The Story Behind Josef Issels (1907-1998)
Josef Issels, 76 years old in 1983, 25 years of practice
Josef Issels was a holistic doctor who pioneered many therapies in the mid-1900s. His various treatments were aimed at rebuilding the immune system and were individualized for each patient. His"Ganzheits therapy" (whole-body therapy) included fever therapy, anticancer vaccines, diet (see below), detoxification, removing sites of focal infection such as teeth and tonsils, homeopathic remedies and concern for the emotions of his patients.

"Like other alternative therapists, he saw the tumor as the last step in a degenerative process that took years to develop. He began to see cancer as a chronic disease."

­ "The Cancer Survivors" page 240

The state of cancer according to Issels - A deficient immune system could be caused by deficient nutrition (abnormal intestinal flora and/or poor diet), chronic infection, and/or chemical toxins from the environment. Issels' methods of treatment concentrated on building the immune system and reducing toxins from the body as opposed to traditional methods which concentrated on attacking the cancerous tumor cells alone.

Issels knew that, in cancer patients, the blood is more alkaline than acid. He also knew that serum levels of potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, iron, and aluminum are depressed and copper and calcium are elevated. Blood sugar is increased. Red blood cells are fat and have a tendency to clump together. These conditions, he surmised, promoted tumor development. According to Issels, cancer feeds on the toxins in the body. The more toxins, the more the cancer flourishes.

Substitution therapy - to restore organs, Issels provided injections of liver and mesenchymal extracts, organ-RNA and DNA, proteolytic enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, to provide the body with the building blocks to build a healthy enzyme system.

Issels Diet

  • raw live foods, one half to one third of daily intake
  • low protein from sour milk products such as buttermilk, curdled milk and cottage cheese (easy to digest proteins)
  • avoid meat (if the digestive system is weak, digestion of meat could produce toxins in blood)
  • Soybeans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, brewer's yeast
  • no simple sugars; includes malt, cane, beet, nonrefined brown sugar and syrup
  • maintain proper acid-base balance - each meal should contain 80 percent base formers and 20 percent acid formers.
BASE forming foods (80% of diet)
ACID forming foods (20% of diet)

all vegetables
(except those listed on right)

sprouts, artichokes, mushrooms,
legumes (dried peas, beans, lentils), nuts,

all fruits
(except those listed on right)
cranberries, plums, prunes, rhubarb
(eaten with whole grain, these are less acid producing)
milk and milk products

all cereals and flours, bread and cakes, polished rice
(brown rice is less acid forming)

  meat, poultry and fish
  eggs and egg dishes
(yolks are not acid producing)
  fats and oils
  starches and sugars, puddings
  • lots of water (up to 3 quarts a day) and herb teas (drinking water in the form of water, as opposed to water in your juice or soup, is important)
  • prescribed mild purgatives and immunological preparations
  • evening meals should be light (because gastrointestinal juices needed to digest protein are higher during the day)

A fever will stimulate the immune system causing lymphocytes to produce more antibodies that destroy bacteria and toxins. Drug dosages can be reduced by a third to a half with fever therapy, reducing the side effects of some chemotherapies. Issels would induce fevers of 105ºF with a drug called Pyrifer (made from coli bacteria). He also would induce passive fevers with ultra-short waves. Fevers were induced up to twice a week with fevers lasting several hours.

Oxygen-ozone therapy
Issels also administered a combination of oxygen and ozone (ionized oxygen). With hematogenic oxidation therapy (HOT), the blood is drawn from the patient, oxygenated, irradiated with ultraviolet light, and returned to the patient's bloodstream. Oxygen-ozone therapy, like fever, increases the body's ability to destroy bacteria and viruses.

Hot ether therapy involves the inhalation of ether heated to around 175ºF to dissolve pathological lipids and their toxic compounds so they may be released through the kidneys and bowels.

Auto-hormone therapy involves passing ultra-short waves through the brain and the glands, increasing hormone production.

Removal of focal infections
Issels learned from his patients and from other doctors and researchers. Ferdinand Huneke (founder of neural therapy) found that if he injected Novocain into the vein at the site of a local lesion, such seemingly unrelated conditions as asthma, migraine, visual disorders, rheumatism, and so on, would disappear. Issels allowed Huneke to inject Novocain into his patients' old scars, near dead teeth, infected tonsils, or any other local abnormality (what Huneke called a "disturbance field"). Huneke felt that the injections somehow normalized the electric field of the body. Issels secretly began using neural therapy in the hospital where he worked on cancer patients. By 1947, Issels began insisting that his patients have dental x-rays and that all their dead or infected teeth be removed. In March of 1953, he also began removing infected tonsils from cancer patients. After seeing a dramatic reduction in heart related deaths, Issels made tonsillectomies obligatory.

Homeopathic medicine and vaccines
Issels learned this approach to healing that treats with minute doses of substances that would cause the same symptoms in a healthy person and was very enthusiastic about it. He treated some cancers with a vaccine called neoblastine, made from untreated tumor material that contained quantities of virus-like particles.

In 1958, Issels incorporated a vaccine developed by microbiologist Franz Gerlach into his treatments at his Ringberg Klinik.

In 1958, Issels began to use a chemotherapeutic drug called cyclophosphamide. (known in Europe as Endoxana). The drug was produced by Asta Pharmaceuticals who claimed it had no toxic effects on liver or kidneys. Issels found that over a period of time, it did lower resistance, so he gave it in enormous doses for a short period of time. Blood counts dropped to near zero and were restored by transfusions. He got spectacular results with some patients.

By 1983, Issels stopped using high doses of chemotherapy because he found them too damaging. He found very low doses of chemotherapy valuable in combination with immunotherapy.

Issels believed strongly in hope and optimism. He would treat patients for depression and felt this to be an integral part of his Ganzheits therapy. In his Klinik Issels would speak to his patients for two hours a day to encourage them. He was a deeply religious Catholic and shared his trust in God's providence.

The Issels Foundation was established by Josef Issels wife Marie lssels in 1987 after his retirement. Josef Issels died in 1998 at the age of 90.

Story   |   Book List   |   About Prostheses   |   Home
How To Get Breast Cancer   |   Breast Cancer Treatments   |   Alternative Treatments