Modified citrus pectin fights cancer metastases. This makes it potentially one of the most important substances in the complementary arsenal against cancer. MCP is a chemically altered form of pectin, a substance that is familiar to most cooks. Pectin is naturally found in ripe fruit, including apples and citrus. It is best known for its use as a thickening agent for jams and jellies.
But, to be clear, taking supermarket pectin will not have the desired medicinal effects. That is because ordinary pectin contains highly complex polysaccharides, which cannot be digested in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In other words, the substance that helps pectin fight cancer need to first be broken down through a combination of heat and acid to yield the purified medicinal product, called MCP.
A 2017 study showed that ripe papaya also contains pectin that has been naturally modified to fight cancer. But the fruit in question has to be in the “Goldilocks zone,” neither unripe nor overly so. As a result, it would be difficult to always obtain and eat papaya with exactly the right degree of ripeness to have a beneficial effect.
MCP has some powerful biochemical effects. In particular, it blocks the action of a substance called galectin-3. Galectin-3 is not your friend. In fact, it promotes tumor growth and progression, as well as new blood vessel growth in the laboratory. Fighting galectin-3 is one of the main ways thatmodified citrus pectin fights cancer.
There are presently almost 100 articles in PubMed on the topic of MCP. Almost half of these concern its ability to fight cancer. Although most of these are laboratory studies, in test tubes or animals, taken together they constitute a picture of MCP as a very promising item. In the laboratory, MCP blocks the migration of wandering cancer cells.
In the early 1990s, there were some hints that something in citrus peel stopped metastases. But MCP’s big moment came in 1995. In that year, Kenneth J. Pienta, MD, then of Wayne State Medical School, Detroit, showed that modified citrus pectin fights metastases in mice with prostate cancer. At the time, Dr. Pienta was celebrated for this work, which was prominently featured in the Journal of National Cancer Institute (JNCI).
In Dr. Pienta 1995 study, almost all the untreated animals developed lung metastases. Conversely, most of the MCP-treated rats had a significant reduction in the spread of their cancer. In particular, untreated animals averaged nine cancer colonies in their lungs. But MCP treated animals had, at most, one!
Danger of Metastases
Metastases account for the great majority of deaths from cancer. Yet in the nearly 50 years since the launch of the “war on cancer” in 1971, very few agents have been discovered that can prevent or treat metastases.
But Dr. Pienta and his team accomplished this by chemically modifying an inexpensive kitchen ingredient, citrus pectin. A research and treatment revolution truly seemed at hand! Dr. Pienta and the Barbara Karmanos Cancer Institute even obtained a U.S. patent on a “method for inhibiting cancer metastases by oral administration of soluble modified citrus pectin.” obtained a U.S. patent on a “method for inhibiting cancer metastasis by oral administration of soluble modified citrus pectin.”
But then Dr. Pienta backed off. A search of PubMed reveals an incredible 475 articles by the eminent Dr. Pienta. He is currently Director of Research of the Brady Urological Institute of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, one of America’s top medical centers. But how many of these atticles are on MCP?
According to PubMed, just three. And in fact Dr. Pienta’s next article on the topic after his famous JNCI study did not appear until 10 years later in 2005. And, in fact, Dr. Pienta was only the fourth author on that study, which appeared a relatively obscure venue. In other words, for all intents and purposes, he walked away from serious research on this most promising agent.
Enter Isaac Eliaz, MD
But soon afterward Pienta’s first article appeared, Dr. Isaac Eliaz entered the scene. He was inspired by Dr. Pienta’s MCP results. This was especially so after it became clear that Pienta had moved on to other things and that no one else was going to make MCP available to a public that was desperate for ways to prevent metastases.
So Dr. Eliaz, who has a medical degree from Israel, started a company called EcoNugenics. Its initial goal was to manufacturer, distribute and promote research on MCP and related topics. He called his product Pectasol-C. The name has now became almost synonymous with MCP.
Doing proper human clinical studies of any natural agent is prohibitively expensive. But in 2003, several specialists published a paper on the clinical effects of MCP in human prostate cancer patients. This human study investigated the effects of MCP in 13 men who had elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) scores after the failure of their localized treatment.
These well-known scientists found that the PSA doubling time increased in 7 of 10 men after they took MCP for 12 months. That was a good thing, since it meant that the cancer’s progression was slowing down. Other than synthetic hormones, few if any substances had shown such an effect in prostate cancer.
A Sane World
And, in a sane world, the U.S. government would then have sponsored and paid for a large research project to test MCP in various kinds and stages of cancer, starting with prostate. But they did nothing of the sort. In fact, after that one pilot study, all U.S. clinical trials of MCP ground to a halt for lack of funding or official interest.
This was not for a fundamental lack of money for research. The NCI receives a lot of taxpayer money every year. Here’s how they themselves put it at theirwebsite:
“For FY 2019, which began October 1,  Congress provided NCI a base appropriation of $5.74 billion, which represents a $79 million increase from FY 2018, and an additional $400 million for the Cancer Moonshot.”
Needless to say, even 1% of the NCI’s $6 billion appropriation would equal $60 million, enough pay for a lot of MCP studies! But, to date, scientists have published no other clinical papers on MCP in cancer. Instead, the NCI has relegated MCP to the netherworld of “complementary and alternative medicine.”
A Solitary Doctor Responds
In summation, it was a solitary doctor, Isaac Eliaz, MD, the inventor of Pectasol-C, who has kept the topic of MCP in front of the public for the past quarter century. In the midst of a busy medical practice at the Amithaba Medical Clinic and Healing Center, in Santa Rosa, California, Eliaz has authored or co-authored six important papers on the topic.
He has worked with researchers at the Sourasky Medical Center in Israel. This study showed that MCP sensitized prostate cancer cells to radiation therapy. It does this by decreasing Galectin-3, which destroyed cancer’s own gene repair pathway. Also, it increased other substances that attack cancer cells.
Most importantly, the authors once again confirmed Kenneth Pienta’s original finding that MCP “reduced the metastatic properties of prostate cancer cells.”
Isn’t it strange, then, that a treatment that combats metastases in the laboratory, and sells for less than 50¢ per capsule, gets next to no attention from the Cancer Establishment?
Meanwhile, all the media attention and research money flow to drugs like Keytruda, which costs $150,000 per year; Tagrisso (osimertinib) at $199,000 per year; and Xalkori, at $211,308 per year. ; or Kymriah, which goes for $475,000…per injection. Something is woefully wrong with this picture.