DNA pioneer James Watson takes aim at "cancer establishments"

Comments (89)
edebonneuil wrote:

what about screening cancers early?

Jan 09, 2013 2:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
alugwin wrote:

Hummingbird2: Barely anything you said is true, there is nothing toxic about high fructose corn syrup, please read the science. We should not consume so much sugar. Problems with processed foods generally are because of high sugar content. Round-up ready crops are bad because they basically allow agent orange to be sprayed on crops, but that does not mean all GMO’s are bad, please again read the science. Burzynski on the other hand is exactly what you claim the pharmaceutical companies are. He is a snake oil salesman, he will heighten your chance for death. I don’t know why I bother, but people like you should be stopped. You spread misinformation and miracles that don’t exist, and the worst is that the people most likely to buy them aren’t emotionally equipped to fend off this nonsense as they are usually dieing.

Jan 09, 2013 4:02am EST  --  Report as abuse
smithjack wrote:

readers should know their home computers can help discover new treatments! check out “world community grid” and “folding at home”. we are all volunteers, so have a look and join us!

Jan 09, 2013 5:00am EST  --  Report as abuse
diddums wrote:

Hummingbird. Than you for that link to the movie you posted. What an amazing documentary. It took me back to when the FDA tried to stop the natural sugar plant stevia being sold in the USA. What a devious bunch the FDA and big Pharma are.

Jan 09, 2013 5:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
ErnestPayne wrote:

Thanks alugwin. Saved me telling hummingbird the same thing. Government funded science works on cures not “treatments”.

Jan 09, 2013 8:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
EU_Hold_On wrote:

Pharmaceutical companies are what they are: companies. The background target is indeed to make money.
But make money on what? On providing people innovative products and services in order to improve their health.

Billions and billions of dollars are spend each year in R&D by pharmaceutical laboratories. I won’t give any names but some of them spend more than apple or microsoft on R&D in order to save lives.
Progress in cancer “curing” have been enormous this past decades, several solutions do reverse the cancer expansion, and even stop ithave been launched into the market.

I really wonder why people complain about the financial results of such companies who devote themselves to actually save lives or at least try to. The financial incomes are most than largely reinvested in R&D.

Jan 09, 2013 8:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

Cancer is a long term treatment disease like heat disease.
The biggest money makers are cancer and heart disease.
Long treatment time means lots of money for drug companies, doctors, hospitals, etc.
Did you know England now has a one time outpatient treatment with no side effects that cures prostate cancer without surgery (90% cure rate)? Have you seen it in the US? Nope.
“Apr 16, 2012 UK – A new treatment for prostate cancer can rid the disease from nine in ten men without debilitating side effects, a study has found”
Our wealthy masters don’t want to cure cancer, that would mean a huge cut in profits.
Don’t be afraid of the truth, embrace it.

Jan 09, 2013 8:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
Doc62 wrote:

Everything is PROFIT DRIVEN in cancer research. No R&D, if no money in it. Radiation and chemotherapy produce billions in profits and that’s the bottom line. Love those phoney “empathic” ads on TV. Anti-Obamacare folk whine about death squads? Check out Kaiser-Permente, the “Nazis of Healthcare”. Permente, in secret meetings with Nixon, created our present for profit system – HELLO!

Jan 09, 2013 9:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

I don’t suppose that prolonging sickness unnecessarily for profit is a ‘true or false’ condition, I expect that both efforts to cure people of cancer and efforts to profit from technology and expertise exist simultaneously. I see an interesting variable coming in this discussion, though. What will people’s motivation will be if (when?) the full scope of Obamacare kicks in and the government becomes the single payer and medical care is dispensed exclusively thru the grinding rules of a bloated public union?

Jan 09, 2013 10:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bob9999 wrote:

Modern research is about the process of getting grants to fund the research. Entire bureaucracies in corporation, universities and government are built up around this process. Actual discoveries may be counterproductive to some of the players in this game, to the extent the discovery completes the research and makes it unnecessary to keep funding anything. A researcher might be able to transition to a related project, but the surrounding bureaucracies may be negatively impacted.

Jan 09, 2013 10:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
mjftw wrote:

It seems to me that all this article is saying to speak to your doctor about your diet when diagnosed with cancer. James Watson’s theory seems to be just that–a theory. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure.

Jan 09, 2013 10:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
Shamizar wrote:

So many conspiracy theories! Everyone seems to be looking at cancer research from the view at the bottom, the day-to-day researchers. Their livelihood depends upon their jobs, and they have an interest in seeing that those jobs continue. The problem is that they don’t control the money, and thus the direction of research. There aren’t a lot of big-money conspirators at the top trying to keep from finding a cancer cure. The amount of money in research pales in comparison to the vast fortune awaiting the one who finds “the cure”. They simply can’t do it yet. Conspiracy theories can be kept in check by remembering the old adage “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”

Jan 09, 2013 10:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
sbul wrote:

This is the same guy that doesn’t believe that fossil’s create Oil and that Oil is in plentiful supply as it comes from the Mantle of the earth. He had his 15 minutes of fame with the double helix and then he was just lucky to have a dream that showed him this and published before others (the science was all centering on this at the time). Now, at 84 he has a lot of off the wall beliefs. I’m not saying he’s wrong but he has always been a little on the wacky side.

