Category: Cancer Treatment

Laser Cataract Removal

Complementary Help For Cancer Patients From The NHS

Complementary Help For Cancer Patients From The NHS

In addition to providing helpful information for cancer patients and carers/relatives etc. concerning complementary treatments (also called adjuvants or nutriceuticals), we are working with the London-based cancer charity, Yes To Life, to get the best of these into the UK’s NHS (National Health Service). This is not without precedent. Some nutriceuticals, such as mistletoe (used extensively in German and Swiss hospitals), can already be prescribed and obtained within the NHS. Other nutriceuticals can sometimes be funded by the NHS through your local Primary Care Trust (PCT). If you want to get funding in this way, you should apply through your GP. But – though worth a try – don’t have high expectations of success, else you may feel downhearted if the request is turned down. The one certain thing the PCT will require before releasing any funds will be clinical evidence that the product or therapy you want will work.

To forestall an ill-considered refusal on the grounds that “there is no clinical evidence that complementary treatments work,” you can point them to this website for further information and references on particular nutriceuticals or other treatments. Here are some examples of nutriceuticals that we think stand the best chance of being accepted:

  • Avemar (immuno-booster and inhibitor of glucose metabolism in cancer cells)
  • BioBran (immuno-booster)
  • C-Statin / Imm-Kine (Anti-angiogenesis agents)
  • Medicinal mushrooms (immuno-boosters)
  • Ukrain (seemingly multi-action)

If you do get PCT funding, do let us know, as this may represent a precedent that will help others when applying for funding. Since it is probable that you will only get funding if the relevant nutriceuticals are prescribed and administered by a private specialist, you should also ask for funding to cover their consultation, medical testing, and any other fees he or she may charge. To find a suitable cancer specialist, you could check our links under integrated medicine.

To further our aim of getting nutriceuticals into the NHS, you could also write to or email your MP. Below are some of the points worth covering, and you are welcome to incorporate any of what follows into your letter:

  • Say that you are a cancer patient and that your research had led you to understand that there are many well-researched nutriceuticals or adjuvants to standard cancer treatments.
  • Point out that some of these adjuvants, when taken in conjunction with standard cancer treatment, as well as helping the patient get through the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, decrease the rate of recurrences and secondaries (metastases) by highly significant percentages.
  • Say that you have discovered that although a few of these, such as mistletoe (used extensively in German and Swiss hospitals), are available on NHS prescription, the majority are not.
  • Quote medicinal mushrooms as an example, quoting the 700-page report published by Cancer Research UK in May 2002, reviewing all the research to that date on the efficacy of medicinal mushrooms in boosting the immune response to cancer, and significantly raising the survival rates from single figures to well over 50% in some instances.
  • Quote Avemar as a second example, pointing out that in one clinical trial, recurrence rates and the incidence of secondary tumors dropped from 23.1% to 7.6% over a six-month period, when Avemar was used as an adjuvant to standard treatment.
  • Let your MP know that full references to these trials can be found on the website: Or copy the relevant web addresses directly into your letter. Or both.
  • Point out that nutriceuticals are many orders of magnitude cheaper than pharmaceuticals, and that quite apart from the increased quality of life and survival of cancer patients, it is self-evident that the use of such adjuvants would save the NHS huge sums of money in treating cancer recurrences.
  • Say that research surveys show that a high percentage of cancer patients resort to the use of various nutriceuticals to help them through standard cancer treatments.
  • Observe that the pending legislation regarding the use of nutriceuticals not only restricts the individual’s democratic right to freedom of choice in matters of health but may result in the unavailability of nutraceuticals that have been shown to enhance the quality of life and increase survival rates among cancer patients. By thus increasing the recurrence rates and the burden on the NHS, the government is effectively shooting itself in the foot. (Note: Tory MPs have consistently argued against this legislation. So if you have a Tory MP, you could add something like, “This is something I am sure you would be only too happy to point out to the government!”)
  • Request your MP to write to the Minister for Health on your behalf, making all the above points, and sending a copy of all correspondence to yourself.

To find the name of your MP, telephone 020 7219 4274, or check online at …

Cancer Treatment Exercise

Cancer Treatment Exercise

Everyone knows that exercise is required to maintain a healthy body, but few people are aware of the extensive research demonstrating a specific preventative link between exercise, cancer, and other illnesses. There is no doubt that regular exercise gives you more energy, makes you feel better, lowers your stress levels, and helps prevent ill health. The physiological effects of regular exercise are multiple.

