JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Cutting calories can stop cancer cells from spreading

Something different to discuss – for the medical-revolution cynics among us. Cells from a human triple-negative breast cancer were implanted in mice under their mammary fat pads. Triple negative breast cancer is a nastier form of breast cancer which is harder to treat because these cells don’t respond to the usual anti-estrogenic drugs.

The mice were then allowed to eat only 70% as many calories as they would normally freely choose to eat.  This is a particularly interesting study because it shows that calorie restriction inhibited the expression of certain micro RNAs even from foreign (non mouse) implanted breast cancer cells, and this apparently kept the cancer from spreading. Notably fatalities from cancers don’t usually come from the initial solid tumor but from the metastasized version, so this is potentially very useful.

The mechanism involves strengthening the matrix around the cancer cells. When these cancer cells have metastasized they produce more of these particular micro RNA’s which in turn appear to stop production of proteins that strengthen the extracellular matrix. In other words, the cancer cells probably use the micro RNA’s to degrade the cellular matrix around them in order to spread. The implications of this are both that the micro RNA’s could be used as a target for future drug development, and also that it may help explain why people who gain weight are more likely to have a recurrence. A link between weight and breast cancer is already well established. Dieting may especially help people undergoing radiation therapy, and other trials on this with patients have already started.

For the rest of us, it’s a bit more incentive not to eat the other half of the block of chocolate (til tomorrow). Of course “cutting calories” means being careful to avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies too.

Fighting Cancer with Dietary Changes

Thomas Jefferson University

Calorie restriction, a kind of dieting in which food intake is decreased by a certain percentage, has been touted as way to help people live longer. New research suggests that there may be other benefits, including improving outcomes for women in breast cancer. According to a study published May 26th in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, the triple negative subtype of breast cancer — one of the most aggressive forms — is less likely to spread, or metastasize, to new sites in the body when mice were fed a restricted diet.

“The diet turned on a epigenetic program that protected mice from metastatic disease,” says senior author Nicole Simone, M.D., an associate professor in the department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University. Indeed, when mouse models of triple negative cancer were fed 30 percent less than what they ate when given free access to food, the cancer cells decreased their production of microRNAs 17 and 20 (miR 17/20). Researchers have found that this group of miRs is often increased in triple negative cancers that metastasize.

Breast cancer patients are often treated with hormonal therapy to block tumor growth, and steroids to counteract the side effects of chemotherapy. However, both treatments can cause a patient to have altered metabolism which can lead to weight gain. In fact, women gain an average of 10 pounds in their first year of treatment. Recent studies have shown that too much weight makes standard treatments for breast cancer less effective, and those who gain weight during treatment have worse cancer outcomes. “That’s why it’s important to look at metabolism when treating women with cancer,” says Dr. Simone.

In earlier studies, Dr. Simone and colleagues had shown that calorie restriction boosted the tumor-killing effects of radiation therapy. This study aimed to examine which molecular pathways were involved in this cooperative effect.

The investigators noticed that microRNAs — a type of RNA that regulates other genes in the cell — specifically miR 17 and 20, decreased the most when mice were treated with both radiation and calorie restriction. This decrease in turn increased the production of proteins involved in maintaining the extracellular matrix. “Calorie restriction promotes epigenetic changes in the breast tissue that keep the extracellular matrix strong,” says Dr. Simone. “A strong matrix creates a sort of cage around the tumor, making it more difficult for cancer cells to escape and spread to new sites in the body.”

Understanding the link to miR 17 also gives researchers a molecular target for diagnosing cancers that are more likely to metastasize and, potentially, for developing a new drug to treat the cancers. In theory, a drug that decreased miR 17 could have the same effect on the extracellular matrix as calorie restriction. However, targeting a single molecular pathway, such as the miR17 is unlikely to be as effective as calorie restriction, says Dr. Simone. Triple negative breast cancers tend to be quite different genetically from patient to patient. If calorie restriction is as effective in women as it is in animal models, then it would likely change the expression patterns of a large set of genes, hitting multiple targets at once without toxicity.

In order to test that this hypothesis is true in humans, Dr. Simone is currently enrolling patients in the CaReFOR (Calorie Restriction for Oncology Research) trial. As the first trial like it in the country, women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer receive nutritional counseling and are guided through their weight loss plan as they undergo their treatment for breast cancer.

REFERENCE

Lianjin Jin, Meng Lim, Shuping Zhao, Yuri Sano, Brittany A. Simone, Jason E. Savage, Eric Wickstrom, Kevin Camphausen, Richard G. Pestell, Nicole L. Simone. The metastatic potential of triple-negative breast cancer is decreased via caloric restriction-mediated reduction of the miR-17~92 cluster. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s10549-014-2978-7

 

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120 comments to Cutting calories can stop cancer cells from spreading

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    Mark D.

    Having just a bit of experience with cancer, I recall a book “Beating Cancer with Nutrition” that struck my fancy some 13 years ago. It’s author may have been ahead of this research.


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    Richo

    Dieting goes against all current advice provided to patients receiving chemotheraphy. Patients are encouraged to maintain their weight so that they are better able to withstand the side effects from an extended period of chemotheraphy treatment. The body burns up extra calories during chemotheraphy. Nutritionists encourage patients to eat extra full fat dairy products to maintain their weight. However, one of the side effects from some chemotheraphy drugs prescribed for breast cancer patients is that patients tend to put on weight as a side effect. I hope that the human trials being conducted by Dr Simone translates into good results for the patients undergoing the trial.


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      bananabender

      Casein, a major protein, is known to be one of the most powerful cancer promoting agents on the planet.

      Dietitians, unfortunately, are trained to be little more than promoters of food industry propaganda. They learn a very limited amount of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry and a vast of quasi-scientific dogma during their degrees [eg there is no solid evidence that eating breakfast is important or that milk prevents osteoporosis.]


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        Andrew McRae

        That line is from T. Colin Campbell and his actual quote was “casein is the most relevant cancer promoter ever discovered.”
        Presumably by relevant he means a combination of powerful and widespread in people’s diets.

        There doesn’t seem much counter-evidence that I can find. (Unfortunately Campbell overgeneralized these results to imply that all animal-derived substances were bad and pushed for a vegan diet, which can lead to increased copper intake and so promotes cancer in a different way.)

        This is unsettling information, as casein is 80% of the protein in cow’s milk. What am I supposed to do for breakfast, mix up some whey protein powder in water as a substitute? What a bother. Coffee has scores of known carcinogens in it, all of them natural substances. The next step is to figure out whether casein is really the single largest carcinogen I’m eating or whether cutting out something else would have a greater benefit. Cereal with carcinogenic milk has been the bedrock of my day, I can’t give it up! :D

        Add the spreading fears of old-age dementia and by comparison dying in agony at an early age almost looks better.
        (Perhaps being less cynical is the best step?)


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          bananabender

          A friend pours apple juice on his (uncooked) rolled oats. He reckons it tastes far better than milk.

          Humans evolved from vegan apes (Chimpanzees eat about 2kg of meat/insects per YEAR). So it is logical that our natural diet is plant based.

          If you base your diet on fruit and vegetables rather than grains copper isn’t a problem.

          It isn’t just Campbell recommending a vegan diet. Walter C Willett Chair of the Harvard Department of Nutrition (and the worlds most academically published nutrition researcher) doesn’t eat dairy products or red meat and very rarely eats chicken or fish. Kaiser Permanente the largest HMO in the US now recommends vegan diets for all patients.


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          • #

            We’re not vegan apes anymore. Eating a diet which does not contain enough protein can cause serious physiological problems, such as insulin resistance, in susceptible people. Plants are mostly carbohydrate – the body processes most plant mass as if it were sugar. Its difficult to get enough protein from a vegan diet.


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          • #

            Glad i didn’t see this a few days ago as I was feeling unwell already. Adult chimps eat 50-100g of insects small mammals etc per day. hardy 2000g/year. Between 1-10% of the daily diet by mass depending on availability. Bonobos.

