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Letters to the Editor Issue 256

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 256 - August 2019

Tribute Obituary Richard Eaton LL.B (Hons) 19th October 1953 - 14 June 2019


Richard Eaton

Richard Eaton LL.B (Hons) died of prostate cancer, 65 years old.


Richard studied law at Kingston Polytechnic (Now Kingston University) graduating with a 2:2. In 1976 he completed the Law Society’s examinations, articled to James Simpson at the Rye office of Herrington Willings and Penry-Davey (now Herringtons) Solicitors where he met his future wife Marion whom he married in 1979. Richard decided to become a Barrister and was called to the Bar of Lincoln’s Inn in 1983. He was deputy head of the legal department of the City of London at the Guildhall and granted the Freedom of the City in 1984. In 1988 he was a Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Office. Richard lectured at The Hastings College of Law and Technology, raising the profile of law, helping students attain excellent results. He lectured and produced courses for the Institute of Legal Executives, the Institute of Banking and the Medical Council. He lectured at Bexhill College and the university of Brighton at their Hastings Campus. Richard became a mediator, gave a series of workshops and undertook projects for Healthcare Mediation in Maidstone. He became a career advisor, helping entrepreneurs set up their own businesses and was a business mentor with Let’s Do Business, Hastings.  He wrote two books: Owning a Business is a handbook for those who are setting up or already own a small business and Business Guide for Health Therapists - how to find what you need to know, both updated January 2019.

Marion followed her interest in Complementary Health qualifying both as an aromatherapist and Reiki Master. Together the couple set up and managed the Professional Centre for Holistic Health, 50 High Street Hastings; at its height, sixteen therapists worked from the Centre. Never tempted to become a therapist himself, Richard set his forensic brain to uncover evidence for the benefits of complementary medicine, his main focus to integrate it into the NHS. He worked long and hard on various projects and for a time in the early 2000s it appeared that Complementary Medicine would flourish. Sadly, this was not to be.

In 2006 he began to feel ill, but was only diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer in 2008. That year he was given a 50:50 chance of surviving a year by consultants at Guy’s Hospital and The Royal Marsden. He undertook seven and a half weeks of radiotherapy and began what became a series of medications. He was keen to try all sorts of ‘alternative’ remedies; together he and Marion investigated and tried a good many. The result was – that he lived, and lived well, for another eleven years.

When the Prince of Wales’s Foundation for Integrated Health went into liquidation, Richard felt it as a real blow. He discovered that the College of Medicine had a similar brief, but was disappointed about the lack of emphasis on Complementary Medicine. He wrote a quarterly blog for The College of Medicine who have paid tribute to him. He advanced, publicized and promoted complementary medicine and proposed various schemes, such as a panel of leaders in Complementary Medicine to respond to the media  – now the Integrated Medicine Alliance (UK) comprising different leaders in complementary medicine. His articles have been published in several magazines; Richard’s articles in Positive Health PH Online are viewed on his Author Profile Page. He particularly favoured PH Online, Editor Sandra Goodman PhD, a scientist for whom he had a great deal of respect, especially for the massive amount of scientific evidence for complementary medicine that she had collated and reviewed, and whom he considered a good friend.

Editor’s Note – Sandra Goodman

Richard’s death has come as a devastating blow. I consider him to have been one of my closest colleagues, always courteous and eager to engage in discussion to set the world to right, particularly strategies to integrate Complementary and Conventional medicine.

See additional postings and tributes on Marion’s Facebook page.


Anna Jeoffroy-Salmon Tribute Obituary 12 April 1952 - 10 June 2019


Anna Jeoffroy-Salmon


Anna Jeoffroy-Salmon passed away on 10th June 2019, aged 67 years from [kidney] cancer which she fought with characteristic determination using a comprehensive regime of pharmaceutically advanced drugs as well as homeopathic remedies. Anna was a loving mother, grandma, sister, friend and therapist as well as an imaginative dreamer and extremely fun-loving.

Anna has been a Counsellor, Reflexologists, and Bach Essence Practitioner since 1990 and with her late husband Phillip Salmon introduced their Reflexology Students to Dr Bach’s Flower Remedies (available from Amazon) as a tool for them to manage the emotional ups and downs that get in the way of the development of many aspiring therapists, sharing their interpretations of the significance of the groups that Dr Bach placed his remedies into.

