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The following article is reprinted from New Horizons newsletter, published by the Brewer Science Library. Single copies of the article may be printed for the reader's personal research and study. Reproduction in any other manner, format or location is expressly prohibited.


By Christina White © 2010

There are many herbs that have historically been used in different cultures around the world in the prevention and treatment of cancer.  The tremendous advancement in scientific method and laboratory research has brought to light the various compounds from herbs that change cancer cell reactions in test tubes as well as in animal testing.  Many herbs have also been used in studies with humans with various types of cancers.Actually, the group of herbs and other supplements that demonstrate some action against cancer has grown immensely, thereby confusing the consumer with all the choices.  This article will focus on an overview of the herbs, supplements, and some treatments that are most often recommended by alternative minded physicians for cancer patients.


Then you will not lose track of it if you link to any of the several links provided, which can often happen.  Also, because it is quite long, you will be able to review it more thoroughly and then individually go and link to any specific product or article you want to know more about.


Cancer patients soon discover that most conventional oncologists are not very supportive of the nutritional supplements they might want to take along with their chemotherapy or radiation treatments.  Even if the patient has an unexpected degree of response when they include a supportive alternative treatment, the oncologist will often tell them to continue whatever they are doing, but will not want to know much about it.  Patients find this response from their oncologists very surprising and discouraging.


As information that is directly related to a specific cancer is written about, the following cancers will have active links:

Brain Cancer, Glioblastoma

Breast Cancer

Colon Cancer



Pancreatic Cancer

Prostate Cancer


The following overview is designed to give people a brief overview of the most prominent herbs and other nutritional supplements that are used by cancer patients, as well as websites and books of significance to cancer patients.   Here are the topics that are listed:

SECTION 1:  Significant Alternative Cancer Books and Articles

SECTION 2:  Dietary Considerations for Cancer Patients

SECTION 3:  Specific Herbs and Other Nutritional Support

  • Cancer Adjuvant Therapy from Life Extension
  • Vitamin D3
  • Curcumin
  • Green Tea Extract (EGCG)
  • Pomegranate Juice or Extract
  • Vitamin C and Cancer
  • Vitamin C and Vitamin K3 and Cancer
  • Mushrooms for Cancer
  • Flaxseeds – Lignans
  • Antioxidants and Cancer Therapy
  • B17 - Laetrile – Amygdalin – Apricot Seeds
  • Oleander Extract
  • Avemar
  • Carnivora
  • Paw Paw Plant
  • 5-Loxin (Boswellia concentrated extract)
  • Dr. James Howenstine: Lifeone Formula
  • Essiac Tea
  • Urea Therapy

SECTION 4:  Medications

  • Metformin Targets Stem Cells
  • DCA Therapy
  • Gc-MAF
  • Mistletoe Products – Iscador
  • TM
  • IPT

Section  1


1)  LIFE OVER CANCER   The BlockCenter Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment, by Keith I. Block, M.D.  (2009)   Dr. Block’s new book offers a very comprehensive overview for understanding how complementary therapies can help conventional therapies to work more effectively.  It covers all the important aspects of supportive cancer therapy including emotional, mental, cancer chemistry, diet and foods, level of fat intake, and also gives dosage suggestions for various supplements.  The herbs and supplements suggested are supported and documented by research studies.  This book does not discuss what can be called ‘fringe’ kinds of cancer treatments that are based almost entirely on anecdotal stories.   Presently this is one of the best books available for the lay person on complementary cancer care. 

2) HERBAL MEDICINE:  HEALING & CANCER  A Comprehensive Program for Prevention and Treatment, by Donald R. Yance, Jr., C.N., M.H., A.H.G. (1999)  Donald Yance is one of the leading herbal practitioners in the United States.  He has established a treatment center in Ashland, Oregon, called the Centre for Natural Healing where his extensive knowledge of herbs is utilized.  From that website he offers several in-depth articles that present information and documentation about the actions various herbs have on the chemistry of cancer:

His website:      Open that website to read his comprehensive articles. On the website’s home page click under the box that says PROGRAMS, and click on Articles and Publications which will open to a page with several excellent, in-depth articles by Donald Yance that have been published in different cancer journals:


b) NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS THAT INHIBIT ANGIOGENESIS: a potential source for investigational new agents to treat cancer—Part 2  

c) CANCER and INFLAMMATION:  The emerging role of botanical compounds in targeting proinflammatory pathways, with particular attention to the NF-kB signaling pathway

PLEASE NOTE:   Although the specific cancer chemistry information in these articles may be overwhelming to many if not most people, on the 22nd page (Table 7) of the first article listed above, he offers a very practical summary of the dose ranges of some herb/phytoceuticals that might be used for angiogenesis inhibition.  That same list is offered at the end of the second article also.    

The Centre also offers both in-clinic and telephone consultation for those who want personal herbal guidance.    

