German Clinics – PraxisKlinik Siebenhuner in Frankfurt

Siebenhuner

Updated 3 Dec 2013

I’m in Frankfurt on a business trip and thanks to Peter, managed to steal some time to visit a German cancer clinic.

The clinic is PraxisKlinik Siebenhuner and is on the outskirts of Frankfurt.  Peter uses it for hyperthermia after a trans-arterial chemoembolisation session with Vogl.  It’s about a 30-minute taxi journey from the University of Frankfurt where Prof Vogl practices.

I was impressed by the set-up at the clinic.  It was pristine, very clean, and everything was tasteful.  The infusion room was huge, about three times the size of one of the clinics in England, and was separated from the nurses’ station by muslin drapes.  There was a lot of use of warm colours and wood, and it didn’t look or smell like a hospital.  All the beds in the treatment rooms were clean, and covered in fresh linen. The nurses and doctors were friendly, and made time to chat to me about the treatments.

Treatments were standard for a German oncology clinic:  IPT, full-body hyperthermia and local hyperthermia.  Infusions included B17, DMSO, DCA.

They had one Heckel tent for whole-body hyperthermia, and two oncothermia machines.  They also had some new equipment I’ve not come across.  One was a Galvanotherapy machine, and the other a Bemer machine.  My understanding of the latter is that it is used before the patient has infusions, and it primes the body to be in a better state for the infusions, by promotion circulation in the body’s micro-capillaries.  The effects apparently last for 12 hours.

I had a quick chat with Dr Siebenhuner – he was very friendly, and kindly gave me a free consultation and some suggestions on what his clinic could offer me by way of treatment plans.  I told him my dilemma:  that chemo and radiotherapy had been recommended, but would be counterproductive to my nerve injury.

He told me to avoid folic acid and iron as it would feed the cancer cells.  Because my tumour markers have always been within reference range, he suggested getting some genetic blood markers done, then a 2-week course of infusions, and then another test to see if the treatments were working.  If not, then perhaps chemo and radiotherapy would be the best options.  The cost of the bloods tests would be about Euro300 for each set.  He also mentioned getting the circulating tumour cells count (CTC count), and that apart from RGCC, there was a lab in Germany that also did this test.

Incidentally, PraxisKlinik Siebenhuner is one of the few clinics in Germany offering intravenous curcumin.  A course of infusions is expensive – approximately Euros 1,600 for a set of 10.

There are loads of photos of the clinic on the website:

http://www.erweiterte-medizin.de/home.html?lang=en

Dr Siebenhuner is one of those doctors who’s open to trying new things, and learning new things and that for me is a hallmark of a good doctor.  I met him again at the weekend at an integrative treatment conference in Fulda.  He asked me questions about the RGCC test and was keen to find out more so that he could integrate it into his practice.  I chatted to him some more about his clinic, and he was very open about the services he could offer.  For example, IPT, DCA, B17 which are not currently on Hallwang’s menu.  Also, because his is a day-clinic, there aren’t any in-house nursing charges, so he is a cheaper alternative, if the patient doesn’t need 24/7 nursing or intensive doctoring.

I wanted to stop by on Monday on the way to the airport to get some blood tests run because Dr Siebenhuner offered a different approach from Hallwang, and I thought it would be interesting to see what more could be done.  Also, he very kindly offered to give me a free consultation based on the tests.  Alas, I ran out of time on Monday and couldn’t fit in the consultation.

What was particularly perceptive on the part of Dr Siebenhuner was a discussion we had on why some of the treatments I’d had had not touched the tumour to the extent that they should have, e.g. intravenous vitamin C.  Dr Siebenhuner said that perhaps it was due to lack of perfusion to the tumour, i.e. the blood supply to the tumour was limited, so the infusions couldn’t get to the tumour.  He offered to do an ultrasound to see if this was the case.

If indeed, perfusion was an issue, the solution would have been to add DMSO or Procaine to the infusions.  This would have increased the permeability of the cytotoxic agents.

