Alternatives & Traditional

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.”:

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

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


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:

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

Adenocarcinoma (epithelial type malignant mesothelioma?) – US

Small cell anaplastic carcinoma in the lung -YG

Malignant lymphoma, lung cancer – MG

Prostate cancer with bone metastases – KE

Pancreas cancer with bone metastases – SO

Pancreas cancer – MH

Peritoneal carcinosis – HA

Inoperable stomach carcinoma with metastases -VO

Brain tumor – AS

Brain tumor – SD

Breast cancer (Ductal carcinoma) – SE

Antrum cancer – YT

Brain tumor – EO

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.

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