Chemotherapy! A curse or the last resort?
To address the subject of chemotherapy without getting into an emotional discussion is probably no longer possible in the 21st century; and the reason for this is relatively simple. Nobody really knows precisely for which people chemotherapy will prove helpful in destroying a tumor, nor does anybody really know precisely if it would be better not to undergo the chemotherapy. To this day there is no medical measuring instrument that shows us whether a chemotherapy will help this person or that person. I emphasize the word people here because we are even less certain about whether a chemotherapy will help this or that type of cancer.
If you have not studied the subject of chemotherapy intensively then perhaps you will think: “But surely the doctors must know whether a chemotherapy can help me before they prescribe one for me.” Unfortunately I must disappoint you. If you study chemotherapy scientifically and intensively then you will quickly determine that we are really just beginning to understand, (or that we have stopped understanding) the real effects of chemotherapy. What is certain is that in 1944 the physician Peter Alexander described that bone marrow is seriously damaged and that sooner or later people die due to an “exhaustion of the white hemogram”. By the way this fact had already been described in a magazine in 1919! Dr. Alexander examined the sailors who came into contact with mustard gas through the accident in the Italian harbor Bari, in December 1943. Afterwards the victory march of this preparation, which was actually designed to kill enemy soldiers, was unstoppable, and today “modern” oncology is unimaginable without this toxin and all of its relatives. Now we could assume that we have made enormous progress in the new millennium, and that we can no longer compare present day chemotherapies with the mustard gas used in the Second World War.
But let’s take a closer look at the status quo. As you will remember from the biology class in school, our cells divide over and over with some few exceptions. Every second mil-lions of cells in our body renew themselves. Cell division occurs in specific phases. Biologists designate these as prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase.
Many new cells must still reach maturity. The entire process of cell division and cell maturity is called cell cycle and this complete cycle is divided into G0 phase (rest phase), G1 phase (RNA and protein synthesis), S phase (DNA dupli-cation), G2 phase (DNA repair phase) and finally the M-phase, the actual cell division. This is important for cancer patients to know, so that they better understand how a chemotherapy works, because different preparations influence different phases of cell division. Cells are more vulnerable during the cell division process. Cytostatic agents now attempt to exploit this lowered immunity of the cells, by disturbing certain metabolic processes of the cell. In this regard the desired result is the death of the cell. I would like to emphasize this point, the desired effect is the death of the cell, and not transformation of the cell into a healthy cell.
Since many tumor cells divide very rapidly, they are naturally more sensitive to such toxins and are destroyed in increased number. If you read the last sentences carefully then you will certainly recognize the problem posed by these cell toxins. If tumor cells do not divide more rapidly then other cells in the body, what then? And how do these toxins actually identify tumor cells?
You can certainly answer the first question yourself, and you already know at least part of answer to the second question. Cytostatic agents do not detect tumor cells at all. They simply destroy everything that grows faster (and a lot more). This is the reason for the known side effects of all body systems whose cells usually divide more rapidly:
- our epithelial cells, e.g. in the mouth, stomach, or intestinal tract.
- our lymphatic system, e.g. destruction of the lymphocytes.
- our gonads, consequently the temporary or often permanent sterility after a chemotherapy
- our bone marrow, e.g. destruction of the leucocytes, the erythrocytes and the thrombocytes.
- skin, hair, and also nails.
If you are aware of these main effects, not side effects as they are always called, then it is not hard to understand why every-one must reconsider three times over whether he should undergo a chemotherapy. The influences on bone marrow and on the lymphatic system particularly are so devastating that many people justifiably wonder if this is not precisely the opposite what they need when tumors are present in the body. We all know that we urgently need our immune system when we have a tumor in the body, and yet in spite of this we believe that we can continue to destroy our immune system for many months when we have cancer.
