Alternate Cancer Remedies
In the late 1800s, a Scottish physician, Dr. John Beard (1845-1924) developed a theory of cancer which modern advocates of laetrile therapy believe helps to explain the function of this sub- stance in treating malignancies. Yet he never per- sonally used amygdalin.
Beard published his findings, in 1902, in the British journal Lancet and then, in 1911, in his book, The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and Its Scientific Basis. He elaborated on a theory which, although remarkably different, was relatively simple. At the time, it received little interest and some hostility. Beard’s book was rediscovered by the Krebs research team in 1938. (For more on John Beard, see page 51.)
Here, very briefly, is the Beardian, or tro- phoblastic, theory of cancer:
The trophoblast was first identified in 1857 and named in 1876. This mysterious cell plays a specific role in pregnancy: It eats out a niche in the uterine wall, where the fertilized egg can gain nutrition from the mother’s bloodstream.
Its name comes from the Greek words for “nourishment” and “tissue”; and, in orthodox em- bryology, it is said to be a layer of extra embryonic ectoderm.
The trophoblast is an invading, autonomous, erosive cell that, during pregnancy, is found in the blood and other organs outside the uterus. But the activity of the trophoblast puzzled Beard. It does things which the cancer cell does! Could it be that the trophoblast—a natural part of the human life cycle and cancer are the same thing?
den, fatal illness. John Beard determined to find the cause: What caused the trophoblast to shut down or fail to shut down?—hence determining whether the fetus will live or deadly chrioepith- elioma will develop.
Beard found that this 56th day shutting down occurs at the very same time that the fetal pan- creas begins secreting. As he studied further, he decided that the pancreatic enzymes are respon- sible for checking the growth of the gestational trophoblast, even though it is not entirely de- stroyed.
Here we have trophoblasts, which, just like cancer cells, are invasive, corrosive, diversive, and able to metastasize (spread)—yet are a normal part of the life cycle, and naturally brought into check by the body.
Beard then found that some of these primitive germ cells, able later to become a trophoblast, eventually circulate throughout the system. Could it be that, if they try to become a trophoblast out- side the uterus, cancer will be the name given to the process?
Beard therefore reasoned that, if pancreatic enzymes could inhibit cancer during gestation, surely they—or some other enzymes—could stop the growth of cancer.
Beard also believed that the stereochemi- cal structure of cancer proteins and carbohy- drates is opposite to the structure of the same things in normal cells.
That is Beard’s theory, also called the tro- phoblastic theory of cancer.
To find out, Beard traced the histories of both kinds of cells. In order to study the fertilized egg many times at all its various stages, he worked with small creatures called elasmobranches.
Gradually, he found that the trophoblast arises, in some manner, from the primitive, undifferenti- ated germ cell.
But later, something dramatic happens. Beard discovered that it is in the 56th day, in the span of human gestation, that the cellular trophoblast be- gins to undergo a dramatic deterioration! Some- thing checks the further growth of the gesta- tional trophoblast.
These invading cells which have overpow- ered and eroded other cells,—begins to dimin- ish and stop functioning.
But there is one exception: This is when one of the most malignant forms of cancer (cancer of the chorion) develops. When that happens, both the mother and child can die in a matter of weeks.
Physicians in Beard’s day acknowledged that trophoblasts had something to do with that sud-
Ernst T. Krebs, Sr., and his son, Ernst T. Krebs, Jr. carried on further research along similar lines, but did not discover Beard’s theory until 1938. But, by that time, they had already made several other discoveries. Both the father and son were remarkably brilliant.
Born in 1877, Ernst T. Krebs, Sr., earned a medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, San Francisco. He was living there in 1906 when the great earthquake struck. Having lost everything, he moved his family to Carson City, Nevada. While practicing there, Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., the first of his four children was born. At about the same time, he adopted an orphan Washoe In- dian girl.
Krebs, Sr., though a physician, had also stud- ied pharmacy, and used his spare time in biomedi- cal investigation. Moving to San Francisco’s Mis- sion District, he set up a laboratory in his home, a large mansion on South Van Ness Avenue; and, across the street, above a pharmacy, he had his medical office. As Krebs, Jr., was growing up, he