Spice Beats Chemo, Radiation, Surgery for Brain Cancer, Studies Suggest


Increasingly, science is validating the therapeutic value of spices to prevent and treat disease, including for conditions as serious as lethal brain cancer. 

Modern medical science is finally catching up to the wisdom of our distant ancestors. Spices, for instance, were once traded along ancient spice routes throughout Asia, Northeast Africa, and Europe, as highly precious commodities; some of them were so prized for their life-saving properties they were literally worth their weight in gold. Only in the past few decades have the traditional folkloric uses of these powerful plant extracts undergone validation via pre-clinical and clinical research. The results are nothing short of amazing, especially when it comes to providing hope for conditions that conventional treatment not only does not have anything to offer, but may actually worsen.

There are a number of driving factors behind the increasing interest innatural substances as drug alternatives, one of which is the fact that a large number of popular over-the-counter and prescribed drugs are extremely dangerous, don’t work as advertised (ineffective), and are exorbitantly over-priced (e.g. Some patented chemotherapy agents can cost 4,000 times more than gold by weight!). To the dismay of the medical industrial complex, the public is growing increasingly aware of these facts. Indeed, it’s a problem hard to ignore when correctly prescribed drugs have been estimated to take over 100,000 lives each year in the U.S. alone.

Turmeric is one of the most powerfully healing spices known, and yet its use is still mostly relegated to an FDA-approved food coloring agent, instead of the safe, effective, affordable, and easily accessible remedy for the prevention and treatment of disease that is is. In total, we have identified research on its potential value in preventing and treating over 800 different conditions, with cancers — dozens of them — being the most thoroughly researched aspect of its healing properties.

Recently, research has surfaced revealing it may help to combat one of the most lethal forms of cancers: glioblastoma. 

Glioblastoma is a particularly fast-growing and deadly form of brain cancer which, despite aggressive therapies, is associated with survival rates that rarely surpass two years. Given the poor prognosis, and the serious dangers linked to chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, natural solutions are beginning to be taken more seriously by the conventional medical establishment. Indeed, two recently published studies provide compelling evidence that turmeric/curcumin may be a viable option in preventing and treating this deadly brain disease.

The first study, published in the journal Medical Oncology titled, “Investigating the therapeutic role and molecular biology of curcumin as a treatment for glioblastoma,” looked at a total of 19 in vitro (test tube) and five in vivo (animal) studies on the turmeric extract curcumin and its ability to combat glioblastoma.

Their literature review produced the following findings:

“A total of 19 in vitro and five in vivo studies were analyzed. All of the studies indicated that curcumin decreased glioblastoma cell viability through various pathways (i.e. decrease in prosurvival proteins such as nuclear factor κB, activator protein 1, and phosphoinositide 3 kinase, and upregulation of apoptotic pathways like p21, p53, and executor caspase 3). Curcumin treatment also increased animal survival compared with control groups.”

The authors concluded:

“Curcumin inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in certain subpopulations of glioblastoma tumors, and its ability to target multiple signaling pathways involved in cell death makes it an attractive therapeutic agent. As such, it should be considered as a potent anticancer treatment. Further experiments are warranted to elucidate the use of a bioavailable form of curcumin in clinical trials.”

From these studies alone, we can not yet draw definitive conclusions about whether or not curcumin will work the same way in humans; nor did the cited research address the problem of the relatively poor bioavailability of curcumin extracts. Moreover, in the case of brain tumors, the delivery of curcumin to the brain is hard to ascertain or prove for obvious reasons (you would have to cut open the brain or use toxic fluorescent dyes and brain scans).

Despite these limitations, a new study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer and titled, “Intratumoral Concentrations and Effects of Orally Administered Micellar Curcuminoids in Glioblastoma Patients,” provides evidence that it is possible to get physiologically relevant doses of curcumin into glioblastoma tumors of patients via oral delivery methods.  The study used human subjects to determine the bioavailability of a combination of so-called micellar (water dispersible) curcuminoids. Specifically, the study participants were administered 70 mg of the curcuminoid combination 3 times a day for 4 days prior to surgical resection (removal) of their respective brain tumors. Tumor and blood samples were taken during surgery and analyzed for total curcuminoid concentrations, and (31) P magnetic resonance spectoscropic imaging was performed before and after curcuminoid consumption.

