September 15, 2011
By: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
One of the most prominent vaccine scientists in the history of the vaccine industry — a Merck scientist — made a recording where he openly admits that vaccines given to Americans were contaminated with leukemia and cancer viruses. In response, his colleagues (who are also recorded here) break out into laughter and seem to think it’s hilarious. They then suggest that because these vaccines are first tested in Russia, they will help the U.S. win the Olympics because the Russian athletes will all be “loaded down with tumors.” (Thus, they knew these vaccines caused cancer in humans.)
This isn’t some conspiracy theory — these are the words of a top Merck scientist who probably had no idea that his recording would be widely reviewed across the internet (which didn’t even exist when he made this recording). He probably thought this would remain a secret forever. When asked why this didn’t get out to the press, he replied “Obviously you don’t go out, this is a scientific affair within the scientific community.”
In other words, vaccine scientists cover for vaccine scientists. They keep all their dirty secrets within their own circle of silence and don’t reveal the truth about the contamination of their vaccines.
Here is the full transcript. (Thanks are due to Dr. Len Horowitz for finding this recording and making it publicly available.)
Transcript of audio interview with Dr. Maurice Hilleman
Dr. Len Horowitz: Listen now to the voice of the worlds leading vaccine expert Dr Maurice Hilleman, Chief of the Merck Pharmaceutical Company’s vaccine division relay this problem he was having with imported monkeys. He best explains the origin of AIDS, but what you are about to hear was cut from any public disclosures.
Dr Maurice Hilleman: and I think that vaccines have to be considered the bargain basement technology for the 20th century.
Narrator: 50 years ago when Maurice Hilleman was a high school student in Miles City Montana, he hoped he might qualify as a management trainee for the local JC Penney’s store. Instead he went on to pioneer more breakthroughs in vaccine research and development than anyone in the history of American medicine. Among the discoveries he made at Merck, are vaccines for mumps, rubella and measles…
Dr Edward Shorter: Tell me how you found SV40 and the polio vaccine.
Dr Maurice Hilleman: Well, that was at Merck. Yeah, I came to Merck. And uh, I was going to develop vaccines. And we had wild viruses in those days. You remember the wild monkey kidney viruses and so forth? And I finally after 6 months gave up and said that you cannot develop vaccines with these damn monkeys, we’re finished and if I can’t do something I’m going to quit, I’m not going to try it. So I went down to see Bill Mann at the zoo in Washington DC and I told Bill Mann, I said “look, I got a problem and I don’t know what the hell to do.” Bill Mann is a real bright guy. I said that these lousy monkeys are picking it up while being stored in the airports in transit, loading, off loading. He said, very simply, you go ahead and get your monkeys out of West Africa and get the African Green, bring them into Madrid unload them there, there is no other traffic there for animals, fly them into Philadelphia and pick them up. Or fly them into New York and pick them up, right off the airplane. So we brought African Greens in and I didn’t know we were importing the AIDS virus at the time.
Miscellaneous background voices:…(laughter)… it was you who introduced the AIDS virus into the country. Now we know! (laughter) This is the real story! (laughter) What Merck won’t do to develop a vaccine! (laughter)
Dr Maurice Hilleman: So what he did, he brought in, I mean we brought in those monkeys, I only had those and this was the solution because those monkeys didn’t have the wild viruses but we…
Dr Edward Shorter: Wait, why didn’t the greens have the wild viruses since they came from Africa?
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …because they weren’t, they weren’t, they weren’t being infected in these group holding things with all the other 40 different viruses…
Dr Edward Shorter: but they had the ones that they brought from the jungle though…
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …yeah, they had those, but those were relatively few what you do you have a gang housing you’re going to have an epidemic transmission of infection in a confined space. So anyway, the greens came in and now we have these and were taking our stocks to clean them up and god now I’m discovering new viruses. So, I said Judas Priest. Well I got an invitation from the Sister Kinney Foundation which was the opposing foundation when it was the live virus…
Dr Edward Shorter: Ah, right…
Dr Maurice Hilleman: Yeah, they had jumped on the Sabin’s band wagon and they had asked me to come down and give a talk at the Sister Kinney Foundation meeting and I saw it was an international meeting and god, what am I going to talk about? I know what I’m going to do, I’m going to talk about the detection of non detectable viruses as a topic.
