Glycemic Restriction in Cancer Patients

Chapter 8    

 

Glycemic restriction in cancer patients:

A 7-year, controlled interventional study

Abstract

Background

Previous research has shown a correlation between blood sugar or glycemic load and cancer growth for a number of types of cancer.    Those studies were retrospective and/or studies of fewer than 20 human subjects and/or studies on mice.  This study is a 7-year interventional study of 317 human patients at one clinic, who were treated naturopathically, with anti-neoplastic nutrients and herbs, plus the recommended dietary intervention of abstention from sweetened foods.

Methods

We analyzed the clinical significance (mortality) of sweetened food consumption among cancer patients at our clinic.  Since 2006, this clinic has collected data on sugar consumption in cancer patients, and has actively recommended, but never enforced in any way, avoiding the consumption of sweetened foods (except with the sweetener Stevia rebaudiana, which has no sugar content or sugar alcohol content).  In this controlled interventional study, we followed the diets and outcomes of all 317 cancer patients who came to our clinic with a diagnosis of cancer, and who stayed at least two weeks in our care.  All results are reported in this paper.

Results

The remission rate is significantly different for the following two categories:  all patients: 151 / 317 = 48% and those who ate sweetened foods: 9 / 29 = 31%.  However, the difference in these two groups is much more pronounced if we consider those patients who continued our treatments until either remission or death.  Comparing all patients who were steadfast in our recommended naturopathic treatments with the sweetened food eaters who were steadfast in all but dietary recommendations, 151 / 183 = 83% of all totally steadfast patients went into remission, but only 9 / 25 = 36% of the steadfast sweetened food eaters went into remission.

Of all patients who were steadfast in the treatments (including our sweetened food eaters), 32 / 183 =  17% died while still under our care, but considering only the sweetened food eaters who were otherwise steadfast in the treatments, 16 / 25 = 64% died.

Conclusion

Consuming sweetened foods (other than stevia sweetened foods) made a significant difference in patient outcome across all stages and all types of cancer.  We therefore recommend that the diet of cancer patients not contain sweetened foods other than stevia.

Background and Methods

We analyzed the clinical significance (mortality) of sweetened food consumption among cancer patients.  Since 2006, this clinic has collected data on sugar consumption in cancer patients, and has actively recommended, but never enforced in any way, abstention from the consumption of sweetened foods.  This clinic has no inpatient facilities and no food service.  All patients chose all of their own food, all of which originated from outside this clinic.   Data from all 317 patients who came to us with a diagnosis of cancer are included in this interventional study, excluding only those cancer patients who decided against further treatment after less than two weeks in our care.

We treated with natural methods alone, choosing among methods with research-established anti-neoplastic effect, both oral and intravenous, dietary and supplemented, nutritional and herbal, having a preference for those with high patient tolerance and compatibility, and varying with individual needs and tolerance, according to the standard naturopathic principle of “Treat the whole person.”

Dietary interventions are of the utmost importance in cancer therapy, especially keeping blood sugar low.  Most of the research on the subject establishes a correlation between blood glucose and tumor growth.  Using PET imaging preferentially for tumor evaluation, clinicians make use of the fact that tumors take up blood glucose disproportionately over benign tissue, which implies an especially glucose-dependent metabolism in cancer cells.  In fact, the difference between uptake of glucose in a malignant tumor and uptake in normal tissue is so stark that the rough outlines of a tumor may be seen on a PET simply from the borders of where glucose uptake is strong next to where it is weak.

Research has shown a correlation between blood sugar or glycemic load and cancer growth for pancreatic cancer,[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] breast cancer,[v] [vi] [vii] [viii] prostate cancer,[ix] [x] gastric cancer, [xi] [xii] colorectal cancer,[xiii] [xiv] [xv] [xvi] ovarian cancer,[xvii] [xviii] endometrial cancer,[xix] [xx] and liver and biliary tract cancers.[xxi]  [xxii]   Given all of this evidence, it would be reckless for a physician to allow a cancer patient to assume that sugar intake is harmless.   We therefore ask all of our cancer patients to avoid sweeteners, such as sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, alcohol, alcohol sugars and plant nectars, as well as fruit juices, because such foods tend to have the highest glycemic indices.  Use of stevia is encouraged if and when a sweetener is desired.  For the same reason, we asked patients to also limit other refined carbohydrates, specifically flour products.

Whole natural foods: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, eggs, dairy and other animal proteins are encouraged as the entire diet, with the widest available variety in those groups.  Many patients arrive to our clinic already consuming all of those types of foods.  Others arrive with different diets.  Some patients have chosen a vegan diet.  Others have chosen an ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet.  Many others are omnivores. Others avoid grains altogether.  We have not actively pushed our patients to one or the other of these diets, because we tried to maintain the primary dietary focus on the avoidance of sweeteners, without distraction by other dietary priorities.  Keeping the focus exclusively on the avoidance of sweeteners seems to minimize the opportunity to forget that one guideline.  Patients may eat absolutely anything they like, except that we strongly urge the avoidance of sweeteners, except for Stevia rebaudiana, which has no significant sugar content.  Through repeated reminding, with gentle, encouraging consultation and troubleshooting of sugar cravings, as well as brainstorming of alternative foods that may satisfy those cravings, during patient consults, we create a situation where our patients are unlikely to completely forget our recommendation when given a choice of whether to have dessert or skip dessert.

The overwhelming influence of the oncology profession on diet has suppressed this type of recommendation among many physicians.  Chemotherapy IV rooms are known for having candy dishes in plain sight.  Most oncologists have generally recommended that cancer patients eat desserts so intently that it seems the patients’ primary responsibility is to keep their weight up, without regard for specific health effects of various foods.   Under this sugar-oriented food culture, both in the American culture at large and in the oncology clinic, other physicians less specifically credentialed to treat cancer patients shrink from challenging this dictum of the oncologists.

However, back when we started this dietary recommendation to our cancer patients in 2006, the time was already more than ripe to rebel against the sweet-tooth trend, because most of the above-cited research on sugar consumption and tumor growth had already been published.  So at our clinic we decided to acknowledge the little known but already well-established connection between sugar and cancer, and thus to recommend sugar avoidance to our cancer patients.

 

 

Sugar and its effect on the body

 

So let’s look at what we mean by “sugar.”  Commonly the word “sugar” means sucrose, derived from sugar cane.  Sucrose, a disaccharide, is a compound of glucose and fructose, each a monosaccharide, and sugar is composed equally of both.  High-fructose corn syrup is similar, except that it has a higher proportion of fructose to glucose.  80% of sucrose used worldwide is from cane sugar; most of the rest is from beets. It is already common knowledge that sugar is “empty calories,” that is, no protein or fat or complex carbohydrates.  In its refined form it contains no nutrients at all, no vitamins, minerals, flavonoids or other antioxidants, no fiber, no amino acids.  However, sugar is far more damaging to the health than simply the null effect of empty calories.

Epidemiologically, sugar consumption was thought be 40 pounds per person per year in the U.S. in 1986.[xxiii]  By the early 2000s, Americans were consuming 90 pounds per person per year, which coincided with the time that one-third of Americans were obese and 14 million were diabetic.[xxiv]  The most likely explanation of this correlation is that sudden intake of a large amount of sugar overwhelms the liver, which then turns excess sugar to fat, primarily palmitate – a saturated fatty acid, and puts triglycerides in the bloodstream.  This process is also thought to correlate with insulin resistance, as I’ll discuss below.

Population studies have corroborated these findings in various countries, but the idea that sugar could be deleterious to the health fell into disfavor in the 1970s, as American nutritionists at that time followed en masse Ancel Keys and his Seven Countries Study.  This study, implicating saturated fat in cardiovascular disease, had actually been a 22-country study, in which those countries that contradicted the hypothesis were quietly dropped from the discussion.

Incidentally, those same countries were found to have a direct relationship between sugar consumption and heart disease, but that was not the widely-publicized conclusion.  Saturated fat became the scapegoat.  In the following decades, salt would come to play the role of villain.  As country after country fell victim to the damaging effects of sugar in the diet, one scapegoat after another took the blame.  The British physiologist John Yudkin found an effect of sugar consumption on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease,[xxv] and brought the public’s attention to the health effects of sucrose in his 1972 book Pure, White and Deadly.[xxvi]  Yudkin was often personally attacked, quite virulently, for writing about the pathological conditions either caused by or worsened by sugar.  In 1975, William Dufty challenged the conventional thinking on sugar with his bestseller Sugar Blues.[xxvii]  Then Nancy Appleton wrote “141 Reasons Sugar Ruins Your Health,”[xxviii] and Lick the Sugar Habit.[xxix]  In the last few years, Robert Lustig has explained the widespread damage in a way that the public is beginning to appreciate.  But the best at breaking down the chemistry to clear language as well as the politics, intrigue and history of American food fights is journalist Gary Taubes, author of “Is Sugar Toxic?”[xxx]  as well as the decade-old but still current “What If It’s All Been A Big, Fat Lie?”[xxxi] and “Why We Get Fat.”[xxxii]

Sugar is broken down in the duodenum by sucrase and isomaltase glycoside hydrolases.  A rapid rise in blood glucose quickly follows ingestion of pure sucrose, or sucrose-rich solids and especially liquids.  Sweets accompanied by fats, proteins or fiber will enter the bloodstream slower than sweets alone in a refined carbohydrate vehicle, such as a cookie.  But whether fast or slow, insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to the presence of sugar in the blood.  A lot of sudden sugar in the blood results in a lot of insulin secreted by the pancreas.  When that happens too much or for too many years, the pancreas becomes depleted and can’t keep up with the body’s demand for insulin.  Blood sugar rises beyond normal range, leading to a Type II diabetes diagnosis.  In animal studies of sugar bingeing this process began in only a few weeks.[xxxiii]  Chronically high insulin has other effects besides diabetes: atherosclerosis and hypertension, and unfavorable HDL / LDL ratios.

In order to understand the relationship of this to cancer, first, we have to look at epidemiology again.  The WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer found that cancer is more prevalent in populations where there is obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.[xxxiv]  The likely cause and effect is that sugar consumption causes insulin secretion, and that insulin, as well as its closely related hormone, insulin-like growth factor, promotes tumor growth.  One effect of IGF-1 is to deliver sugar into a cell, among other things.  However, very high protein diets can also result in elevated IGF-1.  It can bind to insulin receptors, and like insulin, the receptor for IGF-1 is a receptor tyrosine kinase.   Too much IGF-1 can result in a transient hypoglycemia.  IGF-1 acts as a growth factor in breast cancer,[xxxv] prostate cancer,[xxxvi] and lung cancer,[xxxvii] among other cancers.

Tumor growth is thought to occur by the fact that insulin delivers sugar to cells and that cancer cells are thought to be more dependent on sugar than normal cells.  Whereas normal cells down-regulate their receptors after a certain level of saturation with sugar, cancer appears to be insatiable.  Cancer’s rapid growth seems to place no limit on the sugar it can use.  Insulin delivers that sugar.  Some cells develop mutations to enhance insulin’s influence on the cell’s sugar uptake.  Craig Thompson MD, President of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York has studied insulin and IGF’s influence on cancer cells and has said he believes that insulin is what drives malignant tumors to take up more and more blood sugar and to metabolize it, and that it is this process that allows many pre-cancerous cells to undergo the mutations that make them malignant.[xxxviii]

But what do cancer cells get from sugar that is so useful to their growth?  We know that sugar provides quick energy, and that not a lot of processing needs to happen before the body and brain use sugar as fuel.  Cancer grows faster than normal tissue, so we can see the expedience of using sugar as a fuel.  But unlike normal cells, cancer can live where there is little oxygen.  So instead of a normal metabolism, that is cellular respiration, cancer cells preferentially undergo anaerobic fermentation, which converts NADH to NAD+, which then enables anaerobic or aerobic glycolysis.  Otto Warburg discovered this difference between normal and malignant cells in 1924.[xxxix]  Initially, he thought that all cancer cells used only anaerobic glycolysis to produce energy, but it is now known that cancer is capable of both kinds of metabolism.  The beginning and end is that cancer cells convert sugar to lactic acid.  No oxygen means no electron transport chain.  Even in the presence of adequate oxygen levels, cancer cells seem to default to fermentation rather than oxidative phosphorylation to produce ATP, although ATP is formed much more efficiently from the electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation than with fermentation.    For the large amount of sugar metabolized in fermentation, little ATP is formed.  It may be the case that because this fermentation process is so inefficient in its production of ATP that only large amounts of sugar and a high rate of sugar uptake will work to drive rapid tumor growth, and this is likely why cancer is so dependent on the presence of sugar.

Does this mean that starving the cancer cell of sugar kills the cancer cell?  Cancer patients on a ketogenic diet, which is an extremely low carbohydrate diet, have been observed to fare well. To summarize the classic ketogenic diet, fat outweighs the total of protein and carbohydrates 4 to 1 by weight, and total carbohydrates is limited to 20 to 40 grams per day.  The classic ketogenic diet eliminates simple and complex carbohydrates: sweeteners, fruits, grains, and starchy vegetables.  A later development adds medium-chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil, and a little more variety in the proteins and carbohydrates than the classic ketogenic diet.  The lack of carbohydrates in this diet makes metabolism default to burning fats for energy.  The liver converts fat to fatty acids and ketone bodies, which the brain can use as fuel in the absence of glucose.  A study of ketogenic diet in animal models of glioma found various effects that made glioma cells behave more like normal cells.[xl]  On the gross level in animal studies, a ketogenic diet was found either to reduce the tumor size or slow tumor growth in glioblastoma,[xli] prostate cancer,[xlii] gastric cancer,[xliii] and lung cancer.[xliv]   It was also found to improve quality of life in patients with advanced metastatic disease in a variety of cancers.[xlv]

From these observations, we may not be able to jump all the way to the conclusion that sugar causes cancer, or even that the elimination of sugar eliminates cancer.  However, we can certainly become alert to a cancer patient’s risks in continuing the consumption of sugar, and the possible benefit from eliminating it from the diet.

Results

 

Regarding the patients at our clinic, 29 patients acknowledged to us that they had disregarded or somehow not adhered to our main dietary recommendation; that is, that they ate sweetened foods at some time during their treatment.  The doctors and staff try never to have a judgmental approach to our patients.  If a patient has acknowledged that he or she has not abstained from sweets entirely, then we take a co-responsible (some might call it co-dependent) approach.  We take responsibility for not having sufficiently encouraged or offered ideas for adequate and satisfactory substitutes for sweetened foods.  So then during one-on-one consults we try to offer more, and more individually applicable, suggestions for the sweet cravings.  For example, one person may be more drawn to alcohol, while another is more drawn to chocolate.  Yet another may have a coffee habit in which coffee tastes bad to them without sugar.    For others, it is ice cream that they want.  Whether we were successful or not in persuading such individuals to adopt our recommended diet, we report that category of patient below as one who disregarded our dietary recommendation, unless they agreed to give up sweets at the beginning of treatment and stayed steadfast in that diet.

Our data is reported as of July 1, 2013.  20 patients died while still exclusively in our care, following all of our protocols, including dietary.  These were all types of cancer and all stages of cancer, especially the more advanced stages.  12 more died while still in our care, but having ignored one of our main treatment recommendations, that is to avoid sweetened foods.  16 of our cancer patients have come out of remission.  5 of those are now back in remission.  4 of those 16 had discontinued our main dietary recommendation.

Table 1: Summarized outcomes of naturopathic management of 317 cancer cases

 

 

Outcome Number of patients Number in each group also receiving chemotherapy Number in each group also receiving surgery
Remission or assumed remission 151 7 47
Died while still only in our care, following all of our protocols and diet 20 0 1
Iatrogenic death in hospitals or by MDs 20 14 7
Of those who left before finishing treatment, number who died after leaving (except for DDD)* 46 1 10
Death after dietary dispute 12 1 2
Still being treated, not yet in remission 18 3 10
No current information but never known to be in remission 33 3 9
Waiting to know status, or conflicting information 17  0 2
Total 317  29 88

 

* DDD: death after dietary dispute.

 

 

Table 2: Summarized outcomes of naturopathic management of 29 cancer cases in which there was a dietary dispute regarding sweetener consumption

Outcome Number of patients Number in each group also receiving chemo-therapy Number in each group also receiving surgery
Remission or assumed remission 9 0 5
Died while still only in our care, following all of our protocols 0 0 0
Iatrogenic death in hospitals or by MDs 1 0 0
Of those who left before finishing treatment, number who died after leaving (except for DDD)* 0 0 0
Death after dietary dispute 12 1 2
Still being treated, not yet in remission 0 0 0
No current information but never known to be in remission 7 2 0
Waiting to know status, or conflicting information 0  0 0
Total 29  3 7

* DDD: death after dietary dispute.

 

Table 3: Summarized outcomes of naturopathic management of 288 cancer cases, all of whom were able to avoid consumption of sweeteners

 

Outcome Number of patients Number in each group also receiving chemo-therapy Number in each group also receiving surgery
Remission or assumed remission 142 7 42
Died while still only in our care, following all of our protocols and diet 20 0 1
Iatrogenic death in hospitals or by MDs 19 14 7
Of those who left before finishing treatment, number who died after leaving (except for DDD)* 46 1 10
Death after dietary dispute 0 0 0
Still being treated, not yet in remission 18 3 10
No current information but never known to be in remission 26 1 9
Waiting to know status, or conflicting information 17  0 2
Total 288  26 81

 

* DDD: death after dietary dispute.

Tables 1, 2 and 3 show comparable information for three groups of patients:  Table 1 summarizes all patients who presented to our clinic for cancer treatment, and who stayed in our treatments for at least two weeks.  Table 2 shows the same information for those who chose to eat sweetened foods.   Table 3 shows the same information for those who chose to avoid sweetened foods.  The remission rate is different for all patients: 151 / 317 = 48% and those who ate sweetened foods: 9 / 29 = 31% and those who avoided sweetened foods: 142 / 288 = 49%.  However, the difference in these three groups is even more pronounced if we consider those patients who stayed with our treatments until either remission or death, as in Tables 4, 5 and 6.

 

 

Table 4:  Steadfast patients, by stage of cancer – all patients

 

Stage Total patients treated

until remission or death

Remission Died Remission / Total = Success rate
I 65 64 1 98%
II 30 29 1 97%
III 17 14 3 82%
Early IV 49 37 12 76%
Late IV 22 7 15 32%
Total 183 151 32* 83%
Stage I through early

Stage IV

161 144 17

(including DDD)

89%

*This number includes those who did not follow our dietary recommendations.

