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Letters to the Editor Issue 248

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 248 - August 2018

Kate Arnold Tribute Obituary 11-03-73 to 26-06-2018 

by Sandra Goodman PhD

It is with huge sadness and shock that we report the sudden death of Kate Arnold aged 45, only two weeks after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia after returning from holiday in Florida with her husband Mike Arnold and youngest child Amelia, now turning 10 years old. Barely 2-3 days after commencing treatment – transfusions, chemotherapy – Kate needed to be sedated and never regained consciousness, and was unable to say goodbye to anyone. The exact clinical circumstances surrounding her death are currently being investigated by the coroner.

Kate Arnold

Kate was a senior Care Manager at CCK Support Community Care Kent, and had specialist knowledge with brain injured clients. Her qualifications which she earned over many years in various aspects of social care were numerous, including OA Dip (Behavioural Therapy) Dip Level 5 Leadership Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services (Adults' Management) NCFE Cert Level 2 Common Health Conditions, Diploma in Health and Social Care - Level 2, Level 3 - the principles of End of Life Care, Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults.

Kate wrote an article about her exceptionally rocky road to Amelia’s birth -  IVF Treatment - Roller Coaster Ride published in Positive Health PH Online Issue 169 – April 2010.

Having known her for 30 years, her blossoming in confidence, maturity, kindness and compassion were stand-out personality features; Kate always had the time, genuine interest, patience and good humour and made everyone feel special. She also had a wicked sense of humour and mischievousness, and an unerring sense of dress and fashion; her fingernails and toenails were always immaculately painted in gorgeous shades of pink or purple. When I wanted to ask someone about an outfit I wanted to wear, Kate was the person I always turned to.

Her sudden death has left her entire family and work colleagues devastated and bereft. We all await with immense interest and urgency to understand how someone virtually off the plane from Florida can pass away without even the opportunity to say goodbye.

Kate was the youngest child of Mike Howell, Director of Positive Health PH Online and partner of Sandra Goodman PhD. She is mourned by her friends and colleagues, husband Mike Arnold, her three children Shelby, Connor and Amelia, two sisters Paula Steadman and Deb Rowden, grandchild Madison and one imminent grandchild.



Existing Cancer Treatment could be used for Common ‘Untreatable’™ Form of Lung Cancer

A cancer treatment already approved for use in certain types of cancer has been found to block cell growth in a common form of lung cancer for which there is currently no specific treatment available. The new findings, published today in Science Translational Medicine and led by the University of Glasgow, suggest that a large number of patients could benefit from this treatment - a second generation EGFR inhibitor (a drug that slows down or stops cell growth) - if used in combination with additional therapies.

The scientists hope the treatment could be deployed for use in patients in the near future, given it is already approved for the treatment of other cancers. Cancers of the lung kill more people worldwide than cancers of any other organ, more than 1.5m people per annum. The largest subtype of lung cancer, which the researchers studied, is adenocarcinoma.

One third of adenocarcinoma cancers carry a mutant gene called KRAS, which the researchers show requires the activity of any of four ‘EGFR/ERBB growth factor receptors’ to drive cell proliferation. There are presently no KRAS-inhibiting drugs available for treatment of these cancers and first generation EGFR drugs have failed to show any benefit to this form of cancer.

However, the scientists in this study found that, unlike first-generation EGFR inhibitors, one particular second-generation EGFR inhibitor - a multi-ERBB inhibitor - blocked the proliferation of KRAS-mutant lung cancer cells in lab studies and actually prevented the formation of KRAS-driven lung cancers in mice.

Lead author Dr Daniel Murphy, Senior Lecturer at the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences and a scientist at Glasgow’s Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, said: “There is a pressing need to develop alternative strategies for more effective treatment of KRAS‐driven lung cancer; this is a promising breakthrough which we hope could benefit patients soon.

“The inhibitor we studied - a multi-ERBB inhibitor - helped sensitize tumours and was of therapeutic benefit when used in combination with another cancer drug called Trametinib, resulting in a clear extension of lifespan.

“Based on our findings, we hope lung cancer patients with the KRAS-driven form of lung cancer may in future benefit from inclusion of this inhibitor in their treatment plan.”

