Alternative and Integrative Cancer News & Information
October 2006
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In this edition of CancerWire we offer the latest alternative and integrative cancer news, discuss Dr. Merrill Garnett's provocative book "First Pulse," and present information about medicinal mushrooms.

We would also like to welcome our new sponsor - SmartChoiceDrugStore (SCD) SmartChoiceDrugStore is selling cancer medications at cost. SCD’s long-term program covers most cancer medications including many injectables commonly purchased through your doctor. SCD ships nationwide with typical savings of 10-75%. SmartChoiceDrugStore is a fully licensed, United States pharmacy. Medications are only purchased directly from the manufacturer or the nation’s top wholesale company. Safety is SCD’s #1 priority. Call 1-866-289-6337 for more information.

Remember to take a look at the products and services for patients and clinicians at the bottom of the newsletter. These companies are committed to helping people facing chronic diseases and you should be familiar with what they have to offer.

Cancer Monthly News Review

Liquid Cartilage Extract and Cancer

Breast Cancer and CAM

Vitamin C and Cancer

Carotenoid-Rich Vegetables & Stomach Cancer

Hormone Therapy and Ovarian Cancer Risk

Paul Kraus Helps Mesothelioma Patients

Book Review - "First Pulse" by Dr. Merrill Garnett

First Pulse: A Personal Journey in Cancer Research by Dr. Merrill Garnett is a fascinating personal account of the author’s 40 year quest for an effective cancer therapy. What makes his story unique is the paradigm that the author has applied as he addresses the cancer problem. Unlike most cancer researchers who think in terms of cellular and genetic processes, Dr. Garnett thinks in terms of cellular and genetic energetics or what he calls “electrogenetics,” which is “the energetic process which edits the genome during the life of the organism.” In essence, it’s a question of energy and electrical potential that Garnett sees at the core of cancer.

Based on this paradigm, Garnett has been searching for an agent that exploits the therapeutic vulnerability of cancer due to the altered energy metabolism of malignant cells. As detailed in the book, Dr. Garnett has created and tested nearly 20,000 different organo-metallic compounds culminating in a palladium/lipoic acid complex. The palladium/lipoic acid complex is now being tested by researchers and clinicians.

Below are some quotes from this fascinating book:

Poisoning the gene material didn’t seem to have a theoretical base. It seemed to be a floundering, random position that institutions took because they had nothing else.

I began thinking of biological organic complexes that might be involved in energy transfer. I considered that there were metal organic compounds in which the metal would no longer be raw, binding, or toxic, but exist as it does in the metal enzymes of the body.

The tradition has been that, faced with a metabolic difference between healthy and malignant cells, we must inhibit the cell’s anaerobic state. My point, however, is not to poison the ancient anaerobic glycolysis but to restore the aerobic portion of the cell metabolism that is missing.

I spent years with cobalt and thirteen years with vanadium, and studied reactions of molybdenum, tin, copper, and zinc. Even niobium and platinum. Eventually I got to palladium around 1990.

DNA over time sets up one of the critical resonant frequencies of a cellular pulse. Then, over time, there is the emergence of a tissue pulse, and organ pulse, and neurologic pulses.

It’s the pulse of energy produced by the mitochondria rather than the flow of sugars, not the conversion of small molecules, but rather their harmonics. So once they’ve come on stream in the cell they all flow electrically.

We are an open window to nature. We typically see the organism as a defined entity. But we are fashioned of the universe, and the universe streams through us.

Click here for more information about the book.

Mushrooms and Immunity

Mushrooms have become increasingly important as immune modulating agents and dietary supplements. In fact, over the last ten years there have been several thousand journal articles written about medicinal mushrooms and several hundred specifically about mushrooms and cancer. Now, an entire medical journal is dedicated to their study – the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

Mushrooms have long been valued as delicious and nutritional foods by many societies. In Asia, it has been recognized that certain edible and non-edible mushrooms can have profound health benefits. In fact, a limited number of highly purified compounds derived from certain medicinal mushrooms are now being used in Asia and the U.S.

To explore this resurgent interest in mushrooms, in May 2002, Cancer Research UK commissioned a comprehensive study entitled Medicinal mushrooms: their therapeutic properties and current medical usage with special emphasis on cancer treatments. The authors included: John E. Smith, BSc MSc PhD DSc FIBiol FRSE, Emeritus Professor of Applied Microbiology, University of Strathclyde, Chief Scientific Officer, MycoBiotech Ltd, Singapore; Neil J. Rowan, BSc MSc PhD MIBiol MIFST, Lecturer, Department of Bioscience, University of Strathclyde; and Richard Sullivan, BSc MD PhD, Head of Clinical Programmes, Cancer Research UK. Much of the information below comes from the Executive Summary of this report. The entire report is available here.