It was as if a light bulb had gone off over my head.  As readers of this blog know, I’ve tried many complementary therapies, with limited success with regards to shrinking the tumour [the only thing that really worked was the TACE procedure using chemotherapy, by Prof. Vogl].  And it would explain why the only two women I know for whom IV C worked had had DMSO and Vitamin B12 in conjunction with IV C.  Unfortunately, the use of both DMSO and Vitamin B12 are now illegal in England.   But not in Germany.  No one so far has suggested doing an ultrasound of the breast region to see what the blood supply is like there.

So I think Dr Siebenhuner is definitely worth a visit and consultation for his willingness to explore new avenues of treatment, ability to think out-of-the-box, his warmth, and also his clinic’s proximity to Frankfurt airport and Prof Vogl’s hospital.  Please note – Peter Trayhurn was introduced to Dr Siebenhuner on the recommendation of Prof Vogl, so that is a very good testimonial.

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 22 November 2013

A summary of the latest medical developments, culled from Google Alerts, for the week ending 22 November 2013.

I actually wanted to put the item on how cannabidiol (a derivative of pot) can treat the pain and slow the progression of breast cancer, at number one spot – that would have been an attention-grabber, but I think the breakthrough on K-Ras deserves top ranking.  What’s frustrating is that there are all these breakthroughs but it will be years before they pass trials and are available to cancer patients.

KRas

Image credit – wikipedia – V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog

1.  Breakthrough: Scientists find way to shut off K-ras gene that causes third of all tumours

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2510887/Breakthrough-fight-overcome-deadliest-cancers.html#ixzz2ltVC6IG9

  • A gene called K-ras when mutated can trigger the development of tumours and fuel their aggressive growth
  • A drug that shuts K-ras down has eluded some of the best brains in science for more than 30 years, leading many to believe it was unbeatable.
  • Now, US scientists have succeeded in making a drug that kills ras-driven human lung cancer cells.
  • It is hoped that by shutting off ras, the new drug will stop the growth of tumours and shrink them.
  • Crucially, it acts only on the cancer-causing form of the ras gene, meaning healthy cells are spared. This should cut the risk of side-effects such as sickness, nausea and hair loss normally seen with cancer drugs.
  • The new drug works against one rogue form of ras but scientists believe it should be possible also to make drugs that work against the other forms.

For more information:

K-ras – wikipedia

Nature, Year published:(2013)DOI:doi:10.1038/nature12796, K-Ras(G12C) inhibitors allosterically control GTP affinity and effector interactions

Cannabis flower

Image credit: Wikipedia – The bud of a Cannabis sativa flower coated with trichomes, which contain more CBD than any other part of the plant.

2.  Pot treats pain, slows the progression of breast cancer

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Supplement: Vitamin D – are you getting too much?

vitamin-d-food-sources

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

Updated 21 September 2014 – a reader, Yulia Dolgopolova ND Sc.D, left a comment:  apparently Vitamin D dosage depends on metabolic type.  The Sun is the best source, but it is safe to take 2000-6000 UI daily for the special health conditions (D3 solution must be organic virgin olive oil or high quality cod liver oil with low vitamin A); days ON & days OFF are essential to maintain the balance (for example, D3 for 20-25 days, then rest for 5-7 days).  An interesting book to read: Vitamin D by David Feldman et. al., 3rd edition (Amazon.com)

Updated 4 December 2013 – if you are using GcMAF, the manufacturers recommend taking 10,000 IU of Vitamin D daily.  They also use higher levels of serum Vitamin D, much higher than the ones recommended in this post.  In Germany, some practitioners are using up to 300,000 IU per day.  This contradicts a lot of the advice on safe levels.

I started getting interested in Vitamin D because I had two Vitamin D level tests fairly close together which showed disparate results.

The first was done in the UK in December 2012.  It showed that my levels were normal.  Then a few months later, I had my levels measured at Hallwang, and it showed that my levels were deficient.  I was surprised as I had been taking Vitamin D supplements.

So it prompted the following questions:

– were the reference ranges for Vitamin D levels flawed?

