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Colon cancer

Vienna, 13.02.2009

In Austria approximately 5,200 people are diagnosed with colonic cancer per year and around 2,700 die of it.
Worldwide approximately 1.23 million people are diagnosed with colonic cancer per year and around 529,000 die of it.
(Source www.dep-iarc.fr).

Prof. Ludwig, a sworn expert court witness regarded the life of a female patient who had been diagnosed with a metastasising colorectal carcinoma on 17.5.1988 (letter from Helmut Jakob to Spiegel, operation report) as "not acutely threatened". (12 May 1997) When he was presented with the same medical history (provided with different names) he judged these factors to be an "unfavourable prognosis". His commentary on the case which he describes as hopeless: "Your acquaintance is in a condition after operation on an ulcerating adenocarcinoma of the large intestine, which has already produced lymph node metastases. The size of the primary tumour is striking, the fact that it was already ulcerated and furthermore the bad differentiation. These factors point to an unfavourable prognosis." (12 July 1999)

When patients have to go to court to fight for their rights because health insurance institutions do not pay the costs of medicine the court calls for an expert witness.

Expert witnesses are duty-bound to objectivity and truth. It is most remarkable that Prof. Ludwig made two different statements under the same circumstances.

As a result of the statement of the expert witness Prof. Ludwig, the court came to the decision not to compensate the patient for the costs of the medicine. His untruthful negative report had serious financial consequences for the patient.  

The patient is still alive today – more than 20 years later – because Dr. Nowicky made Ukrain available to her free of charge. Ms. Jakob had paid her insurance contributions all her life to state and even private health insurance companies. Despite this she was let down by the insurance institutions in times of need.

The main preparation for chemotherapy for colonic cancer is 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU, NSC 19893), a highly toxic product with some serious side-effects, which is mostly used in various combinations. In tests carried out as part of the National Cancer Institute Developmental Therapeutics Program (NCI DTP) the dose-reaction curves for 5-FU showed only growth inhibition for 8 human colonic cancer cell lines (Source dtp.nci.nih.gov). A lethal effect on these cell lines was not achieved with 5-FU but nevertheless the anti-cancer effect of this medicament was evaluated as outstanding by the NCI. In contrast to this Ukrain (NSC 631570), which demonstrates no toxic side-effects in therapeutic doses, showed an almost 100% lethal effect on the same 8 colonic cancer cell lines (Ukrain: results of preclinical and clinical studies).

As the leading oncologist in Austria at the time, who attaches importance to scientific research, why did Prof. Ludwig not feel it his duty to test the medicament Ukrain with a clinical study? After all, with the case described above, Prof. Ludwig was given an indication that the medicament is not only effective in vitro but also in clinical application, which was later confirmed by Ukrainian scientists in two randomised clinical studies. (Sources: Susak, Bondar) Why did he not follow up this indication?

Since 1988 more than 50,000 people have died of colonic cancer in Austria alone. If Ukrain had been given a chance and been clinically tested and used, how much suffering could have been prevented?

The lives and suffering of these 50,000 people should make it the duty of every scientist to follow up and check every small indication of a new method of treatment, no matter from whom it comes.


Comments

25.02.2009

I have been following reports about Ukrain for some time with horror and indignation. How can it happen that the costs of far more expensive therapies such as cytostatica are paid by the health insurance funds but those of Ukrain are not?

I am the mother of two children and in my circle of acquaintances I have often had to witness the suffering of cancer patients who were undergoing conventional treatment. As a simple mother and medical layman I can only express my hope that the medicament Ukrain will finally be made available to all patients and the costs of treatment will be paid by the health insurance funds.

How can it happen that all the existing studies are simply ignored by our health system and the civil servants responsible and patients' reports on Ukrain are not taken seriously?

Best regards,

Tamara Reiner

 

23.02.20009

I am a medical student in my fourth year of study and I find that what has happened in this case is very dubious. When there is in any case no further help from conventional medicine, why is access to alternative medicine hindered for the woman? Here it is a matter of a very effective medicament. I personally know two people from my extended circle of acquaintances for whom it brought about a complete cure.

I would be interested to know the background to Prof. Ludwig's obviously false statement. Was he already prejudiced against the medicament or was it a coincidental mistake that almost cost a woman her life?

During the course of my medical studies I have already often witnessed hopeless cases. The patients were given expensive chemotherapy and treatments which were however often without effect. I was of course interested in the opinion of the attending doctors. Not infrequently they thought that there was no further help but the chemical cudgel was administered so that "everything possible had been tried".

Here is a medicament that can demonstrate sensational successes in so many hopeless cases but is apparently being ignored by medical circles.

I have informed myself about this medicament on the internet. What is to be found however is unfortunately rather bad homepages (suggestion for improvement to the operators) and dubious information such as on Wikipedia which attempts to present the medicament in a bad light.

However, when studying the specialist literature it can be seen that this medicament simply works and has saved people's lives. As a future doctor it irritates and shocks me when I see how so-called "experts" do not take such cases seriously and perhaps even dismiss them as spontaneous recoveries.

I am very curious to see whether this medicament manages to emerge from the shadows and finally be taken seriously in the coming years.

Stefan Karoly