Alternatives & Traditional

Archive for October, 2012

Is “Oleander Soup” for Cancer a Scam? Part 2

According to Tony Isaacs oleander extract has been found to be effective against a wide range of cancers based on a study that actually found oleander extract to be ineffective.

Even links posted on Tony Isaacs own website show oleander in Petri dish cultures were only effective against some cancer cell lines.  It is also important to keep in mind that even if oleander extract works against some cancer cell lines in a Petri dish this does not mean the effects will be the same in the human body.  For example, the first study done on oleander extract in the human body came to the conclusion once again that oleander extract was ineffective when given to humans despite limited success in culture tests.  In the words of the study researchers “No objective anti-tumor response was seen.”:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16763787

Invest New Drugs. 2006 Sep;24(5):423-7.

Phase 1 trial of Anvirzel in patients with refractory solid tumors.

Abstract

Anvirzel is an aqueous extract of the plant Nerium oleander which has been utilized to treat patients with advanced malignancies. The current study reports a phase 1 trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and safety of Anvirzel in patients with advanced, refractory solid tumors. Patients were randomized to receive this agent by intramuscular injection at doses of 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 ml/m2/day with subsequent patients receiving 0.8 or 1.2 ml/m2/day sequentially. Eighteen patients were enrolled and completed at least one treatment cycle of three weeks. Most patients developed mild injection site pain (78%). Other toxicities included fatigue, nausea, and dyspnea. Traditional dose limiting toxicity was not seen, but the MTD was defined by injection volume as 0.8 ml/m2/day. No objective anti-tumor responses were seen. Anvirzel can be safely administered at doses up to 1.2 ml/m2/day, with the amount administered intramuscularly limited by volume. The recommended phase II dose level is 0.8 ml/m2/day.

The following is part of the resulting conversation between Tony Isaacs and myself after the presentation of this evidence.  Once again statements I did not make at the time are being presented in italicized print.

Tony Isaacs:  Those who would like to detract from oleander point out that no tumor responses were noted in the trail.  However, what they fail to point out is that the trial only lasted for 3 weeks for most participants and its only purpose was to determine toxicity.

James Sloane:  Note that Mr. Isaacs here has clearly stated the study was only to determine toxicity, not efficacy.  Yet, Mr. Isaacs has posted on numerous internet sites that the study had shown oleander extract was “apparently  effective against a wide variety of cancers”.  In reality though, not only did the study fail to show that oleander extract was effective against any cancers, as Mr. Isaacs pointed out himself the study was not even to determine efficacy.  Therefore, why is Mr. Isaacs making false claims about the study finding oleander extract supposedly being effective against a wide range of cancers? As we will see though this is not the only contradictory statement that Mr. Isaacs has made concerning oleander extract.

First of all I would expect to see some type of progress within 3 weeks.  Even chemotherapy shows activity within 3 weeks.  And being that many people do not turn to alternatives until their cancers are well advanced they may not have 3 weeks to begin with.  So how many months or years does it take to see some type of response to oleander extract?  And let’s see the studies that show any activity against cancers in the human body.  Oh that’s right, I asked before and all you presented were Petri dish studies that only showed some activity against some cancers.  Of course this means NOTHING as many things can be applied to cancer cells in a Petri dish and will kill cancer cells.  But in the body these substances have absolutely no effect.

In response to the presentation that the first study showed no benefit from oleander extract Mr. Isaacs tried to claim the reason was the study was too short to allow time for a response:

Tony Isaacs:  Oleander does not usually work overnight when it comes to cancer, but rather usually works slowly but surely where it first begins to slow tumor growth (normally within the first two months), then stabilizes tumor growth and then ultimately regresses tumors until they often are no longer present at all.

James Sloane:  A big problem with Mr. Isaacs claim in this case is that the study he said was too short to elicit a response was conducted by giving the participants the drug for 3 weeks (21 days).  In the second human study where Mr. Isaacs falsely claimed the drug appeared to be effective against a wide range of cancers the test participants were only given the drug for 21 days.  So how does Mr. Isaacs justify his claim the first trial failed due to the short duration yet claims the second study was a success when it was conducted for the same exact duration?

Sounds like it is too slow to me for advanced or aggressive cancers.  Let’s see, someone with liver cancer usually has 6 months or less to live once their cancer is discovered.  You are saying it takes about 2 months to even start slowing this rapidly growing cancer. Then sometime in the future it may “stabilize” the cancer if the person is not already dead.  And how much will that cancer have metastasized by the time the cancer is supposedly stabilized?

