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Is Laetrile (B17) Useless?

PHILLIP DAY'S COMMENT: Professor Edzard Ernst of Exeter University, Britain's only 'complementary medicine' professor, declares that Vitamin B17 Laetrile is useless against cancer, that people are being ripped off, and that those supporting its use are 'criminals'. 'In terms of treatment and prolongation of life,' he states, 'not only is the use of alternative and complementary medicine not supported by data, it is very often fraudulent and even criminal.' He goes onto say: 'It [using alternative approaches to combating cancer] can be quite dangerous from the patient's point of view. Many give up conventional treatment and this predictably leads to disaster.' Alternative cures, Ernst insists, 'are all bogus.' What, Prof, all of them?

man in a position of authority making such statements in the Sunday Telegraph, which promptly agrees with them, can only be described as a menace to society. We have already dealt with the dangerous rip-offs of traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments which themselves have no data supporting their extension of life in the major, epithelial cancers, and worse, may finish the patient with an agonising death. There are literally hundreds of studies which show the damaging, deadly effects of these treatments. So, giving up conventional treatment predictably leads to disaster, does it? No data supporting Laetrile's (B17) clinical use against cancer, eh?

My advice is for everyone to send a postcard to Professor Ernst, care of Exeter University, Exeter, England, suggesting he resign and make a meaningful contribution to society instead, perhaps even an appearance on 'I'm a Trojan Horse, Get Me Out of Here'. The hope of cancer's defeat does not reside in the obvious duplicity and deceit of such people, but with his colleagues and peers who have seen the wonderful effects of combined nutritional protocols against cancer, and are today struggling to make their voices heard for the benefit of all.

Also, whizz an e-mail off to the Sunday Telegraph, whose opinion it is that you are all gullible individuals who will die much sooner taking care of yourselves rather than having toxic and carcinogenic chemicals poured into your veins. Insist the idiot who wrote the piece resigns and writes up weddings instead.

A sample ten cases, disproving Ernst and his splendidly named friend Winer, now follow. In this author's view, had complete dietary changes and detoxification protocols also been followed, recovery would have been accelerated.

The use of Laetrile (l-mandelonitrile-beta-glycuronoside), a beta cyanogenetic glucoside, is based on Professor John Beard's unitarian or trophoblastic thesis of cancer. In a review of 17,000 papers on malignant neoplasms and related biological subjects, the trophoblast has been described as the sine qua non of cancer.

Preliminary Report of 10 Cases Treated with Laetrile
John A. Morrone, M.D., F.I.C.S., A.S.A.S.
Jersey City, N.J.
Attending Surgeon, Jersey City Medical Center

The malignant lesion is characterized by a high focal concentration of beta glucuronidase, which is a beta-glucosidase. Laetrile is a glucoside which is hydrolyzed specifically by beta-glucosidase enzymes, with production of benzaldehyde, glucose, and nascent hydrogen cyanide.

Rhodanese, the cyanide-detoxifying enzyme, is absent or relatively deficient in malignant lesions but present in normal tissues. Nascent hydrocyanic acid is released to the extent of about 10% in the vulnerable carcinomatous areas but not elsewhere in the body.

In a group of 14 cases of cancer with metastases treated with Laetrile, there was striking relief of pain with discontinuance of analgesics, disappearance of fetor from ulceration, improved appetite and regression of the tumor.

In another study of 21 terminal cases, the use of Laetrile provided satisfactory relief of pain, reduction of hemorrhage and jaundice, almost constant improvement in strength and the hematological pattern, and in sonic cases an appreciable reduction of the neoplastic mass.

The present group included 5 males and 5 females. The average age was 45, range 17 to 74. The diagnosis was adenocarcinoma of the breast 4 cases, Hodgkin's disease 3, cancer of the lung 1, cancer of the prostate 1, and cancer of the pancreas and omentum 1. Metastases were present in all cases.

Pain was a prominent symptom in all 10 cases and 7 patients required narcotics for relief.

Adenopathy was present in all cases and fetor in 1.

The average period of treatment with Laetrile was 17.5 weeks, range 4 to 43; average number of slow intravenous injections 30.2, range 6 to 79; average total dosage 46.2 Gm., range 9 to 133.

Dramatic relief of pain resulted in all 10 cases after the first or second slow intravenous injection and continued throughout the course of treatment. In 5 cases pain disappeared completely and in the other 5 it was definitely reduced. Narcotics were discontinued in 5 of the 7 cases in which they were used.

