Respectful Insolence

So now we know.

Back when it was announced that the second Burzynski movie by Eric Merola would be screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 27, Merola announced that there would be a “special celebrity guest.” Those of us who have been following Burzynski for a while scratched our heads, not knowing who it could likely be. We considered and rejected multiple possibilities: Suzanne Somers, Ralph Moss, and many others. Well, now we know who would be giving the celebrity endorsement for the Burzynski Clinic, and, no, it’s not Josh Duhamel.

It’s Fabio Lanzoni:

Yes, that Fabio. The same guy who did these commercials:

On thing I didn’t know about Fabio was that he was also a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society years ago, and appeared in this famous poster:

enhanced-buzz-15510-1300638798-2

Not surprisingly, the interviewer doesn’t fail to mention this, nor does Fabio.

The question, of course, is why. Why did Fabio fall under the spell of Stanislaw Burzynski, to the point that he is appearing in Eric Merola’s promotional videos and spouting misinformation about cancer? As is often the case when this happens, the answer boils down to a relative with cancer. Fabio tells us that his sister has ovarian cancer, and she is receiving treatment at the Burzynski Clinic. He further tells us that her conventional doctors said they didn’t have much to offer other than palliative care; so they went to the Burzynski Clinic. The story, as we hear so often, is that his sister is doing much better after only three weeks. Of course, he doesn’t mention whether her tumors have shown any sign of response, but he can’t say enough good things about Burzynski, calling him a genius and saying that he has the cure for cancer and that he compares favorably to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He also slams the American Cancer Society, for which he was once a spokesperson, pulling out the usual accusations that it doesn’t spend enough on research and spends too much on overhead. This is a complaint about the ACS that doctors pushing alternative cancer cures have been pushing for decades now.

Even remembering that Fabio’s sister has cancer, it was hard for the cancer doctor in me not to be outraged as Fabio parroted lines straight out of a cancer quack’s playbook in the service of Stanislaw Burzynski.

Don’t get me wrong. I can definitely sympathize with Fabio based on his sister’s illness. That’s truly horrible, and ovarian cancer is a bad actor that all too often kills women in their prime. (Think Gilda Radner.) What I cannot sympathize with are the swaths of burning stupid he lays down in the video above. The standard pro-Burzynski tropes are all there: The only “approved” treatment for cancer is “cut, poison, burn.” Chemotherapy kills more people than cancer (a lie). Radiation is horrible and causes cancer. Not surprisingly, Fabio can’t understand why we would use radiation against cancer because it causes cancer! I mean, seriously. That’s Oncology 101. Radiation treats the cancer now at the cost of an increased risk of cancer decades down the road. In other words, it can save your life but, as is the case with most things in medicine, there are tradeoffs. Here’s a hint: You don’t suffer the risk of an increased risk of cancer twenty years down the road if you die of your existing cancer.

Fabio then carpetbombs the audience with stupid even more by telling people to ask the Japanese about radiation because they know about it from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I kid you not. He then concludes by urging people to support Dr. Burzynski because he is the way to the cure for cancer.

Of course, one wonders whether Fabio, after having criticized chemotherapy so harshly, realizes that Dr. Burzynski’s antineoplastons are, in fact, chemotherapy with significant toxicity and that Dr. Burzynski also uses a lot of chemotherapy in his “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy.” Somehow, I doubt it. Burzynski’s arrogance of ignorance knows no bounds. Fabio can’t see through it because he has a loved one who is suffering from advanced stage cancer, and to him Burzynski is the cure. While I can understand why he might think that Burzynski is the only person who can save his sister, even so, I would have hoped that Fabio would have learned enough during his time as a spokesperson for the ACS not to parrot such nonsense about cancer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. No one knows how he or she will react to a loved one dying of cancer. However, even such duress, while it might explain it to some extent, does not entirely excuse the spouting of pure nonsense in the service of an unproven cancer cure that could endanger other patients by enticing them to go to the Burzynski Clinic too.

Note: An earlier version of this post contained a snarky Photoshopped image of Fabio that probably went too far. After my mistake was pointed out to me, I removed it. My bad. Sorry about that.

Comments

  1. #1 Pareidolius
    April 30, 2013

    As delicious a target as the preposterous character Fabio expounding on any science may be, the person Fabio is going through the process of losing a loved one to cancer. That’s not funny. Mockery is not called for and will be pounced on with vigor as proof that we are heartless and evil. I would apologize and remove the snarky image. I say this seriously. As a marketing professional. And you knowI love me some snark . . .

  2. #2 Orac
    April 30, 2013

    Yeah, you’re probably right; so I got rid of it. However, although Fabio deserves to be cut some slack (at least by me because I’m a cancer doc) because his sister has advanced ovarian cancer, he’s not just any random celebrity. He is a former ACS spokesperson and should know better than to be parroting the nonsense about chemotherapy and radiation that he is parroting, and his attack on the ACS in this interview is a betrayal. Sister or no sister, the misinformation he is spreading needs to be countered.

  3. #3 Bob Blaskiewicz
    United States
    April 30, 2013

    My god, he has fabulous hair. And he’s like 80.

