Revici Therapy

Dr. Emanuel Revici has developed an original approach to the treatment of cancer. His nontoxic chemotherapy uses lipids, lipid-based substances, and essential elements to correct an underlying imbalance in the patient’s chemistry. Lipids-organic compounds such as fatty acids and sterols-are important constituents of all living cells. They are a separate, critical system in the body’s defenses against illness, according to research conducted by Dr. Revici early in his career.

The Romanian-born physician, who practices in New York City, has applied his wide-ranging discoveries for over sixty years to the treatment of cancer as well as many other disorders, including AIDS, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, drug addiction, schizophrenia, allergies, shock, and burns. The great majority of his cancer patients are in advanced stages of the illness. Five, ten, sometimes twenty years after receiving treatment, some of these patients are in remission with no signs of active disease.

Revici, in his mid-nineties, is fiercely dedicated, still makes occasional house calls, and has patients call him at home. To critics, his approach is far too complex, too theoretical, and inconsistent in its results. Even friendly critics within the alternative health field say he cures very few cancer patients. But to admirers, he is a man who has saved the lives of cancer patients pronounced hopeless by orthodox doctors, a scientific genius who has opened up whole new vistas and whose theories and discoveries may serve as a principal basis for future medicine.

Commenting on Revici’s 1961 book, Research in Physiopathology as a Basis of Guided Chemotherapy With Special Applications to Cancer, Dr. Gerhard Schrauzer a leading authority on selenium, wrote, “I came to the conclusion that Dr. Revici is an innovative medical genius, outstanding chemist and a highly creative thinker. I also realized that few of his medical colleagues would be able to follow his train of thought and thus would be all too willing to dismiss his work.”1

Dr. Revici views health as a dynamic balance between two opposing kinds of activity that occur in all living systems. One process, the anabolic, or constructive, fosters the growth and build-up of natural patterns. The other process is catabolic, or destructive, involving the breakdown of structure, the liberation of energy, and the utilization of stored resources. According to Dr. Revici, a long-term predominance of either activity leads to abnormality and disease.

In his “guided 1ipid” therapy with cancer patients, Revici has found two basic patterns of 1ipid imbalance-one, the result of an excess of sterols, and the other, the result of an excess of fatty acids. Sterols are solid unsaturated alcohols such as cholesterol. In treating cancer, Revici first determines whether the anabolic or catabolic phase of activity is currently progressing unchecked. Then he administers lipidbased compounds to renormalize the balance between the body’s opposing forces.

Revici describes the body’s overall defense system as consisting of four successive phases. When an antigen, or foreign substance, such as a virus or microbe, enters an organism, it activates the defense system. In the first phase, the antigen is broken down by enzymes. This is followed by the lipidic phase, followed in turn by the coagulant antibody phase, and succeeded finally by a phase mediated by globulinic antibodies able to fully neutralize the antigen.

The key point about this defense system is that a new phase does not start until the previous phase has been successfully completed. At any point where the agents available are qualitatively insufficient to defend against the noxious influence, the sequence breaks down. Then the body overcompensates by manufacturing excessive amounts of the defense agents from the breakdown point, and it does not progress to the next phase. Revici found that most chronic diseases, including cancer, are characterized by such abnormal conditions. When the body’s defense is arrested in the lipidic phase, either fatty acids or sterols are produced in abnormally large quantities, leading to a variety of disorders, including cancer.

Patients diagnosed with an excess of sterols are treated with fatty acids to correct the imbalance. Conversely, patients found to have a predominance of fatty acids are treated with sterols and other agents.

This “biologically guided chemotherapy,” as Dr. Revici calls it, is highly individualized to suit each person’s specific metabolic character and condition. “There are simply no two cancers which are alike, just as no two individuals are alike,” he has said.2 The substances and dosages used are unique for each patient and can be changed if analytical tests reveal a change in the body’s balance. Through regular tests, such as the urine pH, specific gravity, surface tension, and chloride index, Dr. Revici can detect systemic changes in the body produced by lipid imbalances.

