and anesthesiologists who utilize
advanced techniques that may reduce metastatic risk. Certain nutrients, drugs, types of anesthesia, and surgical techniques are associated with reduced risk of metastasis.
SURGERY INCREASES CANCER CELL ADHESION
One mechanism by which surgery increases the risk of metastasis is by enhancing cancer cell adhesion.9 Cancer cells that have broken away from the primary tumor utilize adhesion to boost their ability to form metastases in distant organs. These cancer cells must be able to clump together and form colonies that can expand and grow. It is unlikely that a single cancer cell will form a metastatic tumor, just as one person is unlikely to form a thriving community. Cancer cells use adhesion molecules, such as galectin-3, to facilitate their ability to clump together. Present on the surface of cancer cells, these molecules act like velcro by allowing free-standing cancer cells to adhere to each other.10 Cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream also make use of galectin-3 surface adhesion molecules to latch onto the lining of blood vessels.11 The adherence of circulating tumor cells (CTC) to the blood vessel walls is an essential step for the process of metastasis. Just like a person sliding down an icy hill has
no hope of stopping if they cannot grab onto something, a cancer cell that cannot adhere to the blood vessel wall will just continue to wander through the bloodstream incapable of forming metastases. Unable to latch onto the wall of the blood vessel, these circulating tumor cells become like ships, without a port, and are unable to dock. Eventually, white blood cells circulating in the bloodstream will target and destroy the CTC. If the CTC successfully bind to the blood vessel wall and burrow their way through the basement membrane, they will then utilize galectin-3 adhesion molecules to adhere to the organ to form a new
COMBATING CANCER CELL ADHESION
Regrettably, research has shown that cancer surgery increases tumor cell adhesion. In one experiment that mimicked surgical conditions, scientists reported that the binding of cancer cells to the blood vessel walls was increased by 250%, compared to cancer cells not exposed to surgical conditions.12 Therefore, it is critically important for the person undergoing cancer surgery to take measures that can help to neutralize the surgery-induced increase in cancer cell adhesion. Fortunately, a natural supplement called modified citrus pectin (MCP) can do just that. Citrus pectin, a type of dietary fiber, is not absorbed from the intestine. However, modified citrus pectin has been altered so that it can be absorbed into the blood and exert its anti-cancer effects. The mechanism by which modified citrus pectin inhibits cancer cell adhesion is by binding to galectin-3 adhesion molecules on the surface of cancer cells, thereby preventing cancer cells from sticking together and forming a cluster.13 Modified
citrus pectin can also inhibit circulating tumor cells from latching onto the lining of blood vessels. This was demonstrated by an experiment in which modified citrus pectin blocked the adhesion of galectin-3 to the lining of blood vessels by an astounding 95%. Modified citrus pectin also substantially decreased the adhesion of breast cancer cells to the blood vessel walls.13
Impressive research has documented the power of modified citrus pectin to directly inhibit cancer metastasis. In a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,
modified citrus pectin was administered to rats that were injected with prostate cancer cells,
while rats not receiving modified citrus pectin served as the control group. Lung metastasis
was noted in 93% of the control group, whereas only 50% of the modified citrus pectin group
experienced lung metastasis. Even more noteworthy was the finding that the modified citrus
pectin group had an 89% reduction in the size of the metastatic colonies, compared to the
control group.14 In a similar experiment, mice injected with melanoma cancer cells that were
fed modified citrus pectin experienced a greater than 90% reduction in lung metastasis
compared to the control group.15
After these exciting findings in animal research, modified citrus pectin was then put to the test in men with prostate cancer. In this trial, 10 men with recurrent prostate cancer received modified citrus pectin (14.4 g per day). After one year, a considerable improvement in cancer progression was noted, as determined by a reduction of the rate at which the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level increased.16 This was followed by a study in which 49 men with prostate cancer of various types were given modified citrus pectin for a four-week cycle. After two cycles of treatment with modified citrus pectin, 22% of the men experienced a
stabilization of their disease or improved quality of life; 12% had stable disease for more than 24 weeks. The authors of the study concluded that, MCP (modified citrus pectin) seems to have positive impacts especially regarding clinical benefit and life quality for patients with far advanced solid tumor.17
Please remember that these prostate cancer study subjects already suffered from advanced disease. It would appear more logical if these patients had initiated modified citrus pectin supplementation before surgical procedures to prevent metastatic colonies from being established, as was done in the successful laboratory studies.
