Disclaimer: Consult with a doctor before deciding on a treatment plan for cancer or any other disease.
The use of Transfer Factor in the treatment of cancer was developed by Dr. Sherwood Lawrence, an immunologist. Though Transfer Factor can be used as an adjuvant therapy with chemotherapy and radiation in the United States it can also be used as a stand-alone treatment. As with many integrative approaches to cancer treatment, this treatment has a higher cure rate if it is used as a stand-alone therapy rather than being used in combination with chemo and radiation.
Transfer factor is an immunotherapy treatment that’s used to treat cancer along with immunodeficiency states, infectious diseases, and autoimmune syndromes .
Transfer factors were discovered in 1949 by Dr. Sherwood Lawrence who, at the time, was the lead immunologist at NYU and was studying tuberculosis. Through his studies, Dr. Lawrence discovered that it was possible to “transfer” immunity from one person to another through the extraction and subsequent injection of leukocytes .
Transfer factor works in the treatment of cancer by increasing cell-mediated immunity and stimulating the immune system to take action . Also, the molecules called transfer factors are sometimes called “memory cells” because of their ability to remember previous diseases and fight off infections of these diseases easily in the future. Chickenpox is a disease that is illustrative of how transfer factors work: the disease attacks the body and we get sick as our immune system works to fend off the infection, but after the sickness passes the “memory cells” (transfer factors) remember the exact specifications of the disease and what the immune system did to fight it off so that if the body encounters the disease again in the future it’s capable of quickly and efficiently destroying it .
Transfer factor is sometimes used as an adjuvant to chemo and radiation in American hospitals, although its use in conventional medicine isn’t particularly common . The therapy can be used as a standalone cancer treatment or part of an alternative therapy protocol, as has been shown by the research . Patients can order transfer factor to use as a stand alone treatment without having to undergo chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
The FDA has labeled transfer factors as being GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) and they have been used for 30+ years in the United States . However, transfer factor and its functions were scrutinized in the past. As with many other alternative cancer cures that challenge conventional medicine, transfer factor “vaccines” aren’t used widely in hospitals in the United States for cancer treatment. One source lists transfer factor as being either “possibly ineffective” or having “insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness” for multiple cancers, including cervical cancer, leukemia, bone cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, and lung cancer. This is not to say, however, that transfer factor is ineffective, but rather that it has not been subjected to the high-cost experimental trials required by the FDA and other organizations .
Despite the fact that the FDA has approved transfer factor for use in the United States, it is not used as a cancer treatment except in rare cases as an adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. There have been studies that have shown that transfer factor is effective as a cancer treatment and numerous individuals have reported personal successes after using transfer factor to treat their own cancer . By approving transfer factor, the FDA has been able to control its use, control who knows about it and who understands how it works, and recommend that patients undergo chemo and radiation first.
Today, transfer factor is an accepted treatment modality. The company 4Life was able to obtain a patent on the process of obtaining transfer factor, which makes it possible for pharmaceutical companies to profit from this company’s products. Still the treatment is primarily offered as an adjuvant to chemo and radiation in the United States .
Safety and Effectiveness
Transfer factor comes from lymphocytes. TH-1 and TH-2 are two types of lymphocytes
- The TH-1 form pertains to “cell-mediated immunity” and the production of cytokines like transfer factor. Cell-mediated immunity refers to immunity in which viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxic cells (among others) are targeted by T-lymphocytes and other cell types .
- The TH-2 form pertains to humoral immunity and the production of antibodies. Humoral immunity works with immune responses related to antibodies, proteins, and other molecules .
Cancer is a TH-2 dominated state.
Diseases may result from either having weak humoral immunity or weak cell-mediated immunity. Cancer, along with malaria, asthma, hepatitis C, and viral infections, are TH-2-dominated diseases in which the individual’s cellular immunity is low. In contrast, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis are TH-1-dominated diseases where the individual has low humoral immunity. Pregnancy is a TH-2-dominated state and it isn’t recommended that pregnant women take transfer factor because this treatment can induce a TH-1-dominated state that could induce rejection of the fetus and placenta .
Transfer factor can be given to increase and support cell-mediated immunity and to bring extreme TH-2-dominant states into a more balanced state or, in some cases, into a temporary TH-1-dominant state to fight the infection. Because cancer is a TH-2-dominant state, giving transfer factor to a cancer patient can help increase the necessary cell-mediated immunity to target cancer cells. Studies have shown that in patients with liver metastases or colorectal carcinoma that appropriate levels of cell-mediated immunity can play a major role in survival; a decrease in cell-mediated immunity gives a negative prognosis for cancer patients. Other studies have shown that transfer factor has been effective in treating the treatment of stage 3 hormone-unresponsive metastatic prostate cancer and also in other metastatic cancers .
