WAS IT JUST 'QUACKERY' OR DID PENNSYLVANIA CHEMIST INVENT A CANCER REMEDY AFTER RECURRING DREAMS?
It is certainly difficult in our time to discern between what may be legitimate alternative medical treatments (including for serious, rampant diseases such as cancer) and what has long been called "quackery."
Many are the controversies, and so a struggle it is, in our culture of polarization, to analyze how much of the debate is fueled by authentic concern in the medical community that certain parties are taking advantage of the public by claiming more than they can deliver (through wonder drugs and unconventional cures), and how much of such negativity -- often, harsh denunciations of alternate "cures," even legal actions -- is due to efforts by the massive pharmaceutical industry "("Big Pharma"), American Medical Association, and the American Cancer Society, working with and through agencies such as the National
Cancer Institute, to suppress innovative treatments that might infringe on conventional treatments.
Let's state at the start that one has to be awfully careful when straying from conventional medical advice. It is not possible that every doctor is in cahoots with "Big Pharma" and concerned solely with protecting turf (and money).
That's simply unfair.
It is inaccurate.
At the same time, it also does not seem possible that no potential treatments exist but the current standard procedure of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Are there not at least some alternative treatments that at least help subdue cancer?
It is a murky area, and one of the most fascinating examples has been that of a Pennsylvania chemist, Jim Sheridan, who invented a formula named Entelev that later went under labels such as Cancell and most especially Protocel -- and has long been claimed as either miraculous or wishful thinking.
Born in 1912 and educated under scholarship at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, Sheridan was described as a "devoutly spiritual" man who -- in his early teens -- "would pray to God that he be able to use his intellect to help mankind," in the words of Tanya Harter Pierce in Outsmart Your Cancer: Alternative Non-Toxic Treatments That Work.
Specifically, Sheridan had prayed that he'd be able to help find a cure for cancer.
Late in high school, it is said, Sheridan began experiencing a series of recurring dreams.
In them he saw a strange chemical formula.
It meant nothing to Jim, but the formula kept repeating.
No one young Sheridan knew could make sense of it.
"However," writes Pierce, "after Sheridan started college, he came face to face with the chemical formula of his recurring dreams. It was listed in print in the title of an article he came across by accident. The article was printed in a huge source book, and Sheridan just happened to have opened the book to that page.
"It was an article related to cancer and known carcinogens."
If that wasn't curious enough, in April of 1931, while demonstrating some concepts of chemistry at a Carnegie-Tech open-house meeting, Sheridan was asked by a student if the color of a yellow liquid in one beaker could be changed to a different color, and the young chemist had answered that it indeed could, with use of an acid.
Sheridan then randomly plucked an acid from a shelf, added it to the beaker -- and to his shock the liquid "turned all the colors of the rainbow in perfectly defined layers"!
"This unusual result even astonished the professors who were there, and everyone gathered around to see the amazing sight," says Pierce.
It was what chemists know as "rhythmic banding." No need to get too technical.
Shortly after that, Sheridan was given a project related to what was known as the "Debye-Hückel Theory."
Suffice it to say that this involves the thermodynamics of solutions.
"Once Sheridan started studying the Debye-Hückel Theory," writes Pierce, "he also realized that the chemical formula he had dreamed about in high school, and then had found by accident after starting college, was in fact associated with the Debye-Hückel Theory! Looking back, it certainly seemed that events were leading Sheridan in a very specific direction."
The final event took place, it seems, on September 6, 1936, when Sheridan had another unusual dream while taking a nap. In the dream, he saw that the layers of the rainbow symbolized respiratory enzymes.
Each color represented one at a different level of cellular energy.
Somehow, to Sheridan, this suggested that understanding a cell's use of energy (the flow its electrical potential) could help explain the cause of a cancer -- and perhaps, more importantly, a cure for the proliferation of such cells.
Amazingly, Sheridan (who also earned a law degree, and was employed as a chemist for Dow Chemical) worked on the formula (often mostly in his spare time) from the 1930s until the 1990s (part of the time under a grant from the Detroit Cancer Institute). The theory: that by slightly lowering the voltage of cells, cancer cells, which are low men on the energy "totem pole" (relying on fermentation instead of oxidation) would succumb to the minor electrical shift while other cells would not. (Protocel, which he soon invented, does this by interfering with what they call adenosine triphosphate.)
When this happened -- when their voltage was lowered -- the cancer cells could no longer hold their membranes together and fell apart into harmless protein. Or so it was claimed.
Simply put, Protocel was causing the cancer cells to self-destruct.
Soon Sheridan was reporting seventy to eighty percent success rates on mice cancers in his laboratory.
From there, the claims would only skyrocket.
Attacking primitive cellular respiratory systems, successes were reported (and often documented) with cases of lung cancer metastasized to the brain, kidney malignancies, pancreatic cancer, high-stage breast cancer, central nervous system cancer, melanoma, intestinal cancer, prostate tumors, leukemia, and just about any other form of anaerobic malignancy.
Protocel -- it was claimed -- could potentially cause any malignant cell, including some stubborn, aggressive brain tumors, to devolve into harmless constituents.
Could this really be true?
Are we being told both sides?
It seems a bit too remarkable.
It didn't work on everyone.
It did seem to work, stunningly, asserts Pierce (a psychologist who decided to delve into alternative "cures"), on a goodly number -- completely obliterating many cancers that had been labeled "terminal." The psychologist cites case histories in substantial medical detail (though we have no idea how many less- than-successful cases are out there).
