The cost of curing cancer

This is the incredible story of the maverick doctors associated with The Gonzalez Protocol®. From Dr. John Beard to Dr. William Donald Kelley and finally Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez who, despite taking arrows from an entrenched medical establishment, paved the way for the doctors who are carrying on this work today. Each of these doctors made a meaningful sacrifice and paid a high personal price for their extraordinary careers. Still their efforts resulted in the monumental scientific advancement which proved that the treatment of cancer by purely non-toxic, natural means is viable and advantageous.

Overview: Three Scientists Met with Scientific Bias

  • Dr. John Beard D.Sc. conducted extensive research in the early 1900’s. His work led to the implication of the trophoblast as the origin of cancer. His pioneering work was sidelined by the popularity of Marie Curie’s discovery of radiation treatment for cancer. Notably, both Marie Curie and her husband were greatly sickened from exposure to such radiation, with Marie dying from it. Beard and his Nobel Prize nominated research faded into oblivion until his enzyme treatment for cancer was resurrected by Dr. William Kelley in the 1970’s.
  • Dr. William Donald Kelley, D.D.S. discovered Beard’s work and developed the Kelley Program in the 1970’s. Kelley’s treatment for cancer, first used to treat his own aggressive pancreatic cancer, was based on nutrition, detoxification, pancreatic enzymes, and supplementation. Despite reversing his own cancer and that of hundreds of patients, he faced great hostility from the medical community and politicians. Years of legal hounding and rancor eventually took its toll as Dr. Kelley became a recluse and died alone; shunned by the very scientists who could have most benefited from his work.
  • Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D. bucked the system which shunned the theory of the trophoblast origin of cancer and pursued the evidence presented in Kelley’s documented case studies. Gonzalez extensively investigated Kelley’s treatment and became convinced of its effectiveness for treating all types of cancer. With his conventional Ivy League and Sloan Kettering medical research training intact, Gonzalez advanced Kelley’s program and offered his own nutritional enzyme treatment for cancer and other degenerative diseases from 1987-2015 at his private practice in New York City. Known as The Doctor of Last Resort, Gonzalez successfully treated hundreds of cancer patients. Due to his unrelenting and earnest efforts to have his cancer research fairly evaluated, Gonzalez faced vicious attacks and sabotage from deep within the conventional medical establishment. The sudden, unexpected death of Dr. Gonzalez in July 2015 left his family, patients and the alternative medical community in shock.

These three doctors devoted their lives and careers to the advancement of natural cancer treatment and achieved some of the best results ever documented in the history of medicine. Their individual contributions to science should have revolutionized modern medicine but instead these men battled scientific bias. We honor these three medical revolutionaries here with their inspiring stories.

Dr. John Beard: The Trophoblast Model of Cancer

In the early 20th century, John Beard, DSc, Professor at the University of Edinburgh, suggested that pancreatic enzymes could play a role in cancer treatment. His theory had its roots in his own field of embryology, the study of the very early stages of life. Many before him had noted that cancer under the microscope looks much like the cells of the developing embryo. Dr. Beard took this research one step further and suggested that cancer develops from a very specific type of embryonic cell, called the trophoblast. It is found in the early developmental stage of the placenta.Among Beard’s primary observations, he noted:

  • The trophoblast’s job is to create a firm anchor between a mother and her baby, and a blood supply for the exchange of nutrients and waste.
  • The trophoblast invades the maternal womb, acting much like cancer – which also invades tissue and creates a blood supply.
  • The key difference between cancer and the trophoblast: cancer keeps invading, but the trophoblast stops.
  • At a certain point early in pregnancy, the trophoblast changes from an invasive tissue into the mature placenta. Dr. Beard found that in several species, this change took place when the baby’s pancreas began making proteolytic enzymes – months before they would be needed to digest food.
  • In the trophoblast model of cancer an adult stem cell, which is a dormant trophoblast cell that has been seeded elsewhere in the body, loses its normal regulatory signals, and instead is wrongfully signaled to express the attributes unique to trophoblastic cells.
  • Thus, by adding enough pancreatic enzymes into the system, it allows the body to re-regulate proper differentiation of these trophoblast cells resulting in the neoplasm dying off.

(How exactly this occurs is still a matter of investigation and a subject of The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation‘s research. Nevertheless, the Kelley Program and The Gonzalez Protocol’s patient outcomes clearly illustrate that sufficient doses of pancreatic enzymes exert an anti-cancer effect – to the point of leading to total pathogenic resolution of even the poorest prognosis cancer cases.)

