Ever Since its founding in 1969, the Livingston Foundation Medical Center in San Diego, California, has treated various chronic conditions with an approach called immunotherapy.
According to Virginia BIG DEAL Center's founder, the vitality of the immune system is the key to health, and a weakened immune response is usually the road to illness. Thus, immune therapy has been the basis of treatment for the estimated 15,000 patients who have come to the Center since its inception. On average, the Center's 21 staffers see about 300 new patients a year.
As practiced today at the Livingston Center, immune therapy works to reverse disease by stimulating and supporting the immune system through specialized vaccines, diet and individually tailored supplement programs, and psychological counseling. "Cancer is a disease of the immune system," said Dr. Livingston. "Or, more accurately, it is a disease of a weak immune system. Every cancer patient who comes to our clinic has a severely depressed immune system."
Dr. Livingston's immune therapy approach to treating chronic degenerative illness was the result of decades of professional research and deep insight. Although her discoveries caused controversy in scientific and medical circles, Dr. Livingston was widely respected and held many prestigious academic and medical appointments. She was an associate professor of biological sciences at Rutgers University, director of the Laboratory of Proliferative Diseases at Newark Presbyterian Hospital, and the author of several books on cancer and vaccine therapy.
According to Alan R. Cantwell, Jr., M.D. (see accompanying sidebar, "Is There a Cancer Microbe?"), Dr. Livingston is "one of the great, unsung scientists of present-day medicine. When her discovery of the 'cancer microbe' becomes accepted, she will undoubtedly be know as the Pasteur of this century."
A New Theory about Cancer's Cause
Dr. Livingston gave this organism the name Progenitor cryptocides and described it as the "ancestral hidden killer" and "a silent but lethal bloodstream infection." In doing so, Dr. Livingston challenged two of modern medicine's presumed unassailable tenets: that cancer is not caused by a bacteria and that bacteria cannot change shape.
Ever since Louis Pasteur's germ-theory of illness gained prominence in the mid-1800's, bacteriology has been ruled by the assumption of monomorphism. This theory holds that microbes exist in single, unchanging shapes-"one form"-and cause disease by invading the body from the outside. Dr. Livingston's model is based on an alternate theory called pleomorphism, proposed at the same time as Pasteur's germ theory. Here the belief is that a single microbe can take on "many forms" and that microbes change their nature and activity while already inside the body and thereby produce disease.
Cancer is primarily caused by a parasitic microbe, normally dormant and found in all humans and animals from birth, Dr. Livingston reported in 1969, based on her 25 years of careful laboratory studies. Under healthy conditions, the immune system keeps the microbe latent, non-invasive, and in check. But the cancer microbe begins to change shape and become pathogenic as the host's immune system becomes weakened from poor diet, emotional stress, chemical toxins, infected foods, old age, or a predisposing genetic susceptibility.
Other factors include functional problems with the endocrine glands, alkaline blood pH, allergies, lowered vitality after infection, cell membranes that are too porous, and physical or psychologic trauma, said Dr. Livingston. Given these factors, the immune system and the body's detoxifying systems can no longer cope and become dysfunctional.
These conditions make it possible for the organism to invade the cells in overwhelming numbers, secreting toxins and tumor-promoting substances. "The advanced cancer patient has many pleomorphic forms of the P. cryptocides in his or her blood in vast numbers due to the loss of immunity," Dr. Livingston said.
How did this mysterious bacteria get into the human body? Dr. Livingston points to poultry-chicken and eggs-as the probable source of primary infection. "Most of the chickens on the dining tables and barbecue grills of America today," she wrote in 1984, "have this pathogenic form of the P.criptocides microbe, which I contend is transmissible to human beings."
Repeated consumption of "sick" chicken could initiate a cancer process in people with already weakened immune systems, Dr. Livingston speculated. Once inside the body, its usual habitat is the intestinal tract which acts as a reservoir of P. cryptocides, which circulates in the blood and "parasitizes" red and white blood cells.
This organism is a "great simulator," yet when you follow its developmental life cycle through all its transitional stages using darkfield microscopic analysis of live blood, "it can be identified as a single agent," stated Dr. Livingston. She never claimed to be the first discoverer of P. cryptocides, noting that it has been "an unclassified mystery" periodically rediscovered since the early 1800's.
In 1974, Dr. Livingston discovered that the cancer microbe secretes a hormone called choriogonadotropin (CG), that is a cell growth regulator similar to human growth hormone secreted by the brain. "Unless CG is controlled by antibodies, white cells, and dietary factors, it can continue its reproductive activity indefinitely in an uncontrolled way," she said. CG protects the growing tumor from ingestion by the immune system.
