I’ve been in this town so long that back in the city
I’ve been taken for lost and gone
And unknown for a long long time
Heroes and Villains Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks
February 2014’s Scientific American contains a very interesting article called An Indirect Way to Tame Cancer, also featured on the cover as A New Way to Tame Cancer. Its authour, Rakesh K Jain, is “a professor of tumour biology, director of the Edwin L Steele Laboratory for Tumour Biology in the radiation oncology department of Massachusets General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine – one of only 20 people ever to have been elected to all three bodies.” (SciAm Feb 2014, p34)
Professor Jain writes that for forty years he’s been analysing cancer from an unusual angle, namely how a tumour’s structural mechanics help it survive, grow, protect it from our defences, and deflect the oncologist’s deadly chemical assaults in a way the rest of our body is sadly unable to. The unpalateable fact is that tumours have ways to survive chemical attacks that their human hosts lack; though both perish together, at the moment before death the former is flourishing better than ever.
Look at it this way: the tumour cell already figured out how to cope without enough oxygen by converting its machinery to make use of glucose, and knows the best way to survive in that state is to abandon whatever tasks it had in its previous incarnation as part of our body, and focus on staying alive. What makes us think a lumbering, static chemical is going to stop a group of several billion pirates all using the mind-boggling speeds of cellular machinery to design and assemble pumps which eject the poison and keep their ship afloat?
This is why people look for alternatives – because our heavy-handed chemical attacks on cancer simply don’t work. Your only hope is the immune system, the only thing those chemicals are succeeding in tearing to pieces. While it’s being savaged by this barrage of oncological napalm it puts defense of the body on hold, so patients frequently die of an infection a newborn baby would shrug off in its sleep. A patient, like me, is told that without chemo he will die in a certain number of months. But this assumes the patient conforms to the pattern observed by the oncologist – who only sees patients adopting chemo. He does not see the number who are completely unaware they even have a tumour, or those othes who muster their immune system and reinvigorate their cells.
In fact a 2008 Norwegian study took 100,000 women presenting with breast cancer and divided them into two groups. One group did nothing except report regularly about their health; the other had regular mammograms. After six years the 50,000 taking mammograms were found to have 22% more tumours than the group who did nothing. This means either that mammograms amplify tumours, or, that the immune is capable of digesting at least 22% of tumours on its own. Or perhaps both. So if that whole group were to boost their immune, remove toxic loads from chemicals and foods, and involve the mind (visualisation techniques strongly correlate with extended life expectancy) the percentage experiencing tumour reduction would unquestionably be far higher, perhaps even forming the vast majority.
Perhaps unbeknownst to Professor Jain, his research may have solved a seventy year old mystery in successful alternative therapy. Many people who dodge the draft into becoming cannon fodder for conventional medicine’s almighty war against tumours, and flee over the border to alternative therapies often find their cancers remain stable, and even shrink, after a brief period in which, inexplicably, they grow – maybe at last, we know why.
Jain’s insights into engineering enabled him to see that the solidity of the “matrix” (an extraordinarily dense tangle of collagen fibres and gel-type components forming part of the cancerous mass) creates a compressive force which can strangle blood vessels before they have a chance to deliver their toxic chemical payload to the actual tumour cells. The matrix can also trap the now drifting drug molecules, preventing them from being effective elsewhere, and cut off the oxygen supply to the tumour cells. But cancer cells don’t need much oxygen; just as they can eventually strangle their host, at a more intimate level they begin by strangling the bodily processes.
As mentioned elsewhere, exposing tumours to chemotherapy can practically be an act of suicide, tantamount to spinning a giant revolver barrel holding 98 bullets, plus only two empty chambers. The situation has stayed this way for longer even than the 40 years Professor Jain has been wondering how to increase the assault on the tumour, even though the tumour is only the final product of cancer’s long process within the body. So often, science focuses its brightest minds on a small area of expertise hoping to improve man’s lot, only to end up restricting damage caused by its efforts elsewhere. A specialist by definition never sees the big picture, and even if he could, his credibility is strictly limited to his own field; medicine comprises only of specialists. A tide which rises and falls but essentially stays in the same place has characterised cancer research, and people are only now starting to understand why.
It has been known since Nobel Prize winner Otto Warburg’s 1930’s investigation of the cell’s respiratory mechanism that depriving human cells of oxygen for long enough will turn them cancerous: that is, they ingeniously resort to glucose as an alternative source of energy and become undifferentiated, stepping back in evolutionary time. This wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t also dodge the body’s restraining systems and multiply unchecked. These sloppy dropouts create acidic waste which permeates their surroundings; hemoglobin doesn’t work properly in low pH environments so the regular influx of oxygen aboard its four marvellous sprung iron platforms can’t gradually return the area to normal.
