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Cannabis – A Promising Cancer Therapy

Cannabis – A Promising Cancer Therapy | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
New study suggests that several cannabinoids slow or kill malignant cells
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

In a paper published in October's Anticancer Research, Wai Liu, a senior research fellow at St. George's University of London, reports that he found six cannabinoids - active components of the cannabis plant - that can slow or outright kill cancer cells.

According to Wai Liu some cannabinoids are better at killing cancer cells and others are better at slowing their growth, so combining certain cannabinoids has a heightened effect.

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68 Year Old Woman Cures Herself of Stage IV non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Using the Gerson Therapy

http://www.veria.com/tv/show/the-incurables The Incurables Webisode: Surviving Advanced Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma With Fresh Foods
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Joyce Forsythe at age 68 was diagnosed with stage IV mantle cell, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Her oncologist recommended four different chemotherapy drugs.

However Mrs. Forsythe chose to use the Gerson Therapy instead of chemotherapy, and cured herself with the Gerson natural approach.

Listen to her story.

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Cannabis Oil Cured Cancer

Cannabis Oil Cured Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

Father-of- three, claims cannabis oil helped cure him of cancer. In 2012, Trevor Smith was diagnosed with bladder cancer and was told by doctors that he would be dead within 24 months if surgery to remove nodes on his bladder, prostate, and lymph were not removed immediately. With a concern […]

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A 54-year old bladder cancer patient, Trevor Smith, in the UK decided to treat himself using cannabis oil, instead of opting for surgery that doctors told him was necessary to save his life. Mr. Smith says it was not a question of disregarding the law, but the bigger issue was saving his own life which he believes is exactly what the cannabis oil did.

In the UK, there is no recognition of the use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes, and the Government has rejected calls for any type of legislation.

There is a growing number of cancer patients world-wide resorting to using cannabis oil to cure their own cancer condition, and there are now many anecdotal reports that the therapy is effective.

This article also has a short video describing more about cannabis and cancer.

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Cancer-Linked Colgate Total Ingredient Suggests Flaws in FDA Approval Process

Cancer-Linked Colgate Total Ingredient Suggests Flaws in FDA Approval Process | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
The chemical triclosan has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals. Regulators are reviewing whether it’s safe to put in soap, cutting boards and toys. Consumer companies are phasing it out. Minnesota voted in May to ban it in many products.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

The chemical triclosan has been linked with cancer cell growth.

Millions of Americans are putting triclosan in their mouths every day, by way of a top-selling toothpaste that uses the antibacterial chemical to head off gum disease -- Colgate-Palmolive Co.’s Total.

Of the more than 84,000 chemicals sold in the U.S., few are attracting more scrutiny than triclosan. Used for decades in handsoaps, it is now part of almost 200 products including rugs and pet-food dispensers. Companies including Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble Co. have vowed to remove it from their lineups. In May, Avon Products Inc. announced its plans to go triclosan-free.

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20 Medical Studies Indicating Cannabis May Be a Cure for Cancer

20 Medical Studies Indicating Cannabis May Be a Cure for Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
When we look at the actual science behind Cannabis, the health benefits can be overwhelming.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

There are many medical and scientific studies that confirm the health benefits of cannabis, and medical cannabis has been made legal in many countries, including many of the states in the US. It has been the focus of medical research to consider it as a potential therapeutic treatment and cure for cancer.

Cannabinoids in the cannabis plant activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endo-cannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create and maintain health. Cannabinoids also play a role in immune system generation and re-generation.

In this article are 20 medical studies that indicate cannabis can be an effective treatment and possible cure for cancer.

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Daily Aspirin May Reduce Risk of Cancer

Daily Aspirin May Reduce Risk of Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Daily pill for middle-aged could save 130,000 lives over 20 years in Britain alone, scientists suggest
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A research team led by Professor Jack Cuzick, head of the centre for cancer prevention at Queen Mary University of London, concluded that people between 50 and 65 should consider regularly taking daily aspirin to reduce cancer risk.

Cuzick said that taking aspirin "looks to be the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity, and will probably be much easier to implement". However, to obtain the newfound benefits of the drug, people would have to take aspirin for at least five years and probably ten, the review said.

Cuzick's team, writing in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, said that by taking low-dose aspirin every day for ten years, bowel cancer cases could be cut by about 35% and deaths by 40%. Aspirin could reduce rates of oesophageal and stomach cancers by 30% and deaths from them by 35% to 50%.

Taking aspirin every day increases the risk of stomach bleeds. Aspirin is already given to some people to reduce their risk of heart attacks or ischemic stroke, caused by blood clots, which it does by thinning the blood. But it is likely to worsen a haemorrhagic stroke, caused by bleeding in the brain.

It is believed that aspirin may reduce the risk of cancer due to its ability to reduce inflammation, and by thinning the blood thereby making it more difficult for cancer cells to adhere to blood platelets.

You can also read more about aspirin in a recent Consumer Update published at the FDA’s own website – http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm390539.htm , where they state – “after carefully examining scientific data from major studies, FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called "primary prevention." In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks—such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach—are still present.”

As with any medication it is important to do your own further investigation, consult with your chosen health professional, and bear in mind that adding any medication to an unhealthy lifestyle and diet still results in an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. Always make decisions only after you have become well-informed.

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Link Found Between Oral Contraceptive Pill and Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Link Found Between Oral Contraceptive Pill and Increased Breast Cancer Risk | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
But only pills containing high-dose estrogen
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

The results of a study published in Cancer Research suggest that recent use of contemporary oral contraceptives is associated with an increased breast cancer risk, which may vary by formulation. Women who took high-dose estrogen birth control pills were 50% more likely to develop breast cancer.

If you wish to know more, here is the link to the published study - http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/74/15/4078

Here is a fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute - http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/oral-contraceptives

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Using the Body’s Own Immune System as a Cancer Therapy

Using the Body’s Own Immune System as a Cancer Therapy | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Increasingly, doctors are using their patients' own immune systems as valuable weapons against the disease.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

The focus of cancer research has been on exploring ways to treat the tumor. It is always enlightening to see research that focuses on treating the patient rather than only the tumor.

Scientists have long tried to understand how to get the immune system—the body’s natural defense mechanism—to recognize cancer cells as the enemy, and destroy them. This has led to the introduction of immunotherapy, which induces, enhances, or suppresses an immune system response to help treat the disease condition. Its focus is on using the body’s own immune system. In terms of cancer this is an interesting and growing area of study.

Cancer immunotherapy is used to provoke the immune system into attacking the tumor cells. Cancer cells have subtly different molecules on their surface that can be detected by the immune system. The focus of immunotherapy in treating cancer is based on cell-based therapies, antibody therapies, and cytokine therapies.

Oncologist Dr. David Maloney is one of the oncologists on the forefront of the next major advance in immunotherapy. He infuses lymphoma patients with their own T-cells, re-engineered to produce a chimeric antigen receptor (or CAR T-cells) that, once triggered, can eliminate cancer. Unlike antibodies, which are broken down by the body over time, CAR T-cells may continue to multiply, serving as a “living therapy” throughout a patient’s life— staying on guard for any subsequent relapses.

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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, August 1, 12:11 PM

Breakthroughs like this are fantastic news...however, I would like to see just as much, if not more, emphasis on prevention.  There are many lifestyle choices that studies show impact the immune system as well as studies that indicate many medical professionals are not comfortable dealing with obesity and other issues that lead to chronic illness.  If people can experience greater quality of life and a much lower cost than going through chronic illness, we need to start giving medical professionals the training they need to communicate with their patients.  For more information, go to www.iPECwellbeing.com

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Typical Western Diets of High Carbohydrate and Refined Sugars Found to Fuel Colon Cancer

Typical Western Diets of High Carbohydrate and Refined Sugars Found to Fuel Colon Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

Western nations experience high levels of colon cancer, and carbo-loading gut microbes might explain why, says a new study in mice.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Westerners’ carb-rich diets have long been linked to high levels of cancer.  In country after country where people have switched to Western-style diets heavy in refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup, the incidence of colorectal cancer has increased, says geneticist Scott Bultman of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A study published in “Cell” magazine reported on the link between colon tumors and gut microbes. The researchers surmised that when microbes feast on carbohydrates, the germs must produce a chemical that pushes colon cells lacking the ability to repair DNA mismatches toward uncontrollably multiplying into tumors. To find that chemical, they looked to the colon contents of mice that ate low-carb diets or had received antibiotics. Those mice, compared with mice on regular [high-card] diets, had lower levels of a fatty acid called butyrate, one of the byproducts of microbes’ fermentation of carbohydrates.

The researchers then fed mice butyrate-enriched food. Those mice had more tumor polyps, suggesting that the path from Western diets to colon cancer relies on this bacterially produced chemical.

If the mouse experiments mimic human cancers, then shunning high-carbohydrate, Western diets could allay or prevent the disease for many people, says Bultman. “Following a well-balanced diet, with fewer refined sugars and more fiber, is good for the microbiome and likely has an effect on cancer predisposition.”

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s comment, July 24, 2:04 AM
This study included team members from the following institutions:
Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Department of Laboratory Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON M5B 1W8, Canada
Ronin Institute, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7, Canada
Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution & Function, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3B2, Canada
Department of Medical Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, ON M5G 2M9, Canada
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3E2, Canada
Department of Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
Tambre Leighn's curator insight, July 27, 12:42 PM

How many more studies and headlines do we need before our physicians become educated, trained and courageous enough to speak to patients in no uncertain terms about their obesity (statistics show this conversation is being avoided in doctors' offices across the country along with other 'uncomfortable' topics)?  Before individuals take responsibility and stop putting garbage into their bodies?  Before we say no to the sale of fast food and big deal 'meals' with calorie counts hitting the 2,000 plus range?

 

McDonald's Triple Thick 32 Ounce shake alone is over 1,600 calories!  We need a healthy food revolution, not just for the health conscious, but for everyone if we are going to stop the drain on our healthcare system, reduce suffering of families hit by chronic disease, reverse lost productivity due to sick days and have more people living long, fulfilled and energized lives.  It is a choice.

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HPV Test Outperforms Pap for Predicting Cervical Cancer

HPV Test Outperforms Pap for Predicting Cervical Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
The risk of developing cervical cancer within three years after a negative HPV test was about half the risk seen after a negative Pap smear
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) conclude that a negative test for HPV (human papillomavirus) infection is associated with an extremely low risk for cervical cancer and provides greater assurance of low cervical cancer risk than a negative Pap test.

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Young Mum Dies of Cancer After Doctors Miss Signs of Disease for More Than TWO Years

Young Mum Dies of Cancer After Doctors Miss Signs of Disease for More Than TWO Years | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Keely Devine complained of pain and heavy bleeding after the birth of her son Jayden – but doctors refused her a smear test, saying she was too young at 20
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

I add this article as a matter of interest. We should all realize that the 'medial system' and its practitioners will never be free from error. Such is human nature.

It is important to always question, obtain multiple opinions, have a practical and logical view about all health matters, and participate and assume a degree of responsibility in our own health restoration.

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Senate Inquiry in Australia Reveals Oncologists Charging Cancer Patients Exorbitant Fees

Senate Inquiry in Australia Reveals Oncologists Charging Cancer Patients Exorbitant Fees | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
SURGEONS are slugging cancer sufferers up to ten times the Medicare fee for lifesaving operations.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

An investigation has found that the practice of doctors over-charging cancer patients is “out of control”. Cancer patients in Australia are being charged by surgeons up to 10 times the standard Medicare fees for operations.

The exorbitant fees have placed a spotlight on medical excess as a Senate inquiry hears the details.

Rheumatologist and University of Melbourne Professor Peter Brooks has lashed out at his overcharging colleagues. “The specialist gaps are extraordinary, and I must say, having taught medical students for 50 years and being a specialist, I am embarrassed that my colleagues behave the way they do,” he told the Senate inquiry.

However, Australian Medical Association president Professor Brian Owler says the AMA has “no problem” with the present situation.

The exorbitant fees being charged by doctors are worrying private hospitals who complain in private fears about out of pocket expenses are driving the privately insured back to the public hospital system.

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Breast Cancer Responds Equally Well to Gel Rather Than Oral Drug, and With Less Side Effects

Breast Cancer Responds Equally Well to Gel Rather Than Oral Drug, and With Less Side Effects | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Tamoxifen applied to the skin is shown by a study to be as effective as the pill version, with fewer problems.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

The drug tamoxifen is used to treat women with estrogen receptor-positive cancer, which relies on estrogen to grow. When taken for five years, the drug can cut in half the risk of recurrence of this type of cancer. Yet comes with many known side effects.

A gel has now been developed containing the drug tamoxifen that can be applied to the skin. Research published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, said that the gel was applied to the breasts of women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS. All the women had DCIS that was sensitive to estrogen. The study found that after 6 to 10 weeks of gel application, the reduction in a marker for cancer cell growth in the breast tissue was similar to that of the orally administered tamoxifen.

Seema Khan, a surgical oncologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and the lead author of the study said that the gel causes fewer side effects because the drug is concentrated in the breast tissue, and doesn’t circulate much in the blood. “The gel minimized exposure to the rest of the body and concentrated the drug in the breast where it is needed,” Khan said. “There was very little drug in the bloodstream, which should avoid potential blood clots as well as an elevated risk of uterine cancer.”

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Scientists Reveal How THC from Cannabis Can Be Beneficial in Cancer Treatment

Scientists Reveal How THC from Cannabis Can Be Beneficial in Cancer Treatment | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Scientists at a British university have made a major breakthrough in revealing how cannabis could be used as a treatment to prevent the growth of cancer.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry carried out by a team from the University of East Anglia reveals how cannabis could be used as a treatment to prevent the growth of cancer.

Some reporters have suggested that this “could be a big boost for attempts to create a synthetic substitute for cannabis that can fight cancer in a targeted and safe way.” Dr. Peter McCormick, from UEA’s school of pharmacy, says “I hope that our research will lead to a safe synthetic equivalent being available in the future.”

The effectiveness of cannabis in the prevention and treatment of cancer is certainly not new. It was known about in the mid-1970s. There have been many studies done by eminent scientists, and in many countries cannabis is already used in the treatment of cancer. In addition there have been countless numbers of cancer patients who have used cannabis successfully according to anecdotal information.

However it seems those in the medical system conclude that “a safe synthetic equivalent’ must be developed before anyone can acknowledge that cannabis can be effective. Of course that synthetic equivalent will be patented and become profitable for its manufacturers. But, apart from the benefit to the manufacturer in generating profits, we must ask the question is a synthetic version actually needed.” For example, we know that common garlic has many medicinal properties. Yet we don’t need a synthetic version to derive those benefits. Just some food for thought.

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Cancer Can be Healed With Raw Plant-Based Food

Cancer Can be Healed With Raw Plant-Based Food | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
In 2001, Janette healed her breast cancer with raw food. Last year, she and her husband (both in their 60s) ran around the entire continent of Australia.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Janette Murray-Wakelin refused conventional treatment and healed aggressive breast cancer with a raw food diet.

Listen to her interview about how she went about it. She researched the alternative approaches, and realized she needed to help her own body. Putting in high nutrient-laden food into her body made more sense to her than taking drugs. She basically decided on a raw plant-based food diet based on the The Breuss Cancer Cure by Rudolph Breuss, and a naturopathic approach to supporting her immune system.

This interview is highly recommended to anybody with cancer, and their family and friends. Very inspirational, and yet another person who has healed themselves from cancer without chemotherapy and radiation.

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Cancer: Unpronounceable Drugs, Incomprehensible Prices

Cancer: Unpronounceable Drugs, Incomprehensible Prices | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Cancer drug prices keep rising.  The industry says this reflects the rising costs of drug development and the business risks they must take when testing new drugs.  I think they charge what they think they can get away with, which goes up every year. Let’s consider the two arguments, and how [...]
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

This report is by Dr. Peter Bach, Director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He makes it clear by discussing costs and pricing examples that the cost to patients of a new cancer drug has nothing to do with what it took to bring it to market, it has to do with when it came on the market.  Today’s tolerance for high drug prices is just greater than it was three years ago and much greater than it was a decade ago.

This rapid rise in prices has put cancer drugs near the top of the list of growth categories in healthcare spending.  Nearly $30 billion on cancer drugs last year. The phenomenon has bled into other diseases more recently.  A new drug for cystic fibrosis called Kalydeco costs $26,000 per month.  It needs to be taken for life.

A comment from the WHO regarding the Pharmaceutical Industry is that there is now “an inherent conflict of interest between the legitimate business goals of manufacturers and the social, medical and economic needs of providers and the public to select and use drugs in the most rational way”.

This is particularly true where drugs companies are the main source of information as to which products are most effective. In the United Kingdom, where the medical profession receives more independent, publicly-funded information than in many other countries, promotional spending by pharmaceuticals companies is 50 times greater than spending on public information on health.

In an attempt to address this problem, the World Health Assembly adopted, in 1988, the WHO Ethical Criteria for Medicinal Drug Promotion, dedicated to the rational use of drugs. However, many observers complain that these guidelines have been largely disregarded - as has the voluntary Code of Pharmaceutical Practices developed by the industry's own International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Associations (PharMA).

There is no doubt that the for-profit health industry, and prescription drugs are big business. Prescription drug pricing in the United States is unregulated, which means that the Pharma companies can charge whatever they want for prescription drugs. In 2012, the top 11 global drug companies made nearly $85 billion in net profits.

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Breast Cancer Risk Lower for Women Who Consistently Exercise

Breast Cancer Risk Lower for Women Who Consistently Exercise | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Just 30 minutes walking per day can cut the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women, researchers have said, but only if you keep it up long-term
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Women who exercise are less likely to develop breast cancer. A study of nearly 60,000 women found those who had exercised for the equivalent of 4-hours a week were 10% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who were sedentary. However the effect was only found in women who exercised consistently over four years.

Women who had been active and had stopped more than 5-years ago, were more than 16% likely to develop cancer than those who continued.

The findings were not affected by the women's weight or waist circumference showing that the benefits came from being active, not from losing weight.

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Should We Be Thinking Differently About Cancer?

Should We Be Thinking Differently About Cancer? | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

After analyzing more than 3,500 tumors using different platforms, scientists propose cancers should be classified by molecular and genetic type instead of tissue of origin.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Cancer is typically classified according to where the cancerous tissues originated. However new research from the University of California, San Francisco, is proposing cancer should instead be classified according to its genetic and molecular features.

Study author Chris Benz, a professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, points out that this study will improve design of clinical trials by helping to identify patients more likely to respond to new treatments based on the genomic reclassification of their tumors.