    I suspect his sister is doing the “targeted therapy” track, since ANP has been shut down for some time, according to Merola. He’s got the talking points down, however. I do hope his sister improves.

  4. #4 Orac
    April 30, 2013

    No, Fabio’s only in his 50s.

    You’re almost certainly correct, though, that’s what his sister is doing, which is why I pointed out the disconnect between Fabio’s attacks on chemotherapy as deadly and the fact that, if his sister is undergoing Burzynski’s incompetently administered “personalized gene targeted therapy,” she will be receiving lots of chemotherapy and expensive targeted agents, which are also chemotherapy. Of course, Fabio is rich enough to afford it; so he might not appreciate how badly average people who seek out Burzynski get burned financially.

  5. #5 lilady
    April 30, 2013

    And here I was thinking, that the mysterious guest was going to be David Axelrod…to admit that he had a private viewing of the Burzynski movie and he supports Burzynski’s *treatments*.

    There aren’t words to describe how I feel about using Fabio and his sister as Burzynski’s latest publicity-seeking stunt for cancer quackery.

  6. #6 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 30, 2013

    I hope Fabio’s appearance fees offset the cost of his sister’s treatment at least a little bit.

  7. #7 Rebecca Fisher
    April 30, 2013

    Fabio does have a track record of close encouters with quacks…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8PgcCe3P_c

  8. #8 Guy Chapman
    April 30, 2013

    Has anyone contacted his PR to point out that he’s been duped?

  9. #9 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    April 30, 2013

    I’ll never look at another bodice ripper in the same way…..

  10. #10 herr doktor bimler
    April 30, 2013

    Fabio does have a track record of close encouters with quacks
    “Duck!”

  11. #11 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    April 30, 2013

    He is a former ACS spokesperson and should know better than to be parroting the nonsense about chemotherapy and radiation that he is parroting, and his attack on the ACS in this interview is a betrayal.

    I’m sorry but why should he know better? He’s a bubble-headed quasi celebrity and didn’t even know what he was doing for the ACS even though he endorsed a valiant message. Celebrities appeal to the lowest common denominator and are not particularly savvy with regards to matters of science and medicine. I’m not sure why they are being held to a higher standard. That said, he of course should be countered.

  12. #12 AdamG
    April 30, 2013

    Cookie please

  13. #13 lilady
    April 30, 2013

    Wow, what a coincidence that Fabio disses the American Cancer Society and the Wikipedia entry for the ACS goes up with “Scandals” and “Criticisms”

    Scroll down to see the time and date that the article was “modified”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Cancer_Society

  14. [...] Eric Merola and Stanislaw Burzynski’s secret weapon against The Skeptics™: Fabio Lanzoni (I kid … Orac, Respectful Insolence, 30/04/13 [...]

  15. #15 Daniel
    April 30, 2013

    “[The ACS] doesn’t spend enough on research and spends too much on overhead.”

    …such as poster campaigns with celebrity spokespersons. Hmmm.

  16. #16 kruuth
    April 30, 2013

    Not to sound crass here, or to diminish things, but I don’t really think Fabio has much of an authority on anything medicine. Kind of like the guest celebrity at a talk about missile defense turning out to be Bill Murray. Wait, no, Bill murray was once in a movie with missiles so that makes him even more(albeit very little) qualified than Fabio.

  17. #17 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2013

    @ kruuth:

    In woo-ville, not being an authority on medical issues isn’t a hindrance- more like par for the course.

    If you look over websites, you’ll find that they over-value opinion and de-value data unless it reflects their opinion.
    Professionalism is a “cult” and ‘experts’ are involved in conspiracies with the powers-that-be : thus non-experts are superior because their opinions aren’t compromised but illustrate their souls’ truth or suchlike.

  18. #18 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    April 30, 2013

    @Kruuth

    That’s the fact, Jack. I mean…Bill Murray had the EM 50 Urban Assault Vehicle. He went to Czechoslovakia with it (granted, it’s not like he went to Moscow or anything, but it sure beats Wisconsin!)

  19. #19 Pareidolius
    Shirtless, on a windswept cliff in the Hebrides. Avert your eyes . . .
    April 30, 2013

    Well, I have to spend the rest of the day not thinking up and rendering Fabio parodies. Then, I just look at my sister’s picture, who I lost to lung cancer in ’06, and it get’s even harder to resist because she would have thought up much better (read hilariously evil) scenarios for me to illustrate. I miss her terribly and I hope Fabio doesn’t have to go through that, no matter where he stands on Count Stan.

  20. #20 JGC
    April 30, 2013

    You’d think that even the most gullible would realize that when the question “What credible evidence suggests antineoplastons are effective at treating advanced stage cancers?” is met with “Umm…look! Fabio!” there’s a real cognitive disconnect going on.

  21. #21 Old Rockin' Dave
    Where the water tastes like wine, but it's Manischewitz Concord
    April 30, 2013

    I wonder if there’s any truth to the rumor that Burzynski is changing his clinic’s name to “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Science”.

  22. #22 Edith Prickly
    momentarily rendered snarkless
    April 30, 2013

    Well, if we needed any further proof that Scamley is all about marketing rather than science….

