autism to cancer.
Sometimes one synchronous event can change the trajectory of a life. In the case of Marco Ruggiero, an Italian molecular biologist, that momentous occurrence was when he found himself seated next to Peter Duesberg, another professor of molecular biology. Ruggiero had just arrived from Florence at the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ruggiero had been a medical officer (lieutenant) in the Italian army, but had been sent to the US to investigate the cause of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) during the beginning of the epidemic, when the military suspected it might have something to do with chemical warfare. Like Ruggiero, Duesberg was trying to figure out the cause of AIDS to be better able to produce a cure. Over the months as they sat side by side, it began to dawn on both scientists that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may not be the sole cause.
Besides AIDS, Ruggiero was also researching signal transduction, or how cancer cells stealthily sabotage signals coming from elsewhere in the body, when he and his colleagues began to recognize the vital role of an unlikely protein, given the unwieldy title of 'macrophage colony-stimulating factor', before Dr Nobuto Yamamoto, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, christened it 'Gc-protein-derived macrophage activating factor', or 'GcMAF'(pronounced 'Gee-cee-maf') for short. It's been known for a century that macrophages are the body's primary 'foot soldiers' against pathogens like bacteria and viruses, and also cancer. Although cancer cells are being produced in our bodies every day, often as a result of exposure to environmental toxins, 'phages' carry out search-and-destroy missions, sweeping through the body and engulfing (or 'phagocytizing', in science speak) cancerous mutations, cells infected by pathogens and the corpses of dead cells.
Recognizing the vital role of macrophages in maintaining health, Ruggiero and his colleagues wondered if it were possible to enhance their function by some sort of nutritional approach, particularly as they knew that glucose in any form creates an environment conducive to the development of cancer and also makes cancer cells more resistant to treatments like chemotherapy. 1 If that were true, would it also mean there might be some sort of nutrient people could consume to produce stronger and healthier phages?
By 1996, both Yamamoto and Ruggiero had discovered a vital role of vitamin D: it binds to both GcMAF and a vitamin D receptor. 2 Although they studied the role of these proteins in cancer and other diseases such as autoimmune disorders, it wasn't until the next decade, when Ruggiero focused on AIDS with Duesberg, that the path forward became clear. Many scientists, including Professor Luc Montagnier, who'd received a Nobel Prize for his work as the 'co- discoverer' of the AIDS virus HIV, had grown frustrated by the focus of AIDS research, which was preoccupied
with fighting the virus. Like Ruggiero, Montagnier and Duesberg were convinced that a patient only became susceptible to the virus if his immune system were weakened to the point that the virus could readily take hold.
Their views echoed the words attributed to Louis Pasteur, the father of modern vaccines, who'd supposedly recanted his own germ theory of illness on his deathbed by announcing, "The microbe is nothing; the terrain [state of the body] is everything." Ruggiero and Duesberg ultimately concluded that the focus of AIDS research should be on rebuilding an immune system weakened by a toxic lifestyle. Ultimately, both were praised and vilified in equal measure when they co-authored a paper rejecting the standard accepted theory of the cause of AIDS, 3 a paper that
is now permanently withdrawn.
As with so many major groundbreaking shifts in scientific theory, it is often the case that many minds begin to ask the same question at the same time, and also the case that the scientific Establishment invariably responds to any such enquiry with total scepticism. Dr Yamamoto had been carrying out research showing that, when HIV patients were given GcMAF protein, the HIV infection was eradicated within at most five months, and without the need for antiviral drugs like azidothymidine (AZT). 4 This report, however, was also retracted this year by
the journal itself.
