Research into new drugs


Irish Cancer Society mainly funds research into new drugs which bring little or no benefit to patients.


The only thing that we can be sure of is the more money we raise for cancer research, the more cancer we seem to get.
Dr. Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D. (author of the groundbreaking book Cancer as a Metabolic Disease).

Irish Cancer Society website:
Our research is making a difference Since 2010, the Irish Cancer Society has invested over €20 million into hundreds of innovative research projects. These projects have contributed enormously to our understanding of cancer, how it develops and how to treat different forms of cancer. Our research has led to hundreds of discoveries. Each of these new findings have been published in international peer reviewed journals, making this knowledge available to researchers worldwide.


What the Society doesn’t tell us:

The Irish Cancer Society funds research thats predominately focussed on developing new drugs, resulting in more profits for big pharma. But what has all the research produced in terms of prolonging the lives of cancer patients?

Very little. I could find no evidence of any significant research breakthroughs offering meaningful survival benefits to patients.

Here’s one claim the Society makes concerning HER2-positive breast cancer, which affects around 450 women each year:

Irish Cancer Society website:
A newly approved drug called Neratinib is preventing this type of breast cancer returning in some patients. But it doesn’t work for every woman who takes it. Our research has led to hundreds of discoveries. Each of these new findings have been published in international peer reviewed journals, making this knowledge available to researchers worldwide.

Unfortunately, this is just another drug – with side-effects, including:
The most common adverse reactions (more than 5%) were diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, vomiting

Kidney Failure (Frequency not reported)
Low Blood Pressure – can be mild to fatal (Frequency not reported)

Here’s another claim:

Irish Cancer Society website:
New Irish research sheds light on how aspirin works to reduce cancer deaths Researchers funded by the Health Research Board and Irish Cancer Society have discovered that women who had been prescribed aspirin regularly before being diagnosed with breast cancer are less likely to have cancer that spread to the lymph-nodes than women who were not on prescription aspirin.

Aspirin is also a drug with potentially fatal side-effects. Here’s info from the Mayo Clinic:

Side effects and complications of taking aspirin include:

  • Stroke caused by a burst blood vessel. While daily aspirin can help prevent a clot-related stroke, it may increase your risk of a bleeding stroke (hemorrhagic stroke).
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding. Daily aspirin use increases your risk of developing a stomach ulcer. And, if you have a bleeding ulcer or bleeding anywhere else in your gastrointestinal tract, taking aspirin will cause it to bleed more, perhaps to a life-threatening extent.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’re allergic to aspirin, taking any amount of aspirin can trigger a serious allergic reaction.

Here are claims regarding Leukaemia:

Irish Cancer Society website:
New way to kill leukaemia cells Recently researchers funded by the Irish Cancer Society identified a new way of killing leukaemia cells, including those resistant to current therapies. Their findings were published in 2009 in the renowned international journal Cancer Research. The researchers from Trinity College Dublin described how a new drug, pyrrolo-1,5-benzoxazepine-15 (PBOX-15), is highly effective in killing chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells, including those from patients with poor prognosis, while at the same time sparing normal blood cells.

The researchers found that PBOX-15 killed CLL cells in the laboratory – not in human beings. Many drugs that show promise in the lab are proven unsafe or ineffective in later animal testing.

Here’s another claim:

Irish Cancer Society website:
Success in Leukaemia research Professor Cotter’s findings in chronic myeloid leukaemia contributed greatly to understanding the role of Bcr-Abl in this disease. Following his discovery in 1994 this gene went on to become the target of the first cancer drug to specifically kill CML cells. This drug This drug Gleevec© works by targeting and turning off Bcr-Abl and other proteins in cancer cells preventing the cancer cells from growing and multiplying. It was approved for treating chronic myeloid leukaemia patients in 2001 and has significantly increased the relative five year survival rate for this disease. It has also since been approved for treating a number of other cancers including gastrointestinal stromal tumours which cannot be surgically removed and/or have spread to other parts of the body. N.B no clinical evidence to support increased 5 year relative survival rate for GIST

Once again, this is just another toxic drug with potentially fatal side-effects. According to

The following serious side effects have been reported by patients taking GLEEVEC:

  • Severe fluid retention (holding water), which can cause swelling around the eyes or swelling of the lower legs, lungs, and heart; fatal in rare cases
  • Increased pressure in the heart or brain; fatal in rare cases
  • Low levels of certain blood cells
  • Heart failure
  • Liver problems
  • Hemorrhage (abnormal bleeding)
  • Skin blistering
  • Low levels of thyroid hormone

Despite the Society’s efforts at positive spin, these research “successes”, bring very little benefit to patients. This is a scandalous waste of millions of euro’s that could be spent on promising natural treatments. The following study pours more cold water on the claims that toxic drugs are of any benefit.

Availability of evidence of benefits on overall survival and quality of life of cancer drugs approved by European Medicines Agency: retrospective cohort study of drug approvals 2009-13

This systematic evaluation of oncology approvals by the EMA in 2009-13 shows that most drugs entered the market without evidence of benefit on survival or quality of life. At a minimum of 3.3 years after market entry, there was still no conclusive evidence that these drugs either extended or improved life for most cancer indications. When there were survival gains over existing treatment options or placebo, they were often marginal. BMJ


We must remember:
1. Pharmaceutical companies are in business to make profits, not cure cancer (or any other disease).
2. Drugs merely suppress symptoms, but bring side-effects ranging from mild to life-threatening.

Would it not be better to fund research that would :

  • Identify effective natural or other non-toxic therapies that greatly prolongs survival time for the majority of patients?
  • Eliminates the cancer without seriously harming the patient – treatment should not be worse than the disease.
  • Targets Cancer Stem Cells to prevent metastasis (cancer spread).
  • Addresses the root cause of the cancer.
  • Identify safe alternatives to Mammography?

For example, Intravenous Vitamin C is a hugely promising treatment already being successfully used in clinics worldwide to treat cancer.

This 2016 study says:

“In small phase I clinical studies, intravenously administered ascorbate was safe. Survival was doubled in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, but only retrospective controls were used. Phase II and Phase III studies have not yet been conducted to test benefit of intravenously administered vitamin C in patients with cancer”.

This study tells us why such studies have not been carried out: “Because there is no patent potential, pharmaceutical support cannot be counted on to sponsor trials. Public and non-profit funds will be required to drive research. Despite gaps in knowledge and funding uncertainties, patients with cancer deserve no less than to have pharmacologic ascorbate tested rigorously as a treatment agent”.
Here is an opportunity to fund worthwhile research aimed at prolonging survival time.

Poison Drugs Meme

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