Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy

Non-Toxic Biological Approaches to the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

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Alternative Cancer Concepts I
By Ruth Sackman

Following is a transcript of a talk presented by Ruth Sackman, President of FACT, at the FACT Annual Cancer/Nutrition Convention held at the Sheraton Inn, Elizabeth, New Jersey on October 8, 9, 1993.

The goal of the presentation is to provide you with information based on over 20 years of experience to help you make knowledgeable choices.

The transcript has been edited to adapt to the printed page, but in no way alters the original intent of the material.

I am Ruth Sackman, president of the Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy. If there is one thing I would like to accomplish at this event, and it takes a lot of effort to put on this show, it is to shift the focus away from the tumor to the well-being of the person whose body has produced uncontrolled abnormal cells. If I can do that, I will feel that this convention is a success and worth all the effort.

For years the medical community has focused on the tumor. In spite of 100 years of funded research and billions of dollars spent, the cure is still elusive. You can surely understand that if there were a cancer cure, there surely would be no need for the Federal government or the American Cancer Society to continue to allot billions for cancer research. I feel that a cure will not be found until the researchers shift their effort to determining what physiological breakdown in the human system has caused the production of abnormal cells, allowing them to overwhelm the body's ability to control and eliminate them.

Present cancer treatment ignores the host and, unfortunately, abuses it. I hope I can take you along in considering a different concept of cancer and treatment. That is the theme of this convention"Healing the Host."

Now, if you have a headache, you take an aspirin and the headache disappears. Does that mean it will not come back? Of course not, because the headache is only a symptom. The aspirin has not dealt with the cause. If the tumor is removed surgically or, with radiation or chemotherapy or even a so-called alternative therapy, does that assure you that it will not recur? Of course not, because it is a symptom of a biological breakdown.

The treatment has not dealt with the cause. Until the host is healed, cell production corrected and the immune system normalized, a recurrence will be the usual unfortunate outcome.

The first requirement is to provide a balanced diet containing all of the elements required to build healthy cells. Healthy cells are not produced by injections, chemotherapy, herbal preparations, 714X, selenium, Carnivora, Cancell, etc. Cell production depends upon the valuable nutrients which must be obtained from the diet. They must be metabolized, absorbed, circulated and made available for cell production. It's a complex system. Be wary of the amateur who, after some beneficial personal experience, assumes he or she has the universal answer for everyone. Even recovered cancer patients have experiences limited to only one patient - themselves. Unfortunately, some people underestimate the diet's potency as a healing tool. They tend to overemphasize the value of tonics, herbals, drugs and so forth, which, as I have said before, cannot provide all the elements needed for normal cell production.

Let's talk about a number of the therapies currently being touted through books, articles, radio and TV as "alternatives." A good writer is not usually an authority on alternative cancer therapies. Clinicians have the experience with numerous patients to write authoritative material, even though they may not be good writers. Twenty-three years ago when we started this organization, we were not troubled with so many diversions that left the impression there were miracle cures. Emphasis was and always has been on bio-repair systems. All the patients presented at our conventions, in the past and now, have validated the value of metabolic programs. There is no "magic bullet."

If there is one thing I would like to accomplish at this event, and it takes a lot of effort to put on this show, it is to shift the focus away from the tumor to the well-being of the person whose body has produced uncontrolled abnormal cells.

Toxic Alternatives

With that understood I'd like to present some of the raft of therapies that are promoted in the books, periodicals and over radio and TV. Let's start with Ralph Moss, a young man who worked in the PR department at Sloan Kettering when Laetrile and hydrazine sulfate were being researched. In his naivety about cancer, he wrote a book in which he waxed enthusiastic about hydrazine sulfate and categorized it as an alternative treatment. However, that does not automatically make it a safe or effective therapy. Hydrazine sulfate is derived from rocket fuel, a chemical. It is a typical chemotherapy. Chemotherapies tend to block a needed nutrient from cancer cells, therefore, starving them. This might cause the tumor to regress but, since chemotherapy cannot be selective, it also deprives the healthy cells and that damages the patient. Hydrazine sulfate functions on the identical principle. It deprives the cancer cells of glucose and starves the healthy cells, too. The healthy cells actually are the patient I can remember one woman calling to tell me that she was feeling better on hydrazine sulfate. She said she was sitting up and dangling her legs over the side of her bed which she couldn't do before. I was most interested and asked to be kept informed. I was. Three days later she died.

FACT was very much involved when Sloan Kettering was doing alternative research. We had a liaison between Sloan-Kettering and the FACT office so we were aware of the success or failure of the research.

