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New Therapy Shows Results Against Cancer and Viral Infections

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Many people have become disillusioned in the "war against cancer." I remain very optimistic, however, that we will triumph over this seemingly invincible kille.

Many people have become disillusioned in the "war against cancer." I remain very optimistic, however, that we will triumph over this seemingly invincible killer. Given the disappointing results and drawbacks of toxic modern therapies, it seems clear to me that our best hope for a victory lies in those therapies that enhance the body's innate immune response to cancer cells. This type of treatment is called immunotherapy.

Six years ago, I stumbled across a natural substance so promising, so superior to everything else I had ever evaluated, that I abandoned all other projects, including research for the National Institutes of Health, in order to focus on it entirely. The substance, MGN-3, is a polysaccharide (carbohydrate chain) composed of the fibrous part of rice bran extract that has been modified by enzymes from shiitake mushrooms. In seven published studies involving a total of 72 human subjects, the efficacy of MGN-3 equals or surpasses the very best immune-modulating drugs available but, in contrast, exhibits a complete lack of toxicity.

Antiviral Activity

Other research suggests a promising role for MGN-3 as a therapy for HIV, hepatitis C and other viral infections. MGN-3 has antiviral activity and also enhances the body's immune response against viral-infected cells. In vitro (test tube) research shows that MGN-3 can inhibit replication of the HIV virus without damaging healthy cells. Human studies also suggest that MGN-3 may also be useful in the treatment of hepatitis C. In these patients, liver enzymes, which are typically elevated, return to healthy levels within one to eight weeks of treatment with MGN-3.

Nk Cells In Cancer Treatment

More than 150 different types of white blood cells have been identified, and of these, natural killer (NK) cells are one of the most common, representing up to 15 percent of total white blood cells. They are important because, unlike other white blood cells, they are able to work more or less independently, not requiring special instructions from the immune system in order to recognize or attack a foreign cell. For this reason, they are often considered the body's first line of defence against cancer and viral-infected cells.

Circulating the body through the blood and lymph systems, the majority of NK cells are in a resting state. They become more active and aggressive in response to immuno-regulatory proteins called cytokines, which are chemical messengers that promote immune activity. Once activated, NK cells become quite aggressive in their search-and-destroy activities. Upon encountering a tumour cell, the activated NK cell attaches to the membrane of the cancer cell and injects toxic granules that quickly dissolve the target cell. In less than five minutes, the cancer cell is dead and the NK cell moves on to its next victim. A single NK cell can destroy up to 27 cancer cells before it dies. Although quite small compared to tumour or virus cells, a single NK cell can often bind to two or more cancer cells at once.

The absolute number of NK cells present in the blood gives little indication of the efficiency of immune function. Instead, it is the activity of the NK cells how aggressive they are in recognizing and binding to tumour cells that is important.

Proven Human Efficacy

Research has shown MGN-3's effect on the activity of NK cells. Thirty-two cancer patients with different types of advanced malignancies and who had received and completed conventional therapy such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or hormonal therapy took part in the study. The baseline NK-cell activity was found to be low in all patients (10.8 to 49 percent). Oral ingestion of MGN-3 at three grams per day led to a significant increase in NK-cell activity after only one to two weeks. The increase in baseline NK-cell activity after two weeks of administration ranged from 145 to 332 percent in breast cancer patients, 174 to 385 percent in prostate cancer patients, 100 to 240 percent in leukemia patients and 100 to 537 percent in multiple myeloma patients.

Clinical Results

Enhanced immune function is, however, only a theoretical victory if it does not lead to clinical improvement. But in fact, the documented increase in NK-cell activity in cancer patients taking MGN-3 has no loss of effectiveness or side-effects. In a large controlled trial involving end-stage cancer patients, 60 per cent more of the patients taking MGN-3 survived the 18-month study, as compared to the control group not taking MGN-3.

One of the most exciting and distinguishing characteristics of MGN-3 is that it appears to maintain its effect over time. In long-term patient follow-up (up to five years), it was observed that the enhancing effect of MGN-3 on NK-cell activity is maintained indefinitely with continued administration. It also does not overstimulate the immune system.

MGN-3 is completely non-toxic. It can safely be used in conjunction with conventional treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation, both to increase the effect of the therapy and to decrease adverse side-effects.

Mechanisms Of Action

In addition to the ability to kill tumour cells directly, activated NK cells also produce a variety of cytokines, which are chemical messengers that keep the immune system active. These cytokines, in turn, have direct antiviral and anticancer activities, as well as further immuno-modulatory effects, such as enhancing production of other important immune cells (T- and B-cells), and further activation of NK cells. Our research suggests that MGN-3 works by simulating the body's natural production of specific cytokines.

Cytokines are so potent that scientists have attempted to reproduce them synthetically in the hopes of discovering a cure for cancer. The efficacy of these cytokine drugs is limited, in part because they are so terribly toxic and cause intolerable side-effects. MGN-3 may offer a novel solution to this dilemma. In vitro studies suggest that MGN-3 used in combination with low levels of certain synthetic cytokines may significantly potentize their effects.

Clinical Applications

Conventional medicine possesses anti-tumour therapies that can significantly reduce the number of cancer cells. Unfortunately, it is difficult to achieve a 100-percent kill rate without killing the patient in the process. At best, we can hope to kill 95 to 98 percent of cancer cells with these therapies. At this point, a patient may be considered to be "in remission." However, as most oncologists are painfully aware, these remissions are frequently short-lived.

In my opinion, the practice of watchful waiting wastes a golden opportunity to administer the coup de gr?. At the very early stages of detection, or in more advanced stages, when the tumour load has been reduced as far as possible by surgery and/or conservative conventional therapies, boosting the immune system allows the body to eradicate remaining cells that have escaped the chemicals, radiation or surgery.

However, MGN-3 cannot and should not replace debulking therapy, especially in the case of advanced malignancies. Instead, it's recommended that cancer patients with solid tumours begin MGN-3 immunotherapy in conjunction with or immediately following debulking therapies. With this strategy, we have the best chance of winning what essentially becomes a war of numbers. In addition, research has shown that cancers of the blood, such as leukemia and multiple myeloma, are particularly responsive to MGN-3 therapy, presumably because the activated natural killer cells have even better access to these cancer cells than to those forming solid tumours.

Dosage Considerations

MGN-3 at 45 milligrams per kilogram per day (three grams) has caused a steep (310 percent) increase in NK-cell activity after only one week. NK-cell activity continued to increase at a slower rate, to a peak activity of 500 per cent over baseline by week eight of this particular study, which involved 24 healthy subjects. Clinical experience indicates that once maximum levels of NK-cell activity have been attained, they can in most cases be maintained indefinitely at the lower dosage level of one gram per day.

Conclusion

Those involved with alternative and wholistic medicine may be tempted to dismiss the introduction of yet another natural "immune booster" as hype. Many products are promoted to cancer patients on the strength of "scientific proof" of enhanced immune function. In most cases, however, the only research has been conducted in test tubes or on animals. However, MGN-3 offers solid data collected from human clinical trials. This offers compelling evidence that MGN-3 is powerful and free of toxicity and side-effects. As such, it has enormous promise as an immune-enhancing therapy in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

The complete research papers and data on MGN-3 can be reviewed at publishedresearch.com.

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