I’ve told you for years that getting out in the sun is great for your health. But you can overdo it. Burning your skin on a regular basis can damage the skin cells and cause skin cancer. And if you worshiped the sun in your youth, your risk is significantly higher than those who did not . If that describes you, you are not alone. All of us have some risk. And over 1,000,000 Americans developed new cases of skin cancer last year. Some of them (around 2,000) died.
But you do not have to die — or get disfigured — from skin cancer. If you currently have actinic keratosis (sun-damage skin lesions) or have an active cancer at the moment, you need to know about the latest research on a safe, inexpensive, and absolute cure for it. That is right! A cure. Imagine, safely ridding yourself of an unsightly kin lesion with no scar, and new skin. Its here!
As you may know, the usual treatment for skin cancers is to simply cut (curette) them off. Other treatments include electrodessication (electrical burning), cryosurgery (freezing), photodynamic therapy, laser therapy, and a more extensive surgery called Mohs surgery. There are also the usual conventional treatments, which include topical chemotherapy creams as well as radiation.
While these do not cause nearly the damage to good cells as they do when treating internal cancers, they do cause problems. As with any cancer, the best treatment is one that targets only the cancer cells.
Years ago, I told you about the Asian herbal extract artemisinin. It specifically targets cancer cells. Well, when it comes to skin cancer, artemisinin can move over now to another plant extract from the other side of the world. This one comes from the Australian Devils Apple plant (Solanum linnaeanum). From the name, you might rightly guess that it belongs to the solanine family of plants, which includes eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes. But this plant is a weed and its all the rage in alternative medicine. And rightly so.
Farmers in Australia have long known that crushing and applying the fruit of this weed to their cattle retarded the progression of ocular squamous cell cancer. But it does not hurt healthy cells at all. That is because there are chemicals in this fruit that selectively kill cancer cells. Scientists refer to these chemicals as BEC.
BEC is a conjugated molecule. That means that is has a specific alkaloid skeleton with any of three different types of sugar molecules attached. The latter is what makes the story interesting. Cell culture studies have shown that these conjugated molecules can kill all cancer cells at a relatively low concentration. They act like a bomb on cancer cells. But they can specifically destroy cancer cells without harming normal cells in the least!
However, without the sugar molecule attached, the alkaloid loses all of its ability to kill cancer cells. And interestingly, the sugar molecule itself wont kill cancer cells either. In fact, if it were left to itself, the sugar molecule would fuel the cancer cells. So what gives?
Cells contain special receptors on their membranes called lectins. They can receive certain sugars, especially in conjugated form. BEC contains conjugates of a sugar we call rhamnose. This sugar is common in plants, but not in human tissues. So, our normal cells do not have receptors for this sugar.
However, cancer cells have mutated. In this mutation, they develop receptors for these rhamnose molecules. If the cancer cell hauls in rhamnose by itself, the sugar will feed the cancer and help it grow. But if the rhamnose is connected (conjugated) to the main alkaloid solasodine, the cancer cell hauls in the attached bomb as well. If its not attached to the sugar, the alkaloid could not enter the cell! The alkaloid solasodine would act as a bomb to normal cells too. But remember, normal cells do not pull in rhamnose. So they are completely spared.
Once inside the cancer cell, cellular structures called lysosomes take up the BEC complex. Enzymes disconnect the sugar, freeing the solasodine alkaloid. The freed compound is toxic. It ruptures the lysosome, releasing digestive enzymes within the cell. This is similar to the enzymes injected by a rattlesnake bite.
These lysosomal enzymes begin digesting and disintegrating the cancer cell, causing it to die. Ive mentioned cell death before. The scientific name for it is apoptosis. And lysosomes are involved in apoptosis. Cancer cells have figured out how to switch off apoptosis. But BEC can short circuit the off switch! Furthermore, BEC slows down energy production in the mitochondria of cancer cells. That also helps kill the cell.
