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Mitchell L. Gaynor, MD

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Mitchell Gaynor, MD, a medical oncologist, was a pioneer of Integrative Oncology. He founded Gaynor Integrative Oncology in Manhattan where he worked until his untimely death in September 2015 at the age of 59.


Dr. Gaynor was Director of Medical Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Center for Integrative Oncology, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and former Director of Medical Oncology at Strang Cancer Prevention Center.


Dr. Gaynor was born in Texas. He attended medical school at Southwestern University in Dallas. His medical residency training was at the New York Hospital / Cornell Medical Center where he became Chief 

Resident. During postdoctoral training at the Rockefeller University he became interested in gene-nutrient interactions and subsequently subscribed to the notion that “we are what we eat”. Dr. Gaynor was deeply affected at the age of 9 when his mother died of breast cancer. Of her death he reflected “I saw from my mother how people could have equanimity and inner peace in the presence of significant suffering.” This profoundly influenced his subsequent career in oncology.


Dr. Gaynor distinguished between curing a patient; fixing a physical symptom or disease using state-of-the-art cancer treatment, and healing, which he described as a complementary union of mind, body and spirit. He used state of the art cancer treatment along with additional integrative therapies including sound; such as Singing Tibetan Bowls, meditation, nutrition and supplements. His nutritional and supplement therapies were based on observations in human populations along with laboratory and theoretical observations.


He was the author of several books including The Healing Power of Sound (1999), Dr. Gaynor’s Cancer Prevention Program (1999), Healing Essence (2000), Nurture Nature, Nurture Health (2005) and The Gene Therapy Plan (2015).

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Excerpts from Dr. Gaynor’s book -


the gene therapy plan Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle


Cancer is due to genetic changes which occur after birth. Only 5% of cancer is due to genes inherited with a mutation in the parent’s genes. Cancer is an environmental disease. Genes make copies in the form of messenger RNA that carries the instructions into the cell in order to enable the building of specific proteins that determine all the functions of every cell in the body. Genes are controlled by specific genes that can start the copying process – proto-oncogenes and other genes that stop the copying process – tumor suppressor genes - which also functions as error checkers to ensure accuracy of the messenger RNA. Proto-oncogenes control cell division and are very active during embryonic development but less so in adult life. Errors in genes are termed mutations and under certain circumstances these genes can be turned on, without the ability to stop, leaving the copying process permanently on and overwhelming the error checking function. An overwhelming cascade of errors may lead to benign (harmless) or malignant tumors.

Carcinogens are external agents that can cause cancer by creating cancer-inducing mutations in the genes. Examples are UV radiation from sunlight, X-radiation such as X-rays, chemicals such as arsenic and asbestos, smoking, viruses such as hepatitis B or C and HPV as well as a wide range of manmade chemicals such as vinyl chloride or bisphenol A (BPA). Certain foods can be considered cancer promoting such as meat cooked at high temperature, excessive fat and aflatoxins in some nut butters. Lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, lack of sufficient sleep and chronic stress may also promote cancer.



Gene Therapy Fact: BPA & Toxins

BPA is found in a lot of every day plastics (e.g. Baby bottles, water bottles, canned food and certain plastic containers.

  1. Buy fresh or frozen food

  2. Use non-plastic microwave-safe containers. Store leftovers in glass or stainless steel containers


The Report on Carcinogens by the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 240 carcinogens although only 54 have been identified known to be human carcinogens.


Carcinogens of note are:



Mold producing fungi. In the US aflatoxins can contaminate food such as peanut butter, tree nuts, corn and other grains and cottonseed meal. Avoid peanut butter and chose almond or cashew butter. Do not store nuts for long periods and discard discolored or moldy nuts.



Limited consumption of red wine has health benefits but the consumption of higher amounts of alcohol is directly related to cancer of mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus. The more that is consumed the higher the risk. The addition of smoking exponentially increases the risk.


Gene Therapy Fact: Energy Consumption

  1. Reduce high glycemic index foods.

  2. Fasting is not a good option but rather caloric balancing using the Rule of One Thirds – one third of the diet should be protein, one third fat and one third carbohydrate.


Inflammation is a critical process for healing and repair from injury. Some of the products of inflammation such as cytokines, growth factors and COX-2 can activate proto-oncogenes as well as further activating inflammation products.

Gene Therapy Fact: Aspirin Protects Against Cancer

Low dose aspirin has been recommended for individuals at high risk for heart disease but has also been found to reduce the risk of some cancers such as:

  1. Prostate cancer

  2. Colorectal cancer

  3. Lung cancer

  4. Ovarian cancer

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