– or were my levels of Vitamin D really deficient?

– or were the supplements I was taking not effective?

– or was I not getting enough Vitamin D because of the lack of sunshine in the winter?

– what was the optimum level of Vitamin D?  Was more better? – I asked an eminent oncologist this recently, and his answer did not match up to the studies I’ve been reading.  So could it be that even members of the medical profession are not aware of what is a good level of Vitamin D?

– what was an effective Vitamin D supplement?

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Hallwang Clinic #15 – Some lessons learned and helpful tips

Hallwang3

The bus-stop at Hallwang

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

Updated 1 January, 2015 re. the importance of having a companion when you go for the trans-arterial chemoembolisation procedure with Professor Vogl in Frankfurt.

 

Here is a summary of my experiences which includes information on how to get to Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic, accommodation, a few other bits-and-bobs which didn’t fit into the posts I wrote previously, and how to send an enquiry.

Some people have accused me of being biased in favour Hallwang, and it’s true that I haven’t been to any other German cancer clinic, so there may be an element of truth there.

However, my experience at Hallwang was largely positive [apart from encounters with pointy sharp things] and as far as anyone can enjoy an experience in a cancer clinic, I was blessed in my stay there by the magnificent staff, the doctors, and the support, laughs and camaraderie of the patients there.  Had I gone there on my own, it may not have been such an uplifting stay.

Also, I met a few people who had been to other cancer clinics around the world (including other German clinics and Mexican clinics), and they had positive things to say about Hallwang.  One of the patient’s wives, a very gracious Southern-type belle from California with exacting standards said: “My god, Hallwang is like a spa!  If you wanna get cancer, get it at Hallwang!”

It’s therefore up to you, the reader, to do your research if you’re thinking of going to a German cancer clinic.  There are many clinics in Germany, and all of them have their good and bad points, and none is perfect.

23 July 2014:  Before you go to a German cancer clinic, get written confirmation from them that the chief doctor, or an oncologist will be on-site for the length of your stay.  This applies to any clinic which is dependent on a “star” doctor, and Hallwang which is currently going through staffing changes.

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Why it’s OK not to be positive! (plus some funny cartoons on cancer)

FOL personality

THE FULL OF LIFE (FOL) PERSONALITY
Image credit: “Cancer made me a Shallower Person” by Miriam Engelberg. Click to enlarge.

Updated 25 Jan 2014:  I recently came across this quote in a blog post by chemobabe which pretty much sums up what I was trying to put across in my post:  

“Treatment sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

While attitude may influence compliance, it does not otherwise influence outcome.

The right treatment for the disease is what counts. …  

I think it’s disappointing to come to terms with the fact that positivity is not going to determine the outcome. …  

I will tell you that the women I admire most are the ones who flourish not because of their good attitude, but because of their unflinching honesty.”

So … let it all hang out.  Being authentic is more important than being positive.

Being positive and the Law of Attraction and Cancer

There is this New Age philosophy that people with cancer must remain positive.

There’s also another New Age meme that holds that somehow, people are responsible for their cancers.  Or the popular Law of Attraction which implies that people with cancer attracted their cancers to themselves like some sort of warped anti-health magnet.

What I attempt to do in this post, is to trace the roots of these beliefs, why it seems to apply only to cancer, why I think it’s dangerous, and what we can do to counteract it. There are also loads of funny cartoons on cancer to liven things up.

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 15 November 2013

A summary of the latest medical developments in breast cancer from Google Alerts, for the week ending 15 November 2013.

1.  Breast cancer breakthrough: Queensland scientists identify molecule linked to disease’s spread

T-shirt

MiR-139-5P sounds like a Space Station.  If they renamed it “Rogue Breast Cancer Molecule” I think it could sell more T-shirts.

  •  Scientists in Queensland have identified a pivotal molecule, the miR-139-5P, that shows whether a woman’s breast cancer will spread and how quickly.
  • miR-139-5P acts a cellular brake to inhibit breast cancer cells from proliferating
  • The discovery will help provide a clearer prognosis for breast cancer patients and could lead to treatments that are more personalised, i.e. treatments for aggressive cancers vs less aggressive cancers.