After 7 injections the fetor from an ulcerating adenocarcinoma of the breast disappeared and the discharge ceased.

Adenopathy was considerably reduced in 8 of the 10 cases in which it was present.

In all-cases except #4 and #8, the blood picture was greatly improved after use of Laetrile. There was no indication of agranulocytosis or other hematogenous toxicity.

The average red blood cell count before treatment was 3,941,000, after treatment 4,515,000 (15% increase). The average white blood cell count before treatment was 10,200, after treatment 9,750 (2% decrease, statistically insignificant). The average hemoglobin before treatment was 11.65 Gm. per 100 cc., after treatment 12.4 (6% increase). The before and after differential blood counts showed no significant changes and no abnormal blood cells were found.

Urinalysis was negative. Kidney function was not altered or affected by the use of Laetrile.

Laetrile is not a general analgesic per se, although on hydrolysis it releases a small amount of benzoic acid which is analgesic. Therefore the consistent relief of pain and discontinuance of narcotics after one or two injections, lasting throughout the course of treatment, are significant results. The sudden disappearance of fetor and discharge from ulcerating adenocarcinoma of the breast and reduction of adenopathy are also encouraging.

It would appear that Laetrile injections cause a regression of the malignant lesion. More cases and a follow-up study are required to evaluate the degree and permanence of this result. The findings present an image of cancer which is consistent with the trophoblastic thesis.

Case 1. W.L., age 62, female, married, housewife, weight 118 lb., height 62 in., blood pressure 144/95 mm. Diagnosis: adenocarcinoma of both breasts with metastases to the skull, pelvis and spine. There was bilateral inguinal adenopathy. History of bilateral mastectomy, eighteen years apart, followed by deep X-ray therapy. Urinalysis and hematology negative.

During the last six months the patient had suffered from constant excruciating pain in the back, entire spinal region, pelvis, thighs and legs. She was unable to lie down and tried to sleep in a chair. Repeated doses of codeine and other analgesics every two or three hours were required.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. In five minutes the systolic blood pressure dropped 12 mm. but there were no other apparent effects. The following day the patient walked into my office without aid and reported that she had slept well with very little pain, that she needed less codeine, and that her appetite was good. Her general appearance was greatly improved.

An injection of Laetrile 1 Gm. was repeated. The systolic blood pressure fell 10 mm, but there were no apparent side-effects. After ten minutes she said that pain was relieved completely and stepped down from the examining table without help.

In a period of one month she received six injections of Laetrile, four of 1 Gm. and two of 2 Gm. In each instance there was a prompt fall of blood pressure, average 10.4 mm., range 8-12 mm.

During the period of treatment the patient returned to her housework, was almost free from pain, discontinued codeine, took no analgesics other than 10 grains of aspirin at bedtime or during the night, and slept well. Her morale was excellent, her appetite good, and she gained 31/2 lb. At the last examination she reported that she was completely free from pain. There were no apparent adverse effects from any of the injections. As of May 1, 1962 the hemogram showed distinct improvement in red blood cell count and hemoglobin, with no adverse change. Urinalysis was negative.

Case 2. J.S., age 74, male, married, pattern maker, weight 163 lb, height 62 in., blood pressure 188/100 mm. Diagnosis: inoperable carcinoma of the left lung with metastasis to the mediastinum. Urinalysis and hematology negative.

During the last six months the patient complained of cough, constant chest pain, dyspnea, blood-tinged expectoration, anorexia, and loss of weight (15 lbs.). An X-ray revealed a mass in the left side of the chest suggestive of a neoplasm. Bronchoscopy and a biopsy established the diagnosis of carcinoma of the lung. Exploratory thoracotomy showed extensive carcinoma of the left lung with metastases and many perforations in the pleura, diaphragm, aorta, pericardium and mediastinum. The condition was considered inoperable.

Pain was so constant and severe that the patient took meperidine hydrochloride and codeine every two or three hours. When interviewed, he had such great difficulty in talking and breathing that his wife had to give the history.

Physical examination revealed icteric sclerae, pallid conjunctivae, sluggish reflexes, enlarged and tender cervical and supraclavicular glands, dullness and moist rales over the left of the chest, and edema of the ankles extending up to the knees.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. In five minutes the systolic blood pressure dropped 28 mm., but there were no signs of shock or other adverse effects. Three days later the patient reported that the pain had been less severe since the injection, but that he had suffered for two days from pain in the left shoulder and side of the chest. Analgesics were still required.

