Everolimus for Kidney Cancer Metastatised to Lungs

Ray (M578) is a restaurant owner in Indonesia. In December 2007, at the age of 53, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He underwent a radical nephrectomy. After the surgery, Ray was well and life was back to normal again. About seven years later, the cancer recurred in his lungs. Ray was put on Sutent and suffered severe intolerable side effects. Ray totally stopped taking Sutent.

 

 

The oncologist suggested a new oral drug, Afinitor (everolimus) which has yet to be approved for use by the Malaysian Government. This drug cost RM 1,000 per tablet, meaning a month’s supply costs RM30,000 (as opposed to Sutent which costs RM 18,000 per month).

Ray suffered similar side effects from taking Afinitor – ulcerations of his mouth and itchiness of his head, etc.

Realizing that his father was not going anywhere with his doctor, Ray’s son surfed the net and found CA Care. Ray decided not to take any more of his doctor’s medication and came to seek our help on 29 May 2009.

 

Comments

When Sutent failed, the oncologist suggested that Ray switched to another drug– everolimus (commercial name Afinitor). This drug was approved for use by the FDA on 30 March 2009. It has not been shown to cure any kidney cancer or even prolong survival. It was said to prolong progression-free survival by about 3 months (PFS survival with everolimus – 4.9 months versus 1.9 months with placebo). PFS means the length of time during and after treatment in which patient is living with a disease that does not get worse.

Medical literature reports effectiveness of Sutent and other drugs, in terms of tumour shrinkage, median survival, progression-free survival, etc. All these are evasive tactics to distract the real issue. What patients want is a cure, after paying for the drugs through their noses. Tumour shrinkage and all these confusing terminologies are meaningless to patients.

Kidney Mass Miraculously Disappeared After Herbs

Sam (not real name) is a 74-year old male from Singapore. He had undergone an operation to remove a 8 x 4 cm tumor at his colon in October 2005. The pathology report indicated a “moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma infiltrating into the subserosal fat with no lymph node metastasis”. The resection margins were free of the tumor. Nothing eventful happened after the surgery and Sam recovered well. A follow up surveillance check with a CT scan on 21 February 2006, indicated “a new left adrenal mass measuring 4.5 x 3.6 cm”. This was suspicious of metastasis.

Due to the renal mass, Sam was asked to undergo chemotherapy — either via intravenous injection or oral drug. Sam opted for an oral drug. After collecting his medication, he was told of the drug’s side effects. Shocked by such revelation, Sam and his wife debated while driving home whether to take the drug or not. Sam finally decided not to take the chemo-drug.

Soon afterwards, someone happened to find our books and passed them on to Sam, who read them. He decided to send his sister and daughter to come and see us. Their mission was to find out more about our therapy. It turned out they (sister and daughter) decided that Sam should take our herbs without further delay.

Two weeks after taking the herbs, Sam went back for another CT scan follow up. The report dated 12 April 2006, showed “no adrenal mass is seen. The previously visualized ‘mass’ in the left suprarenal region is artefactual in nature”.

I received an e-mail from Sam’s daughter on 13 April 06 with this message: “He (my father) visited his surgeon … and to everyone’s amazement there was no longer any sign of spot that was present in earlier scans. It has miraculously disappeared. Needless to say we also see God’s intervention and kindness at work here”.

Sam, his wife and daughter, came to see us on 11 August 2006. Sam appeared to be a jovial, healthy man who could travel to Korea, Taiwan, etc. without problems.

This is wonderful news for two reasons. One, Sam’s tumor had disappeared. Just imagine what could have happened if he had undergone chemotherapy? We see this as a miracle – but for some others it was just a coincidence or luck. Two, now we have chemotherapy “going” herbal. The next time if you are asked to go for chemotherapy, why not ask for the “herbal type”? And better still, if they have the “organic variety”!

