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    Busting Marine Myths: Sharks DO Get Cancer!
    By Christie Wilcox | November 9th 2009 06:45 PM | 37 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Christie

    Hi world! I'm Christie, science blogger and PhD student in the CMB program at the University of Hawaii. Having gained a B.S. in Marine Science from...

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    There are a lot of myths out there about the marine world, but by far the one that bothers me the most is the notion that sharks don't get cancer. This simply untrue statement has led to the slaughter of millions of sharks via the industry for shark cartilage pills, which are sold to desperate cancer patients under the false pretense that they can help reduce or cure their illness.

    The myth started way back in the 1970s when Henry Brem and Judah Folkman from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine first noted that cartilage prevented the growth of new blood vessels into tissues. This creation of a blood supply, called angiogenesis, is one of the key characteristics of malignant tumors, as the rapidly dividing cells need lots of nutrients to continue growing. It's not shocking, then, that angiogenesis is a common target for those seeking potential cancer therapies.

    Brem and Folkman began studying cartilage to search for anti-angiogenic compounds. They reasoned that since all cartilage lacks blood vessels, it must contain some signaling molecules or enzymes that prevent capillaries from forming. They found that inserting cartilage from baby rabbits alongside tumors in experimental animals completely prevented the tumors from growing1. Further research showed calf cartilage, too, had anti-angiogenic properties2. A young researcher by the name of Robert Langer decided to repeat the initial rabbit cartilage experiments, except this time using shark cartilage. Since sharks skeletons are entirely composed of cartilage, Langer reasoned that they would be a far more accessible source for potential therapeutics. And indeed, shark cartilage, like calf and rabbit cartilage, inhibited blood vessels from growing toward tumors3.

    Around the same time, a scientist by the name of Carl Luer at Mote Marine Laboratories in Sarasota, FL was looking into sharks and cancer, too. He'd noticed that sharks seem to have relatively low rates of disease, especially cancer, and wanted to test their susceptibility experimentally. So he exposed nurse sharks to high levels of aflatoxin B1, a known carcinogen, and found no evidence that they developed tumors4.

    That's when Dr. I William Lane stepped in. He'd heard about the studies done by Langer and Luer, and become immediately entrenched with the idea that oral shark cartilage could be a treatment for cancer. In 1992 he published the book Sharks Don't Get Cancer: How Shark Cartilage Could Save Your Life. The book was a best-seller, popular enough to draw in the media from 60 Minutes who did a special on Lane and his new cancer cure. The segment featured Lane and Cuban physicians and patients who had participated in a non-randomized and shoddily done 'clinical trial' in Mexico which heralded spectacular results. He then co-authored a second book, Sharks Still Don't Get Cancer, in 1996.

    Of course, Lane started up his own shark fishing and cartilage pill making business called LaneLabs which still makes and sells cartilage pills today. But Lane was not alone - many companies began selling shark cartilage pills and powders as alternative therapies or nutritional supplements. The world market for shark cartilage products was estimated to have exceeded $30 million in 1995, prompting more and more harvesting of sharks for their cartilage.

    The results have been devastating. North American populations of sharks have  decreased by up to 80% in the past decade, as cartilage companies harvest up to 200,000 sharks every month in US waters to create their products. One American-owned shark cartilage plant in Costa Rica is estimated to destroy 2.8 million sharks per year5. Sharks are slow growing species compared to other fish, and simply cannot reproduce fast enough to survive such sustained, intense fishing pressure. Unless fishing is dramatically decreased worldwide, a number of species of sharks will go extinct before we even notice.

    It's bad enough that all this ecological devastation is for a pill that doesn't even work. Shark cartilage does not cure or treat cancer in any way, even in mouse models6. These are also the results of at least three randomized, FDA-approved clinical trials - one in 19987, another in 20058, and a final one presented in 20079. Ingestion of shark cartilage powders or extracts had absolutely no positive effects on cancers that varied in type and severity. To paraphrase Dr. Andrew Vickers, shark cartilage as a cancer cure isn't untested or unproven, it's disproven10. Indeed, the Federal Trade Commission stepped in by 2000, fining Lane $1 million as well as banning him from claiming that his supplements, or any shark cartilage derivatives, could prevent, treat or cure cancer.

    But what's worse is that this entire fraudulent enterprise that steals the money of those desperate for any kind of hope is based on a myth. No matter what a money-grubbing man with a PhD in Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition tries to tell you, sharks do get cancer.

