Saturday, December 24, 2011

Research: Pineapple Enzyme Superior to Chemotherapy in Treating Cancer

Sayer Ji, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

Every once in a while a study pops up on the National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database known as MEDLINE that not only confirms the therapeutic relevance of natural substances in cancer treatment, but blows the conventional approach out of the water.

Published in 2007 in the journal Planta Medica, researchers found that an enzyme extracted from pineapple stems known as bromelain was superior to the chemo-agent 5-fluorauracil in treating cancer in the animal model. The researchers stated:
This antitumoral effect [bromelain] was superior to that of 5-FU [5-fluorouracil], whose survival index was approximately 263 %, relative to the untreated control. [view entire study]
What is so remarkable about this research is that 5-FU has been used as a cancer treatment for 40 years, and has been relatively unsuccessful due to its less than perfect selectivity at killing cancer, often killing and/or irreversibly damaging healthy cells and tissue, as well.


As a highly toxic, fluoride-bound form of the nucleic acid uracil, a normal component of RNA, the drug is supposed to work by tricking more rapidly dividing cells -- which include both cancer and healthy intestinal, hair follicle, and immune cells -- into taking it up, thereby inhibiting (read: poisoning) RNA replication enzymes and RNA synthesis.

The material safety data sheet (MSDS) for 5-FU states:


The dose at which 50% of the animals given the drug die is 115mg/kg, or the equivalent of 7.8 grams for a 150 lb adult human.


Keep in mind that a 7.5 gram dose of 5-FU, which is the weight of 3 pennies, would kill 50% of the humans given it.  Bromelain's MSDS, on the other hand, states the LD50 to be 10,000 mg/kg, or the equivalent 1.5 lbs of bromelain for a 150lb adult, which means it is 3 orders of magnitude safer!

How then, can something as innocuous as the enzyme from the stem/core of a pineapple be superior to a drug that millions of cancer patients over the past 40 years have placed their hopes of recovery on, as well as spending billions of dollars on in the process?

There is a well-known effect associated with a wide range of natural compounds called "selective cytotoxicity," whereby they are able to induce programmed cell death (the graceful self-disassembly known as apoptosis) within the cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells and tissue unharmed. No FDA-approved chemotherapy drug on the market today has this indispensable property, which is why cancer treatment is still in the dark ages, often destroying the quality of life, and accelerating the death of those who undergo it, often unwittingly. When a person dies following conventional cancer treatment it is all too easy to "blame the victim" and simply write that patient's cancer off as "chemo-resistant," or "exceptionally aggressive," when in fact the non-selective nature of the chemotoxic agent is what ultimately lead to their death.

Keep in mind that bromelain, like all natural substances, will never receive FDA drug approval.

Capital, at the present time, does not flow into the development of non-patentable (i.e. non-profitable) cancer therapies -- even if they work, are safe and extremely affordable. This is simply the nature of the beast. Until we compel our government to utilize our tax dollars to invest in this type of research, there will be no level playing field in cancer treatment, or any treatment offered through the conventional medical establishment, for that matter.

Or, some of us may decide to take our health into our own hands, and use the research, already freely available on possible natural cancer treatment, to inform our treatment decisions without the guidance of the modern-day equivalent of the "priest" of the body, the conventional oncologist, who increasingly fills the description of an "applied pharmacologist/toxicologist" - nothing more, nothing less.

To view additional research on the potential therapeutic properties of bromelain in over 30 health conditions, visit the open source, natural medical resource page on bromelain here

Please visit GreenMedInfo to access their vast database of articles and the latest information in natural health. 


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31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fluoride as toxic chemotherapy, and they want to put it in our drinking water. Shows the insanity of the beast!!

K.H. D.C.

Anonymous said...

Big pharma is WAAayyyy out of control in this country. How DARE a company put their profits ahead of the civilians good health. They are the Banksters of their industry, just as dirty, just as greedy only they feed off the sickness and discontent of people. Got one of these industry titans living next door? They would kill you if they needed an organ and kill you if you did.

Roland.T.Flakfizer said...

