Respectful Insolence

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time (and, characteristically, verbiage) analyzing the phenomenon known as Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, his “cancer cure” known as antineoplastons, and his incompetent version of “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy.” In this third and final part, I want to come back to antineoplastons, because it has been pointed out to me that there is an aspect of this story that has received little attention. One of my readers in particular has helped enormously. I wish I could credit this person by name to express my gratitude, but, for reasons I fully understand, I am not permitted to. However, this person’s input was essential, and I’ve even appropriated (with permission, of course) a bit of text here and there e-mail exchanges to “integrate” into this post. Putting this together with information in my previous posts, I think we can come to some conclusions about what it is that Dr. Burzynski is really doing.

Antineoplastons = sodium phenylbutyrate

In the first part of this series, I pointed out that back in the 1970s Dr. Burzynski claimed to have discovered cancer-fighting substances in human urine, which he dubbed “antineoplastons.” However, I was pretty vague about just what these substances were, other than to point out that they were modified amino acids and that since 1980 Dr. Burzynski has been synthesizing them in a chemistry lab rather than isolating them from urine, as he had done before. This vagueness came simply from my interest in moving straight to looking at Burzynski’s claims rather than what these substances were. In retrospect, that might have been a mistake. The reason is that understanding what two of Burzynski’s antineoplastons are is critical to understanding what he is doing with them and why he might occasionally appear to be observing an antitumor response.

So what are antineoplastons? According to Quackwatch:

By 1985, Burzynski said he was using eight antineoplastons to treat cancer patients. The first five, which were fractions from human urine, he called A-1 through A-5. From A-2 he made A-10, which was insoluble 3-N-phenylacetylamino piperidine 2,6-dione. He said A-10 was the anticancer peptide common to all his urine fractions. He then treated A-10 with alkali, which yielded a soluble product he named AS-2.5. Further treatment of AS-2.5 with alkali yielded a product he called AS-2.1. Burzynski is currently treating patients with what he calls “AS-2.1″ and “A-10.”

In reality, AS-2.1 is phenylacetic acid (PA), a potentially toxic substance produced during normal metabolism. PA is detoxified in the liver to phenylacetyl glutamine (PAG), which is excreted in the urine. When urine is heated after adding acid, the PAG loses water and becomes 3-N-phenylacetylamino piperidine 2,6-dione (PAPD), which is insoluble. Normally there is no PAPD in human urine.

What Burzynski calls “A-10″ is really PAPD treated with alkali to make it soluble. But doing this does not create a soluble form of A-10. It simply reinserts water into the molecule and regenerates the PAG (Burzynski’s AS-2.5). Further treatment of this with alkali breaks it down into a mixture of PA and PAG. Thus Burzynski’s “AS-2.1″ is nothing but a mixture of the naturally occurring substances PA and PAG.

If you peruse ClinicalTrials.gov for Burzynski’s current clinical trials, you’ll find that pretty much all of them use antineoplastons AS-2.1 and A-10; i.e., phenylacetic acid (PA) and phenyl acetyl glutamine (PAG). But wait! you might say. Why does this matter? PA and PAG are not sodium phenylbutyrate! True enough. However, right there, in one of the e-mails from Renée Trimble, PR flack from the Burzynski Clinic. I had asked her in an e-mail how the Burzynski Clinic did its “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy,” and she responded:

The combination contains drugs which have synergistic activity which permits reduction of doses. The combination proven ineffective by prior data, is not used. Antineoplastons and their prodrug, phenyl butyrate, are important ingredients of the combination because they cover the spectrum of approximately 100 genes. Two articles in peer reviewed journals have been published by our group recently and are attached.

I’ve discussed the fallacy of the “100 to 200 genes” before in parts I and II of this series. However, what caught my eye was the statement that phenylbutyrate is a prodrug for these antineoplastons. For those who are not familiar with basic pharmacology, a prodrug is a drug that is metabolized into something else, and it is that something else that is the actual active molecule that produces a therapeutic effect. In other words, a prodrug must undergo a chemical conversion in the body before it is active. It is also interesting to note that the complaint against Dr. Burzynski from the Texas Medical Board also mentions phenylbutyrate:

Respondent prescribed a combination of five immunotherapy agents – phenylbutyrate, erlotinib, dasatinib, vorinostat, and sorafenib-which are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for the treatment of breast cancer, and which do not meet the FDA’s regulations for the use of off-label drugs in breast cancer therapy.

One of the papers that Ms. Trimble sent to me also features sodium phenylbutyrate. It’s a paper testing phenylbutyrate on esthesioneuroblastoma and nonsmall cell lung cancer and explains its rationale thusly:

Sodium phenylbutyrate (PB) is an FDA-approved drug for urea cycle disorders, and it is also indicated for the treatment of primary and recurrent glioma and acute promyelocytic leukemia [5,6]. PB is partially metabolized in the human body into phenylacetate (PN) [7]. Both PB and PN have been extensively studied for their effect on neuroblastoma [8]. Integration of PB into ne- uroblastoma therapy has been highly recommended [9]. Previous studies reveal that PB has cytotoxic effect on human neuroblastoma, and that it can be combined with cisplatin in novel chemotherapy regimens [8]. PB is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. New publications recommend the use of such FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of neuroblastoma [10,11].

And there you have it. Burzynski’s antineoplastons are nothing more than the byproducts of the body’s metabolism of a known drug, sodium phenylbutyrate. Yes, it does target genes, but not in the way commonly meant when we refer to “targeted therapy,” which normally means targeting one or a handful of related genes. Rather, it targets lots of genes, making it, in essence, no more “specific” than chemotherapy.

Let’s explore the implications of this little-publicized bit of information that Burzynski doesn’t exactly advertise.

An orphan drug

Sodium phenylbutyrate, it turns out, is a drug that was originally marketed as a treatment for urea cycle disorders. It goes under the trade names Buphenyl (Ucyclyd Pharma, Hunt Valley, USA Ammonaps (Swedish Orphan International). As you might gather from the name of the Swedish company that makes it, it is an orphan drug. What that means is that it is a drug that was developed to treat a rare medical condition. Because so few people suffer from such conditions (they are, after all, rare), there is little profit to be made in selling such drugs, meaning that for a pharmaceutical company it doesn’t make economic sense to go through the many hundreds of millions of dollars that it requires to obtain FDA approval for such drugs for such indications. That doesn’t even take into account that it might be difficult to accrue enough patients to do a phase III clinical trial to demonstrate efficacy and safety. Both the U.S. and the European Union have laws to facilitate the development and marketing of orphan drugs.

It turns out that sodium phenylbutyrate potentially has several indications. There is, of course, the aforementioned treatment of urea cycle disorders, which are inborn errors of metabolism. However, that’s not the only indication, as can be deduced by searching PubMed and ClinicalTrials.gov for the search term “phenylbutyrate.” What you’ll find are over 1,300 articles on PubMed and 35 clinical trials on ClinicalTrials.gov. These clinical trials include trials testing phenylbutyrate in amyotropic lateral sclerosis (i.e., Lou Gehrig’s disease), spinal muscular atrophy type I, spinocerebellar ataxia type 3, and, of course urea cycle disorders.

Doing a search for “phenylbutyrate AND cancer” on PubMed and ClinicalTrials.gov is also informative. There are currently several trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov, most of them completed. Trials of sodium phenylbutyrate that do not list Dr. Burzynski as an investigator including trials of lung cancer, prostate cancer, metastatic solid tumors unresponsive to chemotherapy. Most of these trials are either completed or terminated, and some of them even have published results. For example, here are the results from a phase I clinical trial in glioma, conducted by the New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy (NABTT) CNS Consortium, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and published in Neuro-Oncology in 2005. Sadly, they are not promising, even for a phase I trial, which, as you might recall, is the preliminary “first in humans” sort of trial designed to test for safety and maximum tolerated dose, not efficacy, except as a secondary endpoint:

Of the 23 patients enrolled, 19 could be evaluated for tumor response. One CR and no PRs were noted, providing an overall response rate of 5% (95% confidence interval, 0-26%). Five patients (four GBM, one AA) demonstrated stable disease (SD) as the best response and a median time to progression of 5.4 months (range, 1.9-5.7 months). Thirteen patients (11 GBM, 2 AA) demonstrated progressive disease without a period of SD, and they all received fewer than four cycles of PB therapy. Fifteen patients were on enzyme-inducing anti-epileptic drugs. Of note, four of the six patients with CR or SD were on enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs. Nineteen of the 20 patients who could be evaluated for survival have died. The total number of person-years of follow-up was 18.2, and the surviving patient has been followed for more than five years. Median survival time was 5.4 months.

There are other trials as well, a few of which I will briefly mention:

  1. The Novel Deacetylase Inhibitor AR-42 Demonstrates Pre-Clinical Activity in B-Cell Malignancies In Vitro and In Vivo. (Preclinical study.) This study used a modified version of sodium phenylbutyrate (AR-42, also known as OSU-HDAC42) in preclinical models of B-cell malignancies including cell culture and SCID mice to show that AR-42 showed promise in this class of malignancies.
  2. A phase I dose-finding study of 5-azacytidine in combination with sodium phenylbutyrate in patients with refractory solid tumors.. (Phase I trial.) Conclusion: “”The combination of 5-AC and phenylbutyrate across three dose schedules was generally well tolerated and safe, yet lacked any real evidence for clinical benefit.”
  3. Combination of cytotoxic-differentiation therapy with 5-fluorouracil and phenylbutyrate in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. (Phase I trial) Conclusion: “Weekly infusions of FUra followed by PB were fairly well tolerated with disease stabilization in 3/4 (75%) of patients. This is the first report to demonstrate the feasibility of combining a cytotoxic agent with a HDACi as a cancer treatment.”
  4. Phase I dose escalation clinical trial of phenylbutyrate sodium administered twice daily to patients with advanced solid tumors. (Phase I trial.) Conclusion: “Administration of PBA in a twice-daily infusion schedule is safe. The maximum tolerated dose is 300 mg/kg/day. Study designs with more convenient treatment schedules and specific molecular correlates may help to further delineate the mechanism of action of this compound. Future studies evaluating PBA’s ability to induce histone acetylation and cell differentiation alone or in combination with other anti-neoplastics are recommended.”
  5. Complete response of a recurrent, multicentric malignant glioma in a patient treated with phenylbutyrate. (Case report.) After treatment of an anaplastic astrocytoma of the frontal lobe with radiation therapy and Procarbazine-CCNU-Vincristine, the tumor recurred as multiple lesions in this patient, who was started on sodium phenylbutyrate. This patient’s tumors regressed over nine months until they disappeared. Her complete response lasted over 20 months, which continued after discontinuation of sodium phenylbutyrate. The authors concluded: “This is the first report, to our knowledge, of a complete and durable response of a malignant glioma to phenylbutyrate. These clinical findings are consistent with the antiglioma effects of phenylbutyrate noted by Engelhard et al. [4], who described antiproliferative effects, inhibition of urokinase and c-myc expression, as well as impairment of cell migration and invasiveness, and induction of differentiation.”

If you look over the PubMed references, it turns out that researchers first examined phenylacetate as a potential treatment for cancer as far back as 1959, and there are some clinical trials still listed on ClinicalTrials.gov testing phenylacetate against various cancers, although there is understandably some overlap with the trials testing sodium phenylbutyrate, most likely because somewhere in the trial it’s mentioned that phenylacetate is a metabolite of phenylbutyrate. This trial, however, only used phenylacetate in children with recurrent or progressive brain tumors. It’s been completed, but unfortunately no results have yet been reported.

But why should sodium phenylbutyrate be suspected to be a potential anticancer drug? It turns out that it inhibits an enzyme known as histone deacetylase. Histones, the molecular biology geeks out there will know, are proteins around which DNA is wrapped in such a way that a “scaffolding” is formed. The whole complex of DNA and its associated proteins is called chromatin. When DNA is wrapped around its histones, it is usually transcriptionally inactive or silent; i.e., it’s not transcribed into RNA and translated into protein. Histone acetylases and deacetylases modify histones to make them either more or less “sticky,” respectively, to DNA. In other words, chromatin that is more acetylated is generally more active in making its gene products and chromatin that is less acetylated is less active or even silent. Indeed, histone acetylation and deacetylation are major epigenetic mechanisms of controlling gene activity. It turns out that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (HDIs) can have anticancer effects by inducing the accumulation of hyperacetylated chromatin, thus shutting down certain genes, and inhibiting the acetylation of other proteins that regulate gene expression. Some of the mechanisms proposed include inhibition of a protein known as p21WAF1/CIP1, which regulates p53, among others. No doubt this is the sort of rationale that leads Dr. Burzynski to tout his claim that his antineoplastons shut down “100 to 200 genes.” Currently, besides sodium phenylbutyrate, two other HDAC inhibitors are FDA-approved: Vorinostat and Romidepsin, both for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Several others are in the pipeline, from phase I to phase III clinical trials.

One interesting take on phenylbutyrate as a cancer treatment can be found at, of all places, the website of an insurance company. Basically, Aetna has a policy regarding antineoplastons and phenylbutyrate which is worth considering. Basically, Aetna states that it considers antineoplastons and associated medical services to be “experimental and investigational because there is insufficient evidence published in the peer-reviewed medical literature validating the effectiveness of antineoplaston therapy for any indication.” However, in contrast, Aetna considers sodium phenylbutyrate to be:

  • “…medically necessary for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia and malignant glioma.”
  • “…experimental and investigational for the treatment of breast cancer, prostate cancer or cancers other than acute promyelocytic leukemia and malignant glioma.”
  • “…experimental and investigational for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, beta-thalassemia, insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction, maple syrup urine disease, sickle cell anemia, spinal muscular atrophy, and for all other indications.”

Insurance companies tend to be pretty conservative in deciding what therapies to cover; so the fact that Aetna will cover sodium phenylbutyrate for some indications, including at least one cancer, puts a rather fascinating spin on the issue that will become important later in this discussion.

A blind squirrel

At this point, the reader might be tempted to ask whether Orac has gone off the deep end and become a Burzynski apologist. He might be wondering whether I’m invoking a couple of old and corny sayings about how even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once in a while or how a stopped clock is correct twice a day. Such a reader has only to go back to part II in my series to disabuse himself of that notion, given how I pointed out that it’s not the concept of “personalized gene-targeted therapy” to which I object. It’s how Burzynski does it and how he corrupts the very concept through his “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to throwing “targeted” therapies at cancer patients willy-nilly without a systematic rationale for picking them or, it seems, any concern for potential adverse reactions due to combining drugs that have not been tested adequately in combination.

My point is that the Burzynski saga is more complicated than the simple narrative that a lot of skeptics, even skeptics I admire greatly, have imposed on it, which appears to be that Burzynski is a quack; antineoplastons are “toxic byproducts” and don’t work; and that’s that. Quack Dr. Burzynski might be, but unfortunately his possible quackery has intersected and contaminated real science. So let’s put sodium phenylbutyrate and antineoplastons in context. While it is true that, thus far, there is little evidence that sodium phenylbutyrate is effective in most cancers (some brain tumors like gliomas might be an exception), it’s also not correct from a scientific and skeptical standpoint to dismiss it, and thus antineoplastons, out of hand. There is enough evidence out there (the complete response in a glioma patient, for instance) to suggest that there might–just might–be something to this approach. However, is it a magic bullet?

Of course not!

And that’s where Dr. Burzynski goes astray. Not only is he “doing it wrong” but he’s “selling it wrong” as well, charging huge sums of money for his special cocktail of targeted therapies and sodium phenylbutyrate under the guise of clinical trials and forcing patients to bear the cost, while enticing them to bear that cost by making extravagant promises and wrapping his selling of antineoplastons up as part of “personalized gene-targeted therapy.” He’s also prescribing huge doses of antineoplastons (up to 25 g/kg/d for A10 and 80 mg/kg/d for AS-2.1, as we have seen). both of these are so far above the maximal tolerated dose of 300 mg/kg/d determined in the phase I trial I cited above as to be terrifying. True, in all fairness, antineoplastons A-10 and AS-2.1 are not sodium phenylbutyrate, making comparisons of MTDs perilous, but they are metabolites of this drug and their molecular weights are not so different that using nearly 100-fold more than the MTD seems advisable or safe. It’s also true that Dr. Burzynski often claims that very high doses are needed to be effective. Indeed, a key part of the collapse of his NCI trial in the 1990s was due to Dr. Burzynski’s unhappiness with the dosing schedule and his belief that it should be higher, while the NCI was concerned about the risk of serious side effects. Even if he were correct, which he might have been, a drug that requires doses so high that it causes hypernatremia due to the sodium in its salt is rarely a particularly useful drug. Even worse, switching to phenylbutyrate as drug that “generates neoplastons in the blood,” as Burzynski has called it, isn’t a particularly good strategy. The phase I trial I mentioned above that studied the pharmacokinetics of phenylbutyrate indicates that it’s not a good source of phenylacetate, as the authors concluded:

In summary, phenylbutyrate exhibits saturable, nonlinear pharmacokinetics after intravenous administration and achieves peak concentrations in the range of in vitro tumor activity. Concentrations of the active, intermediate metabolite (phenylacetate) were low in this study and did not achieve levels at which saturation occurs. The conversion of phenylbutyrate to phenylacetate was high (80%), but the rapid, subsequent conversation to phenylacetylglutamine resulted in serum levels of phenylacetate that were much lower than those seen when the drug is given intravenously. We conclude that phenylbutyrate should not be considered a clinically useful prodrug of phenylacetate and that phenylbutyrate and phenylacetate should be pursued as independent antineoplastic agents.

In other words, Dr. Burzynski’s rationale for using phenylbutyrate, namely that it’s a prodrug for antineoplastons, while technically true, is deceptive. The reason is that pharmacokinetic studies suggest that phenylbutyrate does not generate clinically useful concentrations of phenylacetate in the blood. Also, as we have seen, the NCI’s concerns were not without foundation, particularly its concern about the risk of severe hypernatremia, which several of Dr. Burzynski’s patients have experienced. Also in all fairness, in the publications of two trials of sodium phenylbutyrate that Ms. Trimble sent me, Dr. Burzynski used 200 mg/kg/d or 6 g/d, which in a typical 70 kg adult is around 85 mg/kg/d, both of which are below the maximum tolerated dose determined in the study I mentioned above. Also, given that they are below the MTD, they are also almost certainly at a dose that fails to generate significant concentrations of “antineoplastons” in the blood. Worse, Dr. Burzynski is also adding sodium phenylbutyrate to a whole bunch of other drugs whose interactions with it have not been studied.

As much as I hate to admit it, there is a modicum of science here. It’s just that, in Dr. Burzysnki’s hands, unfortunately it’s incredibly sloppy science, Trials are not designed so that they can ever answer the question of whether the real drug, namely sodium phenylbutyrate, is effective, either alone in combination, against cancer, and, if it is, against which cancers. Rather, they appear custom-designed so that Dr. Burzynski can keep administering antineoplastons (which, remember, are nothing more than the metabolic breakdown products of sodium phenylbutyrate) to patients. It’s also incredibly unethical science in that Dr. Burzynski is requiring patients to pay huge amounts of money out-of-pocket for unvalidated combinations of targeted therapies thrown together with (these days, at least) sodium phenylbutyrate and sold as “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy.” As for his clinical trials, he has been warned by the FDA about lax Institutional Review Board procedures that fail to protect human subjects, fail to guarantee adequate informed consent, do not adequately monitor studies with ongoing reviews, and fail to report conflicts of interest of IRB members. In other words, not only does Dr. Burzynski do “personalized targeted therapy” badly; he does clinical trials badly as well.

So what exactly is Burzynski up to? Why, if sodium phenylbutyrate is available from not one, but two pharmaceutical companies as an orphan drug and the NCI and many other researchers are investigating it (and were investigating phenylacetate before that), would Dr. Burzynski have such an interest in portraying himself as a “brave maverick doctor“? Why does he still have such an intense interest in attracting people to his clinic using the “antineoplaston” brand name, now coupled with his new brand, “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy”? Why does he sell so much chemotherapy–yes, chemotherapy, as I have shown–along with cocktails of expensive targeted therapies which, although less toxic than cytotoxic chemotherapy, still carry risks, not to mention cost a lot of money? Why do his supporters (and, let’s be honest, Dr. Burzynski himself) portray his therapy as “nontoxic” and “not chemotherapy,” even implying that it is not a product of big pharma, even though we have just seen that it is?

Looking at the claims of the Texas Medical Board against Dr. Burzynski, which include overprescribing without benefit and running his own pharmacy, and the costs of treatment at the Burzynski Clinic, which are freely discussed on patient blogs such as Supatra’s Fairy Fund and Cancer is a Bad ASS Bitch But We Are Badder (not to mention the claims of Wayne Merritt that Dr. Burzysnski is massively overcharging) that I discussed last week, I start to get the impression that what we are dealing with is not a misunderstood scientist or a “brave maverick doctor, but something more slippery, someone who skirts the fuzzy line between bad science and outright quackery for profit.

This starts to become very important when you consider what price people will pay for hope. As far as I can see and based on what I’ve found out, Dr. Burzynski’s antineoplastons appear to be nothing more than a different way of administering sodium phenylbutyrate. The difference is that they are administered at very high doses, and added to (in what appears to be most patients at the Burzynski Clinic these days) a luxury cocktail of chemotherapy and eye-wateringly expensive targeted cancer therapies prescribed off-label using a “Targeted Cancer Therapy for Dummies”-level interpretation of a genomic assessment of the patient’s tumor the company Caris, which is still also at an experimental stage.

Here’s where it gets even more interesting.

As I mentioned above, the insurance company Aetna has a policy outlining under what conditions and for what diseases it will cover sodium phenylbutyrate therapy. In that policy, it also states:

Since sodium phenylbutyrate has been approved by the FDA for treatment of other indications, physicians can prescribe it for patients without any danger of legal sanctions or need for compassionate use exemptions. However, there is no adequate evidence in the peer-reviewed published medical literature demonstrating that the use of sodium phenylbutyrate improves the clinical outcomes of patients with cancers of the prostate, breast, or cancers other than acute promyelocytic leukemia and malignant glioma. Current evidence is limited to in vitro and in vivo studies and Phase I studies. Prospective Phase III clinical outcome studies are necessary to determine the clinical effectiveness of sodium phenylbutyrate for cancer.

Note this phrase: “…physicians can prescribe it for patients without any danger of legal sanctions or need for compassionate use exemptions.”

Here’s what the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has to say about it, with full links to many of the studies and a handy rundown of toxicology data (including the fact that each 500 mg tablet of sodium phenylbutyrate contains approximately 62 mg sodium – which is why, at the doses Burzynski must be using, is a massive risk of side effects including hypernaetraemia and death). Note this important phrase: “Patients are prescribed phenylbutyrate off-label to treat cancer.”

So the main thing that Burzynski stands to gain from continuing the way he is continuing is uninformed patients who have (or, like some patients who manage to raise a lot of money through medical fund raisers, can get) lots of money. These are patients who are already prone to be attracted to woo and who have come to think from reading various websites and other sources of information that antineoplastons are somehow something magical and amazing. Of course, they don’t realize it’s nothing more than phenylbutyrate and, more importantly, that, if they have one of the cancers for which there is evidence of efficacy, they could ask their oncologist to prescribe the drug off-label, although their insurance may not pay for it. They also don’t appear to be informed that there is a significant body of published evidence about the safety and efficacy of phenylbutyrate and that the way Dr. Burzynski uses its metabolites A-10 and AS-2.1 often far exceeds what one might estimate to be the MTD.

What Burzynski is really doing

It appears that during his urine and blood purification process so many decades ago, Burzynski stumbled on known compounds, PA and PAG, and has been using them to treat all sorts of cancers at extremely high doses based on weak evidence of clinical efficacy (probably brain tumours are the only real indication where it might be useful). Despite the persistent lack of evidence that these compounds have significant anticancer activity in humans, he continues to use and promote them at his clinic, charging patients through the nose to join his clinical trials rather than joining in a wider research effort test the drug in the right way. Indeed, the Burzynski website is still putting out this line: “Antineoplastons (ANP) are peptides and amino acid derivatives, discovered by Dr. S. Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D. in 1967.” As the literature shows, however, what is probably one active metabolite (phenylacetate) was already being researched in the 1950s, and the other probable active metabolite, phenylacetylglutamine, was investigated in the urine of cancer patients in 1958. Burzynski didn’t “discover” these two chemicals. All he did was to purify them from urine, then throw them them at patients in extremely high doses. This he did for decades until, sometime in the last several years, he apparently discovered that these chemicals are metabolites of sodium phenylbutyrate; so he switched to that. Then, like the “brave maverick doctor” that he thinks himself to be, he decided that the way to sell his antineoplastons and phenylbutyrate was to “rebrand” them as part of his “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy.”

