Articles, Blog

Aloe for the Treatment of Advanced Metastatic Cancer

August 24, 2019


“Aloe for The Treatment
of Advanced Metastatic Cancer” Worldwide attention was drawn
to the possible value of aloe after the Second World War, when skin
burns of victims of the atomic bombs on Japan were evidently successfully
treated with aloe vera gel, but you don’t really know for sure
until you put it to the test. Today most radiation
burns are caused by doctors giving radiation
treatments for cancer. This can cause severe, painful,
scarring skin reactions that can interfere with the therapy,
yet sadly we have yet to come up with good prophylactic
skin treatment measures to prevent this radiation-
induced skin toxicity. Enter aloe vera gel, used
on skin burns for centuries. So a randomized double-blind
placebo-controlled trial was performed: aloe vera gel versus a placebo gel
and no benefit was found. After the completion
of the study though, many involved clinicians felt that
the patients participating in the trial had less skin inflammation
than normal across the board suggesting that maybe the
placebo gel was helping too. So to their credit they actually
ran a second experiment to see if aloe was better than nothing, and once again aloe appeared
to have no effect at all. In both trials the severity scores
were virtually identical, meaning aloe vera gel
simply didn’t work. What about an even larger trial,
hundreds of patients randomized to aloe vera gel or just
like plain skin lotion, not only during the radiation treatments
but extending for two weeks afterwards? And the skin lotion placebo
worked even better in terms of reducing
skin peeling and pain. And so yet again aloe failed. And indeed, if you do a systematic
review of all such studies there is simply no evidence
suggesting aloe is helpful. Head and neck cancer patients
suffer the additional burden of radiation damage to the lining of their
mouth and throat, and aloe didn’t seem
to help with that either. OK. So aloe may not help
with cancer treatment, but how about helping
with the cancer itself? In a petri dish, aloe
inhibits the proliferation of human breast cancer cells, cervical
cancer cells, and lung cancer cells. So is aloe vera a
natural cancer soother? Unfortunately in vitro potency,
meaning like petri dish studies, often fails to translate to the clinic because the compounds
aren’t bioavailable enough to build up to test-tube-levels
within the tumor in the body. So while some studies suggest an anti-proliferative effect
on cancer cells in vitro, evidence from clinical trials is
currently lacking…until 1998. Fifty patients with advanced
untreatable cancer treated with melatonin, which they thought might boost
anticancer immunity, or melatonin with about 20 drops
of an aloe extract twice a day, which they made by soaking 1 part
aloe leaves to 9 parts 40-proof alcohol. And the aloe group
appeared to do better, nearly twice as likely to either
have a partial response or at least some stabilization, and—the most important
outcome—improved survival. Here’s the survival curves. So for example, 6 months out
80% of the aloe group were still alive, whereas more than half of the
non-aloe group were dead. The researchers conclude that melatonin
and aloe may be recommended in patients with very advanced,
untreatable cancers since it didn’t seem to cause any
bad side effects and seemed to help. We don’t know if the aloe
would help on its own though, and a subsequent study by the same
group muddied the waters further by adding a third component,
a tincture of myrrh as well, but the main problem with these studies
is that they weren’t randomized. So if sicker patients were intentionally,
or unintentionally, placed in the non-aloe control group, that
could explain the apparent aloe benefit. The problem is that there’s never
been any randomized studies of aloe for advanced cancers until now, or
at least 2009, which we’ll cover next.

43 Comments

  • Reply michaeljamesmartin July 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    first and dumbest comment

  • Reply Johnny Fly July 20, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Oh man, not another cliffhanger 😀

  • Reply Erynne Mitchell July 20, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    So, I wonder if this means that fresher aloe, straight from a leaf, is better than shelf-stable aloe in a jar/tube for helping people. We need a randomized study of THAT next!

  • Reply Lawrence lawrence July 20, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    I have great success in the treatment of my radiation sunburn with Aloe juice but from the plant not from extract bought from the store. The store bought extract was not effective. I would cut the leaf off of the plant and split it in half and tape the slimy side to my burn, by morning the burn was well into being 100% healed.

  • Reply Kathy Fausett July 20, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Carrington Labs in Texas has done the legwork regarding when and why aloe gel is effective. They found an enzyme in the plant, when exposed to O2 begins to rearrange the molecules in the gel. Apparently, the propriotary ingredient is mannose, and with the enzyme disabled, the results are stunning.

  • Reply Nick Morphew July 20, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Until….. 1998. Ha.

