Nutritional Cancer Therapy
An interview with Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez (June 1995)
Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez practiced medicine in New York City, treating primarily cancer patients with a nutritional approach known as the “Kelley Therapy.” In August 1991 I interviewed Dr. Gonzalez for the first time.
Dr. Gonzalez very kindly gave us this interview on June 16, 1995.
Moneychanger: Tell me about the Kelley Therapy for cancer and other degenerative diseases.
Gonzalez: You can break Kelley’s work into three parts: diet, supplements, and detoxification.
That sounds simple enough, but Kelley was more sophisticated. His genius lay in realizing that different people need different diets, ranging from pure vegetarian to pure meat with all gradations in-between. We use 10 basic diets and 90 variations.
Traditional Eskimos in northern Alaska, for example, were complete meat eaters because there are no fruits or vegetables there. Their diet was 80% saturated fat, a horror by the current orthodox standards, but traditional Eskimos were among the healthiest people on earth. They had no cancer, no heart disease, no arthritis, and normal cholesterol levels. When they became westernized and began living in town in the 1940s and ‘50s, all the diseases of civilization became epidemic: obesity, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. When they ate a high fat diet they were perfectly well, because biochemically Eskimos can’t use carbohydrates efficiently. They lack the enzymes. On the other hand, some humans are pure vegetarians, and there are all gradations in-between, particularly in America where the melting pot contains all kinds of genetic backgrounds.
The individual’s need for vitamin and mineral supplements varies as much as diet, so we use individualized supplement programs for each patient. Even the forms of vitamin C we use vary depending on the metabolism. We use six different forms of calcium—calcium phosphate, calcium lactate, calcium carbonate, di-calcium phosphate, even calcium chlorate at times—depending on the metabolism.. Doses also vary from patient to patient. Because every patient has a unique biochemical makeup, he needs a unique diet and unique combination of supplements.
For cancer in particular we use large doses of pancreatic enzymes. That is the main anti-cancer element of the therapy. The first study showing that pancreatic enzymes have an anti-cancer effect goes back to 1904. Traditionally orthodox medicine thinks these enzymes have only a digestive function, but animal studies document their anti-cancer effect. I firmly believe, as did Dr. Kelley, that pancreatic enzymes and the pancreas, not the immune system, are the main defense against cancer
Moneychanger: But doesn’t the pancreas normally secrete enzymes into the digestive tract as opposed to the bloodstream?
Gonzalez: Yes, but then they are absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestinal tract. This has actually been documented. One of the controversies around this theory is that the orthodox people claim that all the ingested pancreatic enzymes are destroyed in the gut. That’s been disproven, and studies as far back as the 1940s clearly document that orally ingested pancreatic enzymes are absorbed into the bloodstream, not destroyed in the gut. In 1976 an article in the eminent scientific biochemical journal Science showed that pancreatic enzymes in animal models are absorbed and not destroyed in the gut. When the pancreas secretes them into the intestinal tract, they are absorbed into the bloodstream and circulated around the body. It’s been known for years that pancreatic enzymes like trypsin and amylase circulate in the bloodstream, and these are normally measured, but no one really knew what they were doing there. We believe they help the body scavenge and destroy cancer cells.
Moneychanger: Pancreatic enzymes, the third major part of Kelley’s therapy, actually attack the cancer and break it down?
Gonzalez: That’s a simple way of looking at it, but things get a little more complicated. Increasingly we believe that tumors are not the illness, but rather the body’s way to sequester waste material. Some patients who have been with me now for five to seven years still have tumors, but they are doing very well. These people have really terrible types of cancer, like lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer.
God designed the body to work well, and when the body produces a tumor, it has a purpose. In the orthodox world and even in the unorthodox world, people think of tumors as the enemy to be destroyed. We believe that the tumors are a sign that the body is too filled with toxins, either inefficiently metabolized toxins from the from the body itself, or environmental toxins like heavy metals or pesticides. These toxins can overwhelm the liver’s ability to process them, backing up and confronting the body with an enormous load of toxic waste that (we believe) produces tumors which are like accessory livers, the body’s main detoxification organ. Tumors are actually the body’s intelligent defense to sequester, store, and neutralize severe metabolic wastes.
Yes, pancreatic enzymes attack these tumor areas, but they also seem to help destroy toxic wastes throughout the body. They digest, neutralize, and wash them out, and they seem to help liver function. The pancreas itself has a detoxification function and the enzymes help the body mobilize and get rid of this junk. In addition, pancreatic enzymes help normal cells repair, rebuild, and then eliminate all kinds of waste products.