They found that curcumin was absorbed into the tumors. The results were reported as follows:

“Ten (of 13) patients completed the study. The mean intratumoral concentration of curcumin was 56 pg/mg of tissue (range 9-151), and the mean serum concentration was 253 ng/ml (range 129-364). Inorganic phosphate was significantly increased within the tumor (P = 0.034). The mean ratio of phosphocreatine to inorganic phosphate decreased, and the mean intratumoral pH increased (P = 0.08) after curcuminoid intervention.”

The study concluded:

“Oral treatment with micellar curcuminoids led to quantifiable concentrations of total curcuminoids in glioblastomas and may alter intratumoral energy metabolism.”

Taken together, these two studies clear the path for a better understanding of how and why turmeric extracts may help combat treatment refractory glioblastoma.

Additionally, because it is known that cancer malignancy and resistance to treatment is due to cancer stem cells, and that glioma stem cells are present in glioblastoma cancers, turmeric extract is clearly superior in that it targets this particular subpopulation of radioresistant and chemoresistant cells that conventional treatments do not. In fact,chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been shown to actually enrich cancer stem cell populations. This means these treatments may actually increase glioblastoma malignancy and can accelerate the death of patients.  

For more information on natural glioblastoma interventions, as well as likely risk factors and causes (e.g. SV40 from vaccines),  take a look at our glioblastoma research portal. You’ll find commonly available and recognized foods, plants, and phytocompounds listed there, such as:

  • Cannabinoids

  • Olive Oil

  • Berberine

  • Genistein

  • Carrot

  • Sulforaphane

  • Green Tea

  • Lysine

  • Vitamin C

Chemo and Radiation Actually Make Cancer More Malignant.


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the developed world, and yet we are still in the dark ages when it comes to treating and understanding it.

The colossal failure of conventional cancer treatments reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what cancer – the “enemy” – actually is.  For one, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are both intrinsicallycarcinogenic treatments. The only justification for their use, in fact, is that they are highly effective at damaging the DNA within cells – with the hope that the cancer cells will be more susceptible to being harmed than the healthy ones (sadly, not always true).

The reality, however, is that the “collateral damage” from treatment is inevitable; it is not a matter of “if,” but to what degree the damaging side effects will occur. As in real modern warfare, the decision to strike is often based on deciding how much collateral damage to “civilian” populations is deemed acceptable. This is not unlike the fixation in toxicological risk assessments for drugs, environmental pollutants, food additives, etc., where determining “an acceptable level of harm” (a rather horrible oxymoron) to the exposed population is the first order of business.

Chemo Agent Classified by the WHO as Carcinogenic

The DNA-damaging, or genotoxic effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, according to the prevailing wisdom, are the #1 cause of cancer initiation and promotion. This is known as the “Mutational Theory” of cancer, and has been the dominant explanation for half a century. Therefore it is absolutely disconcerting that the standard of care in cancer treatment today is still the use of genotoxic agents versus substances that are able to selectively harm the “bad” cells, leaving the “good” ones intact; which is also known as “selective cytotoxicty,” and is a property characteristic of natural anti-cancer compounds and whole plant extracts. Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in the case of fruit-derived compounds, such as graviola, where research indicates that fruit extract may be up to 10,000 times more effective at killing certain cancer cells versus adriamycin (not so affectionately named the “red devil” for its lethal side effects) and is highly selective in which cells it kills.

