Did Otto Warburg get it all wrong? This new theory overturns everything we thought we knew about the biology of cancer.

In the 1930s, Nobel Laureate Otto Warburg suggested that cancer cells produce the bulk of their energy by breaking down glucose in the absence of oxygen, a process called glycolysis. The Warburg effect, as it is called, is now widely accepted in orthodox cancer research.

But it’s WRONG, according to Michael Lisanti at the Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has a completely different model, which puts a whole new light on how cancer cells feed and grow.

Cancer, as we all know, is made up of rogue cells, where the DNA has gone frighteningly wrong and lets cells off the leash of restraint. They multiply out of control and often cannot be stopped: the immune system works hard against them but with certain cancers, they grow too fast, even for a competent immune system.

The missing part of the mechanism says Dr. Lisanti, with good evidence to back up his new theory, is that cancer cells release a lot of hydrogen peroxide, which hammers nearby support cells in the tissues called fibroblasts. These decay and lose their vital mitochondria.

Without their mitochondria, fibroblasts cannot now metabolize properly using oxygen. They switch to glycolysis, which we thought was being used by cancer cells. Not so, says Lisanti. According to him, “It’s the Warburg effect, but in the wrong place.” Lisanti calls is the Reverse Warburg Effect. He believes the reason Warburg got it wrong is because he looked at cancer cells in isolation, rather than in co-culture with fibroblasts.

So Warburg wasn’t exactly wrong but this new idea takes things forwards several paces. It’s a revolution, if true. But is it?

Surprisingly, there is an astonishing amount of evidence to suggest that it is.



This form of “metabolic coupling” is already known to exist and mirrors the way in which the epithelial cells that make up the skin and the surface of the body’s organs produce hydrogen peroxide during wound healing. In doing so they rally immune cells to repair the damage – but in cancer the signal is never turned off. Cancer is “a wound that doesn’t heal”, because it keeps on producing hydrogen peroxide.

When Lisanti and his team cultured breast cancer cells alongside fibroblasts for five days, they spotted the cancer cells releasing hydrogen peroxide on day two. By day five, most free radicals generated by the hydrogen peroxide were found inside the fibroblasts (Cell Cycle, DOI: 10.4161/cc.9.16.12553).

Also, the team found a reduction in mitochondrial activity in fibroblasts, consistent with the cells self-destructing. There was also an increase in glucose uptake by the fibroblasts – a sign of glycolysis (Cell Cycle, DOI: 10.4161/cc.10.15.16585).

In a further experiment, they found that treating cancer cells with catalase, an enzyme that destroys hydrogen peroxide, triggered a five-fold increase in cancer cell death, possibly by preserving the fibroblasts and cutting off the cancer cells’ fuel supply.

The theory looks pretty solid.



This new theory would explain why chemo often makes things worse.

Lisanti makes the point that his own father was saved from colon cancer by timely and effective chemo (yes, it does happen). But he admits it’s a fine line between success and damaging the body. If by chance the chemo is too much, it may be damaging fibroblasts.

That would HELP the cancer cells, by feeding them with more “victims”. In certain circumstances, chemo or radiation therapy could be adding to the problem (as well as hurting the patient).

It would also reinforce my frequently voiced objection, that at least 50% of a tumor consists of healthy cells (my book “Cancer Research Secrets”, page 15). So gauging the success of a treatment by tumor shrinkage is very foolish indeed; it might just be killing the good guys and not the bad guys. Yet that’s what orthodoxy does and is the “required” proof of effectiveness for a drug to be officially approved.



Can we look around and find any similar mechanisms? You bet!

For example, malaria is another disease in which local tissue cells get damaged, giving the malaria parasite a free banquet. Oxidative stress kills infected cells, which then auto-digest and release food for the malaria parasite.

Chloroquine, one of the principal antimalarials for decades, has the effect of blocking this self-digestion process and may turn out to be a key anti-cancer agent.

