Posted by: themossreports | October 9, 2010

A dietary supplement for breast cancer


 

BreastDefend stops proliferation of cancer cells

 

A paper on a new dietary supplement for breast cancer has appeared this week in the online version of Integrative Cancer Therapies (http://ict.sagepub.com). BreastDefend (BD) is a blend of medicinal mushrooms, herbs and nutritional compounds. In this laboratory study, Indiana University scientists showed that BD inhibited the proliferation and invasiveness of highly metastatic breast cancer cells. Particularly impressive was the effect of the highest dose of BD at 72 hours, where virtually all the cells were suppressed (see illustration).

This isn’t the first time that most of these ingredients have been shown to kill cancer cells. But by combining them in a single formula, one can use lower doses to achieve an synergistic effect. I appreciate the way the developer of the product, Isaac Eliaz, MD of Econugenics, has not just touted his product’s virtues but once again (as with his Pectasol-C) provided scientific proof.

The recommended dose is 1 to 4 capsules, 2 times a day, taken with food, or as directed by one’s health care professional. I have found it for sale on the Internet for as little as $77.99 for 120 capsules. Even at the highest dose this comes to around $5 per day, which seems reasonable for such a promising supplement.


Responses

  1. Was this compound tested against MCF-7 (estrogen dependent) breast cancer cells?

    Estrogen-like activity of ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/p2024u65841543m8/fulltext.pdf

    Abstract The ethanol extract from the fruiting body of Ganoderma lucidum was tested for its estrogen-like activity by using the cell proliferation assay (MCF-7 cells, human breast cancer cells), as well as the estrogen receptor binding assay, and pS2 mRNA expression assay in MCF-7 cells in vitro and uterotrophic assay in vivo. The ethanol extract of G. lucidum showed significant positive effects on the proliferation of MCF-7 cells. This proliferation effect is related to the estrogenic activity of G. lucidum, because this proliferation activity was inhibited by the addition of the antiestrogenic compound ICI 182,780. The ability to bind to human estrogen receptors (hERs) α and β of the ethanol extract of G. lucidum was confirmed by using the coactivator-bacterial alkaline phosphatase system. ER-dependent cell responsibilities were investigated by examining the regulation of gene transcription for pS2 in MCF-7 cells. Our results demonstrated that the pS2 mRNA levels are significantly increased by the ethanol extract of G. lucidum via an estrogen-like manner. Additionally, young rats that received the ethanol extract of G. lucidum (200 mg/kg per day) for 3 days showed a signifi cant increase (growth approximately twofold compared with the control group) in uterine weight after each treatment, which supports the estrogen-like activity of the ethanol extract of G. lucidum in vivo. It was concluded that the ethanol extract of G. lucidum showed estrogen-like activity, which may be useful in regulating hormone levels to treat related diseases such as osteoporosis if safety is fully guaranteed.

    Key words Ganoderma lucidum – Estrogenic activity – Menopausal syndrome

    • Also questions on Quercetin in ER+ cancer:

      Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2010 Jun 22. [Epub ahead of print]
      Dietary quercetin exacerbates the development of estrogen-induced breast tumors in female ACI rats.

      Singh B, Mense SM, Bhat NK, Putty S, Guthiel WA, Remotti F, Bhat HK.

      Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64108, USA.
      Abstract
      Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that structurally mimic the endogenous estrogen 17beta-estradiol (E(2)). Despite intense investigation, the net effect of phytoestrogen exposure on the breast remains unclear. The objective of the current study was to examine the effects of quercetin on E(2)-induced breast cancer in vivo. Female ACI rats were given quercetin (2.5g/kg food) for 8months. Animals were monitored weekly for palpable tumors, and at the end of the experiment, rats were euthanized, breast tumor and different tissues excised so that they could be examined for histopathologic changes, estrogen metabolic activity and oxidant stress. Quercetin alone did not induce mammary tumors in female ACI rats. However, in rats implanted with E(2) pellets, co-exposure to quercetin did not protect rats from E(2)-induced breast tumor development with 100% of the animals developing breast tumors within 8months of treatment. No changes in serum quercetin levels were observed in quercetin and quercetin+E(2)-treated groups at the end of the experiment. Tumor latency was significantly decreased among rats from the quercetin+E(2) group relative to those in the E(2) group. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity was significantly downregulated in quercetin-exposed mammary tissue. Analysis of 8-isoprostane F(2alpha) (8-iso-PGF(2alpha)) levels as a marker of oxidant stress showed that quercetin did not decrease E(2)-induced oxidant stress. These results indicate that quercetin (2.5g/kg food) does not confer protection against breast cancer, does not inhibit E(2)-induced oxidant stress and may exacerbate breast carcinogenesis in E(2)-treated ACI rats. Inhibition of COMT activity by quercetin may expose breast cells chronically to E(2) and catechol estrogens. This would permit longer exposure times to the carcinogenic metabolites of E(2) and chronic exposure to oxidant stress as a result of metabolic redox cycling to estrogen metabolites, and thus quercetin may exacerbate E(2)-induced breast tumors in female ACI rats. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

      PMID: 20600213 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
      Click here to read

      Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005 Aug;49(8):763-71.
      The stimulation of cell proliferation by quercetin is mediated by the estrogen receptor.

      van der Woude H, Ter Veld MG, Jacobs N, van der Saag PT, Murk AJ, Rietjens IM.

      Division of Toxicology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. hester.vanderwoude@wur.nl

      Click here to read
      Abstract
      Quercetin causes biphasic modulation of the proliferation of specific colon and mammary cancer cells. In this study, the possible involvement of the estrogen receptor (ER) in the stimulation of cell proliferation by quercetin was investigated. For this purpose, the effect of quercetin on cell proliferation was tested in ER-positive MCF-7 and T47D cells, and in ER-negative HCC-38 and MDA-MB231 cells. Quercetin stimulated proliferation of ER-positive cells only, suggesting this effect to be ER-dependent. In support of these results, quercetin induced ER-ERE-mediated gene expression in a reporter gene assay using U2-OS cells transfected with either ERalpha or ERbeta, with 10(5)-10(6) times lower affinity than 17beta-estradiol (E2) and 10(2)-10(3 )times lower affinity than genistein. Quercetin activated the ERbeta to a 4.5-fold higher level than E2, whereas the maximum induction level of ERalpha by quercetin was only 1.7 fold that of E2. These results point at the relatively high capacity of quercetin to stimulate supposed ‘beneficial’ ERbeta responses as compared to the stimulation of ERalpha, the receptor possibly involved in adverse cell proliferative effects. Altogether, the results of this study reveal that physiologically relevant concentrations of quercetin can exert phytoestrogen-like activity similar to that observed for the isoflavonoid genistein.

      PMID: 15937998 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

  2. Could someone please comment further on the response. Assuming that a breast ca is ER+, how is it that rieshi which the reply indicates mimics estrogen can suppress proliferation. Assuming that it works the same way as estrogen I do not understand why it does not increase proliferation, as it appears to be a substitute for estrogen. Is it that it blocks the activity of estrogen by docking on its receptors in the test cells and that it does not activate the cells in the same way that estrogen works on ER+ cells. Does it act as a stub rather than a activator.

    • A quick Google search on Ganoderma lucidum and cancer turned up this reference: http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/ganluckilcan.html. This is a study done with MCF-7 cells and reishi showing that the cells were killed. Perhaps the anti-cancer effects of reishi out way the estrogenic stimulation? This is a question to be addressed to Econugenics who produces Breast Defend.

      • Estrogen has been used as a breast cancer fighter in the past. Natural plant-based estrogen may occupy the estrogen receptor the way tamoxifen does – blocking it from more dangerous occupation. In fact, Todd, that article came from our website.

