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The Key Drivers of Cancer Growth Are?

Published on March 21, 2013


Scientists have recently confirmed, yet again, that long-term lack of oxygen in cells is the key driver of cancer growth. Who says so now? Dr. Ying Xu, Regents-Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and professor of bioinformatics and computational biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

His study was published in the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology in 2012. “Cancer drugs try to get to the root—at the molecular level—of a particular mutation, but the cancer often bypasses it,” Xu said. “So we think that possibly genetic mutations may not be the main driver of cancer.”[1]

Every doctor learned back in medical school all about Dr. Otto Warburg’s discovery in the 1930s when he discovered the main biochemical cause of cancer, or what differentiates a cancer cell from a normal, healthy cell. So big a discovery was this that Dr. Warburg was awarded the Nobel Prize.

Dr. Warburg said, “Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. Almost anything can cause cancer. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. The prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen (oxidation of sugar) in normal body cells by fermentation of sugar… In every case, during the cancer development, the oxygen respiration always falls, fermentation appears, and the highly differentiated cells are transformed into fermenting anaerobes, which have lost all their body functions and retain only the now useless property of growth and replication.”

Cancer has a primary characteristic by which it can be measured. “It is the replacement of normal oxygen respiration of the body’s cells by an anaerobic [i.e., oxygen-deficient] cell respiration,” said Warburg. This tells us that cancer metabolizes much differently than normal cells. Normal cells need oxygen. Cancer cells despise oxygen. Another thing this tells us is that cancer metabolizes through a process of fermentation.


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The metabolism of cancer is approximately eight times greater than the metabolism of normal cells (that’s why they love sugar so much) but Warburg forgot to tell the world—not only are the oxygen levels low but so are carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. And he did not tell a soul that by breathing too fast (as most people do) they are getting rid of too much CO2 and that is what is driving down the oxygen levels to the point that cells turn cancerous.

When we do not address this key driver it does not matter what we do—cancer will come back and kill us.

Otto Warburg was telling us that the cellular metabolism of cancer cells matches closely those of yeast or mold or fungus—that is, the cells ferment sugar/glucose/dextrose rather than oxidize it via the cellular mitochondria. So it follows logically that the same medical approach that successfully targets cancer would do the same for these yeasts, molds and fungus.

Warburg had only part of the story and no one has put the finishing chapter in so we can finally come to rest with a full understanding and appreciation of what we are facing when cancer knocks on our door. Natural Allopathic Medicine approaches the core problem of oxygen from many directions at once.

Dr. Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer information, said, “For a long time scientists have been looking for ways to boost the oxygen supply to tumors to improve response to treatment.” He was referring to treatment with radiation, but this would apply very much to a whole range of natural treatments.

If lack of oxygen is a key driver of cancer growth then so is low CO2, pH and depressed cell voltage.

Some doctors have used the observations of Otto Warburg to treat certain forms of cancer as the human body’s reaction to a fungal infection. (See Dr. Tullio Simoncini “Cancer is a Fungus”). By using simplistic anti-fungal substances such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for internal cancers, and tincture of iodine for external cancers, Dr. Simoncini has successfully treated many patients without adverse side effects.

Simoncini reasons that a rapidly growing fungal colony is difficult for the body to combat, and so as a result, the body just encapsulates the infections within tumorous cell growths. By attacking and killing the underlying fungal infections, the need for the encapsulating tumor cells is gone, so the body just re-absorbs the tissues, leaving healthy tissue untouched.

What Dr. Simoncini forgot to tell the world is that his treatment with bicarbonate not only goes after the fungal/cancer cells but it also powerfully and instantly raises CO2 and oxygen levels in the blood and tissues. And he also did not see that sodium bicarbonate can be used orally and transdermally in baths, used in enemas as well as in nebulizers for strong systemic effects that easily replace his much more difficult intravenous methods often using special IV ports for entry.

Cancer Cells are Smarter than Oncologists

Oncologists continue to be baffled by the unpredictability of cancers cells. Even after “seemingly” effective treatments, crafty cancer cells are able to hide out in patients and then resurface later on. This should come as no surprise since doctors treat neither the underlying cause of cancer nor the conditions that cancer cells love.