As the American doctor Rigden Lentz explained to me two weeks ago while I was considering when best to attend his clinic near Salzberg, chemotherapy, which he was administered for two decades, can only affect the 15-20% of tumour cells duplicating at any one time. The remaining group, at least five times greater in number, use the exposure to come up with a formidable chemical-ejecting pump. Therefore, even repeated chemo sessions can never “get it all” and become ineffective when surviving cells develop machinery to eject the molecules, and shared the DNA of these pumps with their neighboring cells. Cancer cells 20 micron or less in diameter could form a mob of 125,000 in the space of a cubic millimetre. If the condition of the body, the milieu which spawned the tumour, is left unchanged it can be easily understood why these cells have a 100% chance of setting up shop elsewhere once the protective fence of the immune system is burnt down.
Notice that the frantic engineering within these cells does not result, as Darwin stipulated it must, from random mutations passed on to the progeny. This intellectual concept only arises as a rebuttal to the claim that every instance of life is born with intelligence, a dangerous position, for it implies the intelligence must have existed first, and therefore, in some other form. But thinking is changing, and as James Shapiro writes in Evolution, a View from the 21st Century, “Life requires cognition at all levels.” The random mutation theory means all progress proceeds only from errors, collecting on a massive scale. But the very concept of an error requires a law-bound, predictable system in whose context an error can be detected and labelled as such; the existence of such a cohesive environment is therefore undeniable.
If random mutations generated cell machinery then every possible creation would be emerging all the time, and our odds of beating the misshapen output would be astronomical. But the aim of the tumour cell, as in every cell, is to stay alive, and in evolutionary terms these creations must – and do – happen instantaneously: the tens of thousands of ribosomes get to work producing the pumps, the DNA is shared between cells, and before long the oncologists are softening the news once again and suggesting palliative care.
Last week I had the great pleasure to meet with two old friends in London, one of whom has been in the care of the best doctors in the land for nearly three years to deal with a very persistent form of skin cancer. Cancer is a town we find ourselves dwelling in through no choice of our own, and one of its few pleasures is forging bonds with neighbours who, also seeking escape, at once pool their map fragments with yours.
In fact I never met another cancer patient who held back even for a moment their true thoughts or stood aloof from friendship; they forget differences and overlook flaws; they never waste time. We compared my alternative experiments to his allopathic ones, sadly finding common ground only in losing those friends unable to bear the lingering presence of a spectre at their feast.
After a year of radiotherapy and two more of chemo he concluded that the specialists had eventually turned to experimenting, with hardly much progress to show for it. To deal with the chemicals’ toxic effects he had been put on a course of strong steroids with no warning that it would make him so aggressive and suspicious that his marriage would almost come to grief. In the end, so many different chemicals were being given at one time they were referred to by an acronym of five letters. He returned to smoking, defiantly declaring it less toxic than chemo. What was next? “I want to work again! I want to get back to my life!”
I asked about his pH level, and his reply surprised me: “What? I have no idea!” Despite three years of life and death consultations, nobody had mentioned one of the most vital tools in the cancer patient’s armoury, by far the easiest to measure, and perhaps even the biggest single culprit: the intra-cellular potential of hydrogen! Blood pH is kept constant partly via acidic deposits and alkaline withdrawals to and from the tissues.
Cancer follows the bankruptcy of the immune system, and the pH mechanism is one of the first accounts to be bled dry; the low pH measurement – equivalent to red ink all over the balance sheet – would be a telltale sign of looming catastrophe, if anyone cared to look. pH is usually very low in cancer patients and much higher in those with a healthy diet. Mine when diagnosed was about 5.5 and a year later, a more healthy 7.5, but was 8 for some weeks after I returned from California – 8 being 200 times greater than 5.5, and 7.5 being 100 times better, since each notch on the scale represents a increase of 10x.
As collagen formed the lattice which lent the matrix its solidity, Professor Jain’s idea was to use a drug which cut down collagen. After some false starts his search eventually bore fruit as he experimented on cancerous mice using losartan; losartan lowers blood pressure by inhibiting a hormone called angiotensin II, and impairs another molecule which stabilises collagen. This created the always elusive dose-dependent response (more dose, more response – a measurement often hidden by confounding elements like placebo responses and statistical error) cutting down the collagen around tumours and increasing the diffusion of 100 nanometer test particles, standing in for chemical molecules. To give you an idea of the forces involved, these particles are only 200-1,000 times the width of an atom, and you could put 10,000 of them side by side in a millimeter – though trying it was a waste of an afternoon – so anything restricting movement on this miraculously tiny scale is doing a very thorough security job indeed.
Jain hopes that research into this therapy will yield conclusions in about two years, and I can’t wait to see it. Nor could any patient afford to wait such an absurd period! But fortunately there is a quicker way – by a factor of around fifty times:
Many people with hypertension have benefited from following a DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It consists of a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts and is low in saturated fat, red meat, sweets and beverages containing sugar. The eating plan has been proven to lower blood pressure in just 14 days. A clinical study showed that reductions in blood pressure were about as large as what drug therapy can do for mild high blood pressure.
Specific foods that are helpful for lowering blood pressure are fish, garlic, onions, celery, mung bean, bladderwrack (a seaweed), maitake mushroom and pomegranate. In a clinical study, two ounces of pomegranate juice concentrate (equivalent to approximately 8 ounces juice) everyday for two weeks reduced high blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The effect was attributed to a reduction in angiotensin converting enzyme by 36 percent. It is this enzyme that is targeted by blood pressure medications known as ACE-inhibitors.