Sounds to me like a person would have to be a fool to try something like this, especially if they have a fast growing and aggressive cancer.  And especially when there is no proof it works in the human body. Chemotherapy, which is quackery, has more evidence to back it than oleander extract does!!!

Tony Isaacs:  Though that trial was also intended to primarily identify limiting toxic doses, it was a longer trial and also returned some remarkable results.  At the end of two months, 9 out of 20 enrolled patients had their cancer’s stabilized and three of them had already begun to see tumor regression.

James Sloane:  Mr. Isaacs just got done claiming that it takes 2 months to even start seeing results, which was his excuse for why the first trial found no effect.  Yet here Mr. Issacs is now claiming that at the end of two months 9 out of twenty enrolled patients had their cancer’s stabilized.  How can that be if it takes two months to even start seeing results?  And where is Mr. Isaacs coming up with these numbers?  There have been only two human studies on oleander extract for cancer.  In the first study shown previously in this blog post there were only eighteen patients total, and no significant tumor responses were noted.  In the second human study:

http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/Meetings/Abstracts?&vmview=abst_detail_view&confID=102&abstractID=80984

There were 46 participants, but only 7 had stabilized cancers for 4 months or more.  Even in the original report of this study there were only 15 participants at the time and only 3 participants with cancers stabilized for 4 months or more.  Nowhere is there evidence of a study with 20 participants, nor 9 cases of cancer stabilization as Mr. Isaacs claims.

In fact, Mr. Isaacs was asked repeatedly to present evidence of the clinical trials he claimed that had been finished.  Mr. Isaacs refused to provide evidence to the studies and I quickly found out why.  The first study found no effect from the oleander extract.  The second study had not been completed as Mr. Isaacs had claimed at the time.  By the time the study was finally completed there were only 7 of 46 participants that had cancers stabilized for 4 months or more.  Since these are the only two human studies conducted again where did Mr. Isaacs come up with the 9 out of 20 participants with stabilized cancers numbers?

After various claims made by Mr. Isaacs were shown to have been fabricated his next tactic was to present supposed testimonials by Dr. Ozel:

Tony Isaacs:  In real life, the aforementioned Dr. Ozel has a multitude of case reports which vouch for the effectiveness of oleander.  Some of those are:

Mesothelioma – HD
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_mesothelioma_HD.htm

Adenocarcinoma (epithelial type malignant mesothelioma?) – US
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_adenocarcinoma_US.htm

Small cell anaplastic carcinoma in the lung -YG
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_smallcell_YG.htm

Malignant lymphoma, lung cancer – MG
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_malignant_MG.htm

Prostate cancer with bone metastases – KE
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_pancreas_SO.htm

Pancreas cancer with bone metastases – SO
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_pancreas_SO.htm

Pancreas cancer – MH
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_pancreas_MH.htm

Peritoneal carcinosis – HA
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_peritoneal_HA.htm

Inoperable stomach carcinoma with metastases -VO
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_stomach_VO.htm

Brain tumor – AS
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_brain_AS.htm

Brain tumor – SD
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_brain_SD.htm

Breast cancer (Ductal carcinoma) – SE
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_breast_SE.htm

Antrum cancer – YT
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_antrum_YT.htm

Brain tumor – EO
http://drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_brain_EO.html

James Sloane:  Supposed stories of cures in which there is no way to verify the information being claimed.  Common tactic of quack sites.  Where have these findings been presented to determine authenticity?  And where were they reported to determine long term effectiveness if any?

In fact according to your own claim earlier these reports are suspect.  You claimed that it took several months to even start slowing a malignant tumor.  Yet in the first report they are claiming that about half the mass had disappeared in a month’s time.

In the third report he claims a large remission of the cancer in “12 days”.  Yet the only published study we can find found no effectiveness with oleander extract in three weeks.  Sounds to me like someone is making up their “facts”.

This is a great example though of why unsubstantiated testimonials are completely worthless!!!  Multilevel marketing companies use this tactic all the time making up testimonials that of course cannot be verified so that they can make their compounds appear effective when they are really garbage.  So where are those medical study publications where these “cures” can be verified?  That would at least be real evidence.