After the second intravenous injection of Laetrile 1 Gm., the systolic blood pressure fell 15 mm. but there were no side-effects other than burning and itching in the left shoulder area. One week later the patient returned to the office unassisted. Pain, dyspnea and edema were considerably diminished. His color and general appearance were considerably improved.

In a period of seven weeks he received sixteen injections of Laetrile, seven of 1 Gm., six of 1.5 Gm., and three of 2 Gm. There was a prompt fall of blood pressure following the injections, ranging from 8 to 28 mm. Pain was reduced and appetite improved but there was no weight gain. He was able to discontinue use of meperidine hydrochloride and codeine. There were no apparent adverse effects from the injections as shown by the before and after hemograms and urinalyses.

Case 3. J.C., age 40, female, married, house-wife, weight 113 lb., height 61 in, blood pressure 140/90 mm. Diagnosis: infiltrating carcinoma of the left breast invading the lymphnodes at all levels of the axilla, with metastases to the liver. Radical mastectomy and deep X-ray therapy. Urinalysis and hematology negative.

For the last six months she had suffered from very severe pain in the abdomen and back. Meperidine hydrochloride, morphine and opium were required for relief.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. In five minutes the systolic blood pressure dropped 10 mm. but there were no other apparent effects. She returned the following day and reported no relief of pain.

An intravenous injection of Laetrile 1 Gm. was repeated, following when the systolic blood pressure dropped 12 mm. There was considerable reduction of pain and appetite improved after this injection.

In a period of four weeks she received twelve injections of Laetrile, ten of 1 Gm. and two of 1.5 Gm. Pain was relieved almost entirely and only a single dose of narcotic drug at bedtime was required. Morale and appetite were improved but there was no gain in weight. There were no apparent adverse effects from the injections. Comparison of before and after hemograms showed improvement in the red blood cell count and hemoglobin following Laetrile therapy.

Case 4. J.F., age 38, female, married house-wife, weight 155 lb., height 62 in., blood pressure 160/90 mm. Diagnosis: adenocarcinoma of left breast with carcinomatosis. Mastectomy, deep X-ray therapy and castration. Urinalysis and hematology negative.

The patient complained of agonizing pain in her spine, chest, pelvis, legs, arms and head. X-ray visualization confirmed the diagnosis of disseminated metastases. Adenopathy was present. Codeine, meperidine hydrochloride and opium were required to control the pain.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. After fifteen minutes the systolic blood pressure rose 3 mm. There were no apparent side-effects. On the following day pain was reduced, appetite improved, and the general condition was somewhat better.

A second intravenous injection of Laetrile 1 Gm. was given. In five minutes the systolic blood pressure dropped 16 mm. but there were no apparent side-effects. Three days later the patient reported that the pain was considerably less and she required a minimum dosage of opiates for relief.

In a period of eighteen days she received eight injections of Laetrile, five of 1 Gm., two of 1.5 Gm and 1 of 2 Gm. During the period of medication she showed progressive improvement and suffered very little pain. Opiates were no longer required. Morale was excellent. There were no apparent adverse effects from the injections. Comparison of before and after hemograms showed improvement in the red blood cell count and hemoglobin following Laetrile therapy.

Case 5. R.F., age 20, male, single, premedical student, weight 200 lb., height 59 in., blood pressure 114/70 mm. Diagnosis: malignant lymphoma, type Hodgkin's. Condition started as enlarged cervical gland, diagnosis on biopsy. Urinalysis negative, hemoglobin 11 Gm./100cc.

Deep X-ray therapy was employed. The patient complained of weakness, dizziness, and pain in the axillae and groin. The cervical, axillary and inguinal glands were palpably enlarged. The conjunctivae and sclerae were pale and icteric.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. In ten minutes the systolic blood pressure dropped 6 mm. but there were no other apparent effects. Four days later the patient reported that he felt more active, had a better appetite, and had suffered no ill-effects.

An injection of Laetrile 1Gm. was repeated. The systolic blood pressure dropped 4 mm. in ten minutes, no other apparent effects.

In a period of four and a half months he received nineteen injections of Laetrile, five of 1 Gm. and fourteen of 2 Gm.

During the period of medication the pains in the neck and groin ceased and the adenopathy disappeared. The patient felt euphoric and his general appearance was considerably improved. There were no apparent adverse effects from the injections. The blood picture improved after Laetrile therapy.

