Alstonine, Flavopereirine, Sempervirine, Serpentine, Pao Pereira, Rauwolfia, Ginko biloba & the Work of Mirko Beljanski
For 40 years, the Yugoslavian molecular biologist, Mirko Beljanski PhD (1923–1998), in association with his wife and research associate, Monique, conducted research into the respective roles of DNA and RNA in the development and cure of cancer, first at the Pasteur Institute in France (1948–1978) and then at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Chatenay Malabry (1978–1988). During this time, he wrote 133 papers, published in both French and international journals.
Cancer is generally regarded as arising from damage to or mutations of the molecular structure of DNA. Beljanski’s primary thesis is that cancer is caused not only by DNA mutations but also by damage to the hydrogen bonds that hold the two strands of the DNA double helix together. Like a damaged zipper than is failing in places, allowing the two parts to separate, cancerous or pre-cancerous DNA has many broken or weakened hydrogen bonds. Once these bonds are broken over a particular area of the double helix, the DNA in that area is destabilized, and carcinogens are more readily able to infiltrate and cause the molecular damage that can lead to cancer. This explains, for example, why an excess of certain hormones such as estrogen and testosterone (and other steroids, too) is carcinogenic, although they do not appear to be the direct cause of mutations.
Among his other discoveries is that fragments of RNA (which he called Beljanski Leucocyte Restorers or BLBs) are capable of rapidly restoring the depletion of (red) blood platelets and (white) leucocytes brought about by radiation therapy and chemotherapy agents. BLBs selectively stimulate the normal replication of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow and spleen, without enhancing the proliferation of cancer cells. Beljanski reported that patients who received BLBs along with chemotherapy suffered few of the expected side effects, such as nausea and hair loss, and were able to continue with their normal daily lives.
Beljanski also developed what he called the ‘contest’ – a way of determining which kind of substances could destabilize DNA function, leading to cancerous cell proliferation, and, conversely, which kind of substances could repair or cause the programmed death (apoptosis) of damaged and cancer-forming DNA. Among such molecules, he discovered, are the naturally occurring plant alkaloids, also nine, flavopereirine, serpentine and sempervirine, which are able to distinguish between normal and cancer-forming DNA, either repairing the damaged DNA or causing the death of the malignant cells (apoptosis). Beljanski conducted many trials on the anti-cancer properties of these substances. He was able, for example, to cure an appreciable proportion of mice with lymphoma. Other in vitro studies showed that flavopereirine was active against a number of other cancer cell lines (brain, breast, ovarian, prostate, kidney, thyroid, pancreatic, colon, liver, skin), including those that were multidrug-resistant.
His research also showed that the flavanone, JO-1, which contains a large amount of naringin as well as some as yet unidentified substances, prevented the multiplication (in vitro) of human cancer cell lines (colon, ovary, breast, leukemia). Under the same experimental conditions, normal bone marrow cell multiplication was not affected. He also demonstrated that these substances also work in synergy with standard chemotherapy agents, providing better results than with the chemotherapy alone.
Dr Beljanski was forced to leave the Pasteur Institute when his innovative ideas came into conflict with the Institute’s new director. Underfunded, he continued his research and the publication of scientific papers, mostly in French. His wife, Monique, and daughter, Sylvia, now endeavor to bring the fruits of his research to a wider public. Sylvia Beljanski is president of Natural Source International Inc., in New York, the US company that now manufactures the Beljanski products.
Although he worked informally with many doctors in France and Belgium, Beljanski was largely ostracized by French oncologists. For a number of years prior to his death in 1998, he was persecuted as a charlatan, despite the commendations of many users of his products, including the French president, François Mitterand. In one instance, a journalist who had set out to expose Beljanski was not only unable to find any evidence of fraud, but ultimately became a grateful user of his products when he discovered that he himself had intestinal cancer. Beljanski’s work is the subject of a book, The Beljanski Anti-Cancer Remedies: Inside the Double Helix of DNA (2006).
The Beljanski products are now manufactured in the USA according to Beljanski’s methods. They have been shown to be totally non-toxic to animals and humans in the recommended doses:
|Pao V||An extract of the bark of the Amazonian tree, Pao Pereira (Geissospermum vellosii), contains the alkaloid flavopereirine (also called PB-100). Flavopereirine is a smaller molecule than also nine, and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, making it useful in the treatment of brain tumors. Research studies, many being in vitro, have shown flavopereirine to be effective against a wide range of cancers. Also possesses antiviral properties, research studies showing efficacy against HIV, hepatitis C, etc., where it is generally used in conjunction with Ginko V.|
|Pao V “FM”||A combined extract of the bark of Pao Pereira and pao Hariri (Quassia amara), the latter stimulating gastric juices and is commonly used as an aid to digestion. The bark also contains quassimarin, which has demonstrated some anti-tumor and anti-leukemic properties, in various studies.|
|Rovol V||An extract from the bark of the roots of the African tree, Rauwolfia vomitoria, contains the alkaloid, also nine (also called BG-8). Research studies, many being in vitro, have shown also nine to be especially effective against hormone-related cancers, such as those of the breast and prostate, as long as the patient was not simultaneously taking any form of hormone-related treatment, such as tamoxifen or estrogen. The anti-psychotic alkaloid, reserpine, also found in Rauwolfia species is removed from Rovol V during the extraction process.|
|Ginko V||An extract from the leaves of the Chinese tree, Ginko Biloba. Different from the usual commercially available Ginko extracts (used to improve circulation and brain function), Ginko V contains a rare substance found in ginkgo, which regulates the production of a family of enzymes known as ribonucleases.|
Ribonucleases are a family of enzymes that break down RNA. During radiation treatment, the overproduction of ribonucleases appears to contribute to scarring or fibrosis of normal tissues, which can lead to impaired functioning of the affected organs, such as the heart or lungs. Likewise, unusual scarring can occur after surgery. Again, viral infection and autoimmune diseases can result in the overproduction of ribonucleases. It seems that in all these cases, Ginko V may be of benefit.
