The American Medical Association Begins a Smear Campaign Against Homeopathic Cancer Cure Developer, Dr. William Koch

The American Medical Association began its campaign to discredit and smear the reputation of Dr. William Koch following an erroneous report published on the first page of the weekly issue of the Wayne County Medical Society’s Weekly Bulletin on the December 22, 1919. Dr. Koch sent a reply letter the same day to explain that his cancer investigation was prematurely terminated and the facilities were inadequate, far below the standards promised for the trial.

Following the December 22, 1919 Wayne County Medical Society’s Weekly Bulletin’s biased, untruthful and misleading report on their investigation of Dr. Koch’s cancer treatment, he never received any cooperation from or any scientific investigation of his cancer research by the Wayne County Medical Society. Likewise, there never has been any investigation of Dr. Koch’s cancer research by the American Medical Association, assisted by Dr. Koch, as he had initially requested in a letter on August 3, 1920 to Dr. George H. Simmons, Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It soon became apparent that he was setup to fail so that his trial could be shown a failure and Dr. Koch labeled a quack. Mrs. Edith Fritz, one of the original nine cancer patents to be treated by Dr. Koch during this investigation, continued treatment under Dr. Koch and made a full recovery. A letter from her husband follows:

This is box title

Toledo, Ohio
July 16, 1924

My dear Dr. Koch:

I have had so many inquiries regarding your treatment for cancer from people that have heard of the wonderful cure of Mrs. Fritts that I feel it my duty not only to you but to the thousands of sufferers from this disease to publicly state just what the results of your treatment were in the case of my wife.

In July 1918, Mrs. Fritts was first taken ill; from then until June 1919, she was examined and treated by several physicians. Her case was diagnosed as appendicitis, colitis and other maladies, but she did not respond to any treatment. At the beginning of her illness she weigh 172 pounds. By June 1919, she had lost weight constantly, weighting only 97 pounds. At that time I took her to Dr. George Jones, a very prominent specialist. He and his associate, Dr. A. N. Smith, after three days examination decided to call in Dr. Louis Smead, one of our recognized surgeons. At the conclusion of their examination, Dr. Jones informed me that they were agreed that there was a growth in the abdomen, but could not say whether it was malignant or not; that the only way to determine was by operation. This operation was performed the next morning by Dr. Smead, Drs. Jones and Smith both being present. After possibly one half-hour Dr. Jones came from the operating room to where I was waiting and informed me that they had found the trouble to be cancer, and in such a shape that an attempt to remove it would undoubtedly prove fatal, consequently there was nothing to do but close the wound and keep the patient as comfortable as possible. Both Dr. Jones and Dr. Smith told me that nothing further could be done; that it was simply a case of but a few months to live. In about two weeks the wound had healed and we were able to take her home.

From then until October 1919, Dr. Smith called frequently but admitted he could do nothing for her. Early in October I heard of Dr. Koch’s treatment and that he was conducting an experimental clinic in Herman Kiefer Hospital at Detroit. Accompanied by Dr. Smith, I went to Detroit and saw Dr. Andries, one of the committee appointed to watch this experimental work. We arranged to have Mrs. Fritts admitted to Herman Kiefer Hospital. A few days later we took her to Detroit, Dr. Smith and her nurse going along. Patient was in the hospital three weeks during which time she received treatment from Dr. Koch. At the time, after some disagreement, it was decided to close the hospital to Dr. Koch’s patients, but as Mrs. Fritts was apparently being benefited by the treatment, I decided, if possible, to have Dr. Koch continue to treat her. I saw Dr. Koch and he told me he would continue the treatments if it was possible for her to get to his office. I made arrangements for her and her nurse to go to a hotel. From there they went to Dr. Koch’s office at appointed times for two weeks. At that time she had so improved that she was able to return to Toledo (Ohio) on an Interurban car. From that time on improvement was apparent and after several visits to Dr. Koch’s (Detroit) office, he pronounced her cured. Today, four years later, she is enjoying splendid health, doing all her own housework, besides enjoying all social activities, weighs one hundred and sixty pounds. A feeling of profound gratitude prompts me to make this statement.

Sincerely yours,

F. F. Fritts (Signed)

F. F. Fritts, being personally known to me, swears the foregoing is a true statement to the best of his knowledge and belief.

John H. Laycock (Signed)

Notary Public

Dr. William Koch developed a method of creating oxygen rich carbonyls synthetically that was far cheaper and easier than the complex heart and brain tissue extract. They were called Glyoxylide and Malonide. A simple explanation of Koch’s treatment is that it kick starts the body’s oxidation system. In 1919 Koch requested the Wayne County Medical Society to appoint a committee to test his treatment in five terminal cancer cases. The committee chose five “stretcher” cases, all at death’s door. Koch treated them and in three weeks they were all up and about, cheerful and gaining strength. The committee immediately ordered them all home and “forbade them any more care from Koch.” (p 55). The committee’s final report was “no results.”

