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Why An Alkaline Approach Can Successfully Treat Cancer

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This article was written by Nancy Elizabeth Shaw from Greenmedinfo.com and reprinted here with permission. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here

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In the 1930’s, an interesting natural cancer treatment was proposed as a simple, effective answer to cancer – almost any cancer.  This treatment approach is not well known because it is considered alternative or experimental – or even dangerous[i] – by the medical and scientific community and hence has been referenced primarily in obscure publications outside the mainstream press.

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This treatment approach is called alkaline therapy or pH therapy, and is based in part on observations of cultures without significant incidence of cancer[ii] and in part on scientific observations of and experimentation with cellular metabolism.[iii]

The principles of pH therapy are very simple.  The metabolism of cancer cells has a very narrow pH tolerance for cellular proliferation (mitosis), which is between 6.5 and 7.5.  As such, if you can interfere with cancer cell metabolism by either lowering or raising the internal cancer cell pH, you can theoretically stop cancer progression.[iv]

While lowering cancer cell pH (increasing acidity) is effective against cancer cell mitosis in the lab, increasing acid levels in the live body of a cancer patient puts stress on normal cells and causes a lot of pain.  So the proposed alkaline therapy for people is a “high pH therapy” and has been developed to normalize the intracellular pH of the cancer patient’s body through elimination of latent acidosis, while increasing the pH of cancer cells to a range above 7.5.  According to published research, it is at that pH they revert to a normal cellular apoptosis cycle (programed cell death).[v]

Ideally, this approach begins with an alkaline diet.  There is general agreement amongst natural healers and medical professionals alike, that changing a cancer patient’s diet is extremely helpful when someone is confronted with a cancer diagnosis.  In a previous article, I outlined the six steps that every cancer patient should take to provide the best chance to heal from and prevent future recurrences of cancer using alkaline diet principles.[vi]

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The alkaline diet, which is primarily plant-based and avoids sugar, dairy, wheat and other high-gluten grains as well as an excess consumption of fruits, while emphasizing fresh vegetables and vegetable juices along with cruciferous vegetables and greens, changes the body’s intracellular pH to come close to the ideal blood pH of 7.3/7.41  – a key metabolic accomplishment on the path to longevity whether you have cancer or not!  An alkaline diet based on vegetables and fruits creates a less-than-optimal environment for cancer proliferation, while at the same time strengthens the immune function and supports healthy cells in the body through improved nutrition.

The second step is to use some nutritional mechanism to move the internal cancer cell pH from the optimal mitosis range of pH 6.5 to 7.5, to above 8, which shortens the life of the cancer cell.  As described by its proponents, alkaline therapy neutralizes the acid waste of the cancer which causes so much pain, interferes with the anaerobic fermentation of glucose that starts the self-feeding acidic cancer wasting cycle called cachexia and in time, can induce remission.  If this theory of alkaline therapy holds true, it should be possible to address cancer without chemotherapy, radiation or surgery and use alkaline therapy as a primary cancer treatment.

This bold statement comes from a somewhat abstruse body of research.  In the 1880’s, Louis Pasteur published his work on cellular aerobic respiration and glycolysis.  In 1931, Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for his work on the metabolism of tumors and the respiration of cells, which was later summarized in his 1956 paper, On the Origin of Cancer Cells.  His work on cancer expanded upon Pasteur’s findings and described respiratory insufficiency and a cellular metabolism of glucose fermentation as the primary trigger for cancer progression[vii].

Warburg’s conclusions on cancer were much discussed in scientific circles, as they are academically elegant, but were not accepted by most members of the scientific community engaged in cancer research.  Most cancer researchers in the late 1950’s believed that the anaerobic metabolism of cancer cells and their accompanying output of lactic acid was a side effect or an adjunct effect of cancer, not a cause.  Cancer research since the 1960’s has focused primarily on genetic aberrations as causative for cancer, and has ignored the body of research on cancer pH and its implications for therapeutic approaches.[viii]

Warburg’s work was a catalyst for yet another research effort on the nature of cancer cells, beginning in the 1930’s.  A. Keith Brewer, PhD (physicist) performed experiments on the relationship between energized, oxygenated cell membrane and elemental uptake, vs. cellular membranes in an unenergized state such as cancer cells exhibit.  He wrote a number of papers discussing the cellular mechanisms of cancer cells and the changes in metabolism induced or indicated by the lack of or presence of oxygen in combination with other elements, particularly potassium and calcium.   He noted that cancer cells share one characteristic no matter what type of cancer:  they have lost their pH control mechanism.