Case 6. L.D., age 47, female, single, draftsman, weight 190 lb., height 66 in., blood pressure 280/110 mm. Diagnosis infiltrating adenocarcinoma of left breast. Both her mother and sister had died of cancer. History of radical mastectomy. Metastases in left axilla broke down, producing multiple sinuses.

The principal complaints were severe pain in the left side of the chest, necessitating the use of codeine, and a foul odor from the discharging sinuses. To control her distressing cough it was necessary to prescribe meperidine hydrochloride and opium for use on alternate days.

The left shoulder and arm were swollen and painful. The skin was glistening red. The circumference of the left mid-arm measured 19 ¾ ins. as compared with 13 ins. for the right. Adenopathy was present in the entire left axillary and supraclavicular areas, both sides of the neck, and in the right breast. The liver was palpable and tender. Both sides of the chest were tender and especially painful on coughing.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. In five minutes the systolic blood pressure dropped 38 mm. but there were no apparent other effects. On the following day she received a second injection. Pain and cough diminished and there was less discharge from the axillary sinuses. However, she felt a sense of heat and itching in the operative area. After the third injection pain was relieved completely and the fetor disappeared. After the fourth injection, the drainage ceased completely and the area was odorless. Multiple crusts covered the healing sinuses. Induration and inflammation were almost completely gone. The texture of the skin of the left arm had returned to normal.

In a period of five months she received fifty injections of Laetrile, nine of 1 Gm., thirty-nine of 2 Gm., and two of 2.5 Gm. The immediate hypotensive response was easily controlled when phenylephrine hydrochloride 0.3 mg. Was used simultaneously with Laetrile.

During the period of treatment the patient returned to work. Pain and cough disappeared. The discharge from the metastatic sinuses ceased and there was no more fetor. The circumference of the left mid-arm was reduced from 19 3/4 in. to 17 in., an indication of less tumefaction. Narcotics for relief of pain and cough were no longer required. There were no apparent adverse effects from any of the injections.

In this case treatment with Laetrile was continued from July 7, 1961 until May 1962. In the extended period of ten months the patient received 133 injections, twice a week or more often. Comparison of before and after hemograms showed definite improvement in the red blood cell counts and hemoglobin. Adenopathy and tumefaction regressed to a considerable extent.

Case 7. G.P., age 21, male, single, college student, weight 149 lb., height 70 in., blood pressure 110/70 mm. Diagnosis: malignant lymphoma, Hodgkins type. Urinalysis and hematology negative.

A growing mass in front of the right ear, which returned four years after its initial appearance and recession, was removed and found to contain multinucleated giant cells typical of Hodgkin's disease. There was a hard, tender, enlarged lymph node in the mid-sternocleidomastoid region measuring 3x2cm. Urinalysis and liematology were negative.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. The systolic blood pressure dropped 4 mm. but there were no apparent side-effects. Three days later the enlarged gland was smaller, softer, and less painful. By the sixth day all pain had ceased.

In a period of four months he received twenty-seven injections of Laetrile, ten of 1Gm. and seventeen of 2 Gm. There were no side-effects. One injection, made directly into the tumor mass, was followed by itching and local tenderness.

During the period of treatment the patient returned to college. Pain was absent, appetite good, weight increased 13 lb., and his appearance was excellent. The blood picture improved under Laetrile therapy.

Case 8. A.T., age 66, male, married, fireman, weight 120 lb., height 68 in., blood pressure 188/98 mm.. Diagnosis inoperable carcinoma of the prostate with possible metastasis to the liver. hemoglobin 10 Gm./100 cc.

The patient complained of nocturia hematuria, nausea vomiting, and severe pain in the groin and thighs. Codeine and meperidine hydrochloride were required for relief. The skin and sclerac were jaundiced. There was painful adenopathy in both groins.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. In seven minutes the blood pressure dropped 68 mm. and the skin became cold and clammy. The patient appeared to be in incipient shock but responded promptly to an injection of phenylephrine hydrochloride, after which his blood pressure recovered 66 mm.

Next day an injection of Laetrile 1 Gm. was repeated. His systolic blood pressure dropped 10 mm. but there was no shock reaction. Following the second injection the pain ceased and the use of narcotics was no longer needed. Nausea and vomiting were relieved, and jaundice was reduced.