BBC News Report – “Exercise ‘halves cancer risk’.”

University of Minnesota Cancer Center – “Cancer Risk Reduction: Exercise and Cancer.”

American Cancer Society – Some excellent suggestions on staying active, fitting in fitness, and making exercise work for you.

American Cancer Society – “Exercise to Stay Active: Find out how much activity is healthy during treatment and create an exercise program that’s right for you.” – “Exercise as a cancer treatment.” – A useful article relating exercise to specific forms of cancer on Dr Joseph Mercola’s nutritional supplement shop and health information site.

Charity Wire – Reports on “a survey commissioned by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) revealing that a high percentage of Americans are unaware that regular exercise can reduce the risk of cancer. In contrast, the great majority know that eating vegetables and fruit can contribute to the body’s defense against the disease.”

Cancer Vaccines & Dendritic Cell Vaccines

The possibility of creating cancer vaccines has arisen from observations that even advanced cancers are sometimes reduced or even completely disappear when the patient suffers a viral or bacterial infection. It is presumed that when the infection stimulates the patient’s immune system, cancer also gets zapped. Cancer vaccines (containing tumor cells or antigens) seek to stimulate the patient’s immune system into producing T-cell lymphocytes, which destroy cancer cells and prevent relapses of cancer. Unlike other vaccines, cancer vaccines cannot be used preventatively, but only to attack existing cancers. Vaccines are prepared in a number of ways, sometimes from breakdown products of cancer cells found in the patient’s urine.

“Dendritic cells are professional antigen-capturing and -presenting cells of the immune system. Because of their exceptional capability of activating tumor-specific T-cells, cancer vaccination research is now shifting toward the formulation of a clinical human dendritic cell vaccine.” (Peter Ponsaerts et. al)

HowStuffWorks – “How Cancer Vaccines will Work.” A short and clear overview.

MedIndia – “Provenge – Dendritic cell vaccine for Prostate Cancer.” A short news article.

Dove Clinic – “Dendritic Cell Therapy Vaccines: A Promising New Approach to the Treatment of Cancer.” A readable technical overview by Dr Julian Kenyon.

Dove Clinic – An observation study by Dr Julian Kenyon of 32 consecutive cancer patients who were given a dendritic cell vaccine.

Dove Clinic – Home page of Dr Julian Kenyon’s UK integrated medicine clinic in Winchester and London, where dendritic cell vaccines are used, together with other therapies and diagnostic tools.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic therapy, also called photochemotherapy, phototherapy, or photoradiation therapy, is based on the discovery that cells or organisms treated with a photosensitizing agent can then be destroyed by means of light. PDT involves the use of a photosensitizing drug, which is either applied to the skin or injected intravenously. After two or three days, when the drug has been absorbed throughout the body, though more selectively in cancer cells, low-level, fixed-frequency laser light is focused on the tumor, causing the drug to react with oxygen. This forms free radicals or other substances which kill the cancer cells or destroys the blood vessels that feed the cancer cells. PDT may also trigger the immune system to attack the cancer cells. The actual laser treatment can take between 5 to 40 minutes, depending on the area being treated.

Since PDT is only useful for treating tumors or pre-cancerous tissues where laser light can reach, it is not always practical. This usually restricts PDT to areas on or lying no more than half an inch beneath the skin, or in the accessible lining of internal organs, especially the larynx, esophagus, lungs, stomach, colon, rectum, and bladder. Treatment of prostate, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers is still in the experimental stage. Large tumors are more difficult to treat with PDT because the light does not penetrate deeply enough.

In cases where PDT can be used, studies have shown it to be as effective as surgery or radiation therapy. The advantages are that the patient does not have to undergo surgery; cancer can be very precisely targeted; the treatment can be repeated on the same site (unlike radiation), and the patient can generally be treated as an outpatient. The major drawback with some PDT drugs is that because they spread throughout the body, the skin and eyes become very sensitive to bright light for up to six weeks, even up to 90 days, requiring special precautions. PDT can also cause burns, swellings, or pain in …

Cancer Treatment Essiac

Cancer Treatment Essiac

A herbal formula used by a Canadian nurse, Rene Caisse (1887–1978) has developed something of a worldwide cult status. The formula is said to have originated with a Native American herbalist in Northern Ontario, who successfully treated an English woman for breast cancer towards the end of the nineteenth century. A limited scientific trial failed to find any anti-cancer benefit from its use, but the herbal mix is relatively inexpensive and considering the positive anecdotal evidence, it’s worth trying. Like so many cancer treatments, mainstream and otherwise, it is possible that Essiac works with some people, but not others, though why this should be so is uncertain. There can be a number of reasons.

