Ask the Insider – Laetrile

Q: I have just become a subscriber and received Classified Cancer Answers. I’m quite surprised that there is no mention of laetrile, including the Sloan-Kettering cover-up of Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura’s research in the 1970s about laetrile’s incredible success in treating cancer. Can you please explain why laetrile was omitted?

Dr. Micozzi: Laetrile remains highly controversial after all these years. I only present clear scientific findings, and when research done by one scientist is not published and replicated by others, it simply cannot be evaluated. Unfortunately, that’s the case with laetrile.

When I wrote a textbook on alternative treatments for cancer a few years ago (Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Cancer Care and Prevention, New York: Springer, 2007), I found it was virtually impossible to get to the truth about some contemporary research. Especially research done by only one individual or in one laboratory. That does not necessarily mean that there is lack of evidence—but that either it is not presented scientifically or it is purposely and expertly obscured by the mainstream. I know how to be a research detective due to my training in forensic science. But sometimes—as is the case with laetrile—the information is just impossible to prove and piece together.

On the other side of the equation there are, sad to say, genuine charlatans who unscrupulously exploit cancer victims with false promises of a cure. So we all must be very careful unless the science is clear and incontrovertible. We need to suspend belief and take a very hard-nosed approach to the evidence for any so-called cancer “cure.”

The information I present in Classified Cancer Answers is all based on sound scientific evidence that you can rely on.