CANCER OF THE BONE
Patients with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) who do not use Laetrile but choose surgery and/or radiation instead usually die within 12 to 18 months following diagnosis(1). The following case histories should be read with this fact in mind.
(1) Textbook of RadioTherapy, Second Edition, by Gilbert H. Fletcher, M.D. (Lea and Pebiger, Philadelphia, 1973), p. 556.
HI5OS: Osteosarcoma Right Humerus (Cancer of the Right Upper Arm Bone) with Metastasis
This little boy was six years old when his symptoms first began. He had been a normal, active youngster and then over a short period of time became listless and complained of pain in his thighs and arm. The parents went to the child’s pediatrician in July, 1973, and were referred to a bone specialist. The orthopedist felt there was nothing to be concerned about and, according to the parents, advised them to go ahead with a planned vacation. Apparently no diagnostic X-rays were taken.
The child became so weak during the vacation that he had to see Disneyland from a wheelchair. Upon returning to their northern Nevada home, the parents sought a physical therapist because the boy could no longer stand straight or run.
In October, 1973, a new symptom presented itself. Little Shane, who was right-handed, began trying to use his left hand. The mother describes watching him at dinner one night and asking him why he was eating left-handed. His response was to look at her with a helpless, puzzled expression which indicated he just did not know how to explain his problem. He could do no more than shrug his shoulders, and then, using his left hand, he raised his right arm and rested it on the table.
His mother asked him to stand up and show her how high he could raise his right arm. Her heart sank. He could raise it only from the elbow, not from the shoulder. In the light of the earlier reassurance from an orthopedic doctor that nothing was wrong, she stated that she was "terribly confused."
On November 6, 1973, the parents again sought the help of a physical therapist and on the same day asked the doctor to look at Shane again. The area of the humerus [right upper arm bone] was warm to the touch, and the doctor sent the child for X-rays. The X-ray findings did not indicate a break but rather bone disease, so the child was admitted to the hospital the same evening for a complete check-up.
The conclusion of the physicians, based on the X-rays, and bone marrow biopsy, was osteosarcoma of the right humerus and also of the third lumbar vertebra (spine). The parents were advised that the child’s chances were "grim."
The pathology report of the bone marrow biopsy from Mercy Hospital, Sacramento, California, dated November 9, 1973, stated:
The specimen consisted of approximately 20 irregularly-shaped masses of soft grey
neoplastic tissue, the largest measuring 20 x 9 x 5 mm. Included were a few very small spicules of bone.
Microscopically, the masses consisted almost entirely of fairly large round and spindle-shaped neoplastic cells. The tumor cells contained pleomorphic moderately hyperchromatic nuclei. Many of the cells were arranged in broad sheets interspersed with osteoid tissue, showing partial ossification. There were large numbers of mitotic
figures. The tumor cells were infiltrated between bony spicules. Some portions of the tumor appeared cartilaginous, but the multiple foci of osteoid tissue indicated that the lesion was an osteosarcoma. The lesion did not show the giant cell formation and focal calcification found in ehondroblastomas.
Osteosarcoma (osteogenic sarcoma) [cancer] in tissue from the right humerus.
These slides were reviewed by my associate [name omitted] who concurs with the diagnosis.
The hospital summary of November 11, 1973, stated in part:
It would appear that this unfortunate child has already distant metastases from his primary tumor. In all likelihood he will develop evidence of metastases elsewhere in the very near future
... pulmonary metastases are so common with metastatic osteogenic sarcoma. Unfortunately the patient is not a candidate for curative therapy and the pnmary question is how best to palliate this child to maintain him in a functional painfree state for as long as possible.
Radiation was decided upon as the treatment of choice. The radiologist pointed out, however, that, because the child had metastasis to the third lumbar vertebra (cancer of the spinal column bone) in addition to his cancer of the right upper arm bone, there would be no point in subjecting him to a high dose of radiation (5,000 to 8,000+ rads per site) to render the cancer "quiescent" prior to amputation. The child was going to die from the metastasis regardless of what was done to the arm. The radiologist planned 2,500 rads to the arm and 2,000 rads to the spine to "palliate" (not cure) the cancer. In his recommendation the radiologist stated, "Although this is not a lesion which responds well to radiation therapy, I believe irradiation of the areas of known disease should cause some degree of restraint of tumor growth [and] ... should lengthen the patient’s pain free period."
The parents were told in November, 1973, the child had six to nine months to live. The lesions were too extensive for long-term control.
The child’s mother stated that news of their tragedy spread quickly, and many people offered help. She was told about the success cancer patients were having in Mexico at Laetrile clinics. Later, she found out about the Richardson Clinic, which was closer to her home.
Little Shane began metabolic therapy including Laetrile on November 29, 1973. His alkaline phosphatase at the beginning of treatment was an incredible 1,250 mu/ml, (lab normals, 30-85 mu/ml). Repeat analysis verified the original finding. Hemoglobin, hematocrit and segs were all slightly low. Lymphs were 63%, (lab normals, 20-40%).
Within a month after beginning metabolic therapy, he was able to use his arm a little and was no longer carrying it in a sling. The pain gradually decreased, and his energy returned. Alkaline phosphatase had droped to 195 mu/ml by March 21, 1974.
