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September 08, 1978 - Image 92

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-08

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'age 4B-Friday, September 8, 1978-The Michigan Daily

Laetrile still controversial

BOSTON (AP) - A federal search
of medical records for examples of
Laetrile curing cancer turned up six
cases in which people got better after
taking the controversial substance. But
researchers said the findings do not
prove that Laetrile is effective in
treating cancer.
The results of the review, released
Wednesday, will be used by the
National Cancer Institute in deciding
whether to begin human testing of
aetrile, the trademark for a substance
erived from the chemical amygdalin,
ound naturally in the pits of apricots
nd peaches and in bitter almonds.
atients have been treated with
aetrile in the United States over the
ast two decades, researchers said only
3 cases were submitted for review.
The researchers emphasized that no
onclusions about the benefits of
aetrile can de drawn from the study.
ven in the six positive cases, they

said, the patients' improvement could
have been caused by other factors, such
as their diet or "the unmeasurable
ingredient of hope."
"We were hoping to get many more
cases so that we would have a better
feel,'' said BDr. Neil Ellison, who direc-
ted the study for the National Cancer
Institute. "This certainly wasn't any
overwhelming testimony to the sup-
posedly hundreds of cases out there
that responded to Laetrile."
puiblished in the August 29 issue of the
New England Journal of Medicine.
The 'cancer institute's Network
Committee will meet Sept. 25 to decide
whether to recommend human testing
of Laetrile.
The 29-member committee's
proposal will be sent to institute direc-
tor Arthur Upton, who will make the
final decision.
Advocates of Laetrile say thousands
have been cured of cancer by the sub-

stance and urge that its use be legalized
in the United States.
ministration says Laetrile has not been
proved safe and effective and prohibits
its interstate shipment. However, on
July 10, the U.S. Circuit Court of Ap-
peals in Denver ruled that terminally ill
cancer patients can legally receive.
Laetrile injections. In addition, 17
states have legalized its use.
FDA Commissioner Donald Kennedy
said the new study does not provide any
proof that Laetrile works.
"It is significant that so few people
came forward with case
histories of successes from
Laetrile therapy in view of the claim
that thousands of cancer victims have
benefited from the use of this substan-
ce," Kennedy said. "The case does not
establish that any patient has benefited
from Laetrile."

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455,000 letters to doctors and other
health professionals in requesting case
records of patients who were helped by
From this, the agency received in-
formation on 93 patients, all of whom
were reported to have responded well to
Laetrile treatment.
The researchers threw out 26 cases
because information about the treat-
ment was sketchy. The rest were tur-
ned over to a panel of 12 cancer experts,
which concluded that four showed
"complete responses" and two "partial
responses" to Laetrile.
Three other patients whose concern
Three other patients whose cancers
had been removed remained free of the
disease for longer periods than nromal
after taking Laetrile, they said.
"It's impossible to draw any definite
conclusions about Laetrile's efficacy or
even to draw any conclusions about the
six cases that responded," Ellison said
in an interview.
The researchers said there was no
way to determine whether it was the
Laetrile that made the patients better.
They wrote, "The patients treated
with Laetrile were almost always given
concomitant metabolic therapy, in-
cluding substances that might be
regarded as immune stimulants, as
well as general supportive care
measures such as improved diet,
psychologic support and the un-
measurable ingredient of hope."
Bill would
end oil co.
ownership of
gas stations
LANSING (UPI)-A Flint lawmaker
has said he will introduce legislation to
spur competition in the gasoline in-
dustry by prohibiting major oil com-
panies from operating service stations.
Rep. Thomas Scott said the
legislation patterned after a Maryland
law would prevent the petroleum giants
from taking over retail sales and dic-
tating pump prices.
number of retail gasoline outlets in
Michigan has declined since 1972 from
nearly 9000 to 6,500, whilelhth number
of outlets operated by major oil com-
panies has increased from a handful to
20 percent of the total.
Major refiners "are using their up-
stream profits from production to sub-
sidize their own retail outlets, thereby
unfairly forcing independent retailers,
both branded and unbranded, out of
business." Scott said.
Once they control the market,
gasoline prices will shyrocket and ser-
vices will decline as evidenced by the
multitude of company-owned, self-
service gasoline stations that have pop-
ped up across the state," he said.

AP Photo

Striking migrant workers and their supporters begin their march south to
Columbus Tuesday morning on U.S. 23 after breaking camp at Carey, Ohio. The
workers are protesting wages of Northwest Ohio tomato growers and plan to
take their case to the state capital today.
Byrd urges approval



of gas
Leader Robert Byrd has said:
of compromise legislation to
trols on the price of natural g
be an admission that the Sena
or will not approve a nationa
Urging support for the com
Byrd said the bill should not
ned to conference because -
journment nearing - that mo
mean the legislation is dead.
IF THE SENATE kills the
Byrd, itought to do it oan u
"Let's administer the kni
heart of it, and say to the A
people, 'We can't come to grip
issue,' but let's not kill
parliamentary procedural mo
A direct rejection vote woul
admit to the public that "the S
not have the vision, the cou
decisiveness to act on this que
WHITE HOUSE aides bel
despite much public critici
have the votes to pass the na
compromise. But the outcom
Byrd's emotional, arm
speech came as Congress re
'work from vacation, facing at
workload in the final weeks
leaders still hope will be a mi
Byrd, who has not decided
call up the natural gas mea
indicated he was pessimis

SUNDAY ONLY ................. $ 7.00 for both terms.
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Name Daily Sunduy


mocratic chances to pass legislation to extend the
rejection time for ratification of the Equal Rights
lift con- Amendment.
gas would
te cannot FOR PRESIDENT Carter, today
al energy marks the start of a furious few weeks
in which some of the major legislative
apromise, programs of his first two years in office
be retur- will be decided.
- with ad- Yesterday, the House was expected
ve would to override Carter's veto of a $36.9
billion military procurement
authorization bill, and vote on the
bill, said president's prized civil service reform
p or. down proposal .
Carter vetoed the huge military
fe to the procurement appropriation because it
American contained $2 billion for a nuclear air-
s with the craft carrier he said is unneeded. House
it by a leaders predict carrier supporters can-
,ve." not get the two-thirds vote needed to
d at least override.
enate did AFTER-THAT, the House will call ut
rage, the revision of the civil service system,
stion," he which passed the Senate 87-1 but faces
more than 100 amendments in the
ieve .that The administration will try to knock
ism, they out a section attached to it by pro-labor
tural gas members that would allow federal
ie will be workers to participate in political cam-
paigns. If that section is retained Car-
n-waving ter may see his pet project go down the
turned to drain, since leading Senate proponents
top-heavy have threatened to filibuster any at-
of what tempt to pass the House version.
d-October The Senate may also call up a $54.5
billion Health, Education and Welfare
d when to appropriation bill certain to spark the
sure, also annual debate over federal funding of
tic about abortions for the poor.



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