There also appears to be a connection between extreme high fever and remission of cancer (Blut, 1990; 61: 346-9; Spontaneous Remission: An Annotated Bibliography, Sausalito, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1993). High fever in childhood or adulthood may protect against the later onset of cancer, and spontaneous remissions are often preceded by feverish infections (Neuroimmunomodulation, 2001; 9: 55-64).
Hypothyroidism may also trigger apoptosis (cell death) in tumours (Anticancer Res, 1999; 19: 4839-44). Yet another theory is that DNA methylation, which is involved in cell differentiation, may play a part in spontaneous cure (Mutat Res, 2000; 462: 235-46).
Finally, some believe that psychological factors have an influence (Zeitschr Psychosom Med Psychother, 2000; 46: 57-70). Today, this is not as far-fetched as it once seemed, given all we now know about stress and disease, and the way that the nervous system can directly influence the functioning of the immune system.
It’s a miracle - or maybe not
Most of the information on spontaneous regression is the result of efforts by noetic scientists. Indeed, the standard work on the subject, Spontaneous Remission: An Annotated Bibliography (Sausalito, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1993), lists 1051 case reports published in the peer-reviewed medical literature. This compendium has much to tell us about spontaneous remission, and is also likely to represent only a small fraction of individuals who have not received conventional treatment, yet whose bodies have won the battle against cancer.
A simple Medline search for reports of spontaneous remissions of cancer (that is, remissions occurring without treatment or with inadequate treatment) produces a wealth of case reports on the subject from all over the world. Among the cancers reported to have remitted spontaneously are:
* adult T-cell leukaemia and/or lymphoma (Leuk Lymph, 2000; 39: 217-22; Blut, 1990; 61: 346-9)
* oesophageal cancer (Dis Esoph, 1999; 12: 317-20)
* lung cancer following coma as a result of myxoedema - dry, waxy swelling of the skin due to an underactive thyroid - (J Natl Cancer Inst, 1993; 85: 1342-3) and squamous cell lung cancer (Atemwegs- Lungenkrankh, 1995; 21: 536-8)
* liver cancer (Hepato-Gastroenterol, 1998; 45: 2369-71; J Hepatol, 1997; 27: 211-5)
* metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (Ann Oncol, 1997; 8: 1031-9)
* lung metastases from a cancer of the uterus (Zeitschr Onkol, 1997; 29: 87-8)
* scalp and/or lung metastases from a kidney carcinoma (Am J Clin Oncol Cancer Trials, 1997; 20: 416-8; Hong Kong Med J, 1999; 5: 72-5)
* bladder cancer (Eur J Surg Oncol, 1992; 18: 521-3)
* liver, spleen and peritoneal metastases following unsuccessful surgery for liver cancer (J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2000; 15: 327-30), and lung metastases from a cancer of the liver (Pathol Int, 1999; 49: 893-7)
* metastatic malignant melanoma (Ann Plast Surg, 1991; 26: 403-6)
* large tumour of the mediastinum (chest cavity) (Ann Thorac Surg, 2002; 74: 1711-2).
What this means is that spontaneous remission not only occurs, but is well acknowledged outside of the miraculous and religious context in which it is so often shrouded.
Spontaneous regression of cancer is not a miracle, a fantasy or a medical fluke. It is a biological reality. If we were truly serious about curing cancer, we would be paying much more attention to this important phenomenon.
Shadows on the brain
One of the most recent studies on psychosomatic cancer therapy comes from Germany. Over the past 10 years, medical doctor and cancer surgeon Ryke-Geerd Hamer has examined 20,000 cancer patients with all types of cancer.