The patient’s mother wrote a letter to the Richardson Clinic in May, 1976, two and one-half years after being told her child’s chances were "grim". The letter reads in part as follows:
Now he will even try to throw a ball with it [the right arm]. He has gained weight and seems to flourish and grow as a normal child.
I feel fantastic about what happened.
We took him to see . . . [a local physician] at the doctor’s request in April, 1974. He X-rayed Shane and found improvement. He wouldn’t give vitamin therapy any credit for this but made some comment about not stopping what I was doing.
The patient’s mother found it necessary temporarily to discontinue the vitamins in May, 1976, because of financial problems, but she tried to have her child adhere to the diet as much as possible. It is not an easy task to keep an active nine-year-old on a diet which, among other things, is free of all sources of refined sugar.
The mother’s letter concluded, "Due to my religious beliefs, I could take death but not the pain— not for a little child. I could see no reason for a six-year-old to have to suffer before death." Her love for her child and her unwillingness to see him suffer brought her to Laetrile. It matters little to the mother whether her local doctor is annoyed with her not using "orthodox" therapy.
This child returned to the Richardson clinic for a check-up in January, 1977. He was sent to Albany Hospital, Albany, California, for X-rays. The arm looked so good the radiologist could not believe the child ever had osteosarcoma. He was not aware that the bone marrow biopsy diagnosis had been verified by two pathologists. He was also unaware that the child had not had a full course of X-ray therapy. The X-ray report dated January 24, 1977, stated in part:
Films of the right humerus show marked shortening of this bone. There is angular deformity noted in one view, suggestive of old spontaneous fracture. Several sharply defined cystic areas in the shaft. Epiphysis sclerotic and the epiphyseal line is probably open. There is an irregular area of bone destruction simulating a marginal erosion at the lateral aspect of the epiphyseal line. No subperiosteal new bone and no soft tissue mass.
Findings as above. History of previous osteogenic sarcoma with X-ray therapy. Clinical course and findings atypical and I would wonder if this was not either an eosinphilic granuloma or a Ewing’s sarcoma.
Osteogenic sarcoma is considered radio resistant. As stated previously, radiation in high doses (5,000 to 8,000+ rads) is used, however, to render the cancer "quiescent" prior to surgical removal by amputation. (1) Inoperable osteogenic sarcoma has a survival rate of practically zero.
This child is alive and well more than three years following the initial diagnosis. Until Laetrile is openly accepted—thereby coming under insurance coverage and tax deductibility, thus easing the financial burden
—the lives of children like Shane will be sacrificed needlessly.
Shane’s photograph and reproductions of his 1973 and 1977 X-rays appear elsewhere in this book.
R16OPA: Metastatic Cancer of the Bone, Previous Cancer of the Prostate
Mr. A. had his prostate removed in 1966. The diagnosis was adenocarcenoma, according to Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek, California.
In 1974, this patient had bone scans. A hospital report dated January 7, 1976, stated in part:
At that time the patient was noted to have increased pain, and a bone scan showed multiple abnormal sites of concentration in the rib cage and sternum and vertebral column as well as the posterior pelvis. The medial portion of the right knee was also quite warm. X-rays showed a diffuse sclerosis of the dorsal vertebrae, suspicious of osteoblastic metastasis [cancer] since the sclerosis was not present on films taken a year earlier. Accordingly, 9/24/74, he was started on Stilbesterol, one mgm. daily with good relief of his pain.
His most recent examination was October 3, 1975, at which time he seemed to have no additional symptoms but continued to have some pain, probably related to his pre-existing osteoarthritic problem, particularly of the knee.
The patient states that after the diagnosis of cancer of the bone he "went into a deep depression." He
1ClinlcaI Oncology for Medical Student, and Phyulckm,, op. cit.
experienced loss of appetite, loss of equilibrium, insomnia, lack of bladder control and "all over weakness."
Some of these symptoms are associated with patients using Stilbesterol. One of the drug companies producing Stilbesterol lists among the "side effects" of taking Stilbesterol the following: (1) anxiety, (2) vertigo (in which the subject has difficulty maintaining equilibrium), (3) insomnia, and (4) lassitude (a feeling of "all over weakness," to use the patient’s expression).
The seventy-eight-year-old man stated that, after encouragement from several people who had benefited from vitamin therapy, he decided to go to the Richardson Clinic. Metabolic therapy including Laetrile was begun December 30, 1975.
The patient indicated that 1976, the first year on metabolic therapy, was a much better year than 1975. He described the results as "spectacular" both mentally and physically. He experienced a decided gain in energy and stated he has had no further depression, pain, or stomach distress.
Stilbesterol is at best only a temporary control for the symptoms of bone cancer, (1) and its use carries with it the risk of thrombo-embolus (2) (a floating blood clot) formation, which is particularly risky among older people, whose blood vessels may already be partly plugged. The patient may die of a heart attack or stroke because of his use of female hormones to palliate (not cure) his bone cancer. He would then become a heart attack or stroke statistic and not appear on the record as having died from cancer.
This patient’s symptom-free year on metabolic therapy including Laetrile does not involve this kind of risk.
(1) Clinical Oncology for Medical Student, and Physicias, op. cit., p.