In addition to modified citrus pectin, a well-known over-the-counter medication can also play a pivotal role in reducing cancer cell adhesion. Cimetidine, commonly known as Tagamet, is a drug historically used to alleviate heartburn. A growing body of scientific evidence has revealed that cimetidine also possesses potent anti-cancer activity. Cimetidine inhibits cancer cell adhesion by blocking the expression of an adhesive molecule,called E-selectin, on the surface of cells lining blood vessels.15 Cancers cells latch onto E-selectin in order to adhere to the lining of blood vessels.18 By preventing the expression of E-selectin, cimetidine significantly limits the ability of cancer cell adherence to the blood vessel walls. This effect is analogous to removing the velcro from the blood vessels walls that would normally enable circulating tumor cells to bind.
Cimetidine’s potent anti-cancer effects were clearly displayed in a report published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2002. In this study, 64 colon cancer patients received chemotherapy with or without cimetidine (800 mg per day) for one year. The 10-year survival for the cimetidine group was almost 90%. This is in stark contrast to the control group, which had a 10-year survival of only 49.8%. Remarkably, for those patients with a more aggressive
form of colon cancer, the 10-year survival was 85% in those treated with cimetidine compared to a dismal 23% in the control group.19 The authors of the study concluded, “taken together, these results suggested a mechanism underlying the beneficial effect of cimetidine on colorectal cancer patients, presumably by blocking the expression of E-selectin on vascular endothelial [lining of blood vessels] cells and inhibiting the adhesion of cancer cells.” These findings were supported by another study with colorectal cancer patients wherein cimetidine given for just seven days at the time of surgery increased three-year survival from 59% to 93%.20
This data provides a compelling case for cancer patients, at least five days prior to surgery, to ingest at least 14 grams of modified citrus pectin and 800 mg of cimetidine daily. This combination regimen may be followed for a year or longer to reduce metastatic risk.
PREVENTING SURGERY-INDUCED IMMUNE SUPPRESSION
The essential role the immune system plays in combating cancer cannot be overstated. Although there are many aspects of the immune system that come into play when fighting cancer, the role of the natural killer cell predominates. Natural killer (NK) cells are a type of white blood cell tasked with seeking out and destroying cancer cells. Research has shown that NK cells can spontaneously recognize and kill a variety of cancer cells.21
To illustrate the importance of NK cell activity in fighting cancer, a study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment examined NK cell activity in women shortly after surgery for breast cancer. The researchers reported that low levels of NK cell activity were associated with an increased risk of death from breast cancer.22 In fact, reduced NK cell activity was a better predictor of survival than the actual stage of the cancer. In another alarming study, individuals with reduced NK cell activity before surgery for colon cancer had a 350% increased risk of metastasis during the following 31 months!23
The likelihood of surgery-induced metastasis requires the immune system to be highly active and vigilant in seeking out and destroying renegade cancer cells during the perioperative period (the time immediately before and after surgery). Tragically, numerous studies have documented that cancer surgery results in a substantial reduction in NK cell activity.6,7,24,25 In an investigation having ominous implications, NK cell activity in women having surgery for breast cancer was reduced by over 50% on the first day after surgery.24 In light of this mounting evidence, a group of researchers stated: “We therefore believe that shortly
after surgery, even transitory immune dysfunction might permit neoplasms [cancer] to enter the next stage of development and eventually form sizable metastases.”7
The surgical procedure itself reduces NK activity. This NK cell-impairing effect that occurs immediately after surgery could not happen at a worse possible time. NK cell activity falters when it is most needed to fight metastasis. The surgery-induced increased risk of metastasis combined with a reduction in NK cell activity can have disastrous consequences for the person undergoing cancer surgery. With that said, the perioperative period presents a window of opportunity to actively strengthen immune function by enhancing NK cell activity. Fortunately, numerous nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, and medical interventions known to enhance NK cell activity are available to the person undergoing cancer surgery.