        This section may be of interest:

        http://annieappleseedproject.org/planesposal.html

    • Could be that plant estrogenic molecules, being much less bio-active in human than endogenously produced, tend to block activity of estrogen receptors by attaching to binding sites. Perhaps stronger binding but less active than the endogenous estrogens?

  3. Is this supplement also good for triple negative breast cancer?

    • Being triple negative myself, I would like to know the answer to this, too.

      • First I would like to point out that ‘triple negative’ has been used with unfortunate connotations. It is a good thing to be HER2 negative even if it means that treatment is not useful for you. HER2 positive breast is more aggressive.

        The use of the word Triple is scary but wrong in this case. It is double-negative really and that could be a positive if you look at it that way.

        Just saying. Everyone ought to check into flax oil, fish oil and probiotics on day one of diagnosis. Next find an acupuncturist and rebalance your body.

      • Good point Ann re: the “negatives.” Not flax oil though. Flax seed is best, 2 tbs ground daily. Less risk of rancidity and more of the full components. Keep your flax seed in the fridge. Flax helps to move excess estrogen out of the body in addition to its other benefits.

      • The cells tested are triple negative. Will post a thorough response to the various questions tomorrow.

        All the best,

        Isaac Eliaz, MD

  4. Is this also considered a preventative? what should the maintenance dose be if treatment for ER posivitve breast ca has been completed and no obvious signs of cancer remain? AND no AIs or Tamoxifen are being taken? Any tests on this product WITH hormone therapy vs. without? Thanks.

    • There are so many things that can be done – flax oil, exercise, detox (a necessity for any with cancer or any after treatment), probiotics, fish oil, relaxation programs.

      Many other things are listed on our site http://www.annieappleseedproject.org

      Hey, give up sugar immediately. NO SODA, NO fried foods, no chips or ‘junk’. Cut down or eliminate meat.

  5. is this an answer to FEMARA?
    fEMARA has awful side effects.
    A five year therapy, on FEMARA will leave me cripple, and debilitated.
    I am ready to try this products, the REISHI ISSUE, concers me.

  6. […] A dietary supplement for breast cancer BreastDefend stops proliferation of cancer cells […]

  7. The question here is whether the supplement IS good for ER positive cancers. The cancer cell that Breast Defend worked against is “estrogen independent”. The study posted here in the comments suggested, at least in one study, the mushroom component actually grows estrogen receptor positive cancer cells. It seems there are studies in support of and studies against the use of Ganoderma Lucidum mushroom to fight ER positive cancer. So it would seem to be important to test this compound against estrogen receptor positive cells.

  8. Also check out that this mushroom treats prostate cancer. Green tea taken with this mushroom treats breast cancer even more. Check it out on Entrez Pubmed.

  9. How would this supplement go for people like me who are ER neg,PR neg and her2 +++ (pos). Yes the nasty aggresive type of breast cancer.
    Any help with supplements would be great. Thanks

  10. I don’t understand either Dr. Moss’s use of the term “scientific proof,” or most of the comments here. They seem to me very premature–way ahead of the evidence that was obtained solely in test tube experiments, not in humans. The authors’ only claim in the abstract is that “BD MAY (my emphasis) have a therapeutic potential for prevention or treatment of highly metastatic breast cancers.” Years of work remain before we can know whether the supplement is effective after passing through the digestive system, as opposed to being applied directly to cancer cells in test tubes. Dr. Moss, I think of you as generally much more careful than you seem to be here.

  11. […] A paper on a new dietary supplement… […]

  12. Hello to you all,

    As the formulator and developer of the preparation discussed here, I would like to respond to and clarify a number of important questions that have been raised in response to this blog. As this is Breast Cancer (BCa) Awareness month and last month was Prostate Cancer (PCa) Awareness month, I would also like to take the opportunity to touch on some philosophical and practical points that are similar to both BCa and PCa, which I think can be of use in the short and long term treatment and prevention of these all too common cancers.

