Great New Cancer Drugs
In 2003 and 2004, there was a lot of publicity about the “great new cancer drugs.” In March 2004, the Executive Editor of Fortune Magazine wrote an extensive article about these new drugs. The title of the article was all revealing: “Why We’re Losing the War on Cancer.”
Leaf reported that the two new blockbuster drugs, Avastin and Erbitux, aren’t as effective as once reported. He states that Avastin, “managed to extend the lives of some 400 patients with terminal colorectal cancer by 4.7 months” considering the possible side effects, that is not really worth the risk when there are safe effective alternative treatments available. Leaf further reported that Erbitux (used to treat cancers of the head and neck) did even worse. It “has not been shown to prolong patients’ lives at all,” Leaf states.
Considering it carries an average patient price of around $2,400 a week for the drug alone (not including the hospital or doctor fees), is it even ethical to use such medication? I know that it is typical for the Cancer industry and mainstream media to pump up any of the new therapies trying to sound like there has been a ‘new breakthrough’. Leaf even admits that Fortune magazine ran a cover article on Interleukin-2 with a “Cancer Breakthrough” headline that any honest oncologist would tell you, it wasn’t.
This is not just an “American-capitalistic problem”. The article goes on to report that Europe seems to struggle with similar less-than-true advertising. The twelve new anticancer drugs approved in Europe between 1995 and 2000 did not improve survival or quality of life nor were they safer than the older drugs. However, they were several times more expensive and provided the stockholders in drug companies a profit on false hope dished out to the suffering patients.
In 2005 Herceptin (used to treat breast cancer) was hyped as “astonishingly effective, wonder drug.” However, the truth is far different. Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. has written a report on the Herceptin deception. Here is what Michael Janson, MD, past president of both the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) and the American Preventive Medical Association (APMA) has to say about this special report:
“Dr. Moss has once again cut through the hype of medical research and media reports with a keen, objective analysis that presents the true picture of scientific results regarding the latest ‘miracle’ in cancer therapy. He reveals the hollow core of the recent medical reports on Herceptin, showing that it is not what has been claimed, and that the statistics were manipulated to make it seem far better than it is, while underplaying the potential risks. The conflict of interest among the authors that he notes is a danger to honest researchers and to the public who might mistakenly take this drug (and many others) in inappropriate situations. Let’s hope that his analysis gets wide attention.”
In 2008 to 2009 a colon cancer trial was run to see if using Avastin soon after surgery would prevent reoccurrence. 2,700 colon cancer patients were involved:
- One group received six months of chemotherapy.
- The other group received six months of the same chemotherapy and a year of Avastin.
The results showed no significant difference between the survival rates of the groups. Still sales of Avastin remain in the two billion dollar range. It will be interesting to see if the manufacturer’s marketing campaign (schmoozing doctors and giving lucrative charge backs) will be able to keep sales in the neighborhood. In July 2010 the New York Times reported that a drug advisory board voted 12 to 1 to revoke the previous approval of Avastin – This for a drug that, “has at times been hailed as a near miracle” (Pollack 2010). The only miracle is the amount of money it made. Avastin has become the world’s best-selling cancer drug, with worldwide sales of around $6 billion. Praise God it was finally pulled!
Lung Cancer Drug Iressa?
From a Newsday article of December 18, 2004, “Shocking the medical and financial worlds, a highly touted lung cancer drug, Iressa, failed to help patients live longer in a major clinical trial.” How can these hyped-up drugs get all the way to clinical trials? The promise of tremendous profits is the only explanation.
Why Doctors Prescribe the Newest Drugs
Doctors may not be prescribing the newest drugs because they are better for you because in truth, there is no way to know. Everyone’s body chemistry is different; a treatment that worked for some people in a study on some university campus may not work for you. Conventional doctors do nothing to determine which of the available treatments for your cancer will work for you besides trial and error. They just prescribe the latest pharmaceutical drug. Pharmaceutical companies love this because the latest drug is usually the most expensive. Doctors may do this because:
- They do not want to appear to be behind the times. Should the patient have watched any TV program in the last few weeks, they were inundated with a host of promises with beautiful graphics of butterflies and sunset afternoons emotionally connected to the new version of medication. Patients ask for it!
- The doctors themselves are swept up by the hype. The ‘new cancer drugs’ appear to be better because of the planned psychological manipulation that accompanies their release and patients demand them. We are all looking for a miracle drug to believe in!
- The side effects of new drugs are not well-known in the beginning and the doctors who care truly hope they may work better with less injury.
- New drugs may offer hope where previous drugs failed.
The Wrong Approach to Cancer Treatment
Cancer cells obtain their energy from fermentation. Normal cells obtain their energy from oxygenation (except muscle cells when they are completely exhausted). This is a tremendous difference and one we must understand. Alternative cancer treatments such as Protocel and Paw Paw target this difference. Conventional cancer research ignores this tremendous difference (as far as treatment goes) and continues to seek methods to destroy fast growing cells (which cancer cells are). Our immune system contains mostly fast-growing cells and is also destroyed in the chemotherapy process. The worst thing to do when you are sick is to attack your immune system which again, is also destroyed with chemo.
So understand: Cancer cells fall into the category of “rapidly reproducing cells”. Some ‘normal’ cells also fall into that same category. Drugs aiming at killing rapidly reproducing cells cannot distinguish between cancer cells and normal cells.
This was an excerpt from Dr Conners’ book, Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause.