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About Cancer Defeated!
Serial Killer T cells Go on
How a Doctor Reversed Her Husband's
New breakthrough improves memory… restores
If you've ever known anyone with Alzheimer's disease, you know how heart-breaking it can be. Not only does it destroy a person's mental abilities and dignity … but it wipes out the person's very personality, leaving behind a mere shell of a human being. The body is there for you to see, but the person you know and love no longer exists.
That's exactly what happened to my colleague Dr. Mary Newport and her husband Steve. As Mary describes it, "I was watching my husband of 36 years fade away."
In Mary's words, it was "Strange to have no short-term memory and yet the information was filed somewhere in his brain. I knew he was locked up in there somewhere, if only there was a key to open up the areas of his brain that he didn't have access to."
Little did Mary know that she would soon find that very key.
Sensational results from a single shot
It started with a highly unusual approach to cancer treatment. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center and Perelmen School of Medicine thought it would be a good idea to treat cancer patients with genetically engineered versions of the patients' own T cells.
The pilot study started with a group of only three patients. Each patient had advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and was essentially out of treatment options.
The protocol was to remove some T cells from each patient and then modify those same cells in the Penn vaccine production facility. Once removed, those T cells were reprogrammed to attack tumor cells.
After being reprogrammed, the modified T cells were infused back into each patient's body.
Three weeks after the infusion, all three patients tested in the study experienced a dramatic response to the treatment. Two of them went into complete remission. The third experienced at least a 70% reduction in cancerous cells.
The researchers were blown away with the results. Lead researcher Carl June, MD, even enthused, "It worked much better than we thought it would."
He went on to describe a 1000-fold increase in the number of modified T cells in each patient. "Drugs don't do that," said June. He also said each infused T cell led to the killing of thousands of tumor cells, destroying at least two pounds of tumor in each patient.
Treatment exceeds 'wildest expectations'
The T cell "reprogramming" was done with something called a lentivirus vector, which encodes an antibody-like protein (called a chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR), on the surface of the T cells. CAR is also designed to bind to a protein called CD19, which is important because it differentiates the good cells from the cancerous cells.
Once a T cell successfully expresses the CAR protein, it hunts down and kills other cells that express CD19. This includes CLL tumor cells along with normal B cells. All the other cells in a patient get ignored — important, because this means few side-effects.
That's impressive science right there. But even better than that, the research team also inserted a "signaling molecule" into the part of the CAR that exists inside the T cell. After binding to a CD19 protein and initiating cell death for the cancer, this signaling molecule tells the cell to make cytokines. In turn, these cytokines prompt other T cells to multiply. This generates new, good-guy T cells until all the cancer cells are destroyed.
Before this, the only real treatment option was a bone marrow transplant that has a 50 to 80 percent long-term success rate. As you can see from that statistic, this type of leukemia is fairly mild and treatable, even without this new T cell breakthrough. What's more exciting is that the T cell therapy may be applicable to other cancers.
It's interesting to note modified T cells have been used in previous trials, but with uninspiring results. The researchers involved in this trial describe the process as a "reawakening" of T cells that were suppressed by the leukemia. They also hope the treatment will stimulate something called "memory" T cells to provide protection against a relapse.
It's that self-perpetuating aspect of this treatment that is truly amazing. Unlike chemotherapy, which has to be given again and again (often to the detriment of the patient receiving it), this treatment will persist over time, dividing and killing tumors.
Bright future for gene transfer therapy
The researchers involved say this work essentially provides a roadmap for attacking tumors of other types of cancers, including lung cancer, ovarian cancer, myeloma, and melanoma. They'll start by moving forward with similar tests on other types of CD19-positive tumors, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and acute lymphocytic leukemia.
In addition, they've already come up with a CAR vector that binds to mesothelin, which is a protein found on the surface of ovarian, pancreatic, and mesothelioma cancer cells.
The findings of this study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine. It's big news on the cancer front because this is the first time researchers have successfully used gene transfer therapy to bring about an attack on cancerous tumors — and it's all thanks to this idea of "serial killer" T cells.