Antitumoral effect of 5-fluorouracil: 263%
Antitumoral effect of pineapple bromelain: 318%

Significant. But this article was purposely misleading. In not showing the numbers of BOTH agents, this article was more hype than science.

Why not just post a table of the data, so then everyone can decide for themselves?

Anonymous said...

I have read that it takes about $1oo million to get a drug to market. Bill Gates is now worth $100 billion...

Ian M Scott said...

Firstly, if anybody wants to read the paper itself, it’s at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7780535/Bromelain

The first paragraph in this ActivistPost article states that, “every once in a while a study pops up... that not only confirms the therapeutic relevance of natural substances in cancer treatment, but blows the conventional approach out of the water”.

Two problems here: firstly, no single study ever “confirms” anything - it merely lends support to an idea. The bigger issue is that implication that “the conventional approach” and the use of “natural substances” are mutually exclusive, and that no “conventional” research is done into “natural” substances. This National Cancer Institute bulletin from earlier this year focuses specifically on the process of deriving anti-cancer compounds from natural sources (http://www.cancer.gov/ncicancerbulletin/041911/page5), and states that “organisms—marine invertebrates, plants, and microorganisms—collected from around the world are sent to NPB, where researchers look for compounds that show potential anticancer activity when screened against the NCI-60 panel of human cancer cell lines.”

They reference a case study as well. The story starts in 1982, when halichondrin B was isolated. By 1992, it could be synthesised. In 2001, Phase 1 clinical trials began, and the FDA approved the end result in November 2010. These things take a long time, and for good reasons.

The article also shamelessly cherry-picks the data, stating, “researchers found that [Bromelain] was superior to the chemo-agent [5-FU] in treating cancer in the animal model”. If you look at the data, you’ll see that in the initial test, comparing bromelain against 5-FU for the treatment of P-388 leukemia, the 5-FU group had the greatest increased survival (174%), above all doses of Bromelain - 141%, 169%, 157%, 160% - though the difference between 174% and 169% was not significantly different. In P-388 cells, the “natural” treatment was either less effective, or as effective (statistically speaking) as the “conventional” treatment.

Based on the results of this test, the researchers decided to experiment on other tumour models (i.e. besides P-388). They tested five other models; LLC, ADC-755, EAT, S-37 and MB-F10; in each case, the “optimal” dosage of Bromelain was used, whilst the dosage of 5-FU remained constant at 20mg/kg - experimental bias? Anyway...

In LLC, Bromelain performed as well as 5-FU (128.6%, 128.6%)
In ADC-755, Bromelain performed better than 5-FU (150.0%, 143.7%)
In EAT, Bromelain performed better than 5-FU (318.2%, 263.6%)
In S-37, Bromelain performed worse than 5-FU (250%, 221.4%)
In MB-F10, Bromelain performed worse than 5-FU (105.0%, 116%), but also had no effect when compared to the saline control injection.

If you look ONLY at the “EAT” model, then that certainly seems quite impressive - if you ignore the fact that the alpha level (i.e. the likelihood that these results are down to random variation, or chance) was set at 5% - and that is of course the single difference that Sayer Ji has plucked for. However, taking this in context of the rest of the paper, what it LOOKS like is a compound that is better than saline, but not as good as 5-FU, that drug that the pharmaceutical companies have cooked up.

Ian M Scott said...

This image shows the effect of bromelain against both saline and 5-FU. http://cl.ly/0n3h3P3M1P253u1F0I2P
“A” shows that 5-FU’s performance in reducing pulmonary metastases is significantly better than all others. “B” shows the number of tumour cells in each condition. 5-FU is again the best, but there is, in this case, no significant difference between the 25mg/kg dose of Bromelainbromelain and 5-FU.

As for the “safety” claims made in the ActivistPost article, the bromelain MSDS does indeed list an LD50 of 10,000mg/kg for mice - but that’s regarding oral toxicity; when it is eaten, not when it is actually injected into the body.

