Posted by: themossreports | November 1, 2010

A visit to Colin Campbell


On Friday I drove to Ithaca, NY, to hear a lecture by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, the retired Cornell University professor and author of The China Study. Afterwards we had dinner at his house overlooking Lake Cayuga. I am investigating his theory that a low-fat vegan diet is highly protective against cancer. I am particularly interested in his findings on milk/dairy and cancer incidence. To be sure, I haven’t made up my mind on this yet. But I certainly admire the man for his commitment to improving the health of humanity. During his lecture he played a film clip of President Clinton being interviewed recently by Wolf Blitzer of CNN. In it, Clinton pays homage to Campbell and credits him and his colleagues with not only his weight loss but also with greatly improved health. It was impressive.

Posted by: themossreports | October 31, 2010

Overcoming Side Effects of Tamoxifen


A new study has found that traditional acupuncture can help relieve the adverse side effects of the commonly used drug, tamoxifen. Fifty participants with early breast cancer completed eight traditional acupuncture treatments. Eligible women had been taking tamoxifen for at least six months, and reporting at least four incidents of hot flashes and night sweats per 24 hours for at least three months. Acupuncture reduced the frequency of these unpleasant side effects by half (49.8 percent) in 30 weeks, when the experiment ended. There were beneficial effects as late as 18 weeks after the end of treatment. The women also experienced improvement in fear and anxiety, loss of memory and concentration, menstrual problems, sexual behavior, sleep problems, etc. Dr. Beverly Devalois and her colleagues in Middlesex, UK, concluded that these results compared favorably with other studies on relieving the side effects of tamoxifen. The women “enjoyed improved physical and emotional well-being.” They called for further research.

I would be interested in hearing from readers on what treatments and self-help measures they have found useful in combating the adverse side effects of tamoxifen.

de Valois BA, Young TE, Robinson N, McCourt C, Maher EJ. Using traditional acupuncture for breast cancer-related hot flashes and night sweats. J Altern Complement Med. 2010;16(10):1047-1057.

Posted by: themossreports | October 23, 2010

Sound Waves Can Kill Cancer


ERRATUM: In a previous version of this blog I stated that only Dr. X. Wang of Guangzhou had published his results using this method. This was incorrect. Dr. Julian Kenyon has also published his results in a paper titled “Activated Cancer Therapy Using Light and Ultrasound….” It appeared in Current Drug Therapy (reference below). You will not find this article in PubMed (which was the source of my error) but it is searchable through another scientific search engine, ingentaconnect.com Dr. Kenyon informs me that he also has another article on the topic due out next year. My apologies to Dr. Kenyon for this omission of his work.

 

Ultrasound waves can be used to kill cancer cells. The treatment, called sonodynamic therapy, first requires application of a drug called a sonosensitizer, which preferentially accumulates in cancer cells. Physicians can then activate this drug by applying ultrasound and thereby killing the malignancy.

Last month, Japanese scientists announced discovery of a new sonosensitizer, a derivative of Rose Bengal dye. It is said to be ten times more active than ordinary Rose Bengal. But sonodynamic therapy has been around for years. In  2008, I visited mainland China to investigate this treatment and wound up coauthoring a paper on its effects with Dr. X. Wang of Guangzhou. The treatment is also offered at the Dove clinic in England, the Hope4Cancer Institute in Mexico and the Indiana Center for Advanced Medicine in Indianapolis, usually in conjunction with the older technique of photodynamic therapy, which is the use of light and light-activated drugs in cancer.

(Important note: mention of any doctor or clinic in this blog does not constitute an endorsement on my part. It is simply given for informational purposes.)

The costs for this sort of treatment can be considerable. Nonetheless, the field continues to develop, and there are now almost 100 articles in PubMed on this new treatment idea. It is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

References

Kenyon JN, Fulle RJ, Lewis TJ. Activated cancer therapy using light and ultrasound: A case series of sonodynamic, photodynamic therapy in 115 patients over 4 years. Current Drug Therapy. 2009;4(3): 179-193.

