Latest Cancer Research 2010

2010 Research




Just click on the title to read the article.










Mushrooms help fight breast, prostate and bladder cancers

We have covered this claim on several occasions in Cancer Watch before. Two new research studies seem to put it all in context.

Firstly, from the University of Western Australia in Perth comes research on Chinese women which shows that women who eat 10 gms of button mushrooms a day only developed one third of the breast cancers of women who did not eat mushrooms.

The reason given was their content of linoleic acid, which acts like an Aromatase inhibitor drug, and restricts the body’s oestrogen production.

The same study noted that if women consumed green tea as well their risk fell to just one in 10 when compared with women on a ’normal’ diet. Green tea has been shown to have a similar oestrogen restricting effect.

Next, scientists have discovered that the maitake mushroom can shrink tumours by as much as 75 per cent. Maitakes are common in Chinese and Japanese cooking. Hitherto, they have been used to treat blood pressure and liver disease, but some Japanese cancer hospitals have used them as a complementary therapy for a number of years. Researchers, lead by Dr Sensuke Konno, head of urology at the New York Medical Center, have published their findings in the British Journal of Urology (December 2009). Their research showed that with two cancers bladder and prostate the mushrooms could shrink the tumours and in some cases this even resulted in the cancer disappearing. In many of the cases the extract stopped the cancer growth. Researchers believe this is because a particular enzyme was activated which stops cancer growth.

Previous studies have shown the benefits of these so called medicinal mushrooms with breast cancer. One study by scientists in California (Feb 2009) seems to show that breast cancer patients who eat the mushrooms twice a day, prevent the cancer returning. This is thought due to an active ingredient which reduces oestrogen production.

The new research from New York Medical Center has been dubbed a breakthrough because it took extracts of the mushrooms in much smaller amounts than previously, but used them in conjunction with interferons, which can significantly boost the immune system. We cover interferon in some detail on the CANCERactive web site.

Return to top

Mistletoe makes chemo and radiotherapy more effective increases survival

New research by the German Institute of Immunology and Experimental Oncology has shown that mistletoe extract injected into the body can help improve the success of chemotherapy, and also help clear the body of ’toxic debris’, caused by the cancer treatment. (Journal of the Society of Integrative Oncology)

Scientist researching bowel cancer showed that patients who had the mistletoe injections, had fewer side-effects from both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, (falling from 48 per cent of people suffering to just 19 per cent) and they survived longer than those that did not include the mistletoe treatment being 32 per cent more likely to reach five year survival.

Misletoe is also known to boost the immune system too.

Return to top

Mammograms endanger women with a higher risk of breast cancer

There is much debate over the use of regular screening mammograms. (To read the whole truth on the subject you can click here.) Women with a higher risk of breast cancer, due to genetic factors for example, are often encouraged to go for annual screening mammograms.

Now research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America warns that this can be dangerous and actually cause more cancers in this at risk group, especially amongst the under-40’s.

Women in the higher-risk group had a 150 per cent increased risk of developing breast cancer if they had even a low-dose annual mammogram. Some women were even recorded with a cancer rate two and a half times greater than the norm.

The Society recommended that these at-risk women looked at non-radiation alternatives such as Thermography and Ultrasound.

(Ed: This is actually not ’new’ news as we covered in Cancer Watch before: Women who are carriers of a gene mutation (that’s about 7 per cent of all women) may be well advised to be careful and go nowhere near a mammogram. In an article in the July 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers claimed the radiation dose from mammograms may actually cause breast cancer in women with a genetic predisposition for breast cancer. In the study which looked at 1,600 European women with known mutations in BRAC1 or BRAC2 genes (mutations that put women at a much higher risk for developing breast cancer), researchers said women in the study who had at least one chest X-ray were 54 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who never had one!
The 2006 study went on to say that these women might want to consider being screened with magnetic resonance imaging instead of X-rays

Return to top

Positive PSA test? One in eight men don’t have prostate cancer

Tuesday 12 January 2010, British Journal of Cancer: A large scale European Trial (the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer - ERSPC) has cast serious doubts over the reliability of Prostate Cancer Screening.
As regular readers will know, we have been reporting on American research and comments that PSA tests are ’useless’ and ’worthless’ for 6 years or so.
The new European study states that at least one in eight people who test positive for a high PSA level DO NOT HAVE THE DISEASE.

The PSA test measures blood levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by prostate cells.

High PSA levels may signal prostate cancer, but the protein may also be raised by infection, a non-cancerous enlarged prostate or even recent exercise.
UK cancer and Government bodies have stuck to the story that a ’routine PSA test for men’ may cut deaths from the disease by 20 per cent.

However, in the European study the Finnish part of the trial has reported that for every eight men screened on a four-yearly basis, one received a false positive result.