I also find it interesting that Mr. Isaacs claims that Dr. Ozel has “cured thousands of cancer patients”, yet Tony Isaacs keeps posting the same 14 unverifiable “testimonials”.  If there are really thousands of people cured using oleander why are there not more testimonials?  Why can’t we find their case histories in any medical journals.  I can find various case histories for numerous other alternative cancer therapies in the medical journals, but none for any of Dr. Ozel’s patients that supposedly exist. Without their histories how do we know they actually exist? How do we know that they did not use other therapies known to work along with the oleander? How do we know if their cancers came back or if they even survived past 5 years cancer free?……..  And more importantly, why aren’t these people, if they exist, touting the cure on the internet? I would think that if these people really existed and survived their cancers that they would be so thankful that they would at least be on YouTube touting how they were cured by Dr. Ozel’s protocol. Yet, there is absolutely no real evidence that any of these people really exist.  And again, let’s not forget that the self proclaimed oleander expert, Tony Isaacs, clearly stated that oleander takes at least two months to start seeing results but according to these questionable testimonials significant reductions or cures are being reported within a few weeks.  Are these “testimonials” fake?  In my opinion they certainly appear to be. 

As mentioned earlier the first in human test of the oleander extract Anvirzel (Anti viral Ozel) found the product to be ineffective for cancer.  This can be explained in large part due to Dr. Ozel’s own claims. 

According to the article Immunologically Active Polysaccharides from the Aqueous Extract of Nerium oleander by Dr. Ozel and other authors the active component in this water extracted oleander extract is a polysaccharide. 

Contrary to Tony Isaacs’ claim that the active ingredients include the cardiac glycosides, the article states “Since the cardiac glycosides for some reasons cannot be responsible for the anti-tumor activity of the aqueous extract”.  Although some cardiac glycosides from various plants have been shown to have some anti-tumor activity in cell culture studies, Isaacs assumes that the same applies to in human effects.  There are several flaws with this assumption though. 

First of all as I pointed out earlier what happens in a cell culture does not always work the same way within the body.  Various factors such as digestive secretions, metabolic enzymes, binding compounds, etc. within the human body can create totally different effects than occur within a Petri dish. 

In addition, with highly toxic compounds such as cardiac glycosides, concentrations of the test substance can be applied to cells in a Petri dish safely that would kill a human if administered directly to a human. 

And this self proclaimed oleander expert, Tony Isaacs, keeps overlooking the fact that the cardiac glycoside oleandrin that he keeps claiming is an active component is not water soluble.  How can oleandrin be an active component in Anvirzel or his so-called “oleander soup” when the oleandrin being lipid soluble would not be extracted in these water extracted products? 

Therefore, the only active component would be the polysaccharide as Dr. Ozel himself points out.  Polysaccharides alone cannot kill cancer cells though.  If that were the case then we could use any of hundreds of polysaccharide rich plants to cure cancer without having to process the plants to render them non-toxic like must be done with oleander.  The purpose of these polysaccharides is to activate white blood cells.  The problem though is that cancer cells are very adept to evading the immune system, and white blood cells cannot attack the cancer cells if the cancer cells cannot be detected.  Therefore, polysaccharides have a very limited effect against cancer.

What polysaccharides can do to help fight cancer is activate the immune system against cancer microbes such as cancer viruses that account for the majority of cancers.  According to Mr. Isaacs though the germ theory is bogus and therefore he does not believe that microbes cause any diseases.  If Mr. Isaacs were correct about this claim then he is just providing further proof that oleander is completely worthless for the treatment of cancer.

If someone really wants to address cancer, in my opinion they should address the various aspects of cancer that can be targeted as weak points of these cells.  For example, addressing  the cancer causing microbes.  In addition, increasing interferon and other cytokines, increasing peroxides, addressing the Cori cycle, blocking angiogenesis, blocking hyaluronidase to prevent metastases, etc.  Simply stimulating white blood cells with polysaccharides alone is going to do virtually nothing for cancer as the oleander extract studies have shown.

It should also be noted that Mr. Isaacs is claiming that oleander extract is helpful for autoimmune disorders.  The exact opposite is true though.  Sources rich in immune stimulating polysaccharides are contradicted for a very good reason.  In autoimmune conditions there is an over production of low affinity (nonspecific) antibodies being produced that tag healthy tissues for destruction by white blood cells.  When the white blood cells are stimulated by high concentrations of immune stimulating polysaccharides the activated white blood cells speed up the destruction of the “antibody tagged” tissues aggravating the autoimmune condition.

