[back] Essiac

Sourced: Mr. Max Costello’s publishing(s) on Essiac ; “Essiac fighting the cancer in our system (100 years on)”  edited C. Macdonald.(487 pages)  This is a copy of an article found amongst Rene Caisse's files, and sent to her from the Brusch Institute.

Brusch Tests of 1959

Since May 22, 1959, a group of physicians affiliated with the Brusch Medical Centre, Cambridge, Mass, have been evaluating the merit of a cancer remedy. The results of the treatment with the remedy have been observed on humans, and on animals inoculated with human  and animal carcinoma.

The remedy, "Essiac", is a herbal one and had its beginnings in Canada 35 years ago. The remedy is the discovery of a registered nurse, Rene Caisse. More than 2,000 cancer victims have been treated with the preparation since 1924. Many of these patients have been previously treated with radium treatment and surgery. Large numbers of the patients were considered hopeless cases before the treatment was tried, yet records attested by doctors indicate that some of these cases were cured.    Localising of the malignancy was accomplished in others with resultant prolongation of life. Complete alleviation of pain caused by cancer was reported in many cases. Partial alleviation of pain and abandoning of opiates reported in others.

The Brusch Medical Centre, where this work is now progressing,  is staffed with more than  60 physicians, many of whom are also on the staff of Harvard, Tufts, Boston University, and other leading medical schools. Their hospital affiliations include Boston City, Massachusetts General, St Elizabeth, etc.

The research is being directed by Dr Charles A. Brusch, M.D.. Medical Director of the Centre, and by Charles W. McClure. M.D., F.A.C.G., Professor Emeritus of Gastroenterology, Boston University; former chief of the Department of Gastroenterology, Boston City Hospital: Director of the American Board of Internal Medicine;  Member of the Advisory Board of Gastroenterology. Observing is Dr Halsey Loder, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, and former Chief of Medical Services at Boston City Hospital.

These physicians and their associates have been concerned with treatment at the Brusch Medical Centre of human cancer victims, afflicted with a variety of forms of malignancy.

The following are brief summaries of cases treated and reactions observed.

Case #1. Lena Burcell age 49. Breast removed four years previous with wide resection of lymph nodes. In 1959 her X-rays showed carcinomatous involvement of lung and plural effusion. Onset of dyspnoea in November, 1958. The effusion was removed by paracentesis on April 1,   1959,   April   19   and  May   15.  Patient complained of severe joint pains.

It is readily observed that this was a terminal case when treatment was started in May 26, 1959. Shortly after the treatment started, the patient's ability to breathe improved markedly and no more plural effusion developed. This was significant as effusion had been consistent since April and three Drainings necessary previous to treatment. The joint pains she complained of before treatment lessened appreciably. Patient's comfort and well being improved.  Patient died third week in August,    treatment    on    this obviously doomed individual, was only attempted because of personal interest and friendship of a doctor involved, and for what results might be observed.

Case #2. Mrs Jennie Fisk, age 73. In 1954 malignant polyp of sigmoid removed. In 1959 benign polyp removed and definite malignant infiltration of Mesentery found. Severe constipation had begun in March 1959, indicating bowel              blockage.                Bowel movements obtained only once in seven days by use of frequent enemas. Patient successively hospitalised and bedridden. Mental state very low. Ambition lacking. Edema of ankles.

Treatment commenced July 14. Bowels began to move normally once a day very shortly. Bowel regulation has continued. No change in diet and no medication other than Nurse's remedy. Substance isn't cathartic. Edema of ankles disappeared after five treatments. Patient is actively on her feet. Energy restored beyond anything she has experienced since her 1954 operation. Once again making regular shopping trips to Boston. Her outlook is cheerful. She is comfortable and has gained six pounds since treatment began.

Case #3. John Cronin, aged 37. Chest opened by Dr Wood of Brusch Medical Center, about ninety days previously, and an inoperable carcinoma of the right lung discovered. Cancer proved by biopsy.  Patient  not  treated by X-ray.

Patient very weak when Nurse's treatment commenced. One flight of stairs a great effort. Could only walk short distance without resting and complaining of severe chest pains and was being given opiates. By July 28, 1959, after several treatments of one ounce orally and 1 cc. intramuscularly, chest pains had disappeared, as had his marked shortness of breath. He was no longer given sedation. He could now climb several flights of stairs without obvious effort and had taken up again his hobby of swimming. Previous to treatment he had been unable to attempt swimming.

Patient is an alcoholic. In August he went on a Drunk and was taken to the  Veteran's Hospital where he was informed his veteran's compensation would be cut off if he took any treatment except that offered at the Veterans Hospital. Pain \n chest returned while in hospital and pains developed in legs, treated by X-ray at Veterans Hospital.

Patient appeared subsequently at Brusch Medical Center and asked for further treatment, saying he would gladly sacrifice his compensation for relief and improvement that the treatment had given him. Under certain circumstances, further treatment refused.

Case #4. Wilbur Dymond, 58. Patient suffering from cancer of the prostate. Proved malignancy by punch operation and biopsy. No X-ray or radium treatment. No overt symptoms.

Weekly treatment commenced on July 10, and no change in prostate noticed until 8/28/59 when prostate was observed as smaller in size, but still hard. On Oct. 2 palpation revealed the prostate had softened appreciably. Treatment continuing.

Case #5. George Callahan, positive diagnosis of cancer of prostate by Dr Pappas. When first treated on 7/10 patient had severe, painful case of shingles in eyebrows and supraorital region. Patient in run down physical state, without appetite, very listless and had been absent from his business for long periods.

Pain  from shingles disappeared after fifth treatment. Patient's outlook and physical state much improved. Appetite returned and actively running own business again. Weight gain of 10 lbs by mid-October. Right supraorital pain returned as of 9/4. but not as severe. Hard nodule in prostate remains unchanged on palpation.

Case #6. Russell McCassey, patient is suffering from basal cell carcinoma of the right cheek. Proved by biopsy. No X-ray or other treatment. Patient reported small open lesion on cheek had been present for many months. Biopsy in April, positive.

First treatment 8/10/59. By 8/24/59, after four treatments orally and intramuscularly, lesion was observed to change colour from red to pale pink and to have markedly reduced in size. Central ulcer observed to be disappearing. Treatment continued and by 9/29 lesion was completely healed and only small scar remains where biopsy incision was made.

Case #7. Mary Lane, aged 49. Patient suffering from a basal cell carcinoma over mid sternum. A cutaneous cancer. Dr Konefal, Brusch Medical Center, excised the lesion July, 1959. The result, wound failed to heal. Line of incision remained open. Wound was angry red colored and it was thought possible cancerous residue remained. Nurse Caisse's treatment administered and healing took place rapidly. There remains in the area of operation an irregular red area with central papule, which it is believed  will disappear as treatment continues.

Case #8. Herbert Ross, aged 69. Clinical findings are cancer of prostate with metastases to dorsal and lumbosacral spines. No X-ray or treatment except oestrogen three times daily. Patient very weak, lacking in ambition and appetite. Able to work only irregularly and complained of weight loss.

Treatment started 8/7/59. Patient taken off hormones. After three treatments patient reported return of appetite and gain in vitality which has been progressively noticeable as treatment continues. By mid-October weight gain was ten pounds and he is actively back at work. He is very impressed that he was able to stay up late after a wedding and have bountiful energy following day. He had been in the habit of retiring after dinner, before treatments commenced. Prostate reduced in size. Both of the lobes hard on palpation.

Case #9. Age ( ). Patient's left breast removed in 1957. Cancer proved by biopsy. Operation followed the deep X-ray therapy of left supraclavicular region and miastinum. Nerve injury resulted from breast removal. Strong suspicion of cancerous residue. Patient appeared with left hand in splint. Had no sensation in upper left arm and manipulation of left hand extremely painful. Confirmed by physical therapist.

After five weekly treatments,    orally and intramuscularly, manipulation of hand no longer painful. Reaction to touch and pain stimuli returned in upper left arm. Improvement verified by Miss Raab, therapist. Holy Ghost Hospital. Weight gain and marked improvement in patients sense of well being.

As treatment of the human progressed, some laboratory experimentation was conducted in collaboration with Sloan-Kettering Institute, Rye, N.Y. on mice inoculated with human carcinoma.

24 cancerous mice, and their controls, were treated with Essiac and returned to Sloan-Kettering after a prescribed time for diagnosis and autopsy.