What cancer patients considering going to the Burzynski Clinic need to know is that antineoplastons (or to give them their correct name, phenylbutyrate) appear to be no better than many experimental therapies at a very early stage of development. There is phase I data that has produced toxicity data and an MTD. However, there is no convincing evidence of efficacy, except maybe in certain brain tumors. Indeed, it is quite possible, based on the case report and phase I trial testing phenylbutyrate in patients with glioma, that Dr. Burzynski’s therapy does, almost quite by accident, produce the occasional complete response. The problem is that we have no idea if this is any better or worse than anyone else’s results because Dr. Burzynski doesn’t do the necessary phase III trials to find out, even though he has well over 60 phase I/II trials listed at PubMed over the last 15 or 20 years.

Be that as it may, Dr. Burzynski’s antineoplastons are not “natural, non-toxic compounds that cure cancer.” They are drugs, plain and simple. Worse, they are drugs of unknown efficacy. Nor is Dr. Burzynski doing anything unique or in any way superior to what cancer researchers elsewhere do, his claims otherwise notwithstanding. In fact, what Dr. Burzynski does and how he does it are a pale shadow, a parody, of what real cancer research centers do. He does “personalized therapy” so badly that it’s a joke, and he uses an orphan drug off-label in combination with other off-label chemotherapy drugs and targeted therapy while selling his combination as some sort of radical breakthrough in cancer therapy. Meanwhile, the alt-med underground promotes Dr. Burzynski as “the man who cures the most intractable cancers” naturally. He’s not. He’s being represented to desperate patients with incurable cancers as their “last hope,” worth any price to reach. After all, what price would you pay for your last chance at survival or that of a loved one? Of your child? To what lengths would you go to get to the man who, you are told, is the only man in the world who can save your life?

Unfortunately, it’s not even clear to me that Dr. Burzynski’s cured a single cancer. In fact, Skeptical Humanities has been tallying publicly available cases of patients who went to Burzynski and did not survive. It’s a depressing read, and these are stories we don’t see, even from much of the mainstream press. In the process, the harm he is doing is incalculable as he tarnishes the reputation of a perfectly fine experimental anticancer drug (phenylbutyrate) and the very concept of “personalized cancer therapy” with the stench of quackery. Certainly, it doesn’t help that of late he’s branched out into dubious anti-aging remedies, forming a new division of his clinic called AminoCare.

Unfortunately, what we have here is a case of crank magnetism, and the people who pay the price are the desperate patients enticed to spend tens of thousands of dollars for a combination of chemotherapy, thrown-together targeted therapies, and an orphan drug sold as something unique and brilliant.

Comments

  1. #1 Les Rose
    December 12, 2011

    Thanks Orac – extremely useful. Effectively Burzynski’s operation is exposed as even more despicable. BTW the FDA has failed to meet its agreed deadline to answer my letter. I will give them one more day and then tweet.

  2. #2 K
    December 12, 2011

    This phrase makes me feel sick to my stomach:
    >Note this phrase: “…physicians can prescribe it for patients without any danger of legal sanctions or need for compassionate use exemptions.”

    Burzynski has fooled the world into thinking he has a unique “cure” when he is really just rebranding a known experimental drug. Who knows how many people have been misled and possibly defrauded?

    It’s vital that as much fuss is made about this as possible – he is a liar, who is exploiting vulnerable patients. The Texas Medical Board hearing is in April, and they should throw the book at him, as should the FDA.

    Burzynski disgusts me.

  3. #3 tim
    December 12, 2011

    Sounds a lot like an alchemist from the middle ages: treating urine with acids or alkali, he stumbles on a way to make gold.

  4. #4 anarchic teapot
    December 12, 2011

    I’m not at my best today, I’m cuddling up to Big Pharma until the bobo goes away, but did I correctly understand that Burzynski didn’t even invent/discover these ‘antineoplastons’, he just invented the name and took out patents to limit others’ use of it?

    The man is beyond despicable.

  5. #5 Mutant Dragon
    December 12, 2011

    Great post! Amazing. Taking an HDAC inhibitor and rebranding it as a magical cure for cancer, then charging patients vast sums for his “miracle cure” — it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know there are such wonderful people out there. I hope they shut him down.

  6. #6 Mu
    December 12, 2011

    Phenylacetate costs 10 cents a gram, that guy seems to have a decent mark-up.

  7. #7 Jay
    December 12, 2011

    How hard would it be to just disprove the FDA test results? With cancers with 99% fatality rates with chemo treatments, there are FDA tests showing Byrzynski’s drug had better results and didn’t give the side effects that come from poisoning humans with radiation. Why not go after those studies instead? Because you can’t argue against success?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16484713?dopt=Abstract

  8. #8 Andreas Johansson
    December 12, 2011

    Why does he call them “antineoplastons”, anyway?

  9. #9 James Sweet
    December 12, 2011

    I wrote when this story first broke that even if you accept that there might be something to antineoplastins, and even if you are of the mindset that when all else fails it is acceptable to try to shoot the moon with a completely unproven therapy… the Burzynski Clinic is still behaving unethically by charging people exorbitant sums of money to be enrolled in trials of an experimental drug, doubly so since the trials do not seemed designed in such a way that they are going to actually answer any questions about the drug’s efficacy.

    This comprehensive and enlightening post dovetails nicely with that idea. Do his treatments maybe sort kinda work? Possibly. Even if we ignore that he appears to be doing a very lousy job of it all, what he is doing is still unethical to the extreme.

  10. #10 JGC
    December 12, 2011

    Uhh, Jay? Did you happen to note which journal you were citing above? I guess it’s a step up from J. Med Hypotheses, but still…

  11. #11 john rau
    December 12, 2011

    bla bla bla get a real job be productive in a positve way and you will be happy

  12. #12 HFM
    December 12, 2011

    I’ve said this before, but apparently sodium phenylbutyrate acts on urea cycle disorders by binding glutamine. There’s a long history of failures on that target – cancer cells in a dish are dependent on glutamine, because that’s what you feed them, but the drugs just don’t work when that cancer is attached to a body.

    As I understand it, previous drugs in that category have flamed out in Phase I due to toxicity. This one does seem to be better tolerated, even if that’s because you have to give enough of it to make hypernatremia (!) your dose-limiting toxicity.

    But there are much, much saner ways to go after HDAC, if that’s indeed the mechanism. And I’m seriously skeptical that it is; there’s too much else wrong with that molecule.

  13. #13 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 12, 2011

    With cancers with 99% fatality rates with chemo treatments, there are FDA tests showing Byrzynski’s drug had better results and didn’t give the side effects that come from poisoning humans with radiation.

    Hate to tell you this, but in the real world, we don’t consider a treatment to be well-supported by the evidence until they do well in tests that aren’t run by the original investigators. It’s misleading in the extreme to call them “FDA tests” when they’re tests conducted by Burzynski, of Burzynski’s treatment modality.

  14. #14 Denice Walter
    December 12, 2011

    Dr B is hailed by alt med as a brave maverick persecuted by the powers-that-be: I expect that that message should be ramped up as the medical board hearing approaches. It is heaven-sent copy for folks like Adams: proof positive yes, we have yet another feisty under-dog- a brave maverick one- that BigPharma-Gov wants to dispatch because he *cures* people by *natural* means. Oh Lord! Let the bait-and-switch games begin.

    However, the under-dog who fights the power appears to be making *mucho dinaro* but never you mind that. Web woo-meisters have an ulterior motive in supporting Dr B ( or Gonzalez or AJW): since they are in trouble with the “Orthodoxy” they are automatically worthy because “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” so they adroitly over-look the fact that Burzinski uses chemotherapy of the sort they routinely castigate dismissively as being “poisonous”.

    The alternative methodology to the (alleged) SB focus on “cut, burn, poison” appears to be “exaggerate, over-look salient details, and initiate research ideas via free association.

    -btw- speaking of research by free association: today @ AoA, Olmstead shows how wrong Freud really was: go back to the drawing board- it was the *mercury*, Siggy!

  15. #15 Patricia
    December 12, 2011

    Very interesting and useful analysis, Orac. I’m starting to wonder if he may be deliberately doing the trials badly; after all, if his therapy were to become accepted by the mainstream at all, your analysis suggests to me that his patents wouldn’t hold up. By being marginalised he can continue to charge huge fees to the desperate.

  16. #16 rich
    December 12, 2011

    Supreme Court Takes a Look at Medical Patents

    The world, it appears, is determined to turn me into a full-fledged
    libertarian. What with SOPA, PIPA, the NDAA, software patent trolling,
    police violence, and now patents on how doctors provide treatment to
    their patients, it’s becoming more and more clear how pernicious the
    law can be when it’s designed for powerful special interests, national
    security hawks, and big corporations.

    There may indeed be a place for patents, but the way they’ve been used
    to stifle competition and innovation in software shows how limited
    their utility really is – at least for the majority of people. A small
    handful of patent-entrepreneurs make loads of money. They just don’t
    produce anything in order to make that money. It’s a sort of legal
    banditry. Loophole highwaymen waiting to waylay the unfortunate
    software engineer or doctor.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/12/08/supreme-court-takes-a-look-at-medical-patents/

    Lab at Hershey Medical Center identifies a virus that could kill cancer
    Published: Sunday, November 27, 2011, 12:00 AM

    Even once a drug or therapy passes through the FDA approval process,
    there’s one final step before it makes it to the general public —
    production and distribution.

    “You’ve got to get funding to bring it to the market, which involves
    getting [pharmaceutical industry] support,” Ayres said.

    And, she asked, what is the industry going to spend development costs on?

    “Something they can make money on,” she said. “These are the realities.”

    Bottom line: Even with unlimited funding, it could be another two to
    four years before Meyers injects AAV2 into the first patients.

    Until then, he’ll continue to receive the emails from desperate
    people, begging him for a cure.

    “It’s a very emotional topic. Everyone has somebody they know who has
    one type of cancer or another,” Meyers said. “And cancer’s not like
    one day you’re alive and the next day you’re dead. It’s a long,
    debilitating, chronic problem.

    Remember Muzyczka at the University of Florida?

    He’s among the many researchers looking at AAV2 for its use as a
    transportation device for genes.

    Because the virus is so simple, it’s relatively easy for scientists to
    remove its small amount of genes and replace them with human ones.

    The idea is to introduce the carrier virus into the body of a person
    who might be suffering from a genetic disorder due to a problem in
    their own body’s DNA structure.

    AAV2 virus, carrying the human genes, enters the patient’s cells and
    inserts its DNA fragment into our genes, repairing or replacing the
    broken sequence.

    Because the virus is small, simple and doesn’t easily replicate, it
    reduces the chances of something going wrong.

    Not only could it kill cancer cells, but it could be the vehicle to
    treat other genetic conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease,
    Parkinson’s disease and cystic fibrosis.

    “No one’s at the point where the Food and Drug Administration has
    approved it,” Muzyczka said. “But it is getting to the point where
    people think it’s going to work.”

    http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/lab_at_hershey_medical_center.html

  17. #17 Prometheus
    December 12, 2011

    So, if you call it sodium phenylbutyrate, it costs $12 a gram (250 grams powder for $3000; 500 250mg pills for $1500); how much if you call it “antineoplastons”?

    Prometheus

  18. #18 K
    December 12, 2011

    Everyone needs to be making as much noise as possible about this story – the alt-meddies will come out in support of Burzynski against the Texas Medical Board, and there is a risk he won’t be struck off. What we have here is good evidence that the Burzynski clinic has deliberately mislead vulnerable patients, and potentially defrauded them.

    This is a scandal that should be covered by every newspaper in the land – not only does he need to be struck off, but he needs to be totally discredited for this kind of behaviour too.

  19. #19 Todd W.
    December 12, 2011

    @Jay (#7)

    Okay. Leaving aside, for a moment, that the study you linked to was performed by Burzynski and colleagues and was published in a low-tier journal, let’s look at the value of the study itself.

    First off, it’s appears to be a meta-analysis, as evidence by this line from the abstract:

    The objective of this report is to summarize the outcome of patients with HBSG treated with antineoplastons in 4 phase 2 trials.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the full paper, so I can’t see what these four trials were, how they were designed, etc. My suspicion, though, is that they were all studies by Burzynski, et al.

    Second, with 4 trials, the total population was 18 subjects. That’s far too small to come to any meaningful conclusions on the value of antineoplastons. There will be a lot of statistical noise. The end result is that any positive outcomes would merely suggest that a larger, more rigorously designed trial might be a possibility.

    Third, all but 6 of the subjects had radiation or chemotherapy. From the abstract, it’s unclear whether the conventional therapy ended before participation in the trials, during participation or continued all the way through. As such, some of the positive results may have been due to conventional therapy, rather than the antineoplastons. The way to figure that out is with controls.

    That brings us to the fourth problem: no control groups. It appears that not one of the 4 trials included in this analysis used a control group, so we cannot tell what results were due to antineoplastons, which were due to radiation or chemo nor which may simply have been due to natural progression of the disease. The lack of controls just adds to the noise in the final analysis.

    In the end, Burzynski cannot make the conclusion that he does. The data simply are not robust enough to say that antineoplastons had any definitive effect on the progress of the subjects’ disease.

  20. #20 K
    December 12, 2011

    @Jay and @ToddW
    You’re both slightly missing the point that there’s 230 published papers about phenylbutyrate with full methodology, tox data, preclinical data etc and antineoplastons ARE phenylbutyrate (at least as currently used by the clinic).

    The point is that Burzynski has seriously misled, and highly likely defrauded, extremely vulnerable people by making out that antineoplastons are some kind of special unique drug. They’re not.

    Patients in the US can be prescrigbed phenylbutyrate by their physician for some types of cancer ALREADY. No need to go on one of Burzynski’s extortionate (and uninterpretable) “trials” for $$$$$. This is an absolute scandal.

  21. #21 Dianne
    December 12, 2011

    I’m not sure where Aetna’s getting their statement that phenylbutyrate is effective in APL and GBM. It seems like it’s only been tested in phase I’s and in vitro and not found particularly effective there. Has anyone seen any evidence that would sway an insurance company?

  22. #22 Cassandra
    December 12, 2011

    Random thoughts in no particular order:

    The Texas Medical Board’s description of what B was dosing is deeply disturbing. “Respondent prescribed a combination of five immunotherapy agents – phenylbutyrate, erlotinib, dasatinib, vorinostat, and sorafenib-which are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for the treatment of breast cancer, and which do not meet the FDA’s regulations for the use of off-label drugs in breast cancer therapy.”

    Any lay person with a passing knowledge of Dr. Google would have to question FIVE agents given at one time. OMG doesn’t begin to cover it for me. Where is the FDA in monitoring this guy? Where are some sanctions against his misuse of these agents? Last I read, his clinic was the only place his antineoplastons were legally allowed to be used “in clinical trials”, by FDA decree. That means all of his patients are participating in a clinical trial or he’d be behind bars. Have to wonder if they sign off on something that indicates their awareness that it’s a clinical trial.

    While many clinical trials are listed for HDAC/HDIs, phenylbutyrate is just one of many inhibitors being explored.

    (Thank you to Prometheus for posting $$$ and saving me the next logical step in searching.)

    Question: Who are the people that spend time trolling the internet to promote Dr. B? Are they his followers or his own paid employees? There has been a sudden rash of pushing his methods in the last 9+ months. All the standard altie “chemotherapy doesn’t cure” talking points are included. Anyone know the reason for the spike in activity?

    Thanks for this article and I must go back and peruse Parts I & II.

  23. #23 Prometheus
    December 12, 2011

    OK, I’m a little slow this month. I was looking at the list of Dr. Burzynski’s “therapies” from the Texas Medical Board complaint and I finally noticed the “pattern”:

    Erlotinib, dasatinib and sorafenib are all tyrosine kinase inhibitors. They all have different specificities and work best on different cancers, but they all share an effect on tyrosine kinases. Vorinostat and phenylbutyrate are both histone deacetylase inhibitors.

    What Dr. Burzynski is doing is akin to the “shotgun” antibiotic therapy once widely used in primary care (especially emergency room / urgent care settings). By “nailing” three families of tyrosine kinases and using two histone deacetylase inhibitors, he hopes to get sufficient “spread” that he’ll hit just about any cancer in the room.

    The ironic part of this is that Dr. Burzynski claims to be doing “personalised cancer care” when, in fact, he is using a “one size fits all” therapy. Not surprising, since just about every time I read about some practitioner who touts their “personalised” approach, it turns out that they have a favorite “tool” and use it on everyone who comes through the door.

    “To a man with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

    Prometheus

  24. #24 Todd W.
    December 12, 2011

    @K

    I know. I was simply responding to Jay’s specific citation that he thinks supports Burzynski’s work. Of course, the preponderance of studies and other evidence showing how Burzynski is, at best, misguided and, at worst, fraudulent/dishonest, is enough to give anyone pause.

  25. #25 djc200
    December 12, 2011

    5 grand juries and ZERO indictments. If Dr. B was “seriously misleading” and “defrauding” the public, why has he never been successfully indicted? As well, why do we have Dr. Oz and Oprah citing his story as a remarkable “David vs. Goliath” battle? Have you all watched the Burzynski film in its entirety to understand the mountain of evidence that supports his claim for antineoplastines?

    Lastly, please explain why antineoplastines are in Phase III Clinical trials by the FDA if indeed they do not work??

  26. #26 Tim
    December 12, 2011

    You do realize all of what you’re “uncovering” is on his website and explained to his patients, right?

    Bottom line – His team conducts FDA clinical trials with intravenous Antineoplastons. He also has a completely separate private practice where he’s using a targeted cancer approach (which involves sodium phenylbutyrate among other drugs).

    Ummm… and your point?

    I’ve spoken to at least a dozen of his patients and all of which knew they were NOT on FDA clinical trials with IV Antineoplaston because they didn’t meet the criteria to enroll in them (not to mention the other little clue that they weren’t getting it like how they didn’t have a catheter placed in them).

    They KNEW they were getting “sodium phenylbutyrate” which converts into one of the forms of Antineoplaston (which you described) and it was in combination with other targeted meds (SOME off-label, which is acceptable oncological practice – In fact, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has stated, “Frequently the standard of care for a particular type or stage of cancer involves the off-label use of one or more drugs. Off-label use of drugs is widespread in cancer treatment”). And if needed they would receive low-dose chemo. EVERY patient signed consent forms knowing what was happening, plus side effect, etc. So what exactly is it you unraveled?

    Funny enough you make slight (emphasize SLIGHT) hints that this works for some. Of course you minimalize it (SHOCKER).

    Listening to your rhetoric and your “OMGZ LOOKIE I FOUNDZ DA TROOF TANKS TO MUH INVESTIGATIONAL SKILZZ!!” is seriously laughable when none of this was hidden in the first place.

    You sound like that Kevin Trudeau guy with his “WHAT THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO NOEZ!” books. Ironically you’re just as much of a “conspiracy theorist” as you claim others are who believe FDA is “hiding the cure”. It’s pathetic.

  27. #27 Prometheus
    December 12, 2011

    Rich (#16):

    “Lab at Hershey Medical Center identifies a virus that could kill cancer. Published: Sunday, November 27, 2011, 12:00 AM”

    AAV2 (Adeno-associated virus 2) has been the darling of gene therapy research for over a decade because it inserts its DNA into a very specific place in the human genome (on chromosome 19) and doesn’t disrupt any other genes in the process. That means that the issues of copy number control and genetic disruption are taken care of.

    However, it is not a panacea for all ills, as gene therapy is often portrayed. As our host has so often explained, “cancer” is many diseases with many causes. Gene therapy in humans hasn’t been a spectacularly successful as was once hoped, largely because genetics – especially human genetics – is very complex.

    While I am excited by Dr. Meyers’ work, I think it is far too early to say that he has a “treatment for cancer” that is being held up for lack of funding. What he has is an idea that might treat certain types of cancer, if it can work in an intact human. Once he gets that idea a bit closer to reality, he’ll have to hire someone to answer all the offers of funding from pharmaceutical companies

    Prometheus

  28. #28 ArtK
    December 12, 2011

    In this third and final part

    Oh sure. And I’ve got a bridge for sale — cheap. Sorry, but Burzynski is a target-rich environment. Even if the TMB strips him of his license and the FDA shuts down his lab, he’ll be baaaaaaaaaack, just like the other disgraced woo-meisters.

    Thanks, BTW, for a great set of posts taking down this unethical fraud.

    This starts to become very important when you consider what price people will pay for hope.

    I’d change that to “… pay for baseless hope.” I’ll pay a ton for real hope, but not a penny for something like this.

  29. #29 Cassandra
    December 12, 2011

    Prometheus — Precisely what he’s doing. Guess I didn’t get that point across, but you bingo’d with your last post. It’s akin to giving Cipro for a specific infection, that a lesser approach would address. The big guns.

    FYI — I was in recent contact with a couple who had an anti-B website detailing their personal experience with his treatment. Apparently they were getting the same threatening emails from some so-called attorney. Maybe they posted a comment in Part I, but I didn’t see one. Their website is now down.

  30. #30 K
    December 12, 2011

    @tim. Then why, when people are asking for proof that antineoplastons work, doesn’t he come out and point to the 230+ papers on phneylbutyrate and cancer? Why does he make people buy it only from him? Why isn’t the actual identity of the drug mentioned anywhere in his previous papers or abstracts or trials protocols? And why would the Merola movie and his altimed supporters be so vociferous about antineoplastons as a “non-toxic non-chemo” treatment when they are in fact chemo and available off label? At the very least burzynski is guilty of a serious sin of omission by not being straight about the drugs he’s giving people.

  31. #31 K
    December 12, 2011

    @tim. Then why, when people are asking for proof that antineoplastons work, doesn’t he come out and point to the 230+ papers on phneylbutyrate and cancer? Why does he make people buy it only from him? Why isn’t the actual identity of the drug mentioned anywhere in his previous papers or abstracts or trials protocols? And why would the Merola movie and his altimed supporters be so vociferous about antineoplastons as a “non-toxic non-chemo” treatment when they are in fact chemo and available off label? At the very least burzynski is guilty of a serious sin of omission by not being straight about the drugs he’s giving people- antineoplastons are phenylbutyrate. And if you canrt see why that’s ethically dubious, you need to look at your own morals.

  32. #32 Dianne
    December 12, 2011

    The problem with AAV is that it is highly immunogenic. So you can use AAV2 for gene delivery exactly once. But there are over 100 AAV identified…it is a promising approach and not one being taken by a number of researchers, including NIH funded researchers.

  33. #33 Calli Arcale
    December 12, 2011

    djc200:

    5 grand juries and ZERO indictments. If Dr. B was “seriously misleading” and “defrauding” the public, why has he never been successfully indicted?

    I wasn’t aware our criminal justice system was a) particularly well tuned to preventing medical fraud and b) 100% effective. As far as the individual court cases, I have not looked at them and cannot comment.

    As well, why do we have Dr. Oz and Oprah citing his story as a remarkable “David vs. Goliath” battle?

    Dr Oz is only slightly more respectable than Oprah as a source of medical advice. That they frame his story as a “David and Goliath” battle speaks more to the need to find dramatic tension for a story than it does to the merits of his work.

    Have you all watched the Burzynski film in its entirety to understand the mountain of evidence that supports his claim for antineoplastines?

    Why should I watch a promotional film intended for a lay audience to find scientific evidence? I know he claims to have a mountain of evidence. I’d like to actually *see* this mountain of evidence, not hear more claims of its existence. It seems odd that he’s been studying this for so long and produced so few scientific publications on the subject.

    Lastly, please explain why antineoplastines are in Phase III Clinical trials by the FDA if indeed they do not work??

    Same reason anything goes into trials — to find *out* if it works and whether there are serious side effects. Now perhaps you can explain something to me — why has he been studying them (essentially unchanged, as far as I can tell) for decades without producing any publishable results? If they do indeed work, and he has indeed been studying them and not just giving them to patients under the guise of a clinical trial, surely by now he’d have evidence.

  34. #34 Cassandra
    December 12, 2011

    @TIM
    His patients had better know they are doing clinical trials, specifically conducted by his clinic alone. They aren’t in conjunction with the FDA in the least. That’s merely the provision that the FDA gave him to keep utilizing that which didn’t cut the mustard in NCI coordinated trials.