Koch noticed that cancer and other diseases broke down the body’s oxidation system; if there was healthy oxidation in the body there was no disease. Koch decided to develop a non-destructive cancer therapy that would work with the body’s natural chemistry. He found that heart and brain tissue was particularly resistant to oxygen starvation. He identified carbonyl compounds as being responsible for producing energy and was vital to the body’s oxidation process.

Koch first tested his theory in 1917 on a woman in late stages of metastasized liver cancer in a Detroit hospital was only expected to live a week. Koch gave her a carbonyl-rich extract of heart and brain tissue. When visiting the following week, Koch found the hospital bed empty and assumed she had died. The following June, however, Koch was astounded to bump into the woman on the street who gave him a big hug. The woman said she’d asked after him, but the hospital had lied and told her he went off to work for the U.S. Army.

After Koch wrote an article about this in the Detroit Medical Journal an AMA representative came to visit. He asked for all rights to the treatment as well as all the research and methodology of creating it. Not surprisingly, Koch refused. A couple of months later Koch was denounced as a quack in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA).

An official cancer investigation that started in late fall of 1919, lasted for only a few weeks, having been prematurely terminated by the cancer committee. Dr. Koch had been permitted to treat only nine terminal cancer cases as opposed to all the cancer patients that he had been previously promised. Also, the hospital facilities offered him were grossly inadequate for conducting a proper scientific cancer investigation of his treatment. After the investigation started, it become apparent to Dr. Koch that he would never receive the full cooperation from all of the members of the Cancer Investigation Committee appointed to conduct the Herman Kiefer Hospital clinical cancer tests. Their antagonism and lack of cooperation resulted in this premature closing of the clinical cancer investigation of his treatment. At the time this investigation was closed, one of the official cancer patients, Mrs. Edith Fritts, was discharged from the hospital. She elected to continue treatment in Detroit under Dr. Koch’s personal care. While under Dr. Koch’s medical care, she made a full recovery from her cancer and lived cancer free until her death in 1935 that resulted from an accident.

As a direct result of the failure by this cancer investigation committee to cooperate with Dr. Koch and because of the erroneous report published on the first page of the weekly issue of the Wayne County Medical Society’s Weekly Bulletin on the December 22, 1919, Dr. Koch wrote the following letter to the Wayne County Medical Society.

This is box title

WM. F. KOCH, A.M., Ph.D., M.D.
Detroit, Michigan
December 22, 1919

To the Wayne County Medical Society:

Gentlemen – A committee appointed by the Wayne County Medical Society met me last Friday and requested me to present information regarding my cancer treatment.

I was told the information was desired so as to ascertain:

  1. Whether the work was worth continuing.
  2. To dispel misunderstandings and prevent further false reports that have arisen against my methods.

Now the first question requires no answer. This method has tentatively cured a sufficient number of cancer cases to demonstrate that there is a scientific principle underlying it. This principle needs development, both chemical and clinical, so there can hardly be any question about whether the work is worth while.

The second question can be answered by a short history of this work.

  1. Only cases beyond other means of help have been treated by me. For a long time, indeed, most of the cases that have come to me were moribund before treatment. A large number of these cases needed most urgent relief from changes secondary to the cancer. They offered material for experiment rather than cure.
  2. The first compounds used were tentatively curative in carcinoma of gastrointestinal and endometrial origin, but there was the possibility of preparing a large number of closely related compounds all of which should possess some positive or negative value in treating cancer. Moreover, there were types of cancer that did not respond to the first series of compounds and the fact that rayed cancer was clinically different from unrayed cancer made it paramount to prepare as many of the compounds of the series as could be prepared and to try them clinically for positive or negative value. Most of the time since last March was spent preparing and testing these compounds. Now, when we remember that the rule in advanced cancer is that the patients run their course and die, instead of getting well, as in pneumonia, for instance, and since the vitality of my patients was, as a rule, very low, and because they were treated by compounds of uncertain action used in sequence as they were prepared, the number of tentative recoveries was necessarily small; but yet some valuable information has come from the small amount of autopsy material. Likewise, pieces of tissue removed during treatment have given valuable information. Of the clinical results, a number of tentative cures have been established, also a number of clinical improvements, all of which has demonstrated that among the 22 compounds used, as far as can be judged from the small number of cases treated, one compound specifically kills cancer arising in the gastrointestinal tract and endometrium and endocervix; one compound kills breast cancer of one type only, specifically; one compound kills rodent ulcer specifically. Several compounds have no demonstrable effect, and several recently prepared compounds very markedly increase the rate of growth of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and prostate.

So much for the results to date.

