Q Have you featured the hydrogen peroxide treatment for cancer? I understand that this has recently come under attack from the medical world, but has a very high success rate.- W E, Swansea.
A According to a recent book 'The UnMedical Miracle-Oxygen by Elizabeth Baker (Delwood Communications, PO Box K, Indianola, WA 98342), the use of hydrogen peroxide (as well as oxygen and ozone) as a therapy for all sorts of illnesses apparently was commonplace in the 1920s, until the advent of penicillin, when drug companies mounted a huge brainwashing campaign to steer doctors over to the use of pharmaceuticals.
Hydrogen peroxide (H202) is produced in the body of all higher organisms and has a key role in the body metabolism. Most importantly, it is the body's first line of defence in response to microbial invasion, because it carries an extra molecule of oxygen that can be let loose to successfully attack pathogens, which cannot exist in the presence of oxygen.
The theory of hydrogen peroxide therapy is that it is used to supplement the body's own supply of oxygen which, according to Baker, has fallen from 30 per cent to 19 per cent today (and as low as 12 per cent in some cities).
The medical literature of the turn of the century is filled with successful treatment with oxygen therapy, particularly hydrogen peroxide. Numerous medical articles are beginning to advocate the use of 'peroxidation' in medicine. In an article in The Lancet (12 November 1988) T G L Dormandy of the Department of Chemical Pathology, Whittington Hospital in London, argued that the notion of peroxidation (in connection with free radicals), has had a bad press. Far from being always evidence of damage, he says, this 'self-destruct' mechanism in cells is necessary to health; failure of cells to burn themselves up and be regenerated leads to cancer.
Most proponents of H202 give it intravenously because it has been shown to cause venous oxygen embolism (air bubble) when used in liquid form to irrigate surgical wounds or closed body cavities (BMJ, 1985; 291:1706). Certain dilutions taken orally have also been shown to cause tumours in animals (GANN 1981; 72: 174-5). However, when injected at the right percentage, it quickly breaks down into oxygen and water. A recently published article from the American Journal of Cardiology (1993; 52:607:673-5) echoed the results of numerous other studies in the 1960s, that a 0.2 per cent solution of intravenous H202 can be given safely, usually with the drug heparin to avoid inflammation of a vein.
A leading proponent of hydrogen peroxide therapy, Dr Charles H Farr, founder of the International Bio-Oxidative Foundation in Dallas, at a conference in 1989 cited many studies in the medical literature showing that hydrogen peroxide can benefit patients with many chronic degenerative diseases, including heart disease and arthritis, and some anecdotal reports of its success against Candida albicans, M E and multiple sclerosis.
In addition, he provided numerous anecdotal and referenced studies of its use on cancer cells. At least one study has shown its antitumour effects on cells in the laboratory (J Exp Med, 1981:154:1539-53).
Farr concluded (as other studies have) that when combined with radiation therapy, hydrogen peroxide can enhance the effect and spare some normal tissue from the effects of radiation.
As for its use alone, he says: 'By itself it has an antitumour effect .... but response is slow and changes are subtle. Responses were noted in colorectal carcinoma and malignant lymphoma.' He does note parenthetically that there may have been problems in the studies and that larger ones, particularly double-blind studies, need to be done.
For now, what we can say for certain is that H202 looks to be a promising therapy for many illnesses, that it has been shown to make radiation therapy more effective and less toxic, and that it has been shown to slowly help some cancers (indeed, we mentioned it in vol 4 no 7 Second Opinion, as part of a successful approach, of end-stage breast cancer). Our recommendation would be that if you do opt for this approach, work only with someone highly experienced in giving such treatment to patients since the wrong infusion of oral or liquid concentration can be potentially dangerous.