How promising cancer fighter 2-methoxyestradiol became another casualty of the patent medicine system

The powerful, totally natural, anti-carcinogenic oestrogen 2-methoxyestradiol – which is made by women’s bodies (and a little tiny bit by men’s bodies, too) – was being intensively studied in the earliest years of the 21st century. A patent medicine company dreamed up the trade name Panzem® and was conducting clinical trials using 2-methoxyestradiol on cancer patients in the hopes of getting an ‘approval’ on Panzem® by the medical authorities.

Research found that 2-methoxyestradiol was effective, causing ‘complete and partial responses’ in breast, prostate, ovarian, pancreatic and gastric cancers, as well as osteosarcoma, chodrosarcoma and leukaemia.

Research on 2-methoxyestradiol has slowed down considerably since then, and it’s gradually becoming obvious why. Some readers may have guessed already: patent medicine companies are turning away from this entirely natural – and therefore unpatentable – molecule and are trying to improve on Nature and Creation by synthesising ‘analogs’ (that’s patent medicine-speak for unnatural versions of natural molecules) which they think will work better.

Drug companies cook up recipes for disaster

In a 2008 example of this all-too-frequent phenomenon, researchers first wrote: ‘Clinical studies using… 2-methoxyestradiol (Panzem®) in cancer patients show that treatment is associated with clinical benefit, including prolonged stable disease, complete and partial responses, and an excellent safety profile’.1 A promising start, but after this our hopes are then completely dashed: ‘… a series of analogues was generated and three lead analogues were selected, ENMD-1198, ENMD-1200, and ENMD-1237. These molecules showed improved metabolic stability…’

The key here is the phrase ‘improved metabolic stability’. This is patent-medicine-speak for ‘this synthetic analog doesn’t metabolise as Nature and Creation intended. It’s significantly harder for human bodies to break down’. Their hope is that it will work better (and sell at an outrageously high price!), but what is completely ignored every time in this process is that Nature and Creation did not intend for 2-methoxyestradiol to hang around for an unnaturally long time. If hanging around longer (‘improved metabolic stability’) was actually a good thing for health, it would be happening already!

There are literally thousands of examples of patented analogs to natural molecules, and nearly all of them are significantly more harmful than the original natural molecule. Prednisone® has ‘improved metabolic stability’ over cortisol, and causes much more harm. Medroxyprogesterone (Provera®) is much more metabolically stable (harder for our bodies to break down and eliminate) than natural progesterone, and has emerged as the major culprit causing adverse effects and early death in 2002 in the Women’s Health Initiative.

In 2014, researchers reviewed the ‘progress’ of replacing unpatentable 2-methoxyestradiol with unnatural (but patentable) analogs with ‘improved metabolic stability’. They wrote: ‘2-methoxyestradiol analogs and derivatives have been recently developed and tested as cancer treatments. Despite some isolated success stories and ongoing research, 2-methoxyestradiol derivatives have not yet provided the expected results. The adjuvant use of 2-methoxyestradiol derivatives with chemotherapeutic agents is hindered by their intrinsic toxicity confounding the unwanted secondary effects of chemotherapy.’2 (In English: 2-methoxyestradiol analogs have little success because they’re toxic!)

Wealth building over health building

If we could place a bet on significantly more adverse effects – sometimes even lethal ones – being caused by every ‘metabolically stable’ analog of a natural molecule, we would become filthy rich fast!

Instead, it’s the patent medicine companies who become very (VERY!) wealthy when they synthesise an analog to a natural molecule that can be ‘approved’ by the medical authorities, even if the accompanying information leaflet for that patent medicine warns of dire side effects and occasional deaths. And it’s our health – yours and mine – that suffers as promising natural treatments such as 2-methoxyestradiol are set aside in the pursuit of wealth-generating (and adverse effect generating) synthetic analogs.

When will enough of us see that the patent medicine companies clearly have money – not our health – as their #1 objective? When enough of us do, we can effectively demand changes to the present system of money over health. Isn’t suffering through a century or more of patent medicines sufficient?

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Jonathan V. Wright
Nutrition & Healing

Vol. 8, Issue 11 – November 2014

Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.

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