Sutent for Advanced Kidney Cancer

SC (TK826) was a 53-year-old male. He had a history of pains in his right shoulder for almost a year. An X-ray did not show any problem. Then in October 2008, his right hand became weak. MRI showed tumour in his spine – T1 / T2. Titanium stent inserted to support the crushed T1.  Further investigation indicated the primary as cancer of the kidney. He received 20 radiation treatments. In spite of the treatment, the tumour grew bigger and spread to his liver, lungs and abdomen. He was started on Sutent in January 2009. As of 3 February he had started on the second cycle of Sutent. In spite of the drug, MRI on 11 February 2009 showed a large mass in C3 to C7 and there were more metastases in T1/T2 and T5/T6.

 

 

This video was recorded on 9 February 2009. Sadly, SC died on 30 April 2009.

SC suffered the following side effects:

  1. Lost of appetite.
  2. Diarrhoea up to 10 times per day.
  3. Swelling of face.
  4. Ulceration of mouth.
  5. Yellowing of skin.
  6. Difficulty breathing.
  7. Peeling of skin in the feet and hands.

Comments

Below are vital information about Sutent – sunitinib which patients ought to know.

Use: For treatment of refractory unresectable and/or malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and advanced kidney cancer (advanced renal cell carcinoma or mRCC).

Cost: RM 20,000 per cycle of treatment which last 4 weeks. Take 4 tablets per day. Rest for 2 weeks before starting a new cycle of 4 weeks.

Effectiveness

  • Approval for kidney cancer was based on a review of the drug’s efficacy in reducing tumor size. Approval of the GIST was mainly based on studies showing that sunitinib delay tumor growth.
  • Sutent shrank tumors in 26% to 37% of patients, according to the FDA. Studies have not yet shown that Sutent improves survival.
  • Liz Szabo, USA TODAY Jan 26, 2006, wrote: Sutent doesn’t cure cancer, but experts say it is an important advance – both for patients and for science. Sutent is a product by Pfizer. Another drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer is Nexavar by Bayer.
  • The median OS for patients receiving SUTENT was 26.4 months vs 21.8 months with IFNα (Note: IFN-α has been used extensively in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Human IFN-α1 is a type I interferon. It is for research use only, not for diagnostic or therapeutic use)

Side effects 
The adverse events included:

The most serious adverse events associated with Sutent therapy included

  • pulmonary embolism
  • thrombocytopenia
  • bleeding from the tumor bleeding or bruising under the skin; coughing blood
  • febrile neutropenia
  • hypertension
  • may harm an unborn baby (cause birth defects). Do not become pregnant. Do not breastfeed while taking SUTENT.
  • may cause heart problems.
  • may cause a hole in the stomach or bowel wall. This could cause symptoms such as painful, swollen abdomen, vomiting or coughing blood, and black, sticky s tools.

Recent research findings on Sutent

  •  Researchers in Canada had reported that Sutent accelerated metastatic tumour growth and decreased overall survival in mice receiving short-term therapy (Cancer Cell 15: 232-239. March 2009).
  • Using mouse model researchers in Spain and California, USA, also showed that Sutent promoted the incidence of highly invasive tumours. The incidence of liver micrometastases was significantly increased by 3.5-fold in treated animal (Cancer Cell 15:220-231. March 2009).

 


Kidney Cancer: A Success Story – Fifteen years on herbs and doing great!

Lee, male, was 53 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer of the kidney in March 1997. A CTscan showed a well defined solid mass in the right kidney. This could be an adenoma or a low grade carcinoma. Lee underwent an immediate surgery to remove his right kidney. The pathology report dated 14 March 1997 stated: Specimen of kidney: 225 gm, measuring about 11 cm x 5 cm x 4 cm. Yellowish tumour with fibrous areas seen in the middle of the kidney. The tumour measures about 4 cm in diameter. Interpretation: right kidney consistent with clear cell adenocarcinoma.

After the surgery, the surgeon did not consider mop-up treatment like radiotherapy or chemotherapy necessary. There was no medication to take either. Lee came to know us through our book:  Cancer Yet They Live, which was given to him by a friend. Since then he has been on our therapy.

On 31 August 2006, we had a three-hour long conversation with Lee.

