by Lucy Johnston
March 7, 2010
SCIENTISTS believe they have made a major breakthrough in cancer treatment after cracking the “code” behind the disease.
By giving low-dose treatment at exactly the right time, researchers believe they have, against the odds, succeeded in halting the spread of advanced cancer.
While he points out that it is still a theory, he said: “This is astonishing and could infl uence the treatment of all solid tumours in the future. We hope it will revolutionise the treatment of cancer.” Professor Quinn and his team reviewed 63 papers involving more than 1,200 patients since 2000.
They discovered that sufferers had about a 1-in-12 chance of responding to chemotherapy. During further studies they found the body has a fortnightly immune cycle during which it “switches on and off”.
When the immune system turns off, it releases “inhibitory cells” which prevent it fighting disease, including cancer.
Professor Quinn and his team in Melbourne, Australia, target chemotherapy when the immune system is not working to knock out “inhibitory cells”, dramatically improving patients’ chances of recovery.
The treatment is in pill form and patients avoid almost all the debilitating chemotherapy side effects.
Professor Quinn, originally from Glasgow, said: “Everyone, including non-cancer patients, has an immune cycle which fluctuates every 12 to 14 days.
“That’s why if someone in the family comes in with a cough or cold, only some members of the family will develop it. The immune system also attacks cancer cells, which is why we need to give chemotherapy on the right day.”
“The concept is sensational. If you can treat people at the right time it could dramatically improve their chance of a successful outcome. The research is still in its early stages, however if we are proved right this method of treatment could be applied to all cancers and in fact all diseases.”
Since last year Professor Quinn and his team at Royal Women’s Hospital and Monash University, Melbourne, have given the therapy to seven women. Their advanced, recurrent ovarian cancer is almost impossible to treat successfully. Several responded positively and their tumours have stopped growing. Professor Quinn added: “These are very, very promising results.”
This is a major breakthrough – and proves what natural cycle researchers have known for a long time – the importance of cycles in everyday life. Now – this same concept needs to be applied to women’s hormone cycles in terms of medication, surgery, chemo etc. Many lives will be saved with this simple concept.