Dr Albert Sabin …there were those who didn’t want a live virus vaccine… (unintelligible) …concentrated all its efforts on getting more and more people to use the killed virus vaccine, while they were supporting me for research on the live viruses.
Dr Maurice Hilleman: So now I got to have something (laughter), you know that going to attract attention. And gee, I thought that damn SV40, I mean that damn vaculating agent that we have, I’m just going to pick that particular one, that virus has got to be in vaccines, it’s got to be in the Sabin’s vaccines so I quick tested it (laughter) and sure enough it was in there.
Dr Edward Shorter: I’ll be damned
Dr Maurice Hilleman: … And so now…
Dr Edward Shorter: …so you just took stocks of Sabin’s vaccines off the shelf here at Merck…
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …yeah, well it had been made, it was made at Merck…
Dr Edward Shorter: You were making it for Sabin at this point?
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …Yeah, it was made before I came…
Dr Edward Shorter: yeah, but at this point Sabin is still just doing massive field trials…
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …uh huh
Dr Edward Shorter: okay,
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …in Russia and so forth. So I go down and I talked about the detection of non detectable viruses and told Albert, I said listen Albert you know you and I are good friends but I’m going to go down there and you’re going to get upset. I’m going to talk about the virus that it’s in your vaccine. You’re going to get rid of the virus, don’t worry about it, you’re going to get rid of it… but umm, so of course Albert was very upset…
Dr Edward Shorter: What did he say?
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …well he said basically, that this is just another obfuscation that’s going to upset vaccines. I said well you know, you’re absolutely right, but we have a new era here we have a new era of the detection and the important thing is to get rid of these viruses.
Dr Edward Shorter: Why would he call it an obfuscation if it was a virus that was contaminating the vaccine?
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …well there are 40 different viruses in these vaccines anyway that we were inactivating and uh,
Dr Edward Shorter: but you weren’t inactivating his though…
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …no that’s right, but yellow fever vaccine had leukemia virus in it and you know this was in the days of very crude science. So anyway I went down and talked to him and said well, why are you concerned about it? Well I said “I’ll tell you what, I have a feeling in my bones that this virus is different, I don’t know why to tell you this but I …(unintelligible) …I just think this virus will have some long term effects.” And he said what? And I said “cancer”. (laughter) I said Albert, you probably think I’m nuts, but I just have that feeling. Well in the mean time we had taken this virus and put it into monkeys and into hamsters. So we had this meeting and that was sort of the topic of the day and the jokes that were going around was that “gee, we would win the Olympics because the Russians would all be loaded down with tumors.” (laughter) This was where the vaccine was being tested, this was where… so, uhh, and it really destroyed the meeting and it was sort of the topic. Well anyway…
Dr Edward Shorter: Was this the physicians… (unintelligible) …meeting in New York?
Dr Maurice Hilleman …well no, this was at Sister Kinney…
Dr Edward Shorter: Sister Kinney, right…
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …and Del Becco (sp) got up and he foresaw problems with these kinds of agents.
Dr Edward Shorter: Why didn’t this get out into the press?
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …well, I guess it did I don’t remember. We had no press release on it. Obviously you don’t go out, this is a scientific affair within the scientific community…
Voice of news reporter: …an historic victory over a dread disease is dramatically unfolded at the U of Michigan. Here scientists usher in a new medical age with the monumental reports that prove that the Salk vaccine against crippling polio to be a sensational success. It’s a day of triumph for 40 year old Dr. Jonas E Salk developer of the vaccine. He arrives here with Basil O’Connor the head of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis that financed the tests. Hundreds of reporters and scientists gathered from all over the nation gathered for the momentous announcement….
Dr Albert Sabin: …it was too much of a show, it was too much Hollywood. There was too much exaggeration and the impression in 1957 that was, no in 1954 that was given was that the problem had been solved , polio had been conquered.
