This treatment modality is used in place of conventional therapies to treat cancer. Seek advice from a qualified physician before replacing standard cancer therapy with Hoxsey therapy.
What does the Hoxsey therapy involve?
In the early 1900's, Harry Hoxsey received an herbal formula from his grandfather, and he began treating cancer patients with it in the 1920s. The Hoxsey treatment involves two mixtures. One to be used externally, applied directly to the skin and includes "a red paste containing antimony trisulfide, zinc chloride, and bloodroot and a yellow powder containing arsenic sulfide, sulfure and talc." The other is used internally and is "a liquid containing licorice, red clover, burdock root, stillingia root, barberry, Cascara, prickly ash bark, buckthorn bark and potassium iodide." While taking the Hoxsey formula, patients are also encouraged to restrict their diet, use immune stimulants such as vitamin C and adopt a positive mental outlook.
How is Hoxsey formula thought to treat cancer?
The external Hoxsey mixture is thought to selectively destroy malignant tissue. The internal Hoxsey mixture is a liquid said to strengthen the immune system. Hoxsey believed his treatment allows the body to create an environment in which healing and tumor destruction can occur.
What has been proven about the benefit of the Hoxsey formula?
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center performed an extensive human studies literature review of the Hoxsey treatment and found four studies applicable to cancer. The studies report response to therapy although none of the studies used controls against which to measure response. Individual components of the formula have been tested in the laboratory or in animals. Seven of the nine herbs in the formula have shown some anti-cancer activity. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center recommends that more studies of both the external and internal components of the Hoxsey formula are needed. The American Cancer Foundation urges cancer patients to not seek treatment with the Hoxsey formula until more evidence of the therapy’s objective benefits exists.
What is the potential risk or harm of the Hoxsey formula?
There has been no reported toxicity from the Hoxsey formula. However, some of the ingredients of the Hoxsey formula can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if taken in large quantities. Barberry root, one of the Hoxsey formula ingredients, caused swelling of the kidneys and cardiotoxicity in rabbits. Toxic reactions known as "iodisms" (pimples, excessive secretion of the eyes or nose, impotence and a mumps-like condition of the salivary gland) may result from taking potassium iodide.
How much does the Hoxsey formula cost?
The treatment is available at a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico founded by Mildred Nelson, an old nurse of Hoxsey's who passed away in 1999. The current cost for the Hoxsey treatment is $3,500. This price includes follow-up visits and a life-time supply of the herbal preparation. X-rays, lab tests and physical exams cost an additional $450 to $850 per visit. The patient is also responsible for travel costs to and from Mexico.
For additional information:
PO Box 727
615 General Ferreira, Colonia Juarez
Tijuana, B.C. Mexico
Telephone: (011) 52-66-84-90-11
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Boulevard
Houston, TX 77030
Telephone: (800) 392-1611
Web site: www.mdanderson.org/departments/CIMER/
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.