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    Cancer: Carcinoma of the Oropharynx, Esophagus, and Small Bowel - The Cancer Connection, By Ronald Hoggan


    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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    The following piece was written by Ronald Hoggan who is a teacher at Queen Elizabeth High School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    There is much evidence linking untreated celiac disease with malignancy. I have recently been notified of publication of a report I have written on that connection, which is promised for the September, 1997 issue of Medical Hypotheses (1). In that report, I combine a review of the literature with an outline of a possible biochemical pathway whereby psychoactive peptides derived from the pepsin digests of wheat, rye and barley may down-regulate the activation of natural killer cells, the bodys first line of defense against malignancy. This is not a postulation that glutinous grains are carcinogenic. Humankind has been exposed to carcinogens throughout its ~ two million year evolution. But it is only in recent centuries that malignancy has increased exponentially, and has struck so many children and adolescents. This is clearly a counter-evolutionary trend when youngsters are afflicted, because the incidence should be decreasing over time, as these youngsters genes are being pruned from the gene pool. There is some evidence that has come to light since my aforementioned report, which will be of interest to celiacs and members of their families.

    M. Stanislas Tanchou, a truly visionary physician, and campaigned with Napoleon Bonaparte, presented a paper to the Paris Science Society in 1843, which was a complex statistical examination of malignancy, offering evidence of increased malignancy with increased civilization (2). One of the prime indicators of a civilizing trend was a diet that included cereal grains. The greater the consumption of these foods, the greater the incidence of malignancy (3).

    Dr. Chris Reading, an orthomolecular psychiatrist, in Australia, has documented the treatment of five cancer patients for depression (4). His testing for food allergies, and subsequent treatment of depression with dietary exclusion of cereal grains resulted in total remission of the cancers (which were also given conventional treatments) in all five patients he reports treating. One of these patients did die, but that was from the cancer treatment.

    There are also two reports in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology (5) Lancet (6) that I cite in my Medical Hypotheses article. These reveal a total remission of malignancy in each patient. One report then recants the original diagnosis, and identifies the correct diagnosis as lymphadenopathy. In the other report, which spurs a heated debate, the original diagnosis is supported by a resected section of malignant bowel, and there can be no doubt as to the correct diagnosis.

    Further, in a 1977 report, in Nutrition and Cancer (8), from Stanford University, all the children suffering from radiation and chemotherapy damage to the small bowel recovered fully from their chronic enteritis, and suffered no relapse of either the bowel obstruction or the disease. The treatment they were given was a gluten-free, dairy-free, low fat, low residue diet.

    In an obscure Czech journal, a report has recently indicated that one or more of the gliadins, a sub-set of proteins in gluten, may also interfere with natural killer cell activation in peripheral blood (9). They tested the levels of natural killer cell activation in normal, and in treated celiacs, and found no significant difference. BUT, after 30 minutes exposure of the celiacs blood to gliadin, there was a reduced activation of natural killer cells.

    For the last hundred years, billions of dollars have been spent identifying carcinogens. Most of what we encounter in our environment appears to have some measure of carcinogenic potential. Unfortunately, we have failed to reconcile that Humanity has been exposed to most of these carcinogens throughout its evolution. Conventional wisdom has pointed to the increasing levels of chemical pollution and environmental damage. And I do not doubt that these factors are contributing to the current epidemic of malignancy. What I do doubt is that segment of the population, variously reported at 20% to 30%, which has the HLA factors which predispose to celiac disease and many other autoimmune diseases, can mount an adequate immune response, with natural killer cells, against malignancy.

    References:
    • Hoggan R, Considering Wheat, Rye, and Barley Proteins as Aids to Carcinogens in press Medical Hypotheses, 1997.
    • Tanchou S, Statistics of Cancer London Lancet 1843; Aug 5, 593.
    • Audette R, personal communication.
    • Reading C, Meillon R, Your Family Tree Connection, Keats; New Canaan, Conn.: 1988.
    • Wink A, et. al. Disappearance of Mesenteric Lymphadenopathy with Gluten-Free Deit in Celiac Sprue, J. Clin. Gastroenterol, 1993; 16(4): 317-319.
    • Wright DH, et. al. Celiac disease and Lymphoma, Lancet 1991; 337:1373.
    • Wright DH, et. al. letter Lancet 1991; 338: 318-319.
    • Donaldson SS, Effect of Nutrition as Related to Radiation and Chemotherapy, Nutrition and Cancer, Winick ed. 1977; Wiley & Sons, NewYork, 137153.
    • Castany M, Nguyen H, Pospisil M, Fric P, Tlaskalova-Hogenova H, Natural Killer Cell Activity in Celiac Disease: Effect of in Vitro Treatment on Effector Lymphocytes and/or Target Lymphoblastoid, Myeloid and Epithelial Cell Lines with Gliadin, Folia Microbial, 1995 (Praha) 40; 6: 615-620.
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  • About Me

