The Burzynski Clinic misleads prospective patients

My last post discussed an email recently sent from the Burzynski Clinic to someone who had made an initial enquiry through the clinic’s website.

This post concerns another email from the clinic, sent about a year ago to parents who were looking into treatment for their child’s brain tumour. Although the family have not contacted me directly and wish to remain anonymous, it is my understanding that they are happy for this information to be made public.

The email itself and the attachments are misleading in several ways. For example, it is stated that antineoplastons have few, if any side effects. In fact there is well known and significant toxicity.

It is stated that it is a targeted gene therapy. I do not believe that is the case.

The attached documents give a strong overall impression that antineoplastons are an effective cancer treatment. However, the Burzysnski Clinic have not published sufficient data to substantiate any such claims or implications.

It also strikes me as rather strange that the clinic are suggesting that prospective patients talk to current or former patients when they are deciding whether to go ahead with the treatment.

The email contained seven attached documents:

Antineoplastons

Genomic Approach to Cancer Treatment

Phase II Clinical Trials with Antineoplastons in the USA

Travel Information Pack

The text of the email reads

Phase III is not finalized yet, but we may treat the child on an individual permission from the FDA.

So, please send us medical records for an evaluation. Standard info attached.

The ‘Standard info’ was as follows

Dear International Patient,

Thank you for your interest in our clinical trials.

For patients with primary brain tumors, we may be able to offer Antineoplastons, an experimental gene therapy that is in Phase II clinical trials at this time at our clinic. The medication is made up of naturally occurring peptides, amino acid derivatives and certain organic acids that fight cancer with few, if any, side effects. It is a targeted gene therapy that does not harm healthy cells or other body tissues. Not all patients qualify to participate in these clinical trials.

Before the patient starts the treatment, our medical staff must first determine if the patient is a candidate for the treatment, and if so, what modality of treatment should be prescribed. In order for us to
make this decision, the patient needs to provide detailed medical records for the review. It is mandatory that the medical records include
the following:
1. pathology/biopsy report(s),
2. summary of the previous treatments (see Patient Screening Form),
3. latest laboratory tests (blood and urinalysis),
4. written reports of latest MRI, PET, CT-scan, or bone scan report -
whichever applies, (no films please unless requested).
These reports must not be older than 60 days, with the exception of the pathology report. Reports should be translated into English.
There is a $500.00 fee for medical history review payable by check,
money order, credit card or wire transfer. This fee is non-refundable,
and it does not guarantee admission to the protocol.

Wire transfer instruction:
S.R. Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D.
Wells Fargo Bank
Acc # 2001144559
ABA (domestic) # 121000248
SWIFT (international) Code: WFBIUS6S

Bank address:
901 Gessner Rd.
Houston, Texas 77024-2501
phone: (800) 869-3557

Please include patient’s name in all transactions.

Patients with brain tumours can be treated only under Dr. Burzynski’s direct care and it will be most likely intravenous treatment. This means that those patients will have to come to the US for 3-4 weeks in order to begin the treatment. Then the treatment which often lasts for a year or even longer may be continued under the care of a local physician.
For children we require a care of pediatric oncologist.

We are an outpatient facility, so patient should be in a condition allowing daily transportation between clinic and hotel or motel. For your convenience I attach accommodation info in a Word document format.

The cost of therapies breaks down as follows:

- Medical History Review: $500
– Consultation fee: $1,000
– Deposit to begin therapy: $18,000 (physician and nursing care while
in Houston, medical supplies & infusion pump)
– Monthly deposits for case management and supplies at home: $7,600
– Catheter insertion: Adults $1,500 / Children Approximately $6000

The cost for the catheter insertion is ONLY if the patient does not have a port a cath in yet (this can be done with doctors at home prior to coming to
the Burzynski Clinic).

The therapy regimen generally lasts up to a year on average for most patients.
Remember these are just estimates. While not inexpensive, this therapy may be less expensive than standard radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
These numbers will range depending on various factors, such as length of therapy or the general condition of the patient at the start of the therapy.

For those who qualify for the antineoplaston therapy, a central venous catheter will be surgically placed in the subclavian vein, right beneath the
collarbone. During the stay in Houston, patients and the caretakers will undergo training on how to administer medications through the pump
and how to care for the catheter site. The pump is portable and will administer the medication at regularly scheduled/programmed intervals.

After consulting with our clinic physicians and talking to former or current patients, prospective patients decide whether or not to initiate therapy.
Once the therapy has begun and the medications and dosages are determined, the clinic’s insurance department can submit the paperwork to the patient’s insurance company for a decision. The patient must be prepared to pay the
expenses up front until a decision is made. However, it is important to note that this therapy may or may not be covered by insurance. In addition,
Medicare and Medicaid WILL NOT pay for the medications or services provided by our clinic.

Please feel free to call me at (713) 335-5601 if you have additional questions. I am available Mon. – Fri. 10:00am to 4:30pm Houston time (US CDT), that’s 17:00 to 23:30 Central Europe Time. My e-mail: inter.adam@burzynskiclinic.com

More information about the clinic and treatment can be accessed through the Internet. Our website address’ are:
http://www.cancermed.com
http://www.burzynskiresearch.com

There is also independent Patient Group website at:
http://www.burzynskipatientgroup.org

Sincerely,
Adam S. Golunski
International Relations
—————————————————–

Again – before we can say anything, we need to see patient’s medical records. Below is a list of required records. In order to evaluate any patient, we NEED to have the following information:

- Pathology/biopsy report(s), except for brain tumors of dangerous location,
– Last MRI report (for brain tumors)
– Last PET scan report (advised)
– Last CT scan report (if applicable)
– Last bone scan report (if applicable)
– Latest laboratory tests: blood (blood counts & biochemistry) and urinalysis,
– Summary of past treatment (see Patient Screening Form)

The patient has to be off any treatment in order to be accepted forantineoplaston treatment at our clinic. We may accept the patient:
a/ after successfull chemotherapy – 4 weeks after last dose,
b/ after successfull radiation – 8 weeks after last procedure,
c/ immediately, if there is proven progression of the disease during or
right after above mentioned treatments.

