Issue 3 - 2006

Cancer Watch eye





Latest World Cancer News

Public Confidence In Medical Research Declines

The Sunday Times (May 21st) carried a report that the public are becoming less believing of ’medical’ research and even whether the reports and stories contained in hitherto ’gold standard’ medical journals are even true.

Quoting Dr Joseph Sonnabend, a former virologist for the Medical Research Council the article stated, ’There is a crisis of credibility in medicine. Less and less information seems purely disinterested. You have to check everything’. Such ’interest’ included reports on clinical trials in which only the benefits of a drug were stated whilst playing down or omitting the negatives, peer reviewing that was biased and even falsified and misleading research reports that ended up being published in major medical journals. Dr Evan Harris, MP added, ’Many cases of poor science, or even scientific fraud are also failure of peer review’.

(Ed: As ordinary people, patients and cancer workers we are getting more than a little tired at the increased claims in the British Press of the latest wonder drug, whilst on another page a natural vitamin supplement is rubbished in an erroneous piece of research.

We all deserve better.

Readers will recall the frequent call from certain medical quarters to have complementary therapies ’peer’ reviewed. Isn’t it time there was a truly, unbiased, independent review committee for all cancer therapies, orthodox and complementary funded, as in the US, by the Government?)

Reducing Fatigue In Cancer Patients

icon has run several pieces in Cancer Watch on this subject, for example Italian research showing that acetyl-carnitine supplementation could help. Homeopaths can provide a certain amount of relief as well.

In Clinical Cancer Research 2006, 12; 2759- 66, a team from UCLA have described a group of inflammatory markers that may be used as biomarkers for persistent fatigue in people cured of cancer.

In J. Clin Oncology 2006; 24; 1852-59 Ohio State University, Columbus report a factor causing fatigue during chemotherapy.

The UCLA team believe the markers are probably triggered by malignancy, or chemotherapy itself, or both. If the markers can be blocked, there will be a route forward. The UCLA team have already had promising results with etanercept. Apparently nearly 30 per cent of women who survive breast cancer have persistent fatigue.

Exemestane Trials Set Doctors A Breast Cancer Conundrum

A report, presented at the 2006 American Society of Clinical Oncology could put doctors and their patients in a bit of a quandary. Patients with post-menopausal, hormone-sensitive breast cancer who switched from Tamoxifen, after just 2-3 years, onto the antihormonal drug Exemestane showed an improved survival over those who simply did their 5-year stint on Tamoxifen. A fear that there could be an increased number of cardiac cases was not observed at the 55.7 month analysis point.

NICE has yet to produce its final report on the drug, but the findings could create a dilemma. Do doctors look for the short term survival gain, or continue with the more long-term scenario of five years of Tamoxifen followed by five years or more of Exemestane?

Challenge To Thinking On Lobular Breast Cancer

Cancer (2006; 106; 2104-12) reports on research by Christopher Li and his team at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle. In their research, the team concludes. ’women with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) have a higher risk of invasive breast cancer than do those with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)’

"Our findings challenge the notion that LCIS is a non-surgical disease", says Li. The team concluded LCIS was a precursor, not merely a risk factor.

Silicone Breast Implants Do Not Increase Cancer Risk

The International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Maryland, USA, used the Swedish Cancer Register and monitored 3,486 Swedish women who had had cosmetic breast implants between 1965 and 1993.

The results were collated until December 31st 2002. Researchers found a slightly elevated risk of lung cancer, but a lowered risk of breast cancer. (Journal of National Cancer Institute 2006; 98; 557-60). (Ed: Apparently, women who have cosmetic surgery also smoke more in Sweden!).

Aromatase Inhibitors For Early Stage Breast Cancer

NICE is now recommending the use of aromatase inhibitors for post-menopausal women with early stage breast cancer. All patients should now have access to these drugs.

Drug Implants For Prostate Cancer

GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) agonists have been used for some time to suppress testosterone in prostate cancer cases. Now in the Journal of Urology 2006, 175; 1353-58, comes a report of an implant of histrelin which suppresses testosterone and lutenising hormone for up to one year. Suppression for the 52 weeks was achieved in 99 per cent of cases, and the PSA scores decreased rapidly (down by a mean 90 per cent after 16 weeks). After 60 weeks 79 per cent of patients had a complete PSA response.

