During Pat's first operation in 1970, her surgeon had noticed a lump in her throat that she had had since girlhood. He said it might have been a "leader" for the cancer. As Pat continued on a Kelley maintenance protocol after being diagnosed in remission, she also took Essiac (Chapter 10), the Canadian herbal tea that has helped many cancer patients. By 1978, the lump in Pat's throat was completely gone, and it has never returned. (Note: Some practitioners strongly advise against combining the Kelley program with Essiac or any other herbal remedy. They contend that the herbs work against the enzyme supplements.)
Pat Judson served as president of the Metro-Detroit chapter of the Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (FACT), in which capacity she told a Michigan State Legislature committee, "If I had accepted the advice of my doctor, if I had not been directed to Dr. Kelley, I would be another cancer statistic." In her speech, she also rebuked the medical establishment for its constant harassment of Dr. Kelley.
Kelley's problems with the medical orthodoxy intensified in 1969, when he self-published his book One Answer to Cancer, which became a best-seller in the "nutritional underground." The dietary program presented in the book was a distillation of his personal battle against illness. In 1964, according to Kelley, he was told by a doctor that he had metastasized pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease, and that he had only weeks to live. There is no biopsy verification for his cancer. His internist recommended surgery, but the surgeon felt Kelley wouldn't survive the operation.
With nothing to lose, Kelley, who holds a Doctorate of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) from Baylor University in Dallas and has an extensive background in nutrition, began his own impromptu course of nutritional therapy and lifestyle changes. As he gradually recovered, he felt he had stumbled across a scientific discovery and undertook further research to refine his program.
As One Answer to Cancer soared in popularity, Texas medical and legal of facials launched an investigation of its author in 1969. Undercover officials posed as patients. A restraining order prohibited Kelley from treating nondental disease, and a local district court made it illegal for him to distribute One Answer to Cancer or any other publication discussing his approach to degenerative illness. Dr. Kelley appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court, arguing that the restraining order was a flagrant violation of his First Amendment rights. But the Supreme Court upheld the ruling. "To my knowledge, Dr. Kelley remains the only scientist in this country's history ever forbidden by court decree from publishing," notes Dr. Gonzalez.
In 1971, the American Cancer Society put Kelley's therapy on its Unproven Methods blacklist, where it remains. To this day, no ACS scientist has ever attempted a direct, objective evaluation of Kelley's methods and results.
After the Texas dental board suspended his license for five years in 1976, Kelley moved to Winthrop, Washington, where he continued his nutritional practice. He later moved to Pennsylvania.
Kelley's most highly publicized encounter with the medical establishment began in 1980, when he agreed to treat actor Steve McQueen, suffering from advanced mesothelioma, a rare, nearly always fatal form of lung cancer. McQueen's malignancy was too extensive for surgery, and his terminal condition was completely hopeless. Nevertheless, on Kelley's advice, McQueen entered a small Mexican hospital where doctors claimed to use the Kelley program. McQueen never followed the full Kelley protocol; he smoked and smuggled junk food into his room. Even so, after eight weeks on a partial Kelley regimen, his tumor had stopped growing, he no longer felt a need for painkillers, and he had put on weight. His doctors expressed some cause for optimism. However, McQueen eventually discontinued the program. He died in November 1980, just hours after undergoing surgery to remove an apparently dead tumor mass in his abdomen.
The ensuing publicity triggered a media assault on Kelley organized by the American medical community. Spokesmen for the ACS, NCI, and leading medical schools condemned Kelley and his methods vociferously, without ever bothering to examine the details of McQueen's treatment.
Kelley claimed a high success rate with patients on his therapy. For those with a predicted life expectancy of about three months, he said that a well-designed nutritional program would yield "slightly better than a 50-50 chance of survival." For those with a very advanced disease, given less than three months to live, he claimed a success rate between 25 and 35 percent. These figures have not been verified and should be treated with caution. Yet according to Ruth Sackman, executive director of FACT, an educational organization that leans toward a nutritional-metabolic approach, "Enough of Kelley's patients lived ten years or more to suggest a pattern of survival and to indicate that he was using a basically sound system."
In Kelley's elaborate system of diagnosis and treatment, patients answered a detailed questionnaire, a nutritional survey consisting of up to 3,200 questions. The results were assessed by computer, and each patient was then fitted into Kelley's classification system of metabolic typing, which he used in treating a wide variety of diseases.
To understand Kelley's metabolic typing system, let us quickly review the ABCs of metabolism. The human body has two nervous systems. The central nervous system regulates conscious movement, and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) governs unconscious actions such as digestion, the secretion of enzymes and hormones, breathing, blood circulation, and heartbeat. The ANS plays a key role in the way cells transform food into energy.
There are two branches of the ANS-the sympathetic system, which tends to speed up body metabolism, and the parasympathetic system, which slows down metabolism. Kelley's thesis is that people can be divided into three genetically based categories that evolved in distinctive environments under evolutionary pressure. Each metabolic type reflects an inborn balance in the activities of these two subsystems.
