|The Cure for Cancer - Vitamin
By Jessica VanDusen
Originally published on December 31‚ 2001
While there may be no exact *cure* for cancer, Vitamin B17 is one of the forerunners of promising, natural treatments. So why haven't you heard about it? I guess this will be my last article for 2001 and in the UM spirit of progression, you will probably be seeing fewer articles from me in the new year but that is only in hopes that we'll be getting many more people submitting stuff so that I can take a little more time with mine and make them alot more in depth like the following story. I hope this will at least improve the quality of our content if not the quantity.
The following information was disclosed to me by an online acquaintance that, in recent past, felt compelled to seek out alternative cancer treatments while watching a family member suffer from conventional therapy. Her search led to a discovery of Laetrile, a substance derived from the seeds and kernels of various fruits most readily extracted from apricots and many other plant species, said to total roughly 2050. However, such information was not easily forthcoming.
According to the medical establishment, the only approved "cures" for cancer consist of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Surgery, even biopsy, increases the chance of the spread of cancer, says John A. Richardson, MD, and Patricia Griffin, RN in "Laetrile Case Histories: The Richardson Cancer Clinic Experience." They reveal what most doctors already know - that radiation and chemotherapy can actually cause cancer in otherwise healthy tissue - and yet these three combined are considered the only "cures."
The whole body of mainstream medicine along with the FDA and many state governments came down hard on the supporters of Laetrile in the 60's and 70's. Some doctors who treated patients with it were arrested, jailed and stripped of their licenses, including Dr. Richardson, himself. From out-of-print books on the subject, you will find there has been and still is deliberate suppression of the treatment, presumably to protect the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.
Laetrile, (the shortened, trade name for laevo-mandelonitrile-beta-glucuronoside or vitamin B17) cannot be patented, and therefore no drug company stands to make much money from its production. Upon further reading by myself, I have discovered that it already has been registered at the US Patent Office by Ernst T. Krubs, Jr. as a treatment of "disorders of intestinal fermentation" – possibly in the early 1950’s. (As a side note, he and his father also patented B15 or "pangamic acid” as they referred to it.) I’ve also read that you cannot patent something derived from natural sources.
Laetrile has been banned from interstate transport and from import into the US. Even apricot kernels themselves are banned from interstate transport and importation; this still holds true today. In some places, Laetrile is legal; but since interstate transport is illegal, it is not being produced because apparently just within-state sales are not viable for companies. People who wish to secure treatment with Laetrile must go to Mexico.
From "Politics, Science and Cancer: The Laetrile Phenomenon" an American Association for the Advancement of Science Symposium Volume, (1980) it is learned that Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Institute suppressed the positive results of a Laetrile study conducted by one its most prominent researchers, Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- page 63:
"From the point of view of those who had hoped for a quick, negative judgment on Laetrile, Sugiura came up with resoundingly "wrong" results. In three separate experiments he found that Laetrile, though failing to actually eliminate the primary tumor, did appear to retard its growth. What's more, he found that the Laetrile-treated animals had fewer metastases (secondary tumors) in their lungs than did the control animals, which received an inert saline solution. Since it is often the metastatic spread of cancer that is responsible for the lethal efects of the disease, this finding was of great potential clinical significance. In addition, Sugiura observed that the Laetrile-treated animals appeared to be livelier and healthier-looking than the control animals."
"Sugiura's unexpected findings were not published in the scientific literature
nor were they made public by Sloan-Kettering."
The book goes on to say that later, during a press conference, Sugiura was asked if stood by the results of his first experiments, and he said, "I stick."
There is also an important nutritional aspect to this controversy. The natural source of Laetrile is a substance "amygdalin" that provides a nutrient no longer found in modern diets, and that amygdalin or "Vitamin B17" takes care of this deficiency and aids the body's own defenses in fighting the abnormal cells that naturally course through the body (cancer cells) from time to time. They say that a deficiency in Vitamin B17 allows cancer cells to grow and spread, and that adding this nutrient to the diet can prevent this. An analogy can be made to Vitamin C preventing rickets, and niacin preventing pellagra.