    From the NCI:
    Have any clinical trials (research studies with people) of antineoplastons been conducted?

    To date, no phase III randomized, controlled trials of antineoplastons as a treatment for cancer have been conducted.

    Many cancer patients have been treated with antineoplastons at Dr. Burzynski’s clinic and studied there. A few trials and case studies have been done outside of the clinic. Some of the cancers studied include breast, bladder, cervical, prostate, liver, and lung cancers, leukemia, lymphoma, and brain tumors.

    Published information includes results from phase I clinical trials, phase II clinical trials, and case reports.
    ==============
    From NCI again:
    Are antineoplastons approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a cancer treatment in the United States?

    Antineoplastons are not approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of any disease. In the United States, antineoplaston therapy can be obtained only in clinical trials at Dr. Burzynski’s clinic.

  35. #35 Dianne
    December 12, 2011

    Lastly, please explain why antineoplastines are in Phase III Clinical trials by the FDA if indeed they do not work??

    The FDA doesn’t run clinical trials. Clinical trials, if they exist and are active, are run by researchers in academia, at the NIH, or in industry (which includes Burzynski, admit it or not.) So, there are no antineoplaston trials “by the FDA”. Are there any existent trials at all? If one goes to clinicaltrials.gov and put in Burzynski’s name, you’ll get 61 results. Sounds very productive…except that not a single one of them is listed as open and recruiting patients. They’re all withdrawn, unknown status, (occasionally) completed, or, in one case, not yet recruiting. So, can not confirm a single trial that is open and recruiting.

  36. #36 ArtK
    December 12, 2011

    @ tim

    Listening to your rhetoric and your “OMGZ LOOKIE I FOUNDZ DA TROOF TANKS TO MUH INVESTIGATIONAL SKILZZ!!” is seriously laughable when none of this was hidden in the first place.

    So, rather than blathering in LOL-speak, why don’t you show how easy it is to find this information? Where are the links that show what “antineoplastons” really are?

    If you can’t, then all you have is a feeble attempt to attack the messenger, because you can’t attack the message.

  37. #37 Renate
    December 12, 2011

    djc200:
    The whole film was watched by some experts who have broke down all the presented “evidence” from this propaganda-film. You can find this here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/11/burzynski_the_movie_subtle_its_not.php
    and here:
    http://anaximperator.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/burzynski-the-movie-does-it-prove-the-efficacy-of-antineoplastons-against-cancer/

  38. Excellent work.

  39. #39 ArtK
    December 12, 2011

    @ Calli (responding to djc200)

    Lastly, please explain why antineoplastines are in Phase III Clinical trials by the FDA if indeed they do not work??

    Same reason anything goes into trials — to find *out* if it works and whether there are serious side effects. Now perhaps you can explain something to me — why has he been studying them (essentially unchanged, as far as I can tell) for decades without producing any publishable results? If they do indeed work, and he has indeed been studying them and not just giving them to patients under the guise of a clinical trial, surely by now he’d have evidence.

    My take is that the FDA is tired of Burzynski gaming the system and approved this as a put-up-or-shut-up test. Far better to have him fail at a Phase III trial than otherwise; it’s hard to claim martyrdom if you’ve been given the chance to prove yourself, on your own terms.

  40. #40 Orac
    December 12, 2011

    They KNEW they were getting “sodium phenylbutyrate” which converts into one of the forms of Antineoplaston (which you described) and it was in combination with other targeted meds (SOME off-label, which is acceptable oncological practice – In fact, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has stated, “Frequently the standard of care for a particular type or stage of cancer involves the off-label use of one or more drugs. Off-label use of drugs is widespread in cancer treatment”). And if needed they would receive low-dose chemo. EVERY patient signed consent forms knowing what was happening, plus side effect, etc. So what exactly is it you unraveled?

    Burzynski certainly doesn’t exactly publicize that this is what he is doing. One wonders why. BTW, I’d love to see one of those consent forms. I really would. As for the rest, if Burzynski is so proud of what he is doing, then he ought not to mind that I synthesized all this information and put it in one convenient place for the curious. After all, according to you, I’m not telling anyone anything Burzynski himself doesn’t tell them himself. Well, with the possible exception of how sodium phenylbutyrate is a crappy source of antineoplastons, how it’s real chemotherapy, and how it doesn’t seem to work that well, if at all, against most cancers.

    BTW, one notes that your IP address resolves to Houston. I normally don’t point these things out about commenters, but when someone shows up spewing the Burzynski line out of nowhere I’ll make an exception. You don’t happen to work for Burzynski, do you?

  41. #41 Encino
    December 12, 2011

    Just an observation from an outsider: as I read through these comments I couldn’t stop thinking how much they remind me of the Climategate e-mails. The establishment has always coalesced to vehemently reject those who threaten their beliefs (and research grants). That’s just human nature.

    Perhaps I missed them, but I didn’t see any comments expressing disgust with the Gestapo-like behavior of the Texas Medical Board and/or the FDA in this matter. Can I then infer that you all support their behavior? Or is it that you are too timid to express any negativity towards these powerful organizations? Just wondering…

  42. #42 Todd W.
    December 12, 2011

    Lastly, please explain why antineoplastines are in Phase III Clinical trials by the FDA if indeed they do not work??

    First off, the FDA is not conducting the phase III trials. Secondly, if the investigator is not pursuing FDA approval of a New Drug Application (NDA), then they do not need to get FDA approval for any phase of the trial.

    It’s important to remember that FDA approval of a drug is primarily a commercial one. An approved NDA allows a manufacturer to advertise and commercially promote their drug.

  43. #43 Todd W.
    December 12, 2011

    @Encino

    Perhaps you could provide an example of “gestapo like” behavior on the part of the TMB or FDA?

  44. #44 Orac
    December 12, 2011

    Perhaps I missed them, but I didn’t see any comments expressing disgust with the Gestapo-like behavior of the Texas Medical Board and/or the FDA in this matter. Can I then infer that you all support their behavior? Or is it that you are too timid to express any negativity towards these powerful organizations?

    If anything, the Texas Medical Board and FDA have been maddeningly ineffective in shutting Burzynski down. In my opinion, of course. Here’s hoping the TMB succeeds this time. Again, in my opinion.

  45. #45 Todd W.
    December 12, 2011

    @Orac

    If anything, the Texas Medical Board and FDA have been maddeningly ineffective in shutting Burzynski down.

    Then again, at least for the FDA, their power is not exactly sweeping. They are rather constrained in what they can do and for what violations. I would like to see them take a closer look at his practice of charging subjects to participate in studies. As I wrote over at my blog, while he may be following the regulations, it does sound awfully fishy. I’d love to see the FDA authorization for charging subjects and just which charges he’s allowed to bill.

    And I second your consent form comment. I, too, would like to see what subjects are receiving.

  46. #46 Narad
    December 12, 2011

    Lastly, please explain why antineoplastines [sic] are in Phase III Clinical trials by the FDA if indeed they do not work??

    Trial, singular.

  47. #47 Militant Agnostic
    December 12, 2011

    Calli Arcale

    I wasn’t aware our criminal justice system was a) particularly well tuned to preventing medical fraud and b) 100% effective.

    It doesn’t seem to be particularly well tuned to preventing financial fraud either as the dearth of investment bankers doing perp walks in the aftermath of the financial crisis shows.

    As well, why do we have Dr. Oz and Oprah citing his story as a remarkable “David vs. Goliath” battle?

    Because it increases ratings. Dr Oz and Oprah are in the business of providing a gullible audience for advertisers sell market overpriced crap to. That is their job. Oprah is the queen of bullshit.

  48. #48 Gray Falcon
    December 12, 2011

    @Encino: Further clarification: Gestapo-like behavior is something like seeing how well Burzynki can practice medicine without his head.

  49. #49 Mike
    December 12, 2011

    I am a recent former patient of Buryznski who was duped along with countless others.
    I also got ripped off to the tune of $100K and counting.
    I was told I was talking antineoplastons and went through the Caris bs too.I was given several non FDA approved drugs in combination and took chemo. Everyone there took chemo. I went in the first place to avoid chemo. Surprise. To say I am angry is putting in mildly. I am going to sue.
    It is a travesty. I dont know how much of a quack he is but I do believe he is a petty crook.

    Thanks much for this informative article…it has given me more ammo to go after this jerk now that I know more.

    I am also going to pubish a small blog telling of my experiences with him at word press as soon as I can make some time. It’s called Burzynski Fraud.

  50. #50 Militant Agnostic
    December 12, 2011

    Gray Falcon

    @Encino: Further clarification: Gestapo-like behavior is something like seeing how well Burzynki can practice medicine without his head.

    We have already seen how well Burzynki can practice medicine without any ethics.

  51. #51 lilady
    December 12, 2011

    @ Mike: Might I suggest to you that you also contact the Texas Medical Board, while pursuing him civilly, as well.

    Dr. Burzynski wanted publicity for his cancer treatment…Oprah and Dr. Oz must be pleased that their cancer poster boy has achieved worldwide notoriety.

  52. #52 herr doktor bimler
    December 12, 2011

    Rich @16: Could you use one of the typographical conventions like italics, or blockquotes, or quote marks to distinguish between your own words and those of the articles you are spamming?

  53. #53 herr doktor bimler
    December 12, 2011

    djc200 @25:

    Lastly, please explain why antineoplastines are in Phase III Clinical trials by the FDA if indeed they do not work??

    Todd W. @ 42:
    First off, the FDA is not conducting the phase III trials. Secondly, if the investigator is not pursuing FDA approval of a New Drug Application (NDA), then they do not need to get FDA approval for any phase of the trial.
    Narad @ 46:
    Trial, singular.

    — Note also the key words in the Clinical-trials database:
    Not yet recruiting
    — SO antineoplasticine or whatever is not, in fact, in a Phase III clinical trial. There is merely the administrative paperwork for such a trial in the future.

    Is the explanation sufficient?

    If Dr. B was “seriously misleading” and “defrauding” the public, why has he never been successfully indicted?

    Burzynski has in fact been convicted for fraud.

  54. #54 dt
    December 12, 2011

    “Gestapo-like” behaviour?

    Marginally off topic, but yes, I think so…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YpK59NvC5Q

  55. #55 palindrom
    December 12, 2011

    I think it’s kind of telling that Encino (@41) points to the so-called “climategate” emails as an example of deception in science, when some large number of independent investigations, including some inclined to be very hostile, have found that there was no wrongdoing, EXCEPT of course the theft of these emails so they could be quoted out of context by the great denial machine.

    I do have to admit, though, that “Encino is like, so bitchin'; they have the Galleria ….. ”

    [from Frank Zappa, “Valley Girl”.]

  56. #56 K
    December 12, 2011

    @Tim – oh, and by the way, if it’s so obvious that antineoplastons are phenylbutyrate, why doesn’t the burzynski clinic website say so? This page (“What are antineoplastons?” http://www.burzynskiclinic.com/what-are-antineoplastons.html) claims:

    “Antineoplastons (ANP) are peptides and amino acid derivatives, discovered by Dr. S. Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D. in 1967.

    Dr. Burzynski first identified naturally occurring peptides in the human body that control cancer growth. He observed that cancer patients typically had deficiency of certain peptides in their blood as compared to healthy individuals. According to Dr. Burzynski, Antineoplastons are components of a biochemical defense system that controls cancer without destroying normal cells.

    Chemically, the Antineoplastons include peptides, amino acid derivatives and organic acids. They occur naturally in blood and urine and they are reproduced synthetically for medicinal use. The name of Antineoplastons comes from their functions in controlling neoplastic, or cancerous, cells (anti-neoplastic cells agents).”

    I don’t see anything there about phenylbutyrate – I just see a load of biological nonsense – for a start, the metabolic products of phgenylbutyrate are NOT peptides.

    It also says
    “Antineoplaston Therapy is an experimental therapy offered at the Burzynski Clinic, currently available only within clinical trials. To find out more about the eligibility criteria for enrollment in clinical trials, please contact our Cancer Information Specialist.”

    Again – no mention of the fact that antineoplaston therapy – ir phenylbutyrate – *IS* available outside the context of a clinical trial, and can be prescribed off-label.

    At the very least, this is extremely misleading to people considering the treatment. And does nothing to correct the mistaken belief among the alt-med community that antineoplastons are a “non-toxic non-chemo” treatment, when in fact they ARE toxic, particularly in high doses, and they ARE chemo – and they’re much less specific than the more targeted drugs that Burzynski also uses.

    I simply don’t buy it. Yes – it’s all hidden in plain sight, but why doesn’t the Burzynski Clinic make it clear in all their publications, website etc that antineoplaston treatment is in fact phenylbutyrate?

    Here is the pubmed record for “phenylbutyrate + cancer” – more than 230 publications: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=phenylbutyrate%20cancer

    If Burzyski is so open and transparent about the fact that antineoplaston treatment is phenylbutrate, why not point people towards these papers? Why continue to let the medical and scientific world labour under the delusion that antineoplastons are some kind of fringe treatment?

    He has shown nothing with his “antineoplaston” treatment that hasn’t already been shown by other researchers running well-organised trials of pheylbutyrate and transparently publishing their data. So why continue to run “clinical trials of antineoplastons” and insist on his website that the only way people can get this therapy is through a trial?

    The answer is money. Money for treatments (allegedly from his own pharmacy) and money for his shoddy “clinical trials”.

  57. #57 lilady
    December 12, 2011

    I think Dr. Burzynski should be sending Orac a “thank you note” for all the free publicity he has gotten about his cancer treatment center. “Stas” could at least offer Orac a position as an “independent contractor”…now that Marc Stephens has vacated that position.

  58. #58 marty
    December 12, 2011

    Using Dr Oz or Oprah as an example of why your woo is valid should be treated as a version of Godwin’s Law.

    Sorry, but if it appears on Dr Oz, that counts as a point against it.

  59. #59 Heliantus
    December 12, 2011

    @ Encino

    the Gestapo-like behavior of the Texas Medical Board and/or the FDA in this matter

    Oh, poor Burzynski. I didn’t know. So, a couple of goons in trench-coats came in a black car to kidnap him, and then they submitted him to all sorts of torture. Flailing his skin, splashing acid on his hands, burning his face with a blowtorch, ripping off his nails, half-drowning him in a tub, before hanging him with a piano string (because it’s elastic, it takes longer for it to strangle the victim).
    Yes, this is Gestapo-like behavior.

    Here is your Godwin reward, Encino. Please put it where the sun doesn’t shine. Sideway.

  60. #60 herr doktor bimler
    December 12, 2011

    Tim @ 26:
    [Burzynski’s] team conducts FDA clinical trials with intravenous Antineoplastons

    Who to believe? Tim, or all the people who keep pointing out that the FDA does not run Burzynski’s purported trials, does not approve them, is not associated with them in any way? Decisions, decisions.

  61. #61 ArtK
    December 12, 2011

    @ Encino

    Just an observation from an outsider:

    Your self-proclaimed “independence” is rendered highly suspect by the rest of your comment.

    as I read through these comments I couldn’t stop thinking how much they remind me of the Climategate e-mails. The establishment has always coalesced to vehemently reject those who threaten their beliefs (and research grants). That’s just human nature.

    It was pointed out above that the “Climategate” e-mails were nothing of the kind. Nor is what Orac has done here anything like you describe. Dr. Burzynski doesn’t threaten anyone’s beliefs here. He threatens his victim’s pocket books and lives, but not anyone’s beliefs. This blog isn’t about belief, it’s about fact.

    As far as threatening research grants (a not-so-subtle dig at our host), if Burzynski’s hypothesis had any merit whatsoever, I’m certain that Orac would be thrilled. Rather than being any kind of a threat, it would open a lot of potential research avenues — more opportunities for grants, not fewer.

    Perhaps I missed them, but I didn’t see any comments expressing disgust with the Gestapo-like behavior of the Texas Medical Board and/or the FDA in this matter.

    Two thoughts on this one. First, as the child of a family that was directly affected by the Gestapo and Nazis, I’m offended beyond belief that you would liken the treatment Burzynski is getting here to what the Gestapo did. Second, rather than criticize the host and commenters here on what we didn’t do or say, why not address what was said? Can you refute any of the facts that Orac and the rest have provided? Or, is your only defense of Burzynski a (very) weak attack?

    Can I then infer that you all support their behavior? Or is it that you are too timid to express any negativity towards these powerful organizations? Just wondering…

    No need to infer at all. I fully support their actions in dealing with this fraud, con-artist and disgrace to the medical profession. He’s a danger to the lives and pocketbooks of his marks and deserves jail time for his actions. Frankly, if you put a copy of the Hippocratic Oath in the same room with Burzynski, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one or the other spontaneously combusted.

    Your offensive “just wondering” insinuation that we’re somehow afraid of the TMB and FDA is complete and total bullshit. It’s particularly stupid since Orac was critical of the TMB over their approach to another fraud, Dr. Arafiles. Talking about being afraid of owning your opinions — why try to cover it up with a “just wondering?” No guts, huh? You’re a fanboi for Burzynski. Own up to it.

    Your faux-independence, nasty and insulting insinuations and total Godwinning put you on an even par with Burzynski in my opinion — somewhere below the dog crap someone left on my lawn. At least that might help the lawn grow.

  62. #62 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 12, 2011

    5 grand juries and ZERO indictments. If Dr. B was “seriously misleading” and “defrauding” the public, why has he never been successfully indicted?

    Maybe the reason HE HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY INDICTED is because he is seriously misleading and defrauding the public. Can you read this document here: ftp://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/pub/93/93-02071.CV0.wpd.pdf ? Do you realize what it is? It is the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, affirming the summary judgments against Burzynski for fraud and ERISA violations entered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

    Seriously, I don’t like treating people like brain-dead idiots, but when you present arguments based on false premises like “Burzynski has never been successfully indicted,” which you would have easily discovered to be false with the tiniest imaginable investment of time and effort into a Google search, it’s hard to figure out anything else you could be. Burzynski has not only been successfully indicted for fraud, he has been found guilty of fraud and that judgment of fraud has been affirmed by a court of appeals. You need to start doing your own fact-checking because whoever’s telling you B. was never “successfully indicted” is feeding you a line of bull.

  63. #63 Mojo
    December 13, 2011

    @djc200

    Lastly, please explain why antineoplastines are in Phase III Clinical trials by the FDA if indeed they do not work??

    [facepalm]

    Trials are carried out to find out whether treatments work, not because they work.

  64. #64 Militant Agnostic
    December 13, 2011

    @mojo

    Trials are carried out to find out whether treatments work, not because they work.

    But since the phase III trial is not actually being carried out, antineoplastons must work*.

    *Well, antineoplastons work quite well for Bullshizki, although perhaps not so much for his patients.

  65. #65 MosesZD
    December 13, 2011

    I’ve found something disturbing. You go to cancer Q&A forums and you get a lot of “Burzynski save my life” stories. I get the feeling they’re planted. Like disreputable restaurant owners who rate their restaurants with 5-stars and write wonderful reviews.

    Having eaten at the 4.5 star ‘Bistro 315′ in Nashville (since closed due to lack of customers), I don’t much trust any review that doesn’t come with a cachet of respectability and accountability.

  66. #66 MosesZD
    December 13, 2011

    @the clown Encino

    Just an observation from an outsider: as I read through these comments I couldn’t stop thinking how much they remind me of the Climategate e-mails. The establishment has always coalesced to vehemently reject those who threaten their beliefs (and research grants). That’s just human nature.

    Actually what they were pissed about was how the emails were butchered to indicate something that was not. Selectively editing and misquoting academicians is fraudulent in its conduct, yet those who did so were not pilloried, but (in fact) those who were victimized by the lies were…

    That’s what that was about. Not so much the cyber-crime, but the phony scandal that ensued.

    Perhaps I missed them, but I didn’t see any comments expressing disgust with the Gestapo-like behavior of the Texas Medical Board and/or the FDA in this matter. Can I then infer that you all support their behavior? Or is it that you are too timid to express any negativity toward these powerful organizations? Just wondering…

    lol. Nazi analogies. What a tool.

    Bottom line, he should have lost his license, not just gotten a bit of pointless trouble, for his fraud and bad-practice medicine.

  67. #67 djc200
    December 13, 2011

    @Antaeus, I’m sorry, I meant to say zero CONVICTIONS after 5 grand jury trials. You’re hilarious – like everyone else, trying to jump on any small typo in an attempt to debase my argument.
    Please, just ask yourself for a moment why he’s not in jail right now if he has really criminally defrauded the public on the level that he has. Why does he have so much popular support among people he has treated and hundreds of thousands more who have followed his struggle? Why have 5 grand juries acquitted him of all charges brought against him?
    I can’t believe how ardent you all are in castigating this scientist, simply by just reading what you want to believe. There’s no way any of you can claim to know for sure whether or not his treatment works. Do any of you actually have antineoplastons in your possession and a group of people who you can conduct a clinical trial on? Fact is, most, if not all, of you can only claim to have read something on some “science blog” that refutes his research.
    And what is this nonsense about passing judgment without hearing both sides? At least I have gone and read/seen both sides of the argument myself (and not having took someone else’s word for it). What I do know is that our own government agencies, in this case the FDA (in collusion with the NCI), regularly engage in Washington politics, corporate pay-offs, and many other corrupt and criminal activities (e.g. the Vioxx scandal – http://www.naturalnews.com/011401.html).
    FACT: Cancer is big business.
    FACT: Current cancer treatments are often times more dangerous than the tumor itself.
    FACT: Wall St. could not care less – just sell more drugs and increase profit margins.
    http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/94/18/1352.full
    “It has become readily apparent that Wall Street, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and cancer researchers themselves (and now cancer organizations)—if not the federal government—are awkwardly bumping heads. Cancer has become extremely big business. ”
    WAKE UP – our own government does not have the American public’s well-being in mind. It’s corruption from crony capitalism at its worst – taking payouts to protect those in power. It’s going on at all levels of our government and when it comes to healthcare and Big Pharma, they would rather know how much it would cost to shut you up (or jail you as a fraud) rather than promote more research into promising treatments. Also, in this case, since the FDA and NCI would be infringing on Dr. Burzynski’s patent on antineoplastons by producing/selling his cure for the public, they’d rather drag him through court trial after court trial to ensure no ONE person would reap the profits from a cure for cancer with no side effects.
    All this chatter is pure speculation at this point. Leave it to the judge and jurors in 2012 to find out whether Dr. Burzynski is a charlatan or not. Until then, if you keep sticking your head in the sand to protect yourself from the truth, you’ll never amount to more than a troll who involves him/herself in circular arguments on a “science blog” that never was very scientific to begin with.

  68. #68 herr doktor bimler
    December 13, 2011

    You go to cancer Q&A forums and you get a lot of “Burzynski save my life” stories. I get the feeling they’re planted. Like disreputable restaurant owners who rate their restaurants with 5-stars and write wonderful reviews.

    That’s how this whole Burzynski imbroglio started. Marc Stephens was running one of the sock-puppet “patient support” websites that Burzynski sets up to pimp success stories, and was promoted to Burzynski’s main operation, where his incompetence was given full rein.

  69. #69 herr doktor bimler
    December 13, 2011

    djc200:
    @Antaeus, I’m sorry, I meant to say zero CONVICTIONS after 5 grand jury trials. You’re hilarious – like everyone else, trying to jump on any small typo in an attempt to debase my argument.

    Did you read far enough into Antaeus’ comment to encounter the words “[Burzynski] has been found guilty of fraud and that judgment of fraud has been affirmed by a court of appeals”?

    Your argument is quite sufficiently debased already.

  70. #70 a-non
    December 13, 2011

    @djc200:

    Do you have a point, other than to spew thousands of words in an attempt to obscure the obvious facts that Burzynski is at best disingenous when it comes to his treatments, and is at worst an outright fraud?

  71. #71 lsm
    December 13, 2011

    @djc200: “I can’t believe how ardent you all are in castigating this scientist, simply by just reading what you want to believe. There’s no way any of you can claim to know for sure whether or not his treatment works. . . .Fact is, most, if not all, of you can only claim to have read something on some “science blog” that refutes his research.”

    I don’t think you understand much about this audience. As opposed to those who follow CAM on the internet, most of whom have little actual real science background, you are speaking to people who are actually highly educated and entrenched in serious science. People who live it daily. They understand the innuendos and subtleties of research in a way that most people never could. They aren’t just “reading some science blog”; they immediately recognize the fallacies and pitfalls when bad science presents itself. They are not Orac’s “cheerleaders”, they are his peers.

