Part III: The Gonzalez - Isaacs Cancer Program
By Lyle Hurd
With permission from totalhealth Magazine, Volume 22, No. 5. For subscription information, call 1-888-316-6051.
As reported in the January/February and July/August 2000 issues of totalhealth, the Gonzalez - Isaacs program, an alternative approach to the treatment of cancer, had been awarded a $1.4 million National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant to conduct a large scale, controlled clinical trial comparing the success of their approach in treating inoperable advanced pancreatic cancer with a control group receiving the best conventional chemotherapy available. This groundbreaking grant was precipitated by the positive results of a pilot study of Gonzalez - Isaacs patients suffering from advanced inoperable pancreatic cancer conducted between 1993 and 1999. Data published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition and Cancer showed an effect that went beyond anything previously reported in the medical literature for this deadly disease.
Should this landmark study, the first major NCI-NIH trial of an alternative cancer therapy, prove as sensitive with the results as the pilot study, then treatment would become an accepted therapy for pancreatic cancer. However, the potential benefit to our society goes far beyond the 27,000 plus individuals who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year.
Consider the following. It is estimated that there will be 1,300,000 new cancer cases and between 550,000 and 650,000 deaths from cancer in the United States this year. If these projections are accurate, it means between 45 and 50 percent of all individuals who contract cancer will eventually die from the disease. And if the estimates do not account for those persons who perish from conditions related to the cancer or side effects of cancer drugs, the fatality figures would be substantially higher.
In 1999 approximately $13,700,000,000 ($13.7 billion) was spent on chemotherapy drugs; exclusive of related expenditures for doctors and nurses fees, hospital services and confronting the devastating side effects associated with chemotherapy treatment.
I am convinced if just one percent ($137 million) of the funds expended on chemotherapy drugs were invested in funding a national program to integrate the Gonzalez - Isaacs alternative approach to treating cancer into mainstream medicine it could:
- Drastically change the quality of life of the 1.3 million individuals who contract cancer each year.
- Significantly improve odds against the reoccurrence of cancer for the five to 10 million cancer survivors.
- Either save the lives or prolong the life expectancy and quality of life of the majority of the 600, 000 persons who are expected to perish from cancer each year.
- Eliminate the cost of doctors, nurses and hospitals associated with chemotherapy treatment, as well as eliminate its side effects in that the Gonzalez - Isaacs program is noninvasive and the nutritional, dietary and detoxification protocols are administered by the patient in his or her own home.
In addition, if 30 percent of the potential chemotherapy patient population opted for the Gonzalez - Isaacs therapy, an additional $4 billion would be saved, which would provide funding for aggressive public education and scientific research programs targeted at cancer awareness and prevention.
The Gonzalez - Isaacs treatment has three basic components: individualized diet, individualized supplement programs and detoxification routine such as coffee enemas and juice fasts. Protective pancreatic enzymes are the core of their cancer protocols but are also an integral part of their treatment programs for non-cancer diseases.
Since 1988 Drs. Gonzalez and Isaacs have treated over 1500 patients suffering from cancer, as well as other degenerative diseases ranging from multiple sclerosis and lupus to chronic fatigue. We requested an opportunity to contact a few of their patients. Following are summaries of dialogues with five patients selected from a list provided by the doctors and a sixth patient whom I met when she called to order a subscription to totalhealth magazine.
Edmond: In October of 1990 at age 66 a large tumor on Edmond's left kidney was diagnosed as renal cell carcinoma - kidney cancer. When the tumor was removed it was suspected the cancer had spread beyond the immediate area. The DNA drug interferon was recommended hopefully to preclude a reoccurrence of the cancer. The therapy caused continual flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite and fatigue. His weight dropped from 135 to 105 and his skin had a gray color. Than a few months later, in January 1991, a second tumor appeared on his scalp near the left ear. This time he had 15 sessions of radiation; the tumor did not go away, however, it had been stabilized. At that point Edmond learned that in all probability he had only six months to live.
About that time an acquaintance suggested he visit Dr. Gonzalez who was treating her for problems caused by excess radiation. By then Edmond had lost so much weight and was so tired he decided he had nothing to lose and felt at the least that program might help him regain some energy and improve the quality of whatever time he had left. Within six months he had returned to his normal weight of 135 pounds and the tumor had disappeared. After one year he had a CAT scan of his abdomen and bones and both were normal. To Edmond this was the real proof. That was in February 1992. Today, eight years later, he is still on a maintenance program of 100 pills a day, pancreatic enzymes five times a day, a moderate vegetarian diet, coffee enemas flushes, as he terms them, which detoxify the entire colon as well as the liver and monthly carrot fasts. At 76 Edmond is in great health, which he attributes to the program. And by the way, his wife, after seeing the effect on Edmond, has been following the regimen for a number of years as well.