Ruggiero and his wife, Dr Stefania Pacini, a medical doctor and professor of human anatomy at the University of Florence, partnered with Yamamoto on a paper showing the connection between
GcMAF and vitamin D receptors, which they presented at the XVIII International AIDS Conference held in Vienna in July 2010. They were convinced that they'd discovered the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which the immune system could be stimulated enough to eradicate HIV. Besides AIDS, Ruggiero and his former colleagues at the University of Florence (where Ruggiero still holds a professorship) had also been considering the possibility that GcMAF might be exploited through a nutritional approach that would work similarly to boost the
immune system enough to successfully halt cancer. 5 Ruggiero began studying the effects of using GcMAF against breast cancer cell lines in the laboratory. He was thunderstruck to discover that
GcMAF not only stopped the cancer from spreading, but also caused cancerous cells to transform into healthy cells.
Largely because HIV-infected women have a high incidence of breast cancer, Ruggiero presented his findings at the 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment (abstract no CDB269), offering evidence via microphotography slides that the presence of this supermolecule inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells in vitro. 6 The next question was whether GcMAF was an all-purpose treatment for a number of other conditions as well, and Ruggiero and his colleagues found it could be used successfully to combat chronic kidney disease. 7 They also discovered that, as part of its 'clean-up' act on breast cancer, it nullified the potentially carcinogenic effects of heavy metals in cells and stimulated the body's own natural detoxification system. It also appeared to increase energy production in mitochondria and improve the metabolic activity and connectivity of neurons in the brain.
Case study: Stage IV ovarian cancer Nine years ago, Gail Bray, a fit and active 51-year-old living in Guernsey, noticed she wasn't as supple as usual in her aerobics classes. Although nothing seemed wrong, her aerobics instructor urged her to get a checkup; an ultrasound scan revealed a tumour weighing a stone (14 lb). She found a surgeon oncologist who removed the tumour two
weeks later. Three years later, the tumour was back, so again it was taken out. A year later while on holiday, Gail developed such pain that she was carted off on morphine to Hereford Hospital, where a scan revealed that the pelvic tumour had not only returned, but had spread to her lungs and stomach, and was now stage IV ovarian cancer. "I'm sorry," her oncologist said. "There's not a lot we can do for you." At best she had two years. On his recommendation, she had chemotherapy just to buy a few months more. Appointments were made with Macmillan nurses to
prepare her for the inevitable. Perhaps because he had nothing else to offer, her doctor said, "Gail, if you can afford to waste money, you could look into GcMAF." As the CEO of Immuno Biotech was a friend of a friend, she trusted him, and began the protocol in June 2010. After injecting herself twice a week intermuscularly with GcMAF, the tumour shrank by half within nine months.
A gardener by trade, Gail spends a great deal of time outdoors, so her levels ofvitamin D (a co-factor with GcMAF) were naturally high.
The metastases in her lungs and elsewhere disappeared within the next two years and, by 2013, the tumour had shrunk to the point it could be removed. A photo taken by her doctor at the time of surgery found it entirely encased in fat cells. They were utterly disinterested in her therapy, and put her recovery down to the chemotherapy finally working three years later.
Cooking up super-yoghurt
In addition, as friendly probiotic bacteria produce the exact same enzymes required to activate GcMAF, Ruggiero and Pacini decided that making GcMAF was more or less like making a fermented milk product like yoghurt or kefir in your kitchen, albeit with a very precise recipe for the bacteria to be effective. After hundreds of recipes involving up to 40 strains of bacteria, they finally produced their 'super-yoghurt', which they christened MAF 314 (a nod to the number of attempts made before finding the perfect combination). When this combination of probiotics
produces GcMAF, it initiates a chain reaction leading to an explosion of immune-system-enhancing and cancer- fighting molecules, they said. When combined with the fatty acids in cow's
milk, the molecules were activated to kill tumour cells while leaving healthy cells alone. 8 While experimenting with various recipes, Ruggiero and Pacini made yet another and possibly even more
important discovery. The 40 strains of probiotics that had gone into their super-yoghurt were also present in the gut of a newborn fed only with colostrum, the mother's first milk. When given
to someone with a health issue, they could completely reboot a damaged human 'microbiome', the good-guy microorganisms inhabiting the gut (see box, page 32). Although the original
Ruggiero-Pacini preparation was taken by mouth, eventually they would administer it directly to the colon; the intention was not only to offer immune-boosting effects, but also to restore the
microbiome to a healthier state.
