The Gonzalez Protocol™ uses freeze-dried pork pancreas, supplements, an individualized diet, and coffee enemas to alter cancer metabolism and inhibit growth.
At a glance
The Gonzalez Protocol™ includes several approaches with the goal of altering cancer metabolism:1PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. Gonzalez Regimen (PDQ™): Patient Version. 2015 Sep 4. In: PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Cancer Institute (US); 2002–. Viewed August 26, 2022.
- Freeze-dried pork pancreas rich in naturally occurring pancreatic enzymes and enzyme precursors as the main anticancer component of the protocol
- A large number (more than 100 per day) of nutritional supplements
- An individualized diet of mainly organic foods
- Coffee enemas twice a day
This protocol combines the work of Nicholas Gonzalez, MD; Linda Isaacs, MD; and William Kelley, DDS. While this protocol has some similarities to the theories and practice of Max Gerson, MD, it differs substantially in supplementation amounts and dietary recommendations.2PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. Gonzalez Regimen (PDQ™): Patient Version. 2015 Sep 4. In: PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Cancer Institute (US); 2002–. Viewed August 26, 2022. See Gerson Regimen ›
Very few published studies have investigated outcomes among people with cancer treated with the Gonzalez Protocol™. Small studies have shown promising effects on survival. A larger controlled trial found worse outcomes compared to chemotherapy, although published critiques of that study question whether the people purported to be following the Gonzalez Protocol™ were actually doing so.
CancerChoices ratings for the Gonzalez Protocol™
We rate the Gonzalez Protocol™ on seven attributes, with 0 the lowest rating and 5 the highest.
See how we evaluate and rate complementary therapies ›
Improving treatment outcomesSee More
- Preliminary evidencesignificant effects in small or poorly designed clinical studies OR conflicting results in adequate studies but a preponderance of evidence of an effect (this is the CancerChoices definition; other researchers and studies may define this differently) of longer survival than expected among people with inoperable stage II-IV pancreatic adenocarcinoma following the Gonzalez Protocol™ at home with supervision
- Weak evidenceone or more case studies, supported by animal evidence OR small treatment effects of limited clinical significance OR studies with no controls OR weak trends of effects (this is the CancerChoices definition; other researchers and studies may define this differently) of longer survival than expected and resolution of disease among people with several types of cancer, including metastatic cancer
- See How can the Gonzalez Protocol™ help me? What the research says ›
Optimizing your body terrainSee More
- No published research was found relating to body terrain
Managing side effects and promoting wellnessSee More
- No published research was found relating to side effects and wellness
Reducing cancer riskSee More
- No published research was found relating to cancer risk
Use by integrative oncology expertsSee More
- Not mentioned in any of the practice guidelines we reference
- Not used by any of the programs we cite
- See How do experts use the Gonzalez Protocol™? ›
- Moderate caution is needed, and supervision by a medical professional is highly recommended
- Some evidence shows higher mortality and worse quality of life among people following this protocol compared to chemotherapy, though published critiques of the evidence dispute the study methods and conclusions
- See Safety and precautions ›
Affordability and accessSee More
- Access is through the Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation and one other doctor
- Very expensive (between $10,000 US and $50,000 US), mostly due to the purchase of huge numbers of supplements
- See Affordability and access ›
Keep reading about the Gonzalez Protocol™
Nancy Hepp, MS
Ms. Hepp is a researcher and communicator who has been writing and editing educational content on varied health topics for more than 20 years. She serves as lead researcher, program manager, and writer for CancerChoices. Her graduate work in research and cognitive psychology, her master’s degree in instructional design, and her certificate in web design have all guided her in writing and presenting information for a wide variety of audiences and uses. Nancy’s service as faculty development coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at Wright State University also provided experience in medical research, plus insights into medical education and medical care from the professional’s perspective.
Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS
Laura Pole is senior clinical consultant for CancerChoices. Laura is an oncology clinical nurse specialist who has been providing integrative oncology clinical care, navigation, consultation, and education services for over 40 years. She is the co-creator and co-coordinator of the Integrative Oncology Navigation Training at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC. Laura also manages the “Media Watch Cancer News That You Can Use” listserv for Smith Center/Commonweal. In her role as a palliative care educator and consultant, Laura has served as statewide Respecting Choices Faculty for the Virginia POST (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment) Collaborative as well as provided statewide professional education on palliative and end-of-life care for the Virginia Association for Hospices and Palliative Care.
For CancerChoices, Laura curates content and research, networks with clinical and organizational partners, brings awareness and education of integrative oncology at professional and patient conferences and programs, and translates research into information relevant to the patient experience as well as clinical practice.
Laura sees her work with CancerChoices as a perfect alignment of all her passions, knowledge and skills in integrative oncology care. She is honored to serve you.
Linda Isaacs, MD
Dr. Isaacs offers a nutritional approach for cancer patients that involves high-dose pancreatic proteolytic enzymes, dietary modification and detoxification. She published many peer-reviewed case reports with the late Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez discussing patients who have done well under their care.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kentucky, graduating with high distinction with a major in biochemistry. My medical degree is from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and she completed a residency in internal medicine at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center at New York University Medical School. She am certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Last update: November 17, 2022
Last full literature review: August 2022
CancerChoices provides information about integrativein cancer care, a patient-centered approach combining the best of conventional care, self care and evidence-informed complementary care in an integrated plan cancer care. We review complementaryin cancer care, complementary care involves the use of therapies intended to enhance or add to standard conventional treatments; examples include supplements, mind-body approaches such as yoga or psychosocial therapy, and acupuncture therapies and self-care lifestyle actions and behaviors that may impact cancer outcomes; examples include eating health-promoting foods, limiting alcohol, increasing physical activity, and managing stress practices to help patients and professionals explore and integrate the best combination of conventionalthe cancer care offered by conventionally trained physicians and most hospitals; examples are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy and complementary therapies and practices for each person.
Our staff have no financial conflicts of interest to declare. We receive no funds from any manufacturers or retailers gaining financial profit by promoting or discouraging therapies mentioned on this site.
|1, 2||PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. Gonzalez Regimen (PDQ™): Patient Version. 2015 Sep 4. In: PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Cancer Institute (US); 2002–. Viewed August 26, 2022.|