Anti-Malignin Antibody -- A Screening Test for Cancer?
by Ed Friedlander, M.D.
erf@kcumb.edu

I am a pathologist, board-certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology. I operate the world's largest public pathology site, which includes a free personalized help line.

During the first few years as a website operator, I received about ten inquiries in the past few years about the "anti-malignin antibody in serum" blood test (AMAS). This is said to be an extremely accurate way of determining whether cancer is present somewhere in the body.

This is every pathologist's dream. As its proponents point out, such an assay could replace the current methods of cancer screening, and would render most biopsies and other invasive studies unnecessary.

"Anti-malignin antibody" has been promoted as such for over twenty years by a single husband-wife team, with occasional brief reports in the medical literature. The team operates the only lab which offers the test. They claim to assay for a substance called "malignin", and for antibodies against it.

Unlike other independent medical thinkers, the team is not presenting a mysterious, arcane, or secret substance. They claim instead that it's a tumor antigen, like many others that are known -- except that it is ubiquitous among malignant cells and distinguishes them from their benign counterparts. They have conducted themselves decently, and obviously believe in their test.

The team is the only group offering the assay. There is an Italian report, not from the main group, in the obscure "International Journal of Biological Markers", from 1997 that I got on order. It contained nothing of substance. The promoter's website states that Smith-Kline labs also did the test and published results in symposium proceedings in 1983, though nothing in the refereed scientific literature. That's all.

The wording of the claims for "anti-malignin antibody" never actually say that a person can forego pap smears, mammography, or biopsy of suspicious lesions. But some of the test's proponents suggest that this is possible, and this makes me worry about a public health hazard.

I have no first-hand knowledge of the team that offers the test, and am relying (as is the norm in real science) on publications. According to the 1999 AMA directory, he is boarded in neurology-psychiatry, but practicing immunology and oncology. She is listed as practicing psychiatry and "other", and as unboarded. He also made some contributions in mainstream neurochemistry before 1980, and has a recent publication on virus receptors and dementia in a theme issue of "Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences".

Except as noted, after over 20 years, no other group has published in the refereed literature on "malignin" or given any independent evidence that the substance actually exists. (Nor has anybody reported being able to confirm the existence of "astrocytin", another substance which the same team claimed to have discovered at the same time as "malignin".) Again, I have no personal experience either with this supposed substance or with the people who describe it. But I am familiar with assays and procedures of the kinds described in their publications.

The account of the origin of "malignin" is itself curious. According to one source linked below, the principal proponent of the test "discovered that the outer coating on cancer cells contain [sic.] sugar molecules over an inner layer of protein (glycoproteins). Cancer cells bump into each other and the outer layer is ground off -- exposing the inner protein layer and the malignin antigen."

I've spend a good amount of my life looking at cancer cells. This business about them bumping into each other just isn't true, especially in the early stages. In fact, they're no more mobile than the surrounding cells, and much less mobile than the benign cells of the bloodstream, bone marrow, or lymphoid organs, where collisions among cells happen constantly.

At another site, there is a more sophisticated-sounding account. "Early in the process of malignant transformation, there is a 50% loss in the amount and heterogeneity of the carbohydrate constituents of the cell membrane glycoprotein GlycolOB which results in the appearance of peptide epitopes (malignin) in AglycolOB." Visitors should know that:

  • the claim that there is a 50% loss of carbohydrate content and heterogeneity in the cell membrane when a cells turns cancerous is unsubstantiated at best, and...
  • a "Medline" search over the refereed literature shows no other mention of either GlycolOB or AglycolOB. If the author is referring to OB, the leptin receptor (an appetite regulator), the above account makes no sense.

I am presently tracking down all of the team's publications. Except for three letters to "Lancet", they are in obscure medical journals. I was startled, though, by the Lancet letter from July 18, 1981.

Pathologists routinely use antibodies as stains to identify particular types of cells. In fact, anti-malignin antibody is promoted to the public as a way for pathologists to distinguish benign from malignant cells under the microscope. The "Lancet" letter announces the use of anti-malignin antibody as a stain, and the fact that it successfully stained three different types of cancer cells in wet preparations.

