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Cancer research

Analysis: Virtually Zero Alternative Cancer Research Occurring

Monday, April 28, 2008 by: Adam Miller
Tags: cancer research, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) In an article included in the latest edition of Cancer Monthly's free newsletter CancerWire, researchers analyzed statistics obtained through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in order to gain a clearer perspective on what type of cancer research is being undertaken in the country.

Cancer Monthly is an organization dedicated to providing unbiased evaluation of conventional and alternative cancer treatments. It was founded by volunteers whose lives have been affected by the disease and is currently managed by Michael Horwin, MA, JD.

The authors found that of the 7,080 clinical trials for cancer currently ongoing, over 3,000 are focused on chemotherapy -- a treatment that already has over 50 years of research to its credit with relatively little practical return on investment. Of the remaining trials, over 2,000 were focused on more advanced biological treatments such as anti-angiogenesis drugs, which work to cut off the blood supply to tumors.

In all, only 123 of the trials deal with any type of alternative or complementary treatment. "These 123 represent only 1.7% of the total and included trials of various foods, herbs and modalities such as: soy, ginger, Valerian, Curcumin, acupuncture, Reiki, meditation, garlic, Green tea, and Tai Chi," the authors state. An optimist might find comfort in the fact that the number at least reached the triple digits, but closer analysis reveals an even less tolerable situation.

"The overwhelming majority of these trials examined questions that did not focus on whether these approaches alone improved survivability from cancer," the authors report. What this means is that the treatments were actually being evaluated not as treatments, but as adjunctive therapies to improve the rate and intensity of symptoms among those patients already undergoing conventional therapy.

It turns out that 24 of these 123 trials actually focused on a combination of natural compounds and the drug sodium phenylbutyrate, and are only classified as alternative-complementary because the treatment is not currently taught in medical school or widely used. Ninety-six others fell into the above category, evaluating the ability of natural treatments to ease the devastating side effects brought about by chemotherapy and other conventional treatments. For those who haven't done the math yet, you might want to sit down for this.

Of the 7,080 clinical trials for cancer currently underway in the U.S., only three (3) focus on natural alternative methods of treating the disease. That is less than 1/1000th the number of chemotherapy trials alone and translates to a measly 0.04% of total trials. Meanwhile, countries with less dogmatic research guidelines such as Japan are surging into the future with cutting-edge treatments based on derivatives of medicinal mushrooms and other natural substances.

Alternative treatments are commonly described by purveyors of orthodox medicine as those which have not yet been evaluated and proven effective through vigorous scientific evaluation. Looking at the actual statistics, though, it may be more accurate to describe alternative treatments as those which orthodox medicine refuses to research. In light of this evidence the question seems to ask itself; are we really working toward a cure for cancer?

About the author

Adam Miller is a student of life who has dedicated literally thousands of hours of personal research on top of formal institutional training in Dietetics to learn the secrets of achieving vibrant health and extended lifespan. His passion and dedication is in bringing the best ideas for self-empowerment through nutrition and nutraceuticals as well as alternative therapies, technology, and information to the public through various means.

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