Walter Blumer, M.D. and Elmer Cranton, M.D.
ABSTRACT: Mortality from cancer was reduced 90% during an 18-year
follow-up of 59 patients treated with Calcium-EDTA. Only one of 59
treated patients (1.7%) died of cancer while 30 of 172 non treated
control subjects (17.6%) died of cancer (P=0.002). Death from
artherosclerosis was also reduced. Treated patients had no evidence
of cancer at the time of entry into this study. Observations relate
only to long-term prevention of death from malignant disease, if
chelation therapy is begun before clinical evidence of cancer
occurs. Control and treated patients lived in the same
neighborhood, adjacent to a heavyily traveled highway in a small
Swiss city. Both groups were exposed to the same amount of lead
from automobile exhaust, industrial pollution and other
carcinogens. Exposure to carcinogens was no greater for the studied
population than exists in most other metropolitan areas throughout
the world. Statistical analysis showed EDTA chelation therapy to be
the only significant difference between controls and treated
patients to explain the marked reduction in cancer mortality.
Edta is well recognized as a therapy for lead toxicity. EDTA also
removes other toxic heavy metals and nutritional elements such as
iron which promote cancer by catalyzing free radical pathology.
Lead from automobile exhausts, petrochemicals form wear of
automobile tires, cadmium, and other carcinogens are present in
higher concentrations adjacent to heavily traveled automobile
highways. These substances cause cancer and potentate other
was reported in an earlier paper that cancer mortality among 231
adults living along a heavily traveled highway was higher than among
persons living in a traffic-free section of the same city1
Nervous disorders, headaches, fatigue, gastrointestinal
disorders, depression, and substance abuse was also observed with
higher frequency.2 It was postulated that lead exposure
from automobile exhausts might be one cause of this
Beginning in 1961, a group of 59 patients with such symptoms was
treated with parenteral doses of Calcium EDTA. Symptoms improved
and urinary delta-amino levulinic acid diminished.3
Subsequent to the
EDTA chelation therapy, a decrease in cancer mortality was
observed. When compared with a control group of untreated patients
who did not receive EDTA, many fewer cancer deaths were recorded,4,5.
The control group was similar to the treated group in all ways
except to the EDTA chelation therapy.
The purpose of this present study is to determine more precisely and
to statistically analyze the long-term change in cancer mortality
after treatment with EDTA>
group of 231 adults was studied beginning in late 1958. All resided
along the main highway in a small Swiss city with a total population
of approximately 3,000. Of these 231 people (105 men and 126
women), 31 persons, (17 men and 14 women) died of malignant tumors
during the 18-year observation period (1959-1976). Causes of death
included 4 cases of bronchogenic carcinoma, 5 of colon carcinoma, 5
of gastric carcinoma, 2 of beast cancer, 3 of ovarian carcinoma, 1
of pancreatic carcinoma, 2 of pleural endothelioma, and 9 cases of
other types of cancer. In all but one case, histopathological
diagnosis was confirmed by a hospital pathologist. Twenty-eight of
the deceased individuals had lived for 10 or more years directly
adjacent to the highway and most were normally present in their
homes for 24 hours of every day.
Fifty-nine adult study patient received ten or more injections of
1.9 gm calcium EDTA plus vitamins C and B1 From 1959
through 1976, only one (1.7%) of patients treated with EDTA died
from cancer. In comparison, of 172 untreated control subjects who
had not received calcium EDTA, 30 (17.4%) died from cancer. This
represents a ten-fold greater incidence of cancer mortality in
untreated persons (P=0.002). The two groups were similar in all
The treated group consisted of 35 women and 24 men. It was
initially thought that this higher percentage of women may have
included fewer smokers which might partially explain the reduced
mortality. Analysis showed that none of the 35 treated women died
of cancer. Of 91 untreated women, 14 died of cancer, an incidence
of 15%, and all female cancer deaths occurred in nonsmokers.
The treated group did not include a greater proportion of persons
who were less exposed to carcinogens in their occupations or who
spent more time away from the heavily congested highway during the
day. Analysis of occupational data and location during the day
showed no differences between the two groups. Housewives, the
majority of whom remained at home each day, were represented equally
in both groups.
significant differences existed in age distribution between treated
patients and controls. There were no significant socio-economic
differences between the treated and the untreated persons. Cancer
mortality was independent of monetary income.