This was true even where the threshold for PSA was set high and above the UK ’danger’ level. This result could mean that many men undergo invasive tests such as biopsies (which can cause serious infection and even impotence) and even unnecessary treatment.

Such false positives, rather unsurprisingly, put these men off further tests in the future, the research found!

Lead researcher Dr Tuomas Kilpelainen, from the University of Tampere in Finland, told the BBC: "I dont think routine screening should be advised until more is known on the adverse effects and costs of screening. If a man has urinary tract symptoms and is concerned he could have prostate cancer, the most important thing is to consult a GP or a urologist."

Professor Julietta Patnick, director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes, observed that according to the study findings, 48 men would have to be treated in order to save one life and added "False positives are an issue for any screening programme.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you! (Source BBC News)

Return to top

CT scans again shown to increase cancer risk

We have covered research on this same subject some 4 years ago when we warned of the increased risk of cancer from CT scans. Whilst Doctors talk about restricted or small amounts of radiation from CT scans, official figures report that 1 in 1000 people who have a CT scan will get cancer. Four years ago in Cancer Watch we covered new research that indicated having a CT scan produced a risk of cancer in a staggering one in 50 subjects.

Two new studies add to these concerns. CT or CAT scans are an increasingly popular diagnostic tool, but two recent studies warn against their use. CT or Computed tomography can be lifesaving according to advocates, detecting brain damage or disease at an early stage. But, unlike MRI scans which use magnetic fields and radio waves, a CT scan involves ionising radiation. The US FDA has already confirmed that people undergoing CT scans have a higher risk of cancer later in life.

Firstly, researchers at Duke’s Medical Centre in Carolina have expressed concern about heart patients having CT scans. They calculate that a standard heart attack patient has a number of tests that each expose him or her to radiation, adding up to about one third of the ’safe’ level a nuclear power station worker may be exposed to in a full year.

Secondly, the journal called ’Archives of Internal Medicine’ reports research from the University of California. Some of the statements in the report must surely set alarm bells ringing:

1 The researchers found that the dose of radiation received during a CT scan was ’larger than previously thought’. This statement is quite awful. What on earth do we pay expert scientists for but to understand how much radiation they are giving us?

2 The amount of radiation received also varies according to the part of the body being scanned and even the sex of the subject.

3 Whilst the risk of cancer associated with a CT scan (according to Professor Rebecca Smith-Bindman, lead researcher in the study) is routinely quoted as 1 in a 1000 people will get cancer as a result, this new study suggests it is as high as 1 in 80.

4 A typical dose of radiation delivered by a CT scan is equivalent to a whopping 442 chest X-rays, or 74 mammograms. (Readers should note that the UCLA Professor is thus suggesting the dose of radiation in a mammogram is not minimal either but is equivalent to about 6 X-rays) 

In a world that questions ’alternative therapies’ and demands proper research is conducted before anyone undertakes even a diet therapy, it is quite appalling that scientists can talk blah about ’minimal doses of radiation’, indeed mentioning the risks at all to a patient about to have a CT scan. Especially, when, other scientists can tell you that one in 50 or one in 80 people having a CT scan will go on to get cancer as a direct result.

At least in the UK, the Committee on Medical Aspects on Radiation in the Environment do not recommend CT scans for healthy people because the risks outweigh the benefits. But how many people about to be given a CT or CAT scan are given a piece of paper telling them of the risks? Anything less is utterly irresponsible.

Return to top

Now HRT increases risks of dying from lung cancer!

According to an 8-year study by researchers at the University of Nebraska, women with lung cancer who take HRT are more likely to die from the disease. The study, published in the Lancet in September 2009, showed that amongst the 16,000 women studied the disease was 71 per cent more likely to be fatal in women taking HRT supplement than those taking a placebo.

The risk of dying from lung cancer was highest for women taking HRT between the ages of 60-79. In 2008 we reported research that stated at least one type of lung cancer was driven by oestrogen, the female sex hormone.
Experts suggested that, since oestroegen was a known driver of many cancers and HRT contained synthetic oestrogen, the results were highly plausible.

Return to top


Walnuts help fight breast cancer too

Researchers from the Marshall University School of Medicine have reported that a diet rich in walnuts (such as the Rainbow Diet in the Mediterranean) significantly reduces a woman’s risk of breast cancer (American Association for Cancer Research)

The study worked with mice who were given cancer. However, those whose diet included walnuts had less breast cancers, and when they did appear, they came on later in life and the tumours were smaller.

The omega 3 content, phytosterol, mono-unsaturated fat content and antioxidant levels were all possible factors.

Return to top

Women shy away from Tamoxifen ’breast cancer prevention’ use

We have covered a similar research study before. This time it is research from the University of Michigan. It seems that when women are given objective and balanced information which explains both the benefits and the risks involved in taking Tamoxifen as a cancer preventative agent, less than one per cent of women want to use the drug. (Click here to read our report on Tamoxifen). The study in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, followed 632 women, who were recommended to use Tamoxifen by their Doctor.

