Cancerfighter’s Weblog

Alternative cancer therapies and ideas

Ralph Moss’s excellent newsletter – John Beard, enzymes and cancer

Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on November 17, 2008

The Big Book: Cancer: The Complete Recovery Guide

The Small Book: Cancer Recovery Guide: 15 Alternative and Complementary Strategies for Restoring Health  –  For more information go to

“This book tells me everything. Why didn’t my doctor tell me this?” – Rev Bill Newbern


Ralph Moss’s book The Cancer Industry and his newsletter are important resources: Here is an extract of Moss’s commemoration of the work of John Beard and why pancreatic enzymes are an important approach to cancer:


Two weeks ago I wrote about the special issue on John Beard that Integrative Cancer Therapies is publishing soon. Today, I want to tell you a bit about who John Beard was and why this topic is so important.

To read my previous newsletter on this subject, please click or go to:

John Beard (1858-1924) was the first individual in history to point to the similarity – he would have said identity — of cancer and the trophoblastic tissue that arises in the early days of pregnancy and eventually forms the placenta. Today, this similarity is a commonplace among embryologists. A 2007 review concluded: “Trophoblast research over the past decades has underlined the striking similarities between the proliferative, migratory and invasive properties of placental cells and those of cancer cells.” i Some embryologists now refer to trophoblast as a “pseudo-malignancy.” ii,iii Beard said as much 100 years ago, although his prior claim on this discovery is not always acknowledged by present-day researchers.

Beard made other outstanding contributions to the life sciences. He was the first to describe the evolution of the nervous system of elasmobranch fishes. He demonstrated the morphological continuity of germ cells in several vertebrate species. He co-discovered the large, transient sensory cells of the spinal cord, still known as Rohon-Beard cells. He was also the first to propose that the corpus luteum was responsible for the inhibition of ovulation during pregnancy and was among the first to describe programmed cell death, or apoptosis. He was the first to describe the thymus as “the parent source” of the lymphoid structures.

Thus, by any reckoning, John Beard deserves to be included among the leading biologists of the late 19th and early 20th century. He won a major award from the French Academy of Sciences and was nominated for the Nobel Prize. Today, when Beard is on occasion memorialized, it is for his progressive ideas on the nature of cancer. He has rightly been hailed as a forerunner of the present-day theory of the cancer stem cell (CSC). He is also the father of enzyme therapy. He pointed out that the initiation of fetal pancreatic function coincided with a reduction in the invasiveness of trophoblast, which otherwise might progress to clinical cancer (i.e., choriocarcinoma). Based on the above propositions, he recommended the therapeutic use of pancreatic enzymes in treating cancer and other diseases. This therapy created a worldwide controversy in his day. Although rejected at the time, it prevailed and has entered the world of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) today. The New York Times predicted as much 100 years ago, when it editorialized on October 9, 1909: “In spite of the present condemnation of trypsin, there is still a large chance that time will tell another story.” And so it has.

In this special issue, I have had the great pleasure of tracing the details of Beard’s life through the twists and turns of historical research. Beard was born in Redding, a suburb of Manchester, England, on Nov. 2, 1858. It was a time of enormous intellectual ferment. Darwin’s Origin of Species came out in the following year. Although Beard’s father and grandfather were workers in the local cotton mills, Beard himself had higher ambitions as well as opportunities. His big break in life was that, after his biological father’s death, his stepfather sent him to an excellent private school to study. He continued his studies locally, then at the University of Manchester with Prof. Arthur Milnes Marshall, in London with Darwin’s disciple, T.H. Huxley, and finally in Freiburg, with Prof. August Weismann. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg and later received an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) from Manchester.

For two decades, Beard mainly studied the elasmobranch fishes (sharks, skates and rays). After spending 20 years in basic embryological research, he published several seminal articles on the cancer problem. How he got from shakes and rays to human cancer is the main subject of my biographical article.