The research that almost didn't happen
The reason this treatment almost didn't happen was a lack of funding. The National Cancer Institute and multiple pharmaceutical companies all declined to pay for the research. Their reasons are unknown, but a good guess is probably that the concept was too innovative. Interesting, because if you think about it, this approach works with the body's natural defenses instead of dredging up yet another power-drug.
In the end, and thank goodness, philanthropic support came through. This included funds from the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
At some point, there will probably be a handoff to a pharmaceutical company, especially as larger trials get underway. Maybe some government funds will become available. In a better world, this discovery would be taken to market without Big Pharma's help, but that's probably too much to hope for. It will be interesting to see how much this costs when it finally reaches the public.
The other thing that tempers my enthusiasm a little bit is that the 5-year survival rate is reportedly 76 percent for CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the type that was treated in this study.) If that's true, then conventional medicine was already having a fair degree of success with this disease, and the new breakthrough may be less than it seems. For all types of leukemia, the 5-year survival rate is claimed to be over 50 percent.
Let's hope this new discovery improves those rates even more. And -- most important in my view — let's hope it works for other types of cancer.
We've been told by some alternative cancer doctors that they actually refer leukemia patients to conventional treatment centers because the chances of success are fairly good. Leukemia seems to be one of the rare types of cancer where conventional treatment is worth a go, especially if the patient has chronic leukemia, the mildest form of the disease.
In the meantime, this T cell treatment is one of the first major cancer breakthroughs that wasn't supported by a pharmaceutical company, that shows excellent results, and works WITH the immune system instead of destroying it.
As we wait for the wheels of Big Medicine to slowly grind away on this thing, there are great natural remedies available right now. Our last issue reported on one of the most exciting. If you missed it, scroll down and take a look now.
Ancient India's Answer to the
Plague of Modern-Day Stress
Reduces the number of cancer tumors by up to 92%!
Lions and tigers and bears were the stresses faced by our cave-person ancestors.
It's highly unlikely you'll have to fight those kinds of battles… yet your body responds as if that kind of attack is imminent, nearly all day, every day.
All around us are pressures that make us feel like we're in a fight to the death: traffic jams, grocery store lines, deadlines, the general lack of time, the never-ending pressure to do all the things we "should" do. Plus you can add the epidemic of environmental toxins, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise.
What toll does all this take on our health — and what's an EASY way to relieve some of it? Our research team at Cancer Defeated has turned up a remarkable herb that reduces the cellular damage caused by stress by as much as 80%! But we also found something far more exciting to this story: Recent animal studies show striking, drastic reductions in cancer. Keep reading. . .
Continued below. . .
Here's Where You Can Get the Full Range
Two of the most common requests I get are "Where can I find an alternative cancer doctor?" and "Where can I find a doctor who will give me this treatment that only doctors can do?" By the latter I mean treatments such as full-body hyperthermia, intravenous vitamin C or IV laetrile.
The answer is simple: Mexico. You can get most of the major alternative cancer treatments there, and it's completely legal. What's more, you can get them in safe, ultramodern facilities with top doctors who are recognized as the best all over the world.
There's something else: these clinics are perfectly safe, no matter what you hear on the news. The highly publicized violence does not affect these clinics one bit. I just attended a big annual conference on alternative cancer treatments, and once again, I heard abundant testimony from many people that there's no danger at all — not one bit.
So set aside whatever stereotypes you have about dirty, back-alley doctors' offices or doctors with mail order degrees. These are highly modern medical facilities that can compete with any I've seen in the United States. I was treated at one of them myself in March.
You can get details about the best clinics in our updated and expanded guide to Mexican cancer clinics called Adios, Cancer! (If you already purchased our Directory of the World's Greatest Alternative Cancer Clinics, all the information about Mexico is already in there, in addition to info about top European and American cancer clinics).
In my opinion, you need to know or at least consider the wonderful medical facilities in Adios, Cancer! if you have cancer now or you may ever get cancer. In other words, EVERYONE needs to know this information. So click here and learn more about this wonderful Special Report.
The High Price Chronic Stress Exacts on Your Health
It makes sense to slow down for a moment and listen to your body. Some of the ways it speaks of sky-high stress include:
And then there's reduced happiness, poorer quality of life, depression, anxiety, memory loss, skin imbalances, reproductive problems, decreased sexual desire, and more.
