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Cancer and the Bacterial Connection

March 06, 2008 | 76,516 views

william coley, dr. coley, bacteria, cancer, cancer treatment, treating cancer with bacteriaIn the 1890’s, New York surgeon William Coley tried a radical cancer treatment -- injecting patients with disease-causing bacteria. After weeks of chills and fevers, many showed significant tumor regression, although Coley himself could not explain why.

Some contemporary scientists think Coley had the right idea. Germs may be able to teach your body how to fight back against tumors. While it has not yet been proven, new studies have revealed that certain cancers may be reduced by exposure to disease-causing bacteria and viruses, which result in a boost for your body‘s natural immunity.

The studies also imply that our infection-free lifestyles may be contributing to the rise in cancers over the past 50 years. Germs cause disease, but they may also fortify the body.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

William Bradley Coley, born January 12, 1862, in the small Connecticut community of Saugatuck, went on to make a name for himself as a Sherlock Holmes of cancer medicine. In the book A Commotion in the Blood, author Stephen Hall describes how the young Dr. Coley became obsessed with finding a cure for bone cancer after helplessly watching a young woman being ravaged by the disease after sustaining a light crushing injury to her hand. She died quickly, riddled with tumors.

On a side note, this young woman, named Elizabeth Dashiell, also happened to be a good friend of legendary John D. Rockefeller. It was her death that spurred Rockefeller to channel his grief into cancer research, which eventually led to the creation of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University), where the work of Dr. Coley was initially supported.

Dr. Coley, who began his three-year medical education at Harvard in 1886, went on to fashion a crude anti-tumor vaccine using live Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, in 1891. Remarkably, when tabulating and publishing his initial results in 1893, four out of 17 cases of advanced cancer were permanently cured, 10 showed improvement, while three showed no improvement at all.

Since then, medicine has rejected the work of Dr. Coley, with few exceptions. A 2003 article in the Postgraduate Medical Journal 2003;79:672-680 states :  

“Spontaneous tumor regression has followed bacterial, fungal, viral, and protozoal infections… [Coley] observed that inducing a fever  was crucial for tumor regression. Unfortunately, at the present time little credence is given to the febrile response in fighting infections—no less cancer. Rapidly growing tumors contain large numbers of leucocytes. These cells play a part in both defense and repair; however, reparative functions can also support tumor growth. Intratumoural infections may reactivate defensive functions, causing tumor regression. Can it be a coincidence that this method of immunotherapy has been "rediscovered" repeatedly throughout the centuries?”

That’s an interesting question, especially in light of the work of Dr. Geerd Hamer’s German New Medicine (GNM). For the past three decades, Dr. Hamer has studied the causative factors, and the healing pathways of cancer.

Fever – Sign of Disease, or Healing?

The connection between Dr. Coley’s and Dr. Hamer’s work lies in one of the fundamental principles of GNM, which states that your body heals itself through heat, i.e. inflammation, infection, and often fever. Hence – contrary to conventional wisdom -- anytime you’re dealing with a fever or inflammation, your body is in fact in the healing phase, not in the disease phase.

But getting back to the issue of using bacteria as a treatment of cancer, the main issue that strikes me is the fact that this idea stops just short of getting to the root of the problem, which lies in the functioning of your immune system.

A robust immune system is in most cases capable of clearing out any abnormal proliferation of cells (cancer), so that a tumor never actually develops. A weak immune system, however, will not be able to work as efficiently, leaving you open to develop any number of diseases, including cancer.

Granted, cancer treatment options must continue to be explored. But it saddens me that so little conventional cancer information focuses on prevention and the real cure.

Conventional researchers want to be able to use this form of immunotherapy to convert cancer into a chronic but controllable disease. That’s the fundamental difference between conventional medicine and real healing.

Since I’ve already written about Dr. Hamer’s discoveries regarding how cancer can be cured, let me delve into one of the MOST BASIC issues that you MUST take into consideration if you want to avoid cancer, or if you are already dealing with a cancer diagnosis, namely SUGAR.

What’s the Deal With Sugar and Cancer?

I truly believe that your psyche/mind and body are intricately connected, and that you cannot separate the two without dire consequences. However, you can certainly improve the resilience of your body, so that you are better able to handle any negative stresses imposed by your mind. (Likewise, improving your emotional health will aid in dealing with physical stresses.)

Maintaining a strong healthy immune system is a mandatory step in maintaining robust health and creating an environment where your body has everything it needs to heal at its disposal – without injecting bacteria to artificially induce an immune response, which can tax your system and leave you even more vulnerable to further health problems.

Reducing (or preferably eliminating) sugar, and limiting grain carbohydrates from your diet is usually number one on my list of cancer reducing strategies, and for good reason.

Conventional medical science has a tendency to put the cart before the horse, and that certainly seems to be the case here. It puzzles me why the simple concept that "sugar feeds cancer" can be so dramatically overlooked as part of a comprehensive cancer prevention- or cancer treatment plan.

Very few cancer patients undergoing conventional cancer care in America are offered any scientifically guided nutrition therapy beyond being told to "just eat good foods." I believe many cancer patients would have a major improvement in their outcome if they controlled the supply of cancer's preferred fuel, glucose.

How Does Sugar Feed Cancer?

Controlling your blood-glucose levels through diet, exercise and emotional stress relief can be one of the most crucial components to a cancer recovery program.

The 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells.

Malignant tumors tend to use a process where glucose is used as a fuel by the cancer cells, creating lactic acid as a byproduct. The large amount of lactic acid produced by this fermentation of glucose from cancer cells is then transported to your liver. This conversion of glucose to lactic acid generates a lower, more acidic pH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue from lactic acid buildup.

This is a very inefficient pathway for energy metabolism, which extracts only about 5 percent of the available energy in your food supply. In simplistic terms, the cancer is "wasting" energy, which leads you to become both tired and undernourished, and as the vicious cycle continues, will lead to body wasting.

This is one of the reasons why about 40 percent of cancer patients die from malnutrition, or cachexia.

Additionally, carbohydrates from glucose and sucrose significantly decreases the capacity of neutrophils to do their job. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that help cells to envelop and destroy invaders, such as cancer.

By severely reducing your intake of sugars and carbohydrates in your diet, you help stave off any potential cancer growth, and “starve” any tumors you currently have. It also bolsters your overall immune function, because sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately.

The Different Types of Sugar

Sugar is a generic term used to identify simple carbohydrates, which includes monosaccharides such as fructose, glucose and galactose; and disaccharides such as maltose and sucrose (white table sugar). Think of these sugars as different-shaped bricks in a wall.

When fructose is the primary monosaccharide brick in the wall, the glycemic index registers as healthier, since this simple sugar is slowly absorbed in the gut, then converted to glucose in the liver. This makes for "time-release foods," which offer a more gradual rise and fall in blood-glucose levels.

If glucose is the primary monosaccharide brick in the wall, the glycemic index will be higher and less healthy for the individual. As the brick wall is torn apart in digestion, the glucose is pumped across the intestinal wall directly into the bloodstream, rapidly raising blood-glucose levels.

In other words, there is a "window of efficacy" for glucose in the blood: levels too low make you feel lethargic and can create clinical hypoglycemia; levels too high start creating the rippling effect of health problems such as diabetes, blood vessel deterioration, heart disease and cancer.

Keep in mind that the glycemic index rating of a sugary food may be lower than that of a starchy food. Therefore, I recommend eating less fruit, more vegetables, and little to no refined sugars.

[+] Sources and References

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