"" Ralph Moss—Cancer Consultant: 2018-10-21

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Source: http://gcmaf.timsmithmd.com/book/chapter/65/

GcMAF (also spelled Gc-MAF) is a non-conventional cancer treatment that has gotten a great deal of attention in the past few years. There is no end to conspiracy theories swirling around its discoverer, Nobuto Yamamoto, PhD, and his supposed "breakthrough cancer treatment." 

Interest in GcMAF surged in July 2015, when a doctor who administered the compound, James Jeffrey Bradstreet, MD, was found dead, in the Rocky Broad River in mountainous North Carolina with a bullet wound to the chest. The mainstream media, echoing the police, claimed that he was involved in an "international medical gray market" manufacturing GcMAF, and that as this network began to unravel, "so, too, did Bradstreet’s life," to quote the Washington Post. His family and some patients claimed that Dr. Bradshaw was murdered, probably because of his anti-establishment stance. There are still  unanswered questions concerning Bradshaw's death, but the focus of this blog is on the efficacy of GcMAF.

"Gc" stands for "globulin component" of blood serum, while "MAF" stands for "Macrophage Activating Factor." MAFs occur naturally in the human body. In a 1997 paper, Yamamoto stated that "treatment of human Gc protein with...sialidase [enzyme] generated a remarkably potent MAF, termed...GcMAF."

According to some scientists, MAF has various functions, such as macrophage activation and anti-tumor activity. It thus is part of a larger topic, which is the immunotherapy of cancer.

When Dr. Yamamoto burst on the cancer scene with the announcement of his “cure” for stage IV cancer in 2008 I (like many people) was excited. Yamamoto had been a biological researcher at the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia for many years. After his retirement, he founded the Socrates Institute for Therapeutic Immunology to continue his work. But the "Socrates Institute" is a mystery. There is no website for any Socrates Institute in Philadelphia. Its address, 1040 66th Avenue, is an ordinary house in an ordinary neighborhood, presumably Dr. Yamamoto's residence. This organization's tax exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file the requisite forms for three consecutive years. According to Gudiestar.org, "Further investigation and due diligence are warranted."

At the time, I managed with great difficulty to get Dr. Yamamoto on the phone, but although I expressed a willingness to drive from State College to Philadelphia to investigate his treatment, he was unable to meet with me. Even then, he sounded frail and forgetful. (He was born in 1925 and is thus in his 90s.)

The Anticancer Fund authors tried to track down the various contributors to Yamamoto’s papers:

“After months of trying to get additional information on the patients and scientists involved in this research we came to the conclusion that these data should not be relied on since there are important issues in the methodology and procedures. The same group has also presented their results to different scientific conferences and we could confirm that one co-author's participation was denied by the person himself, while we could not contact others besides Nobuto Yamamoto.”
This is all strange and disturbing, especially if one is planning to make life-and-death decisions based on such information. It should be noted that many of the articles claiming that GcMAF is an effective treatment of breast and colorectal cancer have been retracted by the journals in question. In the opinion of the Anticancer Fund authors, 
“GcMAF has not been properly studied in clinical trials and its laboratory results still need to be confirmed independently. So far, all claims on the efficacy of this product have no solid scientific basis.”
This is true. But this is not to say that GcMAF might not turn out to be worthwhile, if future research confirms its value. When we search PubMed for GcMAF and cancer, we come up with 45 articles in the peer-reviewed literature. According to three Iranian doctors, "Such medications show great potential in cancer immunotherapy using natural human mechanisms against neoplasms." Some Japanese scientists have stated, "Macrophage activating factor (MAF)-based immunotherapy has a wide application for use in treating many diseases via macrophage activation." Other than Dr. Yamamoto's withdrawn papers, there are a few case histories in which patients allegedly benefited after being given GcMAF. But they also received other treatments, such as hormonal therapy (for breast cancer) sonodynamic therapy, tumor treating fields, etc. It is always difficult to draw conclusions from such cases.

BOTTOM LINE: The study of GcMAF is a legitimate area for research. It is not intrinsically a fraud or a fake, as some sites have asserted. However, readers should be aware that the claims of GcMAF's efficacy in cancer are very shaky. Also, one generally does not know the origin or true nature of substances sold under this name. Counterfeits abound. Thus taking "GcMAF" is a risky proposition, and harm can come from taking improperly prepared medications. I would not use this as a cancer treatment, especially in lieu of any treatment with a well documented record of beneficial effects.


Miller, Michael E. The mysterious death of a doctor who peddled autism ‘cures’ to thousands. Washington Post, July 16, 2015.

Yamamoto N, Naraparaju VR. Immunotherapy of BALB/c mice bearing Ehrlich ascites tumor with vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage activating factor. Cancer Res. 1997 Jun 1;57(11):2187-92.