It’s known that low oxygen levels in tumors can be used to predict cancer recurrence in men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer even before they receive radiation therapy, so why don’t doctors use methods of raising oxygen in their treatment against cancer?

“We’ve not only shown that men do worse if they have low oxygen levels (hypoxia) in their prostate cancer, but that they also do worse over a shorter period of time,” says Dr. Michael Milosevic, radiation oncologist in the PMH Cancer Program, UHN. “These patients seem to develop cancer recurrence within only a few years of completing treatment.”

Dr. Milosevic and colleagues measured oxygen levels in 247 men with localized prostate cancer prior to radiation therapy and followed them for a median of 6.6 years. Low oxygen in the tumors predicted early relapse after radiation treatment. It was also the only identified factor that predicted local recurrence during follow-up.[2]

Luckily we do not need new drugs to target hypoxia in tumors. Sodium and potassium bicarbonate do the job nicely for less than the least expensive pharmaceutical in the world. And if we add breathing retraining to slow down our rate of breathing we can drop oxygen as well as CO2 and pH bunker bombs on cancer tumors 24 hours a day, seven days a week with very little cost. This is the kind of medicine pharmaceutical executives should greatly fear.

Dr. Rockwell from Yale University School of Medicine (USA) studied malignant changes on the cellular level and wrote, “The physiological effects of hypoxia and the associated micro environmental inadequacies increase mutation rates, select for cells deficient in normal pathways of programmed cell death, and contribute to the development of an increasingly invasive, metastatic phenotype”[3]

Description: Breast cancer cells

Groundbreaking: Slightly increasing the oxygen supply could strengthen blood vessels in breast cancer cells like these.

Professor Gillies McKenna, director of the UK-MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology & Biology, said: “We are very excited to have uncovered this brand new approach to cancer treatment where the drugs prime the cancer cells for radiotherapy. You might expect that by increasing an oxygen supply to tumor cells you would help them grow. But actually by oxygenating the cell with a better blood supply we enable radiotherapy and chemotherapy to do a better job of killing them.” The research was published in the journal Cancer Today and again we see that oxygen therapy increases one’s chances of winning the war on cancer.

Many studies have measured the link between oxygen partial pressure in cells (or expression of hypoxia inducible factors, their concentrations) and appearance, growth and metastasis of tumors.[4],[5],[6] They found that low cell oxygen controls all these factors, including survival of patients.

Our body’s pH will control the activity of every metabolic function happening in our body. pH is behind the body’s electrical system and intracellular activity as well as the way our bodies utilize enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.

Lowly baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) acts much like a bunker buster bomb—it blasts cancer with shock waves of oxygen and CO2 thereby increasing cell voltage and raising pH into the alkaline range without harming the host.

Hypocapnia (lowered CO2) leads to reduced oxygenation of all vital organs and tissues due to fast superficial breathing, vasoconstriction, and suppressed Bohr effect. The Bohr effect explains oxygen release in capillaries or why red blood cells unload oxygen in tissues. The Bohr effect was first described in 1904 by the Danish physiologist Christian Bohr (father of famous physicist Niels Bohr). Christian Bohr stated that at lower pH (more acidic environment, e.g., in tissues), hemoglobin will bind to oxygen with less affinity. Since carbon dioxide is in direct equilibrium with the concentration of protons in the blood, increasing blood carbon dioxide content causes a decrease in acid pH, which leads to an increase in affinity for oxygen by hemoglobin. This is exactly how sodium bicarbonate works. It increases CO2 levels in the blood.

Injecting oxygen into cancerous tumors significantly boosts the chances of recovery, scientists at Oxford University say. They found that increasing the supply of O2 strengthened blood vessels in cancer cells, making chemotherapy more effective. In a series of experiments on mice, cells that were damaged and weak had a constricted oxygen supply and were less sensitive to radiotherapy treatments.

