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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peter Duesberg: Wrong on AIDS and Wrong on Cancer

Peter Duesberg continues to claim that HIV is a harmless passenger virus that cannot possibly cause AIDS. Although AIDS Denialists rely on Duesberg to spin their alternative universe, Duesberg himself has most recently been focused on cancer. He says that cancer, all cancer, is caused by environmental toxins/carcinogens, an idea dating back to Theordor Boveri in 1914 . Duesberg's assistant, David Rasnick, even claims that the HIV medication AZT causes cancer. Duesberg and Rasnick state that there are no genetic bases for cancer - none!
Peter Duesberg points to Aneuploidy - the abnormal number of chromosomes that are characteristic of cancer cells - as the cause, rather than an effect, of cancer. The article below published in The Scientist discusses important new discoveries that identify the genetic causes of Aneuploidy. 
If we know anything about Peter Duesberg it is that the genetic evidence will not change his mind. The bad news is that Duesberg's failed ideas on cancer may be just as destructive as his nutty stand on AIDS. David Rasnick, David Crowe and other Denialists claim that cancer screening is a scam and cancer chemotherapy does not work. They use Duesberg's fringe science to bolster their claims. The article in The Scientist, which does not mention Duesberg, helps to keep people informed. A follow-up article is needed to correct the misinformation spread by Duesberg and his Denialist followers. 

Chromosomes and Cancer

By Jef Akst | August 18, 2011
Aneuploidy—when the cells of an organism contain more or fewer than the standard number of chromosomes for its species—is found in greater than 90 percent of all human cancers. But how exactly it relates to cancer, and whether it is a cause or merely a consequence of genomic instability, has long been a mystery. Two new studies published today (August 18) inScience show that it’s probably both, pointing to a gene defect that can cause aneuploidy, and elucidating the disastrous effects of aneuploidy on a cell’s genome.
“Aneuploidy is found in virtually all cancers, yet very little is known about its origins or its effects,” said a cancer biologist Bert Vogelstein at Johns Hopkins Medicine, who was not involved in the research. “These two papers provide some really excellent clues to what’s going on.”

The first paper, from Todd Waldman’s group at Georgetown University School of Medicine, identifies a potential cause of aneuploidy—a gene that encodes a protein subunit of the cohesin complex, which plays a key role in correctly separating sister chromatids during cell division. An MD/PhD student in Waldman’s lab, David Solomon, was examining brain tumors for missing genomic regions when he stumbled upon a sample that was missing the gene STAG2. He then looked at a dozen or so other brain tumors and found that several of them were similarly not expressing STAG2.
“And then we expanded our study to a variety of other tumor types and found that inactivation ofSTAG2 was actually quite common in a diverse range of human cancers,” Waldman said. Specifically, the team found evidence of mutated or missing STAG2 in some 20 percent of brain tumors, 20 percent of melanomas, and 20 percent of Ewing’s sarcomas, a pediatric tumor.
To see if this gene defect could indeed lead to the aneuploidy characteristic of the tumor cells they were examining, the researchers repaired STAG2 in two brain tumor lines, and found that the cells subsequently became less aneuploid. The cell populations showed less variation in the numbers of chromosomes they carried, and in some cases, the actual chromosome number was reduced, bringing it closer to normal. Conversely, when the team induced a STAG2 mutation in otherwise normal cells, the cells almost universally gained a chromosome. “I think that this work, together with some previous work, strongly implicates the inactivation of cohesin in general as a cause of aneuploidy in cancer,” Waldman said.
The second study looked at the consequences of aneuploidy. Geneticist Angelika Amon of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her colleagues had already shown that aneuploidy puts stress on the protein quality control pathways of the cell. “When you now have an extra chromosome or multiple extra chromosomes, all of a sudden thousands of proteins are imbalanced, and the cell has to deal with that,” she explained. “But we wanted to know if these protein imbalances could cause stress on the genome maintenance functions of the cell.”
So Amon and her team created haploid yeast cell lines with a single additional chromosome, and examined the cells for signs of genomic instability. Sure enough, the aneuploid yeast lines showed increased chromosomal instability, increased mitotic recombination, and increased structural abnormalities, such as those caused by double-strand breaks in the DNA. “Aneuploidy impacts basically all genome replication and segregation functions,” Amon said.
Exactly how an abnormal number of chromosomes causes such instability is unclear. One possibility is that having too many copies of a particular gene or set of genes increases the chance of genomic disruption. Or, the stress that results from the imbalance of protein levels overall could somehow lead to genomic instability. Additionally, it could simply be the increased number of chromosomes that causes the problem.
“I think the Amon paper emphasizes this, that cells with grossly abnormal numbers of chromosomes have some level of chromosome instability just by virtue of their abnormal chromosome count,” Waldman said. “When cells are in a state of aneuploidy, their mitotic machinery gets somewhat confused by the abnormal chromosome count and that perpetuates the instability.”
These results were obtained in haploid yeast cells, however, which is “a fairly reductionist model system,” said cell biologist Duane Compton at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, who did not participate in the study. “So the overall implications for human cancer are really not entirely clear.” Human cells, for example, have mechanisms that guard against such genomic chaos, such as the tumor suppressor protein p53, which signals the cells to stop dividing once the genome gets to be in such disarray.
Still, “I find the observation very, very interesting,” Compton said. “Waldman is showing that there’s a single gene mutation that causes aneuploidy. Amon is saying if you’re aneuploid, you get all sorts of other genomic changes. Taken together, the grand implication is that mutation of one single gene can be responsible for all sorts of instability seen in tumors, which to me is extraordinary.” Clearly there are some holes to fill in—namely whether aneuploidy will similarly cause genomic instability in mammalian cells, he added, but “if that were true, it would be hugely powerful.” 


