Cancer and the Human Immune System
(How does cancer appear and how to cure it?)
by ZMD GROUP
About 3% of the human population suffers from cancer. Compared with other human diseases, cancer is not the most lethal; some diseases, such as heart disease, kill over ten times more people than cancer. The graphic below shows mortality statistics for various diseases in the United States in 2011. The size of the black circles is proportional to the number of deaths per year, which is given next to each circle along with the cause of death.
This graphic makes it clear that the number of deaths from other diseases is many times greater than the number of deaths from cancer, the two most common of which are breast cancer and prostate cancer. This begs the question of why cancer creates so much fear? A likely answer is that we have the means to treat the other diseases, so a hope of recovery exists. However, the diagnosis “cancer” is tantamount to a death sentence without the right of appeal. If someone is ill with cancer, he or she has very little chance to recover. This suggests that modern treatments for cancer are almost futile and that those already ill with cancer have no hope of recovery. Psychologically, such a situation is very difficult to accept.
Various treatments have always been available for cancer. Past internal treatments include an astonishing variety of remedies, such as tincture of lead, arsenic, wild boar teeth, fox lungs, grated ivory, white ground coral, ipecac, senna, and others. External treatments have included ointments based on goat droppings, frogs, crows’ feet, turtle liver, and so on. Surgical methods consisted of removing tumors and blood-letting (when the cancer was visible). The first patient known to have been operated for cancer was Atossa, the wife of King Daria I of Persia, whose Greek slave Democedes removed a tumor from her chest.
In the 1760s John Hunter began to expand the use of surgical techniques to fight cancer, and these techniques were developed and refined in the nineteenth century. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, William Halstead used aggressive methods to remove not only malignant tumors but also healthy neighboring tissue, which in fact could spread the disease. In 1896, Emil Grubbe first used radiotherapy to treat breast cancer.
Today, instead of using goat droppings, frogs, crows’ feet, and turtle liver to treat cancer we have turned to the more modern means of chemical treatment (chemotherapy). Surgical treatments have also been perfected, and now new types of radiation (radiotherapy) complete the palette of what are referred to as “conventional treatments.”
Chemotherapy is currently one of the most common methods to treat cancer.
Chemotherapy involves using natural or synthetic drugs to do irreversible damage to malignant cancer cells and thereby prevent their proliferation. The founder of chemotherapy was the Paul Ehrlich (March 14, 1854, Strehlen, Silesia to August 20, 1915, Bad Homburg, Germany), who was known for his work on malignant tumors. Ehrlich created numerous experimental methods to produce tumors in animals, and studied the immunological reactions after their dispersal.
The father of modern chemotherapy was Sidney Farber, who used what was then a new method to treatment leukemia (i.e., cancer of the blood cells). The disease was first observed by Rudolf Virchow and Ernst Neumann in the form of localized abnormalities in the bone marrow. The vital functions of leukemic cells depend on the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, which Sidney Farber blocked by applying synthetic drugs to destroy the cancer cells, thereby achieving a temporary remission of the disease.
Working at Harvard Medical School on a research project (supported by a grant allocated by the American Cancer Society), Farber performed preclinical and clinical trials of aminopterin—a chemical compound he synthesized at the request of Yellapragada Subbarao. Antifolate blocks the division of white blood cells during acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In 1948, Farber demonstrated clinical and hematological remission in cases of this disease.
However, in terms of the effectiveness of these oncological treatments, very little has changed today. A common grievance of oncologists is that patients are more likely to die from the treatment (chemotherapy) rather than from the disease itself.
Chemotherapy cannot be considered an effective treatment for cancer because, although it doesn’t kills cancer cells, it only temporarily stops their reproduction. In other words, while chemotherapy is applied, the tumor stops growing. No sooner is chemotherapy stopped, however, does tumor growth resume, sometimes with even greater force. Why? Because chemotherapy uses “cytotoxic” drugs. Thus, a characteristic feature of chemotherapeutic agents is their ability to inhibit cell proliferation, which is called cytostasis, but not kill them.