Jan 09, 2013 10:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
JL4 wrote:

I love it when people announce that “there has been a cure for cancer” for “X” number of years, but no one ever hears anything about it because of huge American corporate conspiracies designed around long-term profits. Then you’re sent to a website that wants to sell you a product or information.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fond of corporations for their egregious tax evasions, but if the cure is so simple, why don’t the conspiracy theorists just tell us what it is – and for free?

Jan 09, 2013 10:50am EST  --  Report as abuse
pgs2 wrote:

If we can send a man to the noon in 10 years, why can’t we make it a goal to cure cancer in ten years?

Jan 09, 2013 11:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
pgs2 wrote:

Make a cure happen, we made a moon landing happen. Divert the money wasted on trips to mars to cures for cancer!

Jan 09, 2013 11:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
possibilianP wrote:

JL4, the “conspiracy theorists” as you call them don’t know the answers anymore than anyone else. If they did, corporations would be assassinating their character like they did with Dr. Burzynski. What they do know, however, is that the current structure has been corrupted by money, and because of that, those who could find cures will never find cures.

Jan 09, 2013 11:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
possibilianP wrote:

There’s an article in the NYT today about the poor mix of Health Care and Profits. How timely.

Jan 09, 2013 11:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

The trouble with dietary cures for cancer seems to be their high cost. And all the people in my now shrinking extended family, who died of cancer, seemed to have died of breast cancer, when cause of death was obvious. Otherwise, there were so many things going wrong with their old bodies, there wasn’t much that a battery of treatments could cure. None of them had been smokers and were only social drinkers (at least all but one, I think.

I think sbul has Watson confused with another guy who was very vocal in the 80′s and even drilled a test well in Greenland that didn’t prove his theory.

High levels of stress or anxiety are not conducive to good health either but we don’t see many stories about low stress living. There has to be some forgotten or “practical” reason why wealth, until even 150 years ago, wanted to live as a “leisure class”. But obviously that doesn’t work all that well either if one’s diet is so rich it kills one due to heart disease.

Jan 09, 2013 11:37am EST  --  Report as abuse
snewsom2997 wrote:

Cancer is the body mutating, while some mutations are similar others are unique, some use the same mechanism to grow a tumor, others don’t. Cancer is not one thing, there are 1000′s of different cancers, and each one is a little different, from each other, and how they manifest in a human body. Because cancer is our own body, many things used to kill cancer also kill normal tissue, causing mutations and cancer down the road. People won’t like to hear it but if you live long enough you will get cancer, cancer is just a mutation that is bad, and we cannot stop mutation, through any means other than death.

Jan 09, 2013 11:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
jsamuel8754 wrote:

A great number of people die in agony from chemotherapy and radiation rather than the cancer itself. Yet these treatments continue to be recommended. I suspect more because of their profitability than anything else. I am very suspicious of any medical opinions that suggest these tortures are preferable to alternatives.

Jan 09, 2013 12:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RayCPerkins wrote:

We can always count on James Watson to speak the truth as he sees it. He joins other luminaries such as Craig Venter in cautioning against an over-reliance on genetic mutations in our search for viable drug targets. Unfortunately we continue to fund such research even in the face of ongoing evidence that it simply doesn’t work. Maybe someday. Let’s not forget that genes only code directly for a per cent or so of human proteins. This fact alone is cause for caution.

In the meantime, I’d recommend equal funding for a more phenotypic approach for everything from disease characterization to drug screening to “personalized” medicine. Otherwise all our eggs are in one, very narrow basket.

Jan 09, 2013 12:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ojfl wrote:

One thing that has been obvious for quite some time is that government intervention has been slowing down scientific development. Very few people seem to focus on that.

Jan 09, 2013 1:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
captaind wrote:

alugwin – you had be agreeing with you until your completely wrong comment about agent orange. Round-up ready crops allow the use of glyphosate herbicide to be used. This herbicide is very nontoxic to animals in general and decomposes quickly into…wait for it…fertilizer. Agent orange in contrast was a mixture of 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. The first of these two was banned years ago by EPA because its manufacture created a contaminant now commonly referred to as dioxin. The latter is a broad leaf weed herbicide that is still used on grass lawns and corn crops. Either of these will kill any round-up ready soybean plant. Please get the facts straight about this sort of thing – helps credibility a lot.

Jan 09, 2013 1:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
captaind wrote:

pgs2 if you understood the difference between science and engineering you would not makes such silly comments comparing cancer research with going to the moon or mars.

Jan 09, 2013 1:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
captaind wrote:

snewsom2997 – excellent! Seriously good job of explaining the science in an easy to understand way.

Jan 09, 2013 1:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MikeyLikesIt wrote:

I’d like to see some more information regarding the study on Anti-Oxidants vs. Free Radicals. Are we now saying that Anti-Oxidants don’t neutralize free radicals or are they saying that they inhibit cancer fighting drugs?

I was under the impression from the studies that I have read that the role of Anti-Oxidants is more preventative than reactive when it comes to free radicals and cancerous growth.

Jan 09, 2013 1:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DontBeLate wrote:

You will never get rid of cancer unless you get rid of the things that cause cancer.

One of those things is radiation in our food, air and water from nuclear power plants and past atomic testing.

Radiation like Cesium-137 and Tritium…all which can cause cancer are released from ALL nuclear power plants during their “normal” operations.