But one more piece of the puzzle was still left to assemble. Yamamoto had first theorized that AIDS and other chronic conditions might be caused by elevated blood levels of the enzyme nagalase, which damages Gc protein, the precursor of GcMAF, so blocking the production of GcMAF and preventing its many beneficial effects on the immune system. It is proposed that nagalase accumulates in the blood of cancer patients and its activity seems to correlate with the severity of the tumour and progression of the disease. Elevated nagalase activity has also been seen in conditions like autism.
In cancer research, the idea that tumours might affect nagalase activity and thus inhibit GcMAF function had been considered a possible explanation for why cancers grow unchecked by the immune system.But the big problem with the theory was the simple fact that cancer patients didn't suffer from immune deficiency per se. Ruggiero was examining the work of a scientific
team which showed that the Gc protein, a precursor of GcMAF, binds with unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid as well as vitamin D, 9 when he had his light-bulb moment. He realized that GcMAF cannot operate alone, but has to bind with oleic acid. "This neglected association between oleic acid and GcMAF was the missing link that more than 1,000 researchers, including
Dr Yamamoto and myself, had been seeking for the past 20 years," he said. This led to the realization that GcMAF wasn't just a special molecule-it was a supermolecule. Instead of trying to blast out disease with powerful but toxic chemicals, Ruggiero and his colleagues believed that this discovery would enable them to pave the way for a new direction in medicine, a means of restoring the body's own natural healing power after having been compromised by toxic living.
Stage IV prostate cancer In 2012, Peter de Carteret, a 58-year-old aircraft engineer, began having terrible backaches that treatment didn't help. His blood pressure had always been high, as were his levels of alkaline phosphatase, often an indicator of bone problems. He was referred to a urologist, who diagnosed liver or kidney problems, yet an ultrasound scan showed
nothing untoward, so he ordered a PSA test to check Pete's prostate. A normal level is about 4; Pete's test registered 2,400. "I'm afraid you've got stage IV prostate cancer," the urologist told him. Bone scans showed metastases in various parts of his hip and leg bones. By this time, Pete also had lymphoedema in both legs, so getting about was near impossible. Five months later, a prostate tumour sample scored a 10- the highest you can get-on the Gleason scale, reflecting the stage of cancer. "There's nothing we can do," said his specialist.
Pete then read a letter in his local Guernsey paper about a woman who'd healed her metastasized breast cancer with GcMAF, so he visited Immuno Biotech in Switzerland. In May 2013, Dr Ruggiero started him on the Swiss Protocol, with GOleic (R) given by injection and by nebulizer (see page 30). Although Pete found the diet difficult-it was essentially a Paleo ketogenic diet-he stuck with it, and took the various supplements and extra amino acids. After 12 months, his lymphoedema is gone, his mobility is back, and a tumour in his adrenal gland is completely encased and normal. The prostate tumour is shrinking all the time; his last PSA test was 300.
The making of a GcMAF superhero
This complex 'supermolecule' is made up of three distinct molecules: glycosylated GcMAF; vitamin D3; and oleic acid. Furthermore, GcMAF is never found as a discrete protein in the body, but is always associated with oleic acid and needs this association to work. So,rather than being simply an especially good nutrient, it appeared to be a 'complex' that could regulate a number of genes governing many functions in the body as well as be responsible for many diseases. Ruggiero and his wife went on to develop a more potent form of GcMAF containing more oleic acid,
which is now a registered formula called GOleic(R).
