“There Is No Disease Whose Prime Cause Is Better Known…”

Warning: I wish to inform the website visitor and reader right here that the following article and testament you are about to read has been the cause of much discussion, controversy, self-interest, legal pursuits and politically juxta-positioning by many individuals, practitioners, researchers, doctors, surgeons, companies and corporations the world over.

But this story truly deserves to be read and comprehended. Because the findings of Warburg has split the opinion of so called “scientific opinion” and the pharmaceutical investments by many corporations in a trillion-dollar industry.

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It is from this historical account, that we can glean the well-known, oft-quoted statement by Dr Otto Warburg which begins: “But nobody today can say that one does not know what cancer and its prime cause [may] be.”

Two-time Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr Otto Heinrich Warburg Links The Fermentation of Sugar As The Prime Cause Of Cancer

Dr Otto Heinrich Warburg In Berlin Labratory

Dr Otto Heinrich Warburg from a lecture delivered by Otto personally at the 1966 annual meeting of Nobelists at Lindau, Germany:

“…nobody today can say that one does not know what cancer and its prime cause [may] be. On the contrary, there is no disease whose prime cause is better known, so that today ignorance is no longer an excuse that one cannot do more about prevention.”

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr Otto Heinrich Warburg was born October 8, 1883 son of noted physicist Emil Warburg. He was an MD and a German physiologist.

Warburg was considered and had the honour of being known as one of the twentieth century’s leading biochemists.

That is no ‘mean feat.’

‘Otto’s father Emil Warburg, was a distant relative of the Warburg family of Altona who had converted to Christianity. Otto’s mother was the daughter of a Protestant family. Otto served as an officer in the elite calvary during WW1 earning the Iron Cross.

Notably, as WW1 was coming to an inevitable close Emil’s (Otto’s father’s) friend Albert Einstein wrote to Otto beseeching him to quit the army and return to academic studies citing that the world should not lose his great talents.

Albert Einstein, Friend to Dr Otto Warburg

In 1918 Otto became Professor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology in Berlin-Dahlem. By 1931 he was named Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Cell Physiology. Otto examined the metabolism of tumors and the respiration of cells, particularly cancer cells, and in 1931 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his “discovery of the nature and mode of action of the respiratory enzyme.”

Dr Otto Warburg Two Times Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Second Nobel Peace Prize Nomination.

By 1944, Otto was nominated again for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. for his work on nocotinamide: the means and enzymes involved in fermentation, and the discovery of flavine. Otto was reportedly prevented from receiving the award thwarted by Adolf Hitler whom decreed in 1937 that Germans were forbidden from accepting Nobel Prizes. This is argued against by the Nobel Foundation.

In 1924, Warburg put forward that cancer and the growth of tumours are caused by the generating of energy by the non-oxidative breakdown of sugar/glucose — this is known as a process called glycolysis. This is in contrast to “healthy” cells which mainly generate energy from oxidative breakdown of pyruvate. Pyruvate is an end-product of glycolysis, and is oxidized within the mitochondria. Hence and according to Warburg, cancer should be interpreted as a mitochondrial dysfunction.

“Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.” Dr. Otto H. Warburg in Lecture.

While Warburg continued to develop this outlook experimentally, holding several prominent lectures outlining the data, Otto proposed that some cancer cells switch over to a route which is oxygen-free called the glycolytic pathway. Interestingly, the cancer cells continue to use this conduit even when access to oxygen is restored. Though Warburg’s proposal has since been confirmed, the role played by glycolysis in cancer has been largely ignored.

The Nobel Peace Prize

The best modern summary of Warburg’s landmark work, may be found medically documented in the book, “The Hidden Story of Cancer,” by Brian Scott Peskin, BSEE-MIT. In the preface to the Second Revised German Edition of the Lindau Lecture: “The Way To The Prevention Of Cancer” Otto conjectures:

The Way To The prevention Of Cancer

“A list of selected active groups of respiratory enzymes will soon be published, to which we recently added cytohemin and d-amino-Levulinic acid, the precursor of oxygen-transferring hemins. In the meantime commercial vitamin preparations may be used that contain, besides other substances, many active groups of the respiratory enzymes. Most of these may be added to the food. Cytohemin and vitamin B12 may be given subcutaneously.” (A synonym of “active group” is “prosthetic” group of an enzyme.)

He adds later in another address on the “Preface to the First Edition” – the Prevention of Endogenous Cancer at Wiesenhof, August 1966:

“To prevent cancer it is therefore proposed first to keep the speed of the blood stream so high that the venous blood still contains sufficient oxygen; second, to keep high the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood; third to add always to the food, even of healthy people, the active groups of the respiratory enzymes; and to increase the doses of these groups, if a precancerous state has already developed.

If at the same time exogenous carcinogens are excluded rigorously, then most cancers may be prevented today.”

For more on developing a personal strategy for overcoming cancer, read the post entitled Cancer Treatments – The Power Of A Personal Strategy Part One

“These proposals are in no way utopian. On the contrary, they may be realized by everybody, everywhere, at any hour. Unlike the prevention of many other diseases the prevention of cancer requires no government help, and no extra money.”

The following is taken from a revised Lindau lecture: The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer by Otto Warburg, Director, Max Planck Institute for Cell Physiology, Berlin-Dahlem, Germany adapted from a lecture delivered by Otto himself at the 1966 annual meeting of Nobelists at Lindau, Germany.

“…for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar. All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation.

All normal body cells are thus obligate aerobes, whereas all cancer cells are partial anaerobes. From the standpoint of the physics and chemistry of life this difference between normal and cancer cells is so great that one can scarcely picture a greater difference. Oxygen gas, the donor of energy in plants and animals is dethroned in the cancer cells and replaced by an energy yielding reaction of the lowest living forms, namely, a fermentation of glucose.

It is noted that Otto Warburg’s main interests were Chemistry and Physics of Life.

In both fields no scientist has been more successful.

For more information on Otto Warburg’s work, visit Healing Cancer Naturally (cancer cause and prevention)

Otto Warburg concludes his lecture with this:

“Why then does it happen that in spite of all this so little is done towards the prevention of cancer?

The answer has always been that one does not know what cancer or the prime cause of cancer [might] be, and that one cannot prevent something that is not known.”

“But nobody today can say that one does not know what cancer and its prime cause [may] be. On the contrary, there is no disease whose prime cause is better known, so that today ignorance is no longer an excuse that one cannot do more about prevention. That prevention of cancer will come there is no doubt, for man wishes to survive.”

Inhibiting The Application Of Scientific Knowledge?

Warburg goes on: “But how long prevention will be avoided depends on how long the prophets of agnosticism will succeed in inhibiting the application of scientific knowledge in the cancer field. In the meantime, millions of men must die of cancer unnecessarily.”

UPDATE:  The December 2008 Journal of Lipid Research coauthored by Boston College Biology Professor Thomas Seyfried produces new interest among scientists in the work of German physician and biochemist Otto Warburg, who won the Nobel Prize in 1931.

Interestingly, Professor Seyfried says in effect that current explanations of the cause of cancer are deficient, which is why the discoveries of Dr Otto Warburg do not fade away into obscurity, today.

See Professor Thomas Seyfried on You Tube here: