A Bothell naturopath has filed an appeal with the Washington Department of Health after his license was suspended in late January.
The DOH accused Dr. John Catanzaro of using an experimental cancer vaccine without telling two patients that it was not approved by the FDA.
In his appeal, Dr. Catanzaro denies the violations for which he was suspended.
"I have not committed unprofessional conduct," Dr. Catanzaro writes. "I have not engaged in conduct which constitutes moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption. I am not guilty of misrepresentation or fraud.”
Dr. Catanzaro owns the Health and Wellness Institute of Integrative Medicine and Cancer Treatment, which is well-known for alternative cancer treatments.
He claims he informed both "Patient A" and "Patient B" about the potential side effects associated with their care. He also writes that both patients signed separate consent forms for use of the vaccine.
"These documents were not provided to the Department of Health's Investigator because I was not aware that he was requesting them," Dr. Catanzaro writes.
They are included in the appeal as Exhibit R-1 and R-2, but are unavailable to KING 5 due to patient confidentiality.
The DOH also cited Catanzaro for not keeping adequate patient records. In his appeal, Dr. Catanzaro blames errors in his computer software program, MediNotes.
"The software did not allow me to clearly view the fact that data was being carried over from a prior note," he writes. "I have since moved to using MediSoft (a McKesson EMR product) which does not appear to have this problem."
After KING 5 initially reported Dr. Catanzaro's suspension, nearly a dozen patients reached out to tell stories of success thanks to his experimental cancer therapy. All reported full knowledge of the treatment's experimental nature.
The DOH called Dr. Catanzaro's vaccine "unsafe" because it did not meet "good laboratory practice" standards. They claimed his use of it was unethical and lowered the standards of his profession under the guise of hope for cancer patients.
"None of my patients have experienced ‘injury’ or have been placed at any ‘unreasonable risk of harm,'" Dr. Catanzaro writes in his appeal."To the contrary, most of my patients had received a bleak prognosis because of their cancer before they began treatment with me, but have experienced a prolonged life and improved quality of life through the use of the autologous vaccine."