June 8, 2015

More options than ever for Crohn’s patients

Posted by WARREN PERLEY – Editor, BestStory.ca
Writing from Montreal

PHOTO: The GP Surgery
An address by Dr. Amy Hermon-Taylor is eagerly anticipated at an international research symposium on Crohn’s to be held August 16, 2015 in a Chicago-area municipality.

The pulse of the audience will likely beat a tad faster when Dr. Amy Hermon-Taylor steps up to the podium in the Chicago-area municipality of Deerfield on Sunday, August 16, 2015 to address an international research symposium on Crohn’s. She is the daughter of London-based Dr. John Hermon-Taylor, the world’s first pioneer in alternative treatment of Crohn’s disease, and what she has to say should give tremendous hope to the millions of Crohn’s sufferers and their families worldwide.

Her father has developed a therapeutic vaccine against the MAP bacterium, which is found in the majority of Crohn’s patients, causing inflammation with accompanying pain, diarrhea, weight loss and fatigue, among other symptoms. Dr. John Hermon-Taylor’s vaccine, which has been shown to both prevent and cure MAP infection in animals, still has to be tested in humans. As well, he is working on a simple test to be used with the vaccine in order to detect MAP in the tissue and blood of Crohn’s patients prior to, during and after treatment with his vaccine. No such simple test currently exists.

But it will take money – a small amount by scientific research standards – to bring Dr. Hermon-Taylor’s MAP test and vaccine to the point of human clinical trials. As of summer 2015, $4.1 million (U.S.) was needed for the vaccine; $184,000 for one more year of lab work on the MAP-detection test and $460,000 to run the test through a clinical human trial.

In total, less than $5 million is needed at this point for further testing of what could be a cure for Crohn’s disease, according to the handful of gastroenterologists and microbiologists around the world who understand the role of MAP in Crohn’s disease. That’s less than a $1 donation on behalf of each of the estimated 5 million people worldwide who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, which includes both Crohn’s and colitis.

How do I know that the top MAP experts in the world support Dr. John Hermon-Taylor’s initiatives for a new Crohn’s test and vaccine? The primary reason is that I interviewed most of them for the current story posted today on our site about the three pioneering gastroenterologists who consider Crohn’s to be an infectious disease and currently treat their patients with a mix of antibiotics known as the anti-MAP Protocol.

One of those gastroenterologists I interviewed for my story is New Mexico-based Dr. William Chamberlin, who is one of the five guest speakers invited from around the world to address the August 16, 2015 Deerfield symposium titled, Game-Changing Concepts in Crohn’s Medicine.

Among the other guest speakers are microbiologist John Aitken of New Zealand; Patrick McLean, Product Manager of Israel-based Redhill Biopharma; and Wisconsin-based microbiologist and veterinarian Dr. Michael Collins, who wrote what some experts believe is the most comprehensive scientific analysis ever done tying Crohn’s disease in humans with Johne’s disease in cattle. Dr. Collins’ analysis was posted on BestStory.ca. in February 2015.

It is precisely because Dr. Collins’ piece was so well documented in proving the link between the MAP bacterium in cattle and the MAP bacterium in Crohn’s patients that I felt obliged to research and write a follow-up story about which doctors offer anti-MAP Protocol treatments, what those treatments entail, as well as their success rates in attaining remission. Having a loved one who has suffered from severe Crohn’s most of her life motivated me to find answers to the questions that would likely come into the mind of any patient who believes MAP infection could be causing his Crohn’s.

Before I give a summary of where my research led, please allow me to explain the objectives of our ad-free, long-form journalism site – www.BestStory.ca – which was launched in Montreal in April, 2012. Some Crohn’s patients, after becoming aware of Dr. Collins’ analysis on our site last February, questioned why they had to pay 40 cents to read it.

The answer as to why we charge 40 cents per story is that when we started three years ago we had to establish a business model which would at least give freelance journalists and our site the potential to earn some revenue on stories – given the fact that we don’t accept ads, sponsorships, donations or subscriptions.

Ours is the only long-form journalism site in the world where the writers themselves can choose any stories they wish to pursue, and we at BestStory will support them with professional editing and graphics at no cost before posting their articles on our site. As Editor of the site, I don’t care whether the subject matter is likely to lead to many story sales or whether I agree with the writers’ points of view. If the journalist in question thinks it is a story which should be published, that’s good enough for me – as long as the research and writing is original and well done. Copyright and moral rights of all their original material remains with the writers.

So when Dr. Judy Lipton, a retired American psychiatrist who has undergone the anti-MAP Protocol and is completely cured of her Crohn’s, approached me in 2014 about the possibility of publishing a very important scientific analysis by her colleague, Dr. Michael Collins, about the connection between Johne’s disease in cattle and Crohn’s disease in people, I agreed immediately.

The truth is, if it were up to Dr. Collins, his analysis would be given away free because his only objective as a man of science is to inform Crohn’s patients about the role MAP plays in their illness so that they can seek treatment to eradicate it.

But my role as Editor of BestStory.ca is not only to make sure that every story that appears on our site is the best that it can be, but to also build a business model to allow the many freelancers who have registered with us as potential writers to at least have the chance to earn modest revenue on their stories. The amount we charge per story – 40 cents – does not come close to covering the hundreds of hours it can take to research, write, edit, and do a layout with interesting graphics for a story such as Dr. Collins’ 8,500-word scientific analysis.

Every journalism site in the world has to have a means to generate revenue. If not, it won’t stay open for business – unless it is being supported by a benefactor. We have chosen a business model which places the choice of whether to purchase each story, on an individual basis, into the hands of our readers. No subscriptions and no intrusive ads: just premium, original journalism with interesting graphical layouts.