The reaction of Sloan-Kettering was Dramatic and encouraging. Dr Philip C. Marker of Sloan-Kettering informed Dr Brusch that there were definite and pronounced cellular changes in the cancerous mice, changes not found in the controls. He also reported physiological change in the cancer growths in the mice, which was characterised as "a tendency of the cancer cells to amalgamate and localise."

This report is pertinent because earlier reports on the use of the remedy mentioned the phenomenon of the "cancer localising and Drawing in" on many of the human patients.  Indeed, this is the expected response               as witnessed              in cases of breast cancer, cancer of the jaw, lip, tongue and throat and cutaneous cancer in many of the human patients treated. In those cases the cancer is reported to "withdraw and amalgamate" into a hard lump, which gets smaller and sometimes vanishes entirely.

Dr Marker urged that Sloan-Kettering be permitted to further participate in testing the remedy, requesting samples of the remedy and offered to make a laboratory at Rye, N.Y. available to any group or individual that Dr Brusch might care to send with the remedy.

To work further with Sloan-Kettering would have made it necessary that the formula of the remedy be divulged to that organisation and this was decided against.   No   further   contact   was had with Sloan-Kettering.

At this point Dr Halsey Loder, M.D., conferred with Dr Shields Warren of the National Cancer Institute, Chief of the Department of Pathology at Harvard, Chief Adviser on Atomic Medicine to Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C.

Dr Loder had studied the record on the remedy back to 1926. and the record of patients under treatment at the Brusch Medical Center, and was strongly of the opinion that the record, and the current tests, were favourable to the efficacy of the remedy.

Dr     Shields Warren recommended collaboration   with the               National Cancer Institute for further            animal tests,      but      this course was rejected when it was found to cooperate with the N.C.I. would entail revealing the formula to the N.C.I.

In October, 1959, treatment and tests were conducted on mice afflicted with animal carcinoma and biopsy reports obtained from Bio-Research Consultants, Inc., Cambridge Mass.

These reports were very encouraging and attest cellular changes in treated mice afflicted with animal carcinoma.

After getting this second favourable report on mice, the participating physician decided that a pharmaceutical firm be brought into the picture and given an opportunity to acquire the remedy, so that adequate protection could be given the remedy during its further development and testing.

Almost simultaneously with this decision a group of Boston dermatologists attached to Harvard, Tufts and Boston University came forward with an offer to make available a large number (about 30) of human skin cancer cases for treatment and study. This group is headed by Dr Edmund Finnery, Jr., M.D., Senior Clinical Instructor, Tufts University School of Medicine and Visiting Physician, Diseases of the Skin, Boston City Hospital. The other doctors are William Hill, Jr., M.D., Instructor of Dermatology, Harvard University Medical School, Assistant Dermatologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Salvador J. Messins, M.D., Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine.

Prior to this offer of cases for treatment, it had been difficult to secure a large number of cases because AMA rules forbid a doctor to treat a patient with an "unknown" or "secret" remedy.

Essiac was first used in 1924 on a Miss Miriza Potvin, who was suffering from internal cancer  and declared inoperable after exploratory surgery by Dr  John Cornell and Dr Beaumont Cornell of Brockville, Ont.. Canada.

The Remedy was manufactured and administered by a Registered Nurse. Rene Caisse, with the reported result that the patient. Miss Potvin, is said to have made a complete recovery within six months, lived 21 years, and married twice after her recovery. She died of a heart ailment in 1945.

Nurse Caisse manufactured her remedy from herbs identified to her as being an "Indian remedy" that had cured one of her nursing patients of breast cancer. Nurse Caisse did not know this patient when she was allegedly suffering from cancer, but did observe the large scar on the woman's breast while bathing the patient    and    was informed    by    the woman that the scar was the result of a cancer of which she held been cured by herbs.#

Subsequently one of the herbs said by the woman to have been used in the treatment was mentioned independently to Nurse Caisse by a doctor with whom she was associated as: "possibly the plant that would end cancer in the human race."

Thus, when Miss Potvin was only given a few months to live, Nurse Caisse remembered the two instances above and made a distillate brew of the herbs identified and used in treating the patient.

Once such remedies were scoffed at. However, an imposing list of accepted medical remedies has been discovered under no more  likely circumstances.  Included   are   ra_olfin,   anis   oil, rutin, sumbol,   lupulin,  viburnum, and even penicillin mould.

As news of the Nurse's success in treating Miss Potvin spread among local doctors, these doctors began bringing her more and more cancer cases, usually after X-ray, or surgery had failed.

