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National Cancer Institute funds alternative therapy studies

BETHESDA, MARYLAND. "We want to proactively solicit submissions from complementary and alternative medicine practitioners who feel they have a successful approach to cancer treatment" says Jeffrey D. White, MD, director of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The NCI began their Best Case Series Program in 1991 in order to provide research funding to practicing medical doctors who believe they have developed a viable therapy for cancer. The Institute has already funded a study by Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, MD to evaluate the use of individualized vegetarian diets, vitamin and mineral supplements, oral pancreatic enzymes, and detoxification with coffee enemas and liver flushes in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. A preliminary study found that patients treated with the Gonzalez regimen lived three times longer than expected (17 months versus 5 months). The Institute is now funding a much larger clinical trial aimed at comparing the success rate of the Gonzalez protocol with that of standard chemotherapy using gemcitabine. Unfortunately, this study has run into a major stumbling block in that 197 of the first 200 patients approached for inclusion in the study refused to participate in the group randomized to receive the chemotherapy. The NCI is also funding a study of the use of homeopathic remedies in the treatment of cancer. The study is based on the work of Drs. Prasanta and Pratip Banerji of Calcutta, India who have had considerable success in treating cancer patients, particularly lung cancer patients, with homeopathic remedies standardized to particular types of cancer.
Vanchieri, Cori. Alternative therapies getting notice through Best Case Series Program. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 92, October 4, 2000, pp. 1558-60

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