Posted by: themossreports | December 11, 2009

Tumor killing bacteria

It has been known for 150 years that bacteria sometimes attack and destroy tumors. But how can one make that happen in a deliberate fashion, without also endangering the life of the patient? Wilhelm Busch of Bonn, Germany, tried to use Streptococcus pyogenes in some patients in the 1860s, but it proved far too dangerous. The same approach was rediscovered in the 1890s by William B. Coley, MD, of New York City, one of the great early heroes of oncology. Coley used killed bacteria and also added Serratia marcescens as a booster. The results were sometimes good and occasionally spectacular. But other doctors had difficulty reproducing these effects, mainly because the preparations made by Parke-Davis were almost entirely without activity. Their product was “Coley’s toxins” in name only, but this did a lot of damage to Coley’s reputation. Eventually his method was banned by the Food and Drug Administration and put on the American Cancer Society’s blacklist of “unproven methods.”

But some intrepid researchers never forgot Coley’s successes. Thanks mainly to Coley’s daughter, Helen Coley Nauts and Lloyd Old, MD, the idea of a bacterial treatment for cancer never died out completely. I recently wrote a detailed report on this topic, which you may want to see. It is available for sale at my Web site:

Now a San Diego company called Anticancer, Inc. has invented a novel  way of delivering destructive bacteria to mice. This work has begun to generate a lot of excitement (including a laudatory 2009 article in the New York Times). So far it has only been performed in mice, but human clinical trials are promised as well.

To see a short narrated slide show on the treatment go to the company’s Web site, and search for the video presentation called “Tumor Killing Bacteria.”

This is certainly a very worthwhile idea in its own right, but it is also a powerful confirmation of the original ideas of Coley, which have been scorned and neglected for the better part of a century. I guess you can’t keep a good idea down forever.



  1. Hi, All~ This is with regard to The Moss Reports Newsletter for 12/13/09 which I just received. The subject was the beneficial properties of seaweed, and by chance, I had found some old notes today that I had taken at least ten years ago on a certain seaweed: bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus). In addition to iodine, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, it also contains fucose, which is supposed to be good for people with type O blood. It’s said to protect against Helicobacter pylori, normalize sluggish metabolic rate, produce weight loss, and help rheumatoid arthritis and heartburn. Dr. Moss prepares a dish with Alaria seaweed, and I was reminded of a beautiful scene in the 1994 film, “The Secret of Roan Inish,” where a woman prepares a seaweed stew using a mysterious and very ancient recipe. Thanks, Dr. Moss, for encouraging us to look to the sea for healthy new (to many of us) sources of vegetables!

  2. Since you are writing on wordpress where there are no character length restrictions, there is really no reason to use a tinyurl which masks the name of the true site. I would greatly appreciate your using full length links so that I can clearly see what I’m clicking on.


  3. The Issels Medical Center, through their doctors in Tijuana, administer an autologous protein solution (sometimes called ‘vaccine’) called ‘Coleys’, based on this same concept.


  4. Dr Moss, thankyou so much for bringing Coley’s toxins to our attention. The history behind their development and subsequent abandonment and ‘rediscovery’ is fascinating. Looking forward to hearing of further progress.

  5. Bacterial toxins have been an issue of constant study. They use T.B. vaccine for bladder cancer still!

    Some studies indicate that cancer patients who become septic after surgery actually do better in the long run. How could this be?

    Some studies indicate that mechanism of action is actually related to angiogenesis, (preventing such,) and also immune stimulation.

    Also, various bacteria actually adhere to cancer cells, stick just like velcro, and this was proven long ago using T.B. vaccine on sarcoma and other cancers.

    Well, if your body targets this bacteria, no guess work,…collateral damage involves cancer cell death as your body kills the bacteria.

    Finally, high fevers are a form of whole body hyperthermia,…causing thermal stress to tumors is nothing new. Anybody who runs a fever during cancer therapy needs to see the E.R. to evaluate toxicity,(lysis syndrome) but should not treat the actual fever with tylenol and such.

    My father had three cancers, I wanted him vaccinated against T.B. (BCG) and then I wanted his tumor injected with the bacterium so his body would send killer cells to the tumor. Nobody would agree to do this procedure.

    So, a variety of mechanisms may actually be at work with respect to bacterial polysacharides. Not just one or two mechanisms.

    This tells me, we should combine this therapy with other treatments.

    Even the lipopolysacharides, mucopolysacharides seen in aloe, slippery elm, mushrooms, goji berry, have been tested and demonstrate they actually stimulate immune cell production,… similar to what vaccines already do.

    So, if you can’t get bacterial therapies in the USA, you can still use similar polysacharides found in other substances.

    We should not blackball this therapy based upon toxicity, after all, what is more toxic than malignant cancer?

    Bret Peirce, author of “Unified Theory of Disease”

  6. One should also not forget BCG, which remains the the gold standard treatment for bladder cancer. If nothing else, it proves the concept works.

    PS I have no major objection to tinyurl and I cant imagine why anyone would. Some URLs are so incredibly long they break up, are difficult to select, and cover several lines. The problem is ‘Shakespearian’ URL’s …

  7. Great post. I got new perspective after read this article.


    • In Australia, Grace Gawler and Ian Gawler used Coley’s Toxins and they may have been responsible for his total remission from bone cancer – he is still alive today.
      Ian and others who stood to benefit always promoted a vegan diet, meditation and loving support as responsible for his cure but his wife Grace, who was his 24/7 care giver and researcher believes the toxins gave him TB and the two diseases competed in his body.
      At the time of his remission in 1978 the oncologist told them he had good news and bad. The good was his remission from bone cancer and the bad was his full blown TB. GRace went off to have their first baby and he went into a TB isolation ward.
      Grace’s cancer work has continued over the next 35 years and she is known for her sensible integrative approach similar to Ralph Moss.
      The full story is available on her website


  8. I meant to say Grace and Ian used imported BCG from Japan for their treatment

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