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Editorial Issue 205

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 205 - April 2013

My heart is always cheered when I read research investigating the mode of anti-cancer action of a natural substance so was very interested in the research update by Shitaba et al from Osaka Health Science University, Osaka Japan regarding the antitumour growth and antimetastatic activities of alpha-mangostin, from the mangosteen fruit, which has a long history of medicinal use in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

Alpha-mangostin, isolated from the pericarp of the fruit, was shown to induce cell death in various types of cancer cells in in vitro studies. These researchers investigated the antitumour growth and antimetastatic activities of alpha-mangostin in a mouse model of mouse metastatic mammary cancer with a p53 mutation that induces a metastatic spectrum similar to that seen in human breast cancers.

“Not only were in vivo survival rates significantly higher in the alpha-mangostin group versus controls, but both tumour volume and the multiplicity of lymph node metastases were significantly suppressed. Apoptotic levels were significantly increased in the mammary tumours of mice receiving alpha mangostin and were associated with increased expression of active caspase-3 and -9. Other significant effects noted at this dose level were decreased microvessel density and lower numbers of dilated lymphatic vessels containing intraluminal tumour cells in mammary carcinoma tissues. In vitro, alpha-mangostin induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and G1-phase arrest and S-phase suppression in the cell cycle…

“Since lymph node involvement is the most important prognostic factor in breast cancer patients, the antimetastatic activity of alpha-mangostin as detected in mammary cancers carrying a p53 mutation in the present study may have specific clinical applications. In addition, alpha-mangostin may have chemopreventive benefits and/or prove useful as an adjuvant therapy, or as a complementary alternative medicine in the treatment of breast cancer.”

Additionally in this Positive Health PH Online April Issue 205, are two editorial features describing other non-drug treatment approaches for cancer: In Pregnancy Connection with Cancer, author Cal Crilly reminds us that the connection between cancer and pregnancy dates back to John Beard 1902:

“Beard noticed that when the pancreas began working in a foetus around the 56th day, the pancreas began helping to breakdown hCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin via enzymes, hence Beard used pancreatic enzymes as a cancer cure… Putting aside biased opinions against natural therapies controlling the trophoblastic actions of a tumour should be basic knowledge in cancer treatment… The enzymes that influence both trophoblast[9] and tumour functions are these days called caspases[10] and a large majority of chemotherapy options will affect the caspases[11] which in effect tell tumour cells to shut up shop or undergo apoptosis which is cell shutdown.

“There is also a long list of non-toxic foods and teas that affect caspases and they are commonly used in alternative treatment of cancer, though the practitioners may not be aware of their caspase properties. What is as interesting are the similarities between embryonic implantation and tumour attachment; both involve angiogenesis or new arterial growth and to do this cells of the uterine wall and its collagen matrix have to be dismantled and removed.”

Crilly also discusses other relevant topics, including treatment approaches that either feed or poison tumours, hypo or hyper-methylation of DNA, retroviruses, the immune system, and anti-cancer compounds including Green tea, Turmeric and Oleuropein and Bromelain.” 

In the article Ayurveda in Action in South India, author Prasanna Probyn details the treatment of the Arogya Clinic in Tamil Nadu, South India.

“…when it comes to chronic diseases, like cancer, Ayurveda looks to stronger substances to treat them.

“Samanam is good in acute conditions where you have to bring it under control. Allopathy also comes under this category but it is not the best solution. Many problems can be treated just through changes in lifestyle and diet . When it gets beyond a certain level then we have to use more powerful means of treatment.

“We use poison to deal with severe forms of diseases with levels of intervention proportionate to the problem.

“If safer options are offered by Allopathy, then Arogya uses these. “The two systems can be integrated at the right time and place.

“Cancers are a result of intrinsic irritation or imbalances where the immune system is depressed for various reasons such as toxicity and chronic mental and physical stress leading to the over production of hormones. In a continuously stressed immune system, toxins modify the DNA to create monster cells. A robust immune system reduces the risk of cancer, says Dr Varier.”

Therefore, reading clinical and research findings such as those detailed above, might make one optimistic regarding the state of conventional cancer treatments. However, such is not the case; despite the rapid advances in molecular biology, biochemistry and immunochemistry, the tools used by oncologists still remain as they have been for most of the last 50-60 years - surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. As studies with these ‘conventional’ treatment approaches are the only ones with enough ‘evidence’ to inform oncologists, advances in the understanding of how cancers act, and substances which have effective anti-tumour activities largely remain outside the knowledge of conventional oncologists.

In addition to this sorry omission from what ought to be the knowledge base of cancer specialists, remains the still active 1939 Cancer Law which outlaws the treatment of cancer using any treatments other than surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Stalemate, Checkmate. Outlined in a Letter to the Editor in Issue 198:

The Stranglehold that the UK 1939 Cancer Act Exerts in Great Britain
by Madeline C Hickey-Smith

“Most citizens of Great Britain are totally unaware of the 1939 Cancer Act which effectively prevents them from finding out about different treatments for cancer.

“Excerpts from the UK 1939 Cancer Act:

  “4 - (1) No person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement:

   “(a) containing an offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof; or

  “(b) referring to any article, or articles of any description, in terms which are calculated to lead to the use of that article, or articles of that description, in the treatment of cancer.

“In this section the expression "advertisement" includes any "notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document, and any announcement made orally or by any means of producing or transmitting sounds".[1]

“Publication of such advertisements is permitted to a very restrictive group comprising members of either House of Parliament, local authority, governing bodies of voluntary hospitals, registered or training to become registered medical practitioners, nurses or pharmacists, and persons involved in the sale or supply of surgical appliances. A very tight grip, therefore, is exercised on information that is fed to citizens of Great Britain; interestingly, the Act does not apply to Northern Ireland.

“That pretty much wraps it up, and wraps us (in Britain) up in the legal stranglehold that this outdated Act still exerts. Was this enacted to protect the citizens from charlatans and "quacks" or to safeguard the interests of the National Radium Trust, to whom the British Government lent money? If no one is allowed to tell us, how can we, the general public, ever find out what alternatives there are to those offered by mainstream medicine, mainly surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy?”

“… It is our opinion that a reform of the 1939 Cancer Act is long overdue. The tenacious grip that it holds on treating cancer must be relinquished, so that patients and their healthcare providers can make an informed choice as to what approach may be best for their individual needs.”

As a scientist and researcher who is approached by cancer patients for information regarding potential treatment approaches to their particular type of cancer, I can’t endorse enough the sentiment stated in that letter; I continue to wholeheartedly work toward the time when encouraging cancer research results are communicated to and embraced by the oncology professions.


  1. Fintan Dunne said..

    Thanks for airing Cal Crilly's Cancer & Pregnancy analysis, which is the state of the art. Outstanding work - firmly based on evidential peer-reviewed material. I also recommend his related previous analysis of methylation in respect of Aids:

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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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