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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Apr 19;(2):CD005476.

Laetrile treatment for cancer.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Laetrile is an unconventional therapy which has been used illegally for decades by cancer patients who together with some alternative therapists claim its effectiveness as an anti-cancer treatment. It has been often referred to as amygdalin, although the two are not the same.

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this review was to assess the alleged anti-cancer effect and the possible harms of Laetrile as a sole or adjunctive therapy in cancer treatment.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); MEDLINE (from 1951); EMBASE (from 1980); Allied and Complementary Medicine (AMED), Scirus, CancerLit, CINAHL (all from 1982); CAMbase (from 1998); the MetaRegister; the National Research Register and our own files. No language restrictions were imposed.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and non randomized controlled clinical trials (non-RCTs).

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Two reviewers independently assessed trials for inclusion in the review, assessed study quality and extracted data.

MAIN RESULTS:

No RCTs or non-RCTs were found, so no abstraction of outcome data could be performed in this systematic review

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:

The claim that Laetrile has beneficial effects for cancer patients is not supported by data from controlled clinical trials. This systematic review has clearly identified the need for randomised or controlled clinical trials assessing the effectiveness of Laetrile or amygdalin for cancer treatment.

PMID:
16625640
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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