hCG and Cancer Abstracts 3


Expression of human choriogonadotropin-like material in coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species.
            (Acevedo et al., 1985) Download
We identified 101 coagulase-negative Staphylococcus strains obtained from different laboratories, the American Type Culture Collection, and our collection, isolated from 23 patients with overt cancer and 34 normal individuals through Kloos and Schleifer conventional methods and the Staph-Ident staphylococcal system (Analytab Products, Plainview, N.Y.). In 40 strains, identity was further verified by DNA-DNA hybridization techniques. Identification revealed 39 S. epidermidis, 22 S. hominis, 8 S. haemolyticus, 9 S. capitis, 5 S. warneri, 5 S. cohnii, 8 S. saprophyticus, and 5 S. xylosus strains, all resident species found in humans. All bacteria were tested for the expression of human choriogonadotropin (hCG)-like material by the indirect fluorescein and peroxidase immunocytochemical labeling techniques by using specific antisera to the whole hormone, to its alpha and beta subunits, to the hCG beta COOH-terminal peptide, and to a monoclonal antibody to the hCG beta. The results demonstrated that the isolates from cancer patients were not unique bacteria, as has been postulated by others; the expression of immunoreactive hCG-like material is a strain, not a species, characteristic; not every bacterial strain isolated from a cancer patient is able to express the material; hCG-producing bacteria do not necessarily indicate the presence of active disease; 20% of the strains that we studied revealed a clonal variation of the expression of hCG-like material or its subunits or both as well as a variable expression of a single hCG epitope, an observation similar to that described for malignant cells; and a specific antiserum to the whole hormone with a high affinity and high sensitivity for immunocytochemistry can be a reliable reagent for screening purposes.

Human choriogonadotropin-like material in bacteria of different species: electron microscopy and immunocytochemical studies with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies.
            (Acevedo et al., 1987) Download
Immunocytochemical studies using antisera to whole human choriogonadotropin (hCG), to its alpha- and beta-subunits and to the COOH-terminal peptide of hCG beta, and two monoclonal antibodies to hCG beta, demonstrated expression of hCG-like material, its individual subunits and/or fragments in nine bacterial strains. Seven of these were isolated from patients with cancer and were definitely identified as Streptococcus faecalis (three strains), Staphylococcus haemolyticus (two strains) and Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli (single strains). The other two strains were cell-wall-deficient (CWD) variants, one identified as Streptococcus bovis, isolated from the blood of a patient with a fever of unknown origin and a possible brain abscess. The other was a Gram-negative diphtheroid isolated from the urine of a pregnant woman, which during the period of study reverted to a Gram-positive Corynebacterium identified as a 'C. ulcerans' strain and expressed the hCG-like factor only during its phase as Gram-negative diphtheroid. Electron microscopy of these nine strains (including negative controls of strains of the same species subjected to the same immunocytochemical analyses and under identical cultural conditions) revealed morphological alterations in the bacterial cell walls and cytoplasmic material and/or bizarre forms of reproduction in six of the nine strains expressing hCG-like material including the two CWD variants. Collectively, these results provided evidence that (1) hCG-producing bacteria isolated from patients with overt cancer are not a new and unique species as claimed by others, and (2) there is a close resemblance between the bacterial protein and the human trophoblastic hormone, based on immunochemical recognition of different parts of the hCG molecule.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the hormone of life and death: a review.
            (Acevedo, 2002) Download
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a member of the glycoprotein hormone family. These hormones exhibit similar evolutionary, immunological and biochemical characteristics. hCG was the first hormone to be described as the “pregnancy hormone'' by Ascheim and Zondek in 1928, and was the last hormone to be purified and crystallized. hCG is also considered as a hormone of development.

Antibodies to bacterial vaccines demonstrating specificity for human choriogonadotropin (hCG) and immunochemical detection of hCG-like factor in subcellular bacterial fractions.
            (Domingue et al., 1986) Download
Investigations were done to determine whether vaccines prepared with chemically killed Staphylococcus haemolyticus RU1 and Streptococcus bovis AV46 (bacteria that have been demonstrated to express human choriogonadotropin [hCG]-like material on their surface) elicited antibodies in rabbits with specificity for hCG determinants. In addition, the anatomical locus of the hCG-like factor was determined by separation of bacterial subcellular fractions. The results demonstrated that these bacterial vaccines elicited antibodies immunologically similar to those antibodies produced in response to the whole human trophoblastic hormone, a similarity extending even to cross-reactivity with human luteinizing hormone. The bacterial hCG-like material appeared to be localized in the membranes of the cell wall, and most was present in the soluble membranous and cytoplasmic constituents. Its expression in bacteria was a strain characteristic and not a species characteristic.

Human chorionic gonadotropin-like proteins: secretion in nonpregnant humans and production by bacteria.
            (Odell et al., 1992)  Download
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and the other human glycoprotein hormones (luteinizing hormone [hLH], folicle stimulating hormone [hFSH], and thyroid stimulating hormone [hTSH]) are biochemically very similar and are composed of two subunits, alpha and beta, which are not covalently bound. In mammalian systems, LH and hCG bind to the same receptor and possess similar biological functions. It is striking that a bacterium produces a protein with homology to hCG, and also possesses a high-affinity binding site for both hCG per se and the hCG-like protein. Humans and bacteria are separated in evolutionary terms by large distances.

Unconventional Cancer Treatments
            (Congress, 1990) Download
Each year, thousands of U.S. cancer patients use treatments that fall outside the generally understood bounds of mainstream medicine. While the majority of cancer patients do not use such treatments, those who do represent a visible minority (though the exact numbers are unknown). Additional thousands may be interested in such unconventional treatments and seek information about them.
Although any examination of unconventional cancer treatments will fall short of capturing all the reasons for cancer patients’ interest in them, certain factors seem clear. Effective treatments are lacking for many cancers, especially in advanced stages; many mainstream treatments entail considerable toxicity; and long-term survival may be uncertain even after apparently successful treatment. These realities of mainstream treatment, coupled with explicit or implicit promises of effective, nontoxic cancer control by unconventional means, and the strong support of cancer patients for them, motivate new patients to seek treatments outside the main- stream.



Acevedo, HF, E Campbell-Acevedo, and WE Kloos (1985), ‘Expression of human choriogonadotropin-like material in coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species.’, Infect Immun, 50 (3), 860-68. PubMed: 2415456
Acevedo, HF, et al. (1987), ‘Human choriogonadotropin-like material in bacteria of different species: electron microscopy and immunocytochemical studies with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies.’, J Gen Microbiol, 133 (3), 783-91. PubMed: 3116165
Acevedo, HF (2002), ‘Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the hormone of life and death: a review.’, J Exp Ther Oncol, 2 (3), 133-45. PubMed: 12415629
Domingue, GJ, et al. (1986), ‘Antibodies to bacterial vaccines demonstrating specificity for human choriogonadotropin (hCG) and immunochemical detection of hCG-like factor in subcellular bacterial fractions.’, Infect Immun, 53 (1), 95-98. PubMed: 3721581
Odell, WD, et al. (1992), ‘Human chorionic gonadotropin-like proteins: secretion in nonpregnant humans and production by bacteria.’, Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc, 103 238-54. PubMed: 1413384
Congress, US (1990), ‘Unconventional Cancer Treatments’, Office of Technology Assessment, OTA-H-405 PubMed: