Feb. 4, 2010 A researcher at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is investigating the potential use of non-pathogenic baker's yeast as a promising, natural therapy for cancer.
Dr. Mamdooh Ghoneum presented his findings Feb. 2 at a special conference on "Cell Death Mechanism," sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) at the Omni San Diego Hotel in San Diego.
"The central focus of the meeting is cell death regulation and how to mine and exploit it for therapeutic gain," a written evaluation of the AACR special conference states. "This conference includes new complexities of cell death and cell survival, new technologies, and clinical translational aspects necessary for the evolution of new therapeutic strategies."
For more than two decades, Dr. Ghoneum has pursued a theory that cancer cells self destruct when exposed to small quantities of yeast.
In laboratory tests, Dr. Ghoneum exposed cancer cells to yeast and observed as they ingested the yeast -- through a process known as phagocytosis -- and then the cancer cells died. First, he investigated this phenomenon in test tubes (in vitro), introducing yeast to breast, tongue, colon, and skin cancers.
"I have no doubt that I am close to unlocking the mystery as to why cancer cells weaken to the point of destruction after eating common baker's yeast," Dr. Ghoneum said. "The cells just gravitate to the yeast. I call it fatal attraction."
In later experiments, yeast was injected inside the tumors of mice and, again, he observed a decrease in the size of the tumor mass. Then, in his most recent tests, he examined whether yeast could kill cancer cells in mice that had cancer metastasized to the lung. These tests also showed significant clearance of the cancer cells from the lung.
"We observed that when the cancer cells eat the yeast, they die," Dr. Ghoneum said.
The next step, Dr. Ghoneum said, is to conduct clinical trials to determine safety, efficacy of dosage and a method of treatment.
Born in Egypt, Dr. Ghoneum earned his Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo in 1980 and did his postdoctoral studies at UCLA, School of Medicine. Dr. Ghoneum is an internationally recognized immunologist, who is an expert in Cancer Immune Therapy. He holds patents for inventing three biological response modifiers for the treatment of cancer. He has been a researcher and professor at Charles Drew University for twenty-five years, specializing in identifying natural cures for cancer.
Dr. Ghoneum's work has been studied and duplicated by leading scientists worldwide with results published in top medical journals. His findings have been confirmed by similar studies at the U.S. Department of Health and Science, National Institute of Health (NIH).
"There is a possibility that we could find a way to treat not only the local tumor, but the tumor that has spread throughout the body," said Dr. Gus Gill, Chairman Emeritus, Department of Otolaryngology, Charles Drew University. "As a surgeon, I always thought that a better way was to try to get rid of surgery (as a necessity) when dealing with cancer."
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