nountrademark in UK
A compound extracted from amygdalin, formerly used controversially to treat cancer.
- ‘A prime example is Laetrile (laevo-mandelonitrile-beta-glucuronoside), a useless and poisonous drug promoted for cancer treatment.’
- ‘The notion that vitamins and colloidal minerals, herbs, coffee enemas, colonic irrigation, Laetrile, meditation, etc., can enhance the immune system and thereby help restore health is bogus.’
- ‘Vitamin B17, or Laetrile, is found plentifully in apricot stone kernels and is thought to play a role in reducing inappropriate cell division which occurs in malignant tumours.’
- ‘Gather together dried apricot pits, we'll fleece the dying by calling it Laetrile: a cancer cure.’
- ‘His father got sick, he wanted to bring Laetrile into the country.’
1950s: from a blend of laevorotatory (a variant of levorotatory) and nitrile.