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From the Townsend Letter
August/September 2007


Letter from the Publisher
Jonathan Collin, MD

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We devote one issue each year to cancer, because metastatic cancer remains largely incurable and people seek alternative medicine practitioners and clinics for unconventional therapies. Despite the billions of dollars that have funded research in the US and internationally, the war on cancer has largely been unfruitful. For the treatable tumors that are surgically removed early, survival has been the rule. Leukemia and lymphoma, which were uniformly lethal prior to the 1960s, have extended survival with chemotherapy. Unfortunately, abdominal cancers including stomach, esophageal, gall bladder, pancreatic, and liver are highly malignant, metastasizing rapidly and rarely permitting any remissions. Brain tumors and neurologic tumors are highly variable in their outcomes. While squamous cell carcinoma is highly treatable, melanoma is more prone to metastasis. For men, prostate cancer is generally successfully treated with surgery, radiation, and hormone-based therapies, but the same level of success has not been afforded to women in their battle with breast cancer. Why is breast cancer curable with surgery and radiation for many women, yet, for others, the cancer metastasizes years after the initial remission? For those whose cancer remains in remission, the medical history is infrequently reevaluated. For those whose cancer metastasizes, not only does cancer become a personal battle, the strategies offered by the oncologist are questioned, and opinions are sought from alternative cancer practitioners.

In 1985, the US Congress authorized its Office of Technology Assessment to evaluate unconventional cancer therapies. The advisory committee authored a report on alternative cancer therapies and practitioners in 1989, which led to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) establishing an Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) and, later, a Center of Complementary Alternative Medicine (CCAM). In this issue, columnist Marcus Cohen interviews Frank Wiewel regarding the recommendations of the advisory committee, the OAM, and the accomplishments and failures of the CCAM. Also, Cohen gives us an update of cancer research pioneer Dr. Emmanuel Revici. Our "War on Cancer" columnist, Ralph Moss, PhD, opines that the two most important areas in cancer research in the past decade have been the discovery of cancer stem cells and the reemergence of the theories by Nobel Laureate Otto Warburg, MD, PhD. Warburg's work is reviewed in depth by Brian Peskin, who describes a dietary program employing essential fatty acids to address the decreased oxygenation of the tumor cell. The use of essential fatty acids and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the treatment of cancer is considered by our columnist who has the final word in these pages, Melvyn Werbach, MD. And, in his editorial this month, Alan Gaby, MD, debunks omega-6 fatty acids from corn oil as a treatment for cardiovascular disease.

Our discussion of alternative cancer therapies is ambitious, and we hope that you will read not only the printed magazine but check out the Townsend Letterwebsite ( for a complete discussion of all the cancer articles. Professor Serge Jurasunas in Lisbon, Portugal, reviews cancer treatment addressing anti-angiogenesis and oxidative stress. Monique Beljanski reports on the use of plant extracts developed by Mirko Beljanski, PhD, in the treatment of prostate cancer. Shari Lieberman, PhD, reviews the use of a palladium formulation in the treatment of multiple myeloma. And Reagan Houston reviews the application of vitamin C in treating cancer.

Finally we are pleased to announce that Alternative Medicine Magazine has just published the second edition of their Definitive Guide to Cancer. The book is reviewed in this issue, and we have included an extended excerpt from the book in this issue.

Jonathan Collin, MD

Consult your doctor before using any of the treatments found within this site.

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August 30, 2007

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