3)  FOUR-PART SERIES: from the Oncology Nursing Forum, by Muriel J. Montbriand, PhD, RN.   The following articles originally could be downloaded from the internet from:   but it seems that they now will have to be purchased in order to read them.





4) Denver Naturopathic Clinic inColorado (303-337-4884) offers a newsletter that often has some very good cancer articles written by Dr. Jacob Shor, ND, and Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology.   

Here is the link to the page that lists all of the cancer articles:

Cancer Cell Invasion:  Strengthening Connective Tissue Slows Tumor Growth,

Another brief but good overview article by Dr. Shor: The Molecular Targets of Cancer Therapy:  

5) CANCER’S MOLECULAR TARGETS:  by Patrick Quillin, Ph.D., R.D.

Although this extensive (64 page) article was written in 1994, and is titled, For the Technically-Oriented Reader, it still offers an immense amount of information about the molecular targets of cancer and the specific actions of various nutrients.  It can be read at:   


8)   Two books by John Boik wh6)   Dr. David Derry, MD, PhD wrote a small book: Breast Cancer and Iodine, subtitled: Startling ground-breaking new research shows how to prevent and how to survive breast cancer. 

Although iodine is a mineral, not an herb, Asian cultures have had low levels of both breast and prostate cancer which may be partly due to their high consumption of kelp.  Iodine may also be obtained from concentrated supplement sources such as kelp tablets or capsules, lugul’s solution, Iodoral tablets, Iosol liquid drops, or TriMedica’s Thymadine liquid.    Dr. Derry’s theory on breast and prostate cancer, as well as other cancers is worth knowing about.   In one article posted on Mary Shoman’s thyroid site, Dr. Derry answers some questions about iodine and cancer and presents readers with a simple overview of his ideas:

7)  Excellent, in-depth article by Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC, at her website, Nutritional Solutions.  She does nutritional consultation in Utah (435-563-0053) with cancer patients, mostly brain cancer patients.  The following link takes you to a very comprehensive article that contains important information for cancer patients:

Nutritional and Botanical Modulation of the Inflammatory Cascade – Eicosanoids, Cyclooxygenases, and Lipooxygenases – as an Adjunct in Cancer Therapy

The above article can be read at:

Two books by John Boik which are extensively researched:

Cancer & Natural Medicine

Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy 

Section 2

Dietary Considerations for Cancer Patients


A diet that is high in omega-6 oils and saturated fats from meats, dairy products and egg yolks, low in omega-3 compounds from cold-water fish and fish oil, and low in plant foods like broccoli and cauliflower can contribute towards a preponderance of inflammatory compounds which can change gene expression and contribute to the development of cancer.  

Nutritional products such as omega-3 fish oils, curcumin, green tea, resveratrol, and extracts of boswellia can ameliorate and block some of the conversion to the most damaging of this arachidonic cascade, but the supplements may not be able to completely overcome the effects of a diet filled with high levels of arachidonic acid.  Dietary restriction of high arachadonic acid foods, such as meat, dairy products and egg yolks, is usually suggested along with the supplements that are anti-inflammatory for the cancer patient.  The following article from the Life Extension magazine explains the inflammatory pathways in detail:

Many doctors helping cancer patients are suggesting that they begin a modified vegetarian diet with low levels of saturated fat.  Dr. Keith Block, MD, of the Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment, has recommended this type of diet for his cancer patients. In his excellent, highly referenced book, Life Over Cancer, he discusses how important reducing the intake of saturated fats is along with consuming healthy fats from OLIVE OIL and FISH OIL.     

Dr. Steven Rosenzweig, MD, and Integrative Medicine physician, has made available online, the type of diet he uses with all kinds of ill patients, including cancer patients:


Cancer cells feed on glucose.  Insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas when blood glucose levels  spike from consumption of high glycemic foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, breads, sugars, fruit drinks and fruits, is a potent growth factor.   Maintaining a diet that keeps glucose levels, and therefore, insulin levels low, can be a major factor in reducing the growth rate of cancer cells.  

One mind-boggling study was done by Dean Ornish, using blood serum from two groups of prostate cancer patients, one on his diet and one with men not on his diet.  Prostate cancer cell lines in Petri dishes were given serum from both groups; the cells fed serum from the men not on the diet grew eight times faster.  The full Ornish study, Intensive Lifestyle Changes May Affect the Progression of Prostate Cancer, can be read at:

Rather than guess that one’s diet is not causing spiking of blood glucose levels, a low-cost blood glucose meter and strips can be purchased from WalMart.  Testing blood glucose levels one hour after, and two hours after several meals, can give one an idea of how effectively one’s diet is keeping blood sugar levels low.  Desirable fasting levels are between 85 and 95, and one hour post meals at 110 or lower.   A doctor can also order a fasting insulin level; a level under 10 is okay, but closer to 2 is more desirable.   An A1C test, which provides one with an average of one’s blood glucose level for the last three months, is also a useful test.  A test kit for an A1C test can be purchased from most pharmacies at a low cost.