    While in BCa we differentiate between ER/PR positive and ER/PR negative tumors with Her2-Nu being a third component leading to “triple negative” tumors, a more generalized term can be used categorizing the cancer as hormonal sensitive on one hand or hormonal resistant or hormonal independent on the other. This is commonly used in BCa and PCa to differentiate between the less aggressive estrogen positive and androgen sensitive and the more aggressive triple negative BCa and androgen independent PCa. In this context, and especially in BCa, it is important to differentiate between the primary tumor and the circulating tumor cells (CTC’s) that are responsible for the metastatic process. What we often find in BCa, is a higher % of elevated circulating tumor cells in triple negative primary BCa. (http://breast-cancer-research.com/content/12/3/402)

    When the primary tumor is estrogen positive, often the CTC’s don’t have the same characteristics, being triple negative. Integrative approaches try to identify the nature of the CTC’s and will often target the initial and follow-up therapies to address both the primary tumor and the CTC’s. They apply CTC (Circulating Tumor Cells) technology, understanding that while the main tumor is ER positive, there may already be a micro component of ER negative or triple negative cells circulating in the system, and these are the cells that will cause the metastatic process. This concept is more developed in the treatment of BCa, and can play an important role in PCa as well.

    So, looking at these principles, when we come to treat and prevent BCa, we need to address both categories of tumor cell expression simultaneously, both on a short term and a long-term basis.

    Another important therapeutic principle is that in general, it is easier to have a response to ER positive BCa tumors and to androgen independent PCa tumors. In fact, sophisticated integrative medical approaches often try to reverse a tumor that has mutated or transformed from hormonal sensitive to hormonal resistant (and remember that this may be a ratio of expression). In PCa, it means allowing a patient that is not responding to androgen depravation therapy to begin responding. In BCa, it means allowing a patient that stopped responding to aromatase inhibitors to respond to them again.

    Now, let’s look at the role that different compounds and supplements can play in the treatment of cancer. I won’t be able to cover all of them here, but I will use some examples that are included in the breast health formula discussed here.

    DIM has anti proliferative effects in both ER positive and triple negative BCa. DIM has been shown to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and induce their apoptosis, working synergistically to enhance the effect of taxotere-induced cell death in cancerous breast cells through inactivation of NF-kappaB (a protein associated with cancer cell proliferation), and inhibits angiogenesis and metastasis of breast cancer cells.

    Medicinal mushrooms in this formula have multiple mechanisms of actions, including immune enhancing and anti-cancer activities. Ganoderma, commonly known as Reishi, has shown anticancer effects in ER positive BCa. An example of this research can be found here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.10707/pdf . These mushrooms are different, because they are grown on a blend of proprietary immune enhancing and anti-cancer botanicals, one example being Scutellaria barbata.

    The principle behind this breast health formula is the synergistic action of the combined ingredients. As an example, Quercetin has anti BCa benefits for both ER Positive and triple negative cell lines. It also prevents resistance to heat shock proteins. In addition, it can prevent resistance to Adrianycin and helps to prevent MDR (multiple drug resistance). The effects of Quercetin are enhanced by another powerful anti-cancer herbal ingredient, Curcumin. Two other anti-cancer and immune enhancing herbs, Astragalus and Scutellaria barbata, are used in the formula as well. The combined antioxidant and anti-cancer action of these herbs works to prevent damage to DNA, influence the transcriptions of genes responsible for redox metabolism, and inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cells.

    As for the question about triple negative breast cancer, the
    MDA-MB-231 cells tested are estrogen receptor-negative (ER-negative)
    progesterone receptor-negative (PR-negative), HER2/neu-negative. However, we tested the anti proliferative effects of the preparation on MCF-7 cells as well, and had comparable results.

    Here is the link to the full article:

    http://ict.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/09/16/1534735410386953.full.pdf?keytype=ref&siteid=spict&ijkey=dYB2qWzszR.eo

    I am providing answers to some of the specific questions as well.

    1) Was this compound tested against MCF-7 (estrogen dependent) breast cancer cells?

