Einstein, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Laetrile – Transcript

I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and I grew up there, went to public school there and then high school. The high school I went to Lincoln was famous because it had graduated more Nobel laureates than any other public school in America.

So it was really, really outstanding education and I had some fantastic teachers there.

The event that stands out most germane to this discussion was in 1954,

my brother got a letter from Albert Einstein. The way that came about was that Einstein had said that if he could live his life over, he would be a plumber or electrician. And I believe he was inducted into the I the electricians union because of that statement, and it made quite a stir.

He was quite disturbed about the Cold War atmosphere and the witch hunt going on in the United States at that time.

And so my family, collectively, I would say we were pretty upset about that statement because my brother, who was five years older than me, was intending to become a scientist and was quite an excellent science student, also at Lincoln High.

And so together with my father and myself, he drafted a letter to Einstein and sent and we sent it off.

My father and I walked it out to the mailbox on Friday, and on Monday we had an answer back from Einstein.

That’s how good the mails were in those days. But it also, you know, hit a nerve with Einstein.

Here was a young kid who said, Basically, you’ve discouraged me.

I wanted to be a scientist, and now you are telling me not to, you know, not to do that, become a plumber or an electrician.

So, and here’s what Einstein wrote.

I want to read it.

I had copies made up of this.

It says just to my brother this December eleven, 1954.

Dear sir, I received your letter of December 10th.

Baruch Spinoza was wholly devoted to the striving for truth and knowledge, but he refused a professorship at the University of Heidelberg and preferred to make his living as a lens grinder in order to keep his independence.

One can well compare the present situation with that of Spinoza’s time.

Sincerely, yours. Albert Einstein, signed A. Einstein.

Einstein’s letter had a profound impact on me, and I think the thing that struck me most was this phrase to keep his independence and the fact that he had that…

Spinoza, who was a Dutch Jewish philosopher of the 17th century, said that he had this striving for truth and knowledge, but he refused a professorship at a major university.

It made me wonder, and I went back and I looked in the encyclopedia and I read about these things and so forth.

So it sort of woke me up to the fact that there were forces in society.

Perhaps that would keep a person from being able to fulfill their dream, and the fact that Einstein felt this way.

Einstein was like a god at those times and especially my family.

And so it was a kind of a wake up call.

I then went on and graduated from high school, of course, and went to college and wound up in graduate school at Stanford University in California, where I studied classics, which was basically history, languages, literature. And I love that. And I had basically a wonderful career in the field of classics, but it wasn’t fulfilling.

I wanted to do something with my life that was more, let’s say, more about problem solving in the world.

So many problems in the world. And I was teaching. We came back after Stanford came back to New York and I was teaching at Hunter College of the City University of New York – teaching classics.

And somebody suggested that there was a job opening up down the block.

68th Street at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and my wife at that time was editor of Urology at Times Magazine.

So I thought this would be a good job for her, but much to my surprise, she said.

Well, why don’t you apply for that job? And I thought about it for a minute and I said, OK, I will, because I had already evinced an interest in science and medicine.

In fact, when I was teaching at the University of California, Irvine, I had taught a course in the Greek physician Hypocrates in Greek.

So this was a high level kind of study of Greek medicine.

And I also had incorporated a study of Roman science into my Roman civilization course at Hunter.

But it was a leap. It was a leap for me, and it was a leap for the people who were going to, you know who I was trying to get them to hire me.

And by my basic argument, aside from the fact that my Ph.D.

was coming through in a matter of days, I mean, literally it was being, you know, handwritten as we spoke.

But my basic argument was, well, I don’t really know anything about cancer or about medicine, but I’m sort of the tabula rasa, the blank slate on which you people could, you know, could write your message.

And because I was a layperson, I understood the way that lay people could think.

Think about these different problems so I could interpret, and I could translate the science into the language of ordinary people, so-called.

And they bought it. It turned out it was exactly the same argument that Gerald Peale had used to get the job as editor in chief of Scientific American.

I didn’t know that at the time, but you know, it’s true.

I mean, I still have that layperson’s perspective.

Even though I can talk the language of oncology, I don’t see the world the way that typically that oncologists do.

