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July 17, 2010

Controversial Poster Thursday at Vienna Conference: Call for Information on GcMAF

by John S. James

We will not be at the big Vienna conference starting tomorrow (International AIDS Conference, July 18-23), and would like to hear from anyone with a scientific background who can visit the poster below, on Thursday, and the presenter.

A separate paper published last year by N. Yamamoto and others (see the abstract and link to full text at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19031451) claims to have cured 15 patients in Japan. "In the present study GcMAF therapy was given to nonanemic HIV-infected patients and found to be highly curative."

About 130 peer-reviewed papers related to this work can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&cmd=link&linkname=pubmed_pubmed&uid=19031451. The proposed mechanism seems plausible -- that HIV produces a substance that shuts down immune responses in monocytes and macrophages, helping HIV infection to continue. The treatment appears to restore the response.

The research is controversial because it claims to have cured HIV infection, and also prostate cancer. The connection is not outlandish, however; for example, U.S.-government funded research at Yale is looking at a possible immune-based potential treatment for the same two illnesses (http://opa.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=7061).

Also controversial, the poster presenter at the International AIDS Conference, M. Ruggiero, is an accomplished molecular biologist -- but also a leading HIV denialist (Google: "Marco Ruggiero" HIV -- or see his 14-minute lecture uploaded January, 2010, to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sh03lqTsJw -- or see the abstracts of the denialist conference being held in Vienna on the two days before the International AIDS Conference there, http://www.science-and-aids.org/e/abstracts.html). However, Dr. Yamamoto is clearly not a denialist -- and apparently has not published with Dr. Ruggiero before the Vienna conference starting Sunday.

There are lots of mysteries here. For example, how has Dr. Yamamoto been publishing this HIV work extensively for at least 15 years in peer-reviewed journals, recently reporting excellent results, with almost no attention from most other HIV researchers?

We are concerned because we have heard that funders of research are not seeing new ideas for curing HIV being proposed. But there are lots of ideas, some credible, and no way to know in advance which ones will work out. Many human groups close themselves off and become increasingly narrow in focus, until they are irrelevant. In that case, new ideas cannot come forward. It would be tragic is this is happening in AIDS.

Here is the reference to the poster on Thursday:

THPE00 51 Gc protein-derived macrophage activating factor (GcMAF) stimulates activation and proliferation of human circulating monocytes
M. Ruggiero (Italy), S. Pacini (Italy), N. Yamamoto (United States)
Program of the XVIII International AIDS Conference, July 18-23, 2010, Vienna, Austria, page 306; Thursday July 22.

7 comments:

Tom Hemmingsen said...

Professor Marco Ruggiero DOES NOT appear to deny that HIV causes
AIDS. That assertion, made by AIDSNews.com, is not supported by the incomplete video (see above link), and is contradicted by Professor Marco Ruggiero's web page (see above links), which states that he is collaborating with the NIH on the topic that HIV does not act alone in causing AIDS.

That HIV might not act alone in causing AIDS is neither "controversial" or new. The human genome is literally filled (40%) with ancient retro-viral genes, passed down over billions of years from distant predecessors. The book 'RELICS OF EDEN', by Daniel J. Fairbanks, (C) 2007, provides a very informative, interesting and easy to understand account of this on-going discovery. ISBN 978-1-59102-564-1

Worse, at least one of the members of the consortium that owns AIDSNews.com works just a few miles from the Socrates Institute where Dr. Nobuto Yamamoto works. I don't understand the plea for help, given that this AIDSNews.com consortium member could easily drive or take a taxi to the Socrates Institute and simply talk with Dr. Nobuto Yamamoto in-person.

Many weeks ago, I offered to both pay for a round-trip taxi ride AND buy lunch if this member of the AIDSNews.com consortium would agree to interview Dr. Nobuto Yamamoto.

In a separate E-mail, I've asked this AIDSNews.com consortium member to either rewrite or remove the false "AIDS Denialist" claim from the web site - given that it is unsupported by evidence.

Dr. Nobuto Yamamoto's work is unprecedented because it represents the
end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (in addition to cures for cancer and flu).

AIDSNews.com has failed to interview someone working a few city blocks away, who has published a peer reviewed paper indicating that early HIV infections can be cured with supplementation of a natural human glyco-protein (GcMAF) destroyed by HIV.

Abstracts of that original GcMAF study, in 15 young, healthy, recently HIV-infected Japanese patients, which was funded with a partial grant from the United States Public Health Service (Grant# AI-32140), first appeared about four years ago. A full paper has existed for (now) over 1.5 years. An abstract of a second study, in which an additional 24 patients were cured, has existed for a bit more than one year.

Tom Hemmingsen
Woodridge, IL

John S James said...

In reply to the above comment, the only "member" of aidsnews.ORG is me.

I haven't tried to visit or interview Drs. N. Yamamoto due to my lack of the background to critically evaluate this research. That will need help from a scientist in a related field.

The idea behind Dr. Yamamoto's work with GmCAF -- that discovering a new way HIV disables part of the immune system, and reversing that, could lead to a major treatment advance or even a cure, seems plausible. This treatment possibility must not be rejected out of hand just because some of the methodology is unconventional -- or because of the project's sudden association with a scientist who has been in the news due to controversial opinions on other matters.

If the treatment doesn't work, a little scientific and community attention spent on it would be a small cost. But the other kind of error, rejecting a treatment that could help, would be catastrophic.

At most AIDS conferences the great majority of posters get almost no attention. And Dr. Yamamoto's work has been ignored by the AIDS mainstream for years. We don't know why. Throughout history, lots of major advances and discoveries have started out like this, widely ignored because they are new.