In 1911, Beard published a revolutionary but generally ignored book called “The Enzyme Theory of Cancer.” The reason for its meager showing is that Marie Curie had announced at roughly the same time that radiation was a safe, non-toxic cure for virtually all cancer. Marie Curie was esteemed as a researcher, and she had indeed done notable work with radiation. She proposed at that time that radiation was perfectly safe. It would take a generation of radiation oncologists to die from leukemia before we realized that it wasn’t as safe as once assumed. Curie was also mistaken in her belief that radiation would be useful against virtually all cancer since there are very few cancers that are radiation sensitive for any prolonged period.

So, with the scientific world bedazzled by Marie Curie’s radiation theory, Beard’s work was forgotten, and his scientific voice fell silent. By the time he died in obscurity in 1924, his enzyme theory was virtually abandoned. Not until Dr. Kelley’s discovery of Beard’s work in 1964 would it again receive scientific interest.

Dr. William Donald Kelley: The Kelley Program

“The body is an amazingly adaptable organism capable of solving most physical problems if we only work with it instead of against it. This is what healing is all about. The only really effective way to treat disease is to build health.” – Dr. Kelley

Dr. Kelley was born on November 2, 1925, in Arkansas City, Kansas. His parents owned a small farm outside of town that his mother, Velma, tended largely on her own, since his father worked full-time for the Santa Fe Railroad. Dr. Kelley received an undergraduate degree in biochemistry in 1950, then attended the Baylor University School of Dentistry in Dallas. While a dental student, he earned a master’s degree in education, and first developed an interest in nutrition.

After graduating from dental school in 1954, Dr. Kelley completed training in orthodontics at Washington University, the University of Alabama, and the University of West Virginia. Subsequently, Dr. Kelley practiced conventional orthodontics until 1962, first in Midland, then in Grapevine, Texas, a small suburb of Fort Worth. Gradually, as his interest in nutrition evolved, the nature of his practice inevitably changed. By the mid-sixties, virtually all his patients sought his nutritional help for a variety of degenerative diseases ranging from cancer to schizophrenia. Because of difficulties with the Texas State Medical Board, who did not approve of his unconventional practice, in 1976 Kelley moved to Winthrop, Washington, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. He lived and practiced at his International Health Institute in Winthrop until 1981, when he returned to Texas.

Deeply motivated by his intent to treat his own inoperable pancreatic cancer, Kelley studied past scientists and experimented with nutrition, supplements, pancreatic enzymes, and detoxification methods. Over the years, Kelley designed individualized nutritional programs for more than 15,000 patients, most with severe illness. At least 2,500 of these had been appropriately diagnosed with biopsy proven cancers at mainstream cancer clinics. He did all this despite being repeatedly arrested and facing unvarnished hostility from the medical community. They couldn’t accept that an orthodontist, and not a scientist at a hallowed medical research center, had decided to stop straightening teeth and discover a cure for cancer. Nevertheless, that is just what he did.

In the 1970s, Kelley established his theory of metabolic typing. He realized that rudimentary physiology was dependent on pH, which tied into the importance of bringing one’s autonomic nervous system into balance. For example, vegetarians tend to have a very strong sympathetic nervous system and a very weak parasympathetic nervous system. Carnivores tend to have a very strong parasympathetic system, but a very weak sympathetic system, and balanced metabolizers are somewhere in between.When vegetarians eat alkalinizing leafy greens, they stimulate their parasympathetic system and tone down their sympathetic system, thus achieving metabolic balance. Conversely, when carnivores eat (acid forming) red meat they stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, and tone down the parasympathetic system, likewise restoring metabolic balance.

Kelley studied thousands of his patients and saw that when he brought the autonomic nervous system into balance with his diets (and appropriately prescribed doses of pancreatic enzymes), tumors would go away. It was that simple. Astonishingly, against all conventional practice, when he turned down the sympathetic system and brought up the parasympathetic system in a hard tumor patient, the tumor sometimes would go away in days.

Kelley published “One Answer to Cancer” in 1969. He wrote thatcancer requires three factors:

  1. The presence of ectopic germ cells (stem cells)
  2. The presence of estrogen (typically due to inflammation)
  3. Deficiency of pancreatic enzymes. (The biggest reason for pancreatic enzyme deficiency is overconsumption of protein.)

Kelley explained that to heal from cancer the metabolic environment of the patient must be changed (i.e.: diet, supplements, detoxification, neurological stimulation, spiritual attitude) and the pancreatic enzyme supply must be restored.

