A new cancer treatment breakthrough has been built around the strategy of recognising the body’s own immune defences, with a little help from some transplanted immune cells from an external source. It is a major rethink on fighting cancer, because, unlike chemotherapy, it is not about targeting the cancer cells but strengthening the body’s immuno system. Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London have claimed that the deadly disease will no longer plague future generations on the back of this major breakthrough. Cancer patients will begin receiving the new treatment in 2019.
Personalised Medicine in Action at Last
The analogy by immunology expert and team leader, Professor Adrian Hayday, is that medical scientists and doctors can become engineers, upgrading the human body, rather than bombing it with toxic chemotherapy chemicals. He calls it the ultimate DIY approach to fighting cancer. This is a turnaround from the long held medical establishment attitude of ‘doctor knows best and patients are just sick lumps of flesh’. Some 350, 000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. The potential for this revolutionary approach is vast in global healthcare terms. This is the meat and potatoes of personalised medicine in action. Every patients will have a unique therapy because no two tumours are the same.
Healthy Immune Cells
Getting healthy immune cells from other sources for these patients will become an important issue in itself. People taking care of their own health via healthy diets and herbal supplements will, quite likely, come to the fore. The purity and quality of alternative medicines will be important. The value of healthy bodies and healthy immune systems will rise exponentially in the global community. This will be a big boost to those in this very business, who have been enhancing the health of people.
Quality Herbal Medicine Producers
“Just eat the plant!”, this has been the catchcry of Pharma Botanica founders, Paul and Melissa Gribble, for more than 21 years. Pharma Botanica is the only Australian manufacturer that exclusively uses 100% plants in all of their health formulations. Even their capsules are made from healthy kale.
Extracts vs Whole HerbsUnfortunately, herbal supplements largely contain extracts not plants. When you look at the label of an herbal supplement in a store, look for the words, “Extract, Standardised Extract, or Extract Equivalent.” When you see that on a label, this means the product has been made in a factory, not from a plant. Whole herbs, which are the Pharma Botanica way, are pretty much what they sound like. The herb in natural form – leaves, stems and/or roots – is dried, then, cut and sifted, and, then, milled into a powder. Powders are, either, packed inside a capsule or sold loose, so, that you can add them easily to a juice or smoothie.
“Since you are consuming the medicinal plant, you are getting its full spectrum of plant chemicals, called phytochemicals,” says Paul. “That’s a good thing, because the herb’s phytochemicals work in synergy together, and we don’t always know how a single plant chemical will perform on its own. We share DNA with the plants, so, your body recognises it and can absorb it effectively. Powdered extracts are made by soaking the herb in a solvent that is later evaporated. What’s left behind is a concentrated powder of one or some of the plant chemicals. Some companies use harsh chemicals in the soaking solvent, which can be found in residual amounts remaining in the extract.”
Another issue is, if particular chemicals or constituents in a botanical are the only items of interest, then, the botanical source might be immaterial. If all you want is the alkaloid caffeine, for example, it can be extracted from coffee, tea, Yerba mate, guarana, or, even, synthesised. With an extract, you cannot really know what you are actually consuming.
This new cancer treatment strategy recognises the body’s own defences and the importance of a healthy immune system. Quality herbal supplements and medicines can still make a real difference to our health and wellbeing. It is, often, the simplest things in life, which are the best. Nature really does provide the answers.