The maintenance of the work was for the first year entirely personal. The meager facilities of the Laboratory of Physiology of the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery were used then also. Since March about 30 percent of my patients have contributed to the work. The other 70 percent are treated free.

In regard to cooperation: I am greatly indebted to those members of the Wayne County Medical Society that have given their clinical support. I believe they are physicians in the true sense of the word. It must be expected, however, that the necessary element of falsifiers have in their number those and their adherents who at one time expected that financial advantage would accrue to them from the work. Moreover, there always are those who are jealous.

My aim is entirely idealistic, and so far as I know now, I shall contribute my findings in every detail only when I can establish them completely scientifically, so completely, indeed, that any question can be answered by the scientifically obtained facts in hand.

In order to establish this work in such a way, money is needed to pay a clinical staff. Ehrlich was given a million dollars to find a remedy for syphilis. I have attacked this heretofore-impossible cancer problem on my own resources, together with the very small facilities of my college laboratory.

From this effort something tangible has developed, which, if applied in the treatment of cancer, should relieve many sufferers, and which, when scientifically extended, should afford new means of relief.

Whether or not the Wayne County Medical Society wishes to cooperate with me is up to the society. The cooperation must be spirited. In the first place, the attitude expressed in the editorial in the Bulletin of December 22 must be corrected. The first paragraph of this editorial is false, as the editor could have easily determined if he had taken the trouble to ascertain. The third paragraph is also a misrepresentation. The Board of Health and the Wayne County Medical Society offered something which at first promised to become the long hoped for chance for a scientific study, but very soon proved to be only an opportunity for something not worth while, simply a preliminary clinical report.

Such a report we already have, and no report is of value unless the compounds are reported. This I will consent to do only when I can make a scientific report showing the how and why certain compounds act on cancer.

To make such a report, a clinical staff and at least one paid chemist and one assistant chemist is necessary. I was not able to secure a chemist under less than one-year contract, and the beds at Herman Kiefer hospital were not allotted for that time. Indeed, the superintendent informed me four weeks after the beds were granted that they would be needed for contagious diseases. No working arrangement could thus be made for the desired report. Then the committee did not cooperate with me. One member never visited the hospital and only attended the final meeting to subscribe his name to the report of my negligence.

Another member, who is supposed to have a corner on cancer tissue, when this work was first started and when I was introduced to him to ask for cancer material, turned his back on me and refused the introduction. Other members of the committee, who seemed to be fair and unbiased at first, soon came under the sway of those whom they knew and said were distinctly unfriendly to my work and me. There was thus no common aim and could be no cooperation.

The fourth paragraph says I promise much and charge well. Nothing is further from the truth. I promise nothing. My patients know this, and I require them to be examined from time to time by their physician that refers them to me. This aids my judgment as to the results and keeps the patients informed accurately. I have referred already to the 30 per cent that pay and the 70 per cent that do not.

The last paragraph of the editorial touched on the secret of my success. I try to discuss this problem with those I respect sufficiently in the hope that they will offer encouragement and guidance; and from them only do I wish to receive it.

Otherwise the best cooperation the Wayne County Medical Society can give is to leave alone a matter they have never advanced. I should not be asked to give my time to any activity that cannot aid me in placing this work for the treatment of cancer on a distinctly scientific basis. All of my time is needed and given to this end. In the future I shall have no time for any further activities that are not directly constructive to the intrinsic value of this work.”

Sincerely yours,

W. F. Koch

What Dr. Koch wanted, and what he was asking for, was the full support of the public and the local medical profession to permit him, as the research scientist and discoverer of a new method for the treatment of cancer, to be able to carry on his scientific research with up to date scientific facilities, free from the control of third persons, who had contributed nothing in the past to his research and who did not understand the scientific principles on which his treatment for cancer worked. He even assured the Medical Society and others that “I don’t want a penny for myself.” Dr. Koch knew that his cancer research was still in the research and development period. With the full cooperation of several friendly local doctors, he had already been able to demonstrate a few “clinical cures” in the treatment of some forms of cancers for a period of less than the approved ”five years period”, the accepted standard guide for establishing a complete “cancer cure.” He wanted to expand the scope of his research and perfect his treatment before it was to be given to the public for general use.

In 1923 Koch appealed to the committee to change its false report made in 1919. They refused. Dr. Dewey M.D., a professor of homeopathy at the University of Michigan had observed the Cancer Committee’s official review and wrote to Koch on October 25, 1924.

“I have received what is termed the latest report on your treatment. This claims to be an account of the séance held on Nov. 5, 1923, at which I was present and took notes of each case. For a studied intent to falsify, a premeditated determination to condemn everything, and an unscientific, un-American assumption to be judge, jury, and prosecuting witnesses, the report of this so-called committee outstrips in bias, unfairness, and mendacity anything that has ever been my lot to observe in a medical practice of forty-two years.”( p56/57.)

