A Look at Some Alternative Cancer Treatments

A Look at Some Alternative Treatments

Antineoplastons are peptides (bits of protein) that their discover, Stanislaw R. Burzynski of the Burzynski Research Institute in Houston, asserts can slow or reverse tumor growth. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) started a clinical trial of antineoplaston therapy in 1993; the project foundered when Burzynski and NCI investigators disagreed on treatment protocols and criteria for selecting patients.

Gerson therapy, after Max B. Gerson, is based on hourly consumption of crushed fruits and vegetables to correct alleged physiological imbalances. Coffee enemas are given to remove dead cells and toxins, and patients receive nutritional supplements as well. Several independent evaluations of case records have concluded that it has no discernible effectiveness.

Hydrazine sulfate, a compound studied in Leningrad for more than 20 years, may reverse cachexia, the wasting of cancer patients' bodies. Modest improvements in survival (but no remissions) have been documented.
Orthomolecular therapy, originally developed by the late Nobelist Linus Pauling, requires consumption of megadoses of vitamin C in an effort to aid the body's repair systems. NCI-sponsored trials did not demonstrate any superiority to placebos.

Psychological Interventions (including Simonton therapy, after O. Carl Simonton, and Bernard S. Siegel's Exceptional Cancer Patients program) use combinations of meditation, visualizations, therapy, support groups and other exercises. No definitive studies of their impact on survival have been conducted. Some physicians accept these techniques as adjuncts to conventional cancer therapy because they enhance patients' sense of well-being.

714X is a proprietary injection said to contain compounds that mobilize the immune system against cancer. Samples analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration contained only camphor and water.

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