I’m a bit of a critic of the whole field, which I think is a very healthy thing for a field to have a critic, and I’m happy to fulfill that role. It was a great job. I still say that my job was that I was hired as a Sicence writer.

I was later promoted to assistant director of public affairs, joining the administration of the center.

My job gave me access to the top leaders of Memorial Sloan-Kettering and this became very important in my subsequent history.

But it was a fantastic job. Probably the best job in the sense of working for somebody else that I’ve had in my life, and I was able to write about whatever I pleased, mostly it was about immunology and immunotherapy.

So again, I was no expert in those topics, but I turned out to be a really good listener and really good question asker. I could come up with questions for these scientists, and over and over people were telling me, well, that’s a great question.

I never thought of that before. So I kind of realized I really had a knack for this thing, which what had started out as simply a good job at a major, you know, then the major cancer institution in the country was something that I really enjoyed and was good at.

But there were problems and the problems really started on day one.

I was handed a big sheaf of letters, a thick sheaf of letters in a folder and on the top of the folder was written the word PSHAW.

And I looked it up in the dictionary. It said it was an expression of mockery or indignation.

It was nothing of the sort. My predecessor’s name was Phyllis Shaw, so she had handed over to me all the questions from the public.

But ironically, that was sort of the attitude of the administration towards any inquiries from the public with suggestions or ideas about the war on cancer.

PSHAW. However, you pronounce that. So I had to answer these questions, these letters and type letters on a typewriter, of course, to all of these inquiries.

So, I would answer calls that would come to our department asking about different treatments and different ideas.

There was no cancer information service at that time.

Of course, the internet was hardly even a glimmer in anyone’s eye.

So over time, the oddest thing happened to nobody else.

There were 4600 employees in the center.

Nobody else really stepped up to answer the public’s inquiries.

So the telephone operators of whom there were many had put on their consoles questions about alternative treatments sent to Dr. Moss with my extension number.

So part of my job turned out to be answering a lot of calls from the public about their own situations and about their thoughts or questions about alternatives.

What we would call alternative treatments.

And the main one, maybe 50% of all this.

This traffic was about a substance called laetrile or amygdalin.

And I had seen this 60 Minutes TV segment about lying a troll a couple of months before I was hired, so I was vaguely aware that there was an issue with some derivative of apricot kernels that some people thought was a cure for cancer, basically.

And there are people – Americans were running to Mexico to get this, and I guess my attitude towards it was, well, that’s sort of a sad commentary on human nature that people would be so desperate that they’d fall for a quack treatment instead of getting, you know, curative treatment.

But as part of the job, I went up to Rye, New York. There was a branch of Sloan-Kettering, the research branch up there, and I met and had lunch with an elderly Japanese scientist named Kanematsu Sugiura.

Lloyd and I conceived the idea that since he was in his eighties and it was the oldest member of Sloan-Kettering , like a professor at Sloan Sloan Kettering, that he would make a good subject for an article for Center News, which was our in-house newspaper newsletter that went to the staff and to the donors.

And so I went up to interview him.

And in the course of that interview, at the end of the interview, I asked him for more details on what his current work was.

And he said to me, I’m working on Amygdalin.

He had a kind of thick Japanese accent, and it took me a minute to realize that he had said Amygdalin, and that Amygdalin was the same thing as laetrile.

And we had a prepared statement on laetrile basically saying it’s quackery.

That would. I mean, the essence of it was, was that so? I said, Well, what? What is there for you to research if it doesn’t work? And he said, Oh, but let me show you. And he took down his. He had a series of notebooks, all uniform notebooks going back to the 1920s, and he would stamp the outline of a little mouse with a rubber stamp.

And then he would draw on that outline the tumors by measuring the diameter of them with calipers.

And he would put that into the book, and he showed me that the tumors either stopped growing or shrank a little bit under the influence of the laetrile.

Now again, remember, I was only a few months into the job at this point, and I may have assigned more importance to this then than it warranted.

But I was quite amazed because of the disconnect between what I was telling people per my boss’s instructions and what Dr.

Sugiura, this revered figure in oncology and in cancer research, was now telling me it didn’t make any sense, he said.

But that’s nothing. The most important thing is the effect on metastasis or secondary growths of cancer, which is what basically kills involved int he death of about 80% of people who die of cancer.

And he said, basically, it was a long discussion, and a lot of data about what it came down to was that in the control animals, that’s to say, the animals that got a just a saltwater injection, a saline solution, about 80 to 90% of them developed metastases.

And in the treated animals, the animals that got the laetrile or the amygdalin in only ten to 20% of the animals developed metastases.

So that was a vast and significant difference between the ones that got the laetrile and the ones that didn’t.

And I was stunned.

I couldn’t, you know, all kinds of things went through my mind of who’s lying to whom and why is there this disconnect between the official line on laetrile and the experimental results by this revered and highly capable competent scientist? So I went back to the office, so we were on six…

We were on 68th Street in Manhattan and told all this to my boss, Gerry Delaney and Gerry, quite cleverly, I think told me, Well, I want you to stay, develop your friendship with Dr.

Sugiura and find out everything that’s going on as it goes on.

Because we’re here in public affairs, we need to be on top of whatever’s happening at the institution. That makes sense to me.

I think it also I say cleverly because it also gave him a way of knowing where my thinking was and what I was finding out, you know, so it was a bit out of control.

I think. I’m not sure that was his motive.

But in any case, over the next three years, I became pretty close for a 30 year old with an 80 something year old man.

But he was sort of a Sugiura, was kind of a grandfather figure for me and and he continued to do the experiments and the experiments all came out positive and there were confirmatory experiments at Sloan-Kettering.

And now it’s a commonplace in the medical literature.

If you go into PubMed, the repository of all the medical journal articles, you’ll see that there’s

quite a few several dozen other experiments done that show that laetrile indeed has anti-cancer activity to it, but at that time, this was the only data there was were some negative experiments with transplantable tumors, but done by the National Cancer Institute and Sugiura’s experiments in spontaneous tumors.

So I’m compressing here about three and a half years of developments into a small nutshell, but basically as Dr Sugiura’s results continue to be highly positive and he extended this into three different animal testing systems, the remarks of some of my top bosses became increasingly negative.

And finally, it culminated with Dr.

Chester Stock, who is one of the vice presidents at Sloan-Kettering, said, telling a medical journal, We have found laetrile negative in all the animal systems we have tested.

This was an outright lie.

We mean Sloan-Kettering had tested it in three systems and even went into detail.

I’ve written a whole book about this called doctored results, and there’s a film about it also called Second Opinion.

But basically, Sugiura’s results had all been positive and there had been some confirmatory results also at Sloan-Kettering.

And yet Dr Stock lied and said we found it negative in all the animal systems we tested.

To give an example about how they lied and how crazy this became, at one point they instructed me to release a press to write up, release a press release saying that Dr.

Sugiuras own son in law, Dr.

Schmidt, had been unable to reproduce his results that he had also used a trial in the same animal systems as Sugiura.

And it had no beneficial effects.

I called Dr. Sugiura, which is, of course, just due diligence to find out his opinion about this test by his son in law.

And what he said to me was ask Dr.

Schmidt what the dose was that they used in the experiment.

That’s all he would say.

Got off the phone with him, I called Dr. Schmidt. I explained who I was, that I was a fellow MSK employee and I asked him that question.

He hung up on me. I called back. The line was busy, he had taken the phone off the hook.

So I went above, I went to his boss and secured his boss Dr. Stock.

I put the same question to DR stock.

I said, what was the dose that Dr. Schmidt used to prove that cigarette results were incorrect? He said 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

I did a little math in my head. I said, Dr Stock.

That’s one 40th of the dose of what Dr.

Sugiuro did in his experiments.

He said, I know, but we wanted to use a dose that was similar to what patients were getting in Mexico when they went for that treatment.

I said, I understand, but …

I can’t write that he replicated Dr.

Sugiuras experiment If he gave a one 40th dose, that doesn’t make any sense at all.

And he got angry and he said, just write what you’re told or something to that effect.

I presented this problem to, we had a staff meeting every Monday morning in our department and there were eight professionals in the department, and I explained the problem and I said, I cannot write this. I cannot in good conscience lie in effect by saying, not telling people we were not going to tell them that the dose had changed.

I can’t do it. And Jerry, my boss, said, well, then you can put that in writing, but I have to tell you, you’re probably going to be fired for doing so.