 

 

 

Table 5:  Steadfast patients, by stage of cancer – sweet eaters

 

Stage Total patients treated

until remission or death

Remission Died Remission / Total = Success rate
I 5 4 1 80%
II 4 3 1 75%
III 3 0 3 0%
Early IV 10 2 8 20%
Late IV 3 0 3 0%
Total 25 9 16 36%
Stage I through early

Stage IV

22 9 13

 

41%

 

 

Table 6:  Steadfast patients, by stage of cancer – sweetener avoiders

 

Stage Total patients treated

until remission or death

Remission Died Remission / Total = Success rate
I 60 60 0 100%
II 26 26 0 100%
III 14 14 0 100%
Early IV 39 35 4 90%
Late IV 19 7 12 37%
Total 158 142 16 90%
Stage I through early

Stage IV

139 135 4

 

97%

Comparing all patients who were steadfast in the treatments (Table 4) with the sweetened food eaters, who were steadfast in all but dietary recommendations (Table 5), we see that 151 / 183 = 83% went into remission, but only 9 / 25 = 36% of the sweetened food eaters went into remission.  90% of the steadfast patients who avoided sweeteners went into remission.

Of all patients who were steadfast in the treatments, (including our sweetened food eaters), 32 / 183 =  17% died, but considering only the sweetened food eaters who were otherwise steadfast in the treatments, 16 / 25 = 64% died.  Of the steadfast patients who avoided sweeteners, 16 / 158 = 10% died.

Conclusion

Consuming sweetened foods (other than stevia sweetened foods) made a significant difference in patient outcome across both all stages and all types of cancer among patients presenting to our clinic.  We therefore recommend that the diet of cancer patients not contain sweeteners other than stevia.

[i] Chan J, Wang F, Holly E.  Sweets, sweetened beverages, and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large population based case-control study.  Cancer Causes & Control.  2009 Aug; 20(6): 835-46.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2694313/

[ii] Rossi M et al. Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load and risk of pancreatic cancer: a case-control study.  Ann Epidemiol.  2010 Jun. 20(6): 460-465. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20470973

[iii] Mueller N, Odegaard A,  et al. Soft drink and juice consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Feb. 19(2). 447-455.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20142243

[iv] Larsson S. Berqkvist L, et al. Consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened foods and the risk of pancreatic cancer in a prospective study.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Nov.  84(5).  1171-1176.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17093171

[v] Tavani A, Giordano L, et al. Consumption of sweet foods and breast cancer risk in Italy. Ann Oncol. 2006 Feb.  17(2). 341-345.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16249211

[vi] Larsson, S, Bergkvist L, et al.  Glycemic load, glycemic index and breast cancer risk in a prospective cohort of Swedish women.  Int J Cancer.  2009 Jul 1; 125(1): 153-7.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19319984

[vii] Wu A, Yu M, et al. Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk in Asian American women.  Am J Clin Nutr.  2009 Apr; 89(4): 1145-54.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19211822

[viii] Bradshaw P et al.  Consumption of sweet foods and breast cancer risk: a case-control study of women on Long Island, New York. Cancer Causes Control.  2009 Oct.  20(8). 1509-1515.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4109805/

[ix] Freedland S, Aronson, W.  Dietary intervention strategies to modulate prostate cancer risk and prognosis.  Curr Opin Urol.  2009 May; 19(3): 263-7.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19300265

[x] Drake I, Sonestedt E, et al. Dietary intakes of carbohydrates in relation to prostate cancer risk: a prospective study in the Malmo Diet and Cancer cohort.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Dec. 96(6): 1409-18.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23134882

[xi] Ikeda F, Doi Y, et al.  Hyperglycemia increases risk of gastric cancer posed by Helicobacter pylori infection: a population-based cohort study.  Gastroenterology.  2009 Aprei(4): 1234-41.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19236964

[xii] Bertuccio P, Praud D, et al.  Dietary glycemic load and gastric cancer risk in Italy.  Br J Cancer.  2009 Feb 10; 100(3): 558-61.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19190635

[xiii] Wang B, Bobe G, et al.  High sucrose diets promote intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and tumorigenesis in APC mice by increasing insulin and IGF-1 levels.  Nutr Cancer.  2009; 61(1): 81-93.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19116878

[xiv] Wang B, Bobe G, et al.  Dietary carbohydrate source alters gene expression profile of intestinal epithelium in mice.  Nutr Cancer. 2009; 61(1): 146-55.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19116885

[xv] Nayak S, Sasi M, et al. A case control study of roles of diet in colorectal carcinoma in a South Indian population.  Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2009 Oct-Dec. 10(4).  565-568.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19827870

[xvi] Williams C, Satia J, et al. Dietary patterns, food groups, and rectal cancer risk in whites and African-Americans. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 May.  18(5). 1552-1561.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19423533

[xvii] Augustin L, Polesel J, et al.  Dietary glycemic index, glycemic loan and ovarian cancer risk: a case-control study in Italy.  Ann Oncol.  2003 Jan; 14(1): 78-84.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12488297

[xviii] Silvera S, Jain M, et al. Glycaemic index, glycaemic load and ovarian cancer risk: a prospective cohort study.  Public Health Nutr.  2007 Octo. 10(10).  1076-1081.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17381931

[xix] King M, Chandran U, et al. Consumption of sugary foods and drinks and risk of endometrial cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Jul 24(7) 1427-1436.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3683350/

[xx] Mulholland H, Murray L, et al. Dietary glycaemic index, glycaemic load and endometrial and ovarian cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Br J Cancer.  2008 Aug 5.  99(3).  434-441.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2527795/

[xxi] Fedirko V, Lukanova A, et al. Glycemic index, glycemic load, dietary carbohydrate, and dietary fiber intake and risk of liver and biliary tract cancer in Western Europeans. Ann Oncol. 2013 Feb. 24(2).  543-553.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23123507

[xxii] Moerman C, Bueno de Mesquita H., et al. Consumption of foods and micronutrients and the risk of cancer of the biliary tract.  Prev Med. 1995 Nov.  24(6). 591-602.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8610083

[xxiii] Glinsman W.  Evaluation of health aspects of sugars contained in carbohydrate sweeteners.  Report of Sugars Task Force.  J Nutr 1986.  P116.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3543257

[xxiv] Taubes G.  Is sugar toxic?  New York Times. Apr 13, 2011.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html

[xxv] Yudkin J, Roddy J. Levels of dietary sucrose in patients with occlusive atherosclerotic disease.  The Lancet 6(8). July 4, 1964.  http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(64)90003-0/abstract

[xxvi]  Yudkin J. Pure, White and Deadly.  Orig. published 1972.  Republished in 2012 Penguin Books.

[xxvii] Dufty W. Sugar Blues. 1975 Warner Books.

[xxviii] Appleton N. 141 reasons sugar ruins your health. NancyAppleton.com.  https://nancyappleton.com/141-reasons-sugar-ruins-your-health/

[xxix] Appleton N. Lick The Sugar Habit. 1996. Avery.

[xxx] Taubes G. Is sugar toxic?  New York Times.  April 13, 2011.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html

[xxxi] Taubes G. What if it’s all been a big, fat lie? New York Times. July 7, 2002.  http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html

[xxxii] Taubes G. Why We Get Fat.  Anchor Books.  2011.

[xxxiii] Pagliasotti M, Prach P, et al. Changes in insulin action, triglycerides and lipid composition during sucrose feeding in rats.  Am J Physiol. 1996 Nov. 271(5 Pt 2) R1319-1326.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8945970

[xxxiv] Jaggers J, Sui X, et al. Metabolic syndrome and risk of cancer mortality in men. Eur J Cancer 2009 Jul. 45(10). 1831-1838.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2700189/

[xxxv] Foekens J, Prtengen H, et al. Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptors and insulin-like growth factor-1-like activity in human primary breast cancer.  Cancer 1989 Jun 1.  63(11).  2139-2147.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0142(19890601)63:11%3C2139::AID-CNCR2820631112%3E3.0.CO%3B2-D/abstract

[xxxvi] Iwamura M, Sluss P, et al. Insulin-like growth factor-1: action and receptor characterization in human prostate cancer cell lines. Prostate. 1993. 22(3). 243-252.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pros.2990220307/abstract

[xxxvii] Kaiser U, Schardt C, et al.  Expression of insulin-like growth factor receptors 1 and 2 in normal human lung and lung cancer.  J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1993. 119(11).  665-668.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01215985

[xxxviii] Taubes G.  Is sugar toxic?  New York Times. Apr 13, 2011.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html

[xxxix] Warburg O, et al. Ueber den Stoffwechsel der Tumoren; Biochemische Zeitschrift. 152. pp.319-344. 1924.  Reprinted in English in On Metabolism of Tumors.  Constable. 1930.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2140820/pdf/519.pdf

[xl] Scheck A, Abdelwahab M, et al. The ketogenic diet for the treatment of glioma: insights from genetic profiling.  Epilepsy Research. 100(3). Jul 2012.  pp 327-337.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22019313

[xli] Tisdale M, Brennan R, et al. A comparison of long-chain triglycerides and medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and tumor size in a cachexia model. Br J Cancer. 1988 Nov. 58(5). 580-583.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2246820/

[xlii] Freedland S, Mavropoulos J, et al.  Carbohydrate restriction, prostate cancer growth, and the insulin-like growth factor axis.  Prostate.  2008 Jan 1.  68(1). 11-19.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3959866/

[xliii] Otto C, Kaemmerer U, et al. Growth of human gastric cancer cells in nude mice is delayed by a ketogenic diet supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides. BMC Cancer. 2008 Apr 30. 8.  122.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2408928/

[xliv] Allen B, Bhatia S, et al. Ketogenic diets enhance oxidative stress and radio-chemotherapy responses in lung cancer xenografts.  Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Jul 15. 19(4). 3905-3913.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3954599/

[xlv] Schmidt M et al. Effects of a ketogenic diet on the quality of life in 16 patients with advanced cancer: a pilot trial.  Nutr Metab. 2011 Jul 27. 8(1) 54.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21794124

Defeating Cancer Requires More than One Treatment Method

 

A 10-year retrospective case series using multiple nutritional and herbal agents, 2016 update


© Colleen Huber, NMD

There has been no financial support for this research. The author has received no funding, nor is affiliated with any industrial or commercial entity other than her own private medical practice.

December 30, 2016. This paper is an update of the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions of this paper.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Research has shown that for cancer to occur in the body multiple normal functions must break down. Therefore multiple-component treatments may be the only successful way to treat cancer. We used well-tolerated natural substances to assess their usefulness in combination cancer-disrupting therapy.1 The following has been the goal of our clinic in treating cancer patients: It is not enough to repair genetic damage or to stop angiogenesis and neglect to reverse all other cancer-causing problems. It is also not enough to attack metastases and leave the primary tumor in a comfortable environment. In order to defeat cancer, it must be attacked at every level and with every method necessary to reverse cancer’s multiple-layered assault on the body, even if that means that some of the various treatments have redundant effects. And this all must be accomplished while maintaining the maximum possible wellbeing of the patient, and without sickening or weakening the patient. This has been the mission of our clinic.

METHODS: We treated a total of 379 patients with cancer from October 2006, when we opened our practice, until July 1, 2014, when we stopped collecting data for the 2014 update of this paper, originally written in 2009. Data from all 379 patients who came to us with a diagnosis of cancer up to that time are included in this paper, excluding only those cancer patients who decided against further treatment after less than two weeks in our care. Patients’ stage is recorded as the stage at first arrival to our clinic, which is not necessarily the stage when first diagnosed. We treated with natural methods alone, choosing among methods with research-established cancer-disrupting effect, both oral and intravenous, dietary and supplemented, nutritional and herbal, having a preference for those with high patient tolerance and compatibility, and varying with individual needs and tolerance, according to the standard naturopathic principle of “Treat the whole person.”

FINDINGS: Many patients voluntarily left our practice, against our advice, primarily for financial reasons, while still having cancer. Of the remaining patients, 175 either went into confirmed, complete remission, which we define by no evidence of cancer remaining in the body on imaging, or have remained in good to excellent wellbeing, as determined retrospectively by prolonged stable health of at least 6 months after leaving our care and needing no other physician supervised cancer care, and as confirmed by annual telephone conversation with either the patient or a family member. Those patients in remission stayed in our care an average of 3.7 months; those who left, 2.7 months, (this data last measured in 2010). Eight additional patients went into remission after leaving our clinic, and while being treated at a different clinic, and it is unlikely that our treatments were the decisive factor in that remission. We were still treating 22 patients at July 1, 2014 plus giving ongoing maintenance treatments to some of those who are still in remission. 44 died while still our patients. Of those 44, 12 died after a significant dietary dispute with us. That is 32 patients died although they received our treatments and complied with our requested diet. 22 more were killed by hospital procedures and/or chemotherapy and/or radiation side effects while still our patients. 45 total patients chose to have chemotherapy while having our treatments. Yet, of the 175 who went into remission, only 12 had chosen to have chemotherapy while having our treatments. Stages 1, 2, 3 and early Stage 4 patients at start of treatment had much better outcomes than late Stage 4 patients in general.

INTERPRETATION: The 32 patients who complied with our dietary and treatment protocol, and still did not survive their cancers must be seen as an 8% failure rate if considered of all 379 patients, or a 15% failure rate if taken of the 210 patients who stayed to complete our treatments. Therefore, these treatment strategies are still not adequate to eliminate all patients’ cancers and must be further developed. However, our success rate of 93% in steadfast patients following all protocols as recommended, from Stage I through early Stage IV (Table 5) is unprecedented and unequalled in both conventional and natural medicine in all clinics that report their results in detail as we do in this paper. There is also a 93% rate of sustained remission in individual patients who elect to follow our recommendation to have monthly follow-up treatments. 26 of those 28 patients are still in remission. (Table 9). 27 of those patients are alive and well (97%). Because of this consistent success in treating cancer since 2006, we believe that the experiences of over 300 cancer patients detailed below have demonstrated the need for simultaneous well-tolerated cancer-disrupting treatments, across all cancers and stages of cancer.

Introduction

Cancer treatment has been constrained by the prevailing view that a single agent must be isolated and tested for its either successful or failing role as the therapeutic agent to eliminate cancer. This viewpoint is disastrous for most patients, for the following reasons. Many agents are needed to fight cancer, primarily because it arises after several normal mechanisms break down, and because cancer preys on the body in numerous ways simultaneously, and because no single agent, whether chemotherapeutic or natural, has yet been found that has enough cancer-disrupting strategic effects to reverse all of those abnormalities in all patients, in effect, to be “the cure” for cancer. At our clinic in Tempe, AZ, USA we therefore simultaneously employ multiple naturally derived, unpatented, and therefore inexpensive, substances for use in cancer patients.

Background

As John Boik has described, cancer becomes possible, and has its only opportunity to arise in the body, when seven different events, such as genetic damage, angiogenesis, immune system evasion, etc. all occur,i as listed below. Then, once established, cancer is adaptable enough to be able to thrive and grow with the continuation of just one or a few of those unfortunate events.

Boik describes the seven pro-cancer events as follows:

  1. genetic instability or vulnerability to mutation, necessarily the first of the variety of events that lead to a tumor;

  2. abnormal gene expression, in this case that produce proteins that facilitate cancer, or at least do not prevent it;

  3. abnormal and autonomous cell signal transduction, which allows cancer cells to grow through auto-stimulation rather than depending on growth factors from other cells;

  4. Abnormal cell-to-cell communication, which sets a tumor apart from its neighboring cells metabolically, leaving the tumor in a position to ignore homeostatic mechanisms and, unlike cells throughout the rest of the body, to act in the best interests of the tumor rather than in the best interests of the host organism.

  5. Angiogenesis, the creation of blood vessels and resultant hoarding by the tumor of disproportionately large amounts of blood-borne molecules;

  6. Invasion and metastasis, which not only results from the aggressive nature of the tumor, but also the low tensile strength (sometimes from previous injury), and too friable nature of the surrounding normal tissue and basement membranes;

  7. Evasion of the immune system, which involves both camouflage functions and immune-disabling functions of cancer cells.

Once established in the body, cancer seems to have the ability to thrive and reproduce despite most of the efforts against it by chemotherapy oncologists, and without necessarily requiring all seven of the above pro-cancer events to still be in place. Therefore, without certain knowledge of the precise mechanisms governing any one patient’s cancer, and without the luxury of time to learn of all those mechanisms in each individual patient, any therapy that targets fewer than those seven major disturbances leaves the body of the cancer patient potentially vulnerable to the disastrous result of allowing continued growth of existing tumors. Shortchanging the patient of a diverse range of available, effective, well-tolerated, well-targeted, compatible, complementary and feasible treatment options also would allow too many of the conditions to persist that gave rise to tumors previously and may do so again. This would leave fertile ground and pro-neoplastic conditions that produced the cancer in the first place. For this reason, successful cancer therapy should be multi-purposed and with multiple agents, many more than are now used with each patient by chemotherapy oncologists.

We have used natural therapies for cancer treatment, because they are well adapted for multi-agent use. Unrefined plant materials have tens of thousands or more phytochemical components, originally useful for protecting a plant from extreme or adverse conditions in its environment, and ultimately employed as described below by naturopathic physicians in adaptation to the needs of the human patient. The nutrients, each with a well-established role in the complex tapestry of metabolic pathways, serve to enable defensive functions of the body, such as strengthening, repair and immune activity. Licensed naturopathic physicians, because of thorough medical training, having more classroom hours and more than twice the number of courses in medical school as medical doctorsii iii, as well as extensive training in the use of natural agents, are well suited to choose appropriate combinations of natural therapies for the individual cancer patient. We also take advantage of the greater compatibility among natural substances than is possible with combinations of numerous pharmaceuticals. It seems obvious that a meal may contain many different foods without the need for conscious consideration of potential interactions among nutrients and plant molecules. In the same way, we have combined many different nutrients and plant materials in each cancer patient’s treatment protocol, with regard for the specific cancer burden in the body, the origin of the cancer, the nature of that particular patient’s cancer and any co-morbid conditions.

Materials and Methods

Dietary interventions are of the utmost importance in cancer therapy, especially keeping blood sugar low. Otto Warburg, Nobel physicist showed in 1926 that glucose fuels cancer growth and that cancer is dependent on glucose for fermentation as its default metabolism.iv The significant majority of research on the subject establishes a correlation between blood glucose and tumor growth. Using PET imaging preferentially for tumor evaluation, clinicians make use of the fact that tumors take up blood glucose disproportionately over benign tissue, which implies an especially glucose-dependent metabolism in cancer cells.

Research has shown a correlation between blood sugar or glycemic load and cancer growth for pancreatic cancer,v vi vii viii breast cancer,ix x xi xii prostate cancer,xiii xiv gastric cancer, xv xvi colorectal cancer,xvii xviii xix xx ovarian cancer,xxi xxii endometrial cancer,xxiii xxiv and liver and biliary tract cancers.xxv xxvi Given all of this evidence, it would be reckless for a physician to allow a cancer patient to assume that sugar intake is harmless. We therefore ask all of our cancer patients to avoid sweeteners, such as sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, as well as fruit juices, because such foods tend to have the highest glycemic indices. Use of stevia is encouraged if and when a sweetener is desired. For the same reason, we asked patients to also limit other refined carbohydrates, specifically flour products. Whole natural foods: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, eggs, dairy and other animal proteins are encouraged as the entire diet, with the widest available variety in those groups. Many patients arrive to our clinic already consuming all of those types of foods. Some patients have chosen a vegan diet. Others have chosen an ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet. Many others are omnivores. We have not actively pushed our patients to one or the other of these diets, because we tried to maintain the primary dietary focus on the avoidance of sweeteners. Use of soy is discouraged because of its mineral-depleting and phytoestrogenic components, which in some studies has been linked to a possible association with cancer.