    The focus of the study was against the highly invasive
    estrogen receptor negative human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231.
    The reason behind it is that it is significantly more difficult to treat triple negative BCa.
    We tested the anti proliferative effects of the preparation on MCF-7 Estrogen positive cell lines with comparable response! Currently we are completing toxicology and efficacy in vivo animal studies and plan to continue with human clinical trials. We also demonstrated a synergistic effect of this preparation with MCP (Modified Citrus Pectin) in the same MDA-MB231 cell line.

    2) Could someone please comment further on the response? Assuming that
    a breast ca is ER+, how is it that Reishi, which the reply indicates
    mimics estrogen, can suppress proliferation. Assuming that it works the
    same way as estrogen I do not understand why it does not increase
    proliferation, as it appears to be a substitute for estrogen. Is it
    that it blocks the activity of estrogen by docking on its receptors in
    the test cells and that it does not activate the cells in the same way
    that estrogen works on ER+ cells. Does it act as a stub rather than an
    activator?

    The compounds in the Reishi appear to mimic estrogen like other
    phytoestrogens, by attaching to the receptor and essentially blocking
    it and having less effect than estrogen itself.

    3) Is this supplement also good for triple negative breast cancer?
    Yes, it was tested on triple negative cell lines. The benefits for multiple types (including synergistic effects with traditional chemotherapy) of breast cancer have been seen in the
    ingredients, one example being the DIM.

    Here is a list of references for DIM:

    Jin Y, Zou X, Feng X. 3,3′-Diindolylmethane negatively regulates
    Cdc25A and induces a G2/M arrest by modulation of microRNA 21 in human
    breast cancer cells. Anticancer Drugs. 2010 Oct;21(9):814-22.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20724916

    Rahimi M, Huang KL, Tang CK. 3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) inhibits the growth and invasion of drug-resistant human cancer cells expressing EGFR mutants. Cancer Lett. 2010 Sep 1;295(1):59-68.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20299148

    McGuire KP, Ngoubilly N, Neavyn M, Lanza-Jacoby S.
    3,3′-diindolylmethane and paclitaxel act synergistically to promote
    apoptosis in HER2/Neu human breast cancer cells. J Surg Res. 2006 May
    15;132(2):208-13.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16580691

    Ahmad A, Kong D, Wang Z, Sarkar SH, Banerjee S, Sarkar FH.
    Down-regulation of uPA and uPAR by 3,3′-diindolylmethane contributes to the inhibition of cell growth and migration of breast cancer cells
    .J Cell Biochem. 2009 Nov 1;108(4):916-25.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19693769

    4) Is this also considered a preventative? What should the maintenance
    dose be if treatment for ER positive BCa has been completed and
    no obvious signs of cancer remain? AND no AIs or Tamoxifen are being
    taken? Any tests on this product WITH hormone therapy vs. without?

    Yes, it can be used as a preventative and for maintenance after cancer
    treatments appear to have succeeded. The dosage would be 2 capsules, 2
    times daily for 1-2 years. The dosage can then be reduced to 1×2/day, with food. . The compound is designed to work well with and without hormone therapy, and could complement each other.

    This breast health formula contains a highly concentrated extract of Scutellaria barbata. There is ongoing research on the use of highly concentrated Scutellaria Barbata in BCa, now in clinical trials under the name BZL 101.

    Research abstracts for Scutellaria barbata:

    Perez AT, Arun B, Tripathy D, Tagliaferri MA, Shaw HS, Kimmick GG,
    Cohen I, Shtivelman E, Caygill KA, Grady D, Schactman M, Shapiro CL. A
    phase 1B dose escalation trial of Scutellaria barbata (BZL101) for
    patients with metastatic breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010
    Feb;120(1):111-8.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20054647

    Marconett CN, Morgenstern TJ, San Roman AK, Sundar SN, Singhal AK,
    Firestone GL. BZL101, a phytochemical extract from the Scutellaria
    barbata plant, disrupts proliferation of human breast and prostate
    cancer cells through distinct mechanisms dependent on the cancer cell
    phenotype. Cancer Biol Ther. 2010 Aug 20;10(4).

