In Memorium: The Life and Times of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez

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“… truth always comes to the top… I have done what I have done because of the truth of it, and the truth has proven to be only truer as I’ve gotten further into this quest, and the results have been my greatest joy. We have found the fundamental way in which nature works with cancer, and it’s extraordinary. It is the greatest reward I could ever ask for.” – Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, 2010

“Nick, you will be sorely missed! You were, and always will be, a bright light in the otherwise dark and grim deathscape so carefully and cynically constructed by allopathic oncologists for their unfortunate, benighted patients and defenders. Thank you for your kindness, support, integrity, and wisdom. Bless you for the lives you saved, and the suffering you soothed. God speed!” – Howard Straus, Gerson Institute 2015

Dr. Nicholas James Gonzalez was born December 28, 1947 in Flushing, New York. He died suddenly and unexpectedly (cause unknown) in his New York City home on July 21, 2015 at the age of 67. Dr. Gonzalez was, and will continue to be, recognized as one of the greatest doctors in the history of western medicine because of his pioneering work in successful cancer treatment.

The approach of Dr. Gonzalez was totally unlike the standard cut-burn-poison approach (i.e. surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy) which continues to have an abysmal rate of success. (About chemotherapy, Charlotte Gerson commented that it will hopefully soon “rest on the historical trash pile of medieval torture instruments.”) The incidence of cancer has steadily risen over the past decades and the survival rate over the past five years has not changed.

The only exception to the abysmal track record of cancer treatment is the progress being made by alternative cancer therapies such as those utilized by Dr. Gonzalez. With his approach, the patient’s body is not treated as a battleground where the heroic doctor is hell-bent on killing the messenger (i.e. the tumour), thereby escalating the war and devastating the terrain, namely the patient’s body. Instead, his alternative approach works supportively with nature.

Dr. Gonzalez observed (about these very different approaches and correspondingly different outcomes) that “it’s not even a double standard, it’s like being in an alternate universe.”

Conventional versus Alternative Approaches to Cancer

When being interviewed by Dr. Joseph Mercola in 2011, Dr. Gonzalez commented: “Conventional academic medicine is the last religion left in America … you have to look at medicine, not as a scientific profession, but rather a religious profession…. It has its irrational beliefs. It has its own special language. It has its tools, it has its rituals. … The fact that they don’t make us better is ignored. Landon died, Patrick Swayze died, Linda McCartney died … because they went the conventional route. Why didn’t they do my therapy? Because I don’t have a temple. I don’t even own a white coat … Michael Landon picked that up right away. In fact, his press agent, Harry Flynn, wanted him to come and see me… [But] one of Landon’s comments about me was that I ‘wasn’t fancy enough’. So he went to the priesthood. He went to Cedars-Sinai.”

Many of Dr. Gonzalez’ pancreatic cancer patients (even those whose tumours had metastasized to other parts of the body) are still alive today – the oldest survivor started on the protocol in 1988. (With the conventional medical approach, most patients die within three months of a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.)

“I do have world-renowned celebrities as patients. But no one knows who they are; no one knows they have had cancer. The reason for that is they didn’t die, and we don’t hold press conferences. They’re doing their program and doing well with their lives.”

Dr. Gonzalez asserted that this situation of two realities “is not a conspiracy. The physicians who promote the conventional approach do so because they truly believe it’s the right thing to do. Healing cancer with nutrition and coffee enemas seems ludicrous when compared to the most advanced drug cocktails. If the most potent toxins can’t kill the cancer, how in the world could you get rid of the cancer with nutrients? They’ve bought the conventional paradigm hook, line, and sinker, and they promote it – not just for their patients, but for themselves and their families as well. And they suffer the same consequences as their patients. They grow up with the bias that drugs are the way to go. It’s how they’re trained; it’s imprinted in their brain in medical school. It’s like mind control – it’s what they believe. They go to their graves believing it.”

Gonzalez went on to elaborate: “Bias, at its root, is always about feeling comfortable, secure and at ease with the familiar and, as a corollary, uncomfortable, angry and resentful with the unfamiliar, however irrational the discomfort, anger and resentment might be. Bias is a fundamental, irrational, often fanatical disdain for someone or something not conforming to the accepted, perhaps a better word is ‘imprinted’, model, regardless of fact or reason.”

Formal research on alternative cancer therapies continued, and in 2004 the journal Pancreas published the results of an animal trial in which all the animals that were treated nutritionally survived, whereas the ones treated conventionally died.

Fraudulent Clinical Trial

He learned this the hard way when the National Institutes of Health funded a formal trial (1998 to 2005) to compare the Gonzalez protocol with conventional cancer therapy, specifically for the deadliest type – pancreatic cancer. Peer-reviewed journals had been reporting on Gonzalez’ work and he had been asked to present his findings in mainstream conferences, so the NIH took note of the increasing success that had become undeniable. But the NIH trial turned out to be a scam – it was scuttled in every possible way, in downright criminal ways, as confirmed by two independent government investigations after the false results were published. Recruiting patients for the trial was difficult from the start because oncologists don’t like to give up patients receiving chemotherapy for which, in the U.S., they are paid as much as $30,000 per patient by the manufacturer.

The person placed in charge of the NIH trial, Dr. John Chabot of Columbia University, was found to have seriously breached scientific protocol; he was also the developer of the original chemotherapy protocol against which the Gonzalez protocol was to be tested. He was thereby finding himself in the position of having to defend his approach at all costs, or to accept that the prevailing paradigm is a bust. What happened was a full blown ‘Chapotage’, as the Gerson Institute’s Howard Straus puts it. The whole terrible story is told in Dr. Gonzalez’ last book, What Went Wrong – The Truth Behind the Clinical Trial of the Enzyme Treatment of Cancer.

However, truth is hard to bury completely. The formal, final report on the NIH trial (which was suppressed) shows that the only two patients who survived were in the Gonzalez arm of the trial. The experience left Gonzalez profoundly injured: “Creative thinkers are best off as far from bureaucracies as humanly possible, they’re best off on another planet, perhaps another solar system …. If you want to do creative work, run as fast as you can, run from the impressive sounding titles and the important sounding conferences in exotic locales, flee as far as your legs can take you from the turf wars and egos and ‘prevailing paradigms’.”

Early History of the Gonzalez Cancer Treatment Approach

Dr. Gonzalez was originally employed as a journalist working for Time Inc. A chance encounter with Linus Pauling led to his decision to become a doctor. His academic credentials were already such that he effortlessly gained simultaneous acceptance into the medical schools of Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and Cornell. He chose Cornell because of its location near the Sloan Kettering Institute, the Mecca of cancer research. Starting in 1987, Dr. Gonzalez was practising in New York City.

Dr. Gonzalez developed his protocols based on the work of 20th century Scottish researcher Dr. John Beard, further developed later by Dr. Max Gerson, neurophysiologists Dr. Francis Pottenger and Dr. Ernst Gellhorn, and dentists Weston Price and William Donald Kelley. In fact Dr. Kelley, who had cured his own pancreatic cancer with a dietary and detoxification approach, and who went on to successfully treat some 10,000 other patients, became Dr. Gonzalez’ mega research resource. This happened at the suggestion of Sloan Kettering’s then chief Dr. Robert Good, who had pioneered bone marrow transplants and is one of the most frequently cited medical scientists in history to date.

The Kelley project began in 1981 and lasted five years, during which Dr. Gonzalez interviewed more than 1,300, and formally “evaluated more than 1,000 of Kelley’s patients, concentrating on a group of some 455 patients [independently] diagnosed with cancer who had done well under his care. From this population, I wrote up in detail 50 cases, representing 26 different types of cancer. Even today, nearly 30 years later, I am still impressed by Kelley’s achievement.” (From the 2011 interview with Dr. Mercola)

Of course, Gonzalez could not get anybody to publish his analysis until it finally appeared under the title, One Man Alone – An Investigation of Nutrition, Cancer, and William Donald Kelley, in 2010.