Section 3

Specific Herbs & Other Nutritional Support


The following article provides a summary of each of the supplements that a cancer patient might consider using.   The list is quite extensive and covers many pages.  The products are in alphabetical order and can be easily linked to so that one can view the products they are interested in reviewing.  Here is the link:

Here is the list of the products they discuss:  ALA, Arginine, Carotenoids, Cimetidine, Clodronate, CoQ10, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, COX-2 Inhibitors, Berberine Containing Herbs, Feverfew, Ginger, Green tea, Curcumin, DMSO, Essential Fatty Acids, Garlic, Glutathione, Inositol Hexaphosphate, Lactoferrin, Melatonin, Modified Citrus Pectin, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Resveratrol, Selenium, Silibinin, Soy, Theanine, Thymus Extract, Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K.

In particular, the reader is encouraged to read the Life Extension summary of: 

ALA (alpha lipoic acid):

Dr. Berkson, MD, has developed a cancer protocol that utilizes infusions of alpha lipoic acid along with the oral use of ALA and LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone – discussed in another area of this article)

One of the success stories is a terminal pancreatic cancer patient that is alive and well 8 years after obtaining this protocol.

CIMETIDINE: (an over-the-counter product called Tagamet with some anti-cancer effects)

Wayne Martin is the man that brought some of the research about cimetidine against cancer to light in several articles and letters that were published in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients.  One of his articles reported on some successes with its use with a few cancer patients:  a lung cancer case, a squamous-cell carcinoma case, a melanoma case, and the study that demonstrated significantly increased success with colon cancer cases.  

CURCUMIN:  (also discussed in other areas of this article)

FEVERFEW:  (the active compound is parthenolide which was found to be the only chemical that kills leukemia cancer stem cells; it may help to do the same for other cancers such as breast cancer and pancreatic cancer) 

An excellent article on this was written by Dr. Jacob Schor, ND, of the Denver Naturopathic Clinic:

Feverfew, Stem cells and the treatment of Cancer (written June 29, 2005):  

INOSITOL HEXAPHOSPHATE (IP6)- activates natural killer cells, promotes differentiation, supports p53 activity, and normalizes the cell cycle by modifying signal transduction pathways.  A recent article by Dr. Jacob Shor, ND, of the Denver Naturopathic Clinic, Inositol hexaphosphate (IP-6) and Breast Cancer, can be read at:   

MELATONIN-is an immune modulator that increases the survival time of most cancer patients as discussed on the Life Extension Cancer Adjuvant Therapy link listed above.   Another excellent article published in Science News discusses research that demonstrated that breast cancer grows better and faster in blood that has low levels of melatonin, and that melatonin works in part by inhibiting the cancer cells from taking in the fatty acid, linoleic acid, an inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acid found in many vegetable oils:

The article:  Bright Lights, Big Cancer:  Melatonin-depleted blood spurs tumor growth, Science News Online, week of January 7, 2006; Vol. 169, No. 1:,+big+cancer%A+melatonin-depleted+blood+spurs+tumor+growth+a0141170205


A deficiency of vitamin D is linked to over 17 cancers.  Taking vitamin D once one has developed cancer probably won’t offer a cure, but reaching adequate blood levels of it might prove helpful for the general health of cancer patients and possibly increase or lengthen their survival time.

One of the most comprehensive sites on Vitamin D is the Vitamin D Council site established by Dr. John Jacob Cannell, MD.   He is adamant about the need for blood testing {test to order is 25(OH)D}to determine one’s level and then supplementing to bring it up to a more protective level, which he lists on his home page.  Information about cancer and vitamin D on his site can be viewed at:

At the bottom of the above page, Dr. Cannel has links to other pages that discuss vitamin D and specific cancers, such as breast, colon and prostate.  He also has a link that lists all the significant research studies on vitamin D and cancer. 

A PowerPoint slideshow, “Here Comes the Sun:  Vitamin D for Preventing and Helping Cure Cancer”,  is presented by Dr. Cedric F. Garland and colleagues from the Dept of Family and Preventive Medicine, UCSD School of Medicine and Moores UCSD Cancer Center.  In this interesting slide presentation he presents their Devolution hypothesis of vitamin D and cancer development, which some people may find worth viewing:


Curcumin has demonstrated many anticancer actions both in test tube studies and in animal studies:

*inducing apoptosis (cancer cell death)

*inhibiting the growth factors and signal transduction that fuel cancer growth

*inhibiting NF-kB activity, a most inflammatory compound involved in many cancers

*supporting p53 gene function

*inhibiting cancer cell invasion, metastasis 

Some links for articles about curcumin:

A recent human study with aggressive pancreatic cancer patients showed longer remission times in those on curcumin.  

