Looks pretty strong: getting rid of the fungi stopped tumor growth and repopulating it with that type of fungi (and not with other types) restarted it again (in mice). And they've even found a drug target!
Pancreatic cancer is not the most common but one of the most deadly (<10% survival) with very short times between diagnosis (it's mostly asymptomatic) and death.
All but one of the people I've known in my life that died from cancer died of this form. It's like 7 people.
A useful treatment can't come soon enough.
That would explain why it's the first cancer deaths someone saw in their life.
Also worth noting that its only deadly because its found after its metastasized. There is the similar probability that people live with a form of cancer more of their lives than without, before it grows faster and uncontrollably for unknown reasons.
My father-in-law succumbed to it a mere six months after his diagnosis, albeit a late one because his doctors sucked.
In my former colleague's case, his chiropractor actually referred him for testing.
My mother passed away from pancreatic cancer last year; she had no symptoms until two months before she passed, when she got a diagnosis from a scan. There are a lot of trials ongoing looking at how the area around the pancreas impacts how well different therapies work in treating it.
This is really interesting as it suggests a new avenue to improve treatment, as well as a potential tool for easier diagnosis.
Almost every instance of cervical cancer is attributed to HPV. 70% of throat cancers, 90% of anal cancers, 60% of penile cancers, 75% vaginal, and 70% vulvar cancers. 
It always stunned me that one little virus that used to be seen just as an embarrassment was re-categorized as being a huge risk factor for deadly cancers.
If the person who identified a common bacteria being responsible for almost all ulcers got a Nobel price, the HPV <--> cancer researchers should also have been considered, IMHO.
Helicobacter pylori is also a suspect carcinogen, specifically in some stomach cancers. I am now wondering if it assists this evil fungus in any indirect way. Over half the world population carries h pylori, apparently mostly asymptomatically.
It was once believed stomach ulcers were due to acid imbalance and we now know many types of stomach ulcers are due to infection and treatment with antibiotics is the proper course of treatment.
I think that more research in this line will be very productive. I believe that he balance/imbalance of the body's fauna will eventually be shown to be the root trigger of many other issues. Knowledge like this is invaluable because it can quickly turn major health concerns into preventable diseases.
It's not just about our genetics, it's about our interplay between our genetics and our environment.
It bloody amazes me. What reason or prior experience do you have that makes it seem reasonable?
Fungi in the pancreas isn't in the same league but it's still pretty good!
If you aren't already: I will suggest you keep a food and symptom journal, stay away from table salt (sea salt or kosher salt are both better) and figure out if you have trouble with specific oils. Symptoms can sometimes lag behind triggering events substantially. A journal can help you find patterns and make inferences.
I personally avoid peanut oil. It's very inflammatory and inflammation is has been linked to diabetes.
A lot of stuff happens about 48 hours after the triggering event. My son did some research and this seems to be a significant blood and lymph timing thing.
Other significant time frames seem to be one week, two weeks, one month and six weeks. These aren't peculiar to "things I ate." These are health events triggering physiological changes that don't show up until later.
It's harder to connect those longer time frames to the triggering event, but I am sometimes reasonably confident of the connection because of the specifics involved and I just read a lot and discuss this stuff a lot and write about it a lot. Patterns eventually become clear if you pay enough attention.
As your diet changes, your body changes and your needs change. It's a moving target.
Limit sugar intake; limited sugar intake has health benefits and seems to help diabetics, so I've cut my sugar intake as well. Sometimes I cheat, but only once in a while.
I don't drink any alcohol whatsoever. Alcohol is an antagonist.
When pancreatitis is acute (or upcoming), I limit my caffeine intake and instead use coffee without caffeine. Caffeine is a trigger for pancreatitis. I still like my caffeine boost, but I rather forego it when my pancreas is acting up.
Smoking is very bad. I used to smoke and quit many times. It noticeably affects the pancreas. I've since exchanged it with vaping and don't notice it affecting my pancreas. There is research out there that nicotine by itself is an anti inflammatory agent; still I want to quit vaping too but have other issues that interplay too.
There are other small things too (like I take my yoghurt every morning religiously and sleep on my right side mostly). The above is a summary of the most important things that are evidence based and known to work with pancreatitis.