According to Kelley, people who are slow-oxidizing "sympathetic dominant" types thrive on high-carbohydrate, low-protein foods and are meant to eat a largely vegetarian diet. Fast-oxidizing "parasympathetic dominants" grow hungry and weak between meals, so Kelley suggested that they follow a diet providing at least half of their total calories from fatty meat. "Balanced types," having both branches of the autonomic nervous system equally developed, were said to thrive on a wide variety of foods.
If a person follows the "wrong" diet, in Kelley's theory, disease is more likely to develop. For each of the three basic types (broken down into ten metabolic subtypes), he recommended a diet that would push the autonomic nervous system toward metabolic equilibrium. Furthermore, he linked specific syndromes and illnesses with each of the three types. "Hard tumors"-malignancies of the internal organs such as lung or colon cancer-were held to be more likely to afflict severely imbalanced "sympathetic dominants." "Soft tumors"-cancers of the white blood cells and lymph system-were linked with "parasympathetic dominants."
Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, the New York City physician mentioned at the beginning of this chapter who uses a modified Kelley program, visited Dr. Kelley in Texas in 1981 and was given access to all of Kelley's records. Gonzalez was amazed to discover case after case of patients with advanced metastatic cancer who were healthy and active five, ten, and fifteen years after diagnosis.
Gonzalez interviewed 455 Kelley patients in depth, then narrowed down the group to 160 after eliminating the patients whom he considered inadequately diagnosed, others who had received intensive orthodox therapy, others who had been apparently "cured of their disease before they consulted Dr. Kelley," and still others who did not meet the selection criteria. Eventually, Gonzalez selected 50 patients whom he considered representative cases rather than Kelley's best cases.
These 50 patients represented a broad spectrum of cancer types, including long-term survivors of cancer of the breast, colon, ovaries, pancreas, and prostate. According to Gonzalez's findings:
. . . 22 of the patients . . . experienced documented regression of cancer while pursuing the Kelley program. None in this group received orthodox therapy during this period of improvement . . . Another 5 patients described regression of superficial, biopsy-proven malignancies, such as breast tumors or cancerous Lymph nodes . . . [but] never returned to their orthodox physicians for follow-up studies.
. . . six patients were found at surgery to have extensive inoperable abdominal or pelvic disease, such as metastatic pancreatic or prostate carcinoma. All these patients were given terminal prognoses. None have ever returned to their orthodox physicians, so strictly speaking I have no proof of tumor regression . . . [although] each of these people has survived for years with cancer that usually kills within months.8
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease; the f~ive-year survival rate in orthodox medicine is essentially 0 percent. Dr. Gonzalez reviewed the records of all 22 patients whom Kelley had diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between 1974 and 1982. Five of these 22 patients followed the Kelley program completely. Their median survival (at the time of Gonzalez's study in 1987) was nine years, and 4 of the 5 are alive today; one died of Alzheimer's disease. This is a 100 percent remission rate for those who adhered to the full Kelley regimen. (The 10 patients with pancreatic cancer who never followed the treatment had a median survival time of 67 days. Seven who partially followed the program had a median survival time of 233 days.)
These reported results are virtually unheard-of in conventional treatment. Orthodox medicine gives a median survival time of two to six months for pancreatic cancer.
One of Kelley's patients whom Gonzalez investigated was Robert Dunn, a sixty-two-year-old man from Missouri diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in dune 1977. The formal diagnosis, as it appears in the medical records, reads, "Carcinoma of the pancreas- unresectable, incurable." Although his traditional physician recommended both chemotherapy and radiation, Dunn was told he would probably not live a year even with aggressive treatment. Refusing both options, he took a brief course of laetrile in Mexico, then consulted Dr. Kelley and, in August 1977, began the full Kelley protocol.
Within a year, Dunn said, he felt better than at any other time in his life. A follow-up CAT scan indicated that the once-large pancreatic tumor had completely regressed. Exploratory surgery in 1983 to remove a small bowel obstruction further confirmed that the tumor was gone. When last contacted by Dr. Gonzalez more then ten years after his original diagnosis, Dunn was following a maintenance protocol and was in excellent health.
Dr. Gonzalez treats advanced cancer patients with a Kelley-derived program. He keeps careful records of his own patients and also monitors many of Kelley's patients who have survived ten years or more. He claims that approximately 80 percent of his patients are doing well on his therapy. Most of his patients have already been heavily treated with surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy and, having failed these modalities, come to him with a prognosis of two to three months to live.
In May 1985, doctors removed roughly ten pounds of tumor from Bonnie Randolph, a clinical psychologist from Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. They also performed a total hysterectomy. Bonnie's ovarian cancer had grown silently for eight years, according to the doctors, and had spread to her abdominal organs. The survival rates in such cases are less than 20 percent.
Over the next year, Bonnie underwent eight courses of chemotherapy and two more major operations, all of which failed to eradicate the cancer. By the fourth chemotherapy treatment, her bone marrow was suppressed to such an extent that her white blood count had plunged from a normal of 4,000 to less than 100. After the second major surgery, in March 1986, her doctor injected a massive dose of radioactive phosphorus into her abdomen, "which he said would be my quota of radiation for the rest of my life," according to Bonnie. Six ovarian cancer specialists then told her that despite the radiation treatment, she had a year to live at the most.