Please research this issue on your own.

Jan 09, 2013 1:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DeSwiss wrote:

@ hummingbird2 – Bingo!

Jan 09, 2013 1:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse

We have no way to prove that pharmaceutical companies aren’t taking their sweet time and dragging their feet to find a bona fide CURE to cancer and other diseases.

Take diabetes, for example. Companies that make insulin and test strips have the choice of devoting resources toward ending the disease in the first place, or instead getting what are essentially lifelong revenue streams from sufferers of this disease.

Cancer treatment is orders of magnitude lucrative in comparison. Having worked for a university hospital’s pharmacy, the prices for chemo drugs and epoetin are through the roof.

Seeing the revenue earned hand over fist by researchers, pharmaceutical companies, doctors and numerous other parties in the conveniently everlasting quest for a cure seems like far too tasty a monetary treat for them to work toward giving up.

Jan 09, 2013 1:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
LeonBelasco wrote:

Reading evolution theory, I thought most all mutations were good? No? What a shocker! Yet evolution needs one teeny mutation after another for millions of years all in the good category? No?

Jan 09, 2013 1:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
captaind wrote:

MikeyLikesIt – simple answer is both. Antioxidants do neutralize free radicals. Because many cancer drugs actually produce free radicals to attack cancer cells the antioxidants can protect the cancer cells under those circumstances – the same may be true for radiation treatments under some circumstances. Part of what the article seems to suggest is that the body’s own defenses may be to use free radicals to attack cancer cells. Under that circumstance high levels of some vitamins that are antioxidants may prevent the body’s own defenses from working – and that does sound like it warrants more research. To much of today’s “science” and quite frankly government regulation is based on the assumption that a chemical’s impact is linear. The simple fact is that there are many nonlinear impacts of chemicals (and radiation) on the human body. Bottom line is that a small amount may be a good thing and too much may be very bad is a notion that extends to chemicals like vitamins as well as many other chemicals, medicines and foods that we use. Problem is that the dose response curve is likely different for each individual. And that makes this research as well as the resulting medical treatments very difficult.

Jan 09, 2013 1:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
alugwin wrote:

Captaind: While I am aware of what you said, it’s more a targeted trick to get to people like hummingbird because they think all GMOs are bad. There is nothing good to be said about Monsanto’s business practices and there is no way, even with real science, to change their minds. Besides I much prefer the research that is trying to eradicate our use of pesticides and fertilizers. I think this is much more useful. So why you are correct, and I may have used somewhat colorful language, I would have you forgive me as I was just trying to get a point across, and am somewhat limited with what will work if I am talking to someone who believes in a conspiracy theory.

Jan 09, 2013 2:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
alugwin wrote:

LeonBelasco: No, evolution does not work off of mutations mostly. There is sexual selection, the recombination of alleles. Mutation might happen, but is not thought of as a big driver of evolution by most, although there are a few hypothesis out there that use it more often. Mostly evolution is small changes, a bit longer eyestalks for a slug, or something that gives it just a slight advantage, and then gives it’s offspring a slight a advantage, etc. This occurs within the natural variation of a species.

Jan 09, 2013 2:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:

But, but… think of the CEO’s that would be jobless if they had a cure for cancer… can’t have that!

But seriously; people making six figure plus salaries, would end their own jobs if a solid cure was found – question is.. do they care enough to do that?

Jan 09, 2013 2:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

A researcher gets hundreds of thousands in grant money to find a cure for cancer, finds a cure, then get millions from the drug companies and health organizations to hide the cure. SWEEEEETTT!
Cancer researchers get 5 billion year for cancer from the taxpayers, and the rate is only down 5% since 1950.
$100 billion a year spent on cancer research and treatments, and NO RESULTS.

Jan 09, 2013 2:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dubya242 wrote:

funny, i was just reading Pauling’s book, “Vitamin C, the Common Cold and the Flu” and on p. 65, he suggests that ascorbate reduces molecular oxygen to hydrogen superoxide (HO2), which then attacks the nucleic acid of viruses. (also, the reduction is catalyzed by copper ions.) so, vitamin C produces free radicals and is not an antioxidant.

Jan 09, 2013 3:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sailordude wrote:

Someone tell this old guy that saving old people in the future is not in the Democrats plans. It’s all about the young brainwashed voters, not old timers who cost a lot of money to keep alive and don’t vote liberal enough.

Jan 09, 2013 3:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gee.la wrote:

“Everyone thought antioxidants were great,” he said. “But I’m saying they can prevent us from killing cancer cells.”

Antioxidants are great to a normal person. When cancer cells are alive inside, considerations are totally different- no healthy one will adopt chemotherapy, which is a popular treatment to kill cancer cells. I don’t think it is necessary to confuse the normal condition with conditions of disease, particularly cancers.

Jan 09, 2013 3:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
g-ray wrote:

@ sbul (implying that oil has a fossil origin):

The Fischer–Tropsch process developed in Germany in the 1920s for producing petroleum fuels was derived from the theoretical underpinning for abiotic oil being created spontaneously deep within the earth. Methane is the only fossil fuel allowed for by the second law of thermodynamics at the pressures and temperatures actually seen in fossiliferous sedimentary layers.

