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William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.

During 1991 and 1992, CanCell was a popular unapproved cancer remedy. On November 13, 1992, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan found Edward J. Sopcak to be in contempt of a January 1990 decree to stop manufacturing and distributing the unapproved drug CanCell. Sopcak was told that if he violated the injunction again, he would face severe penalties, including incarceration. Sopcak was ordered to stop taking orders and to notify all customers that he can no longer supply the drug. Two associates, Diane Petrosky and Bonnie Sue Miller, were also warned to cease their violative activities. Sopcak promoted CanCell as a cure for cancer, AIDS, and other serious diseases. He declared that all symptoms of AIDS disappear in 28 days with CanCell.

NCAHF board member James Lowell, PhD, Professor of Life Sciences at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona wrote the following report which appeared in the March-April, 1991 NCAHF Newsletter:

CanCell (aka, Entelev, Jim's Juice, Crocinic Acid, Sheridan's Formula, JS-114, JS-101, 126-F) is described by promoters as "an assembly of synthetic chemicals" that react with the body electrically rather than chemically. CanCell, which may be used internally or externally, is touted as a cure for cancer and a variety of other diseases including AIDS, cystic fibrosis, MS, emphysema, Parkinson's disease, hemophilia, and mental illness (except schizophrenia). CanCell's inventor, James Sheridan, a chemist, says that the formula was revealed to him by God in a dream in 1936. Sheridan says that because CanCell is divinely inspired, he cannot charge people for using it. Instead he has established the Eden Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, to which people may contribute.

In 1982, Sheridan applied to FDA for Investigational New Drug status (IND file #20258) which was not granted due to failure to provide requested information. In 1984, Edward J. Sopcak acquired the directions for manufacturing CanCell after Sheridan said he was forced to stop production by "the media and FDA." Batches of CanCell are cooked up in Sheridan's and Sopcak's homes. Sopcak claims to have distributed about 15,000 pints to patients; it is not known how much Sheridan has sent.

Sopcak and Sheridan differ somewhat on CanCell's alleged mode of action. Sheridan says cancer is a protein disease and that there are 3-types of cells: normal, primitive and cancer. He says that CanCell causes cancer cells to become primitive and self-destruct. Sopcak believes that there is only one type of cancer which is caused by a mutated anaerobic cell. He says that improper diet causes electrical and chemical damage thus opening the way for the microbe Progenitor cryptocides (Ed. the alleged cancer-causing germ imagined by the late Virginia Livingston-Wheeler, MD). Sopcak says CanCell acts by changing the vibrational frequency and energy of cancer cells, "reducing their voltage," until they reach the "primitive" state described by Sheridan. He claims to "tune" the liquid to correct vibrational frequency in some secret fashion.

Promoters claim that human and animal studies proving CanCell's worth have been done, but are being suppressed by "the establishment." They say that FDA did a "secret and illegal" study which resulted in 80-85% cure rates, but the FDA denies that any such study was ever conducted. The only evidence Sheridan and Sopcak have to offer is a file of letters that CanCell works. One reporter described Sheridan's evidence "ridiculous and amateurish." [1]

The FDA itemized CanCell's ingredients as inositol, nitric acid, sodium sulfate, potassium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, and catechol [2].(]Sheridan has said that he also uses crocinic acid)]. According to Dr. Tadeusz Malinski, Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, the dark-brown liquid contains at least a dozen compounds, none of which are likely to be active against cancer.

No severe reactions or deaths have been reported, but Sheridan says that patients may experience "temporary, moderate fatigue" after taking CanCell. The most dangerous feature is the promoter's insistence that patients abandon other forms of cancer therapy while using CanCell. In 1989, the FDA obtained a permanent injunction against the distribution of CanCell in interstate commerce [3,4].

CanCell has demonstrated that the claim that a cancer remedy is "natural" is secondary to other factors in the appeal of such remedies. Most important is the self-confidence exuded by the promoters of quack remedies. Any treatment used by large numbers of people will include a few long-term survivors. Some are likely to wrongly credit the nostrum for their good fortune, and promoters who are untrained in oncology can easily mistake such testimonials as evidence of effectiveness.

Tough court actions and the rise of other dubious cancer remedies (eg, shark cartilage, Antineoplastons, cat's claw), have reduced CanCell prominence in the amrketplace, but is still promoted by a few people. Anyone encountering this bogus remedy should notify the FDA and inform NCAHF of their action.


  1. Wendland. Hope on a hot plate (Wendland) Monthly Detroit, March, 1984 pp.41+
  2. Questionable methods of cancer management: CanCell/Entelev (Amer Cancer Soc) Ca-Cancer J Clin 1993;43:57-62
  3. Judgment and order of civil contempt and for enforcement of permanent injunction against Edward J. Sopcak (Friedman) United States District Court of Michigan, Southern Division, Civil No. 89-CV-70559-DT, 11/19/92
  4. Court says to cancel the CanCell (Segal) FDA Consumer May, 1993, pp.40-1

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This article was posted on January 15, 2001.