Medicinal Mushroom Boosts Prostate Cancer Drug

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine have studied the East Asian mushroom Phellinus Linteus. In one test they found that neither the mushroom extract nor doxorubicin (a prostate cancer drug) were effective in small doses but the doxorubicin became effective at higher levels. When the mushroom extract was added, the results were much better still, with many more cancer cells killed (British Journal of Cancer August 2006).

Cervical Cancer Less Likely In Mothers With Asthmatic Sons

According to Swedish researchers (International Journal of Cancer May 23, 2006) this is indeed the case. Having analysed 717,963 Swedish women with at least one son, from military records, the conclusion was clear. Patrick Magnusson (Karolinska Institute) states that ’both cervical cancer and allergy have strong hereditary components. Allergy in sons is associated with decreased risk of cervical cancer in their mothers, and we believe that is due to genes influencing immunological response’

Can A Protein Level Predict Past Surgery Survival In Gastro-Oesophageal Cancer?

The British Journal of Cancer 2006; 94; 1568-71 reports on studies from the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Those patients with mixed concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) pre-surgery have a poorer survival rate. One of the researchers, Donald McMillan, suggests that heightened CRP is indicative of heightened inflammation and impaired T-lymphocyte response.

The finding has links to similar studies and conclusions with colorectal, pancreatic, bladder and renal cancer. The research would imply that patients with high CRP scores should not undergo surgery.

Drug Performances In Oesophagogastric Cancer

According to the Lancet Oncology Vol 7, July 2006, in a randomized trial with 1002 patients, the results indicated that capecitabine could replace fluorouracil and oxaliplatin could replace cisplatin.

Survivors Of Child Cancers Have Poorer Quality Of Life Than Their Peers

The Journal of Clinical Oncology 2006 24; 2536-43 reviews a study from the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario, Canada, in which 800 randomly selected survivors (all under 16) were compared with a matched sample of normal children.

The cancer survivors had significantly lower scores for physical and psychosocial health than the controls. Included were children who had survived lymphoma, leukemia, soft tissue sarcoma, CNS tumours and Wilms’ tumours.

Renal Cancer Increased Survival With Temsirolimus

In phase III open-label trials, temsirolimus significantly improves overall survival compared with Interferon a first-line treatment of poor-risk patients with advanced renal carcinoma (Lancet Oncology Vol 7 July 2006).

Multiple Myeloma And Lenalidomide

The Lancet Oncology, Vol 7, July 2006 also reports that, in a phase III double-blind trial with 345 multiple myeloma patients (given dexamethasone) 13 per cent of a group given lenalidomide achieve a complete response.

However neutropenia, thromboembolic events and even heart failure rates increased.

Proteins Make Pancreatic Cancer Aggressive

Cancer Research UK scientists have concluded that two proteins (Cap G and Gelsolin) - found in high concentrations in pancreatic tumours - are responsible for cell movement around the body and contribute to the aggressive, and ’spreading’ nature of pancreatic cancer.

The amount of Cap G found in the nucleus of cancer cells was proportional to the size of the tumour.

Protein Blocks Drugs In Lung Cancer

Tumours with a protein called FGF-2 are less likely to respond to drug treatment in lung cancer. Now FGF-2 has been found to be involved in the resistance to chemotherapy drugs over time.

"The main reason people die of lung cancer is drug resistance" says Professor Seckl of Cancer Research UK. Looking at FGF-2 has led to another molecule S6K2, about which little was known. No researchers have found that cells with higher levels have more drug resistance.

Study Finds Gleevac May Cause Heart Damage

An article in Nature (July 23, 2006 - warns that Gleevac, an increasingly popular cancer drug, may damage the heart.

A study confirmed the warning, finding that the drug kills heart muscle cells. The study was developed following previous reports that ten leukemia patients, given Gleevac, subsequently developed severe congestive heart failure.

Gleevac is manufactured by Novartis and was originally developed for possible use with brain tumours (gliomas) under the name Glivac. Those trials failed to show effectiveness but the drug has subsequently been licensed for other cancers and undergone a name change. Sales in 2006 are likely to be around $2.5 billion worldwide.

Novartis has responded by saying that further research is needed before the dangers can be fully understood.

Scorpion Venom To Treat Brain Tumours

Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California have tested a novel therapy on 18 glioma patients with some success, reports the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

All the patients had surgery first to debulk their tumours. Then the scorpion venom (actually, a synthetic form - called TM601 - of a peptide that naturally occurs in the giant yellow Israeli scorpion) was injected 14-28 days later into the tumour cavity.

The venom peptide is known to selectively bind to glioma cells. In this treatment, the low dose of TM601 carried radioactive iodine and successfully bound to the glioma cells.

Median length of survival was 27 weeks - gliomas are particularly aggressive cancers - but two of the 18 patients had no evidence of any tumour 33 and 35 months after the initial surgery.

Analysis showed that the radioactivity had remained bound to the glioma cells with none passing to the rest of the body. Dr. Adam Mamelak confirms that other chemotherapy agents could be bound by the venom, and even other cancers studied.

Further trials are now being conducted.

Latest Nutrition Findings

Organic Food Demand Outstrips Supply In UK

The growth in organic food in the UK has taken the retailers by surprise. Sales increased 30 per cent in 2005 to produce a £1.6 billion market. Normally, retailers form alliances with produce suppliers and even invest in farms but hitherto the organic producers have largely been on their own. The Soil Association report on the future of organic food in the UK, says that it may be too late for retailers to help expand UK production and that they increasingly will have to search abroad, quite possibly to less well regulated markets.

Vitamin D Given Another Boost As A Cancer Fighter

We wrote about vitamin D in 2003 and updated the review early in 2006 and we’ve continually told you - unlike other charities - that sunshine is good for you (it’s burning that’s bad!). Now yet another study, this time in the International Journal of Cancer, says that higher blood levels of vitamin D  mean lower rates of cancer death. The study involved almost 1.1 million men and women and followed them between 1971 and 2002.

Oliver Gillie of the Health Research Forum says that the Government advice to avoid sunbathing is ’misguided’.

(Ed: We’ve told you repeatedly to enjoy safe sun, and if you can’t get good exposure, to supplement daily with vitamin D3. We believe it is imperative that all cancer patients take D3 supplement. Ring 01280 815166 for details).

Sick Britain

The drugs bill may be astronomical, the NHS may be the envy of the World, but the Europeans not only ’out live’ us, they stay in better health for longer. Epidemiology research from Leicester University and led by Professor Carol Jagger shows just what a sick lot we are in the UK. In seven of the eleven countries reviewed, their women will live longer than those in the UK by a maximum of approximately three years.

But when it comes to illness our women have 60.9 healthy years compared with, say, Italian women at 74.4, Spanish at 70.2 and EU average of 66.0. Our men fair slightly better at 61.5 healthy years; again Italy is best at 70.9, Spain 66.8 and the average 64.5 years in Europe.

Various reasons were suggested, for example our poor diet against the healthy Mediterranean diet, sunshine, attitude to life and happiness. Whatever the reason a UK woman can expect approximately 20 of her 80.7 years, and a man 15 of his 76.2 years, to be "unhealthy" years!

(Ed: We reviewed US research on the Mediterranean Diet last year. Meanwhile eat oily fish, cut meat and dairy consumption, use more olive oils and walnut oils, eat lots and lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, take more exercise, go in the sunshine, have an in-season, locally grown glass of wine, and watch Barcelona or shop at Versace!!).

More Evidence For ’Melatonin Against Cancer’

In icon 2006 volume 1, Roger Coghill explained how melatonin production was increasingly known to be disrupted by poor sleeping patterns and EMFs; and that melatonin helped protect against certain cancers, notably breast cancer.

A new study (Cancer Causes and Controls May 2006; 17(4): 515-23) by the US NCI and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has confirmed the importance of melatonin.

Mice that had been infected with human breast cancer cells, were given blood samples taken at various times in the day, after various light conditions. The bloodsamples which had been taken at night slowed tumour growth by 80 per cent. But blood taken after exposure to artificial light actually increased cancer growth. The researchers concluded that artificial light severely limited melatonin production.

Yet More Evidence: Sugar Feeds Cancers!

Researchers from Harvard Medical School have been studying the unique biochemistry of cancer cells (Cancer Cell June 2006, Vol 9, No 6: 425-434)

Since 1931, when Warburg won his Nobel Prize, we have known that cancer cells have bypassed the need for oxygen, instead producing their energy by glycolysis - the anaerobic metabolism of glucose.

Researchers took two groups of mice infected with human breast cancer cells and showed that, in one group, the glycolysis could be stopped by blocking an enzyme metabolizing glucose, (LDHA). Only two LDHA deficient mice died - one at 16 weeks and one at 18 weeks. 80 per cent were still living at the end of the four-month study.