Take the cancer drug tamoxifen, for example. It is classified by the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society as a human carcinogen, and has been documented to cause over two dozen health-destroying side effects, and yet it is still being used as a first line treatment for certain types of breast cancer. Does that really make sense?  Even if tamoxifen was effective (which increasingly it is not), does it really matter if it “cures” breast cancer only to cause endometrial or liver cancer (which is often far more deadly than breast cancer) as a direct result of the treatment? Tamoxifen and chemotherapy resistance is increasingly a problem. In the same way that certain pathogenic bacteria become resistant to antibiotics – even becoming stronger after being challenged with them – drug resistance and multi-drug resistance to chemoagents is the canary in the coal mine, indicating the entire paradigm, hinged as it is on patented, highly toxic chemicals, is rearing to collapse.

Radiation Therapy Known To Cause Cancer & Enhance Malignancy

Similarly, radiotherapy is known to induce secondary cancers, along with a wide range of serious adverse effects. A woman whose breast is irradiated is more likely to develop lung cancer, for instance. But its effects may actually be far worse on the primary cancer it is being used to treat…

When a breast tumor is exposed to radiation, the cells within that tumor are not uniform, but have great heterogeneity. Some of the cells are fast-replicating, whereas some are slow-replicating and benign. Some cells are older, technically senescent, and by their very existence are keeping neighboring cells within the tumor and with greater potential for malignancy from breaking out into invasive growth. There are also cancer stem cells, which are technically slower-replicating and therefore less likely to be destroyed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and yet which are responsible for re-seeding and fueling the growth of the tumor itself with a theoretical limitless resupply of daughter cells.

Radiotherapy has been shown to increase the survival and self-renewing capacity of these breast cancer initiating cells by up to 30-fold, which means that while a radiation treatment may initially regress a tumor’s volume/mass, it may actually be selecting out the more radiation-resistant and aggressive subpopulation of tumor cells which ultimately lead to higher malignancy. This promotion of self-initiating cancer cells is also true for chemotherapy, of course. Incidentally, the low-dose radiation used to diagnose breast cancers in x-ray mammography is likely causing far more cancers in women over time than it is said to prevent. If you read the actual peer-reviewed medical literature on the subject you may be surprised to find that the low-dose ionizing radiation is actually far more carcinogenic (3-4 fold higher) than the high-dose radiation it is often compared to in radiation risk assessments. In fact, one of the most well known breast cancer associated genes, namely, BRCA1/BRCA2, confers greater susceptibility to radiation induced breast cancer in those who have it.  In other words, staying away from medical radiation, diagnostic or therapeutic, may be essential to avoid the cancer it is being used to both “prevent” and “treat.”

Why Conventional Treatment Fails & Will Continue To Do So

The failure of chemotherapy can work in the same way. When you expose a diverse population of breast tumor cells to a highly toxic agent, a normal response is to become damaged to the point of dying. But cancer may not be a strict random mutation process, but an ancient survival program unmasked; that is, the cancer cell may be drawing from a far more ancient evolutionary and genetic “tool kit” which enables it to survive far harsher cellular environments, e.g. chemical exposure, low oxygen, higher availability of glucose/fructose, acidic pH, etc. and therefore the addition of highly toxic chemotherapy-type chemicals will selectively kill the weaker, and technically healthier (more benign) cells within a breast tumor, while creating the very conditions within which the malignant and more chemoresistant cancer cells may thrive. Multidrug-resistance genes and proteins are involved. When attacked by a chemical (xenobiotic) the cancer cell may “regress” and activate the genetic equipment that enables it to efficiently push out (efflux) the chemoagent being used, surviving, while its neighboring weaker (though technically more normal and healthier) cells die off.

Can you see, then, how radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be responsible for driving a cancer into greater malignancy, at the very moment that it is harming the rest of the body, compromising the immune system (damage to the bone marrow and direct harm to the immune cells)? The incurability of pancreatic cancer vis-à-vis chemotherapy and radiation, therefore, may reflect how the standard treatments themselves are driving the patient into premature death. When the average pancreatic cancer patient (using most chemo and radiation protocols) lives no more than 6 months, do we say that the cancer killed them, or the treatments?

