MTH-68/N GETS SOME RESPECT
JNCI LAUDS NEWCASTLE TREATMENT;
HUNGARIANS TO ALLOW WIDESCALE USE
From The Cancer Chronicles #23
© Sept. 1994 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
A chicken farmer, who happens to have metastasized stomach cancer, suddenly
and miraculously undergoes a complete and lasting disappearance of his tumor.
Spontaneous remission? It turns out that just at that time, the man's flock
was being devastated by an infectious disease of fowl called Newcastle Disease.
The man had contracted a minor infection with Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV).
The result of this inconsequential infection was a complete recovery from
This case was published in Lancet in 1971 by a Hungarian-American scientist
named Laszlo Csatary, MD (Lancet 1971;2:825). For nearly three decades, Csatary
has been doggedly pursuing his vision of a treatment for cancer that is based
on an attenuated, nonpathogenic form of the Newcastle Disease virus. (The
worst side effect of NDV in some people is conjunctivitis or pink eye.) The
result of his quest has been MTH-68/N, a vaccine made from a weakened strain
of the Newcastle disease virus that cured that chicken farmer long ago.
Although Csatary has published in prestigious medical publications, often
his papers have been rejected as irrelevant to the current fashions in cancer
research. Through his publications and case histories, however, one can conclude
that this inexpensive vaccine is sometimes quite effective against not just
cancer, but against herpes and hepatitis B infections as well.
NOT MADE IN USA
The treatment could hardly be simpler; it is taken in the form of a nasal
spray. In a Phase II multi-center trial in Budapest, it was recently shown
to cause partial or complete tumor regression in eight out of 32 advanced
patients (Cancer Detection and Prevention 1993;17:619-627) and symptomatic
relief to many others. But although it is non-toxic and relatively inexpensive,
and was developed in the US, Americans cannot get it here. Csatary no longer
administers the treatment in the US for fear of FDA's reaction.
This summer there have been several promising developments in the MTH-68
On June 21,  there was a large media conference on MTH-68/N at the
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, overlooking the Danube. This event was attended
by about 150 persons, including many grateful patients. Also present, in
addition to Laszlo Csatary and his wife Eva, was Sandor Eckhardt, MD, president
of the International Union Against Cancer, and one of the leading cancer
researchers in Europe. It was he who supervised the
latest clinical trial. After this conference, it was announced that the newly
elected Hungarian government will now allow an unlimited number of patients
to be enrolled in the current Phase II trial.
In addition, in the 8/17/94 edition of the Journal of the National Cancer
Institute, there is a report on a similar treatment by Robert M. Lorence
and colleagues at the Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago.
They announced the "complete regression of human neuroblastoma" in animals
Although a rare cancer, neuroblastoma is the most common extra-cranial solid
tumor in children. When this type of human cancer cell was transplanted into
11 "nude mice," a kind of rodent bred to accept human tumor grafts, they
grew quickly. However, when a strain of NDV was injected directly into these
lesions, "it caused all 11 tumors to regress completely (no palpable or visible
tumor remained)," while rapid tumor growth continued in the control animals.
The NDV-treated mice were then observed for 12 months, during which time,
the Chicago scientists say, only one tumor reappeared. "A second virus treatment
on day 23 led to complete regression of this tumor."
Lorence and his colleagues properly credit Dr. Laszlo Csatary for the initial
work on NDV and also acknowledge that in the Budapest trial there were
good results in about a quarter of the patients tested. There was also
a lead editorial in JNCI about this exciting approach.
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