But what is most curious is that the writer does NOT mention trying out the antibody on any non-cancerous cells. This would be extremely easy to do. If the antibody is really specific for cancer cells, it would leave benign (non-canceous) cells unstained. If the author really believed his own fundamental claim, he would stain sections of tissue containing both benign and malignant cells (i.e., the edges of cancer masses). If he is right, he would see stain only on the cancer cells. After eighteen years, we still have no photos or reports of any such investigations.

Even without a blood assay, if the antibody had demonstrated the predicted ability to distinguish benign and malignant cells, the photographs would have been published within the lead article of the prestigious medical journal of the author's choice. And any second-year medical student knows this.

On this evidence alone... at least for now, I will draw the obvious conclusion.

March 2013: A correspondent asked me whether malignin, produced by a cancer, could be absorbed by all surrounding benign cells, causing every cell in the body to stain. There are many known tumor markers and none of them does this. It is conceivable that a soluble antigen could be shed from cancer cells and bind to benign cell surfaces, as do Lewis blood group antigens in transfusion practice. This is not true of any tumor antigen for which we stian. However, I cannot conceive how shed antigens could end up in the cell cytoplasm. In fact, if this were the case with "malignin", once again it would be on the front page of a major medical journal of the authors' choice. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

To the team's credit, they engage in no dark talk of conspiracies to suppress a breakthrough. But the truth is that the screens that actually work (i.e., that work in more than one person's lab) are quickly taken by big-money corporations and used to earn huge profits. It is inconceivable that no biotechnology corporation has tried to reproduce the work on "malignin". And no major lab has told an audience of fellow-scientists that "malignin" even exists.

Real science is the serious business of trying to make sense of the world, constantly testing and taking elaborate precautions against self-deception. No one can say with real confidence exactly what's going on here. I believe in the sincerity and good intentions of the persons offering the test, and those promoting it.

For now, I must simply caution physicians and patients alike against basing clinical decisions on the "anti-malignin antibody serum test."

Here are the principal anti-malignin antibody sites:

Ed's alternative medicine notes -- generally sympathetic

Follow Up:

I have now (July 27, 1999) obtained and reviewed the other major publications on "malignin". I found the following to be the most revealing.

My local biochemist reviewed the articles and pointed out:

You may reach Dr. Bogoch at Amastest@aol.com.

Follow-up: April 2006. My cyberfriend, James Wilder MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist, wrote to me:

Enjoyed your review. A patient of mine had this test performed several years ago after her gyn recommended removal of a 4 cm ovarian tumor. It was negative and she subsequently never followed up. She was sent to me with a [deep vein thrombosis] and Stage IV ovarian cancer -- the tumor grew to 40 cm.

She read about the test in a Naturopathic book titled "What Doctors Don't Want You to Know."

Thanks, for the careful review of the facts.

This is the first account I've received of a person who will die because she believed the Bogoches. I would be interested in hearing about others.

The above statement also contains an error -- the author of the cited book "What Doctors Don't Want You to Know" is not a naturopath at all, but Kevin Mark Trudeau, a career criminal. This was pointed out to me by Justin Steurich, ND Resident, Bastyr Center for Natural Health. Dr. Steurich is a bona fide practicing naturopathic physician. He added, "I recently saw a patient who had this test done. And I frequently see patients who have been misled by internet 'cures' for cancer. Many patients come to see me out of desperation and hope that I will condone their found 'cures.' It saddens me to have conversations with patients regarding end-of-life care, but I know these are sometimes a necessary part of treating a patient with cancer." I appreciate your research into what I can confidently view as a non-sense test. I only wish that the damage to patient's lives who buy this garbage/scam is readily healed.

June 29, 2006: Mark Thorson wrote:

On your web site, you say "I am presently tracking down all of the team's publications." I think you may have missed a few. They have 11 U.S. patents:

6,638,505 Antibodies to aglyco products and methods of use
6,242,578 Aglyco products and methods of use
5,866,690 Detection of malignant tumor cells
4,976,957 Process for the production of recognins and their chemoreciprocals
4,840,915 Method for diagnosing malignant tumors
4,624,932 Recognins and their chemoreciprocals
4,624,931 Recognins and their chemoreciprocals
4,486,538 Detection of malignant tumor cells
4,298,590 Detection of malignant tumor cells
4,196,186 Method for diagnosing malignant gliol brain tumors
4,195,017 Malignin, derived from brain tumor cells, complexes and polypeptides thereof

And, they have 9 pending patent applications:

20060024669 System and method for identifying complex patterns of amino acids
20050202415 Replikin peptides and uses thereof
20040077532 Aglyco products and methods of use
20030194414 Replikin peptides and antibodies therefore
20030180328 Replikin peptides in rapid replication of glioma cells and in influenza epidemics
20030023047 Aglyco products and methods of use
20020151677 Replikins and methods of identifying replikin-containing sequences
20020120106 Anthrax and Small Pox replikins and methods of use
20020045187 Methods and compositions for stimulating the immune system

You can see these patents and patent applications at the web site of the patent office:

http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html

That should keep you busy for a while.