By contrast, those forced to metabolise sugar had all died within a ten-week period.

Researchers concluded that ’knocking out’ the LDHA may be a very effective way to fight cancer.

(Ed: We have warned our readers repeatedly that glucose is the favourite food of cancer cells. Note in this study that these mice metabolising sugar all died. We have even taken issue with the dieticians at the Royal Marsden, on behalf of two readers who complained that a booklet on ’Diet and Chemotherapy’ actually recommended milky sugary tea, sticky doughnuts and other sugary foods. It just does not make sense that, at the very moment oncologists are trying to kill off cancer cells, others are encouraging patients to feed them! The biochemistry is very clear: glucose feeds cancer cells and makes matters worse. Dieticians and Nutritionists must be quite clear on this. There are also numerous studies linking high blood sugar to the development of cancer)

Harley Street Launches A Website

With 1,500 specialists and a very big reputation, the next step was to launch a website. And they did; not one but two - and

Carnitine And Fish Oils Stop ’Sudden-Death Fat’

Robert J. Rowen MD reports on his studies that of half a million Americans who die of cardiac arrest each year, almost half have no recognized warning signs. No high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. A major new study has identified the problem as non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA). The study was based on 5,240 Parisian men who were followed over 35 years. NEFA is caused by a build-up of Omega 6 fatty acids over time. Omega 3 will rebalance your body (supplementation via fish oils or eating oily fish, walnuts and flax seeds). Apparently carnitine  is essential too, as this carried the Omega 6 fats to the mitochondria, where they are burned and destroyed.(Ed: We are great fans of Omega 3 in fish oils and of acetyl carnitine - see  Natural Selection’s shopping trolley. We’ve also never quite understood why, in a world where we all get more than enough Omega 6, some people still choose to supplement with it ).

Women Students Know Nothing About Breast Cancer Prevention

A CRUK study of more than 10,000 female students from 23 campuses shows that less than five per cent realised alcohol, exercise or being overweight could influence breast cancer risk.

(Ed: From the CANCERactive research findings, we are surprised it’s that high! But during our Cancer Prevention Fortnight in November we will have thousands of leaflets to get the full message across).

Heart Problems Quantified With Herceptin

When NICE approved Herceptin in the UK in June it said that heart function must be assessed beforehand and the drug should not be given to those at risk from heart failure.

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (August 2006) analyses 173 patients - all advanced breast cancer patients who had used the drug for at least a year. 49 of the patients experienced cardiac events ’potentially associated with heart failure’. One of the group died.

Francisco Esteva, a Professor at the University of Texas, said that the findings offered an important insight into the longer term use of Herceptin. In an article in The Times (August 15 2006) he is quoted as saying ’The drug substantially prolongs survival and while we found substantial cardiac toxicity, we also discovered that this side effect can be successfully treated.’ He did not specify how. Herceptin is known to damage and weaken the muscle tissue.

900 Mobile Phone Base Stations Demolished In Taiwan

Accordingly to TTIDA statistics in Taiwan, 2,700 of their 49,000 existing base stations are under protest following health concerns, and 900 were actually demolished in 2005 because of fears.

These concerns may well be justified. In the Naila Study (Germany, November 2004), a study released by the Federal Agency for Radiation Protection and involving case histories compiled by medical doctors between 1994 and 2004, a threefold increase in malignant tumours was noted where patients lived within 400 metres of a mobile phone mast transmitter. The exposure was for five years and measured against people living over 400 metres away.

Chemical World

Super-Sized Beef In Cancer Link

The EU already ban using hormones in cattle to produce larger cattle and greater milk yields, as is commonplace in the USA. The British Veterinary Association concurs with this ban.

You may not be surprised to learn that the US Government, with the support of Tony Blair, is trying to get an import ban to the UK and its cattle lifted. The Government’s Veterinary Committee seem about to produce a report saying beefed up cattle and their milk is actually fine after all. In turn that would allow farmers in the UK to start using the hormones - including oestradiol and testosterone.

