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News1995April › Cancer treatment: about face › April 1995

Cancer treatment: about face

Professor Michael Baum, the long time scourge of everything alternative, seems to have experienced a conversion on the road back from St Gallen, Switzerland

Professor Michael Baum, the long time scourge of everything alternative, seems to have experienced a conversion on the road back from St Gallen, Switzerland.

There he heard from the world's leading breast cancer specialists that high dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants were experimental and could not be recommended as a treatment.

But Prof Baum, a breast cancer specialist based at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, went further. Writing in The Times, he said: "My personal view, however, is that this approach echoes the death throes of the conventional belief system and is analogous to the demise of the extended radical masectomies fashionable in America in the late 1950s.

"Many of us believe that the future lies not in a blunderbuss attack attempting to eradicate all cancer cells present at the time of diagnosis, but a more sophisticated attempt to maintain a dynamic equilibrium controlling the disease by the modulation of the body's natural defence systems." (The Times, March 28, 1995).


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