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En excerpt from the book : 

by Ross, R.Ph. Pelton, Lee Overholser

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The Kelley Program

IN 1964 Dr. William Donald Kelley, a very successful orthodontist in west Texas, was told that he had terminal pancreatic cancer and that he probably had only a few weeks to live. His mother flew from her home in Kansas to Texas to help her son. When she arrived, she found that he basically lived on chocolate and various other junk foods. She was reportedly appalled by the "food" in her son's kitchen cupboards and immediately threw it all out and demanded that he immediately switch to a healthy, raw-food vegetarian diet. (2)

The healthy diet didn't cure Dr. Kelley, but it did stop the progression of his cancer and make him feel much better. Because Kelley's tumors were large enough to be easily felt, he could tell if the dietary changes were effective by monitoring their size.


Kelley was a very inquisitive man, as well as a very thorough researcher. During one phase of his healing process, he developed severe indigestion. On the advice of his pharmacist, he took digestive enzymes. This not only helped his indigestion, it seemed to make his tumors shrink a little. Being a man of extremes, Kelley tried taking large doses of pancreatic enzymes and found that he felt better and his tumors began to shrink.

Over a period of time Dr. Kelley developed a total program that eventually enabled him to heal himself. At one point he discovered that the diet his mother had started him on and that worked so well for him was very similar to the diet that Dr. Max Gerson had used successfully with his cancer patients.

As news of his successful self-treatment for cancer spread, it wasn't long before people began coming to him, not for dentistry, but for cancer therapy. Dr. Kelley is still alive today and living in semi-retirement.

Mechanism of Action

In Kelley's view, stress and pollution damage the body and cause metabolic changes that lead to cancer. He calls cancer an ecological disease, since it distorts the proper ecology of the body. The aim of his therapy is to restore the body to regular functioning. Over the years he experimented with a variety of diets and other "detoxifying" therapies, such as coffee enemas, to help his patients, being guided more by results than by theoretical explanations.

Kelley was initially known for his healthy raw-food-diet approach to cancer. However, over the years he found that some of his patients did not respond well to the raw-food diet. With experimentation, Kelley found that some patients do better on a diet that includes meat and actually need animal protein in their diets.

Because Dr. Kelley was a dentist, not a medical doctor, and because he developed this rather unorthodox therapy on his own, the Kelley program was never thoroughly researched nor accepted by the traditional medical establishment. In fact, Kelley himself was often in trouble with various medical and legal authorities, since he was treating cancer without the proper credentials.

Evaluation of Results

In 1981, when Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez was still a medical student at Cornell University, he learned of Dr. Kelley's apparently successful track record in treating cancer patients. As part of an elective course, Gonzalez was encouraged to investigate Kelley's work.

Gonzalez visited Dr. Kelley in Texas and was amazed to find extensive, detailed records of appropriately diagnosed patients with advanced metastatic cancer who had survived ten or more years after diagnosis. Kelley had treated over 10,000 patients, and he encouraged Gonzalez to carry out follow-up studies and evaluate the effectiveness of his therapy.

Gonzalez carried out two studies, which are as yet unpublished. In the first study he selected 50 patients who were diagnosed as having advanced cancer. Of these, 23 were diagnosed at major institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic, and 25 were diagnosed at two or more medical centers. Two patients were found to have, during exploratory surgery, large, inoperable tumors, and the other 48 were confirmed through biopsy. At the time of the study Gonzalez found that the median survival time was 10 years.

The first study covered patients with a wide variety of different cancers. In the second study Gonzalez evaluated patients with pancreatic cancer. With orthodox treatment, the life expectancy for this cancer is 6 months or less, and almost no patients survive beyond 5 years. His study indicated that of the 22 patients who had consulted Dr. Kelley, 10 saw him only once and never entered the program. This group had a mean survival time of 67 days. Seven followed the protocol only partially and had a mean survival time of 233 days. Of the 5 patients who followed the Kelley program completely, only 1 had died (of Alzheimer's disease) after 11.5 years. The other 4 entered remission and were alive at the time of the study, giving a mean survival time of 9 years for the group.

Encouraged by these extraordinary results, Dr. Gonzalez studied under Dr. Kelley. Currently Dr. Gonzalez has a medical practice in New York, where he is working to develop further the program that Dr. Kelley originated.

The Diet

Dr. Gonzalez reports that there are ten basic diets with numerous variations, depending on the type of cancer and the patient's condition. The diets range from strict vegetarian to red-meat diets. The results of the Kelley program indicate that all patients-may not do well on the strict health-food, vegetarian diets that many alternative cancer programs and proponents often rigidly recommend.

In addition to the various diets, Gonzalez's current protocol uses high levels of nutritional supplementation with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glandular substances, digestive and pancreatic enzymes, and various detoxification procedures. Following Kelley's lead, Dr. Gonzalez also recommends regular fasting, colonic irrigation (high enemas), and coffee enemas. (1, 3)

Need for Research

Recently the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance executive Robert W. Maver indicated that Dr. Gonzalez's "extraordinary" success in treating terminal cancer patients was worth further examination and research. Nevertheless, because Dr. Gonzalez's program is so unconventional, no funds have been made available to do an independent test of his method.

Most of the support for Kelley's regimen comes from case studies. Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence is not convincing, especially where cancer is concerned, because there are occasional spontaneous remissions and some patients survive much longer than expected. Controlled studies provide the best evidence. Mr. Maver calls for the life insurance industry to fund such a trial, since a successful diet/nutritional, health-oriented cancer therapy might potentially lower insurance industry costs and save millions of dollars.

Side Effects

No side effects from the Kelley regimen have been reported. One of the ten diets calls for raw meat and raw meat juices. Care should be taken that any such preparations are not contaminated with bacteria, because of the possible danger to those people with compromised immune systems.


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