Jun
17
2017

Prostate Cancer Treatment Is Often Inadequate

Prostate cancer treatment is often inadequate when you follow the advice of conventional physicians. The gold standard for prostate cancer treatment is a radical prostatectomy. Below I am explaining that this often leads to recurrences of prostate cancer in the order of 25 to 35% when physicians follow patients for up to 10-years. There is, however, another method of diagnosing and treating prostate cancer, which reduces the recurrence rate to only 6% at 10 years of follow-up. I will first explain the process of the initial assessment of prostate cancer, and then describe different treatment modalities.

Which prostate cancer biopsy method is superior?

Standard biopsy method

The standard biopsy method consists of 6 to 16 random biopsies via the transrectal approach. However, this approach has two downfalls. One is the danger of infection. The rectum is full of E. coli bacteria, which then can spread into the bloodstream. This can cause septicemia in 1 out of 200 biopsies, which is a medical emergency. The treatment consists of with high doses of antibiotics. The second problem is that the standard biopsy method misses 25 to 35% of prostate cancers. But it may take up to 10 years to show up as a prostate cancer recurrence. A careful study by the John Hopkins University, Cleveland, OH still showed a 23% recurrence after 10 years. Conventional specialists tend to downplay this long-term risk, but all of the publications that I have reviewed in my book show similar poor long-term results.

3-dimensional mapping biopsy

The interventional radiologist, Dr. Gary Onik from Ft. Lauderdale, invented the 3-dimensional mapping biopsy. In this case the specialist inserts needles through a brachytherapy grid over the perineum, the skin between the scrotum and the anus. The physician disinfects the area thoroughly, which eliminates the risk of infection with placement of the needles. The patient is under a general anesthetic, and the specialist inserts between 60 and 90 biopsy needles through the perineum into the prostate gland depending on the prostate gland size. The physician probes the entire prostate gland using biopsy needles, and this procedure does not miss any area of cancer. The surgeon can observe the procedure through a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) probe. He labels the biopsies carefully and keeps track of them, so he can enter the results from the pathologist on a map, (hence the name mapping biopsy).

Better resolution with 3-dimensional biopsies versus TRUS guided rectal biopsies

The end result is like a geographical image of the areas where tests picked up prostate cancer. It is a computer generated ultrasound image of the patient’s prostate gland with overlaying histology results. Because of the higher number of biopsy needles used with mapping biopsies the resolution is much better in comparison to the TRUS guided rectal biopsies. It also tells the treating physician exactly the location of the cancer, which is important, if there is a plan to treat with ablative cryotherapy. Dr. Onik has published a 10-year follow-up of 70 prostate cancer patients treated in this way. 100% of the prostate cancer patients who had cryotherapy survived. 94% were completely free from any recurring prostate cancer. 6% had recurrent disease. These kinds of statistics are unheard of with other treatment modalities. The patients’ ages were between 45 and 77 years at the time of surgery.

My own personal experience with prostate cancer

As I have explained in my book entitled “Prostate Cancer Unmasked”, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early 2016. An elevation of my blood PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests started the search for the optimal prostate cancer treatment. I started reviewing the medical literature to see what was the most optimal survival with the least possible side effects. This is how I came across the name of Dr. Gary Onik who has been a pioneer of prostate cancer research for decades. The extremely low prostate cancer relapse data after 10 years of follow-up impressed me. I decided to receive a treatment by him in Ft. Lauderdale, FLA. I had the 3-D prostate biopsy involving 96 biopsy needles (due to an enlarged prostate gland, called prostate hypertrophy).

Ablation cryotherapy

One month later he treated me with ablation cryotherapy, which is the equivalent of a lumpectomy for breast cancer in women. Since then (Aug. 17, 2016) my 3 monthly PSA levels have stayed extremely low meaning that there is no recurrence of prostate cancer. I also have tested negative using the Oncoblot test, an extremely sensitive cancer test that had been positive prior to the prostate cancer surgery.

Combination treatment with ablation cryotherapy and IRE surgery

Dr. Onik told me that he wanted to use two procedures simultaneously in my case to treat my lesions optimally. His concern was the neurovascular bundles that cross through the outer aspect of each lobe of the prostate to the penis. The ablation cryotherapy could destroy them, if he came too close to them, which would result in sexual problems. On the other hand he needed to treat the prostate cancer until all of the cancer cells were dead. The surface antigens would still be intact and would stimulate my immune system to destroy any remaining prostate tumor cells. Dr. Onik has done extensive research regarding the immune response in prostate cancer patients and he was working on a publication in end-stage cancer patients.

There was a second procedure, FDA approved 4 years ago, namely IRE surgery.

IRE surgery

Another technique pioneered by Dr. Onik is the NanoKnife or irreversible electroporation (IRE surgery).

