En excerpt from the book :
IN CANCER THERAPY"
by Ross, R.Ph. Pelton, Lee Overholser
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IN ITS inorganic form, the trace
mineral germanium is used in the electronics industry as a semiconductor, and
has no nutritional or therapeutic benefits. However, in its organic form,
germanium is being hailed as one of the greatest new developments in the nutritional
treatment of cancer.
Organic germanium is a
biological-response modifier. Biological-response modifiers are substances that
can enable the body to change its response to tumors, resulting in therapeutic
benefits. Germanium does not directly attack cancer cells. Instead, it seems to
stimulate the body's immune system, making it potentially effective in the
treatment of cancer as well as other degenerative diseases. (8)
In 1967 the late Dr. Kazuhiko Asai
succeeded in synthesizing Ge-132, a form of organically bound germanium. Organic
germanium can enhance the immune system, stimulate the production of interferon,
and promote antitumor activity. Interferon's most important function is to
augment and stimulate the body's production of natural killer (NK) cells, which
directly combat cancer cells. One review of organic germanium's anti-tumor
mechanisms concluded that its most important and best described
activity is its ability to cause tumor regression in a wide variety of
experimental models. (3)
In 1945 Dr. Asai formed the Coal
Research Institute in Japan. During the process of searching for better ways to
mine and use coal, he discovered .that the fossilized plants in coal deposits
contained substantial amounts of the trace element germanium.
Learning of reports from Russia about
germanium's near-miraculous powers of rejuvenation and its use in the treatment
of cancer, Dr. Asai decided to investigate its biological properties. (1) In
1969, near the end of his career as a coal engineer,
he founded the Asai Germanium Research Institute so he could seriously
pursue his interest in germanium.
Dr. Asai's original research, with
organic germanium extracted from natural plant sources, convinced him that it
could result in remarkable health benefits. However, it soon became apparent
that extracting the amounts necessary to treat cancer and other diseases was too
Dr. Asai finally succeeded in
developing a process for producing an organic germanium, Ge-132, that was
chemically identical to the form he had extracted from plants. The chemical name
for this organic germanium compound is bis-carboxyethyl germanium sesquioxide.
Since then several other Japanese companies have patented other processes for
the production of organic germanium.
Dr. Asai found that many of the
important herbs and medicinal plants traditionally used in healing—such as
ginseng, garlic, com-frey, and aloe—all contain substantial amounts of
germanium. He also discovered that the amount of germanium in a plant varies
according to the quality of the soil in which it grows and that adding germanium
to the soil enhances plant growth. He wondered if the therapeutic benefits of
these herbs were in part due to the high amounts of germanium they contain.
||Average Germanium Content
| Shelf fungus (Trametes
|| 800-2,000 ppm
|| 77 ppm
Germanium: A Semiconductor
Germanium and silicon, which are
chemically related, both became well known in the computer industry for their
properties as semiconductors. A
semiconductor is a substance that is good at moving individual electrons, a
property that makes it useful for building computer chips.
Dr. Asai believed that a semiconductor
like germanium is a key factor in the process of photosynthesis, which enables a
plant to convert the energy from sunlight into microcurrents of electricity.
This process provides the energy for breaking the water in a plant into oxygen
and hydrogen. A plant then breathes in carbon dioxide from the air and combines
it with the hydrogen to create the compounds that we call carbohydrates. The
oxygen is given off by the plant into the air that we breathe. The question is
"Does germanium have effects in animals and humans that are similar to
those in plants?"
Germanium: An Oxygen Catalyst
In its organic form, each atom of
germanium is bonded to three atoms of oxygen, making it an efficient carrier of
oxygen. According to Dr. Stephen A. Levine, organic germanium seems to be able
to partially substitute for or supplement oxygenation in living tissues. (7)
Thus, Ge-132's ability to improve the efficiency of oxygen utilization at the
cellular level could be of significant benefit.
Dr. Otto Warburg, Nobel prize-winning
cancer researcher, discovered that
cancer cells cannot metabolize oxygen properly. (11) Flooding cells with oxygen
may retard the growth of cancer cells or even help to return them to normal.
The "boosting" of available
oxygen becomes significant when we
realize that the underlying cause of many chronic diseases is free-radical
damage resulting from insufficient cellular oxygenation. The Ge-132 acts as a
carrier, facilitating the movement of oxygen across cellular membranes to get
oxygen inside the cell. ! Dr. Asai attributed the effectiveness of organic
germanium in combating a variety of diseases to its ability to oxygenate cells.
