One of the first papers I wrote on the subject of cancer was a review paper about using the immune system to control and destroy the disease.
When I wrote this paper in 1976, I proposed that the immune system had the potential to cure cancers — no matter how extensive the disease was.
At the time, there were only a few of us involved in this area of study.
In fact, at that time it was accepted that the immune system could only eliminate a tumor the size of a pencil eraser — anything larger than that could not be destroyed.
What changed researchers’ thinking was the case of a man who had accidentally received a kidney transplant from a patient who’d died from kidney cancer.
Because of the immune suppression that was part of the transplant procedure, the cancer grew like wildfire once the organ was implanted. It spread from the kidney to the patient’s lungs, bones, liver, and even his intestines.
The case seemed hopeless, and the man’s doctors removed the kidney and took him off his immune-suppressing medications.
To everyone’s surprise, once the patient’s immune system recovered, the tumors — which had consisted of several pounds of tissue — disappeared completely.
Suddenly, researchers realized that the immune system has the potential ability to eradicate massive amounts of cancerous tumors.