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Medical Fever kills cancer?

  1. May 8, 2010 #1
    I did not see an earlier thread about this but it sure looks interesting.

    http://www.ivanhoe.com/channels/p_channelstory.cfm?storyid=21587 [Broken]

    But what is new? I see a different story elsewhere

    The Toxins of William B. Coley and the Treatment of Bone and Soft-Tissue Sarcomas

    That would certainly raise some questions. How could a successful treathment be suppressed simply because it could not be believed despite the result? Why not?

    One also might contemplate the two-cent thought that cancer could have become more common now due to the more successfull controlling of diseases with high fever. Thoughts?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2010 #2


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    Hi Andre,
    That's a fascinating story! Sure sounds like this will be an active area of research in the future from the article you posted.
    Seems like that article answers your questions:
    The article seems like an unbiased, objective look at Coley's work and why it was rejected, but the summary says it all.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  4. May 8, 2010 #3
    There was a doctor, whose name escapes me, towards the end of the 19 cent when cancer was first identified, who treated patients in hot water and wax baths, thus raising their whole body temperatures.

    He achieved some reasonable measure of success, but many patients could not stand the treatment.
  5. May 8, 2010 #4


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    If you take everything in that article to be true (despite being anecdotal), it still doesn't support any kind of claim to 'fever cures cancer' but rather 'high temperature raises effectiveness of existing cancer treatments'.

    And the anecdotes of a few patients would be far from any kind of conclusive evidence to that effect.
  6. May 8, 2010 #5
    That was also true of the cases I was trying to recall.
    In fact there is good basis for the statement since cancerous cells have subsequently been shown to exhibit a different temperature susceptibility curve from 'good' cells.
  7. May 8, 2010 #6
    There is a method of using a hot chemotherapy "dialysis" of the peritoneum, adn the heat does seem to aid the efficacy of the chemotherapy.
  8. May 9, 2010 #7


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    It is true that local elevated temperature is already used as an accepted supplement for cancer treatment (although probably not widely practiced). A local raise in temperature is used to increase the flow of blood in the area where a tumor resides. This means that the chemotherapeutic agents can more easily access the tumor and thus the therapy will be more effective. The reverse is also practiced to reduce the side-effect of hair loss during chemotherapy: patients are fitted with a hood that cools their scalp so that the blood-flow is reduced, this means that the chemotherapeutic drugs cannot access the hair follicles during the treatment and hair loss is prevented. This is only possible when the tumor is non-metastatic.

    The treatment as proposed by William Coley is different, because the fever is used to trick the body in believing there is an immune response. It is thought that IL-12 is the cytokine that mediates the anti-tumor effects of the Coley's Toxin, but clinical trial have not been successful in using IL-12 as a therapy. I think much more research has to be done to understand the mechanism that is at work.
  9. May 9, 2010 #8
    Not to mention that any of these treatments using inflammatory signals is dangerous as hell... maybe a step below undifferentiated cells right into the eyeball. Fevers are a razor to walk upon, with death and brain damage on one side, and killing a pathogen (or cancer) on the other. As in the case of both pathogens and cancer, killing SOME of it isn't enough, and to cleanse the whole system would probably kill the host. A grim business.
  10. May 9, 2010 #9
    i wonder if anyone has thought to use an uncoupler like 2,4-dinitrophenol to elevate body temp for this ?
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