We say simplistically that pancreatic enzymes destroy tumors directly, but actually they just help the body destroy abnormal cells, waste material, and abnormal proteins that can be very poisonous to the body, and eliminate all this toxic junk. Then as the body detoxifies the tumors tend to shrink
Moneychanger: Is that the same as saying that cancer is caused by some sort of toxemia, i.e., poisoning?
Gonzalez: Unquestionably, and this is not an original idea for either Kelley or me. In 1960 Casper Blond, an eminent English surgeon, wrote one of the classics of biomedical science, The Liver and Cancer. He was a very orthodox scientist who came to the same conclusion. He began to believe that the tumors were not the illness, but the body’s intelligent response to toxemia when the liver fails to eliminate wastes efficiently. As that waste backs up, in self-defense the body produces tumors, like accessory livers. Although only about 30 people these days are aware of his brilliant book, it is one of medical history’s classic genius monographs, but it just never took hold and no one understood it. It fits in perfectly with what we do.
Moneychanger: The first two parts of the Kelley therapy are diet and supplements.
Gonzalez: The third part is detoxification, which includes the enzymes. As the body repairs and rebuilds, it releases an enormous amount of metabolic waste. On top of that, we live in a very polluted world that exposes the body to enormous amounts of toxic chemicals. These are stored in the body like toxic time bombs. With the Kelley Therapy the body tries to eliminate these wastes, so we have a series of procedures that help the body mobilize this toxic garbage efficiently. These include pancreatic enzymes, coffee enemas, liver flushes, and intestinal cleaning processes that are very, very powerful. Coffee enemas are one of our detoxifying tools. They help the liver and the colon work better. We also have specific detoxification procedures for the colon. Since most Americans have enormous amounts of junk stored in their toxic colons, that’s critical.
Moneychanger: Now wait—coffee enemas. The mere mention of those provokes a string of bad jokes and hysterical laughter, but I remember from our previous interview that you use those yourself.
Gonzalez: I’ve been using them for 14 years with only one effect: I felt better from the first one I did. I’ve never looked back and I feel great when I do them. All the terrible things that are supposed to happen don’t happen. Coffee enemas don’t destroy bowel function or wipe out your intestinal flora, but what they do is help the liver work better. They are extremely powerful, one of the most powerful detox procedures that we use. My whole staff does them. They just feel better when they do.
Moneychanger: Did Kelley originate the coffee enema?
Gonzalez: No, actually Max Gerson used them for decades and really promoted them. He was a nutrition-oriented physician who moved to the US from Germany during the ‘30s and practiced here in New York. Gerson found, as did Kelley, that coffee enemas helped the liver work better. In Europe they were used routinely in the ‘20s and ‘30s to treat toxic shock and all kinds of very serious illnesses. By the ‘40s and ‘50s, as medicine became more “technologically sophisticated,” interest in coffee enemas waned, but they appeared in all the major nursing textbooks right through the 1950s as standard nursing procedures. They were listed in the Merck Manual, the Bible of orthodox therapy, until 1977. What nurses and other physicians noticed was that the enemas made patients feel better, but they didn’t know why. It was supposed to be a caffeine high, but that’s not it. Through a neurological reflex the coffee enemas help the liver work more efficiently.
The liver is the body’s main detoxification organ. It processes and neutralizes all toxic chemicals, whether they come from our own body or the environment. In this toxic universe of 1995 the liver is always overloaded, particularly when you have an illness. The backed up toxic waste makes you feel sick, and we believe it can also lead to tumor formation. Coffee enemas help the liver clean out, help eliminate toxic chemicals more efficiently, and make you feel better.
Moneychanger: So anybody could do coffee enemas?
Gonzalez: Anyone should do them. Well, anyone who wants to feel good. If you don’t want to feel good, absolutely don’t do them.
Moneychanger: Why not just drink the coffee instead of taking it rectally?
Gonzalez: The different ends of the body are about a thousand miles apart physiologically. When you drink coffee, it stimulates certain nerves that shut down liver function. When you take it rectally the caffeine stimulates certain nerves that immediately cause the liver to release its junk.
Moneychanger: The proverb says, “The dose makes the poison.” You even recommend organically grown coffee for your patients. Do you really think that the very tiny doses of chemicals in our environment, vanishingly small in some cases, can cause cancer?
Gonzalez: First of all, the doses on a lot of crops, including coffee, are not insignificant. Coffee originate outside the US where they use pesticides that are outlawed here, and in very high doses. A particular coffee bean may not contain much, but when you’re doing coffee enemas day after day, it starts adding up and can stress the liver. Cancer and degenerative diseases are becoming increasingly epidemic (and the rates are increasing substantially) because we are increasingly exposed to many, many different toxins.
