New York Post, Flu May Kill Cancer

Somewhere along the line I got to this link about the flu virus maybe killing cancer and a guy modifying it for greater effect.

The flu virus might kill cancer, doctors say

By Andrea Downey, The Sun

July 11, 2017 | 12:05pm

Sidebar on Search and Hijack by Twitter / Google

Originally this article was to be only about that story. I’d found it when using the Macbook, so needed to pull up the same article on my posting machine. Usually just the name of the source site and a few words from the title does the trick. So “ flu virus cancer” as a search ought to get it “up top”. This failed. Why is an interesting question. BOTH Google and Twitter destination links popped up near the top. The Twitter one seeming to do a masquerade of sorts to look like a NY Post direct link.

(I’ve trimmed the junk ‘identifiers’ about AT&T network source and such from the search link)

This gave a list of things (I’ve inserted spaces in URLs to break wordpress auto activating them):
We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.
[Search domain nypost .com]…

FDA fast-tracks treatment that uses polio virus to fight …
While the altered polio virus initiates the fight against the cancer cells, … Cold and Flu; Digestive Health; Nutrition; Pregnancy; Site Index Sections …
[Search domain www]…

The flu virus might kill cancer, doctors say – New York Post
The common flu virus could be used to fight cancer, … web: facebook: nypost. twitter: nypost. google: +nypost. New York Post Hot Topics #1 Otto Warmbier
[Search domain]

Flu tactics: New study reveals how influenza A attacks …
A study identifying the little-studied ways of how flu viruses hijack human … Full Story | on … Genetic tests help identify cancer patients …

[Search domain www.] https: //…
Cancer Biology –
http: // … The virus helps patients … and all of the patients suffered flu like symptoms …

[Search domain] https: //
One drug to rule them all! Scientists find treatment to kill …
Scientists find treatment to kill EVERY … http: // … Previous story Deadly New Bird Flu Virus in China …

[Search domain]…
Scientists use modified HIV virus to cure cancer. Still no …
Scientists use modified HIV virus to cure cancer. Still no hover cars. … Scientists use modified HIV virus to cure cancer. Still no hover cars (

That first one LOOKS like it ought to take you straight to the NY Post, but it pops up a twitter instead…

“http: //”

That share= part seems to be what does it. Further down there’s a Google attempt to hijack me away from duckduckgo also.

“http: //”

Now “why” is an interesting question. I have ZERO desire to feed either Twitter or Google and they are both on my “avoid” list for their predatory behaviours and lack of respect for privacy. Yet it looks like “they have found a way” to try to force me through them. It looks like it might depend on how the NY Post has set up their pages, but I’m not sure. So are Google and Twitter doing hyjacks, or has the NY Post got a bad page layout?

In any case, for the NY Post, I had to go to their top page then do the search there. Be advised… Watch for ?share= and trim it…

Now back at the main story:

Virus vs Cancer

As the list of links the search turned up shows, a bunch of viruses are being exploited in attempts to kill off cancer. This particular story being about the Flu.

The common flu virus could be used to fight cancer, say scientists who believe it can “shatter” tumors from within.

Doctors are set to test the new treatment, using a lab-grown flu virus to attack liver cancer cells, while leaving healthy ones alone.

Dr. Tony Dhillon, an oncologist at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, England, is leading the new trial.

He said it could be “potentially game changing” for patients who have been told their liver cancer is inoperable.

Currently patients with advanced liver cancer are treated with daily tablets, which only slow the growth of the cancer.

The virus, once inside the tumor’s cancerous cells, replicates, the experts explained.

They said: “Eventually the cells will become so full that they will burst, allowing the ‘flu-like’ infection to spread to adjacent cells.

Now it’s all well and good they they are working to tailor a virus to just attack the cancer cells, but I’m left wondering to what extent universal flu vaccination increases cancer deaths from eliminating this beneficial side effect?

I remember stories from many decades back (when flu was more frequent) of folks with cancer, getting the flu, then post recovery having their cancer “spontaneously cured”. Generally not attributed to anything but random chance. Still, many folks noticed the proximity in time.

FWIW, I got my first ever “flu shot” while working at Disney 2 years ago. Prior to that I just ignored it. Why? I’d already had The Flu enough times I’m immune to most of the varieties out there. I was in the cohort from about 1957? that had one of the last “killer flu” pandemics to hit California.