@ captaind (saying glyphosate is very nontoxic):

Monsanto lied about the biodegradability of Roundup (glyphosate). The EPA approved Roundup despite the lack of independent scientific work proving its safety. Now, all lifeforms on earth are unwilling subjects in an awful long-term glyphosate experiment. Glyphosate is genotoxic — it damages DNA, and has been linked to birth defects, infertility, sperm destruction, and cancer.

Jan 09, 2013 3:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gee.la wrote:

I have no doubt that antioxidants and other nutrients are important to a normal health, but only those nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, not those from additives. Of course, exceptions are usually there. Nothing is absolute.

Jan 09, 2013 3:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Guarionex wrote:

I was going to comment on the laughability of Watson being described as the co-discoverer of the double helical nature of DNA given that he and Crick blatantly ripped it off from Rosalind Franklin without attribution, but seeing some of the comments here, such as that by hummingbird2, I must comment instead on the completely moronic nature the following:

“The fact that no cancer “cure” has been found is not so very strange: Just think of all the doctors, research centers, cancer institutes and pharmaceutical companies who would all go out of business if a “cure” were found!”

This is the essence of quackism: misdefine a problem in order to promote a questionable prevention or cure.

The fact that no cancer “cure” has been found is not so very strange, poor hummingbird: It’s that “cancer” is a label applied to a multitude of diseases that have certain common characteristics but which occur in many different tissues for many different reasons including chemical, genetic, aging, and biological infections.

Jan 09, 2013 3:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ConstFundie wrote:

Is this Novel? All his evidence comes from the Research of other scientists, and these scientists are already studying these lines to improve therapy effectiveness. Unless there is something being mistranslated by the media, he seems to be going all-chips-in on the “Novel”-don’t eat blueberries if you have cancer cure. Or does it include smoking as much as possible, eating as much sugar as you can hold down, and living in a hyperbaric chamber?

Sure, if we could reduce the oxidative resistance of only cancer cells, or direct chemical damage to only cancer cells, that would be spectacular. And these are goals that scientists are pursuing. But Watson’s apparent contention that weakening every cell in the body to chemical oxidative damage will insure that cancer-cells dye-off, and in preference to normal cells, is half-baked. Especially since some of the evidence cited is that some cancer-cells are genetically advantageously antioxidative.

Jan 09, 2013 3:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse


You sound convincing until you said “and in some cases even cure” cancer with natural foods. Ask Steve Jobs how that work out for him.

Jan 09, 2013 3:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
analyzer123 wrote:

This article is exceptionally misleading to readers engaging in any kind of cursory examination of the article. The effect is to make people think that antioxidants and vitamins are useless.

First off, the article brings absolutely nothing new to the table in terms of what we already “know”, secondly, Sharon Begley, the author of the article says:

“Research backs him up. A number of studies have shown that taking antioxidants such as vitamin E do not reduce the risk of cancer but can actually increase it, and can even shorten life.”

Complete and utter rubbish. Most of the studies on vitamin E have demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt (and confirmed by virtually all mainstream medical advice) that Vitamin E positively and unequivocally reduces the risk of cancer. The studies where “Vitamin E” ostensibly “increasing cancer” was with only one of the synthetic isolates of vitamin E without the co-factors and at super mega (many hundreds of thousands of doses) for very long periods of time. d-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate is NOT vitamin E, even though technically it can be referred to as such. No study has ever shown that the former in combination with “Mixed Tocopherols”, consisting of a number of different Vitamin E co-factors , has ever come close to remotely contributing to more cancer.

What’s ironic about the article is that in its haphazard attempt to swindle the reader into believing that antioxidants are ineffective at defending cells from damage, it actually does the very opposite! Chemotherapy is a poisin, it is radioactivity. Chemotherapy, while effective in destroying bad cancer, is also effective at destroying good cells and contributing to the overall destruction of the body. Watson is CORRECT that antioxidants will, in some regards, block chemotherapy from being able to kill cancer while concomitantly taking Vitamin E. This, in itself, proves that vitamin E (and basically vitamins in general) are effective in PROTECTING the cells against damage or destruction in the first place. When Watson says:

“But I’m saying they can prevent us from killing cancer cells.”

He is and can only be referring to the context of chemotherapy and is function in killing cancer cells.

Well I’ve got news, chemotherapy kills more people than cancer every year, but we should be worried about getting too many antioxidants? Who does this buffoon think he’s fooling? Himself? Maybe the author who knows absolutely nothing about nutrition. Perhaps Watson and Begley should keep eating their cheese burgers every day…after all, who needs antioxidants?

Watson says: “Everyone thought antioxidants were great,”

No Watson, we KNOW they are great, scientifically. Some of us believe in prevention, not in waiting until we have cancer and then rationalizing that somehow because antioxidants may not aid the poison from killing the cancer in just the way we wanted that somehow antioxidants are useless. Perhaps you’re just getting old and senile from not having enough nutrients.

Jan 09, 2013 3:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Targeted wrote:

As a cancer clinician and investigator, it’s disheartening to read some of the comments for this article. The ignorance perpetuated on the internet is staggering. First of all, the notion that chemotherapy and radiation are worse than the cancer is not true. There is no doubt that many of these medications make people miserable, but the outcome, when successful, is an improvement in function, decrease in pain, and, in some cases, long disease-free intervals. Clearly, this requires a team approach including the cancer surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists. For many of those to simple write off these therapies, they simply have not seen the alternative; to see the natural history of these disease before treatments were available. Without chemotherapy, leukemia (with exception to CML, CMML, MDS) patients would die in weeks. In some cases like GIST, patients with stage IV disease are still alive at 10 years! These contrarian comments are similar to the individuals that question vaccines; they simply do not know the history to understand how many of these now preventable disease killed many individuals prior to the advent of vaccine therapies.

