My Malignant Melanoma

Seanty's experiences with Metastatic Malignant Melanoma. Part of Email us direct at

Friday, 27 November 2009


Melanoma and the Thyroid

A poster over on the Melanoma forum pointed out that a number of the women on the site had a past history of thyroid problems, and asked if there was a known link. To my surprise, it seems that there might be.

This paper claims that thyroid stimulating hormone, (which is found in higher concentrations in people with low thyroid activity) is a growth factor for human melanoma cells. There is even a recent paper describing attempts to use the similarities between melanoma and thyroid cells as a weapon against melanoma, reporting disappointing initial results.

Once again proving that there's more to melanoma than tanorexia...

Monday, 23 November 2009


What Now - the return of the alties

I've heard nothing from fellow What Now posters for a while on promotion of snake oil on What Now, so I had a look just now to see how effectively it is being controlled. Not very, I'm afraid.

A quick check (simply by putting "alternative" into the site's search box) shows a great deal of uncontradicted false information on such things as AHCC capsules, apricot kernels, the cancertutor and canceractive quackery promotion sites, black propaganda against Ben Goldacre and Quackwatch, Gemm therapy, Jan de "Vriers" powders, Broncosol (and apricot kernels again), "Trying any alternative medicine you can find", Direct promotion (complete with weblink) of foreign sites selling quack cancer cures, yet another site promoting quackery with false claims, Mistletoe treatment. These are just from the first six pages of 99, and I've not even included all of the other pages where false claims have some sort of response, however weak or unconvincing.

What are those of you who told me that the site didn't need someone to keep an eye on those who promote quackery to the desperate going to do about it?

Corrections to the What Now misinformation:

AHCC capsules are not "known to help prevent cancer returning" contrary to poster's claims. Their supposed active ingredient is maitake and shiitake mushrooms. To quote the American Cancer Society "There is no convincing clinical evidence to date in available peer-reviewed medical journals reporting that the maitake mushroom is effective in treating or preventing cancer in humans". The same is true of Shiitake.

Apricot kernels are the thin end of the laetrile wedge. They contain amygdalin, a form of cyanide with no more anti-cancer effect than any other form of cyanide.

Cancertutor promotes every brand of cancer quackery with lies. Best to read Quackwatch's special message to cancer patients.

Canceractive-see above

The propaganda against Ben Goldacre and Quackwatch reproduced on What Now is unfounded. The What Now poster has uncritically reproduced the baseless self-published rantings of an anti-vaccination campaigner, and the internet smear campaign of "an entity whose purpose is to assist "alternative" health practitioners faced with regulatory action, criminal prosecution, or other matters that threaten their financial well-being" as it says in the pending libel case against them. Macmillan are most unwise to allow their site to repeat this libellous claim.

The claim to cure incurable cancers made for Gemm therapy is only one of a range of fantastic claims made by its inventor for the technology he named after himself, including safe nuclear power, and psychic abilities. The only evidence for the technique ever published appears to be in what may be the world' least credible journal, the "Journal of Frontier Perspectives", alongside stuff about Alien abductions, UFOs, Tarot readings, and dowsing.

Jan de "Vriers" powders- Jan de Vries is a naturopath. The US authorities concluded as far back as 1968 that "Naturopathic theory and practice are not based upon the body of basic knowledge related to health, disease, and health care which has been widely accepted by the scientific community. Moreover, irrespective of its theory, the scope and quality of naturopathic education do not prepare the practitioner to make an adequate diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment."Naturopathy is horseshit,

Broncosol is an extract of broccoli, sprouts and watercress which sell at around £1 per tablet. Do I really need to point out that there are no vegetables which cure cancer? Yes? Really? OK, broccoli does not cure cancer.

Alternative see Cancertutor/Canceractive

Mistletoe treatment comes from a religious approach to medicine invented by Rudolph Steiner, a philosopher with no medical qualifications, who thought amongst other things that the heart is not responsible for circulating the blood. It has no effect on melanoma other than possibly promoting spread to the brain.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


BRAF Mutations and AZD6244

There's a paper in the British Journal of Cancer showing success in detecting BRAF mutations via blood samples instead of tumour biopsies.

The presence of these mutations is the basis for treatment with PLX4032, as well as the drug in this trial, AZD6244, though the two drugs work in different ways.

I see there is an open clinical trial of AZD6244 in Oxford, and that the BJC paper is authored by people at Christie's.

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Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Radiotherapy against MM- The latest from Aus.

The Australians have been using radiotherapy after wide area excision of melanoma for quite a while, and include it in their equivalent of the NICE guidelines. No surprise then that the latest study showing a certain degree of qualified success with radiotherapy comes from there.

None too impressive results though: Though by the end of the study, 19 percent of the radiation patients had experienced a local nodal relapse of their melanoma, compared with 31 percent of patients who did not undergo postoperative radiation treatment, overall survival was not affected.

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