Herbs & Supplements

"Terminal" lung cancer testimonial

Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer stabilised with herbal Korean medicine treatment incl. ginseng

by copyright Healing Cancer Naturally © 2015

While Healing Cancer Naturally features a number of testimonials which could be considered "merely anecdotal" or "unsubstantiated", the following case report - a 79-year-old man suffering with supposedly terminal lung cancer whose tumor dramatically shrank and whose strength returned after exclusively herbal and acupuncture treatment - is one of those naturally treated cases of cancer that have made it into the hallowed halls of PubMed, the medical database which only publishes peer-reviewed (therefore considered scientifically validated) studies.[1]

Lung cancer greatly improved and tumor stabilised

At the end of 2012, the patient in question was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) of the right lung with multiple small satellite tumors in both lobes of his left lung as well as in other locations. He was offered routine chemotherapy which treatment (as well as the other conventional options proposed - surgery and radiotherapy) he refused since he did not wish to suffer the well-known side effects.[2]

He did agree to be treated in a hospital administering herb- and acupuncture-based Korean medicine applications. His initial main complaints were a persistent cough and severe generalised weakness - the patient was bedbound part of the day and unable to do even light physical work.

So from February 2013 (by which time the size of his main tumor had further increased) to September 2013, he received several Korean medicine treatments including intravenous herb-based injections - so-called pharmacopuncture treatments[3] - and an orally administered herbal preparation.

For his injections, 10 ml each of wild ginseng, Cordyceps sinensis and Trichosanthes kirilowii fluid preparations were intravenously administered, once a week. The therapeutic fluids were prepared by processing each herb with distilled water, followed by filtering and sterilization.

The patient's oral treatment consisted of twice-weekly administration of a 4 g tablet of "soramdan", a mixture of cultivated wild ginseng ground-up and combined with equal parts of honey.

Under this regime, the patient initially made slower, then rapid progress. Starting at week 5 of his herbal cum acupuncture treatment, he started to regain physical strength reenabling him to do lighter housework. Nine weeks into his treatment, his main tumor (which had measured 54 mm in mid-February 2013) had shrunk to 17 mm. It continued to shrink, measuring 11 mm in mid-June and remaining stable at this size by mid-August 2013.

The study authors summarize their observations on this patient by writing that this "case shows a significant anticancer effect of Korean medicine therapy" and that the results obtained "suggest that Korean medicine therapy alone can be an effective method to treat non-small cell lung cancer".

Other cancer cases successfully treated with Korean Medicine Therapy

  • "A Case of Metastatic Bladder Cancer in Both Lungs Treated with Korean Medicine Therapy Alone"
    According to the study authors, "metastatic bladder cancer in both lungs can be cured with Korean Medicine Therapy alone, without chemotherapy or radiotherapy". Published in Case Reports in Oncology in 2014, this report can be read in its entirety at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164086/ .
  • "A case of inoperable Klatskin tumor showing response to wild ginseng pharmacopuncture."
    Published in Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine in 2013, this is the story of a patient who survived for 4.5+ years after having been exclusively treated with Korean medicine including wild ginseng injected into acupuncture points. Downloadable from www.soram.kr/clinic/paper1_down?file=소람한방병원_논문.pdf .
  • "Korean medicine therapy as a substitute for chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer: a case report."
    A case of complete remission of breast cancer (which had metastasized to the lung after surgery and multiple rounds of chemo and radiotherapy) achieved via traditional and modern Korean therapy, including wild ginseng and Cordyceps sinensis injections into acupuncture points. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25848354). Published in Case Reports in Oncology in 2015, the full final text is available for free at www.karger.com/Article/FullText/375292 .

Why ginseng, Cordyceps sinensis and Trichosanthes kirilowii

Ginseng

A number of studies have shown antitumor / anti-cancer effects of ginseng compounds such as

  • "Antitumor activity of ginseng sapogenins, 25-OH-PPD and 25-OCH3-PPD, on gastric cancer cells"
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26428367
  • "Inhibitory effects of ginseng sapogenins on the proliferation of triple negative breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells"
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25453798
  • "Panaxydol, a component of Panax ginseng, induces apoptosis in cancer cells through EGFR activation and ER stress and inhibits tumor growth in mouse models"
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26421996 .

Many more should be found by searching the PubMed database www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ (the search terms "ginseng cancer" currently yield 850 results, and "ginseng cancer apoptosis" 224).

Ophiocordyceps sinensis

is a far-Eastern fungus and medicinal mushroom parasitizing the larvae of certain moths. The fruiting body it produces has been widely used in Tibetan and Chinese medicine against a great variety of diseases.

A number of studies support cordyceps sinensis' use as an anticancer and antimetastatic agent, including

  • "The scientific rediscovery of a precious ancient Chinese herbal regimen: Cordyceps sinensis: part II."
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9884180
    This study reports on the fungus' role in modulating the immune system.
  • "Anticancer and antimetastatic effects of cordycepin, an active component of Cordyceps sinensis."
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25704018
  • "Effects of Fermented Mushroom of Cordyceps sinensis, Rich in Selenium, on Uterine Cervix Cancer."
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24971145
  • "Physico-chemical properties and cytotoxic potential of Cordyceps sinensis metabolites."
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25135771
  • "Isolation, characterization, and antitumor activity of a novel heteroglycan from cultured mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis."
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25127022
  • "Anti-cancer effects of CME-1, a novel polysaccharide, purified from the mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis against B16-F10 melanoma cells."
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24762485

Trichosanthes kirilowii

Trichosanthes kirilowii (Chinese cucumber or Chinese snake gourd) is a plant of the Cucurbitaceae family native to some Chinese provinces. Trichosanthes kirilowii counts among the fifty fundamental herbs used in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). There are a number of peer-reviewed scientific studies supporting its potential usefulness in cancer treatment including

  • "Chemical constituents of Trichosanthes kirilowii and their cytotoxic activities"
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25630793
  • "Trichosanthin suppresses the proliferation of glioma cells by inhibiting LGR5 expression and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway"
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26397053
  • "Trichosanthes kirilowii fruits inhibit non-small cell lung cancer cell growth through mitotic cell-cycle arrest."
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25779643

as well as others. A search of the PubMed database currently yields some sixty results for the search terms "Trichosanthes kirilowii cancer".

Do Westerners need Chinese herbs to recover from cancer or other diseases?

Personally I would tend to disagree. There are very powerful medicinal herbs growing in the West, including such humble and frequently (but wrongly) despised ones as stinging nettles and dandelion.

Footnotes

1 See "A Case of Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treated with Korean Medicine Therapy Alone" at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24348396, free full text available at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3861875/ .

2 Compare Potential Serious Side Effects of Conventional (Mainstream/Orthodox) Cancer Treatment.

3 Pharmacopuncture involves the subcutaneous, intramuscular, intradermal or intravenous injection of a liquid herbal extract into acupuncture points. Pharmacopuncture is a novel development added to the main traditional Korean medicine applications (of acupuncture, moxibustion and herbal treatments) and combines herbal medicine with acupuncture to elicit therapeutic responses. Pharmacopuncture is being actively researched in both China and Korea.

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