Do you see yourself here? Then read on — because there's an ancient answer for this modern plague.
And it not only helps reduce stress, but shows hope as an anticancer agent, protects brain health, and more.
Ancient eastern herb comes to the rescue
of overstressed modern folks
Stress depletes your body of critical nutrients, and increases oxidative stress, i.e. free radical damage. But this ancient herb is capable of reversing the damage and relieving your stress.
It grows naturally in North America and Africa — but it's most commonly associated with the Ayurvedic traditions of the east. Ayurveda is an ancient philosophy and application of natural health well-known in India.
One of the cornerstones of Ayurveda is an herb made from the roots of the Withania somnifera plant (also known as India winter cherry), called ashwagandha. It's been used for centuries to treat a host of health conditions.
This exotic herb is an adaptogen, which means it helps your body deal with stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue.
Stress Reduction 101
Ashwagandha is a potent antioxidant. Chronic nervous system tension causes premature aging, increases lipid (fat) peroxidation, and decreases your stores of critical antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase.
Studies show ashwagandha can help deactivate much of your chronic stress buildup.
For example, when ashwagandha extract was given one hour before a daily stress-inducing procedure, it neutralized free radical damage.1
One animal study shows how potent ashwagandha is at reducing tension and stress on your nervous system. In animals exposed to chronic stress, 85% of their cells showed signs of chronic degeneration. But when ashwagandha was administered, the number of damaged cells fell by a whopping 80%.2
The largest human clinical trial to date showed impressive results too. Participants reported a number of measurable improvements — including increased energy, reduced fatigue, better sleep, and an enhanced sense of well-being. Also, strikingly, ashwagandha led to a 26% reduction of cortisol — a stress hormone.
What's more, participants in the study saw a fall in fasting blood sugar levels and improved blood lipid levels.3 This herb packs quite a few benefits into one pill.
Ashwagandha was even shown to be equivalent to leading name brand anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications — but without the terrible side effects.4
Scientists believe that premature aging linked to chronic stress is also linked to free radical damage. Ashwagandha seems to reverse this oxidative stress. Some scientists suggest using it as an anti-stress therapy, clinically.
A University of Texas Health Science Center study also examined its anti-stress benefits, and found that it exhibited activity similar to GABA, which may explain why it is so effective in reducing anxiety. (GABA is your brain's major inhibitory neurotransmitter, which puts the brakes on your anxiety.)
You might guess that if ashwagandha can slow you down, reduce your stress and put an end to chronic nervous tension, it may also play a role in your risk of coming down with chronic diseases like cancer. It's a good guess...
Killing cancer cells
Exciting recent evidence suggests that ashwagandha has the potential to stop cancer cells in their tracks.
Scientists in India recently concluded that it disrupts cancer cells' ability to reproduce — an all-important part of fighting cancer.5
A recent study showed ashwagandha could inhibit the growth of human breast, lung, and colon cells in the lab. And at a level comparable to that achieved by the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin. In fact, for breast and colon cancer, the specific compound withaferin A from ashwagandha was more effective than doxorubicin.6
Ashwagandha has been shown to disrupt cancer cells' ability to reproduce, by inhibiting their ability to form new blood vessels which support tumor growth.
What's more, animals with lymphatic cancer, when fed ashwagandha, saw a marked increase in life span and an overall decrease in tumor weight.7
There's more: Preliminary studies show that the leaf extract of ashwagandha can decrease cancer cells without adversely affecting healthy ones.8
Another study looked at stomach cancer in lab animals. With orally administered ashwagandha, tumor incidence was cut by 60% and the number of tumors by a staggering 92%. Correspondingly, in skin cancer tumor incidence was cut by 45% and the number of tumors was cut by 71%.9
Other studies confirm those skin cancer findings.10
Looked at from a different angle… a well-known side effect of conventional chemotherapy is neutropenia, a sharp increase in the risk of infection, caused by a drastic drop in white blood cells. An animal study showed that oral ashwahandha protected against neutropenia, suggesting it may be a viable adjunctive therapy.11
from aging, brain fog and worse
Ashwagandha's reach extends beyond stress and cancer. It is also celebrated for its anti-aging and brain protective effects.
