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Coley's Toxins

28 May 2002

In 1994, eight years ago as this is written, Wayne Martin had Coley's Toxins (CT) made in Guatemala. He has recently managed to get a lot of that material and given it to his friend, Dr Glenn Wilcoxson MD in Clearwater Alabama. But he had feared that after eight years it might have gone bad, but such was not the case.

Wilcoxson has treated 3 cancer patients with it and is having astounding success in so doing.

The first patient was a woman from the Miami area of Florida. She has ovarian cancer. There is a very good marker for ovarian cancer: CA 125. If CA 125 is above 25, it spells ovarian cancer. Her CA 125 was 860 which said that her cancer was well advanced. She also had a metastasis on her thigh about 2 cm in size.

At Martin's suggestion, Dr Wilcoxson began treating her cancer with Coley's toxins and other things. She had 20 intravenous injections (ivs) of CT over a one month period, her CA 125 decreased to 320 and the metastasis on her thigh disappeared. After returning to south Florida for a month, she is back having more treatments. She will have another CA 125 before long.

The second patient was a man with a primary cancer of the tonsil. He had a big tumour on his neck measuring about 2 cm by 4 cm by 2 cm. He had injections of Coley's toxins into the tumour and by ivs for one month. This tumour is nearly gone as is the primary of the tonsil. He has been given an AMA test -- anti malignin antibody -- which shows him to be cancer free.

The third case is utterly astounding. This man of about 60 lives in Gulf Shores. He has oesophageal cancer. Sixty days ago he was in a dreadful shape. He had severe pain and much nausea, he could not swallow pills or solid food. After just three ivs with Coley's toxins he could swallow solid food. After 30 days of treatment he was off pain medication. Now he is free from both pain and nausea and eating any food he wants. He has returned to work one day a week. Four days a week he is being treated by Dr Wilcoxson. He is symptom-free.

Martin very much wants to get Dr Wilcoxson more cancer patients to see if this is for real.

What are Coley's toxins?

Dr William Coley was a young surgeon in New York City in 1891. His treatment of a young woman cancer patient by surgery was a failure and she died of cancer. Filled with sorrow, he spent many hours going through the record to New York hospital back ten years looking for a clue to a better means of cancer treatment. And he found one.

In 1881 there had been a young man with cancer of the head and neck who had had surgery for the fourth time was much tumour not removed. Shortly after the surgery, the patient was by accident infected with erysipelas in the wound and face. He suffered the high fever of erysipelas and recovered from it and with the recovery from the erysipelas there was also a complete regression from cancer. Dr Coley found this patient ten years later still free from cancer.

There was a surgeon in New York City then by the name of Bull. Dr Bull was able to find ten cancer patients who were beyond hope. Dr Coley tried to affect them all with erysipelas. With seven of them, he could not cause an infection. Three of these patients were infected and two of them died rather quickly, perhaps from the erysipelas. However one of them had a dramatic and long-lasting remission from cancer.

Dr Coley then had made by a friendly doctor a killed vaccine of the streptococcus of erysipelas and the newly discovered bacterium, Serratia marcescens. This latter bacterium was thought to be non-pathogenic in humans. This vaccine was cultured in beef broth and contained the endotoxins produced by the two bacteria and the dead bacteria. This was and is Coley's toxins.

Dr Coley began treating far advanced and hopeless cancer patients with his new vaccine and in the majority of cases he saw wondrous long-lasting regression of cancer.

In 1897 he became a surgeon at Memorial Hospital, now Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He remained as a surgeon there until shortly before his death in 1936. Had he been motivated by greed to form a drug firm to make and sell his toxins, the acceptance of Coley's toxins by the medical establishment may have been better. However over the next 40 years, Coley's toxins were used by many doctors in the USA, Canada, the UK and Belgium. It was almost never used except to treat cancer patients who were so far advanced that decision was that the patient was about to die ? so why not try Coley's toxins.

There were two hallmarks of treatment with Coley's toxins. One was the fast relief from pain and the other was a lifetime cures that it produced where patients lived to old age, to die of a cause other cancer. Dr Coley injected his vaccine into any tumour he could reach with a needle or by deep intramuscular injections (IM). If the injection was done early in the morning, there would be a chill followed by fever. By mid-afternoon, the patient would be back to normal with normal temperature.

Early on, before anything was known about dosage, there were three cases of death from overdosing and then with understanding of a proper dosage established, there were over 3000 cancer patients treated with no problem.

In general, the higher fever produced up to 105 degrees F, the faster the regression of cancer.

Dr Coley had as a friend Professor Buxton at Cornell University who, from 1893 until 1906, made a fine, potent Coley's toxins for Dr Coley and others to use. Then from 1906 until her retirement in about 1923, Dr Martha Tracy, pathologist at Memorial Hospital, made a fine, potent vaccine. The one thing that did harm to Coley toxins was that for over fifty years the Parke Davies Company made and sold a weak and sometimes worthless vaccine.

Three cases of hopeless cancer treated with Coley's toxins

Three of these cases were of non-fatal overdosing with Coley's toxins. They will be given here to give one concept of its anti-cancer effect.

The first case was in Costa Rica in 1901. The patient was a young woman with rapidly growing cancer of the nasopharynx. She was being treated with increasing doses of the Parke Davies vaccine with no reaction and no benefit. Some very potent Buxton vaccine was had and in desperation, a very big injection of it was done. Clearly it was a great overdose.

