Alternate Cancer Remedies
followed; yet sometimes it was prolonged far be- yond the expected time.
By 1952, Krebs, Sr.’s, two sons, Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., Ph.D., and Byron Krebs, M.D., had greatly im- proved the processing of laetrile. The extract was being prepared better, and the theory clearly es- tablished.
Within a couple years, physicians in various parts of the United States, England, Belgium, Italy, the Philippines, and Japan were giving laetrile. It was soon discovered that dosages up to 400 mg could be given with no harmful effects, and that intravenous injections accomplished far more than intramuscular ones.
Beginning in November 1952, the laetrile treat- ment battles began, initially with the California Cancer Commission and later with various fed- eral agencies.
“Laetrile is one of the naturally occurring sub- stances that cannot be patented, making it a true orphan drug. No drug company is inter- ested in committing money to research laetrile’s potential.”—R. Pelton and L. Overholser, Al- ternatives in Cancer Therapy, 160. Unfortunately, the industry formula appears to be “If you cannot control and market it, fight it.”
The basic 1953 report, used repeatedly there- after against the use of laetrile by physicians, was written by Drs. Ian MacDonald and Henry L. Gar- land. It is of interest that they had earlier teamed up on a report which attempted to disprove the U.S. surgeon general’s report, that cigarette smok- ing causes cancer. (MacDonald later died in a fire, caused by a lighted cigarette; and Garland died of lung cancer from smoking.) Some people sus- pected that “the trade” knew that those two doc- tors would write research reports that were slanted whichever way their hiring agency instructed them.
This report caused the use of laetrile in the U.S. to decline for awhile, but people started trav- eling overseas to obtain treatments.
In 1962, Judge W.T. Sweigert, of the San Fran- cisco District Court, allowed limited distribution of amygdalin supplies to the McNaughton Foun- dation in Canada and several American physicians for investigation and/or treatment.
By order of the FDA, on November 1, 1963, laetrile was banned from interstate shipments, ex- cept for animal testing. This meant it could only be investigated and used in California (which had a court order permitting it there).
On May 15, 1965, the Canadian equivalent of the AMA turned against laetrile. This turned the attention of cancer sufferers to Mexico, where it
was announced that a preliminary study had been carried out “under government auspices with most encouraging results.”
On August 2, 1965, Ernst Krebs, Sr., agreed to a permanent court injunction against further distribution of laetrile. On February 3, 1966, he was given a one-year suspended sentence for fail- ing to register as a producer of drugs. This was not a setback, since the Krebs had made known the entire process, at no charge, to a number of laboratories and physicians requesting it.
After the 1953 California Report, patients had been forced to go abroad for treatment—to the Phil- ippines (Dr. Manuel D. Navarro, professor of bio- chemistry and therapeutics at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila) and Italy (Dr. Ettore Guidetti of the University of Turin).
In 1966, a leading German researcher and au- thor, Dr. Hans Nieper, in Hanover, West Germany, began administering laetrile—and in far larger doses than Krebs, with excellent results.
Then there was Dr. Shigeaki Sakai, in Mat- suyama, Japan; he was also successfully treating cancer with laetrile.
Cancer sufferers also went to Mexico. Dr. Ernesto Contreras, a graduate of the Mexican Army Medical School, who did postgraduate work in Boston, opened a new clinic in Tijuana, just be- low the southern California border. Mexico gave laetrile and the Contreras Clinic full approval in 1973.
Most of these physicians and researchers wrote scientific reports about their work in journals all over the world.
As of 1974, Contreras had about a thousand new patients a year, the great majority of which were terminal. He said that only 60% of them showed a response, ranging from a feeling of well-being and cessation of pain to the regain- ing of weight. Of the 60%, only about half had recurrences of the disease after a temporary arrest of three to six months. A patient was con- sidered to have his cancer “controlled,” if he experienced five symptom-free years. But he must remain on laetrile tablets for the rest of his life.
Gradually, a number of physicians would come to realize that laetrile, alone, was NOT the answer! The solution was total nutritional change. Many things must be dropped, many added. Many changes in lifestyle must be made. (Some of the changes, which laetrile doctors began requiring of their patients, will be listed at the close of this article.)
But, even for those who died within a few years, the cost of treatment was relatively low,