This is precisely the dilemma associated with chemotherapy preparations. Their entire objective is targeted on the destruction of cells, it is targeted on communicating to cell structures, so-to-speak, how they should divide correctly. An additional problem is the resistance to these preparations. It is not just the fact that these preparations do not even recognize cells that divide slowly, or that do not divide at all, there is also the factor of resistance, which is even more serious. Many tumors ignore certain substances from the very outset. Consequently “cocktails” of different substances are usually given in the hope that one of these substances will help. The fact that multiple substances also have greater side-effects goes without saying. Perhaps you would also be interested in the results of multiple surveys (Makillop/Hansen/ Moore/Tannock …) wherein oncologists responded to the question as to whether they would undergo chemotherapy, with no (what kind of world is this where doctors prescribe therapies that they themselves would never use).
However these cocktails do have one advantage. Huge costs can be billed for each patient, which is extremely gratifying to every manufacturer. This sentence may seem exaggerated, ironic, or even insolent to you. But it does not change the following fact, which is happily forgotten. If you are not resistant to a certain substance, then your chance to very quickly become resistant to this substance increases very quickly, from infusion to infusion, and indeed much more quickly than you are accustomed to with antibiotics. The reason for this is that our body has astoundingly intelligent capabilities for protecting itself against toxins. For example one of these capabilities is changing the permeability of the cell wall.
In addition the chance of metastasis is increased, as various studies have demonstrated. Studies indicate that the larger the tumor the greater the number of resistant cells. It has also been determined that over time, tumor cells learn to defend themselves against every type of cytostatic agent. This also explains why changing to a different combination of cytostatic agents so often results in failure.
Many are also pleased to forget that cells become more malign (aggressive) after a chemotherapy, as was determined by Wenzel-Seifert and Lentzen and others years ago. Such cells also have an increased “potential for metastasis”?, which means nothing more that the chemotherapy can trigger the feared metastasis.
The more toxic a substance is, the more your body will undertake to ensure that this substance does not cause as much damage the next time it is encountered. Thus resistance to medication is nothing more than part of an ingenious defense system called man, which brings us right back to our subject: Evolution is right.
A short list of the most commonly used chemotherapy preparations and their areas of application is provided below:
This is a group, which at least in theory, reacts at multiple points with the DNA at the same time, and networks the DNA (cross-link). In other words this means that alkylates change our genetic code which consequently can no longer be read. An old term that is also used for this is radiomimetic agents A nice word for something quite diabolical, namely the fact that cells divide as if they had been exposed to strong radioactive radiation. The consequences of this are most likely familiar to everyone.
Yperite also belongs to this group. Yperite is the substance which was still called mustard gas in the First World War, and which killed thousands of soldiers. Today’s yperite is a nitro-gen yperite, with an effect however that is not much reduced. It still destroys bone marrow and other tissue structures. Additional known compounds are chlorambucil (Leukeran) and melphalan (Alkeran).
A subgroup of nitrogen yperite includes representatives of the oxazaphosphorines like cyclophosphamide, whose most famous representative is probably Endoxan. However ifos-famide (holoxan) and trofosfamide (Ixoten) are used just as often. “Relatives” of nitrogen yperite are also used for brain tumors, since in theory these overcome the blood brain barri-er. In these cases primarily nimustine (ACNU), fotemustine (Muphoran), carmustine (BCNU), bendamustine (Ribomustin) and Lomustine (CCNU) are used.
Another group of cross linkers are the so-called platinum combinations like Cisplatin (Platinex) or Carboplatin (Carboplat), which are feared by patients because of their strong side effects. As you can see, the possibilites of sub-groupings and additional derivatives are almost infinite. But I do not want to bore you any longer with additional subgroups like hydrazine derivatives or mitomycins. Instead let’s look at the next group of cell killers, the
The theory of how this group works assumes that if certain combinations that are similar to the DNA bases are introduced in the metabolism of the cell, then these false bases will be integrated into the DNS strand, which cause the stand to break, i.e the death of the cell. This form of therapy becomes quite reminiscent of Dr. Frankenstein when we go one step further and prevent certain bases from being built-up through so-called folic acid antagonists. To prevent the patient from dying too quickly through this treatment, the patient then is given high doses of a medication like 5FU and then shortly thereafter folic acid (e.g. Leucovorin).