Although their probiotic could be taken orally, this new product combines GcMAF with a fat, which repels water, and so can be administered in a variety of ways-as an injection, as drops under the tongue, in enemas or suppositories, and as a nebulizer (spray), an ointment and even a mouthwash. Like many other scientific explorers, Ruggiero has suffered a certain amount of persecution for taking on the Establishment, first for AIDS and then for cancer. After one of his AIDS articles was published, although it had been peer-reviewed, the head of the
university threatened to sack him and launched an internal investigation. And even when Ruggiero was found innocent of any untoward behaviour, he was reported to and denounced by the Italian medical council.
In 2008, his wife also endured harassment when authorities searched their house and seized their office laptop under the pretext that his wife, a professor of human anatomy, had bones in the
house that could be used for "satanic purposes". Although all charges were dismissed, it was clear that the laptop had been completely scanned and all files copied. In November 2012, an Italian police investigation discovered that a pharmaceutically backed organization was behind defamatory statements made about him. By 2013, the couple decided they'd had enough and left for Switzerland, and found a Medici of sorts in entrepreneur David Noakes, who offered his wholehearted support of their research and funding to turn their discoveries into proprietary products
and fund a clinic where patients of all varieties could be treated with their discoveries. Besides creating Immuno Biotech, a company in Guernsey that produces GOleic(R) and also sells
super yoghurt Bravo Probiotic(R) produced by another company, Noakes joined forces with three alternative clinics in Switzerland and Germany to offer Ruggiero's 'Swiss Protocol' (see page 30) for a variety of diseases (www.immunocentre.eu). Plans are afoot for more centres in America, other parts of Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Ruggiero estimates that presently some 200-300 doctors around the world are following his protocol.
Thus far, published evidence shows that the treatment has demonstrated effects on a variety of solid tumours and myelomas at even advanced stages, and cancer that has metastasized. Research also shows promising evidence in treating autism, viral infections, Lyme disease and even myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). 10 Besides published research, Immuno Biotech also claims to have a long list of individual success stories for a vast array of illnesses, including colitis and Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic kidney disease, wound healing, herpes, osteoporosis, dementia, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis (see case studies). The Immuno Biotech's sister website (www.gcmaf.eu) makes some extraordinary claims:
"In our three European clinics, we are reducing terminal stage IV cancer tumours by an average of 25 per cent in a week," it says, a claim confirmed by Ruggiero. And several of the case studies of terminal cancer patients and those with autism do offer compelling confirmation (see pages 26, 29 and right).
The Swiss Protocol
Dr Ruggiero, who is also a clinical radiologist, devised a specific protocol for doctors to follow when treating patients, which his wife dubbed 'The Swiss Protocol'. He recommends either total body ultrasonography or a transcranial (brain) ultrasound scan (for children with autism spectrum disorders) 1 to help establish the extent of disease. Patients are then given an individualized nutritional treatment plan, which includes:
o a high-protein, low-carb diet designed to be anti- inflammatory and highly detoxifying
o amino-acid supplements (for patients with cancer and autism)
o administration of a proprietary probiotic superfood, Bravo Probiotic(R)
o administration of the special proprietary blend of GcMAF and oleic acid, GOleic(R), depending on the condition; for instance, it can be injected near a tumour, given as a suppository to bypass the stomach in cases of liver cancer, or elivered via a nebulizer (spray) for patients with lung disease.
1 Front Hum Neurosci, 2014; 7: 934
2 Immuno Biotech; www.immunobiotech.eu
What is Gc protein?
'Group-specific component' (Gc) proteins are human blood plasma proteins that come in a range of variations (called 'polymorphisms'). This vitamin D-binding protein is synthesized in liver cells and interacts with several cell types, including T and B cells (involved in immune responses) through specific receptors. One of its most important functions is to mop up actin, a filamentous protein released at the time of cell death that can cause blood clots if not scavenged. Copious research now links low levels of Gc protein with a number of diseases, ranging from thyroid problems to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. 1 Gc proteins stimulate macrophages to 'eat' cancer cells and also the release of nitric oxide gas from surrounding cells, which are lethal to some cancer cells.
