A Pioneering Immune Therapy was Rejected by the U.S. Cancer Industry
July 19th, 2015 by Holly Cornish
Dr. Lawrence Burton wanted to make it quite clear. His Immuno-Augmentive Therapy (IAT) “is not by any means a cure for cancer.”
However, he continued, “cancer patients who have been treated with IAT…often respond with cessation of tumor growth… In many there is actual reversal.”
Dr. Burton is no longer with us. He died in 1993. But his immune-supporting therapy is still very much alive and available. Just don’t expect any conventional oncologist to offer it to you.
Here’s where you can get it, and what it might do for you. . .
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A tumor inhibiting factor is discovered
The story of IAT begins in the 1950s.
Dr Burton gained a PhD in experimental zoology in 1955 from New York University, later becoming a research associate there. He went on to take up the post of senior research oncologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York City.
In 1959 he and his research team at St Vincent’s discovered a tumor-inhibiting factor that could shrink or eliminate tumors in over 50% of a certain breed of leukemic mice. Mice that responded were reported to survive 131 days, compared to only 12 days in untreated mice.
The Burton team’s research was progressing well until they fell out with the cancer establishment as embodied by the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The SKCC people were keen to work with the St Vincent’s team but only on condition they sign written contracts.
When Dr. Burton and his people refused to accede to Sloan-Kettering’s demands, grants from several bodies were immediately terminated, and Dr Burton – who had previously been a keynote speaker at oncology conferences and had published more than 60 articles in medical journals – could no longer get his research accepted for publication.
His failure to team up with and sign over his work to the oracles of orthodoxy meant he was no longer considered part of mainstream cancer research.
This is a familiar story. Sloan-Kettering also suppressed research on laetrile, as proven by an eyewitness employee who blew the whistle on them.
Massive tumors disappear in hours
In 1965, the science editor for the American Cancer Society witnessed the Burton team’s experiments in mice with hard tumors. He was astonished by what he saw. He reported, “they injected the mice and the lumps went down before your eyes – something I never believed possible.”
The experiment was repeated the following year in front of 200 science writers and 70 scientists. Mice with mammary cancers were injected with the serum. Ninety minutes later, the tumors had almost vanished.
This made the front pages of newspapers around the world. The Los Angeles Examiner lead with the headline “Fifteen Minute Cancer Cure for Mice: Humans Next?”
David Cleary, science correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, wrote that the scientists “demonstrated before our very eyes that injection of a mysterious serum…caused the disappearance of massive tumors in mice within a few hours.”
The conservative medical community did not approve of this kind of coverage. They questioned the validity of the experiment and suggested it was all done by trickery.
Five top scientists were so enraged they organized a press conference. They intended to denounce Dr. Burton and his methods as fraud and quackery. However, at the eleventh hour they were persuaded by their colleagues to cancel it.
Later that year Dr. Burton and his associate Dr Friedman were invited by the New York Academy of Medicine to repeat the experiment.
This time, of sixteen mice with cancer on display, the gathered assembly of oncologists and pathologists chose which of them should be injected with the tumor inhibiting factors.
As an added safeguard to the charge of trickery, neither Dr. Burton nor Dr. Friedman administered the serum.
The result was the same as in the previous experiment. But their precautions made no difference, as yet again he was accused of faking the whole experiment.
Their work is ignored and human trials denied
In 1972, treatments at St Vincent’s were stopped on the grounds they were experimental, unproven and not appropriate for use in medical care.
A year later, with the help of wealthy backers, Dr. Burton opened the Immunology Research Foundation (IRF) to offer his therapy to cancer patients in Great Neck, New York.
In 1974, New York magazine published an article with the title “The Politics of Cancer – Why Won’t The Medical Establishment Pay Attention to These Two Men?”
An Ohio senator wrote to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to find out the answer. They responded that the research wasn’t new and had no chance of being effective, so there was little purpose in investigating further.
In a period of more relaxed attitudes to unorthodox approaches, it looked like human trials might be possible after Drs. Burton and Friedman submitted an application to the FDA for an Investigative New Drug permit in 1975.
It never happened.
