Short-Term Stress Boosts Anti-Tumor Activity

PALO ALTO – In a study on laboratory mice, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown that bouts of relatively short-term stress can boost the immune system and protect against one type of cancer.

The researchers also said that the beneficial effects of this occasional angst could last for weeks after the stressful situation has ended.

The finding is surprising because chronic stress has the opposite effect-taxing the immune system and increasing susceptibility to disease.

“This is the first evidence that this type of short-lived stress may enhance anti-tumor activity. This is a promising new way of thinking that calls for more research. We hope that it will eventually lead to applications that help us to care for those who are ill, by maximally harnessing the body’s natural defenses while also using other medical treatments,” said Dr. Firdaus Dhabhar.

The researchers studied a particular type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma that is known to be vulnerable to attack by the immune system.

Certain types of stress, such as the so-called fight-or-flight response to an immediate but temporary threat, has been shown to increase the recruitment of immune cells to the surface of the skin and the surrounding lymph nodes-presumably in preparation for imminent injury.

“Acute stress galvanizes an organism’s protective systems. But although it’s one of nature’s fundamental survival systems, thus far it’s been rather underappreciated,” said Dhabhar.

The researchers focused on understanding the physiological effects of both acute and chronic stress.

They investigated the effect of short-term, or acute, stress on 30 laboratory mice exposed for 10 weeks to thrice-weekly doses of cancer-causing ultraviolet light.

They found that fewer of the mice that had been acutely stressed developed skin cancer during weeks 11 through 21, and that those that did exhibited a lower total amount of tumors (a measurement called tumor burden) than the non-stressed mice.

The stressed mice weren’t protected indefinitely-almost 90 percent of the mice in both groups developed cancer after week 22, though the stressed group continued to have fewer tumors until week 26.

“It’s possible that the pre-tumor cells were eliminated more efficiently in the group that was stressed.

There may also have been a longer-term enhancement of immunity as we have seen in our non-cancer-related studies. However, acute stress did not lower tumor burden beyond week 26. We are in the process of determining why,” said Dhabhar.

However, other stress-induced changes lingered for weeks.

The researchers found that, during the same time period, the skin of the stressed mice had higher levels of immune-activating genes than did the control group, almost as if the mice were preparing for battle.

He compared the effect to how drug-makers often increase the potency of vaccines by including generic immune-activating molecules called adjuvants.

But he is convinced that acute stress may be better for us than most of us think, and that bio-behavioral interventions are worth investigating.

The study will be published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Novel Cancer Therapy Found by TA Researchers

TEL AVIV –  Tel Aviv University researchers have invented a technique to destroy malignant cells in the breast while leaving healthy ones untouched. If the results produced in lab tests on mice can be applied to human patients, the result could be a revolution in cancer care, though human clinical tests are years away, at best.

The killing of cancerous cells in the lab was accomplished by using a chemical generally used to treat strokes. The work by Prof. Malka Cohen-Armon of TAU’s Sackler Medical School was just published in the open online journal, BioMed Central.

The international research team she headed found that potent phenanthridine derived polyADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors that were originally designed to protect cells from cell death under stress conditions such as stroke or inflammation efficiently eradicate MCF-7 and MDA231 breast cancer cells without impairing normal cells.

Cohen-Armon said they made the discovery “by chance,” but that the findings provide “a new therapeutic approach for a selective eradication of abundant human cancers.”

New Chip Can Detect Cancer Early

TORONTO – In a major breakthrough for early cancer detection, Canadian researchers have developed an inexpensive microchip that is sensitive enough to detect the type and severity of the disease.

The microchip has been successfully tested on prostate cancer, and head and neck cancer models.

It can also be used to diagnose other cancers, as well as infectious diseases such as HIV and the H1N1 flu.

Researchers at the University of Toronto here used nanomaterials for the first time to build the sensitive microchip.

In their work reported in Nature Nanotechnology this week, the researchers say the new device will make sophisticated molecular diagnostics easily available soon.

“The remarkable innovation is an indication that the age of nanomedicine is dawning,” David Naylor, who is president of the University of Toronto and professor of medicine, was quoted as saying in a university statement.

The device quickly picks up the ‘biomarkers’ that hint at the presence of cancer at the cellular level, even though these biomolecules – genes that indicate aggressive or benign forms of the disease – are generally present at low levels in biological samples, the statement said.

Analysis can be completed in 30 minutes, compared to days taken by the current diagnostic procedures.

“Today, it takes a room filled with computers to evaluate a clinically relevant sample of cancer biomarkers and the results aren’t quickly available,” said research leader and medicine professor Shana Kelley.

“Our team was able to measure biomolecules on an electronic chip the size of your fingertip and analyse the sample within half an hour. The instrumentation required for This analysis can be contained within a unit the size of a BlackBerry,” she said.

Since the current conventional, flat metal electrical sensors are inadequate to sense cancer’s particular biomarkers, the Toronto team fabricated a chip and decorated it with nanometre-sized wires and molecular ‘bait’ to make it more sensitive.

“Uniting DNA with speedy, miniaturised electronic chips is an example of cross-disciplinary convergence,” said co-researcher Ted Sargent.

“By working with outstanding researchers in nanomaterials, pharmaceutical sciences, and electrical engineering, we were able to demonstrate that controlled integration of nanomaterials provides a major advantage in disease detection and analysis,” he said.

Vitamin B6 Tied to Better Prostate Cancer Survival

Vitamin B6 Tied to Better Prostate Cancer Survival

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Men with earlier-stage prostate cancer may have better survival odds if they get a little more than the recommended amount of vitamin B6 everyday, a new study suggests.

The findings, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, do not prove that vitamin B6 improves prostate cancer survival. But they do point to an association between survival and amounts of the vitamin that are readily attainable through a balanced diet.

Researchers found that among 525 Swedish men with prostate cancer, the one-quarter with the highest B6 intakes were 29 percent less likely than those with the lowest intakes to die of the disease during the study period.

Men in the former group averaged 2.2 to 2.9 milligrams of vitamin B6 per day, while those in the latter group got 1.3 to 1.9 milligrams daily. The recommended vitamin B6 intake for men age 50 and younger is 1.3 mg per day, while older men are encouraged to get 1.7 mg.

The protective effect of B6 appeared confined to men whose tumors had not yet spread beyond the prostate at the time of diagnosis.

When the researchers considered only these men, they found that those who got the most B6 had only 5 percent of the risk of dying as their counterparts with the lowest intakes of the vitamin.

The results offer “exciting preliminary support” for dietary factors in long-term prostate cancer survival, according to lead researcher Dr. Julie L. Kasperzyk, a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

However, she told Reuters Health, the findings “will need to be confirmed or refuted in additional, larger studies before recommendations can be made to the general public or to prostate cancer patients.”

Vitamin B6 is found in a range of foods, including beans, potatoes, bananas, meat, chicken, peanut butter and certain fish, like salmon and tuna. It serves a variety of functions in the body — one being its role, together with other B vitamins, in DNA synthesis and repair.

Cancer arises from the uncontrolled growth of genetically abnormal cells — which, in theory, means that the B vitamins could affect the development or spread of certain cancers.

For their study, Kasperzyk and her colleagues looked at the intakes of vitamins B6, B12, folate, riboflavin and methionine among 525 prostate cancer patients who were followed for up to 20 years. Few men took dietary supplements, Kasperzyk said, so the study focused on consumption from food.

Overall, 42 percent of the men died of prostate cancer during the study period. The odds were lower, however, among those with the highest vitamin B6 intakes — although there was no evidence of protection among men diagnosed with advanced cancer.

None of the other nutrients was linked to prostate cancer survival.

Kasperzyk said that vitamin B6 has a number of functions in the body that are not shared by the other nutrients her team studied.

“What is most relevant to prostate cancer,” she explained, “is the potential link between vitamin B6 and reduced responsiveness of the prostate to testosterone.”

