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From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: Royal Rife and cure for cancer
Date: 09 Jun 1995

In <3r9s6d$> richj (Richard Jacobson)

>>In <3qhqi5$> (Mike Ellwood)
>>>In similar vein, I would be interested to know what Adele Davis died
>>of.  I was quite a fan of hers at one time, and am genuinely
>>   She died of primary osteosarcoma.  As was noted a while back, they
>>asked her how, with all her preventative vitamins, she could have
>>gotten bone cancer, and she said "I don't know!"   I admired the
>>honesty.  In truth, however, she was at least in her 70's, and not even
>>Adele claimed that vitamins cause people to live forever.  I do often
>>wonder what natural hygeine types who think that all diseases are
>>preventable think about that, though.  Maybe they think that by
>>proper living you live to be 110, then suddenly just disolve one day,
>>like The Wonderful One Hoss Shay, or a staked vampire, or Dorian Grey
>>or the lady at the end of _Lost Horizon_ or _She_, etc.   Cosmic debts
>>all come due at once.
>>                                             Steve Harris, M.D.
>Fear of death and inability to accept the inevitability of it for
>many results in the development of a belief system in
>which one can prolong indefinitely ones mortality by
>living a certain way. While many will deny that this is
>the case one must wonder why they point out how
>people still die of cancer when it does appear that
>cancer does increase with increasing age and since
>people are living longer more will die from cancer.
>Fear of getting cancer seems to result in people
>developing strong belief systems that convince
>them that by doing this or that that they will prevent
>it from happening. But as we have seen over and over
>again the same individuals who believe that their
>actions will prevent this from happening are not
>successful. Some would say that they did not
>do it right. It all becomes very circular in logic.

Indeed.  There are few cancers which have a peak in youth (osteo,
Hodgkins, testicular, lymphomas), but in general, cancer is such a
disease of old age that if all cancer were magically prevented tomorrow,
life expentancy in this country would rise only 2 years!  Yes, TWO
years.  If you didn't die of cancer, something else would get you very
soon at the ages at which most people get cancer.

By contrast, cardiovascular disease (including stroke) shortens average
lifespan by 12 to 15 years.  But guess which NIH branch gets the most
money?  Right-- the National Cancer Institute.  There are 13 institutes,
but the NCI gets something like 25% of the money.   This dispite the
fact that atherosclerosis wipes out at least 5 times more years of life.

Here's a real hoot:  if you slow aging in mice by manipulating caloric
intake, you decrease incidence of cancers, and also delay onset of
tumors to greater ages.  Cancer, like atherosclerosis, is heavily
influenced by the aging process.  But how much do we spend on research
to slow aging (which would also prevent cancer) as opposed to studying
or treating cancer?  Maybe 1/20th as much.  And that's being charitable.

Dumb, huh?

                                          Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: New Cancer Drugs
Date: 6 May 1998 04:18:04 GMT

In <>
Aaron Andrew Fox <> writes:

>I think that was just one of the two drugs  (either one alone I think).
>When they combined the two, i believe they had 100% eradication of the
>tumor. I don't remember if they specifically commented on the need to
>continue the stuff, though.  Seems to me that if the tumor is completely
>eliminated there is nothing to metastatize.  Perhaps Dr. harris will weigh
>in here?

    I can't contribute much else.  I don't see why tumors should be
eradicated simply because they are forbidden to grow beyond a certain
size.  That certainly doesn't happen with (say) melanoma of the brain
being suppressed with immune therapy which nails tumor as soon as it
gets too big.  Instead you die of a zillion tiny tumors.  Though
perhaps bigger than angiogenesis inhibitors permit.

   Anyway, so what if this stuff suppresses cancer and you have to keep
taking it, or retaking it?   Most cancers occur in quite old people.
If you can suppress cancer completely a few years, that's quite good
enough to ensure that the person will die with, but not of, the cancer.
Remember, please, that people fear cancer all out of proportion to the
amount of life shortening it does.  Again, cancer only takes 2-3 years
off our life expectancy, yet we spend 25% of the total NIH budget on
cancer.  That's how much we fear dying of it.