Anna taught hundreds of therapists this simple but very helpful understanding, which can enlighten the interpretations of the needs of clients. Anna's trainings were accredited by the British Flower and Vibrational Essence Association. She wrote and taught a Bach Essence programme at Ainsworths Centre London W1, as well as delivering trainings in other parts of the country and to Practitioners wanting Continued Professional development. Anna’s articles and book reviews published in Positive Health PH Online can be viewed next to her Author Profile.

Editor’s Note – Sandra Goodman

Anna embodied the totally professional and perennially organized Practitioner, Teacher, and Master of knowledge about Reflexology and Bach Homeopathic Remedies. She has been a long-time friend, author and reviewer and advertiser on Positive Health PH Online. I will sorely miss our frequent, conversations regarding the personal vicissitudes of life and of complementary medicine.

See Further Tributes and Postings on Anna’s Facebook page.



WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak "A Global Health Emergency"

The Democratic Republic of Congo is dealing with the second-worst outbreak in history. Leading medical diagnosis firm - ANCON Medical - discuss what is needed to combat deadly outbreaks

The World Health Organisation has declared the current Ebola outbreak, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as a public health emergency of international concern. The declaration follows on from the deaths of more than 1,600 people, from the second-largest outbreak of the deadly disease in history. There have been 2,500 people infected with Ebola, with two-thirds of them dying from the disease during the current outbreak. The WHO's public healthcare emergency of international concern provision is the most severe formal declaration that can be given by the organization and has only ever been used four times in the past, which indicates the grave level of concern over the current outbreak.

In fighting Ebola, researchers have found that early screening is the key to preventing the spread of the disease, but it’s a hard disease to diagnose based on the symptoms, which can be common to other diseases like malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis. The UN says about 25% of Ebola cases could be going undetected, leading to far more potential cases. This screening is made more difficult by the sheer cost and logistics of transporting an entire laboratory setting to rural communities where outbreaks often occur.

ANCON Medical CEO - Wesley Baker - discusses what can be done in the fight against Ebola:

“Once someone has the symptoms of Ebola, it’s already too late and that person can spread the disease. It’s crucial to find diseases like Ebola at its earliest point of infection before they are showing the signs. However, once the body is infected, it will begin giving off the chemical ‘fingerprints’ of the disease, and a Nanoparticle Biomarker Tagging (NBT) device can find these chemical signals, even at their faintest concentrations.

“The incubation period for Ebola in humans is between two and 21 days, which is the time elapsed from infection until when symptoms begin to show. Ebola can't be spread until symptoms are shown, so discovering it early is vital for prevention efforts. Other early detection methods for Ebola require a blood sample, which takes specialised medical training, a laboratory environment and can expose health care workers to some risks. A portable device could give public health officials an easy-to-use screening device that could be brought into a wide range of places, including airports, train stations, rural clinics and other vital locations where it is crucial to find potentially infected individuals before they can spread the disease.

“Screening for Ebola would be possible with the correct VOC Biomarkers in place, coupled with the ability to carry out this screening in the field. It is now crucial that public health bodies start to make use of this technology, so that Ebola may be tackled in a much more effective way.”

Further Information

For further information  World Health Organization;  ANCOM Medical on Tel: 01227 811705;



Fatty Fish without Environmental Pollutants Protect against Type 2 Diabetes


If the fatty fish we eat were free of environmental pollutants, it would reduce our risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, the pollutants in the fish have the opposite effect and appears to eliminate the protective effect from fatty fish intake. This has been shown by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, using innovative methods that could be used to address several questions about food and health in future studies.

Research on the effect of fish consumption on diabetes risk has produced contradictory results in recent years. Some studies show that eating a lot of fish reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while others show it has no effect, and some studies show it even tends to increase the risk. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology conducted a study with an entirely new design and have now arrived at a possible explanation for this puzzle.

“We managed to separate the effect of the fish per se on diabetes risk from the effect of various environmental pollutants that are present in fish,” says Lin Shi, a Postdoc in Food and Nutrition science. “Our study showed that fish consumption as a whole has no effect on diabetes risk. We then screened out the effect of environmental pollutants using a new data analysis method based on machine learning. We were then able to see that fish themselves provide clear protection against type 2 diabetes.”