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …but, anyway we knew it was in our seed stock from making vaccines. That virus you see, is one in 10,000 particles is not an activated… (unintelligible) …it was good science at the time because that was what you did. You didn’t worry about these wild viruses.
Dr Edward Shorter: So you discovered, it wasn’t being inactivated in the Salk vaccine?
Dr Maurice Hilleman: …Right. So then the next thing you know is, 3, 4 weeks after that we found that there were tumors popping up on these hamsters.
Dr. Len Horowitz: Despite AIDS and Leukemia suddenly becoming pandemic from “wild viruses” Hilleman said, this was “good science” at that time.
September 12, 2011
By: Fiona Macrae
Scientists have turned a chemical found in crocuses into a ‘smart bomb’ that targets cancerous tumours.
Crucially, healthy tissue is unharmed, reducing the odds of debilitating side effects.
Pretty: And crocuses could provide a cure which works against all cancers
And unlike other side effect-free drugs, it is able to kill off more than one type of the disease, including breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancer.
Potentially, all solid tumours could be vulnerable to drugs developed this way, meaning it could be used against all but blood cancers.
In some tests of the drug, half of tumours vanished completely after a single injection, the British Science Festival will hear this week.
The drug, based on colchicine, an extract from the autumn crocus, is at an early stage of development, and has so far been tested only on mice.
But the University of Bradford researchers are optimistic about its potential in humans.
Professor Laurence Patterson said: ‘What we have designed is effectively a “smart bomb” that can be triggered directly at any solid tumour without appearing to harm healthy tissue.
‘If all goes well, we would hope to see these drugs used as part of a combination of therapies to treat and manage cancer.’
Colchicine has long been known to have anti-cancer properties but has been considered too toxic for use in the human body. To get round this, the researchers attached a chemical ‘tail’ to it, deactivating it until it reaches the cancer.
Once there, the tail is cut off by an enzyme called MMP, which is found in tumours.
Removing the tail activates the drug, which then attacks and breaks down the blood vessels supplying the tumours with oxygen and nourishment.
Cancers use the blood supply to spread around the body and it is hoped that the treatment, called ICT2588, will also combat this.
The first tests on humans could start in as little as 18 months. If successful, the drug could be on the market in six to seven years.
Henry Scowcroft, of Cancer Research UK, said: ‘This is exciting but very early work that hasn’t yet been tested in cancer patients.’
Professor Paul Workman, of the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said the results so far were promising.
He added: ‘If confirmed in more extensive laboratory studies, drugs based on this approach could be very useful as part of combination treatments.’
September 12th, 2011
By: Connie Strasheim
Numerous studies have established melatonin as one of the most effective anti-cancer treatments in existence. It inhibits cancer cell growth and proliferation; it destroys cancer cells, stops angiogenesis (new tumor blood vessel growth), and prevents harmful forms of estrogen from stimulating cancer cell growth. Despite its success in clinical trials and in doctors’ experiences with their patients, it has not been widely prescribed in conventional medicine, though its effects have proven to be superior to those of many chemotherapeutic drugs.
In one clinical trial, patients with glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, were given either radiation and melatonin, or radiation alone. Twenty-three percent of the patients who took the melatonin were alive after a year, while none who had received only radiation were still alive. Similarly, in another study by oncologists in Italy, patients with non-small cell lung cancers who had failed chemotherapy were given melatonin. They were compared with other patients with non-small cell lung cancers who weren’t given melatonin. A year later, 26 percent of the patients who had taken melatonin were still alive; whereas, none in the non-melatonin group remained alive.
Studies have also revealed melatonin to be more effective for treating pancreatic and lung cancers than a drug commonly used to treat these types of cancers. What’s more, this drug may cost more than $4,000 per month, while twenty milligrams of melatonin cost approximately $11 per month.
Melatonin functions to destroy cancer in multiple ways. First, because it is toxic to cancer cells, it induces apoptosis, or cancer cell auto-destruction, as well as directly kills cancer cells. It also slows tumor growth through a variety of mechanisms, such as by inhibiting epidermal growth factor receptors on cancer cells. Epidermal growth factors play an important role in cancer cell growth and proliferation, so blocking their receptors on cancer cells prevents them from carrying out these roles.