Lee: My operation was in March 1997. So by March 2007, it would be ten years after my cancer diagnosis. I am doing fine.

Q: So for the past nine years, you have been taking the herbs and taking care of your diet?

A: Yes, I had been taking your herbs very seriously since my operation and I took care of my diet as you recommended.

Q: Now that you have lived for more than nine years after your cancer diagnosis – did you ever feel that cancer has been a threat to you?

A: No. I didn’t think that cancer is the only threat to my life. Everyday we all face many threats to our life. So cancer is just one of these things. In this world you face threats when you step out of the house. Even in the house, there are dangers. The idea that just because someone has cancer, he is more vulnerable than others is not right. I may die of other causes.

Q: So, during the nine years, was there a time when you felt you could not make it?

A: No, there was no such feeling. This is because the body does not show any sign of problems at all. I always look at the positive side of things and I do not pay much attention to the negative. I accept cancer as part of my life.

Q: When you look back at your cancer experience, what do you think are the factors or things that had contributed to your well-being today?

A: Firstly, it was the people around me who directly and indirectly gave me their love and touch. By their actions they expressed their desire that I get well and this made me feel much wanted. Let me give you some examples.

There was this lady who came to the hospital with a bagful of money. She placed it on my bed and said: Brother, this is seven thousand ringgit for you. If this amount is not enough, mama said please let us know. This person is not related to me. She was just a friend – a former Hainanese neighbour, belonging to the same clan as I am. I never asked anybody for any help. She came and she did not even ask me if I needed any financial help. She just deposited the money on my bed. Her action showed me that people wanted me to get well. Therefore to me, I must get well because they wanted me to get well. This incidence created a strong feeling within me that I must get well for their sake. I felt so wanted. If I was left unwanted, there was no need for me to live anymore. I might as well die.

People showed their concern and love in different ways. There was a three-year-old boy. My wife used to take care of him when he was a baby. He came and held my hand while I was lying immobilised in bed. I called out to him: Ah Boy, Ah Boy. He responded: Uncle, no need to say anything and he cried. By doing this he showed me that I was wanted. There must be a purpose for me to live on. As I have said earlier, life has a purpose and by what these people had demonstrated, I should not die yet.

Another contribution was a lady friend who gave me your book. At that time I did not know anything about cancer or about you. She personally gave me your book for she wanted me to get well. She told me: This is something which can help you, read this book and then call Dr. Chris. I felt the love and concern she had for me. Again, I felt wanted. That book was the one with a simple white cover (note: our earliest version of Cancer Yet They Live).

I did not judge the book by its cover. I read it over and over again. What the book pointed out – or what you pointed out – was very true. The junk food and the negative emotions did not take care of my body. What you wrote made a lot of sense. All along in my life in the navy, I had been eating plenty of meat – meat for breakfast, meat for lunch and meat for dinner. I ate very little vegetables and even that was over cooked. I drank a lot of hard liquor. That book made a lot of sense and I could relate it with my lifestyle. It was there for me to see and compare. That book made me realise that I had been abusing my body all those years. After I found out the mistakes of my earlier lifestyle, I started to do the right thing. The information in your book woke me up and showed me where I went wrong. Knowing my mistakes, I started to make the necessary changes and corrections. The only way for me to carry on was to stop abusing my body. Without your book, I would not have known where I had gone wrong. When I wrote you, you asked for my medical reports and later prescribed Capsule A and Mt.Guava deTox tea.

Q: After reading the book, did you need to be “pushed” to do something or did you, on your own, willingly decided to practise what I said?

A: I decided willingly to put into practice what you wrote without any push from anybody. There were friends who told me that without chemotherapy, the cancer would spread, etc., etc. But I ignored such comments. My doctor did not give me any medication. I told him that I was taking your herbs. He did not object and said: Whatever you do, you must come back for a check-up. Initially I went back for a check- up every six months and later once a year. This routine lasted for six years – doing the X-ray and scanning. I stopped going for the check- up after the seventh year although I still continue with the blood test.

