Wednesday, September 18, 2013

#712: Nicholas González

One of the absolute legends of cancer woo (even more so than Burton Goldberg, whom we just covered), Nicholas González is at least an MD. Yet his cancer treatment is really pretty a duplication of the treatment developed by the late Texan dentist William Kelley (though González downplays the spiritual aspects of Kelley’s approach).

Basically, González insists that a cancer can be eliminated “by the patient's own body” if the liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, and blood are detoxified and the body’s acid/alkaline balance as well as its mineral and enzyme equilibria are brought into balance (yup, dear readers, it is “balancing the humeurs” straight out of medieval alchemy; modern scientific advances be damned). To achieve this balance Gonzalez prescribes coffee enemas and supplements of megavitamins, trace minerals, glandular extracts, and diet. In other words, it’s all a matter of toxins. They are everywhere and want to take us down. González isn’t really able to identify them, however, nor – as with all detox proponents – explain exactly how his enemas are supposed to cleanse the body of them.

He also uses hair analyses to monitor a patient’s progress (yes, it’s woo). González described the analysis process as a “CT rate” sent back to him from the Louisiana laboratory, and that the machine, measures biochemical factors in hair and provides biochemical and nutritional patterns, as well as unspecified “waste products” and certain proteins and tumor antigens. On questioning, González could not identify these materials, did not know how the analysis was done, did not know the validity of the results or how the conclusions were drawn, but stated that the results were correct because they agreed with his preconceived diagnosis.

Among the more controversial parts of the story is how González managed to get a NIH grant to study his bizarre coffee enemas and hair analysis. The sordid story of that project is chronicled in a series of posts here. Of course, the González protocol is tooth fairy science, and earlier “studies” organized by himself and his fans have not been, shall we say, completely methodologically uncontroversial. Nonetheless, the study in question resulting from the grant was slam dunk: the González therapy is worse than useless. If anyone wants to bet that the results will get Gónzalez to change his mind, I’ll take them (there is an interesting question of why it took four years from completing the trials to the results appeared, however; discussed here. Well, González was quick to jump onto the stories surrounding Steve Jobs’s death from cancer, with an “if only he had come to me …”. And the results of the trial didn’t stop crackpot celebrity Suzanne Somers from advocating his treatments in her repugnant book.

He is, of course, listed by Quackwatch as a “promoter ofquestionable methods”.

Diagnosis: Assuming that his intentions are honest, Gonzalez truly epitomizes the idea of denialism. He is, however, also highly influential, however, and must be considered very dangerous.


  1. González's cancer crackpottery has been promoted on Fox News.

  2. He recently passed away. The conspiracy theorists are already on the case.