THE LAETRILE "QUACKS" by G. Edward Griffin 
(Book World without Cancer - Chapter 8 )

     The names, professional standings, medical achievements, and clinical findings of some of the more prominent doctors who endorse Laetrile; the beneficial side-effects produced by its use; a suggested anti-cancer diet; and a brief description of vitamin B15.

“Laetrile is goddamned quackery!”

Such was the pronouncement of Helene Brown, president of the American Cancer Society of California. (1) 

As early as 1974, there were at least twenty-six published papers written by well-known physicians who had used Laetrile in the treatment of their own patients and who have concluded (2) that Laetrile is both safe and effective in the treatment of cancer. 

In addition, there are the voluminous private records of physicians who have used it clinically but have never published their findings except in letters to their colleagues or in public lectures or interviews. The American Cancer Society and other spokesmen. for orthodox medicine would have us believe that only quacks and crackpots have endorsed this conclusion. But the doctors who conducted these experiments and those who share their conclusions are not quacks. Here are just a few of the names:

1. “The Pain Exploiters; The Victimizing of Desperate Cancer Patients,” Today’s Health, Nov., 1973, p. 28.
2. A complete list of these papers is contained in The Laetriles/Nitrilosides, op. cit., pp. 84, 85.

In West Germany there is Hans Nieper, M.D., former Director of the Department of Medicine at the Silbersee Hospital in Hanover. He is a pioneer in the medical use of cobalt and is credited with developing the anti-cancer drug, cyclophosphamide. He is the originator of the concept of “electrolyte carriers” in the prevention of cardiac necrosis. He was formerly the head of the Aschaffenburg Hospital Laboratory for chemical circulatory research. He is listed in Who’s Who in World Science and has been the Director of the German Society for Medical Tumor Treatment. He is one of the world’s most famous and respected cancer specialists.  During a visit to the United States in 1972, Dr. Nieper told news reporters:

     After more than twenty years of such specialized work, I have found the nontoxic Nitrilosides—that is, Laetrile—far superior to any other known cancer treatment or preventative. In my opinion it is the only existing possibility for the ultimate control of cancer.

In Canada there is N.R. Bouziane, M.D., former Director of Research Laboratories at St. Jeanne d’Arc Hospital in Montreal and a member of the hospital’s tumor board in charge of chemotherapy. He graduated magna cum laude in medicine from the University of Montreal. He also received a doctorate in science from the University of Montreal and St. Joseph’s Univer-sity, an affiliate of Oxford University in New Brunswick. He was a Fellow in chemistry and a Fellow in hematology, and certified in clinical bacteriology, hematology and biochemistry from the college. He also was Dean of the American Association of Bio-Analysts.

After the first series of tests with Laetrile shortly after it was introduced, Dr. Bouziane reported:

     We always have a diagnosis based on histology [microscopic analysis of the tissue]. We have never undertaken a case without histological proof of cancer....  In our investigation, some terminal cases were so hopeless that they did not even receive what we consider the basic dose of thirty grams. Most cases, however, became ambulatory and some have in this short time resumed their normal activities on a maintenance dose.(1) 

1. “The Laetrile Story,” op. cit. p. 3. Also Cancer News Journal, Jan./Apr., 1971, p. 20.

In the Philippines there is Manuel Navarro, M.D., former Professor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila; an Associate Member of the National Research Council of the Philippines; a Fellow of the Philippine College of Physicians, the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism; and a member of the Philippine Medical Association, the Philippine Cancer Society, and many other medical groups. He has been recognized internationally as a cancer researcher and has over one-hundred major scientific papers to his credit, some of which have been read before the International Cancer Congress. In 1971 Dr. Navarro wrote:

     I ... have specialized in oncology [the study of tumors] for the past eighteen years. For the same number of years I have been using Laetrile—amygdalin in the treatment of my cancer patients. During this eighteen year period I have treated a total of over five hundred patients with Laetrile—amygdalin by various routes of administra-tion, including the oral and the I.V. The majority of my patients receiving Laetrile—amygdalin have been in a terminal state when treatment with this material commenced. 
    It is my carefully considered clinical judgment, as a practicing oncologist and researcher in this field, that I have obtained most significant and encouraging results with the use of Laetrile—amygdalin in the treatment of terminal cancer patients, and that these results are comparable or superior to the results I have obtained with the use of the more toxic standard cytotoxic agents.

1. Letter from Dr. Navarro to Mr. Andrew McNaughton, The McNaughton Foundation, dated January 8, 1971, published in the Cancer News Journal, Jan/April, 1971. pp. 19. 20.