Dr. Asai found that Ge-132 was effective in treating "cancer of the lungs,
bladder, larynx and breast, neurosis, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac
insufficiency, inflammation of maxillary sinus, neuralgia, leukemia, softening
of the brain, myoma of the uterus and hepatic cirrhosis." (1)
Ge-132 normalizes and enhances many
functions of the immune system. Several studies have reported orally
administered Ge-132's ability to increase NK cell activity. (2, 3, 4, 6)
Ge-132's ability to increase the activity of other white blood cells is also
well documented. (2)
A study published in the Journal of
Interferon Research concluded that "Organic germanium restores the
normal function of T-cells, B-lymphocytes, natural killer cell activity, and the
numbers of antibody-forming cells.... Organic germanium has unique physiological
activities without any significant side effects." (10)
In his book on germanium, Dr. Asai
reports that his clinic has successfully treated an impressive range of ailments
with Ge-132, including some types of depression, arthritis, vision problems,
elevated blood pressure, heavy metal poisoning, and cancer. (1)
Interferon, discovered nearly thirty
years ago, plays an important part in our immune system, and is recognized as a
powerful anticancer agent. Scientists have been searching for ways to stimulate
the body's own production of interferon.
However, most of the drugs that have
been developed to increase
endogenous interferon production also produce significant undesirable side
effects. Ge-132 is able to stimulate the production of gamma-interferon in both
animals and humans without side effects and toxicity. (2, 5)
^n thirteen separately published animal
studies, Ge-132 consistently inhibited the development of tumors and
significantly increased survival times. (5) In 1985 Japanese researchers
published a study stating that the antitumor action of organic germanium appears
to be related to its interferon-inducing activity. (6)
A number of human cancer trials have
been conducted with organic germanium. A summary of Phase I and Phase II human
clinical trials reveals that orally administered Ge-132 induces interferon
production, enhances NK cell activity, restores previously impaired immune
response, and has extremely low toxicity.
Based on the above results, cancer
researchers in Japan conducted a Phase III double-blind, placebo-controlled
study to determine the effect of Ge-132 upon the response rates, survival time,
and influences on clinical symptoms in patients with inoperable lung cancer who
were treated with chemotherapy and/ or radiation.
The patients who received Ge-132 in
combination with other therapies showed a higher response rate and improved
survival time, particularly for cases of small cell carcinoma. The results
indicated that the use of Ge-132 produced beneficial effects on the maintenance
of the patients' immune status and general health during the period they
received chemotherapy and/or radiation. The authors also reported that no major
side effects were associated with the use of Ge-132.
When Ge-132 was used in combination
with immunoche-motherapy, the beneficial effects included an inhibition of tumor
growth, a decrease in metastasis, and prolonged survival times. Ge-132 also
resulted in the recovery of lost body weight caused by chemotherapy. (4)
Side Effects and Toxicity
Most published studies have reported
Ge-132 to be an unusually nontoxic substance. In toxicity studies, Ge-132 has
been tested by various routes of administration, including orally,
intravenously, subcutaneously, and intraperitoneally on mice, rats, rabbits,
dogs, and human subjects.
Several minor side effects have been
occasionally reported, including skin eruptions and a softening of the stool.
One study reported that since 1982 there have been eighteen cases of acute renal
dysfunction or failure, including two deaths, associated with the oral intake of
high doses of liquid germanium elixirs. (9) Almost all these reactions were to
Other studies cited in this chapter
support the position that Ge-132 is a relatively safe cancer therapy. However,
the therapeutic use of germanium should be administered only under the care of a
qualified physician, with appropriate monitoring of kidney function.
Most of the research on Ge-132
indicates that it is best used as a supplemental therapy, employed in
conjunction with almost any other traditional or alternative cancer therapy.
Ge-132 is currently available as a
nutritional supplement for oral consumption. It is available in doses ranging
from 250 mg to 325 mg per capsule (or tablet). Many companies are also beginning
to include smaller amounts of Ge-132 in their all-purpose, high-potency
multivitamin-mineral supplement formulations.
When organic germanium is used
therapeutically, as in the treatment of cancer, much higher dosages are taken.
For example^ in the Phase III trial of inoperable lung cancer patients, a dosage
of 50 mg/Kg/day was administered orally. Thus, a 110-pound individual would need
to take 10 250-mg capsules, equaling 2.5 gm per day. However, it is strongly
recommended that individuals who want to take Ge-132 at higher therapeutic
dosages do so only under the supervision of a physician.
At Hospital Santa Monica we have a
special protocol for lung cancer patients and those with other breathing
problems, such as emphysema and asthma—the inhalation of liquid Ge-132, with
the use of a nebulizer to oxygenate the/lungs. The nebulizer makes a micro-fine
mist of the liquid Ge-132, which the patient inhales through the mouthpiece
deeply into the lungs.
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