A study done in 1976 on transfer factor in the treatment of cancer showed encouraging results for many types of cancer. There were 35 patients in the study who all had advanced and recurring tumors. The patients in the study were considered to be in good health apart from the cancer. All the study participants had been histologically proven to have cancer and had not been able to get rid of their cancer using conventional therapy (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.). The donors were close family members who were free of and had no history of hepatitis and cardiac, pulmonary, and infectious diseases .
The patients reported a moderately severe stinging pain at the injection site for 3-5 minutes after injections. No other persistent side effects were noted from the injection. Many patients reported pain relief at the site of the tumor after starting injections of transfer factor; two patients who had tumors in their head/neck reported dramatic pain relief after starting treatment. The following are some of the more notable responses exhibited by patients in the study (more can be found at the link in the resources section):
- Melanoma – Total regression for 12 months
- Osteogenic sarcoma – Metastases stopped growing for 8 months
- Rhabdomyosarcoma – Total regression for 5 months
- Renal cell carcinoma – Metastases stopped growing for 9 months
- Adenocarcinoma (colon) – 75% regression for 3 months .
Eleven of the patients in the study didn’t exhibit any measurable changes in tumor growth or experience any effects from the transfer factor injections. For the remaining eleven patients assessment wasn’t possible because either the patient’s disease could not be evaluated, they started chemotherapy or radiation during treatment with transfer factor, or follow-up wasn’t possible .
Transfer factor may not be an ideal treatment for patients with metastases and/or primary malignancies in vital organs (such as the brain or pulmonary organs). The study discussed above states that two of its patients died as a result of the treatment because of the previous location of their tumors, albeit after successful regression of the cancer .
The 4Life Transfer Factor brand has been shown to increase the effectiveness of natural killer cells by up to 437% . This company uses transfer factor molecules obtained from the leukocytes of chickens and cows rather than from humans. The use of molecules from these animals may be of concern to people with allergies, but according to one source the ultra-filtering process that goes into producing transfer factor products eliminates all or most of the egg yolk or casein products that were present . Chickens are carriers of the cancer-causing microorganism that would make it possible for them to produce Transfer Factor, but there has been some concern that individuals taking transfer factor products obtained from cows may be at risk of catching mad cow disease, although there have been no documented cases of this.
. The studies described above (both done in the 70’s) used the leukocytes and transfer factor molecules from close relatives/cohabitants. This author was unable to find any information about clinics that specifically created transfer factor vaccines in the way the studies performed in the 1970’s did.
A Herxheimer reaction is to be expected when using transfer factors in the treatment of cancer. Some people may experience fevers, achiness, flu-like symptoms, general discomfort, or other detox-related responses. This is an extremely normal reaction to many treatments for cancer (and other diseases), and although it can be uncomfortable it’s a sign that the treatment is working and that toxins are being cleared out to make way to healthier body. Different people have different responses to detoxes, so it’s important to be aware of this possible reaction when taking transfer factor .
How Transfer Factor is Administered
Transfer factors are proteins made by white blood cells. One individual’s transfer factor may be injected into another person to elicit a particular immune response . Transfer factors are a collection of 200+ highly polar, hydrophilic, low molecular weight proteins produced by lymphoid cells . Although transfer factor may be obtained from another individual, they may also be obtained from animals or even cultivated in a lab using cloned lymphocytes .
Transfer factors’ primary function is to communicate with cells and indicate when the immune system should stop and start functioning. Transfer factors are also called “memory cells” because they store and remember certain previous infections, such as chicken pox, so that in the future the immune system will know exactly how to overcome the infection effectively (antibodies also serve this function, although their role is less broad than that of transfer factors). Transfer factors also exist in colostrum to convey immunity to newborn babies from their mothers and thus increase the chances of their survival .
Transfer Factor Stages
Transfer factor works in three stages. First, one’s immune system is strengthened so that when an immune problem is presented to the body the individual is more capable of conquering the illness. The additional transfer factor helps the person’s immune system react quickly to get rid of the disease. Second, any “memory” of disease or illness that the transfer factor molecules have are given to the individual taking the supplement/injection. Thus, the individual can develop an immunity towards certain diseases including cancer because their body becomes aware of how to deal with these diseases since the transfer factor molecules communicate with the immune system about what to do. Third, transfer factor molecules can work on over-active immune systems by monitoring unnecessary immune system activity in diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus .
Because transfer factor is an immunotherapy cancer treatment, the concept behind it is similar to other immunotherapy treatments in that patients’ immune systems are stimulated and/or given the tools necessary to fight the cancer. In this case, transfer factor proteins are used to stimulate an immune response. Transfer factor proteins are extracted from individuals whose immune systems are capable of identifying and responding to tumor antigens and then are given to cancer patients whose immune systems are compromised to stimulate a response .
In one woman’s testimony of how she used transfer factor to cure her lung cancer after multiple rounds of high dose chemotherapy and radiation, she states that she took 6 T-Factor Plus and 6 regular Transfer Factor capsules per day (presumably from the company 4Life). She says that she felt stronger within 30 days of taking the pills and that after 7 months (having been given 6 months to live) she had regained 26lbs and showed no signs of cancer .
Transfer Factor Testimonials
The following link is to an informal thread that contains individuals’ stories of using transfer factor for cancer and other illnesses: https://cancercompass.com/message-board/message/all,66295,1.htm
This link has a large number of testimonials of patients that used transfer factor to cure their cancer: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Cancer.pdf
Transfer Factor Vendors for At-Home Treatment
There are two companies that offer individuals transfer factor to take at home. They are outlined below:
- TRANSFERÓN – There are three versions of this product:
- an injectable solution
- an oral solution
- a different oral solution (this author was unable to find information on the difference between the two oral solutions). Although this was somewhat unclear, it appears that TRANSFERÓN offers medical treatments in Mexico City. Below is the clinic location:
Prolongación de Carpio, esq. Plan de Ayala s/n, Col. Casco de Santo Tomas, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo, D.F.
Their website is: http://www.factordetransferenciaipn.com.mx/
4Life Transfer Factor – This is one of the more ubiquitous transfer factor products. They offer a wide variety of products on their site. Their products are obtained from cow and chicken transfer factor molecules which, according to their site, work essentially the same way as human transfer factor molecules . One of the company’s founders, David Lisonbee, obtained a patent on the transfer factor extraction process in 1998, making 4Life Transfer Factor the only available transfer factor product in the world (except for the clinic listed above) . It is an accepted supplement and medication in the United States, and is listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference (the ultimate drug reference guide for American doctors) . Their website is: https://www.4life.com/9434836
 National Cancer Institute (n.d.). NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Transfer Factor. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/transfer-factor
 Rozzo, SJ; Kirkpatrick, CH (1992). Purification of transfer factors. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1542296
 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2018). Transfer Factor. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/transfer-factor
 Vetto, R. Mark; Burger, Denis R.; Nolte, James E.; Vandenbark, Arthur A.; Baker, Harvey W. (1976). Transfer Factor Therapy in Patients with Cancer. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/1097-0142(197601)37:1%3C90::AID-CNCR2820370113%3E3.0.CO;2-U
 Immune System Products Inc. (2017). What are Transfer Factors? Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: http://immunesafety.com/transfer_factors.html
 Immune System Products Inc. (2017). Tri-Fold Benefits of Transfer Factor. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: http://immunesafety.com/science.html
 BisnismIm4life (2015). 4Life Product Explaination [sic]. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaKYhSxAcpY
 4Life (2018). Company. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: https://www.4life.com/9434836/about/company
 Woeller, Kurt D.O. (n.d) Transfer Factor – Key to a Balanced Immune System. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: http://www.coreonehealth.com/transfer-factor-key-to-a-balanced-immune-system
 Dr. Livingston-Wheeler, Virginia (2013). The Conquest of Cancer. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
 N.A. (2009). Transfer Factor. Retrieved June 5, 2018 from: http://cancercuresecrets.blogspot.com/2009/05/transfer-factor.html
 N.A. (n.d.). Transfer Factor. Retrieved June 5, 2018 from: https://www.medicinenet.com/transfer_factor/supplements-vitamins.htm
 N.A. (2013). 4Life Transfer Factor Scam? Retrieved June 5, 2018 from: https://verdilaurent.blogspot.com/2013/07/4life-transfer-factor-scam.html
 Bock, Steven J. (2018). Transfer Factor and Its Clinical Applications. Retrieved June 5, 2018 from: http://drdahlman.com/transfer-factor-and-its-clinical-applications/