“Protection is provided primarily by consumption of fatty fish. However, at the same time, we saw a link between high consumption of fatty fish and high contents of environmental pollutants in the blood.”

Environmental pollutants measured in the present study are persistent organic pollutants (POPs), for example dioxins, DDT and PCB. Previous research has shown that they may be linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes. The varying effect of fish on diabetes risk in different studies could therefore be due to varying levels of consumption of fish from polluted areas in the different studies.

According to the Swedish National Food Agency, food is the main source of exposure to dioxins and PCBs. These substances are fat soluble and are primarily found in fatty animal foods such as fish, meat and dairy products. Particularly high contents are found in fatty fish such as herring and wild salmon from polluted areas. In Sweden, for example, this means the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia and the biggest lakes, Vänern and Vättern.

The Chalmers researchers also used a new method to find out what the study participants had eaten, as a complement to questionnaires on dietary habits. Previous research has often relied entirely on questionnaires. This produces sources of error that may also have contributed to the contradictory results concerning fish and type 2 diabetes.

“Using a technique known as mass spectrometry based metabolomics, we identified around 30 biomarkers in blood samples, i.e. specific molecules that could be used to objectively measure of how much fish the study participants had consumed,” says Lin Shi.

Overall, the new methodology provides considerably better tools for this research field. They can be used to better discern which dietary factors are the actual causes of different types of health effects.

“Metabolomics and the new way of analysing data give us new opportunities to distinguish between effects from different exposures that are correlated,” says Rikard Landberg, Professor of Food and Nutrition Science at Chalmers. “This is very important as otherwise it is difficult to determine whether it is diet, environmental pollutants or both that affect the risks of disease.”

More about the Study

The study is a case-control study nested in a prospective cohort in Västerbotten in northern Sweden. The participants had completed questionnaires on dietary habits and lifestyle, and provided blood samples, which were frozen. A total of 421 people who had developed type 2 diabetes after an average of 7 years were included, and they were compared with 421 healthy control individuals. The original blood samples were then analysed. In addition, blood samples were analysed that had been provided ten years after the first blood samples by 149 of the case-control pairs.

The study is reported in the article Joint analysis of metabolite markers of fish intake and persistent organic pollutants in relation to type 2 diabetes risk in Swedish adults, which was published in The Journal of Nutrition. In addition to the Chalmers researchers, researchers from Umeå University, Karolinska Institutet, the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland and the University of Eastern Finland also participated.

Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg conducts research and education in technology and natural sciences at a high international level. The university has 3100 employees and 10,000 students, and offers education in engineering, science, shipping and architecture. With scientific excellence as a basis, Chalmers promotes knowledge and technical solutions for a sustainable world. Through global commitment and entrepreneurship, we foster an innovative spirit, in close collaboration with wider society. The EU’s biggest research initiative – the Graphene Flagship – is coordinated by Chalmers. We are also leading the development of a Swedish quantum computer. Chalmers was founded in 1829 and has the same motto today as it did then: Avancez – forward.

Further Information

  • Lin Shi, Postdoc in the Division of Food and Nutrition Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31-772 38 45,
  • Rikard Landberg, Professor and Head of the Division of Food and Nutrition Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31-772 27 32,

Acknowledgement Citation


Novel Computer Model Supports Cancer Therapy

Researchers from the Life Sciences Research Unit (LSRU) of the University of Luxembourg have developed a computer model that simulates the metabolism of cancer cells. They used the programme to investigate how combinations of drugs could be used more effectively to stop tumour growth. The biologists now published their findings in the scientific journal EBioMedicine of the prestigious Lancet group.[1]

The metabolism of cancer cells is optimised to enable fast growth of tumours. “Their metabolism is much leaner than that of healthy cells, as they are just focused on growth. However, this makes them more vulnerable to interruptions in the chain of chemical reactions that the cells depend on. Whereas healthy cells can take alternative routes when one metabolic path is disabled, this is more difficult for cancer cells,” explains Thomas Sauter, Professor of Systems Biology at the University of Luxembourg and lead author of the paper. “In our study, we investigated how drugs or combinations of drugs could be used to switch off certain proteins in cancer cells and thereby interrupt the cell’s metabolism.”

