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Chemotherapy

Related article: Cancer

In popular usage, chemotherapy refers to a chemical treatment used to kill or halt the replication and/or spread of cancerous cells in a patient. The use of chemotherapy is not limited to cancer. Chemotherapeutic agents have also been used, with marginal success, against inflammatory diseases such as sarcoidosis and against pathogenic infections infections such as hepatitis C.

There is no official recommendation on whether patients and their physicians should use chemotherapeutic agents against cancer. However, there are two primary concerns about chemotherapy:

  • Chemotherapy is immunosuppressive and drastically weakens the body's natural ability to fight infection.
  • Chemotherapy targets fast-growing cells, but fails to target chronic pathogens and human cells infected by chronic pathogens.

Those patients who take a regimen of chemotherapy should explore with their physicians the option of using the Marshall ProtocolA curative medical treatment for chronic inflammatory disease. Based on the Marshall Pathogenesis. while on their chemotherapy.

The use of chemotherapeutic agents such as methotrexate (MTX) against sarcoidosis and other autoimmune diseases is not recommended.

Effects of additional immunosuppression

There are variety of kinds of chemotherapy, but all chemotherapeutic regimens can cause depression of the immune system, often by paralyzing the bone marrow and leading to a decrease of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. While some of the human cells which die are infected by intracellular pathogens, many are not. Chemotherapy's immunosuppressive effects are especially problematic when one considers that patients with cancer are already in a state of immunosuppression. In fact, according to the Marshall PathogenesisA description for how chronic inflammatory diseases originate and develop., patients develop cancer because they are immunosuppressed.

When the body is immunosuppressed, there are a number of important genes that are not properly expressed including those transcribed by the Vitamin D ReceptorA nuclear receptor located throughout the body that plays a key role in the innate immune response. (VDRThe Vitamin D Receptor. A nuclear receptor located throughout the body that plays a key role in the innate immune response.). One such gene is tumor metastasis suppressor protein,1) a protein which acts to slow or prevent metastases (secondary tumors) from spreading in the body of an organism with cancer.2)

The additional immunosuppression caused by chemotherapy can cause symptoms over the long-term such as “chemo brain.”3)

Chemo brain

Brain fogThe loss of intellectual functions such as reasoning; memory loss; and other neurological abilities that is severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. (also known as “chemo brain”) is a common side effect of chemotherapy. As demonstrated in a 2011 study, women with breast cancer, compared with healthy controls, had significantly reduced activation in several regions of the brain including the left middle dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, premotor cortex and left caudal lateral prefrontal cortex activation.4)

Methotrexate

Main article: Methotrexate

Methotrexate (MTX) is an antibiotic, which interferes with bacteria's ability to synthesize folate. It is used to treat diseases with rapid cell growth such as cancer and some autoimmune diseases. A superior alternative to MTX is the Marshall Protocol antibiotic, Bactrim DS.

Rituximab

In 2011, a Norwegian study published in PLoS One studied the effect of Rituximab – a monoclonal antibody otherwise used in cancers and anti-rejection treatment for organ transplants – on patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. In the 25-week study period, fatigue improved significantly in 10 out of 15 patients versus 2 out of 15 controls.5) This positive result may be due to the fact that Rituximab is a strong immunosuppressant. It may be telling to see a follow up of the patients who received the drug ten or even fifteen years from now.

Patient interviews

Gene Johnson

sarcoidosis, bladder cancer

Read the interview


Notes and comments

If most of the morbidity in patients with diabetes is caused by high blood glucose levels, then control of those levels should return the system to normal and the patient's health problems should disappear. However, in one recent study this strategy of more intensive glucose control resulted in increased risk of death. Likewise, chemotherapy often initially reduces tumor size but also produces severe adverse effects leading to other complications, including the promotion of secondary tumors. Most important, little evidence exists that more aggressive chemotherapies prolong life for many patients.2-4 In fact, chemotherapies may have overall negative effects for some patients.

2. Mittra I. The disconnection between tumor response and survival. Nat Clin Pract Oncol. 2007;4(4):203. 3. SavageL.High-intensitychemotherapydoesnotimprovesurvivalinsmallcelllung cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008;100:519. 4. BearHD.Earlierchemotherapyforbreastcancer:perhapstoolatebutstilluseful. Ann Surg Oncol. 2003;10(4):334-335.

H.H. Weng6)

Some more interesting stuff here: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/300/13/1580

In cancer research, system behavior has been monitored during cancer progression, demonstrating that cancer evolution is driven by multiple cycles of transition between genome system stability and instability.9-10 Chemotherapy, by and large, induces a relatively stable system to enter into a chaotic phase. This drastic treatment might be more harmful at the individual level than had been expected. Clearly, understanding the entire system response in the context of any specific treatment is key.

9. Weng HH, Stevens J, Liu G; et al. Stochastic cancer progression driven by non-clonal chromosome aberrations. J Cell Physiol. 2006;208(2):461-472. FULL TEXT | WEB OF SCIENCE | PUBMED | GET IT@WCMC

10. Ye CJ, Liu G, Bremer SW; et al. The dynamics of cancer chromosome and genome. Cytogenet Genome Res. 2007;118(2-4):237-246. FULL TEXT | WEB OF SCIENCE | PUBMED | GET IT@WCMC

Chemo: http://www.cancerdecisions.com/030506.html http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/29/1/2/3/

References

1)
Large-scale in silico and microarray-based identification of direct 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 target genes.
Wang TT, Tavera-Mendoza LE, Laperriere D, Libby E, MacLeod NB, Nagai Y, Bourdeau V, Konstorum A, Lallemant B, Zhang R, Mader S, White JH
Mol Endocrinol19p2685-95(2005 Nov)
2)
Metastasis suppressor genes.
Sobel ME
J Natl Cancer Inst82p267-76(1990 Feb 21)
3)
The phenomenon of chemo brain.
Staat K, Segatore M
Clin J Oncol Nurs9p713-21(2005 Dec)
4)
Prefrontal cortex and executive function impairments in primary breast cancer.
Kesler SR, Kent JS, O'Hara R
Arch Neurol68p1447-53(2011 Nov)
5)
Benefit from B-Lymphocyte Depletion Using the Anti-CD20 Antibody Rituximab in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A Double-Blind and Placebo-Controlled Study.
Fluge O, Bruland O, Risa K, Storstein A, Kristoffersen EK, Sapkota D, Næss H, Dahl O, Nyland H, Mella O
PLoS One6pe26358(2011)
home/othertreatments/chemotherapy.txt · Last modified: 01.03.2012 (external edit)
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