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What if a cure for cancer was discovered more than a hundred years ago and then abandoned because it was just too simple? What if an effective cancer treatment has been hidden from you because of politics? What if you knew that you could manage cancer naturally without pharmaceuticals? How could this information change the course of medicine and impact the lives of millions of cancer patients and their families?
Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D. (1947-2015) developed The Gonzalez Protocol® – an aggressive nutritional program for the treatment of cancer and other serious degenerative diseases, ranging from chronic fatigue to multiple sclerosis. Whatever the underlying problem, Gonzalez’s therapy involves three basic components: individualized diets, individualized supplement protocols and intensive detoxification. With 10 basic diets and over 90 variations, ranging from primarily vegetarian to a prescribed diet of fatty red meat several times each day, the Gonzalez protocol is based on the concept of metabolic typing to balance one’s autonomic nervous system. His supplement programs also vary considerably, providing vitamins, minerals and trace elements in differing forms and differing doses, as well as glandular and enzyme products, each prescribed to meet a particular need in each individual patient. His detoxification routines consist of coffee enemas, colon and liver flushes and other cleanses and procedures that help the body neutralize and excrete noxious waste products released from dying and dead tumors, as well as toxic substances absorbed from our contaminated environment.
Though this therapy is implemented for many diseases, The Gonzalez Protocol® is perhaps best known for addressing advanced cancer. For patients suffering malignancy, in addition to a prescribed diet and supplement protocol, the treatment relies on large doses of orally ingested proteolytic pancreatic enzymes derived from a pig source. Though the diets, the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements help with the process of tissue and organ repair, porcinepancreatic enzymes are utilized to specifically target and attack cancer cells.
At the request of the cancer-treating orthodontist, Dr. William Donald Kelley, Dr. Gonzalez began investigating the use of aggressive nutritional intervention along with pancreatic enzymes in the treatment of cancer. Dr. Gonzalez conducted his research under the direction of Dr. Robert A. Good, while still a student at Weill Cornell Medical School. Dr. Good, at the time, was director of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research.
The use of pancreatic enzyme therapy for cancer had its genesis in the revolutionary work of the Scottish embryologist Dr. John Beard and was adopted decades later by Dr. Kelley as he was treating his own pancreatic cancer. As he was not trained to properly evaluate the efficacy of his treatment methods, which included copious amounts of pancreatic enzymes, he persuaded Dr. Gonzalez to do so; resulting in the most comprehensive monograph of an alternative cancer treatment to date. Indeed, this monograph led to the largest award ever given by the NIH/NCI for the study of an alternative cancer treatment. This occurred when Dr. Gonzalez’s research efforts were recognized in granting the funds necessary to officially evaluate the treatment method which became The Gonzalez Protocol®. Unfortunately, what were intended to be properly conducted, double-blind studies of The Gonzalez Protocol® ended up being badly mismanaged by the doctors at Columbia University who were responsible for the trials. Highly questionable mechanisms were used to essentially torpedo the sterling work done by Gonzalez and his predecessors to that point. At the risk of going too far afield, the reader is directed to Dr. Gonzalez’s excellent work, What Went Wrong, which explains the aforementioned history.
Dr. Beard was Professor at the University of Edinburgh during the early years of the last century. In an article in Lancet in 1902, Dr. Beard first proposed that the pancreatic proteolytic (protein digesting) enzyme trypsin represents the body’s main defense against cancer and might be useful as a treatment for the disease. Beard’s thesis came to life during twenty years of meticulous laboratory investigation that began with his own studies of the development of the fish embryo and its pancreas.
Beard was not a physician. He was an embryologist, devoting his time to unraveling the details of fetal growth and development in all manner of species, from shark to man. For his PhD research, for example, he investigated the development of an obscure fish parasite. As his career evolved, he focused his attention on the nervous system of the fish as it grew and matured. Many of his pioneering findings have now been proven correct and are standard fare in our embryology texts today.
His studies of nerves, and how they form and grow in the embryo, led him through a most convoluted route as he considered the growth and development of the placenta. This is the tissue that anchors the mammalian fetus to the uterus and serves as the point of connection between its blood supply; carrying the wastes of metabolism, and the blood vessels of the mother which provide much needed oxygen and nutrients. Beard uncovered the details of placental growth beginning after conception and first reported that in many respects the placenta appeared, and behaved in its early stages, much like a malignant tumor.
