Lung cancer, the most common cause of death from cancer worldwide, was responsible for nearly one in five (1.38 million) cancer deaths in 20081. In 2012, about 1.8 million new lung cancer cases were diagnosed.
Current therapies are ineffective, highly toxic, and over half of all patients die within one year of being diagnosed. The five-year survival rate of only 3.5% has not improved over several decades. There is therefore an urgent need to change the direction in cancer research and develop new, original and safer approaches.
Our research presents a real opportunity for the natural control of lung and other types of cancers. By using a combination of micronutrients working in synergy, we could affect several cancer mechanisms at once, specifically cancer invasion and metastasis. We have documented that vitamin C, along with the amino acids lysine and proline, N-acetylcysteine, green tea extract (EGCG) and other micronutrients, can curtail invasion of various types of lung cancer cells by inhibiting secretion of the enzymes required for spread in the body’s tissues. Supplementing the diet of immunocompromised mice with this nutrient mixture resulted in inhibition of lung tumor growth by 44%- 47%2, and prevention of lung tumors induced by urethane, a carcinogen present in some foods3.
The media rarely promotes our achievements in cancer research, nor indeed many other studies documenting the benefits of natural compounds. In contrast, a recent scientific study from Sweden claiming that vitamin E and Nacetylcysteine (NAC) can facilitate lung cancer was widely broadcast as a warning against using antioxidants. This study exemplifies how very limited research – using an animal model with limited relevance to human lung cancer – is being used to spread fears by extrapolating its findings to a human population, but without really understanding what the results mean. Even more, the study tested synthetic vitamin E at a very high dose (equivalent to taking 1650IU/day) which likely triggers metabolic imbalance. High doses of NAC resulting in high glutathione levels can also suppress intracellular levels of vitamin C, a powerful compound in killing cancer cells. This study, of course, did not address this aspect. This is an example of how the pharmaceutical lobby uses fear in its attempt to restrict our access to natural, non-patentable approaches, which threaten its health monopoly and multi-billion dollar market in synthetic drugs.
Our innovative research approach has proven that micronutrients used in specific combinations are beneficial in the fight against lung cancer.