The formula consists of the entire dried and powdered sheep sorrel plant (Rumex acetosella), chopped and dried burdock root (Arctium lappa), then dried and powdered bark of the slippery elm tree (Ulmus rubra), and then dried and powdered root of the ornamental turkey rhubarb plant (Rheum palmatum). – A good overview with links to other Essiac sites – UK supplier of Essiac herbs worldwide.

Clouds Trust – An Essiac information organization. A useful information site.


“ImuPlus is a proprietary pharmaceutical grade (99%), non-denatured whey protein isolate formula: a functional food that provides bioactive precursors for the intracellular production of glutathione, a critical constituent for the immune system and a vital antioxidant and detoxifying agent… Thus, it is possible that the ingestion of non-denatured whey protein isolates may oxidatively stress cancer cells, while protecting normal cells. This may be why carcinogen-treated mice fed non-denatured whey protein isolates had significantly smaller tumor burdens than controls” (Swiss Bioceutical International). Whey is the watery liquid component when milk is curdled.

Swiss Bioceutical International Ltd. – The manufacturer’s site.

Swiss Bioceutical International Ltd. – The manufacturer’s product information.

Springboard – “The ImuPlus Story” – a comprehensive report on ImuPlus, sponsored and partially written by the manufacturer, with a number of doctors’ recommendations and an evident product promotional agenda.


Avemar sometimes referred to as MSC, is a nutritional compound produced by the fermentation of wheat germ (Triticum vulgaris) by bakers yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), in a patented process that yields a standardized quantity of the naturally occurring flavone 2,6-dimethoxy-p-benzoquinone (2,6-DMBQ). It is used as a supportive adjunct to conventional cancer treatment. The process was devised by the Hungarian researcher, Professor Mate Hidvegi, during the 1990s. Avemar is manufactured in Hungary, where it is an accepted part of cancer treatment. According to a number of studies, Avemar enhances immune system regulation in a number of ways, making it easier for the immune system to see cancer cells and destroy them. Avemar also selectively inhibits glucose metabolism in cancer cells, reducing their ability to multiply.

A number of small clinical trials conducted since 2000 have proved encouraging. One study, published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2003, showed a reduction from 23.1% to 7.6% of new metastases over six months among 66 colorectal cancer patients who received Avemar and 104 who did not. Other trials have shown similar, significant results with other forms of cancer. American BioSciences Inc., the US distributor of Avemar, has the complete text of the various studies and reviews on its website. The product is subject to considerable marketing effort and sales-oriented presentation of the research data and brand name.

Avemar – The Hungarian manufacturer’s website.

American BioSciences Inc. – The US distributor’s informative website.

Avemar Published Research – The full text of the four clinical trials, and various reviews.

Annals of the New York Academy of Science – “Fermented Wheat Germ Extract (Avemar) in the Treatment of Cancer and Autoimmune Diseases.” An explanatory review.

Supportive Therapy – A high-pressure Avemar marketing site.

BioBran MGN-3

The primary active ingredient of BioBran MGN-3 is arabinoxylan, a short-chain polysaccharide formed by the breakdown of rice bran by enzymes from the shiitake mushroom. It has been shown to boost the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer (NK) cells and other lymphocytes (B- and T-cells), which can identify and destroy cancer cells. However, there is little clinical research to show that MGN-3 reduces the size of tumors. It is therefore recommended as an adjuvant treatment for those undergoing chemo- or radiotherapy, or in conjunction with surgery. No side effects or incompatibility with other treatments have been reported, and its effect does not diminish with time. It may be possible in the UK to obtain this product from your GP.

