Complementary/Alternative Cancer Medicine
conference logo2014
May 2013
Complementary/Alternative Cancer Ideas
Annie Appleseed Project is attending a variety of cancer conferences and meetings throughout the year to gather information. Another way we get informatin is through groups' newsletters, scientific journals, and conversations with people dealing with cancer as well as researchers.
We are an ALL-VOLUNTEER nonprofit so we can use your support in any way you wish to give it.  Hand out our health-messaged postcards in your community (any support groups, health-food stores, yoga studies, exercise locations, acupuncturists, etc.  Let people know we are here with information.

Conference link
Hold the DATE - 8th Annie Appleseed Project Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies conference, CAM for Cancer - March 6-8, 2014  Click on above link for more data, check back as we add more speakers.  Do you have a Patient perspective to add?  Let us know, our patient panel is forming -Free entry.
Ann Fonfa's musings for (end of) May   Ann F asks a question NYAC 5/13

Lots of talk this month about prophylactic mastectomies for those with increased hereditary risks of breast cancer.  As usual the media mixed up the message.  ONLY 10% or less of women and men carry mutated BRCA1/2 genes.  A small number.

Much has been made of dietary and other lifestyle changes. Annie Appleseed Project supports that for EVERYONE in ANY situation.  Eat more fresh, organic fruits and veggies every single day.

I attended a meeting on Epigenetics on May 24, held at the New York Academy of Sciences.  I had high hopes of a brilliant set of talks about lifestyles affecting our genes.  NOT.  The meeting was all about drugs being offered that help (perhaps) change our genes.  This research is in the early stages. 
The photo above shows me asking about LIFESTYLE issues.  No one had a response.  One researcher approached me privately to say she had done some work with blueberries and felt we had to move away from examing the 'active' ingredient.  Since this has been my/Annie Appleseed Project's view for years, I was appreciative.

Here is some further information about BRCA1/2 (from ASCO) and comments I posted to Facebook.  If you are NOT following us on Facebook or Twitter (@annieappleseed), you are missing lots of great daily info.

"Complexities in cancer abound. We like our news simple but that is rarely possible. An abstract presented at ASCO this week (Netherlands data) looks at women with BRCA1/2 mutated genes who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

According to the abstract: "RRM(Risk Reducing Mastectomy) in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with a history of unilateral BC significantly reduces the risk of developing contr
alateral BC (CBC) (other breast). However, the outcome regarding OS is insufficiently known".

All sorts of information follows from a study of 515 women followed over time. BUT the bottom line was OS = Overall Survival (who was still alive at the end of this study).

"10 year OS was 80% for the Non-RRM and 90% for the
RRM group (p=0.008). Conclusions: RRM in BRCA mutation carriers with unilateral BC reduces CBC incidence and is associated with improved OS. Further research is needed to identify potential prognostic factors for this survival benefit".

YES, I say, survival was improved but NOT very much. Many women sacrificed their second breast (as I did - not BRCA1/2 but Paget's Disease of the Nipple, NO TUMOR though), for a small percentage of outcome. So "further research is (INDEED) needed to identify" who will benefit.

We know so little about breast cancer, even though it is the MOST studied cancer. Where is ALL THAT MONEY$$$$ going??? Let's change the conversation. I call for Deadline 2020!

National Breast Cancer Coalition

(Annie Appleseed Project serves on the board of directors for the above organization - I am active on the Prevention subcommittee and in meeting planning).

Other Breast Cancer Issues

1) "the rate of metastatic breast cancer at initial diagnosis in the United States has not changed since 1975". SOURCE

2) "Between 1975 and 1990, breast cancer mortality rates in the United States increased slightly, and then began decreasing slightly in the late 1990s for all women, with the overall highest rate of decrease in white women. From 2000-2007, breast cancer mortality rates decreased at an average rate of 1.9% per year". SOURCE

Interesting REVEALING tidbits from
mainsream/conventional cancer papers

1)"Five-year survival rates, though often used, are not a measure of progress". SOURCE

The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO - professional group for docs) meets next week in Chicago. 

(with platinum-based chemotherapy)
"Conclusions: Fasting for up to 72 hr around chemotherapy is safe and feasible for cancer pts and resulted in significant decline in insulin and IGF1 levels. The randomized phase II portion of the trial commenced with 72 hr fast, seeking to delineate insulin and IGF1 as potential biomarkers of chemotherapy toxicity reduction. Clinical trial information: NCT00936364".

We found 3 studies being presented as abstracts examing acupuncture,

And from France: "Conclusions: Immunonutrition in adjunction to RCT contributes to maintain functional capacities of patients through improvement of nutritional, anti-oxidant and immune status. Immunonutrition could provide a higher bactericidal capacity and limit inflammatory and oxidative responses induced by RCT in immune cells of HN and oesophageal cancer patients. Clinical trial information: NCT00333099".

September, 1999 - VOL. 5, NO. 5    
Use of Aromatherapy as Complementary Treatment for Chronic Pain
Jane Buckle, MA, RN, BPhil
Chronic pain consumes approximately $70 billion per year and affects some 80 million Americans. Increasingly, aromatherapy has been used as part of an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to pain management. This therapy is thought to enhance the parasympathetic response through the effects of touch and smell, encouraging relaxation at a deep level. Relaxation has been shown to alter perceptions of pain. Even if one ignores the possibility that essential oils have pharmacologically active ingredients—or the potential harmacokinetic potentization of conventional drugs by essential oils—aromatherapy might possibly play a role in the management of chronic pain through relaxation. Clinical trials are in the early stages, but evidence suggests that aromatherapy might be used as a complementary therapy for managing chronic pain. As such, this article examines the potential role of clinical aromatherapy as a complementary therapy in the care of patients with chronic pain. Although the use of aromatherapy is not restricted to nursing, at least 1 state board of nursing has recognized the therapeutic value of aromatherapy and voted to accept it as part of holistic nursing care. (Altern Ther Health Med. 1999;5(5):42-51)

Take care of your own Mind, Body and Spirit even as you care for others.    We LOVE the Caregivers.

