Overview of Macrophage Activating Factor and the Nagalase Assay – Potential for Control of Micrometastatic or Early Primary Cancer

This essay reviews the evidence currently available on macrophage activated factor (GcMAF) as a treatment for cancer, and on serum nagalase as a putatively universal marker for cancer. Studies by Yamamoto and colleagues suggest that, when cancer is in a micrometastatic form follwing therapeutic extirpation of visible tumors, weekly injection of GcMAF may enable the macrophage-orchestrated immune response to eliminate the residual cancer cells, effectively achieving a cure. Repeated assays of serum nagalase may enable monitoring of cancer status during such therapy, revealing whether the therapy is working, and providing guidance as to how long the therapy should be continued. Much further research is required to confirm these possibilties. The use of GcMAF in conjunction with other agents that boost the tumor-kiling potential of macrophages may be a promising approach to cancer immunotherapy that should be evaluated.

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