Revici’s research has demonstrated that lipids have an affinity for tumors and other abnormal tissues. Because of this, the lipids or lipid-like synthetic compounds administered to the patient, either by mouth or injection, travel directly to the tumor or lesion. Cancerous tissue is abnormally rich in free lipids, and the lipidic agents introduced into the bloodstream are readily taken up by the tumor.

Revici’s nontoxic cancer therapy has been denied both fair testing and funding in the United States, though it has been studied and put into practice in France, Italy, and Austria. A distinguished physician and research scientist who graduated first in his class at the University of Bucharest, Dr. Revici has been stereotypically portrayed by the American media as a quack who should have been put out of business a long time ago. The American Cancer Society put Revici’s therapy on its Unproven Methods blacklist in 1961, and in 1984, the State of New York tried to revoke his medical license permanently on grounds of deviation from standard medicine, negligence, incompetence, fraud, the use of unapproved experimental drugs, and similar charges. After four years of struggle, Revici triumphed in duly 1988 with a decision that placed him on probation but allows him to continue treating cancer patients.

To save his license, Revici’s patients and several medical civil-liberties groups undertook intensive lobbying at the state capitol. At the federal level, New York Congressman Guy Molinari held an all-day hearing in March 1988 to address the Revici matter and the whole field of alternative cancer therapies. Dr. Seymour Brenner, a respected radiation oncologist in private practice in New York, testified on Revici’s behalf He had investigated a number of patients in very advanced stages of cancer, incurable by orthodox means, whom Revici had put into long remissions. Dr. Brenner had an independent panel of pathologists confirm the diagnosis and stage of illness prior to each patient’s initial visit to Revici. He testified that his personal findings strongly suggest Revici has a cancer treatment deserving further study, and he proposed that such an evaluation be conducted by the FDA.

In a letter to Congressman Molinari, Brenner outlined a protocol in which a panel of doctors would monitor cancer patients placed on alternative therapies after their conditions had been deemed unamenable to the standard forms of treatment. The letter contained the detailed case histories of ten advanced cancer patients whom Revici had healed.

One patient, a forty-three-year-old man, was diagnosed with an invasive, high-grade cancer of the bladder at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in September 1980. “They said, ‘The only way you can be treated is if we take your bladder out and give you a colostomy on the side.’ He said no.”, The patient visited Dr. Revici in October and went on the therapy. He has had no other treatment. In 1987, he returned to Sloan-Kettering for a cystoscopy, which revealed him to be cancer-free.

Another patient, a twenty-nine-year-old woman, was operated on at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in October 1983 for a chordoma, a brain tumor. The tumor was incompletely resected, and the patient was given a course of radiation therapy. The young woman’s condition progressively worsened during the twelve months following surgery. She was seen by Dr. Revici in May 1984, at which time she was confined to a wheelchair, with limited function. Since she started the Revici program, she has had two babies and functions well. Her only problem is that she walks with a cane.

Marianne Dimetres achieved remission from preterminal uterine cancer through a combination of Revici’s nontoxic medications, wheatgrass therapy, diet, and psychological support. See her story on page 157.

Revici, who holds patents for his numerous chemical compounds, claims to have devised a novel technique to open double bonds in molecules of unsaturated fatty acids in order to incorporate different metallic elements at precise points in the molecules. The result is an entirely new series of therapeutic compounds, exceedingly low in toxicity and incorporating selenium, copper, sulfur, zinc, calcium, nickel, beryllium, mercury, lead, and other elements. In general, these compounds reportedly have a toxicity less than one-thousandth of that of the elements in the forms normally available. The technique converts toxic substances into safe anticancer agents. “Through this method, Revici has opened up an entirely new field for the therapeutic use of these elements,” according to Dr. Dwight McKee, one of Revici’s medical associates.4

Revici’s use of selenium in the treatment of cancer predates mainstream interest in this mineral by more than twenty years. Selenium is one of the major trace elements always found deficient in cancer-prone populations. Research has shown that it is of value not only in preventing cancer but also in treating it. Revici uses a special molecular form of selenium (bivalent-negative selenium) incorporated in a molecule of fatty acid. In this form, he can administer up to 1 gram of selenium per day, which corresponds to 1 million micrograms per day, reportedly with no toxic side effects. In contrast, too much selenite (hexavalent-positive selenium) has toxic effects on animals, so human intake of commercial selenite is limited to a dosage of only 100 to 150 micrograms by mouth. Dr. Revici often administers his nontoxic form of selenium by injection, usually considered to be four times more powerful than the form given orally.