Asian Flu (1957–1958)
Main article: H2N2

The “Asian Flu” was a category 2 flu pandemic outbreak of avian influenza that originated in China in early 1956 lasting until 1958. It originated from mutation in wild ducks combining with a pre-existing human strain. The virus was first identified in Guizhou. It spread to Singapore in February 1957, reached Hong Kong by April, and US by June. Death toll in the US was approximately 69,800. The elderly were particularly vulnerable. Estimates of worldwide deaths vary widely depending on source, ranging from 1 million to 4 million.

So it was an H2N2 type, nice to know. I had a fever of about 105 F, at near 106 F my Dad gave me an ice bath and medicated for fever reduction. Shortly after that the fever broke and I recovered without incident. Yes, I still remember when the “ice in a cloth on the forehead and neck” was replaced with the cold plunge in the bath tub… both shivers and relief…

So now folks are trying to domesticate this beast and control the benefit vs cost ratio.

IMHO, has promise.

Reading the Wiki list, it looks like I’ve had H3N2 and H1N1 exposure as well. It’s been a couple of decades since any particular flu managed to cause me illness, so I think I’m likely pretty well conditioned at this point.

I’ve also pretty much decided not to bother with the flu vaccination anymore. I had one. It didn’t even cause a bump at the injection site. My body just laughed it off as less than a nothing. NO immune response seemed to happen. I also cruised though the following flu seasons without even the sniffles (much like prior one in 2009) It just doesn’t seem to matter any more if I have a vaccination or not, as I’m pretty much “ready to go” for lots of the antigen mixes.

But that raises an interesting question: Am I now less likely to benefit from any anti-cancer effect of a bout of the flu?


Will their proposed Flu based “treatment” fail on folks “like me” who already mount high anti-flu virus response and tend not to ‘catch flu’ anymore? Will it interact with the flu vaccine?

One hopes they manage to remove the more common antigen markers from the virus, but then given the propensity to recombination it has, might that lead to a “killer flu” without antigens if it remixed with, say, an H1N1 and lost those markers?

Curiouser and curiouser…

Well, now I find myself hoping I get a mild case of the flu in coming years. Doubt it will happen as It’s been about 30 years since the last one. (About 1983? I had a bad flu with fever… at least I think it was the flu… that was the last time despite no vaccinations) Maybe I’ll get some other virus that’s “going around” and it can clean out the broken cells ;-)

It would be interesting to compare death statistics for cancer vs flu in countries with vaccination vs not. Tradeoffs, it’s all about tradeoffs…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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24 Responses to New York Post, Flu May Kill Cancer

  1. cdquarles says:

    One of those trade-offs is that the young can and do die from post-flu pneumonia at greater rates than they do of cancer. Cancer is, in effect, a disease of long life. I doubt there’ll be much there, there ;p. I could be wrong, however. Consider that it is the old who will have received the bulk of the influenza vaccines. Also don’t dismiss survivor bias.

  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    I’ve also pretty much decided not to bother with the flu vaccination anymore.

    That is a good choice because non-biased look at the statisics show that flu vaccinations have essentially no protective value for folks who are age 60+. (actually might have negative value)

    By the time you are that age you have been repeatedly exposed to all the major flu strains and if you have an healthy immune system you don’t need artificial immunity.

    Also flu vaccine immunity is not full immunity and deteriorates over time where actual exposure to the virus produces a more effective immune response.

  3. Nick Fiekowsky says:

    About your sidebar…to restrict search to a single website, use, for example “ flu cancer”. The article was about the fifth entry after an ad. One or two more keywords would have probably boosted it to the top.

    Another tip – click on “Search Tools” link. Additional ways to narrow search scope.

    Sidebar on the sidebar. Worked on enterprise search several positions ago. We discovered that Google Internet search produced more-relevant results more quickly on our public-facing sites. Not surprising when you consider that it’s their money-maker and their algorithms leverage page rank and probably other metrics unavailable to an internal search engine.

    We persuaded them to allow us to pay to use their Internet search to replace ours – Google Site Search. Annual cost went from about 5 figures per year – search software, servers, hosting… – to 3 figures per year, payable only by credit card with no invoicing available. That hints at the level of efficiency in a well-run cloud data center.

    Management easily recognizes the benefit of paying a fraction of previous cost to get far more. Tip of the hat to Moore’s “Law”.

  4. cdquarles says:

    The point of a flu vaccine isn’t so much about the flu itself. It is about the post-flu pneumonias that are common enough and are typically the killers. Don’t forget that the influenza virus is a zoonotic one. It passes through humans, birds and swine. People keeping either are the ones where human virulent forms are selected for (or not, and this is also part of the reason for the vaccine … which is to prime your immune system so that it has a shorter processing delay) and that this virus is one of the most mutable we know of, such that natural immunity fades faster than it does for other viruses.