I haven't had a full blown acute attack in a year or two (I lost track a bit), but sometimes I have smaller attacks that don't require me to go to the hospital. I then limit my intake of food (and drink only the necessary to stay hydrated). The thing with Chronic Pancreatitis is also that it may stabilize after a while due it 'failing to attack itself' because it cannot produce its own enzymes anymore. That may be the case for me too as my pancreas is severely calcified.
First of all, I don't think pasta is too terrible if it's fitting in your macros. Wheat will have a larger glycemic impact on you though than many other carbohydrate sources (e.g. sweet potatoes, which I consider a super food for humans, alongside eggs).
The most important thing about diet change is to resist making big, dramatic changes. Think in terms of weak signals: figure out what foods would be easy to meal prep for, that you like eating, and would be good combined together in simple ways. By simple I mean very simple, pick two major macros (carbs and protein, or fat and protein). Once you've got that figured out and you've decided how to combine them, then you can add easy low-effort accessories at meal time.
I ended up landing on what I call a "power bowl" dinner meal that I eat every single night (I haven't tired of it yet) consisting of:
- Main 1: 150 grams of sweet potato (cubed and baked with some olive oil and salt)
- Main 2: 10oz of a main protein (I rotate between chicken, cod, pork, and burger patties)
- 2 cups of spinach
- optional fried egg
- tomato / onion
- zero carb rosemary dressing (high fat though)
It's extremely easy to meal prep, very easy to weigh and measure, it tastes really good, great mix of macros, the carbohydrates from sweet potatoes have a low glycemic impact (unlike anything made from wheat), and I get a lot of protein. If it gets boring I can add a fried egg, or goat cheese, or change the protein, or add some green chiles, etc. so creating novel flavors is easy and doesn't require significant prep time.
At some point I'm going to start growing my own sweet potatoes and spinach at which point I only need to buy my protein and other add-ons.
I also don't have patience or energy to cook, one of my early-20s favorite meals was white rice with canned meat sauce. I don't eat that anymore but the trick to changing what you eat is to:
- Keep it simple
- Keep it whole (as in "whole food")
- Meal prep the bulk items (you can bake sweet potatoes and chicken/cod/pork in less than an hour on Sunday, then assemble the bowls easily at night)
Making it easy and simple to assemble will help keep you from convincing yourself you're too tired and should just run to Chipotle :-p This is why I like the power bowls because they don't require any special timing, or prep, or techniques, or specialized ingredients (unless you want them).
That's all for dinner. I stay fasted through breakfast and I usually eat 5 eggs with 4 slices of high-quality bacon for lunch. I have lots of nuts, fruits, and paleo granola for snacks.
It doesn't offer a conclusive answer to your questions, but makes the point that there could well be a beneficial role for fungi in the body that we currently know little about as it hasn't been researched in much depth.
I've personally had cause to research the human microbiome very deeply (i.e., as deeply as a layperson reasonably can) in the past 10+ years, and whilst the idea of eradicating all fungi has seemed compelling at times, I'm now much more on the side of taking moderate steps to keep things in balance.
Evolution and complex systems being what they are, it's unlikely that you could completely remove one component of the system without causing unintended negative consequences.
It is commonly taken therapeutically to keep other fungi and bacteria under control.
I would be wary of gratuitous use of antifungals (and I am a developer of an antifungal treatment that entered clinical trials). I would use an anti-dandruff shampoo if I had that problem but that’s about my limit.
I wouldn't worry about eating garlic although I haven't seen any studies suggesting it might actually be efficacious. But it is delicious!
re. beneficial fungi, AFAIK there are no known species that are part of our natural microbiota, but there may be unknown benefits. S. Boulardii supplements are know to help deal with gut flora disruptions like infections or antibiotic treatments.
But if your Shiitake mushrooms took hold and established a strong and healthy foothold the other mushrooms/spores/fungi will not be able to "move" in on after the fact.
So if you took this to a human perhaps the "good" fungus needs to be healthy and well colonized to prevent other random things from trying to grow in areas they shouldn't be in.
I did take an antifungal while sick, two actually. The first one made me break out in hives and the second one was a bit dehydrating (also couldn’t drink alcohol while on it). Would not recommend unless it’s necessary.
Ivermectin apparently works directly on tumors, it isn't an antifungal...
I type on computers for a living but I think in general everything in your body is in balance. For example, if you remove bacteria via an antibiotic you can get a fungal infection. It stands to reason that if you remove fungi via an antifungal the reduced competition for resources could cause an overgrowth of bacteria.