    Even if we hadn't found cancer in sharks, it's highly unlikely that they alone are cancer-free. It's far more likely, instead, that the perceived 'low rates of cancer' are due to the fact that there has yet to be even one study which looked at the rates of disease in sharks. No one has systematically checked these animals for cancer or any other diseases. Even if such a study occurred and did find low rates, it doesn't mean they're even close to immune to cancer. Sharks are pelagic fish. They live in some of the least contaminated areas on earth. This means that, odds are, they have low levels of exposure to the chemicals that cause cancer in so many land and near-shore species. Furthermore, the odds that a really sick shark would make it into such a study are slim. A shark whose function is compromised by tumors would likely end up the meal of other, hungry sharks long before they'd end up on a hook cast by researchers.

    But in 2004, Dr Gary Ostrander and his colleagues from the University of Hawaii published a survey of the Registry for Tumors in Lower Animals11. Already in collection, they found 42 tumors in Chondrichthyes species (the class of cartilaginous fish that includes sharks, skates and rays). These included at least 12 malignant tumors and tumors throughout the body. Two sharks had multiple tumors, suggesting they were genetically susceptible or exposed to extremely high levels of carcinogens. There were even tumors found in shark's cartilage! Ostrander hoped that this information would finally put to rest the myth that sharks are somehow magically cancer-free.

    Yet here we are, five years later, and I still see all kinds of shark cartilage pills for sale at the local GNC. But furthermore, the myth that sharks are cancer-free is still believed by many intelligent people. Just ask writer Shelly Silverstone, who tweeted just this week about how sharks don't get cancer. But even worse, just today I read a tweet from The National Aquarium that said "It must be something in the water. Sharks are the only known species to never suffer from cancer." The National Aquarium has almost 4,000 twitter followers, and this inaccurate tweet was passed on by a number of these including The Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, FL. A random, misinformed writer I can understand, but how can such a large non-profit, dedicated to "extending the knowledge and resources gained through daily operations toward the betterment of the natural environment" perpetuate such an erroneous and ecologically damaging myth?

    In case I haven't been clear, let me say it again: Sharks do get cancer! There isn't even any evidence to say that they don't get cancer very often, as no one has systematically looked at cancer rates in them. So any statement that even suggests that sharks are cancer resistant is misleading at best, and down right wrong at worst.

    Perhaps the most disappointing part is that the shark immune system is incredibly fascinating and worth study whether or not it can squash out cancer. Sharks are the earliest evolutionary lineage to have developed an adaptive immune system complete with immunoglobin, T-cell receptors, MHCs and RAG proteins12, and they do it without bone marrow, the source of almost all of our immune system cells. Instead, they have two completely unique immune organs, the Leydig's and Epigonal organs, that are barely understood. Studying the shark immune system is essential to understanding the evolution of adaptive immunity that is present in all higher vertebrates. And if, indeed, they are resistant to cancer, then that makes the study of their immune system all that much more important. But instead, we mindlessly kill over 100 million of them a year to make Asian delicacies and ineffective cancer treatments, and we keep brainwashing our kids into believing that shark's don't get cancer. Where are Adam and Jamie when you need them? It's time that the myth of cancer-free sharks is busted once and for all.

    References
    1. Brem H, Folkman J. Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis mediated by cartilage. J Exp Med. 141, 427–439 (1975).
    2. Langer R et al. Isolations of a cartilage factor that inhibits tumor neovascularization. Science 193, 70-72 (1976).
    3. Lee A&Langer R. Shark cartilage contains inhibitors of tumor angiogenesis. Science 221, 1185-1187 (1983).
    4. Luer CA&Luer WH. Acute and chronic exposure of nurse sharks to aflatoxin B1. Fed Proc 41, 925 (1982).
    5. Camhi M. Costa Rica's Shark Fishery and Cartilage Industry. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Organizations/SSG/sharknews/sn8/shark8news... (1996)
    6. Horsman MR, Alsner J, Overgaard J. The Effect of shark cartilage extracts on the growth and metastatic spread of the SCCVII carcinoma. Acta Oncologica 37, 441-445 (1998)
    7. Miller DR et al. Phase I/II trial of the safety and efficacy of shark cartilage in the treatment of advanced cancer. J. Clin. Oncol 16, 3649-3655 (1998).
    8. Loprinzi, C.L. et al. Evaluation of shark cartilage in patients with advanced cancer: a North Central Cancer Treatment Group trial. Cancer 104, 176-182 (2005)
    9. Lu, C et al. A phase III study of AE-941 with induction chemotherapy (IC) and concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). J Clin Onco, 25 7527: ASCO Annual Meeting Proceedings (2007)
    10. Vickers A. Alternative cancer cures: "unproven" or "disproven"? CA Cancer J Clin 54, 110-8 (2004)
    11. Ostrander GK et al. Shark cartilage, cancer and the growing threat of pseudoscience. Cancer Res 64, 8485-8491 (2004)
    12. Flajnik MF&Rumfelt LL. The immune system of cartilaginous fish. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 248, 249–270 (2000).

