Table of Contents - Issue 17

Reversing Cancer Successfully - Issue # 17


Several of the world's best-documented alternative cancer treatments come together at this 70-bed hospital in Tijuana.

By Richard Leviton


Here at the Centro Hospitalario Internacional Pacifico SA, or CHIPSA, in Tijuana, Mexico, a synthesis of some of the world's leading anticancer approaches is taking place. The fusion could profoundly affect the course of alternative cancer treatments.

The first element comes from German anticancer legend, Josef M. Issels, M.D., who joined CHIPSA in late 1996. In 1951, Dr. Issels founded Germany's first hospital devoted to immunological treatments; by 1970, this hospital specialized in cancer and had grown to 120 beds. Dr. Issels was among the first physicians to recognize the fundamental importance of the predisposing biochemical condition of the cancer patient�"the precancerous milieu"�and to attribute the cause of cancer to multiple overlapping influences affecting the whole body.

Among these are dental factors, such as the presence of mercury dental amalgams and root canals, and the negative influence of diseased tonsils, all of which focus infections and toxins throughout the body, weakening the immune system, said Dr. Issels. In a study of 370 cancer patients on Dr. Issels' program, 87% (322) were still alive with their cancers in regression after five years.

The second element is the anticancer diet therapy developed by German physician Max B. Gerson, M.D. (1881-1959), administered at CHIPSA by the Max Gerson Memorial Cancer Center, which reserves 35 of CHIPSA's 70 hospital beds for the study, development, and refinement of the nutrition-based Gerson treatment.

Dr. Gerson is now recognized as a pioneering formulator of one of this century's early and successful alternative cancer approaches. His dietary plan is complex, but it emphasizes the consumption of high amounts of freshly prepared vegetable juices, potassium and enzyme supplementation, and the strategic restriction of protein, calories, sodium, and fats. (See the accompanying sidebar for the statistics for five-year survival rates on the Gerson therapy, p. 68.)

In addition, CHIPSA has integrated other innovative modalities including Coley's toxins, injectable urea, and placental vaccines, as developed by an American, Greek, and Russian physician, respectively.

The multimodal anticancer approach comes together at CHIPSA's fully-equipped hospital (established in the 1970s) which has a full-service surgery and 24-hour emergency room. A highly competent and diverse staff of 60 specialists includes 12 physicians and 18 registered nurses under the supervision of Victor Ortuno, M.D., assisted by Dan E. Rogers, Director of Clinical Investigations, Raphael Cedeno, M.D., medical director, and Gar Hilden-brand, who is in charge of clinical epidemiology.

"We call our approach a specialized multidisciplinary cancer center," explains Hildenbrand. "As Dr. Gerson practiced what he called �totality medicine' and Dr. Issels has his �whole body medicine,' we draw on every discipline that can favorably affect the health of the patient."

A core element of the CHIPSA program is an ongoing modification and "amplification" of Dr. Gerson's nutritional immunology as he formulated it in 1958, says Hildenbrand. "We're enlarging it, making it a more powerful approach."

FORCING FLUIDS. The Gerson program calls for the hourly consumption of enormous amounts of plant nutrients via freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices from organically raised produce. Typically a patient drinks 13 glasses of juice every day, principally carrot, apple, and green leaf. "Besides beta carotene, there are roughly 10,000 phytochemicals in a carrot," says Hildenbrand. "We often begin the therapy by pumping the patient full of juices, �forcing' the nutrients into their system."

PROTEIN RESTRICTION. "In our view, restricting protein intake alone is one of the most powerful manipulations of the immune system we can do," says Hildenbrand. When a person overconsumes proteins and calories, it directly affects how the immune system functions, specifically its T cells. Too much protein makes the T cells become highly specific and they then focus on only one pathogen at a time.

The trouble is, says Hildenbrand, if a tumor starts to grow, representing the effects of numerous different pathogens simultaneously, the T cells may not recognize it at all because it is too general and they are also suppressed. But when you radically cut back on protein intake, restrict calories, and speed up metabolism (energy release from foods), "the T cells become nonspecific again�it usually takes about six weeks�and thus extremely active and vigilant, capable of going after many pathogens at once," says Hildenbrand.

During the program, the cancer patient practices a mainly vegetarian diet, avoiding most animal proteins and relying on nonfat dairy products (free from bovine growth hormone), particularly yogurt and pure old-fashioned farmer's cheese. Among its other merits, pure dairy products contain casein, which is one of the richest food sources of tyrosine, the amino acid foundation of thyroxine, a key thyroid hormone.

LIMIT FATS AND CALORIE CONSUMPTION. Fat intake is severely limited with the exception of certain essential fatty acids, namely the omega-3s and omega-6s, in small amounts. Overall calorie intake is maintained at 3000 calories per day, of which 1300 come from the juices and the rest are delivered through complex carbohydrates.

The reason for restricting calories is that excess calories�"unburned" or not metabolized�can suppress the body's immune response, says Hildenbrand. The approach here is to increase metabolism so that every calorie consumed is used and not stored. "The two major suppressants found in the average cancer patient's diet (before coming here), besides chemical toxins, are excess protein and calories."

