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Life Extension Magazine

LEF Magazine May 1998

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Science versus Dogma
Can we change medicine before it kills us? Yes, at a Life Extension Medical Center


Here at the Life Extension Foundation, we have a serious dilemma. We've discovered new methods of treating lethal diseases that require cooperative hospitals, but the medical establishment is too slow to implement new therapies, even when the value of these therapies has been documented in respected medical journals. In short, we've found it very difficult to get the cooperation of hospitals in implementing advanced new therapies that could save lives.
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The sad truth is that people suffering from lethal diseases today usually don't get the best therapies science has to offer. As a result, there is an urgent need to change the way medicine is practiced. We believe the best way of effecting change in the system is to set a radical example, by creating a medical center-a Life Extension Medical Center-that would offer therapies solely on the basis of state-of-the-art science and technology. Such a center would set a new standard for treatment that would force the medical establishment to deal with the failure of its archaic system.

Over the past 18 years, the Foundation has uncovered thousands of therapies to prevent and treat the degenerative diseases of aging. We have made many of these therapies available as dietary supplements. In other cases, we've referred our members to domestic and offshore sources of life saving therapies not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Here's where we've hit a roadblock. There are complex and promising therapeutic protocols for killer diseases that are not yet being used by conventional medicine. These protocols involve the use of many different drugs, some FDA-approved, some not. Many of these drugs are toxic, and cannot be used safely without the direct input of knowledgeable physicians and pathologists. Some have narrow dosage thresholds, and require careful monitoring for optimal therapeutic benefit. To further confuse matters, many of these treatment protocols require that several different therapies be used at just the right times.

Are you protecting yourself against Chemotherapy?

The Life Extension Foundation recommends that cancer patients who are using cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs be placed on FDA-approved immune-protective drugs one week before the first chemotherapy drug is administered. Depending on the type of cancer and the chemotherapy regimen to be used, these FDA-approved drugs may include:

  1. Colony-stimulating growth factor drugs such as granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). These FDA-approved drugs stimulate the production of T-lymphocytes, macrophages, and other immune system cells that are valuable in preventing the toxic effects on bone marrow during chemotherapy. These immune-protecting drugs enable chemotherapy to be given at a higher dose that may make it more effective. Stimulated macrophages are powerful "tumor killers," as has been demonstrated by clinical studies using interleukin-2 and GM-CSF or G-CSF. In addition, colony growth factors are able to accelerate regeneration of blood cells following chemotherapy. Initial clinical experience with GM-CSF and G-CSF has shown that severe neutropenia (immune impairment) due to chemotherapy can be prevented or at least decelerated to reduce the number of severe infections.
  2. Cytokines such as interferon-alpha and interleukin-2. Interferon directly inhibits cancer cell proliferation and has already been used in the treatment of hairy cell leukemia, Kaposi's sarcoma and malignant melanoma. Interleukin-2 allows for an increase in the cytotoxic activity of natural killer (NK) cells.
  3. Retinoic acid (vitamin A) analogues. These enhance the efficacy of some chemotherapy regimens and reduce the risk of secondary cancers.
  4. T-cell suppressor inhibiting agents. Such agents as Tagamet prevent cancer cells from prematurely shutting down the immune system.

The proper administration of these drugs one week prior to the initiation of chemotherapy can dramatically reduce the immune damage that chemotherapy inflicts on the body, and can increase its cancer cell-killing efficacy. Please remember that we are talking here about drugs that require physician administration. The patient can self-administer melatonin, coenzyme Q10, tocopherol succinate, and many other nutrients that have been shown to protect immune function and improve chemotherapy efficacy. These nutrients have saved the lives of numerous cancer patients in clinical trials. However, the administration of FDA-approved drugs is still necessary for many cancer patients, even though compounds such as melatonin have similar mechanisms of action.

As many Foundation members know, there is an appalling lack of creativity in the medical establishment. We live in a distorted medical-legal culture in which creative doctors face the risk of incarceration, the loss of their medical licenses, and malpractice lawsuits for administering therapies that are not yet recognized by the establishment. Doctors also suffer from the common human characteristic of being resistant to change.