Basic scientific research confirms the benefits of using sodium bicarbonate in cancer treatment. Dr. Julian Whitaker and Mark McCarty write, “The degree to which pH is depressed in tumors—as mirrored by their lactate levels—tends to correlate with prognosis, the more acidic tumors being associated with poorer outcome. In part, this phenomenon may reflect the fact that tumor acidity is serving as a marker for HIF-1 activation, which works in a variety of complementary ways to boost tumor capacity for invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis, and chemoresistance. However, there is increasing evidence that extracellular acidity per se contributes to the aggressiveness of cancer cells, boosting extracellular proteolytic activities, expression of pro-angiogenic factors, and metastatic capacity.”

Genes directly experience external pH.

Description: Breast cancer cells

Cancer cells have a lower pH than surrounding tissue.

Researchers have investigated the very reasonable assumption that increased systemic concentrations of pH buffers would lead to reduced intratumoral and peritumoral acidosis and, as a result, would inhibit malignant growth. It has been shown that increased serum concentrations of the sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) can be achieved via oral intake.[7] Researchers found that consequent reduction of tumor acid concentrations significantly reduces tumor growth and invasion.[8]

Oral NaHCO3 selectively increased the pH of tumors and reduced the formation of spontaneous metastases in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer. NaHCO3 therapy also reduced the rate of lymph node involvement and significantly reduced the formation of hepatic metastases. Acid pH was shown to increase the release of active cathepsin B, an important matrix remodeling protease.[9]

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) has shown that the pH of MCF-7 human breast cancer xenografts can be effectively and significantly raised with sodium bicarbonate in drinking water.[10]

There has been work going on, using bicarbonate (baking soda) as a potential treatment for cancer. Dr. Robert J. Gillies and his colleagues at the University of Arizona have demonstrated that pre-treatment of mice with sodium bicarbonate results in the alkalization of the area around tumors.[11] This type of treatment has been found to “enhance the anti-tumor activity” of other anticancer drugs. Bicarbonate increases tumor pH and also inhibits spontaneous metastases.[12]

To doctors who are reading this essay, and especially to oncologists, just because you have a license to practice medicine does not mean you have license to ignore the truth and to change your recommendations for the treatment of cancer. This essay presents overwhelming evidence that no one can, in good conscience, ignore.

[1] J. Cui, X. Mao, V. Olman, P. J. Hastings, Y. Xu. Hypoxia and miscoupling between reduced energy efficiency and signaling to cell proliferation drive cancer to grow increasingly faster. Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/jmcb/mjs017

[2] M. Milosevic, P. Warde, C. Menard, P. Chung, A. Toi, A. Ishkanian, M. McLean, M. Pintilie, J. Sykes, M. Gospodarowicz, C. Catton, R. P. Hill, R. Bristow. Tumor Hypoxia Predicts Biochemical Failure following Radiotherapy for Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research, 2012; 18 (7): 2108 DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2711

[3] Rockwell S, Oxygen delivery: implications for the biology and therapy of solid tumors, Oncology Research 1997; 9(6-7): p. 383-390.

[4] Temporal, spatial, and oxygen-regulated expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 in the lung; Aimee Y. Yu1 et al; AJP – Lung Physiol; October 1, 1998 vol. 275 no. 4 L818-L826  

[5] Shaw, K. (2008) Environmental cues like hypoxia can trigger gene expression and cancer development. Nature Education 1(1)

[7] Grocery Store Baking Soda; A Source of Sodium Bicarbonate in the Management of Chronic Metabolic Acidosis; Oral sodium bicarbonate is used to treat metabolic acidosis in patients with renal tubular acidosis. Since infants and young children are unable to swallow tablets, those affected must ingest sodium bicarbonate in a powder or liquid form. Pharmacy-weighed sodium bicarbonate is expensive and inconvenient to obtain; some pharmacists are reluctant to provide it. We determined that the sodium bicarbonate contained in 8-oz boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda® was sufficiently constant in weight that, dissolved in water to a given volume, it yielded a quantitatively acceptable therapeutic solution of sodium bicarbonate at a cost of approximately 3 percent of that of pharmacy- weighed sodium bicarbonate.

