Home>News Center>Life

Beijing doctor microwaves cancer to death
(Shenzhen Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-03 09:06

An assistant commander of a military area command was dying of liver cancer. However, after receiving the newly developed Ultrasound-guided Microwave Coagulation Therapy for Liver Cancer (UMCTLC) in the Ultrasound Department of the General Hospital of the PLA in Beijing, the commander's cancer was "cooked" to death and the patient was finally on the mend.

Inspiration from microwave oven

The PLA General Hospital is also known among Chinese as the "PLA 301 hospital", which provided health care and treatment to late Chinese leaders including Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping.

Dong Baowei, professor and chief of the hospital's ultrasound department and one of the doctors designated to treat present Chinese leaders, heads the research team for the world-leading technology that zaps liver cancer.

Dong recently visited Shenzhen's Shekou People's Hospital and prepared for a UMCTLC medical center to be jointly set up by the Shekou hospital and Shenyang-based Xiehe Group.

Dong, 63, is energetic and sharp-minded.

"Our department started doing research in microwave coagulation therapy guided by ultrasound in the 1990s. After achieving satisfactory results in both animal and human experiments, the therapy was applied to clinical practice," said Dong.

Liver cancer is called the "cancer of cancers" because of its high death rate. The first and most common choice to attempt to save a patient is to remove the primary tumor. But the problem is that only 20 percent of patients can receive the surgery for various reasons and the tumor survival rate is still high after the operation.

Dong said his treatment combined two high-tech methods. The first was an ultrasound video system, which could show the patient’s inside soft tissues and the tumor. The second was the technology that used ultrasound to guide the penetration of the electrode which can heat the tumor and kill the cancer cells. It's like “cooking” an egg in a microwave stove. And the inspiration came from a microwave oven.

"The therapy can treat a tumor no larger than 5cm in diameter. This is the best record in the world for using such technology," Dong said.

Destroying all 'enemies' and protecting 'ourselves'

With simple examples and vivid comparisons, the professor excells at making the sophisticated medical theory simple and clear to a layperson.

"In treating cancers, especially liver cancers, destroying all the 'enemies' and protecting 'ourselves' as much as possible is equally important," said Dong. "The advantage of the UMCTLC therapy lies in killing cancer cells in their normal position without damaging other parts of the liver. Compared with other methods, it's time saving and can avoid the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy."

Seeking a remedy for improving immunity

"In our previous practice, we found that the cancer's cumulative survival rate was still high because of the patients' poor immunity, among other reasons, which drove me to seek a solution to improve the immunity," said Dong.

Using this principle his research team found that the Highly Agglutinative Staphylococin (HAS), a super antigen biological product made by Shenyang-based Xiehe Group, can activate the patient's T-cells and repair damaged tissues. Direct injections proved satisfactory. Xiehe Group had put the super-antigen products into pre-clinical research in 1989 when the theory of super-antigen was proposed. In Western countries, super-antigen based research was first reported in 1997 for phase I clinical trials.

In December 1998, amid a snowstorm, Dong visited the company and established a long-term cooperation relationship with the pharmacy.

Tasks ahead

When talking about the next steps for his research team, Dong didn't avoid the headaches. "We still have tasks ahead. For example, first, although the cancer cell survival and metastasis rates are low in the years following treatment, they will climb almost as high as those in other therapies in the fifth year. Second, the number of immune cells near the dead tumor will increase by a large margin after the third day after treatment." he said.

For the sake of life quality

The life quality of a cancer sufferer is a matter Dong talked about most during the interview.

"With the fast economic development in the world today, medical research has also developed rapidly. Facing the constant changes, humanitarianism is always a must for medical workers. That's why we advocate seeking the least painful and most economical way to cure the patient," Dong said.

"In traditional Chinese medicine, the balance in human body is very important. In my opinion, illness is caused by factors like etiology, internal causes, genes, and the imbalance of one's living environment and conditions. Using the confrontation therapy or a single technological method has proved to be wrong and the hope to thoroughly cure a cancer sufferer with the genetic therapy has also proved naive. We favor a comprehensive and physiological way to help the patient fully recover from illness.

"By applying the HAS, there is no need for the patient to take intolerable radiotherapy or chemotherapy."

Dong's theory received high praise from Dr. Raymond W.Y. Wu, chairman of the Hospital Governing Committee of Hong Kong, who said: "I am very interested in his therapy. He is adopting a commonly used technology (microwave) to treat those patients who are rejected by other methods."

In Wu's opinion, modern medicine adopts confrontational ways to cure a patient. They are remedial and posterior, and may cause lots of side effects.

"Dong's therapy emphasises nursing the patient's health to improve the immunity. I think his theory is in accordance with that of the traditional Chinese medicine. Dong has made a significant contribution in advancing Chinese medicine," Wu said.

  Today's Top News     Top Life News

Like Clinton, will Bush face the grand jury?



Nation plans IPR defence strategy



Gov't pays residents for wrong arrest



President highlights role of science



Doping cases published under strict rules



TV: Italian hostages in Iraq alive, well


  Pre-exam anxiety leads to stress syndrome
  A Life as a live! nude! girl!
  Beijing doctor microwaves cancer to death
  Google launches new search applicance
  Movie day for rural kids
  The cries of Hainan Eld's deer
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Cancer cell pioneers share Nobel medicine prize
Cancer drives to realize her dream
`Cancer village' in spotlight
Study finds frequent sex may cut cancer risk
New test to detect cervical cancer
Evidence show how vitamins prevent cancer
  Beckham signs Gillette deal