One prominent natural supplement that can increase NK cell activity is PSK, (protein-bound polysaccharide K) a specially prepared extract from the mushroom Coriolus versicolor. PSK has been shown to enhance NK cell activity in multiple studies.26,29 PSK’s ability to enhance NK cell activity helps to explain why it has been shown to dramatically improve survival in cancer patients. For example, 225 patients with lung cancer received radiation therapy with or without PSK (3 grams per day). For those with more advanced Stage 3 cancers, more than three times as many individuals taking PSK were alive after five years (26%), compared to those not taking PSK (8%). PSK more than doubled five-year survival in those individuals with less advanced Stage 1 or 2 disease (39% vs.17%).30
A group of colon cancer patients were randomized to receive chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy plus PSK, which was taken for two years. The group receiving PSK had an exceptional 10-year survival of 82%. Sadly, the group receiving chemotherapy alone had a 10-year survival of only 51%.31 In a similar trial reported in the British Journal of Cancer in 2004, colon cancer patients received chemotherapy alone or combined with PSK (3 grams per day) for two years. In the group with a more dangerous Stage 3 colon cancer, the five-year survival was 75% in the PSK group. This compared to a five-year survival of only
46% in the group receiving chemotherapy alone.32 Research has confirmed that PSK also improves survival in cancers of the breast, stomach, esophagus, and uterus.33-36
Other nutraceuticals that have been documented to increase NK cell activity are garlic, glutamine, IP6 (inositol hexaphosphate), AHCC (active hexose correlated compound), and lactoferrin.37-41 One experiment in mice with breast cancer found that glutamine supplementation resulted in a 40% decrease in tumor growth paired with a 2.5-fold increase in NK cell activity.40
Scientists in Germany explored the effects of mistletoe extract on NK cell activity in 62 patients undergoing surgery for colon cancer. The participants were randomized to receive an intravenous infusion of mistletoe extract immediately before they were given general anesthesia, or were given general anesthesia alone. Measurements of NK cell activity were taken before and 24 hours after surgery. As expected, the group that did not receive mistletoe experienced a 44% reduction in NK cell activity 24 hours after surgery. Interestingly, the scientists reported that the group receiving mistletoe did not experience a significant decrease in NK cell activity after surgery. They went on to conclude that, perioperative infusion of mistletoe extracts can prevent a suppression of NK cell activity in cancer patients.42
Pharmaceuticals used to increase NK cell activity include interferon-alpha and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. These drugs were shown to prevent surgery-induced immune suppression when given perioperatively.43,44 Another immune boosting drug to consider in the perioperative setting may be interleukin-2.45
At least five days prior to surgery, it would appear logical to institute a natural killer (NK) cell-enhancing program involving nutrients like PSK, lactoferrin, glutamine, and others. Drugs such as interleukin-2 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor are approved in the United States, but health insurance does not usually cover them for the perioperative purposes suggested here.
HEIGHTENING IMMUNE SURVEILLANCE WITH CANCER VACCINES
An enlightened medical approach to cancer treatment involves the use of cancer vaccines. The concept is the same as using vaccines for infectious diseases, except that tumor vaccines target cancer cells instead of a virus. Another distinguishing feature
of tumor vaccines is that while viral vaccines are created from a generic virus, tumor vaccines are autologous, that is, they are produced from a person’s own cancer cells removed during surgery. This is a critical distinction since there can be considerable genetic differences between cancers. This highly individualized cancer vaccine greatly amplifies the ability of the immune system to identify and target any residual cancer cells present in the body. Cancer vaccines provide the immune system with the specific identifying markers of the cancer that can then be used to mount a successful attack against metastatic cancer cells.
Autologous cancer vaccines have been studied extensively, with the most encouraging results noted in randomized, controlled clinical trials including more than 1,300 colorectal cancer patients in which tumor vaccines were given after surgery. These trials reported reduced recurrence rates and improved survival.46 Unlike chemotherapy, which can cause severe side effects and toxicity, cancer vaccines are a gentle therapy with proven long-term safety.47
In a landmark study reported in 2003, 567 individuals with colon cancer were randomized to receive surgery alone, or surgery combined with vaccines derived from their own cancer cells. The median survival for the cancer vaccine group was over 7 years,
compared to the median survival of 4.5 years for the group receiving surgery alone. The five-year survival was 66.5% in the cancer vaccine group, which dwarfed the 45.6% five-year survival for the group receiving surgery alone.48 This glaring difference in five-year survival clearly displays the power of individually-tailored cancer vaccines to greatly focus a person’s own immunity to target and attack residual metastatic cancer cells.