Of equal emphasis with diet are the intravenous nutrients that we administer three times per week to each cancer patient. These consist of high-dose intravenous vitamin C (ascorbic acid), as well as other nutrients chosen for specific cancer-disrupting effect with regard to the patient’s type of cancer. For solid malignant tumors, we address the problem of pH, by infusing both sodium bicarbonate to alkalinize systemically, as well as other specifically anti-cancer nutrients, tailored to the individual patient’s tumor load, type of cancer and other health circumstances. B vitamins and minerals and other nutrients are often added for synergistic effect with Vitamin C, or because of their history of reducing and eliminating tumors, or their usefulness in converting malignant tumors into benign tissue, but primarily for their driving the citric acid cycle, and starving the pyruvate-to-lactate machinery characteristic of cancer. So a major goal is to push the citric acid cycle, and to disrupt the anaerobic glycolysis used by cancer to convert glucose to lactic acid.

Naturopathic training emphasizes the treatment of the individual with regard to the entire symptom picture. Therefore, there is no specific formula to be repeated in a rigid way from one patient to the next, or even for the same patient from one day to the next. Quantities of the different components of this combination vary among individual patients depending on symptoms, signs and type of cancer. Quantities also vary as the patient’s needs change. All components are kept far below the LD50 for each component, and are only administered if they have not produced any side effects in our patients.

Research has established that ascorbic acid taken orally cannot attain sufficiently high concentrations in the bloodstream to kill cancer cells.xxvii xxviii However, intravenous use of ascorbic acid has been shown to rise to concentrations that have killed cancer cells in vivo xxix xxx xxxi and in vitro.xxxii xxxiii xxxiv The ascorbic acid that we use is in much higher dose than would be tolerated orally, yet at a level where there is sufficient concentration of vitamin C in the bloodstream to create a substantial concentration of the products of vitamin C in the extracellular fluid.xxxv Intravenous doses of ascorbic acid have been found to produce from 25 to 70 times as much plasma concentration as may be attained by oral dosing.xxxvi Research has confirmed that Vitamin C in such high concentration kills cancer cells while leaving normal tissue unharmed.xxxvii xxxviii Indeed the cancer patients whom we treat do not have side effects from these treatments, with few exceptions. Three of the exceptions were allergies to specific B vitamins in three individuals. Two of the three went into remission after we had removed the offending agent early on.

In addition to this directly and selectively cytotoxic effect on cancer cells, vitamin C has been shown to form collagenxxxix and to inhibit hyaluronidasexl leading to stronger membrane integrity and tensile strengthxli of normal tissue, which inhibits invasionxlii and thus metastases.

Empirical data shows an inverse correlation between vitamin D intake and cancer incidence.xliii xliv xlv Research over the last decade has confirmed the essential role that Vitamin D plays in cancer prevention and treatment.xlvi xlvii xlviii xlix Vitamin D has been shown to induce differentiation,l and apoptosis,li to reduce proliferation by effect on signal transduction,lii to improve intercellular communication by means of gap junction communication preservation,liii to inhibit angiogenesis,liv lv and to inhibit metastasis.lvi At our clinic, most cancer patients are prescribed a regular dose of Vitamin D3 that is compatible with customary sunlight exposure, current pharmaceuticals if any, as well as the assessed condition of the liver and gallbladder and calcium metabolizing mechanisms.

Vitamin A is a less-widely appreciated but quite crucial part of the treatment protocol for its immune-stimulating propertylvii and inhibition of cancer cell migrationlviii. Another very important quality of Vitamin A with regard to neoplastic cells is its ability to introduce differentiation.lix lx It has also been shown to induce apoptosis in cancer cells,lxi as well as growth inhibition.lxii Although there have been some objections made to Vitamin A for an allegedly competitive and detrimental effect to vitamin D,lxiii vitamin A seems to be vindicated by a preponderance of older research that supports the use of vitamin A and vitamin D dosed together.lxiv lxv lxvi

We frequently add the recommendation to take Essiac tea (Resperin Canada Limited, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), because of its long history in North America, over most of the last century of folk use (outside of conventional medicine) against a wide variety of cancers. Essiac was developed by a Canadian nurse, René Caisse, together with the Ojibwe people of Canada. It is a combination of four herbs, Arctium lappa, Rheum palmatum, Rumex acetosella, and Ulmus fulva. Later versions of Essiac, using additional herbs with some pro-estrogenic effect, have been linked to breast tissue proliferation,lxvii and we do not recommend those altered formulas. Essiac has been found to have in vitro cytotoxic effects specifically against neoplastic cells, without damage to normal cells.lxviii Its main effect seems to be protective against DNA damage.lxix It also seems to have anti-proliferative effect.lxx

For different cancers there are additional appropriate treatments. For example, Kenneth Proefrock NMD has done extensive original work with nebulizers, as well as in many other areas of medicine, which he taught us to use with lung cancer patients, as well as others with metastases in the lungs, to good effect.lxxi Whereas all of the rest of our treatments arrive to the lungs by way of the bloodstream, Dr. Proefrock has introduced such nebulized botanicals and nutrients as required by the individual patient by way of the airways, thus carrying cancer-disrupting treatments to lung tissue via its other major port of entry.

Findings

The data obtained from our patients in 2015 differs considerably from data obtained over the previous 6 years. The difference was that from 2009 through 2014 we called all surviving patients every summer to ask about their wellbeing. However, in 2015 we mailed a questionnaire to each of our surviving patients. 97 of our cancer survivors mailed back the completed questionnaire in a timely way to prepare a database for presentation at the 2015 Euro Cancer Summit. This is likely more than one quarter of our surviving cancer patients. Most who did not respond told us they had not yet had time to respond to the whole questionnaire. Our paper on cancer survivors’ diets discusses the results of this questionnaire in detail.lxxii

The data obtained in 2016 involved questions of a psychological nature as well as some questions from earlier years. This also resulted from a mailed questionnaire. Unfortunately, a combination of exhaustive and intrusive questioning, lost or forgotten mail and survey fatigue were the most likely causes of having only 69 responses to our 2016 questionnaires.lxxiii

Of the 379 cancer patients whom we had treated long-term through the end of June 2014, all came to us with a diagnosis of cancer from another physician, none originally diagnosed by us. Those who are reported below stayed for at least two weeks in our care, which involved intravenous cancer-disrupting nutrients. As of June 30 of each year, we stopped collecting data for that year, and we began annual telephone outreach to all of the surviving patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, and who have stayed at least two weeks in our care. Those results are reported below. Since we began collecting this data for the 2009 edition of this paper, automated telephone dialing seems to have become more pervasive in the United States, and the public’s defense against such frequent interruptions have become more varied and creative. Therefore, it is now harder to reach our patients and their families. If a patient was referred by another, sometimes we have to return to the source of the referral for updated information. Of the 379 individual patients meeting the above criteria, 44 have died of cancer while still our patients under our care, and of those 44, 12 did not comply with our main dietary advice to avoid sweeteners. Therefore, 44 – 12 = 32 patients died while under our care and complying with all of our protocols. 175 have gone into complete remission or assumed complete remission, substantiated by PET/CT or other imaging, and/or biopsy, and/or stable good health for at least 6 months after stopping our treatments.

Specific results are shown in Table 1. Table 1 is too large to fit in a print paperback such as this, unless the type is at least 7 point. Smaller type is not feasible for print clarity. Please see the whole of Table 1 at the site www.NatureWorksBest.com, and click on “documented.” A summary of Table 1 is shown in Table 2.

Table 1: Outcomes of naturopathic treatment of 379 consecutive cancer patientslxxiv

The results in Table 1 are summarized as follows:

Table 2: Summarized outcomes of naturopathic treatment of 379 consecutive cancer patients

Outcome Number of patients Average number of months this group of patients stayed for treat-ments * Number in each group also receiving chemo-therapy Number in each group also receiving radiation Number in each group also receiving surgery

a

Remission or assumed remission

175

3.7

12

11

59

b

Still being treated, not yet in remission

22

4.0

1

0

3

c

Died while still only in our care, following all of our protocols

32

2.2

0

1

1

d

Iatrogenic death in hospitals or conventional clinics

22

2.7

15

4

7

e

Of those who left before finishing treatment, number who died after leaving (except for DDD)**

45

2.7

2

3

10

f

Death after dietary dispute

12

No data

1

1

3

g

No current information but never known to be in remission

46

1.4

5

1

10

h

Remission occurred elsewhere

8

No data

4

1

0

i

Waiting to know status, or conflicting information

17

No data

5

2

6

Total

379

45

24

99

*This column has not been updated since 2010, due to the labor-intensive nature of this research, and not much expected change or significance of any change.

** Please see legend of abbreviations at the head of Table 1. For example, DDD: death after dietary dispute.

I called all of the cancer survivors every summer until 2014 to annually update the data for this paper, based on patients’ subjective reporting of their wellbeing. Although it would be more scientifically and statistically valuable to insist on, with all former patients, and to receive updated, comprehensive, whole body imaging to confirm continued remission, expecting compliance with such a demand is not feasible. We therefore have to rely only on subjective reporting of health status by telephone. Speaking by telephone year after year with former patients who consider themselves well, whose last imaging was clear, with no further cancer treatment since leaving our clinic, have been grouped together in the category of “remission” in this study. “Assumed remission” (AR) satisfied fewer of these criteria, but involved at least stable good health of at least 6 months following cessation of our treatments. I could not reach 46 patients (Table 2, row g).

We may or may not continue gathering data for future editions of this paper, due to very little change found in the proportions and percentages of the various categories of patients year over year, as well as the increasingly labor-intensive nature of the research, as the patient population grows. However, we would like to continue try to contact all of the patients year after year, and to continue to report on each individual’s outcome.

In 2015 and 2016, we changed approach, and mailed a questionnaire to each of our surviving cancer patients. Those results are described in detail in our papers “Optimal Diets for Cancer Patients.”lxxv and “Extroversion, Expression and Appreciation Among Cancer Patients.”lxxvi

This paragraph summarizes Table 2, with reference herein to labelled rows of Table 2. 116 patients (rows e+g+h+i) left our practice before completing our treatments. 22 patients (row d) were killed in hospitals by medical procedures, non-cancer iatrogenic causes or simultaneous chemotherapy. The above numbers do not include any of the currently treated patients. Of the 219 patients (rows a+c+f) who were steadfast in treatment until either remission or death, 175 (row a) went into remission, and 44 patients (rows c+f) died while still our patients in our care alone. Of those 44, 12 (row f) died after a significant dietary dispute with us. The remainder is 32 patients (row c) who died while still our patients, under our care alone, following all of our protocols. This reflects a failure rate of 32 / 379 =row c / total = 8% of the total patients we treated, or a failure rate of 32 / 207 = rows c / (a+c) = 15% of the patients who were steadfast in their treatments and followed all of our recommendations. Of the 224 patients (rows a+c+i) who were steadfast in treatment, if we simply look at survivors, without confirmation of remission, then our success rate = (rows a+c+i – row c ) / rows a+c+i = /[(175+32+17) – 32] / (175+32+17) =(224 – 32) / 224 = 100% – 14% = 86%.

224 steadfast patients minus 22 killed by iatrogenic causes, minus 12 who died after a dietary dispute leaves 190 patients who were steadfast and made prudent decisions. If we consider that we had 175 patients in remission of 190 who were steadfast and made prudent decisions in the treatments, then the remission rate is 92%. Late Stage IV patients tend to not do well with our treatments, although even early stage IV patients seem to have a good likelihood of going into remission.

It cannot be emphasized enough that cancer treatment has been far more effective at our clinic when patients began treatment as early as possible after diagnosis. For all stages of cancer between Stage I and early Stage IV, the success rate is between 87% and 93% (Table 5). However, for late Stage IV, the success rate has been only 29%. After a certain critical juncture of loss of vitality and overwhelming tumor burden, our treatments seem to be as unlikely to work for the patient as any other available treatment. We therefore strongly advise against a strategy of postponing natural treatments until after chemotherapy stops working.

These results must be seen in the context of when, in the course of the cancer disease process, a patient decides to, or learns of the opportunity to, embark on naturopathic treatment. The overwhelming majority of patients who come to us never heard of the possibility of such treatments until very shortly before arriving to our clinic. Therefore, we do not have the advantage of meeting the patients at the time of diagnosis, as the medical oncologists have. Rather, valuable time is often lost, and very often we only have the opportunity to begin treatment after the chemotherapy oncologist has given up on the patient. This makes our job immensely harder than it would have been if we could have started a timely treatment.

33 of 44 patients who died were Stage IV at start of treatment. This paragraph describes the ordeals of some of those individuals. One Stage IV patient had over 36 bone metastases, over 50 total metastases, and chose to have chemotherapy during our treatment (Patient #204). Four others began treatment with a tumor load that was approximately a cubic foot in the abdomen (Patients #112, 124, 301 and 356). Others chose not to follow our main dietary recommendation during the last month of their treatment, i.e. not to eat sweetened foods (Patients #264 and 275). This pancreatic cancer patient’s tumors had reduced considerably during our treatments. Of the 2 pancreatic tumors, one disappeared completely, and the other shrank to approximately half the volume. This was after they had not been reduced at all by previous chemotherapy, and his oncologists had given no hope of recovery (NHR in Table 1). During this time, the patient stayed very physically active, doing construction work in his own house at age 67. Several weeks went by, and then new pain arose. The patient then admitted to starting to eat cookies every night after dinner for the past month, which was contrary to our main dietary treatment focus, to be described below. Within 2 weeks he was dead of pancreatic cancer with new metastases. Numerous others in this group had also declined our main dietary recommendation. Another had an extensive, fast-growing inoperable glioblastoma at start of treatment, had improved briefly, then worsened and died (Patient #179). Others had cancer that our treatments simply had no effect on. Another decided to enter hospice before finishing our treatments, and we could not obtain information about how much morphine he had been given (Patient #170). And yet another had an unfortunate combination of severe constipation with fast tumor breakdown (Patient #210). This combination allows toxins to build very quickly in the body, and we could not clear them out fast enough to save her life.

Most of the late stage cancer patients who died while still only in our care arrived to our clinic very late in their disease process, years after first diagnosis, and after one of two things: 1) they had been told by an oncologist that there was no remaining hope, or 2) they had never seen an oncologist and had a growing tumor burden that had been untreated for years.

Table 3: Patients who died while only in our care prior to July 1, 2014, and stage at arrival

Stage Total number

of deceased patients, while in our care

Total patients who died despite following all of our protocols, including diet DDD = death after dietary dispute
I 2 0 2
II 2 0 2
III 7 4 3
Early Stage IV, still functioning,

activities of daily living

13 8 5
Late Stage IV, very sick, very late

arrival to our clinic

20 20 0
Total 44 32 12

Table 4: Patients in remission or assumed remission during our care prior to July 1, 2014, and stage at arrival

Stage

Number of patients

Previous chemo-therapy with active cancer at start of our treatments

Number in each group also receiving chemo-therapy concurrently

Number in each group receiving radiation concur-rently

Number in each group receiving surgery concur-rently

I

76

5

4

6

25

II

37

1

3

2

15

III

20

6

0

1

8

Early IV

34

8

4

3

10

Late IV

8

3

1

0

1

Total

175

23

12

12

59

Table 5: Success rate by stage of cancer, for patients following all of our protocols including diet (Column 6), compared with all regardless of diet (Column 7)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Stage on arrival

Total patients treated

until remission

or death

Remission

Died,

Not DDD

DDD

Remission

÷ Total =

Success rate

Including dietary protocol

Remission

÷ Total =

Success rate**

Including DDD

I

*76

76

0

2

*100%

**97%

II

*37

37

0

2

*100%

**95%

III

*24

20

4

3

*83%

**74%

Early IV

*42

34

8

5

*81%

**72%

Late IV

*28

8

20

0

*29%

**29%

Total

*207

175

32

12

*85%

**80%

Stage I through early

Stage IV

*179

(not including DDD)

167

12

12

*93%

**87%

*This number does not include those who did not follow our dietary recommendations.

** These percentages in Column 7 were derived from the figures in each row of:

[Column 3 ÷ (Column 2 + Column 5)].

Only 12 of the 175 patients we treated who went into remission also had concurrent chemotherapy (Table 4). Of all our other patients who went into remission, most had refused current chemotherapy prior to starting our treatments, although some had chosen to have it in the past. It is common for a patient who finds their way to our clinic to comment that cancer is difficult enough to endure, without the additional burden of the ill health attributable to chemotherapy alone. Our clinic’s policy is never to insist that a patient either have chemotherapy or avoid it, because of the profound and severe effects on the health of such drugs, and because there is already excessive pressure on the patient by family and/or oncologists to choose one or another course of action, and because we have the utmost respect for the adult individual’s inherent and self-evident right to make his/her own healthcare decisions without coercion.

Of the patients who had chemotherapy along with our treatments, all commented on feeling stronger and better able to tolerate their chemotherapy with our treatments. One patient whose tumor volume had reduced by 80% subjectively attributed this good result to both our treatments as well as chemotherapy, an evaluation that seems to defy proof or disproof (Patient #246), at least in his case.

59 of our 175 patients to go into remission also had either surgical resection or debulking of their tumors while getting our treatments. This would suggest that surgery is often a reasonable choice, perhaps even a life-saving choice, when available, and that the combination of surgical tumor resection and natural treatments was a feasible strategy for a successful outcome, although not always required for a successful outcome.

One of our patients now in remission for 6 years is and has been for years the only known survivor of Stage 3 giant cell endometrial carcinoma (Patient #306), at least according to published medical literature.lxxvii This remission occurred with only natural treatments after all three conventional cancer treatments, chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, were each tried multiple times and failed for this patient.

Table 6: Results for patients who left to have chemotherapy prior to 2013

Went into remission following chemotherapy

Died following chemotherapy

Not in remission, but surviving both chemotherapy and cancer as of mid-2013

Evidence of remission from our treatments alone prior to starting chemotherapy

Total who left our clinic to have chemotherapy (total of all outcomes)

4

9

5

6

24

Table 6 has not been updated since July 2013. It shows that leaving our treatments to pursue chemotherapy only possibly benefited 4 of the 24 patients who had left. However, it is possible that those 4 would have gone into remission if they had continued with our treatments alone. This table has not been updated since 2013, because a large majority of those who were thought to have left for chemotherapy could not be reached by phone. As of now, we have not attributed either pessimistic or optimistic outcomes to those we cannot reach; we simply record “NFI” in Table 1. Sometimes good or bad information comes much later. In 2014 we were absolutely delighted to welcome to our clinic visits from two cancer survivors, after only our treatments, who had not been in contact with us for 5 years and 4 years respectively (Patients #288 and 295). One lives in an RV trailer, and happened to be passing through our area again.