I said, well, so be it. I love the job. It’s the best job I ever had.

So I went back to my office and put the stationery in the typewriter and started to type my, my death warrant as it were.

And about ten minutes into this, Jerry came running into my office and said, Stop, stop, don’t, don’t, don’t finish that letter.

Don’t send that letter. I said, well, what happened? What happened was that all the other professional members of the staff threatened to quit if I was fired for doing that.

This is a high point of my existence there.

So faced with the complete collapse of his department, you know, he had suddenly had another change of heart.

He wasn’t for firing me. He was just letting me know what was going to happen.

So they said they scheduled another test and as things went on, they continued to lie about it.

And my personal, among other things, my personal response to this was I set myself the goal of personally meeting with all the top leadership of Memorial Sloan-Kettering in order to basically tell them that they had to proceed to a fair and independent clinical trial with this substance.

It was very interesting what happened. So Stock, we already knew how he was going to respond.

Louis Thomas, who was the president of the overall center Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

He refused to meet with me, but he met with Jerry and my boss, and he told Jerry, This is what Jerry told me that he said, I’m not going to die on the barricades for laetrile.

It’s only a palliative drug.

If it cured all the cancers, that would be a different matter.

But because it only stopped the metastasis and in like 80% of the time, I’m not willing to do it.

Sadly, Dr. Thomas himself died of cancer a short while a few years after this.

The next one? So that left two, Good.

Who was Robert Good, who was the president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, as you may have Sloan-Kettering Institute? And Lloyd Old, who was the vice president, one of the two vice presidents of Sloan-Kettering Institute.

So was an odd sequence of events.

Good and I wound up having dinner together.

A tete a tete at the 21 club in Manhattan.

Long story short, but anyway. And what I remember from that dinner was that he said to me, Ralph, I’m just like you. And I said, Really, he’s the lowest level administrator in the entire center.

He is the top administrator, said. Really? And you have to understand that we had become quite friendly.

I’d written a lot of articles about him. We were even discussing writing a book together about his visits to China because very early in the opening up of the relationship between China and the US, he went on a visit there and I said, Well, in what way are you just like me? He said. He said, I can’t. He said, I can be fired and you can be fired.

And I think the operative word there was fired.

In other words, it was, you know, he liked me and I liked him.

But it was a pretty much open threat that even by asking these questions, you see. I don’t think they knew that I had, you know, I was gathering information about the cover up and so forth. But by even asking these questions, I was imperiling my job.

So finally, I went to see Lloyd Old and Lloyd Old was the other vice president of Sloan-Kettering, was sort of the boy wonder of immunology and immunotherapy and made a lot of fantastic discoveries in his lifetime. It was hard to get to see him, but because I had written very favorably about topics that were near and dear to his heart,

He had agreed to see me and it was.

It was a very momentous event in my life.

I went in. He had a picture of Mozart on the wall like an oil painting of Mozart.

He had beautiful rugs, he had a beautiful couch. he was entirely different from the average scientist.

And yet he made, you know, fantastic discoveries in his lifetime.

And I gave my spiel.

You know, I said, we’ve got to test this.

It’s got to be tested in humans. We have to tell the truth.

We have to release all of Dr. Sugiura’s data.

I think that was sort of the key point that I wanted to to make because I Sugiura had given me a copy of all his data on my on my birthday the year before we had, we had lunch together and he he gave me a copy and I had it in the safe deposit vault, near my home.

And Lloyd Old agreed with me.

And then he said to me and we talked about other things I Coley’s Toxins, which was a topic very, very, very much in which he believed. And he said to me, Ralph, do you want to know where we get all our new ideas from? And I said, Well, of course, you know, and it’s almost like I can see it in front of my eyes, right? You know, so many years later, he just got up and walked around behind the couch and to the bookshelf and took down a book and came and handed it to me.

It was American Cancer Society’s unproven methods of cancer management book this was the quack list! I had been given a copy of this book on my first day at Sloan-Kettering to so that I would know what were the quack treatments that were so dangerous, you know that the patients would not go anywhere near them.