Side effects include a higher risk of endometrial cancer, hot flushes and blood clots.

Return to top

Lack of Vitamin D link to Breast Cancer

St George’s Hospital in London have come up with a most amazing statistic from their research. Women with low levels of vitamin D in their breast tissue have a 354 per cent greater risk of breast cancer. In other words almost 4 times more!

The best source of vitamin D is the action of sunshine on the cholesterol layers below your skin. But it is difficult to get this when you are wrapped up in jackets and scarves in Arctic Britain. A long way behind this as a source comes oily fish, with hardly anything of importance lying in third place.

If you can’t get half an hour of sunshine per day, supplement. Read our article on vitamin D, a vitamin that actually acts as if it were a hormone in the body, and for which receptor sites have been found on the surface of cancer cells. Vitamin D helps convert them back to normal healthy cells. It should be a crucial part of every reader’s anti-cancer programme. (Click here to read our latest article on vitamin D)

Return to top

DCIS ’breast cancer’ lower levels of mastectomy

We have reported on DCIS before in Cancer Watch. Especially in 2005/6 and especially in terms of the conflicting views of this ’disease’. American Scientists, reporting at the annual US Breast Cancer Conference in California stated that 50 per cent of all mammogram detections were ’ductal’ irregularities, while 50 per cent were lobular.
They then went on to state that:

1) DCIS is not breast cancer but calciferous deposits in the milk ducts of the breast

2) 80 per cent of these ductal irregularities never become full blown breast cancer.

We then looked at how natural compounds (like omega 3 and vitamin D) might both thus reduce the calciferous deposits naturally. High blood levels of these natural compounds are proven to be linked to lower levels of breast cancer.
Shortly afterwards, our own patron Professor Tony Howell sent out a press release from his team at Christie Hospital, Manchester saying that DCIS was an extremely dangerous type of breast cancer, and they were going to run a Tamoxifen against Arimidex trial to see which drug prevented it better.

Confused? We were.

Now comes a report in the British Journal of Cancer on the ’Sloane Project’ that over 60 per cent of women who have DCIS diagnosed are now spared a mastectomy.

Apparently the size of the DCIS measured by both imaging and pathology relates to the surgeon’s decision of whether to conserve or remove the breast.
Researchers found that, out of 2,500 women who had DCIS detected by breast screening, around 70 per cent of patients had conservation surgery to remove the disease and save the breast.

Of those who had conservation surgery, 71 per cent only needed one operation to remove the cancer, 19 per cent needed a further operation and 10 per cent went on to have a mastectomy.

Ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS) is termed non-invasive when confined to the ducts of the breast and has not spread to the surrounding tissues of the breast or other parts of the body. It is therefore curable if removed completely, but if left untreated may become invasive breast cancer.

This research is part of a large review of screen-detected DCIS and its treatment over the past five years through the Sloane Project, investigating the best treatment methods for DCIS.

Apparently 90 per cent of patients offered breast conservation for DCIS have a successful surgical outcome, usually from one operation, and avoid mastectomy.
Professor Stephen Duffy, Cancer Research UK’s professor of screening at Queen Mary University of London, said:  In the screening era, large numbers of breast cancers are diagnosed at the DCIS stage. We have a responsibility to see that these cancers are not overtreated. Therefore it is good to see that the vast majority do not get a mastectomy.

Sara Hiom, director of health information at Cancer Research UK, said: In the past treatment for DCIS was nearly always mastectomy so it’s really encouraging to see that now around 60 per cent of women with DCIS have only the affected area removed, along with a border of healthy tissue around it.

(Ed: This research still doesn’t really clear up the confusion though. If the American Professor from UCLA was right, that 80 per cent of DCIS never became breast cancer, it would be expected that 80 per cent of women having the DCIS irregularity removed in surgery by a lumpectomy, would not subsequently develop breast cancer, wouldn’t it? It’s all very puzzling. And worse if you’ve been diagnosed with DCIS.)

Return to top

Half of all women treated for breast cancer develop ’chronic’ pain

Women who have breast cancer treatment may experience chronic pain long after the cancer is gone. A Study by Danish Researchers and reported in JAMA (Nov 11) showed that half of all women treated for breast cancer with drugs and/or radiotherapy and/or surgery reported ongoing pain several years after the orthodox therapy had been completed. And half of those described it as chronic with 80 per cent saying it occurred on a daily basis.

Return to top

New drug for triple-negative breast cancers

Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York have announced results from studies in cell cultures and mouse models which suggest that the experimental targeted therapy PU-H71 may be effective against one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer which are triple negative that is they are not linked to oestrogen, progesterone or HER-2 (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2009).