Extra selenium in the diet drastically reduces the spontaneous occurrence of cancer in mice. In human populations, high selenium intake correlates with low cancer rates. In a 140-~patient study of cancer victims treated with selenium, Dr. R. Donaldson of the St. Louis Veterans’ Administration Hospital reported in 1983 that some patients deemed terminal with only weeks to live were completely free of all signs of cancer after four years; all the patients showed a reduction in tumor size and in pain.5

Dr. Revici uses the Periodic Table of Elements as one of several guides when choosing the best course of treatment for a patient. This ties in with his view that cancer is part of a hierarchical organization found throughout Nature, from the precellular level to the entire organism. All the known elements, in his view, can be classified as supporting either anabolic or catabolic activity, and each element’s biological activity correlates with its position in the Periodic Table. Revici maintains that the vertical rows in the table all share either anabolic or catabolic activity, whereas the horizontal rows indicate at which level of biological organization a particular element acts-whether at the level of a subnuclear particle (nucleoprotein), nucleus, cell, tissue, organ, or whole body. By this means, Dr. Revici determines the body level (or levels) most affected by the illness and therefore most in need of therapeutic intervention. This information is correlated with diagnostic tests indicating which imbalance is present at which level.

Harassed for decades by the American medical monopoly, Revici, ironically, had originally come to the United States seeking freedom to do his work. A scientific prodigy, he had written his first research manuscript at the age of twelve and entered the University of Bucharest at seventeen. In 1936, after serving as an assistant professor on the Faculty of Medicine, he moved with his family to Paris, where he spent three years investigating the biochemistry of cancer. When World War II erupted, the Revicis fled to Nice, where the doctor joined the French Resistance and gave medical aid to wounded Resistance fighters sought by the Nazis. His anti-fascist activities so endangered him and his wife and daughter that the leaders of the French Underground had to arrange for the family’s passage out of Europe.6 The Revicis settled m Mexico, where Dr. Revici founded the first Institute of Applied Biology, in Mexico City.

Eager to advance his research in the United States, Dr. Revici was granted three special visas through the intercession of Sumner Welles, a special aide to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.7 Revici moved to Chicago, then to New York, establishing the institute anew in Brooklyn in 1947. Today, his office is located in a two-story building in Manhattan, where he treats patients aided by a small support staff.

By 1948, Revici had begun exploring the use of selenium in treating cancer and as a means for rendering radiation less harmful. His promising findings on radiation came to the attention of United States Navy scientists testing A-bombs in the Pacific. Twice, the scientists invited him to join them in studying radiation’s harmful effects.

In 1954, Revici’s fund-raising organization financed the purchase of Beth David Hospital in Manhattan. Renamed Trafalgar Hospital, this general-care facility employing over 200 resident and visiting physicians enabled Revici, as the chief of oncology, to provide round-the-clock care for critically ill patients. Its animal research laboratories were staffed by 35 scientists and technicians, all involved in projects related to Revici’s theories and therapeutic approach. Revici served as chief of Trafalgar’s oncology department for over twenty years. The hospital dosed in 1978 due to financial difficulties.

Revici’s treatment agents were used in Belgium with favorable results by Professor Joseph Maisin, president of the International Union Against Cancer and director of the Cancer Institute of the University of Louvain. Between 1965 and his death from a car accident in 1971, Maisin corresponded with Revici to describe how he treated patients with advanced metastatic cancer who had failed conventional therapies. Maisin used several Revici preparations, at times coupled with low-dose radiation. He reported that in nine of the twelve terminal-cancer patients on the Revici medicines, significant improvements occurred, including regression of tumors, disappearance of metastases, and cessation of hemorrhage. Incredibly, paralyzed patients were able to walk again.

