advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Protocel: A Bogus Cancer Cure?

I've been reading about Protocel to cure cancer, including lung cancer. What do you think of this treatment?

A
Answer (Published 10/22/2010)

Not much, and I urge you to avoid it. Protocel® is one of the names given to a mixture of chemical compounds developed in the 1930's by a chemist named James Sheridan who claimed that that the formula came to him from God in a dream and would cure cancer and other diseases. He called his product Entelev® and eventually gave it to someone else for manufacturing and distribution. According to the American Cancer Society the name of the preparation was then changed to Cancell® and was marketed for about five years before the FDA got an injunction that prohibited sale of the product across state lines on the grounds that it was an adulterated, misbranded, and unapproved new drug. Cancell has now also been renamed, and as Protocel is being sold as a supplement that helps the body remove "unwanted and unproductive cells."

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Cancer Support - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Do you or a loved one have cancer? The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide has simple, effective preventive health information and tools including an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid. Join today and get 14 days free!

Promoters have advanced rather interesting theories about how and why it is purported to work, including mechanisms that have to do with cellular energy and the conversion of normal cells to cancer cells. One theory holds that a bacterium called Progenitor cryptocides is activated in the body by improper diet and causes cells to turn malignant. Protocel, which is also marketed as Cantron, supposedly cures the disease by blocking energy production in cancer cells.

In addition to cancer, these supplements have also been promoted for treatment of AIDS, herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, endometriosis, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, diabetes, emphysema, scleroderma, Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, hemophilia, high and low blood pressure, mental illness and some forms of epilepsy.

There is no evidence to support the existence of the bacterium invoked in the theory on how normal cells become malignant. What's more, there is no evidence to show that Protocel (or whatever else it is called) has any anti-cancer effect. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) performed animal studies of Entelev/Cancell in 1978 and 1980 and found that it had no anti-cancer activity whatsoever. Another series of NCI tests in 1990 and 1991 using human cancer cells did not find sufficient activity to warrant further testing. And beware: the manufacturer of the supplements claims that chemotherapy interferes with their effectiveness.

If you have cancer, I urge you to rely on tested and proven treatments. They may be imperfect, and should not be used without weighing the risks and benefits, but they have a much better track record than supplements unscrupulously promoted as cures.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here