Recipe for noSUGAR cookies
(sorry the "SHARE" option doesn't work.

New Study Shows Effects of Medicinal Mushroom Extract on Pancreatic Cancer Cells

A study published in the June issue of the International Journal of Oncology found that Poria Triterpine Extract (PTE)—a mixture of triterpines from Poria cocos, a medicinal mushroom used in traditional Asian medicine—suppresses the proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cell lines.

Pancreatic cancer has some of the poorest survival rates among all types of cancer. It is rarely diagnosed early enough for successful intervention, and complete remissions are extremely rare.

The research was led by Dan Sliva, PhD, and performed at the Cancer Research Laboratory at Methodist Research Institute, Indiana University Health. Isaac Eliaz, MD, LAC, the director of Amitabha Medical Clinic & Healing Center, coauthored the study as part of his ongoing research into adjunctive anticancer therapies.

“This is truly a groundbreaking study that could make a significant impact on the treatment of pancreatic cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States,” said Dr. Eliaz. “This is a particularly devastating disease, with a survival rate of about five percent over five years. With this study, we have made a great deal of progress toward potentially using PTE to treat pancreatic cancer.”

According to the study, the anti-proliferative effects of PTE on BxPc-3 cells, a primary human pancreatic tumor cell line, are mediated by the cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase, the resting phase where the cell has left the cell growth cycle and has stopped dividing. DNA microarray analysis also demonstrated that PTE significantly downregulates the expression of KRAS, a tissue signaling protein that acts as an “on switch” for cancer cell propagation, as well as matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7), an enzyme involved in physiological functions and disease progression such as cancer metastasis.

Additionally, the study found that PTE suppresses the invasiveness of pancreatic cancer cells, which was associated with the reduction of MMP-7. In analysis, the gene silencing of MMP-7, which also suppressed the invasiveness of the pancreatic cancer cells, further confirmed this conclusion.

As a result of the study, researchers found that PTE outperformed pachymic acid, a single derivative of Poria cocos. Further studies are now in progress to investigate the exact mechanism of the inhibition of MMP-7 expression and further evaluation of the anticancer and anti-metastatic activity of PTE.

Dr. Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc, has coauthored a number of peer-reviewed scientific studies on natural formulations against cancer, heavy metal toxicity and chronic illness. Amitabha Medical Clinic & Healing Center is an integrative medical clinic in Santa Rosa, California, that focuses on treating patients with cancer and chronic illnesses. To learn more, visit

We've always wondered how many people with cancer actually care about the 'exact mechanism' before they plan to use it themselves. 

June ASCO meeting (see left column) will also feature abstracts on:

Fish oil  (Ann F. takes this daily) (in pre-menopausal women at high risk of breast cancer) "Conclusions: Favorable modulation of tissue risk biomarkers, cytologic atypia and proliferation along with good tolerability suggests that high dose omega-3 FA esters should be tested further in a placebo controlled trial. Clinical trial information: NCT01252277".

Rice bran (Ann F. takes this daily) "Emerging evidence supports that dietary rice bran (RB) exhibits colorectal cancer (CRC) control and prevention activity..."

Nutrition - ongoing idiocy (Ann F.'s term) researchers presented on a meta-analysis of nutrition and breastg cancer risk seeking THE nutrient!  Annie Appleseed Project has been trying to get the message out that there is NO ONE thing for any cancer. Part of study conclusion:  "no individual nutritional item has been consistently related to breast cancer risk".  REALLY?

CardioFitness: "Conclusions: Fitness is a strong independent predictor of incident lung and colorectal cancer and remained a robust predictor of cause-specific mortality in middle-aged and older men diagnosed with lung, prostate, or colorectal cancer".

Massage Therapy for Improved Pain and Sleep in Metastatic Cancer Patients
Research published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that therapeutic massage at home for metastatic cancer patients can improve their overall quality of life by reducing pain and improving sleep quality. American Massage Therapy Association President Winona Bontrager, says of the study, "These findings suggest that cancer patients can also benefit from professional massage, both physically and mentally, providing the necessary comfort during advanced stages of the disease."

Please be careful of Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs) in our food.  They have only been tested for short periods of time - we NEED to know long term data.  The longer term studies clearly show problems developing in the test animals.
Monsanto and other companies in this field are very powerful.   Label it at the least!
When you shop for food, ASK for ORGANIC.  It encourages your stores to think about it.
Shop Farmers Markets, local food coops, or join local buying clubs.  They offer ORGANIC options -or ASK for it.

Check out the lists from Environmental Working Group of the most sprayed fruits and vegetables so if you cannot get (or afford ORGANIC), you will be a little bit safer in your choices. 

Remember that if your cancer docs say what you EAT doesn't matter, it is because they are UNIFORMED.  It really, REALLY matters. We ARE what we EAT.  It has always been our contention that you have to be physically active too (not athletic, just MOVE daily), learn to RELAX and enjoy your life, DETOX and take some dietary supplements.

If you like the information we provide, please consider a donation of any size to support our work.  We gather and spread information - each event we attend costs us about $1000.  We have NO staff, all volunteers.  But we NEED your help to keep it going.  Online since June 1999.


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