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20574166

    Bui-Xuan NH, Tang PM, Wong CK, Fung KP.Photo-activated
    pheophorbide-a, an active component of Scutellaria barbata, enhances
    apoptosis via the suppression of ERK-mediated autophagy in the
    estrogen receptor-negative human breast adenocarcinoma cells
    MDA-MB-231. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Aug 19;131(1):95-103.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20558270

    Fong S, Shoemaker M, Cadaoas J, Lo A, Liao W, Tagliaferri M, Cohen I,
    Shtivelman E. Molecular mechanisms underlying selective cytotoxic
    activity of BZL101, an extract of Scutellaria barbata, towards breast
    cancer cells. Cancer Biol Ther. 2008 Apr;7(4):577-86. Epub 2008 Jan 7.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18305410

    Rugo H, Shtivelman E, Perez A, Vogel C, Franco S, Tan Chiu E, Melisko
    M, Tagliaferri M, Cohen I, Shoemaker M, Tran Z, Tripathy D. Phase I
    trial and antitumor effects of BZL101 for patients with advanced breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2007 Sep;105(1):17-28.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17111207

    As mentioned, the breast health formula contains a bio-available turmeric extract
    with known properties of fighting breast cancer. Here are some research abstracts for
    turmeric toot extract:

    Quiroga A, Quiroga PL, Martínez E, Soria EA, Valentich MA. Anti-breast
    cancer activity of curcumin on the human oxidation-resistant cells
    ZR-75-1 with gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase inhibition.
    J Exp Ther Oncol. 2010;8(3):261-6.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20734924

    Al-Hujaily EM, Mohamed AG, Al-Sharif I, Youssef KM, Manogaran PS,
    Al-Otaibi B, Al-Haza’a A, Al-Jammaz I, Al-Hussein K, Aboussekhra A.
    PAC, a novel curcumin analogue, has anti-breast cancer properties with
    higher efficiency on ER-negative cells. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010
    Aug 1.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20680677

    Boonrao M, Yodkeeree S, Ampasavate C, Anuchapreeda S, Limtrakul P. The
    inhibitory effect of turmeric curcuminoids on matrix
    metalloproteinase-3 secretion in human invasive breast carcinoma
    cells. Arch Pharm Res. 2010 Jul;33(7):989-98.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20661707

    Research abstracts on Quercetin:

    Chou CC, Yang JS, Lu HF, Ip SW, Lo C, Wu CC, Lin JP, Tang NY, Chung
    JG, Chou MJ, Teng YH, Chen DR. Quercetin-mediated cell cycle arrest
    and apoptosis involving activation of a caspase cascade through the
    mitochondrial pathway in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Arch Pharm
    Res. 2010 Aug;33(8):1181-91.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20803121

    Oh SJ, Kim O, Lee JS, Kim JA, Kim MR, Choi HS, Shim JH, Kang KW, Kim
    YC. Inhibition of angiogenesis by quercetin in tamoxifen-resistant
    breast cancer cells. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Sep 4.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20804812

    For more information on integrative cancer therapies, research and recommendations, please visit my website at http://www.dreliaz.org. Email Isaac@dreliaz.org.

    • As a P.S.: I join Dr. Moss in commending Dr. Eliaz for encouraging and supporting careful research on BreastDefend. This is time-consuming, costly work: Test-tube studies, animal studies, and finally multiple phases of human studies. I join Moss and Eliaz in hoping that BreastDefend will be a big advance in treatment and prevention.

      • Thank you for these and other comments, Dr. Davis. I think part of the problem may have been my use of the word
        “proof.” If you look at the dictionary (such as http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/proof), you will see that the word has a range of meanings. I belive you took it to mean “evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true.” A test-tube or animal experiment can obviously never establish proof in that sense. However, proof can also mean “anything serving as such evidence” or “the act of testing or making trial of anything.” Those are the senses in which I was using the word. I was simply trying to contrast Dr. Eliaz’s behavior compared to the many people who make claims for supplements without bothering to do the experimental work necessary to support such claims.

