“The majority of the cancer patients in this country die because of chemotherapy, which does not cure breast, colon or lung cancer. This has been documented for over a decade and nevertheless doctors still utilize chemotherapy to fight these tumors.”
(Allen Levin, MD, UCSF, “The Healing of Cancer”, Marcus Books, 1990)
“Many oncologists recommend chemotherapy for almost any type of cancer, with a faith that is unshaken by the almost constant failures”. (Albert Braverman, MD, “Medical Oncology in the 90s”, Lancet, 1991, Vol. 337, p. 901)
“Chemotherapy is basically ineffective in the vast of majority of cases in which it is given.” (Dr Ralph Moss)
“Cancer researchers, medical journals, and the popular media all have contributed to a situation in which many people with common malignancies are being treated with drugs not known to be effective.” (Dr. Martin Shapiro UCLA)
“Despite widespread use of chemotherapies, breast cancer mortality has not changed in the last 70 years.” (Thomas Dao, MD NEJM Mar 1975 292 p 707)
“After all, and for the overwhelming majority of the cases, there is no proof whatsoever that chemotherapy prolongs survival expectations. And this is the great lie about this therapy, that there is a correlation between the reduction of cancer and the extension of the life of the patient.” (Philip Day, “Cancer: Why we’re still dying to know the truth”, Credence Publications, 2000)
Dr. Tim O’Shea http://www.cancer-healing.com/cancer_oshea.php
Most researchers, including Nobel prize winner Sir MacFarlane Burnet, feel that in the normal body hundreds of cancer cells appear every day. These mutating cells are simply destroyed by the normal immune system and never cause a problem. Cancer only proliferates when a failing immune system begins to allow abnormal cells to slip by without triggering an attack on them. That’s how you got cancer.
So looking at it this way, a tumor is a symptom, not a problem. A symptom of a failing immune system. Cancer is a general condition that localizes rather than a local condition which generalizes.
Most cancers are not found until autopsy. That’s because they never caused any symptoms. For example 30 – 40 times as many cases of thyroid, pancreatic, and prostate cancer are found in autopsy than ever presented to the doctor. According to a study cited in top British medical journal Lancet 13 Feb 93, early screening often leads to unnecessary treatment: 33% of autopsies show prostate cancer but only 1% die from it.
After age 75, half of males may have prostate cancer, but only 2% die from it. This means simply that the immune system can hold many problems in check, as long as it is not compromised by powerful procedures. Guess which system is the most important to you at this time, more than it’s ever been before in your whole life. Right – the immune system. Guess which system suffers most from chemotherapy and radiation. Right again. So the one time in your life you most need it, your immune system will be weakened by those therapies. If you’re one of the few cancer patients who’s refused standard treatment from the get-go – good, but your immune system still needs all the help you can give it.
A 1992 study in Journal of the American Medical Association of 223 patients concluded that no treatment at all for prostate cancer actually was better than any standard chemotherapy, radiation or surgical procedure. (Johansson)
We’re constantly being hit with media stories about “progress” in the war on cancer and new “breakthrough” drugs and procedures being “right around the corner.” The military rhetoric hasn’t changed since 1971. Is it true that we’re winning the war against cancer like they’re always telling us?
From the U.S. government’s own statistical abstracts we find the real story:
|Mortality from Cancer in the U.S.|
|source: Vital Statistics of the United States, vol.II 1967-1992|
1992 is the last year for which data is currently available from Vital Statistics. There is nothing to indicate that there should be any downturn between 1992 and the present. In fact, independent analysis by the CA Journal for Cancer Clinicians, Jan 97, put the 1993 death rate at 220 per 100,000. Does that sound like progress?
Why does nobody know this? Bet you never saw this chart before.
