JACK FORD, ABC NEWS
In Virginia today, there was the start of the highly unusual medical conference. A major meeting on alternative cancer treatments, which is
sponsored in part by the government. Some of the countries leading cancer specialists are discussing the latest research on Chinese herbal remedies and homeopathic treatments. ABCís John McKenzie now on
one of the most promising new alternative treatments.
JOHN MCKENZIE, ABC NEWS
VO) Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez has a small, private practice in New York City, but here at this conference heís getting
a lot of attention. Gonzalez has earned a $ 1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct one of the largest clinical trials of an alternative cancer therapy.
Dr. Jeffrey White, National Cancer Institute
His results were the kind of results that make you sit up and take notice.
vo) And with the therapy that involves pig pancreatic
enzymes in the form of pills, 60 to 80 of them a day.
DR. NICHOLAS GONZLALEZ
Of coarse, there were skeptics and critics and people thought it was bizarre.
perhaps, but not new. More than 90 years ago John Beard, a Scottish scientist at the University of Edinburgh, documented cases of cancer patients successfully treated with pancreatic enzymes.
Normally pancreatic enzymes produced in the body help digest food, but when taken as supplements on an empty stomach they appear to be absorbed into the blood stream and attack cancer cells throughout
(VO) Gonzalez has now treated more than 400 patients and a variety of advanced cancers. Mort Schneiderís body was riddled with tumors.
The surgeon told my wife
that I really didnít have muchóvery long to live, possibly a few months.
(VO) That was nine years ago. Today, heís still taking the enzyme supplements. As for the cancer, those
tumors, four in his liver and one in the pancreas, have all disappeared. Even more impressive to the scientific community was the small, pilot study Gonzalez published last year: Eleven patients with
advanced pancreatic cancer, the most deadly form of cancer, where the average survival is only about six months. On the enzyme therapy, patients lasted n average of 17 months, almost three times longer.
Those results, I think, are compelling enough that you have to follow them up with a more advanced, larger clinical trial.
(VO) Putting an alternative
therapy through traditional testing to see whether it really can become a common cancer treatment. John McKenzie, ABC News, New York.