In a period of four days he received three injections of Laetrile 1 Gm. During this time there was no pain and narcotic drugs were discontinued. Bleeding from the bladder ceased. Nausea and vomiting were relieved, and jaundice was diminished. Before and after hemograms and urinalyses showed no change.

Case 9. M.T., age 65, female, married, housewife, weight 110 lb., height 66 in., blood pressure 160/90 mm. Diagnosis: adenocarcinoma of the pancreas and omentum. Hemoglobin 11.5 Gm./100cc. The liver was palpable and painful nodules extended to about 3 inches below the costal margin.

During the last seven months she had suffered from extreme pain and had lost 20 lb. Meperidine hydrochloride was required for relief. She was exceedingly weak, jaundiced, emaciated, and unable to stand without assistance.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. There were no adverse effects. A second injection was given four days later.

Pain was partially relieved and the dosage of meperidine hydrochloride was reduced. The blood picture and urinalysis showed no change under Laetrile therapy.

Case 10. F.F- Age 17, male, single, student. weight 140 lb., height 71 in., blood pressure 110/70. Diagnosis: Hodgkin's disease, granuloma type, with metastasis to the thorax.

During the last three months a growing mass in the left supraclavicular region had reached the size of a quarter sphere of an average orange. The patient complained of pain in both axillae, weakness, nausea and anorexia. He had lost 25lb. and was jaundiced. Biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. The axillary lymph glands were enlarged, especially on the right side. The roentgenograms showed progressive nodal enlargement inside the thorax.

Laetrile 1 Gm. was injected intravenously. In five minutes the systolic blood pressure dropped 6 mm. but there were no apparent other effects.

On examination two days later the mass in the neck was softer and smaller. By the fifth day it was reduced to about half the original size, and was softer and movable. The axillary lymph glands were barely palpable. He was free from pain and his appetite had returned.

In a period of five months he received thirty-six injections of Laetrile, nineteen of 1 Gm. and seventeen of 2 Gm. There were no side-effects.

During the period of treatment there was no pain and no enlargement of the supraclavicular mass occurred. Appetite improved and the patient gained 24 lb. He returned to his studies. Comparison of before and after hemograms showed distinct improvement in the red blood cell count and hemoglobin.

The use of Laetrile (1-mandelonitrile-beta-glycuronoside), a beta cyanogenetic glucoside, intravenously in 10 cases of inoperable cancer, all with metastases, provided dramatic relief of pain, discontinuance of narcotics, control of fetor, improved appetite, and reduction of adenopathy. The results suggest regression of the malignant lesion.

A fall of blood pressure occurred in all cases after administration of Laetrile. This side-effect was easily avoided by using phenylephrine hydrochloride 0.3-1 mg. in the same syringe with the Laetrile solution. No other side-effects were noted except slight itching and a sensation of heat in the affected areas, which was transitory in all cases.

Comparison of before and after hemograms showed definite improvement in the red blood cell count and hemoglobin in most cases. Differential blood counts and urinalyses were entirely negative.

Ettore Guidetti
Professor of Pharmacology

University of Turin Medical School
Presented at the Sixth International Cancer Congress, Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 1954

One can recognise that topical treatment with cyanogenetic glycuronoside, otherwise known as Laetrile, of certain directly accessible human cancers produces lytic and destructive effects on neoplastic tissues, due to a mechanism of enzyme action, and as a result, one can consider the usefulness of this medical treatment for human cancers of the rectum, the neck of the womb and ulcerated cancers of the breast.


Benedetto Rossi
Ettore Guidetti
Christian Deckers
Presented at the 9th International Cancer Congress in Tokyo, October 1966

From 1954 to 1966 we gave 150 patients the above-mentioned therapy, chiefly at San Cottolengo Hospital, Turin; Dosio Hospital, Milan; and Louvain University Cancer Institute. All patients were in the terminal stage of the disease, the majority of them prey to cachezia, and all other therapies had failed.

The following table summarizes the cases treated, classified according to the site of the tumor, and showing the number of patients for each degree of reaction to therapy. We use the sign ++ to denote patients who reacted in an objectively favorable manner, by which we mean diminution of volume of the tumor or at least all interruption of its evolution, improvement in the roentgenographic picture, and improvement in laboratory findings. The mark + and + indicates patients who showed a more or less distinct subjective improvement, and the mark - those who reacted negatively to the treatment.

Cases corresponding to ++ represent about 20% of those treated.