Tony Isaacs:  There are also many other case reports about the successful use of oleander, as researched and reported in the book I wrote.

James SloaneSee above.  And keep in mind that the book was written by the same person who also presented Petri dish studies as “proof of effectiveness” after being asked for human studies showing actual proof of effectiveness.  This is why we cannot believe everything we read.

Tony Isaacs:  Neither have I stated that cancer can be caused by cellular hypoxia, but rather that he believes that cellular hypoxia is a result of the process that leads to cancer which most often begins due to a prolonged inflammation.

James Sloane:  Problem with this hypothesis is that inflammation INCREASES oxygen levels to the tissues.  When we are injured inflammatory prostaglandins dilate blood vessels in the area to INCREASE oxygen and nutrients to the injured area to help promote healing.

Tony Isaacs:  or exposure to a carcinogen.

James Sloane:  Radiation is a carcinogen, but this is because the radiation breaks chromosomes.  The broken strands of genetic material reattach where they can leading to changes in the metabolism of the cells.  Again this has NOTHING to do with lower oxygen levels to cells.  Radiation can also lead to immune suppression due to its destructive effects on the bone marrow.

Tony Isaacs:  Likewise, the moderator believes that the pleomorphic process of cancer involves a viral stage.

James Sloane:  Not all cancer microbes involve pleomorphism.  For example the fungus Aspergillus niger that produces aflatoxins that can lead to liver cancer.  And again there are a number of cancer viruses. They are not morphing in to each other.

This claim is also contradictory to Tony Isaacs other claim that the germ theory is wrong.  In another post Isaacs claims that the germ theory is wrong, and thus he does not believe that microbes are responsible for any diseases.  Yet here are claims that he believes that cancer is microbial in origin as the term “pleomorphism” here refers to the changing of disease causing microbes in to their various forms including viruses.  I guess Isaacs just believes in whatever fits his needs at that time rather than proven facts.

 

As a final note here a poster askedI’ve read that it (oleander soup) is very good at raising white blood cell counts. Is this true?”  According to Tony Isaacs in a 2010 article he wrote Isaacs claims that oleander has been shown to boost white blood cell counts.

This is yet another false claim.  The polysaccharides from oleander stimulate white blood cell activity, but they do not increase white blood cell counts.  Low white blood cell counts are most often from bone marrow damage.  This can be from a number of things including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), chemotherapy drugs, radiation, certain cancers or infections, etc.  Oleander has not been shown to restore bone marrow and thus increase white blood cells as Isaacs claims.  Nor has it been shown to reduce overactive splenic activity, the other cause of low white blood cells.

The reason for presenting all this is to get people to realize that they need to be EXTREMELY careful when getting their health information online.  There are many people pretending to be experts on topics they know virtually nothing about and promoting strange and unproven concepts about disease.  Just because someone makes claims in a book or online this does not make these true.  People get conned all the time by people who know just enough to make themselves sound like authorities.   They count on people not being willing to research the claims they are making.  Don’t get conned.  Take a little extra time and research some credible, non sales or propaganda sites, to verify health claims before jumping in to some therapy or taking some supplement.

For related articles see:

https://medreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/is-oleander-soup-for-cancer-a-scam-part-1/

http://medproductreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/quackery-alert-oleander-cancer-treatment/

Is “Oleander Soup” for Cancer A Scam? Part 1

I first ran across a product called “oleander soup” when reading posts on Curezone where it was being promoted for cancer, AIDS and hepatitis.  When I first read about it the posts really concerned me because one of the promoters of oleander soup was telling people to just use oleander soup for their cancer with no mention of safety or preparation.  This really concerned me because simply saying oleander soup could leave some people to assume that they simply boil up some oleander leaves in to a soup and ingest, which would be deadly.  Oleander is an extremely poisonous plant with all parts of the plant and even the honey made from the plant being poisonous.

When I pointed out my concerns about simply telling people to ingest oleander soup was highly dangerous I instantly became public enemy #1 to another oleander soup promoter named Tony Isaacs.

Mr. Isaacs is a self-proclaimed expert on oleander.  Although, exchanges with Mr. Isaacs clearly show a different picture.  For example, Mr. Isaacs repeatedly claims that oleander is an effective cancer treatment and that the oleander phase 1 trials proved it was effective in the treatment of cancer.  The truth though is that every study on oleander tested on humans has shown it to be ineffective.  This includes the recent study Mr. Isaacs claimed proved oleander effective was funded by the manufacturer of the oleander product, tested at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  Despite the fraud that appears to be perpetrated in the study I discussed in my last blog post

http://medproductreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/quackery-alert-oleander-cancer-treatment/

the study still showed the oleander extract was ineffective for cancer.