Q: After you read the book, did the knowledge you got from it help you very much?

A: The contribution arising from the knowledge obtained from the book has lasted even to this day. It has not stopped. That book was the one that started to move me forward and made me want to understand more about cancer. It has changed my destiny and the outcome of my cancer journey. When I read the book, I began to fathom what the authors wanted me to know and understand. Of course, if you just skim through the pages, you learn nothing. The book has changed my life. Even today I still read it – I have done it a thousand and one times!

Q: When you took the herbs, did you believe they were going to work?

A: Yes, my hair became black and I felt better just after one week. Even before I took the herbs, I had believed what you wrote.

Q: What would you say about your doctor?

A: I was very lucky to have a kind and understanding doctor who operated on me. He not only did his job well but also was wiser than just being a doctor who operated on patients. He went further to arrange for me to be operated earlier, on the day which was not his scheduled operation day. He was prompted to do so because I had already done a biopsy and the kidney had been poked. To him it was best that the kidney be removed as quickly as possible. This caring attitude made me feel really good. My doctor did not want me to go for chemotherapy. If he had asked me to undergo chemotherapy, I would have done that too. In his wisdom he did not see the need for chemotherapy.

All the above are things that have contributed to what I am today.

Q: Now that you are doing very well and are very confident, does it occur to you that one day the cancer may come back – have you given this any thought?

A: Yes, you use the word confident. I don’t want to use that word at all. Life is uncertain. If we understand that cancer has no permanent cure, you can accept that you may be able to live for two, three, ten or twenty years and then cancer comes back again. So, that is expected.

Q: What if the cancer comes back?

A: When it comes back, I will look at it again and find out why it comes back. Maybe at that time, my body is on the downward turn due to old age. Because of that, cancer takes advantage of the situation. So, we cannot blame anything or anybody. It is a natural process of life that the body shuts down. It is just like my old Opel car. I sent it to my mechanic and he told me: Uncle, the car is “lok” (beyond repair) already and cannot be repaired anymore. I had to accept it and write it off. Life is like that and is full of uncertainty. So in life, I cannot use the word confident. If I am too certain about things, I may end up disappointed. If you don’t hope for something, there will be no disappointment.

Comment

As of this writing, September 2011, Lee has been doing well – 15 years now!

An Unbelievable Story: Remove Your Kidney Immediately or Else You Die!

Moi, a 50-year-old female, had problems with her “gassy” stomach.

  1. In October 2002, Moi went to a private Hospital A for a checkup. No problem was detected.
  2. In March 2003, Moi went to another private Hospital B for endoscopy, ultrasound, CT scan and blood test. The results:
  • CT scan on 5 March 2003, showed a 3.3 cm well-defined simple cyst in Segment 1 of her liver. In the upper pole of her right kidney was a 2.4 cm enhancing nodule with exophytic component.
  • USG showed a well distended gallbladder with multiple polyps with an average size of 0.6 cm.
  • Blood test showed all parameters were within normal limits except for an elevated ESR (26 mm/hr) and GGT (40 IU/L).
  1. Not satisfied with the above results, Moi went to another private Hospital C. An ultrasound on 13 March 2003 confirmed the presence of:
  • A 3.4 x 3.3 cm cyst in the right lobe of her liver.
  • A 6.7 mm polyp in her gallbladder.
  • MRI of her abdomen done on the same day confirmed the presence of a 2.5×1.6×2.5 cm, irregularly enhancing mass in the upper pole of her right kidney with features suggestive of an underlying renal cell carcinoma.
  • An upper endoscopy done on the same day indicated gastritis and gastric polyps.

The surgeon in Hospital C suggested a complete removal of her right kidney. Moi was unhappy with this suggestion. She went to consult another surgeon of another private Hospital D. She was given the same advice – “Remove the kidney as soon as possible or else you die.”

Moi defied the doctors’ suggestion and on 14 March 2003, she came to seek our help. She presented with the following:

  1. Numbness of fingers for the past one and a half years.
  2. Pains, two or three times a day. She would have pains if she walks or stands up. There would be no pains if she sits down.
  3. Her sleep, appetite, bowel movements and urination are normal.