The placenta forms an outer (or trophoblastic) layer around the early embryo at its 58-cell stage. Under the microscope these trophoblasts appear primitive, amorphous, technically undifferentiated, as do the cells of malignancy. Trophoblasts are similar to malignant cells not only in appearance but in behavior as well. They quickly and efficiently invade the uterine wall, much as a tumor might infiltrate a tissue or organ. Initially, the trophoblast, or early placenta, grows without apparent restriction, as neoplasms were known by scientists to do even in 1911. Thereby, the growing placenta efficiently creates a new blood supply to feed itself and the emerging embryo – just as we know from current angiogenesis research that an expanding tumor does.
New cancer cells remain undifferentiated and unless removed or killed off they will continue proliferating; subsequently invading the organism while creating new cells which metastasize, resulting in death. In contrast, as embryonic development proceeds along its normal path, the trophoblast placenta – though it may initially look and act like a malignancy – at a critical point it transforms from an undifferentiated, rapidly growing, invasive, angiogenic tumor-like tissue, into a mature non-proliferating, non-aggressive life-sustaining placenta. Beard theorized that the placenta differs from a cancerous tumor because normal trophoblasts know when to stop replicating and invading but malignant cells don’t. If the signals occasionally go awry during placental development and the trophoblasts remain primitive and undifferentiated, they can continue proliferating. They then embark on a process of invasion; sprouting vessels and spreading even to distant organs as an aggressive choriocarcinoma which becomes a potentially deadly malignancy during pregnancy. Fortunately, most of the time, trophoblasts do know when to change character and thereby lose their malignant potential.
Beard spent most of his research career searching for the precise signal that prompted this shift in character and concluded that the key must be in the embryonic pancreas. As he witnessed in every mammalian species, the same day that the placenta changed direction and stopped its cancer-like invasion of the maternal uterus, the embryonic pancreas began secreting enzymes.
More than 100 years ago, the main categories of pancreatic enzymes had already been identified; the proteolytic (protein digesting component), the lipases (that break down triglycerides into fatty acids), and the amylases (responsible for cleaving complex carbohydrates into simple, easily usable sugars). Physiologists thought all three groups were active only in the duodenum, where the enzymes continue the breakdown of food from the stomach. At this time enzymes were only known to be necessary for digestion. However, Beard’s scientific data illustrated that above and beyond this function, trypsin, the main proteolytic enzyme, controlled placental growth and prevented the tissue from invading beyond the uterus just as cancer might invade and destroy everything in its path.
Beard then made a leap of faith. He proposed that since the early placenta behaves much as a tumor does (since under the microscope its cells even look like undifferentiated, primitive neoplastic cells) and since pancreatic enzymes forcefully regulate its growth and development, these very same enzymes could in fact be, and must be, the body’s main defense against cancer. He quite naturally posited that pancreatic enzymes would therefore be useful as a cancer treatment.
Dr. Beard subsequently presented his trophoblastic theory of cancer in a series of papers that were published in mainstream medical journals. His resulting lecture in Liverpool in 1905 was covered extensively in newspapers both in Europe and in the US. Beard then tested his trophoblast thesis in the only animal tumor model available at the time, the Jensen’s mouse sarcoma. He injected an extract of trypsin into mice growing such cancers and, as he predicted would happen, the tumors regressed.
During the first decade of the twentieth century a few physicians interested in Beard’s hypothesis began working with him to use injectable pancreatic enzymes to treat their human cancer patients. The successes were published in the major medical journals of the day, including The Journal of the American Medical Association and The British Medical Journal. Dr. Gonzalez closely studied these documents and found compelling reports of patients surviving advanced cancer – such as one with a fungating sarcoma of the jaw, well beyond any chance of surgical cure, whose tumor under enzyme therapy regressed and then fell off. The patient thereafter lived a normal, cancer-free life. Other scientific articles described carefully documented cases of patients with life-threatening metastatic colorectal and uterine cancer evidently disease free after Beard’s enzyme treatment.
Despite evidence from laboratory experiments and with human patients, Beard’s enzyme thesis provoked an enormous and angry backlash against Beard and his few loyal followers. Editorials in medical journals vilified Beard. Newspapers mocked his thesis and speakers at scientific conventions belittled him mercilessly. Looking back on this aggressive attack, Gonzalez theorized that it was both political and psychological. Beard’s approach might have been just too simple. For the nascent field of cancer research, where publicity and dazzle masquerading as science were the order of the day, Beard’s approach was simply not mysterious enough to enchant his fellow researchers. Conveniently, at that same time, the medical and scientific community had found just such a salve with the more media-friendly Madame Curie and her radiation treatment for cancer.