Brewer’s summary conclusion regarding cancer was that by changing the pH of cancer cells to alkaline (above 7.5), they will cease to function as they need an acidic, anaerobic environment to thrive.  In other words, he proposed that cancer cells will die if they can be pushed into an alkaline, oxygenated state.[ix]

Brewer’s work cites areas in the world where cancer incidents are very low.  These areas contain concentrations of alkalizing minerals in the soil and water, which are greater than in other parts of the world.  For example, the Hunza of northern Pakistan and the Hopi Indians of the American West share both similar soil and water conditions and diet.  The alkaline elemental minerals of cesium chloride, germanium and rubidium are heavily present in the soil and water.  Ingestion of these elements is correspondingly high.  These peoples also live in similar high, dry climates and grow apricot orchards, traditionally eating the fresh or dried fruit and the seeds each day.

It should be noted that apricot seeds are the source of the controversial cancer treatment Laetrile or B-17/Amygdalin.[x]   Apricot seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, which has long been identified as a potential chemotherapeutic agent against cancer proliferation.[xi]   Other similarities in the diet include a low consumption of dairy products, meat and wheat, as these foodstuffs are difficult to farm in high, arid climates and a correspondingly greater consumption of millet, buckwheat, nuts, dried fruits and berries in their traditional diets, all of which contain a similar enhanced (though sill minute) concentration of cyanide.

This is all very interesting, but what does it really mean for cancer patients who wish to avoid the pain of cancer and the typical course of treatment using surgery, chemotherapy and radiation?  What are the conditions that will force cancer cells to change their pH?

Conventional chemotherapeutic agents such as Cytoxan usually cause more damage to normal cells than to cancer cells, because cancer cells have a very thick, unenergized cellular membrane that essentially protects them from absorbing many drugs.  Normal cells have no such protection.

Conversely, cancer cells have no way to normalize their internal pH, where normal cells are relatively unaffected by high concentrations of alkalizing minerals.  However cancer cells take up primarily two elements:  glucose and potassium.

In practical application, then, it is necessary to find a way to guide alkalizing elements – such as cesium, germanium or rubidium – into cancer cells, without impacting normal cells.  It turns out this can be done using a transport agent that penetrates the bone/blood barriers, then relying on the normal uptake of alkalizing elements that follow the potassium pathway.  Cancer cells appear to have preferential uptake of cesium chloride in particular, but also take up germanium, rubidium, selenium, etc. all through the potassium pathway.

There is a compound that is frequently applied to the skin by arthritis sufferers for relief of inflammation, used in brain surgery to relieve intracranial pressure and topically used in sports medicine and veterinary medicine,[xii] also for reducing inflammation.  This compound is called DMSO and it is formed in the slurry created from soaking wood chips in water that is a bi-product of the paper making industry.

Folklore has it that workers in the paper making industry were observed to have their hands in water continuously, but they never developed arthritis and had rapidly healing skin and strong nails.  Experimentation with DMSO as a medical treatment began in the 1800’s and continues to the present day.  DMSO is medically approved in the United States only for the treatment of interstitial cystitis, a type of inflammation of the bladder.[xiii]

The reason DMSO is so interesting to cancer patients is that, in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a “carrier agent.”  It penetrates the brain/blood barrier and carries with it whatever drug or mineral is mixed with.

There is now some interest in the cancer industry in potentially using DMSO to carry chemotherapeutic agents into cancer cells and get beyond their protective membrane.  However, for the purposes of changing the alkalinity of cancer cells using cesium chloride, germanium, rubidium and other alkalizing minerals, DMSO and its ingestible form, MSM, are an effective medium.  Essentially these agents carry the minerals into all areas of the body including the brain, organs and bone marrow, where they can be used with other nutrients in ordinary cellular metabolism.

Using topically applied and ingested alkaline minerals to change cancer cell pH is not a new idea.  Controlled experiments and the personal use of this method have been ongoing since the mid-1900s.   However, it is important to note that the only FDA approved clinical trial did not have outstanding results.[xiv]  About 50% of the participants died – though if you read the study results in detail you will discover that they had been pronounced terminal before the trial began and some of them never even took one treatment.  Others had side effects ranging from leg cramps to heart arrhythmia.  A careful read will lead you to believe that perhaps they were given too strong a dose in too short a period of time.[xv]

From this research and subsequent studies, it is now understood that alkaline minerals look to normal cells and to cancer cells like potassium.  All cells require potassium to function.  The reason cancer cells take up these alkaline minerals is their resemblance to potassium.

Functionally, however, these minerals cannot take the place of potassium in cellular metabolism.  While substituting alkaline minerals for potassium creates exactly the desired result in cancer cells – increased alkalinity – when normal cells replace potassium with other minerals over the long term the consequences can be quite serious as it causes electrolyte imbalance, manifested as heart arrhythmia and leg cramps.[xvi]

The remedy to this condition of electrolyte imbalance, caused by replacement of potassium in healthy cells with other alkaline minerals during pH therapy, is simple in practical application.  Alkaline minerals are ingested or applied to the skin only during the day.  Then before sleep, the user must take potassium chloride supplementation along with other electrolytes such as magnesium and calcium if needed.  Monitoring of potassium blood levels every two weeks by a doctor is critical if a cancer patient decides to incorporate alkaline therapy into their cancer regime.

When properly balanced, the side effects of using alkaline minerals are greatly if not completely remediated by electrolyte rebalancing.  Despite the “fear, fire, foe” tone of Mssrs. Wiens et al in the article cited above[xvii] there is no risk of dying of a heart attack (or leg cramp), unless the patient ignores the proper method using alkaline minerals and is not working in consultation with an experienced specialist.  A caution: electrolyte rebalancing cannot be properly implemented by casual methods such as drinking sports drinks, particularly since commercial products are generally full of sugar and artificial substances.  Electrolyte rebalancing must be carefully applied using specific doses of supplements, based on your personal blood composition, in consultation with a nutrition expert or endocrinologist.

My personal experience with pH therapy has been nothing short of spectacular.  I have seen stage four, terminal cancer patients recover using alkalizing minerals.  There are patients who report untreatable cancers, such as nasal or fully metastasized breast cancers, which after a very persistent course of tiny doses over several years, eventually disappeared altogether.  Patients who have never had chemotherapy or radiation often experience rapid remission after changing to an alkaline diet and incorporating the use of alkaline minerals into their regime.

However pH therapy using alkaline minerals requires quite a bit of knowledge (do your homework!) and is greatly enhanced with the support of a mineral provider or cancer coach who has the experience to guide you through the process.  Many mineral providers sell minerals, but do not have the ability to assist the users.  Therefore, it is critical to seek a mineral provider who can provide references to extensive information and is available to help you work through the rough spots – and there will be some!

It is my direct personal experience that cancer can be controlled using alkaline minerals.  There are thousands of people who have had similar positive experiences.  Does it work for everyone?  No.  However if high pH therapy is properly applied, it works for a very respectable percentage of cancer sufferers – estimated at upwards of an 80% response rate by providers.  Significant when compared to traditional therapies.

This finding is why I started The Cancer Alternative Foundation – to help cancer patients feel comfortable using effective, natural therapies like pH therapy as part of their overall treatment strategy.  The Foundation simply researches and vets the claims of various alternative offerings for cancer – and there are more than 400!  To date, we have concluded that high pH therapy is one of the most effective alternatives, particularly for later stage cancers.

However alkaline therapy outcomes (as well as those for other sound alternatives) have yet to be documented in a systematic way, such that the medical community could reliably understand the positive impact that incorporating it into cancer treatment could make to hundreds of thousands of cancer sufferers.   Collecting outcomes is a current project at The Cancer Alternative Foundation and should prove invaluable to cancer patients and their doctors and care givers alike.[xviii]

If nothing else, it is my contention that alkaline therapy could be used in a supporting role to conventional treatment, which will only improve the long-term outcome for patients.  It is my hope that this promising and effective natural approach to cancer becomes more accepted by mainstream cancer care providers – as well as those enlightened individuals seeking a natural alternative, who are willing to close their eyes and jump.

An alkaline approach to cancer can only help them to enjoy their future – as in having one!

Nancy Elizabeth Shaw is a strategist, meta-analyst and Founder of The Cancer Alternative Foundation.  Contact information: www.thecanceralternative.org/contact_us.