    Many people such as yourself accuse these people of following blindly, or believing only what they want to believe, and you don’t realize how ridiculous you sound. It’s projection of the highest degree. There are no hangers-on here, as opposed to the alt med world. Any one of them would jump all over a scientific misstep, whether it came from alties or from themselves. Problem for you is, the great majority of the time the scientific misstep comes from alties.

  72. #72 lilady
    December 13, 2011

    @ djc: You really need to read up on your hero Burzynski, who is a charlatan of the first order.

    Obviously, you haven’t read…or don’t understand written English contained in the links provided to you by other posters…because you keep blathering the same nonsense.

    “FACT: Current cancer treatments are often times more dangerous than the tumor itself.” Really? Have you any citations from real peer reviewed journals about “spontaneous remission” of cancerous tumors?

    ‘FACT: Wall St. could not care less – just sell more drugs and increase profit margins.
    http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/94/18/1352.full” This article that you linked to has nothing to do with “Wall Street” selling drugs, which “Wall Street” does not do. Your linked article discusses embargo on information that is presented at medical conferences, so that stock analysts don’t trade on “inside” information. Many of us have some early information about the success of drugs because we are overseeing trials of medicines and treatments. Why would we jeopardize our professional licenses and careers for the purposes of financial gain or to manipulate stock prices?

    “All this chatter is pure speculation at this point. Leave it to the judge and jurors in 2012 to find out whether Dr. Burzynski is a charlatan or not.” You really haven’t looked at the Texas Medical Board’s website. There will be no judge and jury…it is an administrative hearing that Burzynski faces, presided over by his peers.

    I think you need to take some reading comprehension courses and a few science courses, so that you can understand what is being debated here…you are out of your league.

  73. #73 Mrs Woo
    December 13, 2011

    Orac, once again I so admire HOW you wrote this. That there are parts where there are things that could be helpful, but he abuses them, uses them improperly, sells false hope, etc. The man is either totally in love with himself and suffering from a delusion that he can do no wrong, or he’s a charlatan of the worst kind. I hope for the former only because I think if he’s the latter I would hope Texas would consider death penalty possibilities. If he knowingly allows the death of another human being or recklessly endangers that person by his standard of care, that should be some type of homicide, and if that is being done while knowingly defrauding them, doesn’t it fall into the murder one category or is that only on television?

    Maybe families of patients who end up dead from treatment should start taking things to criminal court. He might be a bit worried about fraud cases, but would know that in the alternative world that actually is a badge of martyrdom and makes him MORE authentic and believable, rather than less.

    A few murder charges, though, well, that would be a different story.

  74. #74 DrB
    December 14, 2011

    I’ll just leave this here…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCrsn8ziGWU

  75. #75 Grant
    December 14, 2011

    [off-topic, but relevant in a tangential way?]

    Loose question: should patient consent forms be disclosed publicly for all trials?

    (e.g. put up alongside the rest of the trial information on-line for anyone to read.)

  76. #76 BobT
    December 14, 2011

    Orac,FYI
    “It turns out that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (HDIs) can have anticancer effects by inducing the accumulation of hyperacetylated chromatin, thus shutting down certain genes, and inhibiting the acetylation of other proteins that regulate gene expression.”
    HDIs do cause hyperacetylation at certain genes, thereby inducing their expression, not their repression. Their anti-cancer effects come from de-repression of certain tumor suppressor genes.

  77. #77 David Emerson
    December 14, 2011

    Orec- The difficulty I have with your post is that I was dx’ed with multiple myeloma underwent 5 rounds of VAD, 2 of cytoxan, a PBSCT, and was told by my conventional onc 2 years later that nothing more could be done for me. I then began ANP and have been cancer free since completing ANP in 4/99.

    http://peoplebeatingcancer.org/about-david

    There are hundreds of cancer survivors who swear by the BRI- say what you like, think whatever you like, but ANP cured my myeloma when conventional therapy cost 000’s only to tell me “nothing more can be done.”

    David Emerson
    Director of the Galen Foundation
    Creator of PeopleBeatingCancer

  78. #78 Calli Arcale
    December 14, 2011

    Mrs Woo:

    A few murder charges, though, well, that would be a different story.

    Manslaughter, probably, not murder. Michael Jackson’s doctor was convicted on such charges and sent to jail. One wonders why the killer of Abubakar Tariq Nadama was not. (Okay, one doesn’t wonder all that much. It’s to do with fame.)

    On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, a woman was just beheaded in Saudi Arabia. Her crime was sorcery (which, interestingly, is not actually defined as a crime in Saudi law, so it’s deeply messed up that you can be executed for it). She was selling potions and veils that would supposedly cure various ailments. At least, that’s what she was convicted of — trumped up charges are not really unusual there, so it’s possible this is more of a freedom of speech issue, swept under the rug with a sorcery charge.

  79. #79 ArtK
    December 14, 2011

    @ DrB

    Good gravy that was bad.

    A few thoughts: The voice-over quotes the TMB as saying that “The efficacy of antineoplastons in the treatment of human cancers is not an issue in these proceedings.” The text then follows with the non-sequitur “They acknowledged that the treatment works.” Sorry, the one doesn’t follow from the other.

    It’s notoriously difficult for a doctor to lose their license, even in the face of multiple ethical and medical violations. The fact that Burzynski didn’t lose his license this time is a weak vote of confidence at best.

    The rest of the video seems to be a explanation of the “targeted gene therapy” scam — rather than doing a drive-by drop off of a YouTube video, why not address the issues raised in this posting, and especially the ones in this one? Or is a slick PR video all the evidence you have for this?

    I thought that this comment was hilarious.

    if they shut down Dr. Burzynski . I will work through the Texas congress to remove the fda and all of its agents from the state of Texas.

    I suppose if you’re stupid about one thing (antineoplastons), then you’re likely to be stupid about a lot of other things (like how government works.)

  80. #80 Phoenix Woman
    December 14, 2011

    Orac sayeth to Allcaps Troll #1:

    BTW, one notes that your IP address resolves to Houston. I normally don’t point these things out about commenters, but when someone shows up spewing the Burzynski line out of nowhere I’ll make an exception. You don’t happen to work for Burzynski, do you?

    Come to think of it, he sounds a lot like Mister Quit-Asking-Me-If-I’m-A-Lawyer, doesn’t he?

  81. #81 Orac
    December 14, 2011

    HDIs do cause hyperacetylation at certain genes, thereby inducing their expression, not their repression. Their anti-cancer effects come from de-repression of certain tumor suppressor genes.

    Well, yes and no. It’s actually a lot more complicated than that.

    They also decrease the expression of antiapoptotic proteins and increase the expression of proapoptotic proteins, as well as inducing mitotic cell death through disruption of mitotic spindle proteins, among a lot of other things.

    http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v26/n37/full/1210620a.html

    I didn’t want this to turn into a discourse on the mechanism of HDAC inhibitors; so I was very brief.

    All of this, of course, helps demonstrate my point that HDAC inhibitors aren’t exactly “targeted” therapies, Dr. Burzynski’s claims notwithstanding.

  82. #82 Tom Gardner
    December 15, 2011

    A pleasant ray of hope from one of the better daily newspapers…

    ‘They are trying to silence me’
    A 17-year-old schoolboy from Cardiff is proving an unlikely
    but effective opponent of powerful organisations pushing
    miracle cures for serious diseases

    from

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/dec/14/schoolboy-querying-miracle-cure-claims

  83. #83 Beamup
    December 15, 2011

    @ 77:

    Even if effective, it would still be fraud. And if it were effective, Burzynski would be publishing it. He is a liar, a quack, and a con artist.

    The folks who died aren’t talking.

  84. #84 Renee Pruett
    December 18, 2011

    A couple of facts worth adding. Dr. Burzynski practices in Houston, Texas. My hometown. MD Anderson Cancer Center is located in Houston. MD Anderson is the undisputable #1 cancer center in the world. All published rankings support this. It is the finest treatment available.

    I don’t think it’s by accident that Dr. Burzynski practices in Houston. I believe he feeds off the fringes of MD Anderson.

    Local fact, Dr. Burzynski lives in a $6 Million house. His palatial estate is worth more than that of the most well-known attorney in town.

    MD Anderson is owned by the University of Texas and is a non-profit research hospital. With a $6 million home, I’d says Dr. Burzynski’s motives are to deceive people and make a profit.

  85. #85 Chemmomo
    December 19, 2011

    @dcj200 #67

    There’s no way any of you can claim to know for sure whether or not his treatment works.

    But can’t you see that’s the whole problem: neither can Burzynski!

  86. #86 Norman
    December 28, 2011

    Renee – that must explain why MD Anderson hates him so much – the patients they can’t cure go to Dr B – and then he cures them. non-profit? THat’s hilarious – it might say “non-profit” on the door, but we know that’s a scam.

  87. #87 leo
    January 2, 2012

    I don’t know much about the chemicals. In the movie, it mentions the 11 copycat patents by Samid. Experts, can anyone explain to me why she re-patent AS-2.1 ? Have any of you read her publications ? Please help me understand. Thank you very much.

  88. #88 Jon Drummond
    January 8, 2012

    We are talking fighting cancer without radiation and chemo. I for one have seen what it does to people. Im all for someone introducing treatments that do not include radiation and chemo. You people who are hating on the guy need to sit back and relax. He’s not killing people, CANCER IS!

  89. #89 LW
    January 8, 2012

    “He’s not killing people, CANCER IS!”

    True. But he charges huge sums based on the promise that cancer *won’t* kill them thanks to his treatments.

  90. #90 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 8, 2012

    @Jon Drummond,

    We are talking fighting cancer without radiation and chemo.

    If you read Orac’s posts on Dr. Burzynski, you’ll find this is not true.

    Im[sic] all for someone introducing treatments that do not include radiation and chemo.

    As I’d think most people would be, as long as it’s safe and effective. Can you provide evidence that this particular treatment is safe and effective?

    He’s not killing people, CANCER IS!

    The same can be said of radiation and chemo. However, if he is treating people with an ineffective treatment instead of an effective one, does he not bear some blame?

  91. #91 LW
    January 8, 2012

    Burzynski’s Phase III trial:

    This study is not yet open for participant recruitment

    Estimated Enrollment: 70

    Study Start Date: December 2011

    Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2015

    Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

    Hmm, I see that the Phase III trial scheduled to start in December 2011 …. didn’t. 

    I fear poor Dr. Burzynski will have to settle for “Phase II trials” that bring in as much as $100K or more per participant and somehow don’t publishable results.   

  92. #92 Jon Drummond
    January 8, 2012

    I dont see how radiation and chemo therapy is an ‘effective’ treatment. It’s crap. 5 of my family members including my father have died bc of cancer…those treatments just made last days the worst.
    I’m all for new treatments..the worst that can happen is death. Which is mostly the primary diagnosis..

  93. #93 Narad
    January 8, 2012

    I dont see how radiation and chemo therapy is an ‘effective’ treatment. It’s crap.

    Then by your own definition, “antineoplastons” are crap.

  94. #94 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 8, 2012

    Jon Drummond,
    I’m sorry about the members of your family who died of cancer.
    If we’re sharing anecdotes, I have several friends who had some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy for various types of cancers who are in full remission (possibly cured). But then, that’s not why I’d say that radiation and chemotherapy are effective treatments; it’s because there are studies that show how effective they are for specific cancers. That effectiveness is not 100% in any case I’m aware of.
    Do you have evidence for other treatments that are at least as effective as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy while having fewer ill effects? Which cancers are these for?
    Or are you suggesting that there are no effective treatments for cancer and that anyone so diagnosed is going to, well, die?

  95. #95 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 8, 2012

    And in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve known people who had surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy for cancer and who died anyway.

  96. #96 LW
    January 8, 2012

    “anyone so diagnosed is going to, well, die?”

    Well, yes, that’s exactly right. Of course, anyone not so diagnosed is going to, well, die too.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  97. #97 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 8, 2012

    LW – I’m sorry, you’ve been diagnosed with life. It is invariably fatal. It’s only a matter of time.
    :)

  98. #98 k stone
    January 12, 2012

    In my opinion, for those of you who are medical doctors and have posted the negative and spiteful comments on Dr. Burzynski, give the impression of only being bitter. I ask where is your “cure”? I absolutely believe that big pharmacetical companys do not particularly want a “cure” for a variety of diseases for the simple reason of fucking money. Billions of dollars are made by these pill makers, and I do feel that many are good quality meds and many do prolong in some cases, peoples life spans. I also believe that there are many fine doctors that shill for these companys and there is nothing wrong with being successful after years of study and practice in medicine. But it would be ignorant to suggest that greed does not permiate big pharmaceutical companys that indirectly sway fda decisions. and there are many haters who like to talk shit because that didnt come up with an idea or solid working hypothesis before a colleague. so instead of embracing a potential idea and seeing it thru, its easier just to bash and talk shit due to adolescent jealously. how embarassing for you.

  99. #99 lilady
    January 12, 2012

    @ k stone: Nice to come here with your illiterate post, guns blazing. I would suggest that you read Orac’s blogs and the many posts…but they are beyond your intellectual capacity.

    Punctuation, sentence structure, organizing your opinions into readable comments and basic English skills are not a priority for you, eh?

  100. #100 TBruce
    January 12, 2012

    k stone:

    As a medical doctor, I do feel bitter reading about Burzynski, because of what he gets away with doing. Remember, the drug companies have ended up paying some pretty severe penalties for unethical actions. Burzynski, not so much.

    I am, however, completely unembarrassed about my feelings in this matter.

  101. #101 Drivebyposter
    January 12, 2012

    Translation of what k stone said:
    FUCK YOU! Burzynski has an answer! Any answer will do. That’s how medicine works.
    bigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharma
    bigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharma
    bigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharmabigpharma

    I honestly can’t understand why these types of people think a complete cure is something you just come up with one day after doing the dishes.

    Also I’d love it if they stopped getting treated and just waited for the end-all be-all “cures” to their ailments to come along (since long term treatments are apparently a conspiracy or some such bullshit).

  102. #102 You are dumb as a stump
    January 15, 2012

    Wow, a board full of people who can’t think for themselves. Imagine that! Well, actually its a shill board for the FDA/Pharma money machine with a bunch of morons chiming in for good measure. Congratulate yourselves on being dumber than dirt. Yay dumbasses!! Dumbasses unite!

  103. #103 TBruce
    January 15, 2012

    Gee, stump, you’re accusing us of being Pharma shills! That’s a new one on us!

    Obviously, you are someone who can think for himself, right?

  104. #104 lilady
    January 15, 2012

    @ dumb as a stump: What would be your interest in this blog? Are you a Burzynski shill…or just dumb as a stump?

  105. #105 Slutterella
    January 15, 2012

    Stuff Burzynski, look out, here comes Melamede (Dr)!

  106. #106 proud aussie
    January 16, 2012

    instead of doing what is right for americans and what is in the best interest of humanity as a whole, by further researching dr burzynski’s discovery, based on overwhelming evidence, your corrupt govt and its indoctrinated scholars choose instead to vilify and prosecute the very person, who has potentially taken “one giant leap for mankind” and found a cure for cancer.

    all this and for what? to protect a corrupt govt agency, that in return does not protect the very people it was created to protect?

    the people of the world, once looked up to and considered America to be the great leader of the free world, but i fear that the injustice experienced by dr burzynski and the thousands of his patients, is yet another chapter in your recent history that would contradict such sentiment.

    one does not need a phd to know that money is the root cause of all evil.

  107. #107 Lawrence
    January 16, 2012

    @aussie – the hypocricy is strong with this one. So, Burzynski, who has yet to actually publish any real, official results from any of his studies, been doing them for over 30 years, again with no results published, and charging hundreds of thousands of dollars per individual for these “trials” is on the side of angels?

    If money is the root of all evil, then Burzynski is best friends with the devil.

  108. #108 LW
    January 16, 2012

    instead of doing what is right for americans and what is in the best interest of humanity as a whole, by further researching dr burzynski’s discovery, based on overwhelming evidence, your corrupt govt and its indoctrinated scholars choose instead to vilify and prosecute the very person, who has potentially taken “one giant leap for mankind” and found a cure for cancer.

    And what’s your government doing about researching Burzynski’s discovery? What are all the other governments on the entire planet doing about researching Burzynski’s discovery? What are all the non-indoctrinated non-American scholars doing about researching Burzynski’s discovery? Why hasn’t anyone else chosen to take the giant leap and prove that Burzynski has found the cure for cancer?

  109. #109 proud aussie
    January 17, 2012

    @ Lawrence

    maybe theres a reason why he has not published results? could it be that all medical records have been confiscated or subpoenaed by the FDA and NCI for their wasteful grand jurys? if you want results, why dont you speak directly to the people and their families that have been treated by Dr Burzynski.

    if you are correct and he is infact charging hundreds of thousands, and i reiterate IF – then of course at this stage he has to – without the financial backing and the necessary subsidies provided by institutions such as the FDA and NCI i dont see that he much choice – does Dr Burzynski live up a lavish lifestyle? own multiple multi-million dollar mansions?? posses yatchs and supercars? NO.

    what you need to be questioning is, what do those handful of pharmaceutical companies that control a trillion dollar per year industry and the FDA stand to lose should Dr Burzynski’s patented treatment, actually do more than what is currently available??

    @ LW

    in all honesty, i dont believe my govt is doing anything about assisting Dr Burzynski either, and this shames me deeply.

    maybe they fear reprisals from your govt by way of economic sanctions, cease in trade & cease in financial support, not entirely sure…

    to be completly honest, in my opinion, i think that both our govt’s are so deeply inter-twined that who knows how much money these same pharmaceutical companies pour into my govt….it would be extremely difficult in that sense to support Dr Burzynski publically.

    having said that no other govt in the world parade and proclaim themselves as the leader of the free world.

    so dont you think as a world leader you have a greater obligation to pursue and assist in Dr Burzynski’s research for the good of humanity? especially since it is happening right in your very backyard?

    what i can tell however, is what my govt IS NOT doing…and that is they are not vilifying and prosecuting a man who has potentially taken a giant leap towards a cure of cancer, just for the sake of protecting it’s bottom line figure, whilst simultaneously attempting to steal his patent.

    FACT: in all the 4+ grand jurys held, not once did the FDA or NCI question the effectiveness of his treatment – rather the way Dr Burzynski’s clinic was run and operated.

    WHY?: because at the same time, a certain pharmaceautical company was attempting to steal his invention and apply for a patent of their own.

    American Greed.

  110. #110 Bart
    January 18, 2012

    If Dr.Burzynski was at wrong, he would of been behind bars long time ago. In fact, many fakes and scams put many people behind bars, yet Dr. Burzynski has an entire clinic and somehow keeps surviving NCI, TMB, and FDA. His patents were stolen, and FDA now regulates his treatments. I went to medical school and opted out of being a MD because of what a profiting mafia this entire healthcare system is.

  111. #111 alison
    January 18, 2012

    proud Aussie: Dr B claims to be running clinical trials. He is the only person we know of to charge patients large amounts of money to enter these ‘trials'; they are normally free to enter

    He has had 30+ years in which to publish his results, so that others can view & confirm them. This has not happened.

    His methods have been examined by other scholars – you have only to read Orac’s various postings to see this – as have his claims. Among which, that he’s not using chemo, or that he’s using ‘individually targeted’ chemo, both of which are incorrect (to put it mildly).

    As is his claim that his treatments are non-toxic – if so, then why are at least some of his patients getting the drugs delivered in such a way that they are very rapidly diluted by the main arterial blood flow?

  112. #112 VINNIE
    January 18, 2012

    I am not going to write a huge story about this, because I simply dont want to spend that much time on it, but I have been reading nearly all the comments on this page and god… I cant understand that people dont understand that you must be quite the man to stay out of prison for over 30+ years if you really are such a huge fraud. im NOT mentioning any kind of scientific bull right here in my post, just the fact that such an immense huge crook has been avoiding prison for over 30 years, being persued by FDA and cancer institutes. if there is no proof that hes actualy doing a good job, then why isnt there(supposedly) not enough proof to get him into prison? does he have that much of a grip on FDA and cancer institutes? just…just look at just that one little thing. I just want to point it out again that 1 single guy has managed to stay out of jail for over 30 years of persuasion. HOW, just, TELL ME HOW. because I am not sure if I heard of many other cases where a real crook, a single person could avoid being thrown into prison being chased off by huge companies like those. I am just saying. and I apologize for any missing capitols, puncuation, etc. just in case some grammar nazi who I most possibly from a country with english as first language(unlike me)tries to ignore what is actualy said. just…once again for all who missed my point, amazingly huge fraud, skipping prison for over 30 years. im not saying that he has the so called “CURE” I dont know, it might work better than chemo and radiation, it must have SOMETHING good if he’s been walking around for so many years – not to forget, NOT IN JAIL.

  113. #113 adelady
    January 18, 2012

    “…not to forget, NOT IN JAIL.”

    And most tightrope walkers are skilled enough to continue their craft rather than plummet to horrible death.

    IOW – if you’ve trained yourself to walk a very fine line, you can continue doing it for a long time.

  114. #114 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 18, 2012

    im NOT mentioning any kind of scientific bull right here in my post, just the fact that such an immense huge crook has been avoiding prison for over 30 years, being persued by FDA and cancer institutes. if there is no proof that hes actualy doing a good job, then why isnt there(supposedly) not enough proof to get him into prison?

    This is what your argument seems to be:

    1) A researcher’s work can only be one of two things: clearly fraudulent, or completely legal, moral and aboveboard. There is no middle ground.
    2) Burzynski’s actions have not been proven in a court to be clearly fraudulent.
    3) Therefore Burzynski’s work is completely legal, moral and aboveground.

    The problem is your premise 1, because that premise is not true. It is not ethical for Burzynski to be presenting his work as “better than chemo and radiation” when it is chemo. It is not ethical for Burzynski to charge patients for participating in his clinical trials – you do understand that, don’t you?? That the only reason Burzynski can treat patients for cancer is because supposedly they are helping him test an unproven treatment? And instead of paying them for the risks they are taking in his trials, they are paying him? Not kosher.

    And even if you choose to turn a blind eye to all the above, pretending that Burzynski doesn’t know that desperate people are paying him money he should be paying them, for treatments that are being misrepresented to them, there’s the fact that Burzynski has been telling his patients they need to buy the drugs of the treatment from him, and withholding the fact that the drugs in question are available from conventional pharmacies for far less. There’s just no way you can spin that as okay. It just won’t wash. Saying “well, either it never rose to the level of criminal fraud, or if it did, the authorities didn’t have the proof to make it stick!” is applying the wrong standard. The question is “is what Burzynski’s doing wrong?” and the answer is “Yes.” Period.

  115. #115 Narad
    January 18, 2012

    2) Burzynski’s actions have not been proven in a court to be clearly fraudulent.

    No, this has happened. The standard appears to be evading imprisonment.

  116. #116 LW
    January 18, 2012

    proud aussie @109: Perhaps my point was less than clear. I’ll try again.

    This is a very large planet. There are many, many governments on it. A great many of them do not like Americans very much and would be delighted to show the world that they can do a better job researching than Americans. A great many governments have government-run health care. This is expensive. They would be delighted if they could reduce the cost of their health care.

    This is a very large planet. There are many, many physicians and medical researcher on it. Burzynski’s alleged treatments are not terribly expensive to provide — remember where he originally got his chemicals; the raw materials are, shall we say, abundant. Consequently, even a quite poor country — even a country that gets no foreign aid from the U.S. — Cuba and Iran spring to mind — could afford to provide a lab and materials to a researcher.

    Given all this, why hasn’t anyone picked up the gauntlet, taken the giant leap, whatever your metaphor, and done the research in the past thirty years?

    As for your fantasies about the U.S. government retaliating against any nation that dared to research this issue … they haven’t assassinated Burzynski, haven’t even thrown him in prison, for his alleged research over the past thirty years. Why would they disrupt established alliances over research that isn’t even worth the bother of shutting up one researcher?

  117. #117 VINNIE
    January 19, 2012

    @ Antaeus, hi since I am about to go to bed i’ll keep it kind of short but, if already a (no insult) mere person like you can proove that burzynski is IN FACT a fraud because he sells a fake cure, which components are already available somehwere else with such an immense price difference, why hasnt he been convicted on just that matter alone? isnt that alone enough proof as it is? Renaming existing medicines? Im not protecting Burzynski, im just trying to find out why hes not locked up yet if he really is a fraud, as I am quite interested in the topic:P Not attacking. And I believe his video has mentioned that his treatment is only accepted as some sort of side treatment for chemo/radiation? Correct me if im wrong.