Cytostasis thus refers to the stabilization of the number of living cells as a result of the termination of their reproduction, so that the cells do not multiply, but neither are they destroyed. Hair loss during chemotherapy results precisely because the cancer cells are not the only cells that no longer multiply—all other cells in the body suffer the same fate, including hair follicles. Thus, as old hair falls out naturally, it is not replace by new hair so the patient becomes bald. Chemotherapy kills cancer cells because of cytolysis
As mentioned above, the discontinuation of chemotherapy may be followed by a multiplication of cancer cells, sometimes at a faster rate than before the treatment, because chemotherapy significantly weakens the immune system. Chemotherapy does not cure cancer, but it does poison the body of the patient. The maximum therapeutic effect is at best a very slight increase in life expectancy, but with a significant deterioration in the quality of life. To get rid of cancer, the cancer cells must be killed by using cytolysis.
Cytolysis refers to reducing the number of living cells as a result of lysing (breaking).
Cancer cells may be destroyed by using radiological, chemical, or immunological means. Or they may be removed from the body by means of radical surgery. However, surgical removal of the tumor or the destruction of cancer cells by different types of radiation also does not guarantee a complete cure. Sooner or later, the patient suffers from a recurrence of the cancer and everything starts again, sometimes with greater severity and pathological speed because, instead of having a therapeutic effect on the cause of the disease (which leads to the proliferation of cancer cells), modern oncology influences the symptoms of the disease (i.e., the cancer cells themselves).
Therefore, no breakthrough in oncology appears forthcoming. Year after year, for decades, various scientific and pseudo-scientific articles have appeared that describe the revolutionary new direction and advances in oncology. However, to date, cancer remains an incurable disease against which there is no effective treatment.
To assess that overall state of oncology, we use the five-year survival rate of patients with cancer. This indicator tells us how many patients remain alive after five years of illness, no matter what type of treatment they received, or whether it was accepted at all. For example, a 20% rate means that, out of 100 cancer patients, 20 were alive after five years.
Until 1974, this indicator for patients with lung cancer was 20%. From 1974 to 1995 (20 years!), although billions of dollars were invested in cancer research, little advance occurred in terms of the effectiveness of cancer treatments. By 1995, the five-year survival rate had decreased to 15%. Whether this change was due to worsening cancer treatments or because of an overall increase in life expectancy, and with it the likelihood of cancer, is not clear. In any case, the situation clearly had not improved. Until 1995, all achievements in the field of oncology were so scanty that it is impossible to claim a full and successful resolution of the problem had been achieved. Today, the situation has not improved much.
A positive trend was observed in the last decade for certain types of cancer, likely because of a significant improvement in living conditions (i.e., better food, better personal hygiene, better treatment of diseases leading to cancer, etc.) rather than any success in cancer treatment per se. The observed decrease in the mortality curve for lung cancer after the first 90 years of the twentieth century is more likely due to a decrease in the rate of smoking in the population than to the success of treating lung cancer.
Today, the strategy of cancer treatment is to destroy cancer cells or stop their uncontrolled growth. Radiation therapy and surgery both destroy cancer cells, and chemotherapy retards their growth. But for cancer, these treatments do not cure. Although we destroy cancer cells with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and remove the cancerous tumor surgically, the cancer cells arise again and again (relapses), because these treatments do not resolve the cause of the cancer-cell multiplication.
This situation is reminiscent of the “treatment” for flat tires. How can you “cure” a puncture? You can close the hole if you know where it is, or you can constantly pump up the tire if you do not.
This occurs because modern oncology misunderstands the whole processes associated with the emergence and development of cancer (i.e., they do not know where the hole is). Cancer was a fatal disease in the past and remains so even now, despite all the “achievements” in the field of oncology. Today we do not know where the “hole” is because traditional oncology underestimates the importance of the immune system. This is why cancer treatment has been unsuccessful.
However, other ways to treat cancer exist apart from chemotherapy, radiology, and surgery. Back in the late 1800s, Dr. William Coley, a surgeon and oncologist working at the New York Hospital, observed something peculiar.
A patient named Fred Stein suffered from a tumor growing in his cheek until he was infected by the bacterium streptococcus pyogenes (the causative agent of acute pharyngitis). Soon after infection, the cancer began to disappear as if a fever had burned it.