The problem with curcumin has been its absorption.  Several different formulations have been developed in order to increase the curcuminoid compounds.  One of the newer extracts is called BCM95.   Another recent product development is called Meriva, which binds the curcumin  to  phosphatidylcholine, a fatty acid; this combination has shown sustained levels of absorption.     

Dr. Jacob Schor, ND, of the Denver Naturopathic Clinic, has written several articles about this absorption issue, and the various products available.  He also has written an article about the potential benefits or problems with using curcumin while someone is on chemotherapy:

The Meriva curcumin product (as of 2009) is available from Thorne Research products, a supplement company that sells to professionals. 

A company that sells directly to consumers that carries the Meriva product is Swanson Health Foods (1-800-437-4148, Meriva®Turmeric Phytosome™SWU493, 60 capsules, $9.99). 


There are hundreds of published studies about the potential of green tea and green tea extracts to benefit many types of cancer patients.  A list of some of the most significant abstracts on green tea has been gathered together by Dr. Jacob Shor, ND, of the Denver Naturopathic Clinic:

A review of some of the benefits of green tea extracts can be found at: 

A very pure and concentrated green tea extract called Teavigo® provides 150 mg of EGCG per capsule.  The product is caffeine-free, and also free of herbicide and pesticide residues.  It is available from several places, including Swanson Health Foods and Vitacost.


Pomegranate juice and extracts, which includes anthocyanins, ellagitannins such as punicalagins and punicalins as well as a wide range of  polyphenolic compounds, have been proposed to offer a wide range of health benefits, from reduction of heart disease and artery plaque, lowering of blood pressure and even help with slowing down the growth of prostate and other cancers. 

A very dramatic slowing of prostate cancer cells was demonstrated by a clinical study with men that drank 8 ounces a day of pomegranate juice from Pom Wonderful for one year.  Several articles written by Dr. Jacob Schor, ND, discusses the significant results of this study as well as others:

An Israeli pomegranate researcher, Dr. Ephraim Lansky, has found significant benefits from fermenting the juice, seeds, pulp, and oil.  In Israel, he is pursuing this fermented pomegranate product   for both prostate and breast cancer.   In the U.S., Jarrow offers a pomegranate product, PomGuard, which is a blend of pomegranate juice actives and pomegranate seed powder.  Jarrow’s products can be purchased at discount prices from many sites on the internet. 

A thorough review of the research on pomegranate, Therapeutic Applications of Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.): A Review, written by Julie Jurenka, published in the 2008 Alternative Medicine Review, Volume 13, Number 2, can be read from the following link:  


Vitamin C intravenous injections have been utilized for many years by alternative minded physicians in the treatment of cancer patients.  The late Dr. Hugh D. Riordan, MD, worked on defining the therapeutic ranges to be given as an IV protocol for vitamin C to be used with cancer patients to decrease the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as improving their quality of life and potentially prolonging their survival.   His original IV protocol has been updated by the Bio-Communications Research Institute, to the Riordan  IVC Protocol 2009, and can be read at: 

There is also an extensive article about cancer and vitamin C by the Vitamin C Foundation:   


Reseachers at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania, led by Dr. Jacques Gilloteaux, discovered a new anti-cancer therapy using oral supplements of vitamin C/vitamin K3 in a ratio of 100 to 1.  Their first positive test results were with mice that had been implanted with tumors composed of human prostate cancer cells.  This eventually led to a phase I/II study using a nutritional product called Apatone (vitamin C and vitamin K3) with 17 prostate cancer patients that had experienced two successive rises in PSA after failing local treatment.  The 12 week treatment consisted of 5000 mg of vitamin C with 50 mg of vitamin K3, which met the 100/1 ratio used in the original studies.  The growth of prostate cancer was slowed down in 13 of the 17 subjects.  (Google: PubMed Abstract – PMID: 18392145)

An additional update about the Vitamin C/Vitamin K3 protocol was recently posted on April 2, 2010, by Dr. Jacob Schor, ND: 

Vitamin E Succinate Enhances Anti-cancer Effect of Vitamin K-3

It can be read at:  

An in-depth article, The Anticancer Effects of Vitamin K, by Dr. Davis W. Lamson, was published in the Alternative Medicine Review, August, 2003.  A pdf of the article can be viewed at:

PROSTAY (vitaminC/K3 supplement source used in PROSTATE CANCER STUDY):

A source of this supplement can be found at:     (under product listing click on Prostay)    

Vitamin K3 in Timed Release Form:

The most effective way to do this protocol might be to take the K3 in a timed release (TR) form so that one does not have to take so many pills throughout the day.   The Key Pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy in Kent, Washington, makes the K3 up in a TR (timed release) form.  The most common prescription is 25 mg taken twice a day, 12 hours apart.  This time release form is designed to be gradually released over a 12 hour period of time.  An inexpensive, timed-release vitamin C supplement can then be easily supplemented at the same time. (The Key Pharmacy phone number is 800-878-1322, and their fax number that doctors can fax a prescription to is 888-878-1118.)