This is another tumor ablation method using high voltage electrical impulses that put nano-sized holes into cancer cells, but not into surrounding healthy tissue.

Dr. Onik has been pioneering this procedure on prostate cancer patients, but he has also shown in liver cancer that these methods can double the survival rates, compared to conventional treatment methods. This method kills cancer cells, and the released surface antigens of cancer cells stimulate the immune system to further the healing. The interesting finding in Dr. Onik’s past research regarding the IRE surgery showed that the neurovascular bundle shows no damage from the IRE surgery within the prostate. With the two lesions in my right prostate lobe Dr. Onik wanted to use mainly IRE surgery, because they were in closer proximity to the neurovascular bundle.

Summary regarding mapping biopsy and prostate surgery

There are several points that impressed me with ablation cryotherapy.

Mapping biopsy

It starts with the mapping biopsy, which gives an exact histological picture of any prostate cancer in your prostate. This provides the roadmap for the surgeon to treat any lesions within the prostate with ablation cryotherapy that the biopsy located. During the biopsies there is transrectal ultrasound guidance (TRUS) using a rectal probe. This helps to locate the cancer 3- dimensionally.

Ablation cryotherapy

Like the mapping biopsy the physician does the ablation cryotherapy under general anesthetic. He treats the same lesions from the mapping biopsy with special Argon sounds, and temperature probes measure the temperature to make sure that the freezing action was long enough to destroy the tumor. This is repeated one more time to be certain that all cancer cells are killed.

IRE or also called NanoKnife

For cancer lesions too close to the neurovascular bundle to be removed with cryotherapy, the surgeon can use the alternative, IRE or also called NanoKnife. It had been researched in dogs and later in humans that it will  eradicate cancer cells, but not normal cells. It also does not attack the neurovascular bundle. Between the two procedures the entire cancer within the prostate can be removed safely.

Erectile dysfunction is only temporary

This means that the side effects are much less than with conventional prostate surgery. The erectile dysfunction is only temporary for 3 to 5 months, but Cialis and/or Viagra can be titrated to achieve normal sex until your own erections come back. There is no effect on the rectum and no sign of bladder leakage. Problems urinating are only temporary in the beginning and can be overcome with self-catheterization or with an indwelling catheter for a period of time. The end result is that the patient is back to normal, and the prostate cancer is removed.

Prostate Cancer Treatment Is Often Inadequate

Prostate Cancer Treatment Is Often Inadequate

Conclusion

I compared all of the other prostate cancer procedures to ablation cryotherapy. My conclusion was that ablation cryotherapy was the best solution for me. It is straightforward, cancer specific and works with the least amount of damage to the normal surrounding tissue. The 10-year survival was 100% with a tumor free rate of 94%. There is another advantage: anytime there is a PSA elevation in the follow-up blood tests, the mapping biopsy can be repeated. If there is a recurrent cancer, the treating physician can repeat the ablation cryotherapy again.

Reference: https://www.amazon.com/Prostate-Cancer-Unmasked-Ray-Schilling/dp/1542880661

Sep
24
2016

Cancer Stem Cells

If you want to cure cancer, you need to know about cancer stem cells. In my opinion the most important breakthrough in cancer research in the last decade has been the realization that standard cancer treatment protocols don’t work very well. They consisted of using surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Surgery is effective for early cancer. But radiotherapy and chemotherapy have been disappointing. Instead cancer immunotherapy has emerged as the missing link in the last 10 years. The full truth about cancer can only be understood, when we realize that most, if not all solid tumors are having their own cancer stem cells (CSC).

New testing methods for cancer stem cells

In the past cancer researchers thought that cancer stem cells were only present in leukemia, largely because of a lack of testing methods for solid tumors. We now have at least two methods of proving the existence of CSCs in solid tumors, as I will explain in more detail below. Using this new cancer stem cell concept, cancer can only be cured when the CSCs are eradicated.

New assays for cancer stem cells

Originally the concept of regular stem cells was proven in mice by radiating them and injecting bone marrow cells into them to rescue them. Researchers then sacrificed the animals. They found colonies in their spleens that were of the same cell type as the injected stem cells. This new thinking revolutionized the treatment of leukemia. In some cases bone marrow transplants could cure leukemia. Presently there is a new wave of stem cell treatment applications for a variety of conditions.

With regard to developing an assay for cancer stem cells in solid tumors researchers took a strain of hairless mice known to be immune deficient.  They lack thymus derived lymphocytes or T cells. They are officially called nude mice.

