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I am writing this blog post in hopes of starting a conversation in the scientific community about the medicine called GcMAF and one of the companies that is currently distributing it, a company called

GcMAF means “Gc protein-derived macrophage activating factor,” according to the short article about it on Wikipedia. The cure is currently being marketed as a cure for many ailments, including cancer, autism, MS and Parkinson’s disease.

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I am concerned about this and its marketing for these reasons:

1. Apparently, some of the same people who are researching and also are involved in marketing and selling it.

2. Some (not all) of their research has been published in questionable journals, including one published by a publisher that is on my list.

3. This thing is not approved by any competent authority (FDA, EMA) to treat any disease.

The following three articles report favorably on GcMAF and appear in the American Journal of Immunology a journal published by Science Publications, a publisher on my list. The three articles are:

  1. Thyer, L., Ward, E., Smith, R., Branca, J. J. V., Morucci, G., Gulisano, M., Noakes, D. & Pacini, S. (2013). Therapeutic effects of highly purified de-glycosylated GcMAF in the immunotherapy of patients with chronic diseasesAmerican Journal of Immunology9(3), 78-84.
  2. Smith, R., Thyer, L., Ward, E., Meacci, E., Branca, J. J. V., Morucci, G., Gulisano, M. R., Ruggiero, M., Pacini, A, Paternostro, F., Di Cesare Mannelli, L., Noakes, D. J., & Pacini, S. (2013). Effects of Gc-macrophage activating factor in human neurons; implications for treatment of chronic fatigue syndromeAmerican Journal of Immunology9(4), 120-129.
  3. Ward, E., Smith, R., Branca, J. J. V., Noakes, D., Morucci, G., & Thyer, L. (2014). Clinical Experience of Cancer Immunotherapy Integrated with Oleic Acid Complexed with De-Glycosylated Vitamin D Binding ProteinAmerican Journal of Immunology10(1), 23-32.

The first and the third articles report the authors’ experience with patients treated at the Immuno Biotech Treatment Center.   From their website one sees that the cost is €6,000 a week for the center, and their hotel cost estimate is €1,800.  This price is significantly higher than the €600 they charge for the GcMAF ampule alone. These patients have been an important source of revenue for this company.

As far as I can tell, none of the authors discloses affiliation to this center, so it is not clear who treated the patients. Moreover, there is no other information on this treatment center than the information on these articles and the website of this company. Thus it is rather strange that patients have to have a separate budget for their accommodation, which means there are being treated as outpatients. What is the point on making them travel to receive a treatment that could be given on an outpatient basis by one of the 350 doctors around the world claimed to be using GcMAF?

The publisher of the journal, Science Publications, lists two addresses on its “Contact Us” page, one in Adelaide, SA, Australia and one in New York, NY, USA. I think both addresses are really those of mail-forwarding services and the publisher is hiding its true location, which remains unknown.

Why are these scientists publishing their work in a highly questionable journal operated by a non-transparent publisher? If the work is so groundbreaking (a cure for cancer, et al.), why not publish it in a legitimate journal where its impact would be greater, its conclusions more convincing?

Do any of the authors have any declarable conflicts of interest? If so, what are they? Where can I find them?

On the website, the site of the company that sells the potion, under the “Who we are” link, it says this:

We are a group of scientists led by Professor Marco Ruggiero MD, a molecular biologist and fully qualified medical doctor. The team includes a PhD and two BSc biomedical scientists. External doctors, oncologists and scientists kindly provide help and advice. We are committed to bringing GcMAF and its associated treatments to as many people as we can.

Ruggiero is listed as one of the authors of one of the articles above, so I assume the other authors are part of his team and are associated with the company

One of the first scientists to research GcMAF was Nobuto Yamamoto, but his 2007 article on the compound was retracted.

Regarding pricing, the company’s website states

Our GcMAF is €600, plus €60 packing and shipping, for one 2.2ml vial. A vial is one third full and contains up to eight doses – one 100ng, 0.25ml dose a week.

I found the overall tone of the GcMAF website to be mean and self-righteous. It makes a lot of claims such as “Root canals are a major cause of the immune system being suppressed and they are a major cause of cancer.”

Is the published science behind GcMAF authentic, honest, and real? I ask that the bio-medical sciences community investigate this compound, the science behind it, and its marketing.

Coda: A good analysis of GcMAF is available from the Anticancer Fund here.