Chemotherapy Effectiveness or Ineffectiveness, Part 4: What Other Medical Doctors Say

Abstract: Cancer develops certain armouring characteristics that, over time, make it more resistant to chemotherapy. In effect, it learns how to adapt to the hostile conditions of the chemotherapy, making it even more difficult to treat … cancer’s return after it has been forced into remission by chemotherapy, making it even more difficult to treat. It is actually a far more virulent disease the second time around.

Yeong Sek Yee & Khadijah Shaari

10, Jalan SS 19/1K, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor.

Tel: 03-56342775 / 019-3278092

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7) PILLS, POTIONS, POISONS – HOW DRUGS WORK by Dr Trevor Stone, Professor of Pharmacology, University of Glasgow and Dr Gail Darlington, consultant Physician and Rheumatologist, Epson General Hospital.

The problem of resistance to drugs … is encountered with anti cancer drugs. Even though most cells in a tumour may be killed by a drug, the proliferation of the surviving cells may include one which is not sensitive to the drug. That single cell can grow and multiply despite the drug, restoring the size and danger presented by the original tumour. This is why doctors try to use the highest possible doses of drugs, in addition to other approaches such as surgery to eradicate the tumour as completely and as quickly as possible, before any cell have a chance to adapt. The mechanisms by which cancer cells become resistant to drugs are similar to those in bacteria.

The following are the features which contribute to resistance:

a)    The cells stop producing the proteins which carry the drug into the cell. Drugs are normally imported into cells by a protein in the cancer cell wall, and resistance occurs when cells stop producing it.

b)    Many cells can produce a protein called the “P-glycoprotein multi-drug transporter”. As its name suggests, this sits in the wall of cancer cells and forms a port through which many drugs are pushed out more quickly than they enter. This seems to be an important method by which some cancers become resistant to several different drugs.

c)    The cells may produce an altered form of those proteins and enzymes which are the targets of the anticancer drugs.

d)    The cells may produce larger amounts of these proteins or enzymes which are disrupted by the drug.

e)    The blood supply to the middle of some solid tumour may be so small that drugs cannot penetrate well enough to kill cancer cells.

f)    The cancer cells produce more of the enzymes which repair damage to their molecules, producing repairs just as fast as the anti cancer drugs can produce damage.

8) TAMOXIFEN AND BREAST CANCER by Dr Michael W. DeGregorio, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of California. On pages 60 to 65, Dr DeGregario gave an overview why breast cancer may be drug resistant or Tamoxifen resistant:

a)    There are at least 2 forms of drug resistance:

i) Innate resistance – tumour cells are resistant even before any drugs have been given. (This kind of resistance is usually not typical of breast cancer but is apt to be found in cancers of the kidney or lung).

ii) Acquired resistance – a condition whereby the cells actually “acquire” resistance following exposure to drugs. The cancer cells are very sensitive to the drugs at first, then become progressively less so. This sort of resistance is most often found in breast cancer. Although patients may at first respond very well to agents such as methotrexate or adriamycin, eventually the drugs stop working because of drug resistance.

b) Cancer cells develop resistance to specific types of drugs in many ways. Perhaps one of the first steps is exposure of the cells to concentration of drugs that are not high enough to kill them. A patient may have been given a dose of chemotherapy that is too low or a standard dose many have been administrated to a patient who has faster metabolism or excretes drugs more rapidly than the average person. Thus the cells are exposed to a low concentration of drug without being killed. The resulting cancer cells are now “educated” about how to deal with the drug, so that even if the next dose is higher, the cells have a better chance of fending off its toxic effects. That is why chemotherapy drugs must be given in doses that are high enough to kill the cancer cells but below the level that causes severe side effects.

c) Once cancer cells have been exposed to a specific drug in a concentration that have not killed it, the cells may develop a number of techniques to handle the drug and keep themselves from being killed. Perhaps the most common mechanism that breast cancer cells adopt is the ability to pump the drug outside the cell.

d) Cancer cells have other methods of becoming drug resistant. In the case of methotrexate they actually go through elaborate changes in their biochemistry after exposure to the drug. The cancer cells have the ability to increase the amount of protein that is the target for methotrexate – an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase. With augmented production of the enzyme, the cells have found a way to protect themselves from the lethal effects of the chemotherapy.

e) Typically, most patients with breast tumors that are estrogen and progesterone receptor positive will respond to Tamoxifen. When they develop resistance to tamoxifen after 6 months to a year of therapy, the tumour will begin to recur… other hormonal agents … usually work for a period of time not exceeding a year, after which the patient again develops resistance. After prolonged Tamoxifen exposure, a protection process may favour cells that have no estrogen receptors or cells that produce abnormal or aberrant receptors that fail to recognize Tamoxifen. Because Tamoxifen is known to have estrogenic effects, scientific studies have known that estrogenic metabolites of Tamoxifen may contribute to the development of cellular resistance to Tamoxifen. As in other types of drug resistance, there may be some form of cellular pump that removes Tamoxifen from the cell. Although a number of advances have been made, little can yet be done to avoid Tamoxifen resistance (pages 63 to 65).

9) FREEDOM FROM DISEASE by Dr Jay Lombard, D.O, who is the Chief of Neurology at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and a Clinical Asst. Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College. In chapter 6, “Preventing and Reversing the Spread of Cancer”, Dr Lombard cite many facts and information by Dr Edmundo Muniz, MD, PhD, a former cancer researcher and now President of Tigris Pharmaceuticals (Dr Muniz was the former vice president of Eli Lilly Research Laboratories Global Oncology program, where he helped create numerous cancer drugs, seven of which have been approved by the FDA).

Here’s what Dr Lombard and Dr Muniz say about chemotherapy:

a)    Chemotherapy is now being seen as analogous to Sherman’s slash-and-burn … and is already being viewed less as a cure and more as a means of gaining time. One of the shortcomings of chemotherapy, doctors recognize, is that it actually weakens the body’s own efforts to fight the disease (page 104).

b)    Chemotherapy can slow the growth of cancer by killing cancer cells … says Dr Muniz, but chemotherapy kills both cancer cells and immune cells. With chemotherapy, both the cancer and the immune system are weakened, but the cancer is able to rebound more rapidly, in part because the chemotherapy itself creates the conditions for the cancers rebirth (page 104 &105).

c)    Once administered, chemotherapy leaves in its wake enormous quantities of free radicals, which can trigger additional mutations in DNA and bring about the rebirth of the disease. Free radicals also fire the embers of any surviving nests of old cancer, thus bringing them back to life (page 105).

d)    In the middle ages, people were hit by a two-by-four (hammer) over the head as anesthesia so that they could extract a tooth or be operated on, says Dr Muniz. That’s basically what we’re doing with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy kills everything –  the cancer and also healthy cells. In essence we’re hitting people with two-by-fours. The person is half dead and half alive from the treatment itself (page 105).

e)    Cancer develops certain armouring characteristics that, over time, make it more resistant to chemotherapy. In effect, it learns how to adapt to the hostile conditions of the chemotherapy, making it even more difficult to treat. This is why recurrences of cancer – that is, cancer’s return after it has been forced into remission by chemotherapy, making it even more difficult to treat. It is actually a far more virulent disease the second time around (page 104).

10) ANTI CANCER : A NEW WAY OF LIFE by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr Schreiber is brain cancer survivor. Read his book and find out how he survived 15 years.

As for chemotherapy, it is, by definition a poison. Chemotherapy first kills the cells that reproduce rapidly – that is to say, cancer cells, but it also kills intestinal and immune cells. All the more so because there was no guarantee of success, given the unfortunate tendency of brain tumours to rapidly become resistant to chemotherapy (page 92 & 93). One of the great mysteries of chemotherapy is that sometimes you can make tumours melt away and have very little effect on survival time (page 13).

11) HOPE OR HYPE–THEOBSESSION WITH MEDICAL ADVANCES AND THE HIGH COST OF FALSE PROMISES by Dr Richard A. Deyo, MD, MPH, and Dr Donald Patrick, PhD. Both are Professors of Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Even when treatments prove effective, doctors tend to overestimate their benefits and underestimate their risks (page45). The authors narrated the story of Tom Nesi, a former director of public affairs at the drug company Bristol-Myers Squibb. When his wife was diagnosed with a highly malignant brain cancer (the average survival with this condition was about 11 months), they sought treatment from a prestigious medical center that offered several innovative treatments. They were offered a Gliadel wafer, a dime-sized wafer that is implanted in the brain when the tumour is surgically removed. The goal is to deliver chemotherapy directly to the tumour site.