Additional experiments are described. It's no wonder that no contemporary scientific journal would accept this work. If you are not familiar with this area, take the patents to someone who does real research -- I would suggest a grad student in molecular biology at a local university. For example, "Method for diagnosing malignant tumors" describes nothing of the sort. It's a mix of strange science; for example, it's no surprise that an exogenous antibody will end up in a rapidly-growing cancer rather than in the brain, because there's no blood-brain barrier in such a brain tumor. In other patents, pathologists are described as having helped out but strangely are all unnamed. Amino-acid compositions are given, but I could not find the animo acid sequence of the supposed proteins -- this would be substanard science even in the 1970's.

My conclusion remains the same. Malignin is an anomaly, and its proponents seem totally sincere. I must simply urge people not to make life-and-death decisions based on this work.

MORE FOLLOW-UP: On July 20, 2006, I received the following e-mail from an individual claiming to be a former employee of the Bogoches. I cannot vouch for its authenticity. I do have the original e-mail in my files should this come to issue.

To Whom It May Concern:

Where to begin about the negligence of the AMAS test?

First off I should say I am a former employee of Drs Samuel and Eleanore Bogoch and I can give a first hand account of the negligent conditions under which the lab operates. I find it shocking that two people are able to operate what is essentially a "mom and pop" medical facility with little or no oversight or accountability. Since having terminated my employment with the Bogoches I have attempted to contact the FDA and other regulatory agencies regarding what I believe is criminally negligent activity going on at Oncolab.

To respond to your request regarding deaths as a result of a false belief in the work of the Bogoches I can tell you about two. The first involved a woman in her late twenties who died of advanced lung cancer. According to what I was personally told by the doctor who ordered the test for her (____ was the doctor's name, she is a chiropractor working out of Oregon) the patient believed that the AMAS test was so accurate that it would trump the biopsies and other more conventional cancer diagnostic methods.

Firstly this is the kind of loophole that the Bogoches exploit. Rather than requiring a certified a pathologist, oncologist, or even internist to request their test they will accept the signature of anyone claiming to be a doctor. There is no credentaling involved and there are many instances where the "doctors" ordering AMAS tests are holistic practitioners or even those who own herbal treatment shops. Certainly the Bogoches are not the only parties at fault in the death of this woman, but their credibility played the primary role in her death and dying belief that she was cancer free because of the AMAS test.

The second death I am aware of was of an elderly man who ignored the results of several PSA tests in favor of believing the false negatives he was receiving from Oncolab. I do not have nearly as many details about this instance as it occurred when I first began working for the Bogoches.

These are the only two confirmed deaths I am aware of although during my nearly two years at Oncolab, not a day went by that I did not receive a call from a patient saying that the had been diagnosed with cancer weeks after having received a negative result on their AMAS test. More often than not these claims came from patients with early stage breast cancer. For a test that purports to be best in early detection, of all cancers, this does not bode well for patients that wish to put their faith in what is nothing more than quackery.

Thank you for taking the time to read this note. If I can be of any assistance to you in your review of the AMAS test, please do not hesitate to contact me. I only ask that you do not use my name if you chose to include this information on your site. Please feel free to indicate that I am former employee however.