Moneychanger: You imply that the body does not normally excrete these toxins.
Gonzalez: It does, but poor nutritional practices (common in the US) and exposure to toxins in the water and the air and the environment overload our liver. It faces a load far greater than it normally can handle, so the stuff starts backing up and that leads to degenerative disease.
Moneychanger: Over what time period are cancer rates increasing?
Gonzalez: In the last five years many types have increased—pancreatic cancer, brain cancer, and breast cancer particularly. It’s been gradual, i.e., not an epidemic increase in two years, but rates have increased substantially, particularly in the last few decades.
Moneychanger: Mammograms have been used more and more in the last 10 years. Is there any connection?
Gonzalez: There are doctors who believe that rising rates of breast cancer correlate completely with the rising use of mammography, and that we may be like a dog chasing its tail. Frequent mammography exposing that delicate breast tissue to X-ray may actually be precipitating an increase in cancer rate. The very tool they’re using to diagnose cancer may be causing it.
Moneychanger: What about birth control pills?
Gonzalez: They’re a total, unmitigated disaster. First, the hormones are synthetic, so they stress the liver. They don’t work physiologically, but they do cause a toxic hormonal situation in the body.
Moneychanger: Let’s say that a patient comes to you with cancer and decides he does want to follow the Kelley Therapy. It’s not easy, is it?
Gonzalez: No, as you know from your sister’s experience, it requires real dedication. Attitude is the single most important determinant in a patient’s recovery. This is a hard program, and you have to accept that getting well is a full time job. My average patient is trying to undo 30 - 50 years of damage, and it’s not easy. It’s virtually a full time job, but I do it myself. I’ve never had cancer, so I don’t have to do everything my patients do, but I eat organic food, I do carrot juice, and I take supplements. I do it because it makes me feel so much better, and I like to feel good. But it is an investment. You have your good health, and there’s no price you can put on that. Feeling good is the greatest gift I’ve ever had, next to knowing the Lord.
Moneychanger: How big a part does carrot juice play? I know my sister spends a lot of time washing carrots and juicing them. One glass of carrot juice makes a full meal for me
Gonzalez: It’s really a nutritional powerhouse. In addition to beta-carotene it’s got B vitamins, vitamin C, carbohydrates, and a lot of calories, so for sick cancer patients who’ve lost a lot of weight, it’s a godsend. Juice offers high quality nutrition that’s very quickly and easily absorbed without the input of a lot of energy:
Moneychanger: I know the Kelley Therapy takes a good bit of time every day. How much does it cost?
Gonzalez: The first year runs from F$5,500 to F$7,000, and then it gets progressively cheaper.
Moneychanger: Is that just the cost of the supplements?
Gonzalez: No, that includes everything: supplements, my fee, and buying a juicer. The second year might be F$1,000 - 1,500 cheaper.
Moneychanger: What rate of cure have you seen with this therapy?
Gonzalez: Right now we are in the process of doing clinical trials to document that. We estimate that of the patients who stick with the program (which is most of them) about 70% get well. We lose about 30%, but the majority do very well.
Moneychanger: What about people who come to you after radiation or chemo therapy?
Gonzalez: Many patients we see have already undergone chemo or radiation. They’re always tougher to treat. Not only are you dealing with the toxins from the environment and their own inefficient metabolism, but also with the extraordinary toxic load from that previous treatment. Even antibiotics are toxic, and certainly aggressive chemo or radiation are very toxic and damaging to the body. That leaves us facing two battles: repairing the normal toxicity as well as the damage done by the previous therapy. Those patients have more work to do, but they can get well.
Of course, there is a point of no return. I’ve had patents who’ve had 10 different chemo drugs and radiation. That’s above and beyond what the human body can tolerate, and these people are going to die. The side effects from therapy that extensive are not reversible. But generally many patients who’ve had the standard chemo or radiation doses can get better. It’s a little tougher, and they’ll feel a little sicker, but they get better.
Moneychanger: What do you mean when you say, “Seventy percent get well”? They don’t die of cancer?
Gonzale z: Basica lly. They may get hit by a truck in 15 years, but they don’t die of cancer. I have patients who came in with terminal cancer and have now been with me eight years, and they’re doing fine.
Moneychanger: When you say you have a rate of cure where 70% of them get well, i.e., don’t die of cancer, that embraces all kinds of cancer?
Gonzalez: Pretty much. We see a whole variety of cancers. I hesitate because there are some types of cancer like acute leukemia that I haven’t just seen many of. I can’t speak to those because I just don’t have a lot of experience with them.
