My Husband’s Experience with Robert H. Dowling

April 18, 2002

I read with interest your article about the North Carolina Institute of Technology. Mr. Dowling — or “Professor” Dowling as he likes to be called — is on the move. He briefly set up practice near Hendersonville, N.C., but now has moved to a very remote part of Madison County called, of all things, Luck.

My husband suffers from a type of sarcoma called malignant fibrous histiocytoma. It has spread to his lungs and bones and, a few months ago, there seemed no hope. He had a lengthy hospital stay in January and February, 2002. But after getting home from the hospital, he began taking Gleevec (an anticancer drug), which has had miraculous results. He is gaining weight, gaining strength, and slowly reducing his pain medication. But this was not good enough for my very misguided sister-in-law who, along with her two brothers and my husband’s so-called friend, pressured my husband to see Dowling. For a mere $5,000, Dowling would provide “treatments” that lasted 3 hours per day, five days a week for six weeks, plus various supplements.

During the initial meeting with Dowling, he told my husband that he has a 100% cure rate for bone cancer. I saw red flags in many areas…

  • There are no 100% cancer cures.
  • Dowling has moved several times.
  • When asked for a written list of ingredients in his supplements to run my husband’s oncologist to prevent interactions, he refused saying that he was in the process of selling the supplement formulas and could not reveal them.
  • No one could explain exactly what the machines do that he hooks people up to for 3 hours per day.
  • No one would give me information on Dowling’s educational background other than to say he has studied this for a long time,
  • When I asked what Dowling could do, I was told that he would make my husband’s medications work better, although no one could explain how,
  • When told that I was very skeptical and would not agree to pay for or condone the treatments, “Professor Bob” told my husband and his sister that if I did not believe in the treatments, they would not work as well, and he really wanted to meet me. (I found out later that he just wanted me to come and sign paperwork, presumably releases.)
  • When I asked how Dowling could know that his supplements would make Gleevec, a very new drug, work better, no one could explain how or what he knew about it.

My sister-in-law paid Dowling $2,000 to start the treatments. Dowling got a urine, saliva and blood sample. What he did with them I do not know. Beginning on Thursday, April11, 2002, the treatments with the machines started. I asked my husband what the machines did. He said he could not really explain it, but one of them “jiggled his legs,” supposedly to oxygenate the blood. The other was put into water in which you submerge your feet and it “removes the toxins from the body.”

Despite my begging him not to take any supplements before running the ingredients by his medical doctor, my husband was convinced by his sister and Dowling to begin the supplements on Friday, April 12. Unfortunately, my husband had a severe reaction to something, probably the last pill he took at 9:00 pm called “Optimizer ENG-C.” By 9:30, he had uncontrollable diarrhea; almost constant discharge from his nose; he was hallucinating that he had smoke coming off his body; he was burning hot; he made uncontrollable noises; he was nauseated; he was scared; and he was angry. After about an hour of diarrhea, when he tried to stand, he could not do so without bracing himself. He could not walk back to bed. I had to half-carry, half-drag him there. I immediately called an ambulance and had him taken to the hospital. The emergency room called Poison Control, but they could not tell what the supplement was from the way it was labeled. (Its label did claim, however, that it “will not interfere with prescription medications.”)

My husband was admitted to the hospital and stayed until the next afternoon. He was dehydrated, weak, and ashamed that he had been sucked into this by Dowling and by his own family. I am thinking about filing criminal charges, but my husband is reluctant to do so. The oncologist says that he has documentation he will provide if we want to charge Dowling with practicing medicine without a license.

I would recommend that people not waste their money on this man. He could be the poster boy for your website.

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This article was posted on April 18, 2002.