PU-H71 inhibits heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), which plays a role in several types of cancer, including breast cancer, by stabilising other cancer-causing proteins. "We discovered this class of compounds at the Center about ten years ago and have been studying it since," said Memorial Sloan-Kettering chemical biologist Gabriela Chiosis, the studys senior author. "When we created PU-H71, we realised it had all the properties to make it a good Hsp90 inhibitor. It stays in cancer cells a long time, but rapidly clears from normal cells, which means that we can give high doses with little toxicity to healthy tissue."

"We are partnering with the National Cancer Institute to further develop this drug," Dr. Chiosis explained. "We are now working on additional toxicity studies and hope to begin an early-stage clinical trial next year."

Return to top

New Breast Cancer gene discovered?

NRG1 is a newly discovered gene that scientists believe lies at the heart of half of all breast cancers.  Dr Paul Edwards at the Department of Pathology in Cambridge discovered the gene which does not appear to be hereditary. In fact it is a tumour-suppressor gene and commands the destruction of rogue cells until the gene itself goes faulty. It is very likely that the same gene malfunction could lie behind many cancers.

Return to top

Soy helps breast cancer patients’ survival

Research from the Vanderbilt University, Nashville have analysed data on Chinese women with breast cancer and concluded that consuming soy can prolong survival and prevent the return of the cancer.

Some ’experts’ state that plant oestrogens (phytoestrogens) in soy are dangerous and can cause cancer. However, this is actually poor science. On all healthy cells in the body there are receptor sites for oestrogen. Some oestrogens like oestradiol bind to these sites and are highly aggressive, causing chaos with the biochemistry of the cell. Other oestrogens like oestrone are much weaker sister hormones (about 40 times weaker). Plant oestrogens have the same ability to bind to cell receptor sites but are 40 to 50 times weaker still. Hence by binding to receptor sites on healthy cell walls, they prevent the aggressive oestrogens for attaching there and causing harm.

Researchers analysed data on women in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study over a 4 year period showing that the women who ate soy had 32 per cent lower risk of cancer recurrence and were 29 per cent less likely to die during the period.

Interestingly the benefits were seen whether the women had oestrogen driven cancers or even when they were oestrogen negative! Moreover, the benefits were also seen whether a woman was or was not taken Tamoxifen, destroying the myth that somehow soy might prevent the drug’s action.

The results were seen to be dose dependent up to 11 gms of soy per day, above which there was no further advantage. (JAMA Dec 2009)

Return to top

Can cancer drugs spread breast cancer?

A controversial paper (extract 6014) was presented on Taxol, a top chemo drug used for cancers such as Breast Cancer, at the 27th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. German researchers from the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena have found that the action of Taxol causes ’a massive release of cancer cells from the primary tumour into the blood and lymph systems’. The researchers concluded that this could result in metastatic secondary cancers long after the treatment had finished and the cancer was supposedly ’cured’.

We have added this finding to our Drugs Review!

Return to top

Three ways to prevent, and even treat, prostate cancer

At the American Association for Cancer Research ’Frontiers in Cancer prevention conference in 2009, three ways of fighting Prostate cancer were evidenced. And not one involved a drug or a vaccine!

(1) The German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg University showed that an active ingredient in hops, xanthohumol, can bind to oestrogen receptor sites. This has already been used in breast cancer treatment with success. Here the researchers said it would also have a positive effect in blocking testosterone receptor sites too. Although early days, they showed that this phytochemical significantly lowered the PSA levels of testosterone-stimulated prostate cancer patients.

(2) Harvard Medical School have shown a link between higher coffee intake and lowered prostate cancer risk and it is not the caffeine factor. Researchers followed 50,000 men for the 20 years to 2006 and showed that the men who drank the most coffee had 60 per cent less risk of aggressive prostate cancer. ’Coffee has effects on insulin and glucose metabolism as well as sex hormone levels, all of which play a role in prostate cancer. It was plausible that there may be an association between coffee and prostate cancer," said Kathryn M. Wilson, Ph.D. in the press release. Apparently researchers are considering the anti-oxidants in the coffee.

(3) Another study from Harvard looked at exercise, and (as we have detailed before with breast cancer) showed that daily exercise is the key. Those men in the group of 2,686 prostate cancer patients who did 30 minutes of daily exercise, (jogging, cycling, playing tennis) had a 35 per cent lowered mortality.

Return to top

Nanoparticle drug trial to start in 2011 with prostate patients

A nanoparticle has been developed that can target a cancer tumour whilst by-passing the body’s immune system. Researchers believe this will allow the delivery of stronger doses of drugs straight into the tumour, reducing side effects.

Animal studies have shown that this technology can shrink tumours to ’almost zero’ no mention was made of ’curing’ cancer however.

