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Promising Cancer Treatments that Target Our Immune System - Part 1

by Mike Menkes(more info)

listed in cancer, originally published in issue 210 - November 2013

Cancer = World’s #1 Killer

Scheme of cancer progression

Fig.1 Scheme of cancer progression. Credit: University of Alberta

The ‘War on Cancer’ commonly includes radical surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, procedures which often lead to the death of patients. Advances in out-of-the-box medical procedures utilizing proven natural remedies have exploited the innate efficacy of our immune system to fight cancer with  minimal risks to cancer patients.

Chemo/radiation/surgery interventions attack the tumour. While they may provide the options of choice in advanced cancer, what are the actual outcomes and prognoses?

“The outcome varies from complete recovery to palliative treatment. The effect of the chemotherapy depends upon the stage of the underlying cancer, whether the cancer is localized or systemic, the cytotoxic agents chosen, as well as the individual's general health and other medical conditions.”[1]

What if there are ways to integrate both allopathic and alternative cancer treatments? What if a cancer patient has enough time to choose one before or after the other?

Characteristics of Proven Natural Cancer Nutrients

  • Antimutagenic - prevents inducing genetic mutations;
  • Antimetastatic/Antiproliferative - prevents spread of a disease from the organ or tissue of origin to another part of the body;
  • Antioxidant - prevents or delays deterioration of cells by free radicals;
  • Antitumorogenic - blocks the production or formation of a tumour or tumours;
  • Proapoptotic - stimulates natural cell death;
  • Cytotoxic - the degree to which an agent possesses a specific destructive action on certain cells;
  • Immunomodulating - can activate macrophages, natural killer cells, antigen-dependent T lymphocytes;
  • Autophagic - participates in the recycling of cellular components by sequestering damaged organelles and misfolded proteins, targeting them for lysosomal degradation.[2]

Foods and Herbs Containing Proven Anti-Cancer Nutrients

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard "...contains apigenin flavonoids, namely vitexin, vitexin-2-O-rhamnoside and vitexin-2-O-xyloside, which show antiproliferative activity on cancer cell lines."[3]


"...several works are mentioned which have demonstrated the potent antioxidant activity of betalains from beets], which has been associated with protection against degenerative diseases."[4]

Nigella sativa black cumin seed

Nigella sativa [black cumin seed] extracts possess the ability to suppress the proliferation of human breast cancer cells through induction of apoptosis.[5]


“These results suggest that cranberry phytochemical extracts possess the ability to suppress the proliferation of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells and this suppression is at least partly attributed to both the initiation of apoptosis and the G1 phase arrest.”[6]

Sideritis cardiac - ironwort

Anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, and cytotoxic effects of Sideritis cardiac [Mountain tea, ironwort] extracts.[7]

medicinal mushrooms

Enhanced antiproliferative effects of aqueous extracts of cordyceps medicinal mushrooms on advanced cancer cells.[8]


“In summary, we showed that (1) compound K [derived from ginseng] induces autophagy as well as apoptosis in HCT-116 colon cancer cells”[9]

lemon - naringenin

Naringenin is a bioflavanoid that "...drives cancer cells to apoptosis. Nar is an excellent candidate as a chemopreventive agent in [Estrogen] E2-dependent cancers."[10]


The antiproliferative activity of aloe-emodin is through p53-dependent and p21-dependent apoptotic pathway in human hepatoma cell lines.[11]

green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate

Immunomodulating effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea: mechanisms and applications [12]

red clover isoflavones

“…red clover isoflavones at 25.0 microg/ml induced the apoptosis of the prostate stromal cells.”[13]

Angelica sinensis

Immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharide isolated from Angelica sinensis.[14]


Mistletoe no 2


Therapeutic Herbal Oils

Various mechanisms such antioxidant, antimutagenic and antiproliferative, enhancement of immune function and surveillance, enzyme induction and enhancing detoxification, modulation of multidrug resistance and synergistic mechanism of volatile constituents [therapeutic herbal oils] are responsible for their chemopreventive properties. [15]

Cannabis Indica      

Cannabinoids from cannabis sativa are antimutagenic, antioxidant, antimetastatic/antiproliferative, proapoptotic, cytotoxic, immunomodulating and autophagic. [16]

Spider Toxin

“…a spider toxin can effectively suppress tumour genesis…”[17]

Ascorbic Acid

“…AA [ascorbic acid] derivatives could be a promising new class of anti-cancer [antiproliferative] drugs, either alone or in combination with other molecules.[18]


1.         MD Guidelines: Chemotherapy

2.         Definitions

3.         Ninfali, P., Angelino, D. Nutritional and functional potential of Beta vulgaris cicla and rubra. Fitoterapia ;89:188-99. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2013.06.004. Sep 2013.

