Nutrition and Cancer
"The Gonzalez Study"
Robert W. Maver, FSA, MAAA
(Former) Vice President and Director of Research
Mutual Benefit Life
Kansas City, Missouri
Dr. Nicholas James Gonzalez, who practices in New York City, is using an innovative nutritional protocol to successfully treat far advanced cancer patients. As a classically trained immunologist, he approached this innovative therapy with a great deal of skepticism, but became convinced of its value during an exhaustive five year research project.
In July of 1981, during the summer preceding his third year at Cornell University Medical College, Dr. Gonzalez embarked upon an informal evaluation of a nutritional approach to cancer. A friend had asked him to look into a dentist named Kelley in Texas who had reportedly cured a patient of terminal cancer. What started as a way to spend a summer vacation eventually developed into a five year research project under the direction of former President of Sloan Kettering Institute, Dr. Robert Good.
On his trip to Texas, Gonzalez was astonished to find case after case of appropriately diagnosed advanced metastatic cancer patients who were healthy and active five, ten, and 15 years after diagnosis. Kelley had made available all of his records, well over 10,000 patients, and encouraged Gonzalez to contact any and all of them.
Gonzalez returned to New York to ask for advice from Dr. Good whom he had befriended when Good was president of Sloan Kettering and Gonzalez was a first year medical student. Good eventually served as faculty advisor as the study evolved and expanded to an independent research project during Gonzalez' senior year. Though subsequently moving to the University of Oklahoma, Good continued under special arrangement as sponsor and guide. When Good became Chief of Pediatrics at All Children's Hospital at the University of South Florida, Gonzalez joined him to complete the project.
Many of the patients followed under this study were examined by both Gonzalez and Good. Dr. Good had suggested that as an initial goal, fifty terminal cancer patients be identified who had done well on Kelley's nutritional protocol. The patients were to have been diagnosed by appropriate specialists so that there could be no doubt about the diagnosis of cancer.
An initial review of all records between 1970 and 1982 yielded 1306 patients. Contacting these patients by mail produced over 1,000 potential candidates for the study. At this point lengthy phone interviews were begun essentially starting at the top of the list and concluding once enough patients (455) had been obtained to ensure at least 50 that would meet Dr. Good's strict inclusion criteria.
Eventually the group of 455 patients was reduced to 160 that fit Dr. Good's inclusion criteria. For each of these cases complete medical records were obtained. Follow-up was extensive, including examination of patients, interviews with family and physicians, etc. From these 160 cases, 50 representative cases were chosen and presented in a 300 page manuscript detailing the study. Another 200+ pages, copies of medical records, were included in this as yet unpublished document. The 50 patients represented 25 different types of cancer. There were 28 males and 22 females, ages 21 to 77 at the start of therapy and 33-83 as of the date of the study. Patients were included from 24 states and occupation varied widely. Twenty-five of these patients were diagnosed at two or more medical centers. Twenty-three were diagnosed at major institutions such as Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, M.D. Anderson, etc. Forty-eight cases provide biopsy confirmation of cancer. The other two, upon exploratory surgery, were found to have large, inoperable tumors where the attending surgeon thought the diagnosis obvious and did not want to risk biopsy. Median survival of this group of 50 patients, all of whom had terminal or extremely poor prognosis, was 10 years as of the date of study.
As extraordinary as these results were, Dr. Good thought a further step was required. He wanted a numerator/denominator study. Dr. Gonzalez was to pick one type of cancer, identify every patient seeing Kelley with this diagnosis and follow up on all patients to establish a response rate.
Gonzalez chose pancreatic cancer, since the 5 year survival rate in orthodox medicine is virtually 0%. All patients consulting Kelley between 1974 and 1982 were reviewed to produce 22 who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The 22 broke down into three groups. Ten patients consulted Kelley only once and never went on the protocol. All had died. Seven patients followed the protocol only partially and sporadically, as determined by interviews with family members, physicians, and records obtained from the manufacturer/distributor of the special nutritional supplements. These patients had all died. Five patients followed the protocol completely and achieved long-term remission, although one had died (of Alzheimer's) after 11.5 years survival. The median survival of the three groups was as
1. Never followed (10) = 67 days
2. Followed partially (7) = 233 days
3. Followed completely (5) = 9 years
At this point, Dr. Good and Dr. Gonzalez realized that even though Kelley's results were extraordinary, in fact unparalleled in medicine, they were of little use in the treatment of cancer unless they could be independently reproduced. This is the stage of the research at present. For the last 3 years, Dr. Gonzalez has been using Kelley's protocol with a few modifications of his own in the treatment of terminal cancer.
The Research Division has been evaluating Dr. Gonzalez' results over the last four months, including numerous site visits. We have interviewed patients at length by phone, met with a number of patients and reviewed case histories of some 40 terminal cancer patients. The results are indeed extraordinary.
We have seen excellent outcomes with a pancreatic cancer case (metastatic to the liver) diagnosed at Mayo Clinic. We have seen return to work for over two years in a case of metastatic melanoma previously operated on twice (unsuccessfully) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. We have seen long-term survival in terminal lung cancers. We also have two MBL [Mutual Benefit Life] insureds under Dr. Gonzalez' care, one of whom has come back from terminal ovarian cancer (two years ago) to the point where she is preparing to return to work (this is an LTD claim). The other refused a bone marrow transplant after experiencing recurrence of Hodgkin's disease following three different regimens of chemotherapy and radiation that produced short-term remissions. She has been on Dr. Gonzalez' protocol for 15 months.
One of the attractive points of this therapy is the cost. Total cost of the program runs about $5,000 to $6,000 per year. Supplements constitute 70% to 80% of the cost. There is generally no hospitalization involved. This is perhaps 10% of the cost we would expect to pay for a terminal cancer patient.
At the conclusion of his manuscript, Dr. Gonzalez stated that his hope was to have this particular nutritional therapy evaluated further under controlled clinical conditions in an academic setting.
Dr. Gonzalez' Protocol
The protocol, briefly described, consists of six basic components.
1. Appropriate diet – there are 10 basic diets with 94 variations ranging from strict vegetarian to red meat depending on the cancer and the patient.
2. Intensive nutritional support – Depending on each patient's deficiencies, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, electrolytes, and amino acids are prescribed.
3. Protomorphogen support – these are concentrates, in pill form, of raw beef organs and glands.
4. Digestive aids – e.g., pepsin, hydrochloric acid, etc.
5. Pancreatic enzyme therapy – proteolytic pancreatic enzymes are taken orally to attack and liquify tumors.
6. Detoxification – among the many regimens used is the coffee enema. The purpose is to help the body eliminate the unnatural abundance of toxins and waste products as tumors break down in the body.
Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D., P.C.
Linda L. Isaacs, M.D.
36A East 36th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016