The main researcher behind BioBran MGN-3 has been Dr. Mamdooh Ghoneum at the Charles Drew University, Los Angeles. The product has been produced by Diawa Pharmaceutical in Tokyo, a small company committed to the development of natural products. The product was first marketed in 1992 and rapidly ran into legal problems in the USA, when the distributor Lane Labs, made …

Complementary and Alternative Cancer Treatment

Complementary and Alternative Cancer Treatment


Mistletoe is a traditional remedy and panacea dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks and the Druids. Nowadays it is the most widely used cancer drug in Germany, where it was introduced as a cancer treatment in 1917 by Rudolph Steiner, founder of anthroposophy. Since the 1960s, there have been at least 30 trials of mistletoe. These indicate that mistletoe not only has a direct toxic effect on cancer cells but also stimulates the bodily immune system to deal with cancer cells. A number of studies have indicated extended survival times for patients treated with mistletoe extracts. Substances in European mistletoe also affect the heart. Low concentrations can lower blood pressure and heart rate, while higher levels can cause the contraction of blood vessels, and thus possibly raise the blood pressure.

Of the several species of mistletoe, only Viscum album, the white-berried European mistletoe, is used therapeutically. Mistletoe’s anti-cancer properties are believed to arise from its toxic constituents, viscotoxins, and lectins. Because of its toxicity, mistletoe extract needs to be prepared by carefully controlled processes. Extracts are administered either orally or by subcutaneous injection. Because of the negative indications and potential side effects, it is wise to seek professional medical advice before using any mistletoe extract. It is also worth bearing in mind that mistletoe belongs to the ivy family, to which some people are allergic. European mistletoe extracts are sold under brand names such as Iscador, Israel, Vysorel, and Helix.

US Pharmacist – An excellent and comprehensive summary of mistletoe and its uses as an anti-cancer agent.

National Cancer Institute – A good, brief summary of mistletoe research.

DrugDigest – A summary of mistletoe research, with information on its potential side effects and when not to take it (e.g. it can cause miscarriages).

Vitacost – A summary of mistletoe research in simple language.

Mistletoe Extracts and Cancer Therapy – Reviews the book Iscador, by Robert Gorter, giving details of mistletoe’s anti-cancerous properties and the method used for making the extract known as Iscador.

Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophical Medicine – “Use of Iscador, an extract of European mistletoe (Viscum album), in cancer treatment.” This is the research paper detailing the Iscador trial mentioned above.

Park Attwood Clinic – A private clinic near Kidderminster in Worcestershire, UK, specializing in anthroposophical medicine, including the use of mistletoe.

Cat’s Claw

The two closely related species of the thorned vine known as cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis), are traditional herbal remedies from the Amazon rainforest. The popular use of a cat’s claw as folk medicine has prompted a number of scientific studies into its efficacy. Although more research is required, it seems clear that the herb has potent immuno-booster properties, and may thus be useful for cancer patients. Other properties claimed of the cat’s claw include pain relief, inflammation reduction, blood cleansing, bowel cleansing, and the reduction of both blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also said to kill cancer and leukemia cells and to be diuretic, antioxidant, and antiviral.

Cat’s claw contains several groups of phytochemicals that account for most of these properties. Firstly, there is a group of oxindole alkaloids with documented immuno-stimulant and antileukemic properties. Then there are quinovic acid glycosides, which are anti-inflammatory and antiviral. Antioxidants (tannins, catechins, and procyanidins), as well as plant sterols (beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol), also account for the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties. And the plant’s carboxyl alkyl esters have demonstrated immuno-stimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, and cell-repairing properties (Raintree Nutrition).

Tropical Plant Database – An excellent and detailed overview.

University of California, Moores Cancer Center – A brief overview.

Pure Health Systems – An overview from a US supplier.

Artemisinin– Wormwood

Artemisinin (Artemesia annua L., known in China as qing hao su or QHS) is extracted from the Chinese herb, qing hao, known in the West as sweet wormwood or sweet Annie, a herb not to be confused with common or bitter wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.). The story behind its discovery as a cancer drug must be unique. The recipe for the remedy was found among ancient medical recipes discovered in a tomb dating back to 168 BCE during an archaeological dig in China during the 1970s. According to one of these recipes, the ancient Chinese used an extract of wormwood to combat malaria. Artemisinin was first isolated in l972 and synthesized in 1983. As an anti-malaria remedy, artemisinin has subsequently been well-researched and is widely used with considerable success in Asia and Africa.