VIII.  MUSHROOMS FOR CANCER:  (AHCC-mushroom hybrid with most research)

Consumers are besieged with information about the immune enhancing effects of so many products that they end up very confused about which one to take. 

A NK test (Natural Killer cell), although expensive, can determine whether one’s immune-enhancing supplements are actually working. 

A naturopathic doctor, Dr. James Belanger, ND, of the Lexington Natural Health Center, in Massachusetts (781-274-6190) also wondered if the supplements some of his patients asked him about would really help increase their NK cell activity.    Dr. Belanger conducted a small study with his own patients, and reported on his results in an article published in the 2005 February-March Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients entitled:

An in-house evaluation of four dietary supplements on natural killer cell activity

(Putting that title into the Google search box will give you a few links where you can read the full article with the patients NK levels before and after supplementation.)

Dr. Belanger’s small study found that the product that most consistently raised their NK activity was AHCC, Active Hexose Correlated Compound.  This product is made from a hybrid of mushrooms used in traditional Japanese medicine.  It has been tested with cancer patients in many hospitals there and is used with thousands of cancer patients. It has been demonstrated to significantly increase the NK cell cancer killing function.  AHCC can be purchased from several sources, including the direct consumer catalog, Swanson Health Foods. 

Many published articles and research studies on AHCC can be viewed at:  

Other articles or websites of interest about the immune enhancing effect of mushrooms:

The Use of Mushroom Glucans and Proteoglycans in Cancer Treatment, by Parris M. Kidd, PhD, published in 2000, in the Alternative Medicine Review, Volume 5, Number 1


The following link:

takes the reader to a site  that offers pdf links to individual chapters of a monograph written by two UK researchers, Neil J. Rowan, PhD, and Richard Sullivan, MD, PhD, Head of Clinical Programmes, Cancer Reseach:    Medicinal Mushrooms:  Their Therapeutic Properties and Current Medical Usage with Special Emphasis on Cancer Treatments, 2001.   Chapter 7 may be of particular interest:  The Role of Polysaccharides derived from Medicinal Mushrooms in Cancer.  It can be linked from the integrated health site listed above, or directly from the following link:

Another link available from the integrated health site is a peer-reviewed article by Dr. Solomon Wasser of the University of Haifa, Israel: Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides.


Flax seeds are a high fiber food substance that offers many health benefits, including a small reduction in LDL cholesterol levels.  Flax seeds are also a very low carbohydrate food that can be used in many recipes to lower the carbohydrate content. 

In 2005, information about the use of flax seed reducing the growth of breast cancer cells in breast cancer patients waiting for their surgery became the subject of numerous articles in the alternative health community.  The women consumed muffins containing 25 grams of flax seed in them for three weeks before their surgery.  In contract to the control group, the women that ate the muffins had 31% more dying cancer cells, a 34% decrease in cancer growth and a 71% decrease in the aggressive genetic marker HER2/Neu.   Men with prostate cancer may also experience a slowing of their cancers with the consumption of flax seeds.   (NOTE:  the research is on the seeds, not flax oil.)

An excellent article that includes many of the research studies, The Buzz on Flax Seeds and Breast Cancer,   was written by Jacob Schor, ND, of the Denver Naturopathic Clinic, and can be read at:


An in-depth, well researched 3-part review of the role of antioxidants in cancer therapy was written by Davis W. Lamson, MS, ND, and Matthew S. Brignall, ND, and published in the Alternative Medicine Review.  Links to read these articles are listed below:

Antioxidants in Cancer Therapy; Their Actions and Interactions with Oncologic Therapies, Alternative Medicine Review, Volume 4, Number 5, 1999, can be viewed at:

Antioxidants and Cancer Therapy II:  Quick Reference Guide, Alternative Medicine Review, Volume 5, Number 2, 2000, can be viewed at:

Antioxidants and Cancer III:  Quercetin, Alternative Medicine Review, Volume 5, Number 3, 2000, can be viewed at:

A New Way to Talk About Antioxidants, Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO, May 13, 2009:

See also Dr. Schor’s 1/5/2006 article: Chemotherapy, Antioxidants and ORAC Scores:

Dr. Charles Simone, MD, has written, along with other members of the Simone family, an informative discussion of antioxidant usage in cancer therapy.  The following article includes a long listing of clinical studies utilizing antioxidants singly or together.   The studies listed include: Vitamin A, beta carotene, Vitamin E, glutathione, vitamin D3, K3, selenium, pyridoxine, nicotinamide.   The full article, Antioxidants and Other Nutrients Do Not Interfere with Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy and Can Increase Kill and Increase Survival, Part 2., which was published in Alternative Therapies, Mar/Apr 2007, vol.13, No 2,  can be viewed at:

Dr. Ralph W. Moss, PhD, a well-known writer and commentator of traditional and alternative cancer therapies, has written an in-depth report titled:

Should Patients Undergoing Radiation and Chemotherapy Take Antioxidants?

