From The Cancer Chronicles #24-25
© Dec. 1994 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

Gaston Naessens is a Québec biologist who, many believe, has made fundamental discoveries relating to cancer, AIDS, and the nature of life itself. Through the use of a unique microscope of his own invention, named the Somatoscope, the 70-year-old French-born Canadian has discovered a primitive biological entity, which he calls the "somatid."

Naessens claims that the somatid is found in all biological fluids he has looked at, including plant sap and human blood. Over the last 45 years, he has also developed a number of promising new drugs, including G.N. 24, Anablast, and a stabilizer for the immune system called 714X. 714X is at present available to cancer and AIDS patients in Canada, but its legal position in the US is moot, due to restrictions of the FDA.

Naessens is best known for 714X, which some people believe has helped them control or even cure their cancer or AIDS. To Naessens and his followers, this is ironic, since 714X is only a byproduct of his more fundamental biological work. It is simply an attempt to help people in need, in accordance with his theory.

We have now made three separate visits to Naessens's Rock Forest laboratory. We have also visited the Cliniques Santé Levesque south of Montréal where people are trained in properly self-administering this product.

This special issue of The Cancer Chronicles is the result of an intensive, three-month investigation. We shall focus on Naessens's fundamental ideas rather than case histories of successes with 714X, although some of these can be found in Christopher Bird's book, The Persecution and Trial of Gaston Naessens (Tiburon, CA: H. J. Kramer, 1991)..

Naessens's ideas are so far-reaching that it would be naive to expect them to be instantly accepted by the scientific establishment. Yet opposition to Naessens, as well as to those espousing similar views, has gone almost beyond belief. Since the early 1960s, Naessens has been pursued with fury by medical authorities. In 1964, he was "escorted" out of his homeland, France, after a national uproar over another one of his medications, G.N. 24. After the beneficial effects of this drug were publicized, tens of thousands of people attempted to fly into Corsica, where Naessens had sought refuge at the time. This is still well remembered in France as l'Affaire Naessens.

Seeking peace to do his work, Naessens resettled in Montréal, Canada. With his wife and co-worker Françoise (who died in October, 1991), he eventually moved to more peaceful quarters in her family's cottage in Rock Forest, a suburb of the provincial town of Sherbrooke. Françoise, a trained laboratory technician, was co-developer of many of Naessens's innovative ideas.

Initially, Naessens was able to work quietly with the help of the McDonald Stewart Foundation of Montréal, a well-known supporter of innovative cancer research. His work was also investigated by Sherbrooke University until administrators there realized that he was the Naessens of l'Affaire Naessens. And, inevitably, this scientific revolutionary gained the attention, and hostility, of the Medical Corporation of Québec, and its determined former director (1964-94), Augustin Roy, MD.

In May, 1989, Naessens was suddenly arrested and thrown into a filthy jail cell: the charge was negligent homicide, as well as 64 counts of practicing medicine without a license. (In Québec, this can refer to not just treatment but diagnosis.)

The major charge stemmed from the death of a woman who had refused chemotherapy for her disseminated breast cancer in favor of 714X. The various charges added up to a virtual life sentence.This arrest galvanized public opinion in much of Québec. A group of Naessens's supporters organized mass demonstrations in Sherbrooke itself, and there was an unprecedented outpouring of international and celebrity support. In the end, Naessens was found innocent of all charges.

This incredible turn of events is reported in Christopher Bird's dramatic book. After the trial, in early 1990, patients successfully pressured Health and Welfare Canada to allow the distribution of 714X under their "Emergency Drug Relief Program." So far, in Canada, about 4,000 prescriptions have been written, by about 600 open-minded doctors.


Yet one should not suppose that the campaign of organized medicine against Gaston Naessens and his revolutionary ideas has ceased. In 1992, the US FDA issued an "Import Alert" against 714X, banning its importation for commercial or even for personal use [see p. 13]. And in July, 1994, six FDA agents raided a Rochester, NY company that was trying to educate the public about 714X, as well as to assist US patients in receiving this unique product. [THE HEAD OF THE COMPANY, CHARLES PIXLEY, WAS LATER SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR DOING THIS.--ED.].

Is Naessens indeed the master charlatan his enemies project? Or is he one of the greatest geniuses of our age? Is 714X just a worthless nostrum, with possibly dangerous side effects? Or is it an ingeniously designed and unique product, which has the ability to stabilize or even reverse symptoms in people with cancer, AIDS, and other chronic illnesses?

Much is at stake here, for Naessens's ideas and discoveries could yield an entirely novel way of viewing the origin of cancer, AIDS, and other degenerative diseases—as well as life itself.

