Cancer patients at risk from inaccurate clinical reporting in a high-profile alternative treatment story: comments and corrections

Grace O Gawler
Med J Aust 2010; 193 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2010.tb03953.x
Published online: 20 September 2010

To the Editor: I would like to correct some inaccuracies in an article by Jelinek and Gawler in the December 2008 issue of the Journal about a survivor of disseminated osteosarcoma.1

  • Supportive Care, Integrated Cancer Solutions, Gold Coast, QLD.



I would like to thank Professor Ray Lowenthal for his assistance and feedback, and the staff of Australian Doctor for their assistance in retrieving archived material.

Competing interests:

I am a co-founder of the Gawler Foundation and the former wife of the patient. I left the employ of the Gawler Foundation in 1996. My memoirs were published in October 2008 as an aid to correcting years of misinformation and misreporting about my former husband’s remission.

  • 1. Jelinek GA, Gawler RH. Thirty-year follow-up at pneumonectomy of a 58-year-old survivor of disseminated osteosarcoma. Med J Aust 2008; 189: 663-665. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Gawler I. Cancer patients find strength in self-help approach. Aust Doct 1993; Sept 3: 25.
  • 3. Gawler I, editor. Inspiring people: stories of remarkable recovery and hope from the Gawler Foundation. Yarra Junction, Vic: Gawler Foundation, 1995.
  • 4. Gerson MA. Cancer therapy: results of 50 cases. New York: Station Hill Press, 1995.
  • 5. McCarthy EF. The toxins of William B Coley and the treatment of bone and soft-tissue sarcomas. Iowa Orthop J 2006; 26: 154-158.
  • 6. Allenby G. Ian Gawler: the dragon’s blessing. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2008.
  • 7. Gawler I. You can conquer cancer. Melbourne: Hill of Content, 1984.
  • 8. Kleef R, Jonas WB, Knogler W, Stenzinger W. Fever, cancer incidence and spontaneous remissions. Neuroimmunomodulation 2001; 9: 55-64.
  • 9. Theilmann L, Meyer U, Kommerell B, et al. [Alpha tumor necrosis factor in the serum of patients with sarcoidosis, tuberculosis or bronchial cancer] [German]. Pneumologie 1990; 44: 735-738.
  • 10. Hortobagyi GN, Richman SP, Dandridge K, et al. Immunotherapy with BCG administered by scarification: standardization of reactions and management of side effects. Cancer 1978; 42: 2293-2303.
  • 11. Gkialas I, Kalantzis A, Lykourinas M. The response of urological tumours to immunotherapy. J BUON 2005; 10: 329-336.
  • 12. Terlikowski SJ. Tumour necrosis factor and cancer treatment: a historical review and perspectives. Rocz Akad Med Bialymst 2001; 46: 5-18.
  • 13. Wiemann B, Starnes CO. Coley’s toxins, tumor necrosis factor and cancer research: a historical perspective. Pharmacol Ther 1994; 64: 529-564.
  • 14. Nauts HC. Osteogenic sarcoma: end results following immunotherapy (bacterial vaccines) 165 cases, or concurrent infections, inflammation or fever, 41 cases. New York: Cancer Research Institute, 1975. (CRI Monograph No. 15.)
  • 15. Hirshberg C, O’Regan B. Spontaneous remission: an annotated bibliography San Francisco, Calif: Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1993.
  • 16. Lowenthal RM. Can cancer be cured by meditation and “natural therapy”? A critical review of the book You can conquer cancer by Ian Gawler. Med J Aust 1989; 151: 710-715.


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