We noted the controversy in order to generate interest, to avoid blindsiding our readers, and to point out that the side disputes have no bearing on the scientific merit of this work.

This Thursday, July 22, AIDS scientists from around the world will have an unusual opportunity to attend the poster presentation in Vienna, and discuss this treatment possibility face to face.

Snout said...

I don't think there can be any doubt that Ruggiero denies that HIV causes AIDS. Aside from his close connection to the denialist organisation Rethinking AIDS, his own statements make this abundantly clear.

On a poster presentation at a cell-culture conference in Firenze last year he announced that "in the past three years definitive evidence has accumulated demonstrating that HIV cannot be considered the (sole) cause of AIDS."
http://www1.unifi.it/plrna/media/Poster%20Ruggiero.pdf

This "definitive evidence" consisted of the standard denialist misrepresentation of a 2006 paper in Lancet by the ART Cohort collaboration:
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(06)69152-6/abstract

Together with the misrepresentation of some statements by Luc Montagnier on various websites associated with the denialist film House of Numbers,

Together with a bizarre argument that "the very fact that AIDS was never described before the 1980s despite the persistent presence of HIV in humans [from the early 1900s], clearly demonstrates that HIV cannot be the cause of AIDS."

On June 4th 2010 Ruggiero appeared on the Gary Null radio show on a program in which Null interviews various HIV/AIDS denialists associated with Rethinking AIDS, interspersing these with readings from a page on RA President David Crowe’s personal website. According to Null, Ruggiero's "research has shown that HIV can protect against cancer and cannot cause AIDS."
http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-gary-null-show-wnye/


On this show, Ruggiero tells Null's listeners:

“And so we reverse the dogma: it’s not HIV that causes AIDS, but it is immune deficiency that causes chronic HIV infection, plus all other types of infection, of course. And so, if you can potentiate and strengthen the immune system you can get rid of the virus, but you know the virus is probably harmless, so it’s not a big point getting rid of that virus. But also you can get rid of all other harmful pathogenic microbes.”

And in answer to Null’s question about what he would say to people diagnosed with AIDS, Dr Ruggiero’s medical advice is:

“Yes, well a person diagnosed with AIDS means that her or his immune system is not working, so I think that trying to kill a virus with drugs that are very toxic to the immune system couldn’t be the best idea. Sometimes some of those drugs they work because they are potent bactericidal, anti-mycotic drugs, so they can work against other pathogenic agents. But the best thing for a person with a deficient immune system is to stimulate the immune system...”

agittleman1 said...

I noted on internet that doctor in Bahamas was not able to duplicate results of Yamamoto, also mentioned that drug was toxic.

I don't know yet about cures. But my own experience with FIV has shown that you can fail using HAART and have the virus weakened than using herbs produce undetectable viral load. It seems to me this would be another method that can be used to treat HIV and avoid expensive and toxic treatment. This has been done on Joel Kolher cat. I have not gone back to using HIV drugs for treating FIV as I have found herbs more effective and less costly.

Still this would be an improvement for treating HIV. I have only recently started to look at curing FIV and will take at least three years before I come to any conclusion.

Yamamoto work I did find interesting but it needs to be duplicated. Still it is possible to change the sequence of the HIV virus which could lead to a functional cure.

Snout said...

I did a quick search for Dr N. Yamamoto.

Dr Naoki Yamamoto is the director of the of HIV/ AIDS research center of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

He is a world renowned HIV/AIDS research scientist.

However, he has nothing at all to do with this poster.

Dr Nabuto Yamamoto is an 85-year-old retired gentleman who lives in suburban Philadelphia.

The "institute" he is affiliated with, the "Socrates Institute for Therapeutic Immunology" is registered with the IRS as a "Public charity: Religious, educational, charitable, scientific, and literary organization".

It has no paid employees at all, and no website.

Its registered address appears to be a private residence.

It appears to have conducted no, or nearly no, actual research at all over the past few years. Its total current assets are around $23,000, $20,000 of which appear to be from a single donation a few years ago and the rest from bank interest.

Almost all of its expenditure over the past few years (a couple of thousand dollars) has been "publication expenses".

http://nccsdataweb.urban.org/PubApps/showVals.php?ein=232834414

Having followed the "scientific" activities of Marco Ruggiero in the field of HIV/AIDS over the last few months, I am not in the least surprised.

Anonymous said...

On Yamamoto - It has been said Dr Yamamoto is a Scientist all the way dedicated to helping mankind. Nobuyuki Yamamoto , his son , is co author of many of his works. Ke was Head of Virology and Genetics of Fels Cancer Research Institute with Temple University til 1980.Joint Professor of Microbiology adn Immunotherapy at Hahnemann Uni School of Med until 1990. He studied at Gitu Med School Japan grad in 1959 and moved to USA. He was at Institute for Cancer Research Philadelphia until 1961.He was invited back after retirement - invited to come ouit of retirement . He chose to found the Socrates Institute.There are three generic s of his GcMAF. One is Israel and 2 in US. You can buy it online and a 25 week course is 2500 euros :-) The FDAs patent based drug approval process apparently excludes GcMAF not sure why. The copy version has not had success with aids patients according to the report. Here is a website with more on him http://www.thedcasite.com/yamamoto.html but link is broken every so often at my end dont know why.
julianna - moonbemonstillwater :-)

Anonymous said...

You are right the copy version of Yamamoto Gc-maf has small success with aids patients ( must be said that the trial in Europe is not finished yet ) but it is a copy, not the really true Gc-maf made by Yamamoto. Anyway the copy version has some success with cancer patients. I was told that Yamamoto's Gc-maf is more powerfully and expensive.
A macrophage activating factor is a lymphokine that primes macrophages to become cytotoxic to tumors. There are different version of GC-MAF.