One of the most serious issues in the world of ‘alternative medicine’ involves the continued statements that ‘hydrazine sulfate does not work since it was tested by NCI and shown to harm patients’. As you know, neither Ann Fonfa nor Annie Appleseed Project sell anything and have absolutely NO vested interest in what may work, we simply want to know what does.
But the statement is wrong. Here is why (explanation from an ASCO meeting where researchers involved stated “they had not been told” that hydrazine sulfate was an MAO inhibitor and thus did not inform the patients. There were deaths from reactions to mixing drugs. 2001
Two years ago NBCC had Andrew Vickers, Ph.D (who worked with Barrie Cassileth at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Integrative medicine department) gave a talk on “Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” at the annual advocacy conference sponsored by the National Breast Cancer Coalition.
But he presented almost NO evidence and angered many of us (especially in the morning session). He presented on the same thing as Loprinzi (see section on colorectal cancer and Hydrazine Sulfate), stating again that hydrazine sulfate was proven not to work.
He also published an article in Ca, a Cancer Clinician’s journal, which Ann rebutted in a letter to them (still unpublished) the same story. He MUST know that it is false.
This is extremely upsetting. We have so many challenges in cancer, why add false information? It makes us feel less than comfortable trusting what is said about possible alternative therapies. Trust is important.
(Email from Ann Fonfa to advocates concerned about advocates attending the SIO meeting in 2004)
Letter From Ann Fonfa to CA J Cancer for Clinicians
Ann Fonfa’s letter:
“Dr. Vickers makes the case that hydrazine sulfate has been proven not to work.
Yet at the 2001 ASCO symposium on CAM, I questioned Dr. Charles Loprinzi, author of two studies on hydrazine sulfate. I asked him if the patients had been told to avoid substances and foods that would ‘clash’ with an MAO inhibitor such as hydrazine sulfate.
He responded by stating “we were not told”. Thus if the study participants were allowed to take inappropriate medications, this should invalidate the study.
The Annie Appleseed Project is a patient organization providing information, education, advocacy and awareness.
We need to provide factual and useful information. From our perspective, stating that hydrazine sulfate was proven not to have a benefit based on the types of studies cited in this article, cannot satisfy people with cancer and their advocates.
Thank you. We hope a response will be forthcoming.”