  • Reply Idylchatter July 20, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Sometimes synergistic effects are your friend.
    In Vivo. 2009 Jan-Feb;23(1):171-5.
    A randomized study of chemotherapy versus biochemotherapy with chemotherapy plus Aloe arborescens in patients with metastatic cancer.
    Lissoni P1, Rovelli F, Brivio F, Zago R, Colciago M, Messina G, Mora A, Porro G.
    Author information
    Abstract
    BACKGROUND:

    The recent advances in the analysis of tumor immunobiology suggest the possibility of biologically manipulating the efficacy and toxicity of cancer chemotherapy by endogenous or exogenous immunomodulating substances. Aloe is one of the of the most important plants exhibiting anticancer activity and its antineoplastic property is due to at least three different mechanisms, based on antiproliferative, immunostimulatory and antioxidant effects. The antiproliferative action is determined by anthracenic and antraquinonic molecules, while the immunostimulating activity is mainly due to acemannan.
    PATIENTS AND METHODS:

    A study was planned to include 240 patients with metastatic solid tumor who were randomized to receive chemotherapy with or without Aloe. According to tumor histotype and clinical status, lung cancer patients were treated with cisplatin and etoposide or weekly vinorelbine, colorectal cancer patients received oxaliplatin plus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), gastric cancer patients were treated with weekly 5-FU and pancreatic cancer patients received weekly gemcitabine. Aloe was given orally at 10 ml thrice/daily.
    RESULTS:

    The percentage of both objective tumor regressions and disease control was significantly higher in patients concomitantly treated with Aloe than with chemotherapy alone, as well as the percent of 3-year survival patients.
    CONCLUSION:

    This study seems to suggest that Aloe may be successfully associated with chemotherapy to increase its efficacy in terms of both tumor regression rate and survival time.

  • Reply Leon Schuring July 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Cool. Scishow recently also posted a video about Aloë Vera helping with sunburns

  • Reply Idylchatter July 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    For those who have not been introduced to the healing properties of Manapol, Ambrotose, Verapol, Acemannan, (all aloe based supplements) you should check them out on Amazon or wherever you choose in order to see what potential lies therein. I checked Amazon for Ambrotose and thought this person's potential placebo effect was rather impressive. Link removed to avoid any conflict or suspicion of monetary motivation.

    Nick tomlinson
    5.0 out of 5 starsI received this product a few days ago and already I am expecting good results; let me attempt to explain
    June 3, 2018
    Verified Purchase
    Hi, I received this product a few days ago and already I am experiencing good results;

    I’ve had painful varicose veins for about 10 years now and an ankle I tore the ligaments in when I was 19 (now 63) that has surfaced and hurts most days like H….. as I am on my feet and walk a lot with my job.

    To start with I followed the directions – good place to start right!?” But all bodies are different and I had too much energy (not at all like caffeine) and had a hard time closing down in the evening . So, I started taking 1 tab two times a day.

    1. My energy is up and stable.
    2. My leg pains are 60 percent less
    3. I can stand longer without pain
    4. I think this can/ will only improve as I’ve been on the product about a week!
    5. I’ll most likely order again as being virtually free from pain gives me my life back!

  • Reply itay mitra July 20, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    WHAT A BULLSHIT,!! the gel must have been bad,,put real aloe from the garden and see!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply fuldk July 20, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    This just enforces what we already know that extracts do not necessarily have the same effect as the whole plant. So far this video does not demonstrate that the whole leaf applied to the skin is ineffective.

  • Reply John James July 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    These types of cliffhanger videos are bad for businesses. Unsubscribed

  • Reply Eelke Aptroot July 20, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    The suspense is sooo great!

  • Reply Evan Kilby July 20, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Dr. Michael “PUT IT TO THE TEST” Greger👨🏻‍⚕️

  • Reply Char Covelesky July 20, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    I sure don't know about radiation, but I have tested fresh aloe vera on a number of occasions for other issues and there is no doubt it can be amazing. After scalding my arm with boiling water, I slathered a few fresh cut blades of aloe on it liberally, then wrapped the moist leaves against my skin for a few hours. It reduced the pain significantly, but the most amazing thing was the following day… the total lack of blistering and pain to the areas I had taped the aloe to. Just applying it definitely helped because the areas I missed blistered, but the covered sections were just slightly pink, painless and unblistered, and the clean outline of where the leaves were was striking! Keeping the moist aloe in contact with the damaged skin is apparently key to optimum benefit.
    After a recent attack of fire ants while out gardening, I put it to the test again. Anyone familiar with them knows that not only do they swarm on you in great numbers, but each individual sting is painful and nasty, and you are left with very visible and uncomfortable pus filled bites that take weeks to resolve and tend to scar. I got stung on both feet and ankles and decided to do an n-1 aloe trial for future encounters. Fire ant venom is an alkaloid, so I doused both feet with vinegar and scrubbed well with a scrubbie pad, then applied and taped the aloe leaves to one foot, and used a commercial hydrocortisone cream on the other. Amazing! The following day the foot with the cream looked and felt as expected, but the aloe'd foot was pain, itch, and nearly bite free. The only bites that were visible were on the areas the leaves didn't cover. A month later, one foot still bears the obvious marks that were totally avoided on the other. This may all be anecdotal for others, but it was huge for me since fire ants are ubiquitous here in the south. Luckily, aloe also grows here nicely, and now I have a slew of it planted! I know we all react differently but it is sure worth trying for yourself. One caveat though, I have never found a commercial aloe extract product to be of any benefit at all compared to fresh leaves poulticed on the problem area… like night and day.

  • Reply DS July 20, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you dr. Greger for wasting our time

  • Reply Tom K July 20, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Benefits of aloe for eczema/other skin conditions?

  • Reply michael onello July 20, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    thx…Dr. G

  • Reply Banana Phone July 20, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Nobody likes cliffhangers.

  • Reply Hulagu Kahn July 20, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Oh oh, you gonna pist the aloe vera lobby now 😱

  • Reply Raw Lion July 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Another interesting video, thanks Dr Gregor.
    If anyone is interested in his How Not to Die Cookbook, I've just reviewed it on my channel.

  • Reply Cindy Espadas July 20, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    I want a t-shirt with the legend: until… you put it to the test

  • Reply F Varisco July 20, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Great information as always. With this type of presentation that is split in parts it would be easier if they had the same title and Part 1 and Part 2, etc. It's a little hard to find the following video if it has a different name. Just a suggestion.

  • Reply lolitalovelolita July 20, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    #i #only #use #fresh #Aloe ; #greatresearch #👑👑👑👑👑👑👑 @nutritionfacts.org

  • Reply Nguyễn Viết Đức July 20, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Great thankful appreciation.

  • Reply Lawrence lawrence July 20, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Not only did I have success in treating a burn I found success in treating a cut that was caurterized by placing the slimy side of the cut leaf on the skin overnight. The skin healed quickly and the scab fell off.

  • Reply Auggies1956 July 20, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Our 99-year-old neighbor ingested frsh aloe for years. I can't say it helped her in her long life, but it didn't shorten it.

  • Reply Christine Taylor July 20, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    In my experience, aloe directly from the plant will help some, but not at all from extract. And I have found that lavender essential oil works so much better that it's not even worth the trouble to get an aloe plant. If you ever get a burn, try lavender oil. It works.

  • Reply Michael Benhuri July 21, 2018 at 9:36 am

    I wish they would stop putting aloe in everything. I'm extremely allergic to it and makes me break out into horrific hives when I come into contact with it. It is in most cosmetics it seems.

  • Reply Ted Coombs July 21, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Can you do a video about non-animal foods that cause acne. I'm vegan and I eat almost entirely wholefoods but my acne won't go at all…

  • Reply Daniel Allouche July 21, 2018 at 9:53 am

    I would like to see tests done with whole Aloe plant not store bought. Aloe has the reputation of being unstable and therefore has no real shelf life.

  • Reply Eloah DRmwvr July 21, 2018 at 9:55 am

    You're over dramatization is strumming my gag reflex it's a little much in the beginning it was very subtle now it's Overkill and what's up with giving half and then to be continued so what is this like a monetization thing do we look like golden heifers mottled with dollar signs it's a little Saturn of you don't you think?

  • Reply Oishane Manacmul July 21, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Hi nutritionfacts team. Please help in clarifying how to take the aloe vera for the treatment of advance metastatic cancer. Thank you so much for your help

  • Reply Michael John Battista July 21, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/aloe

  • Reply eric Barton July 21, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Surface burns with IMRT and VMAT are very uncommon now, unless the patient is extremely large and you are using a low MV LINAC.
    Also one study with a p value of 0.05, yields a positive result in one in 20 cases regardless of whether there is a relationship or not.

  • Reply William Read July 21, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Make videos on the Lyme Disease epidemic and all the other Tick Borne Co-infections please.

  • Reply Blockchain For What Is Best July 21, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Was the gel made from the plant only and fresh.
    What happened to whole plant based?
    Hummm
    I know for a FACT aloe plant heals my skin from regular burns better than anything over the shelf.

  • Reply Damien Wilson July 22, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    PLS talk about this metaanalasys
    http://cochranelibrary-wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003177.pub3/full

  • Reply Treviath July 23, 2018 at 1:18 am

    Fasting is still the most effective cure for cancer

  • Reply GhostRider July 23, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Hi!

    I was wondering if you could do an update on your peanut butter video from 7 years ago.

    -Is (100% pure, no oil added) peanut butter healthy?
    -And how much is recommend as a maximum?

  • Reply Bhaskar Das December 15, 2018 at 9:10 am

    For more information on natural aloe vera products join this facebook group https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=252889178537081

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  • Reply Eazy_Lifeb TV June 24, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Bruh!! I ate hella blue berries and applied aloe after sun burn and I felt good my skin looks strong and brown cuz!

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