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Every year I receive a trickle of positive reports about an alternative cancer treatment once called Cancell, now marketed under the trade name Protocel. No one should give up current cancer treatment to start this product, but I think it has real value.

Those of us who do our best to provide honest information about herbal and alternative remedies have a special problem with cancer remedies. Just as conventional medical treatments may be effective at one stage of cancer and ineffective at another, alternative or complementary cancer treatments may be helpful at one stage and harmful at another.

It's important to understand that natural products may work at some times and actually cause problems at others--just like many mainstream cancer treatments.

The formula once marketed as Cancell and now marketed as Protocel, however, seems to be unusually safe--as long as you don't give up your medical treatment.

What Is Cancell/Protocel?

In 1936, biochemistry student James Vincent (Jim) Sheridan, as a collaborator of author Carl Helvie tells us, literally had a dream. One day as he was taking an afternoon nap, Sheridan had a sort of vision of cellular respiration in cancer cells. He decided to spend the rest of his life pursuing a cure for cancer on the basis of this dream.

At that time, the renowned German biochemist Otto Warburg had articulated an idea that cancer cells are forced to "ferment" sugar to make energy, and Sheridan's dream explained the concept to him. After receiving his Nobel Prize, by the way, Warburg restated his ideas of how cancer cells make energy, contradicting the "fermentation hypothesis," but Sheridan worked for the next 55 years trying to create a formula that would make it impossible for cancer cells to make energy so they would simply die without radiation or chemotherapy.

A More Modern Understanding of "Fermentation" and Cancer

In the 1930's there was an idea that cells became cancerous and then couldn't use oxygen to burn glucose to make energy. By the 1980's the understanding of cancer cell physiology was that cells that didn't use oxygen to burn glucose to make energy became cancerous. The connection between sugar, "fermentation," and cancer goes something like this:

Every time a cell transports a molecule of glucose (sugar) across its cell membrane into the mitochondria to be turned into fuel, it has to send two potassium ions out and take three sodium ions in. The more a cell uses glucose, the more positively charged it becomes.

Cells actually start out with a negative charge on their outer membranes, and they never truly become positively charged, but as their "batteries run down" they have smaller and smaller negative charges so they are less and less able to absorb the positively charged proteins that regulate them. Eventually a cell becomes so full of sodium and water that even the DNA is distorted, and wild multiplication ensues.

Cancer Isn't a Fungus

Under low-oxygen conditions, cells can make energy through a process called anaerobic respiration. This process uses 34 times as much glucose, and brings in 34 times as many sodium ions. The deterioration of the cell into a cancerous state is much faster when oxygen is not readily available. Cancer cells like any other cells actually prefer normal oxygenation, that is, cancer is not a fungus, but the lack of oxygen causes cell damage that leads to the changes that cause cancer in the cell. 

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