Vaccines & Cancer: Is There a Connection?

“On August 10th, 1998 our only child, Alexander, was diagnosed with the most common pediatric brain cancer, medulloblastoma. He was two years old. Our lives were shattered. The next six months became a race against time to try to understand the disease, find the appropriate treatment, and save Alexander”.

“After two brain operations Alexander recovered quickly. We wanted to give our son the most effective cancer therapy possible. After weeks of research, many conversations with parents who had children with brain cancer, and conversations with doctors from all over the world, we selected the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas. We arrived there and incredibly we were turned away. Dr. Burzynski said he was not allowed to accept Alexander. I’ll never forget it. We sat in an examining room. Alexander was smiling at the doctor”.

“‘Why can’t you take Alexander?’ I asked Burzynski”.

“The FDA dictates who I can and can’t accept,” Burzynski said”.

“Burzynski explained to us that the FDA would only allow him to accept children who had suffered through chemotherapy and/or radiation and still had “measurable tumor” left in their brains. Alexander hadn’t had either of these “world class treatments” but already endured two brain operations (16 hours of surgery in total) and was tumor free for the moment. He had paid a dear price to be tumor free. His optic nerves had been injured so that his big brown eyes were stuck pointing in opposite directions, he lost the ability to cry and laugh and he temporarily lost the ability to walk”.

“Please accept my son. He’s only two years old. His whole life is in front of him. I know your treatment works. I’ve spoken to several parents whose children are here. They had malignant brain tumors like Alexander but now they’re alive and well. You have to treat my son,” I begged.

“Dr. Burzynski said simply, “I am sorry but I can’t.” Burzynski was saddened but he was powerless. The FDA had made him turn away many children just like Alexander”.

“Chemotherapy was started soon after and Alexander died in my arms three months later.”

The above is part of written testimony to Congressman Dan Burton and the Government Reform Committee on Vaccines, held in 1999. The parents went on to outline a number of symptoms occurring after vaccines, that eventually led to a diagnosis of brain cancer. They believed his cancer was linked to the numerous rounds of vaccines he’d had as a baby [1].

They are not the only ones who suspect that vaccines played a part in causing cancer.

In 2001, a letter published in the Daily Mail, went as follows: “My daughter had the MMR booster at four and her arm immediately swelled up and she started to feel unwell. Within six weeks, she was diagnosed as having leukaemia, and the doctors we spoke to accepted that the MMR jab was probably the trigger for the disease by overloading her immune system — though they believe she may have been already susceptible to the illness” [2].

It’s not just parent’s wondering. Some doctors and scientists, too, have obviously wondered.

In 1965, Dr. Michael Innis, an Australian pathologist and haematologist, wrote to The Lancet, and outlined how rates of leukemia in children at Brisbane Children’s Hospital between 1958 to 1964 showed a statistically significant association with diptheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccination [3].

In 1994, researchers found that MMR vaccination (among other things) increased the odds ratio of childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia [4].

Researchers in 2007 proposed a correlation between childhood leukemia and the introduction of widespread diptheria vaccination – “the significant peak-age (2–5 years) first appeared after 1940 in Great Britain. Since then, childhood leukemia has almost unchangeable incidence. In 1940 the introduction of immunization against diphtheria on a national scale was begun in Great Britain [5]”.

Nevertheless, the long-term studies required to prove whether vaccines increase cancer risk are not necessary for vaccine approval, nor does the CDC feel they are required…[6].

The following chart shows the incidence of childhood cancers in Australia [7].

The most common age for childhood cancer in Australia, is in the 0-4 years age group. This is the same time period where the average child receives more than 40 different vaccines. The second most common age is in the 10-14 years age group, which coincides with the scheduled booster shots and HPV vaccines for secondary school.

The least represented age group in cancer statistics, is the 5-9 years, which happens to coincide with a period where the average Australian child receives no vaccines, or, a yearly flu vaccine at the most [8].

It is also interesting to note that the most common type of cancer in children is acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL [9]. This occurs when there is an overproduction of immature white blood cells in the bone marrow, which prevents the production of red blood cells [10]. It seems plausible that chronic activation of the immune system could potentially cause such a state of affairs – an hypothesis that has already been explored in the scientific literature [11-12]

I have already written here about the fact that excessive stimulation of humoral immunity (which includes antibody production – the aim of vaccination) results in suppression of cell-mediated immunity. This same immune system imbalance has already been shown to play a central role in facilitating tumour growth, invasion and metastasis [13].

