For those who can look beyond the much-hyped “war on cancer,” a very different kind of war is actually being fought behind the scenes, on a scale few people realize. Cancer drug sales are forecast to reach $80 billion during 2012. But its greatest competitor, natural medicine for cancer, has been silently progressing at a revolutionary pace.
Over 250 early-stage clinical trials are now active and directly threaten one of Big Pharma’s biggest cash cows. But make no mistake, this revolution is anything but safe. Because one just like it was put on ice almost exactly thirty years ago.
Public interest in natural medicine for cancer grew massively during the 1900s because of the poor performance of standard medicine. The first truly famous treatment was Essiac tea, which peaked in use during the 1920s and 30s. Then Harry Hoxsey’s therapy became known, and by 1950 he was running the largest private cancer clinic in the world. In 1958 Max Gerson published his revolutionary book “A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases,” which documented remarkable successes from his own practice. Laetrile use peaked in the 1970s, and in 1979 Linus Pauling produced stunning results using IV vitamin C for cancer.
Against this backdrop, the NCI (National Cancer Institute) started its famous Plant Screening Program in 1960. The idea was simple: collect and scientifically test plant extracts for activity against cancer. And test they did – over 114,000 extracts covering about 15,000 plant species. The results? Not a single effective cancer treatment was discovered. That is astounding because today we know that extracts from green tea, turmeric, broccoli, blackberries, pomegranates, many Chinese herbs and other plants do indeed kill cancer cells – and are now being tested in clinical trials. So the obvious question is: how on earth did the NCI miss these?
This is where the intrigue comes in, because the NCI didn’t necessarily miss anything. According to one reliable account (reference 4), several plant polyphenols did show activity against the cancer screens used, but were labeled as “false positives.” When more and more “false positives” kept turning up, guess what happened? The NCI changed the cancer screening method for the sole purpose of avoiding more false positives. And they changed, and changed, and changed. Little wonder they got no results.
Finally, in a meeting held on 2 Oct 1981, the NCI abolished the Plant Screening Program in its entirety. This decision was met with great outcry from the scientific community. A prominent botanist wrote in an open letter that, “the plan to guillotine the plant program… was carefully and cleverly orchestrated in advance….” Orchestrated by whom? That was not mentioned. Could the NCI have been influenced to change their cancer screens and prematurely to shut down the program? Whether they were or not, the first great revolution in natural medicine for cancer was stopped dead in its tracks.
Thirty years later, a new revolution has started, with clinical trials testing green tea, curcumin, IV vitamin C, Chinese herbs, and many other natural medicines against cancer. But this revolution is in jeopardy because these new trials need funding, and the NCI supports less than 30% of them while spending many millions to research future chemo drugs for Big Pharma.
But you can prevent today’s revolution from being stopped… with your votes. Contact your senators and congressman (last two links below) and let them know that funding of fairly run clinical trials using natural medicine is firmly on your agenda for Election 2012. Then please pass this on to your friends.
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Ethan Evers is author of the award-winning medical thriller The Eden Prescription in which natural medicine outperforms a billion-dollar chemo drug and threatens the entire $50 billion cancer drug industry.
Thanks to Natural News for this article.