A miracle cure?
When outside experts evaluated what Sheridan was doing and decided it was worthy of human clinical tests, the American Cancer Society stepped in, claiming Sheridan could not prove he owned the idea and halted the program.
Shortly after, Sheridan was fired from the Detroit Institute of Cancer Research.
He was also blocked from having his treatment analyzed in an official way when the NCI refused to execute testing on it over the course of the regular 28-day period and instead wanted it evaluated in the same five-day period that was used for toxic treatments like chemotherapy (which act quicker, but in Sheridan's mind, are not a long-term cure).
It wasn't until 1978 and 1980 that the chemist was able to get the institute to run animal tests, but again the institute would not run the test over the twenty eight days specified and rejected his formula as ineffective. The testing was completed in eight days instead of the twenty-eight he said it required. Was this a deliberate attempt at quashing a potentially revolutionary cure, or just an institutional blind spot and knee-jerk evaluation?
It's hard to say.
Most doctors are very skeptical, and perhaps for good reason.
"Miracle" cures come and go. There are even those in the field of natural healing -- proponents of alternative approaches to cancer -- who question Protocel.
Yet, some astounding results were logged -- documented -- and because of that, for many years it was given away free by a wealthy man who had seen its benefits (he shipped 20,000 treatments, before he too was stopped by the NCI). In the 1980s, the Food and Drug Administration threw up further roadblocks. (It is now only available, under the label of a "cellular cleanser," as sort of a vitamin or supplement, as opposed to a treatment for cancer.) "Never mind that Cancell was tested by the National Cancer Institute itself and found to outperform Taxol -- a leading chemotherapy agent of choice," grouses one proponent.
The question -- and it is hard to answer -- is whether, in such cases, the government is simply protecting the public from quackery; whether it is mired in old thinking (unable to evaluate something "out of the box"); or whether, at least subconsciously, it is protecting the massive cancer complex that still orients treatments toward the "slash-and-burn-and-poison" approach (as critics caustically label it) of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, which in many cases are admittedly very harsh on the body and often constitute a temporary cure (the industry considers anyone who survives more than five years as "cured," even if the cancer returns after that stated period).
There are all kinds of alleged alternative treatments. There are supposed herbal remedies. There are treatments with audio frequencies. There is Essiac tea (which we may explore in a future article). In times past, the "suppression" of alternative remedies (such as B-17) has included the arrest of doctors who have used such alternative methods -- claiming remarkable success. Many alleged "cures" simply rely on natural substances.
"The benefits to using a non-toxic treatment approach for cancer cannot be overstated," argues Pierce, in her undeniably engaging book. "Besides the fact that toxic treatments can have extremely serious side effects (such as liver, kidney, and heart damage) to the point that the side effects themselves can be life-threatening, there is also another issue. This is the issue that toxic conventional approaches such as chemotherapy and radiation do not allow for continual use."
Protocel -- and other techniques, because they don't harm healthy cells, she argues -- does.
Yet one can ask:
If the results are so splendid, why do we not hear more of it?
Do we really think all doctors -- there are so many good ones -- are in cahoots, or at any rate under the AMA's thumb, to this degree?
Faced with a frightening diagnosis, do we shun conventional treatment that might at least provide an initial firewall against and abatement of a malignancy?
Very tough questions. Only prayer will answer ones like those. Only the Holy Spirit knows your individual make-up and what is going on with it. Pray. Jump to no conclusions. Caution is in order. Research both sides of any debate.
We do think a cure is out there, and that it involves something that is natural. What that might be is for the future to tell. Eating right is an unquestionable way to begin (despite the fact that nutrition is often not taught in medical school).
It is time to think outside the box.
Do not accept the "evil report" (That's a prognosis that says a person has x-number of years or months to live.)
Many, many live way beyond dire forecasts.
And to be fair, many of those who do live have sought out alternative means (even ones as simple as flaxseed oil).
Meanwhile, chemotherapy often costs tens of thousands of dollars (never mind the cost of initial radiation, medical appointments, hospitalization, and surgery). Some cancer drugs are $35,000 a month. Radiation therapy can tally to $50,000. Is it any wonder that our health-care system is in crisis?
Pierce charges that pharmaceutical companies oppose many alternative remedies because of the law that anything involving natural ingredients cannot be patented (and thus erases profitability).
That's one view. On the other hand, survival rates for conventional treatments have been increasing: for example, in 1975 seventy-five percent of those diagnosed with breast cancer lasted five years or more. Now more than ninety percent do (though it is a question: how many are really "cured"?).
Many cry "snake oil." Others claim there are 10,000 documented cases of cancer cured. It costs about $85 a month. "The important thing to remember is that, although Jim Sheridan's formula was officially suppressed and successfully kept out of mainstream medicine, it did not die," says Pierce -- clearly a proponent. "Over the years, thousands of people have found one way or another to use the formula and treat their cancers with amazing success."
Every body is different. In some cases, alternative treatments can interfere with conventional drugs, or be interfered with by them. Caution. One must be careful.
Most important: look at your diet. Look at how much refined sugar and processed food you are eating and how many dark green vegetables you are not (but should).
So many assert remarkable results with various approaches.
There are all kinds of claims.
As Sheridan prayed, so can we.
And if nothing else, we can find strength in hope; and we too can dare to dream.
[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Connecticut and Announcing two retreats in California]
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