Beard fought back in journal articles and letters to the editor and in 1911 published The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer; a monograph outlining his hypothesis, his decades of research and his compelling results. Despite these efforts, interest in Beard’s thesis gradually diminished. He died in 1924 in obscurity.
After Beard’s death, periodically other physicians and scientists rediscovered his work and kept the idea alive. During the 1920’s and 1930’s a St. Louis physician by the name of Dr. F.L. Morse reported that he had successfully used pancreatic enzymes to treat several patients with advanced cancer. Predictably, when he presented his well-documented findings to the St. Louis Medical Society in 1934, a proceeding published in the Weekly Bulletin of the St. Louis Medical Society (Vol. 58: 1934), his colleagues attacked him viciously and relentlessly.
During the 1960’s a Dayton, Ohio surgeon, Dr. Frank Shively, learned of Dr. Beard’s hypothesis and began treating his advanced cancer patients with an injectable form of enzymes made available to him by a local pharmaceutical company. He eventually treated 192 patients, many of whom responded to the therapy. However, as word of his successes spread, the FDA responded by issuing an injunction in 1969 forbidding the sale or use of injectable pancreatic enzymes. Thereafter, Dr. Shively seems to have returned to the more mundane work of general surgery.
In the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s, Dr. William Donald Kelley resurrected Beard’s enzyme treatment to treat his own pancreatic cancer. This Texas orthodontist then went on to treat cancer patients with a combination of pancreatic enzymes and individualized nutritional programs. Dr. Gonzalez met Kelley in 1981 and studied his miraculous cancer patient results. He interviewed and evaluated over 1000 of Kelley’s cancer patients. Gonzalez then documented in detail 50 Kelley cases, representing 26 different types of cancer and eventually published One Man Alone: An Investigation in nutrition, cancer and William Donald Kelley. Like Beard, Kelley was ridiculed and politically persecuted for his approach to treating cancer.
In 1987, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez began seeing patients in New York City, always with the hope of obtaining proper research support from the academic world to help his study of the enzyme treatment for cancer. Though the patients who initially sought Dr. Gonzalez out during the early days of his practice invariably had very advanced disease, he soon began to observe first-hand the benefits of the therapy. Over the next nearly 40 years he successfully treated hundreds of cancer patients. Gonzalez documented this scientific theory in the book The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer and published hundreds of his cancer patient cases in medical journals and a series of case books entitled Proof of Concept and Conquering Cancer: Volume One and Volume Two.
The trophoblast model of cancer states that pancreatic enzymes, principally trypsin, cause cancer cell lysis while having no effect on normal cells. Dr. Gonzalez formulated his own oral pancreatic enzymes for his patients. His special formula, now available from Allergy Research Group, utilizes raw porcine pancreas from New Zealand, where animals are among the cleanest on the planet due to some of the world’s strictest animal husbandry laws. His enzymes seem to survive transit through the stomach and duodenum and are absorbed through the intestinal wall in active form. These pancreatic enzymes appear to have the same effect on cancer cells as they do on an embryonic trophoblast causing cells to differentiate, stop multiplying, stop being angiogenic, stop invading and demonstrate normal cell adhesion.
In 2014, Colin Ross, M.D.’s article in Nutrition and Cancer explains the trophoblast model of cancer’s core predictions: 1) adult stem cells are ectopic trophoblasts that have migrated to other tissues early in embryogenesis; 2) pancreatic enzymes are the key signal that converts the trophoblast into the stable placenta; 3) cancer arises from trophoblasts that have escaped regulatory control; 4) pancreatic enzymes can be used to treat cancer.
Ross concludes that whether or not the trophoblast model is correct, the treatment of cancer with pancreatic enzymes is effective and it can most certainly be tested scientifically.
Today, The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation, a non-profit research and education charity foundation founded in 2015, seeks independent funding to fairly test the trophoblast model of cancer. With animal models and test tube data on the biological mechanism of the treatment, we hope to establish pancreatic enzymes as a scientifically valid tool for the treatment of cancer. In the meantime, good science will survive. The ample and compelling empirical case data that has been presented in Beard, Kelley and Gonzalez’s published clinical outcomes clearly demonstrate that specially formulated pancreatic enzymes can be an effective means of addressing cancer.
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