We again underline the fact that the majority of these cases were simultaneously subjected to an immunotype therapy, which might have some bearing on the number of positive results observed, grouped under the signs+ + and + totalling about half the number of cases treated.

Cancer Site No. Cases ++ + + -
Toruli tactiles 26 5 6 6 9
Breast 25 3 8 7 7
Uterus 24 7 7 4 6
Rectum 20 2 9 2 7
Ovary (with infusion) 10 2 2 2 4
Other types 30 9 7 2 12
Totals 135 28 39 23 45

We have separately considered neoplasms of the pleura with effusion (15 cases), where the product was used direct by injection in the pleural cavity. In these cases we observed our best results, as generally we obtained reduction and then on occasion complete disappearance of the effusion, associated with a distinct improvement in the patients' condition.

On the basis of our clinical trial, we are able to state that l-mandelonitrile-beta-diglucoside may be considered an extremely useful chemotherapeutic drug for palliative medical treatment of malign neoplasms, from the standpoint both of its therapeutic effect and its very low toxicity.

One of us tested the product on the cancerous cell (Ehrlich's ascites), taking as standard the inhibition of breathing measured by Warburg's method. We were able to confirm production of HCN and benzaldehyde, both toxic on the cancer cell. Presence of beta-glucosidase is essential for break-up of the product.

by Ernst T. Krebs, Jr.

Over a three decades ago, clinical investigation of then empirical extracts from apricot kernels (prunus armeniaca) was commenced because of evidence of some anti-neoplastic activity in animals. In humans this extract proved to be palliative in human cancer. Further study showed the responsible factor to be the nitriloside amygdalin. This nitriloside (Laetrile) was then chosen as the subject for systematic clinical investigation after its lack of immediate or cumulative toxicity was demonstrated on experimental animals.

The doses of the nitriloside standardized for human use range from about 12.5 mg/kg to 37.5 mg/kg of the nitriloside. These doses supply from 0.8 mg/kg of the HCN ion. Doses as high as 20 grams or more intravenously have been shown to be without toxic effect in healthy human subjects, though a mildly hypotensive effect is produced through the thiocyanate engendered by such large doses. It appears that the 0.8 mg/kg (equivalent to a dose of 1.0 gram of the nitriloside in a 70 kg patient) is generally optimal.

Brown, Wood and Smith in their studies on sodium cyanide in mice bearing Sarcoma 180 found experimentally that 0.8 mg./kg of the CN ion was the optimal dose in contributing a life-extension of as high as 70 per cent to not only these mice but to another strain bearing Ehrlich's ascites cell tumors. Not only did such doses lack cumulative toxicity; but the controls not receiving the cyanide obviously experienced a 70 per cent shorter lifespan.

Brown et al. were unaware of any work on nitriloside during the period they made their studies; yet the optimal dosage of the nitrile ion they arrived at from studies on cancer animals is identical to the optimal dose determined for clinical use for nitriloside (Laetrile) by many clinical investigators working over the course of a decade while gradually scaling their original doses of 50mg of the nitriloside to the present dose of 1,000 mg and altering the route of administration from intramuscular one to an intravenous one. Brown et al observed:

"Because the action of… cyanide is almost instantaneous and since normal tissues and cells are capable of recovering from its noxious effects, it could be anticipated here that there would be no cumulative or latent complications in the bone marrow, the gastrointestinal tract, or the renal apparatus."

Clinical experience with approximately 100,000 parenteral doses of nitriloside in man over a decade of study have sustained Brown's original findings on the non-toxicity of the CN ion administered within the capacity of the rhodanese system. Administration of the ion in the form of nitriloside of course provides an optimal concentration of the ion in a safe and self-limiting fashion - self-limitation being the characteristic of the action of accessory food factors.

Maxwell and Bischoff in 1933, in studying the possible cumulative effect of HCN in mice, reported:

"After twenty-one days of exposure to HCN, the red blood cell count and the hemoglobin rose in the mice 12 to 15 per cent, and in the rats, 20 to 25 per cent."

Their experience has been confirmed repeatedly by clinicians studying the action of Laetrile (nitriloside) in advanced cases of human cancer where the nitriloside-derived HCN has produced a substantial stimulation in hemopoiesis even in some terminal patients.

