In 1933, Mrs. G.L, age 38, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, went to see her doctor. She’d lost 15 pounds in the previous 6 months. She was fatigued. A fullness in her lower abdomen troubled her.

In February 1933, a surgeon performed exploratory surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Massachusetts. G.L’s uterus, the adjoining structures and the gastro-intestinal tract looked so atrophied that they could be scarcely identified. The surgeon removed her appendix and a gland from the omentum (an area between the stomach and other abdominal organs). She was diagnosed to have cancer.

G.L was discharged but her condition worsened, becoming “extremely bad.”[1] She’d lost 31 pounds and now weighed 69 pounds. Her doctors considered feeding her rectally (with nutrient enemas). They consulted a radiation oncologist who deemed her case hopeless.

Treatment with Coley's Toxins

Dr. Raymond E. Senecal began injecting her with Coley’s Toxins on September 3, 1933. He clearly realized she was going to die—that drastic therapy was needed. He decided to inject the toxins right into her abdomen, using very high doses. The toxins caused shaking chills and high fevers reaching 104.8°F.

“From the beginning, the progress of the case was miraculous. Her abdomen, which at first was distended to one and one-half times a full-term pregnancy, rapidly flattened down to normal: it decreased from 34 1/2 inches to 25 3/4 inches in the first four weeks. Her appetite became voracious and she gained weight and strength," wrote Dr. Senecal[2]

Dr. Senecal kept injecting Mrs. G.L. In November, a hard, nodular and easily palpable mass appeared in her pelvis. Dr. Senecal injected the toxins straight into that mass. Over a period of six months, he injected her 36 times.

A Second Surgery

In March 1934, a second exploratory surgery was planned. This time, G.L’s abdomen was flat and soft, except for the aforementioned mass. The operation was done at St. Ann’s Hospital in Fall River, under spinal anesthesia. Her uterus, fallopian tube and both ovaries were removed, along with any visible cancer. Pathology showed her to have ovarian cancer (bilateral papillary cystadenocarcinoma).

More Coley's Toxins after surgery

Three months after G.L had healed from surgery, Dr. Senecal resumed the injections. He injected her twice weekly. G.L would receive injections for over one year, (self-administering the injections into her thighs in later months).

G.L gained weight steadily, putting on 40 pounds. Dr. Senecal wrote to Dr. William Coley, stating: “There is no doubt in my mind that this patient owes her life to Coley’s fluid.” [3]

From "almost dead" to "alive 20 years later"

G.L was followed by various doctors over the next 20 years. She was last seen in January 1953, in “excellent health,”[4] weighing 128 pounds with no evidence of cancer.

G.L’s prognosis had been dismal. Her doctors had declared her case hopeless. In the pre-chemotherapy era, she would've been dead within months, maybe weeks, given her dire state.

Today, even with chemo, hormonal therapy and other targeted therapies, only 10-20 percent of patients with her type of aggressive Stage IV ovarian cancer remain alive 5 years after treatment. These modern drugs can extend life at the cost of debilitating side effects. But they cannot cure.

In contrast, Mrs. G.L. was alive and thriving 20 years later, with no evidence of cancer. All those years, she didn't suffer debilitating side effects of drugs. Coley's Toxins had taught her immune system to suppress cancer.


[1] Nauts, Helen Coley, George A. Fowler, and Frances H. Bogatko. A Review of the Influence of Bacterial Infection and of Bacterial Products "(Coley's Toxins)" on Malignant Tumors in Man: A Critical Analysis of 30 Inoperable Cases Treated by Coley's Mixed Toxins, in Which Diagnosis Was Confirmed by Microscopic Examination: Selected for Special Study. Stockh., 1953. 90. Print.
[2] Nauts, 90.
[3] Nauts, 91.
[4] Nauts, 92.