Bill: At 68, has been a patient for 12 years. In 1983 he began experiencing chronic sinus problems. His ENT specialist prescribed steroids and antibiotics and finally corrective surgery. Lab reports from polyps which were removed during the surgery indicated the existence of melanoma. He was then sent to Sloan-Kettering for a CAT scan which revealed a small tumor behind his left eye. Shortly after Thanksgiving in 1984 Bill endured 12 hours of neurosurgery to remove the 80 x 60 x 40 milligram tumor from behind his eye, as well as a small piece of bone from his brain cavity. His oncologist was convinced this was the primary site of the cancer and they had removed all of the affected tissue. He was back to work in six weeks.
In the summer of 1987, Bill began to experience abdominal pains. A CAT scan of the area revealed a large tumor and a needle biopsy indicated a reoccurrence of melanoma. He returned to Sloan-Kettering where the tumor was removed. However, all of the involved tissue could not be removed without damaging his vital organs. Even though the prognosis was grim, Bill ruled out chemotherapy and began to explore the alternatives. In May 1987 a follow-up exam showed a reoccurrence of the tumor in his abdomen. About that time he learned of Dr. Gonzalez's program. In discussing the therapy with his physicians it was suggested he forget about pursuing "all that diet stuff" and to enjoy himself while he could rather than lose a few months of whatever time he may have left taking pills.
To Bill, Dr. Gonzalez was his last hope. He was accepted into the program in May 1988; by December the tumor had stabilized. He also continued to see his oncologist for regular check-ups. In the summer of 1992 the tumor began to grow. Bill discussed surgery with Dr. Gonzalez and returned to Sloan-Kettering to have the tumor removed. This time the tumor was completely encapsulated with no sign of malignant tissues invading other organs. The surgeon commented, "Whatever you have been doing, you are achieving positive results. Keep it up."
After 12 years Bill is still on the program and so is his wife. At 68 he is self-employed as a consultant and travels frequently. He emphasizes that a positive attitude and stress management are important to the program. And as Dr. Gonzalez says, "If the body can create cancer, it has the intelligence and ability to conquer it. It is up to us to provide it with the opportunity and support necessary to accomplish the task."
John: Diagnosed with MS in 1988 at age 38 John has been a patient of Dr. Gonzalez since January 1994. After 15 years in New York, John's career as an actor was firmly established - he had a great side job as a bartender and an active social life. So when he began to experience occasional vision problems he attributed them to the stress of his demanding lifestyle. However, when he realized one morning that he was dragging his right foot, he knew there was a serious problem.
A visit to the neurologist, who ordered an MRI, revealed brain lesions associated with multiple sclerosis. He was told he could live with the problem, which he did for the next five years. Then in September 1993 he began to experience severe vision problems.
At the suggestion of a friend, whose sister was a patient of Dr. Gonzalez, John called to set up an appointment. In a phone interview one of the staff gave John an overview of the program and asked him if he could agree to follow the protocol described. John agreed and was scheduled for his initial sessions with the doctor on January 3 and 4,1994. He then began the program. On February 29 John, who is now legally blind and no longer able to support himself, returned to his home in Austin, Texas to fight the disease, with the support of his mother.
Later in that year it was discovered that his extreme vision problem was caused by two detached retinas. In 1978 John had visited a doctor who believed in the practice of eating for one's blood type. Being type A he was instructed to adopt a vegetarian diet and avoid animal protein. Conversely, the Gonzalez - Isaacs program customizes diets to normalize each individual patient's balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic arms of the autonomic nervous system. John is classified as parasympathetic dominant which means he needs to be on an animal protein diet to balance his system. By being on a vegetarian diet John's system was chronically deprived of calcium, the intercellular cement, which led to his detached retinas and most likely triggered the MS.
Both of John's retinas were successfully reattached in 1994. At that time Dr. Gonzalez adjusted John's program to support the recovery of the site, including bilberry to enhance his night vision.
Today John is free of MS. He has resumed his acting career and is teaching acting classes. He also volunteers his time serving as chairman of the Austin, Texas area FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Centers) a program to provide health services for the indigent and working poor which contributes to 10 Community Health Centers serving 30,000 clients in and around Austin.
Over the past 6-1/2 years John has become a real student of the Gonzalez - Isaacs program. When I asked him to share a few thoughts on its strengths he replied, "They treat the whole patient, not the disease. They ask for a commitment to follow through with the program before they accept a new patient. They emphasize that attitude, stress reduction and meditation are integral to providing the body with the power to fight the disease. The program is based on 100 years of science and thousands of patients. The program is cost-effective - about 1/20th of the cost of chemotherapy - and in my opinion will one day also be recognized as the most important cancer prevention program ever developed."
Hester: in 1986 Hester, a professional singer, was informed by her primary physician, who was also a close personal friend, that her mammogram looked suspicious and warranted exploratory surgery. He also told her that if there was a problem, he would recommend having the breast removed. Hester, knowing there was nothing wrong with her, said "Sure, go ahead." When she woke up, the breast was gone. After her surgery she went through a very uncomfortable series of radiation treatments.
