RRP ISA Survey Results

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    Novel Therapies

    After learning of their diagnosis, many patients try a variety of alternative methods.

    Since stress is never good for the immune system, it can be said that stress-reduction is, in general, a good thing. It doesn't really lead to lengthy remissions, however, unless there was overwhelming stress in the beginning, and even here, it is unrealistic to expect that interventions like chiropractic manipulations or even energy work (massage, acupuncture, etc.) will do much for most patients on any kind of long term basis with respect to HPV/RRP.

    Alternative approaches also include taking a variety of vitamins, herbs (e.g., echinacea) or homeopathic remedies (e.g. thuja). None of these can be said to offer significant benefit with respect to RRP, however. The serum (blood borne) immune system isn't what's lacking in the RRP patient. It's the local immune system, and here naturopathic and homeopathic remedies seem pretty ineffective.

    Exercise is necessary for health, but this too isn't a viable approach in dealing with RRP.

    It is uncertain whether the use of Gardasil and/or artemisinin can in fact be properly called "alternative," but this particular approach initially appeared to actually induce long term remission in one very refractory patient (viz., this writer, the executive director of RRP ISA).

    It also seemed to have dramatically helped other patients who have begun to report in as well.

    For more on this topic, please see the articles below and the material in the sub-menus.

    [As a footnote to all this, we might mention that RRP ISA traveled 6,000 miles at great expense to present on artemisinin and on the variety of other cancers besides cervical cancer that HPV causes. We did this at 2007's RRP Focus Session in Washington D.C., sponsored that year by the RRPF (we alternate years, and we sponsored and organized it in full in Los Angeles during 2005).]


    Dr. Richard Schlegel, at Georgetown University, had been using artemisinin and artemisinin-like compounds. for some years.  He reported on this at the 2005 RRP Focus Session meeting sponsored by RRP ISA. Dr. Schlegel's work had been done on dogs, which were adopted out after being put into remission following treatment, where artemisinin was painted on their vocal cords. This was after they had been infected with a canine version of RRP, and after they expressed symptoms.

    There is a huge difference between painting the drug onto one's vocal cords, as was done in dogs but cannot be done in humans, and taking enough of the drug to systemically to induce an effect. There was, in fact, little or no data to indicate whether a systemic dose at any level would do the job. 50 mg might be enough for certain diseases of the blood, but what does one take for RRP?

    Long story short, the administrator of this website took a system dose, described in Novel Therapies> Guidelines. Others have done so too, as described in Novel Therapies>Patient Reports. In over 30 years of dealing with RRP, he has seen no other intervention that even comes close to ART in efficacies that have been claimed.

    How does it appear to work on HPV/RRP? 

    HPV tumors express transferrin receptors. Some experts at the University of Washington think that these receptors are designed to take the iron that freely circulates in the blood (a ferric form), converting it into the ferrous form, used inside cells. Other biochemists (Dr. TomBroker) expresses some doubt on this subject. He thinks that the iron is converted inside the cell visa vis the intracellular environment.

    In any case, the form of iron in the cells (ferrous) is not the same as the iron that is bound to food or that circulates in the bloodstream.

    The HPV virus needs the intracellular form of iron to replicate and create papillomas. ART doesn't affect the form of  iron in the blood or the stomach, but it superoxidizes the ferrous form inside the cell. University of Washington experts have suggested that it deprives the HPV of its food source. It also engenders cell death through a process called apoptosis in HPV-infected cells, but appears to do virtually nothing to normal cells. It does much the same thing in cancer cells but here, we're not talking about a virus but a malignancy.

    Dr. Broker thinks the nuances of this selective process needs much more study, and we agree.

    The question arises: Is this an intervention that the research and medical communities needs to take seriously? It would be presumptuous for this writer to try and answer that question. The University of Washington thinks it does. Dr. Schelegel at Georgetown University thinks it does. Dr. Broker at the Universitty of Alabama thinks it does.

    Many other people do as well. Consider an essential bibliography of ART research published by the University of Washington's School of Bioengineering.  Artemisinin for cancer treatment has gained a lot of momentum recently. 14 papers have been published in the first three months of 2009.

    Here is even more material on artemisinin:

    1.) http://www.uwnews.org/article.asp?articleID=44335

    Oct. 13, 2008 |
    Scientists develop new cancer-killing compound from salad plant

    The new compound puts a novel twist on the common anti-malarial drug artemisinin, which is derived from the sweet wormwood plant (Artemisia annua L). Sweet wormwood has been used in herbal Chinese medicine for at least 2,000 years, and is eaten in salads in some Asian countries.

    Researchers at the University of Washington have updated a traditional Chinese medicine to create a compound that is more than 1,200 times more specific in killing certain kinds of cancer cells than currently available drugs, heralding the possibility of a more effective chemotherapy drug with minimal side effects.

    2.) Case report of a laryngeal carcinoma successfully treated with artemisinin analogue.  N. Singh, et al, UW. First case report on use of artemisinin for cancer in humans. 2002. http://www.doiserbia.nbs.bg.ac.yu/(A(qC0sQZBnyAEkAAA

    3.) There is new research about the anti-viral properties of artemisinin and artesunate at a research center in Germany.  The abstract and the link to the abstract on pubmed are included below. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18699744?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    4.) Artemsinin abstracts and URLS

    5.) Cancer smart bomb. Very informative:


    6.) Calcium and survivin are involved in the induction of apoptosis by dihydroartemisinin in human lung cancer SPC-A-1 cells. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

    7.) Artesunate in the treatment of metastatic uveal melanoma--first experiences.

