Nature Heals

Fever [Hyperthermia] and the healing of cancer

As has been known for many years in naturopathic circles, it is of vital importance in virus (lung) infections to allow the body to run a fever, i. e. not to interfere with the body’s attempts at self-healing (unless as is rarely the case, the fever rises to dangerous levels). Fever enhances the healing process in a number of ways.

Fever can even heal malignancies. One of the natural therapies for cancer, the Gerson diet, clearly states that fever is essential to killing the disease and that the body itself must produce the "healing inflammation" necessary for killing cancer.

Following are two articles which discuss the strong connection between fever or induced hyperthermia and cancer healing (including spontaneous remissions).

Fever, cancer incidence and spontaneous remissions

Kleef R, Jonas WB, Knogler W, Stenzinger W., Office of Complementary
and Alternative Medicine, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Summary: [T]he occurrence of fever in childhood or adulthood may protect against the later onset of malignant disease; spontaneous remissions are often preceded by feverish infections.

OBJECTIVE: Accumulating evidence exists for (1) an inverse correlation between the incidence of infectious diseases and cancer risk and (2) an inverse correlation between febrile infections and remissions of malignancies. This review is part of an effort of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health to examine this evidence.
METHODS: A review of the literature to a key word search was undertaken, using the following key words: fever, infectious diseases, neoplasm, cancer incidence and spontaneous remission.
RESULTS: The data reviewed in this article support earlier observations on the topic, i.e. that the occurrence of fever in childhood or adulthood may protect against the later onset of malignant disease and that spontaneous remissions are often preceded by feverish infections.
CONCLUSION: Pyrogenic substances and the more recent use of whole-body hyperthermia to mimic the physiologic response to fever have successfully been administered in palliative and curative treatment protocols for metastatic cancer. Further research in this area is warranted.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel Dec 22 2003

Microbially induced fever and spontaneous cancer remissions (“Coley's toxins”)

excerpted from "The Promise of William B. Coley" by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.,author of Questioning Chemotherapy, September 2002

NOTE: Readers can find out more about this program by calling Gar Hildenbrand of the Issels Treatment Center at 858-759-2966.

Last week I spoke about the promise represented by the phenomenon of "spontaneous remissions." These are cures of cancer that occur without medical intervention. While rare, they are well documented. For centuries, doctors have dreamed of harnessing this phenomenon to create a natural cure for cancer.

In the 1890s, a young New York surgeon, fresh out of Yale University and Harvard Medical School, made a fascinating discovery. Desperate to find a cure for bone cancer, he searched the records of New York Hospital to see if anyone had ever been cured of the advanced form of that disease. He discovered that one man with advanced sarcoma had contracted an infectious skin disease called erysipelas in the hospital. He not only survived the infection but his cancer went into a "spontaneous" remission.

Most doctors would have shrugged their shoulders and moved on to the next case. But William B. Coley was no ordinary doctor. He was the Sherlock Holmes of cancer. He went to the address listed on the man's records, but the man had moved. And so he tracked him from tenement to tenement until finally in 1888 he found the man alive, well, and cancer-free seven years after the spontaneous cure.

This was an event that changed the course of Coley's life. In 1891, he began treating patients with the same organism that caused erysipelas, a germ called Streptococcus pyogenes. His first patient developed a raging fever, and then the "miracle" occurred: the tumors of his tonsils and neck completely disappeared, and only a scar remained. This man, who could only swallow liquids and whisper when Coley started the treatment, made a complete recovery. (Ten years later he was still free of cancer.) Coley inoculated nine more patients with live erysipelas microbes and discovered that physicians in Germany, such as Dr. Busch, were doing the same thing independently of his own discovery. In 1893, he tabulated the first results and published his first article on the method. Out of seventeen cases of advanced cancer, four were permanently cured, ten showed improvement, while three showed no improvement at all.

While some people saw their cancers regress with the use of live bacteria, others died. In addition to its risks for the patient being treated, using live bacteria was dangerous to other patients and to the staff. So Coley conceived the idea of using killed bacterial byproducts. He added a nonpathogenic organism called Serratia marcescens to the "soup" and started treating patients with this mixture.

The world quickly dubbed this combination "Coley's toxins," since they represented the toxic byproducts of the bacteria without the bacteria themselves. However, the word "toxins" was an unfortunate choice. (A more acceptable name for the treatment is "mixed bacterial vaccine.") The bacteria deliberately caused side effects, such as fever and malaise. But they were not toxic in the sense that radiation or chemotherapy is toxic. They did not destroy the immune system but put it through a rigorous drill that often resulted in the shrinkage or disappearance of the tumor.