Further, Dr. Livingston claimed that the cancer microbe is present inside sperm cells and, at conception, it releases the CG hormone to protect the fertilized egg. It does this because otherwise at least half of fetal cells would be regarded by the body as foreign and it would seek to destroy them.
With this new biological understanding of the cancer process, Dr. Livingston went on to develop a practical, nontoxic approach. In general, she ruled out surgery because it would be impossible to remove all cancerous tissues as the disease is systemic. Also, "extensive mutilating surgery" would help spread the cancer by shocking the adrenal glands and further weakening the immune system which would now have to aid the body in healing from the surgery in addition to continuing to resist the cancer. However, Dr. Livingston advised having surgery to remove the tumor load if it could be easily removed without mutilation of the patient.
A better approach, she proposed, would be to support the immune system, increase the body's resistance, and suppress the specific cancer microbe by eliminating the internal bodily conditions that enable it to thrive. A prime way to accomplish this, said Dr. Livingston, is through the use of specifically targeted vaccines, especially one prepared and precisely tailored from the patient's own P. cryptocides. Such a vaccine focuses on more than cancer-it addresses the entire immune system.
This perspective came in handy in the late 1960's when an FDA official told Dr. Livingston she could not treat cancer with vaccines. "I assured him I was not treating cancer with vaccines but that I am using autogenous ('self-made,' from the patient's own cultured P.cryptocides) vaccines obtained from the patient's own tissues and bodily fluids to treat an underlying chronic infection."
It's no different in 1997, says the Center's medical director, Mark H. LaBeau, D.O. The Center bills itself as specializing in the treatment of "immuno-deficiency" diseases. As it turns out, about 95% of their patients are people with cancer. "We work with people and their weakened immune systems," he says. The Livington approach consists of multiple vaccines, dietary and nutritional programs, and psychological counseling. According to Dr. LaBeau, among the cancer cases, the Center tends to get the best results with cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, and lymph system.
Immunotherapy Based on Vaccines
Vaccine A-Here the cancer microbe itself is collected from the patient's own P. cryptocides, cultured overnight at room temperature in the laboratory, then filtered, concentrated, and injected into the muscle as a vaccine. The purified bacteria acts as an irritant (antigen) that provokes the immune system to respond to it and produce antibodies (specialized defense proteins) against it.
Vaccine B-This vaccine is prepared and purified from "killed" (sterilized) bacteria cultured from the P. cryptocides of a patient who has successfully overcome the cancer microbe.
BCG Vaccine-The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin uses highly weakened tuberculosis (TB) microbes to evoke a strong immune response against cancer. The BCG has been commonly used against TB since its introduction in 1921. BCG is effective against cancer (as a "protective" factor) because Dr. Livingston's research showed that its structure is highly similar to that of P. cryptocides. "When the immune system is stimulated with BCG to react to tuberculosis bacteria, it is also stimulated to cross-react to P. cryptocides," says Dr. LaBeau.
Gamma Globulin-This is a conventional vaccine substance consisting of five different types of specialized proteins or antibodies (called immunoglobulins) normally found in healthy blood. Gamma globulin helps the immune system resist infection by supplying it with more of the body's basic disease-resisting substances.
Vaccine C-This vaccine combines purified glandular extracts of sheep thymus and spleen to support the immune activities of both organs. The thymus gland, located behind the sternum in the chest, produces immune cells called T lymphocytes or T cells; this gland also secretes a hormone that controls the growth and maturation of these cells. The spleen produces T cells and cleanses the blood by removing parasites among the red blood cells.
Generally, a large dose of vitamin B-12 (1 cc) is added to Vaccine C as a nutritional supplement because a vegetarian diet is deficient in this vitamin. It's given in an injectable form because it is better absorbed than in an oral form.
Vaccine D-Using an extract of white blood cells, this vaccine is injected into the patient to stimulate their own T cells, Dr. LaBeau explains.
Other Vaccines-Livingston physicians occasionally use MRV, or mixed respiratory vaccine, which contains common respiratory bacteria. For selected patients, depending on their tumor type, they may also employ interferon, immune proteins produced by white blood cells against viruses, given in extremely small doses as an additional immune response booster.
Livingston patients typically receive all six vaccines at the same time, three times weekly. This schedule is usually maintained for the first year or until a remission is achieved; after this, the patient is likely to receive only three or four of the vaccines. As a protective measure, after remission, vaccines are ideally administered on a less frequent basis for the rest of the person's life. As the Livingston Center is an exclusively outpatient facility with an initial ten-day program, patients are instructed in self-administering the injections at home (with the exception of BCG).
Anticancer Diet and Nutrition
Dietary Recommendations-First off, avoid all poultry products, including chicken and eggs, advises Livingston Center's staff nutritionist Janet Zuckerman, B.S. She notes that the primary reason for including or eliminating foods is their likely effect on the cancer microbe.
