The Big Book: Cancer: The Complete Recovery Guide
The Small Book: Cancer Recovery Guide: 15 Alternative and Complementary Strategies for Restoring Health – For more information go to www.fightingcancer.com
“This book tells me everything. Why didn’t my doctor tell me this?” – Rev Bill Newbern
RALPH MOSS & JOHN BEARD
Ralph Moss’s book The Cancer Industry and his newsletter http://www.cancerdecisions.com are important resources: Here is an extract of Moss’s commemoration of the work of John Beard and why pancreatic enzymes are an important approach to cancer:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BEARD-PART II
Two weeks ago I wrote about the special issue on John Beard that Integrative Cancer Therapies is publishing soon. Today, I want to tell you a bit about who John Beard was and why this topic is so important.
To read my previous newsletter on this subject, please click or go to:
John Beard (1858-1924) was the first individual in history to point to the similarity – he would have said identity — of cancer and the trophoblastic tissue that arises in the early days of pregnancy and eventually forms the placenta. Today, this similarity is a commonplace among embryologists. A 2007 review concluded: “Trophoblast research over the past decades has underlined the striking similarities between the proliferative, migratory and invasive properties of placental cells and those of cancer cells.” i Some embryologists now refer to trophoblast as a “pseudo-malignancy.” ii,iii Beard said as much 100 years ago, although his prior claim on this discovery is not always acknowledged by present-day researchers.
Beard made other outstanding contributions to the life sciences. He was the first to describe the evolution of the nervous system of elasmobranch fishes. He demonstrated the morphological continuity of germ cells in several vertebrate species. He co-discovered the large, transient sensory cells of the spinal cord, still known as Rohon-Beard cells. He was also the first to propose that the corpus luteum was responsible for the inhibition of ovulation during pregnancy and was among the first to describe programmed cell death, or apoptosis. He was the first to describe the thymus as “the parent source” of the lymphoid structures.
Thus, by any reckoning, John Beard deserves to be included among the leading biologists of the late 19th and early 20th century. He won a major award from the French Academy of Sciences and was nominated for the Nobel Prize. Today, when Beard is on occasion memorialized, it is for his progressive ideas on the nature of cancer. He has rightly been hailed as a forerunner of the present-day theory of the cancer stem cell (CSC). He is also the father of enzyme therapy. He pointed out that the initiation of fetal pancreatic function coincided with a reduction in the invasiveness of trophoblast, which otherwise might progress to clinical cancer (i.e., choriocarcinoma). Based on the above propositions, he recommended the therapeutic use of pancreatic enzymes in treating cancer and other diseases. This therapy created a worldwide controversy in his day. Although rejected at the time, it prevailed and has entered the world of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) today. The New York Times predicted as much 100 years ago, when it editorialized on October 9, 1909: “In spite of the present condemnation of trypsin, there is still a large chance that time will tell another story.” And so it has.
In this special issue, I have had the great pleasure of tracing the details of Beard’s life through the twists and turns of historical research. Beard was born in Redding, a suburb of Manchester, England, on Nov. 2, 1858. It was a time of enormous intellectual ferment. Darwin’s Origin of Species came out in the following year. Although Beard’s father and grandfather were workers in the local cotton mills, Beard himself had higher ambitions as well as opportunities. His big break in life was that, after his biological father’s death, his stepfather sent him to an excellent private school to study. He continued his studies locally, then at the University of Manchester with Prof. Arthur Milnes Marshall, in London with Darwin’s disciple, T.H. Huxley, and finally in Freiburg, with Prof. August Weismann. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg and later received an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) from Manchester.
For two decades, Beard mainly studied the elasmobranch fishes (sharks, skates and rays). After spending 20 years in basic embryological research, he published several seminal articles on the cancer problem. How he got from shakes and rays to human cancer is the main subject of my biographical article.
Although some people thought Beard was simply an intellectual fence-jumper, if not an outright cancer crank, there was a logical reason for drawing conclusions about cancer from the study of fishes. Beard detected a separate nervous system in some of these fishes, which emerged and then died away in the course of development. This led him to postulate that there was an “alternation of generations” in animals, even in mammals. Eventually this led him to the theory that the trophoblast was itself a kind of “asexual” growth that accompanied the growth of the sexual embryo. He later identified this trophoblast as identical to cancer, and speculated that pancreatic enzymes would be cancer’s natural antagonist.
I will be writing more on this topic in the near future.