In Mexico there is Ernesto Contreras, M.D., who, for over three decades, has operated the Good Samaritan Cancer Clinic (now called the Oasis Hospital) in Tijuana. He is one of Mexico’s most distinguished medical figures. He received postgraduate training at Harvard’s Children’s Hospital in Boston. He has served as Professor of Histology and Pathology at the Mexican Army Medical School and as the chief pathologist at the Army Hospital in Mexico City. 

Dr. Contreras was introduced to Laetrile in 1963 by a terminal cancer patient from the United States who brought it to his. attention and urged him to treat her with it. The woman recovered, and Dr. Contreras began extensive investigation of its properties and use. Since that time he has treated many thousands of cancer patients, most of whom are American citizens who have been denied the freedom to use Laetrile in their own country Dr. Contreras has summarized his experiences with vitamin therapy as follows:

The palliative action [improving the comfort and well-being of the 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. (1)

1. Cancer News Journal, Jan. /April, 1971, p. 20. We must bear in mind that these are terminal patients—people who have been given up as hopeless by orthodox medicine. Fifteen percent recovery in that group is a most impressive accomplishment.

In Japan there is Shigeaki Sakai, a prominent physician in Tokyo. In a paper published in the October 1963 Asian Medical Journal, Dr. Sakai reported:

Administered to cancer patients, Laetrile has proven to be quite free from any harmful side-effects, and I would say that no anti-cancer drug could make a cancerous patient improve faster than Laetrile. It goes without saying that Laetrile controls cancer and is quite effective wherever it is located.

In Italy there is Professor Etore Guidetti, M.D., of the University of Turin Medical School. Dr. Guidetti spoke before the Conference of the International Union Against Cancer held in Brazil in 1954 and revealed how his use of Laetrile in terminal cancer patients had caused the destruction of a wide variety of tumors including those of the uterus, cervix, rectum, and breast. “In some cases,” he said, “one has been able to observe a group of fulminating and cauliflower-like neoplastic masses resolved very rapidly” He reported that, after giving Laetrile to patients with lung cancer, he had been “able to observe, with the aid of radiography, a regression of the neoplasm or the metastases.”

After Guidetti’s presentation, an American doctor rose in the audience and announced that Laetrile had been investigated in the United States and found to be worthless. Dr. Guidetti replied, “I do not care what was determined in the United States. I am merely reporting what I saw in my own clinic.”(2)

2. Cancer News Journal, Jan/April, 1971, p. 19.

In Belgium there is Professor Joseph H. Maisin, Sr., M.D., of the University of Louvain where he was Director of the Institute of Cancer. He also was President Emeritus of the International League Against Cancer which conducts the International Cancer Congress every four years.    

And in the United States there are such respected names as Dr. Dean Burk of the National Cancer Institute; Dr. John A. Morrone of the Jersey City Medical Center; Dr. Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., who developed Laetrile; Dr. John A. Richardson, the courageous San Francisco physician who challenged the government’s right to prevent Laetrile from being used in the United States; (1) Dr. Philip E. Binzel,, Jr., a physician in Washington Court House, Ohio, who has used Laetrile for over twenty years with outstanding success; and many others from over twenty countries with equally impeccable credentials.

Most of these practitioners have reported independently that patients usually experience several important side effects. These include a normalizing of blood pressure in hypertensive patients, improved appetite, an increase in the hemoglobin and red blood cell count, the elimination of the fetor (which is the unpleasant odor often associated with terminal cancer patients), and above all, a release from pain without narcotics. Even if the patient has started Laetrile therapy too late to be saved, this last effect is a merciful blessing in itself.

One must not conclude that the only value in Laetrile is to improve the quality of life as the patient is dying. Extension of the length of life is the grand prize for many patients. Dr. Binzel, in his book, Alive and Well, compared the long-term survival statistics of his own cancer patients with the survival rates of those who undergo orthodox therapies. His study involved 108 patients representing 23 different types of cancer. This is what he reported:

     This means that out of 108 patients with metastatic cancer, over a period of 18 years, 76 of those patients (70.4%) did not die of their disease. Again, even if I concede that the 9 patients who died of “cause unknown” did, indeed, die from their cancer, I am looking at 62.1% [long-term survival]....
     If you consider only those patients who have survived five years or more, this means that my results were 287% better than those reported by the American Cancer Society for the treatment of metastatic cancer by “orthodox” methods alone.(2)

1. See John A. Richardson, M.D., and Patricia Griffin, R.N., Laetrile Case Histories; The Richardson Cancer Clinic Experience (Westlake Village, CA:  American Media, 1977).
2. Philip E. Binzel, M.D., Alive and Well: One Doctor’s Experience with Nutrition in the Treatment of Cancer Patients (Westlake Village, CA: American Media, 1994), p. 113.