Two methods of proving that cancer stem cells exist

When researchers injected human cancer stem cell samples into them, they developed the original cancer of human origin, and they succumbed to metastases. Histologically the tumors in these mice are the same as the original human cancer. Another mouse model is equally effective in demonstrating CSC activity. Prior chemotherapy treatment paralyzes the immune system of regular laboratory mice. Using these chemotherapy pre-treated mice the CSC assay works very similar to the one using nude mice. Following injection of isolated cancer stem cells into the nude mouse or immunosuppressed mouse model, cancer cells, such as prostate cancer cells will grow in a short time. They look histologically the same as prostate cancer found in prostate biopsies from a man affected by prostate cancer.

Cancer stem cells in prostate cancer

Prostate cancer seems to originate from a cancer stem cell (CSC). The CSC has no androgenic receptors contrary to the majority of prostate cancer cells. This may be the reason why radiotherapy, hormone ablation and chemotherapy do not affect CSCs in prostate cancer. Ultimately this is the reason why the patient dies when the resistant CSCs multiply in the end stage.

One of the important new insights into cancer is that CSCs have the same surface antigen components as the cancer cells despite the difference in other receptors like hormone receptors.

Ablation cryotherapy to kill prostate cancer cells and CSC

One of the techniques of killing prostate cancer is ablation cryotherapy using Argon applicators that freeze the cancer cells, followed by thawing them again. The interventional radiologist, Dr. Gary Onik was the inventor of this technique. With the help of temperature probes the freezing process can be controlled. This will eliminate all prostate cancer including the prostate CSC. At the same time it will stimulate human T cells to recognize the cancer cell surface antigens as foreign and mount an immune reaction to eliminate any remaining cancer cells and all the CSCs. Prior to doing the cryotherapy the cancer cells were secreting substances that disabled the immune cells from recognizing prostate cancer as foreign cells. Now the cryosurgery does a double task: this therapy kills cancer cells and CSC and vaccinates patients against their specific tumors. This eradicates metastases and either cures the cancer or prolongs survival.

Irreversible electroporation and cancer stem cells

Another technique pioneered by Dr. Onik is the NanoKnife or irreversible electroporation (IRE). This is another tumor ablation method using high voltage electrical impulses that put nano-sized holes into cancer cells, but not into surrounding healthy tissue. Dr. Onik has been pioneering prostate cancer treatment, but he has also shown in liver cancer that this method can double the survival rate, compared to conventional treatment methods. Again, this method kills the CSC and cancer cells. The released surface antigens of cancer cells stimulate the immune system to further the healing.

Other solid tumors and cancer stem cells

In the last 10 years new methods have been developed to demonstrate the existence of CSCs in many solid tumors. Both the cryotherapy ablation method as well as the IRE method that stimulate the immune system in the sense of a cancer vaccination is not only effective in prostate cancer. It works for most solid tumors such as pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, colon cancer and many more.

These new evolving cancer therapies are essentially avoiding the trap of chemotherapy and radiotherapy where only more resistant cancer cells are produced.

Cancer vaccination process with cryosurgery and/or IRE

By removing the original cancer with cryosurgery and/or IRE the immune system is specifically stimulated to recognize the surface antigens of the cancer cells and the CSCs at the same time. With this cancer vaccination process the CSCs are eliminated, and this prevents new cancer cell clones (metastases) from developing. Dr. Onik has recently treated incurable cancer patients and has a cure rate of about 30% (personal communication) in patients who previously would all have died. Others are partial cures, where patients live much longer than anticipated. Using these techniques it is possible in many cases to cure end stage cancer. This has been done with liver and pancreas cancer, cancers that are extremely difficult to treat otherwise.

Cancer Stem Cells

Cancer Stem Cells

Conclusion

Cancer seems to develop out of cancer stem cells that are abnormal cells with genetic mutations. They are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but respond to surgery, to cryotherapy and to irreversible electroporation (IRE). The advantage of cryotherapy and IRE is that the surgeon can remove the tumor and the cancer stem cells. At the same time the dead cancer cells stimulate the immune system to produce cancer-fighting antibodies. These kill any metastases and any remaining cancer stem cells. Initially cancer researchers proved this method to be effective in prostate cancer patients. But since then a few researchers tested this method also in terminal cancer patients with pancreatic cancer, melanoma, liver cancer, brain cancer and many more solid tumor types.

Cancer as a disease of the immune system

Cancer is a disease of the immune system, and it is only logical that immunotherapy will achieve successful treatment. Surgery is only successful, when the surgeon can remove the entire tumor. In many cases this is not possible. Radiotherapy leaves cancer cells behind that will become resistant to treatment. Chemotherapy has the dismal prospect of killing the immune system and ultimately the patient. It appears that cryotherapy (and/or IRE) and the associated immunotherapy are the way of future cancer treatments. This is the most important breakthrough in cancer research during the last ten years.

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