Dr. Byron W. Goldberg's Speech  at The International Cancer Convention 1981 in Brugge (Belgium) on March 28th, 1981

Cancer is a chronic, systemic metabolic diseases which has its onset in the body's inability to adapt appropriately to stimuli. The stimuli, such as changes in the environment of the individual, cause stress. This applies to the single cell as well. If its environment is disturbed or changed, the cell will immediately adapt itself in order to survive. This adaptation can take the form of either controlled or uncontrolled changes in growth. Uncontrolled growth is cancer. Subclinical cancer is developing all the time, but in a healthy body, natural controlling factors are active which subvert this growth. When these natural factors are not in control, gross manifestations of diseases such as tumors and masses appear.

The immune system in our body detects and controls stress in the cells' environment. It may remove or neutralize cells which are out of control. Enzymes, as we shall see, constitute an important part of this immune system.

It has been demonstrated that cancer is a product not only of the processes within the body but also of mental stress; this program however will concentrate on the relationship between body processes in order to explain how the substance Amygdalin actually works.

Although the origin and course of cancer is unknown, empirical evidence from patients and physicians strongly indicates the efficacy of Amygdalin-based metabolic therapy.

With the introduction of the electron microscope it has Been possible to observe subcellular structures and begin to understand the nature and function of some of the components within the cell itself, giving rise to a new discipline - molecular biology. Together with X-ray techniques, this means that individual molecules can now be observed, and through atomic physics, we are now able to postulate the action and interaction of atomic and subatomic par

What follows is a working hypothesis of the focal action of Amygdalin.

Through molecular biology, we have greater understanding of how and why Amygdalin is useful in cancer therapy and prevention. An understanding of biological processes starts with a realization that living organism are for the most part composed of only a few elements. Using the international color code, oxygen is shown as red, hydrogen white, nitrogen blue, carbon black, and sulfur yellow. Oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen are gaseous elements. Carbon and sulfur are crystals in their natural state. It is only the manner in which these atoms are bound to each other that determines whether these substances are water, sugar, proteins, vitamins etc.

Atoms are the smallest particles of a substance which still exhibit all the properties of that particular substance. The grouping of two or more atoms in a specific pattern or arrangement is called a molecule. A molecule of water, for example, has one atom of oxygen and two atoms of hydrogen. If a water molecule is joined by the black carbon atom, a different substance is formed, formaldehyde. If we add two nitrogen atoms and two more hydrogen atoms, the substance urea results. Six carbon atoms joined in a hexagon forms a benzene ring, the basis for the substance benzoic acid.

A molecule may consist of as few as two or as many as several hundred atoms.

Within the body, large proteins called enzymes trigger most of the biochemical processes, including the joining or separation of molecular components.

For our purposes, we can regard enzymes as catalysts which either join molecules or pull molecules apart. There are thousands of enzymes in the body, each working with clock-like efficiency to stimulate the biochemical processes. It has become increasingly clear that proper enzyme activity is dependent on proper nutritional balance within the body.

Mandelonitrile, or more specifically d-d-mandelonitrile, a common molecule which occurs naturally, is the central component of a compound called Amygdalin or what we call Vitamin B-17. The benzene ring or 6 carbon atoms can be recognized, but it is also attached to another carbon atom. It has an asymmetrical carbon because there are different kinds of atoms attached to it, in this case two carbons, one hydrogen and one oxygen.

An extremely interesting portion of the mandelonitrile molecule is the cyanide radical, the atoms of carbon and nitrogen. This radical is not hydrogen cyanide, which in its free form is a poison, but is a radical which, as long as it is attached to the rest of the molecule, is non-toxic. This is glucose, a common sugar. Its molecule consists of groupings of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. When attached to the mandelonitrile molecule, it becomes the Vitamin E-17 related compound, prunasin. Two molecules of glucose make the Vitamin B-17 compound Amygdalin. It is Amygdalin. which is found in natural form in bitter almonds, apricots, peach, plum and cherry stones and in most seeds, which is identified as Vitamin B-17. It consists of two glucose or sugar molecules attached to an asymetrical carbon atom, a benzene ring and a cyanide radical known as mandelonitrile. As Amygdalin enters the body, enzyme action hydrolyzes the compound, removing the second sugar unit and leaving the mandelcnitrile molecule. Some of the mandelonitrile is further broken down into benzoin acid and thiocyanate, a natural blood-pressure regulator. When the final glucose is split off from the Amygdalin compound however, a hydrogen-oxygen unit is attached to the asymetrical carbon atom to form the intact molecule mandelonitrile. This hydrogen-oxygen unit is referred to as an alcohol or hydroxyl-group which the normal metabolic system identifies as being mildly toxic. Toxic substances bearing the hydroxyl group such as common aspirin, bilirubin and mandelonitrile are detoxified by the liver by their combination with a compound of glucuronic acid and urimedi-phosphate or UDP. this combination forms d-L-mandelonitrile betaglucurinide or Laetrile. While often referred to synonymously, Amygdalin and Laetrile are not biochemically the same. Amygdalin occurs naturally as mandelonitrile with two glucose units attached. While in the body, the molecule mandelonitrile combines with glucuronic acid to produce a compound called Laetrile.