In fact, the researchers actually state that “the antimetastatic effect of bromelain was also demonstrated in the LLC model by using three bromelain doses between 12.5 - 50 mg/kg. This is the only case in which we used a relatively high (50mg/kg) dose without visible adverse effects.” 50mg/kg dosages of bromelain produced visible adverse effects in every single case but one. Why miss this out when discussing safety data? And why compare LD50s for acute toxicity at all? (Side-note: 7.5g/681g is less than 100. The difference in acute oral LD50s is not three orders of magnitude: it is less than two.)

To sum up, this paper is interesting enough on its own without it being spruced up by someone with a financial interest in promoting so-called “natural” remedies. It does not need a group who would prefer that the default position is for a drug to be freely available, unless the FDA can prove that it is dangerous (http://www.activistpost.com/p/documentslegislation-research.html), to spin the findings and to make wild exaggerations.

The study suggests that bromelain may be of use in the treatment of cancers. There are several reasons to be concerned about the paper itself; the sample size is rather small (10 in each group), the alpha level is very high (which increases the risk of a false positive), there are lots of comparisons done (which increases the risk of finding a false positive (see: http://xkcd.com/882/)), and the study was done in mice, not humans. However, it still raises interesting questions, and could lead to meaningful further research.

However, what is not helpful is for the quack author to cherry-pick data, to try and create the illusion of dichotomy and conflict between “conventional” medicine and “natural” medicine, and to suggest that the reason we still have cancers is because Big Pharma doesn’t like natural products that it (supposedly) can’t patent.

Ian M Scott said...

Two slight errors in my above posts:

1) "In S-37, Bromelain performed worse than 5-FU (250%, 221.4%)": That should be "(221.4%, 250%)"; Bromelain increased survival by 221.4%, 5-FU by 250%).

2) Obviously 7.5g/681g is less than 100. More relevantly, 681g/7.5g is also less than 100.

Anonymous said...

Ian M Scott we can read for ourselves you idiot spam monster for modern pharmeceutical medicine....

Anonymous said...

HMMMM, I can take 5-FU which will kill me and my cells. Or I can take something that will NOT kill me or my cells. But both will kill the cancer cells!

It's makes deciding which to take a no brainer. Unless you are still living in "The American Dream"... Stupid Amerikans.

Anonymous said...

TY Bollinger book about cancer is best also read up on essiac tea prevent cancer by eating good food ,dried fruit ,dried vegetables below 70 degrees celsius ,eat good spices like turmeric .thyme,cinnamon,cloves all three natural remedy for chest infections .Please find and read TY Bollinger audio book big pharma has hidden this on net and corrupted files of audio book email me sonofknock@gmail.com or michaelstreetcomputers@gmail.com if you cant find it i can send it on to you all .

Anonymous said...

I was my own control in my own study of one.
It worked.
Oncologist remains stumped since the cancer I had was advanced and deemed "incurable", and since I adamantly refused all invasive cancer spreading conventional methods of diagnosis from biopsy to bone marrow extract - except for a genetic analysis blood test called a flow cytometry test and one ultra sound.... and since I also refused all standard of care treatment -But them again, is "care" really the right word for chemo treatment here? I mean given that chemo is derived from mustard gas used as munitions. As with almost every other drugs for profit company, pharmaceutical application is but one branch of this root bound industrial tree dressed up as medicine. And the root system is invariably sourced from Thanatos, expertise in munitions and versatility in the delivery of death.
So ...Why would I have ever entrusted my own personal "care" to those whose primary function is to develop weapons of mass destruction? With cancer pharma as the not all that "nice" face of larger corporate exploitation?

Anonymous said...

About 20 years ago I realized that Big Pharma was about making/keeping us sick while wringing every cent out of us.

Lou said...

"As a highly toxic, fluoride-bound form of the nucleic acid uracil, a normal component of RNA, the drug is supposed to work by tricking more rapidly dividing cells"

Hells bells we should now be able to cure cancer by having the cancer patient take baths in our fluoride poisoned drinking water.

Costs a few pennies or so a day as opposed to the 12,000 bucks a month the chemotherapy costs on average.