In 1935, Isabella Perry of the Department of Pathology, University of California Medical School, reported on the study of "The Effects of Prolonged Cyanide Treatment on the Body and Tumor Growth in Rate" (American Journal of Cancer, 25:592). Reporting the action of prolonged inhalation of cyanide fumes in young tumor-bearing rats, she wrote:

"…Retards the growth of Jensen sarcoma implants. A considerable percentage of the animals so treated showed complete regression of the tumor. Both regressing and growing tumors in treated animals had little capacity for transplantation… The dose was given on strips of blotter paper…It seems that the range of the effective dose is limited and too close to the lethal dose to be practical."

The administration of CN ion through non-toxic nitrilosides eliminates the limitation. Perry observed that:

"In the treated animals the tumors grew slowly and necrosed early. Ten days after the inoculation, the tumors in 9 treated rats averaged 0.5 cm in diameter, while the 8 control rats had tumors averaging 2.2 cm in diameter. On the twenty-fifth day after the tumors had been inoculated and fifteen days after the cyanide treatment was discontinued, 5 treated survivors had tumors averaging 2.5 cm in diameter, while the tumors in the control animals averaged 8 cm in diameter."

Of the control rats bearing Jensen sarcoma, 8 had died and only one was surviving on the 34th day after inoculation. By the 105th day, 6 treated rats that had received the same implantation were still alive and showed extensive tumor regression. Such residues which remained were untransplantable. Thus treated by the inhalation of HCN gas, with all its attendant dangers, rats bearing Jensen sarcoma transplanted often showed not only complete tumor regression but an average life extension in excess of 300 per cent.

These observations have been substantiated clinically with the nitriloside-derived CN ion of Laetrile and without any evidence of toxicity and no side-effect except the increase in red blood cell count and hemoglobin first observed in 1933 by Maxwell & Bischoff in mice receiving cyanide ions.

Clinical investigation of parenteral nitriloside (Laetrile) at four universities' medical schools over the past decade have confirmed the animal studies reporting a specific chemotherapeutic effect of the CN ion in cancer. Professor M. D. Navarro of the University of St. Thomas Medical School has observed such effects for Laetrile (nitriloside) over a period of twelve years.

One gram of Laetrile (nitriloside) treated with beta-glucosidase derived from the tissues of experimental animals (with or without cancer) supplies 56 mg of HCN. This HCN may be administered through inhalation to cancer animals as in the case of Perry's studies. It may be neutralized with NaOH, to form sodium cyanide and then so administered as in the case of the work by Brown et al who found that 0.8 mg/kg of the cyanide ion provided a 70 per cent life extension in experimental animals and an apparently complete regression in spontaneous cancer in dogs as well as substantial palliation in some human cases. Under experimental conditions, Laetrile (nitriloside) has been hydrolyzed by a few drops of beta-glucosidase to a solution of free HCN, sugar and benzaldehyde. In this state the material, of course, becomes as toxic as the materials used by Brown et al, Perry, Maxwell & Bischoff and others and provides the same action as such.


Observations Preliminaires Sur Quelques Cas de Cancer Traites Par Un Glycuronoside Cyanogenetique. Acta Unio Internationalis Contra Cancrum, XI (No. 2): 156-158 (1955). Read at the Sixth International Cancer Congress, Sao Paulo, July, 1954. (pp) Edizioni Minerva Medica (1958). Med., 9; 468-471 (1954)

Osservazioni Cliniche Sugli Effetti Terapeutici ci un Glicuronoside cianogenetico in Casi di Neoplasie Maligne Umane. Gazzetta Medica Italiana (19 pp.) Edizioni Minerva Medica. (1958)


  • Laetrile - The Ideal Anti-Cancer Drug? Santo Tomas J. Med., 9:468-471 (1954)
  • Laetrile in Malignancy. Santo Tomas J. Med., 10:113-118 (1955).
  • D. STA. ANA, J. ZANTUA and G. MORAL, Metastatic Pulmonary Carcinoma Treated with Laetrile (Report of a Case), Unitas, 28:606-618 (1955)
  • and C. L. LAGMAN, Breast Carcinoma with Lung and Bone Metastases Treated with Laetrile (Case Report), Santo Tomas J. Med., 11: 196-203 (1956); J. Philippine Med. Assn.,33:16-29 (1957)
  • Biochemistry of Laetrile Therapy in Cancer, Papyrus 1:8-9, 27-28 (1957)
  • Mechanism of Action and Therapeutic Effects of Laetrile in Cancer. J. Philippine Med. Assn., 33:620-627 (1957)