SODIUM REMOVAL DIET. Twice daily CHIPSA cancer patients consume a special soup made from leaks, parsley, and celery. The goal is to push sodium out of the body and to thereby reduce water retention (edema). According to Hilden-brand, "the average cancer patient carries around about a gallon of excess water in the cells. This is clinically nondetectable edema, yet it accounts for so much of what the cancer pathology is about�weak liver function, poor digestion, slow surgical wound healing, susceptibility to skin infections, among others."

Sodium is the principal factor in cellular water retention, and this in turn leads to an energy drain, Hildenbrand says. "When a cell is damaged by a lack of oxygen, poisoning, or nutrient insufficiency (which are part of the cancer picture), the cell begins to leak potassium and energy in the form of a substance called ATP."

At the same time, the cell gains sodium, chloride, and water, and begins to swell. "Then the energy transport mechanisms shut down and the cell cannot make enough energy to correct itself," says Hildenbrand. The special vegetable soup helps to push the excess sodium out of the cells; potassium supplementation further helps to restore the correct balance between these two minerals.

NUTRIENTS. Patients are usually given a daily combination of Brewer's yeast (2 tablespoons, 3X), liquid liver capsules (5 capsules, 3X), and coenzyme Q10 (600 mg, in divided doses) to help rebuild energy levels. They also get on a daily basis vitamin E (2500 IU), bovine cartilage (9 g, in divided doses), selenium (500-1000 mcg), vitamin B3 (niacin: 50 mg, 6X), and vitamin C (intravenously: 60 g or more). Hilden-brand notes that vitamins E and B3 and coenzyme Q10 act together, powerfully enhancing one another's effects within the cell's "energy factory."

OXYGEN THERAPIES. CHIPSA physicians may treat their cancer patients with hyperbaric oxygen (delivered under pressure to the whole body in a sealed chamber) to improve the health of the tissues (damaged by the tumor toxins) surrounding a cancer mass. Ozone is also administered daily (through the rectum) to get more oxygen into the cells and to enhance the patient's subjective sense of well-being, says Hilden-brand.

COFFEE ENEMA. To detoxify the liver and intestines of carcinogens and noxious chemicals, CHIPSA doctors resort primarily to coffee enemas, usually given every four hours. To preserve the coffee's unique detoxifying abilities, it must be boiled and strained, then decanted through a mesh strainer but not filtered, says Hildenbrand. Research indicates that glutathione-S-transferase, the body's most powerful enzyme system and central to the anticancer defense, does not respond to filtered coffee since filtering removes key chemicals called palmitates which stimulate glutathione's detoxifying activities.

HYPERTHERMIA. Heat treatment�deliberately raising body temperature temporarily into the fever level�by way of full body immersion in hot baths and drinking herbal teas that produce sweating is another important detoxification technique at CHIPSA. "We've observed that injecting laetrile before the hyperthermia results in tumor temperature rising several degrees above body temperature to 107� F while the body is at 103-104� F," says Hildenbrand. Often DMSO, laetrile, and urea are given to the patient before receiving the heat treatment; urea in particular has a stronger effect if given during a fever.

UREA. The use of an odorless, white crystalline substance called urea was pioneered in the 1950s by Greek physician Evangelos Danopoulos, M.D., of the Medical School of Athens University. Urea, a natural by-product of protein digestion, is normally eliminated through the urine. Dr. Danopoulos found that a 50% solution of purified urea (isolated from urine) injected around the tumor site, disrupts the process necessary for uncontrolled cell growth of the tumor. Urea helps to reduce the bulk of the tumor mass.

COLEY'S TOXINS. In the 1920s, New York physician Wil-liam B. Coley, M.D., found that certain infectious diseases�notably, from bacteria�might stimulate a therapeutic effect against malignancies when introduced into the body in the form of a sterilized vaccine. Dr. Coley found his "toxins" could give the body's anticancer defenses a nonspecific "kick" by mobilizing their defenses against an easier opponent, namely the bacteria in the vaccine.

Dr. Coley's "mixed toxins" derive from heat-killed strains of the bacteria Strepto-coccus pyogenes and Serratia marcescens. Once introduced into the patient, the bacteria produce a beneficial inflammatory response (including fever). "Our strategy is to prepare the patient by cleansing the intercellular milieu and strengthening the nonspecific immune activity, then to trigger the immune system with Coley's toxins," Hildenbrand explains.

GOVALLO'S PLACENTAL VACCINE. Now known in North America as VG-1000, this immune-stimulating vaccine was developed in the 1970s by Russian immunologist Valentin Govallo. It works to disable the immune-protection system of the tumor itself as a way of "killing" the cancer cells. The vaccine is prepared from human placentas obtained only from natural births.

EMOTIONAL ISSUES. CHIPSA offers frequent patient participation sessions to address the emotional issues that "confound" the treatment, says Hildenbrand. "We try to bring these issues into consciousness because many patients come in with what I call post-traumatic stress disorder from the prognosis." They also have to reverse the intensely pessimistic programming that they have received from conventional doctors regarding outcomes. They may have been told there's nothing that can be done for them and they will probably die in a few months, Hildenbrand adds.

Quite simply, many patients need to be reminded that death is not the only outcome of having cancer, he says. Survival is just as likely. "We try to help them understand that the helpless, hopeless syndrome is one that severely suppresses their immune system and that fighting the disease is a better state of mind." o