The injection was given at 11:00 AM on 8 May 1901. All tumours at once took on the high purple hue. Fever rose to 105 and the pulse could not be detected. Necrotic material formed and had to be removed with forceps to prevent asphyxia. Eight injections were given of digitalis and caffeine as a stimulant. After 12 hours, the fever subsided at the pulse returned to normal. Then at 3:00 AM the following morning, the swelling in her face was gone and her tumour had reduced its size by half.

By 72 hours after the injection, one tumour size of an orange was gone and another large tumour was reduced to the size of a small nut.

The next case was in 1912. Again the patient was a young woman of twenty-six living in Kentville, Nova Scotia. She had renal cell carcinoma with extensive metastases in the peritoneum. She was taken to hospital in Halifax 40 miles away where exploratory surgery was done. The surgeon felt that she was utterly hopeless and he did not think that she would survive the trip home.

At home her doctor gave her an injection of Coley toxins so large that he hoped that he would cause death and end her suffering. This big overdose had the effect of causing vast improvement in the patient. The patient then had 18 intramuscular injections in the buttocks and six weeks later she free from all signs of cancer. She was traced 40 years later still free from cancer.

The third case may be the most dramatic case in the history of Coley's toxins. The place was New York City and the patient was an officer on the merchant ship. The time was 1926. The cancer was reticulum cell sarcoma of the tibia. Amputation was done. Three months later there was a metastasis above the umbilicus. One month later there was a fist size tumour on the amputated stump. A further month later there was another lemon size tumour on the stump and the entire stump was increasing its size.

By this time in 1926, the only vaccine to be heard was the weak Parke Davies vaccine. Very big doses of the Parke Davies vaccine were injected into the patient's stump and the reactions were severe. There were signs of regression but the patient asked for respite. During the time of the respite his tumours grew at an astonishing rate. There were now several tumours under the skin of the abdomen and in many other parts of the body: in the scalp, cranial bones, and vertebrae. The stump enlarged to 31 inches in circumference and the end of the stump had broken down into an ulcerated mass from which there was a foul smelling discharge.

Injections were begun into the stump and caution was thrown to the wind. Doses of over ten times normal were used. The reactions were severe with the patient saying he was being greatly beat up. The injections were done every day. After 28 daily injections, the stump had returned to its proper size and was completely healed. All the other metastases had either vanished or had become greatly reduced in size. Treatment was stopped at this time and 16 days later he showed no sign of cancer. This patient died of a heart attack 33 years later in 1959.

Recent history of Coley toxins

The American Cancer Society was formed in 1925. It has been an implacable enemy of Coley's toxins and had it on its list of unproven remedies until about 1973. In 1972, Dr Lloyd Old, then director of research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, while looking into the cancer effect of Coley's toxins discovered tumour necrosis factor and that in the reaction to Coley's toxins the body produces both interferon and tumour necrosis factor. Thereafter the American Cancer Society removed Coley's toxins from its list of unproven remedies -- but in so doing they never told anyone that they had done so. As a result, the older doctors today are of the opinion that Coley's toxins is still listed as unproven remedy. Most younger doctors have never heard of Coley's toxins.

Dr Coley's daughter, Helen Coley Nauts, founded Cancer Research Institute in 1953 and it has grown large and prestigious. But she was unable to overcome the opposition of the American Cancer Society to get Coley's toxins into widespread use again. Circa 1955, Coley's toxins were made at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and there was some use of it in parts of the USA in treating cancer. At that time in 1961 one of the most remarkable cases in the history of Coley's toxins was recorded. The patient was retired contractor with colon cancer. The place was the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma City. The time was February 1961. He had had surgery followed by a massive recurrence of cancer. He had an enlarged liver, with many metastases in the abdomen with ascites. His family physician had been tapping the abdomen daily obtaining four to eight quarts of bloody fluid. Bloody pleural fluid was aspirated from the lungs every second day, about a quart each time. Malignant cells were found in the fluid removed from both the abdomen and the lungs. At this time, the expected survival was less than a week.

On the 22nd, 1961, intradermal injections of Coley's toxins were begun and they were given daily for eight days. At the site of the injections there was an extensive inflammatory reaction and pain. There was aching and shaking chills and a fever of 102 for about three hours after each injection. The pleural effusion diminished within 24 hours after the first injection, and after the third day there were no further ascites. In all there were 80 injections of Coley toxins. The patient began to live a normal life and to regain lost weight (30lbs). He returned home on the 10th March and there was every indication of a complete regression of cancer. He was followed and was alive and well in 1970.

Meanwhile the American Cancer Society had been pushing hard for the passage of the Kefauver-Harris amendment to the Pure Food and Drug Act. It was passed in June 1962. It had a grandfather clause under which aspirin was made legal. The American Cancer society saw to it that Coley's toxin was not 'grandfathered' under this new law. The FDA declared it a 'New Drug' subject to all the expensive testing associated with getting approval of a new drug. But there is no possibility of anyone getting a patent on Coley's toxins and drug firms show no interest in spending money on a drug or vaccine on which a patent cannot be obtained.

At the time of the passage of this amendment, there were several cancer patients being treated with Coley's toxins and showing partial remissions. They were cut off from more treatment and that was the end of treating cancer patients with Coley's toxins in the USA in a legal way.

Last updated: 20 July 2002

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