With regard to diet, I agree that some types of cancers occur more frequently with certain types of exposures (i.e., high consumption of red meat, smoking tobacco, chronic consumption of alcohol). That stated, there are many cancers that occur due to chronic infections like H. pylori or human papilloma virus (HPV). There are other cancer for which we have no known link, such as many types of rare cancers like sarcomas. Some cancers occur because of inherited genetic disorders. So this notion that a certain type of diet will prevent all forms of cancer is ridiculous.

Lastly, I won’t pretend to know the full ambition at the core of most pharmaceutical companies, but to think that all of these companies would hide “cures” is stupid. Cancers represent a large number of complex disorders for which one single cure is unlikely. The root cause of these disease are variable. That’s like saying buying one product for your car will prevent any electrical/mechanical problems from occurring to your car. The research & development spent per cancer drug now exceeds 1 billion dollars. Considering that a drug patent only lasts 10 years and consider that only 10% of all drugs in development get FDA approval for use, there is a large amount of money spent for very short term earnings. That doesn’t mean these companies don’t profit from their investments but, from a business perspective, more returns can be achieved in other areas of the private sector.

Please people, scrutinize what you read carefully. Don’t be gullible to the snake charmers that profess cures for all ailments. If some of these “cures” were so common, the overall incidence of cancers would decrease as would their mortality rates.

Jan 09, 2013 3:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
thomasreut wrote:

” Doc62 wrote:

Everything is PROFIT DRIVEN in cancer research. No R&D, if no money in it. Radiation and chemotherapy produce billions in profits and that’s the bottom line.”

Being on the funding board for a major R&D hospital I can assure you that this is a major problem for that hospital. They have only limited funds and have to compete for profits with companies that target the high profit sectors of medicine and do no research. Getting research funding for something that will not generate major profits is difficult and usually results from targeted philanthropy.

Jan 09, 2013 3:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ConstFundie wrote:

I suspect, if we live to see the day, that Watson will get to repeat his famous quote: “More importantly, I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said.”

His statement in reference to his last ‘Novel’, and misconstrued, theory that Africans are intellectually inferior humans.

Jan 09, 2013 3:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
captaind wrote:

alugwin – you can’t eradicate the use of fertilizers and pesticides without eradicating the production of food. You can try to make the use of them more and more environmentally sound – like is done on my farm. But even an organic farmer uses fertilizer (most often from animals and that often results in terrible runoff problems) and pesticides that plants themselves produce and are often more toxic than man made pesticides. As for your “targeted trick” – it damages your credibility to knowingly lie. Huningbird is a nut for what he thinks – you are just being purposely deceptive. The latter is far worse in my mind.

Jan 09, 2013 3:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
captaind wrote:

gee.la – I think you make some good points. That said you need to think about the fact that evolutionarily humans need to stay alive long enough to procreate and train the next generation. Historically that is into the 30′s. After that there is little evolutionary pressure to keep us alive and our bodies metabolic processes start to break down and become far less efficient. For that reason alone supplements are needed as you get older. Consider that as one of your exceptions to the rule for those who live long enough.

Jan 09, 2013 4:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fyreman235 wrote:

For everyone who knows what they are talking in medicine, there are at least ten conspiracy theorists who believe nothing that the medical profession says and listen to a lot of homeopathic garbage and think that the guy who runs your health food or supplement store knows everything. Supplements are unregulated by the FDA or any other agency, and can contain anything or nothing. Medical professionals and pharma earn money, and I think there are a lot of distributionalists out there who would rather kill themselves than pay for true medical care.

Jan 09, 2013 4:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mjh1122 wrote:

Laetrile or B 17 is a proven therapy for cancer. Get the book “Laetrile Case Histories”. The molecule actually attacks the cancer cell membrane.

Jan 09, 2013 4:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mjh1122 wrote:

apricot seeds or B 17…Cyto Pharmacies in Mexico…….source…Radiation, chemo, killed my Mom…it does not work other than make every hospital in the nation fat. It is their cash cow at any facility. Investigate it……………Now if you have cancer

Jan 09, 2013 4:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fyreman235 wrote:

And those people who think that cures are being invented and hidden so that more people get sick and need more medicine are themselves mentally ill. Reminds of the people who believe that oil companies are buying up patents on cars that run on water so they can sell oil. Conspiracy theories abound, but let me give you a little interesting info: The world is round, and is not the center of the universe. Men really did land on the moon, and the photos were not shot in the Arizona desert. Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy.