Flaxseed May Lower Cholesterol

CHINA — Researchers in China, who conducted a review of research studies, say a diet that includes flaxseed may help lower cholesterol levels.

The review of 28 studies, which involved more than 1,500 people, found cholesterol reduction linked with eating whole flaxseed was stronger in women than men.

Study leader Dr. Xu Lin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai says one tablespoon daily of whole flaxseed or flaxseed oil is usually associated with reductions in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the “bad” cholesterol — particularly post-menopausal women, more than men, and in people with higher cholesterol concentrations at the outset.

However, the whole flaxseed did not appear to significantly alter trigylceride levels or affect the amount of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

Flaxseed is considered healthy for the heart because it contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and alpha linolenic acid.

The review was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Curry Compound Kills Cancer

A molecule found in a curry ingredient can kill esophageal cancer cells in the laboratory, suggesting it might be developed as an anti-cancer treatment, scientists said on Wednesday.

Researchers at the Cork Cancer Research Center in Ireland treated esophageal cancer cells with curcumin, a chemical found in the spice turmeric, which gives curries a distinctive yellow color, and found it started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours.

The cells also began to digest themselves, they said in a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Previous scientific studies have suggested curcumin can suppress tumors and that people who eat lots of curry may be less prone to the disease, although curcumin loses its anti-cancer attributes quickly when ingested.

But Sharon McKenna, lead author of the Irish study, said her research suggested a potential for scientists to develop curcumin as an anti-cancer drug to treat esophageal cancer.

Cancers of the esophagus kill more than 500,000 people across the world each year. The tumors are especially deadly, with five-year survival rates of just 12 to 31 percent.

The curcumin used “an unexpected system of cell messages” that caused the cancer cells to die, McKenna said.

Normally, faulty cells die by committing programmed suicide, or apoptosis, which occurs when proteins called caspases are “switched on” in cells, the researchers said.

But these cells showed no evidence of suicide, and the addition of a molecule that inhibits caspases and stops this “switch being flicked’ made no difference to the number of cells that died, suggesting curcumin attacked the cancer cells using an alternative cell signaling system.

In 2007, U.S. researchers said they had found curcumin may help stimulate immune system cells in Alzheimer’s disease.

New Drug Kills Cancer Like a Stealth Slayer

TEL-AVIV –  Scientists at Tel Aviv University have developed a novel drug that delivers anti-cancer compounds straight to the tumor.

Lead researcher Dr. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro believes that the new invention may alleviate particularly malicious forms of cancers like osteosarcomas and bone metastases and combat resistance to anti-cancer drugs like Taxol, keeping other normal healthy cells around the tumor safe.

Most of us have small tumors in our body at all times. They start the size of a pinhead and usually remain at that size as dormant and asymptomatic tumors. Then, at some point, cancer cells proliferate and the tumor grows in mass.

At that point the tumor cells migrate to the bones and start recruiting blood vessels using a chemical attractant in order to draw blood for their continued growth in a process called angiogenesis.

The researchers looked into the chemical that causes the blood, or endothelial cells, to gravitate to the activated, newly malignant cancer cells.

According to Satchi-Fainaro, the innovative drug delivery system delivers compounds like Taxol known to stop blood vessel growth to cancerous tumors.

She bound existing cancer drugs to an inert polymer that doesn’t react with the immune system.

“Like a stealth airplane,” she says, the polymer passes through the body’s defense system unnoticed.

Then, programmed to find the tumour using the bisphosphonate drug Alendronate, a drug that binds to bones, the carrier delivers its cancer-killing payload.

The study conducted over animal models, found that the researchers were able to reverse the growth of bone cancer tumors.

In a second study, she found that loading her polymer with the anti-cancer drug Taxol could inhibit tumor growth by 50pct, compared to a Taxol dose that had no effect on tumor growth at all.

The study is published is published in prestigious journals Angewandte Chemie and PLoS One.