If even some of Naessens's claims are correct, this fact could lead to major advances in such diverse fields as optics, microbiology, hematology, and oncology.

It is hard to even estimate the potential leap in medicine. "Somatidian orthobiology" is truly paradigm-busting science. If Naessens is right, biologists won't have to rewrite their textbooks. They can throw them away.


In the literature of quackbusters, such as the American Cancer Society and the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCHF), however, Naessens is demonized as an uneducated international faker, whose entire career has been devoted to hoodwinking the general public."Naessens has a long history of promoting dubious cancer remedies," says a 1993 NCHF article. It claims that he "peddles" secret formulas, making him "one of the folk heroes of the paranoid faction."

Yet, after days of intensive interviews, he and Ms. Levesque made a very favorable impression on us. Naessens is a calm and dignified man; as Chris Bird said, he has an almost aristocratic mien. For a person of 70, he is also remarkably youthful and buoyant.

Naessens and Levesque live in a modest, but attractive house on the banks of the tranquil Magog River. Ducks play in the backyard and there is a rowboat moored at the foot of the steps. Inside, the living quarters are airy and white, sparsely decorated. Naessens's laboratory is in the low-ceilinged but roomy basement, as it has been for the last 30 years.

World-class scientific research is about the last thing you would expect in such a bucolic locale. There are no visible signs of other hobbies or interests: everything suggests that science is his life. One also has the impression that no one is getting rich here, and that money is not the motive for him or his three stepsons, who run the Centre d'Orthobiologie Somatidienne de l'Estrie, Inc. (C.O.S.E.) next door.

Naessens speaks eloquently and with conviction, but in a non aggressive manner. He struck us as a formal and reserved, but hardly "secretive," man, which he is often accused of being. These are just impressions, but at least they are based on some personal knowledge and are uniformly corroborated by others who know him much better.

His critics, on the other hand, generally condemn from afar, sparing themselves the bother of looking through his remarkable Somatoscope.Gaston Michel Naessens was born 3/16/24 in Roubaix, a textile town just north of Lille, France. His father was a local banker, who died when Gaston was only 10 years old. Early on, young

Gaston showed a penchant for nervy inventiveness. At the age of four, he attached an alarm clock to his Meccano set to create a moving mechanical device. As a teenager, he built a functional airplane, which his mother burned when she realized it really was going to fly. During the war, when gasoline was in short supply, he traveled on a motorcycle he had built that was entirely fueled by wood!

After graduating from the Collège de Marcq-en-Baroeul in 1938, Gaston began courses in physics, chemistry, and biology at the University of Lille. When World War II broke out, and the Nazis invaded northern France, Gaston, with his classmates and teachers, migrated to the south of France, where they reconstituted their school in Nice. Naessens continued his scientific education there, and on 5/4/45 received diploma #219 in engineering and biology from the Union Scientifique Nationale Française. However, after the war, in a youthful oversight, he neglected to convert this wartime diploma into a formal degree from the new deGaulle government. Such war-spawned confusion over records and diplomas has led to repeated charges that Naessens has no formal education, and therefore no ability to make scientific discoveries. His lack of credentials have often been used to discredit his message.

For instance, NCHF states that "Naessens claimed to have studied biology at the University of Lille, but records fail to verify this." As if World War II and the Nazi occupation never intervened! In 1946, Naessens found work as a technician in a blood analysis laboratory in Clermont-Ferrand, west of Lyons. It was here that he first glimpsed unexplained particles in human blood. Others dismissed these as "dross." But Naessens had an insight that such "dross" might have biological significance.

At this juncture, Naessens set up his own laboratory with his mother's financial help. The key problem was that conventional light microscopes could not provide a clear view of these particles. Standard microscopes barely showed them at all, and they would not take a stain. Clearly what was needed was a new way of looking at blood.

There were two ways of increasing the power of the conventional light microscope. The first was to increase the aperture of the lens, which was the direction being taken by all of the world's major optical firms. The second was to alter the nature of the light source itself. This was the ambitious course young Naessens set for himself. In the late 1940s, he travelled to Germany, and obtained the aid of that country's artisans, with their long tradition of skill in optics.

Back home in France, Naessens created the first working model of an entirely new kind of microscope, which he eventually dubbed the Somatoscope [see left]. A major advantage of the Somatoscope is that it reveals the dynamic behavior of living materials. Using this unique instrument, one can see right into the interior of living cells. For example, its view of the movement of some white blood cells is mesmerizing: not only does one see the amoeba-like movement of these cells, but every individual granule (lysosome) within the granulocytes—moving, vibrating, pulsating.

