A press advertisement for Immuno Biotech stated:
“From Terminal Stage 4 To Cancer Free
(Cancer treatment seminar).
The Body’s way of becoming Cancer free
By Renowned Speaker David Noakes
In Dublin at a Central Venue!
To attend – please contact Mike Stuckey
Tel: 089 979 8662 or email@example.com”
Friends of the Elderly charity objected to the advertisement on the grounds that they were not aware of any person suffering from Stage 4 terminal cancer becoming cancer free.
The advertisers stated that the complainant’s opinion was quite understandable in today’s world. They referred to a Dr. William Coley who in 1890, began using immunotherapy on stage 4 cancer patients at the New York Cancer Hospital, now Sloan Kettering. They stated that during those times, there was no way of detecting cancer before it reached stage 4 and therefore all Dr. Coley’s patients were stage 4. They provided an outline of the treatment carried out by Dr. Coley which involved injecting the body with a toxin, which would challenge the immune system which would then rebuild itself, fight the toxins and move to rid the body of the cancer. They said that 55% of Dr. Coley’s patients became cancer free. A partial bibliography on Dr. Coley’s work was provided to the Secretariat.
The advertisers then referred to advancements in medicine, in particular to the discovered of GcMAF in 1990, a human protein made by all healthy people that has 20 positive effects inside the body. They referred to it as the new immunotherapy that had six attacks on cancer including, it stops angiogenesis, the building of cancer arteries; it activates macrophages which ‘eat’ cancer cells; it rebuilds the immune system; it prevents metastases; it encourages the suicide of cancer cells and turns cancer cells back into healthy cells.
The advertisers stated that they had over 1,000 cancer patients and 8,000 patients in total through 350 doctors and clinics and that they have watched many terminal stage 4 patients become cancer free with the immunotherapy. They also stated that 180 scientists from 8 nations had written research papers on GcMAF and 64 papers had been re-published on the US Government’s National Library of Medicine. They provided a list of documents sourced by searching “GcMAF”; or “Vitamin D binding protein” and “macrophage activating factor” on the US Library of Medicine’s website.
The advertisers said that they would be happy to speak directly to the complainant to talk them through any aspect of his concerns, including cases where patients became cancer free. They also offered to introduce him to patients, including their records, if he wished to travel to Guernsey.
The Secretariat asked an independent expert in the scientific field to review the documents in this case. The expert noted that the claim “From Terminal Stage 4 to Cancer Free” did not contain any specific reference to types of cancer or treatments. He considered that the lack of such examples would create the impression that patients with stage 4 terminal cancer in general could become disease free.
The expert reviewed the articles referred to by the advertiser, he noted that one of the articles had subsequently been withdrawn. He considered that it was not good practice to continue to cite evidence that has since been withdrawn.
Conclusion: Complaint upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted the information provided by the advertisers, together with the reference to numerous articles. The Committee considered that the claim had not been qualified and they did not consider that the reference documents provided sufficient evidence to substantiate their claim. The Committee noted the expert opinions in this case, including, that one of the articles had been withdrawn. They also noted that the advertisement was offering a treatment for a serious ailment, cancer, and that such an offer contravened the provisions of the Code. In the circumstances the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 8.1 and 8.5 of the Code.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form.