     The following graph, taken from Dr. Binzel’s book, Alive and Well, shows his comparison between nutritional and conventional therapies. Primary Cancer represents patients with only one cancer location. Metastatic Cancer represents patients whose cancer has spread to multiple locations.

In addition to the clinical results obtained by these physicians in the treatment of humans, there have been at least five carefully controlled experiments on mice that have shown definite Laetrile anti-cancer action. These include: (1) the experiments done by Scind Laboratories of San Francisco in 1968, (2) the studies completed at the Pasteur Institute (Paris) in 1971, (3) those at the Institute von Ardenne (Dresden, Germany) in 1973, (4) the experiments at the Southern Research Institute in 1973, and (5) numerous trials at Sloan-Kettering from 1972 to 1977. In spite of all this, spokesmen for orthodox medicine still proclaim there is no evidence that Laetrile works. The evidence is everywhere.(1)

1. "See How They Lie, See How They Lie" By Dr. Dean Burk, Cancer News Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3 (June, 1974), p. 5.  

While the use of Laetrile alone has proven to be effective in many instances, even better results usually are obtained with supplemental therapy as well. The late John Richardson, M.D., of San Francisco achieved one of the highest recovery rates among Laetrile practitioners in the entire world. Here, in his own words, is the advice he gave to his patients:

     Vegetable Kingdom: In the vegetable kingdom eat anything and everything that is edible and for which you have no idiosyncrasy Eat everything whole. Eat all of the edible parts of the food— especially the roughage. This food is preferably eaten raw; but when you cannot tolerate it raw, cook the food just sufficiently to make it tolerable.
     Animal Kingdom: Eat any or all fish as fresh as possible and lightly cooked in the absence of animal fats (vegetable oils may be used). Eat the skin-free meat of poultry. Whatever does not fall within this formula, forget it. Don’t eat it. The formula is all-inclusive, so it’s not necessary to mention: no dairy products, beef, mutton, pork, bacon, ham, etc. The liver is to neoplastic diseases what the heart is to circulatory diseases. The liver is central.
     Adequate liquid intake with fresh juices plain or carbonated.
Vitamin Supplements: Vit. C, 1500 mg to 5000 mg; 800 — 1200 International Units of d-alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) plus a good brand of therapeutic multi-vitamins, preferably of organic or natural derivatives.  Toxins of all kinds to be avoided including, tobacco, alcohol. Discourage coffee, tranquilizers, sedatives, analgesics. Antibiotics OK. Rest is important while exercise should spare the affected area......
     You should include Vitamin B15 (pangamic acid) which detoxifies the liver as a transmethylating agent, and increases the oxygen uptake potential of the tissues, and since trophoblast lives by the fermentative process, the rationale for the B15 is obvious. Pancreatic Enzyme Supplementation: We find dessicated pancreas substances to be an effective supplement.(1)

     The dietary restrictions prescribed by Dr. Richardson are for those who have cancer. It is not recommended for healthy persons because it is unnecessarily restrictive. For those who do not have cancer, a general diet containing foods rich in nitriloside content (2) should be adequate. Here is what Dr. Krebs suggests:

1. Open letter to interested doctors dated Nov. 1972, revised 1974; Griffin, Private Papers, op. cit.
2. Again, we highly recommend June de Spain’s The Little Cyanide Cookbook, op. cit.

     For breakfast, gruel of buckwheat, millet, and flaxseed, with elderberry jelly on millet toast. All this accompanied by stewed prunes. 
For lunch, lima beans or a succotash with chick peas; millet rolls with plum jam; elderberry wine.
     For dinner, a salad with bean and millet sprouts; dinner rolls of buckwheat and millet sweetened with sorghum molasses extracted from sorghum cane; rabbit which, hopefully, fed on clover; and after dinner apricot, peach, cherry, or plum brandy originally prepared from crushing the entire or whole fruit. 
Nibbling on any member of the raspberry family, macadamia nuts, and bamboo sprouts is also suggested.