    And while I don’t think it’s at all funny that Fabio’s sister is being lied to by Burzynski, the idea of Eric Merola trying to get the crowd all excited about a guy whose career was based on being a live-action prop for romance novel covers – it’s beyond parody. I think I’ll just leave my head on my desk for a while.

  23. #23 Vasha
    April 30, 2013

    Well, don’t diss the guy just because he’s a model. Some in that profession have plenty going on in their heads, I bet you could even find scientists and doctors who’ve done modelling. That said, Fabio has amply demonstrated that he in fact doesn’t have much sensible to say on any subject. Criticize the person not the stereotype!

  24. #25 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    April 30, 2013

    Well, don’t diss the guy just because he’s a model. Some in that profession have plenty going on in their heads,…

    And those few keep their mouths shut. Celebrity endorsements are ridiculous no matter what they are endorsing because they really aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed and it’s just another gig be it for the money or emotionally-driven.

  25. #26 The Midwesterner
    An office building
    April 30, 2013

    According to Wikipedia, Fabio was born 3/15/59 so he’s not quite 80. As to his ability to think and reason, there isn’t much evidence here, but it’s not very helpful for skeptics to make broad assumptions about one’s intelligence and/or ability to think just because of one’s professiont. Can’t we just stick to saying Fabio is grossly uninformed (and no doubt horrified by what he likely realizes will be his sister’s fate) and is doing a disservice to anyone who takes him seriously?

  26. #27 Edith Prickly
    April 30, 2013

    @Vasha – point taken, but my intent wasn’t to dismiss Fabio for being a professional spokesmodel. It was to mock Merola/Burzynski for using him in that capacity, as though his endorsement proves Burzynski’s scam treatment works.

  27. #28 lilady
    April 30, 2013

    A little more medical history on Fabio’s sister, courtesy of the Burzynski movie comment on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mkoz3SW5tc

    “The world famous Fabio Lanzoni—who is also a former American Cancer Society spokesperson—attended the April 27 Newport Beach screening of “Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business: Part II” and spoke out about the failures and corruption of the Cancer Industry. He also recently rescued his sister from near death in Milan, Italy while she was undergoing treatment for stage IV ovarian cancer and brought her, in his words, “to the best cancer doctor in the world”.

    And, today’s multiple “revisions” are on the Wikipedia American Cancer Society site:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Cancer_Society

  28. #29 herr doktor bimler
    April 30, 2013

    You mean ‘Zoolander’ was *not* a documentary?

  29. #30 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 30, 2013

    As someone born more or less in the neighborhood of that date, I appreciate his age being referred to as “not quite 80″.

    Where’s my cane?

  30. #31 herr doktor bimler
    April 30, 2013

    He also recently rescued his sister from near death in Milan, Italy while she was undergoing treatment for stage IV ovarian cancer

    Rescued her from treatment? What? Was she being held captive in a clinic?
    Perhaps she had been brainwashed so as to think that the treatment she was receiving was her best medical option… leaving Fabio with no option other than to force his way into the ward (brushing nurses and doctors aside) and carry her away over his shoulder despite her protestations and feeble struggles, in approved bodice-ripper style.

    The sister does not appear to have a voice here.

  31. #32 prn
    April 30, 2013

    It would be useful to have a little more detail about F’s perception and perspective here, assuming the man is not a total simpleton. However easy that may be as a former mega beefcake.

    Was she wasted in some public facility due to malnutrition, suffering great chemo toxicity, and/or effects of inadequately responding tumors? Any favorable change, however simple or temporary, is going to buy a lot of credibility with naive pts. In terms of QoL, normal oncology leaves a lot of spare change on the table.

    While I might reflexively say F made a mistake, any improvement, however temporary or suboptimal, reflects the normal patients’/families’ search and lurch for better treatment than “before”. SB must gain of patients by a lot by his PR presence, whether positive or negative, as “heap big alternative”.

  32. #33 lilady
    April 30, 2013

    Okay guys, I’ve posted twice about the many “revisions” (April 29th and April 30th), listed on the Wikipedia “American Cancer Society” website…with the *hope* that someone will explain to me the “revision policy” on Wikipedia.

    @ prn If Fabio’s sister has Stage IV cancer, she is receiving palliative care…

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovariancancer/detailedguide/ovarian-cancer-staging

  33. #34 mho
    April 30, 2013

    just some reminders–palliative care and hospice care are not the same thing. Palliative care can have the goal of putting a patient into remission. The patient probably won’t be cured, but may live many more years.
    I would suspect that most cancer patients who are still in treatment and who travel internationally utilize a wheelchair. Fatigue is a problem with cancer patients both from the illness and from the treatment.
    However, its also quite possible that once home, with rest, that patient would NOT need a wheelchair for everyday activities.
    “In a wheelchair” does not necessarily indicate end stage disease.
    We also don’t know when his sister began seeing Burz. I imagine it’s premature to be talking about the success of the treatment.

  34. #35 thenewme
    April 30, 2013

    As much as I sympathize with him for his sister’s situation, I can’t cut him any slack at all for his blatantly ignorant statements regarding cancer like saying chemo kills more patients than cancer. Never mind all the conspiracy claims or over-the-top Burzynski praise. GMAFB.

