What research has been done on B17-Laetrile-Amigdalin?

Drs Research with B17

In 1962, Dr. John Morrone reported his results from using Laetrile with 10 patients suffering from "inoperable cancer." The treatments ranged from 4 to 43 weeks in length, and a range of 9 to 133 gms Laetrile was given through intravenous injections. Morrone concluded his report: "The use of Laetrile... in 10 cases of inoperable cancer, all with metastases, provided dramatic relief of pain, discontinuance of narcotics, control of fetor [stench from a tumor], improved appetite, and reduction of adenopathy [swollen lymph nodes]. The results suggest regression of the malignant lesion.... No other side effects [other than transient episodes of low blood pressure] were noted except slight itching and a sensation of heat in the affected areas, which was transitory in all cases."

In 1994, P.E. Binzel published his results from treating cancer patients with Laetrile between 1974 and 1991. He used a combination of intravenous and oral Laetrile. Intravenous doses started with 3 gms and worked up to 9 gms. After a period of months, oral Laetrile, 1 gm at bedtime, was begun in place of the injections. Binzel also used various nutrient supplements and pancreatic enzymes, as well as a low animal-protein, no junk-food diet as part of his regimen. Out of a series of 180 patients with primary cancer (non-metastasized, confined to a single organ or tissue), 138 were still alive in 1991 when he compiled his treatment results. At that time, 58 of the patients had been followed for 2 to 4 years, while 80 had a medical follow-up from 5 to 18 years. Of the 42 patients who had died by 1991, 23 died from their cancers, 12 from unrelated causes, and 7 died of "cause unknown".

Among his metastatic cancer patients, 32 of 108 died from their disease, while 6 died of unrelated causes, and 9 died of "cause unknown". Of his 61 patients still alive in 1991, 30 had a follow-up between 2 and 4 years, while 31 had been followed for 5 to 18 years.

Binzel's results are impressive. Some of the individual patients discussed in his book were still alive (and well!) 15-18 years after their initial Laetrile treatment. Binzel also notes that none of the cancer diagnoses were made by him (a small town, "family doctor") - all patients had diagnoses from other physicians. Many had already suffered the ravages of standard "cut-bum-and poison" (surgery/X-ray/chemotherapy) medicine before being given up as hopeless cases by orthodox doctors.

Other physicians who have worked with Laetrile have also reported favorable results using it.

Manuel Navarro, M.D., former professor of medicine and surgery at the Univ. of Santo Tomas in Manilla wrote in 1971:

" I... have specialized in oncology [the study of tumors] for the past eighteen years. For the same number of years I have been using Laetrile-amygdalin in the treatment of my cancer patients. During this eighteen year period I have treated a total of over five hundred patients with Laetrile-amygdalin by various routes of administration, including the oral and the I.V. The majority of my patients receiving Laetrile-amygdalin have been in a terminal state when treatment with this material commenced. It is my carefully considered clinical judgment, as a practicing oncologist and researcher in this field, that I have obtained most significant and encouraging results with the use of Laetrile-amygdalin in the treatment of terminal cancer patients, and that these results are comparable or superior to the results I have obtained with the use of the more toxic standard cytotoxic agents."

Burton Goldberg Many of the physicians whose anti-cancer programs are detailed in Burton Goldberg's 1116 page Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer also report positive Laetrile results as part of their cancer treatment programs.

Robert Atkins, M.D., notes that "Amygdalin appears to neutralize the oxidative cancer-promoting compounds such as free radicals.... It's just one more key component for keeping cancer from growing or spreading. Contrary to what people have said about Laetrile... it should be considered an effective, entirely ' safe treatment for all types of cancer."

Dr. Emesto Contreras has used Laetrile as a cornerstone of his cancer practice since 1963. He remarks that "For the prevention of cancer and the maintenance of remission, there is nothing as effective as Laetrile.... Its nontoxicity permits its use indefinitely while surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can only be administered for a limited time.... the majority of cancers that occur more frequently, such as cancers of the lung, breast, colon, ovaries, stomach, esophagus, prostate, and the lymphomas, are much helped by Laetrile."

Dr. Michael Schachter, who has used Laetrile for 20 years with cancer patients, remarks that "As part of a comprehensive health-enhancing program, amygdalin is a useful natural; substance for fighting cancer." Dr. Schachter recommends using cysteine (N-acetyl cysteine is a better-absorbed form of cysteine) along with amygdalin, to maximize the body's ability to detoxify any cyanide released from the Laetrile.

Dr. Douglas Brodie also uses Laetrile to treat his cancer patients. "After years of observing patients using amygdalin, we can say with complete assurance that it is neither toxic nor worthless.... Nor do we find it to be a cure or panacea for cancer. The experience of our clinic... is that amygdalin has the ability to improve the patient's sense of well-being, relieve the pain of cancer, and reduce the requirement for pain medicine."

Dr. Hans Nieper is a world famous oncologist and the developer of the standard anti-cancer cytotoxic drug cyclophosphamide. In 1970 he co-authored a brief paper on Laetrile with Dean Burk, in which they stated that "...in the treatment of cancer, the active principle of nitrilosides is to be used mainly in prophylaxis [prevention] and early protective therapy.... On the other hand, the complete atoxicity [lack of toxicity] of this method of treatment, which is maybe nothing else but a rediscovered natural principle, permits the unlimited use of this substance". (18) In 1972 Nieper told reporters while in the U.S.: "After more than 20 years of such specialized work, I have found the non-toxic Nitrilosides - that is, Laetrile - far superior to any other known cancer treatment or preventive. In my opinion it is the only existing possibility for the ultimate control of cancer". (11)

It should thus be clear that among doctors who have worked with Laetrile, its anti-cancer effect is highly regarded. The combination of epidemiological evidence, animal studies and informed clinical opinion supports the belief that Laetrile has significant anti-cancer effect. This is perhaps why the anti-laetrile medical establishment has focused on scaring people away from Laetrile use through the "great cyanide scare."

"You wouldn’t believe how many FDA officials or relatives or acquaintances of FDA officials come to see me as patients in Hanover. You wouldn’t believe this, or directors of the AMA, or ACA, or the presidents of orthodox cancer institutes. That’ s the fact."
Hans Nieper M.D.

Southern Research Institute (Birmingham Alabama), for the NCI, in a majority of 280 BDF1 mice bearing Lewis lung cancers, treated with up to 400 mg Laetrile (Amygdalin MF) per kg body weight, with respect to increased median life span (Dec 3, 1973).

Sloan Kettering (New York) with CD8 F1 mice bearing spontaneous mammary carcinomas, inhibition of formation of lung metastases, inhibition of growth of primary tumours, and greater health and appearance of animal hosts, upon treatment with 1-2 gm Laetrile/per kg body weight/day. (June 13, 1973)

Scind Laboratories, University of San Francisco, 400 rats bearing Walker 256 carcinoma (200 treated with Amygdalin, 200 controls), with 80% increase in life span at optimum dosage. "The data provided by the McNaughton Foundation certainly indicates some activity in animal tumour systems" (emphasis added). [This is a typical medical understatement]

Pasteur Institute (Paris), with human cancer strain maintained in mice, treated at optimal dosage of 500 mg Amygdalin Marsan/kg body weight/day, increased life span and delayed tumour growth up to 100% (Dec 6, 1971).
Institute von ardenne (Dresden, Germnay), H strain mice bearing Ehrlich ascites carcinoma treated with bitter almond amygdalin ad libitum in addition to regular chow diet, yielded increased life span and decreased rate of cancer growth, treatment beginning 15 days before cancer inoculation (arch. Geschwulstorsch. 42, 135-7 (1973).


There have been various animal studies that suggest an anti-cancer effect from Laetrile. The SCIND Laboratories in California conducted several experiments [with Laetrile]. In their second study on carcinoma of rats (Walker 256), with amygdalin in doses of 500 milligrams per kilogram injected intraperitoneally on days one, three and six after [transplanted] tumor take, the following results were found:

DAYS SURVIVAL TIME (number of days)
Controls: 19,19,19,19,20,20,22,22,22,22,24,24,24,25,25,26,26, 26,26
Treated: 27,28,28,28,29,29,29,30,30,30,30,30.31,32,32,32,60, 60,60,60

The mean survival time of the control rats was thus 23 days. With the amygdalin-treated rats, mean survival time was 38 days, i.e. a 70% increase over the controls. The survival time of every Laetrile-treated animal was greater than that of every control animal.

" ...in a test by Dr. Paul Reitnauer, chief biochemist of the Manfred von Ardenne Institute, Dresden (East Germany), 20 of 40 H-strain mice were given bitter almonds in addition to their standard diet. Bitter almonds contain relatively high levels of Laetrile. Fifteen days after initiation of this regimen, all 40 mice were inoculated with 1 million Ehriich ascites [cancer] cells. The 20 control mice lived an average of 21.9 days following this injection. The 20 mice receiving the bitter almond supplement lived an average of 25.8 days, which was statistically significant...."

" In 1977, Dr. Vern L. van Breeman of Salisbury State College, Maryland, reported that the addition of apricot kernels [rich in Laetrile] to standard food in pilot experiments with special strains of mice bred to develop breast cancer and leukemia showed impressive differences both in terns of developing the disease and increased survival times between the animals that [ate] the kernels and those that did not. When he reported his early findings... seven of the animals in the leukemia control group and five in the breast cancer [control] group had died, while none of the mice on the kernels had. Ultimately only one of the mammary cancer mice developed a slow-growing tumor, and, while the leukemia results were less impressive in terms of total symptoms, leukemia-prone mice that ate apricot kernels enjoyed life extensions up to 50% over what would normally be expected."

Veteran cancer researcher Kanematsu Sugiura (who had a 4-volume set of his collected scientific papers published in 1965) performed three sets of experiments between September 1972 and June 1973 "to determine the effects of amygdalin...upon mice with spontaneous mammary tumors." In an internal report to his colleagues at Sloan-Kettering Institute, he said that "The results clearly show that amygdalin significantly inhibits the appearance of lung metastases in mice bearing spontaneous mammary tumors and increases significantly the inhibition of the growth of the primary tumor over the appearance of inhibition in the untreated animals."

These are just some of the Laetrile animal studies yielding positive results, while they hardly prove Laetrile to be a "cure" for cancer (which scientific Laetrile proponents have never claimed it to be), they clearly evidence some anti-cancer effect.