Jan 09, 2013 4:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
alugwin wrote:

Captaind: I was not implying that you could farm without herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizer. I was saying that there is research into producing GMOs that would allow us to use less of these products, and I think that is where the future of farming actually lies. As to being purposefully deceptive, I was merely conceding one part of the argument, as it is futile to argue about GMOs with people who don’t understand them. By saying I agree, and I do agree, that Monsanto, and roundup, are not the best things the for the world, I know longer have to fight that. Although, I do understand that roundup could be far worse, I will not concede that it is good, because there is evidence available to the contrary. Compared to other herbicides it is pretty safe, but it does have drawbacks. It has helped unleash herbicide resistant weeds, it is combined with other chemicals that are dangerous, it is most likely over used by farmers who don’t care about safe levels, and even though it does breakdown over time it has been detected in soil samples up to 2 years after it’s use. Maybe my language was more colorful than it needed to be, it was rather late, and I was rather pissed off by what Hummingbird said, but it doesn’t mean that roundup is completely safe. Also the reason I said agent orange is because roundup tends to kill every plant around, much like agent orange. It is also linked to Monsanto, so it is an easier connection to make. So maybe my response should have been more nuanced, but it doesn’t mean I was lying or being purposefully deceptive. Also after having reread my response, in a more rational state, I would have worded what I said differently, because it is misleading.

Jan 09, 2013 4:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
samantha321 wrote:

I love profit! It motivates research and development. This has made the world a better place to live.
I also believe in diet…greatly! And if people like Burxynski are curing people, so much the better.
Those who deride pharmaceuticals would like to live in the stone age.

Jan 09, 2013 5:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Longforlife wrote:

Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A-1 protein (Factor 5a)

comes in two forms hypusine (only protein that uses this unique amino acid) and lysine form. Lysine is an essential amino acid. your cells will convert this amino acid into hypusine. hypusine was discovered in 1971, and is known to be incredible important in both cell division and apoptosis. In 1991, it was proven that (plants and animals) the hypunated form of factor 5a is absoutely essential to cellular survival.

Factor 5a suspected to work as a shuttle protein (directing other proteins) and responsible for the initial peptide bond or the initial joining of amino acids to form a protein. 40 years and research know its essential but cannot figure out exactly what it does. First implicated as a possible cancer target in 1982.

NIC (I believe, going off memory) owns research shows the hypunated form of factor 5a highly expressed. They do not know why.

University of Waterloo proposed that it may work as a biological switch as it plays a role in apoptosis and cell division.
In 2003 they confirmed how factor 5a works in plants. Currently testing in humans.

Turns out in normal cells, not undergoing cellular division, there is a small residue of hypusine. In cells division, the cell rapidaly converts lysine to hypusine. In apoptosis, the cell does not convert lysine into hypusine rather factor 5a encodes the protein using the lysine amino acid. Factor 5a works both as a shuttle protein and initiates the binding of amino acids. The hypunated form instructs mRNA to transcribe the part of the DNA that encodes protein responsible for cellular division. The lysine form (also requires cytokines) instructs mRNA to transcribe the part of the DNA that encodes the caspases genes (genes involved in apoptosis).

If you stop the cell from producing the hypunated form of factor 5a, it is impossible to produce the proteins involved in cellular division. Same for lysine form but for apoptosis.

The gene is the exact same in all plant and animal cells and has likely been the same since complex cellular life. (must do something important) The trick is to only affect the cancer cells. Which the University of waterloos team, headed by John Thompson, figured out an ingenious way that will minimize toxicity, however it does not not outright block the formation of the hypunated form of factor 5a. This therapy should replace chemo and radiation. In aggressive cancers whereby the cell is rapidly converting lysine to hypusine, they will likely need to combine their technology with a drug that can block one of the growth genes which will down regulate the growth signal allowing for their technology to work.

Cool stuff.. I would say this article is incorrect and we are the cusp of changing how cancer gets treated.

Jan 09, 2013 5:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
textint wrote:

Here’s a silly observation. My wife worked for a chemical company the included the use of pesticides. She got a nasty case of cancer from working there. During my research found that pharm companies engineer and make pesticides as well as expensive chemo drugs. Think about this. Make them pay a cheap price to get cancer from pesticide usage and then knock their heads off on treatment……………. The manufacturers know more about their product and what it does rather than the enforcement and protection agencies that makes them squirt some in a rabbits eyes and watch them for a couple of weeks………

Jan 09, 2013 5:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse

@Alugwin- Is it not true that our bodies cannot properly process, digest, and absorb high fructose corn syrup?

Did someone just make it up? I’ve seen ads from, um, “The Corn Council”?, that say, “corn syrup is not bad for you”. Are they trying to mislead? Isn’t there a difference between regular corn syrup and High Fructose corn syrup?

In this much-vaunted Information Age, there seems to be a lot of Misinformation out there. Maybe that’s what we should start calling it: the MisInformation Age.

Jan 09, 2013 5:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
captaind wrote:

alugwin – thanks for that clarification. I will disagree with some of your latest post however. Glyphosates are very safe compared to a large range of alternatives – I would invite you to provide a better alternative. Further farmers are highly motivated by profit and using too much glyphosate or other unnecessary herbicides costs money. Yes, they do often get sold something they should not buy from chemical dealers but most eventually learn. Roundup is what has allowed a large fraction of grain farmers to switch to notill – and that has been very good for the environment. I would contend that the continued use of ammonia as a source of nitrogen is far more detrimental than many of today’s pesticides. And “detected” means squat – as a chemist I have tools that can detect almost anything almost anywhere so that is a meaningless statement. As for herbicide resistant weeds – that was expected and there are many alternatives. I provide native grass and forb areas adjacent to all my fields to prevent that. Many farmers will rotate herbicide resistant varieties to do that same – plenty of options. Again – do you have a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to glyphosate?

