by Lucy Johnston

March 7, 2010

SCIENTISTS believe they have made a major breakthrough in cancer treatment after cracking the “code” behind the disease.

They have discovered the body’s immune system can kill cancer cells within a window occurring every 12 to 14 days.

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.

Professor Michael Quinn has led the trial in patients with advanced ovarian cancer and suggests it could signal the most exciting development since the introduction of chemotherapy in the Fifties.

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.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.