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Laetrile Therapy

and far freer from the horrible pains accompa- nying the orthodox procedures.

(A related fact was that those patients who had earlier received chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery—were far less likely to respond well to laetrile. Their bodies had been too greatly weakened.)

Following massive intravenous laetrile injec- tions, patients were sent home with laetrile tab- lets and strict orders to remain on them for the remainder of their lives.

It is an extremely important fact, which to their sorrow many recovered cancer patients have learned, too late,—is that when a person contracts cancer, and recovery appears to be made;—if he thereafter relaxes his efforts to eat and live carefully, the cancer will very often re- turn and renewed treatments will not be effec- tive in remitting the cancer, as had occurred earlier! This is a solemn fact to be kept in mind.

Dr. Dean Burk, one of the founders of the Na- tional Cancer Institute, was world famous for his research work and writings, and served for many years as head of its cytology department. He was also famous for being a maverick within the Can- cer Establishment. He disliked bureaucracy, red tape, professional fudging, and was quite blunt in speaking out when he ran into such problems.

Challenged by Andrew McNaughton (a wealthy individual who had befriended the laetrile cause) to test laetrile, Burk did so. Among the tests Burk conducted was this one: He put a quantity of live cancer cells into a Warburk flask with laetrile and the enzyme, beta glucosidase. He then stained the cancer cells with tryptan blue and placed them under a microscope where, he re- ported to McNaughton, he could “see the can- cer cells dying off like flies.”

As a result, Burk became a staunch defender of laetrile. (1) It was Dean Burk who, digging into records, discovered that although the FDA banned bitter almonds in this country, the agency’s own publications listed extracts of bitter almonds as an approved substance for general use.

(2) It was Burk who also established that la- etrile, as vitamin B17, was a valid vitamin and there- fore not subject to the FDA regulations on new drugs.

(3) Burk also determined that laetrile could be taken orally. This research was later confirmed by Dr. Nieper in Germany. This discovery greatly helped patients keep on a maintenance dosage at home.

In February 1971, state agents arrested Krebs,


Jr., along with four others, on a variety of state health-law violations.

On September 1, 1971, the FDA announced that its “blue-ribbon panel” had found “no accept- able evidence of therapeutic effect to justify clini- cal trials” of laetrile. It appeared that laetrile, like all its forerunner alternative therapies, was doomed to extinction in America.

John A. Richardson, M.D., lived and practiced medicine in Albany, California, just across the Bay from San Francisco. In the 1960s, he contacted Dr. Krebs, Jr.; and, after many talks with him, he began giving laetrile to his terminal cancer patients. Success brought many more cancer patients. “I was totally unprepared for my first visit to the Richardson Clinic. As a nurse, I had spent considerable time on cancer wards and I knew what to expect: the awful odor of decaying flesh and the sallow faces of forlorn patients who have been condemned to a sub-human existence as they await their inevitable fate. “No one likes to be in the presence of death and, because there is so little that orthodox medicine can do other than mask the pain with mind-dulling drugs, the doctor and nurse of- ten avoid the terminal cancer patient as much as is ethically acceptable. Examinations are brief. Conversation is kept to a minimum. Where possible, the patient is assigned to staff subordinates. Cancer wards and cancer clinics all are pretty much the same: impersonal, smelly, and depressing. “It was to my amazement, therefore, to dis- cover that the Richardson Clinic did not fit this morbid pattern. The first thing that struck me was that the patients awaiting treatment were engaged in animated conversation. They were talking, not only about their illness but about their children and grandchildren, about the cross-country sightseeing trip they were plan- ning just as soon as they felt strong enough, and of their ultimate return to work. These people were not preoccupied with death; they were planning for life! “Then I noticed the attitude of the staff. They actually enjoyed being with the patients and spent considerable time with each. They derived genuine satisfaction from learning of the im- provement over the previous visit. Their jokes with the patients were not those strained little condescending attempts to be cheerful in the face of tragedy but rather the genuine outbursts of people who were finding fun in their work. “And, finally, I suddenly became aware that the air was completely free from the fetid smell associated with growing cancer. “A middle-aged man stepped from the clinic

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