    Comments

    jtwitten
    Great article, but not one mention of Deep Blue Sea and alzheimers. The impact on mutant, giant shark populations must have been devastating. Sadness.
    Fossil Huntress
    Josh, is it true? Are there millions of sharks swimming in circles, forgetting, repeating and unwittingly returning with multiple milk cartons... forever lost, forgetting who they are? A moment of silence, please.
    jtwitten
    Yes, and then they are blown up by improbably small amounts of black powder jammed into a harpoon.
    Fossil Huntress
    A fitting end as nature bites back. I clicked on the imdb link which had a tab saying, "the plot synopsis is empty." Weak perhaps, but empty seemed a wee bit harsh.
    jtwitten
    Sounds about right to me. Here is a mash-up of the summary from viewers:
    Believing she almost has the cure for Alzheimer's disease. . .medical biologist Susan McAlester rather naughtily (perhaps an allusion to Saffron Burrows having to strip to wet undies in order to electrocute a shark?) figures out a way to genetically enlarge shark brains. . .the sharks are now more smarter than ever. . .The result is a breed of Mako that is bigger, stronger, smarter, faster and more fierce then anything man has seen before. The sharks gain the ability to reason and turn on their masters resulting in an all or nothing fight to the finish between man and the ultimate predator.
    Fossil Huntress
    "Have you ever purchased Shark cartilage pills?" should be added to the standard IQ test.
    Gerhard Adam
    Great article.  I guess this demonstrates that depending on the hype, humans will tend to disbelieve the truth, embrace the fictions, and make up almost anything that comes in the middle.

    Another striking example of how the "market" can solve all our problems.
    Mundus vult decipi
    jtwitten
    Like incentives and the computer from The Hitchhiker's Guide answering 42, markets do work. They just don't always work like you are expecting them to. You need to know what question the markets are answering. In this case, the market is supplying shark cartliage. Why? 1. No cure-all for cancer actually exists, and 2. people are badly informed.

    You can only assume that a non-market based approach will work because you are assuming that well-informed people will be running it.
    Gerhard Adam
    Actually the problem is simpler and more serious than that.  It is probably impossible for a single individual to be informed enough to make good decisions on everything they encounter.  Even if they are qualified, they may well lack the time to rigorously pursue such an effort, so invariably our modern society requires an element of trust. 

    As a result, the most likely outcome of any unregulated market decision is exploitation of popular beliefs.  As with most human endeavors, this wouldn't ordinarily be a problem but when vast amounts of money and technology can be brought to bear, we begin to do serious damage to the world and environment we're in. 

    Most disciplines ranging from political science to philosophy and science clearly recognize the fallacy of considering popular opinion as a basis for rational decisions.  I can't imagine why economics is based on the principle that they are somehow exempt from the effect.
    Mundus vult decipi
    jtwitten
    I'm not defending the assumptions of economics. What is not clear is that the critics of markets have ever offered anything that works better.
    Ideas have been offered, just not allowed to be fully tested. Strict regulation of the markets requiring truth in advertising and harsh punishments for those that don't. Unfortunately, the open market depends on people's lack of knowledge and gullibility and the marketers know this, so they block any attempt at real regulation.

    jtwitten
    What you just defined is not an open market. Do not confuse the market we have with the actual ideal of an open market.
    Aitch
    Why? 1. No cure-all for cancer actually exists, and 2. people are badly
    informed.

    Granted 2s a given, but 1 is disputable
    I've been applying various 'therapies' [not including this one] for the last 35 years after being told if I didn't accept chemo/radiation therapy, I'd likely be dead in 2 years

    The most telling thing in the article is:
     
    This creation of a blood supply, called angiogenesis, is one of the key characteristics of malignant tumors, as the rapidly dividing cells need lots of nutrients to continue growing
    Cancer has to be starved of nutrients, which essentially means affecting your dietary intake, as well as your state of mind, through meditation, because anxiety/worry is a major negative energy nutrient which cancer feeds on

    btw you won't find out about the cures unless you overlook the drugcartel's influence on organisations like the BMA, AMA, and FDA, and this is probably not the right site to post the info on

    Aitch
    jtwitten
    btw you won't find out about the cures unless you overlook the drugcartel's influence on organisations like the BMA, AMA, and FDA, and this is probably not the right site to post the info on
    Too late. We've already passed your information up the chain of command directly to the Illuminati. Don't bother to run. You're RFID chip is keeping us posted on your exact location constantly.