Table 7: Results for patients for whom the treatments had no apparent effect, as of 2013

Stage at start of treatments Number of patients Of these, how many had prior or current chemotherapy Of those never having chemotx, waited years with growing mass before seeing a doctor

Stage I

1

0

0

Stage II

0

0

0

Stage III

1

0

0

Early Stage IV

4

3

1

Late Stage IV

12

6

5

Total

18

9

6

Table 7 shows that 15 of the 18 people for whom our treatments had no apparent effect either had prior chemotherapy or waited years with a growing mass before seeking treatment. This is likely because the patient’s tumor burden became more resilient either due to the chemotherapy-imparted resistance to treatment or due to an unopposed sizeable cancer burden having the opportunity to establish an intractable stronghold in the body.

We have data for change in tumor size for relatively few patients. It must be considered that by the time a person seeks the help of a naturopathic physician for any ailment, they have often rejected, for one reason or another, the conventional medical system, leading to a distrust and disdain for conventional imaging. Imaging such as PET/CT fusion is a “hard sell” to such people. (“You want me to have radioactive glucose after telling me not to eat sugar?”) Further biopsy was even less likely to be acceptable to our patients. Many of those patients left our practice for one reason or another, as discussed below, before we had any information about changing tumor size. A strong will must be present in a person to ignore the exhortations of oncologists and worried loved ones, and to pursue treatment by a naturopathic physician. This strong will easily enables rebellion against naturopathic physicians and our recommendations as well. Because we have so little information on which patients actually had increased or decreased tumor load, we have not yet had the advantage of the best way to determine the success or failure of our treatments. At present, we primarily rely on MRI imaging of the part of the torso or head or neck with the known tumor burden prior to finishing the treatments. For the blood dyscrasias, we rely on blood tests. After finishing the treatments, we recommend smaller treatments one time per month indefinitely. The local residents of course find this to be more feasible than those who temporarily moved close to our clinic for the treatments. For those who cannot pursue follow-up treatments, our contact has been one time per year with each patient, every summer, by telephone, to inquire about the current state of health from 2009 until 2014. In 2015 and 2016 we used a questionnaire instead to ask more detailed questions of our cancer survivors. However, many of the patients in remission choose to maintain an ongoing intravenous nutrient treatment one time per month. Of those patients in remission coming in for one time per month ongoing intravenous nutrient treatments, only two of those patients have come out of remission. Therefore, we recommend this strategy for all of the cancer patients who have been treated by us, as the most likely way we know of to remain in remission long-term.

There is another factor that we kept track of from July 2010 to June 2011: that year we also called people who came in to our clinic for an initial consult, but did not start our treatments. Of the 4 who visited that year, but never started our treatments, and whose family we were able to contact by phone, all four have died, according to their family members. We are no longer calling people in this category, because we are focusing our attention on the people who chose to undergo our treatments.

It cannot be assumed that those for whom our treatments failed to reduce cancer are entirely worse off. Most have described a better quality of life since starting the treatments. For example, one of the patients with stage IV breast cancer, and an increased tumor load since starting our treatments, described herself as more fit than ever since beginning our treatments, far more healthy than when she had previous chemotherapy, at 68 years old, walking 2 miles up and down hills in 22 minutes, gradually improving her time right up to the time she chose to have concurrent radiation, at which point her wellbeing, her energy, her tumor burden and her disease state began to worsen dramatically (Patient #184). Although we have not yet found the necessary combination of therapies to reduce and eliminate such a resilient cancer as hers, this patient expressed to us that the quality of life that she gained from our treatments was tangible and valuable to her.

It also cannot be assumed that conventional treatments would succeed when ours did not. For example, an ovarian cancer patient (Patient #112) was persuaded by family members to stop our treatments and resume chemotherapy, even though chemotherapy had not eliminated her cancer in the past, and our subsequent treatments did in fact reduce the tumors to a fraction of their original size, in only a fraction of the usual treatment time. When this patient complied with her family members and resumed chemotherapy, the remaining tumor mass grew again, steadily through two months of chemotherapy. The oncologist then gave up and offered her no more chemotherapy and directed her to hospice care. A number of other patients also did very well in measures of tumor size and wellbeing with our treatments. Then in some cases, chemotherapy oncologists or family members persuaded or pressured or coerced the patient to have chemotherapy instead. Usually, that patient then quickly declined and died.

For the 116 patients who decided to leave before finishing our treatments, it is difficult to assess the degree of success or failure. Reasons for leaving were often not given. There was sometimes a phone message requesting to cancel the future appointments without explanation. However, when we were told reasons for leaving, the following were common:

  1. Financial reasons: no insurance reimbursement made it hard to continue paying for our treatments out of pocket. This was by far the most common reason given. This was expected to change in 2014 when the Affordable Care Act mandated insurance reimbursement of naturopathic medicine, to the best of our understanding, under new private insurance plans. However, that mandate has not yet been implemented. Some insurance companies were much better about reimbursing for naturopathic medicine than others.

  2. The patient did not feel that anything important was happening with the treatment. There was a strange viewpoint expressed by some patients that cancer is not very frightening, once they saw that they, as well as all of the other non-chemotherapy cancer patients in our IV rooms maintained their vitality, their hair and their bodily functions, and almost always with improved fitness. This led some to the dangerously wrong conclusion that cancer was easy to conquer, could probably have happened at home with store-bought nutrients, and that our treatments had not accomplished much, and perhaps had not even contributed to their continued wellbeing, and that they would have remained well anyway.

  3. A related viewpoint was that improvement in the patient’s condition should have been faster and more dramatic. If the condition seemingly stayed the same, some patients viewed this as evidence of failure, of not defeating cancer fast enough, and concluded that the treatment was not working, and that they should not waste any more time or money pursuing it, and that it was time to leave and explore other avenues.

  4. Family members or oncologists disapproved of natural cancer treatment and persuasively urged chemotherapy exclusively.

  5. The patient had traveled from another state to receive our treatments, but wanted to return home to be with family, regardless of expected outcome.

*Table 8: Summary of quality of life changes, as of July 2011, by assessment of naturopathic physician along with patient self-evaluation during naturopathic care of the patients whose wellbeing stayed the same or improved prior to July 2011

Quality of life changes Number of patients Number in each group who went into remission Number in each group also receiving chemotherapy

Came in with high wellbeing /

Still the same way

92

70

3

Came in occupationally functional but not physically fit /Ultimately improved vitality

34

25

3

Came in occupationally functional but not physically fit / Still the same way

17

3

4

Total

143

98

10

*Note: This table has not been updated since the 2011 edition of this paper, due to the labor-intensive nature of this research, and not much expected change in proportion of the different groups.

If one considers quality of life as a criterion for success, then of the patients who stayed well or got better during our treatments, 143 patients out of 165 who had come to us prior to July 2011, make a success rate of 87%. For most of the remaining 13% of total patients, they mostly came to us after exhausting all conventional cancer treatments and were mostly late stage 4, or had other co-morbidities. These co-morbidities included: pulmonary fibrosis, asbestosis, uranium poisoning, radiation poisoning, more than 15 CT scans done on one individual, chronic antibiotic-resistant infections, Clostridium difficile, scleroderma, cirrhosis, pneumonia, asthma, diabetes, rapid tumor breakdown with poor elimination, radiation illness, chemotherapy intolerance, complications from previous surgery, blood clots where the tumor had compressed multiple veins before the tumor was eliminated, hepatic coma.

Table 9: Patients choosing to have monthly follow-up treatments

Stage

Cancer

C

R

S

CANCER OUTCOME WELL-BEING

1

2

breast

No

No

Yes

R HFwE/Job

2

2

lung

No

No

No

R x years. Now battling Valley Fever. HfwE/Job

3

3

breast

No

No

Yes

R Hf/Sa

4

4

breast

No

No PR

No

PS

R HF/Sa

5

1

breast

No

No

Yes

R HFwE/Job

6

1

breast

No

No

Yes

R HfwE (15 mi bike rides)/ Sa

7

2

breast

No

No

No

R. Current Imp; HfwE

8

1

Walden-strom’s lymphoma

No

No

No

Numbers go up and down with allergens, but much better strength now Imp mostly; strenuous exercise, recrea-tional travel

9

4

uterine

No

No

Yes

R

10

2 NHR

breast

No

No

Yes

R HFwE/ Sa

11

1

breast

No

No

Yes

R HFwE/Sa/

Job

12

4

ovarian and peritoneal

No

No

Yes

R x 3 years, then recurrence HFwE/Imp

13

2

breast

No

No

Yes

R HfwE/Job

14

1

prostate

No

No

No

R HFwE/Sa/

Job

15

4 NHR

ovarian

No

No

Yes

Rx 3 years HFwE in 80’s

16

2

breast

No

No

Yes

R HfwE

17

4

colon

No

No

No

PS

R HF/Sa/

retired

18

4

breast

No

No

Yes

R HF

19

1

breast

Yes

Yes

Yes

R HfwE, Job

20

4

ALL leukemia

No PC

No

No

R x 4 years Imp, HFwE

21

1

breast

No

No

Yes

R HF

22

3

breast

No

No

Yes

R HF/Job

23

2

breast

No

No

Yes PS

R, then recurrence, then lumpectomy. Current. HFwE, Sa

24

2

breast

No

No

Yes R HFwE/

Imp

25

3 NHR

giant cell endometrial

No, PC

No, PR

Debulking but not resection

PS

R x 5 years Imp/HFwE/Job

26

1

breast

No

No

Yes

R HFw/E, strenuous; “boot camp”

27

1

bladder

No

No

No

R HfwE/Job

28

3

breast

No

No

Yes

R HF

Summary of table of follow-up treatments: Total pts. = 28. Total still in remission = 26 = 93% of total.

It is important to note that not all of the patients did all that was recommended by us. For example, although we recommend beginning our treatments immediately after diagnosis, almost all patients delayed naturopathic treatment for months to years after initial diagnosis of cancer, mostly due to lack of information to the public about the effectiveness of natural treatments for cancer. The enormous disadvantage of such delay to the naturopathic physician’s work and effectiveness cannot be overstated. Chemotherapy is known to impart a resilience to tumors that makes it hard for any subsequent treatment to have an effect. It is surprising that our success has been as high as it is, given the severe disadvantage of beginning natural treatments months to years after cancer has had a head start in its growth and takeover of the body, as well as the debilitation of the general health of the patient.

Other patients chose to disregard the dietary recommendations that we made or to only observe the recommendations partially. Others chose to have fewer in-office treatments than were recommended. Others decided to choose only some of the recommended treatments due to financial constraints or inconvenience. However, as our clinic has demonstrated longer, sustained success with an ever-increasing number of patients, and a majority obviously well patients are present and visible in our clinic on our busiest workdays, and the value of our treatment protocols become obvious to more and more visitors to our clinic, both patients and their family members, compliance with our recommendations has generally been much better during the last few years than previously, with regard to both diet and on-site treatments.

Some of the patients who came out of remission had discontinued our main dietary recommendation. This was especially disappointing to us because for example, Patient #307, after being out of contact for almost two years after going into remission, called to inform us that she was now physically active and had at last stopped smoking. (She had smoked all through our treatments.) She had gone off of the diet, and then developed recurrence of cancer and died. Another patient (Patient #49) went quickly back into remission.

Most patients chose not to follow our recommendation to have monthly follow-up treatments after remission. But of those who did, 28 patients, 26 of them are still in remission. That is 93%.

Discussion

175 patients went into remission by mid-2014 during our treatments of a total of 207 up to that time who complied with all of our treatment protocols until either remission or death. This is 175 / 207 = 85% success over all stages and all types of cancer. For Stages I through early Stage IV, it is 167 / 179 (remission / total) = 93% success rate. If we consider that only 175 patients went into remission, out of the total 379 patients who had our treatment for at least two weeks prior to mid-2014, then only 175 / 379 = 46% have gone into remission, which is quite low. However, the 379 number includes those who only had sporadic treatments, and those who ignored our dietary and exercise recommendations, and those who were killed by chemotherapy and other iatrogenic procedures. Therefore, we do not consider the 46% as representative of what happens with patients who follow our recommendations steadfastly, and therefore does not reflect the work of our clinic. If one considers those who were steadfast in their treatments and died, divided by all who were steadfast in their treatments, then the failure rate is 32 / 207 = 15% of the patients who were steadfast in their treatments and followed all of our recommendations. Of the 224 patients who were steadfast in treatment, if we simply look at survivors, without confirmation of remission, then our success rate = (224 – 32) / 224 = 86%.

Numerous natural agents were simultaneously employed to reduce or inactivate or necrose or eliminate human neoplasms in vivo. We chose to use these agents together because cancer is a multifactorial disease and has not yet been fought effectively in a majority of patients with a single agent. Specific combinations of natural substances were chosen with regard to the type of cancer and circumstances of each individual cancer patient. Licensed naturopathic physicians are well-qualified to design such treatment programs because of our broad and extensive training with natural and conventional substances and how to combine them. Because of our unprecedented and consistent success in treating cancer since 2006, we believe we have demonstrated the need for simultaneous well-tolerated cancer-disrupting treatments.

Successful outcomes were more likely with steadfast patient compliance during the entire duration of the treatment process. Although our results are a strong improvement over any other cancer treatment protocols that we have found, both conventional and natural, if measured by either patient remission or survival, these treatment strategies are still not adequate to eliminate all patients’ cancers and must be further developed.

1 Anti-neoplastic is an inaccurate term to describe the effects of natural substances with anti-cancer effect. Conventional chemotherapy is anti-neoplastic in that it interferes with either DNA and RNA function (alkylating agents, topoisomerase inhibitors) or DNA and RNA synthesis (anti-metabolites) or other aspects of cell reproduction (anti-microtubule agents). In either case, cells are unable to reproduce, so that new cells are damaged first, and we see the results in lost hair (most obviously), an excoriated GI tract and arrested tumor growth. The natural anti-cancer treatments on the other hand do not target new growth indiscriminately (cancer, embryo, hair, GI lining), but rather target the 7 major mechanisms of cancer reproduction and growth described below. Hence, throughout this paper, we call them “cancer-disrupting” substances.

i

Chapter 7 Defeating cancer requires more than one treatment method

 Boik, John. Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy. Oregon Medical Press. 2001; p.2.

ii Huber, Colleen. Naturopathic Medical Education: Does it Measure Up? A curriculum comparison among three naturopathic medical colleges, Yale University School of Medicine and Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, conducted at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, April 14, 2005.

iii Huber C. Naturopathic Medical Education: A Comprehensive Curriculum. NaturopathicStandards.org. 2015. http://naturopathicstandards.org/naturopathic-medical-education-a-comprehensive-curriculum/

iv Warburg, O. The Metabolism of Tumors [book] 1926. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2140820/pdf/519.pdf

v Chan J, Wang F, Holly E. Sweets, sweetened beverages, and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large population based case-control study. Cancer Causes & Control. 2009 Aug; 20(6): 835-46. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2694313/

vi Rossi M, Lipworth L, et al. Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load and risk of pancreatic cancer: a case-control study. Ann Epidemiol. 2010 Jun. 20(6): 460-465. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20470973

vii Mueller N, Odegaard A, et al. Soft drink and juice consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Feb. 19(2). 447-455. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20142243

viii Larsson S, Berqkvist L, et al. Consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened foods and the risk of pancreatic cancer in a prospective study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Nov. 84(5). 1171-1176. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17093171

ix Tavani A, Giordano L, et al. Consumption of sweet foods and breast cancer risk in Italy. Ann Oncol. 2006 Feb. 17(2). 341-345. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16249211

x Larsson, S, Bergkvist L, Wolk A. Glycemic load, glycemic index and breast cancer risk in a prospective cohort of Swedish women. Int J Cancer. 2009 Jul 1; 125(1): 153-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19319984

xi Wu A, Yu M, Tseng C. et al. Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk in Asian American women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Apr; 89(4): 1145-54. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19211822

xii Bradshaw P et al. Consumption of sweet foods and breast cancer risk: a case-control study of women on Long Island, New York. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Oct. 20(8). 1509-1515. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4109805/

xiii Freedland S, Aronson, W. Dietary intervention strategies to modulate prostate cancer risk and prognosis. Curr Opin Urol. 2009 May; 19(3): 263-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19300265

xiv Drake I, Sonestedt E, et al. Dietary intakes of carbohydrates in relation to prostate cancer risk: a prospective study in the Malmo Diet and Cancer cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Dec. 96(6): 1409-18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23134882

xv Ikeda F, Doi Y, et al. Hyperglycemia increases risk of gastric cancer posed by Helicobacter pylori infection: a population-based cohort study. Gastroenterology. 2009 Aprei(4): 1234-41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19236964

xvi Bertuccio P, Praud D, et al. Dietary glycemic load and gastric cancer risk in Italy. Br J Cancer. 2009 Feb 10; 100(3): 558-61. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19190635

xvii Wang B, Bobe G, et al. High sucrose diets promote intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and tumorigenesis in APC mice by increasing insulin and IGF-1 levels. Nutr Cancer. 2009; 61(1): 81-93. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19116878

xviii Wang B, Bobe G, et al. Dietary carbohydrate source alters gene expression profile of intestinal epithelium in mice. Nutr Cancer. 2009; 61(1): 146-55. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19116885

xix Nayak S, Sasi M, et al. A case control study of roles of diet in colorectal carcinoma in a South Indian population. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2009 Oct-Dec. 10(4). 565-568. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19827870

xx Williams C, Satia J, et al. Dietary patterns, food groups, and rectal cancer risk in whites and African-Americans. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 May. 18(5). 1552-1561. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19423533

xxi Augustin L, Polesel J, et al. Dietary glycemic index, glycemic load and ovarian cancer risk: a case-control study in Italy. Ann Oncol. 2003 Jan; 14(1): 78-84. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12488297

xxii Silvera S, Jain M, et al. Glycaemic index, glycaemic load and ovarian cancer risk: a prospective cohort study. Public Health Nutr. 2007 Octo. 10(10). 1076-1081. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17381931

xxiii King M, Chandran U, et al. Consumption of sugary foods and drinks and risk of endometrial cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Jul 24(7) 1427-1436. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3683350/

xxiv Mulholland H, Murray L, et al. Dietary glycaemic index, glycaemic load and endometrial and ovarian cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Cancer. 2008 Aug 5. 99(3). 434-441. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2527795/

xxv Fedirko V, Lukanova A, et al. Glycemic index, glycemic load, dietary carbohydrate, and dietary fiber intake and risk of liver and biliary tract cancer in Western Europeans. Ann Oncol. 2013 Feb. 24(2). 543-553. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23123507

xxvi Moerman C, Bueno de Mesquita H, et al. Consumption of foods and micronutrients and the risk of cancer of the biliary tract. Prev Med. 1995 Nov. 24(6). 591-602. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8610083

xxvii Creagan E, Moertel C, et al. Failure of high-dose Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) therapy to benefit patients with advanced cancer. A controlled trial. New Engl J Med 1979 Sep 27. 301(13): 687-90. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/384241

xxviii Moertel C, Fleming T, et al. High-dose vitamin C versus placebo in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer who have had no prior chemotherapy. A randomized double-blind comparison. New Engl J Med. 1985 Jan 17; 312(3): 137-41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3880867

xxix Cameron E, Campbell A. The Orthomolecular treatment of cancer: II. Clinical trial of high-dose ascorbic acid supplements in advanced human cancer. Chem Biol Interact. 1974; 9: 285-315. http://www.cellmedsoc.org/research_archive/NHC/studien_pdf/old/the_orthomolecular_treatment_of_cancer.pdf

xxx Cameron E, Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 1976. 73. 3685-89. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1068480

xxxi Cameron E., Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: re-evaluation of prolongation of survival times in advanced human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 1978 Sep; 75(9): 4538-42.