And it does so with almost no side effects. Over 10 years, the only negative effects were in two patients — a local dermatitis at the site of application. These skin problems cleared after the BEC was stopped. Studies going back even further — to 1987 — found that BEC in cream formulations, even in concentrations as high as 50%, showed no other toxicity. But most uses of BEC do not require nearly that much of a concentration. Early human studies used a concentration of only 0.005%.
Is this concentration enough to work effectively? You bet. In fact, the results were phenomenal. BEC killed only cancer cells in both their dividing phase and resting phase. That stands in stark contrast to conventional chemotherapy drugs, which kill any dividing cell, normal or malignant. Even worse, chemotherapy drugs kill cells (all cells) only when they are dividing. They do not kill cancer cells when they are resting. BEC does.
This makes great sense. BECs killing mechanism uses the cancer cells ability to pull in sugar (rhamnose). These cells feed all the time, 24/7. Not just during the vulnerable period all cells (including normal cells) have when they are dividing. This is one of the great failings of chemotherapy to cure you of cancer. Because it cant kill resting cells, chemotherapy just cant cure you. If and when resting unharmed cancer cells resume division, the cancer resumes growth.
In expanded clinical trials on 232 patients, the results get even better. The researchers gave the formulation to participants twice daily for eight weeks. It had a 78% kill rate. If continued for 12 weeks, the results were virtually 100%. They defined success as a negative follow up biopsy.
But heres the best part: There were no recurrences of the treated lesions even after 10 years! The skin lesions they treated included keratosis, keratoacanthomas, basal cell, and squamous cell cancers. These are all non-melanoma skin cancers (this treatment does not work on melanoma cancers because melanoma usually spreads before we can treat it locally).
However, for your common skin cancers, you can make immediate use of BEC extracts in a product readily available online and in health food stores. Its called Curaderm BEC5. It sells for about $115. I can assure you that its safe. Most of you have eaten eggplant. Just one average-sized eggplant fruit (300 g) contains the same amount of BEC as 60 tubes of Curaderm!
You might think you could simply make a poultice out of a single eggplant (costing a mere 79 cents) and kill your skin cancer. This might be possible, but Bill Cham, PhD, the developer of BEC, does not think it will work. The raw eggplant has too much free rhamnose, which will compete with the active conjugated form for binding. The unconjugated form will not kill cancer cells. But, if you decide to try it, please let me know how it works.
I recently met with Dr. Cham at the Phoenix ACAM conference. When he developed the product, he financed the whole project out of his own funds.
Dr. Cham says the best way to use Curaderm is to put a small amount on the lesions and cover with an occlusive dressing (e.g., cellophane) to hold it onto the cancer without drying out. Keep it on continuously, changing the dressing and applying more Curaderm twice daily. The cancer cells will die and be replaced by normal cells with minimum scarring, if any.
It is important that you do not let up, since you do not want normal cells to grow over, cover, and protect the cancer cells. You must use it continuously once starting it until you have total healing. The area of inflammation will be significantly larger than what you think the size of the cancer is. That is because the cancer cells are likely in a wider ircumference than what you can see.
Dr. Cham also told me that it will likely work for seborrheic keratosis and other non or precancerous keratosis, since these skin lesions may have developed receptors for rhamnose.
This is exciting information on many levels. Since BEC is found in food (common eggplant), its possible that oral administration of it could lead to selective cancer-cell killing, the likes of artemisinin (the herbal extract I told you about in 2003). Research is ongoing in Australia with BEC by injection for non-toxic treatment for systemic cancers. So far, all cancers hes tested have rhamnose receptors! That is incredibly exciting. I will keep you posted as the information comes in.
If you have skin cancer, precancerous lesions, or a history of skin cancer, Curaderm may help you avoid some really nasty treatments. But do not count on Medicare to pay for it. Its not a drug! And, for that reason, Dr. Cham probably wont get the Nobel Prize he deserves for his incredible curative work in cancer. But the important thing here is that you can cure your skin cancer!
Res. J. of Biol. Sci., 2 (4): 503-514, 2007.