“But it’s probably too soon to add broad spectrum antifungals, many of which have lots of side effects, to cancer treatment regimens, even in experimental settings.”
And yes, I'm sure there are likely beneficial fungi that live on/in humans. While beneficial bacteria have been studied for years now, we just don't know as much about beneficial fungi.
I am pretty sure ivermectin is the active ingredient in Revolution, an extremely popular medicine for dogs... and cats, combatting both heartworm and fleas and maybe more.
For example, you put garlic into water, then take 1% of that water, mix it into another container of water, take 1% of that etc... Until the "medicine" doesn't actually contain any detectable garlic. The water supposedly retains some kind of "memory" of garlic.
Taking Steve Jobs as an example here is a bad way to get healthy. Steve Jobs was simply used to listening to (back then) always smarter engineers. Medicine, however, wasn’t revolutionised the same way.
Don't confuse them with water benders.
I'm increasingly thinking we have severely underestimated and misattributed the damage caused by covert fungal infections.
Or a cohort that has taken some sort of anti-fungal med and we could look at their outcomes?
To pick one common fungal infection among many: Let's have a look at fungal nails (https://www.medicinenet.com/fungal_nails/article.htm).
As they note, "Onychomycosis is a fungal infection usually caused by a special type of fungus known as a dermatophyte. Since most of these infections are relatively superficial, it would seem that topical treatments ought to work well. This is not the case because the nail unit is relatively impenetrable."
Where I live, typical treatments for an established fungal infection of this kind would apparently include medical nail varnish with Amorolfin (at least weekly) or Ciclopirox (daily), for 6-12 months in cases with small, highly localized infection, or, for larger infections, oral Terbinafine (daily, for 3 months) or Itraconazole.
In my understanding (Life scientist here, but not really medical professional) Terbinafine is the nicer one of those last two as far as the patient's own body is concerned - a modern, effective, prescription-free antimycotic - and it still has a respectable list of side effects (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terbinafine#Side_effects).
This is not like procaryotes (Bacteria, Archaea, ...) where many aspects of their biology is almost alien compared to our own cells and possible to target with minimal host damage. Save for the fungal cell wall, and some exotic aspects to DNA reproduction and cell membrane biosynthesis, fungi are much closer to animal, and the game with them tends to be "let's see if we can find something that hurts you (much) more than it hurts me".
If they are hiding inside human cells or tissues reaching them with antimycotics to a significant extent at all is tricky. Not sure about the pharmacological accessibility of the pancreas, to be honest, but many drugs don't even enter the brain without being specially designed for it, let alone get inside the nerve cells. And even if we can get in there treatments are fairly long, disagreeable and/or risky, and far from guaranteed to be successful.
Is the drug effective against the particular fungus? Does it remain effective under the course of microbial evolution? Is the body capable of eliminating the fungus entirely with aid from the drug? (Arguably maybe not, if the fungus is very good at hiding.)
So, I agree that looking at the existing outcomes after treatment with antimycotics could be a good first step, but as far as I can see, if you detect an effect you can be fairly sure there is one, but if you don't detect an effect that doesn't really tell us much because it could mean either there's no problem or, just as well, that the treatment has just been too ineffective in eliminating the deep covert infections for one reason or the other. And there's every reason to believe we may be in that latter scenario.
But, with Alzheimer's and pancreatic cancer on the list of allegations so far, is it worth testing? On a society level, yes, unequivocally.
I'm hoping this isn't just another "works in mice!" story, but it doesn't seem like that is the case, as this is dealing with something very different (specific fungal infection) than most other studies.
My skin is a buffet for fungal infections and I've been fighting a persistent Malassezia infection for years. It's caused me to have intense dandruff and lost a lot of my hair as the infection clogs my hair follicles.
The only thing that helped was taking oral anti-fungals, but once I stopped, the infection came back within a few weeks.
Reading that the specific fungus I'm fighting is also plausibly responsible for pancreatic cancer is a bit frightening.
I wonder if I can get routinely screened for pancreatic cancer without appearing like a crazy person to an uninformed doctor.
From Internet: "(Eczematic) dermatitis can be one of the earliest indications of pancreatic cancer."
When he was diagnosed, I digged into Randy's old blog, and realized how little things have changed since then. There is now a new cocktail of Chemotherapy drugs, but apart from that we have hardly progressed on this front. I don't think we could have really saved him even with an early diagnosis.