Dr. Krebs has pointed out that in the Old Testament there is a formula for the preparation of grains for bread, and it speaks of six ingredients, five of which are rich in nitrilosides. They are barley, beans, lentils, millet and vetch (chickpea or garbanzo beans).(1)

1. Ezekiel IV: 9

The intended balance of nature does not require a vast amount of vitamin B17 in the daily diet any more than it is required of the other vitamins. It is possible that if one did no more than eat the seeds from an apple or two a day he could obtain an adequate supply. But that would probably be bordering on the low side, especially considering that, in westernized society, B17 is not generally available in other foods to supplement it. So it probably would be advisable to obtain a higher level of intake than that.

Obviously, some of the foods mentioned by Dr. Krebs are not readily available to the average city dweller. As a substitute, many people simply have adopted the habit of eating six to twelve apricot or peach seeds each day, or have ground them in their blenders and used them as a light seasoning for cereals, salads, and the like. For those who dislike the slight bitter taste of these seeds, they can be ground up and loaded into empty capsules. Which means that no one need be deprived of this vitamin if he really wants it.

Vitamin B15 has been mentioned several times as an important auxiliary therapy to vitamin B17, and there often is confusion between the two. So let’s take a moment to differentiate. 

Vitamin B15 sometimes is called pangamic acid. Pan implies everywhere and gami means seed. It was so named because it is found in small amounts almost everywhere on earth in seeds and usually in the company of other members of the vitamin-B complex.  Like B17, it too was discovered by Dr. E.T. Krebs, Jr., while exploring the chemical properties of apricot kernels in 1952. It could be said that it was an unexpected bonus or by-product of the search for vitamin B17.

The best way to understand the effect of vitamin B15 is to think of it as instant oxygen. It increases the oxygen efficiency of the entire body and aids in the detoxification of waste products. Since cancer cells do not thrive in the presence of oxygen but depend rather on fermentation of glucose, it is probable that B15, indirectly, is an enemy of cancer.

Vitamin B15 is not widely known or used in the United States. The reason is almost an exact parallel to the Laetrile story. The government officially has refused to recognize that B15 is of value. Meanwhile it is used extensively in many other countries. Russia in particular is far ahead of the United States in the use of this substance and has conducted extensive research into its uses. In fact, in 1965 the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences released a 205-page symposium of its findings up to that date. In 1968 the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health unanimously ratified all the original claims in the report and authorized the Soviet drug industry to begin mass-production of B15 for general use.

It has been reported that the Russian athletes have been given heavy doses of B15 during their participation at the Olympics. If this is true, there is good  reason for it. Experiments have shown that this substance, although just a natural food factor, greatly increases physical strength and stamina. When rats were put into tubs of water and forced to swim, those that had been vitaminized with B15 were all still swimming long after the others had fatigued and drowned. When other rats were put into glass chambers from which oxygen gradually was removed, the vitaminized rats lived much longer—thus on less oxygen—than the control group.

The Soviet scientists disclosed that vitamin B15 is effective in such areas as circulatory problems, heart conditions, elevated blood cholesterol, skin disorders, hardening of the arteries, bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus, and wound healing. They were especially emphatic in their findings that B15 was effective in retarding the aging process! Professor Shpirt of the City Clinical Hospital No. 60 in Moscow concluded: “I believe the time will come when there will be calcium pangamate (B15) next to the salt shaker on the table of every family with people past forty.”(1)

1. For a detailed analysis of these findings, see Vitamin B5 (Pangamic Acid); Properties, Functions, and Use. (Moscow: Science Publishing House, 1965), translated and reprinted by McNaughton Foundation, Sausalito, Calif.

Doctors who wish to use vitamin B15 in America have been forced to operate on the fringe of the law because their government has harassed its manufacturers and blocked its movement in commerce. As Dr. Krebs observed:

Our concern is with vitamin B15—a natural constituent of natural foods, one that experimentation has shown to be of definite value in increasing resistance to disease and in maintaining healthy functioning of the body as well.
Pangamic acid is giving the people of Russia, Japan, Yugoslavia, France, Spain, and Germany a tremendous health and longevity advantage. But it is not available to us in the land in which it was first discovered.

     Fortunately, there is some evidence that B15 is finally becoming recognized by several of the more prestigious medical institu-tions in spite of government obstacles. Let us hope that the trend rapidly continues.

     It is possible that B15 will be recognized and accepted by orthodox medicine long before B17. This is because there is less vested interest to overcome. There have been no broad deroga-tory pronouncements by the AMA and, hence, no reputations are at stake. But, in time, the sheer weight of the facts will force the acceptance of B17 as well. And the men who now bear the brunt of controversy, professional ostracism, and social scorn, will emerge, not as quacks, but as the great medical pioneers of their day.