Next Coley noticed that other cancer patients who had recently undergone surgery to remove the tumor were more likely to recover from cancer if they developed a postoperative infection. In an attempt to discover why this was happening, Coley began to inject streptococcal bacteria into inoperable cancer patients. These injections became known as “Coley toxins.”
In one case (Male 21), Coley treated a patient with a mixture of bacteria and bacterial lysates, which are natural secretions of bacteria that keep the immune system on alert. This treatment gave complete remission. Moreover, the treatment did not just prevent the cancer cells from reproducing (cytostatic). Instead, the cancer cells were destroyed (Cytolysis), meaning that the cancer disappeared.
Coley introduced these toxins in more than 1000 patients and many recovered. However, he did not properly document all his cases, and he did not treat enough patients to clearly prove the success of the treatment. Therefore, after his death in 1936, oncologists did not recognize his methods and tipped in favor of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, much later, when many cancer researchers re-analyzed his work, they began to realize that Coley had discovered something. For this reason, Coley is sometimes called the “Father of Immunotherapy.”
After William Coley died, his daughter Helen Coley Nauts struggled for years to bring his work to the attention of the medical community. The results of her father were rejected as allegedly lacking evidence, although the medical community could easily have checked the results. Yet Helen Coley Nauts continued tirelessly to collect data and monitor the patients who were treated with Coley toxins. Even if she was not a trained scientist and had not even graduated from college, Coley Nauts eventually laid the foundation for the entire field of research, which now covers numerous laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. Projects even exist that develop immune-triggering therapy for cancer of the lung, breast, colon, head and neck, skin, and for almost any other type of cancer.
How can we explain the success of the cancer treatment introduced by Coley? Perhaps by invoking the fact that the treatment methods he used to some extent stimulate the immune system. Recent studies suggest a critical role of the immune system, which is responsible not only for combating infectious agents, but also builds the body and protects it from various defects in cell division, including cancer cells.
Immunotherapy offers significant advantages compared with conventional methods of cancer treatment. The side effects of chemotherapy are often debilitating, including extreme pain and fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, poor appetite, and risk to life, as well as long-term health consequences such as heart and lung disease. In addition, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery usually do not guarantee reliable protection against recurrence.
Immunotherapy is free from these disadvantages, and immunotherapy research has literally exploded in recent years. And one of the most promising areas of cancer immunotherapy leads back to Coley; that is, to bacteria. The controlled use of bacteria can be the best tool to train the immune system to fight cancer.
Many known elements of the immune system (white blood cells, lymphocytes, etc.) and some molecular liquid-blood agents (antibodies, etc.) are involved in fighting infections.
But antimicrobial and antivirus functions are just part of the main functions of the immune system. The functions of the immune system in fact reach much wider and deeper. We must remember that our body begins from only a single DNA molecule to which one way or another are joined billions of other molecules. To properly build a human body requires a single organizer (Kapellmeister) that can organize and manage all of this construction from start to finish, from the moment of conception and synthesis of the double helix. Without errors the body must be made from these billions of atoms, molecules, and cells; from the DNA molecule to the entire body. This process is organized by the immune system.
All the cells in our bodies are constantly being used and destroyed, which means that they also constantly require construction and/or repair. This is dealt with by the digestive system, which digests food and takes from it all the substances required to ceaselessly rebuild cells. And one of the main elements of the digestive system is the bacteria that live in the colon.
White blood cells and antibodies are only the final part of the immune system; they act as actuators of the attack on alien bodies. In addition, a plurality of elements (“tools”) plays a significant role, starting with our intestinal bacteria.
The initial part of the immune system is the bacteria living in the colon. Our digestive system, in fact, only prepares the food for the intestinal bacteria. The rest of the processing is done by the bacteria.
How well these bacteria function determines in large part how our body is built and how well our immune system functions. If we want to look good and be healthy, we must take care of the bacteria living in our intestines.
Recent work reveals the enormous role in the immune system played by bacteria, the mass of which may reach 1–3 kg. And because the normal composition of these bacteria is about the same, we can safely say that this mass of bacteria gives it an authority of sorts to perform certain functions. They displace pathological intestinal bacteria, produce vitamins necessary for the immune system, and produce biologically active substances that regulate cell metabolism and cell reproduction in our bodies.
Thus, our intestinal bacteria form the first part of our immune system. Red blood cells, antibodies, and other blood-borne immune elements are the result of bacterial activity. Therefore, we must distinguish the following four hierarchical levels of the immune system:
1. Genital Function. This level involves the construction elements (cells) of an organism at the time of conception, the formation of the fetus, and its development before birth. This construction is carried out by the multiplication of cells (cell division). To construct the necessary building materials (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates), the mother’s digestive system, with the help of enzymes, breaks down (digests) food into smaller molecules. The mother’s immune system selects from these molecules all the substances necessary for constructing the fetus and passes them through the placenta to the fetus. Thus, the mother’s immune system plays a major role in supplying these materials. Constructing a cell is a very complex process that involves complex genetic and biochemical processes. These processes are controlled by the immune system of the fetus, whose genetic patterns are already building the cells to form its body. One of the main roles of bacteria is thus done in the mother’s colon. If the mother’s bacteria do their work well, the fetus will development normally.
2. Formation and recovery of the body. The cells of our body are constantly being destroyed and thus constantly need to be re-built, which requires building materials (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates). The supply of these materials, along with the participation of the digestive system, is still the main role played by our immune system. The digestive system uses enzymes and bacteria to break down (digest) food into smaller molecules that the immune system selects from these molecules all that is needed to build new cells, enters them into the blood stream, and delivers them to the tissues where the genetic patterns re-build cells. Ever since the human body formed, bacteria in the colon have played a significant role in our wellbeing: the better the bacteria “work,” the better our bodies develop.
3. Fight against infection. We all live in a very hostile environment full of bacteria and viruses that are constantly attacking us because our body is food for them. The fight against infection is also under the responsibility of the immune system. White blood cells engulf bacteria and lymphocytes secrete antibodies against viruses.
4. Destruction of defective cells that result from cell-division violations. The construction of new cells comes at the expense of the reproduction (cell division) of stem cells. During the division of stem cells, their DNA molecules are blocked or removed to block certain genes and the cell begins to synthesize certain substances that determine cell specialization. Carcinogens sometimes interfere in the process of dividing. These are substances that can change the chemical composition of genes. They may be defective mutated genes, which may lead to a cancer cell. However, the immune system must eliminate cancer cells to prevent a cancerous tumor from developing. Eliminating the cancer cell can require a strong immune system, which is only possible with strong panoply of bacteria in the intestinal microflora.
If the intestinal bacteria are “weak” and the immune system is weakened, it cannot eliminate cancer cells as they arise, which leads to the development of cancer.
Cancer cells are defective cells that result from the improper transformation of stem cells into specialized cells. Our body is constructed entirely of hundreds of billions of cells that constantly wear out and die during our lifetime. To replace them, new cells are made from stem cells. A new cell results from the fission of DNA molecules, and this process of division is the “weak point” in oncology and is where the cancer cells arise. During this process we may have a variety of DNA mutations, including cancerous ones. It suffices to apply various chemical (carcinogenic) or radioactive agents to cause abnormal genes to develop.
Stem cells are universal (unspecialized) cells gifted by nature with the ability to transform into any specialized cell. Hundreds of billions of cells are constantly multiplying in our body, with the accompanying constant threat that such multiplication may result in faulty cells, including cancer cells. If the number of defective cells is not more than 0.001% of the total number of dividing cells (the number of divisions per day is many hundreds of billions), the law of large numbers implies that we host about 30,000–50,000 cancer cells in our body. But this is not a concern because the immune system, with its anti-tumor capacity, detects and destroys these cells.
The task of the immune system is thus the cultivation of the cells the body needs, and the destruction of faulty cells, including cancer cells, if they appear.
The condition of the immune system goes hand in hand with the health of the intestinal bacteria, and an unhealthy immune system will struggle to eliminate defective cells, which increases the chance that cancer cells may multiply and develop into cancer.
Cancer cells occur in all people, healthy and sick. However, in healthy people cancer cells are destroyed by the immune system. Specifically, white blood cells attack and destroy cancer cells.
In patients with a weakened immune system the rate at which cancer cells are killed is diminished, and if cancer cells are not destroyed they multiply, leading to a cancerous tumor.
Therefore, cancer cells occur continuously in everyone. The disease called “cancer” does not exist; there are, however, many diseases of the immune system that can give rise to cancers.
A cancerous condition refers to a weakened immune system that cannot destroy cancer cells.
As we have seen, although cancer cells constantly appear, the immune system constantly destroys them. When this balance is upset and cancer cells are not destroyed, the patient necessarily develops cancer.
Only about 3% of the total human population suffers from cancer at any given moment. This means that 3% of the population has a cancerous condition. In other words, their immune system is weakened and cannot destroy cancer cells as they arise. As a result, they develop cancerous tumors.
The presence of cancer cells in a healthy body is a normal phenomenon. What is abnormal is the decrease of the immune system’s antitumor activity, which results in the multiplication of cancer cells in the body. If a patient’s immune system cannot eliminate newly formed cancer cells, tumors appear.
The anti-tumor activity of the immune system depends on, among other things, the condition of our intestinal bacteria. If our bacteria are not working well, then a cancer appears. Thus, we must constantly monitor the state of our intestinal bacteria. If their condition worsens, they must be replaced with other similar bacteria that are in good condition. We can thus protect ourselves from cancer and eliminate cancerous tumors if they have already occurred.
Today, enlisting the help of bacteria in the fight against cancer is attracting the attention of a growing number of researchers. Numerous works devoted to this subject have appeared in the scientific literature. These studies cover a variety of bacteria, including pathological bacteria.
For example, we know that salmonella bacteria (as in the intestinal infection) is a dangerous pathogen that hides in undercooked meat or liver and can cause severe nausea, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting if it is not eliminate by the proper preparation of our food.
However, there is another side to the salmonella bacteria. Professor Roy Curtiss of the Laboratory of the Institute of Bio-D, Arizona State University, USA, has studied its cancer-killing properties. He found that some strains of salmonella may produce toxic effects on some tumor cells.
However, to use salmonella bacteria as medicine invokes one very big problem—these bacteria are toxic and also target the organism suffering from cancer. These bacteria can cause infections and even sepsis, especially if the patient’s immune system is weakened. “You kill the tumor, but it can kill the patient,” says Curtiss. We thus need to find a balance between the ability of these bacteria to kill most tumor cells and their ability to damage healthy tissue.
To reduce the toxicity of bacteria while preserving its effectiveness as a cancer treatment, Curtiss genetically modified the salmonella bacteria. For this, he and his research team changed the structure of lipopolysaccharide and the outer membrane, which is the main culprit behind sepsis. This idea has been successful: the bacteria kill the tumor without damaging the surrounding healthy cells. This was the first demonstration that the bacteria can fight cancer without causing serious side effects.
Salmonella is one of the very few bacterial strains, along with listeria and clostridia, that has the potential to destroy cancer cells. One group of the clostridia strain, clostridium novyi, has proven particularly promising. In 2014, researchers from Johns Hopkins University introduced a genetically modified version of the bacteria (clostridium novyi-NT) into the tumors of dogs and found that it reduces their tumor. They even successfully treated a sick woman with advanced leiomyosarcoma (a rare form of cancer of smooth muscle).
Clostridium novyi-NT bacteria are unique because they thrive in the low-oxygen environment at the center of tumors. After injection into the tumor, the bacteria begin to divide and grow, thus destroying cancer cells. At the edge of the tumor where more oxygen is available, the bacteria stops growing and so do not to propagate further into the healthy cells.
Currently, extensive clinical trials of clostridium novyi-NT continue. However, predicting how well this treatment will work in humans is difficult. Doctor Mario Sznol of Yale University, USA conducted a five-year research program into salmonella bacteria and obtained successful results in rats and dogs and in human-tissue tests, although these results have not been repeated. Sznol said that the results of were not the same for human tissues and mice and rats. “There’s something really different about the biology of human tumors.” If this hurdle is overcome, then bacteria may actually become a “graceful” means to destroy cancer tumors.
