LUNG CANCER: MORE HOPE WITH SAMENTO AND NONI
W. Lee Cowden, MD
Cancer Fix Magazine, Singapore, February 2005
Lung cancer is the leading type of cancer worldwide in both men and women over 34 years old, with more disability and deaths than other types of cancer.
There are two major types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer (also called “oat cell” cancer) and non-small cell lung cancer, depending on how the cells look under a microscope. These two types of lung cancer grow and spread in different ways and are treated differently by conventional medicine.
Small cell lung cancer accounts for about 20% of the lung cancer cases, is highly associated with smoking, grows quickly, and spreads early to distant organs. This is why for this type of lung cancer doctors often suggest chemotherapy in combination with radiation therapy rather than surgery.
Non-small cell lung cancer, the most common type of lung cancer, is usually associated with a history of smoking, passive smoking, or exposure to radon. There are three types of non-small cell lung cancer, named for the type of cell found in the tumor: squamous cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid carcinoma), frequently arising in the larger airways and commonly spreading by direct extension and lymph involvement, adenocarcinoma, commonly peripheral, usually spreading through the bloodstream and lymphatics, and undifferentiated large cell carcinoma, also usually spreading through the blood stream and lymphatics. These types of lung cancer are grouped together because they behave in a similar way and respond to treatment differently than small cell lung cancer.
These primary lung cancers should be distinguished from the various cancers that originate elsewhere in the body and spread into the lungs, including breast, bowel, kidney, ovary, and prostate cancers. These cancers are usually treated in the same way as the initial cancer.
Cigarette smoking causes more than 90% of lung cancer. The more cigarettes one smokes and the longer one smokes, the greater is lung cancer risk. But the cancer risk decreases gradually once one stops smoking. Cigarette smoke contains a variety of toxic chemicals that damage different genes inside of cells, which regulate normal growth and death of cells. The resulting unregulated growth of cells causes cancerous tumors to be formed.
Various air pollutants (including arsenic, asbestos, beryllium, chromium, nickel, radon gas, agricultural herbicides and fungicides) can also trigger the development of lung cancer. Some people also have a hereditary predisposition to lung cancer.
It is now thought that lung cancer develops because of damage to cellular DNA, activation of cellular oncogenes, inactivation of tumor-suppressor genes, stimulation of cell proliferation by growth factors, dysregulation of cell cycle, and/or impaired immune system function.
In Conventional medicine, lung cancer is usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these modalities, depending on the type and stage of the disease. There are also some new therapies which are currently used in clinical trials: cryosurgery which freezes the tumor and kills it; photodynamic therapy which uses a certain type of light to activate a special chemical that kills cancer cells; laser therapy which uses a narrow beam of light to kill cancer cells, and radiofrequency ablation in which a wire placed into the tumor delivers radio waves which heat the tumor and cause the cancer cells to die.
Some natural products with broad-spectrum immune modulating, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-infectious properties can be helpful as an adjunct therapy to conventional treatment alleviating the side effects of radiation and/or chemotherapy, reducing severity of clinical symptoms, improving the quality of life and sometimes even prolonging the patient’s life. Two such natural products are Samento (Pentacyclic Oxindole Alkaloid Chemotype Uncaria tomentosa,) and Noni (Morinda citrifolia) fruit juice concentrate which have a long history of use as traditional folk medicines for many health disorders, including cancer. In the last decade, Samento and the Noni fruit juice has both been reported to have anti-cancer activity in clinical practice and in laboratory animals.
In the “Lechitel Health Center” in Bulgaria, where Samento was included in an integrative treatment protocol of more than 100 patients with lung cancer, clinical data demonstrate positive results using Samento as an adjunct therapy to conventional treatment (surgery, chemo- or radiation therapy). In severe cases, the initial use of Samento for 1 to 2 months prior to starting other therapies improved patients’ clinical conditions, shrank their initial tumors, encapsulated small metastases, and made possible the consequent use of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery. When patients used Samento along with chemotherapy, they felt stronger, had minimal or no side effects (nausea, vomiting, weakness, hair loss), and their white and red blood cell decreased slightly or stayed normal. The use of Samento after surgery helped patients to recover faster. At the early stages of cancer, the use of Samento in full therapeutic dosage during 6 to 18 months, showed positive results in young males (previously active smokers) who refused any kind of conventional treatment. The use of Samento long-term (up to 4 years) as a maintenance therapy, improved patients’ overall wellbeing, functionality, and quality of life, and prolonged their life.
Professor Henk Oswald from Netherlands also reported that the use of Samento along with chemotherapy was highly beneficial for cancer patients in alleviating side effects of chemotherapy and enhancing its effectiveness.
The laboratory research data indicate that biologically active substances in Samento
( Pentacyclic oxindole Alkaloids, glycosides, polysaccharides, sterols) can indirectly inhibit tumor growth by stimulating production and functional activity of cancer-fighting immune cells (macrophages, natural killers and T cells) and balancing various cytokines and growth factors, as well as repair chemically-induced cell DNA damage.
Neil Solomon, M.D., Ph.D. in his book “Noni: Nature’s Amazing Healer” (1998), introduced clinical data from more than 40 doctors and other health professionals who gathered information on patients using Noni juice for various health problems. From 847 patients with lung cancer who used Noni juice, the lessening of clinical symptoms was registered in 67% of cases. Noni juice showed no negative reactions, could be taken along with some other medications, and in certain cases even permitted other medications to act more efficiently, allowing a decrease in the dosage of these medications.
In laboratory animal experiments, Noni fruit juice and its fractions demonstrate anti-tumor activity on Lewis lung carcinoma in mice. It is not toxic in cell cultures, but can indirectly kill the cancer cells via activation of the cellular immune system involving macrophages, natural killer cells and T cells. It was also able to induce earlier cell death in cancer cells and decrease tumor blood vessel growth.
Noni juice possesses antioxidant substances that prevent the initiation stage of cancer development. Within one week of using a daily dose recommended by Noni bottlers, it reduced chemical carcinogen-DNA adduct formation in both cell culture and laboratory animals (male mice) by 50% in the lung, and by more than 80% in the liver and kidney.
In conclusion, one can see that the use of Samento Extract and Noni Juice Concentrate as an adjunct therapy to conventional treatment may be beneficial for patients with lung cancer and probably other cancers. Such an integrative treatment may improve patients’ clinical conditions, enhance the immune system tumor-surveillance function and anti-tumor activities, alleviate side effects of chemo- and radiation therapy and increase their effectiveness, improve patients’ quality of life, and give them more hope for the future.