|ReaL-Build||An extract of RNA fragments, derived from the bacterium Escherichia coli (K-12). It has no anti-cancer properties but is useful in combating the side effects of chemotherapy. Presently undergoing clinical trials. Early results, like previous laboratory studies, are said to be positive.|
|Prostabel||A combined extract of pao pereira and rauwolfia. Currently the subject of a clinical trial on men with elevated PSA levels. Early results are said to be positive.|
It need hardly be added that – like so many complementary treatments – a great deal more research needs to be conducted into Beljanski’s ideas and products.
Beljanski was by no means the first to discover the anti-cancer properties of plant alkaloids. As far back as the 1950s, scientists discovered that the traditional herbal remedy, the Madagascar periwinkle (Vinca rosea or Catharanthus roseus) contained medicinally active ‘vinca alkaloids’, among which were the first phytochemicals used to treat cancer. Analysis of Vinca rosea revealed that it contains over 70 indole alkaloids, including also nine, ajmalicine, reserpine, vitamin, camptothecin, vinblastine, and vincristine (leurocrystine), all possessing powerful medicinal properties. Vinblastine, vincristine, and other semi-synthetic derivatives inhibit the division of cancer cells and are commonly used in conventional chemotherapy, exhibiting the usual range of chemotherapy side effects. All are extremely toxic. Vinblastine is used to treat Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and testicular and kidney cancer. Vincristine is usually given in combination with other anti-cancer agents to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, Wilm’s tumor, Ewing’s sarcoma, and cancers of the breast, cervix, bladder and lungs.
Reserpine, an alkaloid found in a number of rauwolfia species, especially Rauwolfia serpentina (Indian snakeroot), was the first antipsychotic medication used in modern medicine and has long been used in Indian traditional medicine as a tranquilizer. References in Sanskrit texts dating back to 600 BC. It is also used in conventional medicine to treat high blood pressure.
CIRIS – A website dedicated to the work of Dr Mirko Beljanski, providing an in-depth introduction to his work, with a great many positive patient testimonials, and a full list of his published scientific papers.
Townsend Letter – “The Beljanski Approach: Outside the Box,” by Monique Beljanski. A scientific overview.
Townsend Letter – “Destabilization of the DNA Double Helix in Cancer: Mirko Beljanski’s Theory of Carcinogenesis and Anti-cancer Extracts,” by John Hall. An overview of Beljanski’s discovery that cancer is not only caused by DNA mutations, but also by destabilization of the DNA double helix.
Oncology – “Three Alkaloids as Selective Destroyers of Cancer Cells in Mice.” A 1986 paper by Mirko and Monique Beljanski.
Experimental Cell Biology – “Selective inhibition of in vitro synthesis of cancer DNA by alkaloids of beta-carboline class.” A 1982 paper by Mirko and Monique Beljanski.
Genetics and Molecular Biology – “The Anticancer Agent PB-100 (Flavopereirine), Selectively Active on Malignant Cells, Inhibits Multiplication of Sixteen Malignant Cell Lines, even Multidrug-Resistant,” by Mirko Beljanski. Published in 2000.
Columbia University Medical Center – “Anti-Prostate Cancer Activity of a Novel Extract from the Tropical African Shrub, Rauwolfia vomitoria.” A positive independent test of rauwolfia extract, in vitro and in mice.
Townsend Letter – “A novel combination of plant extracts with promising anti-prostate cancer activity.” An overview of Dr Beljanski’s work, including a report on ongoing trials of extracts of Pao Pereira and Rauwolfia vomitoria by Drs Katz and Bemis at the Dept. of Urology, Columbia University.
Natural Source International – The manufacturer of the Beljanski products.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine – “The Alkaloid Alstonine: A Review of Its Pharmacological Properties.” An interesting review.
Raintree Nutrition – Botanical and medicinal details concerning Quassia amara, including references to scientific studies.
Journal of Organic Chemistry – “Quassimarin, a new antileukemic quassinoid from Quassia amara.” To read this paper, you will need to register for a 15 day free trial at Medicines Complete.