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Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Drama | 1 March 2014 (USA)
The story of a young science-writer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who risked everything by blowing the whistle on a massive cover-up involving a promising cancer therapy.


Eric Merola


Eric Merola




Credited cast:
Robert Good Robert Good ... Self
Ben Moss Ben Moss ... Self
Martha Moss Martha Moss ... Self
Melissa Moss Melissa Moss ... Self
Ralph W. Moss Ralph W. Moss ... Self (as Ralph Moss)
Lloyd Old Lloyd Old ... Self
Alec Pruchnicki Alec Pruchnicki ... Self
Chester Stock Chester Stock ... Self
Kanematsu Sugiura Kanematsu Sugiura ... Self
Lewis Thomas Lewis Thomas ... Self


The story of a young science-writer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who risked everything by blowing the whistle on a massive cover-up involving a promising cancer therapy.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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cancer | See All (1) »


Not Rated

User Reviews

Great exposure of "science" err money based medicine
22 October 2015 | by NikephorosPhokasSee all my reviews

In the 1970s according to a Newsweek piece cited by Ralph W. Moss Phd(in classics) an ex-insider and whistle blower at Sloan Kettering, 1/10th of American cancer patients were going to Mexico to receive laetrile(or amygdalin or vitamin b17) and 1/5th of terminal American cancer patients. This created enormous pressure for the criminal cancer establishment to look into laetrile after many letters sent to the American government. Eventually at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura, a man who researched cancer for over 60 years who was dedicated to honest research began investigating laetrile. Suguira when experimenting with mice found that laetrile was able to arrest tumor development for a period. It would resume, but what it had lasting effects on preventing tumor metastasis. The problem was and is that laetrile is derived from the seeds of fruits, so there is no profit motive for pushing it as a mainline treatment, since no "science based medicine" corporation can really patent it. For a time one of the heads of Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dr. Gary Old, pushed for laetrile. But they had meetings with heads of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and National Cancer Institute and eventually. As a result Sloan Kettering covered up the positive results after these meetings. However, there was ABC news footage reproduced in the documentary where Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura, went against the organization and defended his research and said that the studies produced by Sloan Kettering to bury laetrile appeared tampered. Sugiura's positive results were buried as a segment in a study and paper written expressly by other Kettering researchers that was meant to tank laetrile. Ralph W. Moss who worked in public relations and as writer for Sloan Kettering, didn't want it to remain buried since it was so promising, so he started a dissident publication and organization within Sloan Kettering to publicize Suguira's results called a Second Opinion. If it were not for a Second Opinion, this scandal would have been buried.

Eventually the National Cancer Institute conducted a review of the patient data of alternative doctors using laetrile(covered in bonus material): Special Report on Laetrile: The NCI Laetrile Review — Results of the National Cancer Institute's Retrospective Laetrile Analysis N Engl J Med 1978; 299:549-552

Of the 22 laetrile exclusive patients who didn't take deadly chemotherapy: 2 had a complete remission = 9%, 4 had a partial one = 18%, 9 had their cancer stabilize = 41%, 7 had their cancer progress = 32%.

Later the National Cancer Institute also recruited Dr. Charles Moertel of the Mayo Clinic a notorious quack buster type to do a study of laetrile in the New England Journal of Medicine. In his selection criteria he used late stage cancer patients when laetrile is only really effective in suppressing tumors and keeping them from metastasizing when they are small. After there is metastasis I am not so sure it is effective. When Big Pharma and the biomedical industry want something buried they find greedy people, careerists and people of low character to conduct studies to protect their profit margins and give something to cite about "quackery".

Even today if you examine the web though you will be flooded by negative "science based results" against laetrile, because more people live from cancer, than die from it. Let us look at chemotherapy which all the science based medicine and quack buster types defend as one of the only treatments besides radiation and surgery: Chemotherapy is only effective in 2-3% of cases: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630849

"RESULTS: The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA."

Only recently have serious researchers in Germany started looking into laetrile again thanks to the "quackbusters" defending "science based medicine" to line their pockets with other people's blood and dead relatives.(See the two studies by Makarević, et al., on amygdalin published in 2014.) And those are"in vitro" studies, human trials are probably very far off, despite how mainstream treatments are wholly inadequate in treating most types of cancer.

Using leaked internal documents and the insider testimony of Ralph Moss this documentary exposes the shenanigans of mainstream cancer research much of which has the express purpose of protecting the ineffective treatments they can patent against more effective treatments that they want to make illegal and force patients to travel abroad to receive. A dilemma I face as my dad has stage IV colorectal cancer for which conventional treatment offers nothing but more pain, more negative symptoms from the actual treatment and a worse quality of life.

(Note: I watched most of bonus material before writing this review and it is not based on just the main feature, this review covers the bonus material as well.)

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