Saturday, June 9, 2018

Theory of Cancer

In ancient times cancer was blamed on the gods. Science has helped us demystify cancer's origins but we still don't understand many of the mechanisms involved in cancer occurrence, growth and metastasis.

In my view, the most probable hypothesis is that the cancer process begins when certain cells, in a resting state, cannot meet the requirements for normal cellular respiration and switch to anaerobic respiration. {ref|ref}

It appears to be a survival mechanism triggered by the loss of normal intracellular communication {ref} caused by chronic stressors {ref|ref|ref|ref|ref|ref}. This chronic condition leads to mineral disproportion and hormonal imbalance {refand eventually confined oxygen deprivation or deficient use of oxygen, creating an environment in which fungi, bacteria and viruses commonly thrive, and cancer cells -for the most part glycolytic cells- emerge.

If such a condition is not resolved some cells don't initiate apoptosis and over time these cells start accumulating. A well-working immune system can, to some extent, control cell overgrowth. If cancer cells start escaping such protective systems, tumors, lymphomas or leukemias ensue. Symptoms appear and cancer is diagnosed. Although current treatments are sometimes highly effective at eradicating much of the overgrowth, those same treatments often make the underlying condition - the lack of oxygen and, progressively, carbon dioxide - worse. This creates a vicious cycle, and more places in the body now become vulnerable to the switch from regular cellular respiration to anaerobic respiration. This leads to metastasis and such a condition becomes untreatable eventually. 

Treatments that eliminate fermenting cells πŸ›ˆ or stop such cells from fermenting πŸ›ˆ and limit the consequences of aerobic fermentation (glucose conversion into lactic acid instead of carbon dioxide), and simultaneously help restore the oxygen and carbon dioxide deprivation πŸ›ˆ, not worsen it, should prevent metastasis from occurring or exacerbating. This would then result in longer life, and of better quality.

If the above hypothesis is correct then the popular dietary anti-cancer intervention - (intermittent) fasting - would actually be counter-productive eventually because caloric deprivation will decrease Erythropoietin (EPO) production, a hormone produced in the kidney that stimulates the formation of red blood cells by the bone marrow. 

Metformin πŸ›ˆ, a medicine used to lower high blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and repurposed as an anti-aging and anti-cancer drug, increases plasma lactate levels, which in turn could make the underlying cancer-promoting condition worse.

Cancer, a genetic disease

Cancer cells have gene mutations and will unceasingly continue to replicate. Gene mutations can be either inherited or acquired. 

Examples of inherited mutations:
  • Hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome
  • Lynch Syndrome
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Cowden syndrome
Acquired: dysregulation of more than 700 genes at multiple steps in cell signaling pathways.

Cancer, a metabolic disease

Can cancer metabolism be targeted to stop cancer proliferation?

According to San-MillΓ‘n and Brooks GA "Lactate is probably the only metabolic compound involved and necessary in all main sequela for carcinogenesis, specifically: angiogenesis, immune escape, cell migration, metastasis, and self-sufficient metabolism. We hypothesize that lactogenesis for carcinogenesis is the explanation and purpose of the Warburg Effect. Accordingly, therapies to limit lactate exchange and signaling within and among cancer cells should be priorities for discovery".

This study suggests cancer to be a metabolic disorder rather than a genetic disease.

Even if one thinks of cancer as a metabolic disease, the optimal treatment might not be metabolic because metabolic activity is under genetic control.

Harmonious interaction between MCT1 and MCT4 is responsible for the heterogeneity of cancer metabolism. Metabolic symbiosis occurs between well-oxygenated/aerobic cancer cells and hypoxic/glycolytic cancer cells. Intra-tumoral heterogeneity induces a lactate shuttle between hypoxic and oxidative cancer cells driven by both MCT1 and MCT4. In contrast to MCT1-expressing cancer cells, glucose uptake is robust in MCT4-positive cells. MCT4-positive hypoxic cells are responsible for the formation of an acidic tumor microenvironment through aerobic glycolysis and the secretion of lactate, whereas MCT1-positive oxidative cells utilize lactate as a metabolic intermediate for the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle) and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), and consequently exhibit a stem-like phenotype.

All of the nutritional factors that participate in mitochondrial respiration contribute to maintaining a balance between excessive excitation and protective inhibition. Riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, vitamin K, niacinamide, thiamine, and selenium are the nutrients that most directly relate to mitochondrial energy production. {Ref}

Cancer, an evolutionary throwback

Cancer tumors are able to survive with very little oxygen, this supports the idea that cancer emerged when the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere was extremely low when life first appeared on our planet.

Suggested treatments:
  • Increase oxygen in the body
  • Focus on the immune system, help trigger the patient's own immune system cells to attack cancer
If cancer is part of the history of the cell and for whatever reason the cell reverted to that ancient function, trying to forever halt cancer via metabolic pathways as mentioned above, seems to be a near-impossible task to accomplish since many cancer cells will survive the most inhospitable and nutrient-deficient conditions (note: this is just my opinion).

As for the reason, could it be that a normal cell becomes cancerous because of adaptation? Is the cell trying to adapt or cope with a changing habitat e.g. less oxygen, more acidic, etc.? Instead, it reverts to a function that a billion years ago was an efficient mechanism to deal with such an environment.

If that were the case shouldn't we pay more attention to the habitat? And in the event of metastasis, the most lethal hallmark of cancer, cancer cells from an organ, tissue, or liquid have moved or are moving to a different part of the body. What determines the route and destination of metastasis? The path of least resistance? Does It occur randomly?  Do migrating-cancer cells look for a similar habitat as from where they originated {Ref}? If there's such a habitat cancer spreads if there isn't there's no metastatic spread? In the event of metastasis when migrating cancer cells arrive at the new location and if they were to revert back to normal cells, which seems possible {refref}, they would be in the wrong place. Apoptosis would then resolve this.

Theory of cancer stem cells (CSC)

Cancer is a wound that does not heal

Chronic irritation theory. {Ref}

Dr. Prudden’s 31 Cases: Treating Cancer with Bovine Tracheal Cartilage. "Dr. John F. Prudden (1920-1998), found that bovine tracheal cartilage had a powerful and consistently positive effect on wound healing, arthritis, cancer, and other diseases."

Melancholy as a risk factor for cancer

  • Depression and the Immune System: A Close Connection {Ref}

“Don't carry the experience of life as a wound – let it become wisdom.” Sadhguru

Cancer is caused by nutritional deficiencies


Cancer cells that arise from bacteria

{Ref}   It's the Terrain

Cancer is a consequence of an acidic body and lymphatic obstruction.

Cancer is a delayed severe hypersensitivity reaction.

Cancer is first of all a cachexia accompanied by a tumor

It is proposed here that carcinogens deplete a vital substance and induce a metabolic deficiency that ends in cachexia. In order to survive, the organism grows a protective organ-the tumor-that replenishes the missing substance. {Ref}

What vital substance is missing?

Cancer is caused by a loss of efficient use of oxygen

  • Oxygen-Starved Tumor Cells Have Survival Advantage That Promotes Cancer Spread {ref}
  • Stem-like cancer cells grow more rapidly under hypoxic conditions {study}

Dysregulation of the urea cycle is prevalent in many cancer types, and it is accompanied by specific mutations resulting from the increased synthesis of pyrimidine.


Cancer is the result of homeostatic imbalance


References & Sources

Last update: Wednesday July 27, 2022


  1. Interesting theory of cancer.


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