Life Extension Magazine May 2004
Unlocking the Mystery of Antineoplastons
By Terri Mitchell
|LE Magazine May 2004|
|Unlocking the Mystery of Antineoplastons |
A Natural Anticancer Agent
By Terri Mitchell
LE: We talked about cancer genes. What about “tumor suppressor genes”? How do they relate to cancer?
Burzynski: Tumor suppressor genes normally cause proteins to be made that provoke apoptosis—a process that naturally destroys cancer cells. This goes on all the time in healthy tissue. In cancer cells, tumor suppressor genes are shut down; they don’t work. The idea is to reactivate them.
LE: The p53 gene is an important tumor suppressor gene, isn’t it?
Burzynski: Yes, and it is of great interest to us because it’s not working in about 70% of white Americans with brain tumors. In Japanese patients, it doesn’t work in 50-60%. One of the antineoplastons reactivates p53.
LE: What causes the gene to shut down?
Burzynski: First, abnormal methylation and mutation of the gene itself, and antineoplastons reverse this. Also, three important enzymes relate to how cancer cells multiply. All three involve methylation. We’ve discovered that in normal cells, the enzymes stick together briefly, and then come apart. In cancer cells, they stick together and make the cells keep replicating. It’s as though a switch is stuck in the “on” position. At least three of our antineoplastons make the enzymes disassociate. When the enzymes are normalized, the cancer cells undergo apoptosis, or cell death.
LE: So some antineoplastons appear to be able to restore the normal function of important genes without toxicity?
Burzynski: Yes, from what we know so far. The 3,000-gene microarray that we’ve just done is going to give us more information in this regard.
LE: As if methylation and cancer weren’t complicated enough, your latest publication concerns some new research on DNA structures known as histones and their role in cancer.
Burzynski: Yes, this also has to do with normalizing the behavior of cancer cells. “Histone deacetylase inhibitors” are a new class of drugs being tested for cancer. Some of the antineoplastons are natural histone deacetylase inhibitors. Acetylation is a process related to methylation. Both affect how genes behave. One affects the other, so it’s important to address both processes. When cancer cells are treated with drugs that modulate both, you get a better response.
LE: We understand that four antineoplastons are undergoing clinical trials under FDA supervision for a variety of cancers, including brain stem glioma, childhood cerebral astrocytoma, malignant lymphoma, colon cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and others.
Burzynski: There are 76 studies in all.
LE: Brain cancer is your special interest, but do you treat other types of cancer?
Burzynski: Yes, we do.
LE: When you administer the antineoplastons, the patient wears a pump that constantly delivers the treatment. Why is it done this way?
Burzynski: The treatment has to be given gradually because the cancer cells are dying. There is something called “tumor lysis syndrome,” where the patient can get sick from the dying cells. We’ve found that if the treatment is given over a period of two to eight months, the tumor disappears more quickly and safely.
LE: Are the antineoplastons made synthetically? In other words, once you isolate the natural substance from the body, you then create it in a laboratory?
Burzynski: That’s correct.
LE: Could antineoplastons possibly have other uses? Aging is another phenomenon that involves abnormal methylation. Could antineoplastons be used to reverse aging as well?
Burzynski: Yes. We’ve noticed that people who get antineoplastons for cancer treatment receive other benefits as well—for example, they are resistant to common viral infections. Their blood cholesterol is normalized and they are less susceptible to breast cancer and enlargement of the prostate. Their skin is healthier, they are less depressed, and they have more energy.
LE: One final question. If you were able to isolate and synthesize every antineoplaston made by the entire body, could you theoretically cure every type of cancer there is?
LE: And more, right?
Burzynski: And more.
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