xxxii Bram S, Froussard P, Guichard M, et al. Vitamin C preferential toxicity for malignant melanoma cells. Nature 1980 Apr 17; 284(57):629-31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/279931

xxxiii Leung P, Miyashita K, et al. Cytotoxic effect of ascorbate and its derivatives on cultured malignant and non-malignant cell lines. Anticancer Res. 1993 Mar-Apr; 13(2): 475-80. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8517665

xxxiv Sakagami H, Satoh K, et al. Apoptosis-inducing activity of vitamin C and vitamin K. Cell Mol. Biol 2000 Feb; 46(1): 129-43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10726979

xxxv Chen Q, Espey M, et al. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2005 Sep; 102(38): 13604-09. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16157892

xxxvi Padayatty S., Sun H, et al. Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann Intern Med 2004 Apr 6;140(7): 533-37. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15068981

xxxvii Chen Q, Espey M, Krishna M, et al. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2005 Sep. 102(38): 13604-09.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16157892

xxxviii Padayatty S, Riordan H, et al. Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases. Canadian Med Assn J. 2006 Mar 28; 174(7): 937-42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1405876/

xxxix Akiyama M, Nakamura M. Bone regeneration and neovascularization processes in a pellet culture system for periosteal cells. Cell Transplant. 2009 Apr 15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19622231

xl Yogeeta S, Gnanapragasam A, et al. Synergistic salubrious effect of ferulic acid and ascorbic acid on membrane-bound phosphatases and lysosomal hydrolases during experimental myocardial infarction in rats. Life Sci. 2006 Dec.23; 80(3): 258-63. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17045618

xli Lin Y, Tan F, et al. Synthesis and characterization of collagen/hyaluronan/chitosan composite sponges for potential biomedical applications. Acta Biomater. 2009 Apr 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19427824

xlii Petrella B. Assessment of local proteolytic milieu as a factor in tumor invasiveness and metastasis formation: in vitro collagen degradation and invasion assays. Methods Mol Biol 2009; 511:75-84. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19347293

xliii Penna-Martinez M, Ramos-Lopez E., et al. Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms in differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Thyroid. 2009 Jun; 19(6): 623-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19499989

xliv Robien K, Cutler G, et al. Vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2007 Sep; 18(7): 775-82. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17549593

xlv Epstein E, Lindqvist P, et al. A population-based cohort study on sun habits and endometrial cancer. Br J Cancer. 2009 Jun 23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720243/

xlvi Giovannucci E. The epidemiology of vitamin D and cancer incidence and mortality: a review. Cancer Causes Control. 2005 Mar; 16(2): 83-95. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15868450

xlvii Wei M, Garland C, et al. Vitamin D and prevention of colorectal adenoma: a meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Nov; 17(11): 2958-69. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18990737

xlviii Garland C, Gorham E, et al. Vitamin D for cancer prevention: global perspective. Ann Epidem 2009 Jul;19(7):468-83. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19523595

xlix Giovannucci E. Vitamin D and cancer incidence in the Harvard cohorts. Ann Epidem. 2009 Feb 19(2): 84-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18291673

l Shen M, Yen A. Nicotinamide cooperates with retinoic acid and 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D(3) to regulate cell differentiation and cell cycle arrest of human myeloblastic leukemia cells. Oncology 2009; 76(2): 91-100. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19127080

li Kizildag S, Ates H. Treatment of K562 cells with 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D(3) induces distinct alterations in the expression of apoptosis-related genes BCL-2, BAX, BCL(XL) and p21. Ann Hematol. 2009 May 28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19475409

lii Wu W, Zhang X, et al. 1alpha, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D(3) anti-proliferative actions involving vitamin D receptor-mediated activation of MAPK pathways and AP-1/p21 (waf1) upregulation in human osteosarcoma. Cancer Lett. 2007 Aug 28. 254(1): 75-86. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17412493

liii Fujioka T, Suzuki Y, et al. Prevention of renal cell carcinoma by active vitamin D(3). World J Surg. 2000 Oct; 24(10): 1205-10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11071463

liv Bao B, Yao J, et al. 1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 suppresses interleukin-8-mediated prostate cancer cell angiogenesis. Carcinogenesis. 2006 Sep; 27(9): 1883-93. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16624828

lv Chung I, Han G, et al. Role of Vitamin D receptor in the antiproliferative effects of calcitriol in tumor-derived endothelial cells and tumor angiogenesis in vivo. Cancer Res. 2009 Feb 1; 69(3):. 967-75. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19141646

lvi Yudoh K, Matsuno H, et al. 1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 inhibits in vitro invasiveness through the extracellular matrix and in vivo pulmonary metastasis of mouse melanoma. J Lab Clin Med. 1999 Feb 133(2): 120-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9989763

lvii Mora J, Iwata M, et al. Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins A and D take centre stage. Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Sep; 8(9): 685-98. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19172691

lviii Guan J, Zhang H, et al.. Retinoic acid inhibits pancreatic cancer cell migration and EMT through the down-regulation of IL-6 in cancer associated fibroblast cells.

Cancer Lett. 2013 Dec 11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24334138

lix Montrone M, Martorelli D, et al. Retionoids as critical modulators of immune functions: new therapeutic perspectives for old compounds. Endocr Metab Immune Disorder Drug Targets. 2009 June; 9(2): 133-31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19519462

lx Kusmartzev S, Su Z, et al. Reversal of myeloid cell-mediated immunosuppression in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res.2008 Dec 15; 14(24): 8270-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19088044

lxi Okuno M, Kojima S, et al. Retinoids in cancer chemoprevention. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2004 May; 4(3): 285-98. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11574627

lxii Wu Q, Dawon, M, et al. Inhibition of trans-retinoic acid-resistant human breast cancer cell growth by retinoid X receptor-selective retinoids. Mol Cell Biol 1997 Nov; 17(11): 6598-608. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9343423

lxiii Cannell J, Vieth R, et al. Cod liver oil, vitamin A toxicity, frequent respiratory infections and the vitamin D deficiency epidemic. Ann Otol, Rhinol, Laryngol. 2008 Nov; 117(11): 864-70. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/000348940811701112

lxiv Makishima M, Honma Y, et al. Effects of inhibitors of protein tyrosine kinase activity and/or phosphatidylinositol turnover on differentiation of some leukemia myelomonocytic leukemia cells. Leukemia Res 1991; 15(8): 701-08. -http://www.lrjournal.com/article/0145-2126(

Risks and Benefits of Chemotherapy vs. Risks and Benefits of Natural Cancer Treatments

 

Our clinic studied the results of treatment of all 379 consecutive cancer patients, all types of cancer, all stages, without exception, who came to our clinic over the course of 8 years and stayed at least two weeks in our care. We opened our clinic in 2006, and began to collect data from the patients who came to us. We stopped collecting data in 2014 due to the cumbersome nature of trying to reach a quickly increasing number of people. Patients did not necessarily continue with the same doctor as we grew, which impaired continuity of care. Also, voice mail and competition with enormous amounts of spam e-mail further hindered efforts at ongoing contact with patients who had left our clinic years earlier. So we stopped looking at this particular information in 2014.

However, every year we now survey patients while they are at our clinic, and ask more limited and more focused questions than we used to, every year focusing on a somewhat different topic. In 2015, we asked questions regarding a long list of foods and beverages. In 2016, we asked questions regarding outlook: optimism vs pessimism. Most years we ask questions regarding nutrition and exercise.

This article addresses specifically the difference in outcome between those patients that had chemotherapy and those who did not, among those who chose to come to our clinic and had natural treatments for cancer. Of course, those who did not come to our clinic did not have information that was available to us for our study. So all of the following patients had natural treatments for their cancers, and are therefore not representative of the whole of US cancer patients. Let’s compare those who had chemotherapy with those who did not.

Summarized outcomes of naturopathic treatment of 379 consecutive cancer patients

Table A

Outcome

Number of patients

Average number of months this group of patients stayed for treatments *

Number in each group also receiving chemotherapy

Number in each group also receiving radiation

Number in each group also receiving surgery

a

Remission or assumed remission

175

3.7

12

11

59

b

Still being treated, not yet in remission

22

4.0

1

0

3

c

Died while still only in our care, following all of our protocols

32

2.2

0

1

1

d

Iatrogenic death in hospitals, conventional medicine

22

2.7

15

4

7

e

Of those who left early, number who died after leaving (except for DDD)**

45

2.7

2

3

10

f

Death after dietary dispute

12

No data

1

1

3

g

No current information but never known to be in remission

46

1.4

5

1

10

h

Remission occurred elsewhere

8

No data

4

1

0

i

Waiting to know status, or conflicting information

17

No data

5

2

6

Total

379

45

24

99

*This column has not been updated since 2010, due to the labor-intensive nature of this research, and not much expected change or significance of any change.

** Please see legend of abbreviations at the head of Table 1. For example, DDD: death after dietary dispute.

Now let’s summarize the above table to look at all of those in remission, and whether they had chemotherapy or not:

If we look at the two shaded columns of Table B, chemotherapy was far more correlated with death, and not having chemotherapy was far more correlated with remission.

Table B

Number

of patients

Number also receiving chemo-therapy

Number not receiving chemo-therapy

Ratio of those not having chemo-therapy to total

% of total not having chemo-therapy

% of total having chemo-therapy

Remission or assumed remission

175

12

163

163/175

93%

7%

Iatrogenic death in hospitals, conven-tional medicine

22

15

7

7/22

32%

68%

All patients

379

45

334

334/379

88%

12%

We see in Table B that 88% of all the patients we treated did not have chemotherapy. However, 93% of those patients in remission did not have chemotherapy. Therefore, remission was more highly correlated with not having chemotherapy treatment than in the average patient. However, it is even more likely that chemotherapy was not helpful, or was harmful to cancer patients generally for this reason: People who choose to have naturopathic treatment for cancer are probably the least likely people to have chosen to have chemotherapy treatment. So therefore, the 88% figure is artificially high, and again not representative of the US cancer population as a whole.

The cornerstone of conventional treatment of cancer patients in the United States and many other countries is chemotherapy treatment. Of those who attended our clinic, and who later died in hospitals or conventional medicine clinics, only 32% did not have chemotherapy. 68% (=15 of 22) of those dying in conventional medical settings had received chemotherapy treatment.

Let’s look more specifically at what happened to the patients who left to have chemotherapy:

Table C:

Results for patients who left our treatments in order to have chemotherapy prior to 2013

Went into remission following chemo-therapy

Died following chemotherapy

Not in remission, but surviving both chemotherapy and cancer as of mid-2013 Evidence of remission from our treatments alone prior to starting chemotherapy Total who left our clinic to have chemotherapy (total of all outcomes)

4

9

5

6

24

This table has not been updated since July 2013. It shows that leaving our treatments to pursue chemotherapy only possibly benefited 4 of the 24 patients who had left (17%), but 9 others died after leaving for chemotherapy (38%). However, it is possible that those 4 would have gone into remission if they had continued with our treatments alone. This table has not been updated since 2013, because others who were thought to have left for chemotherapy could not be reached by phone. As of now, we have not attributed either pessimistic or optimistic outcomes to those we cannot reach; we simply record “NFI” for “no further information” in Table 1 of our long paper.i Sometimes good or bad information comes much later. In 2014, we were absolutely delighted to welcome to our clinic visits from two cancer survivors, after only our treatments, who had not been in contact with us for 5 years and 4 years respectively (Patients #288 and 295 of Table 1). One lives in an RV trailer, and happened to be passing through our area again. Similar long absences have ended in unexpected and very pleasant visits in each year since.

Of the patients who left our treatments to pursue chemotherapy, comparing only those who then went into remission or died, (13 total), 4 went into remission and 9 died. This is a 31% short-term success rate for chemotherapy, and a 69% fatality rate for chemotherapy among those who left to pursue it. This is similar to the figure of 68% in Table B, for those who died in hospitals at some point in time after having chemotherapy treatments.

Chemotherapy is known to be toxic, life-threatening and at times fatal. It is known to have a very poor track record long-term.ii

It is a long-held (and heavily purchased) dogmatic belief that chemotherapy is the weapon of choice against cancer. There are some problems with this:

One, there usually is no choice given. Newly diagnosed cancer patients are not told that there are any options other than chemotherapy. If a patient suggests to the oncologist that alternatives exist, that patient is usually told: But your cancer would respond especially well to chemotherapy; therefore, that is the treatment that you should have.

Two, chemotherapy is been oversold for its anti-cancer effect, and has been falsely promoted as effective against all cancers. A July 2017 article in Science Translational Medicine iii found that chemotherapy actually increases the risk of metastasis. This progression to metastasis is what makes cancer especially deadly and beyond medical control.

Although chemotherapy generally dramatically reduces the size of tumors, not only does the remaining cancer metastasize more readily, but it also becomes more resilient to subsequent treatment.

After 10 years of working with cancer patients, I have become more and more convinced that the worst thing a cancer patient can do is choose to have chemotherapy. Those are the people who get sick and die, in my experience. Whereas those who avoid it have generally had much better successiv in eliminating cancer from their bodies for the long-term.

Chemotherapy has been a financial boon to hospitals. Whereas “health” insurance has been slow or stubborn about paying for cheaper alternatives, those same insurance companies lavish enormous sums on oncology clinics for exorbitantly priced chemotherapy drugs, some of which can cost tens of thousands of dollars per dose.

The chemotherapy paradigm has been a misguided paradigm for cancer treatment, ever since it was first recycled from World War I and II chemical weapons. Isn’t it time to consider the many safe and effective natural alternatives v that exist?

The above information should give people pause before choosing to embark on chemotherapy.

This article was adapted from Chapter 6 of Manifesto For A Cancer Patient

i Huber C. Defeating cancer requires more than one treatment method. 2016 Dec. https://natureworksbest.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2016_Cancer_Treatment_Paper.pdf

ii Morgan G et al. The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies. Clin Oncol 2004 Dec. 16(8). 549-60. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630849

iii Karagiannis G, Pastoriza J, et al. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy induces breast cancer metastasis through a TMEM-mediated mechanism. Science Translational Medicine. 05 Jul 2017. Vol 9, Issue 397. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5592784/

iv Huber C Defeating cancer requires more than one treatment methods: a 10-year retrospective case series using multiple nutritional and herbal agents, 2016 update. www.NatureWorksBest.com

v Naturopathic Cancer Society. Naturopathic Medicine works best to eliminate bladder cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, etc. www.NatOnco.org.

The Problem With Chemotherapy

 

The Problem With Chemotherapy

An increasing number of scientists over recent years have dared to speak up regarding the obsolescence of chemotherapy. Although their hope is usually for adequately targeted gene therapy, which is a dead-end, as explained in Chapter 9 of Manifesto for a Cancer Patient, it is an acknowledgment of the unacceptable problems of chemotherapy. I have even heard a number of chemotherapy oncologists admit this in medical conferences in small conversations with their colleagues. Dwight McKee MD is one of the few medical oncologists to go on record with this prediction.i

Modern chemotherapy was born in World War II, November 30, 1943, in Bari, Italy. The event was an air attack by the Luftwaffe on Allied warships. Unfortunately, one such ship was stockpiled with an agent of chemical warfare: mustard gas, despite an agreement by both sides not to use war gasses. As Allied servicemen found themselves blown from their ship and into the now contaminated water, an oily residue clung to their skin and clothes. Over the next few days, following rescue from the cold water, they complained of burning skin and blindness. One thousand Allied servicemen lost their lives from this exposure.

Over the next few days after the attack it was discovered that another effect of this gas exposure on the men was that their white blood cells were greatly reduced. Later, the same chemical was then given deliberately and experimentally to lymphoma and leukemia patients, and it was discovered that their cancer burden regressed considerably. This discovery was especially exciting, because conventional medicine had not yet offered any effective treatment at all for any cancer, except for radical surgery and radiation. Neither of those was applicable to such an elusive and scattered blood disease, such as the leukemias. So here was something that appeared to be a viable and promising alternative.

But the excitement was short-lived, because the cancer regression only lasted weeks. The nitrogen mustard in mustard gas attacks DNA, which greatly inhibits cell reproduction.

However, and this is the problem with chemotherapy generally, cells mutate, and are all too soon resistant to the chemotherapy drug that they were exposed to. So the cancer grows once more. But this time, the cancer is a bit less vulnerable. The cancer has seen its attacker and endured and in some non-conscious way (of course), has “learned” from it. I tell my patients that it is a similar situation to taking too little of an antibiotic. By teasing bacteria with too little of an antibiotic, or too-short dosing, you have trained it to become stronger and more resistant. This is obviously not a desirable situation when managing infectious disease. Why then should we allow cancer to learn and fortify itself from our mistakes?

An equally serious problem is that anti-DNA strategies of cancer treatment inevitably hurt the entire body. With conventional dosing of chemotherapy, initially, nausea and vomiting wrack the body. All of the cells of the blood: red and white blood cells and platelets drop to dangerous levels. The GI tract from mouth to anus becomes excoriated with scattered bleeding, as this normally quickly reproducing tissue is stopped from producing more tissue. Finally, after a few weeks the hair cannot make new cells, and the already produced hair falls out.

Much has been made of this loss of hair as being the only horrifying effect of chemotherapy, yet in essence a merely cosmetic inconvenience. However, if you see such drastic destruction as this overall alopecia – no head hair, no eyebrows or eyelashes, and all the way down – on the surface of the body, what kind of destruction do you suppose is taking hold on the inside? Given these devastating effects, is it really any surprise that an agent of war, a chemical poison, was the first chemotherapy agent used?

