NEW EVIDENCE SUPPORTS THEORY
OF CO-INFECTION IN MTH-68 USE
Copyright 1997 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
We have written in Cancer Therapy about MTH-68, a treatment that involves
deliberately infecting patients with the virus that causes Newcastle Disease
Many questions remain about why an infection with one virus sometimes
"cures" those suffering from other infections or diseases.
A recent article gives some clues to this old puzzle. The article is entitled,
"To kill or cure: options in host defense against viral infection," and appeared
in Current Opinion in Immunology last year (1996;8:476-483). The authors
are Drs. Luca G. Guidotti and Francis V. Chisari of the Scripps Research
Institute in La Jolla, CA. They discuss the complex interrelationship in
the liver between the viruses that cause the three main types of hepatitis.
The Scripps scientists write that sometimes when a person's liver is infected
with the very dangerous hepatitis B virus [HBV], they are unexpectedly cured
if they simultaneously contract another liver infection.
A "co-infection or superinfection of the HBV-infected liver by other
pathogens could facilitate HBV clearance," they write. It's an astonishing
idea. But the concurrent viruses may stimulate the production of cytokines
such as interferon and tumor necrosis factor.
They note that "cytokine-activated pathways may be operative in other viral
This startling observation is consistent with case histories showing
that chronic "hep B" infections sometimes go into remission when the patient
comes down with an additional infection with either hepatitis A or C.
Obviously no one is going to infect a patient with either hepatitis A or
C in the hope of curing him. That is why Dr. Laszlo Csatary's idea makes
such sense. For years, he been using the harmless Newcastle Disease Virus
(NDV) for a similar purpose. NDV is almost completely lacking in side effects
in humans. (The worst it has been known to cause in humans is conjunctivitis
For over 25 years Csatary has insisted that one virus can beneficially interfere
with another, either stimulating an immune reaction or else possibly competing
for the same "landing sites" on cells which the more dangerous virus is also
trying to take over.
This technique has been used with some apparent success in both herpes and
hepatitis infections. (Note: in hepatitis, they use an attenuated variant of Bursal Disease Virus, a double-stranded RNA virus which is a member of the Birnaviridae family.)
But this technique has also been used in cancer. Like many scientists,
Dr. Csatary believes that viruses are instrumental in either causing or promoting
a variety of human cancers. He uses "co-infection" with a harmless virus
to knock out more virulent cancer-related viruses. For this, he deserves
both credit and support from those in established institutions.
Mainly, however, he has received indifference.
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