Artemisinin reacts with the high iron concentrations found in the malaria parasite, forming free radicals (charged atoms and molecules). The free radicals then disrupt the cell membranes of the single-celled parasite, causing their demise. Considering this process, two professors at the University of Washington, Henry Lai and Narendra Singh, began to wonder whether the same process could bring about the destruction of cancer cells. Cancer cells contain a high …

Diet, Nutrients, Vitamins & Cancer

Diet, Nutrients, Vitamins & Cancer

Many foods, especially fruits and vegetables, contain substances that help to prevent the formation of cancers or actively attack existing cancers. This seems to be one of the purposes of food and is a part of the economy of nature. For cancer prevention, a diet containing high-quality fruits and vegetables is essential. Ideally, fruit and vegetables should not only be free of herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, etc. but should also be grown on soil that has not been depleted of natural minerals and nutrients. A number of experts have pointed out that for cancer treatment rather than prevention, it may be too late for a dietary regime alone to result in a cure. Concentrated extracts should also be considered. However, to maintain or regain health, the importance of a whole food diet cannot be over-emphasized.

Woodlands Healing Research Center A good overview of nutrition and cancer.

Cornell University Scientific research papers concerning the influence of fruit and vegetables on cancer risk, etc.

American Institute for Cancer Research The cancer charity that fosters research on diet and cancer prevention, and educates the public about the results.

Phytochemicals as Nutriceuticals An excellent survey of the many beneficial substances found in plants.

Nutrition Journal – Nutrition and Cancer: A Review of the Evidence for an Anti-cancer Diet. An excellent review.

The Oncologist – Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer. A good review of the options.

Cancer Active – Ten foods you should add back into your diet today.

Cancer Active – Twelve foods you should have in your diet to fight cancer.

Life Extension Foundation – An excellent review of many anti-cancer foods and supplements.

Many well-known vitamins and other antioxidants have been shown to help lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Some also possess anti-cancer properties. However, some antioxidants can inhibit the cytotoxic effect (and hence their ability to kill cancer cells) of chemotherapy drugs, while others can enhance their cytotoxic effect (such as vitamin E and 5FU). The subject is complex because there are so many antioxidants and so many chemotherapy drugs, and the full nature of all the interactions is unknown. So if you are intending to take vitamins and antioxidants along with chemotherapy, it is best to do further research and/or ask a medical professional who knows about these things.

Dietary supplements are a huge industry, and quality varies considerably, so it is important to get high-quality vitamins and antioxidants. Vitamins etc. that have been extracted or prepared in such a way as to maximize their bioavailability are preferable because the body is able to absorb greater quantities. There is little point in taking large doses of vitamins if most of them are never absorbed into the body or if they are simply excreted in your urine. What are antioxidants?

Moss Reports Dr Ralph Moss has studied this subject in detail and has many useful things to say on the use of antioxidants during chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Try searching his site for antioxidants. He has also written a well-considered report, Should patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy take antioxidants? (It’s not free!)

The Simone Report – Nutrients and Cancer Treatment. Has some useful information on chemotherapy and antioxidants.

Gary Null et. al. Vitamin C & the Treatment of Cancer. A review of the research literature.

Arnold Gore A detailed study of antioxidants, cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation.

PubMed Dietary antioxidants during cancer chemotherapy: impact on chemotherapeutic effectiveness and development of side effects. A scientific and technical review of some of the known or suspected interactions.

National Cancer Institute A factsheet on a vitamin E and selenium cancer prevention trial.

AnnieAppleSeedProject A review of some of the studies concerning the beneficial combination of antioxidants. See also.

Doctor’s Guide A report on the enhancing effect of Vitamin E on the colorectal cancer drug, 5FU.

Higher Nature UK supplier of high-quality nutritional supplements, with an advice line. Check out their True Food range of supplements with enhanced bioavailability.

Vitamin C High Intravenous Dose

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, was first suggested as a cancer treatment in 1976, by Linus Pauling, winner of the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel peace prize in 1964. His research showed that life expectancy in terminally ill cancer patients who were given 10gms of vitamin C per day was significantly increased, compared to those who were not. Various studies since then have produced similar results, with survival times being generally doubled. Other studies, however, have found no benefits, and have concluded that any positive benefits are those of a placebo. In practice, doctors who have used the method have found that it works with some patients and not with others. Why this should be so is presently unknown.