Hundreds of patients benefited from Kelley’s cure for cancer from 1970-1980, but he wanted to disseminate this information to as many people as possible. In 1977, he opened seminars and taught the Kelley Program to more than 150 nutritionists, doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and dentists. His training expanded to both laypeople and medical professionals in every U.S. state and abroad.

By 1982, the Kelley Program had fallen apart. There was enzyme supplement mismanagement, and the program became diluted and simplified by others who then blamed Kelley for their poor patient outcomes. He terminated the training in 1985 and closed his Dallas office in 1986. As with many geniuses, after the years of the stresses of official persecution, Kelley became exceedingly suspicious and unstable. Dr. Kelley began having seizures and died on January 30, 2005, in Arkansas City, Kansas.

Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez: The Gonzalez Protocol®

“The more they are trodden upon, the more mighty will they become in the cause of truth against error.” – Charles H. Spurgeon 
(A quote from the authorized biography of Dr. Gonzalez, 
The Maverick M.D. by Mary Swander)

My late husband, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, first met Dr. Kelley in 1981 when he was asked by Dr. Kelley to review his meticulously kept patient records. At the time, Gonzalez was in residency at Sloan Kettering, studying bone marrow transplants under Dr. Robert A. Good, who is considered to be the father of modern immunology. With Good’s encouragement, Gonzalez investigated hundreds of Dr. Kelley’s cancer cases and interviewed patients who were still alive, often years after diagnosis.

At Kelley’s clinic, Gonzalez was astonished by what he saw and heard and began documenting 50 of Kelley’s best cancer case results from 1981-1986 for publication. During these five years, Gonzalez often lived in Kelley’s home and worked with him for hours into the day and night discussing science. Gonzalez witnessed first-hand Kelley’s relentless work ethic as well as the toll his single-mindedness took on his personal life.

Gonzalez attempted to have his Kelley manuscript “One Man Alone: An Investigation of Nutrition, Cancer and William Donald Kelley” published in 1987 but couldn’t convince a publisher of Kelley’s positive outcomes. Gonzalez eventually self-published the book in 2010 to honor his brilliant mentor and document Kelley’s significant contribution to science.

Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez was a medical doctor and classically trained immunologist. His Ivy league education included a degree in English Literature (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude) from Brown University (1970), pre-medical studies at and Columbia University and medical school at Cornell Medical School, where he took his M.D. in 1983. Dr. Gonzalez then worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from 1984-1986. After studying with Dr. Kelley, Gonzalez chose an alternative path to treat patients in his private practice with a natural, non-toxic, nutritional enzyme protocol based on individualized diet, supplements, and detoxification.

Dr. Gonzalez perfected how to reverse and fight off disease by balancing one’s autonomic nervous system so the body can do what God designed it to do – which is to be well. Gonzalez didn’t practice medicine to make money. He chose to treat people with his nutritional enzyme program because he saw the truth. It really worked for all types of disease. As a man of deep integrity, he couldn’t un-see this truth and go back to the world of conventional medical treatments that he knew often didn’t work. With his metabolic diets ranging from more vegetarian to more carnivore, he diverged from the typical plant-based diets advocated by alternative practitioners. Shunned by conventional medicine and an outlier in the alternative medical arena, Gonzalez felt isolated and alone, working on an island.

Combining his world class Ivy League medical education with his education in functional medicine (with Dr. Kelley), Dr. Gonzalez practiced The Gonzalez Protocol® in New York City from 1987-2015. Dr. Gonzalez treated all types of cancer as well as a wide range of degenerative diseases while also providing the Gonzalez Protocol® for disease prevention. Over the course of his career, he treated hundreds of patients and meticulously documented their case histories, challenges, and progress. As his patients will attest, his treatment program disrupts and repairs the effects of various kinds of interference in the body.

It was difficult work requiring intense concentration and commitment. He routinely worked 10–12-hour days, 7 days a week. I frequently worried that he needed time away from his work and encouraged him to take at least one weekend day off. One time, I hid his office keys on the weekend so he couldn’t go in and would be forced to take a Sunday off to just rest. He rested for a few hours on the couch and then politely asked me for his keys. He said that weekends were his favorite times in his office because he could write and not be distracted by phone calls or office staff. He explained, “It isn’t really work when you love what you do.” He would further defend his position by saying “If I don’t do it, who will?”

