Dr Emanuel Revici

Emanuel Revici, MD, Age 101, Medical Innovator

Emanuel Revici, MD, developer of a system of chemotherapy of negligible toxicity decades before chemotherapy became customary in cancer care, died on Friday, January 9th of this year. His medical practice spanned 73 years, from 1920 to 1993. He was 101.

His novel therapeutic ideas of nontoxic compounds and individually-guided therapy earned him both enthusiastic support in European and American medical circles, and the disapproval of conventionally-oriented organizations in the United States.

In a New York Times article on December 2, 1952, William L. Laurence, dean of the science writers, reported on Dr. Revici's work in clinical oncology and noted the physician's collaboration with Dr. John J. Masterson and Dr. John M. Galbraith, past presidents respectively of the Medical Society of the State of New York and the Nassau County Medical Society.

In November, 1961, the Society for Promoting International Scientific Relations, whose board of directors boasted 11 Nobel Laureates, awarded its annual medal to Dr. Revici at the New York Academy of Medicine. Nine years later, the Medical Society of the State of New York commended him for his "50 years' dedication to medicine."

The element selenium is recognized as a trace element, which in high dietary levels, has been associated with lower-than-usual incidences of cancer. A noted selenium authority, Gerhard N. Schrauzer, professor of biochemistry at the University of California at La Jolla, publicly credited Dr. Revici in 1986 with "having discovered pharmacologically active selenium compounds." He also noted that "The National Cancer Institute has recognized the importance of selenium only within the past few years." Revici had begun administering special selenium anti-cancer compounds in the 1940s.

The Romanian-born Dr. Revici espoused his medical theories to the European medical mainstream in the 1920s, '30s, and early '40s. He settled in New York in 1947. While French medical academicians expressed the belief that his new medicines would revolutionize the treatment of many pathologies, the US medical community, for the most part, remained indifferent.

Few American researchers and physicians possessed more than a rudimentary knowledge of Revici's field of study, the behavior of lipids in abnormal cellular metabolisms. In fact, it was not until the 1980s that accumulating discoveries in biochemistry elucidated the role lipids play in disease etiology and management.

Dr. Revici worked with a few associates and minimal funding, the latter raised mostly by organizations created to support his laboratory and clinical insights. He was an anomaly in a world where research had become the province of large medical institutions financed by substantial government grants.

Temperamentally and philosophically, Dr. Revici had little patience for the delays incurred by the bureaucratic approval process of the Food and Drug Administration. He observed that gravely ill patients whose conditions were resistant to conventional therapies could not wait for the cumbersome approval process to run its course, often a decade or longer. Once his own careful experiments confirmed the safety and efficacy of a therapeutic agent, he gave it to patients regardless of regulatory agency policy. His overriding focus was patient recovery or relief.

Revici's basic theory guiding diagnosis and treatment he called "Biological Dualism." This evolved from a sophisticated understanding of nature and related metabolic processes. He believed that all natural phenomena arise from two forces: electrostatic and quantum. The former is marked by positive and negative charges that tend to annihilate each other. Quantum forces oppose this annihilation by creating organization. Thus, electrostatic forces relate directly to entropy, or the loss of order Quantum forces, on the other hand, because of their organizing role, relate to the increase of order, or what Dr. Revici called "negentropy.

Dr. Revici used the terms "catabolic" and "anabolic" to describe, respectively, the biological manifestations of entropy and negentropy. Anabolic manifestations are constructive and proliferative processes. Catabolic manifestations involve processes that liberate energy and utilize stored resources. Dr. Revici posited that the two opposing processes influenced almost every aspect of health and illness. He described good health as a daily rhythmic fluctuation from one process to the other, based on the needs of the body and environmental demands. In sickness, and particularly in chronic degenerative conditions, there is always a predominance, indeed a persistence, of either catabolic or anabolic processes.

The analytic and therapeutic methods Dr. Revici devised to manage disease consequently call first for identification of the predominant "imbalance," then giving catabolic agents for anabolic conditions and anabolic agents for catabolic ones. "Biological Dualism" thereby allows treatment of many different pathologies with a core group of compounds, which include fatty acids, sterols, extracts of animal tissues, and minerals incorporated in lipids.

His concept of the dynamic antagonism between electrostatic and quantum forces derived from his roughly contemporaneous adaptation of the major conceptual "revolutions" in theoretical physics during the first decades of the 20th century. This may distinguish him as the first research clinician to synthesize classic Newtonian and modern nuclear physics in applications to biological science and medicine.

From the very start of his research in the US, Dr. Revici and his colleagues submitted their findings to meetings of prestigious scientific and medical organizations and to peer-reviewed publications. In its "Science In Review" column for March 4, 1951, The New York Times reported on Dr. Revici's paper before the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the effect of n-butanol in sodium salt and sodium lactate solutions on shock caused by severe burns.

On September 19, 1959, the same newspaper carried an article about a paper co-authored by Dr. Revici at the American Chemical Society's 136th national meeting. It described a new method for studying the defense response of adrenal glands to various injected compounds.

In July, 1961, the D. Van Nostrand Company (Princeton, NJ), published Dr. Revici's 772-page textbook, Research in Physiopathology as Basis for Guided Chemotherapy, with Special Application to Cancer. The book summarized his life's work from 1920s through the 1950s.

The release of Dr. Revici's book by a publisher long noted for its high quality scientific publications marked the epitome of his efforts to persuade the medical community of the validity of his research. However, earlier that year, the American Cancer Society placed his work on its "Unproven Methods of Cancer Management" list. After the group's blacklisting, sales of his book to the medical community fell precipitously and the publisher was forced to destroy practically the entire press run.

The anathematizing of Revici by the country's largest private cancer fund-raising organization was followed by a drying-up of private-sector funding of his research, scientific journal rejection of his clinical data, and concerted efforts to remove him from medical practice by institution of lawsuits and medical disciplinary proceedings.

Despite this harassment over some 30 years, he managed to stay in practice with the help of his patients and a small but influential number of public officials, including Congressmen Charles Rangel in the 1970s and Guy V. Molinari in 1988, both of whom investigated the data for his treatments of drug addiction and cancer.

In November, 1993, the New York State Health Department revoked Dr. Revici's license on charges that his patients' records failed to meet professional standards.

In 1995, Dr. Revici petitioned the State Education Department for restoration of his license, citing favorable shifts in government and the public's attitude toward alternative medicine, Federal judicial opinions permitting patients expressly to assume the risk of unconventional treatment, and, finally, amendment of New York State law which assured doctors specializing in alternative or complementary care that they would receive fair hearings in disciplinary investigations and prosecutions.

Late last November, less than two months before his death, the Education Department returned his license. Instrumental in the restoration of his license were the liberalizing changes in the medical and regulatory environment and letters of praise on his 100th birthday from Governor George Pataki of New York and Congressman Bill Richardson (now ambassador to the United Nations), among others. In 1997, the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, also lent his weight to Dr. Revici's quest by making it known that he was preparing a Legislative Resolution honoring Dr. Revici for his exemplary care and humanitarian concern for victims of disease.

Patients' pleas to the media and legislators may have forestalled revocation of Dr. Revici's license in the 1980s. Political pressure behind the scenes may have hastened restoration of the license a decade later. Ultimately, however, the question of his therapy's efficacy must be resolved by objective clinical investigators and appropriate publication.

The likelihood of Dr. Revici's treatments being used in clinical trials has increased with the formation by Congress of the Office of Alternative Medicine in the National Institutes of Health in 1992. The OAM and the FDA have been developing protocols to test the most promising of Dr. Revici's agents: his selenium compounds. The complementary and alternative medicine center, University of Texas (Houston), recently joined in this cooperative endeavor. Other researchers are studying various Revici compounds for eventual use against cancer and other diseases.

Dr. Mark Noble, professor of oncological science at the University of Utah, on hearing of Dr. Revici's death, explained why so many researchers are interested in exploring his life's work: "Dr. Revici leaves the world two legacies: First, the untold hundreds of patients helped by him when other doctors had given up; second, the challenge of understanding the physiological insights that allowed these extraordinary recoveries. If we can succeed in this challenge, then the true contributions of this remarkable man will finally begin to be realized in full."

The great majority of Dr. Revici's cancer patients had failed to benefit from available mainstream treatments, including mainstream investigational therapy. Frequently, under his care, they were put into long-term remission or improved quality of life. Dr. Revici never declined to treat a patient because of inability to pay a fee. Many impecunious patients were treated without charge.

Emanuel Revici was born in Bucharest, Romania, on September 6, 1896. His father, Tulius Revici, was a physician practicing in Bucharest. His mother, Ecaterina Gaster, was the daughter of a Dutch diplomat.