[8] Cancer Research 69, 2677, March 15, 2009. Published Online First March 10, 2009;doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-2394

[9] Cancer Res 2009;69(6):2260–8

[11] Raghunand 2003

[12] Robey 2009

# # # #

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Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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For questions pertaining to your own personal health issues or for specific dosing of Dr. Sircus's protocol items please seek a consultation or visit our knowledge base to see if your question may have been answered previously.
  • Roger Smith

    Can you use the Frolov breathing device with Sodium Bicarbonate as a nebuliser treatment please?

  • Sandi Wilson

    Okay, I am confused about one thing…in a section of the above message, it states that the raising of oxygen levels in the cancer tumor will cause the blood vessels in that tumor to grow and increase. How can this be a good thing? Conversely, the article states that the eradication of a cancer tumor needs to have raised oxygen levels in the tumor and in the body. I get the part where the raising of oxygen in the tumor makes it more susceptible to chemo, so that is not my question. The confusion is where the raised oxygen levels increase blood vessel growth in the tumor, while at the same time recommending raised oxygen levels to defeat the cancer. Thanks!

    • Sandi,

      Increased blood vessel growth brings an increased blood supply to the tumor and therefore an increase in O2 to the tumor, thus causing death of the cancer cells who do not live and survive in a highly oxygenated tissue. So an increased blood supply or growth of blood vessels brings increased O2 to the tumor cells.
      Claudia French

  • Steve

    I purchased the SB book, by Dr. Sircus. I’ve heard different ways to use SB, including with maple syrup or molasses, as well as SB by itself in a glass of water. I understand the theory of using molasses, but in practice, the concoction is disgusting to my taste buds, and I find it difficult to choke down. Is it okay to forego the molasses and just use the SB in water?

    Is there a specific recommendation for bone marrow cancers, such as multiple myeloma?

    I’ve also purchased the treatment essentials book, and have read it, but am finding it hard to nail down a specific therapeutic dosage of some items in the protocol – like CBD, iodine, and magnesium. There were some basic guidelines, but I wanted to make sure I’m taking enough.. Any clarification on therapeutic or recommended dosing any of these components would be appreciated, filtered through the type of cancer listed above.

    • Hello Steve,

      Thanks for your inquiries. Yes you can take sodium bicarbonate in just water for treatment of cancer. All three methods are acceptable. In all cancers the pH needs to be taken up to pH of 8 where it remains for at least a week and then a break and repeat is carried out. The amounts to take are guided by your daily pH levels.
      Dosages for other protocol items should be pretty explanatory in the Treatment Essentials book but if you need further guidance on that you will need to seek a consultation with Dr. Sircus as there are no proscribed amounts for every person or every type of cancer.
      CBD for treatment of cancers is recommended to use the very hi dosage of Real Scientific Hemp Oil at 1 gm. per day for a number of months.
      If you wish to get more information or more detailed guidance please see your options here:

      Claudia French

      • Steve

        Thanks for your quick response. I’ll continue with SB in water, and will track my PH to alter dosage as needed. Will SB reach the bone marrow? If so, does it require a higher dose to be effective?

        Yes,, treatment essentials does give some guidelines on dosage for most protocol components, and I have created my treatment plan based on these guidelines. I was more or less wondering if different types of cancers require different amounts of various components (kind of a ‘rule of thumb’ – not all cancers are equal). I realize that everyone is different, and body weight, age, type of cancer, and current overall health matter in nailing down exact dosages per patient, and if I feel I need to get the details nailed down further, I’ll set up a consultation (I want to have most things nailed down before then, so any consulting time can be spent on specifics and questions that can’t be answered in the books I purchased)..

        Thanks for the advice for the RSHO oil. I’ve been taking a 1/2 gram a day to test it out, but will try to double-down on it. I do find that I have a limit on intake of RSHO, if I want to avoid “downtime”. I took a bit over a 1/2 gram at one time and found that it had a rather strong relaxation effect (to the point where I had to go lay down… awake, but feeling a bit odd). Have you heard of anyone experiencing this from RSHO?