Jan 09, 2013 5:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse

For years, many health researchers have been speculating that anti-oxidants are a decidedly mixed bag. They may interfere with the body’s attempts to break down and rid itself of hazardous foreign substances. The article alludes to to this when it states that anti-oxidants have been shown to interfere with anti-cancer therapies.

Jan 09, 2013 6:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
EGSW wrote:

“The biggest obstacle” to a true war against cancer, Watson wrote, may be “the inherently conservative nature of today’s cancer research establishments.” As long as that’s so, “curing cancer will always be 10 or 20 years away.”

Translation: They’re only in it for the money! It’s just a business and they want to keep it going!

Jan 09, 2013 6:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pupdog wrote:

The last thing these guys want is a true cure. No more gravy train. Chronic treatment is a trillion-dollar business.

Jan 09, 2013 6:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gee.la wrote:

No panacea to cure all kinds of cancers, but I believe the connections between foods and cancers are much wider and deeper than being known. We should put more resources into finding the links of intakes and cancers, instead of simply denying them. Certainly, cancers have various reasons, but exchange of matter and energy between a body and its environment is obviously the reason of many diseases and the resolutions or cures. That you don’t know it is not the excuse to deny it. A simple disbelief without enough research is not a scientifical attitude. And this research is not a simple one. It is too complicated to be any kind of simplicity.

Jan 09, 2013 8:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
batmanRox wrote:

99% of cancer goes away on it’s own.

Jan 09, 2013 8:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
alugwin wrote:

Captaind: Absolutely not, but that doesn’t mean I have to be satisfied with what we have. I think you’re correct, and I wouldn’t trade what we have for anything we’ve used in the past. Also, in the western world is not generally where I’m worried about over-use of a chemical. I mean, I have yet to meet a farmer that didn’t go to college for agriculture or some other science. I am from Arkansas, so I have met a few farmers in my life. I do not know what notills(sic) is, but I will look it up, and it sounds like a process rather than a product. I also believe you’re right about ammonia.
I will say that, I don’t think roundup is the best we can do, although I do think it is the best that we have. I think you’re right in saying that there aren’t any safer options or more environmentally friendly ones out there right now. I am not arguing that point, and I didn’t mean for it sound that way. I am actually arguing for more R&D of GMOs, because I honestly think that is the future of agriculture.
You are right in that the detection of something does not necessarily mean that it is present in any significant quantity. Unfortunately I forget where I got that from and don’t know the parts per million, and what I was reading was more about it’s half life anyways.

Jan 09, 2013 8:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
alugwin wrote:

ZenGalacticore: HFCS is just glucose and fructose. it’s sweeter corn syrup, and is really just a product of corn syrup acted upon by an enzyme. I’d rather not get into it, but it is not much different from any sugars you consume.

Jan 09, 2013 8:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
corkster wrote:

You know, these contrarians are often the ones who have the breakthrough ideas. I was fortuunate enough to be one of Dr. Watson’s students back in the 1970′s and I am glad he is still around to shake things up.

Jan 09, 2013 8:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Azza9 wrote:

All this conspiracy talk makes me want to invest in tinfoil…

If you look at the wikki page for free radicals, you read that free radicals are necessary for life. While it also says an abundance of free radicals leads to cell damage and illness. (then again it is wikki so take it as you will)

So James might have point regarding Antioxidants. I don’t think he’s telling anyone to not have an intake of antioxidants. But he’s suggesting that perhaps the mechanism that protects you from cancer could be hindering treatments or cause problems by it’s self. He sees people mindlessly going nuts on the antioxidants without knowing why and how they work. It seems you need a balance of antioxidants to a point were you are warded against excess free radical damage but not too much as to hinder those necessary processes that free radicals drive.
You know uric acid is considered an antioxidant right? But have too much of it in your system and you end up with gout…

I swear, if a scientist said exactly 2 mgs of salt behind your ears wards against HIV. People would pour bags of it on their heads, in their mouths, eyes and in their ear canal. As overkill’s better then underkill, right…

Jan 09, 2013 11:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AZWarrior wrote:

There are at present, only two projects that should demand an American effort akin to the space program of the 60s or the Manhattan Project; finding a cure for cancer and development of a working fussion reactor power station. Nothing else come even close.

Jan 10, 2013 12:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
OmarMinyawi wrote:

the cancer establishment scam. with big big money … science for the love of science and ego keeps going and going with insatiable appetite for money, papers, conferences, and so on

Jan 10, 2013 12:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
ironjustice wrote:

“Radiation therapy and many chemotherapies kill cancer cells by generating oxygen radicals, which trigger cell suicide.”
Pharmaceutical companies have developed treatments using drugs or radiation inducing oxidation and so NOW we are not supposed to eat brocolli or blueberries because THEY use oxidation in their drugs?

“If a cancer patient is binging on berries and other antioxidants, it can actually keep therapies from working, Watson proposed.”

Grapefruit ‘interferes’ with many drugs , decreasing the dose of the very expensive drugs , saving thousands of dollars in cancer drugs , and so we are told we are NOT supposed to eat grapefruit in theory costing our healthcare and residents millions upon millions of dollars.

Jan 10, 2013 11:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
captaind wrote:

alugwin – thanks again for the discussion and clarifications. Notill is a process. It means we don’t till the ground – no more plowing. At most we run over the surface with what is called a conservation harrow. That leaves all the ag debris from the last harvest on the surface and that prevents lots of soil erosion and also holds moisture in. We plant by slicing the ground open, injecting the seed and closing it up again. The process adds lots of organic matter to the soil and preserves the deeper structure of the soil over time. As the deep roots of corn rot each year that creates channels and aeration for the next year’s roots without the need for plowing. None of this is possible without modern herbicides. Organic farmers still have to plow and till to control weeds. We don’t have that need and save fuels costs and associated emissions as well. My problem with ammonia is that it is anhydrous and actually sterilizes the soil it comes into contact with destroying the microflora. We have switched to urea which is much more chemically compatible with maintaining a healthy soil.

Jan 10, 2013 12:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
captaind wrote:

alugwin – the half life of glyphosate in soil (the stuff that hits the plants is mostly metabolized) varies from 1 to 130 days depending on the level of microbe activity in the soil – another good reason not to use anhydrous ammonia which kills those microbes

Jan 10, 2013 12:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

So if everyone is so certain that we have no cure for cancer because treatment is profitable, why do we have charitable organization that takes millions of dollars in search for the cure. Are they in fact not searching for a cure, but say they are researching it just for the charitable donations? Lets expand our conspiracy theories a bit. Maybe we should all stop donating to charities for cancer and heart disease, it only means that these ailments will continue to exist. Starve the money, and we can find the cure.

Jan 10, 2013 2:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Cancer is a disease of old age. We all have to die-of something. Dennis Leary was correct:


Jan 10, 2013 8:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
quechan wrote:

Reading the doctor’s comments, I have the impression he sees a real war on cancer unwinnable. Personalized medicine vs. the generalized suck the oxygen out of cancer approach. One is sexy. The other evidently works. What is the problem? He says nothing about money or profits. Nothing about politics. Sounds like entrenced cultures that refuse to change their minds are the problem. If so, what can be done to bypass them and cure cancer?

Jan 11, 2013 1:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
EU_Hold_On wrote:

As said a little bit upper, cancer is not one big thing. thousands of cancers exists.
And each and everyone of us are unique, so we don’t carry the same genes, and this is absolutly crucial regarding cancer appearance and evolution.

Therefore Laboratories have been investigating in more specialised treatments. My advise is to make some research about biotech companies and their work on cancer. These are very interesting and promising.

I’m not a specialist but I’m involved in this sector, so I follow evolutions. I can tell you that cancer is so complicated to fight against, that it’s disheartening. But some still believe they can save people, and they deserve salutations. Thanks to them, their creativity, and the new technologies they’re developping, progress are made.

Jan 11, 2013 10:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mabolzich wrote:

You have to ask yourself this question. I they find the cure for cancer, won’t they be out of a job?

Jan 11, 2013 11:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mabolzich wrote:

You have to ask yourself this question. I they find the cure for cancer, won’t they be out of a job?

Jan 11, 2013 11:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mabolzich wrote:

You have to ask yourself, if the find the cure, won’t they be out of a job?

Jan 11, 2013 11:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mabolzich wrote:

You have to ask yourself, if the find the cure, won’t they be out of a job?

Jan 11, 2013 11:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mabolzich wrote:

You have to ask yourself, if the find the cure, won’t they be out of a job?

Jan 11, 2013 11:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mabolzich wrote:

You have to ask yourself, if the find the cure, won’t they be out of a job?

Jan 11, 2013 11:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mabolzich wrote:

You have to ask yourself, if the find the cure, won’t they be out of a job?

Jan 11, 2013 11:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mabolzich wrote:

You have to ask yourself, if the find the cure, won’t they be out of a job?

Jan 11, 2013 11:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mabolzich wrote:

You have to ask yourself, if the find the cure, won’t they be out of a job?

Jan 11, 2013 11:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
EU_Hold_On wrote:

If they find a cure (which is highly unprobable since there are so many types of cancer), they won’t get out of a job.
Unfortunatly cancer is far from beeing the only deadly disease.

Neurology tends to become trendy. Dealing with Alzheimer and similar degeneration of our brain’s cells, may become a major health concern as our living expectancy increases. In my opinion, it’s a case to be closely followed.

Jan 11, 2013 6:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
caunymx wrote:

Cancer research and treatment: Wiki estimates $2.7 trillion spent on research since advent of “War on Cancer”. In 2010 ASCO estimates $124 billion spent on treatment ($27 billion in 1990).IMO both are unsustainable. Cancer research is chaotic and neither organized, managed nor focused.There is no “general in charge”-certainly not the NCI. Is this accidental or intentional?
As available resources dwindle, we face rising incidence and costs-and respond irrationally.Example: Provenge, a new immunotherapy for incurable metastatic prostate cancer, consists of 4 injections, costs $93,000 per patient, extends survival for only 3 months and is now both FDA-approved and paid for by Medicare.
The “cancer establishments” (e.g., MSKCC, MD Anderson, drug manufacturers and “research”) all profit and are complicit.
The economic dis-incentive to “cure” cancer far exceeds our efforts and expenditures to end the scourge of malignancies.

Jan 13, 2013 12:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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