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Alternative Medicine: The Gonzalez Protocol Trial for Pancreatic Cancer

separator It’s common for pancreatic cancer to be detected at a later stage, when hope of a cure through current available treatments is not very high. When cancer is advanced, doctors often tell patients about the option of taking part in a clinical trial. Some people find this appealing, not only because they see it as an opportunity to possibly try a medication that may help them, but also because they like the idea that, by participating in a clinical trial, they could eventually be helping other people in the future.

Right now, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, an arm of the National Institutes of Health, is funding a 5-year clinical trial for people 18 to 65 who have stage II, III or IV pancreatic cancer, Qualified candidates can not have not had chemotherapy or radiation and or the Whipple procedure or other surgery that was done with the intent to cure the cancer. The trial is called “Phase III Study of Gemcitabine Versus Intensive Pancreatic Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy With Ancillary Nutritional Support (Gonzalez Regimen) in Patients With Stage II, III, or IV Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas.”

In a nutshell, people who participate in the trial receive either chemotherapy or the alternative therapy, which is called the “Gonzalez Regimen” for short. The Gonzalez Regimen is named for Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, a doctor in New York who has done extensive research on alternative treatment for pancreatic cancer. People on the Gonzalez regimen take pancreatic enzymes by mouth every four hours and at mealtimes. They also must take up to 150 pills per day, including dietary supplements such as magnesium citrate, vitamins, minerals, papaya plus, and other trace elements. Patients also must have two coffee enemas per day.

In earlier phases of the Gonzalez Regimen trial (the one currently going on is in Phase III), patients lived three times longer than the average person with advanced pancreatic cancer. Some patients had even longer survival rates.

The enzymes and supplements used in the Gonzalez Regimen are not commercially available. If you’re doing other research on alternative treatments for pancreatic cancer and you see a Web site or other advertisement claiming to sell these specific products, you know you’re looking at fraudulent material, so don’t be fooled.

The Gonzalez Regimen clinical trial is taking place only in New York City, so it’s not convenient for people who don’t live in that area. But if you’re looking for information about other clinical trials related to pancreatic cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute’s clinical trials section.  If you’re interested in finding out more about the Gonzalez Regimen, simply enter the title in the search box and a screen for that particular trial will be called up.

You can also read about the Gonzalez Regimen on Dr. Gonzalez’s Web site.

National Cancer Institute; National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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