More Evidence that Chemo
Makes Cancer Worse
February 2nd, 2014 by Holly Cornish
What if the very thing the big-money-medical system developed to stop cancer is actually the thing that fuels its growth?
It’s mind-boggling but true: New bombshell evidence from the prestigious science journal Nature Medicine in the U.K. shows that chemotherapy is not just ineffective, but very likely causes cancer cells to grow and spread. This news is a catastrophe for cancer patients who rely on conventional treatments…
Three strikes against it,
Why isn’t chemo out?
Here’s what we know for sure about chemo: Its goal is to kill cancer cells, but it can’t do that without traumatizing normal, healthy cells. That’s why chemo is so hard on the body—it damages the good along with the bad.
Unlike local treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy that act only in one area of the body, chemotherapy is typically a systemic treatment because it travels throughout the body to reach cancer cells wherever they’re located.
Efficacy rates for chemo aren’t that impressive, but side effects are practically guaranteed, numerous, and severe. They range from nausea and other gastrointestinal issues to severe loss of appetite, hair loss, fever, infertility, heart and kidney problems, nerve damage, lung tissue damage, and death. Some chemotherapy drugs actually list “death” as a side effect.
Over a hundred different chemotherapy drugs and drug combinations are used to treat cancer, backed by a drug industry that pulls in billions of dollars a year.
According to Medical Alerts put out by the Johns Hopkins Medical System, one in five cancer patients under 65 years of age delay treatment because of the high cost (65 being the magic age when you qualify for Medicare).
Given the high cost and the serious side effects, chemotherapy is far from ideal. It might be worth it if the success rates were more impressive, but they aren’t – especially for late-stage cancer.
But now this? The possibility that chemotherapy not only doesn’t work well … but actually grows cancer cells? It’s a wonder anybody still bothers with it.
Why chemo promotes cancer growth
and resistance to therapy
Here’s what the study in Nature Medicine says: Once started, chemotherapy makes it harder to stamp out cancer than it would have been if you’d never begun treatment at all.
Up till now, most folks thought chemotherapy drugs were supposed to damage quickly-dividing cancer cells so those cells stop dividing and taking over the patient’s body. And it’s well known that, as part of the chemo process, healthy cells also get damaged. But because healthy cells divide less frequently than do cancer cells, they are thought to suffer less damage.
But here’s where it gets interesting. According to this study, the healthy cells that are damaged often include a type of cell called a fibroblast. Once damaged, the fibroblasts then begins to play a significant role in promoting cancer growth in the area around the tumor, the tumor’s microenvironment.
The damaged fibroblasts do this by ramping up their transcription of RNA coding for the protein WNT16B by up to 64-fold. This particular protein is a signaling molecule. Oddly enough, this signaling molecule plays a role in the development of cancer (also called oncogenesis).
So when healthy cells produce WNT16B and release it into extracellular fluid, it has a strange effect on the tumor microenvironment. You can think of the microenvironment as the tumor’s neighborhood. The WNT16B proteins “activate” the Wnt signaling pathway. In turn, this promotes cell growth for any cancer cells in the area. So those cancer cells grow and flourish, and they do it with a renewed resistance to chemo.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle in conjunction with several other research centers. They found this elevation of WNT16B transcriptions in the stroma (supportive tissue) of prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers that were treated with chemotherapy.
When these same researchers examined prostate cancer patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (treatment given before primary therapy), they found higher post-therapy levels of WNT16B in the tumor microenvironment. In turn, these patients showed an increased chance of cancer relapse.
So chemo doesn’t work… “let’s keep trying it!”
At a minimum, these tests underscore the fact that substances released into the tumor environment by nonmalignant cells have the power to influence cancer growth. They can also affect cancer invasiveness and response to chemotherapy. This helps explain why it’s a nearly universal problem that patients with solid tumors, especially those tumors that have spread throughout the body, become totally resistant to chemo.
What’s even more annoying is that some scientists interpret this study as a way to understand cancer drug resistance and solve it. Rather than seeing chemotherapy as an ultimate failure, they look at its cancer-promoting properties as problem to be solved on the way to making it work.
Specifically, they want to find a way to block the work of those fibroblasts that crank out the WNT16B protein.
Scientists behind the therapies claim that the real problem with chemotherapy is that the necessary dose to wipe out cancer is lethal to the patient. They claim to be able to “cure” just about any kind of cancer in a petri dish, but can’t replicate those results in humans because the lethal doses required kill a patient’s healthy cells and, if pushed far enough, the patient. Scientists keep looking for a way around this by strategizing more ways to target specific cells with chemo.
Underscores the value of proven
natural treatments, don’t you think?
