Prepared by Thomas Seyfried: https://youtu.be/o1i4EMq3dcQ
I’m a professor of biology at Boston College. I teach undergraduates general biology that are not majors in biology. And then I teach the cancer biology class for small numbers of students about 15. And then we discuss the latest papers in the field of cancer.
So what I want to review and present some of the information that we’ve collected over the years. Not only from preclinical systems but also from patients.
At Boston College we do not have a medical school. Cancer is a biological disease so we study the biology of the disease. And then when we want to make treatments we have to work with physicians that are in different clinics.
The war on cancer that was declared during Nixon’s administration in 1971. And just throwing up some numbers from the last few years 2013 to 2018 just gives you an idea. I used to say the body count continues to rise in cancer it still does but what we really have is a crisis. One reads papers and hears people saying that you know we’re doing really well on the war on cancer. I think you should look at these numbers carefully because what it says is that we might not be doing as well as people think. So we have a lot of deaths per year and deaths per day and you’ll notice that the percentage increases in simple numbers. Now you can interpret these data in many different ways, you know the number of people in society, you know who’s getting cancer – older people. But the issue is the numbers are not going down. So we have 1670 people a day dying from cancer in this country. I came back from China last year and they have 8100 people today dying in China from cancer that has surpassed heart disease in that country. I’ve been to Germany, in all these different countries and they’re all having the same problem – the number of people dying from cancer continues to increase throughout the Western world that’s the bottom line.
So, you say to yourself why are we making no major progress if we have something that works. The numbers of get a precipitous drop like the AIDS situation. When AIDS was a death sentence if you remember back in the late 80s. People who got AIDS the probability of dying within a year was quite high. A year or two. All of a sudden boom numbers dropped. Because the gay community was a very organized group and they marched on Washington and they created a whole bunch of havoc. The next thing you know we had that we had the problem managed. It was managed. So we have to ask ourselves – we raised money for cancer, the federal government spends 5.6 billion dollars a year on various types of cancer, various research aspects. And then we have all these private foundations, like Susan Coleman, you name them: pink ribbons etc. And people are running and jumping and swimming and doing all this stuff for cancer. Let’s raise money for cancer – marathons on TV, stand up to cancer. You hear it, it’s everywhere. What do they do with that money? Does anybody ever ask where’s all my money going? You know, I ran this marathon and I raised all my friends that’s pitched in. How much money goes to cancer research you have to ask number one? And then the bigger question is – what kind of research are you doing with the money that I gave you? There’s no accountability in this. The population in this country has not stepped forward and says what are you doing with all that money? Because as I said before, the more money we raise for cancer research the more cancer we get.
Those numbers show it. So what’s going on? Ehat are we doing? This is what I want to address and I want to provide information why we have these numbers and why things are not likely to change unless we make dramatic changes in the way we look at this disease.
I’m going into cell biology now. Above is a cell that we talk about in biology class. As you seethe cell has a nucleus and a mitochondrion. I’m not going to get into all the details of the other organelles. Let’s just look at the nucleus, because that’s where the genetic material is – the DNA. And that’s where most of the mutations in the cell are localized in that organelle – the nucleus. And then we have the mitochondria that little bean shaped organelle the energy generator of the cell. It regulates signaling inside the cell, fluxes inside the cell. When you look at a cancer cell under the microscope you see abnormalities in both the nucleus and in the mitochondria as well as other things inside that cell. The field today focuses almost entirely on the nucleus. And looking at the genetic mutations that exist in the cancer cells, inside the nucleus. That’s why they call cancer is a genetic disease and I’m going to talk about that. But the mitochondria are also damaged in that cell.
And energy is everything without energy nothing can live. You’ve got to realize that energy is the ultimate determination of life all. Cancer cells live and the normal cells of our body live but they live by different mechanisms. As I mentioned in many of my youtube videos and conferences cancer is the dogmatic view – that is a genetic disease. You can go to the NCI (national cancer institute) website, go into their open access website and look down what is cancer. Cancer is a genetic disease.
The federal government can’t go wrong in anything. How could that be possible that our federal government is wrong that sank everybody? Well, maybe you got to find out. The hallmarks of cancer cells carry the oncogenic and tumor suppressor genes. Mutations that define cancer is a genetic disease. And as I’ll show you from textbooks. It’s everywhere, from textbooks to NCI. A Dogma is an irrefutable truth it’s like a religion you don’t question your faith. This is what we have in the cancer industry. The cancer field not just the industry. The field of cancer biology believes that it’s a genetic disease. Thousands and thousands of scientists in our country and around the world are studying genetic mutation differences in cancer cells.