Moneychanger: What about biopsies? Do they actually spread cancer?
Gonzalez: There are studies that show that biopsies of liver tumors and prostate cancer can actually spread the illness. This is out of the orthodox literature, I’m not making this up myself. The body’s attempting to wall off toxins and you just leave those tumors alone, because the body knows what it’s doing. When you mess around with the capsule of those tumors, you’re going to spread the toxic wastes the body is trying to control, like bursting a balloon.
Moneychanger: How do you decide what sort of diet and supplements to prescribe?
Gonzalez: Our biochemical workup includes blood work and a special hair analysis (that’s experimental). We interpret that biochemical information to determine the diet and supplements.
Moneychanger: You are an M.D. with an orthodox medical education from Cornell University. How did you become involved with this very unorthodox therapy?
Gonzalez: I started researching Kelley’s work as a second-year medical student, under the direction of the then-head of Sloan-Kettering. What started as a student project developed into a five year research study examining thousands of his records. As eccentric a man as Kelley may have been, I had no choice but to accept that he had hundreds and hundreds of patients with obviously terminal disease who were still alive 5, 10, and 15 years later. We documented all that in a monograph. It took 5 years to do the study, and the data spoke for itself.
Moneychanger: How did Kelley figure this out? Wasn’t he an orthodontist?
Gonzalez: Yes, and a very smart man. He became interested in nutrition as a result of his dentistry. Around 1964 he was diagnosed with what was thought to be pancreatic cancer, although it was never biopsied. He was quite sick, and treated himself and got well. Gradually he began to treat other cancer patients for whom there was no other option.
Moneychanger: After you’d gotten out of Medical School and done this study, you decided to go into this type of therapy?
Gonzalez: My goal was to get clinical trials to prove its effectiveness. I was trained as an orthodox scientist, and that’s what I felt was needed. But back in the mid-’80s if you mentioned nutrition and cancer in the same sentence they were ready to throw you in jail. That’s changed a lot in 10 years. Back then I couldn’t get anyone to support clinical trials. Now we have done that, but my goal has always been to collect and present enough data so that sooner or later the authorities in medicine would have to take this therapy seriously.
Moneychanger: Kelley had pancreatic cancer. From the death of a friend a few years ago I know that’s a very fast-moving cancer.
Gonzalez: It’s the worst there is.
Moneychanger: How long would a patient normally live with pancreatic cancer?
Gonzalez: With inoperable disease the survival is anywhere from three to four months on average.
Moneychanger: Kelley survived. What about the people he treated?
Gonzalez: Some of them with diagnosed pancreatic cancer we followed more than 10 and 15 years.
Moneychanger: These people had clinically diagnosed pancreatic cancer?
Gonzalez: Yes. We actually tracked down every pancreatic cancer case he treated between 1974 and 1982, and the average survival at that point was 8½ years for the people who did his program. In the small series that we were able to document, the ones who followed the program had done extraordinarily well, and some are still alive.
Moneychanger: It’s been almost 4 years now since my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy, but after that became much sicker and didn’t begin to improve until she came under your treatment. What about radical surgical treatment for breast cancer?
Gonzalez: If it’s really localized, there’s no question that surgery can cure, although the toxic situation still exists. Again, we don’t think tumors are the enemy but the body’s response to a toxic situation. When you attack the tumor alone, you’re not really getting to the root of the problem.
Moneychanger: You said your therapy would cost F$5,500-7,000 for the first year. In a hospital a cancer patient would run up a F$7,000 bill in three days.
Gonzalez: Oh, yes. The average cost for chemo runs anywhere from F$50,000 to F$100,000 for a one year course of treatment, so it’s roughly one-twentieth the cost of chemo and radiation.
Moneychanger: What about the clinical trials you’re doing now?
Gonzalez: The National Cancer Institute suggested we do a pancreatic study and it’s been funded by an outside source. We’re doing a controlled clinical trial under NCI oversight and direction.
Moneychanger: How long will that last?
Gonzalez: Probably another year. We started toward the end of January.
Moneychanger: Does anybody else in the country do this therapy besides you?
Gonzalez: There are people who say they do the Kelley Therapy or the Gonzalez Therapy, and I’ve never even met them. Would I send someone I love to someone like that? I don’t think so.
Moneychanger: Do healthy people use this therapy on a prophylactic basis?
Gonzalez: My whole staff is on it. You don’t have to be dying of cancer to warrant this program. I think the whole world should be on it. If you want good health, it’s a great program.