Follow-up: August, 2006. A friend has provided a link to a new article in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and Biomarkers 14(10): 2310-2315, 2005. The authors (including Dr. Granstom, at long last) conclude that the test has some ability to distinguish patients with cancer, but that it is not sensitive enough to be useful for screening, or specific enough to replace biopsy. The authors state that claims made by the Bogoches that the test is 97% sensitive (i.e., if you have cancer, the test is 97% likely to be positive), and 95% specific (i.e., if you do not have cancer, the test is 95% likely to be negative.) The group studied 71 women undergoing core-needle biopsy of the breast. Simplifying only a little bit in the Bogochs' favor, the group found the test is only 59% sensitive (i.e., it picked up only 59% of the women with cancer), and 69% specific (i.e., 31% of the time, it indicated a woman had cancer when she didn't.) However, the group did find a correlation, significant at P=0.015 (i.e., weak but interesting), between a woman having a positive AMAS and having cancer. This will remind any scientist of a "junk correlation", i.e., something independently produces an increased likelihood of breast cancer and also of having a positive AMAS. In this article, the authors failed to control for patients' age. A woman's breast biopsy is more likely to show cancer if she is older. Nonspecific antibodies, and a larger range of antibodies, are also more common in the elderly. I wrote the chief author who agreed. I'd overlooked that he'd mentioned the older women were more likely to have cancer. "The fact the older women have both more breast cancer and are more likely to have unusual antibodies, would, if anyting have biased the data toward finding a stronger association of breast cancer with a positive AMAS." : I plan to write to the authors, who must have this data, and ask them to check whether this might explains the weak correlation that was discovered.

MORE:

From: Mitch Harman
To: Ed Friedlander ,---
Date: 9/9/2006 1:15:10 PM
Subject: Re: AMAS test

Ed makes an excellent point vis-a-vis Occam's razor. Moreover, you will note in our paper that we had 2 years of follow-up on a subset (admitted small) of our false positive patients and only one of them developed any cancer in that interim.

Mitch

On 9/9/06 7:35 AM, "Ed Friedlander" wrote:

Hi ---:

Thanks for getting back with me. Obviously I cannot devote much time to this claim.

If the AMAS people are now claiming that AMAS detects cancers early, before they are visible clinically, then the best way to confirm this would be a prospective study over several years. The second-best way would be follow-ups on ALL their apparent "false-positives". If their claim is true, the majority of these people should develop clinically evident cancers. Even businesspeople in the community do follow-ups on customers. Perhaps Dr. Harmon knows of something like this in the works.

If the AMAS people are now blaming their false-negatives on cancer "overwhelming" the test (which is not true of any other tumor marker), then their claim has certainly changed from their original publications.

There is a principle in science, with which I am sure you are familiar, called "Occam's razor." When there is a choice between a simple, obvious explanation and an elaborate, ever-changing explanation, the simple one is probably true.

Again, I would urge you not to base any clinical decision on AMAS results. It has been nice corresponding with you.

--- 09/08/06 11:43 AM

Dear Ed & Mitch,

In reading through the materials provided by AMAS they indicate that the test is effective at detecting early malignancies that are not yet to a stage where they are diagnosable by other means. They also state that once a malignancy has been detected that the AMAS test is not very dependable because the anti-malignin antibody production has been overwhelmed and will therefore show a low AMA score.

So the way I understand Oncolab is that a HEALTHY individual will have a LOW score, EARLY stage CANCER (perhaps undetectable) patient will have a HIGH score, MID-LATE stage CANCER patient will have a LOW score, POST-THERAPY REMISSION GOOD PROGNOSIS patient will have a LOW score, and a POST-THERAPY REMISSION POOR PROGNOSIS patient will have a HIGH score.

It took me several readings through their materials to understand what they were claiming, so I hope I'm representing it right. They also represented that it was to be done in addition to other prudent methods of testing and not in lieu of.

After reading though the Harman, et al Breast CA/AMAS paper, it seems to me that the 2005 study coincided with their claim. I don't have a clue what Net-Tag is. When I took a stats course in 1987 in Chiropractic school to help us understand research I don't even remember that being mentioned. So, that may be severely handicapping my ability to understand the results of the study.

If either of you have a moment to respond I would really appreciate it.

Sincerely,

---, DC

-----Original Message----- From: Mitch Harman [mailto:mitch.harman@kronosinstitute.org]
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2006 5:26 PM
To: Ed Friedlander
Cc: --
Subject: Re: AMAS test

Dear Ed

Thanks for your kind words. As stated on page 2 of our paper, Women diagnosed as malignant tended to be older (mean SD, 61.8 + 12.4 years) than those with benign(55.6 + 12.3 years) or suspicious (51.1 + 5.8 years) diagnoses, but only the age difference between the malignant and suspicious groups was statistically significant (P = 0.017). Thus you are correct that women with malignancies tended to be older. The fact the older women have both more breast cancer and are more likely to have unusual antibodies, would, if anything have biased the data toward finding a stronger association of breast cancer with a positive AMAS.

