Health

An Accurate Blood Test For Cancer

FYI FROM
THE SAN FRANCISCO MEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION

There is now a blood test that will accurately detect early cancer of all types. It has an accuracy of greater than 95%. If the test is repeated, the accuracy is greater than 99%. That is to say, that false positive and false negative rates are less than 1%. The test is called AMAS.

Twenty-one years ago a neurochemist, Samuel Bogoch, M.D., Ph.D., discovered a test for cancer antigen, similar to today's PSA for prostate cancer and CEA for colorectal cancer. With hard work and good sound research, he found the first anticancer antibody in the bloodstream of patients with cancer. He named the new antigen malignin, and called new the new antibody Anti-Malignin Antibody. Hew founded a laboratory in Boston called Oncolab, Inc. the test has been finally patented, and the FDA has granted permission to market this test.

We have been following the development of this test for the past five to eight years, however. It was not quite workable as a test that could be easily utilized by practicing physicians. At present, the test and the procedures in utilizing it have been refined and it is workable. A recent newsletter from the Friend Foundation For Medical Research, Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 1995, gives a descriptive summary of the AMAS test to date.

Doctors will be using the AMAS test around the world. There are three indications and uses for this test.

1. A cancer screening test.

The usual examination in a doctor's office today includes a history, a physical examination and selected laboratory tests aimed at detecting potential problems including cancer. With the use of the AMAS test, the doctor will be able to defer or eliminate chest x- rays, sigmoidoscopy, CT scans, possibly even mammograms and PAP tests, unless the AMAS is abnormal. All blood donors and transplant donors and recipients will be screened by AMAS to insure there is no chance of spreading undiagnosed viral-induced cancer. Life and disability insurance companies will surely want to know your AMAS status before underwriting a new policy or renewing an old one.

This is exciting to us because we have been prevention-minded for our entire medical career. The problem with cancer is that, like other diseases, it is not detectable until it's advanced. The other exciting idea here is that many cancers will be able to be prevented because tainted blood transfusions or transplant organs will be able to be screened, preventing the transplantation of cancer into an already sick patient. We all realize it is better to find a small cancer early than big cancer later. The cancers that are detected at an earlier stage are ones that have the highest possibility of a permanent cure.

2. A cancer monitoring test.

After any cancer has been treated the patient, as well as the doctor, wants to know if the cancer has been cured or if some malignancy may remain in the body. Breast cancer is a good example. Published data show that when surgery has been curative, the AMAS value returns to normal. If any cancer remains, AMAS will continue to be elevated. Cancer specialists will be able to precisely recommend radiation and chemotherapy only for those patients who need it.

3. In differential diagnosis.

If there is a shadow on a chest x-ray, a spot in the liver CT scan, a suspicious area on a mammogram, or an enlarged lymph node on an MRI, generally a needle biopsy or an open surgical biopsy is necessary to tell whether or not the tissue is cancerous. If the AMAS is normal, the lesion in question is not a cancer. In the future, the AMAS test should dramatically reduce the number of invasive biopsies, needless pain and suffering, and reduce the cost of medicine.

COSTS AND AVAILABILITY

AMAS is a test which measures an antibody. It is a laboratory procedure called an immunoassay. PSA for prostate cancer and CEA for colorectal cancer are two common immunoassay that measure antigens. At the present time, AMAS is only available through Dr. Bogoch's Oncolab, Inc. in Boston. The requisition to order AMAS must contain specific medical information and must be sighed by both patient and physician.

The test is presently done by hand at Oncolab and requires special handling including properly separating the serum from the blood, freezing and shipping overnight to Boston. Dr. Bogoch is currently attempting to place AMAS with a strong international company that will make the test affordable and available in an automated form worldwide. He hopes to accomplish this by the end of 1995.

AMAS AND BREAST CANCER

To date, more than 1,000 patients with breast cancer have been studied with AMAS. Most of the clinical research has focused on using AMAS to tell if the cancer has been cured. Results show that breast cancer can only be presumed cured if the AMAS returns to normal level after treatment. New data shows convincing evidence that breast cancer cannot be presumed to be in remission unless AMAS returns to normal. Traditionally, the usual follow- up treatment would include CT scans, MRI's, x-rays and hormonal blood tests, looking for signs of cancer after treatment. Used and performed properly, AMAS gives a much more accurate answer at a fraction of the cost and inconvenience. AMAS has found breast cancer as small as a pencil dot. This is a truly remarkable test.

THE FUTURE FOR CANCER DETECTION AND TREATMENT

Dr. William J. Friend, M.D., the Director of Medical Research for The Friend Foundation, states that Anti-Malignant Antibody in Serum (AMAS) is a naturally occurring antibody present in the serum of all people, even children. AMAS is our natural immune system against cancer. The test can be used to determine if any type of cancer exists anywhere in the body. It will tell if the new treatment against any cancer has been successful. The future application of AMAS in vaccines and booster shots is inevitable. Historians will probably view AMAS as the most important diagnostic test of the twentieth century, as it will forever change the practice of medicine in the civilized world.

MEDICAL PROGRESS AT LAST

As a new cancer screening test, the AMAS will be invaluable. It's probable that all adults will be screened on an annual basis, perhaps beginning at about age 35. Some might be screened even earlier if there is cancer in the family history.