[i] Cassileth, Barrie R. et al, Herb-Drug Interaction in Oncology, pp. 158-159; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, People’s Medical Publishing House, Shelton, CT  2010

[ii] Clark, J., Hunza in the Himalayas, National Geographic, 72, 38-45; 1963

[iii] Brewer, A. Keith and Passwater, R.   Physics of the Cell Membrane V. Mechanisms involved in cancer; American Lab, 1975,-
8, 37-45

[iv] Brewer, A. Keith PhD, Cancer, Its Nature and a Proposed Treatment, 1997; Brewer Science Library; http://www.mwt.net/~drbrewer/brew_art.htm

[v] Ibid, p. 15.

[vi] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/nutrition-information-every-cancer-patient-should-know

[vii] Warburg, Otto, On the Origin of Cancer Cells, Science, February 1956, Vol. 123, No. 3191

[viii] Witting, Rainer and Coy, Johannes, The Role of Glucose Metabolism and Glucose-Associated Signaling in Cancer; Perspectives in Medicinal Chemistry, 2007; 1:64-82. Pp. 2; cited PubMed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2754915

[ix] Cancer: The Mechanism Involved and a High pH Therapy, 1978 papers of A. Keith Brewer, Ph.D. & co-authors, Copyright A. Keith Brewer Foundation, 325 N. Central Ave., Richland Center, Wis, 53581.

[x] Griffin, G. Edward, World Without Cancer:  The Story of Vitamin B17, American Media, Westlake, CA 1974

[xi] Fatma Akinci Yildirim and M. Atilla Askin: Variability of amygdalin content in seeds of sweet and bitter apricot cultivars in Turkey. African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 9(39), pp. 6522-6524, 27 September, 2010; Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/AJB; DOI: 10.5897/AJB10.884; 600 mg. of bitter apricot seeds contain up to 1.8 mg of cyanide, where the sweet kernels contain up to .9 mg. of cyanide.

[xii]http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074679.htm.

[xiii]http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/pharmacologicalandbiologicaltreatment/dmso; When used for this condition, a 50% solution of DMSO is instilled into the bladder through a catheter and left there for about 15 minutes to relieve the inflammation

[xiv]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6522427

[xv] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19746253

[xvi] Weins, Matthew et al; Cesium chloride-induced torsades de pointes, Can J Cardiol. 2009 September; 25(9): e329–e331; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2780897

[xvii] Ibid.

[xviii] To donate to The Cancer Alternative Foundation‘s Alternative Outcomes Database, see the website:  http://www.thecanceralternative.org/donate_to_the_cancer_alternative_foundation

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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Study: Weekly Use of Disinfectants Greatly Increases Your Risk of Fatal Lung Disease

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A 30-year study conducted by Harvard researchers and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research found that people who use disinfectants once a week have a 22-32% increased chance of developing lung disease.

  • Reflect On:

    How reliable are regulatory agencies when it comes determining how safe the products we use for cleaning are for our health and environment? Did you know that there are a number of effective alternatives and products available out there?

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What Happened: A 30-year study conducted by researchers at Harvard University alongside researchers at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) found that regular use of bleach and other commonly used disinfectants can increase your chances of developing fatal lung disease. The study found that those who used these types of products just once a week had up to a 32% increased chance of developing the condition.

It’s called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Researchers looked at the incidence of the disease for the study in more than 55,000 nurses in the United States. Nurses were used for the study because they use disinfectants to clean surfaces on a regular basis. In this study population, 37 percent of nurses used disinfectants to clean surfaces on a weekly basis and 19 percent used them to clean medical instruments on a weekly basis.

In the UK alone, COPD is present approximately 1.2 million people. It includes various lung conditions like chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Obviously there are multiple factors that play a role, but according to this study, disinfectants are definitely one of them or at the very least, can’t be ruled out. Correlation may not mean causation but it’s safe to assume that breathing in these substances is not really safe, in my opinion, and can be detrimental to our health.

As far as deaths go, 25,000 people a year die from COPD in England. This number represents the third highest death rate from the disease. This study is thought to be the very first to identify such a link between COPD and specific cleaning products/chemicals known as “quaternary ammonium compounds (quats).”

To the best of our knowledge we are the first to report a link between disinfectants and COPD among healthcare workers, and to investigate specific chemicals that may underlie this association…Some of these disinfectants, such as bleach and quats, are frequently used in ordinary households, and the potential impact of domestic use of disinfectants on COPD development is unknown…Earlier studies have found a link between asthma and exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants at home, such as bleach and sprays, so it is important to investigate this further.- Inserm researcher Orianne Dumas (source)

The researchers analysed data from a mass study on female US nurses commenced by Harvard in 1989. In 2009, they looked at those who were still working as nurses who had no history of COPD and tracked them until May this year. During that period, 663 were diagnosed with the condition.

