by Fungus plus the Cancer-Fungus Causal Connection
Excerpted from nature.com’s article “Planetary disasters: It could
happen one night,” by Nicola Jones, Jan. 8, 2013
Although viruses and bacteria grab more attention, fungi are the planet's
biggest killers. Of all the pathogens being tracked, fungi have caused more
than 70% of the recorded global and regional extinctions, and now threaten
amphibians, bats and bees. The Irish potato famine in the 1840s showed just
how devastating such pathogens can be. Phytophthora infestans (an
organism similar to, and often grouped with, fungi) wiped out as much as
three-quarters of the potato crop in Ireland and led to the death of one
blight is still a threat: 13_A2, a highly aggressive strain of P.
infestans, is now rampant in Europe and North Africa. Across the globe,
Phytophthora causes some US$6.7 billion in annual damages, according
to a 2009 estimate. Sarah Gurr, a plant pathologist at the University of
Oxford, UK, estimates that the worst theoretical potato infestation would
deprive 1.3 billion people of food each year. Other major staple crops face
similar threats, such as rice blast (Magnaporthe oryzae), corn smut (Ustilago
maydis), soya bean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi) and wheat stem
rust (Puccinia graminis). The stem-rust superstrain Ug99 has in
recent years slashed yields in parts of Africa by as much as 80%.
five crop staples were hit with fungal outbreaks at the same time, more than
60% of the world's population could go hungry, says Gurr. “That's
apocalyptic”, but unlikely, she says — “more of a James Bond movie”. David
Hughes, a zoologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park,
adds that terrorists could use fungi to wreak havoc by targeting
economically important crops. In the 1980s, for example, a possibly
deliberate infection wiped out cacao crops in northern Brazil, changing the
country's demographics and ecology as people moved from unproductive farms
to the cities and cleared more rainforest. “If you wanted to destabilize the
world, you could easily introduce rubber blight into southeast Asia,” he
says, which would trigger a chain reaction of economic and political
agriculture has exacerbated societies' vulnerability by encouraging farmers
to plant the same strains of high-yield crops, limiting the variety of
resistance genes among the plants, says Gurr. “We've skewed the arms race in
favour of the pathogen,” she says. “That's why we're on the brink of
Researchers estimate that there are 1.5 million to 5 million species of
fungi in the world, but only 100,000 have been identified. Reports of new
types of fungal infection in plants and animals have risen nearly tenfold
since 1995. Gurr suggests that climate change might be a culprit.
have cause for concern as well. In the past decade, a tropical fungus called
Cryptococcus gattii has adapted to thrive in cooler climes and
invaded the forests of North America's Pacific Northwest. By 2010, it had
infected some 280 people, dozens of whom died. Although fungi are not spread
as easily from person to person as viruses, for example, and anti-fungal
agents can effectively tackle most infections, there are still reasons to
worry. Fungi continue to evolve, and once they are established in an
ecosystem, they can be almost impossible to wipe out.
these trends, experts say that fungi have not received enough attention from
researchers and governments. “I'd be very surprised if an abrupt fungal
infection killed a large swathe of people. But it's not impossible,” says
Matthew Fisher, an emerging-disease researcher at Imperial College London.
“Complacency is not a recommended course of action.”
on Cancer Death by Fungus
Here is additional information (not from the nature.com website) on death by
fungi from Dr. Mark Sircus, Director of the International Medical Veritas
Association and Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine,
Fungi are dreadful enemies. During their life cycle fungi depend on other
living beings, which must be exploited to different degrees for their
feeding. Fungi can develop from the hyphae, the more or less beak-shaped
specialized structures that allow the penetration of the host. The shape of
a fungus is never defined; it is imposed by the environment in which the
fungus develops. Fungi are capable of implementing an infinite number of
modifications to their own metabolism in order to overcome the defense
mechanism of the host. These modifications are implemented through plasmatic
and biochemical actions as well as by a volumetric increase (hypertrophy)
and numerical hyperplasia of the cells that have been attacked.
“Fungal infections can not only be extremely contagious, but they also go
hand in hand with leukemia—every oncologist knows this. And these infections
are devastating: once a child who has become a bone marrow transplant
recipient gets a “secondary” fungal infection, his chances of living,
despite all the antifungals in the world, are only 20%, at best,” writes Dr.
In 1999, Meinolf Karthaus, MD watched three different children with
leukemia suddenly go into remission upon receiving a triple antifungal drug
cocktail for their “secondary” fungal infections.
A. Kaufman wrote:
day I wrote this, a young lady phoned into my syndicated radio talk show.
Her three-year-old daughter was diagnosed last year with leukemia. She
believes antifungal drugs and natural immune system therapy has been
responsible for saving her daughter’s life. She is now telling others with
cancer about her daughter’s case. After hearing her story, a friend of hers
with bone cancer asked her doctor for a prescriptive antifungal drug. To her
delight, this medication, meant to eradicate fungus, was also eradicating
her cancer. She dared not share this with her physician, telling him only
that the antifungal medication was for a “yeast” infection. When she
could no longer get the antifungal medication, the cancer immediately grew
back. Her physician contended that a few antifungal pills surely should
have cured her yeast infection. It is my contention, however, that the
reason this medication worked was because she did have a yeast infection not
a vaginal infection for which this medication was prescribed; a fungal
infection of the bone that may have been mimicking bone cancer.
cancer patients find the true fungal link to their cancer only to succumb to
heart disease or immune deficiency caused by traditional cancer treatment.