Numbers can be twisted and made to do tricks. This chart is the raw data, not age adjusted or divided by race, or type of cancer. Anyone can dig this information up by going to any library reference section. But try finding a medical reference or journal article or a URL that uses this chart. Try finding a newspaper or magazine article in the last 15 years that uses the raw data. And this data says one thing: more people are dying of cancer now per capita than ever before, and nothing is slowing the increase. Not early detection, not better screenings, not new high tech machines, not radiation, not surgery, and definitely not chemotherapy.
Backtracking a little, in 1900 cancer was practically unheard of in this country. By 1950, there were about 150 cases of cancer per 100,000 population. In 1971, Nixon introduced the War on Cancer, opening the floodgates of massive research funding backed by the government. This situation escalated until by the 1980s, over $50 billion per year was being spent to “find the cure.” And yet we have the plain data in the chart above. What is going on?
THE BUSINESS OF CANCER
Industry. Politics. Big money. Health care. Buying and selling. You know – life. More people living off cancer than ever died from it, and that’s saying quite a lot since by the 1990s the amount spent for cancer research and treatment had jumped to $80 billion annually. But by this time more than 500,000 deaths per year in the U.S. were attributable to cancer, now second only to heart disease on the list of killer diseases. All this money has not improved the overall chances of survival from cancer even slightly.
Many cancer patients feel they’re just a mark, a number, an insurance account. The goal of every visit seems to be running up the bill, not improving their overall health.
The American Cancer Society, for example, collects upwards of $400 million per year. Very little of this money ever finds its way to research. The majority of the money goes into investments and towards administration – lavish salaries and perqs for the Society’s officers and employees. A funny thing is that written into the charter of the American Cancer Society is the clause that states that if a cure for cancer is ever found, on that day, the Society will disband. (The Cancer Industry) So think about it – is this an organization that is going to be motivated to find a cure for cancer?
This is the underlying reality, but what do we hear on the surface, coming at us every day from the scripted “reporting” of TV and news publications, or from the lips of the oncologists making their reassuring pronouncements on the outlook for our loved ones’ chances of survival? We’re “making progress.” “Early detection” is giving us a much better chance of “getting it all” by means of immediate surgery or by chemotherapy and radiation. Then after surgery they tell us we need to do chemo to put “the icing on the cake.” Frightened to death, and having nowhere else to turn, people have bought this company line for years and years. As a result, they have been dying on schedule. But then, why would people be told the truth? The goal of big money is big money. Finding a cure? Why on earth would anyone want to do that?
But there’s a limit to everything, even with the stranglehold on information that is permitted to reach the purview of the general public. More and more of us have watched our parents or our friends die wretched deaths, as all the ‘big guns’ were pompously wheeled out, with the hospital happily billing the insurance until coverage runs out. And some of us are saying Wait a minute, this isn’t about money – this is about my life. And people are deciding to take their chances without standard slash-and-burn protocols, either by just staying home and doing nothing, or else by experimentation with alternative therapies, which have always been there all these years, just below the surface.
CHEMOTHERAPY: AN UNPROVEN PROCEDURE
How can that be true of the main cancer treatment in the U.S.? Fact is, no solid scientific studies or clinical trials prove chemotherapy’s effectiveness, except in a small percentage of very rare types of cancer. For solid tumors of adults, the vast majority of cancer, or anything that has metastasized, chemotherapy just doesn’t work.
A German epidemiologist from the Heidelberg/Mannheim Tumor Clinic, Dr. Ulrich Abel has done a comprehensive review and analysis of every major study and clinical trial of chemotherapy ever done. His conclusions should be read by anyone who is about to embark on the Chemo Express. To make sure he had reviewed everything ever published on chemotherapy, Abel sent letters to over 350 medical centers around the world asking them to send him anything they had published on the subject. Abel researched thousands of articles: it is unlikely that anyone in the world knows more about chemotherapy than he.
The analysis took him several years, but the results are astounding: Abel found that the overall worldwide success rate of chemotherapy was “appalling” because there was simply no scientific evidence available anywhere that chemotherapy can “extend in any appreciable way the lives of patients suffering from the most common organic cancers.” Abel emphasizes that chemotherapy rarely can improve the quality of life. He describes chemotherapy as “a scientific wasteland” and states that at least 80 percent of chemotherapy administered throughout the world is worthless, and is akin to the “emperor’s new clothes” – neither doctor nor patient is willing to give up on chemotherapy even though there is no scientific evidence that it works! – Lancet 10 Aug 91 No mainstream media even mentioned this comprehensive study: it was totally buried.
Similar are the conclusions of most medical researchers who actually try to work their way past all the smoke and mirrors to get to the real statistics. In evaluating a therapeutic regimen, the only thing that really matters is death rate – will a treatment significantly extend a patient’s life. I’m not talking about life as a vegetable, but the natural healthy independent lifespan of a human being.
Media stories and most articles in medical journals go to great lengths to hide the underlying numbers of people dying from cancer, by talking about other issues. In Questioning Chemotherapy, Dr. Ralph Moss talks about several of the ways they do it:
Response rate is a favorite. If a dying patient’s condition changes even for a week or a month, especially if the tumor shrinks temporarily, the patient is listed as having “responded to” chemotherapy. No joke! The fact that the tumor comes back stronger soon after chemo is stopped, is not figured into the equation. The fact that the patient has to endure horrific side effects in order to temporarily shrink the tumor is not considered. That fact that the patient soon dies is not figured into the equation. The idea is to sell, sell, and sell. Sell chemotherapy.
Also in the media we find the loud successes chemotherapy has had on certain rare types of cancer, like childhood leukemia, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But for the vast majority of cancer cases, chemo is a bust. Worse yet, a toxic one.
Even with Hodgkins, one of chemo’s much-trumpeted triumphs, the cure is frequently a success, but the patient dies. He just doesn’t die of Hodgkins disease, that’s all. In the 1994 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, they published a 47-year study of more than 10,000 patients with Hodgkins lymphoma, who were treated with chemotherapy. Even though there was success with the Hodgkins itself, these patients encountered an incidence of leukemia that was six times the normal rate. This is a very common type of reported success within the cancer industry – again, the life of the patient is not taken into account.
In evaluating any treatment, there must be a benefits/risks analysis. Due to gigantic economic pressures, such evaluation has been systematically put aside in the U.S. chemotherapy industry.
THE BI-PHASIC EFFECT: WHY CHEMO DOESN’T WORK
Every time we put a drug in our body, two things happen:
1. what the drug initially does to the body
2. how the body adapts to the drug
Any example will do. Antibiotics? First, the drug kills all bacteria in the body. Then the body responds by growing them back, often with the bad bacteria out of balance, which come back in more powerful, mutated forms. Steroids? First, muscles are built because testosterone has been mimicked. Then the body responds by cutting production of natural testosterone, which eventually feminizes the athlete by shrinking the gonads. Heroin? First it blocks the pain receptors and sends happy hormones called endorphins through the body, giving an overall feeling of wonderfulness. The body responds, by getting so used to this euphoria that when the heroin is stopped, the reality of pain receptors going back to work again is unbearable.
Obviously these are simplifications, but you get the idea.
Dr. Dean Black puts it this way:
“Drugs tend to worsen whatever they’re supposed to cure, which sets up a vicious cycle.”
Health at the Crossroads p 20
The Bi-Phasic Effect is well-explained by Dean Black and many other researchers who were trying to figure out why tumors seemed to come back with such a vengeance after chemotherapy. Some original work was done by American Cancer Society researcher Robert Schimke in 1985, who discovered that the way cancer cells resist chemotherapy is to replicate even harder and faster. Chemo drugs are lethal; so the cancer cells are stimulated to try and survive any way they can, which means faster growth. In the presence of any toxin, cells will resist it to stay alive. The more they resist, the stronger they get. Black sees cancer itself is just an adaptation; a normal response to an abnormal poison. Chemotherapy simply provokes adaptation. (Black, p.45) This is why we all know people who have had chemotherapy and experienced temporary remission. But when the tumor came back, it did so with a vengeance, and the patient was quickly overwhelmed.
