Medicine: Laetrile Flunks

Test shows cancer quackery

Supporters of Laetrile were overjoyed 2½ years ago, when the National Cancer Institute announced that it would sponsor human testing of the controversial cancer therapy. Last week the first results were reported at a meeting in Washington of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and they gave the apricot-derived substance a royal raspberry. Said N.C.I. Director Vincent DeVita Jr.: "The findings ... present public evidence of Laetrile's failure as a cancer treatment.

The hollow promise of this drug has led thousands of Americans away from potentially helpful therapy of scientific validity."

DeVita's conclusion is based on studies of 156 patients...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!