If this case were an isolated event, it might be referred to as
“coincidental.” I have been able to plead with doctors of advanced cancer
patients to at least try antifungal drugs for their patients. Afterwards,
simply amazing reports have come forth. Several of these have been published
in The Germ That Causes Cancer.
medical textbook used to educate Johns Hopkins medical students in 1957,
Clinical and Immunologic Aspects of Fungous Diseases, declared that many
fungal conditions look exactly like cancer!
- Doug A. Kaufmann, The Germ That Causes Cancer
Cancer is a biologically-induced spore (fungus) transformation disease.
- Dr. Milton W. White
University of Michigan Cancer Center has proclaimed that current
chemotherapy targets the “wrong” cells. The Ann Arbor researchers discovered
that not all cells in a tumor are equally malignant. Only a tiny minority of
tumor cells are actually capable of inducing new cancers; the rest are
relatively harmless. “These tumor-inducing cells have many of the properties
of stem cells,” said Michael F. Clarke, MD, a professor of internal medicine
who directed the study. “They make copies of themselves—a process called
self-renewal—and produce all the other kinds of cells in the original
According to the Mayo Clinic, cancer refers to any one of a large number of
diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide
uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body
tissue. This is a fact that does not depend on the various theories. The
theorizing begins when we run down the usual path thinking that cancer
begins with damage (mutations) in our DNA. Our DNA is like a set of
instructions for our cells, telling them how to grow and divide. Normal
cells often develop mutations in their DNA, but they have the ability to
repair most of these mutations. Or, if they can’t make the repairs, the
cells frequently die. However, certain mutations aren’t repaired, causing
the cells to grow and become cancerous… or so the story goes. Looking at the
above definition we would be perfectly correct to say that yeasts and
fungi are, in human terms, abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and
have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue.
new study, published in December
2012 in Science, could explain why almost none of the new generation
of “personalized” cancer drugs is a true cure, and suggests that drugs based
on genetics alone will never achieve that holy grail. Scientists found that
despite having identical genetic mutations, colorectal cancer cells behaved
as differently as if they were genetic strangers. The findings challenge the
prevailing view that genes determine how individual cells in a solid tumor
behave, including how they respond to chemotherapy and how actively they
propagate. The study suggests DNA is not the sole driver of tumors’
our data are saying is, there are other biological properties that matter.
Gene sequencing of tumors is definitely not the whole story when it comes to
identifying which therapies will work. Our findings raise questions about
the resources put into sequence, sequence, sequence,” said John Dick,
molecular geneticist of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, who
led the study. “That has led to one kind of therapeutic—molecularly-targeted
drugs—but not the cures the public is being promised.”
information takes the search for the true causes of cancer down a totally
different path than it has been on. It opens the doors for looking at a
fungal cause of cancer and perhaps will re-focus our cancer researchers on
something other than DNA “chatter” (as Dr. Tullio Simoncini termed it) and
toward a real cause that can be targeted with simpler remedies like the
anti-fungal sodium bicarbonate and iodine.
who denies the link between cancer and fungi are fooling themselves.
Oncologists are well aware of the late-stage infections that routinely
accompany advanced cancers. Oncologists are also aware that infections are
the cause of a good percentage of cancers,
ranging somewhere between 20 and 40 percent.
idea that a proposed cancer germ could have more than one form is a threat
to doctors and some microbiologists. Indeed the cancer germ has been
described as having a virus-like and fungus-like as well as a mycoplasma-like
- Dr. Alan Cantwell, The Cancer Microbe
shape of the fungus is never defined; it is imposed by the environment in
which the fungus develops.
some cases, the aggressive power of fungi is so great as to allow it, with
only a cellular ring made up of three units, to tighten in its grip, capture
and kill its prey in a short time notwithstanding the prey’s desperate
struggling. Fungus, which is the most powerful and the most organized
micro-organism known, seems to be an extremely logical candidate as a cause
of neoplastic proliferation,” Dr. Simoncini says, “Candida albicans clearly
emerges as the sole candidate for tumoral proliferation.”
Fungi are heterotrophs, meaning that they secrete digestive enzymes and
absorb the resulting soluble nutrients from whatever they are growing on.
area of research being driven by Dundee University in Scotland is revealing
remarkable abilities of fungi to interact with minerals and metals. Led by
Professor Geoffrey Gadd in the
College of Life Sciences, the research explores the unique taste that fungi
seems to have for rock and heavy metal. Yeasts, moulds and mushrooms are all
fungi and there are an estimated 1.5 million different species in the
biosphere. By breaking down dead organic material, they continue the cycle
of nutrients through ecosystems, and most plants could not grow without the
symbiotic fungi that inhabit their roots and supply essential nutrients.
will also live almost anywhere. They have been found growing in the harshest
of environments, in the desert and in polar regions, in the sea and on
rocks. “The fact that fungi interact with heavy metals has potentially
important consequences for human activity. Fungi also play a significant, if
often overlooked, role in the degradation of rocks and stone—including
building materials,” Professor Gadd said. “Despite this, their role as
agents of environmental change has not been fully appreciated.”