Episode 4: Cancer Quackery Part 2 - Hydrazine Sulfate, Immuno-Augmentative Therapy, Dr. Burzynski, Kabbalah Water, the Greek Cancer Cure, and Cansema

This episode covers alternative cancer treatments that were the subject of exposes on 60 minutes, Sally Jesse Raphael, Penthouse, and others. These include hydrazine sulfate, Immuno-Augmentative Therapy, Dr. Burzynski, kabbalah water, the Greek Cancer Cure, and cansema.

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Hydrazine Sulfate

Popularized by Dr. Joseph Gold, general practitioner and the director of the Syracuse Cancer Research Institute, who claimed it could reverse cachexia, which results in loss of appetite, tissue wasting, muscle and visceral organ atrophy, weakness, and loss of fat stores. He further thought reversing cachexia would also reverse cancer.

He conducted a trial of 84 terminal patients with HS. The trial was not randomized, double blinded, or placebo controlled. Three-quarters of subjects saying that they had better appetite, weight gain, and a general feeling of "well being." These effects varied widely in terms of their duration, lasting from a few days to several months. The cancer in 14/84 of the patients "stabilized." No long-term follow up studies were done on these 84 patients.

Other studies of the effectiveness of HS followed, not exactly getting the stunning effects Gold saw. Ochoa et al. (1975), Lerner (1976), Strum et al. (1975), Spremulli et al. (1979) All found HS treatment to be of no value in reducing tumor size or in increasing patient survival time. Regelson (1980) also looked at the subjective responses like Gold did. He found nothing that couldn’t be explained by placebo effects.

Dr. Gold, being a serious medical professional capable of accepting the criticism of fellow scientists for the good of mankind, accused Regelson and Ochoa in particular of subverting good science to “politics” and being part of an “Establishment conspiracy” to supress and cheap and effective cancer drug.

Hydrazine sulfate research then moves to Russia. A group of cancer researchers see same subjective responses Gold had. Researcher Filov notes that 23 weeks after administration there is a “marked psychotropic effect”: “Filov described it as a marked "euphoria" and stated that cachectic terminal intestinal cancer patients were unable to recognize the reality of their conditions.”

The HS treated group did show increased appetite and some weight gain. Again HS seemed to induce a state of euphoria in patients which caused them to believe that they were being cured. Because of modest neurotoxicity of HS, Cheblowski felt that it would not be a good candidate for use in long-term treatment until appropriate trials for safety were run.

Enter the Paragon of Medical Journalism: Penthouse! Jeff Kamen wrote a series of articles about how dope Hydrazine Sulfate was and the CONSPIRACY to tarnish Dr. Gold’s name. You can only imagine the HARDCORE EVIDENCE he gathered. The evidence: researchers Gershanovich and Filov (yes, THAT Filov) told him they cured over 1000 patients with HS. Again, HARDCORE EVIDENCE.

Immuno-Augmentative Therapy (IAT)

Developed by Lawrence Burton, Ph.D. In zoology, starting in the mid 50’s. Speaking of fruit flies, Burton originally “discovered” a “tumor induction factor” (TIF) in fruit flies, as well as a TIF inhibitor. He also “discovered that TIF and TIF inhibitors were in mice and claimed that all mammals have it.

Burton’s very own Ph.D. Supervisor and two-time co-author, Herschel K. Mitchell, Ph.D., concluded that Burton’s work was “meaningless”. The control fruit flies in his experiments didn’t have injection scars when SOP required them to be injected with an inert placebo. Mitchell presented used samples Burton claimed had TIF but failed to notice a difference between experimental and control groups. As a result of being thoroughly unimpressed with Burton’s purported results, Mitchell asked to be “forgotten” as a co-author on the two papers he wrote with Burton.

Undetered by his results being meaningless and shown to be so by his Ph.D. Supervisor, Burton opened the Immunology Research Foundation in Great Neck, NY in 1973. The mission of the IRF was"to investigate and stimulate immunological research for the ultimate control of cancer through the victim's own defense system."

