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Welcome to the Cancer Health Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people who have any type of cancer, their friends and family and others with questions about living with cancer. Check in frequently to read what others have to say, post your comments, and hopefully learn more about how you can reach your own health goals.

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A novel cancer drug that mimics a virus helps the immune system identify and target tumors that might otherwise be missed by immunotherapy. These findings were published in Science Translational Medicine. 

“In some patients, tumors escape the immune system through mutations in genes involved in the interferon signaling pathway,” coauthor Anusha Kalbasi, MD, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), said in a press release. “This is a critical pathway because it normally allows tumors to increase their antigen presentation, an intricate machinery that makes tumors visible to T cells.”

Called BO-112, the new drug resembles the double-stranded RNA structure found in certain viruses that can stimulate an immune response. Once inside a tumor, BO-112 has the ability to alert the immune system and kick-start a protective response to attack cancer cells. 

Read more:
Cancer Research News & Studies / Hallmarks Of Cancer
« Last post by danialthomas on October 23, 2020, 03:50:51 pm »

Scientists have identified 10 characteristics, features, and capabilities that nearly all cancers possess that allow cancer to grow, spread, and eventually kill. Collectively, these are called the “hallmarks” of cancer, and therapeutically targeting as many of them as possible can improve your chances of achieving long-term survival:

1. Resistance to Apoptosis (cell death): Apoptosis is a protective mechanism by which cells are programmed to die if they become damaged and potentially harmful. Cancer cells bypass this mechanism. Therapeutic target: Activate caspase protease enzymes.

2. Replicative Immortality: Normal cells die after a finite number of cell divisions. Cancer cells bypass this limit and are capable of infinite divisions (immortality). Therapeutic target: Inhibit telomerase.

3. Evading Immune Attack: Having ample and competent cytotoxic T-cells (CTCs) and natural killer (NK) cells are our primary defense against cancer. CTCs and NK cells can be rendered impotent by cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in the tumor microenvironment. Therapeutic targets: Increase the number and competency of CTCs and NK cells, and disable CAFs and TAMs.

4. Genetic Instability: DNA is damaged thousands of times during each cell division. That damage must be repaired, including in cancer cells. Otherwise, the cells may die due to this damage. Therapeutic target: Inhibit the enzyme known as PARP (poly ADP-ribose polymerase) used by cells to repair damage to their DNA.

5. Altered Energy Metabolism: The metabolism of cancer cells is remarkably different from normal cells. Most cancer cells use alternative metabolic pathways to generate energy and building blocks to fuel its growth and spread. Therapeutic targets: Inhibit the ability of cancer to metabolize glucose, glutamine, and fatty acids, as well as ketones and lactate generated from autophagy.

6. Inflammation: Local or systemic inflammation induced by the tumor microenvironment acts as a major driver of cancer. Therapeutic target: Suppress local and systemic inflammation.

7. Angiogenesis: This is the process by which new blood vessels are formed. A growing tumor requires new blood vessels to deliver oxygen and nutrients. To orchestrate this, cancer cells boost the production of growth factors that stimulate angiogenesis. Therapeutic target: Inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

8. Invasion and Metastasis: Cancer cells invade surrounding tissue and spread (metastasize) to distant sites in the body. Therapeutic targets: Inhibit HGF (hepatocyte growth factor), c-Met (mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor), and lymphangiogenesis (growth of new lymph vessels).

9. Sustained Proliferative Signaling: Cancer cells can permanently activate signaling pathways that promote excessive growth. It’s like the accelerator pedal is stuck. Therapeutic targets: Inhibit cancer-promoting MDM2 oncogene and block epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).

10. Evading Growth Suppressors: To prevent overcrowding, normal cells have mechanisms that prevent excess cell growth and division. In cancer cells, tumor suppressor proteins are altered so they don’t prevent cell division. It’s like the brakes don’t work. Therapeutic targets: Unmutate and activate the cancer-suppressor p53 gene and inhibit cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs).

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
Mount Dora, Florida, USA
Cancer Research News & Studies / Overcoming Obstacles To Tumor Drug Delivery
« Last post by danialthomas on October 11, 2020, 04:42:13 pm »
Whether administered orally or intravenously, every drug and every natural compound that is used to treat cancer must reach the targeted cells in the tumor environment at adequate concentrations to exert their intended cell-killing effects. Any well-intentioned treatment may be misguided and doomed to failure if you do not overcome conditions that exist in the tumor microenvironment that can prevent adequate delivery of cancer-killing substances.

Compared to normal (functional) blood vessels, tumor blood vessels are highly dysfunctional. The structure of tumor vessels is irregular and disorganized; blood flow is inadequate and turbulent; and the vessel walls are highly porous and leaky. Combined with a lack of lymphatic drainage and the presence of inflammatory molecules in the tumor microenvironment, this leads to edema (accumulation of fluid) in the interstitium or extracellular space (spaces around the tumor cells). This results in an increase in the tumor interstitial fluid pressure that exceeds the fluid pressure in tumor blood vessels. The resultant pressure gradient prevents adequate amounts of cancer-killing substances from exiting the tumor blood vessels into the interstitium and onto the cancer cells. Increased tumor interstitial fluid pressure is the first obstacle that must be overcome.