A general explanation as to how Laetrile works without harm to the healthy tissue can be described in this report written by Joe Vialls in 1994:
“The vitamin is harmless to healthy tissue for a very simple reason: each molecule of B17 contains one unit of cyanide, one unit of benzaldehyde and two of glucose (sugar) tightly locked together. In order for the cyanide to become dangerous it is first necessary to 'unlock' the molecule to release it, a trick that can only be performed by an enzyme called beta-glucosidase, which is present all over the human body in minute quantities, but in truly vast quantities (up to 100 times as high) at only one place: the site of a malignant cancer tumour. Thus the cyanide is unlocked only at the cancer site with drastic results, which become utterly devastating to the cancer cells because the benzaldehyde unit unlocks at the same time. Benzaldehyde is a deadly poison in its own right, which then acts synergistically with the cyanide to produce a poison 100 times more deadly than either in isolation. The combined effect on the cancer cells is best left to the imagination. But what about danger to the rest of the body's cells? Another enzyme, rhodanese, always present in far larger quantities than the unlocking enzyme beta-glucosidase in healthy tissues, has the easy ability to completely break down both cyanide and benzaldehyde into beneficial body products. Predictably perhaps, malignant cancer cells contain no rhodanese at all, leaving them completely at the mercy of the two deadly poisons.“
In fact, Vialls goes on to illustrate similarities between the developments of malignant cancer cells to the earliest stages of pregnancy. Essentially, a trophoblast is created from the growth of stem cells as they come into contact with oestrogen, which as we are now aware, can become a complete embryo or any type of living tissue, as is the case in the healing process. When the healing process fails to terminate in due time, the result is cancer. The most remarkable aspect of these similarities is that the resultant trophoblast cells produce the hormone CGH (chorionic gonadotrophic) which, if you remember your sex-ed classes correctly, is present in the urine during pregnancy and thus can be detected using a simple, store bought pregnancy test with an accuracy of 85-92% or better (two figures were given from differing sources.) This leads one to wonder why the medical establishment would favour such a risky and complicated method as biopsy unless for financial gain. Compare the cost of a home pregnancy test to surgery and successive treatment from complications.
The pancreas then produces chymotrypsin, which destroys the trophoblasts. John Beard (in 1902) postulated that if the pancreas fails to produce enough chymotrypsin, trophoblasts circulate through the body of both mother and infant, making them vulnerable throughout life to cancer.
The FDA has been after laetrile distributors in recent months. In September it said a federal judge in Florida had issued a preliminary injunction barring three firms from promoting or marketing products containing laetrile — Florida-based World Without Cancer Inc. and The Health World International Inc., and one Arizona firm, Health Genesis Corp.
The latest consent decree was signed on Thursday by United States District Court Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, New York, the FDA said. "The court had preliminarily enjoined the defendants from selling amygdalin on April 20, 2000," the FDA said in a statement. The consent decree signed by the parties last week and entered on November 16, 2000 by Christian Brothers and its president will ensure that defendants keep their commitment with the agency to permanently discontinue selling amygdalin products."
Dr. Richardson, gives case studies of people who have benefited tremendously from laetrile treatment. He explains the concept behind why laetrile works, and makes several compelling arguments about why laetrile is actually legal under the "grandfather clause" of the FDA rules because it has been in use in one form or another for over a hundred years.
So is the FDA being the enforcement arm of the orthodox medical establishment and scaring people away from the use of laetrile to protect profits of large corporations? Or are they genuinely protecting the public?
Many of the tests with patients are done after chemotherapy or radiation treatments are performed but are unsuccessful. At this point, logic would stand to reason that the patient is already weakened and may not necessarily respond to any treatment. Obviously, finding adequate controls in such research is difficult with human subjects.
While Laetrile is said to be most effective in its palliative action, (to ease the suffering of nausea, fatigue and pain) of sufferers and has shown to extend remission, it is with much caution that it should be deemed a “cure” for cancer. For the same reason that there are numerous causes of the disease, there are also just as many factors that go into treating it. Indeed, following the holistic principles of therapy there is no one, individual cure for any illness. Laetrile has been shown to be more successful against Carcinomas rather than Leukaemia or other Sarcomas and Melanomas. Lung, Prostate, Breast, Lymphomas, Liver and Brain cancer respond better to Laetrile. Proponents of Laetrile recommend full metabolic therapy with a regimen of detoxification, then vitamin and mineral supplements, a vegetarian diet and the reduction or cessation of all refined and processed foods, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine.
Still, when one compares a treatment that will at the very least, provide comfort to the patient with the more “orthodox” approach of bombarding that patient with chemicals, radiation or surgery and in many cases, killing them in the process, is there really as much of a risk as the FDA would have us believe? And if in fact, it does make conventional treatment better tolerated, it is this, in my opinion, which has the pharmaceuticals running scared.
Proponents of Laetrile outside of the US:
Mexico: Dr Ernesto Contreras, one of Mexico’s leading medical specialists, has operated the Oasis Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico for over 30 years, treating cancer patients with laetrile. Many of his patients have travelled from America where laetrile treatment is currently denied them by law. Dr Contreras received post-graduate training at the Harvard Children’s Hospital in Boston. He has served as the chief pathologist at the Army Hospital in Mexico City and was Professor of Histology and Pathology at the Mexican Army Medical School.
Dr Contreras remarks of B17-laetrile’s action with extreme terminal cancer cases: "The palliative action [the ability of a substance to improve comfort of patient] is in about 60% of the cases. Frequently, enough to be significant, I see arrest of the disease or even regression in some 15% of the very advanced cases."
Natural souces of amygdalin: seeds of those fruits in the Prunus Rosacea family (bitter almond, apricot, blackthorn, cherry, nectarine, peach and plum) it is also contained in grasses, white clover, maize, sorghum, millet, cassava beans, linseed, apple seeds.