Here’s the thing. People are not petri dishes full of cancer cell cultures. They’re composed mostly of healthy cells (one hopes). Chemotherapy merely sets up a race to see if all a patient’s cancer cells can be killed off before the patient dies of the collateral damage to his healthy cells. Quite a few patients lose the race. And nearly ALL late-stage patients lose the race.
Conventional scientists, mostly funded by drug companies, put much of their energy into figuring out chemo resistant cancer cells instead of working with compounds that have proven themselves against cancer and are harmless toward normal cells.
They also put a great of their energy into researching “targeted” drug therapies that interrupt cancer at the molecular level. Such drugs, if successful, WOULD kill only cancer cells while doing no harm to healthy cells. It sounds like a great idea, and Big Science puts out a steady stream of press releases about progress on this front.
Unfortunately, this strategy is also doomed to failure, because cancer cells mutate very rapidly and adapt quickly to almost any targeted drug. The cancer cells we’re fighting now aren’t the same as the cancer cells we were fighting ten years ago. And as far as that goes, the cancer cells a cancer patient is fighting in his last days of life aren’t the same as those he or she was fighting when first diagnosed. That’s how fast cancer cells change.
For these reasons, most of the billions of dollars spent on cancer research are wasted. The entire thrust of their efforts is misguided and hopelessly off the mark.
Imagine if even ten percent of that money was used to explore the many herbs and alternative treatments we already know hold promise.
In our last issue, we had important news for people who think they’re safe from lung cancer because they’ve never smoked. If you missed this surprising article, you can read it below.
So You Thought Only
Smokers Get Lung Cancer
If you thought only smokers get lung cancer, think again. It’s true that smoking accounts for nearly nine out of ten cases of lung cancer. But quite a few non-smokers get it as well.
If almost all lung cancer cases are smoking-related, how can it be that it’s still a scary threat to us non-smokers, too? The reason is simple. . .
Overall, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It kills more people each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer combined. So many people die of lung cancer, the roughly 13% who didn’t smoke still adds up to a lot of people.
Something like 14,000 non-smokers die of lung cancer each year, while fewer than 10,000 die of melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer that people worry about so much – the one for which they run public service announcements warning us to stay out of the sun.
Aside from smoking, lung cancer gets no such publicity. The authorities who concoct these annoying ad campaigns give no thought to a non-smoker’s risk of cancer. Yet the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is terrible. This is one you DON’T want to get.
For those of you who don’t read all the way to end of these articles (I know you’re out there) let me get right to the ways a non-smoker can get lung cancer. . .
Know if you’re at risk…
ACS says your family history may predispose you to lung cancer—especially if you have an immediate family member who has or had lung cancer.
Certain lifestyle or environmental factors may also increase your risk of developing the disease. The list includes:
- Secondhand smoke: Exposure to smoke at home or work may significantly increase your risk
- Exposure to asbestos or other pollutants: Carcinogenic chemicals in the workplace increase lung cancer risk, especially if you smoke
- Exposure to radon: This colorless, odorless radioactive gas is found in some houses and is a leading cause of lung cancer
Radon is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. So have your house checked out to make sure it’s not contaminated with this substance. You can see a full discussion of radon in Issue #117.
And by the way,
how bad is smoking anyway?
Smoking increases your risk of lung cancer every bit a much as they say. Overall, lung cancer strikes one American out of 13 in the course of a lifetime. But for male smokers, the lifetime risk leaps to about one out of six, and for female smokers to more than one out of ten (11.6 percent, to be exact).
But wait, it gets worse if you’re a heavy smoker (defined as smoking more than five cigarettes a day). Nearly one out of four male heavy smokers can expect to get lung cancer, and around one out of five (18.5%) of female heavy smokers.
Looked at another way, all male smokers, “light” and “heavy smokers” averaged together, have 13 times the risk of getting lung cancer that a male non-smoker faces.
Just in case you’re a smoker and figuring you’ll fall into the lucky 75 to 80 percent who don’t get lung cancer, let me throw a little cold water on that. Smoking is also implicated in heart disease, mouth and throat cancer, bladder cancer – in fact, it increases the risk of a whole list of deadly diseases. It’s a suicidal habit.
It breaks my heart to see a young person smoking on the street. What on earth are they thinking?
Hard to find early
Lung cancer got to the top of the death charts, in part, because it has a stealthy way of eluding detection in the early stages.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), most lung cancers don’t cause ANY symptoms until they’ve spread too far to be cured.
The ACS says you should also be alert for the following common symptoms:
- A cough that does not go away or gets worse
- Chest pain that worsens with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or weak
- Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
- New onset of wheezing
Because many of these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than lung cancer—it’s best to see your doctor right away so the exact cause can be determined.
Breathe in. . .breathe out. . .
find out if you’ve got lung cancer
Someday, your doctor will have a better way to find this deadly disease early: A simple breath test will be at his disposal that will give you a quick and accurate diagnosis.