Schimke talks about the possible effects chemotherapy might have on a tumor that otherwise may have been self-limiting:
“Might such treatments convert relatively benign tumors into more lethal forms?”
– Robert Schimke p1915
Think about this the next time you hear an oncologist talk about “mopping up” with powerful chemo drugs just to be sure we “got it all.” Or prescribing powerful chemotherapy for a “pre-cancerous” or even a benign situation.
To understand the bi-phasic effect, one begins to realize that drugs are fighting the body. The whole military motif – medicine imposes its will upon the body, even though we have vastly incomplete information to be doing something that arrogant.
is an important concept to understand if you are being given combinations of more than one chemotherapy drug at once. “Cocktails” have become standard treatment in many oncological protocols: concoctions of two or more powerful cytotoxic agents which supposedly will “attack the tumor” in different ways. In the above study, Robert Schimke noted that with chemo combos the rebound effect – the second phase where the tumor responds to the drug – may bring about a tumor cell proliferation rate which may be 100 times faster than the response to one single chemo drug may have been. Proliferation means the rate at which the tumor cells reproduce themselves, i.e., grow.
is the word that describes chemotherapeutic drugs. It means “cell-killing.” Chemo-therapy kills all the cells of the body, not just the cancer cells. The risk is that chemo will kill the patient before it kills the cancer. Which usually happens. Therefore the only question that should be asked when deciding whether or not to begin chemo is this: will this drug prolong the patient’s natural lifespan? Is it likely to? The unadorned data says no.
which today 1 in 8 American women may expect, is an obvious area of failure and misinformation. A professor at Northwestern U School of Medicine, Dr. Edward Scanlon states:
” over a period of 100 years, breast cancer treatment has evolved from no treatment to radical treatment and back again with more conservative management, without having affected mortality.” Journal of the American Medical Association, Sept. 4, 1991.
In their latest mood swing, recently the medical consensus, whatever that means, is moving back toward more radical mastectomy again. In an article from the New York Times, 14 Jan 99, a new Mayo Clinic study being published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is backtracking to a former position. Bilateral radical mastectomy of healthy breasts supposedly “reduces the risk of getting breast cancer” by 90%! I am not making this up. Obviously, if a woman doesn’t have breasts, how can she get breast cancer? This type of insanity – a recommendation to remove healthy breasts with the idea to prevent a disease a woman doesn’t have – makes you wonder what’s next. Why not euthanasia? – that way the patient will have a zero percent chance of ever getting any disease again
What effects are these fickle, intellectualized medical opinions having on death rate? None. Actually it’s even worse than that. From the same hard data sources cited above, Vital Statistics, we can look up the actual death rate for breast cancer:
Early mammograms: no effect. Chemotherapy: no effect. Surgery: no effect.
Figures like these are extremely well hidden and can only be unearthed with great efforts, like walking up the stairs to the fourth floor at the library. But that is a great effort. Who goes to the library? A net search can instantly turn up 100 articles on the latest chemotherapy drugs and their anticipated “breakthroughs” and “response rates” that have always been “just around the corner” since 1971. Every week shows dozens of magazine and newspaper articles spouting the “latest thing” in chemotherapy. This is world class dog-wagging. Olympic carrot-and-stick dangling.
This is one topic where the line between advertising and scientific proof has become very blurred. As far back as 1976, the American Cancer Society itself and its government colleague the National Cancer Institute terminated the routine use of mammography for women under the age of 50 because of its “detrimental” (carcinogenic) effects. More recently, a large study done in Canada on found that women who had routine mammograms before the age of 50 also had increased death rates from breast cancer by 36%. (Miller) Lorraine Day notes the same findings in her video presentation “Cancer Doesn’t Scare Me Any More.” The reader is directed to these sources and should perhaps consider the opinion of other sources than those selling the procedure, before making a decision.
