Causes of Cancer

Trophoblast theory of the origin of cancer

Copyright © 2019 Healing Cancer Naturally

The trophoblast theory is the starting point for a number of different alternative treatment programs. This is certainly the case with laetrile/amygdalin therapies[1], many of whose adherents accept and adopt the trophoblastic theory of cancer, and of course of the Gonzales Regimen.[2]

Dr John Beard (1858–1924), PhD, was a professor of embryology at Edinburgh University in Scotland and the father of the trophoblastic theory of cancer. After many years of research he published his findings in the British journal Lancet in 1902. He also set out his theory in a book.

The following is a layperson’s understanding of John Beard's trophoblast theory.[3]

All human life begins as a simple undifferentiated cell. As the zygote (i.e. the fertilized egg cell) begins to divide, the resulting majority become specialized cells i.e. muscles, bones, teeth etc. However some of the resulting cells become the placenta, which is the means by which the developing fetus is connected to the parent and by which it is supplied with nutrients.

The placental cells are the first to differentiate from the fertilized egg. These never form part of the fetus but are ultimately destined to be destroyed or rendered inert.

Trophoblast cells form the outermost layer of the placenta and their purpose is to eat a niche into the uterine wall where the fertilized egg can gain nutrition from the maternal bloodstream. The characteristics of trophoblast tissue are that it is invasive, autonomous and erodes cells with which it comes into contact. In other words it resembles the behavior of cancer cells.

If trophoblast cells possess these characteristics the question arises as to why the mother’s immune system does not regard them as foreign and attempt to destroy them.

The membrane, or layer of covering tissue, is in the form of a glycoprotein, meaning that it is a compound containing a mixture of proteins and carbohydrates. The carbohydrate part is a compound of a variety of different sugars that can carry an electromagnetic charge. Its coating, called the sialo-mucinous coat, gives it a negative charge. Sialic acid is an amino sugar and mucus is a fluid that acts as a protective barrier.

White blood cells which are responsible for immune reactivity also have a negative charge. As two like charges repel there is no immune response from the mother. Cancer cells similarly have a negatively charged glycoprotein coating. As a consequence trophoblast tissue in normal pregnancy and in a similar way cancer cells are not detected by the individual’s immune system.

Beard noted that trophoblast tissue begins to be destroyed after the 56th day of the normal pregnancy. This coincides with the completion of the fetal digestive tract, the onset of the fetal pancreatic function and the sudden onset of morning sickness as the first sign of the degradation of the placental trophoblast.

The pancreas is an organ which lies behind the abdomen. Its purpose is to make juices and hormones, including insulin. Pancreatic juices, also called enzymes, help digest food in the small intestine.

Beard found other trophoblastic cells lying dormant throughout the body, and he called them "germ cells". As we age, or in a combination of other factors, the cells receive a signal that causes them to begin growing in an attempt to become trophoblast tissue. In other words cancer is essentially a normal process which happens in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Beard’s theory then is that the pancreas routinely secretes enzymes that prevent the "germ cells" becoming malignant. However some factor might overwhelm the pancreatic ability to produce enzymes. This could be one or a combination of several things, for example, the pancreas may be damaged by an excess of mercury or eating an excess of animal protein may have overworked the pancreas to the point where it malfunctions.[4] Other factors include some types of physical injury or excessive psychological stress, particularly over a long period of time.

The treatment is to eat foods which are not hard to digest, for example switching to white meat instead of red meat, and taking supplements of enzymes, especially trypsin and amylase.

Beard’s theory was not so much refuted by mainstream medicine, rather it was ignored.

However support for the theory came with the publication of an article by Dr Acevedo in Cancer (1995).[5] Human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, is a hormone made in the fetal part of the placenta. It is the substance whose presence is sought in normal pregnancy tests. It had been previously acknowledged that hCG is a defining marker in choriocarcinoma and some other rare tumors. By using more sophisticated techniques Dr Acevedo demonstrated hCG in 85 different cancer cell lines.

His conclusions, "…the hormone of pregnancy and development that also has chemical and physiological properties of growth factors is a common phenotypic (i.e. observable) characteristic of cancer." hCG makes the tumor ‘invisible’ to the immune system. "Cancer is development and differentiation gone awry." "After 93 years Beard has been proven to be conceptually correct."

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The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and Its Scientific Basis
by Dr. John Beard
[Amazon partner link — commissions earned]

Originally published in London, Chatto & Windus (1911), this is a new edition with a foreword by Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D.


1 See articles under About Vitamin B17 / Amygdalin / Laetrile Against Cancer.

2 The Gonzales Regimen is named after its inventor Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D. and is based on the research of John Beard and William Donald Kelley, see more at Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the Bladder Healed Part 2: The Use of Proteolytic (Pancreatic) Enzyme Treatment.

3 Originally found on a website which has been defunct for a number of years.

4 At least in mice it could be shown that excessive protein intake leads to a significant decrease in amylase, lipase and trypsin produced by the pancreas see Effect of Oxidative Damage Due to Excessive Protein Ingestion on Pancreas Function in Mice.

5 Human chorionic gonadotropin-beta subunit gene expression in cultured human fetal and cancer cells of different types and origins

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