For more information:

RNA Journal, “miR-139-5p is a regulator of metastatic pathways in breast cancer”

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The IV C files #6 – Intravenous Vitamin C – lessons learned

IVC

Photo credit: enerchanges.com

If this post has helped you, please would you help me?  I am now fundraising for cancer treatments at GoFundMe http://www.gofundme.com/78jh2w or at JustGiving:  https://www.justgiving.com/goBananasforRona

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!
Revised 7 April 2014 re. importance of oxygen supply to tumour

I’ve posted previously about IV C.

Despite adhering to a strict regime of 3 x 6 days a week of infusions plus twice weekly for another 3 months, and a near raw vegan diet with juicing, and a small fortune in supplements, the tumour grew.

(I did, however, feel generally well during that period so maybe it did some good.)

I’ve been thinking about why IV C didn’t work for me, and I’ve come up with the following possibilities:

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 8 November 2013

A summary of the latest medical developments in breast cancer from Google Alerts, for the week ending 8 November 2013.

It’s a strange mix this week, with the usual search for the causes of cancer in DNA and food and cholesterol, and drug therapy mixed with robots!

BreadAndPasta

photo credit: 123rf.com

1.  Diet rich in bread after the menopause can raise risk of breast cancer

OK, I know this is not the most earth-shaking news, but I’ve always been interested in nutrition and cancer.  When I was first diagnosed I was told to avoid anything with gluten.  Fortunately, I don’t need bread to survive, so I was able to tolerate the diet.  But it was just one of these blanket dietary bans, with no rationale behind it except that it caused inflammation in the body and gummed up the digestive system.  As for pasta – well, that was carbohydrate which would convert to sugar and fuel the cancer cells.

If we’re going to use GI to measure whether or not a food is appropriate, surely pasta (which is refined carbohydrates) is as bad as bread?

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Hallwang #14 – Saying goodbye to home

Hallwang5

Home from home

Staying at Hallwang is like being in a hospital.  It’s a very posh hospital, but still a hospital.  The routines are governed by the treatments and the mealtimes.  It can be regimented.

If your physical state is not robust, you may need to get the permission of the doctors before going out.  So you get used to asking the doctors if you can do this or that, like a child.

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 1 November 2013

A sweep of the latest medical developments in breast cancer from Google Alerts, for the week ending 1 November 2013.

[Breast Cancer Awareness month is just about over, but Google Alerts is still top-heavy with first-person survival stories, and cancer fundraisers and tweeting bras, so if I’ve missed something out, my apologies. Please post any new developments that I’ve missed in the comments box and I’ll be glad to include them in the compilation, and include an acknowledgement of your contribution.]

DiscoveringHands

1.  German breast cancer detection tool employing blind women

OK, this isn’t an earth-shattering medical development or cure for cancer, but it’s an example of how we don’t always need expensive or sophisticated equipment to detect cancer.  This is a low-tech idea that can be used in countries where mammograms aren’t available.

http://www.heritagefl.com/story/2013/10/25/features/german-breast-cancer-detection-tool-employing-blind-women/1622.html

Discovering Hands, is a German programme that hopes to give blind women an opportunity for a life-changing career by turning their more acute sense of touch into a skilled breast tumor detection tool.

In the Medical Tactile Examination method, self-adhesive orientation stripes with tactile orientation points are attached to the patient’s breast in various positions, and the breast is divided into zones that allow the examiners to define the precise square centimeter where an abnormality is found. Unlike an exam by a doctor, an MTE breast examination takes between 30 to 60 minutes.

Discovering Hands conducted a study in conjunction with the University of Essen, looking at 451 patients that were examined by MTEs. Among these patients, there were 32 abnormal findings that were discovered by the MTEs but not by the doctors. “Women with those findings would have been sent home by the doctors,” Dr Hoffman, the physician in charge of the study, told JNS.org. A new peer review study will begin in November.”

