Hope  Emerges for Pancreatic Cancer


9.33 a.m. ET (1433 GMT) December 6, 1999

     By Adam Pasick

 NEW YORK  Pancreatic cancer patients may soon have a
 new treatment regimen for their deadly disease: vitamins, raw fruit, whole
 grains ... and two daily coffee enemas.

     It may sound strange, but the National Institutes of Health has
allocated $1.4 million to study the protocol, and mainstream doctors believe
it may be a breakthrough. In a preliminary study, the protocol tripled
survival times  and patients who had been expected to die within weeks are
still alive today.

 Even those working with the study had their doubts at first. Lead
investigator Dr. John Cabot of Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York
"was completely skeptical," he said. But after reviewing the data, he
decided
the therapy was worth a shot.

 The regimen, created and administered by New York immunologist Dr. Nicholas
Gonzales, consists of a strict diet that excludes red meat, poultry, fried
foods, alcohol and refined sugar  and white flour products; patients are
also
given a battery of about 140 vitamin, mineral and enzyme tablets.

 Pancreatic enzymes derived from pigs
"are the main anti-cancer element of the program,"
 Gonzales said. And in what may sound bizarre, the program includes two
daily
coffee enemas, a "critically important part of the treatment." The enemas
"help the body effectively neutralize and excrete metabolic wastes and tumor
breakdown products," according to literature given to  prospective patients.

 "We don't prescribe them to improve bowel movements," Gonzales said, "but
because they seem to help the liver work better."

 Pancreatic cancer patients currently face a dire prognosis: The average
survival rate after diagnosis is a mere five months. "It's the worst cancer
there is," Gonzales said. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often
ineffective and, as the fourth-deadliest cancer in the United States, it
kills 27,000 annually.

 Longtime Controversy

     Gonzales' protocol is not entirely new, nor is the controversy over
using unorthodox methods like pancreatic enzymes  usually harvested from
pigs  and coffee enemas to treat the disease. A dentist named William
Kelley
claimed to have healed himself of pancreatic cancer with a similar therapy
in
1964, but was ordered by a judge never to speak of it again following a
lawsuit.

 Cabot said the seemingly strange use of coffee enemas has not kept
prospective patients away. Actually, the study has had the opposite problem:
The 90 or so patients who have inquired about enrolling were so eager to try
t
he new treatment they refused to take the 50 percent chance of being given
chemotherapy, which is being used as a control to test the new protocol's
efficiency. Only two patients have enrolled, and one subsequently dropped
out.

 "We're having a very hard time ... it's because the treatments are so
different," said Cabot, and desperate patients want to try the next new
thing. The current chemotherapy available promises, at best, a "slight
prolongation of life and a significant improvement in ... quality of life,"
according to the literature provided to patients.

 He hopes to eventually enroll about 90 participants in the five-year study,
funded under the  NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative
Medicine.

 It certainly may not be for everyone. "There are people out there who want
chemotherapy and who would rather die than have a coffee enema, and that's
fine," Gonzales said.

 How Does It Work?

     The theory is that the pancreatic enzymes combat cancer cells of all
types, not just in the pancreas. The diet and cleansing regimen is designed
to void toxins from the body, which he believes gives rise to the tumors.
Taking a pass on speculation, Cabot is concentrating solely on reproducing
the results of the promising preliminary study.

 "I have tried not to go there intellectually and I'm consciously avoiding
asking the question of how the regimen might work," he said.

 But regardless of how it works, if the regimen is successful it will offer
new hope to patients who currently have none.

 "When you can turn people around who have been told they'll be dead in six
or eight weeks, you'll do anything for them," Gonzales said. "The whole
world
may not want to do this, but someday it could be mainstream."

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