  5. John F. Hultquist says:

    Interesting post and comments. Thanks, all.
    I’ve been up close and personal with Flu, Shingles, and Giardia.
    None of these do I recommend. The up side is one gets stories to share.

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    My whole family got hit by that 1957 flu out break, I was the only person in the family that did not get really sick. I have never had much of an issue with flu strains. I have come down with a couple really bad colds (about once every 10-15 years or so) but seldom have any problem when everyone else around me is coming down with the flu.

  7. R. de Haan says:

    On the rise now, thermal treatments raising the body temperature to kill off lung infections etc. A lot of research and in vivo trials have been undertaken and the outcomes are very promising. The treatment is very cheap and successful treatment of individuals with cancer have been recorded.
    People treated over a period of several weeks reported they felt 20 years younger. See wikipedia

  8. llanfar says:

    @R. de Haan


  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. De Haan:

    I call that an artificial fever. My Dad used that process and taught it to me. I think it came down the Amish side of the family, but I’m not sure. Might have been the Smiths…

    He’d keep blankets on us as long as were were warm, but complained of chills. Eventually we would start to sweat, then we could drop some layers. Once we complained of being hot, we could fully cool down. Seems to have worked well. I still use it.

    I never try to suppress a fever with drugs, unless it goes over 104 F to 105 F. I’ll push a 100 F up with blankets and room heat if possible…just to get things cured fsster. Usually end up feeling wrung out, but eventually “fresher” or renewed a few days later.

    It’s been years simce I’ve needed to do it, though…

    Says it was common in the past, so not just folk medicine

    Pyrotherapy (artificial fever, therapeutic fever) is a method of treatment by raising the body temperature or sustaining an elevated body temperature (caused by a fever). In general, the body temperature was maintained at 41° Celsius(105° Fahrenheit) .Many diseases were treated by this method in the first half of the 20th century. In general, it was done by exposing the patient to hot baths, warm air, or (electric) blankets.


    One example is the malariotherapy, the treatment of syphilis by the introduction of malaria, for which Julius Wagner-Jauregg won Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1927.

    The general paresis of the insane caused by neurosyphilis was effectively overcome by the method.

    Pyrotherapy was also employed in psychiatry. Of note here is the use of sulfozinum and pyrogenal that was relatively widespread in Soviet psychiatry.

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    I use the same technique (self taught), if in bed pile as many blankets on top of me as I can and set the thermostat in the high 70’s. Continue until I break a good sweat. I have also used the car as a sauna, get a heavy jacket, crank the car heater up to the max and sit in the sun (during the winter). The high temperature air cripples the cold virus (it preferes slightly cooler temps than normal body temp – which is why you get sick after being out in the cold) and the immune system works better at higher body temps.

    Similar info on sauna use and life expectancy.

    It appears brief periods of high body temp are good for you.

  11. Steve C says:

    A good idea to stay off the flu jabs. The only year I ever had one, I had more and worse flu that year than ever before or since. Never again.

    Re cancer, this sounds interesting – the fastest ever response to a treatment. “Just” combine the right couple of drugs and away it goes, allegedly.

  12. Paul, Somerset says:

    A more technical article from 5 years ago describing attempts by a Swedish team to kill tumours by introducing viruses. Also contains some historical background going back over a hundred years to when these effects were first noticed.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steve C:

    IF that holds up, it is spectacular. 11 days to erradication of breast cancer tumors, from combining two already approved drugs. That’s the kind of thing that can go global in months, not decades, as governments and testing are not obstucting it with rules.


    Thanks for the backgrounder.

  14. cdquarles says:

    Part of the problem here is individual variation. A fever for some is not going to be a fever for others. To do this properly, you’d have to use certified and calibrated thermometers and get a long-running profile plus the ‘normal’ range. Also, it is the core temperature that’s important, not the peripheral one. Core temp’s 0.5 or so or more degrees C higher than peripheral temperatures, which depend on where and how the measurement was taken.

    That said, for most illnesses, you don’t really want to suppress a fever if it is due to infections, most of the time. As noted, Core temps in the 40C range are dangerous in themselves, due to inducing heat shock proteins and subsequent apoptosis (this is how you get heat stroke or rhabdomyolysis even if not heat stroke and/or renal impairment/failure). Mild pain relievers may help, by modulating immune response. Over aggressive immune response, in itself, can trigger total body organ failure.

    Mortal man, doomed to die and the span of a man’s years shall be 120. The mechanism is built into how normal growth and development take place.

  15. cdquarles says:

    Also note that a variation of inducing apoptosis underlies all current cancer treatments.