Moneychanger: The individual patient comes to you, diagnosed already with cancer. You do your biochemical workup, and you prescribe a diet and supplements. What will this person’s life be like after that?
Gonzalez: A cancer patient has to take pills ten times a day, they have to do enemas maybe 6 -8 times a day initially, and then other purges and liver flushes, eat organic food, drink carrot juice 3-4 times a day. It’s a lot of work, but it’s not impossible, just petty stuff. I do it myself, and I don’t mind it. To me it’s an investment in efficiency, because I work better when I do it.
Moneychanger: A lot of the patients feel sicker at first, don’t they?
Gonzalez: They always feel sicker. When the body repairs and rebuilds an enormous amount of toxic debris is released, and that will make you feel ill. We try to control the rate at which the body repairs. If you repair too quickly, you’ll have tumor breakdown wastes and all sorts of stored toxic wastes released in the body and it’ll make you so sick you can’t get out of bed.
Moneychanger: That’s why you warn them before they start that the program will require a lot of effort?
Gonzalez: We don’t encourage them to do it. We try to discourage them, because we want patients who are committed, who realize this is an investment, and don’t want to be baby fed. They must be willing to do the work to get well.
Moneychanger: What about other degenerative diseases?
Gonzalez: We treat everything, from multiple sclerosis to arthritis. Different diseases require different protocols.
Moneychanger: Do you have the same startling results with other diseases that you have with cancer?
Gonzalez: I’ve seen about half a dozen multiple sclerosis patients, maybe 10, and two of them were already in wheelchairs and didn’t respond the way I wanted. The others really did extremely well. I have a couple of patients with ALS, and I’m not sure what we can do with that. The longest has been with me two years and is still alive. We’re trying our hardest to figure out how to reverse that, but I don’t have a lot of patients with that. We have a lot of arthritis, a lot of chronic fatigue, which has become epidemic.
Moneychanger: You don’t think that’s viral?
Gonzalez: I think the body’s too toxic so it doesn’t work right and then viruses, bacteria, and candida, can start taking over.
Moneychanger: Is the uproar about candida overblown?
Gonzalez: They’re treating that as the problem, but the real issue is that the body is way too toxic. I don’t think it’s overblown. The overuse of antibiotics has really caused an overgrowth of candida in many patients, and has disrupted the normal bacterial flora.
Moneychanger: So you’re chary of using antibiotics?
Gonzalez: You have to be very careful with them. First of all, they don’t work that well anymore because lot of the bugs are immune. In addition, there are herbal and nutritional remedies that work better and are not as toxic, such as echinacea. We also have a very powerful a thymus preparation (the thymus controls the immune system) that we use as a natural antibiotic.
Moneychanger: There’s a yeast-free diet popular right now that’s supposed to boost the immune system. Does it really work?
Gonzalez: [laughing] You’ll have to ask whoever is using it. We have patients with candida and we use things to clear it out, but it’s usually not that difficult. If you get the people detoxed, if you get their colon cleansed, you restore natural bacteria, you should get them free of candida. It’s not that big a deal.
Moneychanger: I’m amazed how many times you recur to this toxic bowel idea.
Gonzalez: It’s the issue in a lot of these problems. Diseases result, we believe, because toxic waste is backing up into the body. Basically it’s auto-intoxication. You have to get rid of that some way.
Moneychanger: Thank you very much, Dr. Gonzalez.
Don't miss our more recent interview with Dr. Gonzalez (July 2012) — What Went Wrong: The Truth Behind the Clinical Trial of the Enzyme Treatment of Cancer.
It broke my heart to learn that Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez passed away suddenly on 21 July 2015. Nick was a faithful Christian man, utterly patient to teach me what he was doing, and why. He first graciously granted me an interview in August 1991, but I interviewed him several more times over the years. If I had cancer, I would use nothing but the therapy he has so successfully applied.
Nick was a national treasure that all men of good will should cherish. He was honest and fiercely valiant for the truth, heedless of any danger to himself. Nick lived and died free, utterly unintimidated by the world, ready to help everyone. It was an honour to know him. "Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the rest of your Lord." My God comfort his family, co-workers, and all who mourn his loss.
WARNING & DISCLAIMER: By publishing this material, neither The Moneychanger nor the author/interviewee recommends or endorses any specific treatment or therapy for any physical condition or disease. Neither The Moneychanger nor the author/interviewee guarantees or warrants any results from any treatment discussed, nor assumes any express or implied liability for any use to which the reader puts this information. By this interview, the interviewee does not prescribe any treatment whatsoever for anyone who is not his patient. All the information here is offered for information purposes only, subject to the reader’s own research, prudence, and judgment.
Originally published July 1995