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DCA (Dichloroacetate) Kills Cancer Cells in Humans

DCA (Dichloroacetate) Kills Cancer Cells in Humans | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

Informative video about DCA treatment for cancer - http://a.blip.tv/scripts/flash/stratos.swf?showplayerpath=http%3A%2F%2Fa.blip.tv%2Fscripts%2Fflash%2Fstratos.swf&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fthatchannel.blip.tv%2Frss%2Fflash&brandname=ThatChannel.com&brandlink=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ThatChannel.com&enablejs=true&lightcolor=0xcccccc&backcolor=0x000000&frontcolor=0x333333&allowm4v=true&file=http%3A%2F%2Fblip.tv%2Frss%2Fflash%2F3688972 ;

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

From time to time I see information about a common non-toxic chemical, dichloroacetate (DCA), circulating throughout the web and social media, and used in some cancer treatments. So I thought I would add some information here.

In 2007, Evangelos Michelakis, a cancer researcher at the University of Alberta discovered that DCA seems to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors in mice. It is alleged to kill most types of cancer cells by disrupting the way they metabolize sugar, causing them to self-destruct without adversely affecting normal tissues. Subsequent human clinical trials showed that DCA treatment appeared to extend the lives of four of the five study participants.

So it would seem there could be some potential in further investigations and trials. However as DCA is an inexpensive widely used chemical it is not able to be patented. That means the Big Pharma companies will have no interest in investing in DCA research, as there would be no profit to be made for them. This is an important fact, as lack of profitability typically hinders ongoing and extended investigation.

There is a clinic in Toronto Canada that has been administering DCA to cancer patients as an “off-label” medication for some years. As of July 2013, the clinic had treated over 1300 cancer patients with DCA. Their experience seems to be quite favorable. Here is a link to the clinic where you can read more about their DCA approach, case studies, and published findings - http://medicorcancer.com/ .

There is continually emerging data becoming available on non-patentable natural medicines and substances that are of benefit to patients with cancer and other disease states.

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Study Finds Link Between Tamoxifen-Resistant Tumors in Breast Cancer and Melatonin Levels

Study Finds Link Between Tamoxifen-Resistant Tumors in Breast Cancer and Melatonin Levels | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
New research from Tulane University points to a connection between levels of the hormone melatonin and drug resistant breast cancer.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A study published in the journal Cancer Research points to a connection between low melatonin levels and resistance to tamoxifen, a common breast cancer drug.

Melatonin is a hormone found in animals, plants, and microbes. It is produced in our pineal gland, and forms part of the system that regulates our sleep–wake cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature. Our levels of melatonin vary during the day and are biologically synchronized to our daily environmental cycle.

It is known that melatonin interacts with our immune system, is inhibited by light to the retina, and permitted by darkness. Its production decreases as we age.

A study now suggests that suppressed production of melatonin, as a result of sleeping with a light on at night, reduces the effectiveness of the breast-cancer drug tamoxifen. The researchers found that the nighttime levels of melatonin alone slowed the growth of the tumors, but when tamoxifen was also administered ahead of the period of darkness, the tumors regressed even faster.

Steven Hill, professor of structural and cellular biology and chair for breast cancer research at the Tulane University School of Medicine suggests that the timing of when breast cancer patients take their medication may be something to consider, and points out that “The FDA has no guidelines on when during the day you should take tamoxifen. So take your tamoxifen at night right before you go to bed, and I think our study suggests that melatonin will turn off a number of pathways that would prevent tamoxifen from working.”

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Metabolic Burning of Body Fat Linked to Cachexia in Cancer Patients

Metabolic Burning of Body Fat Linked to Cachexia in Cancer Patients | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

Conversion of white fat to brown is associated with muscle atrophy and weight loss in cancer patients.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Cachexia is a wasting disorder of fat and muscle tissue that results in severe weight loss, loss of appetite, altered taste, and weakness, as seen in people suffering from some chronic disease states such as cancer, HIV and others.  About 50% of cancer patients suffer from cachexia, which impairs their quality of life, limits their cancer therapy and decreases their survival.

Cancer cachexia may not be able to be reversed by normal nutritional support and can lead to progressive functional impairment. It is the result of an interaction between the tumor, the person’s metabolism and the involvement of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are protein molecules that signal cells to produce an inflammatory reaction.

