Walter Last

Conventional medicine regards cancer as a multitude of diseases with different causes and treatments. But what if they all have the same underlying cause and similar treatments as suggested by Dr Tullio Simoncini (1)? Dr Simoncini believes that cancer is mainly due to Candida albicans, the most common and aggressive fungus in our body, and that an effective cure is to bathe a tumour in a solution of sodium bicarbonate. Here I want to show that there are even more reasons to suspect a causal relationship between Candida and cancer than suggested by Dr Simoncini.

A basic difference between normal body cells and fungal cells is with their energy metabolism. Normal body cells produce energy by oxidising nutrients in the citric acid cycle to carbon dioxide and water. Fungi cannot do that. They produce their energy in an anaerobic way or without oxygen. Fungi use mainly sugars and other simple carbohydrates and get their energy by converting these into lactic acid. This is very wasteful and produces only about 5% of the energy that would be produced in the citric acid cycle. This process generates large amounts of lactic acid which make the body overacid and cause mineral deficiencies, inflammations and pain.

Cancer cells have exactly the same kind of anaerobic energy metabolism as fungi. However cells in tumours have different degrees of oxidative energy blockage. Therefore the malignancy of a tumour is equivalent to the degree of oxidative energy blockage. In other words, the more anaerobic the energy production of a tumour is the more malignant it is. But there is a difference in the energy production between cancer cells and fungi. As I have pointed out in my article Cancer Therapy - A New Direction (2) the oxidative energy metabolism of cancer cells can be restored and these cells can be re-converted into normal body cells by eliminating the microbes or their toxins in cancer cells that block the oxidative metabolism. This cannot be done with fungi, although it is possible to produce fungi with an oxidative energy metabolism such as Zell Oxygen, a live aerobic yeast made from Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a way that it is antagonistic to Candida albicans.

I suspect that this re-conversion of cancer cells is only possible as long as they live like a colony of yeast cells inside a tumour. Therefore, I regard a tumour as the equivalent of a colony of yeast cells. When a yeast colony is stressed by overgrowth or other factors that restrict nutrient supply, it tries to expand and seek better conditions. This causes many of the yeast cells to transform into invasive hyphal fungus cells. These may then also form new colonies and fungal mycelia in distant organs.

Cancer cells behave exactly in the same way. When a tumour is stressed by facing overcrowding or a shortage of hormones or nutrients, or when attacked with surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or other inflammation-causing methods, then the relatively harmless yeast-like tumour cells transform themselves into invasive migrating cancer cells that eventually form more dangerous metastatic tumours in distant organs.

With this cancer cells do not only have the same anaerobic energy metabolism as fungi, they also behave in the same way when under pressure, and invasive metastatic cancer cells look exactly like hyphal fungus cells

Fungi commonly have branching filaments or hyphae. These hyphae tend to link up with each other to form a colony or mycelium. They then grow through a source of food to absorb nutrients. Similar structures can grow in free-floating fungi, such as Candida, to assist them in invading body tissue. In this case they are called pseudohyphae.  Cancer cells develop the same kind of pseudohyphae to invade biological tissue. In general descriptions hyphae and pseudohyphae are both referred to as ‘hyphae’. Compare the following sets of images showing aggressive cancer cells and similar looking hyphal fungus cells.

To display an image click on its link

Fig. 1: Diagram of fungal hyphae

Fig. 2: An invasive cancer cell

Fig. 3: Fungal hyphae

In Fig. 2 you see an invasive cancer cell which has grown pseudohyphae similar to the fungal hyphae shown in Fig.1 and 3.

Fig. 4: A breast cancer cell

Fig. 5: Hyphal Candida cells

Breast cancer cells vary from yeast-like cells inside tumours to cells with a few long filaments and cells with dense hyphae-like protrusions as in Fig. 4. This is very similar to hyphal Candida cells shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 6: Invasive breast cancer cells

These breast cancer cells in Fig. 6 have developed hyphae-like burrowing legs with which they can anchor themselves in the tissue and also suck out nutrients. The hyphae release enzymes that break down the tissue into nutrients that the cancer cells or fungi can easily absorb.