I have not seen any evidence that oleander has been shown effective for hepatitis nor AIDS either as has been claimed.  When asked for evidence to the oleander being proven effective for AIDS,  I was directed to a sales site that is not even close to being evidence of effectiveness.

When dealing with such dangerous diseases, such as cancer, it is essential that people get proper information.  Especially considering that time is essential for cancer patients.  If a cancer patient wastes time with a proven ineffective treatment like oleander soup they may not have time for a second chance with a therapy that actually works.  That is if they do not kill themselves by assuming oleander soup is simply oleander leaves boiled in water.  This is why I am so passionate about exposing the truth behind oleander soup.

Many of the exchanges between Mr. Isaacs and I were hidden or deleted from Curezone since Mr. Isaacs is a moderator on the Cancer forum where many of the posts were made.  Luckily I made copies of much of this information and other information from Curezone before it was deleted.  The following is a compilation of some of the comments made by Mr. Isaacs and my responses so people can decide for themselves if Mr. Isaacs really is an expert on oleander as he portrays himself.  Comments made by Tony Isaacs that I have not responded to previously will be italicized:

Tony Isaacs:  I may not be as scientifically well versed as you when it comes to discussing individual compounds or the minutaie of what does or does not constitute a cardiac glycoside or whether it is technically redundant to call something a “long chain” polysacharride, but I nevertheless do know oleander.

Tony Isaacs:  Here is a parial list of the cancer fighting compounds in oleander:

Oleandrin and a number of other cardiac glycosides including Neriin,  Oleandrinogen, Oleandrigenin, Uzarigenin and others; several long-chain polysacharrides such as Beta-sistosterol; Quercitin, Linoleic-acid, Oleic-acid, Adynerin, Alpha-amyrin,  Betulin, Foliandrin, Folinerin, Gitoxigenin, Isoquercitrin, Lauric-acid,  Oleanolic-acid,  Rutin, Stigmasterol, Ursolic-acid

James Sloane:  And how do the other compounds you mention work? I am not familiar with foliandrin so I looked it up with cancer.  No research available whatsoever. Alpha-amyrin again no research for cancer, but it is listed as a potent irritant. Presence of does not mean they have anticancer activity, so I would like to the research to back these claims.

You also list oleandrin and folinerin, which different names for the same compound. This really reduces credibility when you list the same compound multiple times making it appear that there are more active components than there really are.

Another mistake I see is in your quote “several long-chain polysaccharides such as Beta-sitosterol”. First of all polysaccharides are long chain. Poly means many, saccharides refer to sugars. Thus polysaccharides are long chain sugar molecules. For example beta glucan, fructooligosaccharides, even cellulose. And they are found in a number of sources: seaweeds, mushrooms, schisandra, echinacea, myrrh, birch, yeasts, astragalus….. Secondly, beta sitosterol is not a polysaccharide, it is a plant sterol. These are natural steroidal compounds found in plants that help them to adapt to stresses.

Tony Isaacs: Likewise the well known and highly respected (outside the FDA) owner of Alpha Omega Labs had his choice of any ingredients in the world when he formulated his new Cansema III tonic.  He and his medical professionals chose oleander as the main ingredient, along with graviola and chaparral.

James Sloane: I did not respond to this bogus claim earlier, but will here.  I went to the Alpha Omega Labs website to look up the product:

http://www.altcancer.com/products/cansema-tonic-tm

And looked at the list of ingredients:

Ingredients: Aloe vera (as a base medium), bioenergized extracts of the following cancerolytic botanicals: graviola (Annona muricata) from the Amazonia, Andrographis paniculata, neem (Azadirachta indica A. Jus), chapparal (Larrea mexicata), and hydronium solution (H3O) to enhance and preserve contents. Contains no alcohol or artificial chemicals.

Note that not only is oleander not the main ingredient in Cansema III as Tony Isaacs claims, but oleander is not in the product whatsoever.

James Sloane:  We have different views on curcumin and turmeric. It has many of the same compounds as in your oleander soup, but offers additional cancer fighting mechanisms not found in oleander. And as I pointed out it is readily available, safe, and extremely cheap.