The practice of using fungi, especially mushrooms, in Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM), dates back into antiquity and has been recorded in ancient Chinese manuscripts. Increased scientific and medical research in recent decades, especially in Japan, Korea and China and more recently U.S., is confirming efficacy and identifying the bioactive molecules (especially the polysaccharides) which contain demonstrable anti-cancer activities. Most appear to act as immune system enhancers though some can have direct cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. Only a small number of studies have progressed successfully to objective clinical assessment in trials.

The main medicinal mushrooms both edible and non-edible include: Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi or Ling Zhi), Lentinus (Lentinula) edodes (Shiitake), Phellinus linteus, Porio cocos, Auricularia auricula, Hericium erinaceus, Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Flammulina velutipes, Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster mushroom), Trametes (Coriolus) versicolor, Tremella fuciformis, Schizophyllum commune and the nonmushroom Cordyceps sinensis (the caterpillar fungus). The anti-tumour polysaccharides isolated from mushrooms include: water-soluble β-D-glucans, β-D-glucans with heterosaccharide chains of xylose, mannose, galactose or uronic acid or β-D-glucan-protein complexes - proteoglycans. Some are orally bioavailable.

The main medically important polysaccharide compounds that have undergone clinical trials include Lentinan (Lentinus edodes), Schizophyllan (Schizophyllum commune), PSK and PSP (Trametes versicolor) and Grifron-D (Grifola frondosa).

Mushroom-derived glucan and polysaccharo-peptides can act as immunomodulators. The ability of these compounds to enhance or suppress immune responses can depend on a number of factors including dosage, route of administration, timing and frequency of administration, mechanism of action or the site of activity. Several mushroom compounds have been shown to enhance the host’s innate (non-specific) and acquired (specific) immune responses and activate many kinds of immune cells that are important for the maintenance of homeostasis, e.g. host cells (such as cytotoxic macrophages, monocytes, neutrophils, natural killer cells, dendritic cells) and chemical messengers (cytokines such as interleukins, interferon, colony stimulating factors) that trigger complement and acute phase responses.

There have been extensive in vivo studies demonstrating the anti-cancer activity of the glucan polysaccharides and polysaccharide-peptides in animal models. These studies strongly suggest an immunomodulating mode of action. However, in in vitro studies on various cancer cell lines, there is strong evidence for direct cytotoxic effects on the cancer cells for some, but not all, of the polysaccharides.

Many of the mushroom polysaccharides have proceeded through Phase I, II and III clinical trials mainly in Japan and China. Lentinan (L. edodes) has demonstrated strong anti-tumor activity in a wide range of animal models and with human clinical trials where it has proved successful in prolonging the survival especially those patients with gastric and colorectal cancer. Lentinan has been approved as a drug in Japan and is considered an important adjuvant treatment for several cancers. Schizophyllan (S. commune) has proved useful for recurrent and inoperable gastric cancer, as well as increasing survival times of patients with head and neck cancers.

Lingzhi (Ganoderma Lucidum), widely known as Reishi, is one family of mushrooms that is known for delivering superior health benefits in China. In fact, Red Reishi was found to contain some of the highest concentrations of Polysaccharides and Triterpenes, both unique in their ability to fight against certain illnesses. Reishi is also known to boost the immune system and enhance overall metabolism and numerous research papers have been published on its health benefits, including: anti-tumor, immunotherapeutic, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, improving cardiovascular functions, enhancing respiratory system and lungs functions, and chemotherapy support.

In addition, there are several clinical trials with Grifron-D, GD (G. frondosa) on breast, prostate, lung, liver and gastric cancers underway in Japan and U.S. Results to date are promising. In in vitro studies GD appears to inactivate glyoxalase I, an enzyme believed to metabolise chemotherapeutic compounds used against cancer cells thus potentially enhancing their bioavailability.

Two compounds, PSK and PSP (derived from mycelial cultures of T. versicolor) have shown worthwhile anti-cancer properties when given with traditional chemotherapeutic agents with no increases in side-effects. PSK has successfully been used in Phase I, II and III clinical trials with cancers of the stomach, esophagus, nasopharynx, colon, rectum and lung, and with subsets of breast cancer. PSK gave protection against the immunosuppression that normally is associated with surgery and long-term chemotherapy. PSK continues to be used extensively in Japan as an adjunct to standard radio and chemotherapy.