And here’s the vice president of Sloan-Kettering, probably, historically the greatest scientists that has ever been at Sloan-Kettering, in my opinion, telling me that the source of all new ideas in cancer research came out of the discarded, discredited, useless, worthless, dangerous ideas that had been compiled by the American Cancer Society.

It blew my mind, but it also, it’s certainly more true than not true because a lot of ideas, either old ideas that got rejected prematurely or new ideas that hadn’t yet had time to mature were on that list and mixed in invariably

After all, it was a quack list where some things that I would have to agree were quackery were or completely devoid of either a scientific rationale or any evidence for their effectiveness.

And so this was a turning point for me because it was a validation of what I was thinking and I thought I was going crazy.

I thought I was losing my mind because here am I, a newbie, a very inexperienced person in the field of cancer and I’m, you know my you know, who are you going to believe me or your own lying eyes? You know, my own lying eyes were telling me that laetrile worked in animal testing by the finest scientists, probably at the Walker laboratory.

And the truth was being given down by the leaders of Sloan-Kettering that it was completely worthless and they had proven it worthless.

So this put me in an untenable position, and it went on like this as I could talk about this for a long time.

But basically, it all came down to a crisis in the fall of 1977.

And my son Ben was instrumental in this because he was ten years old at the time.

And he said to me, You know, dad, you can’t go on working for them and against them forever. So because of that, I got up at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel in New York City and said all these things and in brief that I’m saying now and that was a Friday.

And then it made the headlines and it was on the front page of the New York Post and New York News, and it was in the New York Times and so forth. But the first opportunity and the following Monday, I went into work and they summarily fired me and I was given half an hour to get out and basically was my filing

cabinet had been seized and put in the basement under a huge padlock and a guard and two armed guards came and ushered me out of the center.

I was allowed to take a cardboard box with, you know, my stapler or whatever, you know, my personal picture of my family or whatever. And out I went. And then sometime later, another vice president of the center, Charlie Forbes, who I always liked and he liked me.

But he allowed me to take some documents out of the file they were in.

He was very nice about that and I took some documents, not the key ones, as it turned out.

But I took some of my, you know, papers from the files and that was it said, never darken our door again as basically they said, you know, don’t ever come back here, don’t ever set foot in the place.

And that was almost the end of my Memorial Sloan-Kettering story.

Fast forward 20 years.

I was invited back to give the Grand Rounds lecture for the Department of Surgery.

And how that happened is a whole nother story.

But in any case, there was a bit of a vindication going on there.

But the person who got me invited to this was the head of the urology department Bill Fair, whom I had become friends with.

And as I was mounting the podium to give the grand rounds lecture Bill whispered to me, Don’t say anything about laetrile.

I didn’t. I talked about antioxidants and chemotherapy, about how I didn’t think they conflicted with each other, but didn’t say a word about laetrile as another little foot. Lloyd Old, when push came to shove, as much as I greatly admired him and consider him to be a mentor to this day.

But when it mattered, Lloyd literally disappeared and was nowhere to be seen to support Dr.

Sugiura. And I do remember that his secretary said that he was off into Haiti or someplace could not be found, couldn’t be talked to.

And you know, he was the person who fought and ran away and lived to fight another day.

And he accomplished great things in his life.

But, you know, courage wasn’t one of his greatest virtues.

I would say. That was my experience with him.

But I revere him as a scientist and we stayed friends.

He died in 2011, and we talked just a few weeks before his death, and I have great and positive feelings about him.

But nobody stood up for me when I got fired at that time when it really got serious.

It was over.

So that was my Memorial Sloan-Kettering story.

And then after that, they tried to deny me unemployment insurance.

They said that they hadn’t fired me, that I had fired myself.

That was their line. I got a very prominent New York attorney to volunteer his time and services for me, and they got scared by that, and they basically agreed that I would get unemployment.

And then I was on unemployment. And so I think for the next three years, I had zero income because I was offered jobs, but the jobs were all for advocacy.

In other words, they wanted me to promote this or that treatment or this and that, you know, approach and I didn’t want to do that.

And also, I had a story to tell. And so I spent the time writing my first book, Cancer Industry.

I got 60 Minutes to do an episode about Cancer Research, but I did a lot of publicity for my book.

Cancer Industry went all over the country, the United States promoting that.

And so basically that sort of ushered me into the next phase of my career.