  118. #118 x
    January 19, 2012

    Looks like Burzynski may be getting what’s due to him – a patient is suing, let’s hope it’s the first of many:
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/19/43165.htm

  119. #119 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 21, 2012

    @ Antaeus, hi since I am about to go to bed i’ll keep it kind of short but, if already a (no insult) mere person like you can proove that burzynski is IN FACT a fraud because he sells a fake cure, which components are already available somehwere else with such an immense price difference, why hasnt he been convicted on just that matter alone?

    I’ll keep it short, too: You are changing your story. You now claim that you are “just trying to find out why he’s not locked up,” but earlier you were trying to claim that “[Burzynski’s work] must have SOMETHING good if he’s been walking around for so many years,” which is a nonsensical premise. Al Capone never went to prison for anything except tax evasion; does that mean he must have been a legitimate businessman except for how he handled his taxes?

    And, as Narad has reminded us, the claim that Burzynski has never been convicted of fraud isn’t even true; he was convicted by Texas of insurance fraud in ’94 and the conviction was upheld on appeal as well. No, apparently the punishment inflicted did not include jail time; are you now going to argue that not being put in jail is a proof that Burzynski’s research is meritorious?

  120. #120 kcauqasiiksrogdivad
    February 13, 2012

    “But don’t pass judgement on the medicine just because you don’t like Dr. B.”

    Ah, but Truth Seeker, then what would “Orac” and his drooling sycophants have to write about?

  121. #121 lilady
    February 13, 2012

    @ kcauqasiiksrogdivad: Hmmm, let me see. We do write about “OIAQ” and its many sock puppets.

  122. #122 Truth Seeker
    February 13, 2012

    Reading through these comments, it seems everyone has already made up their minds and is bias one way or the other. Also it seems like most of you haven’t even read the blog. Orac says there could be some truth to it. We shouldn’t allow our opinion of a person to inhibit progress towards a cure. If Dr. B is a quack, but his medicine/treatments may have an effect, why disregard it?!?!? Don’t we all want the same thing? A cure to such a dreadful diesease. Maybe Dr. B’s quackery may cause a chain reaction of research that would eventually come up with a cure to a cancer that anyone of you may develop sometime in the future. Wouldn’t that be great?!?!

    As far as his quackery, If he has been gouging patients, practicing medicine in a dangerous and irresponsible manner, then I also want him to face justice. But don’t pass judgement on the medicine just because you don’t like Dr. B.

  123. #123 Beamup
    February 13, 2012

    Whether or not the treatment might have merit has no bearing on whether or not Burzynski is a quack. If it DID have merit, then it would be important to do trials of it properly. The “trials” he’s doing are valueless and produce no usable data.

  124. #124 lilady
    February 13, 2012

    “Reading through these comments, it seems everyone has already made up their minds and is bias one way or the other. Also it seems like most of you haven’t even read the blog. Orac says there could be some truth to it.”

    Really…I read this particular blog and other blogs written by Orac About Dr. Burzynski.. and my impression is not (that) “Orac says there could be some truth to it.”

    -Try to take some basic reading comprehension courses, Truth Seeker.

  125. #125 Chris
    February 13, 2012

    Troll du jour:

    Ah, but Truth Seeker, then what would “Orac” and his drooling sycophants have to write about?

    That all you can bring to the discussion are random insults instead of actual data.

  126. #126 Thomas
    February 13, 2012

    “But don’t pass judgement on the medicine just because you don’t like Dr. B.”

    Can we pass judgement based on the notion that anyone who resorts to death threats when asked simple questions about whether his treatment works, probably has something to hide?

  127. #127 Truth Seeker
    February 14, 2012

    “Really…I read this particular blog and other blogs written by Orac About Dr. Burzynski.. and my impression is not (that) ‘Orac says there could be some truth to it.’

    -Try to take some basic reading comprehension courses, Truth Seeker.”

    @lilady, apparently you have received a higher level of education than I have. Can you please explain to me what Orac means when he said:

    “…While it is true that, thus far, there is little evidence that sodium phenylbutyrate is effective in most cancers (some brain tumors like gliomas might be an exception), it’s also not correct from a scientific and skeptical standpoint to dismiss it, and thus antineoplastons, out of hand. There is enough evidence out there (the complete response in a glioma patient, for instance) to suggest that there might–just might–be something to this approach…”

    And please decipher this section for me too:

    “As much as I hate to admit it, there is a modicum of science here. It’s just that, in Dr. Burzysnki’s hands, unfortunately it’s incredibly sloppy science, Trials are not designed so that they can ever answer the question of whether the real drug, namely sodium phenylbutyrate, is effective, either alone in combination, against cancer, and, if it is, against which cancers…”

    Thank you very much in advance.

  128. #128 Truth Seeker
    February 14, 2012

    “Can we pass judgement based on the notion that anyone who resorts to death threats when asked simple questions about whether his treatment works, probably has something to hide?”

    Thomas, That’s a quite a bit of an exaggeration. It was his lawyer that sent the death threats, and he has been fired. But who knows, maybe it’s just a coverup. Again, I am neither pro or anti Dr. B. Like I stated earlier, if he is gouging patients, and practicing medicine in a dangerous and irresponsible manner, then I agree, let him hang.

    What I’m concerned about is the bias nature will cloud judgement. If Orac thinks “…it’s also not correct from a scientific and skeptical standpoint to dismiss it…”, I agree with him…

  129. #129 adelady
    February 14, 2012

    To repeat beamup’s point

    ” If it DID have merit, then it would be important to do trials of it properly. The “trials” he’s doing are valueless and produce no usable data. ”

    So Dr Burzynski’s charging people a lot of money for a potential cancer treatment. He’s not done any work to evaluate its efficacy (if any) nor to identify which patients benefit most (if any at all).

    If it were to turn out that this protocol has value for some patients, his method of “work” is actually depriving people all over the world of an effective treatment.

    Not entirely admirable.

  130. #130 Truth Seeker
    February 14, 2012

    adelady, I agree completely, that’s exactly my point.

  131. #131 llilady
    February 14, 2012

    @ Truth Seeker: You made a generalized statement and a blanket accusation of “bias” directed at posters here:

    “Reading through these comments, it seems everyone has already made up their minds and is bias one way or the other. Also it seems like most of you haven’t even read the blog. Orac says there could be some truth to it.”

    I replied that this is the most recent blog in a series that Orac has written about about Dr. Burzynski’s clinic and the treatments he provides:

    “Really…I read this particular blog and other blogs written by Orac About Dr. Burzynski.. and my impression is not (that) “Orac says there could be some truth to it.”

    Now you have cherry-picked some paragraphs written by Orac about another physician’s success with one patient diagnosed with a glioma who “appears” to have been treated successfully with sodium phenylbutyrate, which is the treatment that Burzynski labels as “Antineoplastin”.

    You then go on to quote Orac’s other paragraph about Burzynski’s methods where he has never, ever recruited anyone for Stage III Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials.

    http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/learningabout/goldstandard/page1

    Each of the patients that Burzynski has treated gets placed in his/her own Stage II trial. Cancer patients who are in clinical trials, do not pay for their experimental chemotherapeutic drug, they do not have a boatload of other chemotherapeutic drugs (which are not approved by the FDA for “off-label” prescribing for their types of cancer) prescribed for them which they are forced to purchase from a specific pharmacy wholly owned by the prescribing doctor. The drugs that Burzynski prescribed were charged, with a huge markup, against the patients’ credit cards.

    I suggest you read Orac’s other blogs about Burzynski and this latest pending action by the Texas Medical Board against him. Read the actual complaint to see the allegations regarding two patients. Also read the lawsuit filed against him by a former patient; her lawyer claims that she was financially ruined due to the costs incurred for the drugs prescribed by Burzynzki and provided by his pharmacy.

  132. #132 Narad
    February 14, 2012

    It was his lawyer that sent the death threats, and he has been fired.

    We have a winner.

  133. #133 lilady
    February 14, 2012

    “It was his lawyer that sent the death threats, and he has been fired.”

    IIRC, the guy who made the “legal” threats and who also posted the Google picture of the home of a teenage blogger in the U.K., is not a lawyer. He was hired by Burzynski as a public relations liaison for the Burzynski patient support “blog”.

    Yes, he was eventually fired by Burzynski…after Orac and many other bloggers posted the actual threatening emails that he sent.

  134. #134 herr doktor bimler
    February 14, 2012

    it’s also not correct from a scientific and skeptical standpoint to dismiss it, and thus antineoplastons, out of hand.
    The last three words here are crucial. The author is advocating a look at the results from Burzynski’s career before dismissing it. So he surveys the results, and rejects Burzynski’s claims.

    This is why it is not accurate to characterise the original post as “Orac says there could be some truth to it”. It would be more accurate to say “Orac says there could have been some truth to it, but as things turned out, there was none.”

  135. #135 Anne
    February 18, 2012

    I don’t get it. Plain and simple. This doesn’t work for everyone but has cured some. It starts working within 4 weeks. if it’s going to tackle your cancer this is when u will know. Try this FIRST if u get handed a death sentence. If it doesn’t show signs of working in 4 weeks go ahead and pump the poison chemo/rad in your body. At least dr B. drug isn’t going to kill u! Worth a try!

  136. #136 Anne
    February 18, 2012

    I don’t get it. Plain and simple. This doesn’t work for everyone but has cured some. It starts working within 4 weeks. if it’s going to tackle your cancer this is when u will know. Try this FIRST if u get handed a death sentence. If it doesn’t show signs of working in 4 weeks go ahead and pump the poison chemo/rad in your body. At least dr B. drug isn’t going to kill u! Worth a try!
    The FDA shouldn’t decide who is going to Live and who is going to die. They r just another greedy corporation.

  137. #137 novalox
    February 18, 2012

    @anne

    Evidence please for you little fact-free rant, or you are just another brainless troll.

  138. #138 Narad
    February 18, 2012

    At least dr B. drug isn’t going to kill u! Worth a try!

    Perhaps u cud tel every1 wot hypernatremia is.

  139. #139 Andrew
    February 18, 2012

    “If it doesn’t show signs of working in 4 weeks go ahead and pump the poison chemo/rad in your body.”

    Dr. B’s treatment is chemotherapy – it’s that special kind of chemotherapy that is unproven and expensive, but it’s still chemotherapy. Why do Dr. B’s fans not understand this fact?

  140. #140 Luna_the_cat
    February 18, 2012

    He’s still getting media boosts from and for the gullible, and the media boosts do not go into any analysis whatsoever.

    http://www.newsmax.com/US/somers-doctors-cure-cancer/2012/02/14/id/429395

  141. #141 JGC
    February 18, 2012

    If you’re a legitimate scientist and the accuracy/validity of your work is questioned you publish the results of your studies, you conduct additional studies which speak to their criticisms, give auditors access to the raw data you’ve collected, etc. In short, you respond to skepticism with evidence.

    If you’re a quack, on the other hand, you hire a public relations representative/web site designer to silence your critics. When he masquerades as a lawyer and threatens a high school kid, you fire him and fall back on Plan B–you hire an actual law firm which specializes in silencing internet criticism (Dozier Internet Law) to threaten that same high school kid. You respond to skepticism with threats.

    Pretty clear which cohort Burzynski falls into.

  142. #142 llilady
    February 18, 2012

    @Luna-the-cat: Where is the video? I was expecting to see the charming and still beautiful Suzanne Somers. Just how does she remain “so gorgeous” after all these years…I guess it’s that beauty routine with the pills and using hormones:

    http://www.celebitchy.com/34100/suzanne_somers_takes_60_pills_a_day_bioidentical_hormones/

  143. #143 herr doktor bimler
    February 19, 2012

    Why do Dr. B’s fans not understand this fact?

    ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’

  144. #144 Scottynuke
    February 19, 2012

    @Luna-the-cat: “newsmax” is to “media” as “Burzynski” is to “ethical.”

    *SIGH*

  145. #145 thu
    February 21, 2012

    I hope burzynski doesn’t get struck off. The Anps he’s administered to my brothers fiance have shrunk her tumor 78% since august.. gbm type 4. I know u guys want data blah blah blah but I’ve seen the scans and so have nhs docs, they are amazed. Not bad since her oncologists said shed die this year.

  146. #146 JGC
    February 21, 2012

    thu @145

    Can you provide any actual evidence in support of your claim that
    1) your brother’s fiance had gbm type 4
    2) it has shrunk 78% since August
    3) that shrinkage was a direct result of having been treated with ANP’s?

    Or are we expected to accept anecdote in lieu of evidence, on your say-so alone?

  147. #147 Bronze Dog
    February 21, 2012

    Thu, do you think you’ve got super causality-detecting superpowers? Given that Burzynski sometimes uses mainstream chemotherapy (sometimes off-label), how do you know the improvement wasn’t caused by one of them, rather than Burzynski’s quackery? I don’t know the rates for different types of cancers myself, but some do spontaneously shrink or even go into remission. How do you know this isn’t a case of good luck without statistical analysis? Look at the big picture. The laws of probability don’t begin and end with your personal sphere.

    Also, why are you supporting someone who’s deliberately undermining his own research efforts? Why should he charge experimental patients for something they should get for free? Charging the patients also interferes with the randomization of study and control groups. If you cared anything about the future of cancer treatment, you’d be screaming at Burzynski for constantly dragging his heels and playing a moneymaker scheme instead of conducting useful research.

  148. #148 guitarcharlie
    February 27, 2012

    you guys are retarded (do to mass brainwashing and misinformation;as well as propoganda),but its not your fault…look at Burzynski’s publications since 1966 listed on his clinics website….this man graduated at the TOP of his class and has succesfully cured INCURABLE brain cancer in children!How can people call this well established biochemist a QUACK!This term is a tool created by a Morris Fishbein(head of American Medical Association:a man who failed anatomy and NEVER practiced medicine,to discredit an herbal tonic salesman named Harry Hoxsey;read “When Healing Becomes a Crime”,in which DOCTOR Burzynski’s story is mentioned.IF HIS TREATMENT IS A HOAX THEN WHY DID THE US GOV TRY TO STEAL HIS PATENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!AMERICANS STILL BELIEVE EVERYTHING UNCLE SCAM TELLS THEM!!!!JUST LIKE NAZI GERMANY!!!

  149. #149 GUITARCHARLIE
    February 27, 2012

    you fools call anyone with NEW IDEAS a quack when in fact most people with these opinions are not qualified to make these judgements as they are not oncologists or scientists.Watch Burzynski’s movie and see how negligent the FDA is for taking 30 years to approve a non-toxic treatment while continuosly approving dangerous drugs only to recall them!!!This is CANCER,life-threatening illness should be a HIGH PRIORITY to evaluate new drugs FAIRLY and SWIFTLY!!!If Burzynski is a fraud why did DEPT OF HEALTH(USA) try to steal DR B’s patent claiming antineoplastons are non toxic and way to replace carcinogenic treatments such as chemo and radiation that can actually cause cancer(watch Dr Burzynski the movie).You can see Elan pharma in cooperation with gov actual patent applications!This is blatant theft and slander of a GREAT man!How many children have u saved from incurable brain cancers while simultanously being brought to criminal court facing over 100 years in prison?Why didn’t he give up when facing life in prison???No fraud could last THIS LONG!!!!!

  150. #150 Beamup
    February 27, 2012

    @ guitarcharlie:

    Searching Pubmed shows that Burzynski hasn’t published anything since 2006. That was 18 patients with no control group. The specific publications on his website are not listed. Which means that either he’s making it up, or “publishing” in such crap journals that they aren’t indexed. So yes, he is a quack, and no, he has no evidence for his therapies. More specifically,

    this man graduated at the TOP of his class

    Irrelevant even if true.

    and has succesfully cured INCURABLE brain cancer in children!

    Citation needed.

    How can people call this well established biochemist a QUACK!

    Looks like a duck, talks like a duck, quacks like a duck. It’s a duck.

    This term is a tool created by a Morris Fishbein…

    So what?

    IF HIS TREATMENT IS A HOAX THEN WHY DID THE US GOV TRY TO STEAL HIS PATENTS!

    Citation needed.

    Nice Godwin, too.

    you fools call anyone with NEW IDEAS a quack when in fact most people with these opinions are not qualified to make these judgements as they are not oncologists or scientists.

    Take a look at the “who is Orac” link up top.

    Watch Burzynski’s movie

    Movies are not evidence.

    and see how negligent the FDA is for taking 30 years

    If anyone’s negligent, it’s Bruzynski – for completely failing to produce actual evidence. The FDA can’t and won’t approve any drug without the testing he refuses to do.

    to approve a non-toxic treatment

    As discussed, his treatments are EXTREMELY toxic and claims otherwise are outright lies.

    This is CANCER,life-threatening illness should be a HIGH PRIORITY to evaluate new drugs FAIRLY and SWIFTLY!!!

    Agreed. Too bad Burzynski refuses to actually evaluate his claims.

    If Burzynski is a fraud why did DEPT OF HEALTH(USA) try to steal DR B’s patent claiming antineoplastons are non toxic and way to replace carcinogenic treatments such as chemo and radiation that can actually cause cancer(watch Dr Burzynski the movie).

    Citation needed.

    No fraud could last THIS LONG!!!!!

    He hasn’t. The actual medical and scientific community is well aware that he’s a fraud. He’s just managing to barely skate around the edges of illegality to get locked up as he deserves.

  151. #151 Lawrence
    February 27, 2012

    Madoff’s fraud lasted quite a long time as well – many times, the victims help keep the story going, because if it was uncovered that they were taken in by a huckster, they lose face and look like idiots….better to go along with the fraud then become a public victim.

  152. #152 novalox
    February 27, 2012

    @guitarcharlie

    Thanks for you long, idiotic, and moronic rant. I had a good laugh at your utter inanity and stupidity put forth on display (especially the use of all caps, and the use of a Godwin).

  153. #153 mag
    March 3, 2012

    Our experience @ the B clinic…
    My mother went to the Burzinsky clinic in April 2011 after months of being on a 3 week chemo cycle with her oncologist. She was diagnosed in Dec 2010 w/ non-small cell lung cancer which had spread to her brain. They told her she didn’t qualify for their clinical trials, but that she could take something to help to damage chemo would cause. The Burzinsky clinic put her on their PB syrup, sodium phenylbutyrate, aprox $4000 for a one month supply. Hearing this price almost killed my mother right there in the financial consultant’s office. They gave us a 20% discount and we agreed to try it.
    They advised her to continue receiving chemo w/ her oncologist and to supplement w/ their PB syrup to help with side effects. I don’t know if the clinic is a scam but I can honestly tell you that there was a significant difference in my mother after starting the PB. Her chemo dosage increased and she was told the side effects would be more severe. Well, they weren’t. The only thing she changed was adding Burzinsky’s PB. Before her visit at the clinic from Jan – March she would practically be asleep for 3 days following chemo then incredibly nauseous and fatigued for 2 weeks. Felling better just in time to get chemo again. It was awful to watch . Then when she added PB she only slept the 1st day of chemo and was back to “pre-chemo” shape right away. It was quite a difference. So for what it’s worth, I believe it did help my mother. She stopped taking the PB in September because she had a craniotomy and was told to stop, by a Dr at the clinic, to allow healing. Her battle lasted 13 months and in Dec 2011, her tumor filled lungs caused her heart to fail. I stumbled on this website trying to find someone in need of her remaining PB Syrup bottles. So again, for what it’s worth…they did help my mom. Yes, we spent more $$ than we had, but to not see her vomit after treatments and be in bed for days and actually get to LIVE what little time she had left, I wouldn’t change a thing.

  154. #154 DucDucGoose
    March 8, 2012

    I can’t believe I just wasted all the minutes of my life to read your article. The direction of your article is apparent after the second paragraph which begins a mindless diatribe that ends up saying this may work but we shouldn’t credit this man for identifying its application.

    This is the primary problem with the Medicalization of Healthcare. Here you wasted all this time of my life when your focus is on who will get the money relating to this important information.

    The FDA is not like going to the Pope, its more like going to a Dictator, only no dictator in modern history who committed crimes against humanity, tried to steal the patent for the cure for the states/pharma’s own benefit.

    You only post the unfounded scare that because you can find the rate of those harmed by his therapy, that it must be quackery. I read this whole article and you haven’t cited one person that has been harmed by his therapy. Not one. The man’s research has been going on 30 years.

    It’s pretty obvious to me that most certainly the FDA believe he has identified something that gave better results than any method or drug that the FDA has approved.

    It’s also pretty obvious that the FDA is controlled by very powerful lobby in Washington, in addition to the fact a half a billion (over the table money) is exchanged in order to get the clinical trials for the big PHARMA corporations.

    You even go to the length to cite other examples that were not included in the movie that are currently being pursued in an effort to discredit this man. Just a suggestion, save the money, put the money into identifying as many applications for the therapy as are available, instead of the reverse.

    The kicker is you cite “medical ethics” as the reason for this … that you and all the dollars being spent to prevent this cure are only trying to protect us from quackery. When you want to give us something you absolutely without a doubt know 100% will kill us. You are quite the medical ethicist.

    medical ethicist
    -A person who derives immense pleasure from murdering other human beings. example in a sentence: “I’d steer clear of that philosophy professor. He is, after all, a medical ethicist; he’ll murder you for the fun of it.” (urban dictionary)

    No doubt you are part of the bastardization of medical science called “medicalization”. Medicalization may also be termed pathologization (from pathology), or in some cases disease mongering or “disease mongering”. (wiki) :)

    Disease mongering is a pejorative term for the practice of widening the diagnostic boundaries of illnesses, and promoting public awareness of such, in order to expand the markets for those who sell and deliver treatments, which may include pharmaceutical companies, physicians, and other professional or consumer organizations.

    Examples include male pattern baldness and certain social phobias, like being pregnant, or having children.

    An example of reverse medicalization might be government/ Dr’s/ and big pharma working together in practice would be the mislabeling of pregnancy. The president mandates birth control and abortions be paid for by every insurance and calls it “preventative healthcare” which results in the erroneous humanitarian concept the children are an “illness that should be prevented”.

    Quit worrying about the profit of big pharma and help people by doing no harm. You can’t say that with the practice you would advocate.

  155. #155 ForMyDad
    March 12, 2012

    @DucDucGoose:

    Thank you. My thoughts exactly. *applauds*

  156. #156 Beamup
    March 12, 2012

    This is the primary problem with the Medicalization of Healthcare. Here you wasted all this time of my life when your focus is on who will get the money relating to this important information.

    Did you actually READ the article? The focus is on WHETHER OR NOT IT WORKS. There was one paragraph talking about what being an orphan drug means. Your claim above is completely false.

    You only post the unfounded scare that because you can find the rate of those harmed by his therapy, that it must be quackery. I read this whole article and you haven’t cited one person that has been harmed by his therapy. Not one. The man’s research has been going on 30 years.

    The fact that it’s been going on 30 years, without producing positive results, but he’s still charging patients ungodly sums for supposed “clinical trials” which never get published, is what proves he is a quack.

    It’s pretty obvious to me that most certainly the FDA believe he has identified something that gave better results than any method or drug that the FDA has approved.

    Just a suggestion, save the money, put the money into identifying as many applications for the therapy as are available, instead of the reverse.

    Burzynski himself has not yet been able to demonstrate ANY applications for the therapy.

    When you want to give us something you absolutely without a doubt know 100% will kill us. You are quite the medical ethicist.

    You are quite the liar, as the first sentence quoted bears not the faintest resemblance to any passing acquaintance with reality.

    The rest of your screed has no evident meaning or relevance I can discern, aside from the fact that you’d apparently rather medicine didn’t exist.

  157. #157 Jason Rogers
    March 15, 2012

    The sad part is that we personally know of patients who have been treated successfully. That should be the bottom line. There are treatments out there, and they are not being made available as readily as Chemotherapy. A dear friend of ours is dying, as we speak. They are anticipating a week at the most, and because you people can not ‘get along’ young victims like Amanda, 21 years of age, are not offered these “experimental” treatments. You guys make me sick. You ridicule a man who trying to do something great, yet you buy into lies that the FDA, our government and the NCI spew out with no hesitation. All for a profit.

  158. #158 herr doktor bimler
    March 15, 2012

    All these totally-real personal testimonies from people who all stumbled across Orac’s post coincidentally at the same time. I am convinced!

  159. #159 Travis
    March 15, 2012

    I have a pro-tip for the Burzynski fans that seem to drop by fairly often as of late: Try addressing the content of the post rather than calling people sheep. Otherwise it looks like you are just blindly following what you are told and makes you look like a fool.

    There is a long post discussing this and 154 comments prior to Jason, surely you can respond to something specific.

