The Cancer Connection
                           Ron Hoggan

There is much evidence linking untreated celiac disease with malignancy. I
have recently been notified of publication of a report I have written on
that connection, which is promised for the September, 1997 issue of
_Medical Hypotheses_ (1). In that report, I combine a review of the
literature with an outline of a possible biochemical pathway whereby
psychoactive peptides derived from the pepsin digests of wheat, rye and
barley may downregulate the activation of natural killer cells, the body's
first line of defence against malignancy. This is not a postulation that
glutenous grains are carcinogenic. Humankind has been exposed to
carcinogens throughout its ~two million year evolution. But it is only in
recent centuries that malgnancy has increased exponentially, and has struck
so many children and adolescents. This is clearly a counter-evolutionary
trend when youngsters are afflicted, because the incidence should be
decreasing over time, as these youngsters' genes are being pruned from the
gene pool. There is some evidence which has come to light since my
aforementioned report, which will be of interest to celiacs and members of
their families. 

M.Stanislas Tanchou, a truly visionary physician, who campaigned with
Napoleon Bonaparte, presented a paper to the Paris Science Society in 1843,
which was a complex statistical examination of malignancy, offering
evidence of increased malignancy with increased civilization(2). One of the
prime indicators of a civilizing trend was a diet which included cereal
grains. The greater the consumption of these foods, the greater the
incidence of malignancy (3). 

Dr. Chris Reading, an orthomolecular psychiatrist, in Australia, has
documented the treatment of five cancer patients for depression (4). His
testing for food allergies,  and subsequent treatment of depression with
dietary exclusion of cereal grains resulted in total remission of the
cancers (which were also given conventional treatments) in all five
patients he reports treating. One of these patients did die, but that was
from the cancer treatment. 

There are also two reports in the _Journal of Clinical Gastroenterol_(5)
_Lancet_ (6) which I cite in my _Medical Hypotheses_ article. These reveal
a total remission of malignancy in each patient. One report then recants
the original diagnosis, and identifies the correct diagnosis as
lymphadenopathy. In the other report, which spurs a heated debate, the
original diagnosis is supported by a resected section of malignant bowel,
and there can be no doubt as to the correct diagnosis. 

Further, in a 1977 report, in _Nutrition and Cancer_ (8), from Stanford
University, *all* the children suffering from radiation and chemotherapy
damage to the small bowel recovered fully from their chronic enteritis, and
suffered *no* relapse of either the bowel obstruction or the disease. The
treatment they were given was a gluten-free, dairy-free, low fat, low
residue diet. 

In an obscure Czech journal, a report has recently indicated that one or
more of the gliadins, a sub-set of proteins in gluten, may also interfere
with natural killer cell activation in peripheral blood (9). They tested
the levels of natural killer cell activation in normals, and in treated
celiacs, and found no significant difference. BUT, after 30 minutes'
exposure of the celiacs' blood to gliadin, there was a reduced activation
of natual killer cells.

For the last hundred years, billions of dollars have been spent identifying
carcinogens. Most of what we encounter in our environment appears to have
some measure of carcinogenic potential. Unfortunately, we have failed to
recon that Humanity has been exposed to most of these carcinogens
throughout its evolution. Conventional wisdom has pointed to the the
increasing levels of chemical pollution and environmental damage. And I do
not doubt that these factors are contributing to the current epidemic of
malignacy. What I do doubt is that segment of the population, variously
reported at 20% to 30%, which has the HLA factors which predispose to
celiac disease and many other autoimmune diseases, can mount an adequate
immune response, with natural killer cells, against malignancy.


1. Hoggan R, "Considering Wheat, Rye, and Barley Proteins as Aids to
Carcinogens" in press _Medical Hypotheses_ ;1997

2. Tanchou S, "Statistics of Cancer" _London Lancet_ 1843; Aug 5, 593

3. Audette R, personal communication

4. Reading C, Meillon R, _Your Family Tree Connection_	 Keats; New Canaan,
Conn.: 1988

5. Wink A, et. al. "Disappearance of Mesenteric Lymphadenopathy with
Gluten-Free Deit in Celiac Sprue" _J. Clin. Gastroenterol_1993; 16(4): 317-319

6. Wright DH, et. al. "Coeliac disease and Lymphoma"   _Lancet_ 1991; 337:1373

7. Wright DH, et. al. letter _Lancet_ 1991; 338: 318-319

8. Donaldson SS, "Effect of Nutrition as Related to Radiation and
Chemotherapy"  _Nutrition and Cancer_ Winick ed. 1977; Wiley & Sons,  New
York, 137153

9. Castany M, Nguyen H, Pospisil M, Fric P, Tlaskalova-Hogenova H, "Natural
killer cell activity in coeliac disease: effect of in vitro treatment on
effector lymphocytes and/or target lymphoblastoid, myeloid and epithelial
cell lines with gliadin" _Folia Microbiol_ 1995 (Praha) 40; 6: 615-620