Discovering Hands – website.

2.  Breast cancer ‘rising in under-40s’ across Europe

  • Cases of breast cancer in women under 40 are rising across Europe, research suggests.
  • Experts say it is unclear whether this is due to improved diagnosis or new risk factors.
  • A study in Cancer Epidemiology found cases rose by about 1% a year between 1990 and 2008 in seven countries.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer among women globally, and the leading cause of cancer death.

3.  New breast cancer test that can detect seven types of the disease could lead to more personalised treatment for patients

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2479451/Breast-cancer-test-detect-7-types-disease.html

  • Scientists looked for signature biomarkers in 1,073 tumour samples
  • Found that 93% of samples fitted into one of seven classes of breast cancer
  • Each cancer type has a different effect on patient survival
  • Last year researchers categorised 10 different forms of breast cancer based on their underlying gene defects. But they can only be identified using sophisticated genetic profiling, making this form of test for patients costly and impractical.
  • In contrast, the seven cancer test could be ready for use in the clinic in as little as two years, it is claimed.

4.  Hormone levels may help predict breast cancer risk

http://www.health24.com/Medical/Cancer/News/Hormone-levels-may-help-predict-breast-cancer-risk-20131031

Researchers report that doctors might better predict a woman’s risk for breast cancer by tracking levels of key hormones.

5.  UK-made drug blocks oestrogen production and may help prolong lives of post-menopausal women

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2480649/UK-drug-irosusat-breast-cancer-lifeline.html

  • Drug irosusat is being trialled by patients in Liverpool and the Wirral
  •  Most breast cancers need oestrogen to grow and there are two ways  in which the body  can make it.
  • Currently, a hormone drug can block one of these ways, but with the introduction of irosustat, it is possible to block the other one.
  • If trials show the new pill is working it could be available within three years

6.  New nanoparticles treatment delivers one-two punch to triple-negative breast cancer

http://web.mit.edu/press/2013/one-two-punch-knocks-out-aggressive-tumors.html

Triple negative breast cancer is a very aggressive form of cancer that is very difficult to treat: Chemotherapy can shrink such tumors for a while, but in many patients they grow back and gain resistance to the original drugs.

To overcome that resistance, MIT chemical engineers have designed nanoparticles that carry the cancer drug doxorubicin, as well as short strands of RNA that can shut off one of the genes that cancer cells use to escape the drug. This “one-two punch” disables tumors’ defenses and makes them much more vulnerable to chemotherapy.

7A.  Radiation for breast cancer can increase heart risks

I don’t think this study is saying anything new:  it’s another case of weighing up the odds, and buying yourself time by taking your chances with radiotherapy and not dying of cancer.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/radiation-for-breast-cancer-can-increase-heart-risks-2-201310306820

A new research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine estimates that the increased lifetime risk for a heart attack or other major heart event in women who’ve had breast cancer radiation is between 0.5% and 3.5%. The risk is highest among women who get radiation to the left breast—understandable, since that’s where the heart is located.

The heart effects of radiation begin emerging as soon as five years after treatment, according to a large European study out earlier this year in The New England Journal of Medicine. That study also found that, for every 1 gray of radiation (a unit that measures the absorbed radiation dose), a woman’s heart risk rises by 7.4%.”

7B.  Healthy hearts handle breast cancer radiotherapy better

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Prevention/42534

“There really isn’t any safe dose at all,” Jean-Bernard Durand, MD, an associate professor in the department of cardiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, told MedPage Today.

He suggested that radiation oncologists consider better ways to protect and shield the heart from radiation exposure and radiation scatter. Also, they should continue to work with cardiologists and internal medicine physicians following radiation therapy to ensure patients maintain a healthy lifestyle and are on optimal medical therapy for heart disease risk factors.

Radiotherapy-induced risks of major coronary events are likely to be reduced in these patients by targeting baseline cardiac risk factors (cholesterol, smoking, hypertension), by lifestyle modification, and/or by pharmacological treatment.