A significant observation from these studies is the apparent ability of all of the above mushroom-derived polysaccharides when administered with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy to significantly reduce the side-effects so often encountered by patients.

The safety of all medicinal mushrooms or their extracts cannot be guaranteed simply because they have been used for many centuries with apparent safety. However, several purified mushroom polysaccharides have been in clinical use in Japan, China and the U.S. for several years with no reports of any significant short-term or long-term adverse effects.

Two sources of unique mushroom extracts are Reishi Essence and Birkdale Medicinals.

Red Reishi is available from Reishi Essence. This company’s mission is to deliver the world’s best Red Reishi extract products at the lowest price. Therefore, they only carry products with the seal of approval from the Japan Reishi Association. You can learn more about Reishi Essence from their website or call them at (310)750-5918.

Birkdale Medicinals makes available Immune Assist 24/7 which is a blend of compounds of six medicinal mushrooms and an extract from green tea called EGCG. This blend is specifically formulated to stimulate all the different aspects of the immune system by increasing the number and activity of the T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells and others. You can learn more about at Birkdale Medicinals from their website or call them at (248) 693-8211.

As required by FDA regulations, these companies make no claim that their products are a treatment or cure for any disease.

Products & Services for Patients and Professionals

Cancer Medications at Cost

- SmartChoiceDrugStore (SCD) has placed its "community first" pricing model into action by selling cancer medications at cost. SCD's long-term program covers most cancer medications including many injectables commonly purchased through your doctor. Savings can exceed hundreds of dollars each month. SCD ships nationwide with typical savings of 10-75%. SmartChoiceDrugStore is a fully licensed, United States pharmacy. SCD participates in the Better Business Bureau and PharmacyChecker verification programs. Patients may also obtain information about SCD from the Texas Board of Pharmacy. Medications are only purchased directly from the manufacturer or the nation's top wholesale company. Safety is SCD's #1 priority. Call 1-866-289-6337 for more information.

Immune Boosting Products

Douglas Laboratories - Douglas Laboratories has been a manufacturer of quality nutritional supplements for more than 50 years. It is the preferred choice of health professionals worldwide.

Get Healthy - This company provides a variety of immune boosting nutritional supplements designed to enhance the immune system.

Polyerga® Plus - Polyerga® Plus is a unique nutritional supplement for supporting the immune system. Although this German-developed spleen peptide technology has been used in Europe and Asia for decades, it is only now becoming available in America. Laboratory and clinically tested to improve key immune system parameters, these peptides help to regulate and stabilize the immune system.

Legal Services

Brain Cancer Misdiagnosis Information Center - Brain Cancer Misdiagnosis Information Center provides information on the frequency of brain cancer misdiagnosis, how you can find out if you have been misdiagnosed, and what you can do about it. The Center is run by the law firm of Webb, Scarmozzino & Gunter.

Cancer Law Center - The Cancer Law Center is comprised of attorneys with experience in helping cancer patients whose disease was made worse because of a delay in diagnosis or whose cancer treatment led to severe injuries. While many people hesitate to contact a lawyer, patients should consider their legal rights if their medical condition was made worse by medical neglect.

Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C. - This law firm (and its predecessor law firms) has been a pioneer in asbestos litigation in the United States. The attorneys of Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C. (GPW) have been involved in asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits since 1978. Their experienced mesothelioma lawyers participated in the gathering of evidence, such as the testimony of corporate executives and doctors, and the accumulation of corporate documents, that helped create the basis for successfully suing the asbestos industry. GPW has represented thousands of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis victims. Because of their involvement in asbestos litigation from the beginning, GPW has a clear understanding of what is required to succeed. In addition to outstanding trial experience, GPW is backed by a large arsenal of corporate documents, depositions, and medical articles with which to vigorously prosecute your asbestos case.

Nutritional Support

Haelan Products offers Haelan 951, an international award-winning, super nutritious, fermented soybean protein beverage. Clinical research and numerous reports from doctors and cancer patients have demonstrated that Haelan 951 helps protect cancer patients from the toxic side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In addition, one study found that the soy isoflavone genistein (which is found in Haelan 951) produced greater apoptosis with both chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Apoptosis means “programmed cell death” and it is a goal of most orthodox cancer therapies. Because Haelan 951 is a nutritional supplement, not a cancer treatment, it was used in this study to offset the toxicity of the treatments, not as a cancer therapy.

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