In a study of oral cancer patients in Nigeria, those with cancer were found to have significantly higher levels of antibodies, than healthy controls [14]. Did the cancer cause the shift towards antibody production, or did the immune imbalance cause the cancer?

Actually, it was demonstrated as early as 1907, that an inappropriate immune response enhances tumour growth [15]. In the 1950’s, the phenomena of antibodies promoting tumour growth was labelled “immunological enhancement” [16].

Research published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in 1988 found that one-year-old infants vaccinated with measles vaccine experienced a significant decrease in the level of alpha-interferon produced by lymphocytes. This marked reduction was still evident when the study ended a year later [17].

Interferons are a type of cytokine. These molecules communicate between cells to co-ordinate immune responses that help to expel pathogens. Interestingly enough, interferon therapy is now being used as a cancer treatment [18].

Now, obviously none of this proves that vaccines cause cancer, but until the CDC or others are convinced of the urgency of long-term studies in this area, we are left to surmise and hypothesize, and grieving parents are left to forever wonder. Given that the CDC has a large vested interest in vaccines, with dozens of vaccine-related patents [19]…it’s not likely to be anytime soon…

References:

[1] Testimony of Raphaele Moreau-Horwin & Michael Horwin, Government Reform Committee – Vaccines; Finding the Balance Between Public Safety and Personal Choice. US House of Representatives, 12th August 1999.

[2] Letter, Daily Mail, 25th Jan, 2001.

[3] Innis MD, Letter to the Editor: Immunization and Childhood Leukaemia, The Lancet, 13th March 1965, i605.

[4] Buckley JD, Buckley CM, Ruccione K, et al, Epidemiological characteristics of childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia. Analysis by immunophenotype. The Children’s Cancer Group, Leukemia, 1994, 8(5):856-864.

[5] Ivanovski P, Ivanovski I, Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is triggered by the introduction of immunization against diphtheria, Medical Hypothesis, 2007, 68(2): 324-327.

[6] CDC, Parents Guide to Childhood Immunizations, Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/tools/parents-guide/parents-guide-part4.html. Accessed March 2019.

[7] Cancer Australia: Children’s Cancer Statistics, https://childrenscancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/about-childrens-cancer/statistics. Accessed September, 2017.

[8] Ibid

[9] St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), https://www.stjude.org/disease/acute-lymphoblastic-leukemia-all.html. Accessed March 2019.

[10] Poplack DG (1985) Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in childhood. In: Altman AJ (ed) The Paediatric Clinics of North America. Saunders Philadelphia, pp 669–697.

[11] O’Byrne KJ, Dalgleish AG. Chronic immune activation and inflammation as the cause of malignancy, Brit J Cancer, 2001, 85(4):473-83.

[12] Dalgleish AG, O’Byrne KJ. Chronic immune activation and inflammation in the pathogenesis of AIDS and cancer, Adv Cancer Research, 2002, 84:231-76.

[13] O’Byrne KJ, Dalgleish AG, Browning MJ, et al. The relationship between angiogenesis and the immune response in carcinogenesis and the progression of disease, Eur J Cancer, 2000, 36(2):151-69.

[14] Akinmoladun VI, Arinola OG, Elumelu-Kupoluyi T, Eriba LO. Evaluation of humoral immunity in oral cancer patients from a nigerian referral centre, J Maxillofac Oral Surg, 2013, 12(4):410-3.

[15] Flexner S, Jobling JW. Proceedings of the Society for Exp Bio Med. 1907. p. 461.

[16] Kaliss N. Immunological enhancement of tumor homografts in mice: a review. Cancer Res, 1958, 992-1003.

[17] Nakayama T, Maehara N, Sadaki K, Makino S. Long-term regulation of interferon production by lymphocytes from children inoculated with live measles virus vaccine, J Infect Dis, 1988, 158(6): 1386-1390.

[18] Cancer Research UK, Interferon (Intron A), https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/cancer-drugs/drugs/interferon. Accessed March 2019.

[19] Google search of vaccine-related patents held by CDC, https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=pts&hl=en&q=vaccine+inassignee:centers+inassignee:for+inassignee:disease+inassignee:control&tbs=,ptss:g&num=100. Accessed March 2019.

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