Melatonin also stimulates the immune system and increases the cancer-killing activity of macrophages, monocytes, natural killer cells, T-helper cells and eosinophils, all of which are involved in cancer cell destruction.
Additionally, melatonin inhibits angiogenesis (new tumor blood vessel creation) from existing blood vessels. Tumors get their nutrition through blood vessels, and as they grow, they require an increasingly greater supply of blood vessels to feed themselves. Preventing new blood vessel growth limits their food intake and causes them to shrink or stop growing.
Melatonin has properties which enable it to block the effects of estrogen upon cancer cells; this is important because certain forms of estrogen stimulate the growth of hormonally-influenced cancers, such as breast, endometrial, ovarian and uterine cancers.
Finally, as an antioxidant, melatonin reduces inflammation, a condition that enables cancer’s survival, and it scavenges free radicals so that they don’t damage normal cells and make them vulnerable to further genetic mutations.
Despite these favorable statistics, melatonin is seldom recommended to patients in conventional medicine because the laws which govern the practice of medicine are drastically influenced by pharmaceutical interests, which prevent doctors from recommending it to their patients in lieu of expensive, damaging chemotherapy drugs. It is, however, an effective natural treatment that not only helps to prevent cancer, but which also plays an integral role in healing the body from it.
August 16th, 2011
The Raw Story
By: Agence France-Presse
Coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer by helping kill off damaged cells that could otherwise turn into tumors, according to a US study published on Monday.
The findings indicate that moderate caffeine drinking, or perhaps even applying coffee to the skin, could be useful in warding off non-melanoma cancer, the most commonly diagnosed of all skin cancers.
Using mice that had been genetically altered to suppress a protein called ATR, researchers showed that the mice were able to fend off cancer even when exposed to ultraviolet light.
Previous studies have suggested that drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee per day has the effect of suppressing ATR and triggering the die-off of cells harmed by UV rays.
The altered mice eventually did develop cancer, but three weeks later than normal mice.
After 19 weeks of ultraviolet light exposure, the engineered mice showed 69 percent fewer tumors and four times fewer invasive tumors than the control group.
However, the protective effects only went so far. After 34 weeks of UV exposure, all the mice developed tumors.
“Eventually, if you treat them long enough, the mice will develop cancer so it is not 100 percent protection forever,” Allan Coffey, one of the study’s authors, told AFP.
“Really, with almost any carcinogen, eventually all the animals will develop tumors.”
Coffey and his team were able to confirm their hypothesis that caffeine — when consumed or applied to the skin — works by inhibiting ATR. Now they say more studies are needed to see how it may work on humans.
“We want to see whether caffeine has an effect in people when you give it topically,” he said.
Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States, with more than one million new cases each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Non-melanoma types of skin cancer, including basal cell and squamous cell types, are the most commonly diagnosed and are often treatable if detected early.
June 27th, 2011
By: Andrew Schneider
Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives, according to an evaluation of those products released today.
AOL News also has learned through documents and interviews that the Food and Drug Administration has known of the potential danger for as long as a decade without alerting the public, which the FDA denies.
The study was released with Memorial Day weekend approaching. Store shelves throughout the country are already crammed with tubes, jars, bottles and spray cans of sunscreen.
The white goop, creams and ointments might prevent sunburn. But don’t count on them to keep the ultraviolet light from destroying your skin cells and causing tumors and lesions, according to researchers at Environmental Working Group.
In their annual report to consumers on sunscreen, they say that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective to use.
The report cites these problems with bogus sun protection factor (SPF) numbers:
- The use of the hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone, which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream.
- Overstated claims about performance.
- The lack of needed regulations and oversight by the Food and Drug Administration.
But the most alarming disclosure in this year’s report is the finding that vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, may speed up the cancer that sunscreen is used to prevent.
A dangerous additive
The industry includes vitamin A in its sunscreen formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging.