This report is available for sale at: 


Ever since the original research on Amygdalin was reported, it has been a highly controversial topic.   In the pits of fruit such as apricots, peaches and cherries, is a group of substances called nitrilosides, one of which is called amygdalin.   A website in the UK, World Without Cancer, has collected many of the most significant articles about B17-amygdalin, as well as the political cancer environment that fought against it: 

The American National Cancer Institute has also collected their Health Professional Version of the story of Laetrile/Amygdalin which can be read at:


Dr. Huseyin Z. Ozel, MD, became interested in the local folk remedy from the oleander plant that was being used by Turkish villagers for various health problems.  He decided to actually investigate whether the oleander plant had any real healing properties.  He was soon convinced of its effectiveness after he used it with hundreds of cancer patients.  In his patent application he listed 494 advanced cancer patients who had progressed beyond the level of receiving any help from traditional cancer treatments.  Dr. Ozel called his oleander product Anvirzel, and he decided to pursue the conventional pathway for its use.  This meant it was to go through years of testing and proving before it was available as a ‘cancer drug’ derived from a plant.  

The hot-water extract of the oleander plant contains numerous compounds that have been demonstrated to affect cancer cells, particularly the cardiac glycoside oleandrin, as well as over 500 other compounds, that may all act in a synergistic manner to affect cancer cells.  Research on the oleander plant extract has been undertaken by the University of  Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, which has resulted in eleven peer-reviewed journal articles that have been published describing these anti-cancer properties of the hot-water extract of the oleander plant.   Many of these studies can be reviewed from the following website:

Several articles by Tony M. Isaacs, the author of Cancer’s Natural Enemy, are available on the web:    An Amazing Discovery in Turkey; Part 1 of the Oleander Series    The Father of Oleander Soup    A Brief History of the Oleander Plant    Success Against Cancer & HIV in South Africa Oleander Found to Induce Autophagy in Pancreatic Cancer Cells   published research article by Robert A. Newman, PhD

    Autophagic Cell Death of Human Pancreatic Tumor Cells Mediated by Oleandrin, a Lipid-Soluble

   Cardiac Glycoside

There are also liquid and capsule preparations available from two sources:

A South African source, originally developed by Mark Swanepoel for use with HIV-AIDS patients has a 500 ml bottle (which includes air mail shipping to the U.S.) for $60 or a 60 capsule bottle for $45.

Rose Laurel OPC (Oleander Pure Concentrate) Plus, contains 100 mg of Nerium Oleander Pure Extract in a capsule form, with 90 capsules per bottle for $75.00 (an American source). 


The oleander products do have cardiac glycosides in them which would make them contra-indicated for people taking blood-thinning drugs like coumadin, or heart active drugs such as digoxin. 

XIII.  AVEMAR: (specially fermented wheat germ; called AWGE in the U.S. market):

Avemar is a specially fermented wheat germ extract using baker’s yeast.  In this processing a new set of compounds are created (methoxy-substituted benzoquinones) that have unique anti-cancer and immuno-modulating effects.   There are at least 30 publications on it listed in PubMed as of 2010. 

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center:                                                                  (use search term Avemar)

Avemar has been shown to have some specific effects on molecules involved in cancer:  Avemar reduces the MCH-1 level on cancer cells, enabling NK (natural killer) cells to function more effectively.  Avemar also increases the molecule ICAM-1 which aids white blood cells infiltrating the tumor.  Avemar does not trigger apoptosis in healthy cells, but inhibits DNA repair in cancer cells

Research summaries on Avemar:

An interesting article from Dr. Jacob Shor, ND, of the Denver Naturopathic Center on Avemar:


Carnivora is a processed and purified liquid product that is derived from the Venus flytrap plant.  It was developed by the German oncologist Dr. med Helmut Keller and was originally given by both intravenous and intramuscular injection, as well as by oral drops to cancer patients and patients with immune problems. 

Presently the only form available is in liquid drops or capsules.  In the U.S., information about these two product forms of carnivora is available from: 


Years of research and millions of dollars of government support were invested in the University of Pennsylvania researcher, Dr. Jerry McLaughlin, in his search for plant compounds that might affect cancer growth.  Over 3500 plants from all over the world were tested for their active compounds against cancer.  One of the most active compounds he found, acetogenins, were discovered in the twigs from the common North American paw paw plant which was only a few miles from his research laboratory. 

His research showed that the active compounds in the paw paw twigs modulate the production of energy (ATP) in the mitochondria of the cells.  Cancer cells are more sensitive to this reduction of ATP than are healthy cells, and this action might help to reduce cancer cell growth.  Paw paw extracts also are able to overcome the multi-drug resistant (MDR) status that develops in cancer cells from chemotherapy regimens.   Taking certain kinds of supplements that work to increase cellular ATP at the same time as paw paw, might lower the potential action of paw paw extracts, and therefore there are specific recommendations about simultaneous supplementation.