            Now Bananabender you are a recidivist abuser (as seen elsewhere in this post) of evolution. You give the impression that we evolved from chimps, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you know that we and they descended from a common ancestor. Assuming you know this, what is your evidence for your assertion that the human lineage was essentially vegan fir 2 million years?


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              Adult chimps hunt bush babies, Orangutans do fish (not with spears) and our insides more closely resemble pigs. We diverged long ago form other apes so that it is very likely that our digestive system developed differently. We also seem to have evolved in the swamp areas of the rift valley so crab and shell fish were probably important in our diet like macaques.

              I would caution people who think that diseases that hit old people are due to an unnatural lifestyle. We have evolved to survive till about 40-50. We have not evolved to be fussy eaters and we have not evolved to die because we like bacon.


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            • #

              for not fir, and who knows why i wrote bonobos… i probably intended to add a detail. back to bed.


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      • #
        Joe

        bb, very good point you make about the dieticians.
        Our consumption of dairy produce is fascinating. Our same Gov scientists (think AWG) even put it up there on our official food pyramid. We seem to be the only species who depend so heavily on the mother’s milk of another species. We don’t seem to ever ween ourselves off it, even as adults. Nor do we question the ‘design and purpose’ of this milk of a quite different species. We ignore the fact (warning sign?)that maybe 1/3 of the world’s population has an allergic reaction to the proteins in cow’s milk. Are we victims of the same morphin-like chemicals in the milk that makes a baby cow want to go back for more?


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    el gordo

    I’m more than happy to become a Vegan, if thats all it takes. I’ve seen these characters eat like horses and never put on weight.

    A push is required from government to increase the GST on processed food and drinks, which would help the bottom line. Remember, what we eat today walks and talks tomorrow.


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      bananabender

      Kaiser Permanente, the largest health management organisation, in the USA has recently advised it’s doctors to recommend plant based (vegan) diets for all patients.

      http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html (free full text)


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      • #
        bobl

        A very bad idea, vegan diets can be loaded with phytoestrogens, and too high in carbs. A balanced diet low in carbs and high in known cancer suppressive nutrients is what I’d advise.


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        • #
          el gordo

          The key is moderation, have an occasional egg, piece of fish or meat, but think of it as a luxury. Broccoli can taste great if prepared properly and its benefits are numerous, unlike a block of cheese.


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            bobl

            Sorry, if you eat vegan, even with an occasional egg, you run the risk of severe B12 deficiency, vitamin D deficiency – implicated in cancer and cancer metastasis, deficiencies in certain minerals, particularly iron needed for cellular respiration. Cancer patients should not risk this. I am vehemently opposed to such malnourishing diets, they can kill even a healthy person in under a year, even eating Macdonalds every day would take longer than that to kill you. They also interfere with reproductive function ( particulaly in women ) It cannot be undertaken safely without suppliments and possibly pathology monitoring of nutrient levels. It is a completely foreign diet for humans, cows ok, humans No – we were not designed to eat vegan diets. Short term use only!

            I have personally seen the results of vegan dieting and it’s not pretty.


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              bananabender

              Human evolved from plant eating apes (wild Chimpanzees eat about 2Kg of meat or insects per YEAR. They only eat insects when their is a shortage of fruit. Most captive chimps have strict vegan diets.) We have no need for eggs, meat or dairy products.

              The only evidence that we need meat, eggs or dairy is food industry propaganda. The science is very clear that these are unhealthy products except in tiny quantities. eg More than 100g of red meat per week increases the risk of a heart attack.

              Walter C Willet is the Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University. He has published more nutrition papers than any other living researcher. Willett avoids red meat, dairy product or eggs. He occasionally eats small amounts of chicken or fish.

              Virtually all the Vitamin D in food is added synthetic Vitamin D2. Very few natural foods contain useful amounts of Vitamin D. More than 90 % is Vitamin D is obtained by sun exposure (around 25x the recommended daily intake.)

              By far best source of calcium is leafy greens. The lowest levels of osteoporosis are found in Africa and Latin America where milk consumption is low. Dairy gulping Scandinavians have the highest levels of osteoporosis in the world.

              Iron is a potent oxidant. Men, in particular, are more likely to have excess iron than a deficiency

              Vitamin B12 is only produced by bacteria. The easiest and cheapest way to get vitamin B12 is from a tablet.


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                bobl

                If humans evolved from herbivorous ancestors then we wouldn’t have evolved a B12 dependence.

                Unsupervised Vegan diets are dangerous, nothing you will say can change that. They are so unbalanced you can slowly starve from them. In my opinion it is irresponsible to recommend them to anyone who is not being closely supervised. In some cases vegan diets might work, there is some literature on that, but that doesn’t change the fact that Vegan diets bear significant nutritional risks that cancer patients could do without. I already mentioned phytoestrogens, but for example, without sufficient calcium and vitamin D, cancer in bones can be made worse. Many people are unable to produce Vit D from sunlight amd rely on dietary sourcws.

                As regards Phytoestrogens, we are talking about cancer here, cancers can be very estrogen sensitive and phytoestrogens negate the effects of estrogen blocking medicines. Soy in particular is loaded with them. I would recommend staying away from estrogenic food if you have cancer.


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          bananabender

          A very bad idea, vegan diets can be loaded with phytoestrogens, and too high in carbs. A balanced diet low in carbs and high in known cancer suppressive nutrients is what I’d advise.

          Unless you are living on soybeans or raw yams phytoestrogens aren’t a problem.

          There is 60 years of and hundreds of thousands of studies supporting low fat high carbohydrate diets. The longest lived people on Earth in the so called ‘Blue Zones’ all eat 80-90% carbohydrate diets with almost no meat.


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      Joe

      gordo, ” … help the bottom line.” you say – do you think it might also ‘help the wider community’ while we are at it? :)


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  • #

    The terrible trio – stress leads to substance abuse (including food) leads to disease. Most of the medical complaints we suffer today can, I believe, be linked to stress.

    The cancer map of Britain shows that most cancers are ‘lifestyle’ diseases (here’s the link to the graphical info). It is plain that the substance abuse cancers are most prevalent in the poorer areas. People who are burdened with stress every waking moment will relieve their anxiety by eating bad foods and by abusing substances, hence the prevalence of bowel, colon, lung cancer etc in the poorer areas.

    But the mental issues run deeper than the simple desire to relieve anxiety. Smokers and drinkers often use these substances as a form of self harm. They use them as a way of hurting themselves without actually causing pain. These people have such intense feelings of ‘self-anxiety’ – often self-loathing – that they resort to forms of self-mutilation to ‘release’ their anxiety. Some people engage in more extreme forms of self mutilation, using physical pain to punish themselves and so achieve a temporary release from their anxiety. In the block quote below there is an extract from a 2002 article on this that appeared in the UK Tele. Sadly, the article is no longer available online.

    To summarise, you have the more extreme forms self-harm in which people experience temporary relief from their anxiety by ‘punishing’ themselves with acts of self mutilation. Then, you have the passive forms of self-harm in which people engage in conduct such as smoking, knowing that they are harming themselves, but not directly causing themselves pain.

    But not all self-anxiety is turned inward. Most people turn it outward. It manifests in forms such as Tourettes, hives, nervous rashes, asthma, stomach upset, and so on. But then we come to the saddest category of all: those who gain a release from their self-anxiety by engaging in behaviour that is intended to cause harm to others. We call them leftists. Think of what motivates a common vandal. They are consumed by self-loathing. Why? Because they see themselves as being in some way less ‘worthy’ than others. When they destroy things of value to others it temporarily releases their anxiety because, in their mind, they have brought their victim down below their level and this has made them ‘better’ than their victim.

    Now imagine a teenage girl chock full of puppy hormones who has not been blessed with the physical attributes that society places so much value on. She might relieve her anxiety about her low self-image by engaging in forms of self-harm. However, it is much more likely that she will direct her self-anxiety outward. I guess it is the brain’s way of ensuring self-preservation. She will become angry at the world for having standards that she does not meet, and, like the common vandal, she will seek out ways to take revenge on society. In a tertiary institution she won’t have to look far. She will see that all of the popular leftist political causes operate in one way or another against the interests of society at large. And so she becomes a strident advocate for causes that she subconsciously sees as causing harm to society. In bringing down ‘mainstream’ society she is relieving the self-anxiety she developed because she did not see herself as conforming to society’s standards. Why, she may even go on to become a senator and obsess of illegals. That’ll teach society a lesson, won’t it!

    Returning to topic, I read many years ago that scientists in the US put a mouse on a near starvation diet and it lived for nearly four years, which is around double the average.

    All food is bad for you. Even ‘good’ food is bad for you. The less you eat the healthier you will be.

    Here’s the UK Tele article on self-harm:

    Self-harm is typically conducted in private – the tools, like the scars, kept hidden from view. For this reason, the scale of the problem is hard to assess. It has been estimated that one in 600 adults injure themselves badly enough to need hospital treatment but according to a recent US study, one American student in eight inflicts deliberate harm on themselves.

    The injury can take many forms. Cutting with razors or knives on the arms and legs is the most common, but some hit, burn, pick or scratch themselves. Many inflict more than one type of injury.

    Self-harm is often misinterpreted as attempted suicide or attention seeking. And although there are circles – notably among groups of middle-class adolescent girls – where cutting is regarded as a badge of honour, self-injury is generally recognised to be a mechanism for expressing and dealing with deep-seated distress.

    “Generally, people who deliberately hurt themselves do so because they feel that they need to, and that the act itself makes them feel better for a while and more able to cope,” says psychoanalytic psychotherapist Fiona Gardner, author of a new book on young women who self-harm.


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    • #
      James Bradley

      You know in some ways life must have been easier for early man – only one choice for food – kill it before it kills you.


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    realist

    It’s not always the number of calories that’s important, but the quality of the calories. And much of the compromised calories people shove in their mouth also comes with a payload of synthetic extras, to develop an addiction to taste – oh the flavour and convenience of it all! To hell with the potential consequences (of poor choices), that happens to other people, not me!

    What do they give to patients after chemo (try some re-labeled herbicides)? Sugar. What do cancer cells thrive on? Sugar. It’s simply a business model for those licensed to maim and kill, but clearly not the answer for everyone with cancer, or any other affliction and “disease”. It’s worth looking at the statistics for the success rate of chemo (also other modes of treatment), and if afflicted with cancer, ask the oncologist for the toxicology data, and ask him/her if they, in the same circumstances, would inject chemo into their body? And while at it, ask for the stats on the proposed treatment. Don’t expect a clear or honest response.

    A recent study in Australia found: “Wherever data were uncertain, the authors deliberately erred on the side of over-estimating the benefit of chemotherapy. Even so, the study concluded that overall, chemotherapy contributes just over 2 percent to improved survival in cancer patients.” “Basically, the authors found that the contribution of chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was 2.3 percent in Australia, and 2.1 percent in the USA.”

    Yet despite the clear evidence of chemotherapy’s lack of effectiveness in prolonging survival, oncologists (and their colleagues) continue to present chemotherapy as a rational, effective and safe approach to cancer treatment. We hear about the (relatively few) survivors, but not the long trail of failures. The authors cited in the above link suggest patients need to distinguish between relative risk and absolute risk as the oncologists tend to play with the stats to convince the unwitting patient it’s “worth it”.

    In summary, the authors state: “The introduction of cytotoxic chemotherapy for solid tumors and the establishment of the sub-specialty of medical oncology have been accepted as an advance in cancer management. However, despite the early claims of chemotherapy as the panacea for curing all cancers, the impact of cytotoxic chemotherapy is limited to small subgroups of patients and mostly occurs in the less common malignancies.”

    The paradigm of the Sickness Industry is we are born with a decificiency in medication and/or medical device, and they alone, the purveyors of poison, hold the keys to our health, if not survival. Nothing could be further from the truth. The old adage, Caveat emptor prevails. You pay, and like lawyers, they always win. The key behaviour that supports your survival and independence is to be sceptical and do your own research: Show me the data that supports your argument. It wins every time.


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    • #

      Its true that quality of food counts, but in this trial surely the mice were fed different calories of exactly the same food and it’s the calories that made the difference.

      Many other studies also show it’s the calories that count and in nearly every different species studied. Swathes of different (generally younger profile) genes are activated and others suppressed. There is much research trying to mimic the benefits of reducing calories but so far, no easy answer.


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        realist

        Yes, Jo, I agree with the calorie aspect, but like so many studies on mice et al, where genetics, food supply, environment, etc are all controlled, i.e. reducing the variables in the experiments, where any difference should be due to the treatment(s) to tighten the stats. As a guide for mice behaviour and calories, fine, but if trials were conducted on mice that emulated human behaviour, i.e. with free choice equivalent of “fast food” including carbonated sugar/caffeinated “energy” drinks, we could speculate the outcomes would be very different. Therein lies the problem with animal trials in cages; translating outcomes to human behaviour, which for mice in cages is vastly different to behaviour of the free grazing “animals” roaming between fast food outlets.

        When findings are presented as a warning to societal behaviour, to what degree does human behaviour change? It would be hard to enforce a mouthbelt, as is done with seatbelts (that make sense for self preservation) unless people take responsibility for their choices. And is that a cultural problem today, where many never cook, or eat at home with pre-prepared processed food?


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        • #

          It’s true humans are not mice. If I explained these results to mice I would not expect any of them to change their behaviour (;-))

          It’s also true that cutting calories is hard for most- and can be a quality of life issue (but speak to calorie-restricters and you’ll find they don’t feel that way).

          Adn hang on… who said “mouthbelt”! Not this libertarian!

          I view this as excellent news for people who want to prevent cancer, or those diagnosed recently who may really appreciate having another option to improve their chances. And I hope somewhere in the long run, there will be a drug to target those mRNA’s.

          PS: I think the weak point may be that “rat chow” being rat chow — if it isn’t good food, then 30% less might skew the results artificially. However this study is not a one off, and we do know excess food has real mortality outcomes in humans.


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      Richard

      Yet despite the clear evidence of chemotherapy’s lack of effectiveness in prolonging survival, oncologists (and their colleagues) continue to present chemotherapy as a rational, effective and safe approach to cancer treatment.

      The reason it’s probably still deemed “effective and safe” by the medical and pharmaceutical industry despite the consistently awful results I imagine is because treatment for cancer amounts to some $200 billion dollars/year in America alone. An interesting book I picked up recently called ‘A World Without Cancer’ by Edward Griffon argues that Vitamin B17 (amygdalin) found in apricot seeds can treat/cure all sorts of cancers and cites numerous scientific studies supporting its efficacy. Apparently the cyanide in Vitamin B17, which is chemically inert activates when it encounters a cancer cell. Unfortunately it’s a natural treatment, and readily available from your local supermarket, so I doubt Big Pharma will be championing it anytime soon.


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    I watched and supported my wife living through three bouts of cancer, with diet now becoming a top concern. There are some facts in the proverbial “you are what you eat”, both physically and mentally. Two of my musings could be of interest in this respect: http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/brain-ology-101-whycarbs-are-destroying.html -and- http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/brainology-101-midwives-hold-thenewborn.html


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      bananabender

      David Perlmutter is an A Grade crackpot. He thinks that walking around in bare feet ‘earths’ the body and neutralises free radicals. His book is considered total nonsense by real researchers.

      The healthiest diet backed by 60 years of research by experts (NOT celebrity medical doctors) is a minimally processed low fat diet based on fruit, vegetables and whole grains.


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    Dagfinn

    You should read this. http://www.amazon.com/FastDiet-Weight-Healthy-Intermittent-Fasting-ebook/dp/B00ALYY6ZA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1401519831&sr=1-1&keywords=the+fast+diet

    I thought of it as just another fad diet, but it’s based real scientific information on intermittent fasting. Here is a cancer-related quote.

    Dr. Valter Longo, who has done so much pioneering work with IGF-1, is running a number of human trials in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Southern California, looking at the impact of fasting on cancer. They have alreay demonstrated that fasting will cut your risk of developing cancer; now they want to see if fasting will also improve the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


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  • #

    Given how unpopular this post is (in stars anyway) I suspect that this is a message few want to hear (Killjoy Jo) but I think it’s great news.

    The more we know and the more options we have, the sooner we will get better treatments.


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    • #
      Ceetee

      On the contrary Jo, it’s a subject that will have a far more drastic impact on the lives of posters here than AGW ever will. What interests me is how people react to a diagnosis of “structural rust”. Would you for example, change your diet, become a long distance runner, find God (in whatever form) or just fatalistically submit?. Some people define themselves in this battle but it’s still hard for those who love them to stand by and watch.
      We’ve all lost people to cancer and I have utmost respect for people who are trying their hardest to beat this thing.
      DO NOT apologize for posting this. You need to get used to posting items of general scientific interest because the climate (insert scary word here) meme has numbered days anyway.


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      Dagfinn

      It’s an incredibly important subject, and it may be easier for people to deal with if intermittent “fasting” (see my comment above) lives up to its promise.

      Here’s another quote from the book.

      At least in theory, if you fast just before chemotherapy, you create a situation in which your normal cells are hibernating while the cancer cells are running amok and are therefore more vulnerable.


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      tom0mason

      The main problem I see with popularizing simple cancer treatment awareness is the huge number of apparently failed, or more accurately, less successful treatments results there has been over the years. Yet our media continues to propagate stories of ever better, and always more expensive treatments for the future. Jam tomorrow?

      Very real, simple, and effective self help regimens are thus hidden in the great pile of media output. Not that it is alway a media problem – people wish to hear of these new treatments and research that offers hope if and when needed.
      Unfortunately most peoples’ expectations are too often ramped up by over-enthusiastic reports of the cancer research. Only to be dashed when they desperately need that ‘magic bullet’ most.
      Progress against the more difficult cancers is stepwise – as in small steps built on small steps – and we have to acknowledge and accept that treatments are not always successful.

      But even with saying all of that, we should remember that currently this world we live in sustains more healthy people, with and without medical intervention, than it ever has done. Maybe the larger part of the problem is our unrealistic belief and expectations of medical science, and our poor preparedness and attitude to death.


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      John M

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for the post !

      I was dignosed with blood cancer 7 years ago and was fortunate to find a GP who was a BIG low carb advocate. I cut out almost all carbs and only ate eggs, meat and veg. Anyway, good news was that my C progression immediately stopped and I avoided chemo and other drug treatments. Today, I am 100% ok and continue the low carb diet and hardly think about the dreaded C word.

      The low carb theory actually goes back many decades, but the supporting evidence has mainly been anocdotal until now. It’s good that mainstream science is doing more to test and prove the why and how. According to my GP who specialises in managing cancer patients, the reasons for the success in the low carb diet are thought to be a result of starving the cancer cells of energy, removing excess insulin from the blood to reduce growth factors, and reducing the body’s bacterial load (ie: through starving bad bacteria of sugars) on the immune system so it can target the cancer.


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    Yonniestone

    As I mentioned last week? my wife and I did a VLCD (very low calorie diet) with great results, now we eat good quality food but only in amounts relative to lifestyle changes (more active, less active) this is similar to the Spartan Health Regime I used 10 years ago with great results.
    The biggest benefit to someone completing a VLCD is the realization of how many excess calories are consumed unnecessarily thus leading to obesity, unfortunately the biggest obstacle for success is the will power of most people to accept the concept of energy in energy out with diet.
    As with any substance abuser I’ve heard the old “Your gonna die anyway” line not realizing or caring that the idea is to reduce the odds of a premature death and live better and happier while doing so.


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      KinkyKeith

      Sounds interesting.

      KK


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      bobl

      Tell me more Yonnie, what’s your objective?


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        Yonniestone

        My objective is to maintain a healthy weight which is subjective to not only a persons BMI but the distribution of muscle vs bone density, the basis of the Spartan Health Regime is internal health via the intake of the best quality food available which means going against apparent conventional wisdom and eating a high percentage of fruit/veg animal meat/fats, what you aim for is a “nutrient dense” diet so your body can use what it needs and expel what it doesn’t thus no excessive weight gain.

        From personal experience I know this works and combined with regular exercise it can totally transform not only a persons appearance but their health and well being, the exercise ranges from walking to long runs and is totally dependent on the individuals capabilities or preference, I found the 2 basic strength exercises (dips and chins) to be very beneficial in developing real world strength and realigning my skeletal structure, these exercises were taken from ancient Greek training for athletes and soldiers.

        We started a VLCD using Optislim and then used the Spartan method when down near our goal weight, we were quite shocked to see the weight falling off so fast but also the amount of energy we had too, a common idea is that bringing the body into a mild state of Ketosis will mean less energy for daily activity which is wrong, once again the biggest hurdle is in a persons mindset to overcome complacency.


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          bobl

          Thanks Yon, any references. I agree with everything you say, mild ketosis, because humans are carnivores, combined with a nutrient rich “salad”, just what I’ve been saying. Can we read about it somewhere?

          I also think we should eat food we were designed to eat, which isn’t flour, sugar, or vegetable oil. That means saturated fats, eg. we eat butter rather than margarine.


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            Yonniestone

            The regime was written by Anthony Bova from Australia, I have the 3rd edition 2002 that I purchased back then with a money back guarantee and honestly I would have paid more for the quality of the information, I’ll try to find a link for it but he does reference Weston A Price as a nutrition source http://www.westonaprice.org/ using Price’s writings not the website.


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    Josualdo

    We’re great at treating mice.


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    Lchf

    It’s not only cutting calories that works. The thing is that cancer cells can’t use ketone bodies as energy, only carbohydrates.

    If you eat less carbohydrates, you cut the amount of energy available to the tumours therefore at least slowing their growth. There has been lots of studies about how to prolong life expectancy of cancer patients with low-carb-high-fat -diet. Fat is safe to eat, but exess proteins are transformed into carbohydrates in the body, thus feeding the cancer.

    Btw. virus infected cells can also use only carbohydrates as energy.


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    bananabender

    One common symptom of cancer is a loss of appetite. This is presumably an evolutionary response to slow tumour growth. However patients are encouraged to eat high calorie diets in an attempt to gain weight.

    Extended periods of involuntary calorie restriction was normal for virtually all humans until the mid 1800s.

    William Coley a brilliant cancer surgeon of the early 20th century used periods of starvation combined with bacterial toxins to treat advanced cancers with very considerable success.

    The inhabitants of Kitiva, a small island near PNG were studied by by Dr Staffen Lindeberg MD in 1990. They eat a low calorie fruit and vegetable based diet. Not a single case of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke or dementia was present in the population.
    http://www.staffanlindeberg.com/TheKitavaStudy.html


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    Andrew McRae

    Other medical news…
    My most recently delivered issue of Contact (the UQ alumni magazine) advises on page 18 (my emphasis):

    Bioengineered organs are no longer restricted to science-fiction movies, following a breakthrough by UQ researchers in the treatment of renal disease.
    In a world first, the team of experts from the Institute of Molecular Bioscience successfully grew a kidney from stem cells.
    [...] human trials were still to be conducted but that it was an exciting step forward in science.

    Isn’t that great news? In this and several different fronts, science is getting closer to being able to manufacture spare parts for humans in case one OEM component fails. Just to tie it back to Jo’s article, perhaps one day the treatment for kidney cancer will not be a radical nephrectomy or even a partial nephrectomy, but a total kidney replacement with an in vitro stem cell cultured organ.
     

     
    I know what you lot are thinking. You are all just so cynical about UQ now.
    Okay, I admit it. Here is the article immediately to the left of the stem cell one.

    There are apps for almost everything these days, including one that teaches practical skills in carbon management.
    Designed by UQ PhD student Adrian Ward, Dr Paul Dargusch and Sebastian Thomas from UQ’s School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management in collaboration with UQ’s Global Change Institute, the CarbonGame app is an interactive iPad simulation program.
    Ward said the app provided users with an interactive guide to understanding emissions trading. “Knowledge about emissions
    trading is increasingly important as more than 90 countries now have a price on carbon,” Ward said.
    “The CarbonGame allows policy makers and companies to trial a range of trading scheme designs and management strategies, providing immediate feedback on the benefits and drawbacks of each.”

    Yes, it provides immediate feedback… from a computer model. But do lessons learned from the model apply to the real world?
    Does the program accurately model a percentage of bankers who will exploit the intangible basis of emissions credits to make money via fraud?
    Does it accurately model the effects on net carbon emissions reduction of both regulators and major customers such as national governments being caught selling reductions that didn’t occur?
    Does it accurately model the effect on the carbon emissions market of major economies drastically cutting their demand for credits?
    Does it model the impact on competitiveness to be spending money on a service that the public places low value upon?
    Does it accurately model expensive carbon trading schemes making virtually no difference while China charges $1.50/t and has been opening a new coal-fired power station every week for the last several years?
    I wonder if the UQ students could learn a thing or two from the pages of JoNova about the drawbacks of carbon emissions reduction schemes.

    Jo, you made a valiant effort to change the topic, but I could not resist pandering to the masses.


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      Yonniestone

      So are you saying Low Calorie and Low Carbon form a perfect Antithesis? :)


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        Andrew McRae

        More research is needed to answer that question.
        As it happens, I am currently low on calories and will shortly be rectifying the situation by raising my hydrocarbon levels (temporarily).
        My hypothesis is that high calories require high carbon, which is broadly consistent with your supposition, Doctor Yonniestone.


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          Andrew McRae

          Pre-emptive pedantry check: I know there is a connotative difference between hydrocarbons and carbohydrates but I’m overlooking the structural difference in complexity and exploiting their elemental commonality for humour.


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          bobl

          Not so silly, add an oxygen or two to the hydrocarbons, and you get carbohydrates, and bear in mind that many hydrocarbons start out as carbohydrates


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      bananabender

      A week or so ago QUT bioengineering experts claimed that it will be at least 50 years before bioengineered organs are readily available.

      Unfortunately stories like this create false hope. The human animal is far more complicated than a car and it is unlikely that routinely replacing organs will ever be feasible. In most cases if one organ is diseased there is also a lot of damage to other organs. The most important organ of all, the brain, is literally irreplaceable.

      I suspect medicine will eventually go ‘back to basics’ and concentrate heavily on lifestyle interventions rather than looking for essentially futile miracle cures.


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        Andrew McRae

        Is there any hope that isn’t false? Even hope that an event occurred in the past is a belief for which there is no evidence, let alone hopes about the future.

        Anyhow, point taken. I think when scientists of any kind estimate an achievement will be more than a decade away they are basically saying they have no idea how to do it or even whether it can be done. They just don’t want to be on record saying that something is impossible when someone else figures out how to succeed where they have failed. Sustained fusion power is in the same category.

        Your hypothesis would imply that doctors will become life coaches and personal trainers. Less white coats and more trackydacks?
        “Ah, morning Mr Bananabender, now before I ask what the problem is, drop and give me twenty.”


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        Yonniestone

        Even though the human animal is complicated can it be said that our molecular structure could be cataloged and mapped?
        The same pessimism surrounded the mapping of human DNA but came to light in the 1990′s so perhaps with accelerated technology comes accelerated success, as long as the UN doesn’t go near it.


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          bananabender

          The Human Genome Project hasn’t led to any mainstream medical treatments. The main outcome of the HGP was that scientists discovered that genetics was vastly more complex than they had anticipated.

          Each medical research breakthrough typically opens hundreds of new doors almost of which lead to dead ends. Real progress, ignoring all the massively hyped press releases, is glacial.


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        Bananabender, it’s already happening. Bladders first. Now Tracheas.

        Lab-Grown Bladders Successful in Humans. April 2006
        In a major advance toward the development of artificial organs, bladders grown from patients’ own cells in the laboratory have been successfully implanted in seven children with spina bifida and shown to function for five years or longer, researchers reported today.http://articles.latimes.com/2006/apr/04/science/sci-bladder4

        Organ replacement with tissue cultured tracheas:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22841419 12 year old boy in 2009

        Synthetic Windpipe Is Used to Replace Cancerous One
        By HENRY FOUNTAIN
        Published: January 12, 2012
        Surgeons in Sweden have replaced the cancerous windpipe of a Maryland man with one made in a laboratory and seeded with the man’s cells
        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/13/health/research/surgeons-transplant-synthetic-trachea-in-baltimore-man.html?_r=0

        Man in iceland saved by synthetic windpipe
        http://www.bbc.com/news/health-14047670

        I used to do keynotes about this around year 2000 predicting it was just a matter of time.


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          bananabender

          These are experimental replacements for relatively simple structures where no other alternative exists. Organs like the heart are many orders of magnitude more complex to make.


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            Ye of little faith. It’s coming.

            Generation of functional organs from stem cells, Lui, Cell REgeneration, 2013, 2:1 doi:10.1186/2045-9769-2-1
            http://www.cellregenerationjournal.com/content/2/1/1

            “We are now well entering the exciting era of stem cells. Potential stem cell therapy holds great promise for the treatment of many diseases such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral-sclerosis, myocardial infarction, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, and etc. It is generally believed that transplantation of specific stem cells into the injured tissue to replace the lost cells is an effective way to repair the tissue. In fact, organ transplantation has been successfully practiced in clinics for liver or kidney failure. However, the severe shortage of donor organs has been a major obstacle for the expansion of organ transplantation programs. Toward that direction, generation of transplantable organs using stem cells is a desirable approach for organ replacement and would be of great interest for both basic and clinical scientists. Here we review recent progress in the field of organ generation using various methods including single adult tissue stem cells, a blastocyst complementation system, tissue decellularization/recellularization and a combination of stem cells and tissue engineering.

            ————————————–

            “Decellularization and recellularization of matrix bioscaffolds have been shown to be a promising approach for whole-organ tissue engineering in recent years [11]. Donor organs such as the heart [12], liver [13], lung [14], kidney [15] and bladder [16] can be decellularized to an acellular biologic scaffold material and then be recellularized with functional parenchymal cells and/or selected progenitor cell populations. Encouraging results have emerged in animal model studies.


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            JJ

            These are experimental replacements for relatively simple structures where no other alternative exists. Organs like the heart are many orders of magnitude more complex to make.

            Not really, the science is far more advanced than what is published.


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        tom0mason

        bannanabender

        “I suspect medicine will eventually go ‘back to basics’ and concentrate heavily on lifestyle interventions rather than looking for essentially futile miracle cures.”

        IMO the future will have elements of both.


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    Peter C

    It seems that scepticism flies out the window when “Medical Research” and CANCER is involved!

    Medicine is the worst subject for objectivity of any scientific endeavour. Most doctors “believe” in Climate Change! I use the term “believe” advisedly because they really do believe. Dr Wes Allen is a rare exception. Charlatans have flourished since history began. And no wonder. Confronting Death is a challenge that none of us wants to face. Yet we all have to die sooner or later.

    I am not going to bother looking up this research. I am not an Oncologist so I don’t have to know. All I know is that breast cancer with no hormone receptors has a bad outcome.

    If or when I get cancer, and the odds are increasing as I get older, my priorities are going to be:
    enjoy myself as much as I can, including eating lots of good food,
    try and do something useful with my remaining time. That probably means not spending all my time in chemotherapy and radiotherapy clinics.


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      bananabender

      AFAIK veterinarians rarely try to ‘cure’ cancer. They just use a very low dose of radiation or chemotherapy to slow tumour growth. The four legged patient doesn’t suffer too much and gets a temporary remission. Far more humane IMHO.


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      Mark D.

      While I appreciate your cavalier and pragmatic attitudes, you’ll likely change your tune once you have a diagnosis. Depending greatly on what type of cancer and it’s location, the method of death if not treated, and the potential for actual cure even with lasting side effects, will all weigh heavily on your decisions.

      With cancer, early detection and treatment provides the best outcomes. Be careful that your attitude doesn’t cause laxity in scheduling or avoidance of routine checkups.


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        bananabender

        While I appreciate your cavalier and pragmatic attitudes, you’ll likely change your tune once you have a diagnosis.