4.         Henriette M.C.Azeredo. Betalains: properties, sources, applications, and stability – a review. International Journal of Food Science and Technology 44, 2365–2376. 2009.

5.         Dilshad, A., et al. Antiproliferative properties of methanolic extract of Nigella sativa against the MDA-MB-231 cancer cell line. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 13(11):5839-42. 2012.

6.         Sun, J., Liu, R. Cranberry phytochemical extracts induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Cancer Lett  8;241(1):124-34. Sep 2006.

7.         Tadic VM, Jeremic I.  Anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, and cytotoxic effects of Sideritis scardica extracts. Planta Med. 78(5):415-27. Mar 2012.

8.         Zhu, JS, Halpern, GM, Jones, K. The scientific rediscovery of a precious ancient Chinese herbal regimen: Cordyceps sinensis. Part II. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 4(4), 429–45. 1998.

9.         A D Kim. A ginseng metabolite, compound K, induces autophagy and apoptosis via generation of reactive oxygen species and activation of JNK in human colon cancer cells. Cell Death and Disease 4, e750; doi:10.1038/cddis.2013.273. 2013.

10.       Bulzomi P, Bolli A. Naringenin and 17beta-estradiol coadministration prevents hormone-induced human cancer cell growth. IUBMB Life. 62(1):51-60. doi: 10.1002/iub.279. Jan 2010.

11.       Kuo PL, Lin TC, Lin CC. The antiproliferative activity of aloe-emodin is through p53-dependent and p21-dependent apoptotic pathway in human hepatoma cell lines. Life Sci. 6;71(16):1879-92. Sep 2002.

12.       Pae M, Wu D. Immunomodulating effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea: mechanisms and applications.  Food Funct. 21;4(9):1287-303. Aug 2013.

13.       Chen MY, Yan SC. Red clover isoflavones inhibit the proliferation and promote the apoptosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia stromal cells. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 16(1):34-9. Jan 2010.

14.       Yang T, Jia M. Immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharide isolated from Angelica sinensis. Int J Biol Macromol. 15;39(4-5):179-84. Nov 2006.

15.       Anticancer activity of essential oils: a review. J Sci Food Agric. 14. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6267. June 2013.

16.       Cannabis-based medicines--GW pharmaceuticals: high CBD, high THC, medicinal cannabis--GW pharmaceuticals, THC:CBD. No authors listed. Drugs R.D. 4(5):306-9. 2003.

17.       Liu Z, Deng M, Xiang J. A novel spider peptide toxin suppresses tumor growth through dual signaling pathways. Curr Mol Med. 12(10):1350-60. Dec 2012.

18.       Bordignon B, Chiron J, Fontés M. Ascorbic acid derivatives as a new class of antiproliferative molecules. Cancer Lett. 28;338(2):317-27. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2013.06.015. Sep 2013.


  1. Saqib said..

    This article contains useful information on natural substances to use as complementary support for cancer patients. Besides all this there are unique set of Sequence Specific Homeopathic remedies which are developed to target specific tumor suppressor genes to help alleviate symptoms of cancer in cancer .patients. . You may see all such remedies here:

  2. Catherine Crawford said..

    If I were diagnosed with cancer I'd definitely bombard my system with all the organic vegetables and herbs and garlic before even thinking of resorting to allopathic medicines or 'cures'. I do wonder whether, even if opting for radical treatment, a diet high in the above would help to counteract the depleting and harmful sideeffects and help to support the body systems.

  3. Mike Menkes said..

    "... I do wonder whether, even if opting for radical treatment, a diet high in the above would help to counteract the depleting and harmful side effects and help to support the body systems."

    Many oncologists tell patients to limit the supplementation of antioxidants while the patients are receiving chemotherapy. Otherwise, the physicians might have to lower the amounts of chemo tailored to the individual, and, typically, the oncologists do not want to perform that extra service.

    Patients usually revert back to antioxidants and herbs to rebuild their immune systems after the courses of chemo.

    While I see no contraindication to at least supplement with magnesium during the treatment phase, the patient is advised to disclose that intention with the oncologist.

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About Mike Menkes

Mike Menkes, Natural products formulator, bodyworker and educator is a former advisor at Life Extension Foundation and is a past-president of Health Science Solutions. Creator of The Healthy Touch - a unique stress-relief hands-on technique Mike is available for on-site corporate/military stress management and personal anti-aging strategies drawing from natural and allopathic protocols - complementary medicine. He may be contacted via Tel: +1 954 534 1887;     


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