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Investigation Into Tulsa Cancer Clinic Over Use Of Medicine Banned By FDA

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Agents with the FBI and the FDA seized items from the clinic Tuesday morning. Agents with the FBI and the FDA seized items from the clinic Tuesday morning.
Camelot Cancer Care was not hiding the fact that it uses Laetrile in one of it's cancer treatment programs. Camelot Cancer Care was not hiding the fact that it uses Laetrile in one of it's cancer treatment programs.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Patients at a south Tulsa cancer clinic were turned away Wednesday, as he U.S. Food and Drug Administration continued its investigation into Camelot Cancer Care.

The investigation seems to be over the clinic's use of a non-approved medicine, which is part of a treatment program that's been causing controversy for decades.

Camelot Cancer Care was not hiding the fact that it uses Laetrile in one of it's cancer treatment programs. It's listed clearly on the clinic's website. It's product is called DMSO, which the site explains is Laetrile and Vitamin C. The site even says the FDA hasn't approved the method of treatment.

The site claims the FDA hasn't approved Laetrile because of "bureaucracy and economics."

4/24/2013 Related Story: Federal Agents Seize Items From Camelot Cancer Care

So what is Laetrile, and where did it come from?

It's a naturally-occurring substance found mainly in the pits of apricots, peaches, and almonds. The American Cancer Society says it was used as a medical remedy in ancient times. But the current Laetrile is a chemically modified version, developed in the '50s by a man named Ernst T. Krebs, Jr.

Krebs studied at several colleges, including American Christian College in Tulsa.

Supporters of the substance say it's "the perfect chemotherapeutic agent." And it's claim to fame is that it kills cancer cells while being non-toxic to normal cells and can help patients stay in remission.

But the FDA says there's no ground for that claim and it placed sanctions against the sale of Laetrile in 1977.

The American Cancer Society has linked the product to cyanide poisoning and death in a few cases.

Laetrile is sometimes called vitamin B17, but the American Cancer Society says Laetrile does not meet the widely accepted scientific definition of a vitamin, in that it has not been proven to be essential to achieving or maintaining good health.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there have been no case studies on Laetrile since the '80s, and the findings at that time showed the chemical had no anti-cancer effects.

Still, The drug is made and used as a cancer treatment in Mexico. Mexico is the primary supplier of Laetrile, and the FDA says that's a concern because there's no regulation and the products could contain dangerous bacteria.

However, we're told the Laetrile that was used at Camelot was made in the U.S.

As for that B17 vitamin, you can't buy that in stores, but it can be easily bought online.

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