Dr. Wolfgang Woeppel, the founder and first medical director of the Hufeland Klinik, can be rightly called a pioneer of gentle, naturopathically oriented cancer therapy. He was one of the first to base his solution-oriented medical treatment programme on the increasingly holistic perception of illness in our time. We have decided to use the following pages just the way he wrote them. Though a few sections have been updated, we have maintained Dr. Woeppel’s “original sound” that quite clearly reveals his extraordinary competence, critical honestly – and last, though certainly not least, the vision of a truly great physician:
“When we realize that the strategy which is based on destroying the cancer down to the last cell only yields modest, partial success, we are justified in casting doubt on the claims made for this approach and setting it against different treatment approaches. One such approach is the holistic way of thinking about cancer, as put forward by Issels, Zabel, Seeger and others as early as the 1950s, which I shall look at below.
What does the holistic way of looking at things actually mean? lt sees the tumour as a secondary event which is preceded by a disturbance of the entire organism. Cancer is hence defined as a chronic generalized illness of the human being. The tumour is not the cause but a product of the cancer disease which started a long time before the actual formation of a tumour. Consequently the tumour is a symptom which shows that the body has a serious chronic illness. After all, it has been known since ancient times that only a weakened body can get sick. lt is only when the body’s defensive and repair systems fail that a cancerous cell – whatever may have transformed it – can grow into a tumour. In healthy people these systems are capable of recognizing any deviation from the norm and remedying it.
All of us know that the body always tries to heal itself first. When we have injured ourselves, the wound heals up. lf we break a leg, the bone knits together again. lf we go down with flu, we soon get better. In all these examples the doctor’s role is simply to stimulate and support the body’s self-healing powers: by covering the wound with a sterile dressing or stitching it up; by splinting or operating on the broken leg; by getting the patient with flu to stay in bed for a few days. lt is only in the case of cancer that doctors forget their allotted role as nature’s helpers and try to slip into the role of healer. And, not surprisingly, if we violate nature – which is so infinitely wise – in a most primitive way, we are bound to fail.
Conventional cancer therapy fights rather than supports Nature and is then amazed at the disastrous consequences. We encounter similar disasters outside medicine, mainly where technology tries to change Nature. In developing a technology which is based on a mechanistic way of thinking we have totally forgotten how to think holistically and, above all, biologically. We are used to thinking mechanistically and statically according to the principle of cause and effect, but biological processes are not static. They are dynamic and far more complex than the simple principle of cause and effect would have us think.
Only a holistic, biologically dynamic way of thinking will put us on the right track. We can never understand cancer if we merely ask what produces it. The vital question should be: what is it that prevents cancer and how does this mechanism become disturbed? This question automatically takes us away from the cell, away from the tumour and back to the person as a whole. Presumably we humans will never be able to prevent cancer cells from forming in our bodies time and again, but we do know for sure that our bodies are entirely capable of inactivating such cancer cells. To do so, the body makes use not only of the immune system but also of a number of complicated regulatory and repair systems about which we still know very little. These systems permeate the body like a tightly woven network but are also located in each individual cell. We know that damage to the genetic material of a cell, e.g. caused by excessive exposure to the sun, can be remedied in a very short time by the appropriate repair systems which each cell has at its disposal.
The system of basic regulation
Pischinger and his students found the system of basic regulation which runs through the whole body. This system is a functional unit comprising:
1. the cells of the loose, soft connective tissue (mesenchyma);
2. the blood and lymph vessels;
3. the peripheral nerves of the autonomic nervous system;
4. the hormone-producing glands;
5. the watery medium surrounding every individual cell in our bodies (extracellular fluid).
These five elements are essential to the life and fate of each individual cell in our bodies. Cells, fluids and nerves constantly influence each other. Life is a truly dynamic process and the microscope can only show a snapshot of it. A living cell constantly absorbs substances from the fluid surrounding it and releases other substances into that fluid. Even a cancer cell is dependent on this system of basic regulation and, when we realize that cancer cells can be transformed back into normal body cells by alterations in the external environment, considerable importance must be attached to this aspect in the context of biological cancer therapy.
Extracellular fluid is made up not only of water, but also contains salts, hormones, enzymes, carbohydrates, surfactants, substances with redox potentials and substances capable of building up bioelectric potentials and hence determining the intensity of metabolism, especially of tissue respiration. This extracellular fluid is altered by neural stimuli, by the blood, lymph and metabolic behaviour of organ cells. However, the mind also influences this fluid through the nervous and hormonal systems. lt could be asserted that disturbances of the extracellular fluid inevitably cause disturbances in cells. However, the microscope will only be able to show us the disturbance of a cell and not what caused the disturbance.
The system of basic regulation is hence a particularly important system, which is undoubtedly responsible for the origin and prevention of many diseases. A detailed account of the structure and functioning of the system of basic regulation can be found in the relevant literature. The important thing to remember from our point of view is that any lasting disturbance of this system will lead to other disturbances, namely dysfunction of various cells and organs, disturbances of the body’s detoxifying function, disruption of the humoral environment, disturbance of the normal autonomic regulatory processes in the body, alteration of the behaviour of the individual cell membrane with secondary effects on cellular metabolism and ultimately lowered resistance.
We should take note of the fact that complex regulatory disturbances can result in a cancerous cell, in whatever way it has been transformed, developing into a cancerous tumour with all its terrible consequences. What really matters is recognizing such complex regulatory disorders as early as possible so that we automatically practise genuine early cancer detection and cancer prevention. I would like to mention the following methods as illustrative of Pischinger’s system of basic regulation: Schwamm and Rost’s thermoregulation diagnosis, decoder dermography and SEG. Admittedly none of these methods are specific to cancer because blockade of regulation is found in other chronic illnesses as well. However, thermoregulation diagnosis according to the Heidelberg model, for instance, showed that it is possible to tell whether a tumour is benign or malignant before surgery in 92% of cases of breast cancer and 96% of lung tumours.
