My diagnosis of breast cancer came as a complete shock because I had a clear mammogram. But my type of cancer, lobular carcinoma, doesn’t show up on mammograms. Mine was extensive, with 20 of 24 nodes involved. I underwent a modified radical mastectomy followed by both radiation therapy and intensive chemotherapy. After a follow-up visit, I was told that the cancer was still there. Discouraged and feeling physically exhausted, I decided I couldn’t endure another round of chemotherapy.
I had read about immune therapy being used in conjunction with radiation therapy at the Cancer Center in Greenwood even before my physician recommended that I go there. He knew that Dr. Smith had seen some promising results with his methods that stimulate the immune system’s response to cancer and are believed to increase the tolerance and effectiveness of traditional therapies.
My husband and I have two daughters — one in Texas and one in upstate New York — whom we enjoy visiting as often as possible. Our daughter in New York is a nurse, and she thinks it’s great that I’m able to receive this type therapy here. She knows that immunotherapy is being researched and used in some of the largest cancer treatment facilities in the country.
I appreciate the fact that Dr. Smith allows me to be part of the team. He explains the possible benefits and risks at every step and lets me decide what I’m most comfortable with. After eight months, the markers are good*, my disease is stable, and I’m feeling better every day. I only wish everyone could have access to this method of cancer treatment that has given me back both my energy and my hope.
*Helen’s treatment recently caused her natural killer lymphocytes to reach 61% (normal range 3 – 15%).
Caucasian female, age 62, underwent radical mastectomy and axillary dissection for lobular carcinoma 5/3/96, with 20 nodes positive. She received postoperative cytoxan, methotrexate / fluorouracil for one cycle, doxarubacin for four cycles, and taxol for four cycles. She was referred for regional radiotherapy after the chemotherapy and seven months after surgery. Serum BR27.29 documented an interval rise from 56 to 152 during the chemotherapy. The patient was despondent and weak from side effects of intensive chemotherapy.
During initial radiotherapy, BRM therapy was begun with natural vitamin E 400 IU three times daily, selenium 200 mcg twice daily, vitamin C 5 g once daily, oligomeric proanthocyanidins 200 mg daily, human growth hormone (HGH) one unit SC twice daily, melatonin 50 mg at hs, and IL-2 5.5 IU / day. GM-CSF 250 mcg was added at bedtime.
Over the next three months the NK% reached 61. BR27.29 remained low for two years during which time there were nine NK% determinations more than 50, and many more than 40.
Authors’ comments: There is lay disinformation that previous chemotherapy precludes successful complimentary medicine / biological approaches. We propose many if not most anecdotal remissions are immunologically driven and would be evidenced by increased NK% if tested during the remission process. The interval NK% increase and absolute NK% elevation observed in this case confirmed alteration of immune system activity, and the ability of IL-2 based regimen in this case to stimulate NK% clearly was not incapacitated by the previous chemotherapy. In this patient’s case, where further cytotoxic chemotherapy was very unlikely to beneficially damage tumor, and where patient’s physiologic reserve was seriously compromised, immunotherapy proved a “way out of the trap”.