After retirement, Dr. McLaughlin worked to develop standardization and purification of the plant into capsules that contain 17 mg of the purified acetogenins extract.   They are available through a company called Nature’s Sunshine, which has established independent distributors for their standardized product called Paw Paw Cell-Reg.  

XVI.  5-LOXIN  (Boswellia concentrated extract)                            

Boswellia herbal extracts are made from the resin or gum of the Boswellia carteri tree, which are also the source of the more commonly known frankincense.  Research with boswellia extracts has shown their anti-inflammatory effects are quite potent.  Recent studies have shown they can reduce knee pain from arthritis as well as help to alleviate some chronic inflammatory disorders. 

In the aging body, the 5-lipoxygenase pathway can become over-expressed.  Research has shown that the excess of 5-lipoxygenase enzymes contributes to the invasion and metastasis of prostate cancer.  The most active constituent of the boswellia herb that inhibits this pathway is called AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellic acid).  It selectively and directly binds to the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme and inhibits its activity, whereas the other boswellic compounds of the herb only partially inhibit that enzyme.   Researchers finally were able to make a potent 30% AKBA extraction and named it 5-Loxin due to its ability to inhibit the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme. 

Boswellic acids have also been shown to induce apoptosis in glioblastoma cells.   An article discussing this use of bowellic acids can be read at:

Here is a list of some of the most important activities of bowellia:

·  Inhibit leukotriene biosynthesis

·  Inhibit 5-lipoxygenase

·  Inhibit topoisomerase I

·  Inhibit topoisomerase IIalpha

·  Induce apoptosis in glioma cells

·  Inhibit NF-kappaB


Dr. James Howenstine, who has also utilized the cesium protocol with cancer patients, has begun using the Lifeone Formula with cancer patients.  This formula consists of several plant compounds that are carried in a liposomal (fat soluble) base in order to increase their absorption.  The formula was developed to support the immune system.  Lifeone Formula contains the following nutritional substances:  resveratrol, green tea extract, coriolus versicolor, chrysin, tumeric extract (curcumin), DIM, and L-selenium methionine.   On the Lifeone website, an article that discusses the function of the immune system and a summary of the biochemical reasons for including each of the compounds, can be read at:   


Essiac Tea is probably one of the most popular alternative treatments for cancer even though it has no scientific evidence to support the claims made for it.   Essiac Tea was developed by a Canadian public health nurse named Rene Caisse.  It was based on an herbal tea developed by an Ojibwa Indian medicine man.  Although the consumer will find many variations of the formula, there are four herbs that are common to all of them, burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm bark, and Turkish rhubarb root.  Some of the individual ingredients in the tea have demonstrated some anti-cancer effects in lab tests, but the National Cancer Institute, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, as well as Canadian health officials have not found it to have any effectiveness.

A more recent study using one of the Essiac Tea formulations, FlorEssence, found that it did not stop the growth of breast cancer in mice.  In fact, the study found that the mice that drank the tea developed both larger tumors and more tumors.   

XIX.  UREA THERAPY – Liver Cancer Primarily:

Urea is available as a dry powder and has been used by many alternative physicians, particularly for tumors in the liver, and as a treatment to help prevent metastases from the primary tumor.  A Professor of Internal Medicine from Athens, Greece, E. V. Danopoulos, utilized the therapy with patients and published his results, some of which were quite significant.  The following link takes the reader to an excerpt from the book, Alternatives in Cancer Therapy, by Ross Pelton, which discusses the use of urea with cancer patients:  

Dr. Danopoulos used 14 to 18 grams of powdered urea daily divided in 6 doses.  Dr. Danopoulos found that mixing the 14 to 18 grams of urea powder with 25 to 30 grams of creatine hydrate will enable the mix to be effective in the bloodstream for a longer time.

Section 4



Metformin is an oral diabetes drug that may help many cancer patients.  The November 2010 issue of Life Extension magazine published an extensive article about the various beneficial biochemical ways that metformin tames cancer chemistry:

*it helps to block the aromatase enzyme which stimulates estrogen-based cancer growth

*it suppresses the HER2 protein involved with the development of breast cancer

*it increases the complete remission rate over breast cancer patients not taking it

*it inhibits mTOR, a compound involved in cancer development

*it activates the metabolic sensor AMPK

*it decreases cyclin D1, a cancer promoting protein involved in prostate cancer

*it upregulates the needed protein (p27) that inhibits the cell division cycle

(link will be put in here when LEF posts the article)