The technology has been developed by BIND Biosciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A trial is planned albeit on just 25 prostate cancer patients late in 2010 or early 2011. The company feel that this treatment will be applicable to all manner of solid tumours.

Return to top

Researchers find breakthrough molecule in prostate cancer

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have discovered an immune system protein which acts as an antibody to proteins that sit exclusively on the cell walls of prostate cancer cells. By copying this protein they have developed a monoclonal antibody which has the potential to stop even aggressive prostate cancers. So far the F77 protein has only been used to treat mice but researchers believe it has the potential to treat both early and late stage prostate cancers.

Return to top

Viral cause of prostate cancer? Another vaccine nears launch

Utah and Columbia University medical schools have found the xenotropic murine leukaemia virus (XMRV) in 27 per cent of prostate cancer tissue. XMRV is a ’retrovirus’ which behaves in the same way to HIV inserting copies of their own DNA into the DNA of the cells they infect. Similarly HPV is known to cause cervical cancer and was found in 2008 to be present in equally large numbers of breast cancers by the University of New South Wales.

The new breed of vaccines (like those for HPV) attack the virus itself, rather than stimulating the immune system, as with traditional vaccines.

Whilst drug companies rush to develop vaccines that can be used against large swathes of the population some cancer experts have warned that just because a virus is present does not mean that it is causal.

Interestingly in the 1930’s to 1950’s Royal Rife, an American health pioneer developed a special microscope and concluded that there was ’a virus at the heart of every cancer’. He also extracted such viruses and used them to cause other cancers. And he developed a ’zapper’ whose frequency depended upon that of the individual virus. His ideas were ridiculed by orthodox medicine. His story can be found on our web site.

Return to top

Oily fish and cooked tomatoes stop prostate cancer spread

Finally, that well known Medical Journal, the Daily Mail, reports on unnamed American research that shows eating tomato sauce at least twice per week and oily fish also at least twice per week reduces both the rate of growth and spread of prostate cancer. In the research, more than one thousand patients with prostate cancer were followed and their outcomes compared with the diet the men consumed. The tomato sauce group had a 44 per cent reduced risk and the oily fish consumers had a 27 per cent lowered rate. (Ed: what is interesting here is that many studies have looked at omega 3 fish oils, indole3carbinol, lycopene in tomatoes and others in the context of prevention. However, here is a real live study on people with the disease and how two of them actually make a real difference stopping growth and spread. Presumably, prostate cancer onciologists are telling all their patients.)

Return to top

Women can pass cancer to their babies

October 2009, New Scientist: Scientists in Japan have proven ’without doubt’, for the first time, that cancer cells could be passed from mother to foetus. Dr Frederick van Delft, a member of the research team from the British Institute for Cancer Research, added that cases were very rare. The Japanese detailed the case of a woman with leukaemia, and how the cancer beat the baby’s immune system and the mother’s placenta.

Return to top

Early morning smokers are at higher risk of lung cancer

In a relatively small (252 people) study, it has been shown that people who light up first thing in the morning dramatically raise their nicotine levels, and this has nothing to do with how heavy a smoker the person is.

Scintists at Penn State College of Medicine (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention) measured the blood levels of cotinine, a by-product of nicotine, amongst 20-per-day smokers. These people had widely differing conitine levels, but they were highest in people who smoked before breakfast, possibly indicating that these people had a worse nicotine craving. Increased blood levels of conitine are linked with a higher risk of lung cancer. Obviously the research has implications for helping people quit.

Return to top

Early trials on pill indicate effect on small cell lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer is especially virulent and scientists at Imperial College, London have worked for many years trying to find something that could stop its progression. They may now have done just that.

They have developed a new drug, which in tests with mice (Cancer Research, November) shrank the tumours to nothing. Researchers claim the new drug also helped other forms of chemotherapy become more effective. Lead researcher, Professor Seckl, said that the next step is to go to clinical trials in Humans. One in five cases of lung cancer is ’small cell’.

Return to top

Integrative medicine the future

As regular readers know only too well, CANCERactive (with our icon magazine) is rather a lone voice in the UK on Integrated, integrative or Holistic cancer treatment programmes (or whatever they are called this week).

All too many UK ’experts’ rush to pooh-pooh using complementary and alternative cancer treatments to increase your personal odds of survival. Most however are simply myopic, or ignorant of the Clinical Trials and research now supporting many therapies.

Not so in America. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), almost 4 out of ten adults and just over one in ten children use some complementary or alternative treatment in 2007 the total spent was almost $34 billion on these treatments. This figure, however, includes everything from the practitioners’ fees to supplements, homeopathic medicine and even fitness classes. Many insurance policies will even cover these expenses nowadays.

Of course there will be a chorus of UK ’experts’ saying this is an enormous ’market’ but it is less than the profits of the top 4 pharmaceutical companies.