Fig. 7 Metastatic cancer cell

Most amazing for me is the metastatic cancer cell in Fig. 7. Its shape does not seem to be any different from the invasive hyphal fungus in the lungs shown in Fig. 8. It is difficult for me to understand how mainstream researchers can claim that cancer cells are not at all like fungi but something completely different. I remember a famous saying: “If it looks like a dead rat and smells like a dead rat then it probably is a dead rat.”

Of course, initially there is still a difference between cancer cells and fungi because cancer cells are body cells in the process of degenerating into fungal cells while conventional fungi have traditional genetic characteristics.

Fig. 8: Invasive hyphal fungus in the lungs

Other Cancer-Candida Connections

In light of the strong similarity between metastatic cancer cells and invasive fungal cells it is not surprising that in recent years there were dozens and perhaps even hundreds of research publications comparing lung cancer with fungal infections of the lungs. One of these papers Fungal Infection Mimicking Pulmonary Malignancy concludes: “Fungal infection can present with clinical and radiological features that are indistinguishable from thoracic malignancy, such as lung nodules or masses” (3). In almost all cases tumours in the lungs are assumed to be due to cancer and no tests are made to check for fungi as a primary or contributing cause.

The German professor Meinolf Karthaus watched three children with leukaemia unexpectedly go into remission after receiving a triple antifungal drug cocktail for their “secondary” fungal infections. In 2006 he led a research team publishing the results of 6 further cases where leukaemia disappeared after antifungal therapy.

There were actually many more cases but in these anti-leukaemia therapy was continued in addition to anti-fungal therapy. In the reported 6 cases anti-leukaemia therapy was stopped when starting anti-fungal therapy for chronic disseminated candidiasis (CDC) because these patients reacted very badly to the leukaemia drugs. In this article the authors express their surprise and speculate:

“Inadequate treatment is, however, usually associated with a poor outcome because of disease progression or early relapse, and it is surprising that despite minimal antileukemic treatment, all of our six patients with acute leukemia and CDC are still alive and in complete hematologic remission (follow-up between 19 months and 14 years). Therefore, one is prompted to speculate whether CDC as a chronic inflammation, might have positively affected the continuous complete remission”. (4)

I find it incomprehensible how medical professionals can speculate that the highly deadly CDC may be the cause of these leukaemia cures rather than the anti-Candida therapy used to eliminate CDC. Recently I had an email communication from one of the leukaemia patients of Prof Karthaus. He wrote that the professor had not mentioned anti-fungal treatment to him. Therefore it seems that Prof Karthaus has not yet come to a deeper understanding of his anti-fungal experiences.

The amazing feature of these results is the 100% cure rate with Candida treatment only, while the adult 5-year survival rate for acute leukaemia is 25 to 26% and 90% for children. The Karthaus paper lists 2 children and 4 adults. Therefore the survival rate with Candida treatment is much higher than with standard leukaemia therapy. It would be interesting to hear from medical associations why antifungal therapy for leukaemia has not become high-priority research.

In addition, much cancer research also shows that not only the lungs but also liver and spleen are frequently damaged by aggressive candidiasis. This shows up especially during leukaemia treatment. If patients did not have severe candidiasis as a pre-existing condition then they acquired it as a result of chemotherapy.

A long time ago, before being aware of the link between Candida and cancer, I also had a surprise when a patient with stomach cancer had his big tumour disappear in a few months by developing a craving for benzoic acid and ingesting a lot of it. Benzoic acid is a common food preservative and a strong fungicide.

Milton White MD believed that cancer is a "chronic, intracellular, infectious, biologically induced spore (fungus) transformation disease."  He found fungal spores in every sample of cancer tissue that he studied. (5)

Medical research shows that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is very effective against cancer cells in many different cancers, such as bowel, breast, brain and pancreatic cancer. One research paper states: “Curcumin has been shown to inhibit the proliferation and survival of almost all types of tumor cells” (6).

Another paper lists a large range of diseases in which curcumin has been shown to be effective in clinical trials. These include cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and many other inflammatory conditions. The article states: “How a single agent can possess these diverse effects has been an enigma over the years, both for basic scientists and clinicians” (7).

But there is an explanation which is expressed in this title: “Curcumin as a promising antifungal of clinical interest” (8). According to my understanding all the mentioned diseases against which curcumin is effective have Candida and other fungi as a primary or contributing cause. The antifungal article states that curcumin was a more potent remedy against some fungi than fluconazole, the main medical fungicide. It was very effective against Candida albicans! But in none of the research papers did I see any mention that the strong fungicidal properties of curcumin may have something to do with its anticancer effects.

Another herbal remedy, Moringa oleifera, has a similar reputation as curcumin. It, too, is effective against a wide range of diseases, and you will not be surprised to learn that it not only inhibits cancer cells but is also a strong fungicide with excellent anti-Candida potential. Furthermore, it even works on a wide range of microbes when they are protected by biofilms, besides fungi also including Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph) and other Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria (9).

There is not much research into the relationship between antibiotic use, the main cause of Candida overgrowth, and cancer but a paper on breast cancer concludes: “Use of antibiotics is associated with increased risk of incident and fatal breast cancer” (10).

There are many more articles and scientific research papers showing the close association between cancer and fungi for those who can see. A very encouraging recent breakthrough is the publication in the prestigious journal Nature of an article showing that hyphal Candida and other fungi have been found in all investigated cases of Alzheimer’s disease. These fungi were not only in different parts of the brain but also in blood vessels (11).

This can give us hope that after decades of ignoring the role of antibiotics and fungi in the causation and treatment of cancer there will now be some research money made available for exploring this link. In the meantime cancer patients already have the choice to use anti-fungal therapies in natural medicine instead of the methods of mainstream medicine that do not address the underlying causes and so leave the door open for conventionally treated cancers to come back.


From this article we can draw the conclusion that cancer cells are body cells that are in the process of degenerating into fungal type cells. This becomes increasingly apparent as the initially tightly packed tumour cells transform into invasive metastatic cells with hyphae or pseudohyphae. This is similar to a Candida yeast colony transforming into an invasive (pseudo) hyphal form. Invasive cancer cells have the following features in common with invasive fungal cells:

•           Both develop from non-invasive cells when under environmental pressure

•           They have a predominantly anaerobic energy metabolism

•           They both have hyphae or pseudohyphae

•           They have the same morphological features – they look alike

•           They may have multiple or deformed nuclei

•           Both have immortal cell lines

•           Both are susceptible to fungicidal remedies



1.    Simoncini, Tullio: Is the Cause of Cancer a Fungus? Nexus Magazin (August–September 2007); also see

2.    Last, Walter: Cancer Therapy – a new direction;, also at

3.    Guimaraes M. D. et al: Fungal Infection Mimicking Pulmonary Malignancy: Clinical and Radiological Characteristics. Published online 17 September 1013;

4.    Karthaus, M. et al: Long-term survival in patients with acute leukemia and chronic disseminated candidiasis despite minimal antileukemic therapy. Haematologica January 2006, 91: 1422-1423; .

5.    Holland, David: Is Cancer Contagious? 24.05.2003;

6.    Ravindran, J. et al: Curcumin and Cancer Cells: How Many Ways Can Curry Kill Tumor Cells Selectively? AAPS J. 2009 Sep; 11(3): 495–510. .

7.    Gupta, S.C. et al: Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials. AAPS J. 2013 Jan; 15(1): 195–218. .

8.    Martins, C. V. B. et al: Curcumin as a promising antifungal of clinical interest. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. (2009) 63 (2): 337-339.

9.    Onsare JG, Arora DS J: Antibiofilm potential of flavonoids extracted from Moringa oleifera seed coat against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans.  Appl Microbiol. 2015 Feb; 118 (2):313-25.

10.  Velicer, C.M. et al: Antibiotic Use in Relation to the Risk of Breast Cancer.  JAMA 2004;291(7):827-835.

11.  Pisa Diana et al: Different Brain Regions are Infected with Fungi in Alzheimer’s Disease in Nature Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 15015 (2015);