Bothell naturopath appealing suspension

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by ALISON MORROW / KING 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @AlisonMorrowTV

KING5.com

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 5:51 AM

A Bothell naturopath is appealing his license suspension after the Department of Health accused him of treating patients with an experimental vaccine, never telling them it wasn't FDA approved.

Now, a dozen of his patients told KING 5 they can't receive their treatment, which they credit with saving their lives.

"I didn't want to do anything," Lois Lawrence said.

Her cancer diagnosis came at the worst time. Her grandson was three months old when she learned Multiple myeloma could kill her before his first birthday.

"I looked at my grandson in that little car seat and I thought, 'I wonder how long I'll get to see him,'" Lawrence said.

That was 13 years ago, and Lawrence has yet to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. She credits Dr. John Catanzaro for saving her life with a cancer vaccine he developed.

"He told me it was experimental," Lawrence said. "He told me it was not FDA approved."

But the Department of Health accuses Dr. Catanzaro of keeping that a secret from two patients.

In documents filed in January, the DOH suspends Dr. Catanzaro's license, and his cancer vaccine, claiming he never told those patients the FDA had not approved the treatment.

The documents also claim he didn't keep adequate patient records, and argue there's no proof the therapy even works.

But tell that to Sandra Orman.

"The size of an olive at the base of my brain," she described. "It's shrinking. And that's really exciting."

A brain tumor brought her to Dr. Catanzaro's clinic four years ago. Like Lawrence, though, Orman's no longer able to receive the vaccine.

At 81, Lawrence's husband, Dale, still works three days a week to pay for the treatment.

"Gives us some hope that we'll be together for quite a bit longer," he said.

His wife counts her years as a cancer survivor by her grandson's age. A prayer, she believes, Dr. Catanzaro answered.

"I really don't think I'd be alive and a lot of other people wouldn't either," Lawrence said.

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