Others will say it needs to be regulated. And so it does. But whoever is going to be in charge of the regulation, could they please make a better job of it than that done on CT scans or mammograms (see below). Or on the control of the presentation of research reports for drug approvals which seem, from several recent fraud cases, more likely to be written by a pharmaceutical company PR or Marketing person than a scientist. Or the prescribing of cocktails of drugs which have never been tested in conjunction with each other and, for example, end up causing 28 per cent of all hospital admissions at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, or being the number 1 cause of death in Florida ahead of road accidents, heart disease and cancer!

Is it any surprise that the use of non-invasive and natural therapies is on the increase?

Return to top

Cancer Care on the NHS falls behind Europe

Official figure released on December 1st 2009 show that nine out of ten NHS trusts in England fail to provide a good standard of cancer care compared with other countries in Europe.

According to this first ever study of its kind, only one NHS trust out of the 152 in England matches the Eurocare ’International Benchmark Standard’ for colorectal cancer, (Telford and Wrekin); one achieved it for lung cancer and thirteen for breast cancer. This despite the Government tripling the NHS budget with over 4 billion now spent on cancer

These poor statistics link to survival rates. In terms of people living one year from diagnosis, with colorectal cancer 71 per cent achieve this in the UK compared with 79 per cent in Europe; for lung cancer it is 28 per cent compared with 37 per cent. Even for breast cancer it is 95 per cent compared with 97 per cent for the European average.

Cancer Research CEO, Harpal Kumar, stated that ’These statistics confirm that the cancer postcode lottery remains a problem’. Whilst this is true in one respect - for example someone with lung cancer in Herefordshire is three times more likely to die within a year than someone in Kensington it does also show up the British cancer complacency that somehow treatment is better in the British NHS. Eurocare 3 and Eurocare 4, two major studies 7 years apart showed that although we had improved survival rates in England, we were still falling short of Europe quite significantly. And Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland were often even worse.

The truth is that the best postcodes start with Sweden or Austria, Germany or France.

Return to top

British have ’worst quality of life in EU’

According to British workers can expect to spend two years longer at work and die three years younger than their French cousins. The research covered published data in 17 countries and showed Britain was near the bottom of the table in Health and Education spending as a proportion of GDP and we have a lower life expectancy. Because of the value of the pound (?) Britain’s workers had higher salaries, but this could all change as post credit crunch data becomes available.

Return to top



French Food Agency decrees ’Organic Food really is better’

In a direct snub to the UK’s Food Standards Agency, a new comprehensive report by the University of Aix-Marseille, for the French Food Agency concludes that organic food is clearly nutritionally superior. (Journal: Agronomy for Sustainable Development.)

We covered the UK sponsored study in a recent Cancer Watch. For reasons best known to them, the UK FSA decided to ignore the current and definitive 12 million EU study which grows fields of organic produce and compares them directly with mass market produced foods in identical fields. The EU study is already showing clearly that organic food contains higher levels of vitamins and health providing natural compounds like omega 3 and resveratrol. Instead, the FSA commissioned an American company who selected 50 out of some 550 studies available and drew the conclusion that there were ’no health benefits to organic food’. This conclusion produced widespread bewilderment and mockery as it ignored factors such as the possible negative effects of pesticides.

The French researchers conducted what they called ’an exhaustive and critical evaluation of the nutritional and sanitary quality of organic food’ and concluded it contained more minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron, more natural compounds, such as phenols and polyphenols, and far, far less pesticide residue. Organic vegetables contained 50 percent less nitrates than non-organic and less than 6 percent of organic produce tested contained pesticide residue.

Return to top

Stress does cause cancer

Chinese and American scientists have shown, for the first time, that stress (emotional, work related and others) causes inflammation, which in turn stimulates two cancer causing genes inside the cell. (Nature, Jan 2010). Study leader Tian Xu from Yale Medical Center confirmed that hitherto, many people had felt that stress could cause cancer but only now could science start to show how.

Return to top

Rainbow Diet cuts depression by 30 per cent; and type-2 diabetes

Firstly, in a study of over 10,000 men by the University of Las Palmas in Spain, eating a Mediterranean diet can cut your risk of depression by 30 per cent. And depression is known to heighten cancer risks.

In my book ’The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer, I go through the various benefits of the relevant foods. The Spanish researchers suggested there were 9 points of importance to your health: The frequency of consuming mono-unsaturated fatty acids; moderate intake of alcohol, low intake of dairy products; low intake of meat; high intake of fruit and nuts; cereals; vegetables and fish.

