Alternative therapy comprised of herbal tonics and restrictive diets promoted as cancer cure. The Hoxsey treatment, illegal in the United States, is available at the Bio-Medical Center and other clinics in Tijuana, Mexico. According to inventor Harry Hoxsey, the principal “brown” tonic contains potassium iodide, licorice, red clover, burdock root, stillingia root, barberry, cascara, pokeweed, prickly ash bark, and buckthorn bark. The diet involves eliminating pork, vinegar, tomatoes, pickles, carbonated drinks, alcohol, bleached flour, sugar and salt, and emphasizes iron, calcium, vitamin C, yeast supplements and grape juice. Hoxsey claims the treatment detoxifies the body, strengthens the immune system, balances body chemistry, and allows the body to digest and excrete tumors. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), vitamin B12, Gerovital (a mixture of procaine hydrochloride and vitamins), “Prolobin liver,” TST-100, rosette cactus, Koch Antitoxins, BCG vaccine, and Shulte's medications sometimes are included in the regimen.
Hoxsey was convicted many times for practicing medicine without a license; the U.S. government reported that the 400 patients Hoxsey claimed to have cured never had cancer, were cured before receiving his treatment, still had cancer, or had died from the disease (2). The National Cancer Institute evaluated 77 case reports submitted by Hoxsey and concluded that none showed efficacy (5). No clinical data support the value of this therapy.