Unwanted side-effects of these drugs on normal tissues remains a concern; however, new strategies to limit delivery of these drugs to the tumour site could reduce such side-effects and greatly improve the utility of this class of therapeutics.

The paper, ‘The ERBB network facilitates KRAS-driven lung tumorigenesis,’ is published in Science Translational Medicine.[1] The work was funded by a MINT Collaborative grant from Merck Sharpe & Dohme; a Deutsche Krebshilfe grant; and grants from the European Commission Marie Curie Actions and the British Lung Foundation in collaboration with the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office.

Supporting Quotes

Dr Catherine Pickworth of Cancer Research UK said: “These findings in the lab have revealed a new role for four related molecules in a particular type of lung cancer. Furthermore, by targeting these molecules in mice the researchers found this increased the effectiveness of an existing lung cancer drug.

“We now need further studies to work out if this holds true in people and what the side effects might be. We urgently need new and better ways to treat lung cancer, a disease where survival has remained stubbornly low.”

Dr Alan McNair from the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office said: “We are delighted to have been a partner in funding this important research. It is through collaborations of this type that effective new approaches to the treatment of lung cancer are likely to be developed.”

Ian Jarrold, Head of Research at the British Lung Foundation, said: “Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, so research into new treatments is vital. This is a promising finding, which could potentially help thousands of people a year, and we are delighted to have been involved in funding the project. More research is needed now to determine if this combination of treatments, which has proven successful in a laboratory setting, is safe and effective in people with lung cancer.”


1. Björn Kruspig1,*, Tiziana Monteverde1,*, Sarah Neidler1, Andreas Hock2, Emma Kerr3, Colin Nixon2, William Clark2, Ann Hedley2, Sarah Laing1, Seth B. Coffelt1, John Le Quesne4, Craig Dick1,5, Karen Vousden2, Carla P. Martins3 and Daniel J. Murphy1,2,† The ERBB network facilitates KRAS-driven lung tumorigenesis. Science Translational Medicine  20 Jun 2018:(10):Issue 446, eaao2565. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao2565

    1Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G61 1BD, UK.

    2Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Glasgow G61 1BD, UK.

    3Medical Research Council (MRC) Cancer Unit, Cambridge CB2 0XZ, UK.

    4MRC Toxicology Unit, Leicester LE1 7HB, UK.

    5National Health Service Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow G51 4TF, UK.

    †Corresponding author. Email:

Further Information

For more information contact Elizabeth McMeekin or Ali Howard in the University of Glasgow Communications and Public Affairs Office on Tel: 0141 330 4831 or Tel: 0141 330 6557;  or  


Will Homeopathy be Saved – Before it’s Too Late?

by Rob Verkerk PhD Founder, Scientific & Executive Director, ANH-Intl

Republished from


How open is your mind? What are your thoughts on Theresa May or Donald Trump as leaders? Do you believe they’re good or bad leaders? Do you believe the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq based on concerns over an unverified stockpile of weapons of mass destruction was just or unjust? Do you believe that homeopathy works? As odd as it might sound, these were among some questions posed at the Royal Society of Medicine last Saturday at a ground-breaking conference on the science of water. The conference was organized by Integrative Medicine Consultant Lord Kenneth Ward-Atherton alongside the British Homeopathic Association. One of its overarching aims was to explore where some of the brightest, relevant minds were at when it came to looking at the plausibility or otherwise of mechanisms explaining homeopathy’s claimed or proven clinical effects.


Lord Ward-Atherton

Lord Kenneth Ward Atherton presenting at the New Horizons in Water Science conference,
Royal Society of Medicine, 14 July 2018


New Horizons in Water Science

At the conference, five professors presented their views on the science of water, the single substance on which life on Earth is most dependent. Any synthesis of the eminent professors’ views, assuming the research that underpinned them is valid (which I believe it is), would bring you to the same conclusion: what we’re taught about how the human body ‘works’ right up to tertiary education level, including in medicine, is at least in part misguided or wrong. It’s noteworthy that two of the professors were Nobel laureates and the other three head up very active laboratories with solid publication records.