A follow up study published in 2019 examining more than 70,000 nurses came to the same conclusions.

We found that use of several specific disinfectants was associated with higher risk of COPD development; these included hypochlorite bleach (chlorine), hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and quaternary ammonium compounds (commonly used for low-level disinfection of noncritical items, such as environmental surfaces) and glutaraldehyde (used for high-level disinfection). Several of these exposures often occurred concurrently, and disentangling the role of each product was challenging. When studying combinations of exposure to specific disinfectants, we found the highest risks of COPD incidence among nurses exposed to hypochlorite bleach or hydrogen peroxide and in those combining these exposures with exposure to aldehydes. Both the chemical properties of specific products and the greater number of products used could explain these elevated risks. Moreover, all of the agents that were associated with COPD incidence when evaluated separately have been described as airway irritants.

Why This Is Important: 

The everyday use of bleach currently has no specific health guidelines, and that’s very true with many other products as well. Cosmetics is a great example, that particular industry is not quite regulated as it should be, and products that do pass through federal health regulatory regulation and inspection are not always safe. Glyphosate is a great example, and there is a growing concern today among academics, journalists and everyday people regarding the close relationship between these regulatory agencies and the companies that manufacture these products. Sure they may work, but the case with many of these products is that there are alternatives that are just as effective and much more safer.

Whether it’s banking soda and vinegar, tea tree oil and lemons, or something else, the market and natural health stores are now filled with cleaning products that do not pose the same threat as mainstream conventional cleaning products. They’re not hard to find, all it takes is a simple internet search, or a trip to your local natural health food store. Many regular chains are also starting to carry more health and environmentally sound cleaning/disinfectant products as well. If you’re truly concerned and put effort into searching, you’ll have no problem finding these products.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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How Effective is The Covid-19 Vaccine?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is widely touted by the media and the medical establishment, but there are important questions to be asked about this claim.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we being given all information available from covid vaccine study to make informed decisions? Are the studies even being done in a way that represents what effects the vaccine may have on the whole population?

Are you going to decline the Covid-19 vaccine if it is offered to you? Why or why not? No matter how certain you are in your reasoning there will no doubt be someone else who feels exactly the opposite to you and will be just as certain of their position. We trust different sources of information, we have had different experiences with vaccines and we have different impressions of the threat of SARS-COV2 to us and our species.

I would suggest that those in the “vaccine cautionary” community would decline the vaccine based on their ideas around its potential risks. On the other hand, supporters of the vaccine are more likely to focus on its potential benefits. The debate has largely been centered around the disagreement people have about the risks. In this essay I will consider the uncertainty I and others have about its benefits.

Is the Medical Community biased about the Vaccine?

As a contributor to Collective Evolution I am well aware of the “cautionary” perspective on vaccinations and CDC directives. As a physician, I have a reasonable understanding of how those in the medical community regard the “best of what modern science has to offer”. I am part of a Physician group on social media where doctors can seek advice from each other around all matters Covid-19, from interesting cases to rare side effects to how to address special concerns raised by patients. It has been alarming to realize how unilateral the support of vaccination is in this community. 

I mean no disrespect to my medical colleagues. Many of those in this community have seen their patients die from this very real virus. They have had to struggle with the divergent directives coming from the CDC. They have had to work through many weeks where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was in short supply as their hospital wards rapidly reached capacity and overflowed. Now that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have met minimum requirements for efficacy under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), they are faced with yet another impediment to getting themselves and their patients through this pandemic: growing skepticism around the vaccine coming from the very same people they are endeavoring to help. Their frustration around the situation is understandable, but is it biasing them?

Before consenting to any intervention it is important to understand its relative risks and benefits. As I mentioned earlier, there has been much concern in the “vaccine cautionary” sphere about side-effects and deaths. Here I will take a closer look at what we know about the benefits of the vaccine based on Pfizer-Biontech’s  briefing document to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. How confident can we be in the efficacy of the vaccine? Has the manufacturer done its due diligence in its analysis and in being transparent? These are the central questions that need to be answered.