Dr. Revici developed successful treatments for heroin and alcohol addiction. His detoxification agent for heroin addicts, called Perse, was almost chosen over methadone as the nation’s treatment of choice. Perse, which incorporated selenium in a lipid base, physically detoxified addicts within five to eight days. At the request of Congress, Revici presented over 2,000 case histories of successful uses of this nontoxic and nonaddictive agent. The idea for Perse had arisen from Revici’s cancer practice after he observed that patients previously on addictive narcotic analgesics exhibited no withdrawal symptoms when placed on his lipid analgesics.

At a 1971 congressional subcommittee hearing that took testimony about Perse for a full day, Congressman Charles Rangel of New York said, “The results and what we witnessed with patients was so unbelievable that the doctor from Municipal Hospital has now gone back on a daily basis in order to continue with this chance to see the miraculous results that have taken place.”

Barron’s ran a full-page feature on Revici’s treatments for narcotic and alcohol addiction in 1972. Both Congress and the FDA promised Dr. Revici full support for large-scale clinical testing, signaling that Perse could be the most important breakthrough in drug treatment. Because selenium is normally toxic in high doses, Revici reformulated the medication to eliminate it. The new substance, called Bionar, worked just as well-in the same amount of time, with no withdrawal symptoms. (The selenium incorporated in Perse was a bivalent-negative form, very active and virtually nontoxic.)

The stage seemed set for a major advance in the war on drugs. But less than one month after the congressional hearing, the FDA reversed its position and recommended methadone, an addictive and toxic drug, as the treatment of choice. Why?

One possible answer is provided by Marcus Cohen, who helped coordinate the campaign to save Revici’s license. He suggests, “Hospitalization was required for treatment with Perse, and because many of the patients were poor, Medicaid was asked to pick up the tab. As in the case of most drug addicts, they presented with other conditions besides addiction which needed medical attention…. Methadone, addicting in itself, nevertheless was favored by State and City officials as a means of controlling the mostly black and Hispanic drug population…. The drug companies and health care professionals that profited from exclusive use of methadone did not welcome competition, least of all from a treatment which did not cause a lifelong dependency.”8

Dr. Revici’s nontoxic treatment for AIDS applies his findings on the antiviral and immune-enhancing properties of certain lipids. He views AIDS as a “quadruple pathological condition,” consisting of:

1. a primary viral infection, inducing

2. a deficiency in the body’s natural lipidic defense, followed by

3. secondary opportunistic infections or specific neoplasms (cancers)

due to the lack of certain lipids, resulting in

4. an exaggerated imbalance, usually catabolic.

Each of the four conditions is addressed with a specific therapeutic approach. Antiviral agents are given to inactivate, or kill, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). To counteract the patient’s nonspecific loss of defense against opportunistic infections, Dr. Revici administers, via injection, a group of phospholipids that he calls refractoriness lipids. These compounds appear to induce a generalized resistance (refractoriness) toward many different antigens. The doctor claims impressive results with these preparations in the clinical manifestations of AIDS and AIDS Related Complex (ARC). Antibiotics are also given to combat the secondary opportunistic infections. To redress bodily imbalances, the appropriate anticatabolic or antianabolic agents are used.

Two of Revici’s therapeutic compounds for cancer, amyl selenide and tri-thioformaldehyde (TT), tested positive in trials conducted in the late 1970s by the National Cancer Institute and Roswell Park Memorial Institute.9 Another selenium compound that Revici developed showed activity against four tumor systems in tests conducted in England. However, the dose at which antitumor activity was found was “fairly close to the toxic dose,” and further studies of the compound were recommended.

