Other common name(s):
714-X is a substance containing camphor, nitrogen, ammonium
salts, sodium chloride, and ethanol used as an alternative method in
Canada, Western Europe, and Mexico to treat cancer, AIDS, and other
diseases. It is not legally available in the United States.
Available scientific evidence does not support claims that
714-X is effective in treating any type of cancer or any other illness.
It does not appear to be harmful, but no studies have been done to
confirm its safety.
How is it promoted for use?
According to its proponents, people with serious illnesses,
such as cancer, carry tiny living particles in their bloodstream called
somatids. They claim that disease can be diagnosed and monitored by
noting the number and forms of somatids in a person's blood. 714-X is
said to cure cancer and AIDS by interfering with the flow of somatids
through the bloodstream. This interference is said to cause the immune
system to grow stronger and diseases to regress.
It is claimed that cancer cells produce a substance called
co-cancerogenic K factor (CKF), which protects cancer cells from the
immune system. 714-X supposedly strips CKF by supplying the body with
nitrogen and leaves tumor cells vulnerable to attack by the immune
Evidence to support these claims has not been published in
any available peer-reviewed, scientific journals.
What does it involve?
714-X is prepared as a sterile solution and injected into a
lymph node in the groin. Ice packs are used to cool the area of
injection both before and after. A course of treatment involves daily
injections for 21 days, followed by 2 or 3 days of rest. Typically, the
cycle is repeated several times.
714-X is also given nasally, using a nebulizer. This route is
more commonly used for lung or oral cancers.
In Canada, 714-X is available only on a compassionate use
basis. Doctors may request it under the Emergency Drug Release Program
of Health Canada. It is not approved, however, for general therapeutic
use. In October 2004, Health Canada instructed Naessen’s company
(CERBE) to remove statements concerning 714-X from its public Web site.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved
714-X for use in the United States, and it is illegal to import it into
What is the history behind it?
Early in his career, French-born scientist Gaston Naessens
developed the somatoscope, a special microscope that he used to examine
blood at extremely high magnifications. Using the somatoscope, Naessens
claimed to have discovered tiny living organisms called somatids in the
blood of people with serious diseases, including cancer. He believed
that somatids were responsible for the development of disease, and he
set out to find a way to eliminate or disable them.
In 1956, a French court convicted and fined Naessens for practicing
medicine without a license. Naessens moved to Quebec and later
developed 714-X. The drug's name is derived from the alphabetical
position of Naessen’s initials. "G" is the 7th letter of the alphabet,
and "N" is 14th in line. The "X" is the 24th letter and represents
1924, the year Naessens was born. Naessens claimed that the drug
interfered with somatids and could stop or reverse the growth of
In the 1980s, while living in Quebec, Naessens was prosecuted for
health fraud and threatened with life imprisonment. He was acquitted
after testimony from many 714-X users who stated that the drug had
helped them. In 1992, a US distributor of 714-X was warned by the FDA
that the claims he was making were illegal because the product was not
proven to be safe and effective in treating disease. That same year,
the FDA put out an import alert, which banned 714-X from being brought
into the US. In 1996, after continuing to sell 714-X, the distributor
was convicted of introducing an unapproved drug into interstate
commerce and other charges. The case was appealed, but the district
court upheld the sentence.
What is the evidence?
Although patients have reported helpful effects after taking
714-X, available scientific evidence does not support any claims about
the existence of somatids or that 714-X can cure cancer, AIDS, or other
diseases in humans. No formal clinical studies have been conducted on
714-X. Unlike some other alternative therapies, even a best case series
has not been published. A best case series allows an independent review
of medical records from patients treated with unconventional cancer
therapies. This helps to find out if the patients actually had cancer,
which standard treatments they received, and whether the unconventional
treatment may have helped. Having this information provides a basis for
further study of the treatment.
One component of 714-X, camphor, is being researched in animals for
potential anti-cancer activity; however, the research is still at a
very early stage.
Are there any possible problems
714-X appears to cause few side effects, but no formal
studies of safety have been done. The injections can result in local
redness, tenderness, and swelling at the injection site.
We do not know if or how 714-X might interact with standard
cancer treatment or other drugs. The manufacturers of 714-X state that
it can be used along with conventional therapies. However, they believe
that it is most likely to be effective in patients who have not had
chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and they recommend it be given as
early as possible after diagnosis.
Relying on this type of treatment alone, and avoiding or
delaying conventional medical care, may have serious health
More Information From Your
American Cancer Society
The following information on complementary and alternative
therapies may also be helpful to you. These materials may be ordered
from our toll-free number (1-800-ACS-2345).
Barrett S. Fanciful claims for 714X. 2002. Available online
Accessed June 21, 2007.
Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance. 714-X information
package. 1996. Available online at: www.breast.cancer.ca/media_news_resource_centre/resources/literature_reviews/714-X/.
Accessed June 21, 2007.
Ernst E, Cassileth B. How useful are unconventional cancer
treatments? Eur J Cancer. 1999;35:1610-1613.
Kaegi E. Unconventional therapies for cancer: 6. 714-X. Task
Force on Alternative Therapeutic of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research
Initiative. CMAJ. 1998;158:1621-1624.
Kurtzweil P. Promoter of 714X Cure-All Faces Prison for
Selling Unapproved Drug. FDA Consumer 1996. Available online at: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/departs/996_irs.html.
Accessed June 21, 2007
National Cancer Institute Physician Data Query (PDQ)
database. 714-X. 2004. Available online at
June 21, 2007.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources (CIMER). 714-X.
2004. Available online at: www.mdanderson.org/departments/CIMER/display.cfm?id=43EF800D-0DAF-11D5-810D00508B603A14&method=displayFull&pn=6EB86A59-EBD9-11D4-810100508B603A14.
Accessed June 21, 2007.
Note: This information may
not cover all possible claims, uses, actions, precautions, side effects
or interactions. It is not intended as medical advice, and should not
be relied upon as a substitute for consultation with your doctor, who
is familiar with your medical situation.