laetrile


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Related to laetrile: Vitamin B17

laetrile

(lā`ətrĭl'), name given to the chemical amygdalin, a substance derived from an extract of the kernels of many fruits, notably apricots, bitter almonds, and peaches. The idea that laetrile might selectively destroy cancer cells was developed by Dr. Ernst T. Krebs, Sr., a German immigrant to the United States, in the 1920s and was later refined by his son Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., who used the name "vitamin B17" for amygdalin and the derivatives of amygdalin that he developed. The Krebses had hypothesized that an enzyme that was more abundant in tumor cells than normal cells acted on laetrile to produce cytotoxic cyanide. (Cyanide is naturally produced in the intestines when laetrile is acted upon by intestinal bacteria.) This hypothesis and several refinements of it were proved to be untrue, as was the younger Krebs's later classification of the substance as a vitamin.

The subject of controversy for many years, laetrile was subjected to much scientific scrutiny in the 1970s. Investigations showed that anecdotal reports of improvement with laetrile were insufficient proof of effectiveness. Clinical trials showed no effectiveness in shrinking tumors, prolonging survival, or improving the quality of the patient's life. Toxicity from cyanide poisoning in some patients, coupled with the drug's ineffectiveness, led the Food and Drug Administration to label laetrile a fraud. Interstate shipment and shipment from other countries are illegal, but it is still legal in some states and in Mexico.

References in periodicals archive ?
A study from John Morrone including 10 cases of inoperable cancer with metastases indicated clinical benefit from laetrile (specified as 1-mandelonitrile-beta-glucuronide), using dosages of 1 g i.v., for 4-43 weeks (mean 17.5 weeks, mean 2 injections/week).
Symms (R-Idaho), citing "grass roots support" deriving from outrage over the Laetrile situation, introduced federal legislation titled the "Medical Freedom of Choice Bill." The bill would have repealed the power that the FDA had acquired in the 1962 Drug Amendments to review the efficacy as well as the safety of new drugs prior to marketing.
Moss says that the general consensus around his office towards laetrile was one of "mild amusement or skeptical disbelief." But that is not what a scientist working at Sloan-Kettering discovered.
To add to my concerns, laetrile is also dangerous because it contains cyanide, a potent poison.
77-3056, LAETRILE: THE COMISSIONER'S DECISION (1977).
544, 551 (1979), the Supreme Court ruled that terminal cancer patients had no right to use Laetrile absent FDA approval, a victory for the agency, which had to endure a great deal of public pressure to legalize the drug--including from actor Steve McQueen.
CASE 1: Tyrone Hayes, the Herbicide Atrazine, and the Syngenta Company CASE 2: The Thalidomide Story CASE 3: Polywater and the Role of Skepticism CASE 4: Bubble Fusion CASE 5: Giving Proper Credit CASE 6: Abderhalden's Defense Enzymes CASE 7: The Darsee Case CASE 8: Woo-Suk's Stem Cell Research CASE 9: Chandra's Patented Multivitamins CASE 10: Laetrile CASE 11: Cold Fusion CASE 12: Big trouble in the world of "Big Physics" CASE 13: Elements 116 and 118 are Discovered CASE 14: VIOXX CASE 15: The Cyril Burt Affair CASE 16: Plagiarism in Theses: The Ohio University Case CASE 17: The Plagiarism Problem CASE 18: The Bellesiles Case CASE 19: What's on Your Resume?
In a joint public memo entitled "AIDS: False Hope from Fraudulent Treatment," the Council for Better Business Bureaus and the FDA together reaffirmed that the public would be protected against "charlatans," "con artists," and "quacks." Only one AIDS drug, AZT, had been approved by the FDA at the time of the memo, yet a cornucopia of untested, spurious remedies were available to consumers, including vitamin supplements, snake venom concoctions, ice balls, urine injections, hydrogen peroxide injections, Laetrile, garlic pills, processed algae, and booster capsules later found to contain lead and chromium.
case involving the experimental cancer drug Laetrile, just that
Ace Chapman nearly bankrupted himself printing "novelty" greeting cards: "It Was about Time You Broke the Engagement," "Congratulations on Your Workers' Comp Claim." Later, he sank his savings into laetrile, otter farming, bauxite mines in the Far East.
These cases range from the lower court cases denying access to laetrile and medical marijuana, (153) to another case denying access to an experimental cancer drug.
1977) (holding that a patient has fundamental right to consent to a treatment, laetrile, on the advice of a doctor, whether or not the treatment is approved by the state and even if the treatment is merely a "mildly toxic placebo").