It is fun to review how the "chemotherapy drugs" came into being. One was used as a sheep-dip and sold for a buck or two a pound until it was "approved" as chemotherapy whereupon its price jumped to hundreds of bucks a gram. Ain't the protected "free market" neat?

IMO anyone who views cut, burn and poison "cancer treatment" as anything other than a depopulation means is not thinking clearly.

Ian M Scott said...

Anonymous - I'm not a spam monster. I have no interest, financial or otherwise, in pharmaceutical companies - many things that they do are terrible. But the terrible things that pharmaceutical companies may do does not change the objective, factual reality of whether or not a drug actually works.

I care only about what is true, or at least what we can know about what is true.

You'll see that I provided a link to a PDF of the original study, which was not included in the original article. That was the very first thing I did, to allow you to read the study for yourself, so that you could read the article for yourself, and be sure that I wasn't just giving a biased reading of the paper.

You'll also see that all my points are valid. The author of this article did indeed cherry pick the data. He did indeed create a false dichotomy between "natural" and "conventional" medicines. He did indeed overstate the difference in acute oral toxicity, which was indeed an irrelevant measure anyway.

I explained the results of the study. The author viewed the paper as reliable enough to report the specific result that they cherry-picked. All of my points, in which I simply stated the results of the experiment are drawn from the same study, written by the same authors.



Anonymous - To claim that you were your own "control" in your own "study" with a sample size of one (presumably the "study" wasn't blinded either) is completely absurd.

Pointing out that mustard gas was the first anti-cancer drug isn't very helpful. We need water to survive, but drinking too much can cause water toxicity. We need oxygen to survive, but too high a concentration can cause. Small amounts of sunlight allow us to >naturally< synthesise Vitamin D, but large amounts of sunlight lead to sunburn, sunstroke, and skin cancer. All of these are natural things, things that we use to survive - but if we apply them incorrectly, they are very dangerous. Radiation in high enough doses rapidly mutates DNA and irreparably damages cells - but in low doses the damage can be repaired. (It is the focussing of radiation onto cancer cells that allows us to use radiotherapy).

Similarly, chemotherapy sees highly dangerous chemicals used in a controlled manner. Undoubtedly, these drugs cause absolutely devastating effects in the body: but it is a deadly disease that is being treated, and the alternative to those devastating effects is death, plain and simple.

Ian M Scott said...

Anonymous - Cancer survival rates, for one, have improved massively over the past 40 years, as data available at http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/prod_consump/groups/cr_common/@nre/@sta/documents/generalcontent/crukmig_1000ast-2776.xls show. Life span has increased massively, and is projected to continue to increase over the coming decades. Of course the pharmaceutical industry wants to wring all the money they can out of us; that's just capitalism. However, it's also very expensive to bring a drug to market; in the region of $500 million - and that's just the ones that make it through the stringent trials.

But patents on new drugs typically expire within about a dozen years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bestselling_drugs), after which they can be made by anybody. I can now walk into my local supermarket and get a pack of paracetamol for 39p. Big Pharma can certainly charge a LOT of money for their drugs; but not forever.

If you really want to see who it is that's scamming you, ask yourself why Activist Post seeks the repeal of the Health Freedom Act. The Health Freedom Act ensures that pharmaceutical companies (and quacks too) have to jump through FDA hoops for their drug to be legal; it must be shown to be safe AND effective. If this law were repealed, companies could release their drugs without testing, and it would be up to the FDA to prove that their drugs were harmful, or that they did not work AFTER they had been released. How can the repeal of that law be good for those of us without vested interests in pharmaceuticals and "alternative" medicine?

Ian M Scott said...

Lou - No. The chemical is fluoro-uracil. It is not uracil, and it is not fluorine. It is a combination of the two. It is fluorouracil.