The diet is known to keep the arteries and the heart healthy, it helps fight inflammation, it promotes repair and has a number of potent cancer killers in it. It has also been used to reduce asthma and fight Alzheimer’s. (Click here to read Chris Woollams’ book, The Rainbow Diet)

In a second study, by researchers from the Second University of Naples, Italy, and Warwick Medical School in Coventry, England (Annals of Internal Medicine) newly diagnosed type-2 dibetes patients were divided into a group who continued with a low fat diet, one who used a ’Doctor recommended diet, and a third group who were given the Rainbow Mediterranean Diet. The latter group went significantly longer before needing any drugs and those needing drugs was half the level of the ’normal doctor diet’ diet group. Their conclusion was that ’The Rainbow diet is better than the doctors’ recommendations for type-2 diabetes.’

I rest my case.

Return to top

Green tea benefits extend to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

We have told you before about the benefits of Green tea (click here to read article) in terms of preventing cancer, and even as a part of an anti-cancer diet if you already have the disease. Now researchers have shown that a particular active component in green tea, EGCG, helps protect the brain from the build up of amyloid proteins (Nature Chemical Biology, December 2009)

Researchers (from the University of Pennsylvania and the Boston Biomedical Research Institute) claim the finding is a ’breakthrough’, and suggest that it can be effective in not just prevention but treatment too.

Return to top


French Senate votes to ban mobile phone use in schools

Using the same logic as we use at CANCERactive, namely the Precautionary Principle, French Senators voted in early October 2009 to ban children under 15 from bringing a mobile phone into infant, junior and secondary schools. Since some parents feel it would make it more difficult for children to get help if they were in danger on the way to or from school an alternative of banning their use whilst on school premises was discussed.

Senators discussed the fact that nervous systems were not fully developed and nor were skulls in the young. Plus research concerns on the power of mobile phones.

Senators have also agreed to a ban on mobile phone advertising targeted at children under 14.

The proposals will now be examined by the National Assembly, which has previously considered an advertising age limit of 12.

The proposed ban in schools comes after a survey by TNS Sofres found that half of all 12 to 17-year-olds use their mobile phone in lessons.

They send texts, play games and 7 per cent of teens admitted that they had secretly filmed a teacher in mid-lesson.

About half of the 500 schoolchildren questioned said they had been caught at least once when their mobile phone started to ring in class.

The French Government is also in discussions to reduce the power of Phone Masts.

French health watchdogs, in a precautionary move, recommended on Thursday reducing exposure to mobile phones and other portable wireless devices. The guidelines are an interim step pending the outcome of wider research into any impacts from health from radio frequency fields.

"The time for inaction has passed," Martin Guespereau, director of the French Health and Security Agency (Afsset), said at a press conference.
"Lets not wait until the indications become pathologies before moving forward with limiting exposure," he said.

More than 1,000 studies were reviewed by Afsset, focussing on mobile phones, Wifi emitters, microwave ovens, cordless home phones and other gadgets that use frequencies of between 9 kilohertz (kHz) and 300 gigahertz (gHz).

Most of the studies did not show any negative impacts. Some research, however, did point to possible health problems, including cell damage, reduced male fertility and a lower blood flow to the brain. (Le Figaro)

Return to top

American Environmental Protection Agency concludes recycled drinking water contaminated

A new American law would force the Department of Environmental Protection in New York City to test the citys drinking water for pharmaceutical drugs and even toxic personal care product residues.

A large number of studies have already expressed concerns over recycled city water and toxic residues, in particular oestrogenic products (from HRT and the contraceptive pill) and drug residues from all manner of drugs including steroids, statins and antibiotics. At the moment water companies in the USA do not officially have to monitor or report such contaminants.
The American Environmental Working Group (EWG) wants a new law that forces water companies to monitor such toxic residues and report on them.

So what do you think the situation is with European water?? Check out the Re-mineraliser Reverse Osmosis System, and the Ioniser, both of which are available through the Natural Selection Shop (

Return to top

Household pesticide link to child leukaemia and child brain cancer

A finger is firmly pointed at pesticides used inside the house in a research study in urban Washington and published by Lombardi and Childrens National Medical Center in the American magazine, Therapeutic Drug Monitoring.

41 pairs of children with a form of leukaemia termed ALL, and their mothers were matched with an identical group of healthy participants. The researchers analysed urine samples and found significantly higher levels of two common organophosphate metabolites, diethylthiophosphate (DETP) and diethyldithiophosphate (DEDTP) in the urine of the cancer patients than the healthy children. Not surprisingly in the questionnaires completed by the mothers, those households used significantly more pesticides in home.

Worryingly, even the healthy children had some evidence of pesticide organophosphates.

In a second study, reported in the American magazine Environmental Health Perspectives, children living with parents who use in-home pesticides are more likely to develop brain cancers. This time researchers matched 400 fathers and 250 mothers who all use fungicides, insecticides and herbicides around their homes (for example in garden or lawn care use), with identical non-users.They then looked at the level of exposure two years prior to birth!

The researchers found that children whose parents had been exposed to pesticides were significantly more likely to develop brain cancer. The risk of astrocytoma was especially increased by the use of herbicides.