Sugita N, Iwase Y, Yumita N, Ikeda T, Umemura S. Sonodynamically induced cell damage using rose bengal derivative. Anticancer Res. 2010;30(9):3361-3366.

Wang X, Zhang W, Xu Z, Luo Y, Mitchell D, Moss RW. Sonodynamic and photodynamic therapy in advanced breast carcinoma: a report of 3 cases. Integr Cancer Ther. 2009;8(3):283-287.

Posted by: themossreports | October 16, 2010

Fasting May Improve Chemo


Fasting is prescribed in the Bible and is considered a path to physical and spiritual purity. There are books, articles and Web sites that advocate fasting, some of them even for cancer patients. But many oncologists understandably become alarmed when their patients suggest fasting. After all, cancer is a disease sometimes characterized by unintended weight loss (cachexia). Doctors may feel that fasting will only worsen the situation. But what is the actual science of fasting and its relationship to cancer treatment?

Recently Dr. Valter D. Longo, Fernando M. Safdie and colleagues at the University of Southern California (USC) Andrus Gerontology Center and Department of Biological Sciences, have shown that a 48-hour fast protects normal cells and mice, but not cancer cells, against high-dose chemotherapy.

They also described 10 patients who voluntarily fasted prior to and/or following chemotherapy. None of these reported side effects caused by fasting other than lightheadedness and, of course, hunger. However, most patients reported less fatigue, weakness or gastrointestinal side effects from chemotherapy if they also fasted before and/or after receiving the drugs.

Nor did fasting decrease the effectiveness of the chemotherapy. These USC scientists therefore suggest that fasting, in combination with chemo, is “feasible, safe, and has the potential to ameliorate side effects.” They also recommend consulting one’s physician before undertaking a fast, and I totally agree. There are certainly individuals with cancer who should not fast. But fasting should be feasible for other patients, is cost-free and, at least in this preliminary report, effective at reducing the side effects of chemotherapy.

Resource:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815756/?tool=pubmed

Posted by: themossreports | October 14, 2010

Dr. Eliaz Responds to Blog Questions


There have been many comments and questions about the BreastDefend nutritional formula. I therefore asked the developer of the product, Isaac Eliaz, MD, to look at and respond to these. His comprehensive answer can now be found at my blog. The address is https://themossreports.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/dietary-supplement-for-breast-cancer/#comments

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.

Posted by: themossreports | September 22, 2010

A source of hope for cancer patients


There’s a fascinating report on so-called spontaneous regressions or remissions of cancer in a British newspaper.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1313773/Can-fever-cure-cancer-Jordan-baffled-doctors-leukaemia-vanished-new-evidence-suggests-remarkable-explanation-.html

Generally speaking, about half of these regressions follow an infection and/or a high fever. Observation of this phenomenon led to development of the fields of (a) cancer immunology (such as Coley’s toxins) and (b) hyperthermia (also called thermotherapy or oncothermia).

It is a source of great hope to cancer patients.

Posted by: themossreports | May 14, 2010

Modified Citrus Pectin Advances


This week brought a major advance in understanding the effects of modified citrus pectin (MCP) on cancer cells. Scientists at Columbia University published a paper showing that MCP stops the growth of prostate cancer (PC) cells in the test tube. Most significantly this effect was seen in both hormone-dependent and hormone-independent forms of the disease. There are very few treatments for hormone- independent PC, and so a report of likely benefit from a simple nutritional agent is highly significant.

Dr. Jun Yan and Dr. Aaron Katz tested two versions of MCP, PectaSol and PectaSol-C, both invented by Dr. Isaac Eliaz. In general, the new form of product outperformed the earlier version. The authors looked at apoptosis (the most prevalent form of programmed cell death) as well as at the inhibition of cell growth. A one percent solution of PectaSol-C was toxic to five cell lines. After four days of treatment, the total destruction of cancer cells ranged from 23.0 to 52.2 percent. The authors concluded that PectaSol and PectaSol-C both inhibited cell proliferation and apoptosis in prostate cancer cell lines.