        Having been totally misdiagnosed, incorrectly treated and suffered greatly at the hands medical profession I tend to avoid them wherever possible. Modern medicine is marginally more scientific than alchemy. It’s very good at treating traumas and acute bacterial infections and pretty useless for anything else.


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      bobl

      It depends, it pays to be sceptical but observations are observations, and the fact that capsaicin (chilli) causes cancer cell apoptosis in a test tube and has caused regression in xenograft mice is a meaningful observation that suggests at the very least that adding chilli to your diet wont make your cancer worse, and that there is at least a plausible chance that even at low concentrations it might even slow it down.

      In the case of calorific restriction, it is logical to expect that cells that can only metabilise glucose might be out competed by cells that can metabolise both glucose and keytones if glucose is restricted, or by reducing glucose availability overall, cancer that needs to metabolise much more glucose per unit of energy produced, might be at a disadvantage to normal cells that are happy with much lower glucose availability.

      Juwt because we are sceptical doesn’t mean we can’t follow logic, nor should it stop us examining possibilities. From where I sit it’s the sceptics who accept more possibilities, not less. It’s the acceptance of dogma that leads to closed mids and limited horizons… eg food won’t work, om,y big Pharma can treat camcer.


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      tom0mason

      Peter C said -
      “It seems that scepticism flies out the window when “Medical Research” and CANCER is involved!”

      It is ideed hard to stay skeptical when your very life, or that of your loved ones, or children, is on the line. The attitude of grapsing at straws become very acute for the very needy.
      And yes there will be some immoral elements that will seek to profit from this suffering need but overall the general thrust of medical research is for a reduction of illness, and for the betterment of the human condition.


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    MJB

    About 85 percent of your mortal hazard lives in two questions: Are you comfortable in your socioeconomic status? And do you like your job? If you say no to either or both of those, that represents some of the most powerful mortal hazards that we are able to document.

    Dr Nortin Hadler


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    bobl

    Jo,
    There are pros and cons, yes calorie restriction is useful in starving cancer of glucose and can reduce the building blocks that cancer needs to metastasize but (and it’s a big but) cancer can kill by blocking the citric acid cycle effectively starving patients to death. Such cancer causes calorie restriction but doesn’t manage to kill itself off. Also in late stage cancer lack of nutrients will exacerbate problems such as bone density, significantly shortening a sufferers life. On balance I think calorie restriction is bad for cancer patients who need to be as strong as possible to survive.

    Instead, one can look at numerous studies related to effects of food related molecules on cancer, and from that you can build a diet that on the balance will discourage tumor growth and encourage regrowth of normal tissue when cancer cells die. Substances such as malaeluca, capsaicin, green tea, onion/garlic, sulphanes from broccoli sprouts, red wine, antioxidants from many herbs, and strangely cyanide from bitter almonds are all are known to preferentially kill cancer cells in a test tube. Restricting glucose reduces activity, and certain androgen blocking substances like the alpha 5 reductase inhibitors in saw palmetta can inhibit growth in testosterone sensitive cancers. But a vegetarian diet high in carbs is VERY, VERY bad – do not eat VEGAN it’s very bad for you since most vegan diets are high in phytoadrogens eg soy that actually encourage cancer growth.

    Substances known to reduce metastasis are daily aspirin, high dose vitamin D, omega 6 fatty acids, DMSO from cabbage, garlic. In short anything that thins the blood or helps break down clots, preventing circulating cancer cells from getting a grip in other places, your aim is to prevent cells “sticking” anywhere before they can make it to your liver to be extracted. Papain from papaya and pomegranite is metastasis preventing by helping to prevent fibrin formation from anchoring a new tumor. Sodium bicarbonate also neutralises lactic acid build up around cancer which prevents the cancer from protonating ( breaking down ) treatments (including all the mentioned natural anti-cancer substances), this can particularly reduce survival rates for circulating cancer cells. There are interesting articles on combinimg sodium bicarbonate with radiation and chemo potentiating the treatments. An easy way to get bicarbonate is to drink only alkylised bottled spring water. In my opinion the only way to really beat cancer is by blocking metastasis, and science has only just begun to look at that, most tumors are not harmful, and as long as there are only one or two you will outlive it.

    So, what a cancer patient really needs to do is not apply some fad diet, or just restrict calories, but eat a low carb, possibly slightly ketogenic, but high nutrition, acidosis preventing diet with the right foods in it, those scientifically established to inhibit cancer.

    I stress, even this won’t cure the cancer, but by discouraging the tumor from many sides, and providing a lot of nutrition to normal cells it will help you live longer (in my opinion)

    PS. I take no responsibility for what anyone does with this information, many of these foods can badly interact with other medication, particularly the cyanide in bitter almonds, sodium bicarbonate, and blood thining food like garlic, vitamin D and DMSO containing foods. Get advice from a qualified person.


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      Peter C

      Get advice from a qualified person.

      And who might that be?


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        bobl

        Well it wont be your oncologist for sure, but they can help with interactions. Very few doctors know anything about cancer nutrition research. However some hospitals have a nutrition nurse or doctor that can be helpful for food interactions. For the most part deciding what to eat is the patients worry, the doctors will only help with interactions.

        Ps I said malaeluca, but I dont mean eating tea tree oil from the bottle, high concentrations of tea tree oil is toxic but you can get malaeluca tea commercially, or add a sprig from a real tea tree to your tea like the aboriginals did or use it topically so systemic concentrations are low, beware of it’s side effects (dihorrea).

        Otherwise many interactions are common sense, if you have high blood pressure dont use blood pressure raising food, if you’re on warfrim or heparin beware things like galic, that can further thin your blood. Watch out for bitter almonds with Amygdalin or Laetrile since they are derived from the almonds and may result in cyanide toxicity. Some foods can prevent your medicine from working. Too much sodium bicarbonate can cause metabolic disorders (alkylosis) but given every man and his dog tend to take alkaline salts for indigestion, I think it takes an awful lot to cause alkylosis, but if you plan on taking Sodium Bicarbonate every day, ask someone who knows, how much is safe. Food interactions are not uncommon and if you are taking any medication I reckon you should check.


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    • #

      Bob, you mean omega 3′s reduce metastasis. Omega-6′s promote it.EFAs on tumor growth and tumor spread.

      Obviously these results may not apply to other cancers, and advanced cancer that has already spread is quite a different situation. But there are many studies that link BMI to many different types of cancer.

      Conclusions Increasing body mass index is associated with a significant increase in the risk of cancer for 10 out of 17 specific types examined.

      Vegan diets can be excellent for some cancers if they are methionine sensitive cells. Tofu is worth avoiding regardless because of the risk of cognitive damage in regular consumers.
      White et al J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Apr;19(2):242-55. PMID: 10763906 [www.jacn.org] and
      Hogervorst 2008 and Hogervorst 2010


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        bobl

        Thanks Jo, might be, I always get those two mixed up, I should have just said fish oil, linseed oil et al. Apparently they have a blood thinning effect that reduces metastasis. Been a little while since I read about it. I suspect this is one of the reasons why the Budwig protocol might be beneficial.


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    the Griss

    Slight correction if I may, Bob.. its “Melaleuca” not “malaeluca”


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      the Griss

      ps. I know next to nothing about cancer (or diet ;-) ) but I know my plants.

      I helped a friend out in a plant nursery at weekends for several years.

      That’s why I know that…..

      PLANT LUV CO2


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      bobl

      Wow, lotsa spelling lessons today, ok sorry Griss, also expect lotsa typos too because I’m using my tablet with the virtual keyboard that is virtually unusable.


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    the Griss

    Sorry about that. That one sort of jumped out at me, because I knew it :-)


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    michael hart

    Without access to the full paper it’s difficult to comment in detail, especially about proposed mechanisms of action. Results from xenograft tumour studies are easier to obtain, but must be interpreted cautiously, and are never a substitute for ‘the real thing’.