Studies on more than 6,000 patients have shown a sensitivity and specificity of AMAS greater than 95% (99% if repeated). Physicians, especially those in Managed Care and HMO's, are not going to order the routine and conventional cancer screening tests, such as PSA, CEA, CA-125, x-rays, mammograms, fecal occult tests, PAP tests, colonoscopies, etc., unless AMAS is positive. IF the AMAS test is normal, there is a better than 99% chance that the doctor will not find cancer.

VETERINARY MEDICINE

Veterinarians will also be suing AMAS as it has been detected in goats, dogs, rabbits, and rats. As in humans, there appears to be a normal level of AMAS that is bumped up when cancer starts growing.

HELPING THE PATHOLOGIST

The pathologists batting average in diagnosing cancer can be greatly improved because AMAS is an antibody that can be stained with a variety of immunofluorescent dyes. The dyed AMAS readily adheres to cancer cells and under the microscope they stand out and are easily diagnosed.

AMAS MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES

An antibody is a specific molecule that attacks and neutralizes or kills a specific cell that contains an antigen that has invaded or infected the body. AMAS is a naturally occurring anti- cancer antibody in everyone's serum. today it is relatively easy to precisely duplicate (clone) an antibody. It is also fairly easy to attach a second molecule to the cloned antibody. If that second molecule is a chemotherapeutic agent, which could destroy a cancer cell, in addition to AMAS itself, the resultant structure is called a therapeutic monoclonal antibody.

This procedure could result in an intravenous injection that would destroy any type of cancer anywhere in the body without affecting normal tissue or causing side-effects.

AMAS BODY SCANNER

AMAS is at its best when cancers are just getting started and are still small in size. In fact, one of the problems with AMAS is going to be that it detects cancer so early that your doctor may not be able to find it. AMAS can detect cancers up to 19 months before your doctor can find it. A unique way to solve this dilemma is to let AMAS detect its antigen. First, label AMAS with a medical radioactive isotope. Everyday, in your local hospital, doctors routinely label molecules in this way to provide scanning for liver, lungs, heart, kidneys, bones, etc. After the labeled AMAS is injected intravenously, it wanders around the blood stream and selectively adheres to cancer cells anywhere in the body. Then, the patient can be scanned with a gamma-detecting camera and the location of any "hot spots" are relatively easy to see.

AMAS VACCINES AND BOOSTER SHOTS

AMAS is the antibody against malignin. Malignin is the antigen, or the marker, that AMAS recognizes as cancer. Dr. Bogoch was the first person to identify malignin, and now produces it at his laboratory in Boston. Malignin can be used as a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to make the protective and cancer antibody. Dr. Bogoch has also purified the AMAS antibody. AMAS could be injected intravenously as a true immunologic booster shot. In the human body there is a constant war going on between cancer and AMAS. Isolated reports of spontaneous cancer cures are undoubtedly the result of natural occurring AMAS.

THE CELL AND CANCER

The cells with similar function grow side by side to form a common tissue, such as brain tissue or muscle tissue or bone tissue. As these normal cells proliferate, they begin to crowd and bump into each other; and a phenomenon that researchers call cell recognition occurs and a message is sent back to the individual cells in the tissue to stop proliferating. Cancer cells do not recognize this phenomenon, and they continue to grow and multiply and cause the tissue to expand into a larger mass called a tumor.

The surface of cancer cells contains an outer coating of sugar molecules over an inner layer of protein molecules. Together they are called glycoproteins. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells keep crowding and bumping into each other and part of the layer of sugar molecules is ground off, exposing the inner protein layer, which is the antigen Dr. Bogoch has named malignin.

Due to cell recognition, our immune system spots malignin, also. When it sees malignin, it starts turning out anti-malignin antibody, which is our body's natural defense against all cancers. In 1988, Dr. Bogoch purified AMAS and demonstrated that it would kill cancer cells in the test tube. Can you imagine the day when we might start treating cancer with booster shots of anti-malignin antibody? Dr. Bogoch's contribution to science and medicine will certainly put him in contention for the Nobel Prize.

Most of the material that you have read comes from the newsletter of the Friend Foundation. This is an exciting breakthrough in cancer detection, and it is important that all of the general public be aware of this. Acres U.S.A. has made it possible for the reader of the column to be well-up on the information in advance of the general public. The test needs to be automated and widely distributed, and that is what is slowing down the information and dissemination of the AMAS test. It is, however, available and if you would request it from your doctor, it can be done for you.

You might also request a copy of the newsletter from which this column came. The address is:
The Friend Foundation, 1221 Madison, Suite 1220, Seattle, WA, 98104
Phone: (206) 622-4745, fax: (206) 623-0985.

When the test becomes widely available, and this hinges on the general public having the information and knowledge and requesting the test from their physicians, a great improvement will be accomplished in our medical care. One could imagine a great amount of money saved from conventional tests no longer needed. It will be possible to reduce or eliminate the follow-up chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatments so commonly prescribed today. There would also be a tremendous elimination of cancer phobia, the fear of getting cancer, so common in our middle-aged population. There would be a tremendous amount of money that would be available to ease life's other burdens.

Greater than 99% of patients with cancer have AMAS levels above 135. AMAS levels below 135 are seen in normal individuals who do not have cancer. If in doubt, a repeat test is indicated.

Normal levels are also seen in successfully treated cancer patients, in which there is no further evidence of disease.

Dr. Bogoch is to be heartily congratulated for his 20 years of research which is about to bear fruit beneficial to all mankind. The Friend Foundation is a non-profit, tax-free public charity dedicated to medical research. They are to be congratulated for their support of Dr. Bogoch. For further information or additional copies of the brochure, please call or write them.



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