FROM CHAPTER 11
One of the most controversial areas in oxidative therapy is the treatment of cancer. Many patients turn to therapeutic ozone and hydrogen peroxide as a last resort when conventional medical therapies have failed. In such cases, their cancer is often far too advanced for these therapies to work, leading people to believe that the therapies are ineffective in treating cancer in general.
Physicians have treated cancer with hydrogen peroxide and ozone therapy for decades. One rationale behind the use of oxidative therapies to treat cancer is based on the discovery made by Nobel Prize winner Dr. Otto Warburg, that the key precondition for the development of cancer is a lack of oxygen at the cellular level. Here is some of the clinical evidence that supports the concept that ozone and hydrogen peroxide can assist in the treatment of cancer, either alone or as an adjunct to traditional or alternative cancer therapies.
HYDROGEN PEROXIDE STUDIES
Early cancer research at the Baylor University Medical Center in Texas began in the early 1960s with Dr. J. W. Finney and his associates. An article discussing their findings, published in the Southern Medical Journal in March 1962, spoke of the value of hydrogen peroxide as an adjunct to radiation therapy for treating cancer. “The Use of Hydrogen Peroxide as a Source of Oxygen in a Regional Intra-arterial Infusion System” revealed that cancer cells become more sensitive to irradiation in the presence of increased oxygen tension produced by hydrogen peroxide.
Phases I and II of the study involved laboratory animals. In Phase III of the study, doses of hydrogen peroxide diluted in water were administered intra-arterially to patients suffering from a variety of carcinomas. The researchers noted increased regional oxygenation, which led them to believe that there is an “increased therapeutic ratio” in malignant tumors receiving radiation when oxygen levels of the affected area are increased with hydrogen peroxide.
A related Baylor University cancer study (this time with large, inoperable abdominal tumors) was undertaken using intra-arterial hydrogen peroxide and irradiation. The researchers wanted to see if hydrogen peroxide could shrink the tumors and make them amenable to surgery. Two of the three patients in the study experienced a shrinkage of their tumors and underwent successful operations to remove them. One of the patients experienced no changes after four weeks and was sent home to die. To everyone’s surprise, he began to improve over the next several months and the tumor began shrinking considerably. The doctors later removed the shrunken tumor with no complications.
Another early study was done at the Tottori University School of Medicine in Japan in 1966. Fifteen patients suffering from maxillary cancer (cancer of the nasal cavity and/or jaw) were given intra-arterial infu-sions of hydrogen peroxide daily for ten days followed by daily injections of mitomycin C (Mutamycin), an antibiotic showing anti-tumor activity. A control group of twenty-nine received the anti-cancer agent alone.
Operations were then done to remove and analyze the tumors. Of the fifteen cases treated with hydrogen peroxide and Mutamycin, eight showed almost a complete disappearance of the tumor, while six experienced a partial reduction. One had little change. By contrast, of the patients who received the anti-cancer drug alone, six experienced complete disappearance, twenty-one patients had partial reduction, and two showed no response.
The anti-tumor effects of hydrogen peroxide were also studied by Dr. Carl F. Nathan and Dr. Zanvil A. Cohn at Rockefeller University in New York City. In their paper, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine in 1979, they wrote, “Hydrogen peroxide contributes to the lysis [destruction] of tumor cells by macrophages [immune cells that devour pathogens and other intruders] and granulocytes [white blood cells that act as scavengers to combat infection] in vitro.” (In a later in vivo experiment, they found that 8 milligrams of hydrogen peroxide was able to kill more than 90 percent of P338 lymphoma cells.
At the same time, Nathan and Cohn’s research led them to conclude that hydrogen peroxide could exert a “direct anti-tumor effect in vivo and thereby prolong the survival of the host [the patient].” They added that “hydrogen peroxide can synergize in vivo with certain anti-tumor drugs already in use.”
The results of a study undertaken at the University of California at Irvine on the ability of hydrogen peroxide to kill cancer cells associated with Hodgkin’s disease were published in the June 1989 issue of Cancer. Dr. Michael K. Samoszuk and his colleagues from the Department of Pathology took cell suspensions taken from twenty-three lymph nodes of living patients and subjected them to a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. They found that a substantial killing of the infected cells took place after only 15 minutes of incubation.
In 2001, a group of researchers from the Department of Life Sciences at Nottingham Trent University in England injected hydrogen peroxide solutions into solid tumors in mice and found that the solutions had the potential to cause tumor cell death without generating dangerous by-products. They were very impressed with the findings and concluded that hydrogen peroxide was a potent cytotoxic agent: “H2O2 can act as an anticancer drug with two distinct advantages over conventional therapeutic agents: [it] produce[s] minimal short- and long-term side effects and is relatively cheap and cost-effective.”
An unusual report on a combination study of breast cancer cells was reported in the journal Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation in 2003. In this study, researchers at Jackson State University in Mississippi explored the combined effect of oxidative stress (with hydrogen peroxide) and Nigella sativa (“Love in the Mist”), a medicinal herb from the Middle East, on breast cancer cells. Measurements of cell survival were conducted using standard cell culture techniques, which revealed that a combination of hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, and Nigella sativa could effectively inactivate the cancer cells. “In conclusion, N. sativa alone or in combination with oxidative stress were found to be effective in vitro in inactivating MCF-7 breast cancer cells, unveiling opportunities for promising results in the field of prevention and treatment of cancer.”