CANCER SURGERY, ANGIOGENESIS, AND METASTASIS
Cancers employ a clever strategy in their quest to grow and thrive within the
body. Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels are formed from pre-existing
blood vessels. The formation of new blood vessels is a normal and necessary process for
childhood growth and development, as well as for wound healing. Unfortunately, cancers
hijack this otherwise normal process in order to increase blood supply to the tumor. The
formation of new blood vessels supplying the tumor is an absolute requirement for successful
metastasis since tumors cannot grow beyond the size of a pinhead (i.e., 1-2mm) without
expanding their blood supply.49,50
It might be surprising to learn that the presence of the primary tumor serves to inhibit the growth of metastatic cancer elsewhere in the body. The primary tumor produces antiangiogenic factors which restrict the growth of metastases.51-54 These anti-angiogenic factors inhibit the formation of new blood vessels to potential sites of metastasis. Regrettably, the surgical removal of the primary cancer also results in the removal of these anti-angiogenic factors, and the growth of metastasis is no longer inhibited. With these restrictions lifted, it is now easier for small sites of metastatic cancer to attract new blood vessels that promote their growth.55 Indeed, these concerns were voiced by researchers who declared that “… removal of the primary tumor might eliminate a safeguard against angiogenesis and thus
awaken dormant micrometastasis [small sites of metastatic cancer].”7
As if the loss of angiogenic inhibition by the primary tumor were not enough of a problem, it turns out the surgery causes another angiogenic predicament. After surgery, levels of factors that increase angiogenesis, also known as vascular endothelial growth
factor (VEGF), are significantly elevated. This can result in an increased formation of new blood vessels supplying areas of metastatic cancer. A group of scientists summarized this research quite well when they asserted that “after surgery, the angiogenic balance of pro-and antiangiogenic factors is shifted in favor of angiogenesis to facilitate wound healing. Especially
levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are persistently elevated. This may not only benefit tumor recurrence and the formation of metastatic disease, but also result in activation of dormant micrometastases.”2
Given the metastatic cancer’s need for an expanding blood supply, inhibition of angiogenesis would certainly be an integral part of a comprehensive strategy to combat surgery-induced metastasis. To that end, various nutrients have been shown to inhibit VEGF. These include soy isoflavones (genistein), silibinin (a component of milk thistle), chrysin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea, and curcumin.56-62
In one experiment, EGCG, the active constituent of green tea, was administered to mice with
stomach cancer. The results demonstrated that EGCG reduced the tumor mass by 60%, while also reducing the concentration of blood vessels feeding the tumor by 38%. Remarkably, EGCG decreased the expression of VEGF in cancer cells by an astounding 80%! The authors of the study concluded “EGCG inhibits the growth of gastric cancer by reducing VEGF production and angiogenesis, and is a promising candidate for anti-angiogenic treatment of gastric cancer.”56
In the evaluation of the research pertaining to curcumin’s anti-angiogenic effects, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine noted that “Curcumin is a direct inhibitor of angiogenesis and also down regulates various proangiogenic proteins like
vascular endothelial growth factor.” Additionally, the scientists remarked, “Cell adhesion molecules are upregulated in active angiogenesis and curcumin can block this effect, adding further dimensions to curcumin’s anti-angiogenic effect.” In conclusion,
they commented that “Curcumin’s effect on the overall process of angiogenesis compounds its enormous potential as an antiangiogenic drug.”44
Five days prior to surgery, the patient may consider supplementing with standardized green tea extract, curcumin, soy genistein extract and other nutrients that suppress VEGF and thus may help protect against angiogenesis.
THE CHOICE OF SURGICAL ANESTHESIA CAN INFLUENCE METASTASIS
The conventional medical approach to surgical anesthesia has been the use of general anesthesia during surgery, followed by intravenous morphine after surgery for pain control. The conventional approach, however, may not be the optimal approach for preventing surgery-induced metastasis. The use of morphine directly after surgery poses significant problems. At a time when immune function is already suppressed, morphine further weakens the immune system by diminishing NK cell activity.63 Surgical anesthesia has also been shown to weaken NK cell activity.64 One study found that morphine increased angiogenesis and
stimulated the growth of breast cancer in mice. The researchers concluded: “These results indicate that clinical use of morphine could potentially be harmful in patients with angiogenesis-dependent cancers.”65
Given the inherent problems associated with the use of morphine and anesthesia, researchers have explored other approaches to surgical anesthesia and pain control. One novel approach is the use of conventional general anesthesia combined with regional anesthesia, which refers to anesthesia that only affects a specific part of the body. The benefits achieved with this approach are two-fold: the use of regional anesthesia reduces the amount of general anesthesia required during surgery, as well as decreasing the amount of morphine needed after surgery for pain control.55
This elegant approach to surgical anesthesia and pain control has been validated in scientific studies. In one experiment, cancerous mice received surgery with general anesthesia alone or combined with regional anesthesia. The scientists reported that the addition of regional anesthesia to general anesthesia “markedly attenuates the promotion of metastasis by surgery.” Regional anesthesia reduced 70% of the metastasis-promoting effects of surgery caused by general anesthesia alone.66
Doctors at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine compared NK cell activity in patients receiving general or regional anesthesia for abdominal surgery. NK cell activity dropped substantially in the general anesthesia group, while NK cell activity was preserved at pre-operative levels in the group that received regional anesthesia.67 Building upon these encouraging findings, researchers then explored if regional anesthesia can affect metastasis in women undergoing surgery for breast cancer.
