Spontaneous Cancer Remission — Clues to Extraordinary Healing

February 20, 2019
by Joshua Weiss, MD

“You have cancer.”

For every five people in your life, two of them will hear those words during their lifetime. More than 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone. The conversation they – we – will have with our doctors about treatment will include words like chemo, radiation and surgery. But what if these conversations also included other words, like tumor disappearance or spontaneous remission? This is not fantasy; after decades of research, IONS is about to make this an achievable reality.

First introduced in 1993, IONS’ Spontaneous Remission Annotated Bibliography (SRB) is the world’s only comprehensive database of scientifically validated, medically-unexplained cancer remissions. The SRB is a treasure trove of exceptional cases of cancer remission and, like other unyielding areas of scientific pursuit, it is often the exceptional cases that redefine the rules. Just as an accidental mold overgrowth led to an antibiotic revolution, the SRB holds the keys to reshaping the way we — and our doctors — approach cancer treatment. We believe that collating this information will make it possible to understand more about health and healing, specifically for cancer. Perhaps having this information so readily available at our fingertips will inspire future research on how cancer heals and clinical trials to evaluate the therapies.

We are thrilled to announce that the SRB is in a crucial final stage in its journey to revolutionizing cancer care. Over the last seven years, we have performed a sweeping literature search, analyzing every scientific, peer-reviewed article on spontaneous remission (SR) of hundreds of cancer sub-types (and other incurable chronic diseases such as HIV and hepatitis) within 18 physiological categories. We have examined behavioral aspects of SR and the biochemical mechanisms underlying the phenomenon, leading to incredible insights as to how the immune system, human behavior, personality and mind can influence these diseases and lead to extraordinary cases of ‘spontaneous’ healing.

The current work on this bibliography is being led by IONS Fellow Dr. Joshua Weiss, Hospitalist & Group Psychotherapist, Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) at McMaster, University Dept of Family Medicine, Ontario Canada. The data analytics team is completing the finishing touches on a transformative, web-based clinical instrument based on over 25 years of SRB research. This dynamic and intuitive clinical tool will be freely accessible both to patients and physicians, and is poised to become a hallmark in treatment decisions in oncology institutions around the world, both East and West. Patients will be able to use this resource to learn about new therapies and doctors can find evidence-based research on the therapeutics that have potentially worked in treatment.

This project is just one of many IONS studies that focus on healing and mind-body connection. For example, another study we are conducting examines physical, emotional, energetic trauma and its relationship breast cancer. The study aims to address the research question: How is lifetime trauma, including physical, emotional, and energy trauma, linked to breast cancer risk? More information will be available soon this study.

How can I participate in the Spontaneous Remission Annotated Bibliography (SRB) project?

IONS is currently looking for research volunteers or interns to complete the final phase of the SRB. If you are interested in applying for a volunteer or research position, please visit the links below:

Volunteer at IONS

Resource: National Cancer Institute, Cancer Statistics

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