Later in 1947, methotrexate was developed. Having learned from the temporary remission, relapse and then ultimate failure of the nitrogen mustard in leukemia, scientist Sidney Farber looked for a way to interfere with folic acid use or uptake by the body. Folic acid was necessary for proper DNA function and normal cell replication. Farber wanted a molecule that looked a little like folic acid by the body, enough to be attempted in use by the cells. However, what he mostly wanted was a molecule that would gum up the works, a Trojan horse into a cell. Methotrexate was similar enough to folic acid to be accepted by all the necessary receptor sites, but not similar enough to function adequately as folic acid. Therefore, like the mustard gas, it stopped cell division, and it led to the same devastating effects, with only temporary remission from leukemia.

In 1951, 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) developed by scientist Gertrude Elion, performed a similar function. As with the two predecessor drugs, remission could be achieved, but only for weeks.

With these three, however, Sidney Farber’s goal of amassing an arsenal of multiple chemotherapy drugs was beginning to be realized. That is, Farber had written of inspiration from recent productive developments in antibiotics. A strength of the new arsenal of antibiotics was to have multiple weapons with which to defeat a multi-faceted problem: bacterial resilience. The thinking was that when one antibiotic weakens a bacterium, the next one in a therapeutic series may be likelier to finish the job.

Farber dreamt of a similar arsenal for chemotherapy, enough weapons to be able to eliminate cancer for good. Or at least an ability to switch from one agent to another in the face of resilient cancer growth.

As it turned out, this was later achieved in an area that Farber never thought of looking: the natural world. However, Otto Warburg, who had figured out the nature of cancer over a decade earlier, would likely not have been terribly surprised.

In 1957, two colleagues, Emil Frei and Emil Freireich, were able to realize Farber’s goal of combining chemotherapy drugs for more intense impact. Methotrexate and 6-MP were each quite harsh drugs alone. Now in combination, they were so toxic as to bring cancer patients, in this case, children with leukemia, to the brink of death. However, that toxicity also was somewhat effective against the cancer. Remission rose from less than 20% to 45%.ii

But the price paid for that increase was morally reprehensible: a slow poisoning of children compounding the misery of their already devastating disease. How could their doctors put them through such torture?

Oncologist Max Wintrope of the National Cancer Institute Hospital observed that “These drugs cause more harm than good, because they just prolong the agony. The patients all die anyway.” iii In this bleak environment, the goal was to rid the body of every single cancer cell, in the belief that even one such cell remaining in the body could bring a return of the cancer throughout the body.

Yet the combinations of chemotherapy drugs multiplied, with Freireich’s strategy of combining drugs of different types of toxicity, so that a child with leukemia was not attacked so harshly in one particular organ system, but rather with the misery spread throughout the body.

In the 1960’s chemotherapy and the field of oncology generally was new, with the first of that field including Frei, Freireich and Vincent DeVita, a cardiologist who joined them in 1963. At the time, they were very much outsiders in the medical field, viewed askance and skeptically by their colleagues who disapproved of the severe toxicity of chemotherapy. Yet each time a cocktail of chemo drugs was given to the children with leukemia, their leukemia at first abated and then came back, usually to the brain, where it was not so accessible to any known treatment, and gradually the patients of the three researchers died of recurrent leukemia. However, by the end of the sixties, with even larger combinations of drugs and targeted to the neurological system, where the leukemic cells were sequestered, children with leukemia were finally going into remission.

Thus chemotherapy entered its long heyday. It seemed that with appropriate combinations of drugs, childhood leukemia could be put into remission. The zeitgeist in the early 1970’s was, more than anything else, confidence. A man could walk on the moon. And finally, cancer, one of the most devastating diseases in human history, was being held at bay by pharmaceutical innovation. The budget for drug development at the National Cancer Institute grew to $ 68 millioniv and vetted 40,000 drugs every year. The standard mechanism for the drugs was the same very time: tangling DNA into an unworkable knot, so that cell reproduction was prevented. This stopped all growth, including cancer, and led to the familiar side effects of hair loss and GI tract excoriation, as well as damage to major organs.

James Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA double-helix, and physician/author Eric Topol spoke out against the indiscriminate destructive forces of the chemotherapy regimens, which held the patients on the edge of life and death. He and many others questioned the ethics of delivering the patient to the brink of death, in order to pound the cancer as hard as possible. As a result, Watson was quickly sidelined from those front lines, getting kicked off the advisory board of the National Cancer Institute.

But despite the criticism, NCI’s position grew bolder. Instead of only targeting leukemia and other blood dyscrasias, NCI pushed for also using the toxic cocktails with solid tumors, which accounted for the majority of cancer deaths by far.

When the results of all this intervention were finally tallied by statisticians in the mid-1980’s the numbers were bleak. Death by cancer had actually increased by 9%. Then more bad news surfaced by the 1990’s regarding the survivors. Those treated for Hodgkins lymphoma were 18 times more likely to later develop secondary cancers, and 75 times as likely to develop breast cancer as patients never treated for lymphoma.

This disappointing news renewed calls among the public and the scientific community for more precisely targeted therapies, chemotherapy that could be more of a ‘magic bullet.’

That particular prescription was expected by all to be filled by conventional medicine. It wasn’t. It is beginning to be filled by natural medicine, as we will see in Part Two.

Common Questions New Cancer Patients Ask Me

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Colleen Huber, NMD, a Naturopathic Medical Doctor, a licensed physician in Arizona. In my case, I completed the Fellowship of the Naturopathic Oncology Research Institute (FNORI), and so my work is with cancer patients, for the most part.

My clinic, Nature Works Best, is of licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctors (NMDs) at the same address in Tempe, Arizona, USA, for the 11 years of our existence. As of 2017, we are:

Featured in the documentary Cancer Can Be Killed

Featured in America’s Best Cancer Doctors

Featured in Defeating Cancer

A+ rating at BBB (Better Business Bureau)

Our goal is to make sure that the cancer patient gets stronger, while we fight the cancer at the cellular and molecular level, until that patient arrives at remission with:

Evidence of absence of tumor burden, and

Vitality and strength restored, at least equal to the condition of before the cancer diagnosis.
Our goal is for this to happen with every patient, but many patients must stop the treatments earlier, because insurance coverage is still underperforming for the natural treatments for cancer. Other patients, many others, arrive to our clinic later than optimal timing, after cancer has already spread relentlessly through their bodies. Nevertheless, we do not reject patients for being too sick, and we try our best for all who come to us.

How do you treat cancer?

We are licensed as Naturopathic Medical Doctors and primary care physicians. We use natural treatments only for cancer and other diseases. That is, we use no chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. However, if a patient requests it, we do work with surgeons and oncologists, the formal name for doctors who are cancer specialists. And they work with the mainstream treatments, as well as imaging and labs showing what happens with tumors over time.

If a patient prefers to work only with us, that is okay too. We can order all imaging and labwork. All of that is usually covered by insurance, or at least would apply toward the patient’s deductible in many cases. Medicare is an exception, because Medicare does not yet recognize naturopathic medicine.

Do you work with medical doctors? Does any entity oversee your work?

There are medical doctors who have referred patients to us, and there are medical doctors to whom we have referred patients, based on need. Medical doctors neither supervise us, nor take direction from us, because we are an independent clinic of Naturopathic Medical Doctors (NMDs). The government agency that oversees licensed naturopathic physicians is the Naturopathic Medical Board of the state in which those physicians are licensed. In the case of our clinic, that governing body is the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Board.i

Our work is also overseen by the Investigational Review Board (IRB) of the American Naturopathic Research Institute / Naturopathic Oncology Research Institute. IRBs were established to protect the rights of human patients. Following the International Declaration of Human Rights and in order to avoid the worst kind of horrors of human experimentation that had been perpetrated throughout the worst periods of human history, IRBs were established in the US – teams of peer clinical researchers as well as at least one non-clinician – as established by the law  – that would evaluate the use of medical treatments or procedures with human beings, according to the specifications of the federal code.

Unfortunately, the prohibition against forced medical treatments is widely ignored in the US medical community, as cancer patients are told every day that they must have chemotherapy, whether they want it or not. For many cancer patients, nobody informs them that there are much safer alternatives to that in natural medicine.

The IRB overseeing our work has submitted our data-gathering from our patients to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and to the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP), both of which have granted approval, including all previous years in which we applied, and up to the present.

Do you work with oncologists?

There are 2 types of oncologists in our experience: the old-fashioned kind, those who only know about chemotherapy and radiation and surgery, and who are not interested in natural treatments for cancer. Some have shown a lot of hostility toward natural treatments. They have not been very cooperative with us regarding the patients that we share. And this has been detrimental to the patients’ wellbeing, because necessary information such as PET scans, MRI’s etc. have been delayed and withheld by them.

However, there is a new forward-thinking, well-informed and open-minded type of oncologist, and they are taking an interest in the tumor regression and remission that we have experienced with natural treatments. These oncologists have been helpful and cooperative about sharing information from CT scans, PET scans, blood work, etc., and the patient benefits from this shared information. Fortunately, some of our patients have these newer kinds of oncologists. One such oncologist even told one of our patients that he would do what the patient is doing – that is, the natural treatments – if he himself had cancer, and that he had nothing better to offer for this patient’s particular cancer. Another specifically recommended our treatments to another patient as the only therapy. Three other oncologists specifically instructed the patients to continue our natural therapies. That kind of honesty is very welcome to the patient, as well as to the public. Certainly, oncologists can offer some help to some patients. But when they cannot help, it makes most sense for them to welcome other treatments that can make a difference. There is a genuine desire on the part of many mainstream doctors to act with the patient’s best interests as a priority, regardless of where that road may go.

If a patient wants to consult with an oncologist who will be open-minded to the natural treatments that the patient chooses, we can refer to any of a number of different oncologists if the patient requests the referral.

Why don’t you advertise on billboards and the radio, like Mayo and others?

MD Anderson, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Mayo and other cancer conglomerates seem to be advertising everywhere. You can hardly turn on a radio or TV without an ad from a cancer hospital. Their billboards are all over our most congested highways. Their soundbites are everywhere.

Soundbites may work well enough to advertise for chemotherapy, because everybody has an idea of what it is. However, natural treatments for cancer are still unfamiliar to much of the American public, and require more of an introduction than simply a commercial. This is why we explain on our website what we do and the results that we have had, while preserving patient anonymity.

What natural treatments do you use?

It’s important to understand that that depends entirely on the patient. Each of our cancer patients came in with a different type of cancer and even different metastases.

As for an example of a specific treatment, let’s say a cancer patient has lung involvement. Then we will deliver natural treatments to the lungs by way of a nebulizer. This has been helpful with both primary lung cancers as well as secondary metastases to the lungs. What we put in there is a combination of herbs and nutrients, in a form that is tolerable to the airways, and with specific attention to the patients’ needs.

We also offer intravenous anti-cancer nutrients, such as high doses of Vitamin C and other anti-cancer nutrients that benefit normal cells while killing cancer cells.

Linus Pauling is the only person in history to be awarded two solo Nobel prizes. His work with Vitamin C and cancer was groundbreaking decades ago. Now we know that we can use much higher doses of Vitamin C than at that time without side effects, when we use it intravenously, and get even better results than previously.

Certain herbs have shown a tremendous effect in slowing the growth of cancer or shrinking tumors and inhibiting metastases, so we use those when appropriate. Renée Caisse was a Canadian nurse who worked with the Ojibwa people, and together they put together a formula of herbs that has shown good results for many patients, called Essiac, so we often use that, but I prefer not to use those herbs alone.

Several other cancer-fighting strategies are available from nature. Cancer creates an acid environment, and seems to adapt to it, which I will discuss later on. Therefore, we incorporate alkaline treatments, because most types of cancer cells seem to thrive in acidity.

Dr. Tullio Simoncini is well known for his work with sodium bicarbonate and cancer. He sees cancer as closely related to fungal conditions, which are intolerant of an alkaline environment. So he uses sodium bicarbonate by injection. Although Dr. Simoncini has done groundbreaking work, this is one piece of a very large and complex puzzle. We do need the other treatments as well to be really effective. Several other natural substances will also provide helpful alkalinity. We use some intravenously, and some are taken orally. The ones we like best are the ones that are attracted to the tumors and more active there, with least disturbance to other cells.

The different treatments for different patients can be expensive for some patients, which then further limits the number of treatments that they opt to receive.

How successful have you been?

You can view our detailed results at natureworksbest.com. Of those going into remission, it has taken an average of 3.7 months from when we first met with them to confirmation of total remission (no tumor load left in the body, or in the case of lymphoma or leukemia, normal labs). Very few patients whom we have gotten into remission have had a recurrence of their cancer, except for those who disagreed with our main dietary recommendation, and another who had undiscovered metastases prior to treatment, which in her case had been too short, and others for whom current imaging and other findings are ambiguous.

How do you handle safety at your clinic?

Safety at our clinic, and in natural medicine generally, is far easier to achieve than with chemotherapy. At our clinic, we have given over 31,000 IV nutrient treatments, and we have never had to call 911 for a patient receiving an IV. The close attention of our doctors, registered nurses and medical assistants to the patients has ensured that they do well and that they are tolerating our treatments. Patients who have sensitivity or intolerance to one or another component of the treatment, which is a relatively unusual occurrence, discontinue that part of the treatment. This is still generally successful, because there are a number of safe and effective ways to fight cancer from nature.

Does insurance cover any of this?

Things are changing very rapidly here. Recently, the major insurance companies have begun to cover naturopathic treatments more than before, as they realize that we save them quite a bit of money over mainstream medicine. Unfortunately, Medicare and Medicaid are still not covering natural treatments.

United Health Care, Health Net and Humana have been somewhat better at covering naturopathic medicine. Others are starting to catch up. Even Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which never used to cover naturopathic services are beginning to bring themselves up to date. The most common objection of the insurance companies to the natural treatments is that they are “experimental.” However, many of these treatments have had a better history of sustained remission from cancer than a lot of the chemotherapy drugs.

We submit our bills to insurance. Although payment is due for each treatment at the time of service, we try to get a patient’s insurance company to reimburse by submitting the proper codes for diagnosis and treatment.

Does the FDA approve of any of this?

The scope of practice for a Naturopathic Medical Doctor in the State of Arizona as well as a number of other licensed states includes the following: primary care practice (office consults, physical exams, laboratory tests and imaging), natural medicine (nutrition, IV nutrients, herbs, acupuncture, homeopathy, physical medicine, hydrotherapy) as well as some of mainstream medicine (minor surgery, prescription of pharmaceuticals if indicated).

For cancer, all treatments that we use are natural unpatented substances, and all are available in some form or other to the general public, over the counter. However, the quantities and form differ greatly, if you really want to have a fighting chance against such a vicious disease as cancer. Some of this has to be given intravenously in order to be really effective against cancer. You can’t just get enough or the right amounts and proportion and form of these simply by taking them orally. Although for certain items, we ask all of our patients, whether they have cancer or not, to go buy this or that item at the health food stores. So we located our office near a number of health food stores.

So yes, it’s all legal, all within the scope of practice of naturopathic physicians here in Arizona, licensed by the State of Arizona, with oversight by the Naturopathic Physicians Board of Medical Examiners, and our medical schools are accredited by the US Department of Education. At this writing, there are 20 states and 3 additional US jurisdictions that license naturopathic medicine. They are:

Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Hawaii
Kansas
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Montana

New Hampshire
North Dakota
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Utah
Vermont
Washington
Washington, DC
Puerto Rico
Virgin Islands

What happens to the patients?

First, they start feeling better and their energy comes back. The vitality of the patients usually begins within several weeks after we start treating them, long before we have evidence from ultrasound or CT scans, MRI or PET scans of tumors turning necrotic, or shrinking tumors, or tumors turning to inactive tissue. We look for evidence coming back of shrinking tumors or tumors that are no longer there.

There are also many patients who do not have successful results. The more damage that cancer has caused to the body and the more widespread metastases prior to diagnosis, the harder it is to defeat.

Every year, we survey patients to determine ongoing remission or recurrence, and various parameters of health, such as frequency of exercise and dietary choices.

Profiles of some of our patients

The following dozen cases are listed in no particular order, but are a representative sample of the experiences of our patients.

Case 1:

A woman with endometrial cancer came in with a tumor the size of a grapefruit, with such a deadly form of this particular cancer that there are no survivors of it in the medical literature except for this patient. Neither chemotherapy, nor radiation nor surgery could eliminate it. It grew back each time. The tumor was eliminated in 2008 with our treatments, and the patient has kept her very active career ever since. There is still no evidence of any recurrence.

Case 2:

A woman in her fifties had malignant melanoma, which is one of the most dangerous kinds of cancers and the most dangerous of the skin cancers. By the time we met her, it had already metastasized to her brain. This patient chose a combination of surgery, radiation and our natural cancer-fighting treatments, which we continued until she went into remission and continued an active life with recreational travel.

Case 3:

A man in his fifties had prostate cancer and chose only our natural treatments in 2008. He did not want to have any of the mainstream treatments. After less than three months of natural treatments, he is still in remission. He continues to ride his bicycle several miles a day and worked two strenuous jobs and now one strenuous full-time job.

Case 4:

This is a patient who eventually died of cancer. It was inoperable pancreatic cancer, and the two tumors had actually shrunk considerably, with one disappearing completely, during the course of our natural treatments alone. This patient enjoyed a high quality of health, very active physically and feeling good during the first few months of our natural treatments. However, as things started to look very good, there arose different viewpoints about the best way to proceed throughout the healing process, particularly dietary choices, and the initial success turned to very aggressive metastases throughout the body. We can help patients avoid this outcome.

Case 5:

A man in his fifties with colon cancer chose a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and our natural treatments. Among all these interventions, the patient experienced a reduction in his cancer of 80% from chemotherapy and natural treatments alone, beginning after the initial surgery. However, at the same time, complications from his surgery took him back into the hospital with a very high morphine dose, and without recovery. We can help discuss the risk of adhesions with your surgeon prior to surgery, to help avoid this excruciatingly painful adverse result of certain surgeries.

Case 6:

A woman in her fifties with breast cancer is considering all options and for right now just receiving our natural treatments and remains stable and well with a high quality of life and activity.

Case 7:

A woman in her seventies with breast cancer also considered all her options and decided to just receive our natural treatments. She is now in remission with a high quality of life and wellbeing.

Case 8:

A woman in her forties with breast cancer chose lumpectomy and our natural treatments. She is now in remission, and she has resumed an active life with recreational travel.

Case 9:

A man in his seventies has lung cancer, which has now reduced in volume more than 90% with a combination of radio ablation and our natural treatments.

Case 10:

A man in his seventies with leukemia has been through chemotherapy and a number of natural treatments. After treating him for some months, his numbers remain stable. Although not yet in remission, this man’s quality of life remains quite high. He is very physically active, and rides his bicycle several miles a day and helped a friend build a cabin with their own hands.