Tony Isaacs:  Yes, curcumin is readily available, cheap and safe.  It also is not water soluable and has very poor bioavailibility because only a tiny fraction of raw curcumin is absorbed in the body. Most importantly, despite all the excitement about cucumin, it is simply not nearly as effective as oleander and to state that it is might well be advice that would keep someone from otherwise beating cancer and THAT, rather than arguing the finer points of individual compounds, is what I am all about.  Thus far, in over five years, no one who has followed my advice regarding oleander and fighting cancer, HIV or Hep-C is not still alive.  Can you say the same?

James Sloane:  First of all turmeric has more active compounds than just curcumin that work synergistically. Therefore, large amounts are not required or a strong effect

In addition, keep in mind that not all compounds are required in large amounts to have a significant effect on the body. For example, it does not take a large amount of oleander to kill an adult human.

Just because curcumin is poorly soluble in water is irrelevant.  Fish oil is insoluble in water but still has plenty of health benefits. This is because oil soluble compounds are made water soluble for absorption in the intestines from the lecithin in bile.

Funny though that Tony Isaacs would try to use that as an argument though being that the main compound he claims is active in oleander, oleandrin, is not water soluble. Therefore, using his same argument his “oleander soup” would not contain what he claims is the active component from the oleander leaves.

And how does Mr. Isaacs know who is still alive after his protocol and who is not?  He has posted this supposed treatment all over the internet where numerous strangers that he has no contact with could have followed his advice.  The fact is that Mr. Isaacs has no clue how many people may have died following his advice and using this proven bogus therapy.

Even if someone is still alive this dos not prove oleander was effective.  If we read the various protocols for oleander, including those by Mr. Isaacs himself, they include other therapies and/or supplements that have shown effectiveness against cancer.  This is like saying if someone takes an oral antibiotic for a bacterial infection that it was the water they washed the pill with that treated the infection.

Tony Isaacs:  Listing or debating the known actions of individual compounds is misleading.  Isolating and concentrating on individual compounds is one of the great fallacies of mainstream medicine.

James Sloane: Yet this is exactly what Mr. Isaacs did when it fit his needs.  I was talking about the effects of turmeric and one of its constituents curcumin.  Yet, Mr. Isaacs decided to focus only on the curcumin in his response ignoring the other synergistic compounds in turmeric.

James Sloane: Though I would not rely on any plant solely for cancer.  No plant is going to address all of the aspects that need to be addressed with cancer.  For example does oleander address the Cori cycle?   ATP formation?  Angiogenesis?   Hyaluronidase inhibition? Fibrinolysis?  Do you even have a clue why these are so important to address?  By the same token do you even understand how the various compounds you list as being active work?

Tony Isaacs: (No response ever given.)

Tony Isaacs:  I have already stated that I like and recommend curcumin – in fact I think it is great (and I take it every day myself), the same as does highly respected alternative cancer authority Webster Kehr of the reknown Cancer Tutor site (http://www.cancertutor.com/).  He states on his site that he considers curcumin among the top 50 cancer fighters, though it has not yet made the cut to be listed among his top Stage IV, Stage III and other alternative treatments on the title page of his website.  Oleander on the other hand is listed in his top 5.

James Sloane:  Renowned is a matter of opinion.  Among other things that are recommended at this site include the so-called “liver flushes” that have been proven bogus and coffee enemas that weaken the immune system by taxing the adrenals, which also puts more stress on the thymus and decreases white blood cell activity.  In addition, coffee has been shown to contain various carcinogens, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PACs) and anti-nutrients such as tannins. Coffee should not be put in to the body in any form if a person has cancer. Other sources of caffeine or other stimulants should also be avoided.

Just because a site reports the sales hype of various alternative cancer therapies without understanding the chemistry or other factors behind the treatment this does not make the site renowned.

Since Tony Isaacs brought this site up though let’s look at his claims. Isaacs claims that oleander is in the top 5 for stage III and stage IV cancers.  So what does the site really say?:

http://www.cancertutor.com/Other/RuleOfThumb.html

As we can see under the listing for stage III treatments the top recommendations are:

“Checklist 1a of 11: Exactly ONE of the “Strong Stage III” Treatments

There are five treatments in this category:

1) The Frequency Generator (aka “Rife Machine”) [actually a Stage IV Treatment],
2) The Bill Henderson Protocol [actually a Stage IV Treatment],
3) The Brandt Grape Cure using red, black or purple grapes [actually a Stage IV Treatment],
4) The Brandt Grape Cure using a vegetable juice, which includes carrot juice, beet juice, and other specific juices [a Strong Stage III Treatment]
5) Amazon Factor Protocol [a Strong Stage III Treatment] “

Notice that not only is oleander not part of the 5 recommendations for stage III cancer, but it is not even mentioned at all in the recommended treatment protocols on the page as Mr. Issacs claimed.