    BWAHAHAHAHA!

    Just kidding. There's no drug cartel. There is, however, a confederation of alternative remedy producers (people say we are owned by the drug companies, but its really the other way around) and Tibetan Buddhists, who have secretly been giving people what appear to be serious cancers, but are really nano-bot infestations that we can turn off (most of the time) only when the afflicted use our products to treat their "cancer". The poor doctors cannot tell the difference between our nano-bots and the real thing. We find the scientifically unusable personal anecdotes this generates and word of mouth advertising to be our most effective means of advertising.

    But, perhaps I have said too much.
    Aitch
    There's no drug cartel
    HA HA! You MUST be joking, obviously!

    http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/771.html

    http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/574.html


    Taking the mickey makes me wonder who pays your wages.....

    Aitch
    jtwitten
    I don't think you know the definition of cartel.
    El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?
    Jefe: Why, El Guapo?
    El Guapo: Well, you told me I have a plethora. And I just would like to know if you know what a plethora is. I would not like to think that a person would tell someone he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has *no idea* what it means to have a plethora.
    -Three Amigos (1986)
    Aitch
    Hey Josh,

    Cartel: if you aren't satisfied with the common interpretation, or Wikipedia definition,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel

    or the OFT...

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/advice_and_resources/resource_base/cartels/what-ca...

    perhaps this? ;-)

    http://www.cartelrocks.com/

    In relation to the original article, how many drug companies have got in on the shark cartilage cure business, or a variant of it, I wonder?

    What's the annual business worth?....and how many million sharks die?

    Paleeease ....

    Oh, and I suppose NOT telling people the truth about cancer is 'non-contributory and insignificant' or some other platitude....as long as there's profit....there's an opposite loss
    ...of life

    Just what are you defending, here, Josh?

    Aitch
    jtwitten
    Why should I be defending anything? I'm simply satirizing the extent of your conspiracy theorizing. No sharks are dying because of my advocacy of a scientific approach to medicine. While I appreciate that you feel that you are telling the people the truth about cancer and the "Big Pharma" conspiracy, you are simply substituting one group's marketing for another.

    Regariding "cartel" - When words are used in a way that does not conform to either common or technical usage, especially in the absence of a clarifying definition, they cease to have any meaning or utility. This usage is purely intended to invoke the negative emotions associated with drug cartels (some of which are actual cartels). That kind of cheap rhetoric is shameful when applied to such an important issue and when used to impugn the honor and ethics of medical researchers.
    Aitch
    Sorry, Josh, but I'm not a conspiracy theory sort of person "substituting one group's marketing for another." I'm not a marketing person at all., really Sadly, despite your obvious best wishes, I think the whole reason there is such a thing as a BigPharma 'conspiracy' is because the ethics of good medical researchers have been bought, paid for and subverted by the need to take home wages and maintain lifestyles at the individual level The 'collective ethic' you hint at, seems swallowed by the number of drug manufacturers who add unnecessary ingredients to 'remedies' prescribed by GPs and the like Research Lab owners/managers, as well as GPs who are given 'free samples', or junkets and holidays, etc by those same companies to make profit, are simply unethical, IMO If ethics WERE so strong within the research community, or even the medical profession in toto, there would have been a backlash against 'BigPharma' even having become what some call a figment of the collective imagination. However there are far too many instances of legal actions, and 'leaked' insider memos of the inner workings of Capitol Hill, of the devious lobby assembly for those self same companies and corporations It has even been reported that the profit from a bad drug outweighs the advertising cost, lobby journals, marketing costs PLUS legal claims of people who have been injured, debilitated, or even died as a result, and they can bear the cost because the law and the public allows it! Complicit in this, are the AMA and FDA, and many other 'ethical' bodies, so there is a 'conspiracy'.....one of silence, allowing such shameful practice to continue to exist, to the detriment of not just the 'victims' but their families also! So, see your ethics in context, and compare to the ideal you believe in, the reality of the burst bubble! Satire is a poor substitute for real ethics! As I've said to others, this is not against you, merely the fallacy of the view you espouse Aitch
    jtwitten
    You've gotten way off topic. Your original comment, which I satirized, implied that there are "real" cancer cures out there that we are not being told about due to this conspiracy. Don't pretend to be polite about it. The magnitude that this conspiracy would have to achieve in order to block all discovery of the scientific evidence supporting these so-called cures. You are saying that legions doctors, researchers, government officials, and corporate employees are letting people die for reasons of sociopathy or idiocy. And you are doing it without any evidence. 