Therefore, the researchers created digital models of healthy and of cancerous cells and fed them with gene sequencing data from 10,000 patients of the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) of the American National Cancer Institute (NCI). Using these models, the researchers were able to simulate the effects different active substances had on cells’ metabolisms so they could identify those drugs that inhibited cancer growth and at the same time didn’t affect the healthy cells. The models allow filtering out drugs that do not work or are toxic, so that only the promising ones are tested in the lab. With the help of the models, they tested about 800 medications of which 40 were predicted to inhibit cancer growth. About 50 percent of these drugs where already known as anti-cancer therapeutics, but 17 of them are so far only approved for other treatments. “Our tool can help with the so-called “drug repositioning”, which means that new therapeutically purposes are found for existing medication. This could significantly reduce the cost and time for drug development,” Prof. Sauter said. 

The particular advantage of the approach is the efficiency of its mathematical method. “We managed to create 10.000 patient models within one week, without the use of high-performance computing. This is exceptionally fast,” comments Dr Maria Pacheco, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg and first author of the study. In addition, Dr Elisabeth Letellier, principal investigator at the Molecular Disease Mechanisms group at the University of Luxembourg and collaborator on the present study, further emphasizes “In the future, this could allow us to build models of individual cancer patients and virtually test drugs in order to find the most efficient combination. This could also bring fresh hope to patients for whom known therapies haven proven to be ineffective.”

So far, the models have been tested only for colorectal cancer, but the algorithm basically also works for all sorts of cancer, according to Thomas Sauter. He and his team are currently considering to develop commercial applications for their method.


Maria Pires Pacheco, Tamara Bintener, Dominik Ternes, Dagmar Kulms, Serge Haan, Elisabeth Letellier, Thomas Sauter. Identifying and targeting cancer-specific metabolism with network-based drug target prediction. EBioMedicine, 2019; 43: 98 DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.04.046

Source and Further Information

Thomas Klein  <>
Université du Luxembourg
Tel: +352 46 66 44 5148; GSM: +352 621 67 21 04; Fax: +352 46 66 44 6561


Why Vitamin C Fights Cancer So Well

Commentary by Andrew W Saul, Editor

Republished from


The success of intravenous vitamin C for cancer patients is a repeatedly-demonstrated clinical reality. Here is the full, detailed Riordan IVC protocol, a free download for everyone.  Do not let loved ones suffer unnecessarily from one-sided care directed exclusively by physicians educated in pharmaceutical-funded medical schools. Bring your oncologist up to speed. No more leeches; no more calomel. No more procrastination about utilizing nutritional therapy. Enough is enough! Drop this protocol on your doctor's desk and demand an IV of vitamin C now. If the doctor refuses, go over their head or sue them for denying treatment.

Cancer cells are killed by vitamin C precisely because cancer cells are different. Inside a cancer cell, vitamin C, normally an antioxidant in a healthy cell, actually acts as a pro-oxidant and kills a cancer cell. Give enough C and you can kill malignant cells almost anywhere they may try to spread or try to hide.

Pancreatic Cancer

Because pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to stop, administering vitamin C is all the more important. Here is a free download for a paper showing clinical success with very high-dose IV vitamin C against stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The senior author, Jeanne A. Drisko MD is a diagnostic radiology specialist and professor at the University of Kansas, Division of Integrative Medicine.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer was successfully treated in two patients with very high dose vitamin C therapy. Free download of the paper at Since ovarian cancer is particularly dangerous, this finding needs to be shared far and wide. The study was done in 2003 and still a whole lot of people have not heard about it. Once again, it's the research of Jeanne Drisko, MD, and colleagues.

Vitamin C does not "interfere" with Chemo

Antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase survival. (Simone CB 2nd, Simone NL, Simone V, Simone CB. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007;13:22-28. See also: Block K, Koch AC, Mead MN, Tothy PK, Newman RA, Gyllenhaal C. Impact of antioxidant supplementation on chemotherapeutic toxicity: a systematic review of the evidence from randomized controlled trials. Int J Cancer. 2008;123:1227-1239. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23754. )

"At high concentrations, ascorbate does not interfere with chemotherapy or irradiation and may enhance efficacy in some situations . . . Meta-analyses of clinical studies involving cancer and vitamins also conclude that antioxidant supplementation does not interfere with the efficacy of chemotherapy."