No surprise, none of the scientists opposed homeopathy. Quite the reverse, they all contributed pieces of the jigsaw that could help create a more complete picture of the mechanisms that drive this 200-year-old system of medicine. And almost not a minute too late – given that skeptics have been working overtime for some years to banish homeopathy from the UK’s NHS. That’s despite a significant body of evidence pointing to a clinical effect that goes beyond placebo and strong public demand. More than that, it’s also in flagrant disregard for the fourth principle of the NHS Constitution that dictates that “NHS services must reflect, and should be coordinated around and tailored to, the needs and preferences of patients.”

I was honoured to accept an invitation to speak alongside the professors at the conference. My remit was to look at the broader picture around homeopathy and how people’s beliefs can be constrained or affected by others. In line with the views of Dr Peter Fisher, Director of Research at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, Europe’s largest centre for integrative medicine as well as being the Queen’s homeopath, it is wrong to claim (as some skeptics do) there is no evidence for a clinical effect beyond placebo.

We suggest therefore that skeptics refuse to accept any possibility of the plausibility of a beneficial effect relating to the practice of homeopathy for irrational reasons. These may include one or more of the following:

  • They don’t look at the available clinical evidence and so refuse to accept there is a demonstrated clinical effect beyond placebo;
  • They have no experience of receiving homeopathic treatments;
  • They are not prepared to recognize that homeopaths, like all good health professionals, might help patients in ways that go beyond merely the prescription of a medicine (in the case of a homeopath, a homeopathic one);
  • They don’t acknowledge evidence of benefit of homeopathic remedies in animals;
  • They do not recognize a consistent logic structure that explains the observed effect because they cannot accept any evidence of a mechanism for ultra-diluted solutions which may not include any remaining bioactive molecules as used in homeopathy.

And the Professors Spoke…

Water, we already know, is anomalous scientifically. It does a bunch of things we shouldn’t expect of it. Take its unusually high melting and boiling points, considering it is a Group 6A ‘hybrid’ of the Periodic Table. They’re not just a little bit higher, but around 100,000 to 150,000 times higher than expected by extrapolation. It also exists in multiple different solid forms, such as the crystalline ice-five or ice-seven forms, or as amorphous ice, all of which change with pressure. As you’ve realized, it’s also less dense in solid than liquid form – water gets less dense unlike other compounds when it’s cooled below 4C. Did you notice your ice doesn’t sink to the bottom of your glass?

So, what did the Assembled Professors have to Add?

All the presentations were filmed and we will be pointing our readers to them as soon as they become available, which we’re told by the organizers will be in the near future. In the meantime, we have distilled what appear to be some of the most important mechanistic theories that underlie homeopathy. We provide them for you in the chronological order in which they were presented, as follows:

  • Professor Emeritus Brian Josephson (Theory of Condensed Matter, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge) was awarded his Nobel prize in Physics at the age of 22 for his pioneering work on superconductivity and quantum tunnelling. Fifty six years on, he set the scene for the conference by suggesting that the current ‘matching’ theory for how two molecules (e.g. bioactive molecules and receptor molecules) communicate is incorrect. He argues that electromagnetic signals and quantum theory provide more likely or at least additional explanations;
  • Professor Luc Montagnier was co-awarded a Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008 for the discovery of HIV. He argues that electromagnetic signals can be transduced in highly diluted aqueous solutions originally containing some bacterial or viral DNA. Montagnier has found that agitation of preparations during their dilution (= succussion in homeopathy) was found to be essential for this transduction;
  • Professor Jerry Pollack (Pollack Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle) showed that water within living systems largely exists not as H2O, but as structured matrices composed of H3O2 molecules (‘exclusion zone water’ or ‘EZ water’, for more information, see separate article) ‘EZ water’: the water that makes us and all other life . This structured water is negatively charged and acts like a battery that can do work within the body. Along with ethanol that can also form exclusion zones, EZ water also has a great capacity to retain information; this could potentially be exploited and could surpass the data storage capacity of today’s silicon ‘chips’;
  • Professor Vladimir Voeikov (Chair of Bioorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University) and his lab have shown how signatures could be left by biologically active substances as high-energy, reactive oxygen species (ROS). These bioenergetic signals may represent what homeopaths or herbalists refer to as ‘vital force’ and may contribute to the observed property of ‘memory’ in water;
  • Professor Voeikov also discussed the work of his colleague, Professor Alexander Konovalov (Russian Academy of Sciences). The work suggests that memory could be retained by nano-sized assemblies of water molecules (referred to as ‘nanoassociates’) created around bioactive molecules long after their removal;
  • Adding to the debate, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Professor Jayesh Bellare explained that his team are able to detect nanoparticles of the starting materials or their aggregates in even the most diluted homeopathic products (manufactured according to the Homoeopathic Materia Medica). He attributes some of the effects (even if they were electromagnetic or quantum in action) to these nanoparticles.