    There have been unethical practices on the part of subsets of these individuals (e.g., Vioxx), but that does not extrapolate to a massive conspiracy. What you are failing to explain is why a pharmaceutical company that knew about a cancer cure wouldn't market it? Wouldn't that make them tons of cash?
    Aitch
    You've gotten way off topic. Your original comment, which I satirized, implied that there are "real" cancer cures out there that we are not being told about due to this conspiracy. Don't pretend to be polite about it............What you are failing to explain is why a pharmaceutical company that knew about a cancer cure wouldn't market it? Wouldn't that make them tons of cash?

    There's no pretence, here, and not off topic - the essence of this piece is about Sharks being killed for a 'cancer cure' which would NOT be happening if the medical profession as a whole stopped harping on about conspiracies as a way to cover up for the rotten apples in the barrel!!
    If something is not done soon, ethics will be made illegal within the profession, 'as it will damage any chance of research funding, thus threatening the whole of humanity', or somesuch BS dreamed up by lobbyists, the same as is happening within the 'human affect on the climate' debate
    "Wouldn't that make them tons of cash?" you say, - well this is exactly what I'm asking you to consider....not that they'd make tons of cash FROM A CURE, but that cynically, they make tons of cash from milking sick people; They have created a model corporate business accounting scheme which farms human misery and suffering, by milking the sick!! It makes MORE as it is longer term, and by not providing a cure, GUARANTEED to increase 'customers'! - Think global revenue here!

    And you cite ethics at me!!

    Hello pot this is kettle!

    Evidence, yes, but I had not wanted to put this in this thread, as I respect Christie's intention in posting the piece, as a marine biologist, to prevent unnecessary killing of sharks, based on misinformation about cancer therapies, ......not to highlight the pharmaceutical industry's poor moral behaviour, so, I leave that decision to Christie

    OK to post or not, Christie - the gauntlet is tossed?

    Aitch
    jtwitten
    You argue for a cancer cure-all and a physiological model for cancer that has it feeding off negative emotional energy. A little evidence to support those claims would not hurt. Of course, all that evidence is being covered up, suppressed, or the research is being quashed. Right?

    No one here is defending every single action of the pharmaceutical industry or doctors. There is a lot of useful room between a perfect system and the dystopia you describe. What saddens me most is that you clearly believe that thousands upon thousands of your fellow human beings have chosen to conspire in the agonizing deaths of their fellow humans, often in a very individual and personal manner, all for their own personal profit. You have my pity.
    Aitch
    Josh
    If you can do no better than to incorrectly tell me what I am doing......
    You argue for a cancer cure-all and a physiological model for cancer
    that has it feeding off negative emotional energy
    ....whilst failing totally to take account of my personal life experience, then you would understand why I say what I do - YES, it feeds off negative emotional energy!

    My evidence for the fact that Cancer feeds off negative energy was a very hard fought and bitter battle I had with mainstream medicine, through hell and back, at a time when BigPharma hadn't even been coined
    - personally attested to, as I monitored, and continue to, my own battle against it for over 30 years!

    What do you expect to tell ME about it! - that my natural therapies I've used will kill me....
    ....like the ones I rejected would have! - I was given 2 years to live if I rejected chemo and radiation treatment, or go under the knife, 34 years ago this year. I was 28, and had struggled with a depressed state since my teens, but I still rejected it, as some part of me knew it wasn't right
    Of course, all that evidence is being covered up, suppressed, or the research is being quashed. Right?
    YES!

    I don't describe a dystopia, but neither do I live in the medical utopian bubble unable to see outside the bubble that I work in. I merely describe a comatose&mentally crippled society, which needs waking up!
    No one here is defending every single action of the pharmaceutical industry or doctors
    Maybe not every single action, but the groundswell of opinion - it remains opinion, .....though genuine research is open even to medical researchers, as an interested hobby, if not as a career. Though perhaps I had the advantage, as I had a stronger motive than you....
    What saddens me most is that you clearly believe that thousands upon thousands of your fellow human beings have chosen to conspire in the agonizing deaths of their fellow humans, often in a very individual and personal manner, all for their own personal profit
    There you go again....not what I said, and a misinterpretation, or an attempt  at sensationalistic ridicule, or my statement

    That thousands suffer for a profit is an undeniable truth. There do not need to be thousands upon thousands involved in the conspiracy, but there do need to be a good few radically minded vehement opposers of the notion that my statement points to, as 'improbable and unnecessary' - the polar opposite of the 'sufficient and necessary' doctrine of science, and that those same few need be the ones reaping the real profit - unless they are perhaps large stock shareholders, which I don't think you are - I could be wrong?
    I just think you are probably too engrossed in your own sphere to even seriously consider how close to the bad apples you are, in attitudinal manner, if not physical proximity, though defence of one's profession is a laudable claim, on proviso that the barrel is uncontaminated, lest you inadvertently poison people's minds with un-truths
    I have acquired immunity to such poisoning of my mind, sorry to disappoint
    You have my pity
    Don't need it, and I find that kind of statement both immature and arrogant, so I mirror it back!

