It’s been a (mostly) all Stanislaw Burzynski week. I had been thinking of finishing up with a post about something completely unrelated; that is, until people started sending me a link. Also, because I was out last night with my wife in celebration of our wedding anniversary, I didn’t have time for anything that wasn’t relatively brief. (Yes, I do realize that “brief” by my standards usually means “under 2,000 words.” OK, maybe under 1,500.) So, what the heck? I’ll finish the week with one more post and then try to start fresh next week. I need a a break from all things Burzynski anyway, and, I suspect, so do you, at least, after this tidbit.
One common thread that goes back through all the Q&A sessions after screenings of Eric Merola’s most recent propaganda-fest about Burzynski that was recently released through online and on-demand channels, and that’s that apparently the Burzynski Patient Group, plus other Burzynski acolytes, have decided that political pressure is the way to succeed in getting antineoplastons approved where science (or, more specifically, Burzynski’s lack of science) hasn’t succeeded. Eric Merola, of course, was more than happy to promote this initiative in the Q&A sessions after at least two of the screenings of his movie at which he himself has appeared thus far. Basically, the idea is to try to get antineoplastons approved for one indication, say brainstem glioma. Then, once they are approved for one indication, Burzynski (and any other cranks who want to use them) would then use antineoplastons off label to treat any cancer. Under this strategy, brain tumors become the “foot in the door,” through which antineoplastons are approved, and then they bet to be used for everything. It’s a shockingly cynical strategy that would produce screams and howls to high heaven from these same people if Merck or Bristol-Myers Squibb tried to do it. In marked contrast, if Burzynski does it, to them it’s all good.
As part of that effort to try to bring “public pressure” on legislators, Eric Merola announced at a couple of his Q&A sessions that supporters of Burzynski were going to start a website. They were originally going to call it “ANPforAll,” but instead it seems to have appeared as IWantANP.org. Bearing the unintentionally hilarious tag line, “Support the cure, not the condition,” IWantANP.org appears to be the first step. Apparently the site popped up around a month ago. Although whois records show the domain registered through a proxy, IWantANP.org is hosted by the same service as the Burzynski Patient Group, making it very likely that it is a wholly owned subsidiary. [NOTE ADDENDUM BELOW: Eric Merola himself has confirmed that it is the Burzynski Patient Group behind the IWantANP.org initiative. Thanks, Eric!]
On the first tab (entitled “Did you know?”), we get the usual nonsense about how awesome antineoplastons are, with one howler in particular:
Antineoplastons are gentle medications—and there is no evidence that anyone has died from using them.
Tell that to Dr. Jeanine Graf, the director of the PICU at Texas Children’s Hospital and someone who’s taken care of Burzynski’s disasters for hypernatremia and other serious complications of antineoplaston therapy and whose staff apparently despises Burzynski for what they’ve seen him do to children. Other claims include the same claims we’ve been hearing from Eric Merola and Stanislaw Burzynski: That the Burzynski Clinic has completed lots of phase II clinical trials (in this case, fourteen), that over 100 “independent” antineoplaston studies have been run, and that Burzynski has “over 300 publications related to Antineoplastons, many of them peer-reviewed.” (That last bit about “many of them peer-reviewed” cracked me up.)
The Burzynski Patient Group Whatever group is behind IWantANP.org then boldly proclaims under its “mission”:
It seems the only way that our global human family will have access to these ground-breaking and potentially life-saving medications is for the people of our world to take control and force regulatory agencies worldwide to allow these gentle cancer medications to be accessible.
The first condition Antineoplastons should be granted approval for is in childhood brain tumors and among them diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma (DIPG). Not only do Antineoplastons hold the first and only cures in world medical history for this condition, but they are the first “new” medications to ever show enough safety and efficacy within FDA-sanctioned clinical trials to be granted permission for a Phase 3 randomized study for a DIPG.
After 35 years of the inventor, the supporting medical community, and his patients trying to convince the American government and regulatory agencies to be allowed to freely participate in the drug approval process within our so-called “Free Market”, it has become apparent that seeking refuge in a non-American country to create a massive tourism industry for cancer patients may be inevitable.
Whether this fight is won in America, or won overseas, one thing is certain—the only way this fight can be won is if the majority of the world’s population understands the problem, and understands what Antineoplastons are.
Our mission is to—first, make the world aware of these medications and the bureaucratic obstacles it faces—and second, to convince one or more of the world’s regulatory agencies to adhere to their own ethical guidelines for drug approval, thus allowing Antineoplastons to be made available to the general public—unobstructed by market and government forces.
Our mission has just begun.
It looks to me as though Burzynski is getting ready to move to Tijuana, Costa Rica, or another country where laws and regulations protecting patients are—shall we say?—more lax than those in the U.S. and most European countries. Or maybe he’s going back to Poland. At this stage, it’s unlikely that Burzynski is going to be able to get the U.S. government to pressure the FDA, as he has in the past, although with Burzynski I’m very careful not to make absolute pronouncements because he’s managed to show more political juice than expected multiple times before, in particular the last time the FDA shut him down in the 1990s. (Yes, I’m learning more about that, and will likely do a post about it within the next month or two; suffice it to say, lots of pressure from a couple of Burzynski-friendly legislators appears to have been brought to bear on the FDA.) This time, I get the feeling, though, that Burzynski’s allies have either been unable or unwilling to bring the same pressure to bear on the FDA, hence the partial clinical hold placed on antineoplastons, which hasn’t been lifted after several months and has prevented Burzynski from treating any new patients with antineoplastons. There’s little doubt in my mind that that’s the reason why Burzynski has been flogging his “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy” more and more.
So what does this all mean? Well, the site tells us “what’s to come.” Obviously, the group behind the website plans on fundraising, but what does that group plan to do with whatever funds it raises? This, apparently, is the plan:
Unlike all other cancer research campaigns which rely 100% on awareness alone, we realize that awareness itself does not cure the disease. Medications such as Antineoplastons are what can lead to the cure of the disease of cancer. If the United States still refuses to allow Antineoplastons into its marketplace, we will then make sure another country will be properly funded to set up the proper channels for Antineoplastons to be approved for their marketplace. Another avenue would be simply opening up a massive Antineoplastons clinic allowing the cancer patients of the world to seek treatment using Antineoplastons.
Upon gaining either market approval—or the funding the construction of an Antineoplaston clinic overseas, our funds will then go to make sure everyone who cannot afford to travel overseas to receive Antineoplaston therapy—can do so by requesting money through this organization.
Either way, whether the market or its government’s regulatory agencies want Antineoplastons available to its citizens or not—Antineoplastons are here to stay, and the members of our global human family deserve the right to have access to them.
It’s time the bureaucratic paradigm of controlling cancer to sustain the marketplace—be upgraded to curing cancer, leaving Antineoplastons and cancer in the drawer next to the common infection and antibiotics.
I predict that the Burzynski Clinic will be setting up operations in Mexico or some other quackery-friendly country within a year or, at most, two. Most likely, what will happen is that the antineoplaston operation will be moved out of the U.S., while Burzynski will continue to administer toxic, “make it up as you go along” witches’ brews of very expensive chemotherapy and targeted therapy agents in the U.S. based on commercial gene tests. At least, that’s what he’ll do for as long as he can obfuscate enough to make it seem as though what he is doing is just like what M.D. Anderson is doing when it’s anything but.
I hope nothing new about Burzynski pops up over the weekend. I think I’m ready to move on and take a break from him for a while.
A little while ago, I got something I’ve never gotten before, namely an e-mail from our good buddy Eric Merola. I don’t recall his ever having written to me to complain about anything I’ve written, which made his doing so just now all the more remarkable. Apparently, he wasn’t happy with my linking him to the IWantANP.org campaign and disavows any involvement in it. One wonders why he cares so much about my apparently getting it wrong on that one issue when he’s been enraged enough before by my writings to refer to me on Twitter as a puppy-eating white supremacist, albeit briefly. My guess is that this is the first time he’s found anything I’ve written that he could actually disprove, which implies to me that he can’t refute all the verbiage I’ve written about Stanislaw Burzynski and him in the past. Be that as it may, I’m perfectly happy to acknowledge his objection and change the text slightly to conform with Merola’s statement in his letter, while still pointing out that, even if he didn’t originate the idea and is not an active participant in organizing it, Merola certainly promoted the ANPforAll/IWantANP.org idea in at least two of his Q&A sessions after screenings of his movie. One wonders why he is so anxious to disassociate himself from the IWantANP.org initiative. If it’s too shady for Eric Merola, it must be shady indeed. On the other hand, I can’t help but publicly thank Eric as well for confirming my suspicion that it is the Burzynski Patient Group that is behind IWantANP.org. There you have it, right from the keyboard of someone in a position to know! And here is the text of Merola’s e-mail:
I’ve laughed and put up with your conspiracy mongering, and I’ve dismissed your hundreds of misstatements and falsehoods (i.e. Lies), and I am sure I will get many more laughs from your rabid pounding keyboard rants in the future. But the your latest conspiracy theory blog entry saying that I am behind the I Want ANP, well that is yet another bit you made up out of thin air. That has nothing to do with me, The Burzynski Patient Group did it. I couldn’t be any farther away from that idea.
You can leave it as you have it—which you have no problem with I’m sure—or you can change it to be accurate (adhering to accuracy, I know that makes you feel extremely uncomfortable, but give it a try just this once).
I will enjoy seeing you re-write this email, and take its contents out of context when you re-post it.
Note that I haven’t changed a single word. This is a straight cut and paste job from Apple Mail straight into WordPress and thence to the blog. Unlike Mr. Merola, I am indeed very concerned with getting my facts correct, which is why I provide this addendum for you, my readers. I must admit; I’m a bit surprised at the vehemence of Mr. Merola’s denial. One would think he would be proud or happy that I thought he was affiliated with such an effort to promote his hero, but apparently he is not.