Case 11:

This patient in her forties has had primary colon cancer, primary ovarian cancer and primary uterine cancer. When she came to us after surgery, there were metastases as well, and her condition was weak, fatigued and delicate. With only our natural treatments, the metastases disappeared and the patient’s improved vitality and new robust energy was quite dramatic. Her travel schedule is active. She is still in remission over seven years later.

Case 12:

A man in his forties with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma came to us for natural cancer treatment. He had already been through chemotherapy. With the natural treatments that we have used, he maintained a high quality of living, active in his work and hiking in the local mountains. He went into remission while continuing the natural treatments alone. Then we did not hear from him for several years. Then he came back with a widely-metastasized cancer, having resumed chemotherapy. This time, we were not so fortunate as to be able to help him. We can help advise future patients how to avoid this outcome.

 

Cancer Politics

Cancer Politics: A Cynical View of the Current State of Cancer Treatment in the US

From MANIFESTO FOR A CANCER PATIENT by Colleen Huber, NMD

 

Are submissive people more prone to cancer diagnosis?

I used to wonder if cancer could possibly prey on the most soft-spoken individuals, because of the preponderance of such personality types among the cancer patients at our clinic. When the doctors at my clinic met on initial consult a couple who demonstrated obviously unequal power, with one dictating what will happen, and the other quietly taking orders, it was almost certainly the case that it would be the passive, submissive one that came in with the cancer, rather than the domineering spouse or family member. It was almost as if the disease itself had chosen which type of person to afflict. We saw this again and again. Our doctors and nurses observed this so often and found the pattern so predictable that when a new couple came in, and one was barking at the other, we’d whisper to each other, let me guess which one of those two has the cancer. It was almost as if either a domineering spouse was a resident carcinogen, or a submissive personality pre-disposed the person to cancer, a more predictable and frequently observed risk factor to our observation than even smoking.

However, I no longer think that. Enough strange things have happened to the submissive cancer patients, that I have a more cynical point of view now. I will illustrate with an unfortunate series of events that transpired in the spring of 2016.

Do hospitals have an interest in positive cancer diagnoses ?

A colon cancer patient, whom I’ll call Sarah, had achieved remission with our treatments in 2014, without history of chemotherapy or radiation, had an active lifestyle following her bout with cancer, including among many other things, bicycling and some snow shoveling at her home in the mountains. Then she came back in to see me in March 2016. She had sudden onset of lower abdominal pain. On physical exam, I palpated a taut lower abdomen without defined masses. There was tenderness generally through the left and right lower quadrants, as well as more acutely at the site of an abdominal wall hernia that had occurred with her colon resection surgery. Inguinal lymph was not noteworthy. There had been a history of constipation in this patient, but stools had been normal recently. Sarah was pre-menopausal, and this pain was unlike any menstrual cramps she had previously. Specific exams for appendicitis, McBurney’s and Rovsing’s points were negative, as well as Murphy’s point, which tests for appendicitis and gallbladder inflammation, or cholecystitis, respectively, all of those being less likely problems.

There was a possibility of recurrence of colon cancer as the cause of Sarah’s pain, but cancer pain is unlikely to have such sudden onset or to worsen so quickly.

An ultrasound may have been adequate to show the cause of the pain, but I knew I could get a lot more information from a MRI. However, health insurance is not so fond of MRIs, and the insurance company dithered, and unfortunately the weekend began without the MRI. On Sunday morning the pain worsened again, and the worried patient and family went to the ER of a large local Phoenix area hospital.

Then, while in her Emergency Room cubicle, no fewer than five doctors walked in and announced to Sarah that her cancer was back, and that she would have to begin chemotherapy and radiation. They had not yet done any imaging or biopsy, yet they announced this diagnosis to the patient. Sarah replied that she wanted to talk to me first, and that she would think about it.

When Sarah called me on Monday morning to tell me what had happened, I said that nothing of that sounded right. By that time, a CT scan had been done in the hospital. Sarah had asked for the disk to look at on her laptop, but was not able to open it. So I hurry over to the hospital with my laptop, as soon as my patient appointments for the day were finished. We open up the CT on my laptop, and all look at it together. What do you know? No cancer visible anywhere! All we saw were two huge fluid-filled ovarian cysts, obliterating each ovary. No wonder the pain was so intense and was worsening so quickly. No wonder no solid mass was apparent to palpation on my physical exam. Ovarian cysts can grow large in a short span of time, quite a bit faster than cancer, and this is likely what happened, since abdominal imaging of several months earlier did not show them at all.

Well, what do you know? Ovarian cysts rather than tumors. Suddenly the doctors who so urgently had to begin chemotherapy and radiation treatments on Sarah were nowhere to be found. Now the hospital admitted that there was no visible cancer, and oophorectomy (surgery to remove ovaries) was now available. And there was no further mention of chemotherapy.

So Sarah then had the surgery to remove the cysts, as well as the ovaries that were completely blown out by the cysts. Follow-up imaging through early 2017 again confirmed no visible tumor burden.

However, the hospital’s mischief was not finished: After the surgery, the hospital pathologist alleged that there were cancer cells in the tissue that was removed from Sarah. So Sarah, now starting to become as cynical as I already am, requests the slides from pathology, so that she and I can study them together.

Once I have the slides in the office, Sarah and I look at a few of them, taking turns examining each field of view at the microscope, but it is very time-consuming to study all fields of some two dozen slides. So after Sarah left, I looked at the rest of them alone. I did not find any cells appearing to be cancer cells on any part of any of the slides.

Interestingly, the hospital made several phone calls to our office demanding the slides be returned to them, even though my understanding – although I am not an attorney – is that legally they are Sarah’s property. Therefore, if Sarah ever wishes to prosecute the hospital for misrepresenting the slides, Exhibit A has been stored in a safe place by a third party. How unfortunate that one must take so many precautions because of the dishonesty in hospitals. As of this writing, the hospital has still not accepted our answer, and is still demanding all of the slides. This is even though the slides legally belong to the patient, and her insurance paid the hospital for them.

Cancer treatments- a hospital’s money maker

But of course, such level of corruption should not be surprising, and given my experience with them, is to be expected. Hospitals are required to help anybody stumbling into their emergency departments. This service is an enormous revenue loss, and as the hospitals bleed money out their emergency room doors, there is another sector of the hospital that is the big rainmaker: Oncology. One chemotherapy treatment can be charged to a patient’s insurer for up to $50,000 or even $100,000. A cancer patient is worth $180,000 or more to a hospital or cancer clinic. The National Institutes of Health estimate the cost for the first 2 years of breast cancer treatment is $159,442 and $182,655 for Stages III and IV respectively.i This is where the hospitals get their largest source of revenue, and this, as you might expect, is why you hear such relentless and aggressive advertising for chemotherapy treatments on the radio.

So is it the timid patient who is more inclined to get cancer? One might think that cancer then offers some protection from a psychic wound, or is like a pearl built by an oyster around an irritating grain of sand. If the cancer patient were so submissive and suppressed that he or she had not expressed himself or herself adequately or cathartically in the past, then maybe that psychic pain needed to be expressed, even if the only alternative, the only feasible means of expression, was to grow a tumor. If one is unable to rebel against one’s oppressor, self-inflicted wounds may be the only cathartic release available to the desperate sufferer.

In fact, because passivity seemed to be such a co-morbidity with cancer, I had imagined that it was something that I should also treat, along with the cancer. The way that I did that was, as a typically assertive person myself, to sit back, speak quietly and seldom, assure the cancer patient that he or she was in the driver’s seat, and basically try to ease them into a dominant role in the conversation, hoping that it would help to liberate them and allow them to try on a role other than the passive / obedient one for size.

That is, the passivity of cancer patients was just that predictable. Perhaps one out of eight would be assertive, and the rest passive. When almost every cancer patient seems to be less assertive than their family members, the observer begins to think that this cannot be coincidence, that there is something timid or passive about cancer patients in general, as if it were a predictable personality trait, or that passivity itself predisposed a person to have cancer. Or perhaps their pain and pathology made them too glum to talk much.

But as I said earlier, I no longer think that.

Because chemotherapy brings in enough money to turn the heads of the corruptible, I now think that a more likely scenario is this: Patients who give the appearance of being obedient are easier marks for enterprising oncologists. After all, when a doctor has a business to run, it is a lot easier for the doctor to hear, “Yes, Doctor, I’ll do as you say,” rather than to hear, “You want me to take what kind of poison, doc? Are you out of your mind?” Chemotherapy may be a bit harder to sell to the more assertive members of the population. And those of us who know better than to have any of it would be more of a headache for an oncologist to deal with than an obedient patient, a submissive patient who is inclined to say, “Yes, doctor.” So perhaps chemotherapy finds its target market in the more submissive souls among us.

I once had an oncologist call me saying, “This woman must begin chemotherapy right now! She has to start tomorrow.” The patient had Stage 1 breast cancer, DCIS, just diagnosed less than a week before. Whose urgency was at work? The patient’s? Not so likely as that of the doctor.

I am not alleging any more of a conspiracy theory than would be warranted regarding any other marketing strategy. Ads tailored to your demographic come up on your web browser for similar reasons. Candy is sold in brightly colored packages at kids’ eye levels for similar reasons. Halloween costumes are marketed more in October than March for similar reasons, and the reason, as everybody knows is this: Marketing is most effective when its targeted, and if you want to get away with making a lot of money by legally poisoning a person, you’ll have an easier time of it with an obedient person rather than a short-tempered, or outspoken, or outside-the-box or in-your-face type person.

And, in my opinion, that is likely why we keep seeing the submissive one of a couple having the cancer diagnosis.

Playing right into their hands

There is one other cancer type, as predictable and easily identified when you meet them as the submissive type. And that is the Pessimist. The Pessimist shows up at our office telling us that they have a terminal cancer, which has us thinking Uh-oh, we’re going to have a challenge here. Then often we find out from imaging or pathology that there is a small or easily resected or already resected tumor burden. But more characteristically, we see the scenario described below.

Blood labs are notoriously unreliable with regard to cancer. Imaging can be contradictory or ambiguous. Physical exam has severe limitations, but we do these anyway, on initial consult and then periodically, for further data and information. Thus, over time, we acquire accumulating data points and evidence of which course the disease takes, as the patient’s file thickens.

You will recognize the Pessimist by this behavior: The news comes in, arriving in this order: good, ambiguous, good, good, bad, excellent, good, good, and ambiguous. And the Pessimist says, “Aha, bad!” sometimes almost sounding relieved or satisfied. Working with this kind of patient as their health improves can be awkward, because their improving prognosis almost seems disorienting to them, as if they had made some comfort or acceptance or even end-of-life plans with their disease, and now things have to be thought through all over again.

So then if the Passive Type does not necessarily have an active case of cancer, and the Pessimist does not necessarily have an active case of cancer, how much cancer is really out there in the population? Didn’t you ever think it odd – and we all know people who have said this – “Thank goodness they did that CT of my abdomen after the car accident, because that’s when they found the cancer! And the doctor said if it hadn’t been found right then it might’ve killed me in a few months!” Didn’t you ever think it odd that we hear that kind of story so often? At least I hear it from every few new patients. Doesn’t it seem a bit statistically improbable that imaging just happened to catch the cancer just in the nick of time to save the patient with chemotherapy?

Might this just have something to do with a story told to me a long time ago by an Emergency Room nurse:

She said when the hospital beds are all full and the waiting room chairs are overflowing, you could be openly bleeding on the floor, and you’ll be told, “You’ll be fine; you can take care of that at home.” Yet when the hospital is empty, “the census is down,” as they say, and if you have the misfortune to walk into the ER with a sniffle, it turns out it’s the worst thing they’ve ever seen, and you need a complete workup and to possibly be admitted. If cancer / chemotherapy / radiation are the most lucrative aspect to hospital finances, then are you more likely to be “found” to have cancer when their census is down than on a busy day?

This of course begs the question: If certain patients are singled out to receive the cancer diagnosis because they are more receptive to it, then did those people really have cancer at all?

Who audits the auditors?

My question is: Who is auditing the pathologists? The hospital described above that Sarah went to was very eager to have their slides back, slides that their pathologist alleged to demonstrate cancer, but which on careful examination showed no cancer at all to us. They called about once every two weeks for a few months to demand the slides back, that were not their property, from a patient who had not been there since months earlier. We thoroughly examined this patient’s slides, because of what had happened with her and the hospital, and we found no cancer. So therefore, is it possible that the massive amount of money that has been flowing through the chemotherapy industry has found its way also to the pathologists? After all, if a pathologist says: clean as a whistle, no cancer here, that is potentially up to a few hundred thousand dollars lost to the institution. And if that same pathologist looks at those same slides of patient tissue and pronounces the presence of cancer, there is all that much more income to be had. Are we so trusting to say that no pressure is ever exerted, no bribe has ever been placed before the pathologist? Is such a suspicion only the subject of fiction? The Fugitive was a film with Harrison Ford, which contained the idea of switching normal and abnormal pathology reports, expressed in a fictional context.ii

Pathologist Laura Spruill, MD, PhD, of University of South Carolina has acknowledged overdiagnosis of cancer in histopathology labs, and points out very similar appearances of cancerous and non-cancerous tissue, which is commonly deemed cancerous by default.iii

Certainly, there are people who have cancer, many of them. We find individuals who came in with hard palpable lumps in the breast, bleeding tumors in the colon, massive lumps bulging out the liver, prostate cancer metastasized to the lumbar vertebrae or huge, hard lymph nodes, to name a few types. The pathologist’s role here not only confirms what is overwhelmingly likely to be malignancy, but the pathologist lets us have more and more helpful information, especially regarding likely origin of the biopsied tumor.

Another series of incidents that has made me more cynical over time is the eagerness I’ve seen in oncologists to exploit the pessimism of their patients. Many patients have come to me saying, “It’s a good thing I had all that imaging! My tumor wasn’t seen on ultrasound or MRI or . . .” Finally, it was this other procedure that found it.”

Well, my response to that is that photographs do not lie. If neither the ultrasound nor MRI found your tumor, I would be more inclined to question the existence of that tumor than if it had shown up on such imaging. Certainly, it is theoretically possible for a tumor to escape imaging, but with the sophistication of contemporary imaging technology, this is less likely all the time. If you keep going back for imaging, repeatedly, and of numerous body parts, I think your risk of having something “discovered” increases all the time. If you consider that our ancestors did not have anywhere near the amount of imaging that our current generations indulge in, it seems very likely that they had lumps and bumps all over that nobody had imaged, and that they lived with and likely died with when succumbing to another cause of death. Autopsies often turn up such incidental and benign hematomas, fibroids, adenomas, cysts and such.

Whereas the pessimistic patient assumes that the most pessimistic imaging must be the true one, invalidating other reports, I take all of that imaging as important data points in trying to find out what is really going on with that patient’s cancer, especially as it is repeated over time. This is because time, long periods of time, tell the most truth. I may be uncertain today of the tumor burden of the patient in front of me. But five years from now we will be able to look back fairly certain of what this year’s situation really is.

Assume nothing

And, having been trained in cynicism by repeated strange occurrences in the conventional medical world, I assume nothing. Rather, I look for a preponderance of evidence in order to determine what is happening with a cancer patient. Some of that evidence is what we observe of the money trail and where it may lead. Cancer is such massive business, shouldering the work of keeping hospitals – the nexi of one of the largest growth industries in the US – in the black. It would be naïve to assume that all decisions made with regard to cancer were simply independent of that money, and only related to the best interests of the patient.

Let them not make merchandise of you. Follow the evidence and leave the emotions at the door.

Therefore, esteemed readers, just to keep things as honest as possible, let us, you and I, take responsibility for keeping a vigilant eye on such a financially robust industry, just to make sure that our acquaintances, our loved ones, our patients, who are suffering a cancer diagnosis, from possibly a real cancer or perhaps an alleged cancer, are not deceived or otherwise victimized by those with pecuniary priorities.

i Blumen H, Fitch K. et al. Comparison of treatment costs for breast cancer, by tumor stage and type of service. American Health Drug Benefits. 2016 Feb; 9(1):23-32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4822976/

ii StudentDoctor.net. Pathology movie coming to theaters. https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/pathology-movie-coming-to-theatres.1158889/ Aug 2015.

iii Spruill L. Pathologic assessment of breast core biopsies: limitations and pitfalls. 6th World Congress on Breast Cancer and Therapy. October 16 – 18, 2017. San Francisco, USA. https://breastcancer.conferenceseries.com/america/scientific-program#tab1

Double-Blind Study II

Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trials of Herbs Against Cancer

Colleen Huber, NMD

The following studies are some randomized and double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of various botanical medicines against a number of cancers.

Ginger’s effect against colorectal cancer

In 2013, a pilot trial of ginger was done with individuals who had been found by genetic markers to be at increased risk of colorectal cancer.  The experimental group received supplementation of the common culinary and medicinal herb ginger, the well-known ginger that is available to consumers in markets throughout the world, and that grows easily in the wetter regions of the world.

In the study[1] 20 people were randomized into two groups, those who received 2 grams of ginger or placebo daily, for 28 days.  At the end of that time, biopsies were performed of the rectal mucosa.  During that time, in the group receiving ginger, biopsies showed that pro-cancerous genes Bax, hTERT and MIB-1 decreased in the crypts of the rectal mucosa.  The authors concluded that ginger may decrease proliferation and increase apoptosis and differentiation in colorectal cancer.

Ukrain against colorectal cancer

Ukrain is a derivative of the plant Chelidonium majus, which is the Latin scientific name for the plant greater celandine.  It’s use was pioneered by Wassil Nowicky of Ukraine, then Austria.

A randomized study of 96 colorectal cancer patients found a strong effect of Ukrain against their cancer.[2]

Ukrain against pancreatic cancer

Ukrain showed remarkable effect in the following randomized, controlled trial of pancreatic cancer patients.[3]  Of those receiving Ukrain plus low-dose Vitamin C, their rate of remission was remarkable compared to the control group that only received low-dose Vitamin C: 81% survival in the Ukrain group compared to 14% survival in the control group.  It would have been interesting if this study had incorporated high dose Vitamin C, as opposed to the 5.4 g Vitamin C that the patients received.    The two year survival was 43% in the Ukrain group, compared to 5% in the control group.  At two years of the standard gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil (Gemzar and 5-FU chemotherapy), 0% survived; all of the chemotherapy patients were deceased.  In fact, none of the chemotherapy pancreatic cancer patients survived beyond 19 months.   The longest survival in the Ukrain group was 54 months after start of therapy.

Ukrain treatment is well-tolerated, without known side effects.