( )

No, vitamin C does not "interfere" with chemo. I'm going to hit at this again and again. Why? Because innocent patients are suffering needlessly, and that really ticks me off. One of the original urban legends about chemo interference was hatched by Sloan-Kettering back in 2008. Here's the real story.

Not only does vitamin C not interfere with chemo, the vitamin itself IS chemotherapy against cancer. Vitamin C given intravenously is selectively toxic to cancer cells. And while various oral forms are very helpful adjuncts, when fighting cancer, it has to be intravenous C to get the job done right.

Why a cancer patient receiving conventional treatment also needs vitamin C:

  • Vitamin C reduces the side effects of chemo.
  • Vitamin C reduces the side effects of radiation.
  • Vitamin C reduces post-surgical inflammation and infection, and reduces healing time.

Cancer patients can and should take antioxidants and other nutritional supplements while undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Vitamin C and other nutrients reduce side effects, and actually improve the results with both chemo and radiation.

Radiation oncologist Victor Marcial-Vega, MD always administers high dose vitamin C therapy to his cancer patients. He says, "Vitamin C has two effects. It increases the beneficial effects of radiation and chemotherapy and decreases the adverse effects. Once you start using IV vitamin C, the effect is so dramatic that it is difficult to go back to not using it."

"Vitamin C increases the beneficial effects of radiation and chemotherapy and decreases the adverse effects. But this is not a subtle effect, is not 15-20%, it's a dramatic effect. Once you start using IV vitamin C, the effect is so dramatic that it is difficult to go back to not using it."

( Victor Marcial-Vega, MD En espanol: )

Chemotherapy for cancer actually is effective . . . in just over 2% of the cases. (Morgan G, Ward R, Barton M. The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2004 Dec;16(8):549-60. )

Radiation on localized tumours fares far better. Either way, nutritional support reduces side effects of such harsh treatments. Face facts: you are going to get nowhere with an oncologist if you flatly reject what they have to offer. And most patients and their families, scared out of their wits by a cancer diagnosis, are going to listen to that oncologist and use conventional therapy. If you want the doctors to listen to you, be ready to compromise with them. Then have something to say and give them an earful. This may help:

"After breakfast, I visited Linus Pauling who was staying in the room next to mine. When I walked in he was busy with a hand calculator. I told him that on the basis of my fifty patients I had concluded that he and Dr Cameron were right, that vitamin C in large doses did improve enormously the outcome of treatment for cancer."

( Orthomolecular Treatment of Cancer, by Abram Hoffer MD PhD )

Physicians have been successfully using vitamin C against cancer since the 1970s and 80s. Those telling you otherwise are misinformed. Twenty-two years ago it was confirmed and reconfirmed that high-dose IV vitamin C is effective against cancer. How long do patients have to wait for it to be accepted as an essential, standard therapy? In Japan, it already is, says NEWSWEEK:

For those wanting to know precisely how vitamin C fights cancer, here you go: Ron Hunninghake, MD, is the presenter. The second half is more directly about intravenous vitamin C. Dr Hunninghake is medical director of the Riordan Clinic. He has decades of experience and has supervised tens of thousands of IV vitamin C treatments. As your own life progresses, observe how many critics of vitamin C are so certain of their negative beliefs that they will never view this video.

Vitamin IVs can be arranged in virtually any hospital, anywhere in the world . . . if you push hard enough. Learn how from an attorney - who also just happens to be a board-certified cardiologist. Free download of a presentation by Thomas E. Levy MD JD.

A final note concerning intravenous vitamin C: Do not accept stories that "the hospital can't" or "the doctor can't" or that "the state won't allow it." If you hear any of this malarkey, send me the text of the policy or the law that says so. In the meantime, here is how to take the reins and get the vitamin in the veins:

Copyright 2019 by Andrew W. Saul. Reprinted by the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service with the permission of the author.