Drugs that inhibit the ability of mitochondria to burn lactate and other products of glycolysis may also serve to cut off the tumor’s food supply. One such drug is metformin, widely prescribed to treat diabetes.

And guess what? Several recent studies have suggested that people taking metformin have a reduced risk of developing cancer! (Gastroenterology, DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.04.013).



Lisanti is now gathering evidence to find out whether his ideas can be applied to many cancers or just a few. His theory gives us what may become a valuable new marker for cancer (most of the existing ones are pretty unreliable).

A special protein is secreted by healthy fibroblast cells and, as they stop producing it when killed or even damaged, a lowering would suggest that destructive auto-digestion going on. It’s called caveolin-1. Lisanti has recorded a drop in caveolin-1 levels in 40 to 50 per cent of patients with breast cancer, and loss of the protein correlates with early tumor recurrence, metastasis, and resistance to the drug, tamoxifen (Breast Cancer Research, DOI: 10.1186/bcr2892).

He also has evidence for caveolin-1 loss in prostate cancer. So with this particular marker, a drop is a negative finding but could still be valid.



What is happening, in this new model, is that cancer cells form a parasitic relationship with nearby fibroblasts.

This changes EVERYTHING! Orthodox medicine has been obsessed with killing cancer cells.

A whole new take on this would be to block cancer cells from killing local cells, such as fibroblasts.

Antioxidants are supposed to just that. Surprisingly, the effect of taking everyday antioxidants is disappointing. But there is a measurable effect, as shown by a number of studies, which would certainly be predicted by this new theory.

Most chemotherapies work by generating lethal doses of free radicals to kill the cancer cells and this would cancel out the effects of any antioxidant treatments. That may be why the studied effects don’t show too strongly. I agree with Lisanti, who believes we need trials of antioxidants alone, rather than in combination with chemotherapy.

A great new direction to go in treatment would be to block the signaling between cancer cells and fibroblasts, which will stymie the nutrition process and starve cancer cells into submission.

It’s great to see orthodoxy taking an interest in the micro-environment surrounding disease tissues. But, as I keep pointing out (to the annoyance of “holistic” bigots!), there are some great people out there, pushing in towards the truth, with far more resources than we alternative practitioners could muster.



There are always naysayers. But in this case there are sensible objections. They don’t prove Lisanti’s theory is wrong, merely that it needs serious working up.

For example, it has been suggested by Dr. Ian Hart of Barts Cancer Institute in London, that if fibroblasts are sacrificing themselves so that the cancer can eat, sooner or later they are going to be completely depleted. And that doesn’t happen.

I don’t quite agree with Hart. Cells can replace themselves, after all, either by dividing or maybe from pluripotent stem cells. Hart says more evidence is needed to confirm this is happening.

But also, it may be objected, many previous studies have found increased glycolysis actually in cancer cells. Maybe that could be explained by the strongly symbiotic relationship that clearly develops between cancer cells and fibroblasts.



If proven correct, this new theory would change everything about eradicating cancer. Instead of trying to kill cancer cells, which is tricky and dangerous, we should be trying to protect and support local fibroblasts.

So good nutrition would be predicted to help – and it does!

The use of oxygen therapies would be predicted to help – and they do.

Anti-oxidants are crucial (they block the effect of hydrogen peroxide) – and they are.



If Lisanti is correct, his ideas would explain why people become more susceptible to cancer as they age. As we age, our body produces more hydrogen peroxide and free radicals and becomes a fertile ground for cancer.

More than 100 years ago, Steven Paget proposed that cancer cells are seeds that need the correct micro-environment in which to grow. “What we’re now saying is that the hydrogen peroxide is the fertiliser,” says Lisanti.

[Lisanti presented the idea earlier this month at the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence meeting in Cambridge, UK].


20 thoughts on “STUNNING NEW THEORY

  1. Very interesting indeed. However, what if the patient was living a healthy lifestyle but the only thing different was hormonal therapies e.g. ivf & extra hormonal therapies due to multiple adhesions of the womb? If the breast cancer is hormonal related, then wouldn’t it suggest that this was a major contributing factor to the development of cancer? And if so, then why would the patient need to change her diet if she was already eating healthy and normal foods?