John McDougall MD has made a thorough review of pertinent literature on mammograms. He points out that the $5-13 billion per year generated by mammograms controls the information that women get. Fear and incomplete data are the tools commonly used to persuade women to get routine mammograms. What is clear is that mammography cannot prevent breast cancer or even the spread of breast cancer. By the time a tumor is large enough to be detected by mammography, it has been there as long as 12 years! It is therefore ridiculous to advertise mammography as “early detection.” (McDougall p 114)
The other unsupportable illusion is that mammograms prevent breast cancer, which they don’t. On the contrary, the painful compression of breast tissue during the procedure itself can increase the possibility of metastasis by as much as 80%! Dr. McDougall notes that a between 10 and 17% of the time, breast cancer is a self-limiting non-life-threatening type called ductal carcinoma in situ. This harmless cancer can be made active by the compressive force of routine mammography. (McDougall, p105)
Most extensive studies show no increased survival rate from routine screening mammograms. After reviewing all available literature in the world on the subject, noted researchers Drs. Wright and Mueller of the University of British Columbia recommended the withdrawal of public funding for mammography screening, because the “benefit achieved is marginal, and the harm caused is substantial.” (Lancet, 1 Jul 1995) The harm they’re referring to includes the constant worrying and emotional distress, as well as the tendency for unnecessary procedures and testing to be done based on results which have a false positive rate as high as 50%. (New York Times, 14 Dec 1997)
is one of the worst areas of chemotherapy abuse, according to Norman Zinner, MD. He states:
“Most men with prostate cancer will die from other illnesses never knowing they had the problem.”
Hormones have been used as therapy since the 1940s, with no overall improvement in survival. Early detection of prostate cancer has resulted in thousands of men being treated for a condition that would have been self-limiting. No figures are available for those who have died from the side effects of treatment when the condition would never have caused any problems or symptoms during the patient’s entire lifetime. Composer Frank Zappa, now decomposing, found out this fact before he died at 52, but it was too late. Some studies show rates as high as 40% in autopsies of men over 70 in which prostate cancer was discovered which the patient never knew about, and which was not the cause of death. (American Cancer Society, 1995).
There are no randomized clinical trials proving that chemotherapy for prostate cancer increases long term survival. Au contraire, a 1992 study published in JAMA demonstrated that there was no difference in 10 year survival rate between the men who did nothing at all and those who had treatment. (Johansson)
Latest in the dog-and-pony show for prostate cancer: palladium implants. A couple hundred radioactive implants each about the size of a grain of rice are sewn into the scrotum (watch out for airport metal detectors!) This unproven and experimental procedure harks back to the days of radium implants in the blood, a very popular procedure for several decades earlier in the 20th century, when the Big Three were surgery, radiation, and radium implants. To see what radium implants looked like, rent Jack Nicholson’s The Two Jakes. No cancer was ever cured from radium, and it was finally replaced by chemotherapy, which has roughly the same success. Here’s why palladium implants are unlikely to work: it’s not the prostate that has cancer; it’s the person. Cancer is systemic – it’s all through you.
SIDE EFFECTS OF CHEMOTHERAPY
It’s already a word game. Drugs don’t really have side effects. They just have effects. Especially in the case of chemotherapy where there’s almost never any upside.
Since chemo drugs are some of the most toxic substances ever designed to go into a human body, their effects are very serious, and are often the direct cause of death. Like the case of Jackie Onassis, who underwent chemo for one of the rare diseases in which it generally has some beneficial results: non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She went into the hospital on Friday and was dead by Tuesday. What happened? Most of that type patients survive, but even the ones that don’t usually won’t die for a year or so. Some sources imagined that since this was such a high profile patient, they’d given her an “extra strong” dose to “kill the cancer” faster. Unfortunately they miscalculated: there was a patient attached.
Aside from the standard hair loss, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness, many chemotherapy drugs have other specific severe side effects. Most have an immediate suppressive effect on bone marrow. This is where new blood cells are normally being produced all the time. This is the #1 way chemo knocks out the immune system, at the one time in your life you need it the most.