Also, fluorouracil costs somewhere between $50 and $100. http://www.isrameds.com/fluorouracil.aspx

As pointed out above, it is very expensive to bring a drug to market - because it has to be synthesised, modified, improved, and shown to be safe, and it has to be produced to a MUCH higher quality. If a compound cost the same when employed as a cancer treatment (i.e. a chemical that is going to be injected into people) as it did when it was used indiscriminately as a fungicide, THEN I would be concerned. And certainly, it's not good that the drugs do cost so much, and the free market results in some terrible injustices. But that still doesn't have any effect the factual reality of the biochemical reaction a compound undergoes in the body.

Is it particularly surprising to hear that a particular compound can have more than one function? Is it surprising that a compound which was used as a fungicide and an insecticide is also useful for killing cancer cells?

Think about it. Cancer cells are part of us. They are still human cells, they used to be completely normal cells, and they follow much of the normal biochemistry as the other cells do. Why then, is it any surprise that anti-cancer drugs are sometimes derived from chemicals that are very bad for human cells? Why shouldn't we expect that chemicals designed to kill human cells are derived from chemicals that, previously only incidentally, killed human cells?

Cancer medication isn't NICE. Cancer medication is DESIGNED to kill living cells inside your body. Of course it's going to be bad. Of course it's going make people feel terrible, and of course it's going to cause terrible side effects.

But that's what has to happen, because if we don't kill those living, cancerous cells, they metastasise and kill you.

Anonymous said...

warning, shill alert, warning....

Anonymous said...

Dear Ian T. Scott - I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Excellent job on the research - generally I dont concern myself with such facts, especially coming from anything with both National and Cancer in the name.

Generally I dont trust large institutions.

Since you are such a pro at research (which you very much are, that was not meant to sound sarcastic at all) I highly recommend you look into alternative Cancer therapies such as the Gerson Therapy. I will state flat out that any information on the Gerson Therapy and other cancer cures will be labeled as Misinformation and snake oil by the AMA, or any other nationally authorized cancer research institute. Instead I reccomend looking at it from a testimonial perspective.

Large scale research byt large groups oftentimes have vested interests inherent to them. I do not know if you will believe a word I say, as you seem to be a rather rational, scientific minded person - but to that I will only say, in order to be truly rational and scientifically minded, both sides must be paid attention to.

That's why I read your post, and I can definitely vibe with the idea that the results have been tampered with. Everybody has vested interests in their product being the one that is released. I did find it strange that the article said nothing bout the factual data driven success rate of Bromelaine.

However, I also believe that the results have been skewed on the other side.

Skepticism is awesome, but there is a concentrated habit of Skeptics to deny that anything not mainstream authorized is a fallacy. Is it not entirely logical to believe that upon the removal of toxicity from the human body and the establishment of proper nutrition within the human body, the body would be more able to combat cancer?

Big medicine/pharma doesnt think so. Logic is money, my friend. Or logic is blackmail. All depends on who you are.

The I destinctly remember the rational Skeptics of a few centuries ago burning someone at the stake due to certain beliefs about the physical structure about a certain planet that we may possibly be inhabiting at the present moment.


Regarding the article : Hell yes, Ill start eating the pineapple cores more :D Fresh fruit, veggies and taking care of oneself is totally the best way to cure cancer. Although Im never going to get cancer, if I did I wouldnt be worried. All I would have to do is exercise a bit of self discipline and take care of myself and all would be well. Thanks for revealing this information.

Mazzastick said...

This is very interesting.

Anonymous said...

I recall reading or hearing that chemotherapy is only effective at treating two types of cancer: Testicular and I believe a certain type of leukemia although I could be wrong with the latter one. What it is effective at doing is completely compromising your immune system and further weakening you, and when the cancer returns (as it almost always does) it comes back with a vengence.
All you need to know is how much income is derived from chemotherapy treatments and that should pretty much explain why such an ineffective toxic treatment is so widley used.
Yes big Pharma does scour the globe looking for natural substances for treating diseases but it has no interest in using them in their natural form, it just attempts to mimick them with synthetic versions which are generally not nearly as effective

Anonymous said...

Ian Scott contradicts himself like most trolls. First he says he is not spammer then turns right around and cheerleads for Big Pharma. Why can't you get it through your head that natural substances can kill diseases more effectively than man made? How many things has man copied, say sugar for example and it turned out to be a crappy substitute and harmful to boot?

gtkysor said...