Among the exposed fathers, those who wore protective clothing or who washed immediately after pesticide use were significantly less likely to have children who developed a brain tumour.

No explanation was given for the method of developing the cancer, but it is known that developing babies and foetuses are especially vulnerable to pesticides.

Return to top

515 chemicals used on a woman’s face every day

The typical UK woman uses approximately 13 ’beauty’ products a day; from soap to make up; and from creams to perfumes. Each of these can contain from a minimum of 10 up to several hundred different chemicals. Some are known toxins, even carcinogens. Others are hormone disrupters. Many have even been shown to have a damaging effect on the skin, whilst others are known to damage your health.

The latest research study, from Bionsen, a UK company promoting aluminium-free body care products concluded that the average UK woman uses 515 different chemical compounds a day on her face alone!

If readers are concerned, we are building a toxin-free product centre in the Natural Selection shop, and over time we hope to be able to offer a number of toxin-free product ranges offering different benefits. (Click here for more information)

Return to top

Formaldehyde linked to cancer risk, again

In Cancer Watch we have covered the dangers of formaldehyde before specifically links to lung cancer and leukaemia.

This known carcinogen is banned in countries such as Sweden and Japan. But you can find it readily available in products in your local supermarket from shampoos to nail polishes. In your home it can be found in fungicides and disinfectants, in the glues used to affix carpet and ceiling tiles, or produced by wood chip board products. Its presence is so common that researchers following students with respirators for two weeks in New York and Los Angels showed that it was the number 1 pollutant in our daily lives, well ahead of benzene and outdoor contaminants.

Now a somewhat bazaar study on Morticians, who use formaldehyde for embalming, has shown that those who regularly use it have a much greater risk of myeloid leukaemia, than those who don’t. (Journal of National Cancer Institute)

Return to top

Friends of the Earth want Dark Knights in Hong Kong

Laws curbing night time illuminations have been demanded by environmentalists in Hong Kong. The Standard newspaper reported that retired physiology Professor Pang Shiu-fun was concerned that chronic exposure to night light disrupted humans’ biological clocks are restricted melatonin production. And melatonin regulates and balances a number of other hormones in the body, like oestrogen and IGF-1 which can stimulate cancer. For more on melatonin click here.

Return to top

California regulations on cement factories planned

Apparently up to 90 per cent of airborne mercury in California comes from kilns used to make cement. These kilns are not so small, and California is a major producer of cement in the USA.

Return to top

Drug ’claims’ are being questioned in the USA, shock!


It will come as no surprise to regular readers that researchers following the launch of a new drug in the USA noted that the media exaggerated the drug’s claims and benefits whilst ignoring its side effects. Apparently, this is quite typical and press coverage of drugs in general seems to over claim the benefits, whilst often not even mentioning the side effects!

Who would have thought this true?!

Well, actually, the editorial of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in America, no less. And several Doctors in the piece stated that press coverage of drugs was inaccurate. Statins, vaccines and anti-depressants are the worst offenders.

It’s nice to know we are not a lone voice at CANCERactive!

Return to top

Anybody want some unused flu vaccine which may not work anyway?

As much as we hate to say we told you so, European Governments are now trying to off-load stocks of anti-swine flu vaccine, that there is no need for. The Governments seemingly believed the media panic and the only people benefitting are the Pharma Companies who supplied the vaccines.

However, the smiles may soon go at Roche. The British Medical Journal has been investigating Roche’s claims that 10 research studies supported their Tamiflu. ’Not true’ says the BMJ. Apparently only two of these ten studies were ever published in medical science journals, and when asked to produce the original data behind those, Roche reported that it had been lost!

The BMJ involved the prestigious Cochrane Institute, but they got nowhere. The only study they found research results for showed that Tamiflu was no better than the placebo.

Want any unused, useless flu vaccine anyone?


Return to top

Fotolyn, a 20,000 per month wonder cancer treatment

Fotolyn, a new wonder drug shrinks tumours by 37 per cent says the press release. But does it cure cancer. Well, er, no.

So 600 pounds per day for a drug that doesn’t cure anyone, it just temporarily shrinks tumours. Of course you could try vitamin D, medicinal mushrooms and green tea. They could shrink a tumour too, at a lot less cost. But, did someone mention the word ’quackery?’

Fortunately, the British Tax-payer may well be spared. I, for one, can’t see NICE approving this drug. Unless, I suppose, the same people who passed Tamiflu get involved.

Return to top


Sunbeds banned for under 18’s in the UK


The UK Government has spoken. There is evidence that sunbeds increase the risk of skin cancer under 18’s will not be allowed to use them, and all other users will be supervised.

Return to top

2010 Research
CancerAcitve Logo
Subscribe (Free e-Newsletter)

Join Chris'

Join Chris' NewsletterSignup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.