Always a research scientist at heart, Dr. Gonzalez aggressively sought to have his work clinically tested. Indeed, he was just as critical of alternative therapies which sought to avoid proper scientific scrutiny as he was of orthodox medicine’s refusal to provide it. It is a testament to his drive and scientific sophistication that he was awarded research grants from the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute when practically no alternative therapies or practitioners were awarded similar honors. Despite this, the deck was stacked against an honest appraisal of Dr. Gonzalez’s research and work. The NCI-NIH funded clinical study was ostensibly set up to test The Gonzalez Protocol® in patients with pancreatic cancer but this cancer research was grossly mismanaged by the academicians in charge. In Gonzalez’s book What Went Wrong, he explores the various managerial failings and misrepresentations that made the study’s data meaningless, and documents how bias and mismanagement at the highest levels of the research community helped thwart a promising clinical trial.

When my husband died, so quickly and so unexpectedly, at our home in my arms in 2015, I suddenly inherited his medical practice, his office lease, his research, and his unpublished books. And since he was just 67 and perfectly healthy, there was no will or succession plan. He had worked tirelessly – days, nights, and weekends – for nearly 30 years. He had never given up on his patients or the idea that someday his miraculous nutritional enzyme treatment would be recognized by conventional medicine and made widely available.

Dr. Linda Isaacs: Bridging the Gap

Dr. Linda Isaacs shared an office in New York City with Dr. Gonzalez in return for doing his administrative clerical work. Upon Dr. Gonzalez’s death, she moved to a small office and accepted some of Dr. Gonzalez’s more stable patients into her own medical practice. But Isaacs had her own patients and couldn’t possibly take on all of Dr. Gonzalez’s patients from around the world. In the summer of 2019, she moved to Austin, Texas, and keeps the work alive by lecturing about the research they shared.

The Gonzalez Guardians: The Future of The Gonzalez Protocol®

Shortly after Dr. Gonzalez died, several of his patients, colleagues and I banded together to fill the enormous hole in our lives. We volunteered our time and founded The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation with a primary mission of educating doctors in how to administer his protocol to help his abandoned patients as well as prospective patients. We refused to allow his work to be silenced or fade into oblivion like his mentors Beard and Kelley. And like Dr. Gonzalez, we refused to give up.

Dr. Gonzalez wrote several books in his lifetime, but he never wrote a “HOW TO DESIGN A PROTOCOL” book. So, the devoted doctors on our team researched his files for several years. Together, we cracked the code. Now our educational curriculum explains everything Dr. Gonzalez would have wanted doctors to know about how to create a customized protocol and effectively manage patients on The Gonzalez Protocol®.

Our faculty reviewed more than 100 practitioner applications, developed a 700-page textbook/ how-to manual and prepared 70 hours of instruction which was conducted in person over 10 days. We very carefully interviewed and hand-selected a small group of medical doctors and naturopaths from 4-year U.S. medical schools. After 15 months of study, several doctors passed our rigorous oral and written testing and successfully completed our Educational Seminar in October 2021.

Now, prospective patients can go to our website ( and apply to meet with a doctor who can design a customized Gonzalez protocol for any disease. These Gonzalez Certified doctors are skillfully implementing The Gonzalez Protocol® in their own private practices. We call them The Gonzalez Guardians because they have vowed to be the keepers and protectors of Dr. Gonzalez’s work. They are brilliant, compassionate, like-minded doctors based in clinics around the world:

  • USA: North Carolina (Haven Holistic Health), Connecticut (Big Apple Health Center)
  • Mexico: Cancun (Hope4Cancer)
  • Middle East: Istanbul (Ovital Institute)
  • United Kingdom: London (Ovital Institute)
  • Caribbean: Jamaica (Teshuva Wellness)

Today, we hope to have learned from the lessons of the past and are blessed to be able to offer scientifically proven nutritional enzyme treatments with positive outcomes because of the hard work and sacrifices of doctors Beard, Kelley, and Gonzalez. Our Gonzalez Guardian Doctors are not islands. We have intentionally built a cohesive team who meet regularly and rely on each other to troubleshoot patient situations. We share the workload of reviewing patient files, exploring complementary adjunct therapies, lecturing around the world, and conducting educational webinars. We stand on the legacies of these great scientists. The cost of curing cancer need no longer be the personal price one doctor pays.


By Mary Beth Gonzalez

Mary Beth Gonzalez proudly carries the torch for her late husband, Nicholas J. Gonzalez MD - a pioneer in the enzyme treatment for cancer and other degenerative diseases. Through her non-profit 501 (c) 3 research and education foundation, The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation, and her small publishing company, New Spring Press, Dr. Gonzalez’s nutritional protocol is now accessible to people around the world.

(Source:; November 14, 2023;
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