In the mid-1970s, the Armenian scholar Onik Karapetyan (Yerevan, Armenia) discovered the phenomenon of oncolytic activity of bacteria of the large-intestine microflora. He isolated bacteria from the feces of patients and combined them in vitro to cultures of cancer cells.
After some time the cancer cells are killed due to lysis (destruction of cancer cells).
This ability of bacteria to destroy cancer cells is called the oncolytic activity of bacteria. In the majority of cancer patients, the oncolytic activity of the bacteria from their intestinal microflora is below a certain limit (the cancer threshold). Conversely, the oncolytic activity of the bacteria from those that do not have cancer is above this cancer threshold.
Thus, this approach opens a path for very early diagnosis of cancer, whereby cancer can be detected before the appearance of a visible tumor. For example, a lung-cancer tumor can grow to a size of about 1 cm in diameter in about five years. Such a tumor is almost impossible to detect reliably with x-ray or computed tomography scans. However, measuring the lytic activity of a patient’s intestinal bacteria can lead to a confident cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, this method does not localize the cancer nor determine its size or type, but we can confidently determine whether the patient has the beginnings of a cancer that cannot be detected by visual methods. If the tumor is not detected by conventional means, the patient should be observed until the cancer is detected and localized. The patient could then undergo an operation in the early stages of the disease, relieving him or her from cancer. In addition, because the tumor would be detected when it is still small, this method should lead to an improvement in the treatment of cancer.
In the 1990s, this method passed a series of clinical trials in Israel (Tel Hashomer Hospital, Oncology Institute) and was shown to be highly effective.
An enormous number of certain bacteria live in our intestines (their total mass reaches 1–3 kg). And because the normal composition of these bacteria is about the same across the population, we can safely say that this mass of bacteria executes certain functions. They displace pathological bacteria from our intestines, produce most of the vitamins necessary for our immune system, and produce biologically active substances that regulate our metabolism and the proliferation of our body cells. A perturbation of the composition of certain strains of these bacteria or their function leads to a dysfunction of the gastrointestinal system called dysbiosis.
Dysbacteriosis (the etymology is similar to “dysbiosis”; from the ancient Greek δυσ—where the prefix denies the positive sense of the word, or amplifies the negative—and “bacterium”) refers to a microbial imbalance in the body. By itself, it is not a disease, although it can sometimes result from a disease.
In Russia, dysbiosis is usually understood to be intestinal dysbiosis, as defined by the Ministry of Health in 2003 as a “clinical and laboratory syndrome associated with a change in the qualitative and/or quantitative composition of intestinal microflora.”
Dysbiosis is a purely Russian invention. In the official international classification of diseases outside of Russia, such as ICD-10, dysbiosis does not exist.
Although the diagnosis of this pathology (disbiosis) in most developed countries is not accepted, attempts are nevertheless made to treat it. If dysbiosis consists of the disruption of the normal composition of intestinal microflora, an naturally idea is “If the gut bacteria of the patient are abnormal, it must be replaced with a normal microflora.” The idea is to control harmful factors by replacing abnormal intestinal microflora with normal microflora.
The bacteria clostridium cause severe diarrhea and colitis. This disease is very difficult to treat and a group of researchers [Bakken, Borody, Brandt, Brill, Demarco, Franzos, Kelly, Khoruts, Louie, Martinelli, Moore, Russell, Surawicz, Treating Clostridium difficile Infection With Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 9 (12) 1044–1049 (2011)] had the idea that, if the bacterial balance of intestinal microflora is disturbed, the “sick” microflora should be replaced with a healthy microflora taken from a healthy donor. To do this, stool from a healthy donor is inserted into the patient’s intestine. The healthy microflora then replaces the pathological microflora (i.e., the clostridium difficile). This very original method of replacing “sick” of bacteria with healthy bacteria is called Fecal Microbiota Therapy (FMT).
For FMT, feces is taken from a healthy person and liquefied by adding water to allow the resulting emulsion to be pushed through a catheter and deployed in the gastrointestinal tract, with the aim being to create a “healthy” population of bacteria. It is possible to introduce the catheter through the stomach or administer the treatment as an enema through the rectum, although the latter technique is less effective because the transplanted stool is quickly ejected, often before healthy bacteria take hold.
