The Nutritional Research and Educational Foundation was set up in 1994 to administer a grant provided by Nestec (Nestle) for a trial of proteolytic pancreatic enzymes in pancreatic cancer. Because the standard survival for the disease is so poor, an effect could be seen in a small number of patients in a short period of time.
The trial began in January 1994, with funding from Nestec (the Nestle Corporation) and administration by the newly formed Nutritional Research and Educational Foundation. The final results were published in the June 1999 issue (Volume 33, Number 2) of Nutrition and Cancer. Of 11 patients followed in the trial, 8 of 11 suffered stage IV disease. Nine of 11 (81%) lived one year, 5 of 11 lived two years (45%), and 4 of 11 lived three years (36%). At the time of publication, two were alive and well with no signs of disease, one at 3.5 years and one at 4.5 years. In comparison, in a recent trial of the newly approved drug gemcitabine, of 126 patients with pancreatic cancer not a single patient lived longer than 19 months.
While the Foundation was created to administer this clinical trial, it has sponsored acquisition of medical literature, and has given grants for the writing of articles that further the educational goals of the Foundation. An article by Dr. Isaacs, funded by the Foundation, reviewed how case reports in the medical literature are the first steps for the study of any type of therapy. In the wake of the tragic death of its founder, the Board of the Voundation has voted to dissolve it, and the process is underway.