Artemisinin and Cancer
Extract of Chinese Herb Fights
This Malaria Drug Also Kills Cancer Cells
By Robert Jay Rowen M.D.
These days, it is not uncommon to hear about a therapy
or nutrient that cures cancer. The problem is that few of them really work. I
remember when shark cartilage was the new cure for cancer because, after all,
sharks dont get cancer. I work with a group of about 20 different doctors
who try treatments like this, and we compare our results to find out what works
and what doesnt. Shark cartilage failed our tests miserably!
While I never recommend that my patients treat their
cancer by themselves, there is now an herb I can recommend wholeheartedly
thats safe and can be used at home and in conjunction with
doctor-administered therapies. This isnt just a supplement to help build
your immune system. This herb aggressively fights cancer. Just how effective is
it? Let me introduce you to Donald, a 47-year-old mechanic who is in great
shape. He had a newly diagnosed lymphoma and came to see me just after his
oncologist had biopsied the tumor. There was an ugly egg-sized mass on the left
side of his head with a gaping hole from the biopsy and an angry redness from
I immediately put him on a derivative of this Chinese
herb, and he took it for two weeks. At the end of that time, the lump developed
a little depression in the center, but the perimeter had grown just slightly.
Dejected that it didnt significantly regress, he elected to stop further
use of the product and take a wait and see approach. Four weeks
later, I received a call from Donald. The tumor was gone! Returning with his
wife and a big smile a few days later, I couldnt believe my eyes. The
skin was smooth, no mass was present, and the angry redness was fading fast.
Artemesia is a simple plant that grows in Southeast
Asia. Ive used it for years to treat intestinal parasites. The World
Health Organization lauds it as a safe malaria treatment. I discovered the
cancer connection when Drs. Henry Lai and Narenda Singh, bio-engineering
professors at the University of Washington, reported on the active agent of
this Asian herb (artemisinin). Their report said the herb might provide a
safe, non-toxic, and inexpensive alternative for cancer patients. What I
didnt realize was that artemesia is a close cousin to oxygen therapy.
Chinese researchers said the key to its effects was a peroxide linkage (two
oxygen atoms hooked together) within the herbs active molecule.
Remember our old friend hydrogen peroxide? All
peroxides share a common feature. In the presence of free iron, they break down
to form highly reactive oxygen-based free radicals. Malaria is a parasite
(Plasmodium) that infects the iron-rich red blood cell and accumulates iron.
While the body avidly shields iron in a bound-up state (hemoglobin, enzymes,
etc.), excess iron accumulates in the parasite, and the accumulation allows
some iron to spill out of the bound state and become free. When the artemisinin
products contact the iron boom! A huge burst of free radicals is
unleashed, virtually blowing up the cell harboring the free iron and destroying
Some seven years ago, Dr. Lai, aware of the high
accumulation of iron in cancer cells, wondered if this same mechanism might
work in cancer cells, wondered if this same mechanism might work in cancer
treatment. He and his colleague, Dr. Singh, conducted experiments in laboratory
cancer cells documenting a 100% kill rate of breast-cancer cells in just hours.
More importantly, it left normal breast cells and white blood cells unscathed.
Then, one year ago, an article appeared in a major
cancer journal demonstrating significant artemisinin anticancer activity in a
wide variety of laboratory cultured cancer cells. But astonishingly,
cancers resistance to common chemotherapy drugs shows no such resistance
to artemisinin. It does not have the chemical structure a cancer cell requires
to develop resistance! (This was reported recently in the International Journal
of Oncology 18; 767-773, 2001 by Efferth, et al.)
I started using the herbs derivatives in my
cancer treatment program. Donald, mentioned earlier, was on of my first cases.
At about the same time, I continued to follow a
long-term patient, a delightful 47-year-old female with stage-4 breast cancer.
Diane was diagnosed only two years before with the promise of we got it
all at her mastectomy. When shed came to me, she had developed metastases
in her spine, which caused her to limp. A cancer-induced fracture in her
vertebrae gave her significant pain and prevented her from performing the
duties of her job. All the conventional doctors could offer was full-dose
chemotherapy at a horrific toll on the quality of her life, but they also
confided honestly that there was no hope it would lead to a cure.
She chose alternatives instead, receiving insulin
potentiation therapy (IPT), high-dose nutritional therapy, dietary changes,
dendritic cell vaccine, multi-step oxygen therapy, and more. All of her
symptoms regressed, but the CT showed no change. After a short course of
artemisinin derivatives, she reported back to me that physically she
couldnt tell she had ever had cancer. She felt totally well. The CT scan
showed regression, but there was no way to tell if the remaining lesion was a
tumor or healing scar tissue. Results like this with absolutely no toxicity are
simply amazing by any standards, convention or unconventional.
Carol came to see me with an unsightly, massive open,
and oozing cancer engulfing what had been her whole left breast. She had been
fighting the cancer for two years and, convinced on her own that doing
conventional therapy was a death sentence, she explored nearly every option she
could. She started an artemesia derivative and sent me photos one month later
showing exceptional healing.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Hoang
of Hanoi, Vietnam, whose family of physicians has been using artemisinin for
about 10 years to treat cancer. He reports that 50 to 60 percent of 400 cancer
patients have achieved long-term remission utilizing artemisinin together with
a comprehensive integrative cancer strategy.
Dr. Singh is currently following many cancer patients.
While not reporting remissions or apparent cures, he says all patients are
responding and have at least stabilized. He has found no type of cancer
unresponsive to Artemisia derivatives in his studies.
Dr. Hoang recommends treatment for two years. Cancer
could be like the malaria parasite. If just one cell remains, it can find its
way back. Thus, as in malaria, although the parasite is cleared in a few days,
prolonged treatment best prevents relapse. And the beauty of this treatment is
that it is non-toxic, so you can continue taking it indefinitely with no
expected sided effects.
There are three common artemesia derivatives, and one
must know the properties of each for best treatment. Artesunate is water
soluble and may be the most active and the least toxic, but it has the shortest
life within the body. Aremether is oil or lipid soluble and has the longest
half-life. It also has the most toxicity (but this is related to rather high
dosages, which are unnecessary). Its big advantage is that it can cross the
blood-brain barrier to reach cancers in the nervous system. Artemisinin is the
active parent compound of the plant. It has an intermediate half-life, is very
safe, and also can cross the blood-brain barrier.
The first two are slightly altered semi-synthetic
derivatives of artemisinin, the concentrated and purified active agent. Dr.
Singh reports that a combination of the forms may be the very best treatment
due to these different properties (based on a lab experiment). Thus, he feels
the best preparation will contain artemisinin and artemether to provide a dose
of 0.5 2 mg/Kg of each form once daily before bed (away from an residual
iron left in the stomach after the evening meal). Dr. Hoang reports that 500 mg
twice daily of oral artemisinin by itself is the dosage he has been using with
The product is best taken on an empty stomach with
some natural fat to enhance absorption. Any iron present from residual food may
neutralize the peroxides. Mile is one of the few foods with minimal iron. Whole
milk, cottage cheese or yogurt have ample fat to enhance absorption.
Additionally, I believe simultaneous administration of cod liver oil (for its
omega-3 and vitamin D) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) will assist
absorption, while providing therapeutic benefits. To date, with the exception
of patients very near death, taking artemisinin or derivatives have stabilized,
improved, or remitted every cancer patient I have followed.
Please note that artemesia herb products are not
the same as the concentrated forms of the derivatives Ive described here.
The highest concentration of artemisinin (the active agent) in the raw herb
under the best conditions does not even get beyond one half percent.
Furthermore, theres concern by Dr. Singh that unscrupulous dealers will
label artemisinin content without performing a proper analysis. Thus, he has
tested some products, finding perhaps only 10 to 20% of anticancer activity
against cultured cancer cells compared to pure artemisinin. Allergy Research
Group distributes a high-grade artemisinin confirmed by independent lab
analysis, which I recommend.
But, remember, it is not a singular therapy. It should
be used in conjunction with a comprehensive cancer management strategy,
together with the help of an integrative medicine physician or an open-minded
oncologist. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food
and Drug Administration
This is the experience of some physicians and should
not be considered a treatment or cure for cancer. If it is used it should be
under the care of a physician, and in conjunction with a comprehensive cancer
Reprinted with permission from Dr.
Rowens newsletter, Second Opinion, Atlanta Georgia