The Nesis were told that this would extend Susan’s life, on average, about two months. In the ensuing months, Susan Nesi underwent three brain operations and six hospitalizations. After the third operation, she was almost totally paralyzed and unable to speak or eat. In her final months, she required two weeks in a critical care centre etc. Her costs of care were around $200,000 (excluding the above surgery, chemotherapy, etc.)

Susan lived three months longer than average. So many doctors would describe the innovative treatment as a success. After the disastrous third operation, her surgeon told Tom “We have saved your wife’s life … we have given you the ability to spend more quality time with your loved one.” Two weeks later, sustained by the feeding tube, Susan wrote on a notepad, “Depressed … no more … please” (page46).

Tom Nesi wrote an article. “FALSE HOPE IN A BOTTLE” (which appeared in The New York Times) telling about his wife’s ordeal.  He concluded his story by noting, “I think we need to ask ourselves whether offering terminal patients limited hope of a few more months is really beneficial. The question is not whether days are extended, but in what condition the patient lives and at what emotional and financial costs” (page46).

Dr Deyo concluded the section, Exaggerating Benefits by cautioning: In the end, the treatment may have been worse than the disease…although new treatments often claim great benefits, we need to critically ask what the benefits are, and what we are giving up in order to have them (page46).

12) THE HOPE OF LIVING CANCER FREE by Dr Francisco Contreras, MD, the General Director of the Oasis of Hope in Baja California, Mexico. In the book Dr Contreras quoted comments from two prominent cancer specialists:

a)    Dr Ulrich Abel, an eminent medical statistician/epidemiologist in his scientific study (in 1990) Chemotherapy for Advanced Epithelial Cancer, concluded that “there is no evidence that the vast majority of chemotherapy cancer treatments exert any kind of positive influence as far as life expectancy or quality of life … the almost dogmatic belief in the efficiency of chemotherapy is generally based on false conclusion drawn from inaccurate data … many oncologists wouldn’t take chemotherapy themselves if they had cancer….In fact, many cancer specialists wouldn’t take chemotherapy themselves if they had cancer” (page 118).

b)    Dr Heine H. Hansen, (a lung cancer specialist) of the Finsen Institute in Copenhagen surveyed 118 doctors, many of them cancer specialists and was shocked that oncologists recommend to most patients experimental chemotherapy that experts in the field would not accept for themselves. The vast majority of doctors considered most of the treatment options with more than two to six drugs to be unacceptable option if they themselves were to take part in the clinical trials (page118).

According to Dr. Contreras, it is true that sometimes these medications do, in effect, reduce tumour size. But they have no significant impact in regard to life extension, and almost always they reduce the quality of life (QOL). As a matter of fact, the cancer sometimes comes back more aggressively than ever. Even though 99% of a tumour is eliminated, the resistant 1% is often made up of the most aggressive cells (page 120).

Dr Contreras’s elder brother, Dr Ernesto Contreras is an Oncologist and radiation therapist, made the following observation after 25 years of medical practice:

  1. Not more than 15% of patients had positive response to an orthodox treatment (page 120).
  2. Only 25% received the benefit of temporary remission or a real elevation of the devastation caused by the disease (page 120).

iii.        In many cases, the remedy was worse than the disease….the real and practical value of chemotherapy and radiation therapy is very limited (page 121).

In concluding, Dr Contreras quoted Dr George Crile (in Cancer and Common Sense) that those responsible for giving information to the public have chosen to use fear as a weapon. They have created a new disease called cancer phobia, a contagious disease that spreads from mouth to ear (page 120).

Dr Contreras also echo this fact that oncologists pressure their patients to begin receiving chemotherapy immediately (page 120).

13) CANCER-GATE, HOW TO WIN THE LOSING CANCER WAR by Dr Samuel S. Epstein, MD, a Professor Emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois, Chicago.