                                      Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Scudamore spells it out
Date: 7 May 1998 16:59:49 GMT

In <> (Marnix L. Bosch) writes:

>I myself am a great advocate of the "every cancer has an infectious
>origin" idea, even though for most cancers the agent(s) haven't been
>found (yet ?).

    You mean viruses in the germ line?  Surely you don't mean all
cancers have an aquired infectious origin.  Germ-free animals develop
cancers at normal rates.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Scudamore spells it out
Date: 8 May 1998 02:03:27 GMT

In <> (Marnix L. Bosch) writes:

>>I was referring to the situation
in humans, which are outbred and not germ free, and I'm not sure how
your comment about (inbred ?) germ-free animals applies.<<

   Not all germ free animals are inbred.  To make a germ free animal
it's only necessary to deliver it by caesarean section into a sterile

    The comment applies only as a positive existance proof.  Obviously,
most cancers appear just fine without any help from infectious
pathogens.  So things like KS and cervical CA are probably a minority.
Admittedly, there may be a lot of cases where the *probability* of cancer
is increased by inflammation from pathogens (evidence for this in
primary gastic lymphoma and H. pylori, primary hepatomas from hep B and
C, and so on and so on).  But that's not at all far fetched, from what
we know about cancer and chronic inflammation.  Clearly Duesberg's idea
that viruses cannot cause cancer without carrying cancer genes, is out
to lunch.  It can happen that way (RSV, KS), but usually it probably
does not.  Instead, it's just plain old dumb inflammation, like cancer
developing in old TB scars, or at the sites of surgical implants of
anything immuno-reactive.  Cell division is a promotor.  Add free
radicals from chronic inflammation, as in ulcerative colitits, and you
have the recipe for disaster.  Bugs are great at causing inflammation.

>Whether humans not exposed to any virus (or other infectious agent)
would ever develop cancer is an untestable hypothesis.<

    Sure, but there's no reason to think that humans are any different
from other mammals in that regard.  Again, you don't need pathogens for
cancer-- any inflammation will do.  And a lot of chemicals will do it
also.  Interestingly, there is a surprisingly good correlation between
standard toxicity of chemicals and their carcinogenicity-- did you know
that?  Kill cells, or irritate them (as toxins do), and they have to
divide to repair.  And, of course, inflammation is part of that.  You
can get hepatoma from years of alcohol too.

> Yet more and more diseases for which an infectious etiology was not
>necessarily obvious are now found to have an infectious agent as
>necessary cofactor (e.g. ulcers and KS). My gut feeling is that we
>will find more of such examples,

   Simple induction.  Of course we will.

> and I'm willing to go out on a limb and state that an infectious (or
>environmental as in lung cancer) component may well be involved in
>most human proiliferative disorders, even though identification of a
>single agent uniformly associated with a given disorder may not always
>be possible. One problem of course is the that some of these agents
>are fairly or very ubiquitous (e.g. EBV) making it hard to identify
>associations through epidemiology or that different agents may
>precipitate similar events.


    Well, I'm not willing to go that far, for reasons stated above.
One hallmark of a bad theory is that it postulates many many causes for
a single event or problem.   What that generally means in science is
that nobody has figured out how it really works, and so they've had to
pick a dozen different "causes" to explain every event.   Usually (not
always) when we figure out the truth later, it's a lot simpler than
that.  Consider KS, for instance.  Obviously, it can't be explained by
HIV alone.  And certainly not by poppers alone, either!  Not when
children and women in Africa get the same rapidly progressive face and
chest disease that is seen in San Francisco.  But a two-virus theory
pretty much explains a very complicated epidemiologic pattern, which
varies from renal patients to elderly Italians to African children, to
gay men with HIV.