Alternative doctors who might be willing to use advanced medications seldom have hospital privileges to administer "unapproved drugs." Many alternative doctors also lack the expertise to administer toxic FDA-approved drugs, even though these drugs can be made less toxic when combined with innovative therapies the Foundation has discovered.

When a Life Extension Medical Center is established, and "incurable" patients begin to experience remissions, mainstream medicine will be faced with a new renaissance in medicine-an all-out attempt to save lives with therapies not necessarily approved by the FDA, condoned by state licensing boards, or accepted by the medical establishment.

The need for this type of Life Extension Medical Center became apparent when the Foundation initiated a pilot program to design individualized treatment regimens for cancer victims. These regimens were based upon new findings in conventional cancer journals, and were adapted to each patient. Regrettably, very few of the Foundation's recommendations were ever implemented, even though we provided the oncologists with articles from their own cancer journals.

Please understand that we are not talking about nutritional therapies here. We designed chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy regimens, mostly involving the use of FDA-approved drugs. In some cases, we asked only that immune system-protecting drugs be administered to protect the immune system against toxic chemotherapy.

One of the problems we encountered was that FDA guidelines call for immune-protecting drugs to be administered only after the patient's white blood cell count drops to near zero, and the immune system is rendered impotent. Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler once threatened criminal sanctions against drug companies that promoted approved cancer drugs for unapproved uses. As a result, oncologists don't usually attempt to protect the immune system against toxic drugs. In some cases, patients on conventional cancer therapies-therapies without immune system protection-die from opportunistic infections rather than from cancer.

In order to placate cancer patients who wanted the Foundation's recommendations to be integrated into their treatment program, some oncologists offered to compromise and implemented some, but not all, of the Foundation's recommendations. Our immediate response was that this would not work.

We informed these oncologists that the published research mandates that all the elements of the program have to be incorporated at the proper time. Despite intensive lobbying from the cancer patients and their family, some oncologists chose instead to treat their patients with unmodified toxic chemotherapy regimens that had been shown in the scientific literature to be ineffective. After the patients succumbed, their families could only wonder what would have happened if the oncologist had followed the Foundation's recommendations.

It takes too long for new lifesaving therapies to reach critically ill patients. It's time for a new medical center that uses the best experts and advanced therapies. One of the surprising things we learned is that having money is no guarantee you'll receive proper treatment. We were appalled at the treatment given to people who could easily afford the best available therapies, but who instead were given 20-year-old chemotherapy regimens that, according to studies published in conventional cancer journals, had no chance of working.

Many wealthy people are attracted to the prestige of major cancer centers, and blindly put their trust in conventional oncology. One example of this fatal propensity may have been the late Roberto Goizueta, the president of Coca-Cola who died last year at the age of 65. This marketing genius had assets of about $2 billion upon his death, and had bestowed charitable grants to Emory University, in Atlanta, that today are worth billions.

So, where did Goizueta go when he was diagnosed with lung cancer? To Emory University, of course. We don't know the kind of chemotherapy regimen Mr. Goizueta was put on, but, within 45 days of being diagnosed with lung cancer, he died from "complications related to chemotherapy." The chemotherapy severely depressed Goizueta's immune system and he developed a lethal opportunistic infection that the doctors at Emory were unable to cure.

The fact that Goizueta died from complications of chemotherapy, rather than from lung cancer, is not an unusual event. It is well documented that chemotherapy kills tens of thousands of cancer patients every year. This is speculation on our part, but it could have been that a $75 membership in the Life Extension Foundation might have bought Mr. Goizueta more useful medical information than the billion-dollar grants he made to Emory University. (For further perspective on this issue, refer to the article, "Death by Chemotherapy," in the January 1998 issue of Life Extension magazine.)

To provide a clear example of the need for a Life Extension Medical Center, refer to the wealth of treatment information in the Foundation's revised Cancer Treatment Protocol, available by calling the Foundation at 1-800-544-4440, our book Disease Prevention and Treatment Protocols, and on the Life Extension Foundation's web site, at www.lef.org (on the Home Page, click on Disease Therapies). Most of the nutritional and hormone portions of this protocol can be self-administered, as long as regular blood testing is conducted under the guidance of a knowledgeable health care professional. The drug administration protocols, however, are extremely complex, and even a cooperative oncologist may not be able to follow them.

