Study Confirms Pancreatic Enzyme Cancer Treatment
A study published in the journal Pancreas suggests the effectiveness of pancreatic enzymes against cancer in mice. This form of nutritional cancer therapy has been used by Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D. in his medical practice in New York City. Gonzalez is one of the authors of the study, "Pancreatic Enzyme Extract Improves Survival in Murine Pancreatic Cancer" (Pancreas. 2004 May;28(4):401-12).
The study found that mice treated with pancreatic enzymes survived significantly longer than the control group. Tumors growth in the enzyme-treated group was significantly slowed compared to the control group.
In addition, while all mice in the control group showed the conditions steatorrhea, high glucose in the urine, high levels of bilirubin, and ketones in the urine at the early stages of tumor growth, only a few in the treated group showed some of these abnormalities at the final stage.
Five years ago, a pilot study of human cancer patients treated by Gonzalez and his associate was published in in the journal Nutrition and Cancer. From there, Gonzalez received a $1.4 million federal grant for a Phase III prospective clinical trial of people with pancreatic cancer. This multi-year study is ongoing.
This enzyme-based cancer treatment has been written about for nearly a century. In an article that appeared in the British Medical Journal in 1906, embyologist John Beard wrote that pancreatic enzymes are one of the body's defenses against cancer and would be useful as a cancer treatment. He later wrote a book entitled The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer A dentist names William Donald Kelley later expanded on this treatment.
The results of this study are promising because pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat and has a high mortality rate, due to difficulties in diagnosis, the aggressive nature of pancreatic cancer, and the few treatment options available. Pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths following breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
Risk factors of pancreatic cancer are:
- Age - Most pancreatic cancers occur in people over the age of 60.
- Smoking - Cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop pancreatic cancer.
- Health condition - Pancreatic cancer occurs more often in people who have diabetes and chronic pancreatitis.
- Gender - More men than women are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
- Family history - The risk for developing pancreatic cancer triples if a person's mother, father, sister, or brother had the disease. Also, a family history of colon or ovarian cancer increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is sometimes called a "silent disease" because early pancreatic cancer often does not cause symptoms.
Symptoms may include:
- Pain in the upper abdomen or upper back
- Yellow skin and eyes, and dark urine from jaundice
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
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