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International Socialist Review, July-August 1967


Sheavy Geldman

Laetrile and Cancer


From International Socialist Review, Vol.28 No.4, July-August 1967, pp.59-51.
Mark up: Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Laetrile: Control for Cancer
by Glenn D. Kittler
Paperback Library, 1963.

Despite the millions of dollars being spent for cancer research throughout the world, no effective control for cancer has yet been announced to the public, nor have any public statements been made by the medical profession concerning the discovery of the cause of cancer. Yet, a book was published in this country documenting the development and research of a drug which has the acceptance and support of many prominent doctors in various parts of the world, and which on the basis of clinical research, has proven effective in controlling that dread disease, cancer.

Research of the Krebs

In Laetrile: Control for Cancer, author Kittler describes the years of research done by Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., and his father, Ernst T. Krebs, Sr.; years of intensive work which led them to the ultimate conclusions that

  1. the cancer cell is a normal body cell (known as the trophoblast cell), which under normal conditions is kept under control by the pancreatic enzymes;
  2. inadequate quantities of the enzymes allow the trophoblast cell to appear abnormally and demonstrate itself as cancer;
  3. cancer cells can be destroyed by the enzymes;
  4. cancer is a deficiency condition, which like diabetes, is responsive to medication.

Based on these conclusions, they developed the drug, Laetrile, which performs the function of the pancreatic enzymes and destroys cancer cells.

More than half of the book is devoted to reprints of medical reports and case histories by doctors who have carried out the basic clinical research of the drug. Although this section of the book is not easily interpreted by the lay reader, one basic theme becomes apparent throughout the book, which is that while there can be no cure for cancer – an impressive number of people have been relieved of symptoms; have had their lives prolonged, and are functioning in a normal manner; and that in cases where the cancer had destroyed too many vital organs, the terrible suffering associated with the disease was alleviated and at least their deaths were peaceful.

Of course the first question to be asked by anyone reading the book, is: If the cause and control for cancer have been discovered, why hasn’t this information been given to the public – and why isn’t the drug in wide use?

The author answers the question by citing numerous examples in medical history of discoveries being rejected or ignored for years because of the necessarily cautious nature of the medical profession whose duty it is to protect the lives of patients, and who are ethically bound by a code which inhibits premature acceptance of any discovery. But Kittler also goes on to describe how in many instances, as with Laet-rile, the medical profession in its conservatism becomes the obstacle to medical progress.

In the case of Laetrile, a fair trial was not given the drug when it was first presented to the California Medical Association for testing, (in 1952). (Reviewer’s note: Not mentioned in the book is the fact that approximately 10 years later Laetrile was supposed to be given another chance, but once again, the trial was unfair and woefully inadequate. This information was given to the reviewer by a doctor who used the drug with successful results.) Because of the two inadequate trials in California the medical profession in that state, and subsequently in the rest of the country, the drug has been ignored. But worse, it has been banned from use even within the confines of research.

However, extensive research has been carried on in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Japan, England, Italy, and the Union of South Africa, and in all instances the doctors carrying out the work with the drug have reported enthusiastically favorable responses.

American Medical Association

And still the American Medical Association keeps its back turned upon what may be the most important medical discovery to date.

The drug Laetrile was first brought to the reviewer’s attention by an acquaintance who had been told he was suffering from acute leukemia, and was given a maximum of three months to live. The patient heard about Laetrile and was able to find a doctor who treated him with the drug. More than a year after receiving a prognosis of imminent death, this patient is very much alive, in good health, and leading a normal existence.

Personal inquiry by the reviewer led to a doctor who had been administering the drug to his cancer patients, until the medical association clamped down on him, and he was threatened with loss of his medical license, In a recent interview, this doctor verified from his own personal experience that 90% of the patients he treated survived the disease, even though they were all terminal cases in the final stages of the disease.

In the course of the interview the doctor was asked his opinion as to why the medical profession in this country refuses to use Laetrile despite what appears to be overwhelming evidence as to its effectiveness. The doctor’s reply was that the medical profession has too much money invested in cancer equipment and research; that their financial loss would be tremendous if they had to abandon their investments and accept a drug like Laetrile which does not require the elaborate cobalt machines, and other types of cancer equipment now being used.

Role of Economic Factor

This explanation is certainly consistant with the Marxist view of our capitalist society which makes the accumulation of wealth the primary consideration for existence – above and beyond any other consideration, even that of human life. Unfortunately, the author of the book does not recognize that the economic factor plays a major role in prohibiting the use of Laetrile in this country.

One does not have to be a Marxist to know that proper medical attention, medication, and hospital care are beyond the means of the average family in this country. The cost of good health runs pretty high – and the majority of the medical profession are more concerned with the amount of the fee they can collect than they are with the Hippocratic Oath they swore to uphold. This being the case, it should come as no shock to John or Jane Q. Public that medical discoveries may possibly be ignored because of the economic danger that they may present to the medical profession.

Being only a layman, this reviewer is not qualified to pass judgement on behalf of any medical theories or drugs, nor is this reviewer qualified to oppose any medical theories or drugs. However, as a member of society, as one who has seen relatives and friends destroyed by cancer; who sees others presently doomed by that disease; as one who may be a potential victim of the disease; and as a Marxist dedicated to alleviating the suffering of my fellow-man, I feel compelled to maintain an open mind and attitude in regard to medical discoveries. It is on this basis that I conclude this review by stating, for those interested in knowing about the drug Laetrile, and about the theory concerning the cause of cancer – which led to the development of this drug – I strongly urge that the book written by Glenn D. Kittler be read.

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