  16. E.M.Smith says:


    Likely due to growing up where summers were “110 F in the shade, and there ain’t no shade” along with the experience with Dad managing fevers, but I’m now highly attuned to when I’m at the limit of core temperature. It’s pretty easy to become aware of it and avoid it.

    Oh, and the several years of working summers in the peach cannery. Stacking 50 lb cases of cans, up to 400 / hour, inside the warehouse where it was hotter than outside. (Forklift motor heat, cans from the cookers in the overheads at 150F to 200F or so even after the cooldown bath. 12 hour shifts.) I think pretty much everyone was working on the edge of heat exhaustion for 3 months… Boss pulled folks out who were not doing it right and got them cooled. Eventually you learned when to hit the water, take some salt, and ask for a break.

    Skin starts to flush, you get a bit dizzy / light headed feeling, thinking slows a bit. At that point, it’s time to slug down some cool water and put the cold compress on the neck… If possible, I’ll dunk the head in cold water or just pour a glass over (or better, a nice cool shower…) If you start reaching “jitters”, very weak, and trouble standing, you’ve gone too far and need more “urgent” application of temperature reduction. (IF you stop sweating, it’s very bad, cold application and hydration urgent. I’ve never gone that far.)

    So, take today: I’m on my third round of working in the summer sun in the early afternoon. Moving stuff (some of it heavy). I’ve twice gotten into the shade with a “cold one” to cool down and stayed there until sweating stopped. Rehydrated (with both NaCl and KCL electrolytes) and feeling like moving again. Cycle back to sweating, flushed some, starting to feel the woozy at the edges, literally “Rinse” and repeat ;-) Now I’m done for the day after round 3. Iced drink, inside the house… cutoffs only. Cooling down nicely.

    It is when you push too much past those warnings, and do not stay very well hydrated, that it becomes an issue. We’re talking like a quart an hour hydrated… If you are not peeing near clear, you are not hydrated enough. Dark yellow means you are looking for trouble.

    A cold wet towel or ice pack from the freezer wrapped around the neck, and an “iced one” in hand can work wonders. Soaking in the cold from the glass also cools you through your hands, and the iced drink directly drops core temps fast. Swallow, don’t guzzle…

    Hopefully anyone without the benefit of growing up with Summers From Hell can benefit from that experience base by proxy ;-) Once you’ve done it a few times, it’s pretty clear when you are pushing it too much and need a shade and drink break. When sick, it’s a bit harder as you may have woozy dizzy without the added heat, so just watch the thermometer and don’t ‘augment’ the temperature if you are approaching 104 F (whatever that is in the ‘not granular enough’ C scale… ;-) and cold application at 105 F to 106 F until back under that point.

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    For heat management if humidity is not sky high, hard to beat just soaking a cotton tee shirt with water for keeping cool under high work load. When running marathons after about the first 1/3 of the race I used more water wetting my tee shirt than I did drinking. No point in diverting the water through the biological system to get sweat when you can apply it directly. Usual move was to drink about 1/3 – 1/2 of the cup of water and then pour the rest of the water down the front of my shirt.

  18. cdquarles says:

    So true, EM and I grew up where it was 90 in the shade, and having plenty of it nearby :), with most days having the day start saturated and end saturated from the shade’s evapotranspiration. Anyway, 40C = 104F, if I’m doing the calculation correctly. F = 1.8*C + 32. The other way isn’t quite so clean.

    Funny thing about the not-granular enough C scale, a sentiment that I agree with, is that 98.6F/37C is the mean peripheral body temp during the active period, taken at rest. Mean core temps run just under 38C/just over 99F under the same circumstances. Yeah, 104/105/106F is where you have to be careful. That’s potentially far enough away from a personal optimum that can activate the ‘heat-shock’ proteins and induce apoptosis. For some conditions, this is good. For others, not so much. Unfortunately, innumeracy and sloppy language can get the MD/DO in trouble. Tidy minds and all that :)

    Yep, averages can be used to hide important details, and that’s why I mentioned getting certified thermometers, kept calibrated and use these to make a long running personal profile. Individual diurnal patterns vary and inter-group individual measurements also vary. Yeah, 98.6F is a number that might not apply to you. Good MDs check it, sometimes twice or more, if there’s a question. Have the nurse do it, have the doctor do it and compare just in case there is ‘white coat’ anxiety.

