Continuing on with our discussion regarding the potential origins of cancer, a question comes to mind and that is, why has there been such a failure with pharmaceutical drugs against cancer? There are two possible answers:  1) The ability to find the right target DNA is difficult and 2) the constant random changing of the cell’s DNA. Let us look at some obvious causes:

External factors- this goes back to the industrial revolution in the late 18th century when boys were found to have painful growths on their scrotum. It was these same boys that had occupations of cleaning the soot and oil from chimneys. Pott, a surgeon upon investigating the situation concluded that these boys had cancer from the soot and oil in the chimneys and since they were unable to cleanse their bodies they developed cancer. This was the first recorded incident of an external agent causing cancer. These later became known as carcinogens. Carcinogens can reduce the differentiation of individual cells and then they become anaplastic, that is less different, a key feature of cancer cells. Environmental chemicals, ultraviolet radiation, x-rays, pesticides, herbicides, smoking, certain pharmaceuticals, certain viruses, alcohol are just a few examples. But could these alone drastically change something in the cell to go from proto-oncogenes (normal genes) to oncogenes (abnormal genes) and thus cancer?

Otto Warburg, biochemist and Medical doctor began pursuing energy cycles in sea urchins and found out that cellular explosion was fueled by oxygen and energy, but when he tied this same type of cell explosion with cancer cells he found out that it also involved fermentation of glucose (sugar) in the presence of oxygen. This later became known as the Warburg Effect.  In 1948 Albert Leheninger, Biochemist discovered that the mitochondria were responsible for the cell’s energy production thus keeping the cells alive. It was Peter Pederson, Biochemist working at John Hopkins’s that found that the more aggressive a cancerous tumor was the less mitochondria that were present and the more it fermented sugar for its survival. He later discovered that the mitochondria that were present were structurally abnormal. Could this be the cause of cancer?

Stay tuned for Part 6 as we move closer towards the connection of damaged mitochondria, cancer and prevention.

Dr. Paul Stefanelli

Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist

Fellow of the American College of Functional Neurology



Chiropractic Neurology Center

685 Bloomfield Ave St. 104

Verona, NJ 973-239-0070