Reader Letter: The cancer treatment that your oncologist won’t tell you about

PUBLISHED: 13:45 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:45 31 May 2018

Picture: Denise Bradley

Picture: Denise Bradley

One reader believes there has been a breakthrough in cancer treatment that oncologists are hiding from their patients. What do you think?

There has been a breakthrough in cancer therapy, but your oncologist will not tell you about it. The new kids on the block are called oncolytic viruses which, like bacteriophages that will only attack a specific bacterium, attack only cancer cells. When these viruses kill a cancer they release further copies of themselves that go on to find other cancer cells, until all the cancer is gone, at which point the viruses pass out of the body. Chicken farmers of old used to notice that when there was a bacterial infection in a flock, the sick birds would peck the droppings of the survivor birds and in turn they too would regain health, because the canny birds knew that bacteriophages were in the droppings.0Bacteriophages have been around for 100 years, but the medical establishment, controlled by the big pharma companies, refuse to use them on patients, the usual tired old excuse, couched in a way which any sane person could not possibly disagree with, is that “more research is needed”, aka kick into the long grass. Indeed more research is always needed for any medicine, so their stock phrase is highly disingenuous, to be charitable. In fact, bacteriophages are used to identify an unknown bacterium in the lab, but instead of giving the patient the very cheap ‘phage to cure them, doctors then dispense an expensive synthetic antibiotic which may or may not kill the bacterium, but will certainly play havoc with the gut flora and often result in further complications - especially in the elderly or, after prolonged use, result in death.

However, back to oncolytic viruses and why we are not hearing about them. I suspect these anti-cancer viruses will go the way of bacteriophages, ie big pharma will spend 10 years and billions of pounds trying to synthesise the virus to make huge amounts of cash from the patents. Then, because the oncolytic virus is a living entity and evolves to overcome cancer cells as they try to outsmart their attacker, anything synthetic will not be able to do this as it cannot too evolve to outsmart the new cancer cell. It’s then back to square one - ie billions of pounds and another long delay. In the meantime, thousands of people will die needlessly, to say nothing of the huge expense and family suffering resulting from those deaths. Why do we allow this to happen time and again?

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