What Went Wrong: The Truth Behind the Clinical Trial of the Enzyme Treatment of Cancer Hot
In 1998, Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D. received National Cancer Institute approval for a clinical trial to evaluate his nutritional-enzyme approach in the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer. Though Dr. Gonzalez hoped the venture would initiate cooperation between conventional scientists and serious alternative researchers, problems plagued the study from its inception. The design discouraged patient participation; oncologists discouraged patients from joining and at times pressured those already admitted for nutritional therapy to change to conventional treatment. Then in 2000 the NCI turned over all patient selection decisions to the Principal Investigator (PI), who as it turned out helped devise the chemotherapy regimen used as the control treatment. An evaluation by government scientists in early 2005 confirmed that so many patients had failed to follow the prescribed nutritional therapy that the data had little meaning. Despite such problems, without Dr. Gonzalez' knowledge the Principal Investigator published an article implying the study was properly run, patients complied fully and that the nutritional therapy had no effect. In response, Dr. Gonzalez has written What Went Wrong, to bring the truth of this project to light, and show how bias, indifference, and at times incompetence undermined a promising research effort that, if properly run, might have ushered in a new direction in cancer treatment. Dr. Gonzalez graduated from Brown University (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude). He worked as a journalist at Time Inc. before pursuing premedical studies at Columbia and medical school at Cornell. He completed immunology training before opening a practice in New York in 1987. His research has been funded by Procter & Gamble and Nestle.
From the Midwest Book Review: What Went Wrong is a striking case study of a scientific study gone terribly awry, and highly recommended for science and medical professionals as well as for concerned laypeople.
This book is alternately depressing, infuriating and inspiring. It is the exhaustively documented story of a clinical trial of a promising enzymatic therapy for treating highly lethal pancreatic cancer. The trial compared a treatment Dr. Gonzalez had been using with major success in his private practice against a chemotherapeutic agent, Gemzar.
The trial was so mismanaged and stacked against Dr. Gonzalez's protocol that after more than 10 years of futile struggle, this promising approach has been kept out of the mainstream oncological arsenal. While Dr. Gonzalez may have written this book to set the record straight about the chain of events, and it gives way more detailed information than anyone but a lawyer would want to read, it's real importance is in highlighting the unholy and incestuous alliance between Big Pharma and the governmental institutions charged with funding medical research that continues unabated.
This is tragically a story that has been repeated over and over since the early 1900's, and because it is so unthinkable that our own government and academics would pervert the research process to protect monied interests, we passively allow this to continue. Dr. Gonzalez ends his book with an angry appeal to true researchers to stay away from tainted funds and to preserve their integrity for the good of mankind. He himself continues to use his protocol and save patients every day. A sobering tale, indeed.
NOTE: Dr. Gonzalez has since met a mysterious and untimely end. RIP.