Alliance for Natural Health - ANH’s Input

It was with great interest that I accepted an invitation to speak at the conference, mid-afternoon.

In almost every way, I was the odd one out. I am not a specialist in the water-related sciences, in ultra-dilutions or in homeopathy. (What’s more, I don’t have the professorial ‘hair thing’ going on). But over the last 16 years through our campaign work that aims to maintain public availability of as broad a range of health choices that work in concert with our physiology as possible, I have been a close witness of the savage and unjust attacks on homeopathy. It’s a system of medicine that has not only been proven to be of benefit, it has been observed by homeopaths and patients alike the world over to deliver clear benefits (doctors and practitioners rarely persist for long periods of time with medical approaches that consistently fail their patients).

So What can We Take Home?

Many anomalies of water have long been known and it seems we’re just meant to accept the anomalies and not concern ourselves that there are few in the way of adequate explanations.

The professors raise additional anomalies, which some will believe and others will choose to ignore. What’s very interesting is that there are persistent efforts in society to marginalize scientists with a contrary view to the status quo.

French immunologist Dr Jacques Benveniste (in whose memory the conference was held) was such a scientist. In attempting to demonstrate that water can retain a memory of biologically active substances even when they are no longer present, the orthodoxy can come crashing down on you. They can close down your lab and kick you to the fringes where none of your supporters will have a significant voice. Benveniste died prematurely at the age of 69, still with a passion to uncover more about non-molecular mechanisms of communications within and between cells. He knew he was onto something but didn’t live long enough to get to the bottom of it. This conference was something of a celebration of what has happened in the wake of Benveniste’s discoveries; following his death in 2004 it showed just how elements of the science have moved on, regardless of establishment pressure against this kind of research.

Whatever the opponents of homeopathy argue, the clinical effect has been amply demonstrated. Could this new evidence from the science of water reveal a likely, albeit, complex mechanism – or possibly more likely – a series of parallel mechanisms? And could an understanding of these mechanisms provide the missing piece in the logic pathway required to shift the medical establishment’s perceptions about the usefulness of homeopathy for human or animal health?

This kind of sea change is urgently needed if we are to avert the extinction of homeopathy in the NHS, the veterinary sciences and beyond, caused by a lack of appetite among some for the ‘scientific truth’ – regardless of its consequences.

And before you ask me to define ‘scientific truth’….I like the following definition: “a state of minimum discrepancy between theoretical prediction and observed reality.”

Acknowledgement Citation

Republished from



New Study Offers Hope of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury

Novel enzyme treatment may reduce inflammation and scarring that prevent neuronal regeneration, Tel Aviv University researchers say. Spinal cord injury or damage causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions. Hope of recuperation is slim to none. Now a new Tel Aviv University study finds the intravenous injection of a potent enzyme, just hours after an accident, has the potential to diminish a cascade of pathological events responsible for neuronal death, such as inflammation and scarring.

The study was conducted by Dr Angela Ruban of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Dr Yona Goldshmit of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University. It was published in May in the Journal of Neurotrauma.[1]

"Primary mechanical damage to spinal cord tissue kills a certain amount of neuronal cells. But there's secondary damage due to the release of excess glutamates, which are responsible for additional functional disability," Dr Goldshmit says. "The main idea is to reduce the secondary damage as soon as possible -  to block the body's natural reaction to spinal cord trauma. This is the role of the enzyme injection we devised."

"When this new treatment will be available to paramedics, the consequences of injuries could be dramatically reduced," Dr. Ruban says.

