“BERLIN WALL” BY CHEMO CRRUMBLES
Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D., from The Cancer Chronicles #7, December 1990.
THIS ARTICLE WAS THE FOUNDATION FOR MY BOOK, QUESTIONING CHEMOTHERAPY, WHICH I FINALLY WROTE FIVE YEARS LATER. VIEW THE COMPANION PIECE ON THE SIDE EFFECTS OF CHEMISTRY. –ED.
The previous year will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of German surprises. Berlin Wall was taken down. Germany’s two states merged. The idea that chemotherapy is unbeatable is now starting to come down in Germany. In his revolutionary monograph “Chemotherapy of Advanced Epithelial Cancer,” Dr. Ulrich Abel, a cancer biostatistician from Heidelberg, tears the strongest crack yet in the orthodoxy’s rock-solid front. Sadly, the book is no longer in print.
He reveals that his growing unease was the result of his ten years of work as a statistician in clinical oncology. He found that, in treating advanced epithelial cancer, “a sober and unprejudiced study of the literature has rarely demonstrated any therapeutic effectiveness by the regimens in question.” This is a shocking accusation coming from a cancer industry insider. They resulted in Abel receiving a significant, generally positive article in Der Spiegel, the German version of Time, in Germany.
The influential chemotherapeutic industry has kept quiet in this situation.
Abel refers to the most prevalent types of adenocarcinoma—lung, breast, prostate, colon, etc.—as “epithelial.” At least 80% of cancer-related fatalities in advanced industrial nations are attributable to them.
Toxic chemotherapy is being utilized more frequently to treat these disorders at an advanced stage. The majority of those who die of these cancers—more than a million people annually—now “get some sort of systemic cytotoxic therapy prior to death.”
Abel, on the other hand, demonstrates in 92 well-reasoned pages that “there is no evidence for the great majority of cancers that treatment with these medications exerts any favorable influence on survival or quality of life in patients with advanced disease.” “Usually based on incorrect inferences from unsuitable data,” the “near fanatical confidence in the efficacy of chemotherapy” Abel also polled a large number of
Whilst he was composing his paper, cancer doctors. He claims that many oncologists’ personal beliefs “seem to be in striking contradiction” to their public-facing communications. Studies referenced by Abel have demonstrated that many oncologists would not undergo chemotherapy if they had cancer themselves.
The establishment attributes chemotherapy’s favorable benefits for the supposed historical increase in 5-year survival rates over the past few decades.
But as Abel shows, this is mistaken thinking. Because it incorporates information for both local and widespread tumors, “Equating cure with 5-year survival is misleading.” Additionally, contrasts with historical controls are very skewed. Modern methodologists concur that randomized comparisons are the only way to get accurate data on the relative worth of two treatments. It is astonishing that orthodox therapies hardly ever receive such comparisons. Five-year survival rates may be higher now than they were in the past for a variety of reasons, including:
increased efficiency of early detection stage migration (better diagnosis leads to improved prognosis)
improved supplemental care
Abel provides all the direct data from randomized studies that are available regarding whether chemotherapy increases survival in one astounding figure. The only carcinoma for which there is strong direct evidence of a survival benefit from chemotherapy is small-cell lung cancer. But it only took three months for this change to occur! Additionally, there are also “weak evidence” of modest benefit for non-small cell lung cancer.
The news is far less encouraging for other types of chemotherapy:
There is no proof that chemotherapy increases survival in colorectal cancer.
No conclusive proof for gastric.
Largest study on the condition was “totally negative.” Survival was longer in the control group.
None have been conducted for the bladder.
Breast: There is no concrete proof that chemotherapy increases survival. It is “ethically dubious” to use.
Ovarian: There is no concrete proof, however cis-platinum regimens presumably have a little advantage. Non-randomized comparisons, however, are “absolutely useless for assessing therapy.”
Cervical and uterine corpus: no increased survival.
Head and neck: tumor shrinking occasionally has a “positive effect,” but there is no survival advantage.
Where did the notion that chemotherapy is so beneficial in treating these malignancies come from in light of these nearly universally negative results?
One factor is the fact that poisonous medications frequently do elicit a reaction. i.e., the tumor either completely or partially shrinking Nevertheless, this “decrease of tumor bulk did not prolong predicted survival,” in contrast to popular belief. In other cases, the cancer even spreads more quickly than previously because removing 99.9% of a mass encourages the development of resistant cell lines.
But isn’t the patient’s quality of life (QL) at least improved by chemotherapy? It undoubtedly delivers a small amount of psychological comfort in that it gives a dying patient some options. (This is frequently based on the erroneous belief that it will be curative.) It is advantageous if it relieves symptoms, as in head and neck cancer. However, as Abel notes, “to date there have been no randomized studies generating clear evidence for an improvement of QL by chemotherapy.” In fact, many patients who are driven to what one oncologist refers to as “the crucial frontier” may experience a horrifying loss of quality of life as a result of these hazardous medications [see next article] (i.e., the brink of death).
What about the uncommon and fortunate patient, nevertheless, whose advanced cancer appears to be cured by medication? Some individuals may in fact react in this “miraculous” manner. However, one must contrast the advantage to this one person with the overall cost to all of the receivers who do not receive it. In order to avoid the argument having “the same structure as a recommendation for gambling” based on “the profit of the winners,” the entirety of risk vs. gain must be assessed.
In other words, “oncology has not been able to establish a strong scientific basis for cytotoxic therapy in its current form.” Nevertheless, the “thesis of the efficiency of chemotherapy” has come to resemble “a dogma.” In fact, it has become “unethical” in both Germany and the US to not administer these harmful medicines to a growing number of patients. Clinical oncology is now “a prisoner of its own tenets,” according to this.
We cannot possibly cover everything in this outstanding book in a brief review. Let’s just say that Abel’s book is one of the most amazing wonders of this year of wonders.
Sometimes medical professionals dismiss the adverse effects of chemotherapy as a trivial price to pay for higher survival rates. But chemotherapy, which is still poison, emerged from mustard gas research during World War II.
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