Johanna Budwig (30 September 1908–19 May 2003) was a German chemist, pharmacologist and author. She developed and promoted (from 1952) the Budwig protocol/Budwig diet, which is based on the regular consumption of foods rich in linolenic and linoleic acids, such as Flaxseed oil, low fat cottage cheese and vegetable juices. Budwig claimed this diet would cure or prevent many forms of cancers.

Basic Introduction to Dr. Budwig’s Diet, Fats, Essential Fatty Acids and Related Subjects

The basis of Dr. Budwig’s diet or protocol is the ingestion of a special oil-protein mixture in the form of organic cold-pressed flaxseed oil plus cottage cheese or “quark” (a dairy product readily available in German-speaking countries made from various types of milk and roughly similar to cottage cheese), to balance an oversupply of omega 6 fatty acids and hydrogenated fats in the Western diet and to provide an immediately available abundant supply of essential omega 3 acids. Of all plant oils, flax oil is the richest source of these omega 3 acids (naturally occurring variations not considered, 100 g of oil contain 72g of polyunsaturated fatty acids, 54g of which are omega 3 acids).

This oil is combined with protein (or more precisely, sulphurated amino acids** such as liberally found in quark/cottage cheese) to allow the highly unsaturated fatty acids to become water-soluble, thus bypassing the need for an (often) diseased or impaired liver to break down the unsatured fat by its own efforts. Quote: “The lipotropic protein connections, e.g. Cystein, as they are found in … cottage cheese or nuts are able to make water-soluble the …highly unsaturated fatty acids in seed oils. And that is what matters.

When you mix together … cottage cheese and linseed oil in your blender the fat becomes water-soluble” and thereby immediately available for use by the body. In this manner, the necessary “spark plugs” are provided for cells to “breathe”, optimally detoxify and function, even more so when additionally combining the flax oil cottage cheese mix with an optimised sugar-free diet devoid of respiratory poisons [substances which inhibit cellular respiration] but containing much raw organic food.

Dr. Budwig’s diet (which, when properly applied, is an entire protocol and involves not only ingestion of the above oil-protein mixture, but also a healthy minimally processed vegetarian diet, freshly ground flaxseeds, sunlight, stress management, “Eldi” oils, etc.*, has literally pulled people back from death’s doorstep. Based on this evidence and its ease of implementation, it may be the quickest and easiest move to take for many stricken with a cancer challenge and/or those who are looking for an often fast-working approach to health recovery. In fact, eminent alternative & conventional cancer treatment researcher Lothar Hirneise considers Dr. Johanna Budwig’s protocol the indispensable nutritional basis of any healing plan for cancer patients.

 Dr. Otto Warburg, twice Nobel Laureate, awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1931 for his research on cellular respiration, explains: “The growth of cancer cells is initiated by a relative lack of oxygen. Cancer cannot live in an oxygen-rich environment…Cancer has only one prime cause. It is the replacement of normal oxygen respiration of the body’s cells by an anaerobic (i.e., oxygen deficient) cell respiration.” Going into greater detail in The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer, he writes: “…the cause of cancer is no longer a mystery, we know it occurs whenever any cell is denied 60% of its oxygen requirements. Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes.

But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar. All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation. All normal body cells are thus obligate aerobes, whereas all cancer cells are partial anaerobes.”

Budwig Books Translated to English:

    * The Oil-Protein Diet Cookbook, Apple Publishing Co. Ltd., Vancouver (Canada) (1994) ISBN-10: 0969527225 ISBN-13: 978-0969527220

    * Flax Oil As A True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer And Other Diseases, Apple Publishing Co. Ltd., Vancouver (Canada) (1994) ISBN-10: 0969527217 ISBN-13: 978-0969527213

    * Cancer: The Problem and the Solution Nexus Hirneise – Handels GmbH; (2008) ISBN-10: 3981050215 ISBN-13: 978-3981050219

    * The Budwig Cancer & Coronary Heart Disease Prevention Diet: The Revolutionary Diet from Dr. Johanna Budwig, the Woman Who Discovered Omega-3s Freedom Press (2010) ISBN-10: 1893910423 ISBN-13: 978-1893910423