1 Eur Nephrol, 2011; 5: 15-9
Case study: Autism nd thyroid cancer
Marni Einsberg, 42, a psychotherapist, knew something was different about her middle child, Eva, from the time she was two and had a more extreme version of the 'terrible twos'. The
tantrums got so bad that, by age five, psychologists put her somewhere within the Asperger's or autistic spectrum. Although Eva was 'high functioning' and able to keep up with her studies
in an ordinary private school, she was clearly different from the other children. Frequently, she would carry crutches to school or wrap her hand in a cast to symbolize she was 'injured' and needed sympathy. By age nine, Eva was having two 'meltdowns' a day-breaking furniture and glass doors, trashing her bedroom, breaking her hand or pretending to throw herself out the
window. She refused to go to school. Marni had no choice but to give her child the antipsychotic drug risperidone, usually given to treat schizophrenia. Eva struggled on at school,
calmer but ballooning several kilos in weight due to the drug.
Last June, Marni attended a seminar on GcMAF to convince her mother-in-law to try it for her lung cancer. During his talk, Dr Ruggiero explained that many autistic patients have problems with
immunity. This rang a bell-Eva had constant infections as a child and was continuously taking antibiotics. "This was the first time anyone had made the correlation between her
having a compromised immune system and autism," Marni said. Dr Ruggiero performed a detailed scan on Eva and found abnormalities in both her bowel and brain. As these children
often have mothers with thyroid nodules, Ruggiero scanned Marni as well, and found nodules and a cancerous tumour too. Both mother and daughter started GcMAF in June as injections, nebulizers and suppositories, and adopted the Swiss Protocol diet and other nutritional support. A follow-up ultrasound in August showed that Marni's tumour had shrunk and, by September,
it was nearly gone. As for Eva, she lost the extra weight, the black circles under her eyes disappeared and, by August, she volunteered to spend two weeks at a sleepover camp in England, a situation that would have been far too anxiety-provoking in the past. She also elected to attend a boarding school for children with dyslexia and ADHD in the UK, has settled in well and has had
no meltdowns since she's been on the programme. "For the first time, she is engaging properly with people," said Marni. "She jokes, she makes eye contact and even holds her younger brother's
And many other adults who don't know about the treatment are commenting on it." In late September during a home visit, Eva said to her mother, "I'm not autistic anymore. That was me before, but it's gone now."
Both Ruggiero and Noakes are on a mission to get this information out to the world. In addition to their body of evidence, four new papers describing results obtained in the laboratory and in their patients were published last month, after the findings were presented at the 9th International Conference of Anticancer Research, held in October in Halkidiki, Greece. The first of the studies includes the first evidence that the supermolecule could eradicate breast cancer by suppressing the expression of the HER2 gene in breast cancer, a gene-like BCRA-2-
considered a marker of the cancer. 11 In the second paper, the team describes the successful treatment of multiple myeloma cells, and how the supermolecule also activates macrophages to efficiently suppress cancer cell growth. 12 The final study describes the successful treatment of supposedly incurable brain cancer and metastases, using focused transcranial ultrasound to punch a 'hole' in the blood-brain barrier (BBB), thereby allowing targeted delivery of the supermolecule directly to the tumour. 13 Ruggiero's work has attracted an explosion of interest in GcMAF; some 140 scientists have published papers on it, a good deal of them referencing his work. His team's first paper on GcMAF and oleic acid in cancer patients-published this year-became one of the top 5 per cent papers receiving online attention of all time, an impact analogous to a Nobel Prize-worthy discovery. 14 Besides Ruggiero and his team, other groups of scientists situated in a variety of academic research centres, around the world such as the University of Tokushima, the University of Kentucky, the University of Southern Denmark and Arizona State University, have carried out studies on GcMAF and their published results broadly mirror those obtained by Dr Ruggiero; among 57 research papers published on GcMAF on Pubmed, WDDTY could find almost
nothing with negative findings.