I have noticed something very interesting in this regard. For more than 20 years, this combination is established itself in Germany as the standard treatment for advanced intestinal cancer, although it was never been approved by Germany’s highest authority for the approval of medication, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices BfArM (see facsimile of letter dated March 26th 1999 on the next page), because it has been demonstrated that this combination was responsible for “Fatalities due to therapy”. The fact that the German government knew this is proven by a letter dated August 30th 1999.
Short Translation: „We hereby confirm, that 5-FU in combination with any calcium acid has not been approved in Germany.“
Also most German doctors knew what was published in issue 31/32 of the Deutsche Ärzteblatt on August 8th 1994. I quote: “The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices notifies medical circles that the treatment of advanced colorectal carcinoma with the combination of 5-FU and CF (calcium folinate as Leucovorin, author’s comment) has not been approved, rather it represents an experimental therapy. The serious risks of the combination treatment are pointed out because it has already been widely used in the past.”
In a letter I received from Dr. Manfred Hoffmann of the BfArM, Dr. Hoffman writes that the combination of 5-FU and CF has been approved since November 1999. It is interesting in this regard to note that in a letter dated February 23rd, 2000, i.e. 3 months AFTER the apparent approval, Mr. Ulrich Heier from the BfArM writes: “An application for approval of 5-FU for combination treatment with folic acid/folinate has been submitted. The evaluation has not yet been concluded”. In this letter Mr. Heier again points out that: „… “…use outside of the approved indication and under the special conditions of a clinical test is approved. The prescribing doctor bears the possible criminal law and civil law responsibility”. Question: was the combination not yet approved in March 2000, or is Mr. Heier telling a lie? And if the answer is yes, then why?
In response to months of persistent inquiry on my part to learn which studies served as the basis on which the combination had now been approved, on the 6th of December 2004 I received a letter from Dr. Hoffmann and a list of studies based on which the combination of 5-FU and CF has been approved. In this list studies are cited e.g. that motivated the BFArM in 1994 to warn: “Our analysis of the data revealed that more patients died in conjunction with the combination treatment 5FU/CF, (2.3%) than died with a treatment of 5-FU alone (0.5%). At the end of 2004, these same data are now provided to me as proof (among other things) as to why 5-FU/CF is supposed to be so successful. In other words: “It is not just the cancer patients who are really being hoodwinked in this case”. Just how stupid do the employees of the BfArM think we real-ly are? Which group of people gave final approval for the medication? Has it really been approved, and why are there such drastic lies associated with this medication?
I do not have any certain answers to all of these questions, other than coming back to the conclusion that cancer is a huge industry, and that it is not always easy for thinking people to accept these lies. Fundamentally this issue involves people’s lives, and yet in many of the 5FU studies that I have reviewed carefully the statement still occurs again and again: “drug-related death occurred in each regimen”.
One can only imagine how small the famous tip of the ice-berg really is here. Here an explanation in this case is urgently necessary in the interest of so many cancer patients. But how will this happen? The only solutions that I can come up with would be either too expensive or much too dangerous. On the other hand this “little 5-FU/CF example” shows how risky it is to blindly place trust in others when one submits to a therapy, which can lead to death, or to be more precise, has often resulted in death. Let’s be honest. If doctors would explain the advantages and disadvantages of 5-FU and Leucovorin in detail, how many patients would then undergo these therapies?
And something else is quite clear. Theoretic constructs are much further removed from practice than they appear to be on paper or in the lab. Additional representatives of this group are: Cladribine (Leustatin), Pentostatin (Nipent), fludaribine phosphate (Fludara), Cytarabine (Alexan), Fluorouracil, 5FU (Efudix) and gemcitabine (Gemzar).
Likewise Gemzar is an interesting preparation that has “secretly” established itself as standard preparation for pancreatic carcinomas. If we disregard pleural mesotheliom (pleura / lung cancer, mainly caused by asbestos), then statistically pancreatic cancer has the worst prognosis of all types of cancer. This year app. 12,000 people will die of this illness in Germany alone. In recent years as far as allopathic treatment is concerned either resignation, or the chemotherapy preparation Gemzar (Gemcitabin) are the norm when dealing with this diagnosis. Gemzar is a medication that disturbs the DNA synthesis, or to be more precise, influences cytosine.