The second obstacle that must be overcome is the density of the tumor microenvironment. The journey that a drug must take to reach cancer cells is akin to making your way through a maze. If a drug has been able to cross the vessel wall, it must now make the difficult journey through the tumor interstitium to the cancer cells. Fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) are one of the most abundant non-malignant cells in tumors. They produce numerous collagen fibers. These fibers make tumors extremely dense and act as a physical barrier preventing drugs from penetrating the tumor interstitium.

Our method for overcoming obstacles to the delivery of drugs and natural compounds to cancer cells includes increasing tumor blood flow using ozone and hyperthermia; decreasing tumor interstitial fluid pressure using omega-3 fatty acids and bioavailable curcumin and epigallocatechin-3-gallate; and decreasing the density of tumor microenvironment using dasatinib and bioavailable resveratrol.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
Mount Dora, Florida, USA
Cancer Research News & Studies / Improving Intravenous Vitamin C
« Last post by danialthomas on October 03, 2020, 01:13:27 pm »

Done properly, intravenous vitamin C can function as a stand-alone chemotherapeutic agent. As I mentioned in a previous post, we use sodium ascorbate (not ascorbic acid) that is augmented with intravenous artesunate, azithromycin, calcium chloride, doxycycline, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, along with oral copper, iron, and sulindac. Artesunate, copper, iron, and sulindac potentiate (amplify) the pro-oxidative, cytotoxic, anti-cancer effects of vitamin C. The addition of azithromycin and doxycycline targets cancer stem cells. And the addition of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride prevents electrolyte imbalances during treatment. To further potentiate the pro-oxidative, cytotoxic, anti-cancer effects of vitamin C, we have recently begun adding intravenous epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and oral piperlongumine.
Poor tumor blood perfusion and tumor hypoxia are common problems that limit the effectiveness of both conventional and alternative cancer therapy. The level of intratumoral blood flow and oxygenation may be the most important limiting factors in the anticancer effect of high-dose intravenous vitamin C. Intravenous ozone has recently been found to safely increase blood perfusion in dense tumor tissue and reduce tumor hypoxia by increasing intratumoral oxygen partial pressure. Based on this new information, prior to the infusion of vitamin C, we have begun infusing ozonated physiologic saline to increase the subsequent blood-flow delivery of vitamin C deep into tumors and increase tumor oxygenation. To sustain the increased tumor oxygenation, during the infusion of vitamin C, we administer supplemental oxygen using a nasal cannula.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
Mount Dora, Florida, USA
Cancer Research News & Studies / Cancer Metastasis
« Last post by danialthomas on September 20, 2020, 04:30:35 pm »
Metastasis is the spread of cancer from the site of origin to another part of the body. It is the main cause of death in cancer patients. Hemangiogenesis (also known as angiogenesis) is the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting ones. Lymphangiogenesis formation of new lymph vessels from preexisting ones. Both processes are required for metastasis. While countless drugs have been developed to target tumor growth, comparatively little has been done to develop drugs that target metastasis. Although a few anti-angiogenic drugs have been developed, such as Avastin® (bevacizumab) and Afinitor® (everolimus), overall survival has improved very little. This is because most metastases occur following invasion of and dissemination through lymph vessels rather than blood vessels. If you are taking an anti-angiogenic drug, please have your oncologist consider adding lithium and bioavailable (this is key) Curcumin and Chrysin to inhibit lymphangiogenesis.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
Mount Dora, Florida, USA
Cancer Research News & Studies / Why Does Immunotherapy Fail So Often?
« Last post by danialthomas on September 04, 2020, 05:28:38 pm »
Back in the early and mid-1990s, the development of modern cancer immunotherapy drugs was heralded as a new era in the treatment of cancer. It was thought that harnessing the power of the body’s immune system would be the ultimate way to fight cancer. It turns out that less than 25% of patients experience genuine benefit from immunotherapy. What went wrong? Why do most patients not experience the benefits of immunotherapy? It comes down to this: Having a “revved-up” immune system is not enough. Cancer has numerous immune-evasion mechanisms.
What allows cancer cells to escape immune attack despite receiving immunotherapy? The causes are numerous. Chief among them are: a) tumor microenvironment hypoxia and the resultant accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α); b) cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs); c) tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs); d) platelet-tumor cell interaction; e) composition of the gut microbiota; and f) accumulation of Activin A. If you are receiving immunotherapy, to increase its efficacy, please ask your oncologist to address the aforementioned issues.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
Mount Dora, Florida, USA
Cancer Research News & Studies / TUMOR-FREE or CANCER-FREE?
« Last post by danialthomas on August 23, 2020, 03:07:35 pm »
When cancer treatment eradicates all tumors that can be measured or seen on a scan, it is called a “complete response” or “complete remission.” It is also known as having no evidence of disease or NED. A “partial response” or “partial remission” means the cancer partly responded to treatment but did not go away. It simply means you have less cancer.