There is widespread confusion over the term Laetrile, it is often used interchangeably with Amygdalin and other organic compounds known as nitrolosides or Vitamin-17.

Laetrile is formed from Amygdalin and synthesized from within the body. The scientific name for it is d-L-mandelonitrile beta glucuronide.

When Amygdalin enters the body, it is acted upon by a hydrolyzing enzyme, which cuts away one glucose unit to yield a compound called prunasin. Further enzymatic action, occurring primarily in the liver and kidneys, removes the remaining glucose unit, and the mandelonitrile combines with the glucuronic acid to produce the Laetrile molecule. This molecule has a negative charge which inhibits its passage through normal cell membrane. Under the right conditions however, Laetrile will pass through cancer cell membranes and undergo a further breakdown for a lethal attack on the malignant cells' internal energy-producing components in the mitrochondria. It is important to understand the essential differences between normal and cancer cells. The membrane of the normal cell, for example, is smooth whilst that of the cancer cell is rough, irregular and to a certain extent, leaky due to variations in membrane permeability.


The negatively-charged normal cell membrane tends to repel the negatively-charged Laetrile molecule but a malignant cell with a weaker negative charge has a weakened or leaky membrane which increases the probability of Laetrile entering the cell.

Within all cells are lysosomes which are storehouses for enzymes. Lysosomes are intact in normal cells, but enlarged, thin-membraned and leaky in cancer cells. As the lysosomes leak they release the specific hydrolyzing enzyme for Laetrile, beta glucuronidase. This specific enzyme splits the Laetrile molecule, removing the glucuronic acid and leaving the mandelonitrile within the cytoplasm of the malignant ceil. Mandelonitrile is not enzyme-specific, that is, it does not require an enzyme in order to become split. In fact, if it were to remain in an acidic medium such as cytoplasm, the mandelonite would tend to remain intact, but if introduced into an alkaline medium, it will split into one molecule of benzaldehyde and one of cyanide.

Just such an alkaline medium is present in the cancer cell in the plasma of the mitochondria, the cell's so-called energy center. There are many subcellular structures within the mitrochondria but it is the energy-producing enzyme, cytochrome oxidase. which is of paramount importance.

Cytochrome oxidase utilizes both oxygen and an iron atom fused in a ring of carbons and nitrogens in order to produce energy. This is the target of cyanide action. In the normal cell, there is an enzyme bound to the mitrochondrial membrane called rhodinase. This enzyme uses a molecule of cyanide and a molecule of thiosulfate as a source of sulfur to produce the non-toxic molecule, thiocyanate. Thus rhodinase detoxifies cyanide in the normal cell. In the cancer cell however, rhodinase is de-activated by the hormone HCG, human choriogonadotropin. The cyanide within the cancer cell cannot be detoxified as it is free to attach itself to the iron atom of the cytochrome oxidase. This action prevents the oxygen from attaching itself to the iron in the cytochrome oxidase and since it cannot use oxygen for energy conversion, the cell will die.

We have described how and why Laetrile, the breakdown product of Amygdalin, works in metabolic therapy. It must be remembered that the alkalinity of the plasma within the mitrochondrium, the swelling of the mitrochondria, the permeability of the membrane, the acidity of the cancer cell cytoplasm and the enzymatic activity are all dependent on nutrition. Vitamin B-17 cancer therapy is based on a concept of holistic metabolism. Laetrile can work only within the total framework of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, basic detoxification, dietary change consolidated by a reduction in stress and a positive mental attitude. Low protein insertion provides the ideal conditions for mitrochondrial membrane permeability and the correct alkaline/acid balance within both the cancer cell and the mitrochondria of the cancer cell to facilitate Laetrile activity.

The advances in technology in the past few years have allowed us to delve more deeply into the biochemistry of man and nature and to become more aware of ways in which cancer can be controlled.

Amygdalin and Laetrile work within a framework of holistic metabolic therapy, which, when understood and utilized, will help to remove the scourge of cancer from civilization.