Table 2 shows that Bromelain treated mice lived almost as long as, longer than, or as long as 5-fluorouracil treated mice lived. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7780535/Bromelain

Ian M Scott said...

@Anonymous (December 26th, 8:37pm)

Thanks for taking the time to post a thoughtful response. I do indeed consider myself a skeptic, and like any good skeptic, I enjoy it when I find out that I have been wrong - it means that I now know more, and know better than I did before. Generally I’ll try to avoid forming an opinion unless I know anything about the topic, or unless I’m presented with evidence one way or the other.

Firstly, I’m not a pro at research. I’m 19, a second-year university student, and anybody could have done what I did (though admittedly, getting access to that paper was very tricky, and only managed it because another friend’s university has access to the journal). I would again encourage that anyone who hasn’t already read the paper does so; there’s nothing quite as good as reading the original scientific research for yourself.

There are several problems with looking at the efficacy of a treatment from a testimonial perspective. For one thing, the people promoting a treatment, the ones who stand to make money from it, will obviously only be interested in reporting on the positive cases, whilst not reporting on the negative results. For another, as is the nature of cancer, dead people don’t give testimonials anyway.

By far and away the best method is to get a large group of patients, randomly assign them to two groups, treat Group A with the most successful/commonly used cancer treatment, and to treat Group B with the new drug or treatment being tested, ensuring that neither the patients NOR the doctors treating the patients know which group the patients are in. There is just no substitute for a randomized, controlled, double-blind trial, and I’m sorry, but when it comes to something as important as medicine, testimonials just won’t cut it. I would hope you can see why.

You should certainly pay attention to both sides, but far more important is to pay attention to the evidence. I don’t think you should ever dismiss something out of hand, which is why I felt that it was important to actually read the paper, and to find out what it said.

I don’t quite know what you mean with regards to “factual data driven success rate of Bromelain”. As far as I’m aware, there are no studies of bromelain in humans, however the paper does reference previous efforts that have demonstrated in vitro effects of bromelain (though these are often unreliable, as they do not imitate the internal biological and biochemical environment of the body).

Certainly, there is a tendency for research OVERALL to be skewed in favour of positive results (i.e. research that finds no effect, or research that finds negative effects are less likely to be published) - note that this extends to this paper also: had it found that bromelain had no effect on cancers, it may not have been published. This is a very real problem, and something that I have complained about for a long time. What would make sense to me would be a requirement to pre-register all clinical trials undertaken, before they begin. That way, when papers are not published, and the ones that are are all positive, there would be a red-flag that something fishy is going on. That’s what I would do- but I’m just a 19-year old student, and nobody listens to me.

I don’t think that it’s the case that skeptics tend to deny anything that’s not the mainstream; I’d say that the opposite is more commonly the case (though obviously “mainstream” can vary by location and time). What you suggest, that “upon the removal of toxicity from the human body and the establishment of proper nutrition within the human body, the body would be more able to combat cancer” is certainly not a silly idea. However, science is all about testing ideas, and it turns out that that idea, whilst it may have been a plausible hypothesis, is not what we find.

Ian M Scott said...

@Anonymous (December 26th, 8:37pm) continued...

Being a skeptic is all about looking at evidence, and recognising that humans are biased, and that we have psychological failings and shortcuts that can often lead us astray. It’s about examining the evidence, and trying to catch ourselves out as often as we can. I certainly wouldn’t identify with the people who refused to examine the evidence that was presented to them, simply because they feared the conclusion to which it might lead.

As for your last paragraph, I’m afraid that eating pineapple won’t actually do any good (beyond the norm, obviously). Bromelain is an enzyme, which is made of proteins. We require about 50g of protein a day, but that is not because we can use the actual proteins themselves; instead the proteins are broken down into their constituent amino acids, of which all proteins are made, and we use those amino acids to construct our OWN proteins, that our own body develops.