  • Chemotherapy of Cancer, Laetrile in Cancers of the Throat, Philippine J. of Cancer 1: 131-137 (1957)
  • Five Years Experience with Laetrile Therapy in Advanced Cancer, Acta Unio internationalis Contra Cancrum, XV (bis):209-221 (1959). Read at the Symposium on Cancer Chemotherapy for Pacific Asian Area, International Union Against Cancer, Tokyo, October 1957.
  • Report on Proceedings of International Symposium on Cancer Chemotherapy at Tokyo, October 1957, Santo Tomas J. med., 12:244-453 (1957)


  • Laetrile Therapy of Breast Cancer. Santo Tomas J. Med., 13:29-36 (1958)
  • Biochemical Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer, Unitas, 31 (No. 2) 76 pp. (1958). Republished as a book, Manila, Univ. of Santo Tomas Press, 1958


  • The Use of the Beard Anthrone Test in Certain Cases Inaccessible to or with Doubtful or Negative Biopsy. Philippine J. of Cancer, 2:123-136 (1958)
  • Early Cancer Diagnosis with the Beard Anthrone Test (Navarro's Modification), Philippine J. of Cancer, 2:285-304 1958); Acta Unio Internationalis Contra Cancrum, XVI: 1482-1491 (1960). Read at the Seventh International Cancer Congress, London, July 1958
  • The Unitarian or Trophoblastic Thesis of Cancer, Philippine J. of Cancer 3:3-11 (1959)
  • Early Cancer Detection - A Biochemical Approach, Santo Tomas J. Med., 15:111-129 (1960)
  • The Role of the Chemotherapeutic Agents in Cancer. Bulletin of the Quezon Institute, 1960. Read at Seminar of the Quezon Institute, Santo Tomas J. Med., 15: 443-450 (1960)
  • Early Cancer Detection. J. Philippine Med. Assn., 36:425-432 (1960)
  • Laetrile Therapy in Cancer. Read at the Eighth International Cancer Congress, Moscow, U.S.S.R. July 1962, The Philippine Journal of Cancer, July-Sept., 1962


  • Chemotherapy of Inoperable Cancer. Preliminary Report of Ten Cases Treated with Laetrile (nitriloside), Experimental Medicine and Surgery, #4, 1962


  • Beta-Cyanophoric Glucuronosides and Glucosides (Nitrilosides). Their Rationale and Clinical Utilization in Human Cancer. In Press.


  • The Use of Laetrile (Nitriloside) in the Treatment of Cancer, with Case Reports. In M.S. (1962)


  • Clinical Trial of Chemotherapeutic Treatment of Advanced Cancers with l-Mandelonitrile-Beta-Diglucoside. Presented at the Ninth International Cancer Congress in Tokyo, October 1966.


  • Possible Palliative Value of Laetrile in Human Cancer. A Preliminary Report (1953). In M.S.


  • Twenty Months' Review of the Effects of Laetrile in the Palliative Treatment of Cancer (1954). Read before the American College of Osteopathic Internists Convention at Philadelphia, 1954

The foregoing references, without exception and including those from the world's most prestigious journals in the field of oncology, are positive reports on the safety and effectiveness of Laetrile (nitriloside), and describe completely non-toxic palliation and other beneficial effects of Laetrile (nitriloside) in abolishing pain and fetor where present, decreasing and eliminating the need for narcotics, and extending life-expectancy of cancer patients left terminal by surgery and/or radiation.

For the completeness of this bibliography, I also cite the single negative report on Laetrile, published ten years ago and obviously designed to disparage continued study or investigational use of Laetrile. The said single negative report on Laetrile, which is based upon the observations of unidentified investigators in unidentified institutions administering a purported "Laetrile" not obtained from the only source of the material, is to be found in California Medicine, 78:320 (1953).

The reader must make up their mind what one may call deliberate obfuscation and misreporting of a treatment that has clinically been shown to prolong lives. Bear in mind, the majority of the foregoing trials occurred forty to fifty years ago. Since then, a deadly war of disinformation has been waged deliberately disparaging such natural chemotherapeutics in favour of the devastation of chemical chemos, almost all of which are carcinogens, some of which, like Alkeran, are former chemical warfare agents given new legs in the field of oncopharmacology.

Who are the ones really guilty of Professor's Ernst's so-called 'criminal' activity?

Further Resources:

Cancer: Why We're Still Dying to Know the Truth by Phillip Day
B17 Metabolic Therapy compiled by Phillip Day
Great News on Cancer in the 21st Century by Steve Ransom

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