  13. I agree with developer Isaac Eliaz that there are many good reasons to HOPE that “BreastDefend” will prove safe and effective as a treatment and preventive for aggressive breast cancer. However, I am still concerned that some readers of this blog may be confused about what we do and don’t know. Dr. Eliaz answers here that “Yes, [BreastDefend] can be used as a preventative and for maintenance….The dosage would be 2 capsules, 2 times daily for 1-2 years.” I think another worthy answer is, Yes, it can be so USED, but it’s anyone’s guess about how EFFECTIVE it may be for these purposes, or what the best and safest DOSE may be. Of the many studies Eliaz cites here, all but two were only test-tube studies. His two cited human studies were only preliminary (Phase I) studies of only one INGREDIENT in BreastDefend (BZL101, an herbal extract). They were small studies, designed mostly “to determine the safety and maximum tolerated dose” in women with advanced breast cancer (Rugo et al., Perez et al.). There were “encouraging” signs of clinical benefit in a minority of women (as well as toxicity). But it is important to note that Phase I studies of BreastDefend itself are still in the future, followed hopefully by Phase II and III studies designed to evaluate effectiveness and dose for TREATMENT of breast cancer. Even longer and more difficult studies will be needed to evaluate PREVENTION or MAINTENANCE. The CLINICAL questions posed on this blog about BreastDefend HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED YET–not only “by the FDA” (as per the familiar phrase on supplement labels)–They have not been evaluated by ANYONE. This is why I am so puzzled about Dr. Moss’s unqualified use of the term, “scientific proof,” regarding this “product’s virtues.” There are many reasons for high hopes about clinical safety and effectiveness, I agree. But scientific proof is years away.

  14. Just like with conventional treatment, the use of supplementation in the treatment of breast cancer should not be view as a “one size fits all approach.”
    Anyone interested in doing integrative medicine should do so under the care of a certified nutritionist experienced in treating cancer patients. Supplementation will vary based on diagnosis. It is reckless for anyone to post that all patients should be taking certain supplements. An excellent example of this is the recommendation for patients to take fish oils. The majority of fish oils are contaminated with PCB’s and can end up doing more harm than good.

    As to those individuals who are encouraging patients to check out their websites, make sure you know who supports them. Many of these websites fail to disclose financial ties to the supplement industry. This is just as problemmatic as cancer groups accepting money from big pharma. Undisclosed conflicts of interest are unethical.

  15. A a practitioner of natural medicine I find this a very weak defence of the product. I would be cautious in any breast cancer patient, regardless whether the tumour was hormone sensitive or not (as oestrogen metabolites do not only mediate their effects through the oestrogen receptor) to be giving herbs with phyto-oestrogenic potential or giving quercetin which clearly does down-regulate COMT, one of the most important enzyme systems we have for methylating oestrogens to their anti-cancer form. Patients are seeking VALUE in treatment i.e what will the treatment do for me and within what time-frame and how can I monitor to make sure that what I am doing is working and not having adverse effects. Many people will gravitate toward more natural and non-toxic treatments in the belief that if it does no harm then it’s worth a go. A product may do no harm but have absolutely no value, or worse do some harm because it is inappropriate for the patient’s case or their type of cancer and it may then rob the patient of the opportunity to seek a more effective treatment that can help them within their preferred time-frame. It is very difficult for a patient to make an informed decision, particularly when the treatment cannot be monitored.

  16. Clinical trial proof is quite far away as noted well by Donald Davis. The issue is should anybody be taking the stuff in the meantime given its current low level of proof and expense…an expense not covered by insurance.

    Clearly one should not depend only on this if they are in immediate danger AND there is something else that is proven to offer a decent chance of extending life without ruining life in the process.

