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12. Laetrile

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12. Laetrile

  1. 1. Laetrile
  2. 2. Laetrile <ul><li>Alternative cancer treatment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>since 1970s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Laetrile </li></ul><ul><li> benzaldehyde, glucose and cyanide </li></ul>
  3. 3. Also known as… <ul><li>Laetrile (trade name) = purified amygdalin </li></ul><ul><li>Amygdalin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a cyanogenetic (ie produces cyanide) glycoside </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pits of Rosaceae family e.g. peach, apricot, almond </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vitamin B17 </li></ul><ul><li>bitter almond </li></ul><ul><li>apricot kernels </li></ul><ul><li>laevo-mandelonitrile-beta-glucuronoside </li></ul><ul><li>mandelonitrile beta-glucoronide </li></ul><ul><li>mendelonitrile </li></ul><ul><li>Xing Ren </li></ul><ul><li>Amygdaloside </li></ul><ul><li>Prunus armeniaca </li></ul><ul><li>Nitriloside </li></ul><ul><li>Prunasin </li></ul><ul><li>… .etc… </li></ul>
  4. 4. History <ul><li>1837 – amygdalin isolated </li></ul><ul><li>1845 – Russia – cancer treatment </li></ul><ul><li>1950s – IV amygdalin was named as Laetrile – Dr Ernst Krebs </li></ul><ul><li>1971 – “World Without Cancer” </li></ul><ul><li>1978 – National Cancer Institute – retrospective analysis </li></ul><ul><li>1979 – laetrile banned in USA, UK </li></ul><ul><li>Today – use as anti-cancer therapy primarily in Mexico </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contreras Hospital (www.oasisofhope.com) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advertised/sold mainly on Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No government controls on these internet products </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Claims – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>has been made illegal to protect profits of the drug companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>authorities only allow its opponents to test laetrile, hence the negative results. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;The butchers of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation have grown rich on the mutilated bodies of millions of innocent victims while public health officials sold their souls.“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Barry Lynes, The Healing of Cancer, The Cures - the Cover-ups and the Solution Now! - page 68 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(quoted at http:// www.cancertutor.com/WarBetween/War_Fda.html ) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. How is it used? <ul><li>Laetrile alone, </li></ul><ul><li>Or combined with a metabolic therapy program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>diet, pancreatic enzymes and vitamins. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Orally – tablet, </li></ul><ul><li>injection (IM or IV). </li></ul><ul><li>No uniform recommendations about treatment lengths/courses </li></ul>
  6. 6. Use in Australia <ul><li>TGA permit (for import) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doctor agrees to administer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special Access Scheme – approval </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Order from web/other source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exceptions – Queensland, Victoria </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clinic Nuera Health – ( http:// www.nueracarecentre.com / ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Port Melbourne – natural therapies for cancer </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Theories <ul><li>Rhodanese enzyme </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Present in healthy cells  they can breakdown cyanide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cancer cells are deficient  cyanide gathers and has cytotoxic effects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beta-Glucoronidase (breakdown Laetrile), Beta-glucosidase (breakdown amygdalin) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High levels in cancer cells </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT no experimental evidence to show a difference in rhodanese enzymes nor betaglucosidase in tumour tissue compared to healthy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cyanide  increases acid content of cancer cells  disrupt lysosomes  enzyme release  death of cancer cells </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT cytotoxic activity could also affect healthy cells </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Cancer is a metabolic disorder – develops due to a deficiency of ‘Vitamin B17’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hunza tribe, Himalayas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT no evidence that laetrile is a vitamin, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that cancer is a metabolic disease, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or lack of laetrile is involved in carcinogenesis </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Evidence? <ul><li>2006 - Cochrane Review – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>no RCTs or non-RCTs found </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Systematic review 2006 (Milazzo, Lejeune, Ernst, 2006) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>case series/ reports. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ the claim that laetrile has beneficial effect for cancer patients is not supported by sound data.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Evidence’ is weak, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>most, if not all reports showing benefits of therapy are not reliable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total cases = 352: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3.1% complete response, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>9.4% partial response, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>6.8% stable disease, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>36.4% tumour progression. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>22.9% symptomatic benefits. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>BUT denominator (number of cases treated overall) not given in reports </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>cyanide poisoning risk seems high. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Could increase with concomitant intake of fruit seeds, Vitamin C doses </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Side Effects <ul><li>Oral Laetrile (vs injected) – higher incidence of cyanide poisoning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>some intestinal bacteria and commonly eaten plants (e.g. celery, peaches, bean sprouts, carrots) contain beta-glucosidases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other substances that may increase side effects – raw almonds, crushed fruit pits, high dose Vitamin C </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increased S/Es in people with a genetic tendency to poorly detoxify cyanide. </li></ul><ul><li>CYANIDE: </li></ul><ul><li>Neurotoxin </li></ul><ul><li>N+V, headache, dizziness, cyanosis, liver damage, hypotension, ptosis, ataxic neuropathies, fever, mental confusion, coma, death </li></ul>
  11. 11. Conclusion <ul><li>Many substances are marketed as ‘laetrile’ but may be different compounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Uncertain whether laetrile works as an anti-cancer treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Risks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>side effects from cyanide poisoning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>questionable purity of sources </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. References <ul><li>Contreras Hospital http://www.oasisofhope.com </li></ul><ul><li>Ellison NM, Byar DP, Newell GR. Laetrile. N Engl J Med 1978 Sep 7; 299 (10): 549-52 </li></ul><ul><li>Milazzo, S. Lejeune, S. Ernst, E. (2006) Laetrile for cancer a systematic review of the clinical evidence. Support Care Cancer . </li></ul><ul><li>Milazzo, S. Ernst, E. Lejeune, S. Schmidt, K. Laetrile treatment for cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 2. </li></ul><ul><li>National Cancer Institute (2006) Laetrile/ Amygdalin. http://www.cancernet.nci.nih.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/laetrile/healthprofessional/all </li></ul><ul><li>World Without Cancer Org (2000) The Ultimate Guide to Vitamin B-17 Metabolic Therapy , available online from www.worldwithoutcancer.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>http://worldwithoutcancer.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.laetrile.com.au </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/laetrile.html </li></ul>

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