    I had thought you to be one of the bright sparks around here....I'm disappointed that you turn out to be more like fool's gold - a flash in the pan

    Maybe you are one of the comatose in need of waking up to the reality of your industry's corruption of global healthcare, not just for the sharks, but for the dying humans, too?

    Aitch
    jtwitten
    I'm quite happy that you survived your battle with cancer. Your uncontrolled anecdote is not evidence, and it is most certainly not the high quality evidence you present it as. It is certainly very important evidence to you. Your personal struggle, however, does not give you a free pass to slander biomedical researchers and doctors. You may feel you are attacking an institution that did not serve you well, but in doing so you are implying that the individuals that make up those institutions. These are fellow human beings, who at least deserve some evidence to support your accusations.

    I am skeptical of the "one cancer cure" concept because cancer is not a single, uniform disease. Advocates of anti-angiogenic drugs try to present it that way, but they have continually failed to demonstrate this uniformity or effectively exploit this weakness in a systematic fashion, despite individual successes.

    I will also give you a tip to shore up your argumentation. Either the people who run Big Pharma are greedy sociopaths or they are not. Discovering a "cure for cancer" would garner immense short-term profits, the kind that members of board's of directors and executives benefit from. Your hypothesis suggests that some other entities are controlling these decisions, or that the pharmaceutical industry is radically different than any other business. 

    Poor Christie is under no obligation to provide an alternative to a treatment that does not do anything in order to argue against the senseless slaughter of these animals. Shark cartilage is as efficacious as homeopathic water. Leave the sharks alone and hydrate.
    Aitch
    Josh, this reply to, is getting a bit thin, so I'll nudge over to probably follow Michael's post

    Aitch
    Actually there is a cure-all for cancer. It is called hyperthermia. Any protein will degrade given high enough temperature. There is a well-developed process that can deliver focused hyperthermia treatment to anywhere in the body with negligible effect on surrounding areas. Please research High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU or FUS) to debunk the myth that there is no cure-all for cancer. Western countries have been slow to take up the technology due to conflicting reasons that I am sure everyone is smart enough to figure out. Deployment in China has been highly successful.

    adaptivecomplexity
    Studying the shark immune system is essential to understanding the evolution of adaptive immunity that is present in all higher vertebrates.
    I think that's one of the most interesting aspects of this research - it's almost like a glimpse back in evolutionary history to look at these primitive (as in, resembling the ancestral state) immune systems. Great article, and welcome to the site!
    Mike
    Aitch
    Josh, it is not that I have some bitterness or grudge against the medical profession, because of some sense that it somehow failed me, nor did I expect my anecdotes as you refer to them to pass for scientific or any other expert evidence - other than, as presented personal expert evidence acquired by living that which is under discussion
    Even you must admit that there's nothing like personal experience to beat reading about anything in books
    I posted a request of Christie, as I hadn't wished to detract from her piece whilst you engage me on this exploration of a skeptic's view against an optimist's
    Did I not say I was? - remiss of me, but it remains true!

    There was much which influenced my healing, and I agree there can be no one-pill-cures-all
    I have already explained the importance of the state of mind on health and recovery, not just from Cancer, but from any condition, which can be called dis-ease. I am convinced the Eastern teachings and awareness of the body's energy flows, including directed thought, calmness of thought, nourishment not just of the physical stomach and intestine, but the 'gut' feelings, so often damaged and playing an important role in knowing well-being in order to be well-being. The hearing also, what type of things one listens to...does it trouble you, or soothe....music is good for health, and laughter, people often get low in spirit due to being debilitated, and 'forget' to laugh. Touch also, if you are rough with yourself banging into things, you will fail, be gentle, learn subtlety, as your nature truly is subtle, not loud or brash, neither timid and withdrawn. Balance is an essential....see discernment, later
    Detoxification is fairly important, both dietary, AND MENTALLY....There is a need to clear out the cobwebs of the mind and shuck those old damaging life-patterns, learned as 'parental directives', 'scripts of shoulds and shouldnts' imposed by educators and politicians alike, and the resultant poor self-image, even if masked with a confident exterior, to reach that part of you inside that knows whether you are being true to yourself
    It is important to find yourself! Stand in front of a mirror and tell the person you see there, 'You are beautiful and I love you'... then during the course of your day say it to someone else - someone somewhere needs what you are to be
    To know that you have a reason to be, to know that it's not over, to know that you were not created to leave this world in misery
    There is a story, to be like a rose. my Teacher said, 'Show me the rose that says, 'I'm not going to display my beauty today and keep my perfume to myself' It does not happen. Yet as humans we do this, and cancer is the result! It is an excess of all that is bad, festering and rotting, because the life force is no longer there'
     