Now a study published in Cell Metabolism has found a link that implicates the browning of white fat to cancer cachexia. One of the study authors, Erwin Wagner, comments that  “the transformation of white fat into brown fat, currently one of the most researched subjects because of its potential effects on obesity and diabetes, has very severe consequences” when it comes to cancer.

The researchers, led by Michele Petruzzelli of the Spanish National Cancer Research Center, found that the browning of white fat was linked to higher expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), which increased lipid metabolism and promoted energy expenditure in mice.

You may wonder what brown fat is. So here is a brief introduction for you. We have two types of fat in our body – white fat and brown fat.

In healthy, non-overweight people, white fat represents up to 20% of body weight in men and 25% in women. White fat is the main form of fat in the body that we are familiar with. It is where excess calories are stored which can later be used as energy when needed, and it also acts as a thermal insulator, helping to maintain our body temperature. It also produces the hormone leptin (the "satiety hormone") which regulates the storage of fat in the body. Leptin also plays a role in other physiological processes. White fat cells have receptors for insulin, growth hormones, norepinephrine, and glucocorticoids.

Brown fat fulfils a different purpose, and is made up of several small fat droplets, together with a large number of iron-containing mitochondria which are the cell’s heat-burning engine. Brown fat's main function is to generate body heat. Fatter people have less brown fat than thinner people. It gets its color due to its high iron content and its many tiny blood vessels to support a higher oxygen consumption. It is mainly found in the upper part of the back, and the front and back of the neck. The purpose of brown fat is to burn calories (rather than store calories) in order to generate heat.

Brown fat is believed to be more like muscle than like white fat. When activated, brown fat burns white fat, and may be able to burn several hundred calories per day. So the browning of white fat in people with cancer could indeed lead to cachexia.

Here is an article published by the American Physiological Society on the subject of the Mechanisms of Cancer Cachexia for anybody interested - http://physrev.physiology.org/content/89/2/381

As cachexia often begins long before it is obvious on physical exam, it is important to address this complication in people with cancer as soon as possible after a diagnosis.

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Cancer Treatments Should be Aligned with Patient Priorities

Cancer Treatments Should be Aligned with Patient Priorities | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

If cancer patients better understood their disease stage and treatment options, they would make smarter—potentially less-expensive—choices, a panel of experts said during a discussion on cancer value and costs at the annual meeting of the Association of Community Cancer Centers.

In determining value for patients, physicians need to think about clinical benefits, toxicity of treatment and costs, said Paul Celano, MD, a medical oncologist at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

The oncology community needs “to ensure [that] patients understand what their treatment options are, and that the care meets their personal goals and preferences, especially in the metastatic setting,” said John Fox, MD, the associate vice president of medical affairs at Priority Health, a health plan in Michigan. He cited a 2012 study showing that 81% of patients receiving chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer and 69% of patients receiving chemotherapy for metastatic lung cancer thought they were getting curative treatment.

Often, he added, patients get chemotherapy because that’s what their doctor told them they should do, “when, in fact, they might have been perfectly happy with other alternatives that were less expensive and less toxic.” Treatments should be aligned with patients’ priorities and preferences, he said. “If we’re investing $100,000 to prolong somebody’s life by two months, but that’s not what the patient wanted—if the trade-offs of life prolongation were offset by side effects and hospital time—then that’s a waste.”

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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, July 27, 12:45 PM

Cancer patients deserve to be educated - or choose to have a health advocate such as a loved one or caregiver on their behalf - and to share their personal values and priorities as part of the treatment decision process.  That is where truly patient centered care begins.  Without the information being communicated between patient and physician, there is no true full choice available and no real partnership in creating the course that will deliver what the patient wants.

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Parasite Typically Found In Cats May Help in Development of Future Cancer Treatment

Parasite Typically Found In Cats May Help in Development of Future Cancer Treatment | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A new study by researchers at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, finds that a parasite commonly found in cat feces - Toxoplasma gondii - holds promise for a vaccine against cancer.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A parasite, Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) that resides in the intestines of cats has been found to have anti-cancer properties.

The researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in Hanover explain that when the parasite enters the human body, cells that effectively fight cancer - such as cytotoxic T cells - are produced as a response. The team says that although cancer can shut down the body's immune system, T. gondii can help restart it. They report that testing on mouse models with aggressive melanoma and ovarian cancer, the mice showed significantly high survival rates, saying that it stimulates "amazingly effective immunotherapy against cancers, superior to anything seen before."

It may hold promise for the development of future cancer treatments.

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High Levels of “Bad” Cholesterol Found to Facilitate the Spread of Cancer

High Levels of “Bad” Cholesterol Found to Facilitate the Spread of Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

A study shows for the first time that low density lipoprotein, or LDL, helps cancer cells migrate by providing them with velcro-like molecules that help take up root elsewhere.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

An important part of research and studies is to understand the processes of metastasis as cancer cells escape their primary tumor site, travel to other parts of the body and grow into secondary cancers. These metastases are often the major cause of death from cancer.

Most of the cells in the body stick to each other because they have velcro-like molecules on their surfaces called integrins. In recent years, researchers have discovered that integrins help cancer cells to escape tumors and settle elsewhere in the body. So an important question in cancer research is how to block integrins so they stop cancer cells from moving and spreading.

An international research study published in the journal Cell Reports, led by the University of Sydney in Australia has identified that "bad" cholesterol (low density lipoprotein or LDL) as an important culprit in metastasis. The researchers discovered that integrins can move from the surface of cells to the inside, and that cholesterol, one of the major lipids in the body, is needed to keep integrins on the surface of cancer cells. But the underlying mechanisms, until now, have been somewhat unclear.

Thomas Grewal, a senior author of this latest study and an associate professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy at Sydney, says they found high levels of "bad" cholesterol seem to help the integrins in cancer cells to move around, and in contrast, high levels of 'good' (high density lipoprotein or HDL) cholesterol seem to keep the integrins inside cells.

Knowing "how to manipulate and lower 'bad' cholesterol could significantly help to reduce the ability of cancer cells to spread," says Prof. Grewal, who with co-senior author Carlos Enrich, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Barcelona in Spain, has been working on the link between cholesterol and cancer for 15 years.

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Woman Diagnoses Her Own Cancer Using the Internet After Doctors Insist on Antibiotics

Woman Diagnoses Her Own Cancer Using the Internet After Doctors Insist on Antibiotics | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A WOMAN diagnosed her own cancer using the INTERNET after doctors continued to prescribe her antibiotics for an infection.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Caroline Greaves suffered from a persistently painful mouth, lumps in her neck, earache, difficulty swallowing and swelling and the medication prescribed by her doctor seemed to be having no effects.

She intuitively knew it was something more serious, and turned to Google for answers, which indicated to her she had oral cancer. She then insisted on a hospital referral where her own diagnosis was confirmed.

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Study Discounts Testosterone Therapy for Early Prostate Cancer

Study Discounts Testosterone Therapy for Early Prostate Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A large new analysis has concluded that therapy to suppress the production of testosterone does not extend the lives of early-stage patients.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A report published in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals that drug therapy to suppress the production of testosterone (known as androgen deprivation therapy) does not extend the lives of men with prostate cancer.

Dr. Grace L. Lu-Yao, a researcher at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the lead author of the report, comments that “there are so many side effects associated with this therapy, and really little evidence to support its use, and for the majority of patients with localized prostate cancer, this is not a good option.”

The study followed tens of thousands of men with early prostate cancer for as long as 15 years and found that those who received the androgen deprivation therapy lived no longer on average than those who did not. There have been other studies in the past that have come to the same conclusions.

But experts have become increasingly concerned about the widespread use of this treatment in men with early-stage disease, particularly older patients whose slow-growing cancer is unlikely to have serious health consequences.

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