His uncle, Moses Gaster (1856-1939), an internationally-renowned philologist and writer, was exiled from Romania for political reasons in 1885 and moved to England where he lectured at Oxford University and became chief rabbi of the English Sephardic communities (1887-1919). An active Zionist, Dr. Gaster was a close friend of Theodor Herzl and he participated in negotiations with the British government that led to establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Dr. Revici received his doctorate in medicine and surgery from the University of Bucharest in 1920, and his medical license the next year. Later, he was appointed Preparator and Assistant (positions corresponding roughly to instructor and assistant professor) at the second Medical Clinic of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Bucharest.

In the mid-1920s, he concentrated on research into lipids and cellular metabolism, and from 1936 to 1941, following resettlement in France, he worked at various academic and hospital laboratories directed by prominent Parisian physicians. The Pasteur Institute deposited five papers by Dr. Revici on lipids in pathological pain and cancer in the National Academy of Sciences, a prestigious method of registering landmark scientific work.

Dr. Revici's service with the French Resistance was followed by sanctuary in Mexico in 1941, where he continued his medical studies. Between 1942 and 1945, he founded and directed a 100room free clinic staffed with fellow physicians-in-exile and local physicians.

In 1946, Dr. George Dick, dean of the Chicago University medical school, invited Dr. Revici to continue his research in the US. In recognition of his Resistance role and his scientific potential, Sumner Welles, undersecretary of state under President Franklin Roosevelt, arranged for special visas to bring Dr. Revici and his family to the United States.

A group of influential New Yorkers in 1947 persuaded Dr. Revici to open the Institute of Applied Biology in Manhattan to treat cancer patients. He earned his medical license in New York by examination the same year and worked as a scientist and physician until his death.

Physicians at the Revici Life Science Center (200 West 57th Street, Suite 1205, New York, New York 10019 USA) continue to offer the Revici therapies. The telephone number is 212-246-5122.

Dr. Revici is survived by his daughter, Nita, in Chevy Chase, Maryland; two grandsons, Paul Revici Taskier, in Washington, DC, and Allan Fred Taskier, in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey; and three great-granddaughters, Madeline, Sasha and Abigail in Washington, DC.

Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients.


By Marcus A. Cohen and Patrick, Jr. McGrady

Dr. Emanuel Revici, Recipient of FAIM Award, Celebrates 100th Birthday

For over 50 years, Emanuel Revici, MD, has been best known for his success in the treatment of cancer using a special type of lipid therapy. Less well known is the fact that he has had stunning results with scores of other conditions including AIDS, arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer's disease, drug addiction, depression, etc.

His ability to find effective answers for so many seemingly unrelated illnesses stems from his deep understanding of how the human engine is put together. As such, Dr. Revici's discoveries will one day supplant present day evolutionary theory. He calls it "Hierarchic Organization." You might look at it as cellular evolution, a process in which new entities are formed by the layering of one living compound upon another. Although the details of how this layering takes effect are quite complex, its discovery has enabled Dr. Revici to understand the formations of the human body like no one else has been able to do.

In addition to his monumental scientific discoveries, Dr. Revici has long been known for his courteous and kind manner despite repeated reckless attacks upon his good name by members of the medical establishment.

It is only fitting that the genus of Dr. Revici be recognized through some permanent means. That is being done. Because he has carried himself in an honorable manner both in his professional and personal life, it is appropriate to establish an award with a name that would capture those qualities. Therefore, the award will be called The Revici Honor. On September 8th of 1996, at a party celebrating his 100th birthday, a new scientific prize to be given in his name was first introduced to the public.

The purpose of the Revici Honor is to create a mechanism for recognizing and funding meritorious work in the field of medicine, thereby helping to counteract history's tendency to reward the status quo while punishing the truly innovative. Throughout history the norm has been to penalize the true innovators of medicine. This award will help to blunt that pattern by providing the proper recognition to the very ones whose genius has been shunned by the shortsighted mainstream. At the same time it will help to ensure that Dr. Revici's many discoveries will be remembered and properly utilized.

To help fund this prize, as his biographer I will be donating 10% of all royalties from the sale of my book for the purpose of establishing this award which will carry with it a cash prize. With this award, we will be able to support and foster important strides in ereal medicine. You are invited to join me in this wonderful undertaking.



By William Kelley Eidem

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