The relationship between a key hormone of pregnancy, human chorionic
gonadotropin (HCG), and human cancer received a powerful boost in May
when NCI's celebrated researcher Robert Gallo claimed that the hormone
could be used as a treatment to fight Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), a type
of cancer common in men with AIDS. "Tumorigenesis and metastasis of
[a] neoplastic Kaposi¹s sarcoma cell line in immunodeficient mice [is]
blocked by a human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a pregnancy hormone,"
Gallo, co-discoverer of the HIV virus, wrote in the May 4, 1995 Nature.
Gallo¹s coworkers, Philippe Hermans (Brussels) and Jacques Besnier (Paris)
said that they had discovered that HCG participates in the hormonal
regulation of new blood vessel formation. They speculate that it is
the presence of this hormone at various points in their lives that keeps
women from often developing Kaposi¹s sarcoma, a kind of skin malignancy.
Dr. Hermans related the story of an African woman who had an AIDS-related
Kaposi¹s sarcoma, with 14 growing lesions. But after she became pregnant
all these tumors stopped growing. And less than a year later, the tumors
had completely disappeared and her baby was also free of the dreaded
KS. Similarly, a 27-year-old Caucasian women who had had five KS tumors
disappear within the first two months of her pregnancy. Gallo claimed
that in the test tube HCG killed the AIDS-related Kaposi cells that
caused malignant tumors. In another experiment, all the nude mice (which,
because of defective immune systems, lack a natural resistance to cancer)
injected with KS cells developed cancer, except for those that became
pregnant. These pregnant animals remained tumor-free. Female animals
injected with cancer cells during the first ten days of their pregnancy
(when the hormone is highly active) also failed to develop cancer. "To
our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of an anti-tumor property
of beta human chorionic gonadotropin," wrote Gallo and his co-authors.
This should raise a few smiles among readers of this newsletter, who
read about the link between HCG and cancer in past issues. HCG is produced
by the so-called trophoblastic cell of pregnancy, a cell that is responsible
for the adhesion of the life-giving placenta to the mother's uterine
wall. The link between trophoblast and cancer dates back to the summer
of 1902, when a University of Edinburgh lecturer in embryology named
John Beard published the first of his epochal observations in the Lancet
on the many points of identity between trophoblast and cancer. These
were later collected into a 1911 book called "The Enzyme Treatment of
Cancer," which was popular in its day, but has since gone out of print.
The link is central to the work of Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., the controversial
codiscoverer of Laetrile and founder of the John Beard Memorial Foundation.
Krebs has maintained for over 40 years that cancer is in fact trophoblast
in the wrong place at the wrong time ("in temporal and spatial anomoly,"
is how he usually phrases it.) The connection also forms the basis of
the immuno-embryonal therapy of Valentin Govallo, MD of Moscow, which
features the injection into cancer patients of a preparation of placental
tissue, which is rich in HCG. The link between trophoblast and cancer
has been brilliantly put forward by Rigdon Lentz, MD, who (without knowing
Beard¹s work) published an article on the trophoblast-cancer link in
a medical journal a decade ago. And since early this year, there have
been clinical trials underway at several East Coast medical centers
using a patented combination of HCG and another substance to fight cancer
and cancer pain. In the past, Dr. Gallo erroneously laid claim to the
sole discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus. This created an
international scandal. Now NCI¹s most famous researcher is raiding the
fertile fields of alternative medicine. Will anyone complain?
home - moss
reports - books -
- contact - order
chronicles - faq
- free email newsletter