Increased urinary lead excretion after injection of EDTA is a
recognized test for lead accumulation in the body.6
Urinary lead excretion was measured before and after EDTA infusion
in 5 patients with atomic absorption spectroscopy,7 using
the method of Roosels.8 In every case, a substantial
increase in lead excretion was measured. Simultaneously, urinary
delta-amino levulinic acid (DALA) decreased. DALA was measured in
the Central Laboratories of the University Hospital of Zurich,
according to the methods of Doss and Schmidt.9
is emphasized that the population studied and reported on in this
paper was not exposed to any more lead or other environmental
carcinogens than residents of most metropolitan areas throughout the
Traffic flow past residences of the study subjects was 4000 vehicles
per day in 1956, increasing to 8000 vehicles per day in 1968. Of
those, 7000 were passenger cars and 400 were diesel trucks.
Environmental measurements of pollutants and carcinogens were made
in the immediate and surrounding area of this study. Tests were
done at the Woods Hole Laboratories, Massachusetts, USA, using
ultraviolet spectrophotography, mass-spectrography and
chromatography.10 Soil tests adjacent to the highway
where the study population lived showed the presence of polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons, which are known carcinogens. In more remote
sections of the same city, levels of these pollutants were found to
be approximately three times lower, inversely correlated with the
distance from automobile traffic. Further analyses showed the
majority of measured carcinogens to be from automobile pollution.
Pollution immediately adjacent to the highway where the study
population resided was at or only slightly above permissible levels
allowed under public health and environmental regulations in the
Following preliminary communication of these data, the committee
responsible for the surveillance of air quality in Switzerland
scrutinized the results using a different statistical method.11
They found a higher incidence of death from cancer in the
untreated group than in the population of Switzerland as a whole.
fact that an identical group treated with EDTA experienced a 90%
reduction in cancer mortality, as well as a reduction in death from
all causes was also confirmed. The fact that the general mortality
as well as cancer mortality was lower in treated than untreated
individuals was also confirmed by Knutti and Schlatter.11
Their proposed explanation was that treated patients might possibly
have been more health conscious or under better medical care, but
this does not seem an adequate explanation of the recorded facts.
Residents of less polluted areas experience a lower cancer
mortality, despite the same level of medical care.
Evidence presented in this paper indicated that (1) EDTA removes
cancer causing or promoting substances, from the body, and (2) those
substances are correlated with environmental pollution from
The overall reduction of death from all causes and increased
longevity I the EDTA treated group shows that chelation therapy also
reduces other common causes of mortality such as
artherosclerosis and cardiovascular
disease. Except for cancer mortality, exact data are not
available for statistical analysis.
early as 1961, it was reported from animal experiments that
intravenous injections of EDTA could slow the growth of experimental
carcinoma 12. A cancer-inhibiting effect has also been
demonstrated for other chelating agents, including BAL, cystine,
penicillamine and citric acid 13-16. Many tumor
inhibiting medications, including 5-flouracil, possess metal-binding
Lead potentiates the carcinogenicity of aromatic hydrocarbons such
as benzopyrene by five fold. 18 areas adjacent to heavily traveled
highways are polluted with many other carcinogens, including
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrosamines, epoxides, cadmium
and asbestos, in addition to inorganic and tetraethyl lead.
Since the data from this study were last reported,5 new
research has linked cancer to free radical pathology. 19-21.
EDTA removes transition elements, such as iron, which accelerate
free radical pathology, including cancer. Iron is an essential
nutritional element but it is also know to accumulate with age.
Catalysis of lipid peroxidation by iron potentiates the cancer
promoting substances. EDTA increases the urinary excretion of
unbound and freely catalytic iron 10 times more then it does lead.
There are many reasons why EDTA chelation therapy could act to
recent publication by McDonagh, et al, 22 confirms
improvement in a wide variety of symptoms, as first reported in this
study population.2 Neurasthenic and nonspecific multi-organ symptoms
improve significantly following EDTA
chelation therapy, resulting in a marked improvement in the
overall quality of life.
Body stores of iron correlate with the risk of cancer.23-25
and artherosclerosis. 26 EDTA removes unbound and
potentially toxic iron from the body much more effectively than
lead, 21 which may account for the findings in this
Large scale, double blind, controlled studies should be undertaken
to fully document the many benefits observed in clinical practice
following treatment with EDTA. EDTA is an inexpensive and
relatively safe substance to administer but he patent has expired
and pharmaceutical companies have no incentive to fund such
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