In a pioneering study, 50 women having breast cancer surgery with general anesthesia combined with regional anesthesia were
compared to 79 women who received general anesthesia during their breast cancer surgery followed by morphine for pain control. The type of regional anesthesia used is called a paravertebral block, which involves the injection of a local anesthetic around the
spinal nerves between the vertebral bones of the spine. After a follow-up period of nearly three years, dramatic differences were noted between the two groups. Only 6% of patients who received regional anesthesia experienced a recurrence, compared to a 24% risk of metastatic recurrence in the group that did not receive regional anesthesia. Stated differently, women who received regional and general anesthesia had a 75% decreased risk for metastatic cancer. These findings led researchers to proclaim that regional anesthesia for breast cancer surgery “markedly reduces the risk of recurrence or metastasis during the initial years
Surgeons at Duke University Medical Center compared regional anesthesia alone to general anesthesia in women having surgery for breast cancer. The surgeons reported that while 39% of the general anesthesia group required medication for nausea and vomiting, only 20% of the regional anesthesia group needed this medication. Narcotic medication was needed for pain control after surgery in 98% of the general anesthesia group, compared to only 25% of the regional anesthesia group. And 96% of the women receiving regional anesthesia had returned home within a day after surgery, compared with 76% of the women who received general anesthesia. The surgeons concluded that regional anesthesia “can be used to perform major operations for breast cancer with minimal complications… Most importantly, by reducing nausea, vomiting, and surgical pain, paravertebral block [regional anesthesia] markedly improves the quality of operative recovery for patients who are treated for breast cancer and therefore provides the patient with the choice to return home as early as desired after surgery.”68
The results of these studies have vast implications for those undergoing cancer surgery, as a group of researchers enthusiastically announced: “As regional techniques [anesthesia], are easy to implement, inexpensive, and do not pose a threat greater than general anesthesia, it would be easy for anesthesiologists to implement them, thus reducing the risk of disease recurrence and metastasis.”55
Finally, those requiring morphine for pain control after surgery can consider asking their doctor for a medication called tramadol instead. Unlike morphine, tramadol does not suppress immune function.69 On the contrary, tramadol has been shown to stimulate NK cell activity. In one experiment, tramadol blocked the formation of lung metastasis induced by surgery in rats. Tramadol also prevented the surgery-induced suppression of NK cell activity.70
LESS INVASIVE SURGERY REDUCES RISK OF METASTASIS
Surgery places an enormous physical stress upon the body. There is considerable scientific evidence supporting that surgeries that are less invasive, and therefore less traumatic, pose less risk of metastasis, compared to more invasive and traumatic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is one type of minimally invasive surgery, in which operations in the abdomen, pelvis, and other regions are performed through small incisions, as compared to the much larger incisions needed in traditional, open surgeries.