An unpublished study of the 1,047 cancer patients treated with the Revici regimen between 1946 and 1955 was made by Robert Ravich, M.D., who worked closely with Revici. Most of the patients were far advanced or terminal, and most had prior conventional treatment. Of the 1,047 cases, Ravich found that 100 had favorable response (objective and subjective); 11 had objective response only; 95 had subjective response only; 296 showed no response; and 545 had equivocal or undetermined response (380 of this last group were treated for less than three months).10

The only published clinical study of Revici’s treatment for cancer appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA) in 1965. It was written by a panel of nine New York physicians after Revici himself requested that a scientific panel review his cancer-management program. After two years of observation, the panel concluded that the Revici therapy was “without value.” The authors reported that 22 of the 33 patients in the study died of cancer or its complications while on the Revici treatment and 4 more died after discontinuing the regimen. None of the 33 showed signs of objective tumor regression, according to the authors.

Dr. Revici wrote a detailed rebuttal in which he stated that the panel had ignored evidence indicating several tumor remissions, multiple reductions in tumor size, and relief of pain in many advanced patients. He noted that of the nine physicians on the panel, only two had actually seen the patients during the entire two-year study. He further commented that he had requested the study in the “hope that the demonstration of positive results in even a few of these advanced cases would excite sufficient interest to lead to a large-scale study of our approach…. To conclude from a limited study, such as this, that the method should be discontinued, in all cancers, is to say that since surgery and radiation have failed in these same terminal patients, these ‘recognized’ methods should also be discontinued, not only in these types of cancer but in all cancers in general.” Although Dr. Revici submitted substantiating pathological data in his lengthy rebuttal,JAMA refused to publish it.

It is now more than forty years since Revici developed his nontoxic chemotherapy. An open-minded, unbiased evaluation of it is long overdue.


1. Gerhard N. Schrauzer, Ph.D., letter to the Board of Regents, Department of Education, State of New York, 14 February 1986.

2. Barry Bryant, Cancer and Consciousness (Boston: Sigo Press, 1990), p. 147.

3. The Cancer Chronicles, vol. 2, no. 1, Summer 1990, p. 2; and Seymour Brenner, M.D., letter to Guy V. Molinari, 24 March 1988.

4. Dwight L. McKee, M.D., Emanuel Revici MD.: A Review of His Scientific Work (New York: Institute of Applied Biology, 1985), p. 14.

5. Richard A. Passwater, Cancer and Its Nutritional Therapies (New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1983), p. 149.

6. Marcus A. Cohen, “On Emanuel Revici, M.D.,” unpublished manuscript, 1988.

7. Ibid., pp. 1, 6.

8. Ibid., p. 12.

9. Ibid., pp. 4, 14.

10. Robert Ravich, “Revici Method of Cancer Control. Evaluation of 1047 Patients With Advanced Malignancies Treated From 19461955,” unpublished manuscript, undated.


Emanuel Revici, M.D.

26 East 36th Street

New York, NY 10016

Phone: 212-685-0111

For further inforanation on Revici therapy and details on treatment.

Reading Material

Cancer and Consciousness, by Barry Bryant, Sigo Press (P.O. Box 8748, 25 New Chardon Street, Boston, MA 02114; 508-2814722), 1990. Contains an interview with Emanuel Revici.

“Research and Theoretical Background for Treatment of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS),” by Emanuel Revici, M.D., Townsend Letter for Doctors, vol. 45, February-March 1987. Contains an indepth discussion of aspects of Revici’s treatment for cancer and AIDS.

Emanuel Revici, MD.:A Review of His Scientific Work, by Dwight L McKee, M.D., Institute of Applied Biology (see above for address and phone number), March 1985. A fairly technical nineteen-page booklet.

“On Emanuel Revici, M.D.,. by Marcus A. Cohen, Institute of Applied Biology (see above for address and phone number), 1988. Typescript. A valuable source of information on Dr. Revici’s life and work.

From Options: The Alternative Cancer Therapy Book by Richard Walters, © 1992. Published by Avery Publishing, New York. For personal use only; neither the digital nor printed copy may be copied or sold. Reproduced by permission.

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Written by Richard Walters

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