What you see in a conventional microscope is just dead matter. It seems obvious that Naessens has made a major advance over conventional microscopes, one that would boggle the mind of any sincere biologist who looked through this instrument. Yet this remarkable tool, and the inexpensive condenser derived from it, remain unknown to the vast majority of scientists.

The reasons for this are complex. On the one hand, Naessens is not interested in publishing in scientific journals, because he feels that completely new ideas cannot survive the so-called peer-review process. On the other hand, academics sometimes are unduly skeptical about the work of independent laboratories, such as Naessens's Centre Expérimental de Recherches Biologiques de l'Estrie, Inc. (C.E.R.B.E.). Another reason is that the Somatoscope's mathematical constants have, until now, not been elucidated, despite much difficult work expended on this question.

Thus, neither Naessens, nor anyone else, is yet able to give a rounded explanation of the physics or mathematics involved in this remarkable invention. That it does work, however, is indisputable.

Once Naessens had invented the Somatoscope, he was able to see more clearly the "dross" that he had first noticed in human blood. This turned out to be dancing particles, some no larger than viruses, normally present in tremendous profusion. Naessens called these particles somatids, a word he coined meaning "little bodies." In fact, on July 1, 1963, he registered his theory of the somatids with the French Academy of Sciences in Paris.

There was then, and is today, no conventional recognition, much less explanation, of this phenomenon. It is one of the most extraordinary facts of modern science that such a prominent feature of blood, which can be seen by anybody using a Naessens condenser, is non-existent, according to every orthodox textbook.


When Naessens was put on trial in 1989, it forced some doctors to confront the somatid. One explanation offered for these particles was that they were simply "artifacts." This explanation is illogical. Webster defines an artifact as a product, such as a structure on a prepared microscope slide, of artificial character due to extraneous (e.g., human) agency. Thus, artifacts by definition are not natural occurrences, but are things created in the act of staining or otherwise preparing tissues for microscopic examination.

However, remember that Naessens uses fresh blood—no stains, dyes, or colorants at all. After carefully rubbing the skin with alcohol, he pricks the finger, and then deftly touches the slide to the resulting drop of blood. He then quickly places a cover slip over that and examines it for about 20-30 minutes. And that's it. It is difficult to see how millions of artifacts could suddenly be created by such a simple, virtually sterile procedure.

Another, more intelligent objection is that somatids are merely lipoproteins of various densities, including chylomicrons, HDL, LDL, etc. The confusion is natural, since after a fatty meal there are a great number of chylomicrons in the blood. These often give it a turbid, milky appearance for a few hours.

However, Naessens has repeatedly examined blood samples and heated them as high as 70°C (158°F). This certainly immobilizes all chylomicrons and lipoproteins, yet large numbers of dancing somatids remain just as active after this procedure. (This is visible on the 1992 AIDS videotape from C.O.S.E.) This demonstrates that the somatids are not chylomicrons or other lipoproteins. It is also sometimes stated that the ceaseless life-like dance of the somatids can be explained as "Brownian movement," which is the erratic, nondirectional, zigzag motion of particulate matter. Even if somatids did move by Brownian motion this would hardly rule out their biological activity.

(Red blood cells, by analogy, have no independent means of locomotion.) However, this explanation of the somatid dance hardly accounts for some of the distinctly non-random properties one easily observes.

Under the Naessens microscope or the condenser, one can routinely see the somatids repelling one another. Naessens once captured a somatid under the electron microscope and found that it had a positively charged nucleus and a thin, negatively charged outer coating. And in fact, somatids are attracted to the positive pole of a magnet placed on one end of the slide. In addition, in videotaped experiments, one can see somatids (as well as their extended forms) emerging from red blood cells when these are stressed by heat.

One can also frequently see somatids `refusing' to emerge from red blood cells and instead `parasitizing' those cells in little nests—which look highly abnormal, and seem to be a sign of present or impending illness.In our opinion, the least likely explanation of somatids is that they are just unidentified garbage, cellular debris with no possible significance. We should recall that a century ago platelets, now known to be a crucial element in the blood, were considered simply "debris derived from the degradation of other blood cells" (Beck, WS, ed. Hematology, MIT Press, 1994: 542).

The best hypothesis at the moment remains that of Naessens himself: that somatids are living entities of tremendous importance to medicine, and in some fundamental sense are an element necessary for the reproduction and growth of normal cells.