Is being “tumor-free” the same as being “cancer-free?” Not necessarily. The detection or resolution limit of CT or MRI technology is 3 millimeters. This means that a tumor must be at least 3 millimeters in diameter to be detectable or seen on a CT or MRI scan. For a PET scan, the detection limit is 4 millimeters. Undetectable tumors are called microtumors. Undetectable metastases are called micrometastases. If your oncologist told you that you are in complete remission or have no evidence of disease, ask him/her what will be done to target possible microtumors or micrometastases.

Besides microtumors or micrometastases, is the issue of cancer stem cells. In the human body, there are healthy stem cells that help repair and regenerate damaged tissues. Similarly, in tumors, there are cancer stem cells (CSCs) that help repair and regenerate tumors. This subset of cancer cells is also known as tumor-survival cells (TSCs) or tumor-initiating cells (TICs). Not only are CSCs a chief driver of treatment failure, cancer progression and metastasis, and inevitable cancer recurrence, CSCs may also be the root cause of the original tumor itself. Because of the powerful survival mechanisms of CSCs, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are unable to kill them. In fact, conventional therapy may do the opposite and stimulate the proliferation and virulence of CSCs.

CSCs can migrate and nest in various areas of the body and remain dormant for months, years, or even decades until the right stimulus comes along and awakens them. Conventional therapy can shrink tumors but will not prevent tumor recurrence. Sooner or later, lingering CSCs can form new and often more aggressive tumors from a small number of cells (as few as 100). In other words, being “tumor-free” is not the same as being “cancer-free.” Eradicating tumors, microtumors, and micrometastases is not enough. CSCs must also be eradicated to achieve long-term survival. If your oncologist has told you that you are in complete remission and have no evidence of disease, ask him/her what will be done to target possible cancer stem cells.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
Mount Dora, Florida, USA
Cancer Research News & Studies / The #1 Cause Of Cancer
« Last post by danialthomas on July 04, 2020, 04:06:14 pm »
Do you know the #1 cause of cancer? Hint: It is not poor diet, stress, family history, or environmental toxins. Then what is it? It is age.

Increasing age is the most significant risk factor for cancer. A growing body of evidence supports the hypothesis that by slowing the aging process, you may delay or prevent the onset or recurrence of cancer and other chronic disease. Slowing aging centers around changes in diet and lifestyle to improve mitochondrial function; promote effective immunity; increase microcirculation and tissue oxygenation; promote tissue alkalinity; enhance detoxification; improve gut health; reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and exposure to environmental toxins; and promote sound sleep, physical fitness, and good mental health. Together, this helps create a more tumor-resistant environment in the body.

So why is increasing age is the most significant risk factor for cancer? Besides immune decline, aging enables the emergence of tumors through the onset of cell-cycle arrest (senescence) of aging fibroblasts, which makes them prone to autophagy. Senescence-induced autophagy creates a permissive metabolic microenvironment for tumor initiation and growth through the production of high-energy mitochondrial fuels from fibroblasts—such as lactate and ketones—that feed nascent (emerging) cancer cells. Senescent fibroblasts can also stimulate tumor formation and promote its growth and spread through the production of inflammation-signaling molecules. To help prevent the onset or recurrence of cancer, in addition to changes in diet and lifestyle, it important to eradicate aged, autophagy-prone, senescent fibroblasts. To learn more, visit www.NewHopeForCancer.com.

Cancer Research News & Studies / Beyond Cancer Cells
« Last post by danialthomas on June 06, 2020, 03:46:21 pm »

When fighting cancer, for long-term survival, did you know that there are five distinct types of cells that must be eradicated? They are:

1.   Cancer cells
2.   Cancer stem cells
3.   Senescent cancer cells
4.   Cancer-associated fibroblasts
5.   Senescent fibroblasts

To learn more, visit www.NewHopeForCancer.com. Please note that this information is being shared for educational purposes only. It is not being used as a tool to recruit patients, as my medical practice is already full.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
Mount Dora, Florida, USA
When Sandra Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy in 2015, the stress of it caused her to lose weight. But the celebrity cook decided to gain back the weight, according to Today.com.

“I gained weight on purpose,” said the 53-year-old, who is in remission. “I actually worked at it with my doctor as I was borderline underweight.” She gained 10 pounds, including muscle she put on as result of exercise, and feels and looks great.

Lee was recently named one of People magazine’s “Most Beautiful” honorees. “Loving your body and yourself is super important,” she said. “Our bodies are a gift and our lives are a gift and they’re both to be cherished every single day.”

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