Recently metformin was tested along with a chemotherapeutic drug and found to kill the cancer stem cells in breast cancer in mice.  Chemotherapy drugs often do a good job of killing off the bulk of the tumor, but it has been hypothesized that there are a small number of cancer stem cells that are not killed off with the treatment, and they are the source of the recurrence and metastasis of cancer.  When a small amount of metformin was given in addition to the chemotherapy, the tumors did not recur, although metformin given alone did not stop cancer recurrence.  A publication in April of 2010, reported that metformin may also prevent lung cancer in smokers.  Here are links to several articles about metformin:

Diabetes drug kills cancer stem cells in combination treatment in mice:

Metformin May Prevent Lung Cancer in Smokers, April 19, 2010, at:

Metformin Selectively Targets Cancer Stem Cells, and Acts Together with Chemotherapy to Block Tumor Growth and Prolong Remission, can be read at:

 Metformin Is An AMP Kinase-Dependent Growth Inhibitor for Breast Cancer Cells:


In 2007, Dr. Michelakis and colleagues at the University of Alberta published a paper that described how an inexpensive, out-of-patent molecule, DCA (dichloracetate) reactivates the apoptosis (cellular death) mechanism in many kinds of cancer cells.  Initial experiments with rats resulted in a 70% shrinkage of tumors in three weeks.   A very comprehensive site that discusses the original research, animal studies, dosage, testimonials, as well as other supplements that make DCA more effective can be found at:  

Two physicians in Canada established The Medicor Cancer Centre in order to place people on a DCA protocol.   They have posted the results they have obtained so far online at:

A study with glioblastoma cancer patients on DCA was just released (2010) by Dr. Michelakis and colleagues that demonstrated significant results:


In 2008 the alternative cancer community became aware of the research work of Dr. Nobuto Yamamoto using the immune enhancing compound Gc-MAF. 

A link that coordinates many links to all the significant articles and research about Gc-MAF, is available at: 

Gc-MAF is given in subcutaneous injections (under the skin) at the very small amount of 100 nanograms, once a week, since the activation of the macrophages lasts for 6 days, the length of time of the life of the macrophage.  The following European link to a source of Gc-MAF also offers a 2 minute video that easily demonstrates the action of Gc-MAF:    


Mistletoe products as part of a cancer protocol have been utilized in Europe for many decades.  Recently Suzanne Summers has brought the use of a particular form of mistletoe product called Iscador into the U.S. spotlight.  She has been using subcutaneous injections of Iscador as part of her breast cancer treatment. 

A good review of the literature on Mistletoe was published in the Naturopathic Medicine Journal by

Dr. Jacob Schor, ND, of the Denver Naturopathic Clinc:

The National Cancer Institute has written up a summarized review of the history and use of mistletoe products.  The review can be read at:

V.  TM:  (tetrathiomolybdate)

The potential use of TM as a cancer therapy was discovered by Dr. George Brewer of the University of Michigan.  In order to grow, cancer tumors require a blood supply, a process called vascularization, which requires copper.   TM is a very powerful copper chelating compound, binding it up so it cannot be used to increase vascularization to the tumor.  In some cancer cases, getting the copper level down to a very low blood level, could keep the tumor from growing.  Here is a link to a page from the DCA site that links to information about TM:

Although TM is an oral therapy, it must be prescribed by a physician, and blood testing must be maintained to lower the copper level to a level that helps to keep the tumor from growing, but still maintains some copper for biological processes that require it.  A very long, but thorough, article on TM, Tetrathiomolybdate Copper Reduction Therapy as an Antiangiogenic Treatment for Lymphoma and Other Cancers, can be read at:


VI.  IPT  THERAPY (Insulin Potentiation Therapy – with Chemotherapy):

This is an expensive intravenous protocol that utilizes insulin to significantly  lower the blood sugar level and then a low dosage of chemotherapy (10% to 20% of the traditional dosage) is injected.  The insulin potentiates the chemotherapy so much less is required.  The treatment is most effective if the tumor has not previously been treated with chemotherapy and radiation.  At the time this type of alternative therapy became known, many people tried it, even those who had already received chemotherapy.  In some cases people did experience some shrinkage of their tumor, but it often came back after the treatment was ended.  The cost of this treatment in the U.S. could range from $10,000 to $40,000 for a significant series of treatments.   The author of this article followed two breast cancer patients who obtained many of these treatments with no success, other than a temporary remission, which quickly was overcome when the therapy ended. 


DISCLAIMER:  The author of this article offers the contained information only for educational purposes.  It is not intended to be used as a means to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any health condition.  The information contained in this article is not intended to be used for self-treatment or to replace consultation with a qualified health care provider.  Individuals suffering from any disease or illness should consult with a physician or health care professional.  Neither the Brewer Science Library nor the author assume any responsibility for the implementation by anyone of any of the information contained in this article.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.  It is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Individuals suffering from any disease or illness should consult with a physician or health care professional.  The Brewer Science Library offers Dr. Brewer’s writings for information purposes only and will assume no responsibility or liability for the use of any of the information we offer whether written by Dr. Brewer or others.     

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