More on Anti-cancer Supplements By Ralph W. Moss, PhD.

An article on this topic was published by Memorial Sloan-Kettering. (see below) As critics have pointed out, it can be faulted on all of these counts. Nonetheless, I am glad to see Memorial Sloan-Kettering (MSKCC) doing some actual studies instead of just talking, often in a negative way, about these substances. Perhaps studies of this sort are necessary to convince skeptics to undertake clinical studies (something I have been waiting for at that particular institution since 1974!)

In future discussions I intend to clarify a few things about this study:

(a) it was an evaluation in mice, not human cancer patients;
(b) it involved the subcutaneous injection of the various substances, not oral administration; and
(c) the immune response in question was simply an antibody reaction, not a measure of natural killer cell activity, not to mention any effect on tumors.

Excerpt below:

Ragupathi G, Hood C, Yeung KS, et al. Evaluation of Widely Consumed Botanicals as Immunological Adjuvants. Vaccine. 2008;26(37):4860-4865.

Excerpt from the abstract by: Laboratory of Tumor Vaccinology, Melanoma and Sarcoma Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, United States.

Many widely used botanical medicines are claimed to be immune enhancers. Clear evidence of augmentation of immune responses in vivo is lacking in most cases. To select botanicals for further study based on immune enhancing activity, we study them here mixed with antigen and injected subcutaneously (s.c.). Globo H and GD3 are cell surface carbohydrates expressed on glycolipids or glycoproteins on the cell surface of many cancers. When conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), mixed with an immunological adjuvant and administered s.c. the magnitude of the antibody responses against globo H, GD3 and KLH depend largely on the potency of the adjuvant. We describe here the results obtained using this s.c. immunization model with seven botanicals purported to have immune stimulant effects.

Conclusions: Some, but not all, botanicals purported to be immune stimulants had adjuvant activity in our model. PSK and Astragalus were surprisingly active and are being further fractionated to identify the most active adjuvant components.

See also:


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