Three years later Hester experienced rectal bleeding, which proved to be caused by rectal cancer. After an operation to remove a section of her large intestine, she began both chemotherapy and radiation. She was so sick from the treatment that she vowed she would never again be subjected to the effects of either procedure. In 1997, when she had her yearly check-up, her friend told her cancer had invaded both lungs. It was incredible. She had no symptoms, no problem breathing, she was singing well and yet she had cancer on both lungs.
"Coincidentally, my doctor's daughter was being treated by Dr. Gonzalez for breast cancer and they both suggested I explore his program rather than pursue conventional therapy," Hester explained. Hester, who was familiar with Dr. Gonzalez, having read a number of articles he had written, immediately contacted his office for an appointment.
"When I was interviewed," Hester relates, "I was asked if I could commit to taking up to 150 supplements, possibly 10 coffee enemas a day and going on a four- or five-day fast once a month. I told her, 'If you tell me I have to do it standing on my head, I'll do it.' So at 71 years old I began the program and within a year all of the tumors were gone. What a miracle for someone who have been operated on for cancer twice, had experienced the trauma of radiation and chemotherapy, diagnosed and been with terminal lung cancer with the prospect of being in hospice on morphine in less than a year. My alternative over the past three years has been living a healthy productive life while administering the support protocol in my own home and visiting Dr. Gonzalez every three months for a check-up-always knowing if there is a problem he is only a phone call away."
Hester continues: "The imperative is that you have to follow the program. It is like diabetics, you can't just say 'I don't have the disease any more' and walk away from it. When Dr. Gonzalez told me this is a constant cleansing process and you would build up your system with the diet and supplementation as you cleanse, I asked him why more physicians don't recommend this type of individualized therapy. He responded 'because most doctors deal in disease, not in health'-right on target in my opinion."
Jeffrey: Early in 1990 Jeffrey's wife noticed a swelling in his neck. A sonogram and needle biopsy indicated he had thyroid cancer. In February his surgeon, who for some reason either didn't concur with or had not read the pathology report, removed only part of Jeffrey's thyroid. Two weeks later, when he returned for his follow-up visit, the physician picked up the report on the frozen subsection of the tumor and realize the whole thyroid should been removed. He then explained the only way to deal with the problem at that point was to radiate the remaining thyroid tissue. In shock Jeffrey explained that the cancer had been precipitated by having been radiated as a five-year-old for a lump on his neck which hadn't responded to penicillin. Consequently radiation was not an option. The surgeon responded that because the neck had already been operated on, further surgery was also not an option.
Jeffrey found Dr. Gonzalez through a friend whose daughter had brain cancer and was a patient in the program. After being on the program for 10 years Jeffrey says, "My wife is also on the program and does everything I do. We believe it is a life enhancing lifestyle change and if you are willing to change your lifestyle and mindset, you can do anything. It is a blessing to your over all well being and if I was told tomorrow I had no more cancer, I would still continue to do my program. Once the NCI sponsored research is completed and the therapy can be made widely available, hundreds of thousands of individuals' lives will be extended and thousands of lives will be saved every year. At age 45 my prospects for longevity were bleak if not nil. Today at 55 I look forward to celebrating the decades ahead in optimum health."
Mary: A woman called our office on a recent Saturday afternoon to order a magazine subscription. I happened to be available and answered the call. Mary had seen the current issue which prompted the call to subscribe. When I mentioned I was in the process of organizing a follow up to the Gonzalez - Isaacs article which would appear in this upcoming issue, she informed me that she had been a patient of Dr. Isaacs for the past five years.
In 1995 Mary found a suspicious soft growth on her right shoulder. She immediately made an appointment with her physician, who took a biopsy. Three days later Mary was informed she had a serious form of melanoma and would need to have the tumor surgically removed as soon as possible, followed by radiation or chemotherapy. Mary had the tumor removed within the week. When she was directed to the university hospital for drug therapy she declined, stating she had decided to pursue an alternative treatment. Her doctors were both surprised and concerned, however she stood her ground. Mary had been aware of Dr. Isaacs' work for some time. When she learned she had melanoma, there was no question in her mind that the Gonzalez - Isaacs program would provide her body with the tools to beat the disease.
At 78, after five years on the program, Mary is in great health. As with the other five survivors, she is active, enthusiastic and energized with life, a pleasure to speak with and a missionary for the Gonzalez - Isaacs program as an option for all cancer victims.
The NIH, NCI and FDA should be applauded for their funding of and participation in the current Gonzalez - Isaacs pancreatic cancer therapy study. However, think of the potential if a private foundation, natural supplement manufacturer venture capital group recognized the enormous possibilities of this program in terms of prevention of disease and nutritional support. For the millions of us committed to a proactive rather than reactive approach to optimum health, the Gonzalez - Isaacs program could be an invaluable asset. Hopefully we will not have to experience cancer, MS, chronic fatigue syndrome or other debilitating diseases to be availed of its benefits through our personal physicians.