But the EWG researchers found the initial findings of an FDA study of vitamin A’s photocarcinogenic properties, meaning the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight.
“In that yearlong study, tumors and lesions developed up to 21 percent faster in lab animals coated in a vitamin A-laced cream than animals treated with a vitamin-free cream,” the report said.
The conclusion came from EWG’s analysis of initial findings released last fall by the FDA and the National Toxicology Program, the federal government’s principle evaluator of substances that raise public health concerns.
EWG’s conclusions were subsequently scrutinized by outside toxicologists.
Based on the strength of the findings by FDA’s own scientists, many in the public health community say they can’t believe nor understand why the agency hasn’t already notified the public of the possible danger.
“There was enough evidence 10 years ago for FDA to caution consumers against the use of vitamin A in sunscreens,” Jane Houlihan, EWG’s senior vice president for research, told AOL News.
“FDA launched this one-year study, completed their research and now 10 years later, they say nothing about it, just silence.”
On Friday, the FDA said the allegations are not true.
“We have thoroughly checked and are not aware of any studies,” an FDA spokesperson told AOL News. She said she checked with bosses throughout the agency and found no one who knew of the vitamin A sunscreen research being done by or on behalf of the agency.
But documents from the FDA and the National Toxicology Program showed that the agency had done the research.
“Retinyl palmitate was selected by (FDA’s) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition for photo-toxicity and photocarcinogenicity testing based on the increasingly widespread use of this compound in cosmetic retail products for use on sun-exposed skin,” said an October 2000 report by the National Toxicology Program.
FDA’s own website said the animal studies were done at its National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Ark. And it was scientists from the FDA center and National Toxicology Program who posted the study data last fall.
In a perfect world
The ideal sunscreen would completely block the UV rays that cause sunburn, immune suppression and damaging free radicals. It would remain effective on the skin for several hours and not form harmful ingredients when degraded by UV light, the report said.
But in the U.S., there is currently no sunscreen that meets all of these criteria. European countries have more chemical combinations to offer, but in the U.S. the major choice is between the “chemical” sunscreens, which have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s hormone systems, and “mineral” sunscreens zinc and titanium dioxide.
Increasingly, as AOL News reported in March, the industry is using titanium dioxide that is made nanosized, which a growing number of researchers believe have serious health implications.
The sunscreen industry cringes when EWG releases its yearly report — this is its fourth. The industry charges that the advocacy group wants to do away with all sunscreen products, a claim that is not accurate.
The report’s researchers clearly say that an effective sunscreen prevents more damage than it causes, but it wants consumers to have accurate information on the limitations of what they buy and on the potentially harmful chemicals in some of those products.
EWG does warn consumers not to depend on any sunscreen for primary protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Hats, clothing and shade are still the most reliable sun protection available, they say.
Don’t count on the numbers
Some of us are old enough to remember when the idea of having a tan was good, a sign of health, when billboards and magazine ads featured the Coppertone girl showing off her tan when a puppy pulls down her bathing suit bottom.
Going for that tan, we coated our kids and ourselves with sun blockers with sun protection factors of 1 or 2. Some overly cautious parents might have smeared on a 4 during the hottest part of a day.
But we’ve learned of the dangers that come from exposure to the sun’s rays, especially ultraviolet A and B. So today, drugstore shelves are crammed with sunscreens boasting SPFs of 30, 45, 80 or even higher.
However, the new report says those numbers are often meaningless and dangerous because products with high SPF ratings sell a false sense of security, encouraging people using them to stay out in the sun longer.
“People don’t get the high SPF they pay for,” the report says. “People apply about a quarter of the recommended amount. So in everyday practice, a product labeled SPF 100 really performs like SPF 3.2, an SPF 30 rating equates to a 2.3 and an SPF 15 translates to 2.”
In 2007, the report says, the FDA published proposed regulations that would prohibit manufacturers from labeling sunscreens with an SPF higher than “SPF 50.” The agency wrote that higher values would be “inherently misleading,” given that “there is no assurance that the specific values themselves are in fact truthful.”