He submitted an investigational new drug (IND) application to the FDA to start IAT human trials. Unfortunately the FDA said questions concerning their research was unanswered, and Burton opted to retract the application instead of answering these questions.

However, merely submitting an application gets a drug an IND number, regardless of whether it is accepted. Luckily Burton is a man of honor and would never mislead people into thinking that his drug having an IND number meant it was on the level, right? Who am I kidding OF COURSE HE DID. An IRF brochure claimed the FDA had "awarded an IND number toward the furtherance of the Foundation's goals" and that "having been granted the identifying number, certain clinical trials may be begun on a very limited experimental basis."

Getting sick of New York AND FOR NO OTHER REASON Burton headed off to the Bahamas and opened the Immunology Research Centre, LLC. In 1978. We all know how Big Pharma is trying to keep you sick to take your money, so I bet IAT was offered at low cost. Nope: $7500 the first month, $700 a week after that for a total of 12 weeks, a total of $13100. In 2018 money, that’s nearly $40000.

Enter 60 Minutes! In a 1980 episode of 60 Minutes, a prominent doctor claimed one of his patients miraculously recovered after taking IAT. Like many miracles, however, the recovery didn’t last; this patient died 12 days after the episode aired.

Now let’s bring in congress. In a 1984 congressional hearing held by Rep. Claude Pepper, a pathologist from Alabama described his father’s experience with IAT and the Immunology Research Centre. I think it’s worth quoting in full,

In 1982, my father-in-law was diagnosed as having unresectable, incurable, widely disseminated cancer of the lung, and advised that essentially his condition was terminal. As could be expected, the family was distraught, and we began to grasp at straws and looking into alternative modes of treatment. . . . Some of the local press carried stories about . . . so-called immuno-augmentative therapy. . . . Soon thereafter he went to the Bahamas to get the treatment.

His main symptom had been pain from the tumor. It had metastasized to the bones. When he went down there, he was told to go off pain medication and to begin the serum injections, and that . . . the serum injections, if they work and dissolve the tumor, will cause pain. So he went down there knowing he had a tumor growing in him and causing him pain, and through a pretty good ploy he came back convinced that the pain he was having was a cure. In addition, he was told the tumor was shrinking. The x-ray film they took was overexposed, which has the technical problem of making masses look smaller than they really are.

Upon his return, I encouraged him to go to Fox Army Hospital and have another chest x-ray made. Several radiologists corroborated that they could see no evidence of any shrinkage in the tumor. I was then faced with the unpleasant task of telling my father-in-law for the second time he was dying.

It was interesting that both he and his wife came back with total euphoria -- that he was cured. They told everyone they saw he was cured. When they realized that they had been fooled, it was really a shock, and, of course one doesn't usually go around telling people you have been fooled.

He died approximately two months after he returned. In addition to the emotional turmoil and being away from the rest of the family for essentially half the remaining life he had, this cost them approximately $10,000, including travel and lodging, for this phony cancer cure.

Just a reminder that Burton and all the cronies who peddle false hopes like him, are immoral scumbags who wouldn’t exist in a just and morally crafted world.

Antineoplastins and Stanislaw R. Burzynski, M.D 

Antineoplastins were synthesized by Stanislaw R. Burzynski from, you guessed it, urine! In 1973, he received a 3 year grant to study his urinary peptides. Surprisingly, the grant was not renewed.

Burzynski doesn’t JUST want an M.D. and D.Msc., but a Ph.D. Too! Problem: not clear if he has one. In the US currently, there are Ph.Ds in Medical Science and Doctor in Medical Science degrees. What’s the difference? Don’t really have an idea! Here’s what we do know: Burzynski got his D.Msc in 1968 after completing a one-year laboratory project and passing an exam and that he had done no independent research while in medical school. So it looks more like a masters degree than a Ph.D.

But who cares about academic minutea? Let’s talk about SALLY. JESSE. RAPHAEL! Burzynski was featured on the program in 1988, along with four “miracle” patients who were cured after taking swig after swig of their homegrown urine.

So, what happened to these miracles? Luckily, Inside Edition did a follow up in 1992. They all were doing great and… actually, no. Not so good. Right off the bat, two had died. Not a great start. A third’s cancer came back. The fourth was doing fine, but she had bladder cancer which has a good prognosis.