    If one is in a watching stage and this treatment combo has been shown to be safe, using it is a judgement call that will vary with individual circumstances, including financial.

    My own attitude is that the proof does not need to be as firm if it is clear that the treatment is safe. I am taking an herbal protocol for a different cancer that happens to include several elements of the treatment discussed here, particularly quercetin and curcumin. In addition there is prescription drug that has had some human studies for my cancer (CLL), but has not had the benefit of full dual arm trials. So far, I have a positive result (70% tumor load shrinkage) that would normally only be seen by including a chemo treatment that would be much more toxic.

    The key here is that I presently can afford to wait on taking the standard treatment and experiment with my “integrated medicine” approach. If my life was in immediate danger, I would be stupid to be doing what I am doing. Right now I am a very interesting case study of one and if everything continues to work well, I will only be an anecdotal footnote that very few doctors would recommend following. Yet there is a small chance that a trial could develop with one arm safely waiting and another doing what I am trying as a “first line” treatment. Remissions from standard treatments when they occur do not last forever and mine may not either. But the low toxicity may provide an opportunity for a long term maintenance/prevention process. Right now, like in the case of BreastDefend, this is only a hope that we pray will work out. But by my calculation, what I am trying is less risky than the standard procedure and less damaging to me in the short term. Most oncologists would not agree…mine is an exception.

    • TSvi, not to get off topic but I was intrigued by your experience as I, too, have CLL. It is early stage and I am would like to know more about your herbal protocol. Like you, I want to use the “watchful waiting period” to explore therapies that could slow down or remit this disease. Any information you could share would greatly appreciated.
      All the best,
      B

  17. B. Stewart,

    I would be most happy to share with you my history with CLL, my protocol, etc. I ask Moss Reports/Cancer Decisions to share my email with you, so I do not need to make it totally public. I am also on Facebook and LinkedIn where you can send me a private message…I live in Portland OR in case there is more than one with my name.

    Here I will say that I bought Dr. Moss’s report on CLL and found it quite helpful. My herbal protocol was proscribed by an “Herbalist” who specializes in Cancer and that Dr. Moss recommended and whom I also found by a totally independent path. My oncologist has worked with him with other patients and trusts him. He recommended the drug I am using to my oncologist, who prescribed it to me and is thrilled by the results so far. The drug is Rapamycin, normally used for kidney transplant patients, but being tested for various cancers in several studies. I may be the only one using it for CLL in combination with the herbal protocol.

    • Tsvi, I could not locate you on FB – I am also interested in your herbal protocol as my husband has CLL and we are W&W too. We have tried a few things ourselves and right now are still W&W. Plz forward a way of contact.

  18. There is one Madison St. saying that half the advertising spending is waste, but you never know which half. It has been 18 months now since my wife was detected a tumor on head of pancreas, she looks healthier and feels much better now than then or even a year before. She never went through surgery, chemio nor radiation, as the information found showed it worse than the cancer itself. She has been taking lots of alternative remedies, herbs, supplements, indicated by her alternative doctor and found elsewhere, and we sure think half was waste money but none ever had serious side effects. And we do not know which was the good from the useless, if any, but then she looks and feels so good, who cares?

  19. Hi Pia,

    Please try FB again under TSvi Howard Epstein and send me a message. On LinkedIn I am:

    TSvi (aka Howard) Epstein.

    I will also call Cancer Decisions and ask them to send you my email. If you still cannot reach me please respond to this with an email that you do not mind being public…maybe one you use to buy things on the internet where you expect some spam as a result.

    As an update, I have been experimenting with my dose of Rapamycin to find one that does not give me GI issues but still reduces the tumor load.

    • Pia,

      I have so far not been able to reach Cancer Decisions, but Ann Equality Fonfa reached me via FB as a result of my comments here. If for some reason you still are having trouble finding me, try Ann…she has my email. Ann leads the CAM site AnnieAppleSeed.

      TSvi


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