All are extremely hard on the liver, because that’s the organ whose job is to try and break down toxins that have made it past the digestive tract. Liver fibrosis is a very common sequella of methotrexate.
Methotrexate also causes bleeding ulcers, bone marrow suppression, lung damage, and kidney damage. (HSI Newsletter Apr 1999 p5) It also causes ” severe anemia, and has triggered or intensified cancerous tumors.” (Ruesch, p 18)
The nitrogen mustard derivatives are, incredibly, still in use, though usually in combination with other drugs. Common effects are permanent sclerosing (hardening) of the veins, blood clotting, and destruction of skin and mucous membranes.
Cytoxan is one of the most common chemo drugs. Besides the “normal” side effects, it causes urinary bleeding, lung disease, and heart damage.
Any of the alkylating agents commonly result in the cancer becoming resistant to them. Thus the cancer is actually stimulated, and for this reason, alkylating drugs must be thought of themselves as carcinogenic, with new cancers from the drug as high as 10% of the time! Hello? Anybody out there?
Any chemo drug can cause permanent neurological damage practically anywhere in the body.
Corticosteroid drugs have an entire array of side effects, the worst being immediate destruction of the gastric mucosa, which explains loss of appetite, and also accelerated osteoporosis and cartilage destruction in the joints.
This is just a partial list of some of the more common side effects, but it really makes you wonder: are these effects really worth the possible benefit of temporary tumor shrinkage with no proven increase in survival?
WHAT KIND OF MONEY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?
There is really no way to track how many patients are receiving chemotherapy per year. Or rather, it simply isn’t done in the U.S. the way it is in Europe. That fact is quite indicative in itself. If the focus were health care, and monitoring the effectiveness of a cure, why wouldn’t there be extensive inter-hospital data bases to follow up on successful treatment? What can be tracked is the amount of cytotoxic drugs sold by the pharmaceutical companies. This amount has grown from $3 billion in 1989 to over $13 billion in 1998. (Moss p75) These figures are chemotherapy drugs sales only, not taking into account professional or hospital fees associated with treatment.
Cancer’s share of the total US health budget is calculated at 9.8% according to the AHCPR (Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) 1994 figures, the most recent. Let’s see, 9.8% of 1 trillion dollars: that means the cancer industry is turning over about $98 billion per year. Any questions?
It is startling to discover what chemotherapy drugs are made from. The first ones were made from mustard gas exactly like the weapons that killed so many soldiers in WW I, eventually outlawed by the Geneva Conventions. In the 1930s, Memorial Sloan-Kettering quietly began to treat breast cancer with these mustard gas derivatives. No one was cured. Most of the medical profession at that time regarded such “treatment” of malignant disease as charlatanism.
Nitrogen mustard chemotherapy trials were conducted at Yale around 1943. 160 patients were treated. No one was cured.
WHY NOT DRANO?
The beginning of the hype that promised to cure all cancer by means of chemo drugs, came as an offshoot of the postwar excitement with the success of antibiotics and the sulfa drugs. Caught up in the heady atmosphere of visions of money and power in vanquishing cancer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering began to make extravagant claims that to this day have never been realized. Some 400,000 “cytotoxins” were tested by Sloan-Kettering and the National Cancer Institute. The criteria in order to be tested were: will the toxin kill some of the tumor cells before it kills the patient. That’s it! Many were brand new synthetic compounds. But thousands of others were existing poisons which were simply refined. Finally about 50 drugs made the cut, and are the basis of today’s chemotherapy medicine cabinet.
One of these 50 is a sheep-deworming agent known as Levamisole. With no major clinical trial ever showing significant increased long term survival with Levamisole, it is still a standard chemotherapy agent even today! The weirdness is, Levamisole was included for its “immune system modulation” properties. However, its major toxicities include:
– decreased white cell count (!)
– flu symptoms
– abdominal cramps
Some immune booster!