However the pharmaceutical chemist appointed to the Government Committee to represent consumer interests, has done just that. He has published his own report on the dangers of consuming products pumped up with these hormones. The Food Standards Agency has stated that it wants a full report on the safety issues, but then reports have a habit of washing over consumer concerns in the UK. Various objectors have sited the higher rates of cancer in the USA (97 versus 67 per 100,000 for breast; and 96 versus 37 per 100,000 for prostate), compared with European studies on the early onset of puberty linked to ingested hormones, and even the effects on pregnant women.

(Ed: Hormones are incredibly powerful chemicals and can act effectively at one part in a billion. Most regulation sets targets at one part in a million, or 1,000 times the level at which these hormones can act. We know oestradiol is dangerous, we provide scientific studies in most issues. If this ban is lifted it really is a case of politics overriding good science and common sense).

California Bans Mercury-Based Vaccines

In previous issues of icon we have covered the inability (or is it indifference) of the FDA and other authorities to take action against mercury-based vaccines. The FDA, at one point noted that 83 of the top 100 US vaccines contained mercury, so it ’asked’ pharmaceutical companies to avoid such usage. Result? Across a 5-year period, the number fell to 75. Now California is taking action to ban the mercury-based preservative thimersoral in vaccines used with young children (under 3) and pregnant women. The grounds? A fear of autism.

(Ed: Surely the UK medical authorities can see that this is simply common sense?)

Drugs Companies Dodgy Donations To US Private Charities?

Dr Mercola reports on a New York Times article (June 28th 2006), where doctors in private practice in the USA are setting up non-profit charities, to receive major donations, from drugs companies. The charities then conduct medical research or education, and are promoted as legitimate.

However Government and Federal authorities are now looking carefully into these areas and expressing concerns that they bias the decisions of doctors, and therefore patient treatments, lead to suspect research findings and reporting, and violate tax and anti-kickback laws.

Californians Sue Sunscreen Makers

USA Today (June 16th 2006) reports that a San Diego law firm has filed a claim on behalf of ten residents against firms making sunscreens, such as Hawaiian Tropic, Coppertone, Banana Boat and Neutrogena.

The suit claims that the manufacturers have made fraudulent label claims.

The background to these claims: In 1999 the FDA said stricter rules for sunscreen testing and labeling would take effect in 2001, but this was put ’on hold’ indefinitely. In Autumn 2005, Congress ordered the FDA to produce revised regulations within six months, but nothing happened.

Sunscreens are generally effective at filtering out UVB, the ultraviolet frequency that causes burning, but are less effective with UVA, the frequency that causes wrinkles and skin cancer. UVA penetrates more deeply.

Furthermore, because most people believe that sunscreens ’work’, they stay out in the sun longer and increase their risks. The fact that sunscreens only provide partial protection is the basis for Congress and individuals’ concerns (Dr. Mercola)

(Ed: Of course, this is only half the story. On one hand the sun has the ability to generate vitamin D in your body and be highly protective against cancer. On the other, authorities consistently ignore research studies on other factors like the increased levels of chemicals including oestrogen mimics in our bodies and even in some sunscreens).

Nanoparticles Not Fully Researched

Nanoparticles are the latest revolution in skin creams, make-up, anti-wrinkle creams and even toothpaste. But some scientists are extremely worried. The tiny particles are more easily absorbed into the skin, improving the cosmetic benefits, but putting us all into areas of uncharted risk. Recent research at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that nanoparticles caused long-term neurological damage in mice. Titanium oxide, one ingredient, caused short-term protection, but then longerterm damage in the mice brain cells.

Chemicals In Water Increasing Cancer Risks

The National Research Council in the USA has prepared a 379-page report on Trichloroethylene (TCE). The report concludes that TCE causes cancer and other health problems, and that its presence in US water is growing. TCE has been found to be much more dangerous than originally claimed, even at low levels of exposure; and TCE levels have anyway been found to be increasing as a water contaminant.

TCE has been found to be up to 40 times more toxic than previously thought - but this gives the US Government and the Defense Department a problem. They have 1,400 properties in areas of high contamination and fear being sued by workers. Cases of kidney cancer and child leukemia have been reported.

Eight lobby groups, including Friends of the Earth, have petitioned the FDA about these risks (Dr. Mercola/ June 16 2006)

EMF Levels Increase After Rainfall

In a recent paper by Dr. Andrew Michrowski of the Planetary Association for Clean Energy (advisors to the UN and others), studies show that there is a 6- to 10-fold amplification of microwave power after heavy rainfall.