  1. Perhaps you are completely brain-dead, Seth.

    Or perhaps you read cancer studies about as poorly as you have read hiv studies. The paper certainly does not show, what you claimed: "important new discoveries that identify the genetic causes of Aneuploidy."

    Not even the authors, nor the editors made such a claim. They merely showed a common link in a small percentage of some cancers.

    The paper simply showed that lack of stag2 was evidenced in a mere 20% of aneuploidy in various cancers, not 100%.

    It does not show that a lack of stag2 always results in aneuploidy.

    Nor does it prove that the lack of stag2 expression was due to genetic traits.

  2. "important new discoveries that identify the genetic causes of Aneuploidy...It does not show that a lack of stag2 always results in aneuploidy...."

    True, it probably should have said "a cause" not "the cause" but you are likewise wrong. They did in fact show that removing STAG2 results almost "universally" in gaining of a chromosome (i.e aneuploidy). They also repaired the STAG2 gene in those STAG2- cells and found that their chromosome numbers moved back closer to the normal number.

    "Nor does it prove that the lack of stag2 expression was due to genetic traits."

    "the team found evidence of mutated or missing STAG2 in some 20 percent of brain tumors, 20 percent of melanomas, and 20 percent of Ewing’s sarcomas, a pediatric tumor."

    If it is missing it can't express (it's really common sense). Thus it is a genetic change that stops STAG2 from being expressed (duh).
    The Waldman paper does in fact describe the inactivation of STAG2 due to mutation (also a genetic change). It helps to read the papers (and understand them) before making comments.

  3. Thanks Poodle Stomper...You are right, the studies speak for themselves.

    I posted these articles to make the point that Duesberg should not be taken any more seriously on cancer than he is on AIDS.

    Duesberg is a certified nut case. He has no credibility among legit scientists. Taking an opposite point of view in the face of mountains of evidence gets him nothing. Inverting cause and effect to stir things up is not science. So most everyone ignores Duesberg.. except those of us who find him entertaining.

  4. Or maybe, just maybe, the cancer, itself is what causes the aneuploidy, or caused by the environmental toxins/carcinogens?

    Just because a gene mutation is taking place, doesn't mean that one person's genes is more susceptible than another person's.

    I will admit i'm confused by The Scientist article... The first paragraph says "found in 90% of cancers", but then further down, they note only 20%. Which is it?

    Its certainly not a stretch to surmise that a mom living close to a leaky nuclear power plant that gets cancer will also have a daughter who is exposed to the exact same toxins.

  5. "It's the virus stupid"

  6. Tony,

    "Or maybe, just maybe, the cancer, itself is what causes the aneuploidy, or caused by the environmental toxins/carcinogens?"

    It certainly appears to be possible in some instances. Sometimes aneuploidy comes first, and sometimes it doesn't.

    "Just because a gene mutation is taking place, doesn't mean that one person's genes is more susceptible than another person's."

    True and false at the same time. Some people are genetically more prone to cancers of various sorts than others. People carrying the BRCA1/2 mutants, for example. Certain genes can cause immortalization and unchecked proliferation (cancer) of normals cells, however. Some of these are used routinely to immortalize cells for research purposes. For example, abl, myc, ras, and bcl-2 are oncogenes previously used to immortalize B cells which turn malignant. It is a simple 1-gene insertion. Granted, we cannot (and would not) say that ALL cancers are due to single gene mutations, but Duesberg's claim that ALL cancers are due to aneuploidy first is patently incorrect (and the fact that it is incorrect is why we have a good deal of our experimentally generated immortalized cell lines).

