The new cancer immunotherapy: it will cure your cancer if you can survive it

The oncologist says to the cancer patient’s family: “The new immunotherapy cured your loved one’s cancer but he must have had a weak immune system and he succumbed this morning.”

According to a newly published report in the New York Times, the new immunotherapy drugs (monoclonal antibody drugs like nivolumab and ipilomumab) now being employed to successfully cure cancer result in hospitalization or other-life threatening events 54% of the time. [NY Times Dec 3, 2016]

We’re playing with fire” says one oncologists.  Have oncologists been too quick to label these new drugs as a cure?  This doesn’t represent disease treatment it represents disease substitution.  The rationale, as one oncologist explains it is: “The No. 1 priority is anti-tumor effect.  Everything else, however severe, is considered the price worth paying.”

Cancer turns off the immune system.  The new immunotherapy drugs activate white blood cells to attack tumor cells and the tumor shrinks within days.  However the body  may begin attacking itself.  If the attack is centered on the pancreas, insulin production may ceases all at once.  Turning off the brakes on the immune system can have mortal consequences.

If oncologists didn’t have their blinders on they could employ vitamin D that normalizes the immune response and blunts any autoimmune reactions. [Journal Investigative Medicine Aug 2011; Bone May 7, 2011]

The red wine molecule resveratrol is yet another molecule that can normalize the immune response. [Journal Immunology May 2013]