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Research Proposal: Cancer Patients’ Survival: Comparing Integrated Alternative Therapies and Chemotherapy / Radiotherapy Treatment

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in cancer, originally published in issue 217 - October 2014

Background, Introduction and Abstract

I recently re-discovered on my hard drive the Consensus Statement document published in 1994 of which I was the lead author - Nutrition and Life-Style Guidelines for People with Cancer. I am most impressed at how prescient it was 20 years ago regarding providing more options for cancer patients, and also disappointed in how little cancer treatment has progressed in directions providing patients with more options that merely chemotherapy and radiation therapy as adjunctive treatments.

Some 20+years on from the publication of that Consensus document, there has been a myriad of Research, Clinical papers and books published regarding many aspects of cancer treatment. These have demonstrated molecular sequelae resulting from toxic conventional cancer treatments, i.e. chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which may be causative factors in the development of multi-drug resistance, cancer stem cells and other gene mutations and which may influence temporary cancer regression and then future recurrence and metastases.

Furthermore it has been suggested by a strand of practitioners who utilize integrated alternative protocols that the body has difficulty recovering from the toxicity of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and may not be responsive to more biological cancer treatments.  Additionally, perhaps >50% of cancer patients utilize some form of alternative treatments, and such data are not included in standard cancer registries.

I have therefore been persuaded of the need to attempt to establish and compare cancer patient survival without toxic chemotherapy / radiotherapy treatments but with a robust integrated / alternative protocol and attach a brief proposal as a starting point for this research. Given the legal constraints in the UK and USA prohibiting alternative treatments for cancer patients, it is difficult to see how this much-needed research project can progress, as it would require a professional team with technical, medical and ethical experience,  access to cancer patients and the construction of a multi-disciplinary, multi-field database. Initially results would merely compare survival of matched cancer patients who have or have not undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy with those who have undergone an integrated multi-component alternative protocol. This is a fairly long-term project which would need to be followed up for 5-10 years.

Research Proposal for Discussion: Cancer Patients’ Outcomes: Comparing Integrated Alternative Therapies and Chemotherapy / Radiotherapy Treatment

Standard cancer treatments - surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy - are the only ones currently sanctioned by law for use by physicians and oncologists.[1,2] Hence, epidemiological research and statistics regarding cancer incidence, clinical efficacy, survival / mortality which have been amassed, consolidated and publicly disseminated usually pertain to only these treatments.[3,4] And, despite the development of numerous innovative clinical alternative and complementary cancer treatments internationally over the past 120 years, many of these have been suppressed.[5]

The toxic, sometimes fatal side effects and lack of efficacy regarding long-term survival outcomes for many chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments are published and well-known in the medical and research literature. Clinically, between 10%-25% of cancer patients may die as a result of undergoing these highly toxic treatments.[6-10] which may be factors in multi-drug resistance, cancer stem cell formation, mutated p53 and other cancer gene mutations which may explain short term remission, subsequent recurrence, metastases and secondary cancers years later following conventional cancer treatment.[11] A well-known questionnaire of McGill University oncologists in the early 1990s reported by Ralph Moss established that >80% would refuse chemotherapy with cisplatin for themselves or families.[12]

Integrated Oncology Protocols - Alternative and Complementary approaches to cancer treatments have burgeoned, encompassing many regimes - diet, exercise, nutritional supplementation, infusions / injections, orthomolecular, herbal, homeopathic, Ayurvedic, Chinese and energy medicine, mind-body - visualization, mindfulness meditation - to name but a few.[13-23] A limited body of research has started to document their clinical efficacy effects in cancer patients; however in many instances these treatments have been carried out in addition to conventional cancer treatments.

A strand of researchers and clinicians have suggested that cancer patients may never fully recover from the toxic effects exerted from chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments and that biological treatment approaches may not be effective once they have undergone these treatments.[24-26] And, given the significant proportion of cancer patients who also use complementary / alternative cancer therapies,[27-28] it becomes even more important to establish the efficacy of alternative and complementary treatments in cancer patients, who have and have not been subjected to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Data comparing cancer survival in patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy with those who forgo these treatments has been difficult to uncover, due to legal constraints and overwhelming dominance of the conventional treatment establishment. It is proposed to research and compile data with a view to assessing and comparing outcomes for cancer patients being treated with Integrated Oncology - alternative and complementary treatments - who have and have not undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Data comparing patient survival with and without adjunctive therapy could be extracted from cancer registry databases. Data regarding survival with Integrated Alternative Therapies would require multi-factorial clinical database creation either from clinicians or patients once this treatment is no longer deemed illegal.