    As co-author of "Dangerous Grains" and "Cereal Killers", the study of the impact of gluten continues to be a driving passion in my life. I am fascinated by the way that gluten induces illness and impedes learning while it alters mood, behavior, and a host of other facets of our existence. Sure, the impact of gluten on health is an important issue, but that is only the most obvious area of impact. Mood disturbances, learning disabilities, and the loss of quality of life due to psychiatric and neurological illness are even more tragic than the plethora of physical ailments that are caused or worsened by gluten. The further I go down this rabbit hole, the more I realize that grains are a good food for ruminants - not people. I am a retired school teacher. Over the last decade, I have done some college and university level teaching, but the bulk of my teaching career was spent working with high school students. My Web page is: www.DangerousGrains.com

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    Scott Adams
    Holmes GK, Prior P, Lane MR, Pope D, Allan RN
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    Two hundred and ten patients with coeliac disease previously reported from this unit were reviewed at the end of 1985 after a further 11 years of follow up. The initial review at the end of 1974 could not demonstrate that a gluten free diet (GFD) prevented these complications, probably because the time on diet was relatively short. The same series has therefore been kept under surveillance with the particular aim of assessing the effects of diet on malignancy after a further prolonged follow up period. Twelve new cancers have occurred: of which one was a carcinoma of the esophagus and two lymphomas. Thirty nine cancers developed in 38 patients and of 69 deaths, 33 were the result of malignancy. A two-fold relative risk (RR) of cancer was found and was because of an increased risk of cancer of the mouth and pharynx (RR = 9.7, p less than 0.01, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.0-28.3), esophagus (RR = 12.3, p less than 0.01, CI = 2.5-36.5), and of non-Hodgkins lymphoma (RR = 42.7, p less than 0.001, CI = 19.6-81.4). The results indicate that for coeliac patients who have taken a GFD for five years or more the risk of developing cancer over all sites is not increased when compared with the general population.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/13/2010 - A team of clinicians recently described a case of immune modulation by non-Hodgkin lymphoma in a patient with two primary intestinal T-Cell lymphomas and long-standing celiac disease.
    F. Mühr-Wilkenshoff, M. Friedrich, H. D. Foss, M. Hummel, M. Zeitz, and S. Daum made up the research team. They are variously affiliated with the  Medical Clinic I, Gastroenterology, Rheumatology and Infectious Diseases, and with the Department of Pathology, Charité of the Campus Benjamin Franklin of University Medicine Berlin, Germany.
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    Doctors resected the lymphoma due to perforation and treated the patient with four courses of IMVP-16. The patient began and maintained a strict gluten-free diet.
    Two years later, the patient appeared with weight loss and a clonally divergent refractory sprue type II with loss of antigen (CD8; T-cell receptor-) expression in intraepithelial lymphocytes.
    At this time, he showed high titers of celiac-associated antibodies, although he was on a strict GFD.
    The research team notes that the missing enteropathy under a gluten-containing diet supports the idea of immune suppression in malignant diseases, especially non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
    They also note that the fact that, even while maintaining a strict gluten-free diet, the patient developed refractory sprue type II, an early form of another independent T-cell lymphoma, along with celiac-associated antibodies, suggests that clonal intraepithelial lymphocytes might be stimulating antibody production.
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    Digestion 2010;81:231–234 DOI: 10.1159/000269810

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/30/2012 - A number of studies have found higher rates of lymphoma in people with celiac disease. However, few studies make any distinction between lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs).
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    The research team included L.A. Leslie, B. Lebwohl, A.I. Neugut, J. Gregory Mears, G. Bhagat, and P.H. Green. They are affiliated with the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY.
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    To do so, they carried out a retrospective cohort study of adults with biopsy-proven celiac disease seen at a US referral center from 1981 to 2010. They also identified patients with comorbid LPD, and calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIR) for each LPD subtype.
    They began with a study group of 1,285 patients with celiac disease. The group contained 40 patients with LPD [sIR = 6.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 4.62-8.64] including 33 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL, SIR = 6.91, 95% CI = 4.26-8.28).
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    EATL patients had a shorter average survival than non-EATL NHL patients (3.2 versus 15.0 years, P = 0.016).
    Overall, rates of LPD are higher in celiac disease patients, and those diagnosed at an older age, who present with symptoms of malabsorption, are more likely to be diagnosed with LPD.
    Source:
    Am J Hematol. 2012 Apr 26. doi: 10.1002/ajh.23237.

    Gryphon Myers
    Celiac.com 09/24/2012 - With all the problems that go along with celiac disease, it can be hard to see any benefits to having the disease. However, it would seem that such benefits do exist: a recent study in Sweden shows that women suffering from celiac disease are actually at a decreased risk of developing breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer.
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