A 1994 major study of Levamisole written up in the British Journal of Cancer showed almost double the survival rate using a placebo instead of Levamisole! The utter mystification over why this poison continues to be used as a standard component of chemo cocktails can be cleared up by considering one simple fact: when Levamisole was still a sheep de-wormer, it cost $1 per year. When the same amount was suddenly upgraded to a cancer drug given to humans, now it costs $1200 per year. Thank you, Johnson & Johnson. ( Los Angeles Times 11 Sep 93.)
A funny phrase that doctors use when talking about chemotherapy is that it is a “dose-limiting” treatment. All that means is that if the dose is not limited, the patient dies. It is inexplicable when patients tell me their family’s chemotherapy stories, usually involving a family member, in which they talk about toward the end, where the doctors gave the patient “5 times” or “20 times” the lethal dose! I hear this all the time, and when you really get what they’re saying, the level of barbarity is appalling. The doctors are saying at the end, Well it’s hopeless – we may as well give him 5 or 20 times the normal dose of an already poisonous drug, what difference will it make? We tried our best. Totally forgetting that the patient even while dying is a human being, and the goal wasn’t to kill the tumor; it was to save the patient. Or are they saying, quick this guy is dying, the insurance is still running .? This is a major risk of giving the hospital carte blanche. Reminds me of giving a kid a credit card, hoping he’ll be judicious.
When any chemotherapeutic drug is spilled in the hospital or anywhere en route, it is classified as a major biohazard, requiring the specialists to come and clean it up with their space-suits and all their strictly regulated protocols. Yet this same agent is going to be put into the human body and is expected to cure it of disease? What’s wrong with this picture?
is another colossal failure. When the oncologist starts talking about interleukin-2, it’s usually time to start thinking about coffin selection, because by then the big stuff has been pretty much tried and met with its usual failure. The brilliant thinking behind interleukin-2 and other ‘vaccine’ – type agents is that now we’re gonna transform the patient’s lymphocytes into an army of killer T-cells, which will then descend on those troublesome cancer cells and “root them out of there.” Just one problem with this theory: no foreign antigens have ever been identified in tumor cells. And that’s the only way that lymphocytes work – destroying foreign antigens – the not-self cells. So even if the T-cell count can be boosted, there is simply no way these lymphocytes can be directed at cancer cells, because the cancer cells don’t appear that different from normal cells.
The other vexatious feature of interleukin-2 therapy is that because of its last-ditch status in the oncological pharmacopoeia, the patient’s immune system is generally so depressed by the surgery/chemo/radiation it has just endured, there’s simply not much of it left to work with. Once your immune system’s gone, so are you.
Professor George Annas, a medical ethicist, who analyzed the controlled clinical trails done at the National Cancer Institute on interleukin-2 was slightly less than enthusiastic about interleukin-2 patients:
” more than 80% of the patients did not do any better and they actually did worse. They died harder. That’s not irrelevant. We always tend to concentrate on the survivors, but we’ve got to make the point that 80 per cent had terrific side effects and didn’t get any measurable increase in longevity.”
New York Times 3 Mar 94
Dr. Martin Shapiro agrees:
“revelations about the apparent ineffectiveness of the experimental cancer drug interleukin-2 are but the tip of an iceberg of misrepresentation and misunderstanding about cancer drug treatments in general.”
Los Angeles Times 9 Jan 87
METAPHORS OF WAR
Mainstream cancer theory is all in military terms:
the war on cancer
killing the tumor cells
killer T cells
stopping the advance
powerful drugs as weapons
This type of thinking is so pervasive that it’s become second nature for most of us. The very failure of the entire cancer industry to slow the death rate over the past fifty years may indicate that perhaps it’s time to look for another paradigm. They have failed, but they can’t admit it because the whole thing is market-driven. It’s imponderable that doctors continue to prescribe a volatile poison which they know will kill the patient, simply because it’s their only tool! This can’t be an acceptable excuse! You don’t want to believe that things are really this perverse, but in most cases due diligence will bring such a realization.