Many forms of donor feces exist today (capsules, suspensions) and feces donor banks store donor feces, just like banks store money.
FMT is becoming more common and, for certain intestinal infections, has become indispensable. However, this method has two major drawbacks:
1. In addition to healthy bacteria, donor feces contains various feces-toxins (stool poisons) that can harm the health of the recipient.
2. No criteria exist to define a healthy donor and no method exists to determine such criteria. Donor stool may feel great and appear healthy, when in reality it may be quite the opposite. The donor may suffer from a pathology that is undetected. Even a donor with no health problems may pose a risk, and their bacteria may be diseased and therefore ineffective or even harmful to the recipient. Human stool cannot be transplanted between humans without certain knowledge of the donor’s state of health.
In addition, transplanting another person’s stool into the stomach of the recipient is a very unpleasant procedure for the recipient. Therefore, we set ourselves the following objectives:
1. Develop the criteria to determine a suitable feces-donor candidate.
2. Select from the fecal donor those bacteria that may have a material effect on the immune system of the recipient.
3. Create a probiotic containing the bacteria to treat the patient’s immune system.
In this way, instead of accepting another person’s feces, the patient only need take a capsule of the bacteria to obtain the same therapeutic effect.
The fact that cancer patients have weakened bacteria of their intestinal microflora suggests that these bacteria play a role in the body’s defense against cancer. And if cancer patients have “weak” bacteria, then the cancer may be cured by replacing them with “strong” bacteria taken from a donor (i.e., bacteria with greater oncolytic activity). As a result of a switch to a much more natural and effective bacterial treatment, the traditional approach of chemotherapy and its horrible complications could be abandoned.
The Z.M.D Medical Company has set itself the task of finding suitable intestinal microflora donor bacteria with the highest oncopolitical activity and creating pharmaceutical preparations (probiotics) from these bacteria in forms suitable for oral ingestion. The purpose of such treatment is to improve the state of the recipient’s immune system and thereby reduce their risk of cancer.
Today, ZMD owns IP on several ways to identify donor bacteria that are suitable for oral administration and that have high oncolytic activity. Such bacteria are the best curative material for the production of probiotics.
The therapeutic effect of probiotics on the development of cancer was tested in 36 laboratory mice in the laboratory of oncology of Bar Ilan University, Israel (a pilot experiment). The goal was to demonstrate the therapeutic anticancer effect of the drug on the life expectancy of mice with cancer. The experiment was designed to answer a single question: would the probiotic mice live longer than the control mice?
The mice were grouped into three groups:
1. The control group (not receiving the probiotic).
2. Mice who were orally administered the bacteria (per os).
3. Mice who received bacteria injection into portions of the tumor (injection).
The mice who received the bacteria subcutaneously in the living cancer cells (HeLa cell culture) had life expectancies of 30–33 days. The experimental results are shown in the graph below. In the left column, the ordinate gives the absolute numbers of surviving mice. In the right column the ordinate gives the percent of surviving mice. The gray background on the per os and injection graphs compare the lifespan of the control group with that of the treated mice.
The control group received no treatment, and all died from cancer within 33 days of receiving the cancerous infection, as expected.
The per os mice were fed daily through a special catheter about 10 billion bacteria and only began to die on the 30th day after infection. Most of them survived over 45 days.
The injection group received daily injections into the tumor of about 10 billion bacteria and they, too, only began to die on the 32nd day after infection. Most of them also lived over 45 days.
On the 49th day, the experiment was terminated because of the positive effect of the bacterial drug administered orally and by injection.
In the late 1980s in Kiev a series of clinical trials were conducted to study the therapeutic effect of the mixture of bacteria for treating cancer patients from the Chernobyl disaster.
ZMD is currently conducting in lab trials of a bacterial probiotic on various forms of cancer tissues. The results are outstanding
The anticipated release of our bacterial probiotic is in 2018. In the intervening time, we expect to conduct more experiments with animal and to complete a series of clinical trials involving both hospital patients and outpatients (i.e., patients who stay at home) with various forms of cancer at different stages of development.