Best regards,

Mitch Harman
S. Mitchell Harman, M.D., Ph.D.
Director and President, Kronos Longevity Research Institute
2390 E. Camelback, Suite 440
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: (602) 778-7484 FAX (602) 778-7490
Web: www.kronosinstitute.org

On 8/26/06 3:11 PM, "Ed Friedlander" Thank you for sharing. Dr. Harman and colleagues did a real service and I am delighted that you brought this article to my attention. One of the authors is indeed Dr. Granstom... he does keep his promises!!! I am also very pleased that you are applying scientific standards and doing your best to practice evidence-based medcine. Of course I will place a link off my page.

Since the authors conclude that AMAS is neither sensitive nor specific, perhaps readers of both the article, and my own posting, will conclude that it should not be offered either as screening or as a sustitute for biopsy.

The team did find a weak correlation between results of the AMAS test and the breast biopsy results. One thing that comes to my mind is that we don't have anything about the ages of the patients. As you are well-aware, an older woman's breast biopsy is more likely to be malignant than a younger woman's, and an older person is also more likely to have a host of unusual and varied antibodies. I'm copying this to Dr. Harman; perhaps the data is available.

In the meantime, thanks very much. As I've indicated, I believe the Bogoches are sincere people. Best wishes.

More: July 15, 2007

From: "Matthew Garland"

Dear Dr. Friedlander,

I am very dismayed regarding the letter that you posted on July 20, 2006 from the person claiming to be a former employee of the Bogoches. Not because she was not a former employee she was. Rather I am dismayed because for all of your efforts at maintaining an objective "scientific" viewpoint, I can't believe that you would jeopardize your own position by publishing something (a) unverifiable even with the caveat explaining that you have no proof, and (b) completely unscientific. There is no science in her letter; nothing disproving anything the Bogochs' research has said. It is merely unsubstantiated inflammatory libel. If it were anything else, there would be proof.

How do I know this? I, too, am a former employee of the Bogoches. I worked at Oncolab as a technician for 5 years, and was the senior technician for the last three and a half. The author of the other letter was an office staff member whose primary duties involved assembling and shipping the collection kits which the Bogoches send out free of charge to the patients.

As a technician, I know a great deal about the test and its mechanics, and was also responsible for a lot of technical support and customer service. I answered some angry phone calls over the years, but I also answered many very, very happy calls, as well.

The author of the previous letter was a disgruntled employee who felt that she was not getting paid what she deserved, and who was not re-hired after leaving Oncolab for a different position, and wanting to come back when the other position didn't work out. She has no science background; she has no firsthand knowledge or understanding of the mechanics of the test or the underlying science upon which it is founded.

I would like to address some of the claims that she makes in her letter, and perhaps some of yours, as well. If you are indeed trying to benefit patients worldwide, you will listen to what I have to say, and if you doubt me, you may do your own research contact Dr. Bogoch himself.

1 Oncolab has what I believe is termed "FDA permission to market". I don't know the exact terminology; I do know that the laboratory has regular inspections from both the state laboratory licensing agency and the FDA. They see what is going on, and have never felt anything Oncolab has done is "criminally negligent".

2 I do not wish to publish details why the woman in her 20's died of lung cancer. There is an obvious explanation to anyone who knows the details, but I do not wish to say anything negative about the doctor publicly and I criticize you for publishing the doctor's name! You have no evidence to substantiate the claim; it is slander. If you want the details on why she died, contact me. I guarantee you it was not directly because of the AMAS test.

I should also point out the obvious here. The AMAS test has a 7% false negative and 5% false positive rate. That means that out of every 100 negatives, 7 are really positive! And for every 100 positive, 5 are really negative! So, for thousands of tests, that number is going to increase from 5 or 7 to 50 or 70 (out of 1000 tests). And yet, the accuracy of the AMAS is still way higher than any other test available! Why complain of one or two people dying because the AMAS test was wrong? Is it tragic? Of course. Is it criminal, or bad science? No! How many people die in the hospitals because of the OTHER tests they took that were wrong? Here's an article on the inaccuracy of the PSA it claims that the PSA misses 82% of prostate cancer in men younger than 60. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=4012 but doctors still rely on it why? Because they always have! So don't try to claim that a few reported deaths "because of the AMAS test" is an indicator that it's a "public health risk"!