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information:

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you:

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Ilyès Baghli, M.D. (Algeria)
Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Prof. Gilbert Henri Crussol (Spain)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael J. Gonzalez, N.M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Tonya S. Heyman, M.D. (USA)
Suzanne Humphries, M.D. (USA)
Ron Hunninghake, M.D. (USA)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Jeffrey J. Kotulski, D.O. (USA)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Homer Lim, M.D. (Philippines)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Victor A. Marcial-Vega, M.D. (Puerto Rico)
Charles C. Mary, Jr., M.D. (USA)
Mignonne Mary, M.D. (USA)
Jun Matsuyama, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)
Dave McCarthy, M.D. (USA)
Joseph Mercola, D.O. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Tahar Naili, M.D. (Algeria)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Dag Viljen Poleszynski, Ph.D. (Norway)
Jeffrey A. Ruterbusch, D.O. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Thomas L. Taxman, M.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Garry Vickar, MD (USA)
Ken Walker, M.D. (Canada)
Anne Zauderer, D.C. (USA)
Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor-In-Chief
Editor, Japanese Edition: Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA), Associate Editor
Helen Saul Case, M.S. (USA), Assistant Editor
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA), Contributing Editor
Michael S. Stewart, B.Sc.C.S. (USA), Technology Editor
Jason M. Saul, JD (USA), Legal Consultant

Comments and media contact: OMNS welcomes but is unable to respond to individual reader emails. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

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New Antibacterial Fillings from TAU May Combat Recurring Tooth Decay

Novel material may prevent one of the costliest and most prevalent bacterial diseases in the world. Tooth decay is among the costliest and most widespread bacterial diseases. Virulent bacteria cause the acidification of tooth enamel and dentin, which, in turn, causes secondary tooth decay. A new study by Tel Aviv University researchers finds potent antibacterial capabilities in novel dental restoratives, or filling materials. According to the research, the resin-based composites, with the addition of antibacterial nano-assemblies, can hinder bacterial growth and viability on dental restorations, the main cause of recurrent cavities, which can eventually lead to root canal treatment and tooth extractions.

Research for the study was led by Dr Lihi Adler-Abramovich and TAU doctoral student Lee Schnaider in collaboration with Prof Ehud Gazit, Prof. Rafi Pilo, Prof Tamar Brosh, Dr Rachel Sarig and colleagues from TAU's Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine and George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences. It was published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces on May 28 2019.[1]

"Antibiotic resistance is now one of the most pressing healthcare problems facing society, and the development of novel antimicrobial therapeutics and biomedical materials represents an urgent unmet need," says Dr Adler-Abramovich. "When bacteria accumulate on the tooth surface, they ultimately dissolve the hard tissues of the teeth. Recurrent cavities – also known as secondary tooth decay – at the margins of dental restorations results from acid production by cavity-causing bacteria that reside in the restoration-tooth interface."

This disease is a major causative factor for dental restorative material failure and affects an estimated 100 million patients a year, at an estimated cost of over $30 billion. Historically, amalgam fillings composed of metal alloys were used for dental restorations and had some antibacterial effect. But due to the alloys' bold colour, the potential toxicity of mercury and the lack of adhesion to the tooth, new restorative materials based on composite resins became the preferable choice of treatment. Unfortunately, the lack of an antimicrobial property remained a major drawback to their use.

"We've developed an enhanced material that is not only aesthetically pleasing and mechanically rigid but is also intrinsically antibacterial due to the incorporation of antibacterial nano-assemblies," Schnaider says. "Resin composite fillings that display bacterial inhibitory activity have the potential to substantially hinder the development of this widespread oral disease."

The scientists are the first to discover the potent antibacterial activity of the self-assembling building block Fmoc-pentafluoro-L-phenylalanine, which comprises both functional and structural subparts. Once the researchers established the antibacterial capabilities of this building block, they developed methods for incorporating the nano-assemblies within dental composite restoratives. Finally, they evaluated the antibacterial capabilities of composite restoratives incorporated with nanostructures as well as their biocompatibility, mechanical strength and optical properties.

"This work is a good example of the ways in which biophysical nanoscale characteristics affect the development of an enhanced biomedical material on a much larger scale," Schnaider says.

"The minimal nature of the antibacterial building block, along with its high purity, low cost, ease of embedment within resin-based materials and biocompatibility, allows for the easy scale-up of this approach toward the development of clinically available enhanced antibacterial resin composite restoratives," Dr Adler-Abramovich says.

The researchers are now evaluating the antibacterial capabilities of additional minimal self-assembling building blocks and developing methods for their incorporation into various biomedical materials, such as wound dressings and tissue scaffolds.