This promising new development in cancer screening comes to us courtesy of researchers at the Respiratory Institute at the famous Cleveland Clinic.
According to Peter J. Mazzone, MD, FCCP, director of the lung cancer program and lead researcher, tumor growth causes cancer cells to release a special chemical. Using a breath test to detect the presence of this chemical could indicate that a patient has lung cancer.
Dr. Mazzone told Science Daily that the Cleveland Clinic researchers compared 82 patients with untreated lung cancer with a control group of 155 people who were considered at risk for lung cancer or who had benign lung nodules.
The researchers asked these patients to breathe normally while they used a chemical sensor called a colorimetric sensor array to analyze their breath.
The colors on this sensor are designed to change when exposed to various chemicals. If the patients’ breath contained chemical markers for lung cancer, the array would show that in a pattern of color changes.
The colorimetric sensor array continually monitored the chemicals that the patients exhaled. This produced sensor changes that accurately distinguished the breath of people with lung cancer from the control group.
The findings suggest that this type of breath test could be an effective early test for lung cancer.
Good science or hocus pocus?
Before you decide that cancer detection from a breath test is mere nonsense, consider this…
Dogs have an amazing sense of smell that’s about 100,000 times more sensitive than ours.
You’ve seen our canine friends used to sniff out everything from drugs at an airport to underground gas pipes.
By the same token, their amazing sniff sense can also detect diseases such as cancer, diabetes and epilepsy.
By just smelling a patient’s urine, they can sniff out bladder cancer. And smelling your breath can help them detect early and late lung and breast cancer.
Essentially, CANCER STINKS and dogs can smell it!
This is because your breath contains chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
In a press statement, Dr. Mazzone explained, “Our cells use energy, just like a car burns fuel. Just as you get exhaust from a car’s engine, cells produce exhaust from their chemical processes.”
Your lungs produce the bulk of that ‘exhaust.’ So Dr. Mazzone’s team has devised a test that is as sensitive to these chemicals as a dog’s sense of smell would be.
Other diseases have distinct smells too
A Natural News article summarized many expert opinions on the health benefits of colostrum, including the following recommendations:
- Doctors use breath signatures from heart-transplant patients to detect alkanes. These chemicals indicate that your immune system is rejecting the organ and that heart cells are experiencing oxidative damage that forces them to degrade fatty acids.
- Anesthesiologists use carbon dioxide tests to ensure they are placing breathing tubes down the right airway.
- Doctors test for nitric oxide in breath to determine whether asthma patients are responding to their medications
Given these current uses of breath tests for disease detection—you can see why a cancer breath test might not be so farfetched! I hope the inventors can bring it to market soon.
Lee Euler, Publisher
References (1st article):
“Hutch leads charge that uncovers chemo resistance.” News and Publications: Annual Report 2013: Ending Cancer Together: Retrieved 27 December 2013. http://www.fhcrc.org/en/news/annual-report/hutch-leads-charge-that-uncovers-chemo-resistance.html
“Cancer Balloon Punctured!” by Prof Dr. BM Hegde, MoneyLife: 13 November 2013. http://www.moneylife.in/article/is-cancer-therapy-really-effective/35248.html
“Chemo potentiates tumor resistance to chemotherapy?” by Ezana: Anthrogenica: Health and Fitness. 7 August 2012. http://www.anthrogenica.com/archive/index.php/t-63.html
“Exposing the Roots of Chemotherapy Resistance.” GEN News: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. Retrieved 6 August 2012. http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/exposing-the-roots-of-chemotherapy-resistance/81247144/
“Non-invasive analysis of acquired resistance to cancer therapy by sequencing of plasma DNA.” By M. Murtaza, et al. Nature. 2013 May 2;497(7447):108-12. 2013 Apr 7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23563269
“Researchers discover new mechanism behind resistance to cancer treatment that could lead to better therapies.” News Release: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: 5 August 2012. http://www.fhcrc.org/en/news/releases/2012/08/researchers-discover-new-mechanism-behind-
“The Disadvantages of Chemotherapy.” By Rae Uddin, LiveStrong.com, 24 October 2013. http://www.livestrong.com/article/71774-disadvantages-chemotherapy/
“Treatment-induced damage to the tumor microenvironment promotes prostate cancer therapy resistance through WNT16B.” By Yu Sun, et al. Nature Medicine: 18, 1359–1368 (2012) 05 August 2012. http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nm.2890.html
“Treatment-induced damage to the tumor microenvironment promotes prostate cancer therapy resistance through WNT16B.” By Y. Sun, et at. Nature Medicine: 2012 Sep;18(9):1359-68. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22863786
“What is chemotherapy?” American Cancer Society: Chemotherapy Principles, Retrieved 27 December 2013. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy