We have all heard stories of apparently miraculous recoveries from terminal cancer, but are any of these accounts true? Absolutely. Medical journals have published thousands of case histories about seemingly incurable patients who have seen their cancers disappear in the absence of medical treatment. These examples of spontaneous regression demonstrate the power of the human immune system. It can cure cancer.
In recent years cancer survival rates have improved, but a related statistic has worsened. While patients are surviving longer, a person is more likely to die from cancer today than fifty years ago. The increase in mortality rates is in part due to cancer treatments introduced since 1950 that damage the immune system. To reverse this trend, new treatments are needed that stimulate the latent power of the immune system. This sounds like cutting-edge science, but the first immune therapy for cancer is more than one hundred years old. Even more surprising, this historical therapy is considered the equal of modern cancer treatments in terms of five-year survival, and superior in terms of long-term cure.
In 1891, a young New York doctor named William Coley encountered a case of spontaneous regression following an accidental infection. In the belief that a deliberate infection might also induce the body to rid itself of cancer, Coley injected a terminally ill patient with a virulent strain of bacteria. The patient suffered an attack of infectious disease lasting more than a week. By the time the infection subsided, the cancerous tumors had begun to break down and within a few weeks the cancer had entirely disappeared.
In an age when most doctors practiced surgery, Coley’s minimally invasive therapy had many detractors. Others considered the new therapy impractical because it was most effective when treatments continued for up to a year or more. With the introduction of fast-acting radiation therapy at the turn of the century, the use of Coley’s therapy became even less popular, and with the rise of chemotherapy in the 1950s, the first cancer therapy that induced the power of the immune system all but vanished.
From the perspective of the immune system and in non-technical language, the author describes the convoluted history and future promise of cancer treatments, and explores the roles of genetics, diet, lifestyle, infection and the power of the mind, in the development, prevention, and spontaneous regression of cancer.
Donald H. MacAdam has been a senior officer or director at more than twenty companies in the electronics, software, automation, communications, and biotechnology industries including Agile Systems, Annulus Technical Industries, AutoBranch Technologies, Comdale Technologies, CRS Robotics, CTL ImmunoTherapies, Disys, Hammond Power Solutions, Kyto Biopharma, Varah Electronics, Q4 Instruments and Tm Bioscience. With numerous startups and multiple IPOs to his credit, Mr. MacAdam is uniquely qualified to explain how to start, build and finance a technology company.