I’m often asked and certainly was at the time asked, Well, why would Sloan-Kettering cover up in this way? And I wasn’t there for some, you know, great conspiracy.

Having been part of the quote unquote conspiracy, I think I can talk with some authority on this.

Individually, the people at Sloan-Kettering had no hostility towards laetrile.

Lloyd Old, who drove these studies forward, Lloyd Old, was the direct person inspiring Sugiura to do the experiments.

He, as you have heard, Lloyd Old was a very pro alternative.

He really, truly believed that there was much value to be gained from studying these so-called discredited treatments.

Bob Good, the president of Sloan-Kettering, his boss, was pretty open minded.

I would say more than pretty. I think he was.

He was very open minded. Stock I didn’t like.

I think Stock was a company man and I’ve written a whole book of Doctored Results where I sort of analyze this, and Thomas wouldn’t.

Thomas knew the results were correct, but he wouldn’t die on the barricades for a discredited treatment. So it wasn’t stemming from them.

It was pressure being put on them by the American Cancer Society.

The quack busters at ACS, who was mostly a man named Art Howard, who ran this Unproven Methods Committee, and the people at National Cancer Institute, who had already gone on record as saying that laetrile was worthless.

That and many others in the government who were battling the people selling laetrile, some of whom were making outrageously untruthful or unsubstantiated statements about the effectiveness of laetrile.

So who was pushing laetrile?

Basically, it was a cause that had been around since the fifties, and it was a cause that in the seventies was adopted by the John Birch Society and the John Birch Society was a political group that was anathema to the Democrats and also to most of the Republicans.

They reputedly had the head of the Birch Society, had called Dwight Eisenhower a communist dupe and accused his brother.

Milton Eisenhower, who was president of Pennsylvania State University, accused him of being a communist agent and so forth.

So it would become political.

And then underneath it, there was something that I noted and already discussed at length in my book Cancer Industry.

What was it that all of these alternative treatments and there were many of them in the book. I had eight already discussed in my book about the Cancer Industry. What did they all have in common? They all were readily available, inexpensive un-patented treatments. This, to me, was the dividing line.

There weren’t many Chemo’s at that point yet, but everything was envisioned.

And it was all coming on very, very quickly. Was the difference was could a drug company make serious money off of a treatment? Or conversely, was this something that was going to undercut the dominance of Big Pharma, what we now call Big Pharma on the cancer field? So I think it came down to the root of at the most elementary level.

It was, well, it was about the economics of the thing.

The things that I wrote about in the cancer industry either were readily available things I mean laetrile or came from apricot kernels, and that’s a waste product of the canned fruit industry. So it was cheaper than cheap.

Laetrile could have been made.

There was a lot of hocus pocus around laetrile and claims made that it was somehow different from amygdalin and it was no different from amygdalin.

And it was an identical thing that was being overcharged based on the claim that it was something unique.

But if you get right down to it, all Sugiura was testing was amygdalin, and that’s to say the derivative about apricot kernels, right? So that’s the problem, because you can only make so much money legitimately off of something made from a waste product, an abundant waste product and with other things like hydrazine sulfate that was an industrial chemical.

No patent there and any in any way a use patent isn’t really worth much. A patent is only a license to sue.

It’s only an argument in court that you deserve the control of that substance versus somebody else.

And the other things were idiosyncratic immune treatments.

Basically belong to other people or that were, you know, and also didn’t yet appear on the radar of the scientific community.

Many of these things turned out to be correct in one form or another.

Like Dr. Burton’s treatment in the Bahamas, for instance, we could talk at length about that.

But basically, there was an economic element and then.

Interacting with that, there was the professional element, and this operates regardless of the economics like, for instance, you know, the famous story of Dr.

Ignatius Semmelweis, who was a Hungarian physician working in Vienna, Austria, who in the 19th century showed that if doctors, surgeons would simply wash their hands after doing autopsies on bodies or after dealing with infected patients and then going and delivering babies, you know. A vast, vast number of women died in childbirth in all over the world in those days, and Semmelweis showed, Just wash your hands, just sterilize your hands, put some sterilizing solution on and wash them well.

And it’d be a tiny fraction of the number of women who would die.

