Dr. Harold W. Manner: The Man Who Cures Cancer

In this 1978 interview, Dr. Harold W. Manner discussed his research into a nutritional therapy approach based on laetrile that purportedly enabled him to cure cancer.


| November/December 1978



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Dr Harold Manner contends his nutritional therapy treatment based on laetrile cures cancer.


PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Dr. Harold W. Manner, Professor of Biology and Chairman of the Biology Department of Chicago's Loyola University, contends that his treatment–based in research which builds on a controversial theory of nutrition therapy–can contain, prevent, and cure cancer using laetrile.

The controversy actually began back in 1908 when John Beard, a professor of embryology at the University of Edinburgh, suggested that malignant tumors–cancer–might be cured by the effective use of ordinary enzymes (instead of the maiming surgery, poisonous chemotherapy, or burning radiation used by the modern medical establishment).

Both Dr. Beard and his theory were ridiculed by the scientists of the day. It wasn't until 1938 that the Edinburgh professor's work was picked up and continued by Dr. Ernst Krebs and his son, Ernst Krebs, Jr. The Krebs, in fact, devoted their lives to nutrition therapy. Out of that labor came "The Trophoblastic Thesis of Cancer," laetrile (a substance–also known as amypdalin or vitamin B-17–extracted from the pit of the common apricot), and some rather sensational headlines both for and against the Krebs' work that are still appearing in newspapers and magazines to this day.

It is unfortunate that on the one hand defenders of the Krebs have sometimes presented laetrile to the world as a "be-all, end-all" miracle cure, while on the other the entrenched medical establishment has viciously and violently attacked vitamin B-17 as a completely worthless "quack" nostrum. Because once you get past the overblown and messy claims and counterclaims, you find that the Krebs father-son team developed a six-point theory of cancer and its treatment that really does seem to make sense:

[1] The cancer cell is a normal body cell (called a trophoblast cell) which plays an important role in reproduction. As cancer, it is merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. [2] Such cells, normally, are controlled by pancreatic enzymes. [3] Even under abnormal conditions, the pancreatic enzymes are capable of destroying cancerous cells. [4] When the enzymes are in poor supply, however, a "wild" cell can proliferate and manifest itself as cancer. [5] Cancer, then, is a deficiency disease and–as such–will respond to medication. [6] Laetrile, actually vitamin B-17, can fill this deficiency when properly administered in combination with other vitamins and enzymes; in fact, the mere existence of a malignant tumor creates biochemical actions which "trigger" laetrile if it's available into attacking the unnatural growth and killing the cancer cells.

"That's a nice theory," says the American Medical Association, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the American Cancer Society, and most of the rest of the "legitimate" medical establishment, "but it doesn't work."





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