Alternative Medicine Issue 37 September, 2000
Hyperthermia (InfraRed) and Electrotherapy
By Harvey Kaltsas, D.O.M.,A.P.
A Trailblazer in Oncology
Dr. Douwes is a large, muscular bear of a man. He reminds me of a middle linebacker from the National Football League, or one of those undeniably self-confident athletes who says to his opponent, "You think you're tough. So bring it on. Show me what you've got." That's the doctor's attitude toward cancer, and his upbeat optimism sets the tone for the entire clinic.
For the most part, clinic staff and patients alike are happy and at times ebullient. The setting probably helps, the clinic rivals any five-star hotel for comfort and accommodations, quality of food, service and majestic view. The only morose patients I saw were those who had just recently begun treatment. I assumed that they, too, would be soon infected by the good cheer freely shared among patients in the dining room and group therapy rooms. A patient with prostate cancer said to me that Klinik St. Georg "is the only cancer clinic I've ever been to where people laugh".
Dr. Douwes was not always so upbeat. Following his training in oncology at medical schools in both the U.S. and Germany, he served as head physician of the oncology department at the University of Gottengen, where he got severely discouraged. "I decided after 10 years," he said "to either quit medicine or to become a landscape gardener, because I was so disappointed about the results in clinical oncology".
"I had my first fight with the faculty after I was supposed to publish a paper about patients with non-small cell cancer of the lung. We had a double-blind study, one placebo group and one that received Adriamycin, Cytoxan and Oncovin. The results were that from the placebo group, the median survival rate was 9.6 months and in the treated group it was 13.4 months, and this was statistically significant. I was supposed to publish it because the pharmaceutical companies gave us a grant.
"I told them that this may be statistically significant, but is was baloney. What does it mean? Three or four months. If you take into account that these people in treatment survived this experience only four months longer, then I was not going to publish it. They had a lousy life quality; they had to be hospitalized most of the time; they had more chemotherapy, more blood transfusions, and we actually stole several months of their lives from them.
" They told me that if I wasn't going to publish the paper because it`s insignificant, then they would cut our grants. This was the minute when I quit and said, " This is it. I cannot do it anymore because this is not the way to treat these people." So I slowly adopted complementary methods into my medicine besides conventional and still stay with conventional medicine because St.Georg is a fully licensed hospital. All major insurance's pay and I somehow had to balance it and, therefore, we call it integrative medicine. We have practiced this now for 15 years.
" As soon as I adopted these methods, I became more and more successful, especially when I had the opportunity to introduce hyperthermia into our treatment and protocol. This was in 1983 and 1984, and my mentor was an American surgeon, the late Dr. Harry Levine. Also, there was Dr. Rudi Falk from Toronto, also deceased. They were the first I met with experience in hyperthermia. Later we made our own machines, and at the moment I think we are now the leading such hospital in the world because we have all varieties of hyperthermia."