    And then there is research. Until you have done the first the research is useless, because you will not have the requisite quality of discernment....your judgment will be flawed...doubt will bring moments of overwhelm, which require great courage, like facing down a lion, or sitting in darkness alone, or climbing Mt Everest - whatsoever blocks your sense of achievement, you must overstand it, not understand it!

    There were many books I read which helped me with my healing process - The Gerson Therapy was a big influence. There are books available online to buy, or obtain one from a library. 50 documented cases, and many cures, complete reversals of breakdown of the immune system, and written before I was born! Dr Gerson was forced to work in Mexico, hounded out by the medical profession.
    Another is Dr. Mercola's 'cancer is a fungus' experiments and videos.

    Recommended reading, even if you are not stage IV; example:



    It actually came as a shock to me that some alternative cancer
    treatments were simply not strong enough for some situations that
    advanced cancer patients were facing.



    Armed with that revelation, I started to research which of the
    alternative cancer treatments were strong enough for almost any cancer
    patient. It was this research which led to this article and the
    "ranking" of the strength of alternative cancer treatments on this unique
    website.



    I also learned that "testimonials" need to be understood in context.
    For example, a testimonial for a newly diagnosed liver cancer patient,
    who had been cured with carrot juice and a strong cancer diet (i.e. the
    "cancer diet" is a list of the foods which are allowed and are NOT
    allowed during treatment) may not be strong enough for an advanced
    cancer patient and may even inadvertently mislead an advanced cancer
    patient into using a treatment which was not strong enough for their
    situation.



    The point is that for advanced cancer patients, a completely different
    and complex set of concepts, attitudes and treatments must be used to
    treat their cancer to give them significant hope for survival.



    http://www.cancertutor.com/Other02/CheckFast.html

    Be aware: I am not saying it is easy, but I found one step at a time, all that was required of me
    To heal Cancer is so much more than thinking, 'we just need to improve the immune system....'
    Though it IS vitally important, but first understand what a healthy immune system does. You were born with one, and out of ignorance, let go..... when you forgive yourself for that, healing can begin

    Good Luck

    Josh, if you need more evidence I can send it to you, or post more links, since you are still insistent, and Christie has not responded - though I lost all my possessions as an environment campaigner, so I no longer have my books...just my memory, and a little wisdom, and the university of the web ;-)

    Aitch
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Henry, as you know I'm having my own, hopefully minor, cancer scare at the moment, so I'm finding this discussion between you and Josh very interesting for many reasons. One reason being that I also believe that the pharmaceutical industry has a vested interest in providing medication to long-term sick people, not to short-term sick people or to healthy people and it also has a vested interest in actively discrediting alternative medicine and non-patentable drugs, herbs and therapies and any good press that they might receive. In my life I have known two ex-Sales Managers and one ex-Managing Director of more than one pharmaceutical company, and I know from stories that they have told at dinner parties, that in the past, ethics was not a significant constraint when it came to making sales goals. When you said "There is a story, to be like a rose. my Teacher said, 'Show me the rose that says, 'I'm not going to display my beauty today and keep my perfume to myself' It does not happen. Yet as humans we do this, and cancer is the result! It is an excess of all that is bad, festering and rotting, because the life force is no longer there" I wondered who is your Teacher that you refer to? Is it the tutor at http://www.cancertutor.com/Other02/CheckFast.html ? Or is it Gerson or Dr Mercola or someone completely different? I should also add that just because something is an alternative therapy, doesn't make it legitimate either, as this article has shown so well. The slaughter of sharks for some unsupported treatment for cancer is also very worrying, that is why there needs to be more research to prove or disprove alternative therapies, but without the funding from big business that is also pretty unlikely.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Aitch
    Helen It is not funding from just big business that is needed It is funding from some ethical individual, group of ethical individuals, ethical companies, or even ethical government.....the point being that to overcome corrupt unethical practice, requires a recognition that Cancer per se, is not where the real problem lies.....it is in the web of deceptions that lead people away from knowing how and where to find answers. When affected by Cancer, I must report, some part of me, intuitively guided me away from the medical professions treatment regime.....it was only afterwards, that I found out the 'why' that had happened I was one of the lucky ones, as I sense you also to be, as no-one knows how to really effect a cure on you but your own inner teacher.....and it is that inner teacher you must appeal to, and learn to find trust in again, as from my experience, it is that relationship, which is undermined by the 'healing' profession, by giving rise to doubt and fear, - 2 of the key Cancer nutrients....so STARVE it, please! Nourish your soul, not just your belly, and stop the toxins, physical, mental, and spiritual, from allowing growth of the rogue cells.....it's a discipline thing, which only you control.....no-one else Know this also, everyone has Cancer cells in their body, just that they remain dormant, never switched on....the secret is finding that switch which turns them back off, lest they themselves, spread 'as if in control' of your body You have my heartfelt 'best of luck' and encouragement on your path.....and though at times it may not seem easy, sitting back and trusting something which you doubt [and I know you do!] will not yield the desired outcome Only you can be the judge of that, as you live with the consequence, and there is no-one to take that responsibility away unless you allow it I have to admit to somehow knowing the right choice to make....I cannot guarantee you will have that unless it is also YOUR heart's desire and becomes your path also [Message me for any advice I may be able to help you with] Aitch
    jtwitten
    Jenny McCarthy is a fellow graduate of the University of Google.