And herein lies the rub. If it turns out that this enzyme is a good anticancer treatment, no advantage will be gained by eating the fruit. As you can see in the [Protein Purification] subsection of the [Materials and Methods] section, it was a highly complicated procedure to isolate the protein. If this were to be used as a cancer treatment, it would need to be produced in higher, purer, volumes, and that would require artificially synthesising the enzyme. The enzyme would be chemically identical, but purer, and available in larger quantities. And that would require pharmaceutical companies.

As such, we must certainly recognise the problems that exist in the pharmaceutical industry, and in the research publishing industry too. As such, if bromelain does turn out to be effective, we should not allow the fact that it will have to be big pharma that produces it to get in the way of our recognition that it does indeed work.

Ian M Scott said...

@Anonymous (December 27th, 10:31am)

A genuine and serious point: why "I recall reading or hearing"? Why not do the research for yourself? A quick look over at Wikipedia suggests that what you said may be pretty much correct:

"Cytotoxic chemotherapy produces much larger gains for some forms of cancer, including testicular cancer (about 40% of the men who live five years after diagnosis are alive because of chemotherapy), lymphomas (about 13%), and cervical cancer (12%).[34] By contrast, chemotherapy is essentially useless in other cancers, including prostate cancer, melanoma of the skin, multiple myeloma, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and pancreatic cancer: people who receive chemotherapy for these conditions are just as likely to die within five years as people who do not."

However, we know this because of the progress of science; of conducting clinical trials and evaluating past cases. However, the fact remains that chemotherapy is useful for SOME conditions, and is not applied in the conditions for which it is not useful. For example, The Prostate Cancer Charity website states:

“[Chemotherapy] is used to help control symptoms and not to cure prostate cancer. You may be suitable for this treatment if you have prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is no longer responding to hormone therapy. Some men may be offered chemotherapy at an earlier stage of their disease as part of a clinical trial.”

As you can see, chemotherapy is not prescribed for prostate cancer, unless it has metastasised to other parts of the body (in which case, it’s not just PROSTATE cancer any more), or for the specific reason of a clinical trial.

Chemotherapy certainly does compromise your immune system, which will be just one of the reasons that it is only offered to patients with conditions for which it is effective. Indeed, cancers often do return (which could be down to several factors: the previous cancer wasn’t entirely removed; people who are likely to get cancer once are likely to get it twice; the treatment also increased the risk of cancer). I can’t find anything about cancers being worse when they return (cancer itself is pretty bad), but I will keep looking.

Responding to “why such an ineffective toxic treatment is so widley used”, I would hope that I’ve shown that it’s not.

The reason that Big Pharma synthesises the compounds are four-fold: it ensures that they will always have a source (you can be sure demand would increase all round); it ensures that they always have enough; it ensures that it’s in a pure form, without impurities and contaminants; and it ensures that they can always supply correct dosages.

Finally, synthesised versions of natural compounds are chemically identical, and indistinguishable in every way. There is absolutely NOTHING to support the idea that a chemical from a “natural” source is in any way different from that exact same chemical that’s from a chemical company, and much to support the opposite. It is not only demonstrably wrong, but it also an implausible and ridiculous idea. You’re employing the naturalistic fallacy, and demonstrating an obvious bias that you hold.

Ian M Scott said...

@Anonymous (December 27th, 12:24pm)

I am not a spammer. All of my points are directly relevant to either the original article, the paper referred to in the original article, or the comments directed at me. Admittedly, I am posting a lot, and I wish for all our sakes that I did not have to type so much. Unfortunately, these issues are complex, and require more than the soundbite that you might prefer. In addition, besides the comment from Roland T. Flakfizer, all comments have been more-or-less with one voice, and I am the only commenter being challenged, by everyone else. Of course I’m going to have a bit more to say. If Person A writes 1000 words against Person C, and Person B writes 1000 words against Person C, would you expect Person C to write 1000 words in total, or 1000 words to each person?

In fact, you might expect more, given that it generally takes far more words to answer a question than it does to ask it.