"Don't wait to diagnose"

Dr Ruban worked with the late Prof. Vivian I. Teichberg of the Weizmann Institute of Science to develop the "blood glutamate scavenging approach," a treatment based on controlling the levels of glutamate, the most abundant free amino acid in the central nervous system. Glutamate accounts for approximately 60 percent of total neurotransmitter activity in the brain. Dr Ruban's research has shown the positive effect of the blood glutamate treatment in models of glioblastoma, ALS and others.

"Our takeaway is, 'Don't wait to diagnose it, treat it,'" Dr Ruban says. "It's similar to aspirin, which can rescue a cardiac patient from irreversible damage if taken within the first few hours of a heart attack. We suggest administering the injection even in cases of uncertain diagnosis. There's no side effect to the injection, but it might just mitigate secondary damage and dramatically improve the quality of a person's life."

According to the research, neurotrauma produces the immediate elevation of extracellular glutamate levels, which leads to inflammation, scar formation and, consequentially, neuronal death.

"Our new treatment aims to lower levels of glutamate, which is released in toxic quantities after trauma, by intravenous administration of blood glutamate scavengers (BGS), such as recombinant enzyme glutamate‐oxaloacetate transaminase (rGOT1) and its co‐substrate," Dr Ruban says.

"If we manage to reduce the amount of glutamate that is released initially, we can moderate the inflammation and scarring, thereby moderating the damage to the tissue and enabling neuronal cells to survive," Dr Goldshmit adds.

Initial success in mouse models

The research team studied the neuroprotective effect of the blood glutamate scavengers in mouse models of spinal cord injury. After receiving the treatment for five consecutive days, the mice significantly recovered from the injury.

"The treatment increased the survival of neurons at the lesion site and enabled axonal regeneration into the injury site, which resulted in significant functional recovery compared with the untreated mice," Dr Ruban concludes. "This indicates that drug intervention with blood glutamate scavengers following spinal cord injury may be neuroprotective and may create a regenerative environment."


"George Hunka, American Friends of Tel Aviv University"


1. Yona Goldshmit, Ghil Jona, Eran Schmukler, Shira Solomon, Ronit Pinkas-Kramarski and Angela Ruban. Blood Glutamate Scavenger as a Novel Neuroprotective Treatment in Spinal Cord Injury. Journal of Neurotrauma. 15 May 2018.



CBD 80% Success Rate in Reducing Problematic Behaviour in Autistic Children

Eighty percent of the participants in an Israeli study that examined the effect of CBD on children on the autistic spectrum reported a decrease in problematic behaviour. Almost half reported on improved communication capabilities for children 

An Israeli study recently published in the prestigious journal Neurology[1] examined the effect of medical cannabis therapy on children on the autistic spectrum. The study, led by Dr Adi Aran, director of the paediatric neurology unit at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, found that cannabis treatment with a high concentration of CBD (the non-psychoactive substance considered to have medicinal properties) improved the condition of 80% of the children in the study.

The study included 60 children, with an average age of 12, whose condition hadn't improved with conventional drug therapy. The children were treated using cannabis oil with a concentration of 20 percent CBD and one percent THC for at least seven months. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in the marijuana plant. CBD, on the other hand, has no psychoactive effect.

At the end of the treatment period, the children's parents filled out questionnaires to assess the change in their condition. The parents were asked whether they had noticed a change in their child's behaviour, the extent of their child's anxiety and whether their child's communication abilities had changed. 80% of the children’s parents who participated in the study reported a decrease in problematic behaviour, with 62% percent reporting that their child's behaviour improved significantly.

Nachshol Cohen, Founder of Cannabium, the first CBD marketplace, said: “According to the astonishing report, eighty percent of the children reported improved functioning! We hope that this research will help to bring about a conceptual change by regulators and policymakers, which will lead to a scientific momentum that will unequivocally demonstrate the positive effects of cannabis on a variety of health problems”.

The study also found that half of the children who participated in the study also reported an improvement in their level of communication, with forty percent saying that their anxiety symptoms had significantly improved. A third of the participants did not show symptoms of anxiety before the study began.


1. Adi Aran, Hanoch Cassuto, Asael Lubotzky. Cannabidiol Based Medical Cannabis in Children with Autism- a Retrospective Feasibility Study (P3.318). Neurology. April 10, 2018; 90 (15 Supplement) April 24, 2018.

Source: "Adir Alon" <> 


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