Prof. Bjoern Bruecher (Richmond, VA): New Cancer Paradigm Proposed on the Origin of Cancer

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New Cancer Paradigm Proposed on the Origin of Cancer

Norfolk, Va. (May 15, 2014) –  Bon Secours researcher and surgical oncologist Björn Brücher, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S, and Ijaz Jamall, Ph.D., D.A.B.T. of Risk-Based Decisions, Inc., Sacramento, California, have recently been published in the peer– reviewed journal BMC Cancer, a new hypothesis for the origin of cancer, entitled  “Epistemology of the Origin of Cancer: A New Paradigm.”  The article proposes that until recently it was thought that some five to 10 percent of cancers are triggered by hereditary mutations; 10 to 15 percent are caused by infectious agents and the remaining 80 percent of cancers have an unknown cause.  

“We believe that in the majority of cancers mutagenic changes are either a secondary phenomenon occurring alongside the cancer or later events that occur during the development of cancers,” said Brücher. “This is significant when we consider that currently 90 percent of funding for cancer research is devoted to approximately five to 10 percent of cancers.”       

Brücher and Jamall propose that the majority of cancers originate in a sequence of six steps:  (1) A pathogenic stimulus (biological or chemical) leads at first to a normal reaction seen in wound healing, namely, inflammation. When the inflammatory stimulus persists, is too great or too prolonged, the healing process is unsuccessful, and that results in (2) chronic inflammation. 

When chronic inflammation persists (3) fibrosis develops. The fibrosis, with its ongoing alteration of the cellular microenvironment creates (4) a precancerous niche resulting in a chronically stressed cellular matrix. In such a situation, the organism deploys (5) a chronic stress escape strategy. If this attempt fails to resolve the precancerous state, then (6) a normal cell is transformed into a cancerous cell. 

“The new cancer paradigm challenges the major assumptions of how cancer begins and what triggers it,” says Jamall.  “We have made so little progress in terms of life extension typically measured in weeks or months and, perhaps more importantly, the quality of that extended life.”

The authors propose that, after 85 years of searching for genetic sources of cancers it is now time to shift to a new paradigm and suggest concentrating research efforts on the nearly 80 percent of cancer cases which are  of “unknown etiology."  If the hypothesis is proven, it could spell out a sequence of steps to prevent or, at a minimum, delay the progression of many cancers. 

The original manuscript is entitled “Epistemology of the Origin of Cancer: A New Paradigm,” and is online available at BMC CANCER. BMC Cancer is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on all aspects of cancer research, including the pathophysiology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancers.

about: Prof. Bjoern Bruecher is member of American German Business Club Berlin. We appreciate his scientific achievement.