Another "bummer" is A-Mulsin. This tends to affect the liver adversely.. Dr. Harold Manner, late head of the Biology Department at Loyola University, combined A-Mulsin with Laetrile and enzymes and claimed it as a successful treatment He and I were both presenters at a hearing before the health committee of the Michigan State Legislature when I heard him make the claim. Since I was familiar with A-Mulsin over a long period of time, I talked to him during the lunch recess and asked if he had found liver damage. He said, "No." He told me he had autopsied the mice early. I suggested he ought to repeat the experiment and check survival time, which is a truer yardstick of cancer therapy work. He agreed. I waited for a report, but he never followed through You see, tumor reduction is a false yardstick. Patient survival time is a truer yardstick.

I feel that a cure will not be found until the researchers shift their effort to determining what physiological breakdown in the human system has caused the production of abnormal cells, allowing them to overwhelm the body's ability to control and eliminate them.

Selenium is another substance used by a doctor as a therapy which is not biologically-sound. Selenium is an element required by the body in trace amounts. Above the required trace amounts it is a poison. Most of the trace minerals that the body requires are poisons, such as chromium, chlorine, boron, selenium, copper, etc. Although the trace amount is an absolute necessity, it cannot automatically be assumed that high doses can be used indiscriminately. Many health food store owners and suppliers aren't aware of selenium's toxic nature. One of our board members is a pharmacist. When he heard that selenium was used by a doctor as a "nontoxic alternative," his immediate reaction was, "But that's a poison!" He spoke from knowledge.


To go on, it's worthwhile discussing immunotherapy. There are different concepts for employing immunotherapy. Some of the immunotherapies actually consist of materials that enhance and revitalize a patient's immune activity. Others, like Virginia Livingston's work with Cryptosides, have a tendency to expect a weak immune system to react and kill a virus. She considered cancer a viral disease. That concept was used by others, one a Dr. Ayers here in Long Island. It's the Livingston Clinic's main theme. (I'm sorry to say Virginia Livingston passed away.) There is nothing in these injections to actually enhance immune vitality. Instead, the viral substance, which is a waste product, in many instances is not attacked and discarded by a weak immune system but, unfortunately, is adopted by the body and added to the body's toxic load. However, the use of immune substances, such as the lymphokines - naturally occurring substances - will enhance immune vitality.

Burton's Augmentative Immuno Therapy enhances immune activity by de-blocking the immune system. When Burton had his research center in New York, he was the only show in town. The clinic is now in Freeport, Bahamas. Today many centers in the U.S. are doing immunotherapy of good quality.

The one so-called immunotherapy which is not biologically sound is monoclonal antibodies. It seems that when mono-clonal antibodies are used, they are infused with chemotherapy. The concept is based on the fact that when cells are removed from their original site and then reintroduced into the body, they will naturally return to their place of origin. The theory behind mono-clonal antibodies is that, when treated with chemotherapy, tumor cells will return directly to the tumor to kill cancer cells and, therefore, not damage the healthy cells. In reality what happens is the chemotherapy alters the cells so that they often fail to find their way back. If the mono-clonal antibodies aren't reaching the original site, again, the system adds to the body's toxicity.


Substances which are labeled botanicals are usually harmless. They work with the body chemistry. They may not do the whole job because they cannot improve cell production, but they can help in reducing the tumor itself.

I'd like to talk about Essiac, a biologically sound botanical, as the first one because of an unusual amount of publicity about it. A man by the name of Gary Glum, a chiropractor, wrote a book titled, The Calling of an Angel. It is about Rene Caisse, a Canadian nurse, who was responsible for making known and fighting to have Essiac accepted as a sound therapy. Essiac happens to be the reverse of her name: C-A-I-S-S-E. Gary Glum never had the real formula. He claims he bought it for $20,000 from Pat Judson, who is the Vice President of FACT. She never had the formula. If any of you know Pat Judson the way we know Pat Judson, if she had that formula, she would announce it to the world to help cancer patients, because she is a recovered cancer patient herself. I spoke to her on the telephone. She decided to see a lawyer about Gary Glum's claim, but was told it would be too costly to sue and it probably would not stop the information from spreading. So she had to sit back and suffer his misrepresentation.

Most of the trace minerals that the body requires are poisons, such as chromium, chlorine, boron, selenium, fluorine, copper, etc.

Another herb formula that is about 100 years old is the Hoxey formula. It is available at the Biomedical Center in Tijuana. It was developed by Harry Hoxey, a veterinarian, who noticed that some of the animals he was treating were grazing near certain areas and recovering on their own. He investigated the area and found plants that grew there which the animals favored. He put these together and learned about their,qualities, their ability to heal and created a formula. From my observation over many years it has been helpful for cancer patients. Unfortunately, the dietary regimen available at the Tijuana clinic should be improved since it is, as I have said before, a very important part of treatment.