Even with our own intensive research we could only find a few cases of healings or long-term survivors of pancreatic carcinomas (which by the way were almost exclusively possi-ble due to intensive nutrition therapies like Budwig’s oil pro-tein diet, NutriTherapy, Gerson’s diet or Dr. Gonzales’ therapy). The literature primarily cites studies that compare Gemzar with 5FU. Once again these are studies in which two or more chemotherapeutics are compared, so that in the end at least one of them can be evaluated as positive. In the most frequently cited study involving 126 patients, half of the patients were given Gemzar, and the other half were given 5FU. Pharmaceutical companies and doctors cite this study again and again and tell their patients that the patients who received Gemzar clearly lived longer.
But what does “clearly longer” mean for people whose vocabulary is enriched with an abundance of Latin expressions? In this study patients who were given 5FU lived 4.2 months on average. Patients who were given Gemzar lived 5.7 months. To this day this difference is called “a small break-through in the therapy of pancreatic carcinomas”. Again it was “forgotten” to include a group in the study, which either did nothing, or which pursued biological therapies.
Would you as patient really undergo a Gemzar therapy, if instead of saying to you that you would clearly live longer with Gemzar, your doctor said: “Dear Mr. Miller, statistically you will live a maximum of 6 more months. I know of no therapy that can heal you. However what I could offer you would be a chemotherapy with all of its side effects. However your survival chances increase with this measure by 6 weeks com-pared to a different chemotherapy that I could naturally offer you as well. I cannot tell you whether your life will be any longer or shorter through using this chemotherapy than it would be if you did absolutely nothing, because there are not any studies about this.” Now ask yourself: “Would you still undergo a therapy with Gemzar if the doctor told you the truth in these words?
Gemzar is a good example of how medications can develop themselves into a gold standard, without the prescribing doctor having a single proof that his patient will live one day longer through its use. If this were a homeopathic medication without side effects you could still say: “OK, why not”
Gemzar however is a chemotherapy that is given to people in the last weeks of their life and which clearly lowers their quality of life. Not to mention the costs borne by the general public. Doctors of all people should be much more open with their patients when dealing with the diagnosis of pancreatic carcinoma, and if doctors are not familiar with therapies provided by Gerson or Kelley, who have demonstrably provided therapy to patients who are long-term survivors of pancreatic carcinoma, then they should perhaps consider in more detail how a person would like to spend the last weeks of his life.
The first antinomycin was extracted during the First World War. This substance, which is extracted from bacteria, belongs to the group of intercalants. An intercalation is nothing more than a molecule inserting itself between 2 base pairs. The more important intercalants however are the anthracyclines or in other words; antibiotics – extracted from streptomycin. These cell killers work primarily in the S-phase of cell division, and consequently they are used for leukemias and lymphomas. Although this treatment can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle, there is a whole group of these preparations like adriamycin, doxorubicin (adriblastin), and the familiar epirubicin (farmorubicin).
The taxanes are a group that was only approved in the 90s, and which are produced from the bark of the yew tree. Paclitaxel (Taxol) and Docetaxel (Taxotere) are the best known. Although revenue figures for both medications have now reached dizzying heights, to this date there are no hard facts. For breast cancer the best study gave an extension of survival time from 14 months to 15 months. This is a purely statistical deviation possibility and it does not necessarily have anything to do with the medication. All the same 87% of all patients had additional complaints with its use (J Clin. Oncol. 1996; 14:58-65).
Also its use with lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer) is recommended by the manufacturers in glossy brochures due to the “significant advantages”. But where are these significant advantages? In a study of the M.D. Anderson Clinic, still the largest cancer clinic in the world, there was no difference between the placebo group and the two other groups, who were given Taxotere in a higher or in a lower dose (J Clin. Oncol. 2000; 18:2354-62). Is this just another numbers game at the patients’ expense?
If you start reading a book about cytostatic agents and their effects on cells or cell division, then you will most likely require 2-3 new dictionaries. However what is really impressive is reading how much the scientists know about cell division, DNA, and genes in general. The things you can read about hybridized and co -hybridized cells, plasmids, nucleotide sequences and primary clones, are really fantastic. But at some point a thinking person cannot escape the question: And now? How does all this knowledge really help me? If these scientists know so much, and given the prerequisite that what I have read is really true, then why don’t all of these substances work they way the studies say they work? Is there any scientific field where theory and practice are so far removed from each other as oncology.