  2. My question is this. Dose the one minute miriacl and others like it (Sodium Chlorite) encourage cancer growth instead of slow it?

    • I think that Sodium Chlorite is said to kill anaerobic micro organisms which flourish in the out of balance environment which is happening in the body with dis-ease. So as there is die off of these undesirable organisms the pathway is being cleared to assist the body to fight back. Not sure how this relates to the hydrogen peroxide envirmonment – look forward to what the doc has to say.

  3. Warburg Theory of Cancer and Ferromagnetic Theory of Cancer. Warburg’s theory that cancer starts from irreversible injury to cellular respiration eventually fell out of favor amid research pointing to genomic mutations as the cause of uncontrolled cell growth. Ferromagnetic Theory-2006 of Cancer (Iron Conception) [clinical and molecular biological aspects]: 1) Any human cell is a society of dia-, para-, superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles. 2) Any onco-pathology and ALS work by intracellular superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles. Intracellular molecules FeO;Fe2O3;Fe3O4 ‘create’ intracellular superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are able chaotically distort DNA / shift chromosomes by local magnetic fields. 3) Non-complicated anti-iron methods of the Old Testament can beat Cancer and ALS (intracellular superpara-ferri-ferromagnetic infections). Cancer patients-2012 must receive anti-cancer anti-iron intratumoral injections [sulfur (2%) + olive oil (98%)] by ceramic needles. These intratumoral injections will initiate harmless infiltrations (deposits of cells that die; harmless necroses). Accurate anti-iron slow blood loss (even 75%) [hemoglobin control] and anti-iron goat’s milk diet will neutralize any micro-metastases ; ; ; Vadim Shapoval

  4. Sarcomas, Warburg Cancer Theory and Ferromagnetic Cancer Theory. There are numerous types of sarcomas that can affect different parts of the body; however, they have similar characteristics and symptoms, and medical treatments are similar. Sarcoma is an uncommon and often malignant tumor. Benign tumors rarely recur, but sarcomas can reappear after treatment. The percentage of people diagnosed with sarcoma who survived 5 years later is only 50%. This includes all patients suffering from all types of sarcomas. There is an acute need to develop entirely new treatment strategies for the treatment of sarcomas. For most types of sarcomas, the major cause of death is metastatic disease. There are certain types of sarcomas in which metastases rarely occur but uncontrolled local growth represents the major therapeutic problem. Surgery is the most common treatment for sarcoma. If the tumor cannot be removed surgically, it may be permanently controlled with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy: 1) may be given before or after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence; 2) may also be used to reduce the size of the sarcoma or relieve pain and other symptoms. If the sarcoma is found to have a specific chromosomal abnormality, the targeted therapy may be used in some patients. Oncologists use interferon for patients with osteosarcomas and imatinib for patients with gastrointestinal sarcomas. Ferromagnetic Cancer Theory (Theory from The Old Testament; Iron Conception) offers to treat all types of sarcomas by intratumoral injections of solution [sulfur (2%) + olive oil (98%); 36.6C – 39.0C]. These intratumoral injections by ceramic needles: 1) can create harmless infiltrations (harmless necroses; deposits of cells that die; benign capsules); 2) can suppress secondary bacterial infection (oncopatients have a significant risk for infection due to their treatment). The intratumoral anti-iron treatment can chemically eliminate any sarcomatous tumors and large metastases. Anti-iron slow blood loss (even 75%) [hemoglobin control], anti-iron goat’s milk diet and anti-iron drinking water containing hydrogen sulfide can neutralize any micrometastases and isolated tumor cells. Otto Warburg suggested that cancer cells produce the bulk of their energy by breaking down glucose in the absence of oxygen. Otto Warburg ideas can’t beat cancers and sarcomas; the Old Testament’s clinical information will beat any cancers and sarcomas. Cancer Research Secrets & Vadim Shapoval