This book is a searing indictment of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), US and the American Cancer Society (ACS) for losing the war against cancer, launched by President Nixon in 1971. The NCI and the ACS have spent tens of billions of taxpayer and charity dollars, largely promoting ineffective drugs for terminal disease, while virtually ignoring strategies for preventing cancer, other than quitting smoking. As a result, cancer rates have escalated to epidemic proportion, now striking nearly one in two men and more than one in three women. Paradoxically, the more we spend on fighting cancer, the more cancer we seem to get. Other relevant points by Dr Epstein are:

a)    The cancer establishments’ strategies are overwhelmingly imbalanced. They are fixated on damage control–screening, diagnosis, and treatment and related research, to the virtual exclusion of prevention (page 287).

b)    At the April 2004 annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research, Dr Leland Hartwell, President of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and 2001 Nobel Laureate, admitted that the emperor has no clothes. Hartwell further stressed that most resources for cancer research are spent on “promoting ineffective drugs” for terminal disease (page 287).

c)    Dr Hartwell was not the first establishment figure to admit these facts. As reported by the AP on July 27, 2003, leading oncologists questioned whether cancer “will ever be reliably and predictably cured.” They also admitted that the biotech industry’s new magic bullet “targeted” drugs have turned out to be “as powerless as old-line chemotherapy” increasing survival by a few months, at best. (page 287).

In conclusion, it should be stressed that the standard criterion for the success of drug treatment is based on the shrinkage of tumour size by over 50% within six months, regardless of whether the patient’s life is prolonged. In fact, some “successful” treatments actually shorten survival due to drug toxicity, while successes, particularly with the recent targeted drugs are questionably based on brief increased survival in small trials (page 288).

14) WHAT YOUR DOCTOR WON’T (OR CAN’T) TELL YOU by Dr Evan S. Levine, MD, a practicing internist and Cardiologist in New York.

Dr Levine described his encounter with the Cancer Doctors – the Oncologist and the Surgeon (page 117/118) when he was a third year medical student and concluded that “some of the oncologists are without a doubt the most treacherous people in the medical field”.

Oncologists are given a special privilege. They can not only order drugs, specifically chemotherapy drugs, but they can also dispense and bill them. No other doctor can do this. This entices some of these reprehensible, cynical, and greedy individuals to administer chemotherapy to patients indiscriminately in spite of its horrible, potentially lethal adverse effects and very unlikely benefits. They purchase drug A and can bill a significant multiple of their cost to you or your insurance company. The more chemo they give, the more money they make. It is for this reason that any patient diagnosed with a form of malignant cancer must seek at least a second or even a third opinion (page117).

Positive sounding medical jargon like positive response, shrinkage, or partial remission very often means nothing in terms of the patient’s overall mortality. So why let Grandma receive poisonous and devastating chemotherapy if the oncologist cannot show you published data that support giving it to her? Why does our society allow doctors……to administer chemotherapy to demented and terminal patients or even to perform pointless surgery on them? (page118).

15) HEPATITIS, LIVER DISEASE by Dr. Melissa Palmer, MD., a well known hepatologist who received her medical degree and training in liver disease from Mount Sinai Medical School, USA.

According to Dr Palmer, chemotherapy, using agents such as 5-fluorouracil, doxorubicin or mitomycin, whether introduced as a single or in combination with each other, has not been found to significantly prolong survival…even for chemo-embolization which provides an increased concentration of the chemotherapy directly into the tumor. While chemo-embolization does appear to reduce tumour growth … long term survival is only slightly improved (pg271).

NB: Dr Lewis Roberts, director of the Hepatobiliary Neoplasia Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, explained that…”chemotherapy isn’t particularly effective in liver cancers, because one of the liver’s main function is to detoxify drugs. When you administer drugs you want to affect the liver, the liver wants to detoxify them and render them ineffective. The liver is also very active in getting rid of drugs and pumping the drugs out of the liver.”

Source: http://www.lufkindailynews.com/health/content/shared-auto/healthnews/-gen-/617737h.

TO CONCLUDE THIS COMPILATION, ALLOW US TO SHARE WITH YOU SOME QUOTATIONS FROM OTHER PROMINENT MEDICAL DOCTORS THEIR VIEWS ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CHEMOTHERAPY:

Many medical oncologists recommend chemotherapy for virtually any tumour, with a hopefulness undiscouraged by almost invariable failure ~ Albert Braverman MD.      Lancet 1991 337 p 901, Medical Oncology in the 90s”

Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast, colon, or lung cancers. This fact has been documented for over a decade, yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumours ~ Allen Levin, MD UCSF, The Healing of Cancer.