Certainly, many questions remain about the exact nature of these fascinating entities, their internal structure, and their chemical makeup, as well as their relationship to cancer and other diseases. And just because Naessens discovered and named them does not mean that all his current explanations are necessarily correct or could not be modified with new information or explanations. (Even Galileo at first thought that the moons of Jupiter were "four planets...which have their orbits around a certain bright star.") Naessens believes we are just at the beginning of understanding a vast new era. But a fuller explanation of somatids will go hand-in-hand with the development of ever more sensitive tools.


After more than four years of work, Naessens developed his own technique for isolating somatids. When thus cultured in a Petri dish, somatids reveal a new picture. He observed that in the absence of blood inhibitors somatids do not remain somatids ad infinitum, but enter upon a definite life cycle. They routinely undergo a series of polymorphic transformations, which are predictable and have been repeatedly captured on the Somatoscope. Originally, to observe these changes took 90 hours of sitting at the microscope, but more recently, Naessens has employed a video recorder.

His persistent study of the somatids in culture has led Naessens to one of the most revolutionary aspects of his work: his claim that the little somatid particle is only the first stage in a string of polymorphic transformations.

In the blood of healthy people, the somatid cycle has but three phases after their formation in the red blood cells: somatid, spore, and then double-spore. But in people who have cancer or other degenerative diseases, or are in the process of developing these, Naessens claims that a kind of natural "gate" gives way, and the somatid unfolds 13 additional phases, for a total of 16 phases of the complete macro-cycle . That is why the existence of any of phases 4 to 16 in the blood is a sign of a weakened natural defense system.

Naessens considers the elucidation of this cycle one of the crowning achievements of his long career. He is the first to admit, however, that over the years others have also seen phases of this cycle. Between 1840 and 1900, for example, about 10 scientists wrote about them. Between 1900 and the present, there have been over 50 [See pp. 14-15]. Most of these dealt exclusively with the bacterial phase, believing that they were working with an externally generated "cancer microbe." Naessens has fully defined a sequence of changes that has only been suspected before: the pleomorphism of an organism normally resident in the human body.


Naessens also raises hackles when he says that the somatid "microbe" and some of its dependent phases inhabit normal blood. Every medical student learns that normal human blood is sterile. A profusion of living organisms in the blood would not be normal or common: in fact, it sounds like septicemia, a condition that would require immediate treatment with antibiotics.

But the most fundamental challenge comes in cancer. For it is the prevailing belief of oncologists that microbes have nothing to do with the onset of cancer. When they do occur in cancer patients' blood, it is only as an "opportunistic" infection or as a contaminant on a slide. The very idea of bacterial causes, once a popular hypothesis has now dropped out of the very consciousness of modern science. It goes unmentioned in DeVita's 2,747-page orthodox textbook on cancer.

All of this helps explain some of the resistance that Naessens has faced over the years. Yet, with all that, the blindness of orthodox medicine is hard to accept. There the Somatoscope sits, ready for close examination, just a few short hours from the leading cancer research centers of North America.

The Somatoscope offers startling vistas into health and disease. For example, the blood of a woman, who was part of a diagnostic research project, presented a shocking sight: a virtual "zoo" of living, swarming, micro-organisms in a single drop of live blood. None of these organisms, to our knowledge, is found in standard textbooks, yet one can readily recognize many of the forms Naessens describes in his somatid cycle. According to this woman's oncologist, however, she is not only free of infections, but is in remission of her cancer, as well!

We also saw the blood of people in the research program who were ostensibly well, yet who had various stages of the somatid cycle in their blood. Such people, Naessens claims, are in danger of developing some type of degenerative disease, including cancer. Protective factors have given way, allowing the somatid cycle to progress beyond its normal three stages and break into the danger zone.


In its cultured, resistant form the somatid appears to be crystalline and is remarkably resilient. For example, over the years Naessens has subjected such cultured somatids to high doses of radiation, to carbonizing temperatures (200º C), and to dissection. A cultured somatid broke three microscopic diamond knives before it was successfully cut in half. On the other hand, the somatid, as it normally appears in the blood, is quite vulnerable to destruction.

During one's lifetime, the concentration of somatids varies, depending on the strength of the natural defenses. Naessens also believes that cell division cannot happen without the growth promoters the somatids produce. That makes them essential to the existence of life.

Other articles on Gaston Naessens in the Cancer Chronicles:

Alternative list

Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is director of the The Moss Reports for cancer patients. Dr. Moss is the author of eleven books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is or has been an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Urological Association, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the German Society of Oncology. He wrote the first article on alternative medicine for the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in Entertainment (as a film documentarian). This Web site does not advocate any particular treatment for cancer. We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems, especially cancer. Before consulting our site please read our full Disclaimer statement.

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