Results of the nurses treatment  were  so  good  that  in 1926 a group of physicians signed a   petition   urging the Ontario government that Nurse Caisse be given permission to practice as a doctor in administering her remedy and that steps be taken by the  Canadian Government,    and the Society of  Physicians   and Surgeons of Canada, to make her remedy    available.    The    Society compares to our own AMA.

These well meaning but confused and amateurish efforts did not accomplish the end sought, but antagonism by the Society of Physicians and Surgeons was aroused.

Meantime, word of her cures seeped through the United States and Miss Caisse accepted an offer whereby she demonstrated her remedy on cancer patients at Northwestern University. For some months she made a weekly trip to the University, treating numerous patients. An offer was made, on results observed, that a clinic be established for her, and that she move to the states.

This offer provoked a patriotic reaction among the doctors in her town of Bracebridge, Ont., that her treatment be kept in Canada. Premier Hepburn interested himself and encouraged the Nurse to continue her treatment in Canada. At the suggestion of Dr Bastedo the city council secured a large hotel building, then vacant, and rented it to Miss Rene Caisse for $1 per year, and a clinic for treatment of cancer was opened.  She then ceased treatment at Northwest.

Treatments were given  to  as many   as   300   to 600 cases weekly at  the  clinic.  The treatment was given once a week,  so patients treated in any three or four months' treatment  period  did  not  exceed 600.

In 1936 additional petitions were signed by doctors; also in 1938. Premier Hepburn interested himself further and Sir Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin, declared the treatment to be the most effective against cancer he had seen in his world wide travels.

A Cancer Commission, consisting of several doctors and a judge, was appointed to look into the remedy by the Government of Ontario,   and   two   doctors   spent two days examining patients at the Clinic.

The report of the two doctors was "No merit" although the doctors professed verbally while at the clinic to be greatly impressed by the results observed.

In spite of the "No merit" finding, a further examination and public hearing into the merits of the remedy was held by the Cancer Commission in 1938 in Toronto. 387 patients and former patients accompanied Nurse Caisse to the hearings. 49 were examined in the bell room of the Royal York Hotel.

Some weeks after the hearing, a printed report was issued that "could not justify any favourable conclusion as to the merits of the remedy" yet the report itself, in its statistics said to the contrary.

Physicians examining the report today, including the eminent Halsey Loder, M.D., find the statistics of the report favourable to the remedy.

In the final paragraph of the report is evidence that the remedy is neither dismissed or condemned by the Commission, as the invitation  is  made  to  further  test and report on  the" remedy if the Formula was supplied.

The report concludes: "If, however, Miss Caisse is desirous of having her treatment further investigated, and is prepared to furnish the Commission with the formula for Essiac together with samples thereof, the Commission will be glad to make such an investigation, in such a manner as is deemed desirable and warranted."

The College of Physicians and Surgeons, many individual doctors, including  Sir Frederick Banting, and the Cancer Commission had made repeated prior efforts to get the formula for the remedy.

Nurse Caisse has unyieldingly refused to give the" formula unless she" can be guaranteed the formula would be used on human patients, and not buried in a laboratory.  (NB Brusch later denied-this .)

This last report of the Cancer Commission was followed by the College of Physicians anel Surgeons forbidding any of their membership to submit patients to Nurse Caisse, or to treat patients who continue to be treated by her.

Disillusioned  by  the treatment  she received,  Miss Caisse closed her clinic, kept her formula  secret and officially quit treating patients in 1938.

Mr Ralph Daigh, Vice President and Editorial Director for 20 years of Pawcett Publications, New York City, learned of her treatment through a cured patient in 1959. Mr Daigh approached with the scepticism that might be expected. He studied a great bulk of case histories of her patients, letters and other material, in April of 1959 he flew to Canada with Paul Murphy, medical publicist, interviewed Nurse Caisse twice for long periods, and interviewed two doctors  in   heir  home  town  who were particularly familiar with her treatment back to 1926.

As a result of what Mr Daigh learned that was favourable concerning the remedy, Nurse Caisse came to Cambridge in May 1959 to demonstrate her remedy and has been testing patients at the Brusch Medical Center since that date. She has done her work entirely without remuneration, for the purpose of proving her remedy.

The above sketches briefly the history of Essiac to date. A more detailed documented account is attached herewith.