We prescribed Moi Capsule A, deTox tea, Kidney Tea and Stomach Function Tea. Surprisingly enough, Moi became well within a week. She continued taking the herbs for about seven months. Her last visit to CA Care, according to our record, was on 21 November 2003. From then on, we never got to see Moi again.

It was with great surprise and gladness that on 10 September 2010, i.e., seven and a half years later, Moi came to CA Care again. This time not for herself but to bring her sister-in-law who had ovarian cancer.

Listen to our conversation that day.

Comments

Do you believe this story? We find it hard to believe. But it is happening right at our centre. How could we not believe it? Perhaps there is something else that we could not believe? It would be an insult to those experts in those many hospitals if we were to say that their scanning machines were not functioning properly or that their opinions were somehow wrong, at least in this particular case. So, we are not going to say that.

There is something that makes us not want to believe it even though it is true! If you are confused with what we say, don’t worry. We are just as confused.

One thing, we would say, Moi was just been plain lucky. If she were to see us earlier and showed us all those scans and reports, we would also “press” her to go for surgery – to save her life in time! In this case, she took six months “hopping” around from hospitals to hospitals. And by the time Moi came to us, she was firm with her decision –  Surgery? No thanks!  So the decision to defy the doctors’ recommendation was entirely hers. She gambled with her life and thus far she had won.

Again, let us talk about opportunity cost. What could have happened if Moi were to passively follow the doctors’ recommendation? One kidney gone, and perhaps her gallbladder too would be cut off since there were many polyps. Then, what about the stomach polyps? What is life like after that?

There is one more thing that made us not believe this story – you mean to say by just taking herbs for a week, her problems were gone? That’s impossible!

During our conversation, Moi raised one interesting point. She said: “I went to the doctors because of my stomach problems – too much wind. I could not figure out why they wanted to remove my kidney.  The doctors were unable to enlighten me what stomach wind has got to do with my kidney?”

She wanted the doctors to solve her stomach problems but they did not offer to do that.

One lesson to learn from this story: You just have to have guts to defy your doctors. Know that human beings are not God and we may not be right all the times. What made them think that Moi is going to die soon if she did not remove her kidney?

As a conclusion, allow us to quote an email that got into our inbox recently. Let us be clear on the onset that we are not sure of the truth of this email. Nevertheless, the message of the mail relates well with this case.

This is what the email says:

“A friend of mine was diagnosed as a having a septic leg and being a diabetic, he was told by the doctors that the leg up to his ankle must be cut since gangrene has already set in. It will cost RM25K just to saw off the leg. I told him to get 2nd opinion … The specialist in YY told him that there is nothing wrong with the leg and gave him antibiotics instead. Today (four years after the incidence), at age 61, he is still working and doing things such as climbing without much problems. What would it be if he had listened to the xxx doctor at xxx? He would be walking with crutches! Poorer by about 25K and without a job to support his family. What a shame these…”

Another email is supposedly written by a medical doctor. It says:

“I am a general surgeon in private practice… An 8-year-old boy was brought to see me by his father after suffering from fever, cough and vomiting for 1 day. He DID NOT HAVE ANY ABDOMINAL PAIN. He was initially seen by a general practitioner who insisted that the father bring him to see ‘Surgeon G’ at a specific private medical centre…  when he brought his son to see ‘Surgeon G’, the surgeon examined his son’s abdomen and pressed so hard that he elicited pain. Then the surgeon told the father that the son had a perforated appendix and insisted that he be operated the same night. The father was baffled because his son did not have any abdominal pain prior to that examination but he reluctantly agreed upon insistence by the surgeon. About 1 hour prior to the surgery, the father suspected that something was not right and he asked for his son to be discharged. He then brought his son to see me. After a thorough examination, I was convinced that the boy did not have appendicitis and definitely not a perforated one.”

The email ended with this message:  “Please circulate this article to your friends and loved ones and let’s hope no one will suffer…”