The Placebo Effect,



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In 1950, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began testing a new drug called Krebiozen. Its proponents claimed it as a possible cure for cancer. One of the researchers involved in this testing was a doctor named Bruno Klopfer.

The Patient

One of Dr. Klopfer’s patients, Mr. Wright, had been suffering from cancer of the lymph nodes. None of the standard treatments were working: his neck, armpits, chest, abdomen, and groin were filled with tumors the size of oranges, and his spleen and liver were so enlarged that two quarts of milky fluid had to be drained out of his body each day. He was just about out of time.


When Wright discovered that Dr. Klopfer was involved in research on Krebiozen, he begged to be given Krebiozen treatments. At first his doctor refused because the drug was untested and only being tried on people with a life expectancy of at least three months.

Wright begged so hard, however, that Klopfer decided to give him one injection on Friday, even though the doctor secretly suspected Wright wouldn’t last the weekend.

The Outcome

On the following Monday, Klopfer found Wright out of bed and walking around. Klopfer reported that his tumors had “melted like snowballs on a hot stove” and were half their original size. This was a far more rapid decrease in size than even the strongest radiation treatments could have accomplished.

Ten days after Wright’s first Krebiozen treatment, he left the hospital, and as far as his doctors could tell, with no signs of cancer. When he had entered the hospital, he had needed an oxygen mask to breathe, but when he left he was well enough to fly his own plane at 12,000 feet with no discomfort whatsoever.

Wright remained well.

Newspaper Articles

Then about two months later, articles began to appear asserting that Krebiozen actually had no effect on cancer of the lymph nodes. Wright, who was rigidly logical and scientific in his thinking, became very depressed, suffered a relapse, and was readmitted to the hospital. This time his physician decided to try an experiment.

A Second Treatment

Dr. Klopfer told Wright that Krebiozen was every bit as effective as it had seemed, but that some of the initial supplies of the drug had deteriorated during shipping.

He explained, however, that he had a new highly-concentrated version of the drug and could treat Wright’s condition. In reality, the physician did not have a new version of the drug and intended to inject Wright with nothing more than plain sterile water.

He did . . . and Wright remained symptom-free for another two months.

The Announcement

But then the American Medical Association announced that a nationwide study of Krebiozen had found the drug ineffective in the treatment of cancer.

This time Wright’s faith was completely shattered. His cancer blossomed anew and he died two days later.

The Placebo and Nocebo Effects

Wright’s story is tragic, but it has a powerful message: When we can tap the healing forces of belief, we can cause tumors to melt away overnight! The patient’s mind alone caused his recovery – and then his demise.

This event proves that your mind is so powerful that it can literally bring wonderful or tragic changes in your health – within days.

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Cancer, Malignant Tumor. Cancer is a recent health disorder. It has become prevalent since about 2000. True or false?

Cardiac Arrest, Heart Attack. The text described how scientists developed a new form of laser treatment for cancer about 70 years ago. Is this correct or incorrect?

Arteriosclerosis. Did Mr. Wright have benign or malignant tumors?

Stroke, Brain Hemorrhage. Was Dr. Bruno Klopfer eager to apply Kreboizen to anyone?

Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia. After six months of treatment, did Mr. Wright’s tumors slowly and gradually go into remission?

Diabetes. When Mr. Wright was released from the hospital did he leave on a wheelchair?

Hypertension, High Blood Pressure.
Mr. Wright fully overcame his cancer. Yes or no? What happened later?

Was the main idea or theme of the article the ineffectiveness of Krebiozen?

The mind can make us healthy or make us sick. What do you think?

Can you give examples of the placebo effect?

How can this be used in our lives?

Liver Disease, Kidney Disease. What might happen in the future?

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