Over the years Coley published dozens of articles in the best medical journals. These recorded his success (and sometimes his failure) in applying the mixed bacterial vaccine to people with advanced cancer. In sarcomas, he claimed 41 percent complete cures. In other kinds of cancer there were many astounding remissions.

There were drawbacks to the treatment, however. Having frequent fevers is trying on the patient. The preparations (mostly made for Coley by Parke-Davis) were variable in their potency. This led to much confusion and disappointment. Some doctors, initially enthusiastic about the treatment, became disillusioned when they used less effective preparations. Oftentimes, doctors did not use the toxins aggressively enough. It took a tremendous belief to persevere with this treatment. Nevertheless, despite the difficulties and drawbacks, there is no doubt in my mind that Coley's toxins represented one practical application of the idea of spontaneous remission to treatment.

The subsequent history of Coley's toxins is rather sad. Coley died in 1936. He never wrote a book about his amazing life experience, and his journal articles began to gather dust in medical libraries. His son, Bradley Coley, MD, continued to use the vaccine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering into the 1950s, but in an increasingly hostile environment. First radiation and then chemotherapy became directly competitive with this more natural approach. Coley's daughter, Helen Coley Nauts, founded the Cancer Research Institute of New York to save and promote his work. She was an amazing presence in the cancer field for many decades. But although she got her father removed from the American Cancer Society "quack list" in the mid-1970s, she was never able to get his treatment used widely.

I first heard of Coley from his Memorial colleague, Kanematsu Sugiura, DSc, who compared his own problems with laetrile to those experienced by Coley in the 1920s and 1930s. Through Lloyd Old, MD, then vice president of Sloan-Kettering Institute, I interviewed Mrs. Nauts at her home on Park Avenue in 1975. This was an eye-opener, to say the least. Mrs. Nauts remained a good friend for many years. She had a vast influence on cancer, befriending and supporting many young researchers. She died on January 2, 2001, at the age of 93.

At the present time, there are few clinics that use Coley's toxins as part of a comprehensive treatment protocol. One that interests me very much is an inpatient program in Tijuana, Mexico, that combines Coley's toxins with the Gerson diet [also compare Juicing & Juicers] and other forms of immunotherapy.
Copyright © Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. CancerDecisions®

Ralph Moss PhD is quoted as stating the above in even stronger terms on the Laura Lee radio show in 1994: "Coleys toxins are bacteria that force the body to fever and kill them and the cancer as well. Tumours are very poorly vascularised, so you disrupt their ability to get nutrients and to get rid of wastes by raising the body temperature...this is really an effective treatment and it's an OUTRAGEOUS crime of the century that we at MSK [Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York] were able to cure cancer a 100 years ago that they can't cure today. This is a fraud being perpetrated on the public."

Addendum: 5-year survival statistics after treatment with Coley's toxins for various cancer types according to Drs. Moss and Diamond

(from (Moss [1992] p. 408; Diamond et al. [1997], pp. 880-882)

  • Giant-cell bone cancer, operable: 87%
    Giant-cell bone cancer, inoperable: 79%
  • Breast cancer, inoperable: 65%
    Breast cancer, operable: 100% (= 13 out of 13 patients)
  • Hodgkin's[1]: 67%
  • Melanoma, inoperable: 67%
  • Ovarian cancer, inoperable: 67%

Compare the corroborating evidence re fever and cancer healing listed under Related content.

Footnotes

1 That Hodgkin's, as well as other types of cancer, is amenable to the body's own healing power, is also testified to by Dr Charles H Duncan MD who in his landmark book AUTOTHERAPY (1918) remarks (p. 329): "Hodgkin's disease, regardless of our present accepted theory that it is a true tumor formation of the nature of a sarcoma, has apparently yielded in some instances to autotherapy." Autotherapy comprises a number of treatment approaches making use of the patient's own bodily substances (blood, pus, etc)., see the intro to this paradigm-shifting work featured under Urine therapy books.

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Related content

  • Terminal Colon Cancer Patient Healed Via Complete Budwig Protocol, Healthy Today. His healing journey involved multiple fever spells, both spontaneous and self-induced by epsom salt baths, each of which left him feeling better.
  • Also see the powerful confirming observations reported in Homeopathy, Carcinosum and Cancer: Cancer patients are regularly reported as stating: "I cannot remember that I ever had fever." As their bodily defenses are rekindled (such as by homeopathic [= energetic] treatment), RESTORATION OF REACTIVITY, from the tumoral stage back to the infectious stage, takes place: "A process of cleaning out at all levels takes place, poisonous relationships are broken off or corrected, ... and a marked influenza or inflammation with high fever for the first time in twenty years cleans the poison from his body. All this means that the reactivity is increasing. ... Also the suppression of fever, a defense mechanism par excellence, the use of antibiotics and corticosteroids can lower the defense mechanisms.”

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