The more I study the theory of cancer and the more people I become acquainted with who are ill with cancer, the more I distance myself from a satisfying answer to all these questions. It is a fact that chemotherapy, as it is used today, has reached a total dead-end. The wall at the end of the dead-end street, is made of large heavy stones, on which unsatisfactory or wrong answers to frequently asked questions are written. You have certainly read at some time how successful chemotherapies are for cancer. These cancer types are primarily testicular cancer, leukemias, and lymphatic cancer types. A closer look at medicine reveals that cancer types like leukemias have been described by many doctors for centuries, but these “cancer types” have only been included in the big group of “Cancer” for a few decades. When it was determined that mustard gas destroys bone marrow, which in turn is responsible for the increased cells in these types of cancer, the thinking was that a magic remedy had been found for these types of cancers. However apparently only a few doctors question whether leukemia has anything in common with a tumor in the pancreas. Is “cancer” of the lymphatic system really the same as lung cancer? And even more important, is a disturbance in the formation of erythrocytes (leukemia) of a child who is still growing, really the same thing as prostate cancer in an adult?
You will now say certainly not. However at the same time you accept the concept that both illnesses should be treatable with the same medication. We cannot close our eyes to the history of chemotherapy, and this history shows us that there were successes in the treatment of bone marrow disorders, and as a consequence governments and approval authorities around the world were convinced to approve these preparations for treatment of other types of cancer as well. There are still those today who consider this a chess move that brought in billions.
In my daily conversations with cancer patients and with oncologists I experience (with the exception of certain leukemia and testicular cancer illnesses in young people) only that a chemotherapy (and to a much worse degree radiation) indeed can often stop tumors from growing, but it never heals cancer. The few critical statistics that have managed to see the light of day have show the same conclusion. In this regard the public learns even less about how many people die due to these treatments. I often think of a member of People Against Cancer, who died after his first dose of chemotherapy, although he was quite healthy except for a tumor that was still very small. Or the case of a 35-year old mother with two small children who died in a clinic in southern Germany, because she was told that, with her breast cancer, it would be better for her if she took a high dose chemotherapy. What was not given her to read were the studies showing that there is absolutely no advantage in undergoing high dose chemotherapy for breast cancer.
I do not know how you feel but when I see a report on the television about cancer, usually the report involves leukemia and more often than not it concerns children and cancer. This is most likely due to the fact that it is easier to get donations with the emotions thus generated, and because there is some-thing positive that can be said about chemotherapies. The fact that these illnesses do not even account for 0.6% of all cancer illnesses in Germany is usually not mentioned.
Imagine that you are at the airport and there are 20 air-planes outside that will take you from Munich to Hamburg. You know in advance that 19 of these will crash, nevertheless a pilot tries to convince you to fly. Let’s be honest, would you board one of these airplanes, or would you rather look around for an alternative means of transport to your destination?
Certainly you would not board any of the airplanes, yet nevertheless similar situations occur almost every day in German clinics. According to the best statistics you have a 5% chance of surviving a chemotherapy, yet in spite of this the majority of epithelial types of cancer are still being treated with chemotherapies. However the big question of why remains unanswered by allopathy. Please consider this again. Although even the best statistics for the major cancer illnesses like breast cancer, lung cancer, intestinal cancer, or prostate cancer, clearly show that the use of chemotherapies offers very little or nothing, nevertheless thousands of cancer patients are treated with chemotherapies on a daily basis. Apparently no allopathic practitioner has hit on the idea of questioning the whole procedure, regardless of how many books Dr. Ulrich Abel will still write (Dr. Abel is author of the book: Chemotherapie fortgeschrittener Karzinome (Chemo-therapy of advanced carcinomas), in which he as an employee of the German Cancer Research Center examines most of the chemotherapy studies in detail, and in the process has deter-mined, that there are virtually no studies that prove that chemotherapies contribute to patients with epithelial cancer living longer.