Posted by: themossreports | December 30, 2009

Is soy safe?


One of the big questions that agitates health-oriented people is whether or not to consume soy and soy products. There are vociferous campaigns both for and against soy. (Yes, there is an anti-soy lobby, which also happens to favor the consumption of red meat.) But the data now seems to be tipping in favor of soy. Here is a recent excerpt from the newsletter of Michael Janson, MD, a reliable physician-journalist and former president of the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM).

“Consuming soy foods (such as tofu, tempeh, and soy milk, not the highly processed texturized soy protein) has many advantages for health, as is evident from the low rates of a variety of diseases among populations who do consume them. Several recent studies confirm some of these benefits,” Dr. Janson writes.

His monthly newsletter is free and always carries worthwhile information, especially on diet and health. It is available at http://www.drjanson.com

Posted by: themossreports | December 23, 2009

Times Discovers Chrono


The New York Times has discovered chronobiology, including chronomodulated chemotherapy. The excellent science writer, Olivia Judson, PhD, in the course of a column on circadian rhythms, mentioned the influence that time of day has on the effectiveness of anticancer drugs. She also noted in passing that you can decrease your risk of breast and other cancers by sleeping in a really dark environment at night:

“Several of the drugs used in chemotherapy,” she wrote, “also have a ‘best’ time of day: give the drug at the right moment, and you can take a smaller dosage, get a greater benefit and have a lower risk of unpleasant side effects. Sounds good. But don’t forget: regular good sleep in a nice dark room can inhibit tumors, and may thus help you avoid chemo in the first place.”

Bravo! To my knowledge, this is the first mention of “chronomodulated chemo” in the Times and maybe is a harbinger of a more inquisitive attitude towards innovative treatments. Sadly, she fails to mention that Keith Block, MD, of the Block Center in Evaston, IL, has been practicing “chronomodulated chemotherapy” for years. Like most exciting new developments in cancer treatment, this approach has been thoroughly neglected by the leaders of the war on cancer.

In 2009, however, there was finally a conference at the New York Academy of Sciences on the topic of circadian rhythm disruption and cancer. Block, in his role as editor-in-chief of Integrative Cancer Therapies, published the proceedings of that conference in December 2009 edition of that excellent journal. Judson seems unaware of this conference or this publication.

“Chrono” is just one of the promising ways that chemotherapy could be made more effective and humane. There are others, which the Times has yet to discover.

I will repeat here the suggestions I made after I came back from the NYAS conference in June:

1. Avoid shift work, if you possibly can. Shift workers have more cancer than those who work during daylight hours. It’s unnatural for the body to be up and about in the middle of the night.

2. Sleep in as dark a room as you can manage. I installed blackout shades in my bedroom and immediately experienced better sleep. I also shut all doors that would let in outside light.  (It’s dismaying how lit up the night is in most urban or suburban areas!) If necessary, use an opaque eye mask to block out light during the night.

3. Avoid blue or green nightlights, clock radios, etc. If you must have these devices, use red lights (since red light does not destroy your melatonin, which forms during the night).

4. If at all possible, do not expose yourself to light sources (by reading, watching TV, etc.) between the key hours of 2 am and 5 am. This is when you form most of your melatonin.

As soon as I greatly reduced light exposure during sleep I experienced several health benefits: I no longer have to get up often during the night and I awake more refreshed. I also have improved my general health and believe I have reduced my risk of cancer. That’s a lot of bang for the buck, especially for those who have in the past had difficulty sleeping. It’s worth trying before resorting to either natural sleep aids (such as melatonin supplements) or prescription drugs like Ambien (zolpidem), which can have serious side effects.

Source: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/enter-the-chronotherapists/

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