Child Leukemia And EMFs - Help Wanted

A research study on the links between electromagnetic fields and child leukemia is looking for help. The charity ’Children with Leukemia’ at Great Ormond Street, London (0207 404 0808) is prepared to help parents with children diagnosed with leukemia, working with families, visiting homes, and measuring radiation levels.

Firefighters Exposed To PCBs Develop Cancer

At least 120 firefighters who graduated from the fire training academy in Montgomery County, USA, have contracted cancer, claimed to be due to breathing PCBs from fighting mock oil-created fires during training. The ’Anne Arundel’ firefighters are becoming a cause celebre.

(Ed: Apparently they are seriously considering making a Hollywood film).

Men With Higher Levels Of Certain Persistent Organic Pollutants Are At Greater Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Men with cancer and PSA levels above the median were more likely to have elevated concentrations of PCB 153, HCB, p,p’-DDE, transchlordane, MD6, trans-nonachlordane, and sum of chlordanes (statistically significant, p < 0.05).

In this subgroup the odds ratios were 30.3 for PCB 153, 9.84 for hexachlorobenzene, 11 for trans-chlordane and 7.58 for chlordane type MC6 were also significantly higher although confidence limits were very wide because of the small sample size. (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 16 July 2006)

Special Report

Bart’s Hospital Holds Prostate ’Trial’ Using Natural Therapy

Professor Tim Oliver at Bart’s Hospital, London, is conducting a 10 person ’trial’ on prostate cancer, using a protocol devised by a Professor Pfeifer in Switzerland. This protocol involves all natural compounds, including Biobran, ProstaSol, Imupros and Curcumin complex, all supplied by the Really Healthy Company.

The trial follows an interesting personal story involving Al and Faith Smith. Al (71) was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2004. The cancer had already spread and he was prescribed the usual hormone therapies. However he was concerned over side-effects and that - in more than 50 per cent of patients - the body stops responding to the drugs after a few years.

Faith (56), a writer, insisted Al try complementary therapies like Qi gong, and they visited the Bristol Cancer Help Centre.

After an initial period of remission, Al’s aggressive cancer returned and his PSA levels rocketed. Faith started her research into prostate cancer and this led her to Professor Ben Pfeifer, director of clinical research at the renowned Aeskulap Clinic in Switzerland. Pfeifer specializes in combining conventional and complementary cancer therapies.

Pfeifer has had great success in treating prostate cancer with a phytotherapy protocol of four supplements:

ProstaSol: a range of herbs and dietary supplements.

Imupros: containing vitamins, trace elements, lycopene, ginseng and green-tea extract.

Curcumin complex: an extract of the powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory Turmeric.

Biobran: made from mushroom enzyme action on rice bran, and has powerful immune-boosting abilities.

A one-year full clinical trial involving 184 patients with advanced and late stage prostate cancer saw two-thirds with decreased symptoms: PSA levels were reduced by up to 50 per cent, tumours shrunk and progression was inhibited.

The results then prompted a pan-European 5-year trial involving 1,250 men. Again, two- thirds of the men had a greatly improved condition.

Faith contacted Pfeifer, but found that the supplements cost £500 per month, and they were not available on the NHS. So she decided to take all the information on the protocol to top UK Doctors - and this led her to Professor Oliver.

Professor Oliver became interested by two factors - the pan-European research results and the fact that the protocol did not cause impotency. "Finding a treatment for men who no longer respond to conventional hormone treatment is the holy grail of prostate cancer. There is nothing I can offer these men in the long term. The average hormone therapy lasts two to four years".

The NHS would not fund the ’trial’ - more accurately this is a preliminary ’test’ not a ’trial’- so Faith contacted the UK distributors ( who agreed to provide the supplements for free. Pfeifer agreed to liaise with the team at St. Bartholomew’s and provide all his experience and knowledge.

Al is the first British patient to take up the protocol. After just two weeks his PSA had halved and today it is below 7, having started at over 40. Al’s story can be found on:

Oliver is quite clear, "If I can confirm Pfeifer’s findings, we will do a further clinical research trial, properly approved and documented".

For more information on Pfeifer’s protocol, see

(Ed: We will stay with this story for the sake of all our readers with prostate cancer. We sincerely hope this progresses to a full clinical trial and that, now vitamins are classed as drugs, the NHS has the sense to fund the treatment. It is but a quarter of the cost of Herceptin and even less than the hormone therapy it replaces).

Issue 4 - 2006
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