    "I will admit i'm confused by The Scientist article... The first paragraph says "found in 90% of cancers", but then further down, they note only 20%. Which is it?"

    They say that aneuploidy is found in greater than 90% of cancers but STAG2 defects are present in 20% of different subsets of those.

    "Its certainly not a stretch to surmise that a mom living close to a leaky nuclear power plant that gets cancer will also have a daughter who is exposed to the exact same toxins."

    I agree. I don't think it would be a stretch at all. Radiation is not something you want to play with all willy nilly.

  7. Wasn't Duesberg the guy who originally found oncogenes in the first place? Why would he suddenly change his mind?

    As for Tony: "Or maybe, just maybe, the cancer, itself is what causes the aneuploidy,"

    I think that is what most people believe. As to your confusion, the article states that 90% of cancer cell have the wrong number of chromosomes. A portion of those aneuploid cells are caused by the genetic defect the paper is studying.

  8. Duesberg, Make Up Your MindSeptember 3, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    What about Duesberg's recent theory that cancer is just a form of speciation? This sounds a bit wacky to me.

  9. Look at the speaker list here!

  10. Kralc
    You are right.
    The 2011 RA conference is a must see.
    So many familiar faces.
    And yet so much new.

    David Rasnick will give a talk under Psychology, describing why people hate him. Looking for contributors?

    Chris Tex, who received his PhD online (yes, on the Internet) and will talk about unreliable HIV testing. I wonder if he means unreliable online doctoral exams?

    Peter Duesberg will talk about why even he hates David Rasnick

    Henry Bauer will talk, but no one will understand him.

    Who wants to go? Come on, it will be so much, fun?

  11. Seth:
    Wait - you forgot one of the headline speakers:

    Clark Baker! Apparently he is presenting "information regarding the origins of "HIV" theory at high levels of American government."

    And it looks like they have a new poster-child now that Karri Stokely is gone: Raul Ehrichs de Palma.

    I'd sure love to go! Riveting, suspenseful. They should form their own version of the "TED" conferences. They can call them "retarTED"!!!!

  12. We should do it. The Aneuploidy conference was a blast!

  13. Seth... the man of scientific finalisms.

  14. Seth, the censorship guru, which simply shows how hollow and fallacious are the arguments

  15. I would love to hear Baker. In addition to his nut case conspiracy theory, he is also discussing cases that OMSJ is currently working on!! I would love to be there for that load of lies!

    I have already proven that most of the cases he lists at OMSJ are complete lies! See my sites:

  16. AZT, transcription terminators, NNRTI, NRTI, PI, ARV, HAART, all of it is poison that will damage a normal person. That much is true. How can a compound that destroys white blood cells help a person from a virus that is proposed to destroy white blood cells. Now here is the huge giant white elephant of a hypothesis - What if HIV itself is an opportunistic infection just the way Epstein Barr Virus behaves. Now that would turn science and medicine on its head if it were true.

    Apparently some people have cleared their HIV infections without these immune system damaging agents:

  17. HIV is not a virus, is not transmitted by sex needles or any other physical contact. And soon it will be proven that this was a total concoction so that people in the medical community can live well off of all those that are suffering. Duesenberg now the cause of this condition that will soon prove anyone who was doubted him and criticized him wrong. That and repeat again HIV AIDS is not cause by a virus. The timeline as to what is causing this condition has been established along with the timeline of the HIV AIDS history. It will soon be published and it will be no doubt as to what is causing this problem.