  160. #160 Bronze Dog
    March 15, 2012

    Oh, gee, I wonder how many of these people are completely unwilling to stick around and read people’s responses.

    I took some marketing courses. Testimonials are effective for getting someone to buy something. But they’re worthless for reaching conclusions about efficacy, and commonly used as distractions in a discussion.

    So, who’s acting like a shill?

    A) The person who points out the absence of good evidence, lack of plausibility, deceptive pricing practices, and holds an open discussion about the subject,

    or

    B) a bunch of preachy people who spew marketing talk on a hit-and-run basis while generally ignoring the thrust of their opponents’ arguments?

  161. #161 JGC
    March 15, 2012

    The sad part is that we personally know of patients who have been treated successfully.

    Citation needed. What patients, undergoing what treatment protocols?

    What was identified as a successful outcome–patient satisfaction, reduction of tumor burden, survival time post diagnosis?

    Were they receiving or had they previously received standard-of-care treatments such as surgery, irradiation or chemotherapy?

    How was it been determined that the ‘experimental’ (i.e. non-standard-of-care) treatment was responsible for whatever you’re identifying as a successful outcome?

    The plural of ‘anecdote’ isn’t ‘evidence’, after all, and you’ll have to offer something more than “I know some guys…” if you want your claims to be taken seriously.

    There are treatments out there, and they are not being made available as readily as Chemotherapy.

    Which is entirely reasonable, given that there’s actual evidence chemotherapy is efficacious and either no evidence that alternative treatments like antineoplastins work, or real evidence that they don’t work.

    You ridicule a man who trying to do something great, yet you buy into lies that the FDA, our government and the NCI spew out with no hesitation.

    If you’re speaking of Burzynski, he isn’t trying to do something great: if it were, he’d be conducting Phase three clinical trials and publishing the results of the decades of “Phase II” trials he’s used to be able to continue to dispense antineoplastins. And he’d neither be unetically charging patients to participate in these trials nor required they purchase the antineoplastin tablets from a pharmacy he has a financial interest in at grossly inflated prices, and which are freely available at independent pharmacies at a fraction of the cost his demands.

    As for ‘lies that the FDA, our government and the NCI spew out with no hesitation”, what lies exactly by what agency are you referring to ? Be specific: indicate the lie itself as a direct quote with attribution, and provide compelling evidence demonstrating what you claim represents a lie actually is a false statement.

  162. #162 Jason Rogers
    March 15, 2012

    @herr, it is totally real:

    http://www.facebook.com/love4amanda

    My girlfriend and I have been helping with fundraiser, concerts, bracelet sales and Facebook donations for over a year now.

    The doctors told Amanda from the start that she would not make it, and any treatment would only prolong her life.

    In a case like this, WHY isn’t a treatment, even if were experimental at best, be made available to someone like Amanda?

    The shame isn’t in Burzyski charging so much, the shame is that this typr of treatment is made available to people like Amanda, and covered by insurance. WHY would insurance cover something that the say IS NOT GOING TO WORK – yet not cover a treatment with even the slightest possibility. Therein lies the crime AND shame.

    I have never heard of DR. Burzynski until we met a family on vacation here in Sedona, from California, who claim that their daughter was completely cured. They offered this info, after learning about a fundraising effort we were posting a banner up for.

    So, can any of you say, without a doubt, that NOT ONE TREATMENT from Dr. Burynski led to cancer remission?

  163. #163 Jason Rogers
    March 15, 2012

    Sorry for punctuation. I am typing on my phone. I meant to say, why is this experimental treatment NOT available under insurance in terminally ill cases?

  164. #164 Lawrence
    March 15, 2012

    @Jason – how exactly is it ethical to charge terminal patients hundreds of thousands of dollars for a treatment that has no published or peer-reviewed evidence that it actually works?

    I believe we could put together a very good list of questions that you should pose to Dr. B before committing to anyting:

    For example – why hasn’t he published any results from the numerous Phase II trials that he has undertaken over the past 30 years?

    You would think, if he had treated patients successfully, that he would want those results published – and you would also think that major research centers would be itching to assist, provide resources, etc. if this worked?

    Also, why does he make his patients use “HIS” pharmacy & charge hundreds of dollars for drugs that are available elsewhere for a fraction of the price?

    You also realize, that despite claims to the contrary, that Chemo is included as part of Dr. B’s treatments (though at extremely low & most like ineffective doses)?

    There have been patients that have had their Cancers go into spontaneous remission – it does happen. If this happens under the care of Dr. B, he is able to claim success, but the remission would have occured anyway. The only way to prove his treatments are effective is to actually publish the evidence – which he refuses to do.

    If you think about it, with nothing on paper, it makes it very easy for him to continue to con his victims – since he can make up whatever he wants – unlike real doctors, who are accountable.

    I encourage you to take a big step back on this & evaluate the entire situation with a critical eye – don’t get conned.

  165. #165 herr doktor bimler
    March 15, 2012

    people who all stumbled across Orac’s post coincidentally at the same time.
    Does a Batsignal go out or something?

  166. #166 herr doktor bimler
    March 15, 2012

    http://www.facebook.com/love4amanda
    My girlfriend and I have been helping with fundraiser, concerts, bracelet sales and Facebook donations for over a year now.

    Not all the commenters here think so highly of Burzynski’s business model of charging people enormous fees to be experimental subjects in his low-rent operation, and then — as if to be helpful — encouraging them to set up fundraising websites and publicity campaigns.

  167. #167 Jason Rogers
    March 15, 2012

    @Lawrence, thank you for the advice. The peer reviews make sense. I guess it is easy to draw a conclusion after hearing from a stranger that it does work, watching his movie, then get angry without hearing the opposing viewpoints. Someone mentioned further up that he is selling only ‘hope’. Man it sure is hard not to buy into hope, when it seems like there are no other options.

    After researching this treatment as an option, (just watched the movie) this is the first opposing article I came across. I guess when you are in my situation (or Amanda’s) you don’t want this to be a lie, but thank you all for making me look at this objectively.

    I think I will call him (or the office) myself and ask these questions personally. If anyone is interested in hearing the answers, I’ll post them here.

    -Jason

  168. #168 JGC
    March 15, 2012

    In a case like this, WHY isn’t a treatment, even if were experimental at best, be made available to someone like Amanda?

    Because there’s absolutely no evidence, and therfore no reason to believe, that it works.

    After all, if we’re going to promote treatments we have absolutely no reason to believe are effective let’s just go with laying on of the hands or intercessory prayer. Both are more readily available at a fraction of the cost Burzynski charges.

    And unlike PBA at the high doses he prescribes, neither pose a risk of serious side effects.

  169. #169 Lawrence
    March 15, 2012

    @Jason – I appreciate your willingness to listen to opposing viewpoints, especially in light of your circumstances. Cancer isn’t easy – Orac has posted on the vagaries of Cancer, on-going research, and also how to avoid those that prey on the weak and vulnerable.

    Be prepared, if you do talk to Dr. B or his staff, for pat answers, most likely blaming the medical establishment, the FDA, Big Pharma, etc. for denying him the funding he “needs” to continue his research.

    Many posters here will point out (and I will too) that legitimate clinical research trials rarely, if ever, charge the patients for treatment (and certainly not to the tune of several hundred thousands of dollars that Dr. B charges).

    I would also make it clear that you are interested in results – actual published, peer-reviewed, and proven results. If you are going to take the chance of putting someone’s life in his hands, I would certainly want to see the documentation that supports what he does.

    Dr. B doesn’t get a pass because he claims “the government is after him” he should be scrutinized like any other doctor, offering a treatment – if he can’t provide what you are asking for (and frankly, what everyone else has been waiting for since he started his “trials”) then you are better off continuing to examine your options.

    And if you don’t know already, the writer of this blog, Orac, is a well-respected cancer surgeon and researcher – he can certainly provide you real information, on real options.

  170. #170 Jason Rogers
    March 15, 2012

    @herr, We set up a fundraising site to help the family with financial burdens, not for publicity. Between our network of friends and social media outreaches 100% of nearly $100,000 has gone directly to the family. No one encouraged us to do anything. I have a successful internet marketing company and would gladly do this for free for as many people as we possibly could without anyone telling me to do so.

    Not sure why you would object to raising money for a family in need, unless you thought that money was going to someone you don’t approve of. I’m calling Mr. Burzynski now =)

  171. #171 Lawrence
    March 15, 2012

    @Jason – good luck. Supporting the family through your efforts it great, you may be able to do them an even bigger and better service by keeping them out of the hands of Dr. Burzynski.

  172. #172 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    March 15, 2012

    @Jason,

    Please keep in mind the “documentary” is nothing more than a commercial–a PR exercise. The company that produced it makes Old Navy and Campbell Soup commercials. The filmmaker is not a documentarian nor a writer; he has no other such credits on IMDB. He is a graphic artist who was well paid to make this propaganda. Who knows if he himself is a believer or just a whore who took the cash.

    There is plenty of scientific analysis available on this site refuting the one-sided “evidence” presented in the film. I encourage you to read all the criticism, from real doctors and scientists, before you make any decisions based on the movie.

  173. #173 Thomas
    March 15, 2012

    “Please keep in mind the “documentary” is nothing more than a commercial–a PR exercise. The company that produced it makes Old Navy and Campbell Soup commercials. ”

    You mean those short documentaries about Campbell’s soup that show up between scenes in “Fringe” aren’t completely unbiased?!

  174. #174 herr doktor bimler
    March 15, 2012

    WHY isn’t a treatment, even if were experimental at best, be made available to someone like Amanda?

    The only person preventing that is Burzynski.

  175. #175 Jason Rogers
    March 16, 2012

    I said I would post responses from Dr. Burzynski’s office, however, Amanda passed away this morning, so there is no need to pursue this any further. Thanks for all your advice.

  176. #176 Lawrence
    March 16, 2012

    Mr. Rogers – our condolences on the passing of Amanda. If possible, we would still like to know what Dr. B said – at minimum, her family was spared having to spend their remaining family fortune on his quack treatments.

  177. #177 dennis
    March 18, 2012

    I understand that all “cures” must be thoroughly tested and this guy could actually be a fake, but how do you explain the people that have survived so long after being given death sentences by their doctors, especially the children?

  178. #178 Bronze Dog
    March 18, 2012

    Dennis, you should try investigating skeptical responses to that idea in general, as well as the ones specific to Burzynski.

    The general response:
    Such testimonials are typically cherry picking. There’s no absolute death sentences, despite what alties claim that doctors say. Sometimes people get lucky and hold on longer. Some get lucky and have a spontaneous remission. Means and medians are statistical middle-of-the-road estimates, not absolutes.

    I’m skeptical about any claims of “death sentences” being given out by doctors. It reeks of propaganda tactics and the people who talk about them tend to encourage patients to interpret what doctors say in the worst possible ways.

    Specific to Burzynski: He’s using actual chemotherapy drugs as part of his treatment. Read the post and comments.

  179. #179 Bronze Dog
    March 18, 2012

    I’ve got a comment in moderation, Dennis. You might want to watch the video I linked to for what is probably really going on with so-called death sentences.

  180. #180 dennis
    March 18, 2012

    Bronze Dog, sorry, you have to tell me how to get to that video you linked. Thanks.

  181. #181 ken
    March 18, 2012
  182. #182 Bronze Dog
    March 18, 2012

    Scroll up. It’s gotten out of moderation. It should be in #176, assuming no other comments pass through moderation and change the order.

  183. #183 afrika mangosu
    March 19, 2012

    I would also make it clear that you are interested in results – actual published, peer-reviewed, and proven results. If you are going to take the chance of putting someone’s life in his hands, I would certainly want to see the documentation that supports what he does.

  184. #184 River
    March 22, 2012

    First of all, to “Mark Stephens is insane,” using the reference to “a whore that took the cash” just proves that you are an idiot and discredits everything else that you might have to say on this subject. This is no place to dehumanize anyone in that manner.

    Secondly, concerning Dr. B’s cancer treatments, it is my opinion that the only fault that can be placed on him is by not marketing his treatments in the same manner that many other cancer drugs are marketed. I am a health care professional, and I can attest to the damage and destruction on the human body caused by chemotherapy and radiation. Those treatment options are not even treatments in my opinion. They are self-inflicted tortures that people are forced to inflict upon themselves in order to survive, which is just a basic human instinct. BUT, there are many drug companies pocketing the cash from these treatments that insurance companies and Medicare pay for simply because they pursued a different marketing strategy through/with the FDA.

    It is my opinion that Dr. B has chosen to avoid the traditional manufacturing/marketing schemes that are dominant in our capitalistic health care system and is, I suspect, choosing to retain all proceeds for himself. However, do not discredit the efficacy of his treatments by comparing it to the efficacy of traditional chemo/radiation therapies. My very own father’s first chemo treatment killed him and what’s worse, the doctor said it probably would. So his insurance company happily paid the bill because Cisplatin was successfully marketed by Bristol-Meyers and Michigan State University many years ago, and in accordance with FDA standards. Ha Ha. FDA standards….what a hoot.

    In the end, I believe what is REALLY going on here is a huge Pi$$ing contest between the FDA and Dr. B, and both parties in this contest happen to have the power to help many Americans that are fighting for their very lives and both parties are taking advantage of that vulnerability just to make a profit. I don’t necessarily support Dr. B’s claims of having found the cure for cancer, but I surely do not trust the FDA to look out for the welfare of the American people. Too much capitalism going on, too little compassion. The gold standard of cancer treatments are not necessarily the ones that work the best, but the ones that are picked up by a major label, and that is the real shame of all of this.

  185. #185 LW
    March 22, 2012

    River, if both parties (Big Pharma and Dr Burzynski) are cynically taking advantage of the vulnerability of cancer patients to make a profit, what basis is there to believe that Dr Burzynski actually has an effective treatment? Why do you believe that Big Pharma is just killing people for profit, but Dr Burzynski is not?

  186. #186 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 22, 2012

    Secondly, concerning Dr. B’s cancer treatments, it is my opinion that the only fault that can be placed on him is by not marketing his treatments in the same manner that many other cancer drugs are marketed.

    This pretty much tells us that you haven’t bothered to understand the many reasons Burzynski is criticized or are incapable of considering them in a rational manner. Or did you miss the part where B. is the one responsible for his “outsider” status, because he’s had thirty years to show that his treatments work and hasn’t done so? I mean, never mind the big effin’ elephant in that room that by all rules of ethics he should be paying the patients for the risks they’re taking to provide him with data, and instead he’s making them pay. The fact is, he can’t “market” his treatments the way that other cancer treatments are “marketed” because it’s illegal for him to lie and say “we have proof that this is actually a treatment of some efficacy.” Which hasn’t stopped him from lying this way and being convicted of insurance fraud as a result.

    I’m gonna guess when you say you’re a “health care professional” you’re actually a reiki “master,” or an acupuncturist, or some other “profession” where the fact that your “health care” does absolutely jack for actual health is simply resolutely ignored as a precondition of the job.

  187. #187 squirrelelite
    March 22, 2012

    To Bronze Dog @ 176…

    Thanks for the link to the Stephen Jay Gould video. I’ve enjoyed reading some of his books and it’s encouraging to note that he lived for 20 years after being diagnosed with a cancer with an 8 month median survival time.

    To River @ 182…

    Point 1. What the commenter actually stated is that we don’t know whether the person who made the Burzynski film actually believes in the correctness of the material presented in the film or simply made the film he was paid to make from the script/information he was provided. That you chose to emphasize the way in which the latter option was phrased, however, is interesting.

    Point 2… I sort of agree with you on this.

    Dr Burzynski should start

    marketing his treatments in the same manner that many other cancer drugs are marketed

    That is, he should complete all the Phase II studies he has been approved for and enrolled participants in and publish the results so that everyone can see the benefits of his treatment.

    Then, he should immediately start enrolling new patients in the Phase III trial that was approved to demonstrate how well his treatment method performs compared to standard treatment for these cancers. And, those results should also be published.

    But also, he should not be charging people to be his experimental test subjects.

    And, if research funding is so tight that he can’t afford to provide the medicines for free, he should at least allow his patients to purchase them from the cheapest possible source.

    I don’t know whether to credit or discredit the efficacy of his treatment method because he hasn’t published the information to show us what that efficacy is.

    Also, I am sorry that your father died of cancer.

  188. #188 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    March 22, 2012

    Hi River,

    First of all, I don’t see how the word “whore” can be in the least bit dehumanizing. Every whore I’ve ever met has been entirely human.

    One of the definitions of “whore” is “unscrupulous person” or “person capable of being bought”. It was in this context I used the word. I never said that Eric Merola was a whore; I have no idea. If he agreed to do the film just for the paycheck, and to drive desperate victims to the clinic’s door, then yes, he is an unscrupulous person; a whore. If he really believes the Burzynski nonsense then he is NOT a whore, but rather a moron.

    If the word “whore” bothers you I wouldn’t spend too much time on this site reading. Some of the language used, mostly by you knee jerk Burzynski defenders and supporters, would turn your stomach. Obscenities, death wishes and threats, things like that. (Oh, and knee jerk is not an insult.)

    You say you are a “health care professional”: please do share your credentials and current job. I seriously doubt you are a real doctor, with a real medical degree from a real school. I also doubt you have any real science background. I would guess you work in a “wellness center” and use words like “energy”, “toxins”, “healing”, “crystals” and “chakras” in your line of business. IF that is true, and you take money from people for this “alternative” woo, then you too are a whore.

    Not one real doctor anywhere on the planet has ever stood up and supported Burzynski. (And please don’t mention Joseph Mercola or Leonard Coldwell…) Not one real doctor gives him the time of day. He’s been doing this for 30 years without one iota of evidence. If had any science background you would deeply question his practices and not rush to his defense because he is “alternative”.

    As for your whole “capitalism and greed” theory: Burzynski lives in a $6 million, 15-room house on 10 acres. Tell me who is taking advantage of vulnerability to make a profit? Has he ever turned down a client? No: he tells everybody there’s a chance he can help.

    There is nothing to discredit in my post as every word is true.

  189. #189 herr doktor bimler
    March 22, 2012

    So his insurance company happily paid the bill because Cisplatin was successfully marketed by Bristol-Meyers and Michigan State University many years ago, and in accordance with FDA standards.

    Interesting story, cisplatin. I am impressed by the ability of MSU and Bristol-Myers to take out a patent in 1979 for a drug that had been known since 1845; then to extend that patent in 1996. This belies the claim — frequently encountered in quackery circles — that some chemical X is the infallible cure for cancer, but is not in use because Big Pharma didn’t discover it so can’t make money from it.

    And then there are the unseemly legal battles over the royalties from cisplatin.

    The point, of course, and the reason why so much money is sloshing around, is that the stuff *works* for a number of cancers. Even homeopaths admit that it works, and want credit for it — one homeopath reckons that allopathic medicine stole the idea for platinum-based chemotherapy from them.

  190. #190 River
    March 24, 2012

    My profession is not the question, but if it was then I would only say that the many years I have provided services to cancer patients in a hospital setting have served only to bias my opinions to our capitalistic health care system. I have grown thoroughly disgusted at being able to provide the very best in cancer treatments to those that can afford it, or provide the best cardiac treatments to those that have a primary and a secondary insurance, while having to turn away those that can’t make a substantial down payment on their care if they are uninsured. I have been in this business for many years, and I have seen chemo/radiation actually extend the lives of many cancer patients, but that is because those patients were lucky enough to discover their cancer when it was in a treatable stage, and also because they were fortunate enough to have a way to pay for the services. For my father, it was unfortunately too late. His cancer was much too advanced when it was discovered.

    I had one patient that battled lung cancer for 3 years until she died and left her husband %500K in debt for all the wonderful chemo/radiation/hospital bills at the age of 68. How in the world is he supposed to pay for his wife’s treatment that kept her alive for 3 years, and, what’s worse, how could he have told her no to the treatment and allowed her to simply pass away? And during the three years she battled the cancer, lunch was being provided to our outpatient clinic on a daily basis by “Big Pharma” to the tune of $300-$500 per DAY. How can pharmaceutical companies afford that?

    I could go on for days with case studies that reveal the true nightmare for hospital social workers and I know that “Big Pharma” could not care less about the patients that fall through the cracks. In fact, I used to work for a drug research company and witnessed first hand the methods by which they make their living. I found it to be atrocious.

    Let me state again that it is my opinion that Dr. B is in a 30 year long pi$$ing contest with the FDA that is obviously not beneficial to the general public. I have not made any claims on the efficacy of his treatments, but I have made claims that the current disposition of our health care system in this country is pitiful. When it comes to battling cancer, this is a disease that causes individuals to decide just how hard they are prepared to fight and the very first thing you do is decide how much treatment you can afford before you die. It is my experience that those patients that come to the treatment centers with the right attitude and the right pocketbook are the ones with the best chance of survival. I have grown very tired of ignoring the fact that treatment centers/hospitals/pharmaceutical companies/insurance companies know this and take complete advantage of any and all leverage they have on our lives to make a profit.

    Again, my outrage lies with the current health care system and the Dr. B fiasco, which only serves to shed a little light on the extent of the problem. The question for me becomes whether social health care would benefit our country, and I believe that would be a new monster in and of itself. One thing that I feel certain about is that our country needs to rethink our current system. I believe we can do better than we are right now. I believe that we would all benefit by having a separation of corporate America from our government, much like we have enforced and defended a separation of church and state since this country was founded.

    You all know as well as I do that businessmen/scientists from “Big Pharma” have absolutely no business holding positions within the FDA. This causes a huge conflict of interest and opens up doors for companies that should remain shut and these people, my friends, are the true whores. They are the ones responsible for the deaths of several of my patients who simply refused treatment due to the inability to pay and went home to die with at least a little dignity. I’m not so sure that social medicine is the answer, but I do believe that separating big business from the government would serve to improve all of our lives on many many different levels.

    One final word on Dr. B, if anyone wants to travel to his clinic in search of healing, they should not be denied the opportunity. This is still the United States of America. I have personally worn the stripes on my shoulder to defend her, and would enjoy the opportunity to see my efforts were not in vain. I knew my father very very well, and would speculate that he would have been willing to travel there and try the treatment in a last ditch effort to survive. You see, survival is the key word, and most of us would do just about anything to survive wouldn’t we? And, since he also wore our flag on his shoulder for many years, would any of you attempt to deny him the right to seek this treatment? I would certainly hope not.

  191. #191 Orac
    March 24, 2012

    I have not made any claims on the efficacy of his treatments, but I have made claims that the current disposition of our health care system in this country is pitiful.

    Interesting, then, that you have made your criticisms of the current health care system in the context of complaining about criticism of Dr. Burzynski. That sure makes it look as though you’re defending Dr. Burzynski.

    In any case, if you’re so concerned about people going bankrupt paying for end-of-life care, then you should be outraged at someone like Burzynski, who charged hundreds of thousands of dollars to put his patients on dubious clinical trials of an unproven drug that he combines willy-nilly with standard chemotherapy and that he requires his patients to purchase from a pharmacy that he owns.

    But you aren’t. You are defending Burzynski by blaming the current system for driving patients to him. And, yes, I would try to shut Burzynski down, for the same reason they shut Bernie Madoff down. Let’s hope that finally happens next month, when the Texas Medical Board tries to do something it should have done 20 years ago.

  192. #192 Orac
    March 24, 2012

    Secondly, concerning Dr. B’s cancer treatments, it is my opinion that the only fault that can be placed on him is by not marketing his treatments in the same manner that many other cancer drugs are marketed. I am a health care professional, and I can attest to the damage and destruction on the human body caused by chemotherapy and radiation. Those treatment options are not even treatments in my opinion. They are self-inflicted tortures that people are forced to inflict upon themselves in order to survive, which is just a basic human instinct. BUT, there are many drug companies pocketing the cash from these treatments that insurance companies and Medicare pay for simply because they pursued a different marketing strategy through/with the FDA.

    You do realize that Burzynski gives chemotherapy, and not a little chemotherapy either. He also mixes it with a very expensive cocktail of newer targeted agents in combinations not tested and with potential synergistic toxicities, don’t you?

  193. #193 Militant Agnostic
    March 24, 2012

    @River

    So you are are saying that one purpose of the military is to keep American fraudsters like Bernie Madoff and Burzynski in business and this is a noble endeavor. You rage about capitalist medicine and then consider socialized medicine a horror. You are the kind of incoherent idiot that the Koch brothers find most useful.

  194. #194 bob
    March 25, 2012

    If Burzynski is a quack how do you explain this:
    http://www.burzynskipatientgroup.org/

    People on death’s door are being saved, right now, while you people are competing over the most arrogant way to insult the man.