Understanding False Positives and Negatives

There has been a lot of discussion about the rate of “false-positives” with regard to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for confirming infection with SARS-COV2. The PCR test can return a positive result even if only trace fragments of the virus are present. Fragments of the virus on a nasal swab is not necessarily representative of an active infection or transmissibility. Moreover the sensitivity of this test is dependent on the number of amplification cycles, or the cycle threshold (Ct), used.  The Ct is not standardized. It is not unreasonable to say that there will be a percentage of people who test positive that do not have the disease. Nevertheless, without a better test we as the public must treat all positive PCR tests as an indication of an infection. We must assume the test is right. The rate of false positives, whatever it is, is directly proportional to the overestimation of the prevalence of the disease. 

Here I would like to discuss the significance of “false-negatives”. These are people who get a negative PCR result but may still be infected. The rate of false negatives is directly proportional to the underestimation of disease prevalence. This aspect of the inaccuracy of our primary diagnostic test gets relatively little attention for practical reasons. If you are suffering symptoms consistent with Covid-19 but have a negative PCR test we assume that you have Covid-19 anyway. In other words, if someone is symptomatic we assume that the test is wrong, i.e. that it is a false-negative, and necessary measures are taken. We quarantine and isolate until we feel healthy again whether we have Covid-19 or not. 

Because we are in the midst of a pandemic we have no choice but to make these assumptions. We are responding appropriately given the limitations of the test. Because of the assumptions we are forced to make, we are exaggerating the prevalence of the disease and our response to it to some extent. It is the nature of the situation we are in.

How do we know that the Vaccine is 95% effective?

With this in mind I would like to discuss a post in the opinion blog of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that appeared earlier this month. The author, Peter Doshi (PhD and Associate Editor at the BMJ), takes a rigorous look at the results reported by Pfizer regarding the efficacy of their mRNA vaccine. The success of their vaccine has been widely publicized to be 95%. Where exactly does this figure come from?

During the four weeks of observation (three weeks between 1st and 2nd dose followed by 7 days), 162 participants who received the placebo expressed symptoms of Covid-19 and tested positive by PCR. Compare that with only 8 in the group that received their experimental vaccine. The chance of getting Covid 19 after receiving the vaccine was about 20 times lower than if you got the placebo. This is the basis of the claim that their vaccine was 95% effective, well over the 50% threshold required for Emergency Use Authorization that allows their product to be deployed despite the fact that the two-year Phase III trial is still 20 months from completion.

How did Pfizer handle study participants in the “Suspected Covid-19” group?

It is less commonly known that of the nearly 38,000 participants in the Pfizer study, 3,410 fell into a group labeled “suspected Covid-19”. These are people who developed symptoms consistent with disease but tested negative by PCR. 1,594 of those in this group received the vaccine and 1,816 received the placebo. It should be quite clear that how we regard this much bigger group of symptomatic participants will have an enormous impact on the true efficacy of the vaccine. In other words, if we assume that the PCR test was accurate in all of these people and that they didn’t have Covid-19 and developed symptoms from another virus, the flu for example, then the vaccine would in fact be 95% effective as reported. On the other hand, if the PCR test was wrong every time and they all in fact had Covid-19, the efficacy of the vaccine would be much different: 1602 (1594 + 8) in the vaccine wing vs. 1978 (1816 + 162) in the placebo wing results in a vaccine efficacy of only 19%. 

The PCR test (like any test) can be wrong some of the time and right some of the time. No test is 100% accurate, however in this situation the accuracy of the PCR test has a very large impact on how we interpret the results of the vaccine trial. The true efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine can be known only if we know how many symptomatic people in each wing had Covid-19 despite testing negative by PCR.

It is likely that the percentage of false negatives are different in each arm. As the FDA briefing document on the Pfizer study and the BMJ piece correctly note, there should be fewer false negatives in the vaccine group. Why? It is because there is a greater chance of developing Covid-19 symptoms after receiving the vaccine compared to getting a placebo. Reactogenicity, or the acute response of the body to the vaccine, is common. Most of the acute inflammatory reaction to the vaccine occurs in the first seven days after receiving the vaccine. Looking more closely at the data, 409 patients in the vaccine group developed symptoms in the first seven days after inoculation. Compare this to 287 in the placebo group. If we assume that any participant who expressed symptoms in the first seven days must be suffering from the side effects of the vaccine or the placebo and not a new Covid-19 infection, the efficacy of the vaccine would still only be 29% if everyone else in that group was a false negative. This is admittedly a very large assumption but it is not outside the realm of possibility.