A study published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet compared laparoscopic to open surgery to remove part of the colon (colectomy) in patients with colon cancer. In contrast to the group receiving traditional open surgery, the laparoscopic surgery group had a 61% decreased risk of cancer recurrence coupled with a 62% decreased risk of death from colon cancer. The surgeons concluded that laparoscopic colectomy is more effective than open colectomy for treatment of colon cancer as assessed by tumor recurrence and cancer-related survival.71 A long-term follow-up of these patients (median time 95 months) reported a 56% decreased risk of death from colon cancer for laparoscopic surgery as compared to traditional open surgery.72 Another comparison of laparoscopic surgery to open surgery for colon cancer reported a five-year survival rate of 64.1% for the laparoscopic group, and a five-year survival rate of 58.5% for the group receiving open surgery.73
Minimally invasive surgery has produced substantial improvements in survival for those with lung cancer. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), a minimally invasive surgery, was compared to traditional open surgery for removing lung tumors (lobectomy). The five-year survival from lung cancer was 97% in the VATS group. This greatly contrasts the 79% five-year survival in the open surgery group.74
Commenting on the use of minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer, surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center stated that minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer, “can be performed safely with proven advantages over conventional thoracotomy [chest surgery] for lobectomy: smaller incisions, decreased postoperative pain, decreased blood loss, better preservation of pulmonary function, and earlier return to normal activities. The evidence in the literature is mounting that VATS may offer reduced rates of complications and better survival.”75
ADMINISTERING CHEMO AND RADIATION THERAPIES PRIOR TO SURGERY
Doctors at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine studied the use of combined radiation and chemotherapy prior to surgery for individuals with esophageal cancer. Twenty-six patients received surgery alone, while 30 patients received radiation
and chemotherapy followed by surgery. The group receiving combined treatment had a five-year survival of 39%, while the group treated with surgery alone experienced a five-year survival of only 16%.99
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 compared treatment with surgery alone to treatment with chemotherapy, given both directly before and after surgery, in patients with stomach or esophageal cancer. The five-year survival for the group receiving surgery and chemotherapy was 36%, compared to a five-year survival of 23% in the group receiving surgery alone.100
Research also supports the use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy during the critical perioperative period. In one study, 544 patients with stomach cancer received combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy shortly after surgery. Survival comparisons were made with a similar group of 446 patients with stomach cancer treated with surgery alone. Postoperative chemotherapy and radiation led to a dramatic improvement in survival. The group treated with surgery alone had a median survival of only 62.6 months, compared to a median survival of 95.3 months in the group receiving postoperative radiation and
chemotherapy.110 A similar study also demonstrated improved survival with the use of postoperative radiation and chemotherapy compared to surgery alone.102
INFLAMMATION AND METASTASIS
Cancer surgery causes an increased production of inflammatory chemicals, such as interleukin-1 and interleukin-6.76-78 These chemicals are known to increase the activity of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). A highly potent inflammatory enzyme, COX-2 plays a
pivotal role in promoting cancer growth and metastasis.
This was evident in an article appearing in the journal Cancer Research that found levels of COX-2 in pancreatic cancer cells to be 60 times greater than in normal pancreatic cells.79 Levels of COX-2 were 150 times higher in cancer cells from individuals with
head and neck cancers compared to normal tissue from healthy volunteers.80 COX-2 fuels cancer growth by stimulating the formation of new blood vessels feeding the tumor.81,82 COX-2 increases cancer cell adhesion to the blood vessel walls,83 and also enhances the ability of cancer cells to metastasize. Experiments in mice revealed that colon cancer cells expressing high levels of COX-2 metastasized freely to the liver, while colon cancer cells expressing low levels of COX-2 did not metastasize to the liver.83
The adverse influence of COX-2 on the growth and progression of cancer was clearly revealed in a study published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research in 2004. Two hundred eighty-eight individuals undergoing surgery for colon cancer had their tumors examined for the presence of COX-2. The findings were alarming, when other factors were controlled for, the group whose cancers tested positive for the presence of COX-2 had a 311% greater risk of death compared to the group whose cancers did not express COX-2.84 A subsequent study in lung cancer patients found that those with high tumor levels of COX-2 had a median
survival of only 15 months, whereas those with low tumor levels of COX-2 had a median survival of 40 months.85