The letter concludes “I hope that some day your treatment will have an investigation before a body of seekers after the truth. These you will not find in American official medicine, which is a trust to keep all progress not coming from it’s own out of the field.”

Incredibly, during 30 some years of Koch’s therapy being used in the U.S., the Wayne County Medical Society’s “trial” is the only official test ever carried out despite repeated requests from Koch.

Dr. C. Everett Field of the Radium Institute of New York reviewed the Institute’s October 1923’s “Investigation of Thirty-Four Koch Cases”. Field wrote, “The exhibit without doubt formed the most remarkable experience of my medical career.” (p57) Field spent many years documenting and publishing the results of many of Koch’s cases. Field was also reprimanded by the AMA for supporting Koch and suffered as a result.

In 1935 Koch went to Belgium at the invitation of Dr. Maisin, who was a world-renowned cancer expert. Six weeks later a group of powerful American doctors came to Belgium and tried to convince Maisin that Koch was a fraud. But Maisin was only interested in the truth and told them, “I am convinced it is scientifically sound and clinically efficient.” (p63) The motive for the Americans’ visit was that one of them had large investments in radium and did not want competition from Koch’s treatment. Dr. Arnott was acquainted with Maisin and told the Ontario Cancer Commission (1939) what Maisin had told him. (p64) “Dr. Koch’s formula is a new method for treating disease. The Koch formula should not be called merely a cure for cancer. It is a very important step and is likely to change the whole picture of medicine and pathology because of the clinical results.”

In January, 1943, Koch was in court fighting the first of two trials brought by the FDA for supposed labeling fraud . It is in large part because of these two trials that we know how effective and how much evidence there was to support Glyoxylide’s effectiveness. Koch organized a large amount of case histories with biopsies and patient testimonials.

The Koch lawyers presented hard evidence of cures of cancer of the bone, uterus, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, ….,breast…as well as cures of TB, polio, asthma, heart thrombosis, leprosy, hyperthropic arthritis. The government lawyers presented various experts who admitted they had no experience with the Koch therapies. Still, they testified, Glyoxylide and Malonide could not be effective “in their opinion.” (p71-72)

One particular case was Wesley Roebuck, who had surgery in 1926 for cancer of the stomach. The disease returned so he went to Koch and received a shot of Glyoxylide. The cancer cleared up and he testified at Koch’s trial over 14 years later and cancer free.

Even though Koch provided vast amounts of evidence that his treatment worked, it was a hung Jury. The country was at war. Americans found it difficult to believe the government would suppress an effective cancer treatment. Koch’s second trial in 1946 was declared a mistrial.

Dr. Albert Wahl of Mt. Vision, NY, is an interesting example of how people can change dogmatic opinions when they investigate, or are forced to face the facts for themselves. For years Wahl dismissed Koch’s treatment as worthless, basing his opinion on JAMA misinformation. His sister became ill with cancer and his father took her to Koch, over Wahl’s objections. “She promptly recovered in characteristic fashion” (p81) Wahl wrote in his 1947 book “Least Common Denominator,” in which he documented 150 cures he had observed using the Koch treatment. Wahl said of the Koch treatment, “The most startling element is the utter simplicity of the Koch treatments… After using them, I felt I’d never practiced medicine before.” (p81/82)

‘Over a year ago, my sister was dying of lymphosarcoma, a disease which the profession regards as invariably fatal. The diagnosis was made by Dr. H. H. Penner, of Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa., on the basis of biopsy study No. 1171, May 1, 1946. The medical staff of Mercy Hospital bad previously made a diagnosis of lymphoscaroma or Hodgkin’s disease.

“’The case was far advanced at the time, my sister having been practically bedridden for 6 months because of weakness and recurrent infections. The mashes of lymphoid tissue did not have to be palpated; they stood out on the aides of her neck and in her axillae and groins like bunches of grapes mixed with walnuts.”

“…My sister was in the last stages and was said to have only a few weeks to live, according to the best knowledge on the subject. She recovered after one dose [of Dr. Koch’s Glyoxylide] in characteristic fashion.’”

“Comparisons are odious, but Dr. Koch has been described by authorities as ‘the world’s greatest living chemist’; ‘the discoverer of a new science which charts the future course of the medical profession’; ‘one who cannot be bought, coerced, or intimidated’; ‘a Christian gentleman of courage and distinctive attainments’; and ‘a man of amazing capacities.’”

“No one who knows him well and understands the humanitarian spirit that animates his every deed will deny that the foregoing descriptions apply.”

Fearing further government harassment and possible further trials that he could not afford to defend against, Koch left the U.S. in 1948 never to return. He died in 1967 and with him went Glyoxylide.

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