– Fortune Magazine
War on Cancer
In 1971 Nixon initiated a major war on cancer. The industry feuded over how centralized of a role the government should have and how the money should be spent.
Sidney Farber, the Boston physician known as the godfather of cancer research did not want to wait for the industry to academically understand the complicated workings of cancer, rather he wanted to get busy treating people even if the methods used would not be fully understood.
Dr. Farber who wanted a government controlled unified assault on cancer, testified in 1971 congressional hearings that…
Since 1971 we have wasted billions on trying to understand the diseases and getting useless cancer drugs approved before they can be used, losing over 1500 people per day!
This has been a highly profitable business for both researchers and the patent-drug corporations. However this has not created any benefits for the sick because this kind of a for profit system will only reward those taking minimum risk; finding tiny improvements in a far distant corner of the cancer world. When scientists are asked what they think of this system they talk of “dysfunctional cancer culture”
It has been known for one or two decades that preclinical human cancer models have very little predictive power in terms of how actual human tumors, inside patents, will respond. So the tumors that arise in each, with the same flip of a genetic switch, are vastly different.
Says Weinberg: “ A fundamental problem with remains to be solved in the whole cancer research effort, in terms of therapies, is that the preclinical models of human cancer, in large part, stink”
As explained by Bruce Chabner, professor of medicine at Harvard and clinical director at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center: the “instant tumors” that researchers cause in miche simply can’t mimic human cancer’s most critical and maddening trait, its quick changing DNA.
Homer Pearce, former cancer research and clinical investigator at Eli Lilly and is now research fellow at the drug company agrees that mouse models are “woefully inadequate” for determining whether a drug will work in humans: If you look at the millions and millions and millions of mice that have been cured, and you compare that to the relative success, or lack thereof, that we’ve achieved in the treatment of metastatic disease clinically” he says, “you realize that there just has to be something wrong with those models. Vishva Dixit, a VP for research in molecular oncology at Genentech in South San Francisco, is even more horrified that “99% of investigators in industry and in academia use
xenografts.” Why is the mouse model so heavily used? Simple. “it is very convenient, easily manipulated, “Dixit explains. “You can assess tumor size just by looking at it.”
If everyone understands the problem, why isn’t anything being done?
Two reasons, says Weinberg. First, there’s no other model with which to replace the poor mouse. Second, he says, “is that the FDA has created inertia because it continues to recognize these [models] as the gold standard for predicting the utility of drugs.”
It is not localized tumors that kill people with cancer; it is the process of metastasis – and incredible 90% of the time. Aggressive cells spread to the bones, liver, lungs, brain, or other vital areas, wreaking havoc.
NCI grants going back to 1972 show that less than 0.5% of study proposals focused primarily on metastasis. Of the tens of thousands of grant proposals awarded, over 90% even don’t mention the word metastasis.
M.D. Anderson’s Josh Fidler suggests that metastasis is getting short shrift simply because “it’s tough. Okay? And individual are not rewarded for doing tough things.” He claims grant reviewers are more comfortable with the studies that use antibody on a specific cancer.
FDA mandate is to make sure that a drug is safe and that it works before allowing its sale to the public. Thus, the regulators need to see hard data showing that a drug has had some effect in testing.
However, it’s hard to see “activity” in preventing something from happening in the first place. There have been little funding in the area so the biomarkers have not been found. [check Ralph Moss]
Drug companies don’t focus on metastasis (the thing that kills 90% of cancer patients) instead they focus on shrinking tumors (the thing that kills 10% of cancer pateints).
Those ineffective drugs keep getting approved with FDA. However here as in other cases in the patent-drug industry, the new drugs are not any better than the new ones – just more expensive.
FDA REWARDS INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS
The flawed models for cancer drug development:
Obsession with tumor shrinkage. Focus on cell functions to the near exclusion of what’s happening in the organisms as a whole. Clinical trials are so arduous and expensive that it takes 12 to 14 years to develop and over $800 million.
This rewards companies that spend huge time and vast money on proving that their drugs work – even if the drug only works a little better than the last one. For example shrinks tumors 10% better than previous drugs.
No one wants to risk spending over $800 million on a drug that deals with the problem of metastasis when the rules to get it approved focus more on the science than the cure.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN
Doctors need the freedom to administer drugs in combination because tumors recruit blood vessels through several signaling mechanisms, researchers believe, so the best approach is to apply several drugs, cutting off all routes.
He concludes that we need to move away from “the rules governing drug approval to tort law and intellectual property rights” and that: “Science now has the knowledge and the tools; we need to act.”
I agree that we need to move away from FDA rules governing drug approval, but I disagree that we need to replace those with tort law and intellectual property rights.
Profiteering on cancer, through intellectual property rights, is one of the main hindering factors to finding the true cure for cancer.
In fact like with many other industries, the solution is already available but suppressed.
The cure for cancer has been made available by a number of immune supporting therapies for decades. Those methods have been vilified, ridiculed and suppressed by the scientific community.
If we were in a court of law, arguing a murder case, the evidence would suffice to persuade a jury.
When it comes to curing cancer using lifestyle, food and supplements the burden of proof becomes overwhelming.
Let me mention an example. Dr. Hulda Clark presented meticulous case histories of over 50 people that she treated for cancer in her book “The Cure for All Advanced Cancers”. The success rate for advanced cancer is about 95%
Those case histories were supported with before and after x-rays and other medical information. So you can count on this method, not merely hope it will work for you. It is a total approach that not only shrinks tumors, but also normalizes your blood chemistry, lowers your cancer markers, and returns your health. The small failure rate (5%) is due to clinical emergencies that beset the advanced cancer sufferer. However, if you combine the advice in this book with access to hospital care, even “hopeless” patients can gain the time necessary to become well again.
If a jury would be asked to deliberate and decide if cancer can be cured using her methods and they were given the evidence in the book, I am confident they would rule that Dr. Hulda Clark did actually cure those people.
However this is not the experience Dr. Clark had when asking an oncologist to testify if the x-rays and medical information presented indicated a cure of cancer. The doctor simply asked for a biopsy. He told Dr. Clark that he could not testify that the original series of x-rays he had in his hands, that clearly indicated a shrinking tumor, indicated that it was in fact tumor. He needed a biopsy to be conclusive.
The laws governing medical treatment need to be changed to primarily support natural therapies, that incorporate lifestyle, food and supplements.