    A couple of points from reading the abstract
    1) The most significant effects are observed when ionising radiation is part of the treatment.
    2) For the uninitiated, in silico as in “In silico analysis revealed…” means a computer model. I still regard it as a semi-humorous turn of phrase and would not use it when trying to appear serious.

    More generally, potential drugs based on DNA and RNA have huge bio-physico-chemical obstacles to surmount. [DNA vaccines are a special case, and vaccine production is still largely an empirically based dark-art as compared to other pharmaceuticals.]


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    janama

    It’s always fascinated me that disease appears to be increasing despite our increased knowledge about disease. For example in my boarding school of 300 boarders in the 1950s maybe two suffered from asthma yet today it’s one in 4. Similarly with autism and of course obesity, we had a few fat boys but not obese boys.

    I’ve always thought there must be one thing we are doing that
    affects everyone and I suspect this may be it.

    http://www.undergroundhealth.com/modern-wheat-is-the-perfect-chronic-poison-says-expert/


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    Doug Proctor

    Easy-peasy validation:plot age-grouped cancer-rates by body weight or, better still, by BMI values. Bet the result is real but insignificant. But important for understanding triggers of cancer.

    Of course the real purpose for newspapers is to frighten us into eating as the grannies say we should.


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    Mike Smith

    As usual we see so much nonsense posted regarding our food. Sadly, dietary research seems to mirror climate research. The dogma, propaganda, and well-intentioned busy-bodies seem to dominate the entire scene. We see questionable findings published shortly followed by diametrically opposite conclusions. So we stumble from fad to fad while various marketers of food products, dietary supplements etc. cash in on the ever changing fashions.

    It’s nuts. There’s a much simpler approach and it’s fun. The rule is:

    Everything in moderation.

    So go ahead and have that steak. Eat bacon for breakfast. Just don’t do it very often. Add as much variety as you possible can to your diet. Try new, different exciting foods. The more variety the better. Don’t eat too much of any one thing.

    This means you won’t each too much of something that is eventually proven to be harmful. And the variety will ensure you receive adequate amounts of all the essential minerals and vitamins without popping supplements.

    Simple, healthy, and fun!


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    Jaymez

    Why do I feel hungry after reading this post?

    Based on anecdotal experience I tend to believe this could be true, if only because the oldest lived people tend to be those who have been slim all their lives (and not too tall!).
    According to the World Health Organization, Japanese women have the longest average life spans worldwide, coming in at 86 years old [source: Washington Post]. Coincidentally, the average height of a Japanese woman between the ages of 75 and 79 is just 149.54 centimeters (58.87 inches) [source: Japan Statistical Yearbook].

    An unfortunate fact, at least in my case, is that because of their illness cancer sufferers are often less physically active and can therefore gain weight. Eating can often help in pain management, I don’t know why scientifically, whether it is an increase in blood sugars, or simply that you are distracted and getting some pleasure which releases feel good chemicals in your brain.

    So if this research pans out I hope the medical scientists also develop a pain free, will-power-free way for cancer patients to limit their calorie intake. Otherwise they will just add another level of suffering by forcing us to diet! :(


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    handjive

    For the rest of us, it’s a bit more incentive not to eat the other half of the block of chocolate (til tomorrow)
    ~ ~ ~
    Do not fear.
    Global Warming to the rescue:

    Carbon Free Sugar
    . . .
    I call Blair’s Law.


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      Graeme No.3

      Sugar with no carbon would be the ultimate low calorie food.

      All you would have left would be the hydrogen and oxygen atoms. HANG ON? They would form dihydrogen oxide. Quick BAN IT.


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        James Bradley

        And Graeme 3, if memory of my 2nd form high school chemistry serves correct:

        Dihydrogen Monoxide is a universal solvent and should be used with caution because overexposure under some circumstances may lead to serious injury or death.


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          Mark D.

          Personally I believe ethanol is a better solvent (and social lubricant) though caution is also advised. There are similar overexposure issues as well but I don’t believe weight gain is a side effect.


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    ROM

    Just to be a bit different here I would like to toss in a couple of other ideas that I have had floating around in my thinking for quite a number of years particularly in regard to the very significant increased incidence of various forms of cancer and obesity across most parts of the world today.

    The first idea no doubt to be poo hooed by most people is that most cancers are the result of infections by viruses and / or perhaps more importantly, prion infections that perhaps were barely felt or noticed by the host that may date back decades before their long term effects become noticeable in the human DNA and RNA. and ultimately in the effects such as the onset of cancers of various types on the hosts.

    Once such viral and / or prion transmitted or viral / prion deformed DNA sequences are incorporated into the gene structures of a person it is highly likely that those changed and from our angle, deleterious genes will be transmitted to a good part of the host’s descendants

    The DNA that is the basis of all life is turning out to be a lot more variable and complex than even was believed only a few years ago. a complexity that is being unveiled by the latest ability of gene technology to exam the DNA in a single cell.

    [ Viruses and Other Gene Transfer Mechanisms ]

    [ Viruses — and Some Virus-like Agents [ including Viroids & Prions]

    Furthermore it is now known that viruses and bacteria can and do swap, exchange, and hijack, transmit or more importantly, inject parts of their DNA into the DNA sequences of their hosts leading to some quite unexpected outcomes as the changed genes work in a different mode to the normal genes.

    Why the spread and increasing ubiquitousness of diseases such as the various forms of cancer, of obesity and a few other major diseases that seem to be on a rapidly increasing trajectory amongst the world’s populations today?

    One reason is the greatly increased length of lifetimes now appearing across the world which might allow perhaps diseases with a possible long latency period s like various forms of cancer to manifest itself in the aging populations.

    Obesity is another of the very rapidly increasing health problem amongst not only the older population but now amongst the youngest members of the population as well where it is reaching epidemic proportions

    The other major factor rarely commented on is the ability of the inhabitants of today’s world, unlike those of any other time in human history to travel right across the planet.
    This is something that we humans have only managed to achieve in the last 40 years or in just the last two generations.

    Before that human populations rarely mixed to any great extent due to the tyranny of distance plus a far more rigidly enforced , culturally derived limits on the mixing and presence of those of a different racial or origins group amongst the locals.

    So the ability for viral and bacterial gene transfers of genetic material that in the past was specific to a particular and relatively homogeneous genetic group can now be rapidly disseminated around the world literally within weeks.

    The other factor is the closeness of human settlement inn our world of 7.2 billions.
    Today well over half of the global population live in cities of 100,000 or more population so the ability to spread bacterial and viral infections of every calibre is now a matter of course for most of humanity and a bacterial, viral and possibly prion dream world for exchanging, transmitting, altering, corrupting, injecting viral material from innumerable sources into the genetic DNA of susceptible persons from where it becomes incorporated into the human genome as just another part of the still to be fully defined and understood genetic code of all life.

    As one simple example of a quite troubling to us, genetic fault line from within my own family. Two of my three brothers, all younger than myself, have had stents put in because of high cholesterol . I also suffer from it and might ned the same myself. One of my 40 plus year old nieces has just had a triple bypass operation. My father as I have posted elsewhere on this site , died while in the doctors surgery on the doctors table at 61 years old.

    A retired doctor from the Barrossa Valley had so many related patients with similar problems while a medic that he did some research on those patient’ backgrounds.
    And it turns out that a whole cohort of north German Lutherans from the one region migrated to South Australia in the mid 1800′s had a genetic fault [ or at least it appears to be a genetic fault which just may be a trade off for still unknown benefits elsewhere ] that promotes the build up of cholesterol deposits in the arteries leading the heart attacks and a relatively early death unless those cholesterol problems are dealt with .
    And thats where my families genes also come from.

    So what we a see of cancer and it’s causal triggers may be far from the full story as I suspect and believe to some extent that as the genetic ladder of life continues to be unravelled and interpreted there may be many, many further and unexpected surprises and developments in the genetic structure of life and in human health yet to appear.


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      janama

      ROM – I had three uncles who all died of heart attacks before they reached 60. My father, being a doctor, managed to make it to 84 by self administering the appropriate pills. My cousins then started getting the same problems and my eldest cousin was treated by the famous heart surgeon Dr Chang and he was instructed to send a message out to all his family that the males in the family had inherited and narrowing of the coronary artery that could cause heart problems. And he was right – eventually, out of the blue with no warning signs I had a heart attack and the angiogram revealed I had one coronary artery that was narrow and it had blocked. A stent fixed it.

