Weird Science

The Life Extension Foundation claims it'll add years to your life with pills and cancer profiles. As long as you have the money.

Faloon maintains a tidy office at LEF headquarters. The shelves behind his desk are lined with medical books. Next to the books is a "helmet" that looks like a pillowcase with two mirrors stuck to it. The mirrors are actually opaque visors, and the foam-lined helmet is designed to withstand heat of up to 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. Faloon wears it during airplane travel so that, in the event of a crash, his head will be protected and, if found, ready for freezing.

Faloon bounds into his office wearing a jet-black business suit and a pressed white shirt. At age 43, he appears fit and energetic and introduces himself with a singsong pronunciation of his name.

"This," he says, triumphantly holding up a stack of papers, "is the cure for cancer."

Earlier in the day, Faloon downloaded the material from Med-Line, a database of medical journals and scientific reports. The "cure" to which he's referring is the combination of the drugs Angiostatin and Endostatin, which can eliminate cancer in mice by restricting the amount of blood that flows toward a tumor. The drugs, developed by Judah Folkman, a Harvard University doctor, made national headlines back in May. But since then Dr. Folkman and others have warned against pinning too many hopes on the drugs. What works for mice will not necessarily work in humans.

That's of no consequence to Faloon, who refuses to wait the 12 to 18 months it takes the FDA to test new drugs. While he can't promise that the drugs won't harm humans, he points out that quite a few cancer victims don't have much time to live anyway.

"I don't believe it's a toxic substance," he says. "At this point the animals seem to do very well with it."

To get the drug on the market quickly, Faloon has been urging LEF members to contact their congressmen and put pressure on the FDA. He also plans to meet with a group of chemists he claims may be able to replicate the two drugs. Once the bootleg versions are created, LEF will let its cancer patients know where they need to go to get them.

Is that legal?
Faloon says that if LEF is merely providing its members with information that could help them live to the age of 115, what's the problem?

But is it safe?
Again, it's too soon to say, but Faloon's not worried. The people creating the drugs are scientists with whom he has worked before.

"No one has ever died from anything they've done," he said. "I trust them.

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