There are other more extreme possibilities. If all of the vaccinated participants who were suspected of Covid-19 truly did not have the disease and all of the unvaccinated (placebo) participants who were suspect did have the disease we would have a true miracle vaccine. Why? It would mean that only 8 people got the disease in the vaccinated group compared to 1978 in the placebo group. This would mean that the vaccine was approximately 99.6% effective. On the other hand, if all those who got vaccinated in the suspected group got Covid-19 and those who got the placebo didn’t, the vaccine would be not just ineffective, it would be dangerous.

Putting aside extreme and unlikely possibilities, the matter of the 3,412 “suspected Covid-19” participants and our assumptions about them still has very large implications. Let us say hypothetically that we as a nation decide to vaccinate our entire population with the Pfizer vaccine assuming that it has a 95% efficacy in preventing the disease. In other words, we are assuming that none of those “suspected” of having Covid-19 actually have the disease. This is in fact the assumption that the FDA is making when approving the use of the vaccine under the EUA. We can predict that within a month about 6.3% people will develop Covid-like symptoms from something other than vaccine reactogenicity or the disease itself. This is based on the number of participants who became symptomatic (from something other than reactogenicity) despite getting the vaccine and testing negative (1,185) divided by the total number who got the vaccine (18,801) = 0.063. That’s what happened in the study.

In a population of 300 million, we would expect roughly 19 million people to develop symptoms of Covid from something other than SARS-COV2 within a month. We can agree that we must be extremely confident about whether these 19 million people have the disease or not. Why would we assume they all don’t have Covid-19 when the vaccine trial itself considered them to be “suspected” of having it? We won’t. We shouldn’t, and practically speaking, we will be in the same situation we are in right now.

Pfizer either did not do or report additional testing that would have helped

The real issue here is that we shouldn’t be guessing about such important numbers. What do you suppose Pfizer did, knowing that this larger pool of symptomatic participants could have an enormous impact on the estimation of their vaccine’s efficacy? In my opinion, they should have tested everyone who developed symptoms for antibodies to help quantify the percentage of false negative PCR tests. If a participant felt like they were coming down with Covid-19 but had a negative PCR test, it seems clear that performing an antibody test would have offered additional clarity. This was either not done or not reported.

We must be careful when interpreting the power of a vaccine study. Although tens of thousands of people were enrolled, the only meaningful numbers with regard to efficacy have to do with those who contracted the disease during the period of observation. This is the only way to assess the efficacy of the vaccine. When Pfizer only considers participants that became symptomatic and tested positive we only have a group of 170 cases to cross compare.

The 3,410 people who became symptomatic but tested negative during the four weeks of observation would represent a much larger set of cohorts and would amplify the power of the study 20 fold if infection could be confirmed or ruled out through additional testing. In other words, the 3,410 symptomatic people should be the ones that Pfizer were hoping would emerge when they enrolled 37,000+ individuals in their study. I find this lapse in diligence suspicious and at the very least inexplicable, especially in light of the latitude they are granted under the EUA. The fact of the matter is that we do not know if this was done. Pfizer, per their own protocol, will not make this data available until the trial is completed 20 months from now. 

Why didn’t Pfizer look harder?

This forces us to ask some sobering questions. If Pfizer is required (or has agreed) to make all data available in two years, would they have conducted antibody tests on the “suspected Covid” group? If those results told a different story it would be quite damning, if not now, eventually. Their product would not be permitted for use under the EUA if a 50% efficacy requirement could not be met. On the other hand, if antibody tests were conducted and the results confirmed the impressive efficacy of the vaccine, why wouldn’t they have made the data available right now?

It should be clear that if Pfizer’s primary goal was to obtain approval under the EUA they would have had little incentive to do further testing to confirm their product’s efficacy. Why would they take the risk of seeking more information on 3,400 participants that could potentially overturn their results that were based on only 170 outcomes? This is where we must be very careful in our assessment of the situation. If you believe Pfizer and vaccine manufacturers are only out for profit, it would be easy to conclude that they are being manipulative. If you believe that these corporations are seeking to improve public health and safety you may grant them a lot of latitude here. To be truly objective we must ask if they have been scientific in their approach.