  19. cdquarles says:

    Hmm, I wonder if that cannery was a metal building or a wooden one. It would make a difference. I grew up not knowing what home AC was. A neighbor bought a window unit when I was 10 or so. Businesses had them, the central units, that is. Maybe some of the more prosperous in town had them, too. The house was an old house, rebuilt in the 1930s for using natural ventilation and it had a metal roof. Upside of a metal roof is that it gets hot and starts radiating faster than a tar shingle one would, which would get hot and conduct into the house more. We never had wood shingles, so I don’t know what effect they’d have had. I’m further south than you, so the zenith angle is lower (more overhead, for those not aware of it). I hated working on that roof in the summer, but when it had to have ‘silver’ paint applied, well, yep, up on that roof you go, son.

    The house had high ceilings and used louvers to help move air. Open the main door, keep the screen door closed, turn on the electric fan and sit on the floor. Outside work was done early morning or late afternoon. You could play outdoors during the peak heat hours, if you were going down to the wooded lot and catch crawfish in the streams or swing on the vines. Otherwise, indoors you were. You were still outdoors enough to get UV irradiated, despite the shade’s attempts to screen it out. An exception was the swimming lessons. Those could run into the hot period. Worst burn I ever got was at the pool, when not in the water.

  20. R. de Haan says:

    I received a business plan a few weeks ago from a Lithuanian company that has developed treatment units for Hyperthermal Therapy including state of the art monitoring equipment, a buck load of temperature sensors, external equipment like infra red lamps for local heat treatment and a very detailed in Vivo research study among 7.000 patients with all kind of indications like a variety of cancers like Hodgkinson but also infection diseases from lung infections to Lyme Desease. I still have to dig through the details but as said, the therapy seemed to have helped lots of people and treatment is extremely cheap. Their problem will be to introduce their therapy into the settled medical infra structure and the main stream therapies which are everything but inexpensive for most of the indications.

  21. R. de Haan says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    13 July 2017 at 5:43 am

    @R. De Haan:…

    Thanks E. M., Pyrotherapy eh, similar to Hyperthermia Therapy. I did a Pyrotechnical Training to be aloud to operate a rocket propelled parachute to bring down a plane in case it became uncontrolable. It also alows me to do maintenance and transport such a rocket system in my car. So my direct association with pyrotherapy is that of fire, fire works, even explosives. Covers the load though since you must feel like you’re on fire when you undergo such a threatment/therapy. Anyhow, learned a lot again from all of you so thanks.

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    As I remember it, mostly metal beams and corrugated metal construction. Think 1900 cheap fruit shed with machinery added next to the rail line… some of the equipment may have dated from the 1800s… belt driven things with pully or gear wheels that has S curved spokes…. the “mechanic” fabricated or welded a lot of things as “parts” did not exist… it was very old in 1960… when I first became aware of it. I got the impression that electric lights and motors were all retrofits…

    Big sliding doors open to the rail cars for loading and accidental ventilation (with very hot air from over the rail ballast…)

    We had “swamp coolers” until I was about 10? Then Dad added a window AC to the dining room… House was built in stages. Oldest parts late 1800s. Newest part, 1910. 12 foot ceilings that Dad lowered to be more modern. High with transoms worked better without the AC… lower was better with AC due to insulation of the gap and lower cooled volume. Finally moved out to central air school at about 18, but summers back home till about 22… still find it funny when folks complain about the heat and it is under 90 F with low humidity… They have no idea… “add 20 degrees F and get back to me”… FWIW, most miserable heat I was in was Gulfport Mississippi. About 98 F and 98% humidity. Got out of the car with AC and water started to condense on me, heating rapidly and forming dribbles… . Like being steamed… slowly…

    @R. de Haan :

    I think pyrotherapy is the term for the older use while hyperthermia is the newer forms, but that is just a guess. By either name, it works. For many things.

    Runners are known to heat up. I wonder how much of the health benefit of excercise is really just from heating up frequently… I’d rather a half hour in the hot tube than running ;-)

  23. Zeke says:

    inre Hyperthermia treatment

    “Moderate hyperthermia, which heats cells in the range of 40 to 42 °C (104 to 108 °F), damages cells directly, in addition to making the cells radiosensitive and increasing the pore size to improve delivery of large-molecule chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic agents (molecular weight greater than 1,000 Daltons), such as monoclonal antibodies and liposome-encapsulated drugs.[4] Cellular uptake of certain small molecule drugs is also increased.[4]”

    I am having a hard time with this. It could be just a method of drug delivery.

    Still it’s really interesting. I was actually looking up Nikola Tesla in a 1944 encyclopedia, and it redirected to “diathermia,” which uses extremely high frequencies to treat diseases.

    Also, maybe they are just treating the tumor topologically with the virus, directly infecting the area, not giving the person influenza and expecting it to attack the cancer. ??

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