      Recent research has shown it’s not about cholesterol as everyone has thought. An American study has shown that nearly 75 percent of patients hospitalized for a heart attack had normal cholesterol levels that did not indicate that they were at high risk for a cardiovascular event. A larger British study recently had a similar result.

      If your sewer pipe blocks you blame the pipe, not the sewage. Same with arteries.


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    Drapetomania

    Richo
    May 31, 2014 at 2:04 pm · Reply
    Dieting goes against all current advice provided to patients receiving chemotheraphy…


    Beyond Parody..
    That would be the current advice which forgets to tell the patient the truth would it.???
    Chemo is virtually waste of time…sorry..

    “The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies.RESULTS:

    The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA.
    CONCLUSION:

    As the 5-year relative survival rate for cancer in Australia is now over 60%, it is clear that cytotoxic chemotherapy only makes a minor contribution to cancer survival. To justify the continued funding and availability of drugs used in cytotoxic chemotherapy, a rigorous evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and impact on quality of life is urgently required.”source


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    ROM

    I should have mentioned a new and very, very important development in cancer research which I came across only a couple of weeks ago.
    It is the increased surety that cancer researchers have identified the existence of cancer stem cells which are the orginators of probably all cancer cells.

    Stem cells although relatively very few in number are the sources from which all cells are produced.

    As our bodies are just a co-operating collection of a vast number of cells that have developed from an extraordinarily simple single cell construct, biologically speaking, through a 3.5 billion years long evolutionary process where they have sorted themselves out into a collective of cells, each tailored to do specific tasks within the overall collection of cells that makes up each of us and all other multi celled life on this planet.

    Stem cells types are also specific to the type of cell produced in the body and as such are the fundamental sources of sustained life in complex life of every conceivable type.
    So the finding of the long suspected cancer stem cells will mean a quantum jump in the understanding of the factors in the formation of cancer of all types over the next decade or so.`

    Proof that cancer stem cells exist?


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      the Griss

      Darn .. one minute they say there are too many people living too long…

      the next minute they complain about people enjoying delicious food that may reduce their lifespan..

      Some consistency… Please !!!


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    Dsystem

    I agree. In my experience, we eat too much! Simple.

    It’s the old 80-20 rule – 80% of the problem is we eat too much, the 20% is all the other things people seem to concentrate on, such as when we eat, what we eat, how we eat, where we eat, fast food, carbs, diets, blaa, blaa, blaa. It’s the 80% part – we eat too much!

    Here’s the simple answer – don’t eat too much, and eat a balanced mix of veg, fruit, dairy, meat, fish – but not too much!!!

    Also, Jo, please use kilojoules. “Calories” is so old science for the unit of energy. Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman has a funny insight into the plethora of units used to measure energy in this university lecture (2 minute youtube).

    Why not use the international standard joule? High school science students, most engineers & scientists only use the joule! A watt is exactly 1 joule/sec. A volt is exactly 1 joule/coulomb and so on… Calories suck.

    ——————–
    Calories may suck, but everyone knows a “calorie” means food energy. (Even though that is technically not true). It’s a historical and communication thing. There is no community dedicated to “Kilojoule-Restriction”. CRON = Calorie restriction with optimum nutrition. Ypu are scientifically right. But I’m sticking with calorie. – Jo


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    Schoolsie

    Good thread Jo. I had a blast bodysurfing in NZ and freediving for Awa (western pacific form of eastern pacific abalone). Humping it on the John Muir Trail in 1972. Taking my girl to the southern sierras, giving her a crappy place to fish, “Mark, Mark, Mark, I have a fish.” Golden trout. She screwed up my fishing expedition. She also made me fall in love with her, because when she catches the first golden trout on your high sierras expedition, you sort of sense you may have a keeper.


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    Schoolsie

    I talk about fishing. But when you take your kids fishing, and they’re totally mad at you, and then you have to figure out how to make them love fishing, that’s a great challenge. I took my kids to Colorado, first time, disaster. Second time, “This is fun!” I had to change what I was doing. I had to pay more attention to them.

    I’m talking to my best friend from high school, he caught a 40-pound Chinook salmon. I want to take his grandkids to catch 3-5 pound pink salmon in Canada. They’re children.


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    James In Footscray

    I love the blog but I worry about these posts! Preventing cancer, investing in gold … all a little bit Nexus Magazine.


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    Boba Fat

    Global warming is only the second largest scientific/political clusterf*ck that we have been exposed to. The biggest is the attack on saturated fats in favor of the current low fat diet recommendations. The amount of suffering and death that this has caused is incomprehensible.

    If you are new to the food/diet/health-debate, read Denise Minger’s “Death by Food Pyramid”. Excellent and balanced.


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    Rod Gill

    My brother in law had a 5cm tumour in his brain that was successfully treated by the latest radiotherapy machines that were better able to pinpoint on and focus on the cancer to minimise damage to healthy cells.
    He read some research about starvation diet before radiotherapy from France and did it himself. He had 600 calories or less for 5 days before each treatment.
    The theory is that the cancer cells get stressed by the starving and so more susceptible to being killed by the radiotherapy.
    It was a brilliant result for him and as its something that’s not harmful (even though he has had trouble keeping weight on) I would certainly try it if I ever had the same illness.
    However this isn’t proof, but France does seem to be at the leading edge of this research area.

    Great to hear about your brother. I like stories like that! – Jo


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    keats326

    Whoever wrote this article did not read all the available studies about this subject. It turns out that the restriction of calories is NOT the real cause of the cancer cells starving. All cells(including healthy cells and cancer cells)are glucose dependant, but only cancer cells are ‘absolute methionine-dependant’. Without methionine, cancer cells die and healthy cells thrive. So, when people say “stop eating sugar to starve the cancer”, what they don’t realize is that they are starving their own healthy cells in the process.

    The correct method to keep cancer cells from growing is to eliminate foods that are high in methionine, this will cause tumors to shrink because it stops feeding the cancer cells that make up the tumor. They have also found this to be the reason that calorie restriction causes life-extension. Its not the lower calorie intake but the lower methionine intake.

    The foods with the highest methionine content are fish and chicken and then cheese, red meat, eggs, and nuts. All fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes contain small amounts and also enough if you consume the required amount of calories needed for your weight.

    Thats why a plant based diet is a diet of abundance. You can eat all the whole food sources that you desire without gaining weight or growing cancer. A plant based diet (naturally low in methionine) mimics calorie restriction but without restricting calories. Keep the base of your diet wholefood sources from plants (fruit, leafy greens, vegetables, gluten-free grains, and legumes). Then use meat, eggs, and nuts as condiments. EX: small amounts of meats in vegetable-based soups and stews or 3-5 crushed nuts sprinkled on your salad or 1 scrambled egg mixed into a vegetable and grain dish like the Thai culture does in their Pad Thai dishes.

    This will keep your methionine intake to a level that will not feed cancer and will extend your life in the process. All while eating without restricting calories. What more could one ask for?


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      Keats, It’s not quite so simple. Not all cancers are methionine sensitive, and methionine restriction -MR and calorie restriction -CR are hard to separate. CR diets often are MR, MR diets usually are CR too.

      I have already linked to studies on the low methionine diet in my comments. It’s something people should know about. But for cancers that don’t have a mutation in a key methionine pathway, the low methionine diet won’t be a magic bullet.

      Also MR diets that extend lifespan (in mice) are very seriously low in Met. Having a moderate met diet seems to still reduce Coronary heart disease but moderate met restriction is unlikely to extend lifespan. The diet you describe is not the ultra low met type that affects lifespan, though it probably still have some benefits. There are risks in going ultra low met, or being long term vegan. In terms of human mortality one recent long term study comparison showed people who ate plant-fish based diets outlived vegans. Though the vegans outlived the red-meat-plant-standard diet.

      Some processed plant foods (like “rice protein”) are very high in met.


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