  1. Lee SchnaiderMoumita GhoshDarya BychenkoIrena GrigoriantsSarah Ya’ariTamar Shalev AntselShlomo MatalonRachel SarigTamar BroshRaphael PiloEhud Gazit and Lihi Adler-Abramovich*. Enhanced Nanoassembly-Incorporated Antibacterial Composite Materials. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces  11,24, 21334-21342. 28 May 2019.

Source and Further Information

George Hunka
Jordan Isenstadt

Strain of Common Cold Virus could Revolutionise Treatment of Bladder Cancer

A strain of the common cold virus has been found to potentially target, infect and destroy cancer cells in patients with bladder cancer, a new study in the medical journal Clinical Cancer Research reports.[1] No trace of the cancer was found in one patient following treatment with the virus.  Researchers from the University of Surrey and Royal Surrey County Hospital investigated the safety and tolerability of exposure to the oncolytic (‘cancer-killing’) virus coxsackievirus (CVA21), a naturally occurring strain of the common cold, in fifteen patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).  NMIBC is found in the tissue of the inner surface of the bladder and is the tenth most common cancer in the UK with approximately 10,000 people each year diagnosed with the illness.

Current treatments for this cancer are problematic. Transurethral resection, an invasive procedure that removes all visible lesions, has a high tumour recurrence rate ranging from 50 per cent to 70 per cent as well as a high tumour progression rate between 10 per cent and 20 per cent over a period of two to five years. Another common course of treatment, immunotherapy with Bacille Calmette-Guerin, a live bacterium used to treat bladder cancer, has been found to have serious side effects in one third of NMIBC patients while one third do not respond to the treatment at all.

During this pioneering study fifteen NMIBC patients, one week prior to pre scheduled surgery to remove their tumours, received CVA21 via a catheter in the bladder. Examination of tissue samples post-surgery discovered that the virus was highly selective, targeting only cancerous cells in the organ and leaving all other cells intact. The virus was found to have infected cancerous cells and replicated itself causing the cells to rupture and die. Urine samples taken from patients on alternate days detected ‘shedding’ from the virus indicating that once virally infected cancer cells had died, the newly replicated virus continued to attack more cancerous cells in the organ.

Typically tumours in the bladder do not have immune cells, preventing a patient’s own immune system from eliminating the cancer as it grows. Evidence suggests treatment with CVA21 inflames the tumour causing immune cells to rush into the cancer environment, targeting and killing the cancer cells. These tumours devoid of immune cells are known as ‘cold’ areas immunologically; however, treatment with the virus causes inflammation and immune cell stimulation to create ‘immunological ‘heat’. ‘Hot’ tumours in this way are more likely to be rejected by the immune system.

Following treatment with the virus cell death was identified in the majority of the patients’ tumours. In one patient no trace of the cancer was found during surgery. Hardev Pandha, Principal Investigator of the study and Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Surrey, said: “Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer is a highly prevalent illness that requires an intrusive and often lengthy treatment plan. Current treatment is ineffective and toxic in a proportion of patients and there is an urgent need for new therapies.

“Coxsackievirus could help revolutionise treatment for this type of cancer. Reduction of tumour burden and increased cancer cell death was observed in all patients and removed all trace of the disease in one patient following just one week of treatment, showing its potential effectiveness. Notably, no significant side effects were observed in any patient.”

Dr Nicola Annels, Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, said: “Traditionally viruses have been associated with illness however in the right situation they can improve our overall health and wellbeing by destroying cancerous cells. Oncolytic viruses such as the coxsackievirus could transform the way we treat cancer and could signal a move away from more established treatments such as chemotherapy.”


  1. Nicola E Annels, David Mansfield, Mehreen Arif, Carmen Ballesteros-Merino, Guy R Simpson, Mick Denyer, Sarbjinder S Sandhu, Alan Melcher, Kevin J Harrington, BronwYn Davies, Gough Au, Mark Grose, Izhar N Bagwan, Bernard A. Fox, Richard G Vile, Hugh Mostafid, Darren Shafren, Hardev Pandha. Viral targeting of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and priming of anti-tumour immunity following intravesical Coxsackievirus A21. Clinical Cancer Research, clincanres.4022.2018. 2019. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-4022.

Source and Further Information 

Natasha Meredith  <>

Media Relations Officer,University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH

Tel: +44 (0)1483 68 4380



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