Anyway, I don’t deny that natural substances can kill diseases more effectively than man-made substances, because I have not grouped each and every substance into “Natural (good)” and “Synthetic (bad”). For one thing, you’ll need to define “natural” a bit better. Is any chemical that can be found in nature natural? What if that chemical is synthesised in the lab? Is that a natural chemical? And why should we expect there to be a difference in identical chemicals, based on their sources? Why should there be a difference between molecule of aspirin made in a tree, and a molecule of aspirin made in a chemical plant?

But presumably you wouldn’t argue that EVERY natural substance is better at killing diseases that EVERY artificial substance? I certainly would not do the opposite. Natural aspirin, for example, is much better at treating headaches than nerve gas is. Some chemicals are better for us than others - and whether they’re made by natural processes or artificial processes has literally no effect whatsoever.

I’m sorry if you don’t like what I’m saying, and I’m sorry if you don’t agree with it. But that does not make it spam.

And @gtyksor, indeed, there were some interesting effects - and I noted all of those in my first post - but the results certainly don’t warrant the description of “blow[ing] the conventional approach out of the water].

Incidentally, I also noted that in each case, the bromelain dosage was tailored to the optimum dosage, whereas the dosage of the control (5-FU) was not changed in any case. If the objective was to evaluate IF bromelain has some effect (which I suspect WAS the aim of the study), then that is fair enough. If however, we wish to actually draw comparisons between the two compounds, then it is simply not acceptable to give the “optimum” dosage of one compound, and leave the dosage of the other compound unaltered in all cases.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Scott, do you trust the FDA? The Cancer industry is a business...Period!!!

Ian M Scott said...

@Anonymous Do you think saying, "the cancer industry is a business" is some sort of profound insight? It's like saying "selling cars is a business", and using that logic to suggest that, THEREFORE, cars do transport people from A to B.

Do you know what else is a business? Selling Vitamin pills, colonic irrigation, air purifiers, "radiation protectors", weight loss "supplements" - "Because of its combination formula, Slimirex is the MOST RESEARCHED weight loss supplement on the market today when you combine the individual research done on each of its ingredients! You can put your trust into Slimirex!" Says absolutely nothing about the RESULTS of that research... - and "far infrared saunas" (yours for just $5,495). And you can find it all by clicking "Health Resources" in the banner at the top of this page! (http://www.activistpost.com/p/health-resources.html)

The fact that people stand to make money from something doesn't mean that that thing does not work. Now, in the case of many of the things listed above (in THIS comment), they do not work. But the way to find that out is not to consider, "Does someone profit from this?", but to look at the available scientific evidence, and base your conclusions on that.

Sometimes, chemical compounds work for treating illnesses. Sometimes, people notice this, and sell that chemical compound, for a profit. The fact that they're making money doesn't change the fact that the compound works.

Yes, sometimes suspicion is warranted. But if you're like me, when you're suspicious about something, you'll investigate, and find out if your suspicions are justified; instead of just sitting around and throwing out catchprases, "Big Pharma!!", "But it's a business", "I'm always wary of large organisations!".

Grow up, do a bit of reading, and educate yourself. Have you read the original paper yet?? (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7780535/Bromelain) Do you agree that this article has been very misleading?

Have you read any of my other comments? Do you not think I've spent quite a bit of time being fair, explaining my position, and providing evidence and justification for it? Could you raise a SINGLE valid objection to something that I've actually said, rather than continuing with one-liners and catchphrases that do not in any way address the science that's being discussed?

It would be very much appreciated.

fernando said...

There is a proverb that says: evil must be cut out from the root. -- But what happening when "everybody" knows that the evil is coming from the TOP, and is affecting the roots?

Travis said...

Ian M Scott is patiently and politely digesting explaining an article to you guys and all he's getting in return is name calling and people regurgitating the same stuff that the people in alternative medicine have been selling them for years.

When you say something like "CANCER is a big busines!! do you REALLY trust the government??" as a refutation to a post like Scott's you're not making a good point. You're just refusing to think.

Steven Bradley said...

Ian, I can't find the original article in your Dropbox reference. Do I need an account to access it?
Steve Bradley

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