This is being widely ignored by the sunscreen makers who are heavily advertising their 80, 90 and 100 SPF products.
“Flouting FDA’s proposed regulation,” companies substantially increased their high-SPF offerings in 2010 with one in six brands now listing SPF values higher than 50. “Neutrogena and Banana Boat stand out among the offenders, with six and four products labeled as ‘SPF 100,’ respectively,” the new report says.
The full list of the best and worst sunscreens can be found on the EWG’s searchable database. (Update: The database has been loading slowly today. You may want to try it again later.)
May 23rd, 2011
By: Ethan A. Huff
Coffee addiction may not be the detriment to health many people think it is, according to a new study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research. Postmenopausal women over 50 who drink five or more cups of coffee every day may be as much as 57 percent less likely to develop estrogen-receptor (ER) negative tumors, say researchers from the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Sweden.
Dr. Jingmei Li and her colleagues from KI evaluated 6,000 women, some of whom drank no coffee, and others who drank five cups or more. After adjusting for outside factors like age at menopause, weight, family history of breast cancer, and others that affect results, the research team observed that women who drank the most coffee were least likely to develop some of the most serious forms of breast cancer.
On the other hand, coffee consumption played no role in reducing the risk of ER-positive cancers, indicating that something unique to the ER-negative varieties is sensitive to coffee. ER-negative breast cancers are typically the most difficult to treat with conventional medicine, as many breast cancer drugs have no effect on them.
“A high daily intake of coffee was found to be associated with a significant decrease in ER-negative breast cancer among postmenopausal women,” wrote the team in their report. “We believe that this may have something to do with the way the coffee was prepared, or the type of bean preferred.”
Previous research has shown that drinking coffee may also help to reduce the risk of developing liver fibrosis, hepatitis, type-2 diabetes, prostate cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, drinking too much coffee can lead to dehydration, hypertension, and even mineral leeching from the bones. The high acidity of coffee can also upset proper digestive function, leading to various other health problems.
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February 15th, 2011
By: Fiona MacRae
A simple blood test to spot cancer up to six years before a tumour forms could be available in Britain next year.
The brainchild of a Nottingham University cancer specialist, it could provide vital early warning of lung and breast cancers – diseases that between them claim almost 50,000 lives annually.
Picking up the cancer at the earliest stages when it is easiest to treat could save thousands of lives and spare many others the pain and distress of prolonged illness.
Despite advances in drugs and technology, cancer still affects almost 300,000 Britons each year – and kills more than half.
The UK’s record in treating cancer is particularly poor, with female patients more likely to die than in most western European countries.
In many cases, the sufferers is symptom-free until relatively late on in the course of the cancer, meaning the disease is not detected until it is too late.
Diagnostic techniques such as scans and biopsies focus on tumours that have already formed but the new test can detect that something is wrong well before the cancer does any damage.
The Oncimmume test picks up telltale signs of a germinating cancer in the blood. The signals – generated by the immune system – can be detected up to five years before a cancer is spotted, from just two teaspoons of blood.
Professor John Robertson, the breast cancer specialist who spent 15 years developing the test, said: ‘We are starting to understand carcinogenesis in a way that we have never seen before – seeing which proteins are going wrong and how your immune system responds.
‘It’s as if your body is shouting “I’ve got cancer” way before a tumour can be detected.
Presentations on the technology are due to be made at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual conference in Chicago next week.
The kit is twice as good at detecting lung cancer as CT scans and is as accurate at picking up breast cancer in younger women as mammograms.
The lung cancer test is already in use in the US. It is due to go on sale in Britain in the first half of 2011 and will be targeted at long-term smokers and others thought to be at high risk of the disease.
Those who get a positive result, suggesting a cancer is germinating in their chest, will be closely monitored by their doctors, allowing them to be treated as soon as a tumour starts to appear.
The breast cancer version is due to follow later in the year.
The kits, which will cost around £300 each, will initially only be available privately, with use on the NHS being dependent on it being judged cost-effective.
Oncimmune have had talks with Professor Sir Mike Richards, the Government’s cancer tsar, who described the test as a ‘very exciting concept’.