According to the NCI, Dr. Burton never responded to the FDA’s request for information. Considering how persistent and determined Dr. Burton had been in pursuing his research up that point, you can judge for yourself whether this is plausible.
According to Dr. Burton, he responded to three requests, but this was followed up by three pages of further questions. He drew the conclusion that they were deliberately making life difficult and looking for any excuse not to proceed.
Having seen scientists struggle for research grants, I’m not sure if he was right about this, but in any case he decided to leave America. The IRF moved from New York to Freeport in the Bahamas in 1977.
In the years before he gave up on the American cancer industry — between 1974 and 1977 — his group was achieving impressive results. Of 186 patients treated at the Great Neck facility — 178 of whom were considered terminal — 30 (16%) experienced “miracle remissions – they exhibited no sign of cancer.” 80 (43%) saw tumor regression.
Tumor shrinkage is not a “cure,” as Dr. Burton suggested himself in the quote at the beginning of this article. But it’s generally considered a worthy goal and is believed to buy time for the patient, if nothing else.
How IAT works
The whole purpose of IAT is to strengthen the body’s immune system so it can fight the cancer.
The practitioner first evaluates the patient to see what deficiencies exist in his or her immune system and then replenishes the deficient factors.
IAT focuses on four blood proteins that Dr Burton was able to isolate.
- Tumor antibody factor or tumor necrosis factor (TNF). This attacks the tumor.
- Tumor complement factor. This stimulates the TNF antibody which would otherwise remain inactive
- Blocking protein. This inhibits the antibody. Blocking protein prevents a buildup of toxic waste from the destruction of the tumor and the risk of the body going into toxic shock.
- Deblocking protein. When the body deems it safe, the blocking protein is unblocked so that tumor destruction can begin again.
Dr. Burton’s work centered on cytokines. These are proteins that have cell signaling roles within the immune system. Some of these were later called TNF. He found that these kill the tumor at first but then stop working.
Dr. Burton theorized that, to avoid toxicity, something must block TNF from attacking the tumor — a blocking protein. He believed that if he could remove the blocking protein, TNF would be able to attack the cancer.
His analysis of over 3000 patients led him to conclude that cancer patients have a particular profile which involves too little deblocking protein and complement, and too much blocking protein.
To overcome this, every day a small amount of blood is taken from the patient to measure various immune factors. A series of blood plasma injections from donors are given throughout the day to balance the four proteins.
It is a subtle and carefully managed procedure that must avoid sidelining the body’s own immune response, as it is the body’s immune system that must attack the cancer.
The process has been shown to considerably extend the lives of many patients with advanced disease, and to give them an enhanced quality of life.
Burton was “ahead of his time”
Since Dr. Burton’s death, the IAT Clinic in the Bahamas has been run by Dr. John Clement. In an interview in 2004 he said:
“In my opinion we’re not really alternative – we were using cytokines before people even knew what a cytokine was. When [Burton] came along they just didn’t know what he was talking about.”
Top medical writer Dr. Ralph W. Moss agrees. In 1982 he wrote that Sloan-Kettering “displays no official interest in Burton’s techniques, while pursuing research projects which are strikingly similar…”
More recently he described Dr. Burton as “ahead of his time” as “famous scientists… elucidated these blocking or suppressor factors in more than 50 peer reviewed articles.”
However, according to the American Cancer Society, the existence of blocking and deblocking proteins has not been confirmed and IAT is an unproven treatment.
The ACS says, “IAT should not be confused with immunotherapy, a type of mainstream cancer treatment that uses cytokines….and other methods to boost the immune system’s attack on cancer cells.”
Today the clinic Dr. Burton founded in Freeport incorporates a number of other cancer treatments, but IAT still remains an important part of its therapeutic work.
Of particular interest is its success with mesothelioma – a cancer caused by asbestos. According to Dr. Clement, “We’ve had more success with this cancer than anywhere else in the world.”
Our team hasn’t visited this clinic, but I’m definitely intrigued and we plan to do so. . .
Meanwhile, our last issue described a home cancer treatment you can pick in your own yard. If you missed it, we’re rerunning the article below this.