There is a brief mention of oleander as a stage IV treatment, but again nothing about it being in the top 5. 

The site does claim that oleander works for AIDS, which I have been unable to find any evidence of.  They also claim various beneficial effects from oleander that have not been shown to occur in the human body.  Again, the site is just regurgitating the same sales hype and misinformation they are presented or read on sales sites rather than researching the claims to find out if they are factual before presenting the claims.

Tony Isaacs:  Another top alternative cancer site is the Minnesota Wellness Directory.  They too consider oleander to be one of, if not THE, best cancer fighters and often refer people to me for advice.

James Sloane:  I looked at the site and again nowhere do they state that oleander is a top recommendation as Mr. Isaacs claims.  I did find a few interesting statements though such as:

The simple fact is that the ethanolic extraction method used by the Russians only gets a small amount more oleandrin than the water extraction method, but loses the vital polysaccharides and other synergistic compounds that make Anvirzel and the folk remedy version so effective.”- From an email sent to the Minnesota Wellness Directory by Tony Isaacs

The problem with Mr. Isaacs’ claim is that oleandrin is soluble in alcohol, but insoluble in water.  Therefore, there would be a high level of oleandrin, what he claims is the most active component, in the alcohol extract.  The water extract though, such as “oleander soup” would have little to no oleandrin.

Polysaccharides, which are found in numerous non-toxic plants, can help stimulate white blood cell activity.  If that is the only real active compound in oleander soup though then why not just use polysaccharides from plants that you do not have to process to render them non-poisonous such as astragalus, seaweeds or medicinal mushrooms?

I also pointed out to Mr. Isaacs a while back that the polysaccharides do increase white blood cell activity.  The immune system has a very difficult time finding and killing cancer cells though, so stimulating white blood cells with polysaccharides cannot kill cancer cells directly.  Instead, the stimulation of white blood cells help fight cancer by killing cancer pathogens such as cancer viruses, which account for the vast majority of cancers.  When I brought this up to Mr. Isaacs he went haywire on me attacking me over and over in posts and encouraging others to do the same.  His problem was that Isaacs did not believe viruses were the primary cause of cancer.  In fact, to prove it to me he ran a Google search and came up with zero hits.  Yet, I type in “cancer viruses” and it comes up with about “20,900,000 results”.  Honestly, I cannot figure out for the life of me how he ever managed to write a book with such poor research skills!!!  I am currently working on a book about alternative cancer therapies.  In one of the chapters I have already included 63 medical journal references on cancer viruses, which is only a small portion of the articles I have found. But not only does Isaacs not believe viruses are a primary cause of cancer, Isaacs not believe that microbes cause any disease as evidenced by this article he wrote:

http://curezone.org/forums/am.asp?i=1691964

Ironically, Mr. Isaacs happens to sell a colloidal silver product on his website, which Isaacs claims kills viruses, bacteria and fungi. If the germ theory is wrong, and thus microbes don’t cause disease why is he selling $24.00 bottles of colloidal silver to kill microbes that he does not even believe cause disease?

The Minnesota Wellness Directory did post the findings from the Phase 1 study of the oleander extract Anvirzel, which is the same study Tony Isaacs claimed proved the effectiveness of oleander:

Summary  Anvirzel™ is an aqueous extract of the plant Nerium oleander which has been utilized to treat patients with advanced malignancies. The current study reports a phase 1 trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and safety of Anvirzel™ in patients with advanced, refractory solid tumors. Patients were randomized to receive this agent by intramuscular injection at doses of 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 ml/m2/day with subsequent patients receiving 0.8 or 1.2 ml/m2/day sequentially. Eighteen patients were enrolled and completed at least one treatment cycle of three weeks. Most patients developed mild injection site pain (78%). Other toxicities included fatigue, nausea, and dyspnea [labored breathing]. Traditional dose limiting toxicity was not seen, but the MTD was defined by injection volume as 0.8 ml/m2/day. No objective anti-tumor responses were seen. Anvirzel™ can be safely administered at doses up to 1.2 ml/m2/day, with the amount administered intramuscularly limited by volume. The recommended phase II dose level is 0.8 ml/m2/day.