        One of the reasons I asked about dosing is that RSHO’s latest batch is 24% CBD (or 240mg/gram). The last batch was 19.5% (195mg/gram), and 18% (180mg/gram) before that. There’s a fairly large difference between batches on CBD/gram. If I only need 180mg/day of CBD (1 gram/day of the original batch), that would equate to 3/4 gram per day of the 24% batch (which saves a good bit of money over the course of a 3ish month treatment cycle). I guess I was looking for a standard daily dose in mg that would be therapeutic, which would allow me to calculate a proper dose as the concentrations of RSHO change.


        • Hi Steve,

          For the RSHO questions it would be best to contact the customer support on their website for the dosage questions. It would be helpful if you divide up the amount you are taking into a morning and evening or bedtime dose as this might help to cut down on the tiredness you feel. You may be able to divide into three daily doses as well.

          Claudia French

  • Mike Mcdaniels

    I have / had Adenocacinoma of the rectum, palpable with digitation. My tumor was actually blocking my anus! I put an entire box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda up my pooper, right on the tumor! Sure made the tumor feel better, but that’s all. Didn’t kill it. Didn’t really effect it. So much for Dr. Simoncini. SO, I was driven in to the hands of the Allopaths. They treated me with Xeloda and x-rays. My tumor is now Gone! Vanished! The Dr. with the ultrasound camera, later asked me “where exactly was your tumor?” My hair did not even fall out. Radiation was a little rough, but I made it through. So I feel my experience might add to the discussion. What do you think?

  • Andrew

    I am a little unsure as to what you are suggesting? Which of the following are you recommending?
    1. Sodium Bicarbonate as a single agent for treating cancer
    2. Sodium Bicarbonate as an additional treatment encorporated in a patient chemotherapy protocol
    3. Clinical trials incorporating sodium bicarbonate in chemotherapy treatment protocols.

  • Nokkelanimimerkki

    You are a quack. Simple as that.

  • Alex

    Dear Claudia,

    i HOPE YOU CAN HELP. We are so anxious right now. My friend’s mother (in Italy) has been having medical tests which found a malignant tumor in her colon early last week. She is now waiting for surgery so that they can determine how large the tumor is and whether it has metastasied to any other areas of her body. She still doesn’t know when the surgery wil take place as she is waitlisted in a public hospital but we suspect it could within this month of April. She has been told not to eat fibre (fruit and veggies) due to their irritable effect to her bowels but she is allowed cheese and well-cooked meat once a week (which I think is wrong since they are acidic!). She has already lost 6 kilos in two weeks due the strict diet and does not want to lose anymore especially before the surgery!
    What type of diet/other protocols do you recommend from now until the surgery?

    I really hope you can reply as soon as possible.

    Thanking you in advance.

    • Dear Alex,

      Please see my reply to you on the sodium bicarbonate site where you also posted this request. —– Original Message —–
      From: Disqus
      Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 8:19 AM
      Subject: Re: New comment posted on The Key Drivers of Cancer Growth Are?


      A new comment was posted on Dr. Sircus – International Medical Veritas Association

      Alex (Guest):
      Dear Claudia,

      i HOPE YOU CAN HELP. We are so anxious right now. My friend’s mother (in Italy) has been having medical tests which found a malignant tumor in her colon early last week. She is now waiting for surgery so that they can determine how large the tumor is and whether it has metastasied to any other areas of her body. She still doesn’t know when the surgery wil take place as she is waitlisted in a public hospital but we suspect it could within this month of April. She has been told not to eat fibre (fruit and veggies) due to their irritable effect to her bowels but she is allowed cheese and well-cooked meat once a week (which I think is wrong since they are acidic!). She has already lost 6 kilos in two weeks due the strict diet and does not want to lose anymore especially be fore the surgery! What type of diet/other protocols do you recommend from now until the surgery?
      I really hope you can reply as soon as possible.

      Thanking you in advance.

      8:19 a.m., Wednesday April 10


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    Wow very nice blog. I like this blog information. Thank you.

    • msellington

      Really an awesome article. I wish more info was out there about how the body burns SUGAR in cancer cells, because people just don’t get that connection!