It has been suggested that the high dose acts as an immuno-booster, stimulating the body’s …

Alstonine, Flavopereirine, Sempervirine, Serpentine, Pao Pereira, Rauwolfia, Ginko biloba & the Work of Mirko Beljanski

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 VAn 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
Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal Mushrooms

A number of mushrooms and fungi have been shown in various studies to contain substances (mostly complex polysaccharides) that stimulate the body’s immune system (particularly its T-cell lymphocytes, macrophages, and natural killer cells) to destroy cancer cells, lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and combat viral infections. In some instances, tumors have been entirely eliminated. Most of these mushrooms have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine, dating back to at least 100 AD, and have been eaten as food for thousands of years in the East. Among the world’s edible mushrooms, shiitake are second in popularity only to the common button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus).

Six species are of particular interest: reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), shiitake (Lentinula edodes), maitake (Grifola frondosa),Cordyceps sinensis,Trametes or Coriolus versicolor, and Agaricus blazei muril (ABM). The latter originated in Brazil, but has been cultivated in Japan since 1965, where it is known as Himematsutake. Since at least the 1960s, a considerable amount of scientific research has been and is being conducted (especially in Japan and China) into the anti-cancer substances found in these six mushrooms.

Medicinal mushrooms are available commercially as dried powdered whole mushrooms, as a dried extract, or as a liquid extract. Depending upon your local climate, it may also be possible to grow them for yourself. Extracts can be made in warm water over a period of 2-6 hours, or in hot water over a shorter period. A few manufacturers first use hot water, and then alcohol, to maximize the volume and variety of substances extracted. Products can be made from the mycelium and/or from the fruiting body, between which there is a difference in the level of active anti-cancer substances. Which extraction method is best is currently difficult to determine, especially in the absence of data from laboratory trials. The best method of extraction may even vary from one mushroom to another. Growing methods can also result in considerable variations in the quantity of the active substances present. But again – despite all the assertions of manufacturers and other ‘experts’ – there is minimal published data on which to base any decision. Having reviewed the literature (often in confusion!), I suspect that extracts using both water and alcohol are probably best. This is also the form used by both Dr Julian Kenyon of the Dove Clinic in the UK and Dr Etienne Callebout of Harley Street, London.

I guess that until there is standardization and each manufacturer measures and publishes the levels of active ingredients in their products (an expensive procedure), there will always be uncertainty over quality. Presently, many manufacturers actually play on this uncertainty when promoting their own particular brands, something that they could eliminate by publishing the relevant data. And until there are full-scale clinical trials, the dosage will remain a matter of informed guesswork. Personally, I am using the extracts from mushrooms grown and processed by Fruiting Bodies, at their place in Wales.

A number of extracts of the active compounds found in shiitake mushrooms are sold as proprietary products. These include lentinan (shown in trials to stop or slow tumor growth) and eritadenine (thought to help in the reduction of blood clots and to lower cholesterol by blocking the way cholesterol is absorbed into the bloodstream). Another product – active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) – a proprietary extract prepared from several species of medicinal mushroom, including shiitake, is claimed to effectively inhibit tumor growth and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy. However, full details of the mushroom species used and the method of preparation are not disclosed by the producers, and most of their claims relate to the properties of medicinal mushrooms in general, rather than AHCC in particular.

Other proprietary mushroom compounds, including grifolan (from maitake), schizophyllan (from Schizophyllum commune), and SSG (from Sclerotinia sclerotiorum), are available in Japan, where lentinan and schizophyllan have been approved as anti-cancer drugs. It is worth noting that many of the animal and human clinical studies of lentinan have been made using an injected form. The efficacy of lentinan when taken orally remains uncertain.

Occasional side effects seem to be restricted to diarrhea and bloating, which generally go away after a few days. Allergic responses affecting the skin, nose, throat, or lungs have also been reported by some people.

Note that Agaricus blaze contains a small number of carcinogenic agaritines, which are metabolized by the body into highly carcinogenic derivatives. These can be removed from A. blazeii extracts by specialized processing without adversely affecting its medicinal properties, but not all manufacturers take this step. So before using A. blazeii, it is worth getting clear feedback from the producers concerning the level of agaritines in their A. blazeii products. Incidentally, the commonly consumed button mushroom (A. bisporus) and others of the family (e.g. …

Lycopene, Zinc, Pumpkin Seeds, Prostatol, Prostate Care, etc.

Lycopene, Zinc, Pumpkin Seeds, Prostatol, Prostate Care, etc.