    Merola may be even more desperate than I imagined (!) if Fabio is the best shill he could come up with. It would be hysterical if it wasn’t so tragic for cancer patients who will suffer.

  35. #36 Narad
    April 30, 2013

    Okay guys, I’ve posted twice about the many “revisions” (April 29th and April 30th), listed on the Wikipedia “American Cancer Society” website…with the *hope* that someone will explain to me the “revision policy” on Wikipedia.

    It’s unclear to me what you’re concerned about. The changes themselves seem pretty inocuous.

  36. #37 lilady
    April 30, 2013

    @ mho: Fabio, stated that his sister, was “near death” due to her treatment for Stage IV ovarian cancer. Palliative care/hospice care, seem to have the same meaning in Italy.

    http://www.eapcnet.eu/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=dlhiIqMEGGE%3D&tabid=752

    @ Narad: I’m not certain that the multiple “revisions” are not the handiwork of DJT…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Suspected_Wikipedia_sockpuppets_of_Didymus_Judas_Thomas

  37. #38 Sadie Burke
    April 30, 2013

    Wow. As someone currently on the receiving end of cut/poison/burn, I can say that it’s definitely not pleasant. However, I’ve made it to day 20 or so of radiation and I bear no resemblance to a victim of an atomic bomb. I’m also on a 24/7 chemo pump (5-fu) and so far the side effects of real chemo have been much easier to deal with than the constant need to drink water and resulting hospitalizations from Dr. B’s “non-toxic” antineoplastons.

    I know that this is just a testimonial vs. a testimonial, but people invariably respond to reasoned posts about the science (or lack thereof) behind Dr. B’s treatments with “but have compassion for the FAMILIES.” Compassion is applying science to disease to help patients survive. And yes, tradeoffs occur. I know I’d rather die of cancer at 50 or 60 than 35.

  38. #39 c0nc0rdance
    May 1, 2013

    *shrugs* Best wishes to his sister and her whole family. I have nothing but sympathy for the victims of the Burzynski Clinic.

    The shame is that MD Anderson, just down the street, has made major strides in ACTUALLY treating advanced ovarian cancer, at least on the research side.

    See: (Front Oncol. 2013;3:58.)
    “Enhanced Cytotoxic Effects of Combined Valproic Acid and the Aurora Kinase Inhibitor VE465 on Gynecologic Cancer Cells”

    This is ACTUAL gene-targeted therapy that builds on a mechanistic understanding of what causes specific ovarian cancer cellular events leading to tumor formation. They aren’t just running CGH arrays and calling it a day. Admittedly, I don’t know that solid research like this always translates into clinical practice, but people like Burzynski are selling the castle in the sky that these researchers are desperately trying to build a foundation under.

  39. #40 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Merola posted a bit more information on Fabio’s sister on his informercial Facebook page. The entire Q&A, he “promises” will up in a few days.

    Carolyn, wait until the full Q&A session is up – she failed 28 rounds of chemo, exhausted all radiation she could endure. She was almost dead before going to the Burzynski Clinic, now she is going out to restaurants, etc.

  40. #41 Khani
    May 1, 2013

    #40 Marc

    “failed 28 rounds of chemo?” Is it me, or is that blaming the patient? Do real doctors say patients “fail” chemo?

  41. #42 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 1, 2013

    So who’s interviewing him in the first video? Isn’t that Lola Glaudini, who used to be in Criminal Minds? Don’t tell me they recruited her, too? And if they needed a celebrity, people have actually seen her in this century. Probably not her, I guess…

  42. #43 SW
    May 1, 2013

    @lilady (#33&#37)
    I’ve checked and neither the changes nor the discussion style of “MrBill3″ look like something DJT would write – the changes are about the ACS discriminating against an atheist organisation (refusing to accept donations from them) and unlike DJT, when “MrBill3″ found out his contributions were undone he took the criticism at the article’s talk page to heart and looked for a better (i.e. compliant with Wikipedia’s sourcing policy) source.

  43. #44 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    lilady,

    Maybe your DJT “spidey sense” is tingling because he immortalized you in the latest post on his blog. He’s still harping on the “censorship” on the Forbes piece (what is it…almost two weeks ago?) and is trying to bait you to respond on his blog.

    Far be it for me to tell you what to do, but I hope you resist the temptation to feed his ego by paying attention to him.

    His latest Twitter strategy, using yet another handle, is to merely retweet snippets of other comments (ironically, most of them vigorously anti-Burzynski comments) and then link to his Reddit pages, which in turn link to his blog. At last count he’s done this 93 times. I hope a Twitter user (I’m not) reports him yet agan for abuse. If there are any Reddit members here (I’m not) it would be fun to vote down his pages and banish them to the obscurity they deserve.

    He is seriously in need of attention and is obsessed with responding to each and every comment that appears on the Forbes article and here on Orac’s blog.

    And before you say I’m playing right into hands by reading his “stuff” and giving him publicity, I only glance at his turds once in a while for amusement and with ridicule, lthe same way I look at Alex Jones’s conspiracy nutball rants or Mikey Adams’s nonsense.