And the doctors at the time refused to do it.

They wouldn’t do it. He couldn’t convince them, and they kicked him out of medical societies.

And he went back to Hungary and actually lost his mind and probably as a result of, you know, realizing not just the opposition to his ideas, but how many countless numbers of women were going to die unnecessarily because of the pig-headedness of his colleagues.

Well, there was no money. It wasn’t a money thing. It was pig headedness.

It was just egotism on the part of these experts.

Experts are supposed to know what they’re talking about, and if it turns out that they’re fundamentally wrong, they told us laetrile was no good.

They told us not to go get that treatment.

And now we find out that Sloan-Kettering is doing experiments where it stops metastases.

Well, that sounds to me like total humiliation for the people who had made those wrong statements.

And you’d like to believe that, you know, scientists are great idealists and their motives are entirely, you know, what did Einstein say? The truth and knowledge. But unfortunately, human nature in its worst forms comes into play here egotism, professional jealousy. And then there’s also money. There’s also a huge thing in the United States – lawsuits, because think from a lawyer for a trial lawyer point of view with the argument that I just said would be very potent in a court of law.

If you could show Sloan-Kettering’s positive experiments and show Mrs Jones’s husband was denied and lied to and told that laetrile didn’t work.

And ladies and gentlemen of the jury, here’s the proof from Sloan-Kettering that it does work, at least in animals that it worked.

So there’s a fantastic lawsuit.

Once one lawsuit is won, the gates, the floodgates open up.

So I think that was a big, big part of it.

And the vultures were sort of circling, and it wouldn’t have worked to just say, Oh, sorry, but we were wrong.

Now it turns out laetrile, it does work. Well, that’s the way science works, of course, but the jury may not see it that way.

The jury might see this poor widow who’s just lost her husband or her child, and they might decide differently, and I think they would have.

So it was urgently important that they not make, quote unquote liars out of the people at the National Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic in different places by coming up with a contrary result.

So there were these factors, these financial factors, and there was a big money factor because if laetrile had been approved, it was unprecedented and I predicted in the Cancer Industry that there never would be a drug approved by the FDA.

That was something readily available and nontoxic.

And it’s been the case all those years later.

I can’t think of a single thing ever approved or even looked on favorably by the FDA or or the people who make the decisions in cancer, which isn’t so much the NCI now as it is this big consortium of cancer centers.

Now, it’s rare, a few rare exceptions to the rule, but even there they hedge it around with all kinds of caveats and contrary studies and so forth.

So from the point of view of conventional oncology, there can’t be any competing interest.

And the big difference between today and the yesteryear that I’m talking about is that what I predicted in the Cancer Industry, even calling it the cancer industry has come true.

This has become a 100 billion dollar industry.

one drug alone, Keytruda grossed $8.8 billion worldwide.

A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was over 10 billion today.

One drug, that’s how much they made off of this.

So it turned into exactly what I saw coming back in 1980.

This massive money making proposition and the world has really never seen anything like this, and I analyze this in full in my book Cancer Incorporated.

But it was already there in the cancer industry, I would say in embryo.

And now it’s become this full blown massive scandal that’s going on about relatively ineffective drugs being pushed on the public, where the government is basically forced into a position of having to pay for these things.

And most of that 8.8 billion, by the way, comes out of the public funds, meaning from Medicare and other insurance companies.

So it became this sort of monstrous thing that even I couldn’t have imagined.

At one point in my book, I said, I said it costs. What did I say? Cost $5,000 to treat a case of cancer. Imagine if it were to go up to 20,000.

You want to use, you know, two immunotherapy drugs like for cancer, for melanoma, the cost for pay per patient could be as high as $1.7 million.

It’s not uncommon for people to run up medical bills of $1,000,000.

It’s $150,000 per drug for one patient.

And I couldn’t in my wildest dreams, I came up with a figure like $20,000.

I thought that would be, you know, the most absurd number.

But instead, of course, it’s just completely out of control.

And it all started with this little thing in a way and in many ways.

So I keep going back to this.

It isn’t just, you know, sentimentality, it’s also how the two sides developed in the United States between the conventional medical treatment and the rag tag world of complementary medicine. 

Read the original story – Special Report – Laetrile at Sloan Kettering