Now here’s above a picture from a textbook that we give in general biology trying to educate people into letting them know about the somatic mutation theory. That’s the theory, and in science a theory is not a guess. When somebody says I have a theory about something that’s like a hunch. But in science a theory is supported by massive amounts of evidence, like theory of relativity by Einstein. Theory that is supported by Darwin. We have theories that are supported by massive amounts of information. The somatic mutation theory is the structure upon which this disease is viewed. So you have this car it’s speeding out of control and it has no brakes and the out-of-control speed is due to mutations in proto-oncogenes. And the no brakes means there’s mutations in tumor suppressor genes and the bottom line is cell division which is out of control. Those people ask what is cancer. Cancer is a cell division out of control that’s the bottom line. I have a group of cells and they’re dividing out of control. Why, how or what’s making them out of control. Mutations and oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. When we talk about somatic mutations – how do we get cancer?
We have a mutation and the cell. Here’s a normal cell on the left and a malignant cell on the right. We got one mutation in the chromosome, another mutation in that chromosome. And the next thing you know, we take this normally growing controlled cell and we make it growing out of control. From accumulation of random mutations causes the development of a cancer cell – Somatic Mutation Theory. No one knows for sure how many mutations one, two etc. Some cancer cells have thousands millions of mutations and some of the cells have no mutations. So some cancer cells have no mutations. Almost nobody talks about those. Then here’s the quote from dr. Bert Vogelstein from Johns Hopkins hospital – “we know now precisely what causes cancer: A sequential series of alterations in well-defined [driver] genes (Vogelstein et al., 2013”. Recently, even in the last couple of years interestingly enough scientists from Britain and Japan have found all number of driver genes in normal cells, in the esophagus and skin.
So how can the disease be caused by driver genes that exists naturally in your normal cells that are not dividing out of control. This is a shock wave now in the field. They say – what are you talking about, driver genes in normal cells? There’s some tumor cells that have no mutations? This is really an issue. So he question now becomes who started this whole concept that cancer is a genetic disease?
Where did this idea come from? It came from the gentleman Theodore Boveri’s speculative essay on the origin of malignant tumors in 1914. This young scientist was looking at the sea urchins and noticed there were some chromosomal abnormalities in the sea urchins. And he said, well this could be the origin of cancer. And he says: “I have no personal experience worth mentioning in any of the numerous specialized fields of tumor research. My knowledge comes almost exclusively from books. Given this, it is inevitable that I am unaware of many reports in the literature, that I overestimate the significance of many known facts and I do not set enough store by others. But this article will doubtless contain even more serious defects, as is so often the case when an author makes and incursion into a field with which he is unfamiliar”.
Today personalized medicine, personalized therapy, precision medicine all this based on the gene theory of cancer from Bovary in 1914.
This woman (above) is looking into a screen, they took a biopsy from a breast tumor and looking at the gene mutation on the screen here to try to figure out whether they’re going to make a prediction on prognosis or treatment based on this on a spectrum of gene mutations, which I’ll show you are almost completely irrelevant to the nature of the disease. These screens cost seven thousand two hundred dollars. The company is here in Cambridge in Boston where I am. They just bought it out for 4.4 billion dollars for a company that screens mutations that are largely irrelevant. I’m going to show you evidence. I have here observer effect. What does that mean?
This is what I spoke about last night, about the biopsy material. There’s a lot of papers published in the literature. Let’s say you have a benign tumor. Why stick to the benign tumor? To tell the person you got a benign tumor. If the tumor is malignant. Why stick to the malignant tumor? Because you could possibly set it loose. There’s a risk, for this happens in brain. The brain is brutal. And in liver cancer, potentially breast and colon cancer. Alot of these cancers. When you start screwing around with them you change the microenvironment and bang you send out these cells into the lymph nodes and blood stream. Why do you do that, so you can get a green screen. I’ll tell you why it’s irrelevant yet they do it. They do it all over the place. So let’s talk about evidence that challenges this guy’s whole idea that cancer is a genetic disease. And whenever you challenge the dogma you’re going to be up for a most you don’t get attacked. I would say most people ignore it. Doesn’t mean anything. Obviously, Dana Farber can’t be wrong and the Anderson can’t be wrong, Sloan Kettering and most of all the federal government can’t be wrong.
End of the first part.