Surgery seems to be the only permanent, generic cure as far as most cancers are concerned. But with Pancreas, from what I read, even that gave a very grim future (as in Randy's case). If at all you survive the Whipples, you will be entirely on expensive enzyme supplements for the rest of your life AND carry a significant risk of metastasis.
Link for anyone that hasn't seen it, I highly recommend it: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+last+lecture+youtub...
Now, the closest thing to a cure for these types of cancers is immunotherapy. Nearly everybody in the cancer field has shown amazement at therapies that "seem to melt the cancer in front of your eyes".
That said, detection in the case I'm thinking about was super early which always helps with outcomes.
An Italian oncologist by name Tullio Simoncini believes that cancer is primarily caused by a fungus and he uses baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as the primary treatment. He claims that he's been successfully treating patients for decades. I'm willing to give him the benefit of doubt, and I'd would welcome any information from someone who has investigated his treatment, or has direct experience either as a patient or personally know a patient.
His website: http://www.simoncinicancertherapy.com/en/index.html
To the causal skeptic who will feel the urge to respond to my post : It's ok to be skeptical(Infact it's the wise thing to do, initially), but flippant skepticism is another matter altogether. Flippant skepticism a dead end, even if it's very gratifying. I'm also aware that there are unverified rumors that Simoncini's license was suspended. Personally to me, it does not matter if his license was indeed suspended.
I wonder if there are natural dietary changes you can make to help reduce the likelihood of these fungi.
Pancreatic cancer has taken quite a few famous people:
Randy Pausch - Last Lecture
Sally Ride - astronaut
Piers Sellers - astronaut
Bill Hicks - Comedian
Jef Raskin - Macintosh
Iain M Banks - Author
Sometimes if you "zig" while the whole world "zags", you build the biggest company in the world. And sometimes you die from very treatable cancer.
I hope they lick this thing along with so many other forms of this that just destroy quality of life.
Still my favourite author. Six years. Hard to believe.
What an amazing author.
It’s hard to say what current rates are as treatment lasts so long. However, approximately 99% of people with localized breast cancer, which is ~62% of diagnoses, survive 5 years. 85% with regional cancer, spread to nearby lymph nodes or other tissue, survive 5 years. Even metastatic breast cancer has which is 6% of diagnoses has a 27% chance of surviving 5 years.
Now various other types have had more or less success, but amazing work has been done.
Just remember, successful means lower the rates of deaths they don’t generally eliminate it. So, yay study 1357 got the survival rate from 5% to 10% that’s real progress. (Reported as curing cancer). Study 2217 got the survival rate from 10% or 15% wow progress. (Reported as curing cancer). Study 3... I mean grated they did help some specific individual within that study so it’s not meaningless, but come on.
What do you mean by this? The vast, vast majority of things that work in mice do not work in humans. Even if effectiveness in mice is (approximately) necessary for eventual effectiveness in humans (say, because of our research methods), this does not make it a good indicator. "Drug doesn't immediately melt your brain" is also a necessary property, but it doesn't do a good job of predicting effectiveness.
The set of all possible cancer treatments however are not just the set of treatments that pass animal models. Drugs etc need to go though several hoops before they are even tested in mice, and even more fail in mice. Everything that’s made it to this stage is extremely promising relative to the baseline.
About 1/3 of drugs that show promise on mouse models are ever tested in humans. After that Oncology has a 8.3 percent success rate for 2015. So, when looking at ‘cured cancer in mice’ something like 2.5% is about the right ballpark, which I would consider promising as a general baseline.
For some comparisons the success rate in clinical trials averages around 14% though it ranges from around 33.4 percent in vaccines for infectious diseases to 3.4 depending on the type of treatment being tested. https://www.centerwatch.com/cwweekly/2018/02/05/new-mit-stud...
Baseline is harder to calculate, but 10^-8 is probably reasonable depending on what’s considered.
Do you have a citation? This seems totally off to me. In so far as the number refers to something real, I suspect "shows promise" must mean something much stricter than the threshold that this particular treatment has passed. That is, I would bet against a 2.5% chance that this particular study leads to an actual drug approved to treat pancreatic cancer.
I'm surprised that after decades of treating pancreatic cancer, nobody noticed this earlier. You'd think they take biopsies and take a look at them.