  195. #195 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    March 25, 2012

    Hey Bob,

    Are you aware at least nine people from that website are dead? And there isn’t even a mention about four of them having died; no memorials, no tributes, no follow-ups.

    This article addresses that Burzynski “patient group” website in great detail.

    http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=3553

    Other articles on this very site have gone into great detail to refute the “evidence” presented on the Burzynski site. Anecdotes are meaningless.

    Burzynski has had over 30 years to prove something. He hasn’t even come close.

    And insulting the man is not our aim here: we are trying to shut him down and put him out of business. Or at the very least,to inform people about his racket.

    How many days to April 11? Orac should start a countdown clock. Days, hours and minutes until Burzynski loses his license…

  196. #196 Narad
    March 25, 2012

    If Burzynski is a quack how do you explain this:
    http://www.burzynskipatientgroup.org/

    The infamous Marc Stephens certainly seems to figure into it, but I suppose that’s more on the inexplicable side.

  197. #197 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    March 25, 2012

    Speaking of Dr. B, I found another business he runs out of his “research institute” (which is really just a manufacturing plant) in Stafford.

    http://www.ampolgen.com/index.html

    It’s called AmPolGen Pharmaceuticals, and is dedicated to the sale of sodium phenylbutyrate tablets.

    All the names and addresses are the same as for Burzynski.

    Can one of the scientists or doctors here take a look, especially at the “Products” tab?

    What exactly are the doing here? Are the selling PB to other industries? Is it a by-product of the ANP manufacturing process? Or is a front to sell the stuff back to Burzynski?

    He also has a pharmacy registered at this address in Stafford.

  198. #198 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2012

    River @182:
    chemotherapy and radiation. Those treatment options are not even treatments in my opinion. They are self-inflicted tortures that people are forced to inflict upon themselves in order to survive,

    “self-inflicted tortures that people are forced to inflict upon themselves” — I think you are n the wrong place. You are looking for the Department of Redundancy Department.

    — If “tortures that people are forced to inflict upon themselves” happen to work, but they are not “treatments” in your opinion, then sadly your opinion is worth nothing.

  199. #199 Lee
    March 26, 2012

    Have any of you watched the documentary about Burzynski? I felt it helped explain a lot about how the pharmaceutical companys and the FDA really work. Funny how his methods too have better results than modern medicine. Besides this guy talks about the Antineoplastons being toxins. Is chemo not? Whether or not you think he is a “quack” maybe looking into who really is running things at the FDA would help.

  200. #200 AdamG
    March 26, 2012

    Lee is obviously a drive-by troll who’ll never return…what’s with this steady stream of Burzynski lackeys lately?

    clearly Lee has not read any of the actual post or its comments, or else s/he would have seen that many of his/her claims have already been refuted either here or on Orac’s previous dissection of Burzynski’s odious propaganda film here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/11/burzynski_the_movie_subtle_its_not.php

    By the way Lee, I have watched the film in its entirety and was shocked at how disingenuous and misleading it is. How do you know that “his methods too have better results than modern medicine” if he’s never even published his methods or results in any scientific journal? Did you just take his word based on a movie that he himself produced? That seems pretty credulous of you.

  201. #201 Beamup
    March 26, 2012

    Have any of you watched the documentary about Burzynski?

    The commercial, you mean.

    Funny how his methods too have better results than modern medicine.

    Funny how he refuses to publish his results, if they really are better. It’d make him stinking rich and immensely famous, as well as saving countless lives, if his claims were true.

    Besides this guy talks about the Antineoplastons being toxins. Is chemo not?

    Burzynski is lying by claiming his ANPs aren’t chemo, is the point.

  202. #202 Lawrence
    March 26, 2012

    @lee – there are 197 comments above yours. I would imagine you might want to read at least some of them (which deal directly with the points you attempted to make), before making a fool of yourself….just saying.

  203. #203 JGC
    March 26, 2012

    Lee @ 197

    Documentary? With apologies to The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

    Burzynski the Movie isn’t a documentary: it’s an info-mercial for his clinic produced by a PR flack named Eric Merola who has no other ‘documentaries’ to his credit. It provides absolutely no evidence supporting antineoplastin safety or efficacy, instaed offering only cherry picked testimonials from three of Burzynski’s marks–I’m sorry, his “clients”.

    It’s been discussed here previously in detail–see http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/11/burzynski_the_movie_subtle_its_not.php

    By all means recall that real scientists who are trying to demonstrate the validity of their claims don’t hire PR firms to produce documentaries about them, they’re theories or their medical practice: they submit their work to peer reviewed scientific journals for publication.

  204. #204 Alexandria
    March 27, 2012

    Most of the comments above come from a lack of understanding of what his practice consists of. If necessary a low dose chemo is used. The medication may be administered once a week at lower dose than large dose every three weeks. The newer drugs are called monoclonal antibodies and their job is to cut off the blood supply to tumors. Almost any cancer facility is going to use what is at their disposal to cure the patient. Chemotherapy comes from the a word meaning kill bad cells. Cancer is not a linear disease…it mutates, and what works on the “main” tumor will not work on lets say any growths coming form this original tumor. When these monoclonal antibodies were FDA approved, each one was tested on many different cancers. Therefore the one where the greatest efficacy was shown is the cancer the drug gets FDA approval for. But that does not mean in combination with other drugs that it can’t be effective on another form of cancer than the original approval. That is why FDA will later say it is effective for this cancer or that cancer. This is primarily what Burzynski does. So the fact that they are expensive, who dictates that fee, many of the Burzynski patients apply for free drugs, the clinic helps with the paperwork and presto, patient get drug free of charge. Does Burzynski care, no , he wants his patient to follow the treatment plan whatever it takes. As far a money, the clinic is out of network with every major commercial carrier. Therefore ins is billed for those with out of network benefits. If the ins pays and many times it does, the patient will be getting a refund from part of or close to all of the original money deposited. And if you think for one moment MDA, Cancer Treatment centers of America is free, then you are from fucking Pluto.MDA normally asks for a cashiers check for at least $125,00. Just ask them,and God forbid ins denies a claim and the patient is due to come in, guess what, they get to pay. Did you really think everyplace else is free…at least he is trying to do something. It appears we are always ready to find fault with the next person but God forbid we should shake his hand..People love to point fingers, blame, bitch about, because this is apparently all they have to do. His stats are no worse than any other facility..With all the billions of dollars donated to MDA or other “private institutions” no one has any idea how to cure even one cancer. Burzynski is not receiving one dollar of these massive donations given to these other facilities. I know what I am talking about, and what goes on day to day in many facilities. So before you start complaining and bitching and moaning, you go find a cure.

  205. #205 herr doktor bimler
    March 27, 2012

    His stats are no worse than any other facility.

    Sadly, “no stats at all” is worse.

  206. #206 adelady
    March 28, 2012

    “That is why FDA will later say it is effective for this cancer or that cancer.

    The FDA issues recommendations based on the confirmed results of properly conducted trials.

    This is primarily what Burzynski does.

    Not exactly. He gets approval to do certain things in accordance with FDA rules. Then he doesn’t deliver any results to be confirmed. If he has results suitable for consideration by the FDA, then they should be submitted.

    If he, and you, seriously contend that his approach is both more successful and has less side-effects than current therapies, then he is depriving many doctors of better treatments for their patients. Even worse, he’s denying many, many thousands of people across the world the benefits of his protocol.

    You say he’s serious about getting better outcomes than other doctors. If that’s true, he should get his results in to the FDA pronto so that everyone can benefit from this improvement.

  207. #207 herr doktor bimler
    March 28, 2012

    So before you start complaining and bitching and moaning, you go find a cure.

    So evidence of fraud, quackery, exploitation and barratry can be ignored unless the person pointing it out has personally cured cancer? That must save time.

  208. #208 Genius
    March 28, 2012

    LOL! Incredible. At first I thought Burzynski was a quack, then I read this post. It reminded me so much of the posts I read about the 9/11 inside job. I realize now that when this much hatred is directed at one man, and so much money and effort is placed in discrediting him, that he MUST be real! Burzynski is not a quack! He has saved many lives! What an American hero! If it wasn’t for all the hatred on this post I probably would have fell for it. Now I am definitely a supporter. It doesn’t surprise me at all how hateful the posters on this forum are, after willfully allowing so many children to die using antiquated radiation therapy methods. How sick of their own lives they must be to support vile human garbage like those at the FDA! Imagine, all that human suffering for a pithy 250 foot yacht. How insignificant is the wealthy person? So insecure and vain. Like the Enron guy who blew his brains out outside his home. These men have nothing. They are fools.

  209. #209 Chris
    March 28, 2012

    Genius:

    He has saved many lives!

    Prove it.

  210. #210 Narad
    March 28, 2012

    At first I thought Burzynski was a quack, then I read this post.

    Perhaps you should consider musical theater as a backup, as this dramatic performance was a bit less than convincing.

  211. #211 LW
    March 28, 2012

    At first I thought Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme, then I read this post. It reminded me so much of the posts I read about the 9/11 inside job. I realize now that when this much hatred is directed at one man, and so much money and effort is placed in discrediting him, that he MUST be real! Madoff was not running a Ponzi scheme! He has saved many fortunes! What an American hero! If it wasn’t for all the hatred on this post I probably would have fell for it.

  212. #212 Lawrence
    March 28, 2012

    At first I thought Jim Jones was a mass-murderer & cult leader, then I read this post. It reminded me so much of the posts I read about 9/11 inside job. I realize noth that when this much hatred is directed at one man, and so much money and effort is placed in discrediting him, that he MUST be real! Jim Jones wasn’t running a cult & all those people must be alive somewhere! What an American hero. If it wasn’t for all the hatred on this post I probably would have fell for it.

  213. #213 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    March 28, 2012

    Hey Genius! You should have stuck with your first thought…

    You’re right; there is a lot of hatred on this site aimed at people who take advantage of desperate, sick people.

    There’s an ex-doctor who injects baking soda into breast tumors; is he a hero? What about a guy who sells a drink made of industrial bleach? A hero? Someone else thinks he can cure cancer with coffee enemas–I guess he’s also a hero by your standards. What about all the psychic healers in Brazil who claim they can remove disease just by looking at you? They ALL say they can help people. All heros? Where do you draw the line?

    The point is all these quacks have plenty of testimonials from people who think they were cured of cancer by these con artists. Just because Burzynski is a bit more
    “science-y” doaesn’t make him any different from the other carnival acts with false claims and false hope.

    Thirteen days until April 11th!!!

  214. #214 josh
    April 23, 2012

    i wish some one would shoot you in the face for trying to make money over human lives. God i wish some one would. …And make some money off it!!! But people will believe your bullshit if you lie well enough. Right in the face.

  215. #215 josh
    April 23, 2012

    i wish some one would shoot you in the face for trying to make money over human lives. God i wish some one would.

  216. #216 Chris
    April 23, 2012

    Josh, threatening violence against Burzynski or anyone else is not helpful. Unfortunately all one can do is expose charlatans like him to prevent people from wasting their money on fraudulent medical claims.

  217. #217 Olivia
    April 24, 2012

    Listen! Dr Burzinsky has treated thousands of patients of cancer!! How dare you try to put that in a bad light?!? FDA, government, media are all LIARS, all manipulated by the masonic powers!! People need to stop sooo being naive and believe everything they are told by this shameful government!!!

  218. #218 LW
    April 24, 2012

    “THE GOVERNMENT CAN’T MAKE MONEY OFF WELL PEOPLE!”

    Really? They got a lot on April 15 off people who were well enough to work.

  219. #219 novalox
    April 24, 2012

    @olivia

    Conspiracy theory much?

  220. #220 Beamup
    April 24, 2012

    @ Olivia:

    You do realize that TREATING thousands of patients doesn’t mean BENEFITING thousands of patients? And that even if his BS works, he’s acting grossly unethically by charging astronomical rates for “clinical trials” that never get published? AND if we assume his claims are correct, effectively killing many more thousands by refusing to publish his results so that others may benefit?

  221. #221 Raging Bee
    April 24, 2012

    “Masonic powers?” Jesus fucking Christ, that’s the most obsolete conspiracy nonsense I’ve ever heard. Olivia, do you even know what the word “Mason” means?

  222. #222 Cynical Pediatrician
    April 24, 2012

    Never underestimate those nefarious bricklayers.

  223. #223 Cynical Pediatrician
    April 24, 2012

    Never underestimate those nefarious bricklayers.

  224. #224 JGC
    April 24, 2012

    MAYBE you should try writing a non biased report and get ALL your facts straight and stop trying to disprove a Doctor trying to cure cancer and start telling us why the government won’t approve this treatment.

    Because they can’t: there’s no evidence for the FDA to consider when weighing approval. Despite years of charging patients to participate in so-called clinical trials Burzynski hasn’t published his results nor provided the FDA the Phase I, II and III clinical trial results needed to secure approval. (While he theoretically has a Phase II trial open, it’s status has remained “not recruiting”.)

  225. #225 Bronze Dog
    April 24, 2012

    “Masonic powers?” Jesus fucking Christ, that’s the most obsolete conspiracy nonsense I’ve ever heard. Olivia, do you even know what the word “Mason” means?

    Never underestimate those nefarious bricklayers.

    I’m still trying to figure out how Urist McMason made an obsidian bed that’s comfortable for my nobles to sleep in and get happy thoughts. I know strange moods are supposed to let you make anything out of nearly any other material, but come on.


    Onto our most recent troll and possible Burzynski shill:

    People need to stop sooo being naive and believe everything they are told by this shameful government!!!

    You’re an idiot if you think this is about believing the government. The government isn’t influencing how we think about the case. We’re critical thinkers. We’re skeptics. We care about quality evidence, and we know something about scams. Burzynski shows every sign of being yet another con artist.

    You’re the one naively believing whatever someone’s been telling you.

    Meme:

    “THE GOVERNMENT CAN’T MAKE MONEY OFF WELL PEOPLE!”

    In addition to healthy people being able to pay taxes, I would think insurance companies want healthy people. Insurance companies don’t have to pay out anything if you don’t get sick. They make the most profit off of people who don’t make claims and don’t need medication. That’s why your premiums go up if you’re unhealthy: They have to get more money from you to counteract the extra claims they expect you to make.

    It’s like car insurance. If you’re an unsafe driver, they might not even accept you, for fear of paying more money in damages than they can squeeze from you in premiums.

  226. #226 DQ
    April 28, 2012

    This blogpost is somewhat helpful, but I was disappointed with a few inaccuracies and shaded statements which are intended not to get at the truth but obviously intended to denigrate Dr. Burzynski. You said he simply renamed existing drugs, but he has many patents. You said he interfered with the trials, but shouldn’t the actual protocol be testing, not an ineffectual variant? Is is success really just a “blind squirrel” phenomenon? Burzynski says it’s a game between the FDA and big pharma to discredit him. Seems like this article plays into that game. If this were a fair evaluation, you would look at the successes too (without the sarcasm).

  227. #227 Lawrence
    April 28, 2012

    @DQ – what successes? Dr. B refuses to publish his results….why exactly is that?

  228. #228 Militant Agnostic
    April 28, 2012

    I wonder why the all the Bullshitski shills are necromancy old threads, while none have showed up on the latest post about how credulous reporters are enabling fundraising by fresh marks.?

  229. #229 DQ
    April 28, 2012

    @Lawrence I think Burzynski says he is afraid to release the results mostly because of the decades of government attacks on him and his character. I wouldn’t be surprised if his lawyers advised he not release documentation that a government lawyer could cherry pick for possible violations of the law. They tried to indict him four or five times, but the grand jury refused. When they finally assembled a grand jury would would accuse him, they manufactured some 70 counts against him, of which only one minor count survived. He has spent millions defending himself against government persecution (yes, I think it would qualify as persecution at this point). So, really? You really want him to release more protocols? You really think it won’t just become evidence in another trumped-up legal argument? If you want to see the success, I suggest you look at the medical records release online by the patients themselves at http://www.burzynskipatientgroup.org/patient-medical-records. To say there is no evidence of success is like walking into the middle of a basketball game with earplugs and a blindfold and insisting there is no game. I suggest you examine sources other than those provided by the industry or the FDA or other government attackers.

  230. #230 Lawrence
    April 28, 2012

    @DQ – so, rather than release his results, which should, in your estimation, show overwhelming success of his protocols, he instead is trying to protect himself?

    That doesn’t sound very altruistic now, does it? Given that clinical trials are almost exclusively free, yet Dr. B continues to charge 100’s of thousands of dollars, yet refuses to publish any results for potential duplication, how exactly is this supposed to be considered kosher?

    And when people did try to replicate his treatment (I believe it was either Japanese or Korean researchers) they had to abandon their efforts because of the extreme toxicity of the treatment.

    Rather than watch a Dr. B propaganda movie, you should examine the facts that are available – that Dr. B has been able to abuse the FDA clinical trial process to con hundreds of sick people out of millions of dollars to support a treatment protocol that has no published data supporting that it actually works.

    After 30 years, isn’t it well past time to publish something?

  231. #231 Bronze Dog
    April 28, 2012

    Sooooo, producing test results, thereby potentially proving his good intentions and proving his treatments work would prove him guilty?

    So, because he suppresses his own science, that’s the reason he’s relying on well-known con artist tactics? That’s why he’s charging patients so much money for the privilege of being tested in a clinical trial (that’s biased by the money selection criteria instead of randomized) that will never be published?

    DQ, you’re advocating underhandedness as a research technique and claiming transparency is a threat. That’s the rationale of a scoundrel. This isn’t about treating cancer, this is about defending your lord guru, right or wrong.

  232. #232 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2012

    If Burzynski had any hard evidence to publish proving his claims, he’d win a Nobel prize, become a trillionaire and a world hero. Any theories that he’s deliberately hiding his results are insane.

    In addition, he uses chemo on most patients.

  233. #233 DQ
    April 28, 2012

    Okay guys, look, I got no chips in this game. As an outside observer it just seems odd that he would be attacked in this way for so long. Hopefully it’s encouraging to you that he’s in Phase II on I think 4 or 5 protoicols, and entering phase III on another. It seems to me that his very complicated protocols were previously so simplified in the trials that he knew they wouldn’t work and withdrew. He didn’t want to produce the contrary evidence you now cite in opposition to what is successful with his patients. He doesn’t want to release complete protocols so the drug companies can cut him out of the money stream by creating patents around him. Maybe that is selfish. I’m sure he wants to get paid, and if I were him I would want to get paid too. He has good reason to be paranoid. So, I hear what you’re saying, but at the same time, I’m skeptical of your skepticism. I think you just like the sport of debate. I don’t think you’re really thinking about the torture of chemotherapy as an alternative, and I don’t think you’ve read the stories of cured patients. His success cannot come from what you claim is essentially a placebo at best. It’s working. Does that count for anything???

  234. #234 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2012

    About this Holy Grail Phase III trial that all Burzynski’s defenders use to prop themselves up:

    It’s only ONE trial that’s been approved, and only for children, and it dates back to 2009. His target for the start of the trial was Dec. 2011. He needs to round up 70 subjects (a tiny number of subjects for any Phase III trial, by the way).

    We’re now almost into May 2012 and the trial is still not even open for subject recruitment. It’s unlikely he will ever begin this mythical trial.

  235. #235 Chris
    April 28, 2012

    DQ, has he recruited any patients for that phase III clinical trial? It was supposed to start months ago. Let us look at it. Nope, it still says “This study is not yet open for participant recruitment.”

    Looking at the list, of the sixty one clinical trials only one has been completed. That is not a good track record for thirty years of research.

  236. #236 Lawrence
    April 28, 2012

    @DQ – don’t you think by publishing his results in a public medical journal, it would serve to protect his “interests” as opposed to keeping them under wraps?

    His “phase 3″ trial was supposed to start last year, but hasn’t yet – no reason given, even though he continues to “treat” patients.

    Since he doesn’t publish his results, how can you confirm his so-called successes?

    You also know he uses Chemo too, right?

    If I was going in for treatment, I would like to know that there is actual evidence to back up the efficacy of the protocol I was being given. In this case, all that has been provided is a bunch of stories, backed by the fact that Dr. B charges hundreds of thousands of dollars, when in the same circumstances with any other clinical trial, the patients aren’t charged a dime.

    There are plenty of legal mechanisms in place, should Dr. B need to protect his IP – in this case, though, because he isn’t providing actual results or data, it is a perfect cover for him to continue to siphon millions of dollars from his patients without any accountability at all.

    And, he can continue to claim to be a victim of the drug companies and FDA to boot, because his supporters love a “martyr.”

  237. #237 Bronze Dog
    April 28, 2012

    If anyone’s suppressing Burzynski’s research, it’s Burzynski. The only motivations I can think of are greed and delusion because he’s not doing what an honest, altruistic scientist would do.

    An honest scientist wouldn’t have any reason to delay publication of positive results for decades. If he got negative results, he would have moved onto more fruitful research long ago. If he suspected there was some flaw in the study, he would turn it over to peer review so they could engage in constructive criticism and he could start over and avoid those mistakes. Only a delusional scientist would keep testing after negative results, use cherry-picked anecdotes to falsely bolster his confidence and recruit test subjects, and avoid scientific scrutiny.

    An honest scientist wouldn’t charge patients ridiculous amounts to participate, because that would make the selection non-random, biasing the results and negating the study’s value. Patients who invest a lot of money into a treatment are also emotionally invested in interpreting their situation in a positive light. Statistical analysis is how we remove our rose-colored glasses.

    An altruistic scientist would instead pay for the study by asking for research grants and donations. He wouldn’t give out false promises of results, only that his treatment be given a chance to live up to his hopes. A con artist, however, would seek to make a profit by overcharging desperate patients for drugs that can be bought more cheaply. He would encourage people to spread cherry-picked testimonials to convince laypeople who don’t understand science. He wouldn’t publish his statistics and research methodology because that would allow scientists to discover the scam.

    An honest scientist wouldn’t take a long time to publish a study unless what he’s studying really and truly takes decades to gather the data and make conclusions from them. In the case of a long term cancer treatment study, he’d at least publish preliminary results of what happens in the first few years and then continue following the patients for longer increments. That way, if the initial results are promising, other scientists can try to replicate them, and not have to wait for decades.

    An altruistic scientist wouldn’t keep his research to himself. Science today depends on a culture of altruism. Scientists are expected to share information relatively freely. Science thrives with transparency and cooperation because new research depends on the reliability of existing knowledge. The era of the lone genius toiling in isolation is long dead because we’ve got good reason to think we’ve figured out all the “obvious” stuff. New research is about the fine details and nuances or the rare and exotic. A scientist who wants to find something new needs to know what others have already found out. Keeping your research secret from the world is downright Randian, because it depends on authoritarianism and the blind trust of consumers, instead of informed consent.

    If Burzynski is allowed to continue his scam, that sets a precedent for big pharmaceutical companies to do the same.

  238. #238 Narad
    April 28, 2012

    You said he simply renamed existing drugs, but he has many patents.

    Have you happened to read them? See if you might find some, ah, commonalities (aside from the obvious one of not really panning out).

  239. #239 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 28, 2012

    His success cannot come from what you claim is essentially a placebo at best. It’s working. Does that count for anything???

    If it were working, that would count for a great deal. “Working” in this case means that it provides results at least as good as the current standard of care. If you have high quality, statistically and scientifically sound evidence that this treatment works at least as well as the current standard of care, please share.

  240. #240 LW
    April 28, 2012

    Burzynski’s defender DQ @249 says that Burzynski doesn’t publish because it would cut off his income stream if others knew his protocol.

    In the first place, that is really reprehensible if he actually has a cure for any currently incurable cancer. He could save thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of lives just by releasing his protocol but he won’t because that would cut off his income stream, and DQ thinks that’s *understandable*? I think it’s utterly reprehensible. Or at least I would if I believed his claims.

    In the second place, I personally know a surgeon who came up with an effective treatment for a previously pretty intractable condition. What did he do? He did the clinical trials — not charging patients a penny for the treatment — and then he reported it in full: his protocol, the results in various patients, his hypothesis as to why it worked — everything. He gave lectures. He wrote follow-up papers. He did everything in his power to give the benefit to every patient he could.

    Did it cut into his income stream? Well, actually it couldn’t since unlike Burzynski he didn’t charge for experimental treatment. But he had all the patients he could handle because everyone knew he was the inventor. There’s a certain aura about the inventor that makes people want to see him even if others can do exactly the same thing.

    So I am totally unimpressed by this claim.

