Another cancer quack

That atavistic cancer hypothesis is actually fueling the work of quacks: Orac has been getting threats from a Frank Arguello, who runs a crank cancer mill called "Atavistic Chemotherapy".

It's amazing stuff. It goes on and on about how cancer represents a reversion to the old cell types of single-celled organisms, and how modern chemotherapy is useless and dangerous, so he has a better formula: safe, harmless, and revolutionary. You'll never guess what it is.

He's treating cancer patients with antibiotics.

The drugs used in combination have been selected based on the principles of "Atavistic Metamorphosis" published by Dr. Arguello in 2011, and after years of testing them in hopeless cancer patients. They fall in the pharmaceutical group of anti-bacterial (antibiotics), anti-fungal and anti-protozoal (anti-parasitic) drugs. Anti-viral drugs have also a place within the principles of Atavistic Chemotherapy because viruses preceded cells in their origin, and they were the precursors of the first cells on this planet. However, costs and toxicity of antiviral drugs have forced us to use them only when other approaches fail.

Because of delays in obtaining patents, the actual names of the medicines given in Atavistic Chemotherapy are not revealed to the patient. All of the drugs employed have expired patents since being in the market for decades. However, we are in the process of filing for patent protection for "New Use" or "New Formulation," in order to protect the intellectual property and credit for this work. Although the drugs we use have been around for many years, Atavistic Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy is a new type of cancer treatment.

That's totally insane. Modern antibiotics (and especially the older ones; new targets are being actively explored now) primarily target three bacterial processes: the ribosome, because prokaryotic ribosomes have significant differences from eukaryotic ribosomes, enzymes involved in bacterial cell wall synthesis, because we eukaryotes don't have them, and certain specific enzymes involved in DNA replication that are not present in us. These are derived features of prokaryotes -- even if cancer were atavistic (and I say it isn't), a human cancer is not going to suddenly start making prokaryotic ribosomes, bacterial cell walls, or replicating circular DNA strands with the aid of a prokaryotic enzyme.

These are drugs that have been selected specifically for their potency against prokaryotes and their inability to affect eukaryotic cells. They can't do anything against a human cancer, because human cells do not make the proteins that the drugs bind.

In the absence of any information about the anti-parasitic and anti-fungal agents, it's hard to say what they do -- but in general, drugs like that are selected for their minimal effects on the cell types of the subject, and the specificity of their action on cells of organisms of different phyla. Cancer cells are still human cells. They don't become fungi or myxozoans or platyhelminths. These are all drugs that won't do anything for the patients.

I am shocked that this snake oil salesman is in business -- but I guess that's why he's based in Los Cabos, Mexico -- to avoid regulation and criminal charges. That and the nice beaches.

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