New 10 Minute Cancer Screening by AbdulKalam M. Shamsuddin, MD, Ph.D.

In the not-so-distant future, cancer screenings may be as simple as coughing onto a special piece of filter paper, and getting the results in the time it takes to finish a cup of coffee. This could lead to more people having their cancers detected earlier. More than any other single factor,early detection can greatly increase survival rates, especially if the cancer is found before metastasis to other organs.

Researchers and medical practitioners around the globe are excited by new patented technology that can detect a sugar produced by most pre cancerous and cancerous cells - possibly even before the cancer can be detected through more traditional screening methods. There may now be a natural way to re-program those pre-cancerous cells to act normally, and kill any cancerous cells, without harming healthy tissues. Tests for mass screening the population for cancer or any other disease must be accurate, affordable and ideally non-invasive so it's easily accepted. The current screening tests for cancers of the colon, lung or the breast are either notoriously inaccurate or quite expensive and uncomfortable such as colonoscopy and mammography; there is none for lung cancer. Thus, reliable and affordable screening tests are seriously needed.

I have spent more than 30 years exploring the etiology of cancer. People have always felt that a high fiber diet leads to a low incidence of cancer. That's true in general, but when I looked at the incidence of breast and colon cancer in Finland and Denmark, and compared the fiber intake, I found an inverse correlation. The Danes ate twice as much fiber as the Finns and had double the incidence of colon cancer. What do the Finns eat that protects them? It turns out that they eat a lot of cereal products rich in naturally occurring substances called IP6 and inositol. I was intrigued enough to intensify his investigation into how colon cancer formed.

In the early 1970s, pathologists and clinicians argued whether or not all colon cancer came from polyps. It was an 'all or nothing' argument that I didn't think was logical. So I started conducting lab tests on rats, rat colon cells, and human colon cells, exposing them to cancer causing agents to determine how cancer forms at its earliest stages. I also examined very carefully and methodically human tissues and found that yes, some cancers do arise from polyps. But I could also see microscopic cancer forming without polyps in both the human and animal models. In the process, I also found that when cells first start to become pre-cancerous, they begin producing an abnormal sugar: galactose-N acetyl-galactoseamine. This abnormal sugar production continues even after the cells become cancerous. Logically, it made sense that cancer causing agents work randomly throughout the organ they are affecting.

When you inhale cigarette smoke, for example, you're exposing your entire tracheal-bronchial tree in the lung, not just certain areas. So it made sense that any changes would affect an entire field of cells, with only some of those cells eventually becoming cancerous. If the cancer is in the ascending or transverse colon, for example, it's likely that the abnormal sugar would be found in the entire colorectal area since all of it is exposed to the cancer-causing agent. In the mid-1980s, I developed and patented a simple test using special filter paper that changes colors in 10-15 minutes if exposed to this abnormal sugar. It can accurately detect pre-cancerous lesions in colon cancer using rectal mucus. I have used the same principle to develop similar tests for breast, lung and uterine cancers. The lung cancer test simply involves coughing or spitting on the paper. The colon test first made national news in 1985, ironically coinciding with the announcement of President Reagan's colon cancer. My colon cancer screening test is now used extensively in China. The core technology is licensed by Toronto-based PreMD., Inc. (formerly IMI International Medical Innovations), which has developed ColorectAlert(tm), LungAlert(tm) and a breast cancer test. PreMD recently announced that ColorectAlert(tm) has been included in a study sponsored by the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Early Detection Research Network.

Upon completion, this study is expected to help pave the way for regulatory clearance of ColorectAlert(tm) in the United States. LungAlert(tm) and the breast cancer test are likewise in clinical trials.Each test is simple, non- or minimally-invasive and cost-effective relative to other currently available screening options. In clinical studies to date, each test has demonstrated strong performance in detecting early-stage cancer.

In my earliest work, I noted a dietary link between a high intake of IP6 and inositol and lower incidence of cancer. Inositols affect the basic process of cancer formation by preventing cells from dividing in an
uncontrolled manner and causing them to behave normally such as preventing them from producing the abnormal sugars. When exposed to IP6 + inositol, normal cell division and function are restored in pre-cancerous cells. Using therapeutic dosages, it selectively kills cancer cells without harming healthy cells. Those with detected cancer be treated then monitored post operatively using the same test. The efficacy of treatment and prevention by IP6 + inositol could be followed up by the tests: conversion of test positive to test negative would indicate that the risk has been reduced or even eliminated! Likewise, those individuals who are test positive but do not have tell-tale evidence of cancer most likely have precancerous conditions or lesions and are at a high risk; prophylactic IP6 + inositol given to them should convert them from test-positive to test-negative.

Naturally occurring inositol and Calcium-Magnesium inositol exaphosphate (marketed as InoCell) also work as a powerful antioxidant,helping to support normal blood sugar, provide healthy kidney function, and more. When used in combination with conventional chemotherapy, InoCell also may increase the efficacy and decrease the side effects of cancer therapy.

AbulKalam M. Shamsuddin, MD, PhD, is Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. He has written two books, contributed numerous book chapters and published more than 200 scientific papers. For more information, please visit