Non-specific regulatory mechanisms are hence crucially important to the tumour process. There is also a great deal of evidence that non-specific regulatory mechanisms may be impaired by an accumulation of lots of noxae which, in some cases, may be virtually unnoticed by the patient. That brings us to the harmful causal factors which trigger regulatory disturbance. We repeatedly find that over 90% of all types of cancer have a specific focus. A cancer patient without a disease focus is a real rarity!
However, interference fields, as described by Huneke, and individual diet also act on the system of basic regulation as internal factors. Emotional influences, hereditary factors, physical and chemical influences (environmental stresses, “electric smog”, radiation, medication) are extremely significant as well. All these factors have an individually different impact on the body’s regulatory processes, blocking them and thereby opening the way for disease. Issels was the first oncologist who developed a scientific concept for a holistic cancer treatment and he was very successful. I modified Issel’s proven concept and introduce it here.
Holistic cancer treatment therefore means identifying and eliminating individual harmful factors and the damage caused by them. Attention focuses not on the tumour but the individual human being. Obviously the tumour is not completely denied and it certainly should be treated by the methods of orthodox medicine available. Our therapeutic approach therefore comprises four main elements:
1. Basic therapy
3. Immune therapy
4. Conventional therapy”
Biography of Dr. Wolfgang Woeppel
Wolfgang Woeppel, M. D., was born Aug 15th, 1946 in Aschaffenburg/Bavaria. He passed away July 10th, 2006 in Bad Mergentheim. Dr. Woeppel’s medical career began in 1966, when he started his studies of medicine at the University of Wuerzburg (Bavaria/Germany). He graduated from Medical School in 1971. Six years later he became board-certified specialist of internal medicine (1977) and naturopathy (1984). He also studied acupuncture and neural therapy. From 1976-1981, Dr. Woeppel was senior physician, and from 1981-1982 he was the senior consultant of the department of internal medicine at the City Hospital in Mosbach/Baden with main responsibility for intensive care, cardiology, gastroenterology and conventional oncology.
According to his experiences during these years, Dr. Woeppel found that conventional cancer treatment was not very effective in most cases of cancer, especially in advanced stages. Therefore, in 1982, he decided to learn more about complementary approaches in oncology and started working together with the famous German oncologist, Josef Issels, M. D., in Issel’s holistic Ringbergklinik (Tegernsee/Bavaria). Years earlier, Dr. Issels had developed and practiced a new holistic approach to cancer treatment. His theories and methods have greatly influenced alternative cancer treatment programs in Europe, Mexico, and the United States. Dr. Josef Issels retired in 1985 and in the same year Dr. Woeppel modified Issels’ proven concept and opened his own hospital – the Hufeland Klinik for holistic immunobiological therapy in Bad Mergentheim. The holistic treatment includes – mostly altered, of course, by individual circumstances – active fever therapy, ozone therapy, dietary modification, daily injections, weekly infusion protocols, and – if possible and necessary – hormone therapy and/or low-dose chemo-therapy, IPT protocols, local and whole-body hyperthermia, as well as psychotherapy, and last but not least mental and spiritual approaches.
Dr. Woeppel’s most quoted motto was: “The tumor is only the late-stage symptom of cancer, which is from the beginning a systemic disease caused by impaired working of the body’s own defense and repair mechanisms. Cancer is not merely the disorder of one organ but is an expression of a comprehensive disorder of the whole person in his or her unity of body and soul. Traditional European naturopathy, empirical medicine, and conventional scientific medicine can be selectevely used in a unique way that rebuilds people instead of destroying them.”
Since then, for more than twenty years now, he also has become an internationally known expert in complementary cancer treatment by placing numerous announcements and lectures on national and international congresses, e. g. in Italy, the Netherlands, in England and the USA. In April, 1997 at an international cancer congress in Heidelberg, Germany, Dr. Woeppel presented several cases of spontaneous remission. In June 2000 his success brought him to an invitation as a witness in the hearing of the House of Representatives on Government Reform. The hearing addressed issues including access to clinical trials, natural product drug development, racial disparity in treatment, the integration of complementary therapies in conventional oncology settings and how these therapies are paid for and last but not least the decision to choose an alternative treatment instead of a conventional oncological approach. The hearing was titled “Integrative Oncology – Cancer Care for the New Millennium” and was organized by the Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, Committee on Government Reforms in Washington, D. C. In October 2000 the Columbia University of New York started a best-case series review of the Hufeland Klinik. In June 2005 the study was published: “Judith S. Jacobson, DrPH, MBA et al., Cancer Outcomes at the HUFELAND (Complementary/Alternative Medicine) Clinic: A Best-Case Series Review, Integrative Cancer Therapies, Vol 4, Number 2, 2005.”
He was married July 29th, 1972 to Gabriele Elisabeth Herz. Together they raised four daughters: Sonja, Monika, Angelika, Beate. Besides his very occupying profession he still found time for hobbies like hunting, fishing, chess and he owned a pilot’s license. He was engaged in social and political activities as well.
The Hufeland Klinik stayed and will stay open for cancer patients and other patients with chronic diseases. His wife, Gabriele, and daughter Angelika are going to continue Dr. Woeppel’s proven concept, solidly based on his experience in treating more than 5000 in- and more than 500 outpatients since 1985, many of them coming from US and other countries.
Bad Mergentheim, March 2011