Given these findings, researchers began investigating the anti-cancer effects of COX-2 inhibitor drugs. Although initially used for inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, COX-2 inhibitor drugs have been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer activity. For example, 134 patients with advanced lung cancer were treated with chemotherapy alone or combined with Celebrex, (a COX-2 inhibitor). For those individuals with cancers expressing higher amounts of COX-2, treatment with Celebrex, dramatically prolonged survival.86 Treatment with Celebrex, also slowed cancer progression in men with recurrent prostate cancer.87
Perhaps the most impressive display of the anti-metastatic effects of COX-2 inhibitor drugs was presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2008. In this study, the incidence of bone metastases in breast cancer patients who had taken a COX-2 inhibitor for at least six months following the diagnosis of breast cancer was compared to the incidence of bone metastases in breast cancer patients who had not taken a COX-2 inhibitor. Remarkably, those who were treated with a COX-2 inhibitor were almost 80% less likely to develop bone metastases than those who were not treated with a COX-2 inhibitor drug.88
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, are COX inhibitors. The widespread use of NSAIDs for pain and arthritis has created an ideal environment in which to examine if these drugs can prevent cancer. Large-scale studies have documented a substantial reduction in cancer risk with the use of NSAIDs. A comprehensive review of the scientific literature (91 published studies) reported that the long-term use of NSAIDs (primarily aspirin) produced risk reductions of 63% for colon cancer, 39% for breast cancer, 36% for lung cancer, 39% for prostate cancer, 73% for esophageal cancer, 62%
for stomach cancer, and 47% for ovarian cancer. This review provides compelling evidence that regular intake of NSAIDs that block COX-2 protects against the development of many types of cancer,� the authors concluded.89
A number of nutritional and herbal supplements are known to inhibit COX-2. These include curcumin, resveratrol, vitamin E, soy isoflavones (genistein), green tea (EGCG), quercetin, fish oil, garlic, feverfew, and silymarin (milk thistle).58,90-97
Scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York created an experimentally-induced increase in COX-2 activity in human breast cells, which was completely prevented by resveratrol. Resveratol blocked the production of COX-2 within the cell, as well as blocking COX-2 enzyme activity.98
A group of noted experts in the field of surgery-induced metastasis stated that “cancer treatment, necessitates the surgical excision of the primary tumor in order to relieve the patient of the major tumor burden, which is the main source of mutating and metastasizing cells. However, along with its obvious benefits, the surgical procedure has been suggested to involve serious hazards as it releases tumor cells into the circulation or lymphatics, promotes the secretion of angiogenic and growth factors, and induces suppression of CMI [immune function]. These consequences synergistically facilitate the establishment of new metastases and the development of preexisting micrometastases. As cancer-related death is most commonly the result of metastatic disease, it is crucial to minimize this facilitation.”55
Remarking further, they commented that “Taken together, it is evident that the perioperative period harbors many risks; however, it is also the ideal time for battling MRD [small numbers of cancer cells remaining after surgery] to reduce recurrence and future
metastases.” Thus, these scientists believe, it is essential to employ preventative interventions during this critical time. Additionally, they urge that, “Ideally, each problematic aspect of surgery should be treated when oncological patients undergo resection [surgery] in order to minimize recurrence and metastatic spread.”55
Armed with the knowledge discussed in this article, the person with cancer can reap all the benefits that cancer surgery offers, while simultaneously avoiding the metastatic perils imposed by this procedure.
This article was written by Steven Nemeroff, ND. Preventing Surgery-Induced Cancer. Life Extension Magazine, December 2009.
1. J Surg Oncol. 2006 Jul 1;94(1):68-80.
2. Ann Surg. 2009 May;249(5):727-34.
3. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2004 Jan;23(1-2):119-35.
4. Brain Behav Immun. 2003 Feb;17 Suppl 1S27-S36.
5. Ann Surg. 2000 Jul;232(1):58-65.
6. Surgery. 1998 Sep;124(3):516-25.
7. Ann Surg Oncol. 2003 Oct;10(8):972-92.
8. Br J Cancer. 2001 Aug 17;85(4):490-2.
9. J Surg Res. 2002 Sep;107(1):1-6.
10. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1987;6(3):433-52.
11. J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 5;282(1):773-81.
12. Int J Cancer. 2004 Dec 20;112(6):943-50.
13. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2002 Dec 18;94(24):1854-62.
14. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995 Mar 1;87(5):348-53.
15. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1992 Mar 18;84(6):438-42.
16. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2003;6(4):301-4.
17. Clin Med Oncol. 2007;1:73�80.
18. Cancer Res. 2008 Jul 1;68(13):5167-76.
19. Br J Cancer. 2002 Jan 21;86(2):161-7.
20. Lancet. 1994 Dec 24;344(8939-8940):1768-9.
21. Science. 1981 Oct 2;214(4516):24-30.
22. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2000 Apr;60(3):227-34.
23. Int Surg. 1997 Apr;82(2):190-3.
24. Br J Surg. 1993 Aug;80(8):1005-7.
25. Brain Behav Immun. 2007 May;21(4):395-408.
26. Oncol Rep. 2006 Apr;15(4):861-8.
27. Anticancer Res. 2002 May;22(3):1737-54.
28. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2001 Jun;50(4):191-8.
29. Int J Clin Lab Res. 1999;29(4):135-40.
30. Cancer Detect Prev. 1997;21(1):71-7.
31. Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2008 Aug;23(4):461-7.