© Sandra Goodman PhD 2014


1. UK 1939 Cancer Act

2. The Stranglehold that the UK 1939 Cancer Act Exerts in Great Britain. The Cambridge Institute of Complementary Health.


Goodman S. Integration of Alternative Cancer Treatments. Positive Health PH Online Issue 208. Aug 2013.

3. Dr Tim O’Shea. To the Cancer Patient: Natural Cures vs. Traditional.  2014.

4. Cancer Research UK

American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute

5. Houston RG. 1987. Repression and Reform in the Evaluation of Alternative Cancer Therapies. 1987.

6. Br J Cancer. Dec 18, 2006; 95(12): 1632–1636.

Published online Dec 12, 2006. doi:  10.1038/sj.bjc.6603498

PMCID: PMC2360753

M E R O'Brien,1,*A Borthwick,1A Rigg,1A Leary,1L Assersohn,1K Last,1S Tan,1S Milan,1D Tait,1 and I E Smith1 Mortality within 30 days of chemotherapy: a clinical governance benchmarking issue for oncology patients

7. Ohe Y. Treatment-related death from chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy for advanced cancer.  Panminerva Med. ;44(3): 205-12. Sept 2002.

8. DEATH By Chemotherapy. Life Extension Magazine. January 1998

9. Steven Ransom. Fraught With Risks and Side-Effects. June 09, 2013. 

10. PharmaTimes Online

Chemotherapy causes death in more than 25% of cancer patients

UK News / World News | November 13, 2008

Katrina Megget

Read more at:

11. Dr Peter Kay. Cancer Diagnostic Tests and Treatments: Advantages and Limitations to Existing Conventional Treatments; Introduction to Alternative Approaches

Positive Health PH Online Issue 213 - April 2014.

12. Ralph Moss. Questioning Chemotherapy. Equinox Press. ISBN 978-1881025252. 1996.

Ralph Moss. The Cancer Industry. Equinox Press. ISBN 978-1881025092. 1996.

13. Dwight McKee MD. Integrative Cancer Medicine: An Oncologist Takes a Practical Look at Facts, Fiction and the Future. Cancer Strategies Journal: 1(1): 2-8. Winter 2013.

14. Moshe Frenkel, MD. Integrative Oncology Exceptional Patients -  Thoughts and Reflections. Cancer Strategies Journal

Volume 1, Issue 2. Spring 2013.

15. Ronald Peters MD. The Connection Between Spontaneous Remission of Cancer and MindBody Medicine. Cancer Strategies Journal. 1-8. Summer 2013. 

16. Mitchell Gaynor, MD, et. al. Complete Remission of Widely Metastatic Melanoma: A Case Report. Cancer Strategies Journal. 2(2): 1-4. Spring 2014.

17. DM Seely, LC Weeks PhD, and S. Young, MA. A systematic review of integrative oncology programs. Curr Oncol. 19(6): e436–e461. doi:  10.3747/co.19.1182. PMCID: PMC3503675. Dec 2012. 

18. Shneerson C, Taskila T, Gale N, Greenfield S and Chen Y. The effect of complementary and alternative medicine on the quality of life of cancer survivors: A systematic review and meta-analyses. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 21(4): 417-429.  August 2013.

19. Dr Maurice Orange. Mistletoe Therapy and Hyperthermia for Cancer: Turning Up the Heat. Positive Health PH Online Issue 209 - October 2013.

20. Katharina Gaertner, Michael Müllner, Helmut Friehs, Ernst Schuster, Christine Marosi, Ilse Muchitsch, Michael Frass and Alan David Kaye. Additive Homeopathy in cancer patients: Retrospective survival data from a homeopathic outpatient unit at the Medical University of Vienna. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 22: 320-332. 2014.

21. Dr Tasos Vartholomeos. Cancer Control through Pathology-Based Homeopathic Medicine.

Positive Health PH Online Issue 214 - May 2014.

22. Yingchun Zeng, Taizhen Luo, Huaan Xie, Meiling Huang, Andy SK Cheng. Health Benefits of Qigong or Tai Chi for Cancer Patients: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 22: 173-186. 2014.

23. Goodman S, MacLaren J and Barker W. Nutrition and Life-style Guidelines for People with Cancer. Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. Vol 4 No. 2: Pages 199-214. 1994.

