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Free Radical Therapy Blog » 2011» February

Archive for February, 2011

Stem Cell Therapy, Cancer and FRT: The Good, the Bad and the Promising (Part Two)

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Stem cell harvest

Stem cell harvest

Now for the Promising…

I’m going to start today with a personal twist on stem cell research. More than 10 years ago, the Institute for Health Realities sponsored a super symposium on cancer in Colorado Springs. At the meeting, our featured speaker, Mary Hendricks, Ph.D.*, showed that cancer may use a stem cell to metastasize, becoming most aggressive as it develops its own blood supply (rather than depending upon any existing supply route). Cancer accomplished this feat by mimicking our process of angiogenesis, but with its own unique architecture. With such being the case, it is clear that the new blood supply was no accident. It was all part of cancer’s ongoing strategy.**

Dr. Hendricks then gave us hope of finding an answer to the disease. Cancer, she explained, doesn’t start with a stem cell. It must be acquired later, from us. Cancer begins its life attached to endothelium using a glue-like protein, E-cadherin. It is during this initial stage of attachment that our own body is best equipped to kill it through programmed cell death (apoptosis). If we fail to kill it during its early stage, a time when our body is likely to be suffering the negative impact of the six subclinical defects characteristic of FRT, we run the risk of inadvertently activating a set of enzymes, called the MMPs, that loosen E-cadherin’s grip on the cancer. Upon being set free, the cancer starts to express a set of genetic instructions of its own, some of which work toward recruiting a stem cell from among our own adult stem cells.

The same six subclinical events that allow for the inadvertent activation of MMP enzymes, particularly acid stress and an anaerobic tendency, have long been known to associate with cancer onset. Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for this revelation back in the 1930’s. These imbalances, as was later discovered, impart to the cancer the ability to recruit one of our stem cells for its benefit. It is these key events that give emphasis to the importance of prevention by applying the Designed2Win Model of Health. Stopping cancer early has long been preferred over later, as once it separates from the endothelium the person affected is at greater disadvantage, which then calls for medical intervention.

In the coming weeks and months much discussion will appear in the news relative to how science is planning to counter the possibility of transplanting cancer during stem cell therapy. Someone will find a way to lessen the risk. Yet, the key point to take away from this, is that clinicians should get very serious with their patients with the concept of prevention. Free Radical Therapy may be the best approach to this end, as it deals with the six subclinical events important for maintaining the integrity of E-cadherin long enough for our immune system to kill the cancer early on. Similarly, there is some evidence that addressing the six cellular subclinical homeostatic controls assessed through chemistry may likewise protect T cell function while helping to derail cancer’s ability to recruit our adult stem cell for its own benefit.

“Prevention has its own rewards, that you may never know the disease you are trying to prevent.” ~ Author unknown

* Dr. Mary Hendricks was president of FASEB at the time of the seminar. FASEB is the largest life science organization in the world, with 70,000 member scientists. Her discovery that cancer undergoes angiogenesis mimicry provided an important answer to why anti-angiogenesis drugs often fail, and what you might do to correct the problem.

** The complete recording from this symposium is available from our office. Ask for the Super Symposium 2000 series, or order here.

Stem Cell Therapy, Cancer and FRT: The Good, the Bad and the Promising (Part One)

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

We’ll begin with the good and bad…

Stem cells are those unique little cells strategically located throughout the body, and within the fast growing embryo, that impart the capacity to grow any part of a human body per whatever genetic instructions are applied.

Stem cells were first identified in relation to blood cells. The discovery helped scientists understand how the body could make blood cells so rapidly in response to the various challenges (i.e. infection and blood loss). This led oncologists some 30 years ago to begin implanting stem cells, commonly called HCT, as a therapy to restore bone marrow damaged by chemotherapy. Today, they are used in a variety of ways not just to replace damaged blood cells but to treat cancer.

Not surprisingly, embryonic stem cells have shown the greatest potential for use in stem cell therapy, as adult stem cells tend to become quieter with age. Nevertheless there are rules in place that restrict the use of embryonic stem cells and so science has learned to harvest adult stem cells and rewind them so they resemble embryonic stem cells functionally. These so-called IPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells, the ones most generally used in research, have understandably created much excitement with their potential for treating disease. When properly placed, prodded and programmed, the IPS cells can potentially help make new any part of the human body or its functional components.

On this basis several companies are moving forward with high expectations. The Geron Corporation, for one, is testing a treatment for spinal cord injury, while Advanced Cell Technology is testing a therapy for macular degeneration. Yet it now appears that cancer also has its eye on our stem cells. Cancer has shown the potential to use our implanted stem cells for their own benefit. The risk rises, for instance, for developing a secondary breast cancer in people who have been treated with hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT),* where stem cells are injected into the bloodstream.

Cancer stem cells are hardly new. The first recorded encounter happened back in the 1950’s when a well-intentioned doctor biopsied the cervical cancer of a lady in Baltimore named Henrietta Lacks. These HeLa cells (as they are known today) grew so fast that within a few short months they were turning up in every cancer laboratory in the world.

Henrietta LacksHenrietta Lacks

So researchers are having difficulty trying to discern which stem cells plucked from a human donor won’t cause cancer in the recipient, and how to kill a cancer’s stem cell along with their resulting tumors.

Next up – How FRT leads to a more promising outcome.

* Blood, January 15, 2008.

Kidney Stones, Heart Disease and Vitamin D

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

How to make FRT sense of the latest findings

For clinicians who practice in accordance with Free Radical Therapy™ (FRT), the results of a recently published 20-year epidemiological study that appeared in the Journal of Urology is of no surprise.* Kidney stones are a reliable predictor of arterial disease occurring years later. What is surprising to the FRT clinician, who will declare this “old hat,” is the claim by the research team that the finding was new.

Free calcium excess, preceded (and accompanied) by acid stress and dehydration, have long been recognized as prerequisites for calcium oxalate stone development, a scenario that occurs in 70% of all kidney stones. The same excess of free calcium is further known to lower the threshold for the calcification seen in arterial disease.

The biggest risk to society from these latest findings is the fact that they will ultimately become shared with other epidemiologists who will eventually note (through the science of association) that those with kidney stones who later get arterial disease will also demonstrate a low serum vitamin D. This latter finding they will see as reason to supplement with vitamin D.

Hello out there! Is no one listening?

The body, when faced with severe acid stress and the corresponding lack of protein and phosphate required to prevent free calcium (and the subsequent bout with stone formation), will in self-defense lower its serum vitamin D.

Serum vitamin D can also get low in response to an excess of active vitamin D, occurring as a negative feedback that’s typical of how any hormone works. Either of these scenarios can raise the risk for free calcium excess and kidney stones, ultimately heart disease. These facts, long been known by basic science researchers, often get lost by the blinders that for far too long have accompanied epidemiology. This point was strongly emphasized in our recently published 4-part series on Vitamin D (Health Realities Journal).

Basic science revealed long ago that either disease or a toxic level of active vitamin D – accompanied by a rise in free calcium excess – is fundamental to the body’s decision to lower its serum vitamin D. (This can occur with or without a low body burden of vitamin D, even to the point of resisting a rise in the serum level from vitamin D supplementation). In this manner the body is programmed to protect itself against further accumulation of free, unbound calcium.

Yes, I know….vitamin D was not a part of the study cited here. Yet, it and other topics pertinent to the FRT concept must always be considered if we are to ever make a clinically useful application to the constant flow of research that comes our way.

Lesson Learned: Use whatever kidney stone experience you may have early in your practice as a reason to begin FRT. The arterial disease and future kidney stone risk that you thwart, could very well make your effort and mine worthwhile.

* Reiner, A.P., et al, “Kidney Stones and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Young Adults: The CARDIA Study,” J Urol, Jan 18, 2011 [E-pub ahead of print].