  44. #45 MedTek
    May 1, 2013

    The real crime is that they are leaving people under the impression that all these patients are getting ANP treatment, when in reality they’re just getting standard, approved chemo used off-label. Classic bait and switch, rope them in with the “non-toxic”, “alternative to chemo” treatment touted by numerous shills and credulous bloggers.

  45. #46 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Fabio is to Burzynski as Kirstie Alley is to scientology: a washed-up, irrelevant 80s has-been laughingstock who will ultimately turn out to be a liability to the cause rather than an asset. Even on Merola’s Facebook page a couple of usual sycophants questioned who Fabio is and/or ridiculoing him.

    All that aside, I do sincerely hope things go well for his sister under the circumstances and despite the odds.

  46. #47 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Er, that should have read ‘ridiculed”. I should know better than to post at 5 a.m. after no sleep.

  47. #48 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Reverend,

    Definitely not Lola G. Lola is much hotter. And probably a decade older than the interviewer, although there is a passing resemblance.

    Lola was great in a short-lived show called The Handler which starred Joey “Pants” Pantoliano, the psychotic, homicidal Ralph Cifaretto from The Sopranos. Of course Lola was also in a few episodes of The Sopranos playing an FBI agent assigned to Adriana.

    Gawd, I miss that show. And Lola. Cue The Kinks.

    Lola in a bikini. Excuse the sexism.

    http://www.lazygirls.info/Lola_Glaudini/Lola_Glaudini_FqIlR3V

  48. #49 Andreas Johansson
    May 1, 2013

    Obligatory Fabio who?

    What really makes me curious, however, is why RI nowadays has 2 little checkboxes below “submit comment” with a label “Benachrichtige mich über nachfolgende Kommentare per E-Mail” (German for “inform me of following comments by email”). Why two of them and why in German?

  49. #50 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    It’s the illuminati collecting our e-mail addresses. They send them to Hitler, who then releases flouride gas through our internet connections to keep us docile and stupid. Then the Satanists take over and hand over control of ScienceBlogs to the devil.

  50. #51 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Fluoride. Who knew the “u” comes before the “o”?

  51. #52 Lawrence
    May 1, 2013

    @MSII – I’m only following orders…..lol

  52. #53 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Lawrence, I keed, of course, but there are conspiracy crackpots who do believe Hitler, the illuminati and the Devil are all connected. And of course Hitler pioneered the use of fluoride to keep the Germans subservient and stupid. And we all know who really controls the media, including National Geographic.

  53. #54 LW
    May 1, 2013

    @MSII: “flouride gas”

    I think that is in fact the correct spelling in that context.

  54. #55 Calli Arcale
    May 1, 2013

    Fluorine gas is pretty cool (and scary). The really awesome YouTube channel “periodicvideos” (Periodic Table of Videos) has some great videos about this insanely reactive element.

  55. #56 Old Rockin' Dave
    On a dogsled, bound for the East Pole.
    May 1, 2013

    There are some entertainment figures whose opinions on some topics deserve a hearing. Judd Hirsch has a degree in physics, even if it was a long time ago. Jean-Claude van Damme is a Rhodes Scholar with a degree in chemical engineering. I would credit Linda Ronstadt with knowledge about Mexican-Americans, and Mel Gibson’s opinions on living life as an asshat.

  56. #57 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Brian May, guitarist of Queen, had a PhD in astrophysics. Dexter Holland of the punk band The Offspring was earning a PhD in molecular biology. Greg Graffin of Bad Religion has a Phd in zoology and teaches at the University of California, LA. Guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine and currently touring with Bruce Springsteen has a B.A. in poli sci. Speaking of Bruce, drummer Max Weinberg went to law school briefly when the E Street Band broke up in the 90s. Winnie Cooper (Dana McK… something or other) from The Wonder Years invented some mathematics paradigm. And of course we all know about PhD Mayim Bialik The Big Bang Theory, who unfortunately turned to woo snd seems to have forgotten her science education.

  57. #58 Old Rockin' Dave
    Where the streets have no name, but the avenues do.
    May 1, 2013

    I was wrong about the name change.
    The new name for the Burzynski clinic will be “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Shinola.”

  58. #59 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Lots of typos above. Brian May still has his PhD. Unlike Andrew Wakefield, he hasn’t been stricken off!

  59. #60 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    I think you meant Dolph Lundgren with the chemical engineering background. I doubt Van Damme made it past high school.

  60. #61 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Sting (Gordon Sumner) was a school teacher before becoming a professional musician.

  61. #62 Old Rockin' Dave
    In the corner, forced to wear the genius cap
    May 1, 2013

    Right you are, it’s Lundgren with the chemical engineering degree, a Fulbright scholarship, and a tour of duty in special operations. He was in a couple of movies with van Damme; that’s probably how I got them mixed up.

  62. #63 Krebiozen
    May 1, 2013

    Don’t forget particle physicist and heartthrob Brian Cox who was keyboard player for pop band D:Ream in the 90s (I had never heard of them either, but you may be familiar with their biggest hit “Things Can Only Get Better”). Iron Maiden front-man Bruce Dickinson also comes to mind as an educated entertainer, some call him a polymath since he is a qualified pilot, and has fenced internationally, to name but a couple of his talents. The mention of Sting reminded me that The Police’s drummer, Stuart Copeland (aka Klark Kent), is the son of OSS and CIA founding member Miles Copeland, which I have always thought is strange.