But he cautioned that large-scale trials would be needed to prove its worth before it could be used by the health service.
He told the Times: ‘Now that the test has shortly to become available [privately] we have to think about doing a wider programme to show that it can save lives, as we hope it might.’
Nell Barrie, science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: ‘Diagnosing cancer earlier will save lives, so research into ways to detect the disease is vital.
‘This approach could be helpful, but we need to see the results of larger trials before we know for sure how effective these tests are at detecting cancers in the general population.’
A Department of Health spokesman said: :We are always interested to know about new and innovative treatments that will not only provide benefits for the patients but for the NHS as well.
‘We will follow developments of Oncimmune with interest.’
February 2nd, 2011
By: Maggie Fox
Researchers have found a compound that tumors make when they are likely to spread, and said they hope to use to it predict which patients are most at risk of dying from their cancers.
And experiments in mice show there may be a way to block the protein, preventing cancer from spreading and becoming deadly.
The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, are at a very early stage. But a team at the National Institutes of Health, the University of Hong Kong and elsewhere said on Tuesday they will work to develop both a test and, perhaps, a treatment.
The protein is called CPE-delta N and ordinarily plays a role in processing insulin and other hormones.
“This form is present in large amounts in primary tumors that have spread or metastasized,” said Y. Peng Loh of the NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
“As everyone knows, cancer cells break away from the primary tumor, pass through surrounding tissues into lymph and blood vessels and these cancer cells then travel through the body and form tumors elsewhere.”
This spread of tumors usually kills cancer patients. Early stage cancers that can be completely removed or destroyed usually do not kill the patient.
Loh’s team described a series of experiments involving patients with liver cancer, a rare adrenal cancer, colon cancer and other types of cancer.
They tested the tumors of 18 patients with stage 2 liver cancer, which has spread but only within the liver.
“These patients would normally be told by their physicians that the cancer not likely to recur,” Loh told reporters in a telephone briefing. They would not get chemotherapy after surgery.
Thirteen of the patients had low levels of CPE-delta N, and 10 of them were still cancer-free three years after surgery. However, three with low CPE-delta N levels did have their cancer come back, giving the test a 77 percent accuracy level in clearing patients.
Five of the original 18 had high levels of CPE-delta N and four of them did have their cancer come back, Loh said — a 90 percent accuracy rate.
January 13th, 2011
By: David Gutierrez
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the breasts are so sensitive that they detect large numbers of non-cancerous tumors and lead to unnecessary breast removal surgeries, according to an editorial by surgeon Malcom Kell in the British Medical Journal.
Regular, x-ray-based mammograms have drawn criticism in recent years for their high rate of false positive results – the detection of benign tumors – leading to anxiety in patients and a higher rate of invasive and potentially dangerous procedures such as biopsies and even cancer treatment.
“Women who underwent a surgical biopsy as the result of a false positive mammogram screening ‘were more likely to report their work-up as a stressful experience than those who did not have a biopsy.’ So wrote members of the 1996 Task Force, in a statement of the obvious,” write Gerald E. Markle and Frances B. McCrea in their book What If Medicine Disappeared?
“This anxiety persisted long after the positive test was identified as false.”
Magnetic resonance mammography (MRM) is even more sensitive than standard mammography, and is increasingly being offered to young women who have been judged at high genetic risk for breast cancer. According to a study in The Lancet, MRM detects 92 percent of early breast lesions, while x-ray mammograms detect only 56 percent.
But not all lesions lead to cancer. Indeed, the only major study of MRM use in early cancer detection found that women who used MRM screening had the same risk of cancer recurrence as women who had not used the devices. Breast surgeon Kefah Mokbel of the London Breast Institute estimates that MRMs have a false positive rate of roughly 25 percent.
Even more alarming is evidence that false positives are leading to unnecessary breast removal (mastectomy) surgeries. The same Lancet study found that mastectomy rates were seven times higher among MRM patients than among those not undergoing that type of screening.
“[There is] no compelling evidence that this technique should be routinely used in newly diagnosed breast cancer,” Kell said.