A widow of one of the deceased patients featured on the program said her husband and five others sought treatment from Burzynski. All had passed away in the four year period. What does this teach us? Day time talk show hosts are not reliable medical professionals. I’m looking at you, Dr. Oz! 

Burzynski also has his own movie! Burzynski the Movie: Cancer is a Serious Business. A showing of Part 2 at the Newport Beach film festival in 2013 was introduced by none other than heartthrob and non-expert Fabio! Why Fabio? His sister was receiving treatment from Burzynski. She died a few months later, Aug. 2013. 

Kabbalah Water

We can’t talk about Kabbalah Water until we first talk about the Kabbalah Center which originated from an American Rabbi named Philip Berg. Berg was a former insurance salesman who, on a trip to Israel, learned about the teachings of Kabbalah. He thought it selfish that only a select group of Jewish men were hoarding this spiritual gem. Berg wanted to share it with America. So he came back to the U.S. and started teaching Kabbalah classes out of his insurance office and eventually founded the Kabbalah Center in L.A. 

This is a quote from the Kabbalah Centre website, 

Kabbalah is an ancient wisdom that provides practical tools for creating joy and lasting fulfillment. It's an incredible system of technology that will completely change the way you look at your world.

Despite this meaningless quote, Judaism or Jewish mysticism scholars do not consider the Kabbalah taught in the Kabbalah Center to be an accurate representation to the original teachings, but consider it to be more a New Age reinterpretation of the original form of Kabbalah. 

So what’s the fucking Kabbalah Water? You may be asking … Well, According to the Kabbalah Center website a process which they call Quantum Resonance Technology "restructures the intermolecular binding of spring water". 

Kabbalah Water is described by the same website as "dynamic, living, fractal and crystalline". Kabbalah Water is essentially cheap Canadian mineral water. 

Throughout the 2000’s Kabbalah Water was the favorite magical potion endorsed by celebrities such as Madonna (the asshole celebrity that really put the Kabbalah Center on the map) as well as Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, and Lindsay Lohan. 

On the Kabbalah Center website you can purchase the magical Canadian mineral water for a price: $22.00. Which is actually a deal because I just looked up 700 ML 12 pack of Fuji water on their website and it is $30. So you actually save $8 for added Kabbalah juice. Now I’m conflicted. 

On the website they also offer Pinchas water: What is Pinchas? It’s not what it sounds like, it’s in fact a small portion from the Zohar - the foundational text for Kabbalah written between 539 BCE-70 CE. 

There have been multiple reports by journalists that Kabbalah Centers from around the world push their attendees to donate money and purchase overly-expensive products with special woo juice. In one report by the Guardian attendee Leah Zonis was assured by some of the staff at the Kabbalah Center in Tel Aviv that if she forked over lots of cash for special Kabbalah Center (quote in quote) “treatment” she would be cured of cancer. 

A misguided friend of Leah was the one who suggested she attend the Kabbalah center and as the disease progressed she asked the Center’s director Moshe Rosenberg for help and guidance with her cancer. Mr Rosenberg recommended that a donation to the Kabbalah center would lead to a full recovery for Leah. Mrs. Zonis’ husband offered over $1400 but Mr Rosenberg stated that the donation needed to be much more substantial. He suggested $30,000! Her husband reluctantly agreed because her wife was desperate for anything to help.

 What did the Zonises actually get for their $30,000? Well, not much (obviously) The Kabbalah Center members prayed for her extra hard and she was given the magical Kabbalah Water to drink. Leah Zonis’s condition got progressively worse even after this donation by her husband, so she confronted the new director, Shaul Youdkevitch after Mr. Rosenberg left the Center to see what could be done. In true evil form and according to this article, Mr. Youdkevitch suggested the reason the cancer had not been cured is because the Zonis’s did not give enough money. They were instructed to give another $25,000. The Zonises, desperate, borrowed the money and paid the Center but her condition did not improve. She died at the age of 50 after “battling” the disease for 6 years. 

 So that’s a total of $55,000 the Zonises paid for magical water and some prayers. You may be thinking how gullible could these people be?! There was a part in a documentary on YouTube about Jim Jones and the People’s Temple mass suicide where Jim Jones’ son Stephen Jones says, 

 Ask yourself, what would someone have to tell you or what would someone have to do to you to get you to do something that you couldn't possibly believe you were capable of, and examine that. Learn from it. Don't judge it. Don't stand separate from it. Be willing to stand in the shoes of the people you are judging.

 I do think it’s important to remember that the people that are taken in by these evil humans that prey on sick people for money, are in a weakened state and it’s not just the victims of cancer. The relatives, friends, family members are all in weakened states that may not be making the best judgement calls while they are going through this deep emotional rollercoaster ride. 

 At the end of this article they quote Madonna, who when confronted about her involvement in the Kabbalah Center, said  “it would be less controversial if I joined the Nazi Party” and that the Kabbalah Centers are not “hurting anyone”. 

“Greek Cancer Cure”

Microbiologist Dr. Alivizatos from Athens, Greece was the main quack behind the “Greek Cancer Cure”. He claimed that he could use a blood test which would locate and diagnose a person’s cancer. His “treatment” was for each day to inject a serum into the cancer patient’s bloodstream. This would be repeated daily between 6 and 30 days depending on the patient. This serum, he claimed, would purify the blood of the patience, thus getting rid of the cancer. 

He also instructed his victims to strictly adhere to a low sodium diet, avoid certain acidic foods. He also instructed them to not ever take laxatives or aspirin. He told his patients to completely stop all chemotherapy treatments prescribed by conventional doctors. Before he would even see them they had to have completely stopped their chemotherapy. 

If you go right now to the Alivizatos Treatment Program website you’ll see this statement under the heading “Underlying Philosophy”,

It is known that poisoning the whole body to kill specific cells has had limited success and generally destroys much of the patient's quality of life. Some patients, actually most patients, will tell you that the side effects from chemotherapy treatments are far worse than the symptoms of the cancer. Surgery has limited success because it frequently does not remove all the cancer cells and ultimately becomes a delaying tactic rather than a genuine long term solution. The Alivizatos® Treatment works on all types of cancer and we will accept patients at all stages as long as they are able to make the trip to the International Bio Care Hospital & Wellness Center. Our patients typically fly to neighboring San Diego, California, only 27 miles away.

Yeah that’s right the Alivizatos Treatment Center is not located in the U.S. but in Tijuana, Mexico. Hmm. I wonder why? 

In an article written in the NYT in 1983 Dr. Alivizatos makes the claim that his serum has a 60% success rate in curing cancer, minus those in in very late stages. When asked what was in his serum he said it was a “medical secret”. The serum attacks the protein-like substance that coats the cancer cells which prohibits the body from spreading the disease. Also, the National Cancer Institute and  American Cancer Society both asked Dr. Alivizatos to reveal what was in the serum, but he blew off their requests.

In fact Dr. Alivizatos lost his medical license in Greece for failing to submit his serum for proper medical testing. Though he did eventually submit the serum and received his license back. The Greek government said he was not to use the serem because when tested it was not effective against cancer cells. The Hellenic Medical Association conducted an investigation which found him guilty again of using the serum. His license was again suspended for two years. 

Posing as a cancer patient Seattle surgeon and president of the Washington division of the American Cancer Society, Ross Fox, M.D., was able to obtain some of the “secret serem”. He brought it back to the lab at University of Washington to be analyzed. So what’s in this secret sauce? Nicotinic acid which is niacin a B-vitamin and … drumroll…. Water. The niacin percentage was high enough to induce burning of the skin. 

Dr. Alivizatos made claims that he cured most patients that he treated with this serem. In reality many of them died within just a few months after they came back from Greece. This famous Greek Quack’s formula is still in circulation under the names Cellbal and METBAL. The new serum is reported to be 150 mg of brown sugar, 20 mg of niacin, 57 mg of vitamin C, and 15 mg of amino acid alanine. Currently the FDA has banned the importation of METBAL 

Greg Caton/Cansema/Alpha Omega Labs

Cansema was the genius creation of Gregory James Canton. He was an American businessman who promoted an array of herbal products. Cansema was the most notable of these because it was claimed to cure skin cancer. In 2003 the FDA banned Cansema for being worthless. Canton pleaded guilty for defrauding customers. 

Alpha Omega Labs was founded by Canton in 1995. He founded it under a pseudonym “James Carr” Alpha Omega Labs manufactured over 300 alternative health care “solutions”. They had 14 distributors all over the world at one point. Thank goodness they only operate now out of Ecuador.

One of the treatments for skin cancer promoted by Alpha Omega Labs is cansema, a bloodroot salve. Bloodroot or Sanguinaria is a perennial flowering plant native to eastern North America. It is made into a paste by the alternative medicine industry and offered as a cure for skin cancer. Bloodroot is considered escharotic which means corrosive or caustic. Black salves like Cansema are usually also a mixture of various herbal extracts and often ammonium salt. Other ingredients include zinc chloride and chaparral, otherwise known as creosote bush. 

Cansema is available in a .8 ounce container. The appearance of the paste has been compared to vegemite, it’s a thick, black paste. From AltCancer.com site: You are to apply the paste topically on the the area of your skin you want to target. In the first 30 hours a skin lesion will appear. This will eventually turn into a scab. “The cancer is completely dead” at this point, “but the healing process has only begun.” In just four short days the scab builds up enough antibodies in the area of the infected tissue. According to the site at this point Cansema “has successfully triggered the body’s immune system.”

 Are we finally done yet? Nope! In 7 days after this this scab (called an eschar) completely dries out, with the skin underneath the scab forming as healthy skin which slowly pushes this eschar away from the body. 

Finally we are done right? No! 8 days after this this scab will have finally been pushed out according to the site, “representing what had been a thriving cancer only days before, is pushed out of the body why the last connective skin tissue beneath it is broken or deteriorates.”

So we’re all good then? NO! A crater area in the skin remains where the tumor once was. So that sounds nice! Your tumor is gone but you do have a hole in your face now! This skin is unprotected and raw, and according to this site within only a month that skin will heal back, but just as a disclaimer many of the patients have been left with noticeable scars. 

There are multiple horror stories about victims of Cansema. Here’s just one and it starts with this asshole: Andrew Weil, M.D. promoted bloodroot paste in his 1995 book Spontaneous Healing. He said that applying bloodroot paste could dissolve tumors without harming any healthy tissue in the skin. He claimed a whole tumor “fell off” after just a few days after applying this bloodroot paste to his dog’s skin. He used it on his patients and started teaching it to his medical students he said that the results were “consistent and satisfactory.” 

Convinced by this portion of Andrew Weil’s book a woman in Indianapolis, Indiana named Sue Gilliatt decided to use the bloodroot salves. Fearing that the tumor on her nose was cancerous though diagnosed as benign by her doctor she wanted to try the bloodroot salve. She purchased Cansema from the Alpha Omega website and a bloodroot paste from Dan Raber.

The Cansema burned so badly she could not keep it on the full 24 hours required to leave it on the tumor. She then applied the bloodroot paste, but within just a few hours her face swelled up. She called Dan Raber instead of calling her doctor and he told her not to worry but to apply MORE paste. Finally when she went to see her dermatologist a portion of her nose was eaten away. 

If you go to altcancer.net you get a general statement about how these quacks view cancer, 

We radically disagree with most current orthodox therapies, particularly most chemo, radiation, and even some surgical protocols - that form the basis of cancer treatment in the West. Our belief is that 100 years from now, physicians will regard these therapies as we now regard the more aggressive bloodletting techniques used in medieval medicine. These therapies, with their poor success rates and outrageous cost, live on and survive not because they work, but because they are highly profitable and they feed a $200 billion a year industry that is too politically powerful to either rein in or hold accountable. For those of us who possess the advanced tools, we know that cancer treatment is not so much a medical challenge, as it is a political disease.

I think they’re right; the political disease is that all these fucks aren’t in prison.

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