These cancer patients need a Life Extension Medical Center, staffed by experienced and motivated doctors capable of overseeing the complex pathology testing and sophisticated drug administration protocols necessary to give cancer patients the best opportunity of achieving long-term remissions. There is no such facility in the United States-so far.

"The emerging picture of medicine looks gloriously sunny beginning next century, promising untold rewards for humanity's future health," according to a new book, 21st-Century Miracle Medicine, that recently received a very positive review in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This book provides solid evidence that by 2050 the practice of medicine will be radically different from today. Top-level expertise will be delivered worldwide, instead of at only a few medical centers that specialize in treating a certain disease. The degenerative diseases that presently kill humans will be eradicated, and prevention will be the primary focus of physicians.

Every year, 2.4 million Americans die. We believe that about 1 million American lives could be saved each year if the most advanced medical therapies were immediately incorpo rated into clinical medical practice. Ergo, the urgent need for a Life Extension Medical Center.

Because of previous overbuilding of hospitals, there currently are shuttered or partially shuttered hospitals that are eager to rent their facilities. In some cases, it is possible to rent just one floor of a partially shuttered hospital, have access to the existing services and pay a relatively small amount of rent. This might be a way of starting a Life Extension Medical Center.

The Life Extension Medical Center would not initially require a great deal of up-front capital, since it would contract for the basic services that conventional medicine is competent to provide. The Life Extension Foundation could provide doctors and scientists who have the expertise and creativity to administer the most advanced medical therapies in the world.

The Foundation also would provide a legal and political shield to protect the doctors and patients from the inevitable attacks that would come from the FDA, state licensing boards, and the medical establishment.

Once the Life Extension Medical Center is set up, Foundation members would have the comfort of knowing that no matter what serious disease they are diagnosed with, they could travel to a medical center in the United States to obtain the best medical therapies that science has to offer. The Life Extension Medical Center could revolutionize the practice of medicine by putting science first, thus abolishing an archaic system that is allowing one million Americans a year to die unnecessarily.

We have not yet come up with a cost estimate for establishing the Life Extension Medical Center. We'd like to see the owners of an existing for-profit hospital who see the potential for such a center put up the initial funding to launch the project. Our initial interest in this proposed venture is to be given a chance to use our scientific and medical expertise to save lives, and to defend the Center against legal assaults. Our ultimate objective is to change forever the way medicine is practiced throughout the world.

There is a significant moral issue here. The Life Extension Foundation has uncovered too many lifesaving therapies for us to sit back and allow the medical establishment to continue to deny its patients the best that science has to offer. While the FDA is partly responsible for the ineptitudes of conventional medicine, the problem goes well beyond just the government. There is an insidious culture in the medical establishment, born of a system driven by greed and fear, that obstructs the use of some of the best available therapies to save human lives.

The Life Extension Foundation cannot sit back and do nothing while we have information indicating that one million Americans may be needlessly dying every year because of a correctable flaw in the way medicine is practiced. There are two ways of funding this project if we have to go it alone. A public company could be established to raise initial capital in the range of $5 million to $10 million. Investors would be told there is a possibility the Life Extension Medical Center could be shut down the day it opens, but it would also be noted that the Foundation has an impeccable track record in defending alternative medicine against government attack.

The other method would be to solicit tax-deductible donations for the sole purpose of establishing a non-profit Life Extension Medical Center. We have prepared a no-obligation survey that we'd like you to complete and return, so that the Life Extension Foundation can ascertain how many are willing to support the establishment of a Life Extension Medical Center.

Do not send any money. Any funds included with this survey will be automatically returned. Its sole purpose is to identify those who might want to contribute to the establishment of the Life Extension Medical Center, and to ascertain if there is sufficient interest to pursue this venture. Answering this survey does not obligate you in any way to do anything in the future.

Upon presentation of an acceptable business plan that would include a guarantee of adequate physical facilities and a staff of competent physicians, I might be willing to (check one or both):

( ) Invest $_______ in a public stock company in exchange for shares.
( ) Make a tax-deductible donation in the amount of $_____________
Name : __________________________________________________
Address : ________________________________________________
City : ____________________________________________________
ST : _____________________________________________________
Zip : _____________________________________________________

Return survey to:
Life Extension Foundation
PO Box 229120
Hollywood, FL 33022