Although some people thought Beard was simply an intellectual fence-jumper, if not an outright cancer crank, there was a logical reason for drawing conclusions about cancer from the study of fishes. Beard detected a separate nervous system in some of these fishes, which emerged and then died away in the course of development. This led him to postulate that there was an “alternation of generations” in animals, even in mammals. Eventually this led him to the theory that the trophoblast was itself a kind of “asexual” growth that accompanied the growth of the sexual embryo. He later identified this trophoblast as identical to cancer, and speculated that pancreatic enzymes would be cancer’s natural antagonist.

I will be writing more on this topic in the near future.


7 Responses to “Ralph Moss’s excellent newsletter – John Beard, enzymes and cancer”

  1. I have posted a PDF version of John Beard’s book: The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and Its Scientific
    Basis to my web site:

    We sell the hard-copy book for $110 dollars (shipping included). The version on the website is free
    but donations are requested for any download. The site is not-for-profit, and has worked on
    raising the consciousness about Beardianism and immuno-enzyme therapy since 1996. The online
    version is copywrite protected due to footnotes and refencers dealing with modern research that
    corroborates Beard’s investigations.

    I would also like to recommend two other papers on our site:

    A paper about Beard: “On The Cause of Birth and Its Relation to Cancer Regression”
    By Roger Cathey


    An overview of Immuno-enzyme therapy

    Neither of the latter papers are finished, as we are contuously updating them
    with further findings.

    Updates of revisions can be subscribed to by writing:


    Roger Cathey

  2. Evidently my transfer of the Beard book was only half complete. It showed only
    half the size of the file, so the ftp client must have timed out.

    The link is the same:

    Please note that the ‘footnotes’ are actually windows that must be
    clicked on to scroll down and read the entire commentary.

    This is a work in progress, because we have many other reference notes
    to add.

    Also, we didn’t realize we scanned this in color-mode, so in the future
    we will be converting it to gray-scale which will greatly reduce the

    Because of the comments, it is a copyright document.

    I hope it is serviceable to your purposes.

  3. After reading this article, I just feel that I really need more information on the topic. Can you suggest some resources ?

  4. David Hamilton said

    My book on the history of organ tranplantation was nearly sent off for printing when I at last got the story of Beard from you.
    For the muddle re thymus thereafter – nobody listened to him – see Journal History Biology 27 379-401
    Incidently his visionary Lancet thymus paper says he had support from the local Edinburgh Earl of Moray Fund. There may be stuff in there if you can find it

  5. […] There were about 20 clinics successfully using pancreatic enzymes for cancer at the beginning of the last century and they simply went out of fashion, don’t you love fashion. Your pancreas breaks down sugars and so needs enzymes to do that. […]

  6. Lee said

    I wanted to let your readers know that New Spring Press reprinted Dr. Beard’s book – available at

  7. The scope of research since Beard’s day has brought to bear an awareness that all the various methods used revolve around the normal function of hydrolytic enzymes. Either something is added to the system which supplements the parenteral processes of digestion or they block the cancer/trophoblast cells ability to inhibit such digestive enzymes.

    Since digestive or hydrolytic enzymes act outside the digestive tract, we must ask ourselves what their function can be in this ‘elsewhere’.

    Either this is an anomaly or this is a normal function of the immune system.

    Anything that adjuncts or empowers such enzymes that might further their action against trophoblasts or cancer cells, can be said to be ‘anti-cancer’ agents.

    We do not believe it is an extraordinary stretch of the imagination to define such agents as nutritional agents or factors normal to the animal economy.

    Even the challenges that surgery, radiation and chemotherapy as applied outside such normal parameters represent can be viewed as helpful only insofar as the individual takes them as stimulus towards the awareness that they are in an emergency situation and that in turn deals with life versus death choices.

    Those who survive the idiocy of the brute-force methods of so-called ‘standard medical practices’ would doubtless survive even if they had done nothing beyond eating and drinking according to appetite.

    Appetite is key.

    There is mouth-watering signals of appetite; and there are the signals of appetite of living that goes forward despite all opposition.

    In terms of the former, we think there is a safer and more effective ground of approach to any cancer. In terms of the latter, those who can survive the brute-force methodology . . . howsoever unscientific . . . they would have survived anyway.

    Roger Scott Cathey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: