Cesium salts have recently been promoted as therapy for cancer, and I get a lot of inquiries on the subject. This is what I know.
Cesium chloride is an unproven treatment for cancer; it is not currently endorsed by the medical "establishment". There are some intriguing case studies, but the documented scientific evidence is pretty murky at this point. The few references in the official literature are mostly in obscure journals. There are a couple of early articles on Cesium therapy in "Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior" Vol. 21, supplement 1, pp 7-15, 1984, which you may be able to locate if you have access to a major medical library.
There is also (as of Feb 2003) an organization providing information on Cesium treatment of cancer, (Dr. Keith Brewer's High Ph Cancer Therapy with Cesium). The address I have for this organization is:
The A. Keith Brewer International Science Library
325 N. Central Avenue
Richland Center, WI 53581
Phone: 608-647-6513; Fax: 608-647-6797
I would take their literature with a grain of salt, as the library was founded by one of the originators of Cesium therapy.
In any case, anyone going the self-treatment route should be very careful dosing themselves (or anybody else). Although cesium chloride is not particularly toxic compared e.g., to soluable lead, mercury, or barium salts, or to conventional chemotherapeutic agents, the dosages recommended in the "therapy" (up to a few grams a day) are at the point where neurological symptoms and other physiological effects can start to appear. These include potentially fatal cardiac arrythmias. Sax's "Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials" speaks of "hyperirritability" in rats fed cesium in amounts equivalent to the potassium content of their diet. The effect is due to cesium acting as an analog for, and competing with potassium in neural ion channels. The effects may depend on dietary levels of potassium, other minerals, and other complex factors, and thus may appear somewhat unpredictably. Cesium may also interfere with other medications, so it should be used with extreme caution if other drugs are being used.
Anyone taking large amounts of cesium would certainly want to make sure they were getting enough potassium and other minerals (specifically calcium) in their diet along with the cesium. On the other hand, as mentioned above, cesium is not, in more moderate amounts, particularly toxic as far as anyone can determine (though long term studies of human exposure have not been done). It does not accumulate in the body like some heavy metals do, so symptoms should disappear fairly quickly when the cesium levels are moderated. As with any medication, I would be careful about sudden withdrawal from a heavy regimen because of the possibility of rebound effects due to adaptation of the body to the cesium dosage. Since cesium therapy is not officially approved, there is not a lot of documentation of side effects and their control.
In some ways, the situation with cesium chloride seems somewhat similar to that of the apricot-pit extract Laetrile that was promoted as a cancer cure in the 70s and 80s. It never achieved mainstream backing, and is now rather out of fashion even in the "alternative medicine" world.)
I get a lot of questions about how to obtain cesium chloride. The usual sources for cesium chloride are chemical or biological supply houses. It is not a particularly dangerous substance, and is not specifically restricted or regulated. However, many supply houses will not sell any chemical (no matter how innoucuous) to individuals because of liability concerns. Most will sell to almost any company with nothing more than a company purchase order, unless the chemical is particularly hazardous (which cesium chloride is not). A common route for individuals wishing to make purchases of this sort is to set up an LLC (limited liability corporation), and arrange a corporate account with a bank to handle POs. This can be done for a relatively small amount of money (sometimes almost nothing, or the cost of a classified add in a local paper announcing the formation of the corporation - check your state and local laws).
The use of cesium chloride as cancer therapy sould not be confused with the use of radioactive cesium 137, an artificial isotope produced in nuclear reactors, as a radiation source in cancer radiotherapy. This is a medically endorsed procedure, but is unrelated to the biochemical properties of natural cesium 133. Cesium 137 is a strictly regulated radioisotope, and there is NO chance that you will accidently get some while trying to obtain cesium chloride.
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