    Smoking is obviously not enough to explain lung cancer, but smoke
(primary or secondary) plus radon gets most of it (not quite all, but
most).   Show me a disease that's supposed to be caused by 12 different
things, and I'll show you a disease which isn't understood yet.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: new cancer drug
Date: 12 May 1998 04:14:51 GMT

In <6j2gbh$oeg$> writes:

>Don't speak so fast Steve. The Washington Post interviewed a prominent
>oncologist who cautioned that many cancer drugs have been shown to
>work in mice but failed to work in humans.

    Yeah, but they were all basically poisons.  It's been clear for a
long time that a good angiogenesis inhibitor would really be The Answer
to Cancer (at least solid tumors).  Alas, we haven't had a good one.
And I'm including the ones that have already been tested.  Some of the
ones in clinical trials now (Vitaxin) look a *little* better.  But
they're not the end of the road.

    The neat thing about angiogenesis is that adults probably don't
need it (unless injured).  Tumors do.  That's a good place for a magic
bullet.  Some that selectively screws cells with anaerobic metabolism
would be fun, too.

                                     Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: A Question for the ALT crowd, if they can drop into the real world 
	for a minute
Date: 24 Apr 1999 05:23:35 GMT

>>There is unequivocal evidence that many tumours suffer from hypoxic
>>conditions at their centre due to poor blood vessel provision - far from
>>thriving cancer cells in these regions become necrotice (they die off).
>>Cancer cells are at least as reliant on adequate oxygenation as normal
>>cells, possibly more so.

    If there is, I'd like to see it.  Cancer cells die from lack of
blood supply, but that's not necessarily because they don't get enough
oxygen-- those that don't need much oxygen die due to lack of other
metabolites, including glucose for energy, and other metabolic building
blocks.  Tissues also need waste (lactate, etc) removal, even if they
are running without much oxygen.

From: Ian A. York
Subject: Re: When is Common Cold Contagious?
Date: Jan 07 1997

In article <>,
B. Burkart <> wrote:

>       Read (and saved)   an article in   "The Times" (from the
>U.K) .  Friday Oct 19 1996    "How catching a cold could be the
>cure for cancer."

The title is pretty misleading, I think, because the virus that's been
suggested as a cancer treatment is never going to cause colds.  It's an
artificially generated adenovirus lacking some genes that are essential
for the virus's replication.  That means that it's a noninfectious virus.
However, some cancers have mutated so that the adeno gene is no longer
required for the virus to replicate in the cancer cell, so the virus is
infectious, but only to those cancerous cells.  Really the whole point of
this treatment is that the virus is noninfectious to normal cells.

To be more specific.  Cells normally have a complex system which
(simplifying greatly) among other things measures and limits DNA
replication.  This system means that when replication is too high, the
cell is shut down.  There are a number of things that lead to this system
being activated; one is virus infection, and one is cancer.  Both are
siutations in which there is deregulated replication--in the case of the
virus, of the viral genome; in the case of the cancerous cell, of the cell
genome.  As a result, a lot of successful viruses have developed their own
systems that block the cell regulation system: the virus enters the cell
and shuts off the dampers so that the virus can replicate without the cell
shutting down.  Also as a result, a lot of cancers have shut off the
system as well: those cancers which have not shut off the system have
much more regulation on their growth and so they're less likely to be a

But that means that the virus doesn't need to shut off the system in the
cancer cells, because it's already off.  And that means that viruses which
would be defective in normal cells--because they'd trip the alarm
system--can replicate fairly well in the cancer cells.

The concept is lovely and elegant.  There are, of course, many problems in
theory and practice with the approach, including the problem that
adenoviruses really aren't all that lethal, on the long term--otherwise
we'd get more than a cold from them.  Remember that the mutant adenos are
not more lethal, they're simply able to treat the cancer cells as a normal
adeno would treat a normal cell; since we're all exposed to adenos pretty
much daily, this alone isn't going to kill of a cancer.  The big thing,
though, it that it provides in concept a way of targeting cancer cells and
not normal cells, which is always the problem with any cancer treatment.
(Killing cancer cells is simple.  The hard part is not killing off the
normal cells with them.)

      Ian York   (  <>
      "-but as he was a York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a
       very respectable Man." -Jane Austen, The History of England

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