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Source: Gonzalez NJ, Isaacs LL. Evaluation of pancreatic proteolytic enzyme treatment of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, with nutrition and detoxification support. Nutr Cancer 1999;33:117-124.
Design and Setting: An open study in a private physician’s office.
Subjects: Eleven patients (five women, six men) with biopsy-confirmed pancreatic cancer, who had not been treated with radiation or chemotherapy, Whipple procedures, or other major surgical treatment. Patients who had undergone exploratory surgery or simple biliary bypass were considered eligible.
At enrollment, eight patients had Stage IV disease (four of these had liver metastases) and three had inoperable Stage II disease. Seven had undergone biliary stent placement as a palliative treatment (only one of these underwent partial resection of the tumor). The remaining four patients underwent surgery during the study; three had biliary stents placed, and the fourth underwent total abdominal hysterectomy and oophorectomy for extensive metastatic disease.
Treatment: A three-part treatment involving diet, nutritional supplements, and coffee enemas. The diet excluded meat and poultry and emphasized raw, juiced, and lightly steamed vegetables. Eggs and yogurt were allowed daily, and fish three times weekly. Nutritional supplements included vitamins, minerals, freeze-dried organ concentrates including thymus and liver. Each patient took 25-40 g of a freeze-dried pancreas product in divided doses throughout the day. A patient typically took 130-160 capsules daily. As a "detoxification" treatment, coffee enemas were done twice daily.
Outcome Measures: Length of survival from diagnosis.
Results: One-year survival was 81% (nine patients); two-year survival was 45% (5 patients) and three-year survival was 36% (4 patients). At time of study publication, two patients were still alive.
Funding: Nestle Corporation.
Comments: This is a small but very interesting pilot study of an alternative cancer therapy that appears promising. It is commendable that this author tested the effects of his therapy on a poor prognosis cancer with limited treatment options.
The median survival of patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer is 17-22 weeks, while the median survival in this group was 17 months. According to Gonzalez, the pancreatic enzymes are the anticancer part of this treatment while the nutritional supplements are supportive and the coffee enemas combat side effects (including low-grade fevers, muscle aches and pains, and rashes).
This is exactly the sort of simple study with indisputable end points that should be encouraged. Gonzalez is one of the few ethical practitioners of alternative cancer treatments. He has been willing and motivated to assess his treatment by conventional medical standards (he has been working with the National Cancer Institute for years on implementing a trial of his therapy, and a randomized, controlled clinical trial comparing the nutritional enzyme therapy with gem- citabine in patients with pancreatic cancer has been funded by the NCI).