For years, Indian healers have suggested ashwagandha as a remedy for memory loss and other degenerative brain diseases.
Scientists from the University of Leipzig have confirmed this. They examined its effects on the brain, by dosing rats with it and seeing what it did to their neurotransmitters. Turns out it led to more brain activity — the kind that accounts for ashwagandha's reputation for increasing cognitive ability and memory. Other studies have come to the same conclusions.
So it should come as no surprise that it's also useful for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's.
Some of its impact as an anti-aging tonic may link back to its anti-stress effect. Reducing your stress can slow down the pace at which you're wearing out your body and cells.
More exciting breakthroughs to come…
As with many herbs, ashwagandha is not specific to one organ or body system and therefore is helpful for multiple health conditions.
More research is underway for ashwagandha's efficacy for:
I expect these studies will turn up a great deal of new information. It's probable we've just begun to learn the benefits of this herb.
One caveat that our research turned up… Please consult your doctor if you have thyroid disease and are considering using ashwagandha because of concerns with how it affects your thyroid. The herb is also not recommended for pregnant women because it reportedly can cause miscarriage.
Otherwise, ashwagandha appears to be a safe way to reduce stress in your life — at the very least — and you may reap other benefits as well. It's readily available online from a number of reputable sources. Full disclosure: I haven't tried it myself. My procedure with any new supplement or remedy is to start gradually and be alert to any changes in my digestion, sleep habits, energy level or other symptoms.
Alternative medicine boosters love to tell you that all natural remedies are perfectly and safe and have no side effects. Tain't so. Proceed with caution and common sense.
1Bhattacharya A, Ghosal S, Bhattacharya SK. Antioxidant effect of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides in chronic footshock stress-induced perturbations of oxidative free radical scavenging enzymes and lipid peroxidation in rat frontal cortex and striatum. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Jan;74(1):1-6.
2Jain S, Shukla SD, Sharma K, Bhatnagar M. Neuroprotective effects of Withania somnifera Dunn. in hippocampal sub-regions of female albino rat. Phytother Res. 2001 Sep;15(6):544-8.
3Unpublished study, 2005. NutrGenesis, LLC.
4Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study. Phytomedicine. 2000 Dec;7(6):463-9.
5Mathur R, Gupta SK, Singh N, et al. Evaluation of the effect of Withania somnifera root extracts on cell cycle and angiogenesis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Jan 9.
6Jayaprakasam B, Zhang Y, Seeram NP, Nair MG. Growth inhibition of human tumor cell lines by withanolides from Withania somnifera leaves. Life Sci. 2003 Nov 21;74(1):125-32
9Padmavathi B, Rath PC, Rao AR, Singh RP. Roots of Withania somnifera inhibit forestomach and skin carcinogenesis in mice. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Mar;2(1):99-105.
10Mathur S, Kaur P, Sharma M, et al. The treatment of skin carcinoma, induced by UV B radiation, using 1-oxo-5beta, 6beta-epoxy-witha-2-enolide, isolated from the roots of Withania somnifera, in a rat model. Phytomedicine. 2004 Jul;11(5):452-60.
11Gupta YK, Sharma SS, Rai K, Katiyar CK. Reversal of paclitaxel induced neutropenia by Withania somnifera in mice. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001 Apr;45(2):253-7.
"Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Modified T Cells in Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia," David L. Porter, M.D., Bruce L. Levine, Ph.D., Michael Kalos, Ph.D., Adam Bagg, M.D., and Carl H. June, M.D. N Engl J Med 2011; 365:725-733August 25, 2011 http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1103849
"Genetically Modified "Serial Killer" T Cells Obliterate Tumors in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Penn Researchers Report." News release. http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2011/08/t-cells/
"Leukemia Treatment Virtually Eradicates Cancer, Kills 'Pounds' Of Cancerous Cells." By Dean Praetorius, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/10/leukemia-shot-kills-cancer_n_923700.html
New leukemia treatment exceeds 'wildest expectations' http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44090512/ns/health-cancer/?GT1=43001#.TrIG5LLy8_4
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