Laetrile is another botanical. It is made from apricot kernels. After a surge of interest in it and too many people manufacturing it, it is not the same as the original product. My educated conclusion is that it is now overrefined and, therefore not as effective. Years ago we would suggest to callers if they were interested in using oral Laetrile, that they use a 65% refined tablet. Some suppliers, especially from Europe, thought they had a superior product if it was 95% refined and advertised it that way. You know what happens to sugar when it's refined? It loses its nutrients and is considered devitalized. No doubt this is exactly what's happening to the Laetrile these days. When people who are interested in Laetrile therapy call, I am suggesting that, instead of tablets, apricot kernels may be a better choice. Nothing has been removed. Therefore, the active factors are preserved. I think and actually feel from circumstances that the apricot kernels today are a good choice.

Since Dr. Helmut Keller was scheduled to be a speaker at this convention and his specialty is Carnivora, I would be remiss if it was left out of this talk. By the way, if you'll allow me to digress, Dr. Keller was unable to be here because he has had an apoplectic seizure, unfortunately, and has entered a sanatorium.

Although as was said in the beginning of the talk, no substance by itself provides the body with the range of elements required to build healthy cells; some substances, such as Carnivora, can be reasonable adjunctive tools. Carnivora tends to induce a fever. Artificially induced fever, which is called whole body hyperthermia, has been a good tool because heat does kill cancer cells. Fever should be considered one of nature's healing processes. The body does not always respond to Carnivora, but we have not heard that it has caused any harm and that is an important consideration.

When he heard that selenium was used by a doctor as a "non-toxic alternative," his immediate reaction was, "But that's a poison!"

Kanzyme, another botanical, was developed by a couple in New Jersey. The husband was the herbalist. The wife was Dr. Morvyth McQueen-Williams, an M.D. She used the herbs in her practice. When she died and he died, it seemed as though the formula had disappeared. But someone in Florida claims that he has the original formula. I can't argue whether he does or he doesn't

What disturbs me is why is it that after Rene Caisse died, many people claimed to have the formula for Essiac, although we knew that she had kept the formula a secret? It was given to Resperin Corporation and a woman who worked very closely with her, a recovered cancer patient. The same thing occurred with Kanzyme. After Dr. McQueen-Williams died, her herbal formula became available as Kanzyme. I can't claim that it's not the original formula, but it's strange that it wasn't available before.

Biologically Unsound Therapies

A therapy you hear a lot about is Vitamin C in high doses of 30 grams as proposed by Linus Pauling. Pauling is a noted scientist with whom I must disagree. The body was not designed to metabolize high doses of any one material. It functions best on normal amounts. Large amounts of C put a burden on the system to eliminate the excess. The elimination system has to relieve the body of all its excesses--toxic bio-accumulations, dead cancer cells, daily dietary wastes and so forth. It is unwise to use up this vitality for eliminating excess amounts of C or high doses of any one material. Linus Pauling now has prostate cancer and what he has done is take the conventional path. He had surgery and is on flutamide.

I'm sorry to say, too, that we feel uncomfortable with Cartilade (shark cartilage) which we had hoped would be a successful therapy. Cartilade is a calcium product and I must admit that I was a little skeptical about it from the very beginning because I knew that Max Gerson, M.D., from extensive clinic experience, found that inorganic calcium supplements were inimical to his cancer patients. There have been some negative reports on Cartilade which cannot be ignored. One report was of a patient who entered the hospital because of his condition and was found to be hypercalcemic. Another patient started with a small breast lump. After taking Cartilade, she found that the lump increased in size. Still another patient, who initially had tumor reduction for a tumor over the eye, discontinued treatment because the tumor was not controlled. The last patient's report which cannot be ignored is someone who used the Cartilade rectally as was recommended He became so blocked that he had to enter the hospital. It was found that the Cartilade had settled in the colon and had to be physically removed in order to give him relief. With that kind of information, judgment on the Cartilade should be delayed.

Let's move on to some of the other materials. 714X is camphor. Here again there is always a struggle with what writers publicize without personal knowledge and FACT's commitment to nontoxic, biologically-sound systems. Our experience and our values are by-and-large different from other researcher's and writers. Our experience has shown and the patient success stories prove it, that biologically sound material is better in serving the body in its effort to function normally and healthfully than any of the materials which are not biologically sound.

Through my experience of getting feedback from patients, I must say that I cannot agree with some of the other substances claimed to be beneficial, especially when I compare them to some of the substances which are safe.

Choices ought to be made not based on what someone writes about a material, but by investigating whether patients have actually used the substances successfully, not over the short term or not simply for tumor reduction, but for restoration of health. That should be your yardstick.

This article continues at Alternative Cancer Concepts II

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