Cancer... It’s a word that strikes fear in almost everyone. And alternative cancer treatment? It's a question I'm often asked.
When I was five years old, my mom struggled with two types of cancer for nearly half a decade. Then my dad was diagnosed with cancer when I was 15.
Then came my great-grandfather, grandfather, grandmother, and uncle. Then… my husband.
My personal story is not unique. Thankfully, more of us survive cancer than ever before due to early detection and better treatments. But unfortunately, 40% of us will get cancer in our lifetime because of higher incidence. That’s an all-time high, and if conventional treatment fails, it often forces people to consider alternative cancer treatment.
You have most likely arrived here in search of answers and hope, for either yourself or a loved one. And despite some depressing statistics, I believe hope and answers are possible.
Depending on what you’ve tried, yes. My goal is to help you learn about the most effective alternative cancer treatments available today, how they work, and how to access them.
This website’s primary focus is cancer immunotherapy and the many measures that can offer support to your immune health. Some of those measures are so-called alternative cancer treatment.
What is cancer immunotherapy? Very simply, it is treatment that uses your body’s own immune system, or artificial immune molecules, to fight cancer. Cancer immunotherapy can take many different forms: vaccines, checkpoint inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and so on. I will cover these cancer immunotherapies available in conventional treatment or clinical trials in the US.
Like many alternative cancer treatments, the first cancer immunotherapy was dismissed by the American Cancer Society as unproven. As a result, radiotherapy and chemotherapy have dominated the scene of cancer treatment for nearly 100 years.
But as evidence has emerged that immunotherapy for cancer actually works, it is no longer on the fringe or considered an alternative cancer treatment. It is once again becoming mainstream. “Once again?” you ask. “I thought this was new!”
No, it’s not.
"Spontaneous remission.” It’s a term used to describe the unexpected healing of cancer without medical intervention.
Since the early 1700s, we’ve known about spontaneous remissions of cancer. They are documented in the medical literature. And no, these surprise recoveries from cancer had nothing to do with detoxifying, eating organic, or exercising!
Great, right!? You don’t have to change anything about your lifestyle!
Don’t get too excited just yet.
What is responsible for these old cases of spontaneous remission? Serious infections. As people fought infections like diphtheria, malaria, measles, smallpox, and tuberculosis, they also became cured of their cancers.
Suddenly it’s understandable why we wouldn’t see much spontaneous remission of cancer today! And it sounds even less fun than eating healthy or exercising!
Nearly 5000 years ago in ancient Egypt, the ancient physician Imhotep treated cancer by making an incision in a tumor. The tumor would become infected, and as the patient developed an immune response that cleared the infection, the cancer would also regress.
But obviously, playing with infections in this way is very risky. So, what if we could harness the power of infection without risking its deadliness?
A New York doctor who once worked at what is now Sloan-Kettering decided to experiment and find out. The result was the first cancer vaccine ever developed, and arguably the most successful one.
In the late 1800s, Dr. William Coley developed a mixed bacterial vaccine to mimic spontaneous remission. He used it with wild success, curing 50% or more of hundreds of cancer patients. When I say “cured” I mean that they were long-term cancer survivors who never experienced a recurrence. The use of this first cancer vaccine then faded into oblivion after he died.
Oh, boy. I’ve just waded off into conspiracy theory territory! Right?
No, I’m not kidding. The medical literature backs me up. And it’s not make-believe medical literature by some random person on the internet who “did their research” on Yahoo! Answers.
Here, let me show you something. This was written in 2009 by two doctors, one of which works at a prestigious institution: MD Anderson Cancer Center. And it was published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal, Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews.
"By 1893, Coley had settled upon an admixture of heat-killed S. pyogenes and heat-killed Bacillus prodigious… This fortuitous combination of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria possessed a wide array of immunostimulatory properties that allowed Dr. Coley to achieve long-term cure rates unrivaled by medical science in the 73 years since his death.” (1)
In 1963, the American Cancer Society classified Coley’s vaccine as an unproven method of cancer management: what most people would call "alternative cancer treatment." It removed this designation ten years later, but serious damage had already been done. Since then, in order to conduct clinical studies of Coley's famous vaccine, investigators are required to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA.
What happened after Coley died in 1936? It’s a complicated history. To make a long story short, radiation and chemotherapy could be standardized much more easily than Coley’s vaccine, which varied from batch to batch. And no one — not even Coley himself — understood how his first cancer vaccine worked.
If those sound like bad reasons for not using Coley's therapy, they are. But consider this. Doctors also resisted the practice of hand washing for similar reasons for around 50 years in the 1800s, even though it obviously worked.
In essence, what was once a mainstream therapy became an alternative cancer treatment.
More than 100 years later, based on dozens of studies, we’ve identified many of the molecules the immune system will produce when it encounters Coley’s vaccine. Interleukin 2. GM-CSF. Tumor necrosis factor. Interferon alpha. There are many others.
These molecules have been used with some success in cancer clinical trials. What is now considered an alternative cancer treatment, Coley's vaccine, has been a springboard for the modern re-emergence of cancer immunotherapy.
Patients with terminal cancer are now beating their disease, and they are increasingly doing so with some form of cancer immunotherapy. Alternative cancer treatment no more... Jimmy Carter was recently declared melanoma-free thanks to a newly developed cancer immunotherapy.
And there are hundreds of other such stories that pre-date Carter by around a century: William Coley’s patients, documented in hundreds of Coley’s own scientific publications. Scientifically, we know now that what happened with these patients is similar to what Carter’s immune system was guided to do.
We hear frequently in the news about programmable “nanobots” — microscopic science fiction entities that may someday be developed and released within our bodies to fight cancer while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
But you already have an amazing array of nanobots that we are learning once again how to program, guide, and stimulate. It’s called your immune system.
I do not promise that you will experience a cure for cancer. At this point in history, no one can. But there is evidence for some alternative cancer treatments, and I'm going to show you which ones have a scientific basis.
What I do know is that you can absolutely increase your chances of become a cancer survivor. Yes, even if you have so-called terminal cancer.
For those who have just been diagnosed and are awaiting surgery: Read these two crucial articles FIRST!
1) Save your tumor tissue for making a personalized vaccine.
2) Save your tumor tissue for chemo-sensitivity testing.
Learn about cancer immunotherapy now available in the US.
Learn about US cancer clinical trials in which you can participate.
Learn about receiving immunotherapy outside the US.
Learn about nutrition for cancer to support your immune health.
(1) Decker WK, Safdar A. Bioimmunoadjuvants for the treatment of neoplastic and infectious disease: Coley's legacy revisited. Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2009 Aug;20(4):271-81. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2009.07.004.