At the very least I feel that they have not been diligent, and their position hints at disingenuousness: Pfizer didn’t mention this group of participants in their 92 page report or in their publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. This group was only mentioned in two paragraphs of a 53 page briefing to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) of the FDA submitted December 10, 2020. The FDA, an agency of the department of Health and Human Services that ostensibly serves to protect the public by ensuring the safety of drugs, biological products and medical devices, continues to remain silent around this issue.

The Take Away

The 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is widely touted by the media and the medical establishment. Why didn’t Pfizer test or report the testing of an enormously important group of participants in their trial? We can predict that without these additional tests deploying the vaccine will not change our behavior nor our attitude to this pandemic.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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Alternative News

Norway Investigates 29 Deaths in Elderly Patients After Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccination

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Norway has registered a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first Covid-19 vaccination shot, raising questions over which groups to target in national inoculation programs.

  • Reflect On:

    Should freedom of choice always remain here? Should governments and private institutions not be allowed to mandate this vaccine in order to have access to certain rights and freedoms?

What Happened: 29 patients who were quite old and frail have died following their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, Norwegian officials have since adjusted their advice on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to many given the fact that the clinical trials were conducted with people who are healthy. Older and sick people with co-morbidities were not used in the trials, and people with severe allergies and other diseases that can make one more susceptible to vaccine injury were not used either. It can be confusing given the fact that vaccination is being encouraged for the elderly in nursing homes and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”

On the 15th of January it was 23 deaths, Bloomberg is now reporting that a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first COVID-19 shot. They point out that “Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway”, stating that the Norwegian Medicines Agency told them that as a result “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine.”

“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency said. All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. “Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”

Madsen also told the BMJ that,

There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly. We are not alarmed or worried about this, because these are very rare occurrences and they occurred in very frail patients with very serious disease. We are not asking for doctors to continue with vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it. This evaluation includes discussing the risks and benefits of vaccination with the patient and their families to decide whether or not vaccination is the best course.

The BMJ article goes on to point out that the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany is also investigating 10 deaths shortly after COVID-19 vaccination, and closes with the following information:

In a statement, Pfizer said, “Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of reported deaths following administration of BNT162b2. We are working with NOMA to gather all the relevant information.

“Norwegian authorities have prioritised the immunisation of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some of whom are terminally ill. NOMA confirm the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations. All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by NOMA to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine. The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved families.”

Vaccine Hesitancy is Growing Among Healthcare Workers: Vaccine hesitancy is growing all over the globe, one of the latest examples comes from Riverside County, California. It has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it.  At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials. You can read more about that story here.

Vaccine hesitancy among physicians and academics is nothing new. To illustrate this I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, having  stated,

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen…still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.

A study published in the journal EbioMedicine  as far back as 2013 outlines this point, among many others.

Pfizer’s Questionable History:  Losing faith in “big pharma” does not come without good reason. For example, in 2010 Robert G. Evans, PhD, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Emeritus Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC, published a paper that’s accessible in PubMed titled “Tough on Crime? Pfizer and the CIHR.”

In it, he outlines the fact that,

Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” persistently engaging in illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribing physicians and suppressing adverse trial results. Since 2002 the company and its subsidiaries have been assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards. The 2.3-billion settlement…set a new record for both criminal fines and total penalties. A link with Pfizer might well advance the commercialization of Canadian research.

Suppressing clinical trial results is something I’ve come across multiple times with several different medicines. Five years ago I wrote about how big pharma did not share adverse reactions people had and harmful results from their clinical trials for commonly used antidepressant drugs.

Even scientists from within federal these health regulatory agencies have been sounding the alarm. For example, a few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the  Spider Papers.

The Takeaway: Given the fact that everything is not black and white, especially when it comes to vaccine safety, do we really want to give government health agencies and/or private institutions the right to enforce mandatory vaccination requirements when their efficacy have been called into question? Should people have the freedom of choice? It’s a subject that has many people polarized in their beliefs, but at the end of the day the sharing of information, opinion and evidence should not be shut down, discouraged, ridiculed or censored.

In a day and age where more people are starting to see our planet in a completely different light, one which has more and more questioning the human experience and why we live the way we do it seems the ‘crack down’ on free thought gets tighter and tighter. Do we really want to live in a world where we lose the right to choose what we do with our own body, or one where certain rights and freedoms are taken away if we don’t comply? The next question is, what do we do about it? Those who are in a position to enforce these measures must, it seems, have a shift in consciousness and refuse to implement them. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer, but there is no doubt that we are currently going through that possible process, we are living in it.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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