More than just a few people have been wondering whether the massive cancer industry is really interested in developing cures for the various related diseases. If you have had that nagging feeling yourself, you should probably to check out an eye-opening documentary expose, because it may just confirm your worst fears. The shocking documentary, Second Opinion, directed by Eric Merola, virtually blows the covers off a shameful chapter in the history of Sloan-Kettering hospital, a revered institution that we trusted to have the best interests of its patients at heart.
Back in the 1970s, one of Sloan-Kettering hospital’s top researchers, Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura, announced that an experimental drug called Amygdalin, or Laetrile, was highly effective in treating certain types of cancers in laboratory mice. It was July 1974, and the announcement should have heralded Dr. Sugiura’s discovery as a major milestone in the fight against malignancies. It was not to be, though, because the Sloan-Kettering hierarchy, ostensibly at the direction of the American Cancer Society, moved to discredit Dr. Suguira’s findings.
Amygdalin and Laetrile are not actually the same drug. Laetrile is a synthetic version that shares part of the structure of Amygdalin. These drugs generate free cyanide if taken orally.
Amygdalin is an old drug, first isolated in 1830, and used as a cancer treatment in Russia fifteen years later, as it was in the 1920s in the USA. It was considered extremely poisonous. In the 1950s, the synthetic form was patented as a meat preservative, and later marketed as a cancer treatment, under the name laetrile.
In 1977, the FDA prohibited the interstate shipment of both amygdalin and laetrile. 27 U.S. states didn’t believe the FDA and they legalized the use of amygdalin within their own borders.
The hospital issued a “Second Opinion” effectively disputing Dr. Sugiura’s finding that Laetrile may be effective in reducing tumors. Even worse, they suggested the drug’s side effects were much worse than chemotherapy.
One of Dr. Suguira’s Sloan-Kettering colleagues, Dr. Ralph Moss, says Sloan-Kettering hospital’s campaign to discredit the drug and Suguira through the press. Dr. Moss says Laetrile was “better than all the known cancer drugs” then available. The Sloan-Kettering hierarchy acted to crush Moss too, terminating him, which destroyed his career.
As is often the case, no mainstream media were interested in the cover-up, despite overwhelming data in favor of Laetrile. The New York Times even went so far as to publish a front-page story denigrating the Laetrile.
In June 2004, the FDA successfully prosecuted Jason Vale, president of the New York-based Christian Brothers Contracting Corp., for marketing and sales of Laetrile. He was sentenced to 63 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release.
Dr. Moss notes that the three hypocritical superiors who fired him, Dr. Robert Good, Dr. Lewis Thomas and Dr. Chester Stock, all MDs, all died of cancer. He reminds us that the Hippocratic Oath says “First, do no harm.”
Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 75 minutes
Distributor: Merola Productions
See the Second Opinion trailer: