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The role of your cancer health professional is to create an environment of openness and trust, and to help in making informed decisions about alternative/ complementary therapies. Collaboration will improve the safe integration of all therapies during your experience with cancer. The "Summary" and "Professional Evaluation/ Critique" sections of this Unconventional Therapies manual are cited directly from the medical literature, and are intended to help in the objective evaluation of alternative/complementary therapies.


After evaluating the cases submitted by the Krebiozen Research Foundation, an expert committee concluded that there was no evidence of Krebiozen-induced therapeutic effects in cancer patients. (National Cancer Institute)

Description/ Source/ Components

Krebiozen contained mineral oil and a form of creatinine, a substance normally excreted by the kidneys. (National Cancer Institute)

Krebiozen was originally prepared "as a serum extract from horses injected with a deadly fungus." (National Cancer Institute)


Krebiozen was introduced to Dr. Andrew Ivy of the University of Illinois by two Yugoslavian immigrants. Ivy believed that "the substance could cure cancer." (Barrett)

Krebiozen was developed by Stephan and Marko Durovic and sponsored by Dr. Andrew C. Ivy, professor of physiology and Head of the Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Illinois. The alleged investigational drug was claimed to be an extract of blood of 2000 horses inoculated with a mould causing a disease known as "lumpy jaw." (Janssen)

Lengthy legal battles, convictions for jury tampering, demonstrations, and sit-ins occurred before the Krebiozen boom collapsed.

Professional Evaluation/ Critique

Krebiozen contained mineral oil and a form of creatinine, a substance normally excreted by the body. "Neither of the components has any proven anticancer activity." (National Cancer Institute)

"A National Cancer Institute committee of 24 leading cancer experts reviewed 504 case histories provided by Dr. Ivy. It found unanimously that Krebiozen was ineffective as an anticancer agent and recommended against clinical testing, a recommendation that the Institute adopted." (Janssen)

Although actual production of Krebiozen was never observed, when a team of U.S. Food and Drug Administration chemists analyzed a sample of Krebiozen, they found the white powder to be creatine monohydrate, an amino acid present in all animal tissue which had no antitumor activity. Previous analysis of the substance packaged for injection into patients showed that only mineral oil was present. (Janssen)


Barrett S, Cassileth BR, editors. Dubious cancer treatment. Tampa, Florida: American Cancer Society, Florida Division, 1991:47.

Janssen WF. Cancer quackery: the past in the present. Semin Oncol 1977;6(4):526-535.

National Cancer Institute. Krebiozen. Cancer Facts 1990 Mar 30.

Revised February 2000

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