  63. #64 conspicuousCarl
    May 1, 2013

    Great, another celebrity opens their mouth and kills my libido. Now my nice slippery bucket of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter is going in the trash next to my Jenny McCarthy poster.

    Also, Dolph Lundgren may have a chemistry degree but he is also a vitamin huxster. Because of that, I haven’t asked a hooked to kick me in the crotch in years.

  64. #65 Beamup
    May 1, 2013

    There are some entertainment figures whose opinions on some topics deserve a hearing.

    An example on the other side – Mayim Bialik has a PhD in neuroscience, and is still about as dedicated a kook as you could hope to see. So as always, one must be cautious.

  65. #66 TBruce
    May 1, 2013

    Art Garfunkel has an MA in mathematics and was in a PhD program when he quit to pursue his music career.

  66. #67 herr doktor bimler
    May 1, 2013

    Brian May, guitarist of Queen, has a PhD in astrophysics.

    Relevant:

    A young Brian May, of the popular music combo “Queen”, astounded the scientific establishment with his assertion that it was in fact Fat Bottomed Girls that made the world go round.
    On closer inspection, however, this theory is blatantly false. Since 1978, the average body mass in developed nations has increased markedly, while the Earth’s rotation is actually slowing.
    [...]
    Looking at this, I’ve begun to consider the possibility that Brian May hasn’t actually done any research, and made it all up as he was going along. I have a good mind to report him to the Royal Astronomical Society for his duplicity.
    Be’elzebub has a devil put aside for such charlatans.

    P.S. This is before we consider the noted climatologist and fraudster Carly Simon, whose controversial thesis on the formation of cirro-stratus in coffee cups were thoroughly debunked in 1972.

  67. #68 Narad
    May 1, 2013

    This is before we consider the noted climatologist and fraudster Carly Simon, whose controversial thesis on the formation of cirro-stratus in coffee cups were thoroughly debunked in 1972.

    Ah, but Kármán vortices most certainly do appear in clouds.

  68. #69 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 1, 2013

    Don’t forget science writer Michael White, who was one of three (at a time, one of many over time) guys in the Thompson Twins.

  69. #70 herr doktor bimler
    May 1, 2013

    Ah, but Kármán vortices most certainly do appear in clouds.

    I’ve seen some nice Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities.

  70. #71 Shay
    May 1, 2013

    Hedy Lamar was the co-inventor of frequency hopping.

  71. #72 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 1, 2013

    The late Erland van Lidth de Jeude had a degree in computer science from MIT.

  72. #73 Narad
    May 1, 2013

    I’ve seen some nice Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities.

    “Honey, I don’t like the look of that cauliflower.”

  73. #74 lilady
    May 1, 2013

    @ SW: Thanks for checking out the Wikipedia entry for me. :-)

    @ MSII: I know I have been immortalized by DJT. Me…post on his blog? Never.

  74. #75 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 1, 2013

    “Honey, I don’t like the look of that cauliflower.”

    Narad – who does, really?

  75. #76 ConspicuousCarl
    May 2, 2013

    “Shay on May 1, 2013 :
    Hedy Lamar was the co-inventor of frequency hopping.”

    A good example of a celebrity having a respectable brain, but not really a good example of an invention.

    In short, it wasn’t really a new idea and her version of it (for controlling torpedoes) was not much more practical than the prior proposals which also never took off. A critical part of frequency hopping is keeping the two parties’ hopping schedules synchronized, and her plan was a wired connection at the time of launch along with the assumption that the piano scrolling devices on both ends would then run constantly at exactly the same speed. That could be difficult to ensure in a device which is steering about and built with 1940s technology.

  76. #77 Stan Racansky
    Canada
    May 4, 2013

    I had read few of the posts but not able to answer as comments were closed. I am assuming that your posts are self interest editorials and personal opinions, not fact or independent scientific research based. First, the success ratio of Dr. Bursinski’s cancer treatment vs. conventional cancer treatment. Anything over 30% (conventional cancer treatment success) i would consider a winner. Independent statistics put his success in 50-60% ratio. The cancer patients do not care how it is done, they just want to have positive results.

    Second, the chemotherapy, you used very strong words, hopping that just because you call yourself oncology doctor, people will believe you. But up to 90% of other oncology doctors agree with the statement that chemotherapy is not effective and hurts 98% of cancer patients. They would not allow that treatment for themselves or their family. There are two options, you are very uninformed or you did not tell truth on purpose.

  77. #78 lsm
    May 4, 2013

    Stan, if his success rate is 50-60%, then there would be +- 3,000-4,000 people who have survived over 5 years that were treated by Burzynski. Doctors and oncologists would be beating down his door. Where are these 3,000-4,000+- people? Where is the proof? Where is the statistical analysis? Can you or anyone else provide it for scientists to verify? If so, there would be no more questioning of Burzynski. It’s his own actions that bring criticism upon him.

  78. #79 herr doktor bimler
    May 4, 2013

    Independent statistics put his success in 50-60% ratio.
    If they are independent, it should be easy enough to provide a source.

    But up to 90% of other oncology doctors agree with the statement that chemotherapy is not effective and hurts 98% of cancer patients.

    Pro-tip: invented statistics sound more truthy if you add more decimal places. Make it “hurts 97.6% of cancer patients”.

  79. #80 Shay
    May 4, 2013

    “A good example of a celebrity having a respectable brain, but not really a good example of an invention.”

    Not to mention a body that wouldn’t quit.

  80. #81 ChrisP
    May 4, 2013

    Stan, you need some sources to back your statements. Otherwise I am going to conclude you made these numbers up.

  81. #82 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 4, 2013

    Don’t expect too much objectivity from Stan Racansky. He’s a quack himelf who makes money off the gullible. Just like the other Stan.

    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Stan/Racansky

  82. #83 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 4, 2013

    He also don’t write too good.

    What Stan Racansky is saying about this Meetup Group

    I took this group over and it’s new beginning. I want to offer three main benefits. 1. Learn and contribute intuitive nutrition knowledge to fellow members. 2. If you are a health & wellness provider learn how to help your clients (patients) better using natural, non bad side effect but very efficient holistic treatments. 3. If you consider to enter holistic health & wellness profession to learn scientific research and benefits.

    “Non bad side effect”? “Consider to enter…”? Ha-ha-ha.

  83. #84 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 4, 2013

    HDB:

    “Dr.” Leonard Coldwell claims a 92.3% success rate for his cancer cure. Like 92% wouldn’t be good enough.

    And yet nobody has ever heard of the guy. Not even a Wikipedia page for him. He was an associate of now-bankrupt Kevin Trudeau and has appeared on Coast to Coast AM spouting his nonsensical 92.3% statistic to any indredulous George Noory. “Twas my introduction into the world of cancer woo.

    His name wasn’t even Leonard Coldwell untill 1999 and he has no medical degree anyone under either of his names. He’s an interesting dude but a complete POS.

    92.3%. Why isn’t he world-famous? And yes, he’s a supporter of Burzynski.

  84. #85 herr doktor bimler
    May 4, 2013

    He’s a quack himelf who makes money off the gullible.
    …And yes, he’s a supporter of Burzynski.

    The wonders of professional courtesy.

  85. #86 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 4, 2013

    It really is like an unholy alliance, isn’t it?

  86. #87 ConspicuousCarl
    May 4, 2013

    Stan Racansky said:
    “Anything over 30% (conventional cancer treatment success) i would consider a winner. Independent statistics put his success in 50-60% ratio.”

    If you like to compare numbers, wouldn’t it be nice to have the actual results of Burzynski’s “experiments” published? Then we could actually do what you are pretending to do.

  87. #88 Andy
    May 6, 2013

    Yeah, Orac. What’s with this “calling yourself an oncology doctor” thing? Come clean. What are you really? :)

  88. #89 Lawrence
    May 6, 2013

    Funny, because Dr. Stan B can’t even do that – he’s not an Oncologist himself…..

  89. #90 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 7, 2013

    Merola has posted the entire Fabio Q&A session from the Newport festival:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuNr06BuXkk&feature=youtu.be

  90. #91 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 7, 2013

    I haven’t had the intestinal fortitude to watch the entire Q&A yet, but did watch bits and pieces.

    Merola admits antineoplastons are dead for now (no new patients are being accepted) but it’s all about the personalized gene-targeted therapy now. Little doc Gregory and the panel say PB works just as well because it breaks down into ANP in the body.

    Fabio proclaims “pharmaceutical companies care more about giving you a boner than to find a cure for cancer.”

    He says Burzynski is investing “every single penny he makes in research.” (Except what he spends on his $6 million dollar house.)

    He says chemotherapy is a 70-year-old technology.

    He invokes the Galileo gambit.

    He says Burzynski has no ego.

    He says if you’re skeptical you’re ignorant.

    Fabio wants to “go on Oprah and 60 Minutes” with Burznyski to open a debate on national media.

    But the biggest whopper is he claims Burzynski has submitted two-and-a-half MILLION pages of medical trials to the FDA. Someone on Twitter estimates that would be a stack of paper 800 feet high!

  91. #92 Xplodyncow
    May 9, 2013

    I don’t know whether I can take the Fabio Q+A, so I’ll just leave it at this: Out of all the so-called therapies Fabio would endorse … I can’t believe it’s not butter.

  92. #93 ChrisP
    In a land without cookies
    May 15, 2013

    So when you want to convince people that the science is sound about a new treatment you call in a fashion model to lend your arguments credence.

    I can see how that would work.