As we can see from the study findings though it clearly states that the product had no real effect on the tumors.  Therefore, once again Mr. Isaacs misrepresented the facts to make it appear that oleander was effective for cancer when the studies have clearly demonstrated that it is not.

Tony Isaacs:  Marc Swanepoel, the cancer and HIV researcher and crusader who developed the OPC supplement has studied a great number of natural substances to help the HIV sufferers and indigent cancer victims in his native South Africa.  His choice of major ingredients was oleander.

James Sloane:  Marc Swanepoel recommends Sutherlandia OPC along with various other supplements for cancer.  Sutherlandia OPC also contains sutherlandia (“cancer bush”), which unlike oleander has been backed as being effective for cancer in studies.

Tony Isaacs:  how about you show me where curcumin has been over 90% successful against a broad range of cancers or 100% effective in reversing AIDS symptoms.  Or show me studies where an extract of curcumin was found to have six times the immune stimulating activity of the most powerful patented immune stimulators known to man.

James Sloane:  Why should I?  I never claimed that curcumin was that effective.  And oleander has never been shown to have anywhere near that kind of success rate either. Unlike oleander though, there is numerous research studies showing the effectiveness of turmeric and its extract curcumin against cancer.

For related information see:

http://medproductreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/quackery-alert-oleander-cancer-treatment/

Addressing the Cancer Cannot Survive in the Presence of High Oxygen Myth

The most common myth associated with cancer is the claim that cancer cannot survive in a high oxygen atmosphere.  This myth is commonly repeated by sales site selling oxygen products and by writers who have not bothered to do the research before repeating this claim.

The origin of the claim stem from a statement made by 1931 Nobel Peace Prize winner Otto Warburg.  What Otto Warburg stated is that there was a respiratory defect in cancer cells causing them to ferment regardless of how much oxygen was present.  See:

Warburg O. On the origin of cancer cells. Science 1956; 123: 309–14.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/123/3191/309.full.pdf?ijkey=327d5b11aafed59292da890ea50fb1d777e14ead&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

Somehow this statement got twisted in to the claim that Warburg stated the cause of cancer was a lack of oxygen.

The fact is that all cells, healthy and cancerous rely on both anaerobic and aerobic metabolism for energy production.  And just like healthy cells, cancer cells will die if deprived of oxygen.  This is actually the basis for the formation of blood vessels to a tumor through growth factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor.  Once the tumor reaches a certain size, it can no longer be maintained though oxygen diffusion and the tumor starts to die.  In response the tumor releases vascular growth factors that stimulate blood vessel formation to the tumor.  This creates a more effective glucose and oxygen source for the tumor to help it survive and proliferate.

Bottom line is that cancer cells are highly dependent on oxygen for survival.  This is why hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) does not cure cancer despite supersaturating the tissues with pure oxygen.

This concept confuses some people because some oxygen therapies such as ozone therapy will readily destroy cancer cells.  Ozone though is not the same as the oxygen we routinely breathe and has numerous properties and benefits that plain oxygen does not provide.  See my article The Chemistry of Ozone Therapy on Cancer:

http://medcapsules.com/info/The%20Chemistry%20of%20Ozone%20Therapy%20on%20Cancer.htm

Unfortunately too many people do their medical research by reading hyped up sales sites and simply repeat the same misinformation rather than doing real research to verify their claims.  Hopefully this blog article will be a good start to ending the perpetuation of the oxygen kills cancer myth since misinformation can be just as deadly as the cancer itself.

AUTHOR’S NOTES

  • It is claimed that Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize for discovering cancer was caused from a lack of oxygen.  Warburg never made this claim though and this is not what he received the Nobel Peace Prize for.  Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize for discovering an enzyme he called “iron oxidase”1.
  • Warburg’s hypothesis about there being a respiratory defect in cancer cells has since been disproven2,3.

References

  1. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1931/warburg-bio.html
  2. Otto Warburg’s contributions to current concepts of cancer metabolism.  Nature Reviews Cancer 11, 618 (2011)
  3. Aerobic glycolysis: meeting the metabolic requirements of cell proliferation.  Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Nov 10;27:441-64

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