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...

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