  93. #95 Ignorance is the most widespred disease
    May 28, 2013

    so just because fabio supports Dr. Burzynski, all his research, methods and the people he has cured are irrelevant?
    Meanwhile pharmaceutical companies poison people with chemotherapy and radiation and act like they’re doing a great deed. They admit chemotherapy is poison that they hope will kill the cancer before it kills you. It’s amazing how close-minded some commentators are. But I guess there will always be those clinging to out-of-date medical practices since people are more concerned with being right than the health of fellow human-beings.
    I can see how pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in portraying technological advances as “quackery” because if they allowed fair competition they would go out of business completely. Chemotherapy and radiation are obsolete and a mistake, just like asbestos, DDT, fluoride, etc.

    nixon’s war on cancer has been a failure and who has been leading the way? pharmaceutical companies.
    whats their method of treatment? chemo and radiaton.
    simple deductive reasoning would tell you that if somebody offers a better solution you listen with an open-mind or become another ignorant fool grasping at the false-reality your ego has constructed for you.

    my friends mom went through chemotherapy. I watched her hair fall out and how she lost her mind and could barely even put together a coherent sentence as her brain quickly deteriorated until she died from the chemo, not the cancer.
    How sad that people needlessly suffer because of the ignorance of others.

    has anyone here deriding Dr. Burzynski even watched his documentary?
    where are the documentaries about how great chemotherapy and radiation is? please let me know so i can better inform myself…

    (crickets)

  94. #96 Orac
    May 28, 2013

    Yes, I have watched his documentary, and I will watch the second one at some point. I’ve read most of his papers and papers by others on antineoplastons. Have you? I’ve copiously about his claims and the relatively flimsy evidence he uses to support them and found them wanting.

    No one here is “praising” chemotherapy and radiation, both of which have significant side effects. Rather, I am pointing out that Stanislaw Burzynski has presented no compelling evidence for the efficacy of his therapy. The odd case report here and there and testimonials such as that of Fabio about his sister do not count.

  95. #97 Krebiozen
    May 28, 2013

    Ignorance is the most widespred disease,

    where are the documentaries about how great chemotherapy and radiation is? please let me know so i can better inform myself…

    The shortcomings of conventional treatment don’t mean that Burzynski’s treatments work. We don’t know if they work because he still hasn’t published any of his Phase 2 clinical trials in full.

    If you are interested in recent advances in cancer treatments, I recommend this report (it’s a large PDF).

  96. #98 Krebiozen
    May 28, 2013

    BTW, DJT appears to have completely unraveled on his blog, calling Orac, “a self-proclaimed “cancer researcher” ” making many other blatantly libelous statements, ranting on, and on, and on. He is clearly unwell. If anyone who knows him personally happens to read this, please get him some professional help.

  97. #99 herr doktor bimler
    May 28, 2013

    pharmaceutical companies poison people with chemotherapy and radiation

    I always thought that radiotherapy was the work of physicists but now I learn from “Widespred” that pharmaceutical companies control it, presumably using advanced alchemy to construct the radioisotopes. Learn something different every day!

  98. #100 ChrisP
    May 28, 2013

    Ignorance is the most widespred disease

    so just because fabio supports Dr. Burzynski, all his research, methods and the people he has cured are irrelevant?

    Not at all. However, when the response to questions about how good the research is and can we please see the data is to wheel out a semi-retired fashion model to spruik your treatments, it does raise serious questions about the quality of the research, the methods and whether anyone has ever been cured.

  99. #101 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 28, 2013

    There was another screening of the new commercial over a week ago in San Francisco and yet Merola has been strangely, uncharacteristically silent both leading up to the screening and following it. Usually by now there’d be a flood of Tweets and a YouTube video of the panel discussion following the film. Even his shills and minions have been absent from Twitter and Facebook lately.

  100. #102 Lawrence
    May 28, 2013

    Wow – DJT has really gone off the deep end of the ocean, hasn’t he?

  101. #103 JGC
    May 28, 2013

    so just because fabio supports Dr. Burzynski, all his research, methods and the people he has cured are irrelevant?

    The ‘people’ he has cured aren’t irrelevant–they’re imaginary, as far as anyone can tell.

    Certainly Burzynski hasn’t published any evidence demonstrating he’s cured anyone, or that antineoplaston’s are effective at treating advanced stage cancers. More than 2 decades and 60+ phase two ‘clinical trials’ later and still no published results.

    where are the documentaries about how great chemotherapy and radiation is?

    Chemo and radiation don’t need documentaries touting ‘how great they are’ because the results from clinical trials demonstrating their efficacy demonstrating at treating cancer have been published. Personal testimonials, celebrity endorsements, biased ‘documentaries’ are what Burzynski’s forced to rely on to promote his clinic precisely because he has no actual evidence that antineoplastons are effective at treating advanced stage cancers as he claims.

  102. #104 The Smith of Lie
    May 28, 2013

    so just because fabio supports Dr. Burzynski, all his research, methods and the people he has cured are irrelevant?

    All the nice people who replied to that accusation seemed to miss a basic mistake made by its author.

    You see, in opposition to what the quote implies, Orac did not say that association with Fabio makes Burzynski a lesser man or that it undermines his achievements (whatever they may be). He said that assiocitation with Burzynski makes Fabio look bad and it undermines his previous work in the field of promoting fight with cancer.

  103. #105 Lawrence
    May 28, 2013

    @Ignorance – chemo & radiation (along with the other legitimate Cancer treatments) don’t need documentaries because they have actual clinical studies and published results to back them up (you know, stuff in black and white).

    Where is Dr. B’s proof?