Sunday, May 2, 2010

Breakthrough for Prostate Cancer?

Sometimes, I feel like we are living in the movie, Alice in Wonderland, where up is down and down is up.
The article in USA Today (4.30.2010) is titled, “Breakthrough cancer therapy is a go-for $93K.”  Last week, the FDA approved the first vaccine to treat prostate cancer.  The vaccine is named Provenge and costs (hold your breath) $93,000 for a series of three shots.   You would think with all the media headlines, this new therapy for advanced prostate cancer is a real step forward for treating this awful illness.   Unfortunately, the only one to really benefit from this drug will be Big Pharma as it is estimated that Provengewill bring in $1.5 billion dollars per year for Big Pharma. 
Now, for that much money, you would assume that this new drug must cure (or at least prevent ) prostate cancer.  Unfortunately, it neither prevents nor cures prostate cancer.   If it doesn’t prevent or cure prostate cancer, then you might assume this expensive drug would act to put advanced prostate cancer into remission and significantly improve the life span of prostate cancer patients—right?   Wrong. 
What does Provenge do?  Patients with advanced prostate cancer who received Provenge were found to live an average of four months longer as compared to patients who did not have the vaccine.  In other words, those that received the vaccine lived an average of 26 months and those without the vaccine lived an average of 22 months.  Furthermore, Provenge was associated with serious adverse effects including an increased risk of stroke. 
The principal investigator claimed ”It’s significant for prostate cancer patients.”  Hogwash.  I say four extra months—at a cost of $23,000/month—is an obscene utilization of our health care dollars.  For that amount of money, you can certainly do a lot of nutritional support including Vitamin C IV’s.  Although I don’t have any studies to say that Vitamin C IV’s will out-perform this vaccine, at least the Vitamin C IV’s has very little side effects and I have seen many patients improve with these nutritional IV’s. 
What can you do?   Prostate cancer, as similar to breast cancer, is occurring at epidemic rates.  I believe these endocrine cancers are occurring in such large numbers due to hormonal and nutritional imbalances.  True progress in cancer research must focus on prevention.    A holistic treatment plan that emphasizes eating a healthy diet,  detoxification as well as well as hormonal and nutrient optimization is where we need to focus our resources.  The first step you can take is to get the refined foods out of your diet and eliminate animal products tainted with hormones, antibiotics and pesticides.  More information about this approach can be found in my book, The Guide to Healthy Eating.   
We have already wasted our treasures and lost too many lives searching for the magic bullet treatment for cancer. 


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