One of my correspondents claimed that her CLL improved after she started drinking human breast milk. In today's Telegraph there is a report of a study which seems to confirm that breast milk has anti-cancer properties.
The article suggests that a component of human breast milk, Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumour cells or HAMLET, could be a common cancer treatment for adults within five years. Human trials have shown HAMLET can kill bladder cancer and laboratory tests have found it kills 40 different types of cancer, but it is harmless to normal cells. the work is that of Assistant Professor Roger Karlsson, of the University of Gothenburg.
Human trials on male bladder cancers sufferers showed tumours were reduced without side effects within just five days of treatment. However the compound had to be infused into the bladder through a catheter and the professor does not see the compound being infused intravenously or given orally.
Researching this report, I see that it refers to an article in the International Journal of Cancer from 2007, so this may well be old news triggered by a new review.
In fact there is a paper in this month's Journal of Urology which is probably the source of the Telegraph article.
Here is a summary of what it says.
HAMLET is a complex of α-lactalbumin and oleic acid that kills a wide range of tumor cell lines in in vitro conditions. Embryonic cells are intermediately sensitive to HAMLET but healthy differentiated cells tested to date remained viable. The therapeutic potential of HAMLET was established in vivo in patients with skin papilloma. Topically applied HAMLET caused a significant reduction in lesion size. Local infusion of HAMLET into rat brains with invasively growing human glioblastoma xenografts delayed tumor development and prolonged survival. Apoptosis was mainly confined to the tumor area, although HAMLET diffused throughout the infused hemisphere.
In patients with superficial bladder cancer HAMLET instillations recently reduced tumor size and caused apoptosis-like death of tumor cells but the study was not designed to examine a therapeutic effect. Thus, we evaluated the therapeutic effects of HAMLET for bladder carcinoma in a murine bladder cancer model. Results suggest that HAMLET delays tumor growth and cell death mainly occurs in tumor tissue.