Here’s the fascinating part: Jain points out that the compressive force within a tumour is so strong that when cut in half, the two halves immediately swell up. This remarkable claim means a longstanding puzzle has now been solved, in a very surprising way: cancer patients who used Rene Caisse‘s herbal tea in North America (they included JFK’s personal physician, who attributed his cure to it, and would have included Eva Peron but for her dismissal of the idea) and those who adopt German doctor Joanna Budwig‘s diet both report tumour swelling before a healing period in which the tumours gradually receded or became inert. The explanation can only be that the matrix itself was somehow severed or degraded, releasing the compression, and enabling a convoy of various restorative elements to trundle through at last.
Caisse would inject her herbal mix directly into the site of tumours where possible, and the results could be dramatic. Injecting into a tumour on a patient’s tongue caused the tongue to swell almost immediately to double its size, much to everyone’s alarm; it was held in place by Caisse and an attending physician using a surgical appliance. The tongue soon reduced in size, and fluid oozed from the tumour site, something frequently reported by Caisse’s patients; the patient later made a full recovery.
In Joanna Budwig’s case, the staple of her diet is a mix of flax seed oil and quark, or cottage cheese, in a 1:2 ratio. Flax seed oil has the effect of thinning blood – part of the mechanism sought by Professor Jain. Budwig’s mix has the additional benefit – in fact the main one – of re-oxygenating the cells as it contains unsaturated fats which gradually restore the aerobic mechanisms damaged by a steady diet of saturated fats, their nutrition ruined by the needs of manufacturing, and ruinous to the cells. When such a diet is also highly acidic (colas and soft drinks have a catastrophic pH of 3) and filled with sugars, the body, its immune system already battling a cumulative load of carcinogens like fluoride, sodium laurel sulfate, parabens, mercury, aspartame, etc. and perhaps tipped into insolvency by some unforseen crisis of stress, now becomes a cancer factory.
Caisse’s formula is still marketed in various forms, though she was unable to continue her highly popular practice in Bracebridge Ontario, carried out without personal gain, despite thousands of signatures on a petition (which included the Prime Minister’s) because of strong opposition by the Canadian Medical Association. Their resistance followed their initial enthusiasm because of Caisse’s refusal to hand over the complex methodology established through years of practice unless they would be evaluated fairly and under her guidance, and if validated, administered at cost to cancer patients.
Budwig’s background was more scientific; she understood the mechanism of the pi electron clouds accompanying the fat molecules in flax seed oil:
“Naturally there is no miracle cure for cancer, however we will all recognise that people are involved. As long as a person lives, he must breathe, this you will agree with. Warburg determined that all tissue in the living organism, wherever a tumour can be formed, is characterised by the fact that it can no longer absorb oxygen.
I came to the awareness that the photo elements of life, the photons of the sun interacting with the electrons, built up in the essential vital seed oils are necessary for the absorption of oxygen. This is irrefutable.”
She also understood how to get her point across, and had the patience to deal with the embedded class of intellects in Germany which forbade new ideas from blossoming too quickly:
“Professor Heisenberg described how patricularly in Germany, the ossified rigid thought processes of the old school always refuse to fully embrace new things. They always want to force the new into their old thought processes. That does not work!
He writes, “Even the suppression of new knowledge cannot prevent the breakthrough, because the people, the public, even if they are not experts in quantum physics or medicine, they have a feel for where truth rules.”
Cancer, the Problem and Solution, Dr Joanna Budwig – presentation in Frankfurt, 23 September 1998 (Nexus GmbH)
One day the public will become educated enough about their own brain and body to recognise what is good and bad for it; they will know the heroes and villains on the supermarket shelves and their table. Maybe we will look back on the 20th Century and the early 21st as an catastrophic age ignorance and misguided research, and realise once and for all that a human being must never delegate its health, or the recovery of it, to a corporation concerned only with preserving its own. The UN released a 2013 report concluding small scale organic farming was the only practical way to feed the world, as large scale mechanised agriculture was not sustainable or healthy enough to provide any long term benefit to mankind.
While in California I met a wonderful fellow, a thoughtful, quietly spoken cancer patient who’d spent his life as a farmer. He said when Monsanto moved in with their patented non-renewable crops, the seed cleaners who worked at the end of each season to prepare seeds for the next were driven out of business. Farmers felt they had little choice but to sign up, and it was true that when things went well, the profits were large. But the water this man drank every day was from a deep well on his farm, which he realised now must surely have been contaminated by the extreme pesticides Monsanto’s genetically tampered crops demanded. He admitted “Some farmers held out from Monsanto,” adding quietly, “I wish now that I had, too.”
Mankind has paid a heavy price for the commercialisation of its food, but information is spreading so fast now and from so many different directions, that the writing is on the wall. And for once, it looks like good news!
Ive been in this town so long
So long to the city
I’m fit with the stuff
To ride in the rough
And sunny down snuff I’m alright..
By the heroes and villains
Heroes and Villains Wilson/Parks