    Unfortunately, none of your "evidence" constitutes the results of a controlled scientific experiment.

    Perhaps you could aid my understanding by explaining the nature of "negative energy" on which the cancer feeds. Is it stored in chemical bonds? Is it transmitted by energetic photons? What is its mechanism of generation? How is it converted into biologically useful compounds?
    Aitch
    You are sitting relaxing after a hard days work, reading, maybe
    Another person walks in and you feel their presence, even though they do not address you
    You sense they have something on their mind, though they have not actually disturbed you by saying anything, but there is something about them, an agitatedness, an irritable picking the skin on their fingers, tutting to themselves, and mumbling under their breath.....
    Eventually, you say, 'Are you OK?' as if to break the tension.....

    What just happened?

    I cannot believe you have no knowledge of this, even if it's not in your training manual

    So, you are either Joshing or being perverse

    Hands up, class, anyone....? ;-)

    Re: scientific evidence, I suggest there is no evidence, scientific or otherwise, that you have had time to read the evidence I posted about, in order to make a reasoned judgment

    Dr Gerson's work has been independently verified and with slight modification, is still in use!

    Aitch
    Wait, are we talking about this Dr. Gerson?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Gerson

    Because I believe he's been discredited by more than once, by more than one source.

    >You are sitting relaxing after a hard days work, reading, maybe
    >Another person walks in and you feel their presence, even though they do not address you
    >You sense they have something on their mind, though they have not actually disturbed you by saying anything, but >there is something about them, an agitatedness, an irritable picking the skin on their fingers, tutting to themselves, >and mumbling under their breath.....
    >Eventually, you say, 'Are you OK?' as if to break the tension.....
    >
    >What just happened?

    You have, through observation, read a series of non-verbal cues, such as those studied by psychology/communications professor Paul Eckman.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ekman

    You then, feeling pressured by society's norms and mores, or perhaps by genuine care for others, chose to make contact.

    Aitch
    Yes same Max Gerson, and I know he's been discredited, mainly by the competing medical profession, or maybe one of its hacks

    Recent research seems to be drawing the same conclusions, that are key to understanding your own cancer treatment

    Levin's laboratory works on an intriguing phenomenon: bioelectrical signalling. There is always a difference in voltage, called the transmembrane potential, between the inside and outside of all cells, and controlling exactly what this difference is turns out to be vitally important. Specialised protein checkpoints sited in a cell's outer membrane regulate ion flow in and out of the cell, producing voltage gradients. These, combined with more conventional protein-based signalling systems, can specify cell destiny.
    http://www.sciencecodex.com/shock_tactics_bioelectrical_therapy_for_cancer_and_birth_defects

    Max Gerson identified the importance of the electro-chemical balance of Sodium and Potassium in the body for proper healing to occur, and despite his death, people continue to use a modified version of his treatment regime to good effect

    As I said, it's a personal journey, not just an opinion, and you are free to try or reject according to your own research, which I recommend everyone to do

    Aitch
    wonderful article, just wonderful.
    I'm a medical student and I really enjoyed reading it.

    just one point I like to add, if cartilage prevent angiogenesis that doesn't mean it prevents cancer, because there are cancers arising from cartilage!

    Thank you for this article. Very enlightening. I should look into a campaign against shark pill providers...old style picket followed up by new style creativity. Peace be with you.

    You really need ot watch for MDs with bad habits out there. Just sayin.