Standard operating procedures is to write off the patients death as being “caused” by an “exceptionally aggressive” form of cancer, rather than to admit that the very treatments may have transformed a relatively slow growing tumor into a rapidly proliferating and invasive one. Think of it this way: if you were being blasted with chemicals and radiation, and you were seeing your neighbors dropping like flies, would you relocate? Can you, therefore, blame a subpopulation of tumor cells, having survived chemotherapy and radiotherapy while it’s neighboring cells did not, moving to another tissue – say, bone, or brain – in order to survive? Cancer, after all, is something our body does (and likely to survive) and not something that happens to it, as if the genes in our body just went off one day like a cancer time-bomb, fatalistically predetermined by the less than perfect genes we inherited from our predecessors.

Given the likelihood that the conventional cancer industry is often not only failing to improve the quality and length of the lives of those who it treats, but quite the opposite, reducing the quality and length of their lives, the time has come to look for safe, effective, affordable, inexpensive and accessible alternatives to patented chemicals and ionizing radiation in the prevention and treatment of cancer. And the solution may be as close to us as our kitchen spice racks:

The Case For Turmeric

While US law presently forbids the medicinal use of natural substancesturmeric has been used in ancient Indian medicine for thousands of years, and curcumin, which gives the spice its golden hue, is one of the most extensively studied natural compounds of all time, with 4,588 references to studies performed on it on the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database known as Medline [as of 2.25.2012]. Yet, despite having been shown to have therapeutic value in more than 500 diseases in animal and test tube studies, it still has not been the subject of extensive human clinical trials.  As a public service GreenMedInfo.com has indexed curcumin’s anti-cancer properties in more than 50 cancers, with the top 10 most compelling cancers applications in cancer prevention and treatment listed below:

What Has the Actual Research Shown?

Type of Cancer Curcumin Has Potential Value In Preventing or treating Number of Peer-Reviewed Studies Supporting Its Therapeutic Properties
Breast Cancer 58
Colorectal Cancer 23
Colon Cancer 51
Prostate Cancer 42
Pancreatic Cancer 24
Cancers: Drug Resistant 40
Lung Cancer 37
Liver Cancer 27
Cancer Metastasis 32
Skin Cancer 15

Sources: curcumin

As one can see by the density of research referenced above, curcumin holds great promise. First, it has an exceedingly high margin of safety relative to conventional drugs.  As an example, the dose at which it will acutely kill 50% of the animals given it is 2,000 mg/kg, whereas it only takes 115 mg/kg of 5-fluorouracil (conventional chemo agent) to produce the same effects. What is even more amazing is that it  has been repeatedly demonstrated to possess  both chemoprotective and chemosensitizing properties, which means that it will both enhance the positive cancer-killing effects of conventional chemotherapy, while at the same time protect healthy cells which may be susceptible to being harmed by chemotherapy.  GreenMedInfo.com contains 57 studies on its chemosensitizing properties and 70 on its chemoprotective properties for reference.  As if this wasn’t impressive enough, it also has profound radioprotective and radiosensitizing properties.  Radioprotective substances protect the healthy cells in the body from being damaged by radiotherapy, and radiosensitizing substances help the radiation kill the cancer cells, making them “more sensitive” to the radiation treatments.  GreenMedInfo contains 15 studies on curcumin’s radiosensitizing properties and 23 studies on its radioprotective properties.

Given this growing and compelling body of research, should not curcumin be considered for use in cancer treatment? And if not as a first-line treatment,  then at the very least as an adjuvant in integrative cancer care?

Related posts:

  1. Does Chemo & Radiation Actually Make Cancer More Malignant?
  2. Chemo Therapy or Poison? Shouldn’t Cancer Treatment Kill Cancer Without Killing You?
  3. Beating Cancer with Nutrition – Turmeric Slows Spread of Breast Cancer
  4. Effect of Your pH on the Development and Growth of Cancer
  5. Woman Stuns Researchers by Overcoming Cancer with Turmeric Spice

Source: wakingtimes.com