In most cases, patients should eliminate fish, pork, beef, veal, and most dairy products from the diet, too, relying primarily on vegetarian protein sources. Living fresh foods, such as non-processed whole grains and beans and organically raised fruits and vegetables, are recommended. The diet also calls for avoiding fluoridated water, alcohol, soft drinks, tobacco, chemical ingredients, and sugar-based foods.
Abscisic Acid-This natural component of vitamin A is the foundation upon which all cancer immunity is built because it "actually stops cancer cells from multiplying" and is "nature's most potent anticancer weapon," explained Dr. Livingston. Abscisic acid is found in small amounts in small yellow vegetables (notably carrots), nuts, seeds, and certain vitamin A rich fruits (mangoes, grapes, pears, apples). Abscisic acid is believed to decrease the secretion of the growth hormone found in tumor cells. Dr. Livingston synthesized an abscisic acid formula called CIS 14 which is available as a supplement only to Livingston Center patients. A typical dose is 1/4 teaspoon in a base of arrowroot powder.
Vitamins-For the first 30 days of their treatment, cancer patients take 20 drops (5,000 IUs per drop) daily of vitamin A mixed into freshly pulped carrot juice, and at least 400 IU's of vitamin E. They also get 8-10 g of vitamin C, in divided doses (although doses up to 40 g daily may be given, usually intravenously), and a complete vitamin, mineral, and trace element package in the form of Daily Care, a formula developed by the Livingston Center.
Digestive Supports-Enzymes are given to Livingston Center patients to facilitate better digestion of foods as are supplements of "friendly bacteria" such as L. acidophilus and L. bifidus to improve intestinal activity.
Lymph System Stimulation-As an osteopath, Dr. LaBeau is keenly attuned to the status of the patient's lymph system, knowing that its efficient drainage and removal of toxins from the body is crucial to restoring health. He notes that about 30% of his cancer patients have a musculoskeletal problem (as evidenced by restricted movement) at the direct site of the tumor, such as the pelvis or breast, and that another 30% have similar problems near key lymph drainage and immune function sites.
In these cases, Dr. LaBeau either provides the patient with osteopathic manipulation during their ten-day program, or makes a referral for more long-term treatment. In either event, the goal, he says, is to remove the musculoskeletal and lymph interference which, in turn, helps the body use the other program components to eliminate the cancer.
Clarifying the Psychological Side
Since patients do not reside at the Livingston Center, there is not enough time for Dr. Barrett to do in-depth counseling. However, he introduces patients to both the theoretical and practical sides of how their emotions and stress levels interact with their immune system and its ability to restore health.
Typically, during his series of one-hour classes, Dr. Barrett explains the benefits and techniques of stress reduction, progressive muscle relaxation, visualizations, meditation, lifestyle changes, ways of coping and positive attitude-building. "I look for situations or concerns they may have to face when they return home. The goal is to help the person restructure the way they see their situation, to show them what a different emotional response might lead to," says Dr. Barrett.
"One thing that stresses many patients is the assumption that because they have cancer they should be thinking about death," he says. "They may be rehearsing the thought continually in their mind that cancer is a killer. I suggest to them that, yes, getting cancer is a wake-up call to reconsider many things, yet many people survive cancer, and that the more positive their attitude is about surviving, the more likely it is that this will help their healing process.
Is There a Cancer Microbe?
Around 1965, Dr. Cantwell met Virginia Livingston, M.D., and when they shared notes, it seemed they were both tracking the same microbe. In fact, this microbe, which Dr. Livingston labelled P. cryptocides, was found in increased numbers in patients with cancer, scleroderma, lupus, and sarcoidosis. "Virginia was labelled a crazy scientist because she saw cancer bacteria that cancer experts would not see," notes Dr. Cantwell in his book The Cancer Microbe (1990).
First, the microbiologists were outraged that an outsider presumed to create a new label for a microbe. Second, they didn't believe a cancer microbe existed in the first place, Dr. Cantwell says. "After 20 years of hunting microbes in skin diseases, I knew the old established 'rules' of microbiology were not workable."
The oncologist closed ranks and ridiculed Dr. Livingston's work. For good reason, from their point of view, Dr. Cantwell adds. If cancer is caused by bacteria, and chemotherapy, surgery and radiation have no effect against it, the whole edifice of conventional cancer treatment would have to be dismantled. "All the standard treatments for cancer would have to be reevaluated in terms of this microbe. We're talking about big changes here."
Despite the laboratory work, the photos of P. cryptocides from live blood, the scientific papers and books, Dr. Livingston's cancer microbe remains "the most closeted scientific achievement of our century," Dr. Cantwell contends. "Her findings today mean nothing to conventional oncologists. Her discoveries don't exist. How can they credit bacteria seen in living blood when they consider blood to be sterile?"
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