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April 17, 1967

The Krebiozen StoryIs Cancer Quackery Dead?

JAMA. 1967;200(3):213-218. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120160079011

My definition of cancer quackery is the deliberate misapplication of a diagnostic or treatment procedure in a patient with cancer. Those who misapply diagnostic or treatment methods unknowingly may be honestly mistaken, inept, or fools. But the culprit who victimizes his fellowman suffering from cancer, impeding the patient's access to available therapies or constructive investigation, all the while greedily enriching himself, is a quack, a criminal, a jackal among men who deserves the scorn and ostracism of society. Because human life is at stake, he must be controlled.

The Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration has described krebiozen as a "cruel hoax." He has stated, "Each day a person with treatable cancer relies upon krebiozen is a day that brings him closer to death." This unambiguous stand leads us to review the background of the krebiozen tragedy, to determine how krebiozen reached its pinnacle of notoriety and why