32. Br J Cancer. 2004 Mar 8;90(5):1003-10.
33. Gan No Rinsho. 1986 Feb;32(2):181-5.
34. Lancet. 1994 May 7;343(8906):1122-6.
35. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 1988 Nov;15(11):3143-51.
36. Cancer. 1992 Nov 15;70(10):2475-83.
37. J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):816S-820S.
38. Carcinogenesis. 1989 Sep;10(9):1595-8.
39. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2006 Jul;26(7):489-99.
40. J Surg Res. 1996 Jun;63(1):293-7.
41. J Hepatol. 2002 Jul;37(1):78-86.
42. Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Feb;14(1):9-17.
43. Br J Surg. 2001 Apr;88(4):539-44.
44. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:185-95.
45. Hepatogastroenterology. 2002 Mar-Apr;49(44):385-7.
46. Ann Oncol. 2005 Jun;16(6):847-62.
47. Adv Cancer Res. 2006;95:147-202.
48. World J Gastroenterol. 2003 Mar;9(3):495-8.
49. Ribatti D. History of Research on Tumor Angiogenesis. Springer;2009:9.
50. Neuro Oncol. 2005 Apr;7(2):106-21.
51. Eur J Cancer. 2005 Mar;41(4):508-15.
52. Curr Mol Med. 2003 Nov;3(7):643-51.
53. Ann Chir Plast Esthet. 2000 Aug;45(4):485-93.
54. Presse Med. 1998 Jul 4-11;27(24):1221-4.
55. Breast Dis. 2006;26:99-114.
56. World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb 28;13(8):1162-9.
57. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2006;34(1-2):109-15.
58. Gut. 2008 Nov;57(11):1509-17.
59. J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Jun;18(6):408-17.
60. Cancer. 2004 Jan 1;100(1):201-10.
61. Planta Med. 2006 Jun;72(8):708-14.
62. J Surg Res. 2003 Jul;113(1):133-8.
63. Am J Ther. 2004 Sep;11(5):354-65.
64. Anesth Analg. 2003 Nov;97(5):1331-9.
65. Cancer Res. 2002 Aug 1;62(15):4491-8.
66. Anesthesiology. 2001 Jun;94(6):1066-73.
67. Am J Surg. 1996 Jan;171(1):68-72.
68. Ann Surg. 1998 Apr;227(4):496-501.
69. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2006;26(4):478-81.
70. J Neuroimmunol. 2002 Aug;129(1-2):18-24.
71. Lancet. 2002 Jun 29;359(9325):2224-9.
72. Ann Surg. 2008 Jul;248(1):1-7.
73. Arch Surg. 2008 Sep;143(9):832-9.
74. Ann Thorac Surg. 2000 Nov;70(5):1644-6.
75. Thorac Surg Clin. 2007 May;17(2):223-31.
76. Br J Surg. 1992 Aug;79(8):757-60.
77. Dis Colon Rectum. 2003 Feb;46(2):147-55.
78. Cytokine. 2003 Dec 21;24(6):237-43.
79. Cancer Res. 1999 Mar 1;59(5):987-90.
80. Cancer Res. 1999 Mar 1;59(5):991-4.
81. Cell. 1998 May 29;93(5):705-16.
82. Mol Cancer Ther. 2003 Jan;2(1):1-7.
83. Cancer Res. 2002 Mar 1;62(5):1567-72.
84. Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Dec 15;10(24):8465-71.
85. Int J Cancer. 2005 Jul 1;115(4):545-55.
86. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Feb 20;26(6):848-55.
87. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Apr 1;12(7 Pt 1):2172-7.
89. Oncol Rep. 2005 Apr;13(4):559-83.
90. Mol Carcinog. 2006 May;45(5):309-19.
91. Ann NY Acad Sci. 1999;889:214-23.
92. J Biol Chem. 1998 Aug 21;273(34):21875-82.
93. Carcinogenesis. 2007 Apr;28(4):809-15.
94. Mutat Res. 2004 Jul 13;551(1-2):245-54.
95. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1996 Sep 24;226(3):810-8.
96. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1995 Dec;53(6):397-400.
97. Mol Cell Biochem. 2008 Jun;313(1-2):53-61.
98. J Biol Chem. 1998 Aug 21;273(34):21875-82.
99. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Mar 1;26(7):1086-92.
100. N Engl J Med. 2006 Jul 6;355(1):11-20.
101. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Dec 1;63(5):1279-85.
102. N Engl J Med. 2001 Sep 6;345(10):725-30.