3 The author of the other letter claims that, "not a day went by that I did not receive a call from a patient saying that the had been diagnosed with cancer weeks after having received a negative result on their AMAS test. More often than not these claims came from patients with early stage breast cancer. For a test that purports to be best in early detection, of all cancers, this does not bode well for patients that wish to put their faith in what is nothing more than quackery".

Again, that is patently false. Oncolab keeps meticulous phone records, as is required by the FDA and CLIA. There are relatively few complaints about false negatives I'd say at most one or two a month. And out of the tens of thousands of tests they run, the number of reported false results is miniscule! The claim that these calls came in on a daily basis is either completely false, or an indication that this former employee did not record her messages or pass them along to the doctors to address. I'm going for the first, since I answered phone calls every single day of my employment with Oncolab, and I never heard nearly that many complaints.

I should point out that Oncolab received many phone calls praising the test for its accurate results. Many doctors read the literature thoroughly and call to speak with the Drs. Bogoch if they have any questions, and use the test appropriately. As a result, there are many doctors and the number is, as a matter of fact, increasingly rapidly who use the test for their patients with much success.

There is one downside to the test, which is that it relies greatly upon a local laboratory to follow the preparation procedure properly. There are many factors that can induce a false negative improper storage (not freezing the serum on dry ice immediately) or using a butterfly tubing apparatus are two factors that will decrease the protein levels in the blood, and since (a) antibodies are proteins, and (b) once the blood is out of the body, there are no more proteins being made to replace the ones that are absorbed by the plastic or broken down by the proteases, both of those can cause false negatives.

4 You raised another important question why has no big-money corporation taken it on, and why have so many doctors not heard of the test? The answer is mainly that the Bogoches are scientists, not business people. They have been approached by big-money corporations I personally took several of those messages over the years but the Bogoches want to run their business the way they want it, not the way someone else wants to run it. Whether that made better financial sense or not is a different question. As for the other question, it takes a long time for tests to become accepted by the mainstream medical community. I read an article years ago sent in by a patient who loves the AMAS test that said that it took 30 years for the PAP smear to become accepted. So give the AMAS another ten years or so.

I also want to point out that in addition to being a former employee, I am a patient, also. I had a growing tumor excised from my ear, and the AMAS test confirmed that there was no cancer a week before the biopsy came back. Is that proof that the test works? No more than the stories from people with bad experiences. But it balances them out when you hear both sides.

The long and short of it is that yes, there is much more research that can be done on the Anti-Malignin Antibody, and its functions, etc. But that doesn't detract from what has already been done, already been published, and already been shown to work. That independent study that showed a 59% sensitivity and 69% specificity can you confirm that they followed the preparation procedure properly? When you do that, then you can come back and criticize the AMAS test. More than that, what stage breast cancer did the women have? How big were the tumors? The study was weakly done and poorly prepared, in my opinion.

**However, time after time, the AMAS test has been shown to be as sensitive and specific as reported when used properly. There is no reason for anyone to claim that the AMAS test is junk, any more than the PSA, CA125, or any other cancer test currently accepted by the traditional medical world.** Feel free to contact me, and I will be happy to respond to any inquiries that come your way in regards to my letter to you. sincerely,

Matthew Garland

Mr. Garland was right that I should not have posted the chiropractor's name on a second-hand account, and I've removed it.

All rhetoric aside, I trust that anyone visiting this page realizes that a test that, according to its proponent, has a 7% false negative and 5% false positive rate does not have "an accuracy ... still way higher than any other test available!"

The old story about the pap smear being ignored for thirty years is simply untrue. George Papanicolaou suggested screening by smear in 1928, when we had no antibiotics and were still doing microbiology on raw potato sections. Over the following years -- the Great Depression -- the test was developed and made usable. A major treatise that systematized Papanicolaou's concept was published in 1943, and the pap smear became mainstream almost at once.

Of course, no cancer diagnosis is based on bloodwork. The biopsy remains the gold standard -- and it's clear that the Bogoches and their team realize this. There's a basis for continued collaboration with mainstream science. Ultimately there'll be another controlled study.