Dr Jeff Bradstreet, a professor of child development and neuroscientist at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe Arizona, who specializes in treating children with autism, published a preliminary study showing that some 40 of his patients with autism had elevated nagalase activity, and regular injections of GcMAF lowered it. "Uncontrolled observations of GcMAF therapy indicated substantial improvements in language, socialization and cognition," he and his team concluded. 15 The paper shows remarkable clinical success with autism- 85 per cent of the patients responded to treatment, and of the responders, 20-25 per cent were completely cured, which backs up Ruggiero's experience
(see page 30).
Me and my biome
Big on the medical radar these days is what's referred to as the human microbiome, the approximately 2 kg (4 lb) of
healthy bacteria that resides in our gut. The health of this virtual 'organ'-the largest in the human body-is an essential part of our immune system, and is now recognized as essential for the healthy development of our brains and, most recently, the most essential alarm system to alert the body to the presence of cancer.
But this delicate balance is often destroyed by the byproducts of living in the 21st century, including environmental toxins like heavy metals, chemicals and even prescription drugs, particularly antibiotics. Although detoxing can help to restore the microbiome to full health, in many conditions-notably, autism, cancers, and autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's-the damage has gone beyond self-repair. Scientists are now experimenting with 'faecal transplants'-implanting faecal (gut) microorganisms from a healthy person-with great success, although Ruggiero and Pacini claim that their GcMAF-oleic acid blend via the colon can also repair serious damage.
Of 3,500 children with autism treated with GcMAF by Immuno Biotech, 500 have made full recoveries, it claims. There no doubt that the case studies and the preliminary evidence are compelling, given the uniformly poor track record of conventional medicine to treat most chronic illness. "And not by referring to snake oil vendors or new-age-type mystical powers,"
says Ruggiero, "but to solid, reproducible scientific evidence published in peer-reviewed journals." However, before concluding that GcMAF lays claim to the mantle of magic bullet, it's wise to remember how new this research is. The bulk of studies have been carried out on cell lines and animals, and clinical evidence has just begun to get published.
And one major area of vulnerability for Ruggiero's team, in terms of credibility, is the fact that both the treatment and the proprietary product remain largely in the same hands. Ruggiero says that he and his wife wished to preempt such criticism by refusing all shares in Immuno Biotech or any payments or royalties from the products they invented. However, Ruggiero is
paid as a consultant by Immuno Biotech to train other doctors in his protocols. If you're suffering from a major illness, it's also important not to pop GcMAF like a vitamin pill.
A variety of patient sites on the internet contain comments from patients who claim to have suffered minor adverse effects, after self-medicating with the
wrong dosage. Ruggiero says that in a small percentage of patients, particularly those with autism, symptoms do get a bit worse before they improve. He urges anyone
with a serious medical condition not to self medicate with GcMAF, but to seek the advice of a professional. What's sorely needed now is for other doctors as
willing as Ruggiero to dodge the speeding bullets of the medical Establishment to confirm through independent research that his supermolecule is indeed
kryptonite to many diseases.
1 FEBS Lett, 1989; 252: 129-34
2 Eur Nephrol, 2011; 5: 15-9
3 Med Hypotheses, 2009; PMID:
4 J Med Virol, 2009; 81: 16-26
5 Cancer Immunol Immunother,
2011; 60: 479-85
7 J Nephrol, 2012; 25: 577-81
8 FEBS J, 2013; 280: 1733-49
9 Biochem Biophys Res Commun,
1988; 153: 1019-24
10 Am J Immunol, 2013; 9: 78-84,
120-9; Am J Immunol, 2014; 10:
11 Anticancer Res, 2014; 34: 5845-7
12 Anticancer Res, 2014; 34: 6175-7
13 Anticancer Res, 2014; 34: 5844-5
14 Anticancer Res, 2014; 34: 3569-78
15 Autism Insights 2012; 4: 31-38