  5. Fascinating! Now I ponder how this may tie in with Dr. Tulio Simoncini’s theories and so far successful use of sodium bicarbonate …applied directly on the cancer tumors which, (of course!), treats the immediately surrounding tissues? He does this surgically and/or with various catheter type devises.
    Please refer to his book: CANCER IS A FUNGUS
    …Robert Conn

    • Robert, Please be aware that Simoncini is a self-promoting liar.
      His recoveries and testimonials are people who would probably have recovered anyway.
      Many do – please consult my book.
      Lots of people spent $30,000 or more (for $5 sodium bicarbonate??!?!!) and got
      absolutely no result (he doesn’t promote those).
      A number of people have been killed by this madman’s therapy.
      His license was revoked and I approve – but it hasn’t stopped him.
      He works out of the back of cars now.

      • Thanks so much for the advise! I just ordered your book last night – can’t wait to receive & read it – especially regards energy devises such as Rife machines and SCENAR instruments.

  6. Based on this article, do you recommend sodium chlorite for cancer? I have just started using it for my rheumatoid arthritis.

  7. It is curious mitochondria are mentioned as lost due to decay (means what?) – there is a cheap nutrient called pyrroloqinoline quinone (BioPQQ) which produces mitochondrial biogenesis – maybe only in healthy cells.
    The physicist-pharmacist-natropath qualified scientist Dr Joanna Budwig understood Warburg’s work very well and built upon it very successfully many decades ago, complete with clinical records that have yet to be surpassed.
    It grates on my sense of what science is really about when “only” scientific results are to be referred to when tens of thousands of successful clinical records exist (and many more have been deliberately destroyed to “make the case” for “science”) which validate the case for alternative treatments for all disease, not “just” cancer.
    I do believe it is time to reign in the conventional medical world by only allowing doctors to practice with limited and qualified licences. Since the huge majority of “doctors” have essentially zero knowledge of nutrition – a lack that can kill you – then such doctors must only be allowed to practice with this limitation clearly spelled out to all their patients prior to any diagnosis and treatment. Draconian penalties applied for non-compliance.
    To all your good health

  8. Very interesting!! This throws up many questions….Does this theory suggest that the actual cancer cells are NOT anaerobic? But the surrounding fibroblasts tissue, (due to hydrogen peroxide), becomes anaerobic and thrives on glucose metabolism? If so, what do the [actual] cancer cells (bad guys) thrive on?

    Also, it has been observed by many that hydrogen peroxide has a strong cancer killing effect, or was this possibly just killing off the fibroblasts part of the tumour?

    • Good questions Richie.
      I don’t know that it overthrows Warburg’s idea, so much as adds to/complicates it.
      It certainly pays not to have too simplistic a theory.
      Think, for example: we need oxygen for life, yet oxygen is toxic and ages us rapidly.
      We have so much to learn!

  9. Agree here to be confusing. Are we suggesting that taking 35% hydrogen peroxide is GOOD or BAD to help keep the body healthy?

    Really wanting to understand if the ongoing Oxygen Therapy is actually going in the RIGHT or WRONG direction. Perhaps it is only for short-term use to keep the cancer cells at-bay?

    • I don’t hold with it as prophylactic and the
      “1 Minute Cancer Cure” is a hoax, in my view, written
      by internet marketers, not medically-trained people.

  10. I am a middle school student who started this project based on Warburg’s theory. Back then when I started there was only one credible website that help me fund my whole research and plan a science fair project. Amazing theory about cancer many things that I though and analyze which where not in the website are now all over the place in scientific articles, amazing I think this article was amazing and I would have it in mind when I continue with my science fair project this year.

  11. If hydrogen peroxide is needed to be reduced what about the breathing in of food grade 0.03 percent hydrogen peroxide to help stop winter flu or Covid for that matter a not so safe practice

    • Yes Fiona,
      “nebulized” hydrogen peroxide has established itself recently.
      It’s a good option for viruses. Clear the sinuses! Ha ha!

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