    8.) The anti-malarial artesunate is also active against cancer. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

    9.) Artemisinin: an alternative treatment for oral squamous cell carcinoma.

    10.) From the University of Washington - this appears to be pretty current as it lists publications related to effects of aArtemisinin and its analogs on Cancer many of which are dated 2007.

    11.) Dihydroartemisinin is cytotoxic to papillomavirus-expressing epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo.

    12.) Informative and contains 5 interesting case reports near the end of the article.
    "Artemisinin: From Malaria to Cancer Treatment"

    13.) Very nice summary on ART in 2003, as offered in a Gulf Coast Veterinary Oncology bulletin. This was an application that was years ahead of its time. One confusion exists here, when the author seems to momentarily confuse the terms "artemisinin and artemether." The latter can be neurotoxic in animals if they ingest enormous qualities. While artemether is derived from artemisinin, it is not artemisinin. We know of no neurotoxic reports associated with artemisinin or artesunate.

    We recommend carefully perusing the other pages listed below before concluding that the use of ART is or is not appropriate in your case.


    Dr. Richard Schlegel is highly respected HPV researcher who is currently working under a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant.  In the 2007 RRP Focus Session presentation, he explained his research in using L1 VLP vaccine, similar to Gardasil. Dr. Schlegel's presentation was quite detailed, showing that a vaccine like Gardasil was powerfully therapeutic. He noted that immunoglobulins are irrelevant to therapy. He strongly supported RRP ISA's research proposal to study Gardasil and artemisinin in tandem (this is NOT interlesional Gardasil to which we refer--this is not a "Dr. Strangelove/MMR redux protocol"--but use of Gardasil in a standard immunization protocol).

    In private discussion with RRP ISA, Dr. Ian Frazer, the noted Australian immunologist who can claim many of the patent rights on Gardasil, also has asserted that VLPs like Gardasil may indeed exert a therapeutic effect on RRP. Indeed, he indicated his RRP therapeutic vaccine currently being tested (2007) was very much like Gardasil, but without the alum adjuvant.

    It should be noted that Merck's conclusion that Gardasil doesn't work therapeutically is based ONLY on cervical and genital data.  We believe that generalizing zero therapeutic efficacy from cervical data is simply bad science.

    On the RRP ISA message board (March 28, 2008), Dr. Bettie Steinberg--a molecular biologist who is an highly respected expert on RRP and HPV--made the following observation. Dr. Steinberg wrote:

    [Gardasil] is not yet approved in the US for males, because the studies were done on women (studies on males are currently in progress). Therefore, insurance companies will not pay for it, but it is permissible for doctors to give it to males.   It is already approved for males in several other countries. . . .Whether Gardasil will be able to affect the development of warts once the infection is established is still an open question.  We know that it cannot affect HPV-caused disease after infection is established in the genital track, but do not know about the oral cavity or respiratory track. [Emphasis by RRP ISA]

    Bettie M. Steinberg, PhD
    Chief Scientific Officer,
    Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
    350 Community Drive
    Manhasset, NY  11030ALL

    RRP ISA has long said that there is good reason to conclude that the respiratory tract behaves differently from the genital tract (see argument referring to RRP epidemiology amongst AIDS patients to which Michael Green referred in RRP ISA's 2007 RRP Focus Session).

    Merck's own medical staff have privately admitted they do not know what Gardasil (or other VLPs) will do or not do in the respiratory tract. They haven't ever tested for efficacy outside the genital region.

    It is quite possible that the Gardasil potentiates the body's ability to "see" the foreign HPV invader and acts synergistically with artemisinin and artesunate, which in turn acts as a potent (HPV-specific) cytotoxic agent.

    The following excerpt from an email sent to RRP ISA adds further credibility to our speculations. Dr. Richard Schlegel has given us permission to publish it here.,

    From: Richard Schlegel
    Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 9:47 AM
    To: RRP ISA
    Subject: Re: paragraph

    I have attached a paragraph that summarizes our results and speculations.

    Treatment of persistent papillomavirus infections:

    The currently-marketed Merck HPV vaccine formulation consists of 4 L1 capsid proteins derived from genital-associated viruses. In general, it is believed that this vaccine (as well as the one being developed by GSK) is useful only for preventing infections and is not anticipated to have a therapeutic application. However, using a canine animal model, we have been able to demonstrate that the vaccination of dogs persistently infected with canine oral papillomavirus (COPV) often cures long-lasting, debilitating viral infections. In most cases the dogs have had infections for approximately one year and have required multiple surgeries. In some cases the dogs were being considered for euthanasia due to severe oral disease. The ability of an L1 vaccine (from COPV) to cure dogs of persistent, aggressive disease suggests that there might be utility for similar application in humans. Specifically, it might be anticipated that mucosal lesions of long duration in the upper airway (e.g. RRP) might benefit from such vaccination, especially since these lesions continue to express the L1 capsid protein (similar to the dog model). Presumably the vaccine is inducing a cellular immune response against L1-expressing tumor cells.

    Richard Schlegel M.D., Ph.D.
    Professor and Chair
    Department of Pathology
    Georgetown University Medical School
    3900 Reservoir Road, NW
    Washington, DC 20057

    1. Artemisinin/Gardasil Ethical Issues
    2. Artemisinin Safety and Pharmacokinetics
    3. Patient Reports
    4. Resistance to ART (cautionary note)
    5. RRP ISA/RRPF Joint Letter on Artemisinin
    6. Rumors of Toxicity, Ridicule and Racism
    7. The Question of Medical Supervision
    8. Usage Guidelines (Part I)
    9. Usage Guidelines (Part II)
    10. Wikipedia on Artemisinin