Dr. Ron’s Research Review – August 31, 2016

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This week’s research review focuses on US Congress Report on Unconventional Cancer Treatments.

Each year, thousands of U.S. cancer patients use treatments that fall outside the generally understood bounds of mainstream medicine. While the majority of cancer patients do not use such treatments, those who do represent a visible minority (though the exact numbers are unknown). Additional thousands may be interested in such unconventional treatments and seek information about them.
Although any examination of unconventional cancer treatments will fall short of capturing all the reasons for cancer patients’ interest in them, certain factors seem clear. Effective treatments are lacking for many cancers, especially in advanced stages; many mainstream treatments entail considerable toxicity; and long-term survival may be uncertain even after apparently successful treatment. These realities of mainstream treatment, coupled with explicit or implicit promises of effective, nontoxic cancer control by unconventional means, and the strong support of cancer patients for them, motivate new patients to seek treatments outside the main- stream.

A highly polarized situation exists today. As Lerner puts it:
In the “war over cancer therapies” that has been widely publicized in the American media for the past decade, both sides often describe the opposition as a malevolent monolith. Thus the cancer establishment has characterized the alternative and adjunctive cancer therapies as the work of quacks preying on desperate and credulous cancer victims, while the proponents of alternative therapies have depicted established therapies as the ‘cut, burn and poison” therapies of a cynical and profit-driven conspiracy.

Several unconventional cancer treatments are discussed, including: Virginia Livingston, M.D., antineoplastons by Stanislaw Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D., “biologically guided chemotherapy” (lipids) by Emanuel Revici, M. D., “eumetabolic” treatment by Hans Nieper, M.D., and “Immuno-augmentative therapy” (IAT), by Lawrence Burton, Ph.D.

 

Dr. Ron


Articles

 

Unconventional Cancer Treatments
            (Congress, 1990) Download
Each year, thousands of U.S. cancer patients use treatments that fall outside the generally understood bounds of mainstream medicine. While the majority of cancer patients do not use such treatments, those who do represent a visible minority (though the exact numbers are unknown). Additional thousands may be interested in such unconventional treatments and seek information about them.
Although any examination of unconventional cancer treatments will fall short of capturing all the reasons for cancer patients’ interest in them, certain factors seem clear. Effective treatments are lacking for many cancers, especially in advanced stages; many mainstream treatments entail considerable toxicity; and long-term survival may be uncertain even after apparently successful treatment. These realities of mainstream treatment, coupled with explicit or implicit promises of effective, nontoxic cancer control by unconventional means, and the strong support of cancer patients for them, motivate new patients to seek treatments outside the main- stream.

References

Congress, US (1990), ‘Unconventional Cancer Treatments’, Office of Technology Assessment, OTA-H-405.