February 6, 2008. I received the following e-mail:

Dear Dr. Friedlander: You will find this email very interesting I'm sure, as I gather you would very much like to hear from anyone with first-hand experience with the AMAS test. I don't know if this email will get to you or whether it will bounce back, because you haven't dated your article, so for all I know it could be 10 years old. I just read your web site at the address below. http://www.pathguy.com/malignin.htm Just wanted to let you know that I took the AMAS test too, from Canada. Since the Canadian government wouldn't pay for it, I had to pay for it myself, which was around $600 by the time I added up our own lab costs. My lab froze the first sample in error even though I stressed to them over and over again that it couldn't be frozen, so luckily I had a spare kit since my first one hadn't arrived in awhile so they sent me a second and I got both. I don't know if the lab sent the results correctly the second time but the results of my test were NORMAL. Normal means one of two things: (1) You have no cancer antibodies because you don't have cancer or (2) You have no cancer antibodies because you have ADVANCED cancer and your body has quite producing them. I was quite upset that the word NORMAL was used for this because it led me into an argument with my own lab. You see, even though I had paid $600 for the tests, the Calgary Clinics REFUSES to call anyone with the results if they are normal, so it would've been better if they had used another word. Because they used the word normal, I waited and waited in really high anxiety for the results only to find out they had been sitting in the clinic and no one bothered to tell me. This of course made me very angry and I asked them "Did you think I paid $600 just for entertainment purposes?" The doctor I saw then just got angry and walked out of the office leaving me sit there (although he did give me the results first). I wasn't as rude as he was, although I was upset for good reason. At the time I had what appeared to be a breast lump which they had suggested I have taken out after undergoing mammography, digital mammography, and ultrasound. After that I went for a live blood cell analysis test in Calgary also and they couldn't detect cancer either. That was another couple of hundred dollars. After that I wasn't so concerned, so I waited for a year before deciding to finally go for the biopsy. The cancer people kept telling me that because of calcifications and the star shape of the cancer (pretty clear signs it's cancer), I shouldn't have waited, but I did anyway. Besides, my immune system had completely broken down a couple of years earlier so I decided I needed to really pump it up first before undergoing any type of surgery. I also took many anti-cancer herbs. Finally I decided to go for the biopsy. It was so painful it left me with inflammation for three weeks. That was terrifying because it made everything very very hot and red and I thought that if I didn't have cancer before, I surely had it now. (Had no palpable lumps and no pain before and now I was in a lot of pain.) Then they did the markings and by then I had two lumps, but they didn't tell me they were so big -- one about one inch and the other about 3/4 inches. I wanted a double mastectomy because my mother had both of hers removed at different times over the years. I wanted it even though I didn't have the main 1 and 2 genes. They thought that was kind of drastic and talked me into a lumpectomy (which I have to admit I was very sorry I agreed to doing). As it turned out the invasive cancer was very slow growing and had lobular features. I have refused radiation and chemo because if it's that slow growing I feel that the latter are just as dangerous as the former. That took place in mid 2008 and I'm still suffering from quite a bit of pain from the extremely painful lumpectomy because they never used a drainage tube so my grapefruit size swelled up to a basketball --enough to make me almost scream. Some of the stitches also tore out early because I went home the day after a few days I couldn't stand not doing housework anymore and had to do it, even if using only one hand while the other was being used for support from the pain. At any rate, that's where I stand now. Whether the AMAS test was reliable or not, I guess I will never know. I can tell you one thing though. After a person receives such a test and discovers that they DO INDEED have cancer, then they know that NORMAL on the AMAS test does not mean they don't have cancer. It can only mean they have VERY ADVANCED cancer. This definitely can cause quite a bit of terror on a daily basis for the rest of the person's life as they will be left always wondering where this ADVANCED cancer is, since doctors have obviously not found it yet, especially if they suffer from pain elsewhere. Anyway, just letting you know, as you are obviously interested in hearing from people like me with first hand experience.

The bottom line is that this poor lady HAD breast cancer, got a "normal" AMAS test, waited a year to be properly treated, and still believes in the AMAS test. Let us all hope the best for her. If this letter is accurate, the claim for the AMAS test is now a Catch-22... if it comes back "normal", you either do not have cancer, or you have cancer. Are you going to spend $600 for this? For more on "live cell analysis", click here.

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