A study of over 10,000 patients shows clearly that chemo’s supposedly strong track record with Hodgkin’s disease (lymphoma) is actually a lie. Patients who underwent chemo were 14 times more likely to develop leukemia and 6 times more likely to develop cancers of the bones, joints, and soft tissues than those patients who did not undergo chemotherapy (NCI Journal 87:10) ~ Dr John Diamond, M.D.

I wouldn’t have chemotherapy and radiation because I’m not interested in therapies that cripple the immune system, and, in my opinion, virtually ensure failure for the majority of cancer patients. ~ Dr Julian Whitaker, M.D.

As a retired physician, I can honestly say that unless you are in a serious accident, YOUR BEST CHANCE OF LIVING TO A RIPE OLD AGE IS TO AVOID DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS AND LEARN NUTRITION, HERBAL MEDICINE AND OTHER FORMS OF NATURAL MEDICINE. Almost all drugs are toxic and are designed only to treat symptoms and not to cure anyone. Most surgery is unnecessary. In short, our mainstream medical system is hopelessly inept and/or corrupt. THE TREATMENT OF CANCER AND DEGENERATIVE DISEASES IS A NATIONAL SCANDAL. The sooner you learn this, the better off you will be ~ Dr. Allan Greenberg, M.D. on 12/24/2002.

Chemotherapy and radiation can increase the risk of developing a second cancer by up to 100 times ~ Dr. Samuel S. Epstein. M.D. Congressional Record, Sept. 9, 1987

Drugs NEVER cure diseases. Drugs, such as antibiotics, kill bacteria but they kill bacteria indiscriminately which leads to serious bowel problems. In addition, ALL antibiotics have side effects, many that are very severe and can sometimes cause death. But in most cases drugs cover up the symptoms of the disease allowing the disease to get worse. If a patient recovers, it is the immune system that has done the job. If you nourish the immune system by diet, by decreasing stress and by the use of other natural methods, it can keep you free from ALL disease ~ Loraine Day, M.D., one of those who cured themselves of breast cancer naturally.

SOME OTHER QUOTATIONS BY MEDICAL DOCTORS AS FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease and once from the medicine ~ William Osler, M.D.

The cause of most disease is in the poisonous drugs physicians superstitiously give in order to effect a cure ~ Charles E. Page, M.D.

The greatest part of all chronic disease is created by the suppression of acute disease by drug poisoning ~ Henry Lindlahr, M.D.

Every educated physician knows that most diseases are not appreciably helped by medicine ~ Richard C. Cabot, M.D. (Mass Gen. Hospital)

Medical practice has neither philosophy nor common sense to recommend it. In sickness the body is already loaded with impurities. By taking drug-medicines more impurities are added, thereby the case is further embarrassed and harder to cure ~ Elmer Lee, M.D., Past Vice President, Academy of Medicine

Drugs tend to worsen whatever they’re supposed to cure, which sets up a vicious circle ~ Dean Black, M.D. in Health at the Crossroads p. 20

What hope is there for medical science to ever become a true science when the entire structure of medical knowledge is built around the idea that there is an entity called disease which can be expelled when the right drug is found? ~ John H. Tilden, M.D.

You wouldn’t believe how many FDA officials or relatives or acquaintances of FDA officials come to see me as patients in Hannover. You wouldn’t believe this, or directors of the AMA, or ACA, or the presidents of orthodox cancer institute. That’s the fact ~ Hans Nieper M.D. (1928-1998), a practitioner in holistic medicine.

DISCLAIMER: THESE NOTES, COMPILED FROM VARIOUS MEDICAL BOOKS AND OTHER SOURCES ARE MEANT SOLELY FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES AND ARE NOT MEANT TO DISSUADE YOU FROM STARTING OR TO STOP ANY FORM OF CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENTS. THAT HAS TO BE SOLELY YOUR DECISION AFTER YOU HAVE EVALUATED ALL AVAILABLE DATA/ INFORMATION.


About CA Care

In obedience to God's will and counting on His mercies and blessings, and driven by the desire to care for one another, we seek to provide help, direction and relief to those who suffer from cancer.

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