The Remarkable Discovery Underlying This Approach to Cancer Treatment

The central scientific discovery underlying the Gonzalez cancer treatment comes from the work of Dr. John Beard, who taught at the University of Edinburgh (died 1923) and whose seminal work Gonzalez re-published.

As a result of his embryological research, Beard observed that the placenta – with its trophoblastic cells – acts in its early stages exactly like a tumour: the cells are invasive, they produce enzymes that allow the breaking down of tissue barriers, they develop their own blood supply, and then they grow without restraint. But Beard observed that something amazing happens on day 56 of embryological development: the fetus grows a pancreas, and the enzymes that start being produced by that pancreas work to stop the potentially catastrophic tumour-like development of the placenta. Based on this discovery, Beard suggested that pancreatic enzymes should be used as therapeutic agents. This is exactly what is now being done successfully in the Gonzalez and Gerson cancer therapies. (Editor’s note: Digestive enzymes taken with meals help to digest food, but when they’re taken between meals they digest toxic matter in the body.)

One Man Alone

Michael Specter reported in The New Yorker (February 5, 2001) that Dr. Gonzalez “has no hobbies, no children, few interests other than cancer and nutrition. That obsession, he told me, ended his marriage.” When asked “if he thought it odd that a man who tells his patients that the only healthy life is a balanced life could do nothing but work, he replied: ‘My life is the lifestyle I would choose for nobody. I used to go to movies and restaurants … have brunch and go to museums and take vacations, but when I accepted this responsibility, everything else became secondary. I don’t want to do anything else. I have nothing against people who have a normal life. I am just not one of them.”

But fortunately for Dr. Gonzalez, shortly after this article was written, he met someone and did re-marry. He observed in late 2014, a few months before his death, that: “I feel so blessed that Mary Beth came into my life, to bring a personal security and fulfillment previously lacking. Her belief in my work, her steadfastness beside me as I take on the world, means more than I can say, and is a blessing I never would have expected.” While his dedication to his work never faltered, his personal life became a source of happiness and support.

We owe an immense debt of gratitude to Dr. Gonzalez for his obsession. Once out, the genii of truth cannot be stuffed back into the bottle of conventionality. As Dr. Gonzalez himself observed: “There has been a big change in the last fifteen years. We get calls from doctors now, asking us about nutrition … Fifteen years ago, it didn’t happen, and now it’s starting to happen.”


• The Gonzalez approach to alternative cancer therapy continues to be practised at his clinic in New York, under the auspices of his partner, Dr. Linda Isaacs. For information on the Gonzalez protocols please visit: Phone: (212) 213-3337
• “Alternative Medicine Takes on Cancer and Wins” written by Helke Ferrie about the Gonzalez treatment protocol for cancer (
• For the magazine and journal articles below, google:
i) M. Specter, ‘The Outlaw Doctor’, The New Yorker, February 5, 2001
ii) P. Chowka & K. Head, ‘One Man Alone’, Alternative Medicine, April 2002
iii) N. Gonzalez, ‘Alternative Medicine Comes of Age’, Totalhealth, vol. 23, no. 1, 2002 (a detailed history of government action to promote complementary medicine as part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health)
iv) Crayhon, ‘Alternative Medicine for Total Health: Interview with Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez’, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Feb/March 1996
v) Dr. Mercola’s website, articles, and interviews from 2011/2010/2009

• N. Gonzalez, ‘One Man Alone: An Investigation of Nutrition, Cancer and William Donald Kelley‘, New Spring Press 2010
• N. Gonzalez and L. Isaacs, ‘The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer’, New Spring Press, 2009
• N. Gonzalez, ‘What Went Wrong – The Truth Behind the Clinical Trial of the Enzyme Treatment of Cancer’, New Springs Press, 2010
• J. Beard, ‘The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and its Scientific Basis‘, 1911, re-published and annotated by Dr. N. Gonzalez
• S. Somers, ‘Knockout – Interviews With Doctors Who Cure Cancer‘, Crown, 2009
• Faguet, G. B., ‘The War on Cancer – An Anatomy of Failure‘, Springer, 2005
• Davis, D. L. MD, ‘The Secret History of the War on Cancer‘, Basic Books, 2007

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