24. Chemotherapy Heals Cancer and the Earth is Flat

by Lothar Hirneise

Published by Nexus. 2005. Hardcover.  £34.90. ISBN-10: 3981050207; ISBN-13: 978-3981050202

25. Shattering the Cancer Myth - Positive and Practical Tools to Heal Your Life

by Katrina Ellis

Published by Publicious Self-Publishing. Softback. £18.80. 2013 4th edition. ISBN 0987466941.

26. Medicine Hands, Massage Therapy for People with Cancer

by Gayle MacDonald

Published by Findhorn Press. April 2014. £29.99 / $25.27. ISBN: 978-1-84409-639-8.

27. Molassiotis A et al. Use of complementary and alternative medicine in cancer patients: a European survey. Ann Oncol 16:655-63. 2005.

28. The prevalence of complementary/Alternative medicine in cancer

A systematic review

Edzard Ernst M.D., Ph.D., Barrie R. Cassileth, Ph.D.*

Article first published online: 9 NOV 2000

DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0142(19980815)83:4<777::AID-CNCR22>3.0.CO;2-O;2-O/full


  1. Dr.Peter H Kay said..

    Dr. Goodman, Thank you for initiating this very important project, the Goodman Project. As you mention and refer to, there is a huge volume of information relating to the pros and cons of anti-cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There are, however, many alternative treatments available that are not associated with the same dangers of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For those who suffer from cancer and would like to avoid the dangers of the forms of treatment that you have mentioned,there is a lack of information that can be used by cancer sufferers to help them to decide which form of alternative treatment may be of benefit to them. Congratulations Dr. Goodman, the Goodman Project has set the ball rolling to begin to respond to this lack of information. Much data collection is required. As a beginning, I would urge all sufferers of cancer who have accepted treatments other than chemotherapy and radiotherapy to contact Dr. Goodman and report their experiences.

  2. Dr Ranjitsinh Solanki said..

    Dr Goodman,Thanks from bottom of my hearts for important many patient are survive and benefited with alternative/integrative approach. lack of proper
    platform and advocacy. Most of cytogenic drug which are in practice to day in conventional therapy rooted in botanical kingdom.In India due to vast traditional knowledge with biodiversity India could play major role.
    We have huge data of 'Evidence based cases' treated with Herbal therapy with encouraging outcome. Cancer is a cause of so many biological fector,it needs multilevel multi molecular approach to address this diseases.Technological advances can reveal Novel compound and activities in plant remedies could play great role.

  3. Richard Eaton LL.B said..

    Thank you, Dr Goodman, for initiating this vitally important and innovative project which has the potential of bringing much needed help, advice and treatment to so many cancer patients across the world. The Goodman Project also accords with the World Health Organisation Strategy 2014-2023 which, amongst other things, aims to:

    ' Member States in...prioritising health services and systems, including traditional and complementary medicine products, practises and practitioners.'

    As indicated, the main difficulty to be overcome is how to compile and analyse the research data having regard to the time, expense and technical expertise and resources required. Could those professionals with 'technical, medical and ethical experience' please now come forward with constructive suggestions as to how the Goodman Project can be implemented, administered and funded. For cancer patients everywhere (existing and prospective) the success of this enormously welcome project cannot be too soon.

  4. Dr Alyssa Burns-Hill said..

    Thanks, Sandra for this work. Speaking as someone who decided against drugs and radiotherapy for breast cancer in 2001 I fully support you. It came down to a simple realisation for me.

    What does conventional medicine offer me? It's toxic, it's passive (I'm a patient) and it's focused on disease.

    What does the alternative approach offer me? It's non-toxic, I'm actively involved in the process and making choices that are right for me and it's focused on health and wellbeing.

    What did I want to be - WELL!

    It's not easy for people receiving a diagnosis of cancer and I am always very mindful of this, but unfortunately it's often just a mechanical pathway for conventional medicine and, for me, I was also worried about my treatment strategies in the UK being led by economic policies rather than what was actually the best for me!

    So much to think about.

    Wishing everyone everywhere - good health, from a positive perspective :-)

  5. Sandra Goodman PhD said..

    07-04-2015 Despite my pessimism regarding the feasibility of funding and carrying out the above research comparing cancer survival of patients receiving alternative vs conventional, i.e. chemotherapy treatment in the UK, I am delighted with several clinical developments taking place mainly in North America.

    A recent announcement (27 March 2015) online and on Twitter stated that a $3M Research Grant has been Awarded to Canada-US Researchers Investigating the Impact of Naturopathic Medicine on Late Stage Cancer Survival. This is the largest-ever North American observational study to assess integrative oncology for advanced cancer patients.

    American and Canadian healthcare professionals, including those from Bastyr University, will work together to study the effectiveness of advanced integrative oncology (AIO) treatment for patients with late stage cancer. AIO treatment includes elements of conventional and naturopathic medicine. The funding was jointly announced today by the Bastyr University Research Institute and Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC), an arm of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). The $3 million grant, provided by a private Canadian foundation that wishes to remain anonymous, will fund the Canadian/US Integrative Oncology Study (CUSIOS).

    This is the largest-ever North American observational study to assess integrative oncology for people with late stage cancer. The goals of CUSIOS are to observe and measure the overall survival of a cohort of late stage cancer (III and IV) patients who receive AIO treatments and, to describe integrative therapies provided by naturopathic doctors across the cohort. A total of 400 people with advanced breast, colorectal, pancreatic and ovarian cancer will be studied in seven clinics across North America over three years. Each selected site provides comprehensive whole-person care in naturopathic oncology, applying advanced science-based treatment for people with late stage cancer. Integrative oncology aims to combine the best of conventional and whole-person naturopathic care seamlessly and safely to: improve survival, enhance quality of life, reduce side effects from conventional treatment and help prevent recurrence.

    AIO therapies used by naturopathic doctors for late stage cancer are directed at multiple mechanisms to slow tumour progression, prevent metastatic spread and improve survival. The therapies are variable but may include intravenous vitamin C, intravenous artemisinin intravenous dichloroacetate, mistletoe, hyperthermia, nutritional protocols and the use of immunomodulatory, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory natural health products.

    I have also discussed some of of these protocols in a review of the book You Can Beat Lung Cancer Using Alternative / Integrative Interventions by Carl O Helvie RN DrPH, as well as in the Editorial from Issue 219:

    “Dr Contreras describes in valuable clinical detail the IRT-C protocol employed at the Oasis of Hope Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, including a fully referenced description of Oxidative Stress in lung cancer and how the IRT-C protocol employs several “novel adjuvant measures intended to boost production of hydrogen peroxide in the tumor.”

    These include a ‘perfluorocarbon’ oxygen-carrier molecule known as ‘Perftec’, originally developed in Russia - ‘Perftoran’ which when infused intravenously, greatly enhances the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood, as well as on the day prior to ascorbate infusion, treatment with ozone autohemotherapy, which renders red blood cells more flexible, able to more readily surrender oxygen to tissues.

    “Dr Contreras compared the survival rates at Oasis of Hope with conventional treatment for years 1 through 5 also documented graphically: “Comparing IRT-C with conventional therapy, 1-year survivals were 82% vs 20%; 2-year survivals 50% vs 6%; 3-year survivals 27% vs 3%; 4-year survivals 23% vs 2% and 5-year survivals 9% vs 1.6%. At the conclusion of their clinical study, results with IRT-C were nearly 6 times better than the results using conventional therapy.”

    “Dr James Forsythe MD HMD describes his integrative treatment protocols at Cancer Screening and Treatment Center of Nevada and Century Wellness Clinic which include sugar-free diets, alkalinizing diets, bio-oxidative therapies, specific vitamin supplement therapies, herbal therapies, amino acid supplements, together with low-dose fractionated chemotherapy or insulin potentiating therapies and chemosensitivity testing.

    Dr Forsythe has also conducted studies, the results of which have shown over a 30% continued overall survivorship, compared with 2.1% survival rate in conventional oncology.”

    Carl Helvie noted that “July, 2014 marked 40-years since my diagnosis making me the longest living lung cancer survivor known.”

    In the UK the demise of the long-awaited Saatchi Innovation Bill was accomplished as the bill was 'killed' by the refusal of the Liberal Democrats to provide time to debate the Bill prior to the dissolution of Parliament.

    The funding of superior quality research regarding the efficacy of alternative integrative oncology treatment for late-stage cancer patients, as well as clinical treatments by physicians internationally are milestones in documenting the efficacy or otherwise of less toxic / injurious treatments.

  6. Christine Johnston said..

    Great project Sandra and I hope you get funding and lots of support.
    This information is direly needed - it has been delayed for too long.
    Dr Peter Kay is right to ask for all cancer sufferers who have used complementary and/or alternative treatments to contact you with their experiences.

  7. Christine Johnston said..

    Christine Johnston, Therapist
    This is an important project and I hope you get the funding and support needed.
    I agree with Dr Peter Kay that all cancer patients who have used complementary and/or alternative treatments to contact Dr Goodman with their experiences.

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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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