Anything on Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Andrew K. Groves grovesa at
Wed Aug 16 00:04:27 EST 1995

In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.950815200451.21395A-100000 at>, Betty
Martini <betty at> wrote:

> You say just because the dwarfs in the 1950's got bovine growth hormine 
> injections (bovine=cow) and the dwarfs got a "cow" disease, how do we 
> know they got Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease from this?  Isn't that sort of 
> like saying you don't get rose petals from roses?

The above is terribly confusing for me to read, so I'll go on to the rest
of your post. If you are interested in CJD, I would recommend reading
recent reviews on the disease which may resolve your confusion.

> As to the references I'll be glad to go over them.  The insulin growth 
> factor is the regulator of cancer!  Milk is an enzyme inhibitor and 
> hormones survive digestion.  
<rest of post snipped for bandwidth purposes>

I will make my point once more. You write that "The insulin growth factor
is the regulator of cancer!". This suggests to me that you believe that
this factor (actually there are several, but let that pass) is the one
sole regulator of cancer. That, at the risk of repeating myself, is simply
not true. There are many, many other growth factors that have been
implicated in cancer. For example, try doing a similar literature search
to those you  have performed for IGF for molecules such as PDGF, FGF, EGF
or members of the transforming growth factor family. You will find that
each of these factors, and many more besides, have been implicated in
cancer. To claim, as you have claimed in at least three posts, that
insulin-like growth factors are the *sole regulators* (whatever that
means) of cancer is not correct. To claim that IGFs are responsible for
some kind of cancer epidemic, as you seem to be suggesting, is entirely
without foundation.

To repeat: I am not addressing your concerns over the safety of BST. I am
concerned that you are confusing both yourself and others by
indisciminately citing work out of context to support a view of cancer
aetiology that has little or no basis in fact. Of course growth factors
have been implicated in cancer. But the IGFs are just several among

If you think that my criticism is harsh, I would remind you that you are
choosing to post this in a biology newsgroup, and I am simply applying the
same critical criteria to you as I would apply to a scientific colleague.

Andy Groves
Division of Biology, 216-76
California Institute of Technology

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