In fact, in a randomized, controlled study of Ukrain in breast cancer, Ukrain was given along with chemotherapy and mastectomy.  The Ukrain patients had better wellbeing and faster recuperation from surgery and better tolerance of their chemotherapy treatments than those who did not.[4]

Other randomized trials of Ukrain in various cancers are described in this meta-analysis.[5]

Combination plant extracts against prostate cancer

A meta-analysis of five randomized trials of various plant extracts, such as pomegranate, soy, lycopene, turmeric, green tea, broccoli found the following:  Serum PSA levels either stabilized, decreased or rose more slowly in a significant number of men, compared to controls.[6]

One of these studies was a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial involving 199 men with prostate cancer for 6 months.  Men in the experimental group were given foods rich in polyphenols, such as pomegranate, green tea, broccoli and turmeric.  The experimental group had a 14.7% rise in PSA, as opposed to a 78.5% rise in the placebo group.[7]

Astragalus against lung cancer

A meta-analysis of 17 randomized studies, representing 1552 non-small cell lung cancer patients, showed significant improvement in survival for chemotherapy patients having astragalus supplementation over those have chemotherapy alone.  This was the case with 1-year, 2-year and 3-year overall survival rates, as well as performance status and tumor overall response rate, as well as tolerance of chemotherapy side effects.[8]

[1]  Citronberg J, Bostick R, et al.  Effects of ginger supplementation on cell-cycle biomarkers in the normal-appearing colonic mucosa of patients at increased risk for colorectal cancer: results from a pilot, randomized, and controlled trial.  Cancer Prev Res (Phila).  Apr 2013 6(4).  271-81.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23303903

[2] Susak Y, Zemskov S, et al. Comparison of chemotherapy and X-ray therapy with Ukrain monotherapy for colorectal cancer.  Drugs Exp Clin Res.  1996; 22:115-22.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8899313

[3] Zemskov S, Procopchuk O, et al.  Ukrain (NSC 631570) in the treatment of pancreas cancer.  Drugs Exp Clin Res.  2000; 26(5-6): 179-90.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11345025

[4] Uglyanitsa K, Nefyodov L, et al.  Comparative evaluation of the efficiency of various Ukrain doses in the combined treatment of breast cancer.  Report 1.  Clinical aspects of Ukrain application.  Drugs Exp Clin Res.  2000; 26(5-6).  223-30.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11345029

[5] Ernst E, Schmidt K.  Ukrain – a new cancer cure?  A systematic review of randomized clinical trials.  BMC Cancer.  2005; 5:69.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1180428/#B120

[6] Van Die M, Bone K, et al.  Phytotherapeutic interventions in the management of biochemically recurrent prostate cancer: a systematic review of randomised trials.  BJU Int.  Apr 2016; 117 Suppl 4:17-34.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26898239

[7] Thomas R, Williams M, et al.  A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial evaluating the effect of a polyphenol-rich whole food supplement on PSA progression in men with prostate cancer – the UK NCRN Pomi-T study.  Prostate Cancer Prostatic Disease.  Jun 2014; 17(2): 180-6.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24614693

[8] Wang S, Wang Q, et al.  Astragalus-containing Traditional Chinese Medicine, with and without prescription based on syndrome differentiation, combined with chemotherapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: a systemic review and meta-analysis.  Curr. Oncol.  Jun 2016; 23(3).e: 188-95.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27330356

 

Double-Blind Study I

 

Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trials of Nutrients that Kill or Prevent Cancer

Colleen Huber, NMD

 

“The good thing about science

is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

–  Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

Science is a word used in various contexts much more often than it is defined.  Science as an idol is sometimes vehemently defended or just as vehemently derided, without regard for what science actually is.  Let’s review what constitutes science.  Science is the observation of our surroundings, with no or minimal bias, along with the formulation and testing of hypotheses about the nature and function and interactions of our surroundings.  That’s it; no ideology, no agenda, no strong emotions.

Strictly objective pursuit of science is usually cumbersome, time-consuming and often expensive.  As a practical matter, only a researcher or a student has time to pursue small areas of the vastness of all potential science.  The rest of us work with what we know of established fact, or assume of established dogma, and most people don’t usually take time to re-examine and re-test our cherished hypotheses; we simply act on them.

This haste is prevalent in medicine, because the health insurance industry pressures caregivers to hurry through each patient’s visit and care: physical exams, lab tests or imaging, diagnoses and treatment, all within a short period.  Therefore, some leaps of faith are necessary.  Doctors simply do not have time to test hypotheses with the pressures of the daily workload confronting them.   The only expedient way to get through an entire day full of patient appointments is to keep the scrip pad close at hand.

Conventional “standard of care” physicians place their faith in drugs on two things:

(1) the familiar, friendly pharmaceutical representative and the industry behind those drug reps, and

(2) the assumption that at least once in a while the drugs that they sell have been subjected to double-blind or at least placebo-controlled trial.

Most cancer patients, and many doctors as well, would be shocked to learn that chemotherapy drugs have not passed the “gold standard” criteria for drug testing: the double-blind, placebo controlled trial.  There are two reasons that these double-blind studies are not done for chemotherapy drugs:

(1) With life-threatening illness, it is considered immoral to have a placebo group, in which no treatment is given, and

(2) The one available study that compared a chemotherapy drug to no treatment at all did not appear flattering for the chemotherapy drug or the industry behind it:

That study[1] found that lung cancer patients treated with the chemotherapy drug Docetaxel survived an average of 7.5 months, whereas those receiving merely supportive care with no chemotherapy or other treatment at all survived an average of 4.6 months.  If patients knew of this small difference in survival, would they opt to lose their GI tract function, hair, neurological health, cardiovascular health and other wellbeing?

Worse yet, this study found that the group receiving Docetaxel faced the life-threatening conditions of febrile neutropenia and non-hematologic toxicity.[2]

Was all the misery of chemotherapy worthwhile, not to mention the medical bankruptcy that so many families suffer following chemotherapy – was all of that worthwhile, simply in order to gain 3 more months of life?

On the other hand, many nutrients and herbs have been shown effective and safe against cancer.[3]  Let’s examine some of these cancer treatments that do not damage vitality or quality of life, and some double-blind, placebo controlled trials of those substances:

Gastric and esophageal cancer rates in Linxian, China are among the highest in the world.  In 1994, a randomized, placebo controlled trial was conducted among 29,584 adults, in a general population study.[4]  The experimental group was given one of four nutrient treatments for 5.25 years.  The doses were the same or double the US recommended daily allowances of the time.  It should be kept in mind that the infamous old “RDA” figures were notoriously low, barely enough to prevent vitamin deficiency.

Even with the very low doses of the supplemented nutrients, it was found that the group having Vitamin A and zinc had 62% less gastric (stomach) cancer than the placebo group.

The group receiving beta-carotene (a small component of all of Vitamin A), Vitamin E and selenium had 42% less esophageal cancer than the placebo cohort.  These are statistically significant results, and easily adopted interventions that should have been publicized much more broadly around the world, so that the use of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and minerals would become more widespread and available.

In another double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of nutritional supplements,[5] 5141 men were given either a placebo or a single capsule with a very low dose of each of the following sub-optimal forms of generally recognized nutrients:

Vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol (the least effective form of Vitamin E), beta-carotene (one of the least effective forms of Vitamin A), selenium and zinc.  They took these daily for 8 years.

There was a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of prostate cancer in the experimental group among the 94% of the men who began the 8 years with a low PSA (<3 micrograms/L). One has to wonder if therapeutic forms and doses of these nutrients had been used, the results may have been even more remarkable.

In another study, which was retrospective, rather than randomized and placebo-controlled, of 37,916 US women, dietary folate and vitamin B-6 was found to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer over the 10 years of the study.[6]

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been shown to be effective against cancer by a number of mechanisms and against a wide range of cancers.

Research has confirmed the essential role that Vitamin D plays in cancer prevention and treatment.[7] [8] [9] [10]

The following randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials show Vitamin D to be effective against the following cancers:

Cervical cancer[11]

Colorectal cancer[12] [13]

Melanoma[14]

Prostate cancer[15]

Overall cancer risk in women over age 55[16] [17]

A study that found low levels of vitamin D intake had no effect against cancer mortality in this randomized trial[18] may have come to a different conclusion if therapeutic doses had been used.

Other smaller studies and animal studies have shown benefit of 1,25-D3, the active form of Vitamin D, against the following cancers.  Here are a few of those:

Gastric cancer[19]

Liver cancer[20]

Breast cancer[21]

Vitamin D metabolites have been shown to have cancer-disrupting effects by several key mechanisms.  Vitamin D has been shown to induce differentiation,[22] and apoptosis,[23] to reduce proliferation by effect on signal transduction,[24] to improve intercellular communication by means of gap junction communication preservation,[25] to inhibit angiogenesis,[26] [27] and to inhibit metastasis.[28]

Very promising research abounds regarding synergistic effect between Vitamin D and Vitamin A.  Each of these nutrients used alone induces differentiation – which is a way to normalize the nature and function of cancer cells – in a dose-dependent way.  The more consumed, the more differentiation observed, for each of the two vitamins.  But this differentiation effect was significantly enhanced when Vitamins A and D were combined [29] [30]

It may be even more helpful that the synergistic effect of Vitamin A and D together produced permanently ongoing differentiation of cells, even after both nutrients were discontinued, and even though the differentiation achieved by each of those vitamins used alone was reversible.[31]

This synergy of nutrients should of course come as no surprise to those who understand the metabolic pathways in the human body.  These pathways, as filtered by our still limited academic understanding of them, make clear that the nutrients are synergistic in their effects on the cells in our bodies.  Just as a well-balanced meal is not all one nutrient alone, optimal nutrition is always multi-faceted.

Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of any therapy are highly risky in cancer patients due to the higher mortality awaiting the group that fares worse.  Clinical trials are ended early if it is clear that one group is benefitting much more than the other cohort, in order for both groups to benefit from the more effective treatment. Therefore, I do not encourage or condone further double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of cancer treatments.  The consequences of suffering or death in the less fortunate cohort of cancer patients is unacceptable under any circumstances.

However, now that some of these trials have been done, it is very important that we not allow ourselves to forget the knowledge gained from them, because such knowledge may be decisive in saving the lives of cancer patients.

For optimal dosing of the above nutrients in either cancer treatment or cancer prevention, there is no substitute for consulting a licensed naturopathic physician.  At our clinic we schedule a lengthy (one hour) initial consult, in order to begin to evaluate the specific nutritional needs of the individual.  Other naturopathic physicians whose practices focus on cancer patients may be found at Naturopathic Cancer Society, at www.NatOnco.org,  and at Naturopathic Oncology Research Institute, www.NaturopathicStandards.org.

[1] Fossella FV.  Docetaxel for previously treated non-small-cell lung cancer.  Oncology. Jun 2002. 16 (6 Suppl 6): 45-51. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12108897

[2] Shepherd F, Dancey J, et al. Prospective randomized trial of docetaxel versus best supportive care in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy.  J Clin Oncol, 18(10) 2095-2103.  May 2000.  Pub Med 10811675.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pubmed/10811675-prospective-randomized-trial-of-docetaxel-versus-best-supportive-care-in-patients-with-non-small-cell-lung-cancer-previously-treated-with-platinum-based-chemotherapy/

[3] Naturopathic Cancer Society.  Which cancer are you researching?  www.NatOnco.org.

[4] Taylor P, Li B, et al.  Prevention of esophageal cancer: the nutrition intervention trials in Linxian, China.  Linxian Nutrition Intervention Trials Study Group.  Cancer Res.  Apr 1994. 1;54(7 Suppl): 2029s-2031s.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8137333

[5] Greenwald P, Anderson D, et al. Clinical trials of vitamin and mineral supplements for cancer prevention.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Jan 2007.  85(1); 3145-3175.  http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/1/314S.full#ref-21

[6] Zhang S, Moore S et al.  Folate, vitamin B6, multivitamin supplements and colorectal cancer risk in women.  Am J Epidemiol 2006; 163:108-15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1363749/

[7] Giovannucci E.  The epidemiology of vitamin D and cancer incidence and mortality: a review.  Cancer Causes Control.  2005 Mar; 16(2):  83-95.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15868450

[8] Wei M, Garland C, Gorham E, et al.  Vitamin D and prevention of colorectal adenoma: a meta-analysis.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev.  2008 Nov; 17(11):  2958-69. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=.++Vitamin+D+and+prevention+of+colorectal+adenoma%3A+a+meta-analysis.++Cancer+Epidemiol+Biomarkers+Prev

[9] Garland C, Gorham E, Mohr F.  Vitamin D for cancer prevention: global perspective.  Ann Epidem 2009 Jul;19(7):468-83.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=.++Vitamin+D+for+cancer+prevention%3A+global+perspective.++Ann+Epidem

[10] Giovannucci E.  Vitamin D and cancer incidence in the Harvard cohorts.  Ann Epidem.  2009 Feb 19(2):  84-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Vitamin+D+and+cancer+incidence+in+the+Harvard+cohorts.++Ann+Epidem

[11] Vahedpoor Z, Jamilian M, et al.  Effects of long-term vitamin D supplementation on regression and metabolic status of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.  Horm Cancer.  Feb 2017.  8(1): 58-67.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28050798

[12] Bostick RM.  Effects of supplemental vitamin D and calcium on normal colon tissue and circulating biomarkers of risk for colorectal neoplasms.  J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol.  Apr 2015,  148:86-95.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25597952

[13] Fedirko V, Bostick R, et al. Effects of supplemental vitamin D and calcium on oxidative DNA damage marker in normal colorectal mucosa: a randomized clinical trial.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Jan 2010.  19(1): 280-91.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20056649

[14] De Smedt J, Van Kelst S, et al.  Vitamin D supplementation in cutaneous malignant melanoma outcome (ViDMe): a randomized controlled trial.  BMC Cancer. Aug 2017.  17(1): 562. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28835228

[15] Jarrard D, Konety B, et al.  Phase IIa, randomized placebo-controlled trial of single high dose cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and daily genistein (G-2535) versus double placebo in men with early stage prostate cancer undergoing prostatectomy.   Am J Clin Exp Urol.  Sept 2016.  20;4(2): 17-27.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27766277.

[16] Schumann, S, Ewigman B.  Double-dose vitamin D lowers cancer risk in women over 55.  J Fam Pract.  Nov 2007. 56(11): 907-910.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4294452/

[17] Lappe J, Travers-Gustafson D. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial.  Am J Clin Nutr. Jun 2007.  85(6):1586-91.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556697

[18] Brunner R, Wactawski-Wende J, et al. The effect of calcium plus vitamin D on risk for invasive cancer: results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) calcium plus vitamin D randomized clinical trial.  Nutr Cancer. 2011.  63(6): 827-41.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21774589

[19] Li M, Li L, et al.  1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 suppresses gastric cancer cell growth through VDR- and mutant p53-mediated induction of p21.  Life Sci. Jun 2017.  179: 88-97.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=1%2C25-dihydroxyvitamin+D3+suppresses+gastric+cancer+cell+growth+through+VDR-+and+mutant+p53-mediated+induction+of+p21.++Life+Sci

[20] Pourgholami M, Akhter J.  In vitro and in vivo inhibition of liver cancer cells by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.  Cancer Lett. Apr 2000. 151(1):97-102.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10766428

[21] Saez S, Falette N, et al. 1,25(OH)2D3 modulation of mammary tumor cell growth in vitro and in vivo.  William L. McGuire Memorial Symposium. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1993. 27(1-2):69-81.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8260731

[22] Shen M, Yen A.  Nicotinamide cooperates with retinoic acid and 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D(3) to regulate cell differentiation and cell cycle arrest of human myeloblastic leukemia cells.  Oncology 2009; 76(2): 91-100.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Nicotinamide+cooperates+with+retinoic+acid+and+1%2C25+dihydroxyvitamin+D(3)+to+regulate+cell+differentiation+and+cell+cycle+arrest+of+human+myeloblastic+leukemia+cells.++Oncology

[23] Kizildag S, Ates H. Treatment of K562 cells with 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D(3) induces distinct alterations in the expression of apoptosis-related genes BCL-2, BAX, BCL(XL) and p21.  Ann Hematol. 2009 May 28.  (Epub ahead of print.)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Treatment+of+K562+cells+with+1%2C25+dihydroxyvitamin+D(3)+induces+distinct+alterations+in+the+expression+of+apoptosis-related+genes+BCL-2%2C+BAX%2C+BCL(XL)+and+p21.++Ann+Hematol.

[24] Wu W, Zhang X, Zanello L.  1alpha, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D(3) anti-proliferative actions involving vitamin D receptor-mediated activation of MAPK pathways and AP-1/p21 (waf1) upregulation in human osteosarcoma.  Cancer Lett.  2007 Aug 28.  254(1): 75-86.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=MAPK+pathways+and+AP-1%2Fp21+(waf1)+upregulation+in+human+osteosarcoma

[25] Fujioka T, Suzuki Y, Okamoto T, et al.  Prevention of renal cell carcinoma by active vitamin D(3).  World J Surg. 2000 Oct; 24(10): 1205-10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=.++Prevention+of+renal+cell+carcinoma+by+active+vitamin+D(3).++World+J+Surg

[26] Bao B, Yao J, Lee Y.  1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 suppresses interleukin-8-mediated prostate cancer cell angiogenesis.  Carcinogenesis.  2006 Sep; 27(9): 1883-93.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=.++1alpha%2C+25-dihydroxyvitamin+D3+suppresses+interleukin-8-mediated+prostate+cancer+cell+angiogenesis.++Carcinogenesis

[27] Chung I, Han G, Seshadri M, et al.  Role of Vitamin D receptor in the antiproliferative effects of calcitriol in tumor-derived endothelial cells and tumor angiogenesis in vivo.  Cancer Res.  2009 Feb 1;  69(3):. 967-75.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Role+of+Vitamin+D+receptor+in+the+antiproliferative+effects+of+calcitriol+in+tumor-derived+endothelial+cells+and+tumor+angiogenesis+in+vivo.++Cancer+Res

[28] Yudoh K, Matsuno H, Kimura T.  1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 inhibits in vitro invasiveness through the extracellular matrix and in vivo pulmonary metastasis of mouse melanoma.  J Lab Clin Med.  1999 Feb 133(2): 120-8.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=.++1alpha%2C+25-dihydroxyvitamin+D3+inhibits+in+vitro+invasiveness+through+the+extracellular+matrix+and+in+vivo+pulmonary+metastasis+of+mouse+melanoma.++J+Lab+Clin+Med

[29] Defacue H, Commes T. Synergistic differentiation of U937 cells by all-trans retinoic acid and 1 alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 is associated with the expression of retinoid X receptor alpha.  Biochem Biophys Res Commun. Aug 1994. 203(1):272-80. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8074666

[30] Blutt S, Allegretto E. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and 9-cis-retinoic acid act synergistically to inhibit the growth of LNCaP prostate cells and cause accumulation of cells in G1.  Endocrinology.  Apr 1997.  138(4):1491-7.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9075707

[31] Verstuyf A, Mathieu C.  Differentiation induction of human leukemia cells (HL60) by a combination of 1,25-dihydroxyitamin D3 and retinoic acid (all trans or 9-cis).  J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. Jun 1995. 53(1-6):431-41.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7626492