As manufacturers and vendors of nutritional products are quick to point out, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) or enlargement is common in men over 50, and prostate cancer is one of the commonest cancers. Addressing this market and making use of traditional herbal knowledge as well as research into herbal phytochemicals, vitamin and supplement manufacturers have come up with a range of products designed to promote prostate health. Though the ingredients may have been subject to various scientific studies, no clinical trials have been conducted into the relative efficacy of these products, and it is not thought that they can fight existing cancers on their own. They are of more use in the general maintenance of prostate health.

The many ingredients used in the various products include tomato extract (contains the antioxidant and anti-cancer agent, lycopene); licorice extract (anti-inflammatory); cranberries (protect against urinary tract infections, with a number of other benefits); pumpkin seeds (contain anti-inflammatory sterols; also a diuretic, helping urinary flow; also high in zinc, present naturally at high levels in the prostate); the essential amino acids, glutamic acid, alanine, and glycine (reduce the symptoms of BPH); zinc gluconate (reduces symptoms of BPH); selenium (a powerful antioxidant, with anti-cancer properties); pygeum (maintains healthy cholesterol levels, elevated cholesterol levels being associated with BPH); saw palmetto (relieves the symptoms of BPH, when combined with pygeum); nettle (promotes prostate health); marshmallow (promotes urinary flow and has soothing properties); and other herbs. Internet searches on the above will yield many results. Only a few such links are given below.

Among the many proprietary supplements being marketed are Prostatol, Prostate Care, Prost 8 Palmetto, Dim Palmeto Prostate, Prosta-Vita, and others. There seems to be no data that enables a person to determine which are the most effective.

It is worth noting that epidemiological (population) studies on those who consume significantly larger quantities of tomatoes and tomato-based products have a lower risk of prostate cancer. Moreover, because of the heat applied during the manufacturing process, the lycopene in concentrated tomato products is more readily absorbed by the body than from fresh tomatoes. Tomato paste (23.3 mums/100gms) and tomato ketchup (17 mums/100gms) are the best sources and have a far higher lycopene content than fresh tomatoes (3 mums/100gms). Lycopene is a fat-soluble carotenoid, and there is evidence that tomatoes taken in association with oil are absorbed far better into the body. Studies on rats have indicated that lycopene appears to act in synergy with other compounds in tomatoes. This implies that supplements containing lycopene alone may not be as effective as whole tomato products.

Science Daily – “Lycopene’s Anti-cancer Effect Linked to Other Tomato Components.” A readable report (2003) of the various studies.

Journal of the National Institute of Cancer – The scientific study suggests that whole tomato are far better than lycopene alone in preventing prostate cancer.

The Cancer Project – How lycopene protects against cancer.

“Lycopene” – Wikipedia – An assessment of the research.

“Lycopene” – American Cancer Society – An assessment of the research.

The World’s Healthiest Foods – On the health benefits of cranberries.

Cornell University – “Selenium supplements can reduce cancer rates.”

Innate Response – Manufacturer of Prostate Response.

Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy – A US vendor of Prostatol, Prost 8 Palmetto, Dim Palmetto Prostate, Prosta-Vita, and other prostate formulae.

Vitacost – A US vendor of high concentration Natrol lycopene from tomato extract.


Zinc is a naturally occurring element, involved in a number of bodily biochemical functions. It is found in legumes, brewer’s yeast, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, dairy products, and whole grains, as well as meat, fish, and poultry. In the cancer scenario, it functions as an immuno-stimulant and an antioxidant, helping to mop up the free radicals that can lead to cancer. Zinc deficiency has also been linked to an increased risk of esophageal squamous cell cancer. Zinc is found in high concentrations in the prostate gland and is present in prostate secretions, where it assists sperm motility. Zinc is also involved in bone formation and the regulation of neural synaptic signaling. It is present in over 300 enzymes.

Zinc supplementation usually comes in the form of zinc gluconate, zinc sulphate, or zinc acetate. It is involved in the acuity of the sense of smell and taste and is used to help treat the loss of taste resulting from head and neck radiation therapy and the disturbances to taste caused by chemotherapy, although the results of studies concerning taste are mixed. Zinc is also an ingredient of supplements designed to help reduce the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement, common in men over 50.

The recommended daily allowance is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. Zinc supplements, including multivitamins, normally contain 15 mg, to be taken once a day. Zinc elevates the levels of blood testosterone, …