  241. #241 Militant Agnostic
    April 28, 2012

    Bronze Dog @253

    I hope you have that in a text file for quick pasting the next time a Burzynksi shill or apologist shows up. That is one of the best and most thorough smackdowns on the subject I have seen and we have had some good ones here.

  242. #242 Bronze Dog
    April 28, 2012

    I had considered making it a post on my blog. I think I’ll go ahead and post it and add appropriate links, later.

  243. #243 pv
    April 28, 2012

    Burzynski’s modus operandi is pretty much standard alternative-reality-medicine practice. Always jam tomorrow, and never any published or verifiable results. A marketing strategy predicated on exploiting people’s fears, and setting himself up as a saviour.

    In what way is Burzynski different from Bernie Madoff? Both rip off the savings of people trying to improve their future or protect themselves. In the case of Burzynski’s clients they are trying to save their lives. In the case of Madoff’s clients many were trying to provide for their old age.

    Madoff is now in prison, and rightly so. But what Burzynski does, it seems to me, is orders of magnitude worse and more disgusting because he exploits the dying and the resources and understandable desires of the relatives of the dying.

    All alt-reality-med is reprehensible because it is fraudulent and exploitative, but really is there anything more despicable than what Burzynski is doing? Why isn’t he behind bars?

  244. #244 B-rad
    May 3, 2012

    Wow. A lot of well educated people on this thread. I’m a bit distressed it disintegrated into emotionally driven silliness…but we are all human I guess.

    Regarding any problem: Our attitude on how we approach the issue has a great deal to do with how we form our understanding of results, whether they be motivation or demotivation to continue.

    I dare say, Orac, that you use the word “unfortunately”, “I hate to say”, etc. in alarming fashion in your article. You seem disappointed that some credit be given to Dr. B. I am concerned about your objectivity as such. But you are well educated, and seem a real professional. So kudos. Perhaps some introspection is in order to refresh your perspective.

    If we wish to solely focus on progress, then we would endeavour to focus on the results pertaining to gliomas, etc…and try to extrapolate from there…can we bridge such results into other types of malignancies? What are the mechanisms that have proven effective in the case of treatment of gliomas, and what can we do with that understanding?

    Instead, we focus on Dr. B and his monetary gain. All true. He seems to act in a proprietary fashion related to his research and treatment. A turn off, I get it. But is this truly relevant? Pharmaceutical companies have no scruples and are solely driven by profit (this is accepted knowledge). Does that mean that all of their drugs are ineffective.

    This avenue of critical analysis is a non starter. We seem to be mixing apples and oranges, and falling off topic. The objective is to focus on positive results, and drive forward to more positive results if they can truly be replicated. Are we thinking in this fashion? Truly?

    In addition, the propaganda that is Dr. B’s documentary (it is propaganda certainly) states openly that 3 out of 4 of his patients die with glioma. Yet, such a success rate is double/triple/etc. that of other modalities, with much less suffering…he seems to be open about that. So I am unsure why he is being labeled misleading as a “cure all.”

    A lot of people have passed, and more certainly will. So? Cancer is deadly, we all get this. Hence our interest. Again, perhaps we are off topic. Our focus on how he markets his treatments (target specific, tailored, etc). Yes, you dont like the labeling.

    Sure, again. Dr. B seems to have some businessman in him. So? What does that have to do with his results? Is he greedy. Maybe. So?

    And lastly, you focus often on derivatives of compounds, the fact that compounds (or their derivatives) are available at a cheaper rate somewhere else, the fact that these compounds,etc. have been in the realm of study for fifty years. So?

    I don’t understand. Please explain to a lay person. I am no genius, but buying bananas is not the same as a vial of Kcl (simplified, I know). But you get it. Again, he wants money, whether for his practice or to service his Mercedes. Ok, I get it. I don’t care about him as a person, I care about his data, and his positive results (few or many, whatever).

    I truly believe with all the brainpower on this thread, if you redirected your efforts to the study of the potential benefits (whether solely for glioma or other types)…the realm of cancer research would benefit greatly. No pharmaceutical companies required, because they are not to be trusted. Lets focus on his successes, and go from there.

    And forget peer review at this time. He is proprietary. It is his right. Perhaps unethical, but I dont have the luxury to care. The objective is to develop more and more positive results to save lives. So, we must broker some other form of cooperation with him. Maybe a better broker is in order here. More bees with honey…

    When you seek to discredit, you only discredit yourself.

    So the guy wants money. I get it. Expensive business he is in, and maybe he does drive a Mercedes. Who the hell cares. The children in his propaganda were not CG images…he has had some success…instead, this is the drivel. “Peer review”, “He charges a lot”… ????

    Please. He could be a billionaire octopus for all anyone cares. Why has he done well with gliomas? What can you scientists do with what we know about his successes? Lets try and build on this. Redirect your efforts, please.

  245. #245 Chris
    May 3, 2012

    B-rad:

    Why has he done well with gliomas? What can you scientists do with what we know about his successes?

    What evidence do we have that he has done well with gliomas? What successes? Where are the results of the clinical trials? Why is the first one on that list for gliomas not recruiting, when it was scheduled to start last year?

    How is asking those questions repeatedly “emotional driven silliness”?

  246. #246 novalox
    May 3, 2012

    @b-rad

    When he actually publishes some reseach about his “clinical trails” that can be critically analyzed (and no, propaganda “documentaries” don’t coun’t), then we can talk.

    Otherwise, judging by his refusal to publish, the unethicalness of his actually charging patients for his “trials”, and his harassment of people who question his “methods” via his “lawyers”, he deserves all the questions and scorn he gets.

  247. #247 B-rad
    May 3, 2012

    Chris,

    No desire to see objective data, studies would ever be considered emotionally driven silliness. Apologies if that was your impression.

    I believe the general consensus is that his modalities show some efficacy with glioma patients, as evidenced by the couple children highlighted in his propaganda whom have survived and prospered following his treatment. There seems to be some commentary saying same, though I am a lay man..so more research would be required to provide quotes.

    But imaging, etc shows remission. The “children” are now 20-25 years old. This seems convincing. But yes, I would like more data too. Perhaps we can broker that with a different approach.

  248. #248 Lawrence
    May 3, 2012

    @B-rad – you miss the point. We have no idea if he has been successful or not, because he has yet to publish the results of his work. It says something, as well, that other research groups that attempted to replicate his work had to abandon those efforts because the treatments, at face-value, were too toxic to continue to be used.

    As an educated group of people, we do demand evidence before accepting claims – and in this case, we have no evidence to speak of – so we are left with a Doctor (and I have to use the term loosely here) who has conducted his research over the course of 30 years, charging patients hundreds of thousands of dollars (whereas, your so-called Big Pharma charges nothing for clinical trials), starting numerous clinical trials as a means of “gaming” the FDA system, but produces no results that can be verified.

    “Big Pharma” is required to pass any new treatment or drug through a rigorous testing process & publish results of those trials for independent verification and replication. What about Dr. B places him above this process?

    What we have is a con artist, who has been allowed to take advantage of hundreds, if not thousands of desperate patients, all the while having him play the martyr card every time people try to demand actual evidence that he can do what he claims……seems pretty clear to me.

  249. #249 Chris
    May 3, 2012

    B-rad:

    I believe the general consensus is that his modalities show some efficacy with glioma patients, as evidenced by the couple children highlighted in his propaganda whom have survived and prospered following his treatment.

    We need the results of clinical trials, not two case reports. And there should be more evidence after thirty years of “research.”

    Even being a layman, you should have been able to understand that by the article and comments on this page. If you need help learning why there are issues with Burzynski’s lack of publishing results here are a couple of reading suggestions:

    Snake Oil Science: The Truth about Complementary and Alternative Medicine by R. Barker Bausell

    Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort Through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies by Sherry Seethaler

    Both books are easy to read, and sometimes humorous. They should both be available at your local library.

  250. #250 Lawrence
    May 3, 2012

    @B-rad – We all look forward to the results of your conversations with Dr. B & successfully getting him to release actual clinical data for study and replication….

  251. #251 b-rad
    May 3, 2012

    yup. i get it. lack of data to justify positive outcomes and further effort. logical. reasonable.

    but i want his data. so i am willing to accept (on the outside) his dubious proprietary practices to get it. he is just one man, and we don’t operate like that. but if he has anything that will help, i would like to get access for you scientific guys and gals to review it.

    there is some basis to support interest and effort in gaining access to his data. hence, this blog. but an overtly adversarial tone will not get us that access. im not being funny, i dont care who or what he is, including a rich octopus :)

    i just want his data to build upon. he wants to be paid for that. ok. fine. how much then?

  252. #252 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 3, 2012

    B-rad:

    I’ve said it before and others have said it more eloquently than me. IF Burysnki had any real breakthrough going on in his little clinic in Texas, he’d be shouting it from the rooftops. He’d win a Nobel Prize, be a worldwide hero and become a trillionaire. He’d be able to sell his treatment to the highest bidder, or license a chain of clinics around the world. And yet he’s hiding his breakthrough because we haven’t asked him nicely to show it us?

    He hasn’t shown any proof because he’s a fraud and his deceptive practices are the only way he can stay in business.

    And several people from the “movie” (i.e. commercial) and his website have died. No mentions, no memorials, no tributes.

    Oh, and one patient was dying while they were filming him for the movie but they used him in the final propaganda anyway.

    Can’t wait for this king of quacks to face the music with the TMB and lose his license.

  253. #253 Bronze Dog
    May 3, 2012

    The problem with Burzynski’s opacity and patient selection bias are suspicious on their own. He’s operating under the same conditions quacks do. If he was doing genuine scientific research, he wouldn’t be operating like that.

    Why should we give him special treatment? If he wants to convince us he’s right, he should publish his results in the medical journals like any other researcher. Until he provides evidence for his hypothesis, we’re justified in sticking with the null hypothesis: That his treatments don’t work.

  254. #254 Beamup
    May 3, 2012

    MSII is correct. If Burzynski actually had positive results, he would have published them. Full stop. Ergo, we can conclude with a fair degree of confidence that either he simply doesn’t bother to collect and analyze data, OR he does so and the results are negative.

    There is no “there” there.

  255. #255 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 3, 2012

    Oh, and B-rad, I’d suggest you read this story from the Houston Press, late 2008, where Burzynski reveals how mentally deranged he is:

    http://www.houstonpress.com/2009-01-01/news/cancer-doctor-stanislaw-burzynski-sees-himself-as-a-crusading-researcher-not-a-quack/

    In case you don’t feel like reading it all, here is the salient part where he calls the reporter, on the record, “a shit” with a “little brain” for daring to question him:

    “I have the right to do whatever research I want, okay?” he says, followed closely by, “I spent 42 years practicing medicine, doing research, and you are little man for asking such question, okay? Maybe in three years I get Nobel Prize, and you’ll look like a shit, okay, asking me such stupid questions, okay?”

    The Press explains that the reasoning behind the questions is this: Is Burzynski convinced that he’s done everything possible to get antineoplastons federally approved, and thus covered by insurance, thus giving a chance to those dying children whose parents can’t afford the steep payments? But when pressed as to why — even after the prolonged litigation with the FDA — he still hasn’t been able to prove his treatment’s efficacy, he is equally offended.

    “You know why?” he says. “Because I came to this country with $15 in my pocket, okay? Because I didn’t speak English when I came to this country. I learned it by myself. And in order for me to do what I am doing now, I needed to establish a pharmaceutical company. I needed to establish the research institute, okay, from the scratch, okay? And I need to do all of this from my own money, which I am, okay? How many years it would take for you to do it if you come to the country [from] like, say, Afghanistan?”

    The Press also asks why, if one of the biggest barriers to sharing a promising cancer treatment with the rest of the world is his language skills, he hasn’t enlisted the help of English-speaking scientists.

    Burzynski laughs that one off. “Listen your little brain to this thing: I came to this country with $15, okay? How can you enlist somebody, paying him $5 [out of] $15, okay?”

    Which leads to one of the most troubling aspects of the Burzynski saga: Why have no credible oncologists stood up for him? Why don’t oncologists regularly refer their patients to his clinic? Why aren’t the greatest minds in medicine calling for the swift approval of antineoplastons?

    If they are out there, the Press needs to hear from them. Burzynski obliges as best he can, throwing out the name of perhaps his biggest ally in medicine (using that term loosely). That is Julian Whitaker, an alternative medicine practitioner who claims to be “board-certified in antiaging medicine.” That could be true — it’s just a question of which board he’s talking about. One thing is for sure: It’s not the American Board of Medical Specialties, which is what most doctors are talking about when they say “board-­certified.” The ABMS does not recognize “anti­-aging” as a medical specialty. When asked for the names of supporting doctors who don’t have Web sites featuring “Rollback Savings!” on their lines of nutritional supplements, Burzynski eventually comes up with Bruce Cohen, a brain tumor specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. Cohen did not return calls.

    Does this sound like the kind of mentally-stable, rational person you’d give a quarter-million dollars to and trust with your life?

    And B-rad, are you aware of the mythical Phase III trial that will never get started?

  256. #256 madder
    May 3, 2012

    To Beamup’s comment, I would add:

    “…he simply doesn’t bother to collect and analyze data, and is therefore not actually conducting clinical trials at all…”

    not to nitpick, but just to hammer the point for benefit of b-rad and others. The two options seem to be that the data either don’t exist or are negative. Neither one helps Burzynski.

  257. #257 JGC
    May 3, 2012

    I believe the general consensus is that his modalities show some efficacy with glioma patients, as evidenced by the couple children highlighted in his propaganda whom have survived and prospered following his treatment.

    I’m afraid what you believe isn’t true: there is no general consensus that Burzynski’s ‘modalities’ show efficiacy in treating glioma patients, even if we were to take claims that a couple children highlighted in his propaganda have survived and prospered following his treatment at face value. We’re prevented from reaching any such concensus by Burzynski’s silence: his failure to publish results of his trials.

    but i want his data. so i am willing to accept (on the outside) his dubious proprietary practices to get it.

    You will never get his data, however, because Burzynski isn’t interested in demonstrating antineoplastin therapy works. He’s only interested in continung to be allowed to attract more and more desparate people willing to pay exorbitant sums to receive it to his clinic.

  258. #258 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 3, 2012

    From The New York Times way way back in 1996 about Burzynski. Nothing has changed in 16 years!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/24/us/to-the-hopeless-a-cancer-cure-beckons.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    Here’s a nugget:

    Most researchers who find a promising treatment publish their results in a prestigious medical journal. Dr. Burzynski said he had submitted a paper to The New England Journal of Medicine, but that it had been rejected. “So to hell with them,” he said.

    Dr. Burzynski said that as with Einstein and Pasteur, history will prove him right. Cures like his, he said, “have never happened before in medical history, so if The New England Journal of Medicine refuses to publish my paper, why should I waste my time with these fools?”

    The F.D.A. has not approved antineoplastons because Dr. Burzynski has never completed clinical trials, controlled tests involving patients taking a new drug intended to prove whether a drug works and is safe. The agency will not discuss trials that are under way.

    The indictment of Dr. Burzynski states that “between 1983 and March 24, 1995, Dr. Burzynski had enrolled and treated only two patients under F.D.A.-authorized clinical trials.”

    Dean Mouscher, who is directing the clinical trials for Dr. Burzynski, said Dr. Burzynski was too busy treating patients, running an antineoplastons manufacturing plant, and conducting his own research to enroll patients in clinical trials to satisfy the F.D.A. Mr. Mouscher said he himself had a bachelor’s degree in French and “no medical background.”

    Pressed by the courts, Dr. Burzynski has put about 400 patients in clinical trials approved by the agency, Mr. Mouscher said.

    “We saw the handwriting on the wall and started putting everyone in clinical trials,” Mr. Mouscher said. The details of clinical trials of new drugs are considered proprietary, the F.D.A. said, but Mr. Mouscher said the agency was allowing Dr. Burzynski to give his drug only to patients for whom all other therapies had failed.

    Dr. Burzynski said he already had evidence from his patients’ experience. Some see their tumors shrink and others are cured, he said. And, he said, he can provide doctors who will back him up.

    One doctor he suggested, Dr. Bruce Cohen, a neurooncologist at the Cleveland Clinic, said that at the request of an insurance company he had a single session with a boy who had gone to Dr. Burzynski in lieu of receiving chemotherapy for a brain tumor. “His tumor did shrink on the therapy he received from Dr. Burzynski,” he said. That was four years ago, Dr. Cohen said. And, he added, “that was the first and last time I saw that child.”

  259. #259 ThisWebsiteIsOwnedByPharmComp
    May 7, 2012

    Is this article is a joke? It seems owned by a Pharma company. The reason why the FDA and Texas Medical boards are after him is because of the Pharm lobbyists. He owns that patents and they are trying everything to do to get him put in jail, thrown out, etc.

    Burzyinski has helped cure so many people after their Oncologists have already given up on them. As is the case with most Alternative treatments.

  260. #260 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 7, 2012

    @275 – do you have any evidence to back that up?

  261. #261 JGC
    May 7, 2012

    Burzynski’s cured so many people? If we assume that’s the case just for the sake of argument, one has to ask he would expect the FDA, the Texas Medical association or anyone else to ever know since he’s never bothered to publish the results of all those ‘clinical traals’ he keeps unethically charging patients to be a part of.

    Maybe we can start by asking you that question, ThisWebsite–how do you know he’s cured anyone? I mean, you do have actual evidence to back up your claim, I trust–something other than a collection of patient testimonials.

    Right?

  262. #262 Bronze Dog
    May 7, 2012

    The irony: The pharma companies would love to be able to operate the way Burzynski does. They wouldn’t have to do expensive clinical trials, just bluff about the “proven” efficacy of their new drugs by cherrypicking testimonials.

    To support Burzynski is to support the greediest parts of the pharmaceutical industry and undermine scientific progress.

  263. #263 Chris
    May 7, 2012

    Pharma Shill Gambit:

    Burzyinski has helped cure so many people after their Oncologists have already given up on them. As is the case with most Alternative treatments.

    Prove it. Show us the real scientific evidence. Post the titles, dates and journals that show the results of the Phase 3 clinical trials.

  264. #264 assassin of capitalist pigs
    May 12, 2012

    So who is paying your bills Orac? Pharma or the FDA?
    Whore!

  265. #265 novalox
    May 12, 2012

    I certainly hope that the poster assassin of capitalist pigs is a poe because that was such an idiotic post.

    But judging by the low intelligence of the post by the troll, I have a feeling that there may be a sock puppet with a inferiority complex or a burzynski fanboi.

    @assassin of capitalist pigs
    Like stated before, post some real scientific evidence.

  266. #266 herr doktor bimler
    May 12, 2012

    “Maybe in three years I get Nobel Prize, and you’ll look like a shit, okay, asking me such stupid questions, okay?”

    This was three years and three months ago. Oh dear, another deadline missed.

  267. #267 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    Dok–that’s nothing. Did you see the interview I posted from The New York Times way back in 1996? Nothing has changed in 16 years!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/24/us/to-the-hopeless-a-cancer-cure-beckons.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    Listen your little brain to this, okay? (from 1996, remember…)

    The F.D.A. has not approved antineoplastons because Dr. Burzynski has never completed clinical trials, controlled tests involving patients taking a new drug intended to prove whether a drug works and is safe. The agency will not discuss trials that are under way.

    The indictment of Dr. Burzynski states that “between 1983 and March 24, 1995, Dr. Burzynski had enrolled and treated only two patients under F.D.A.-authorized clinical trials.”

    Dean Mouscher, who is directing the clinical trials for Dr. Burzynski, said Dr. Burzynski was too busy treating patients, running an antineoplastons manufacturing plant, and conducting his own research to enroll patients in clinical trials to satisfy the F.D.A. Mr. Mouscher said he himself had a bachelor’s degree in French and “no medical background.”

    Pressed by the courts, Dr. Burzynski has put about 400 patients in clinical trials approved by the agency, Mr. Mouscher said.

    “We saw the handwriting on the wall and started putting everyone in clinical trials,” Mr. Mouscher said. The details of clinical trials of new drugs are considered proprietary, the F.D.A. said, but Mr. Mouscher said the agency was allowing Dr. Burzynski to give his drug only to patients for whom all other therapies had failed.

    Dr. Burzynski said he already had evidence from his patients’ experience. Some see their tumors shrink and others are cured, he said. And, he said, he can provide doctors who will back him up.

    One doctor he suggested, Dr. Bruce Cohen, a neurooncologist at the Cleveland Clinic, said that at the request of an insurance company he had a single session with a boy who had gone to Dr. Burzynski in lieu of receiving chemotherapy for a brain tumor. “His tumor did shrink on the therapy he received from Dr. Burzynski,” he said. That was four years ago, Dr. Cohen said. And, he added, “that was the first and last time I saw that child.”

    **************

    On a recent visit he presided over his clinic and showed no trace of modesty. Short, stocky and frenetic with crinkly blue eyes and a mustache, he compared himself to Einstein and Pasteur. “I am doing this,” he said, “because I am trying to help humanity.”

    **************

    He is certainly successful financially. The indictment claims that his gross income from 1988 to 1994 was $40 million, and that he took home $1 million a year. His practice is solely devoted to antineoplastons, and his clinic is the only one offering the treatment in the United States.

  268. #268 j
    May 12, 2012

    4 or 5 grand juries and no indictments!!!! And found not guity on another! And real people alive today because of it. All the proof I need! Obviously its not going to work on everyone. But even if it works 10% of the time its worth it. And anyone whose been through chemotherapy will tell u that!!

  269. #269 Chris
    May 12, 2012

    So what? What does the science say? j, show us the title, journals and dates of the PubMed indexed papers that show it even works 10% of the time.

  270. #270 Bronze Dog
    May 12, 2012

    I have more confidence in scientific data about scientific questions than I do in the legal system. The local legal system has far more loopholes and potential for corruption than the diverse international scientific community.

    It’s funny how with alties, state institutions are either an absolute, unquestionable authority or an corrupt, monolithic coalition of all the evils in the world, dependent on which way the wind blows.

  271. #271 Chief Critic
    May 13, 2012

    Your story is so full of shit! You are obviously in the crotch of big pharma’s RACE AGAINST THE CURE of cancer. Anyone who believes what they are told by the gov’t, FDA or Big Pharma is a puppet and a fool. You should be ashamed of yourself because anyone who knows about Dr. Burzynski know he has done more to help cancer patients than any other doctor(=whores) out there. Fuck you and your fuzzy science.

  272. #272 Nathan
    May 17, 2012

    Dr.Burzynski saved my mothers life

  273. #273 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 17, 2012

    Prove it then. Details please, not a six-word sentence fragment.

  274. #274 herr doktor bimler
    May 17, 2012

    You are obviously in the crotch of big pharma’s RACE AGAINST THE CURE of cancer.< ?i>

    Best mixed metaphor EVER.

  275. #275 herr doktor bimler
    May 17, 2012

    You are obviously in the crotch of big pharma’s RACE AGAINST THE CURE of cancer.
    Best mixed metaphor EVER.

  276. #276 Ender
    May 17, 2012

    Hey! My doctor(=whores) is the best doctor(=whores) there is, and has cured over 130% of Cancer in his patient! How dare you blacken his name you sheeple?
    He can’t publish his results because the FDA hates results and BIG PHARMA (=WHORES) keeps paying them secret money to stop him.
    Now I would like you to apologise to all doctor(=whores) out there for your foul sheeple calumny.

  277. #277 kabjoly@yahoo.com
    May 20, 2012

    Why did you spend so much time to write this bs article? or who is paying you to do so? Bottom line he’s saving people’s lives something you can’t even appreciate.

  278. #278 Thomas
    May 20, 2012

    “Why did you spend so much time to write this bs article? ”

    Wow. You’ve laid out the facts in such a detailed fashion, with well-documented evidence, that there is simply no way to doubt the accuracy of your conclusions… Not.

  279. #279 starr
    May 20, 2012

    he has SAVED LIVES.

    end of article.

  280. #280 Shay
    May 20, 2012

    Then why doesn’t he publish his findings, star, so other desperately ill cancer patients can benefit from them?

  281. #281 Science Mom
    May 20, 2012

    Re: kabjoly and starr; well we are dealing with someone who thought Marc Stephens was a spiffy idea. Why not these two?

  282. #282 elburto
    May 21, 2012

    Shay- who do you think you are, using logic and asking for facts!

    We should just believe what Bullshitski says, trust his weird little sycophants, or else be revealed as evil allopathic tools of teh BIG PHARMA!!!!111

    PS- Stan cured my pet goldfish of fin cancer. It was worth every penny to see Splashy Shinysides well again. A bargain at only £5,318,008

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