If you are a Crohn’s patient or a family member with a loved one suffering from IBD, I think that both Dr. Collins’ story and our follow-up analysis posted today will provide you with detailed information, put into layman’s context, that you will not find elsewhere on the Internet.

Here is a synopsis of our latest 13,000-word Crohn’s analysis, which took more than one year of research and four months to write:

I started the piece interviewing the top gastroenterologists in the world, including an extensive telephone interview with Dr. William Chamberlin, who give the anti-MAP Protocol treatment in order to find out what antibiotics they use in their mix. Along the way, I discovered that Dr. Thomas Borody of Australia is, by far, the gastroenterologist with the highest rate of remission among Crohn’s patients worldwide. I wondered why and discovered he has access to one key antibiotic that no gastroenterologist outside Australia can obtain on a regular basis as part of an anti-MAP Protocol.

Again I wondered why, which led me to an interview with Novartis, which manufactures the antibiotic. I found out Novartis’ position about why this antibiotic is no longer readily available in Western countries, and I also found out from officials there how it could be obtained in special cases, such as for Crohn’s treatment.

As a follow-up to the Novartis interview, I spoke with government officials in Canada as to the legality of a medical doctor importing this key antibiotic to treat Crohn’s. At the same time, I looked into U.S. government regulations concerning importation of prescription medicines not available in the U.S. (The situation is similar in the U.K.) Along the way, I consulted with an experienced, independent litigator as to the Canadian government’s legal interpretation of importing prescription drugs, and then I looked into what can be the dangerous world of online prescription purchases.

In between the dogged research concerning the difficulty of doctors obtaining this key antibiotic, I interviewed renowned Florida-based microbiologist Dr. Saleh Naser at length as to why the MAP bacterium is so difficult to culture from Crohn’s patients. I also spoke with eminent MAP specialist, microbiologist Dr. Marcel Behr of McGill University, who talked about a genetic mutation he has discovered which could trigger Crohn’s disease among those carrying the MAP bacterium.

I had an exchange with British microbiologist Dr. Roger Pickup, a colleague of both Dr. John Hermon-Taylor and Dr. Jeremy Sanderson, the third of the three well-known gastroenterologists currently giving patients the anti-MAP Protocol. What Dr. Pickup had to tell me is frightening: His recent studies show that MAP is now being spread not only through milk from cows, but also through local water supplies contaminated by fecal matter from cattle.

I also looked into the situation of doctors who are reticent to give the anti-MAP Protocol because it has not been sanctioned by their local governing boards, which in turn makes it difficult for patients seeking such treatment to find a doctor. The story looks into how that situation could change in the near future if clinical studies being conducted by Redhill Biopharma in the U.S., Canada and Israel on the RHB-104 anti-MAP pill turn out well.

My story entailed interviews with patients, such as Dr. Judy Lipton and Tristan Biesecker who underwent the anti-MAP Protocol, as well as with a Montreal businessman whose two young children took the treatment. All, except Dr. Lipton, said they followed alternate therapies, which they described, in addition to the anti-MAP Protocol.

Dr. John Todd Kuenstner of West Virginia told me the story of his son who had Crohn’s and his daughter who suffered from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Both were treated and helped by the Borody anti-MAP Protocol, which brought up the theory that MAP infection could be responsible for a slew of autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and many others. Dr. Kuenstner, a pathologist, and 13 other scientists and doctors wrote a case report published in The World Journal of Gastroenterology on April 7, 2015, calling for MAP prevalence studies into at least 20 autoimmune conditions.

The idea that, in addition to Crohn’s disease, MAP could be the culprit in a myriad of other autoimmune conditions makes the work of Dr. John Hermon-Taylor that much more pressing and deserving of financial support. His work on a new anti-MAP vaccine and test is discussed prominently in my story.

People wishing to donate directly to Dr. John Hermon-Taylor’s efforts to bring his anti-MAP vaccine and test to market should visit his site at: http://crohnsmapvaccine.com/.

Those who want to hear his daughter, Dr. Amy Hermon-Taylor, give an update on her father’s work can buy a $25 ticket to attend the August 16, 2015 symposium being held at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim, located at 1201 Lake Cook Road in Deerfield, Illinois. For an extra $75, those attending can take part in a “meet-and-greet” with the guest speakers after the formal presentations. Monies raised will go towards Crohn’s research: http://crohnsmap.ticketleap.com/symposium/

[See teasers below]

Published: JUNE 2015
Medical pioneer from Down Under leads world in Crohn’s treatment

Writing from Montreal

Dr. Thomas Borody of Australia enjoys the highest remission rate of any doctor in the world when it comes to treating Crohn’s patients. Now he and U.S.-based Dr. William Chamberlin, who like Dr. Borody treats Crohn’s as an infectious disease, talk about the antibiotic formulas they use, their success rates, and their views on the future direction of Crohn’s treatments. Microbiologist Dr. Saleh Naser of the University of Central Florida explains why the connection between MAP bacterium and Crohn’s continues to confound most microbiologists and gastroenterologists.

12,765 Words | 29 Photos | 4 Illustrations

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Published: FEBRUARY 2015
Crohn’s link to bacterium in cows opens door to antibiotic treatment

Analysis by Dr. MICHAEL T. COLLINS
Writing from Madison, Wisconsin

Within the last decade, elite scientists around the world have made a positive link between Crohn’s disease and a bug called Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP), seen magnified approximately 50,000 times under an electron microscope in the photo to the left. MAP originates in cattle where it causes Johne’s disease, but it has recently been proven that many Crohn’s patients also are infected with MAP, which is probably the cause of their chronic gut inflammation. Now a scientist, who has spent 30 years studying MAP, explains how these new scientific findings open the door to expanded use of antibiotics to treat, and possibly cure, Crohn’s disease.

8,500 Words | 27 Photos | 4 Illustrations

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