  18. Varmus, Duesberg, Shapoval and Ferromagnetic Theory of Cancer. Harold Varmus, M.D., co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, was nominated by President Obama as Director of the NCI on May 17, 2010. According to Varmus, the genetic material (DNA) of a cell can become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. Cells become cancer cells because of DNA damage. The mutation theory of cancer says that a limited number of genes causes cancer. Peter Duesberg is a Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Duesberg’s arguments derive from his controversial proposal that the mutation theory of cancer - that tumors begin when a handful of mutated genes send a cell into uncontrolled growth - is wrong. Duesberg argues, instead, that carcinogenesis is initiated by a disruption of the chromosomes, which leads to duplicates, deletions, breaks and other chromosomal damage that alter the balance of tens of thousands of genes. The result is a cell with totally new traits - that is, a new phenotype. “I think Duesberg is correct by criticizing mutation theory, which sustains a billion-dollar drug industry focused on blocking these mutations,” said Mark Vincent, a medical oncologist. Vadim Shapoval is a Professor of The Old Testament. According to Shapoval, Varmus and Duesberg ignore Laws of Physics; produce erroneous cancer theories (mutation and chromosomal). Any human cell should be interpreted as a society of dia-, para-, superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles. These nanoparticles have certain local magnetic contacts. Superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles: 1) strongly attract superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles; 2) weakly attract paramagnetic nanoparticles; 3) weakly repel diamagnetic nanoparticles. Any human organism consists of normal cells (cells with non-numerous superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles) and tumor cells (cells with numerous superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles). Intracellular molecules FeO;Fe2O3;Fe3O4 are the main ‘creators’ of intracellular superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles that can chaotically distort DNA and shift chromosomes / chromosomal fragments (by local magnetic fields). The Ferromagnetic Theory of Cancer (Theory from The Old Testament): oncologists must beat cancer (a subtle iron disease) by non-complicated anti-iron methods of The Old Testament. Anti-iron intratumoral injections [sulfur (2%) + olive oil (98%); 36.6C - 39.0C] (by ceramic needles) can suppress any tumors and large metastases. Anti-iron accurate slow blood loss (even 75%) [hemoglobin control], anti-iron goat’s milk diet and anti-iron drinking water containing hydrogen sulfide can neutralize any micro-metastases ; ; ; ; ; ; ; Vadim Shapoval

  19. UC Berkeley proFessor Peter Duesberg denies link between HIV and AIDS. Iron Deficiency Anemia, HIV/AIDS and Ferromagnetic Theory of Cancer. Iron Deficiency Anemia is a condition where a person has inadequate amounts of iron to meet body demands. It is a decrease in the amount of red cells in the blood caused by having too little iron. Iron deficiency anemia is usually caused by a diet insufficient in iron or from blood loss. Blood loss can be acute as in hemorrhage or trauma or long term as in heavy menstruation. Individuals with iron deficiency anemia may also experience pica. Any viruses need iron to replicate, and by reducing body iron HIV/AIDS-patients prevent them from replicating. Iron Deficiency Anemia can spontaneously beat HIV/AIDS (money of HIV/AIDS-researchers). UC Berkeley proFessor Peter Duesberg! Start to think! Start to read: 1) the Ferromagnetic Theory-2006 of Cancer (Iron Conception); 2) Vanga's iron-AIDS and iron-cancer forecasts ; ; Denying AIDS & Vadim Shapoval

  20. Peter Duesberg was a well-respected microbiologist with much praise and awards for his work and theories in 1986. Then in 1987 he challenged the theory put fourth by government scientist Robert Gallo and stated that HIV was not the cause of AIDS. It was after that, that things changed for him, he became a villain and his requests for government grants for research were denied. He was blackballed in the media and ridiculed by other less intelligent scientists for his position. The Government’s position was firm, Gallo was not to be challenged and anyone who does will suffer the consequences.

    Thus began the end of open discourse concerning the cause of AIDS and if anyone questioned the official position as stated by Gallo, they did so privately. There were a few exceptions as in the case of Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis who supported Duesberg and criticized Gallo on the HIV/AIDS issue. Kary Mullis doing research on HIV/AIDS found that there weren’t any scientific papers published by Gallo supporting his claim that HIV causes AIDS. Unbelievable, there wasn’t any lab research or detailed scientific papers to support Gallo’s hypothesis and yet his theory was accepted as fact.

    So over time we have the AIDS establishment versus the AIDS dissidents with the establishment supporting Gallo and the dissidents supporting Duesberg. So what is the position of the dissidents concerning the cause of AIDS? To put it simply their position is that it is not a virus on the outside of the shared dirty needle that causes AIDS it’s the drugs inside the needle. Does it not seem odd that it was never reported that the Gay community share one thing in common with the heavy drug users and that being the liberal use of street drugs? What do you think your immune system is going to be like after 10 or 20 years of heavy drug use? If you say there will be no effect, then you are a fool. To make matters worse the drug AZT that was given to AIDS patients was poison and helped to speed up their deaths.

    When the American public began to question the US AIDS epidemic it made the AIDS establishment uneasy so they shifted the epidemic to Africa. It was much easier to say there is an AIDS epidemic there because millions die every week regardless of HIV infection and it was easier to say the cause was AIDS.

    Now Peter Duesberg is in the news, the same man who has been blackballed for years because of his controversial position on the cause of AIDS is being allowed to speak his mind on the cause of cancer. Why all of a sudden, a man that couldn’t even get a sentence in the media is now appearing in News Week and in many scientific publications? Could it be that certain people at the top like his cancer theory and want to promote his point of view? If so, then the story of Duesberg has ironic twist because the man who once challenged the establishment on AIDS may become the establishment on cancer.