In order to be qualified for Clinical Trials with antineoplastons the patient has to have previous radiaton and chemotherapy treatments.
If the patient did not have chemo and radiation we can still treat her/him within Gene Targeted Therapy individual program.

Note that we do not need any films at this time, just written reports.
You can fax them to me at (713) 335-5601.

========================================================
PATIENT SCREENING FORM
========================================================
PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM ALONG WITH YOUR RECORDS TO:
S.R. Burzynski, MD, Ph.D.
Adam S. Golunski
9432 Katy Freeway, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77055
Phone/fax: (713) 335-5601
Email: inter.adam@burzynskiclinic.com
———————————————————-
This form has to be fully completed before an evaluation can be made.
———————————————————-
SECTION I – PATIENT INFORMATION
———————————————————-
Patient’s Name:
Address:
City: County:
State: Postal Code:
Country:
Phone:
Fax:
Mobile:
E-mail:
Date of birth: SS#:
Patient’s Age: Sex: M F Height: cm
Normal Weight: lb/kg Present Weight: lb/kg
Referred by:
———————————————————-
PERSON TO CONTACT (if other than the patient)
———————————————————-
Name:
Phone:
Fax:
E-mail:
———————————————————-
SECTION II – ORIGINAL CANCER DIAGNOSIS
———————————————————-
Original Cancer Type:
Date of Diagnosis:
Original Site of Diagnosis:
Biopsy Confirmed (Y)es/(N)o: Type/Grade:
Stage: Metastases (spread) Site/s:
Date of Metastatic Diagnosis:
———————————————————-
SECTION III – SURGERY
———————————————————-
Surgery for Original Diagnosis (Y)es/(N)o:
Date/s:
% of Tumor or Cancer Removed: Size:
Other Details of Surgery:

———————————————————-
SECTION IV – CHEMOTHERAPY
———————————————————-
Chemotherapy? (Y)es/(N)o:
Date Treatment Initiated:
Date Completed:
Type, Dosage, and Number of Treatments of Each
Chemotherapy Drug:

———————————————————-
SECTION V – RADIATION
———————————————————-
Radiation? (Y)es/(N)o:
Date Treatment Initiated:
Date Completed:
Radiation Absorbed Dose (Rads):
Area(s) Radiated:

———————————————————-
SECTION VI – OTHER THERAPIES
———————————————————-
Other Therapies/Drugs (Past):

Other Therapies/Drugs (Present):

———————————————————-
SECTION VII – PRESENT CONDITION
———————————————————-
Is Patient Ambulatory? (Y)es/(N)o:
Short of breath (Y)es/(N)o:
Fluid retention (Y)es/(N)o:
Constipated (Y)es/(N)o:
Jaundiced (Y)es/(N)o:
In Pain (Y)es/(N)o:
Bleeding (Y)es/(N)o:
Appetite (Y)es/(N)o:
Anemia (Y)es/(N)o:
On oxygen (Y)es/(N)o:
Other:
Comments:

——————————————————
KPS (Karnofsky Performance Scale) VERY IMPORTANT !!!
——————————————————
Please CHECK ONLY ONE of the following patient’s
condition description (100 through 20):

100 – Normal, no complaints, no evidence of disease;
90 – Able to carry on normal activity, minor symptoms of
disease;
80 – Normal activity with effort, some symptoms of disease;
70 – Cares for self, unable to carry on normal activity or
active work;
60 – Requires occasional assistance but is able to care
for own needs;
50 – Requires considerable assistance and frequent medical care;
40 – Disabled, requires special care and assistance;
30 – Severely disabled, hospitalization is indicated, death
is not imminent;
20 – Very sick, hospitalization necessary, active treatment
is necessary.

Patient’s Overall Condition / Attitude:

———————————————————-
SECTION VIII – PATIENT’S PHYSICIAN
———————————————————-
The FDA REQUIRES patients participating in Clinical Trials
to maintain a relationship with a local Physician who will
assist Dr. Burzynski during the course of the treatment
with follow-up of the patient, as needed, by diagnostic
testing such as lab work, X-Rays, MRI’s, CT Scans, etc.,
and evaluation of the patient’s condition. Please complete
the following.

Physician’s Name:
Address:
City:
State: Zip:
Phone:
Fax:
E-mail:
================================================END OF FORM
Blood tests required for evaluation:

1. CBC = complete blood count,

2. CHEM 27:
Glucose
Uric Acid
BUN (blood urea nitrogen)
Creatinine
BUN/Creatinine Ratio
Sodium
Potassium
Chloride
Calcium
Magnesium
Inorg. Phosphorus
Total Protein
Albumin
Globulin
Albumin/Globulin Ratio
Total Bilirubin
Alk. Phosphatase
SGOT (AST)
SGOT (ALT)
GGTLD (LDH)
Iron
Triglycerides
Cholesterol
HDL Chol.
LDL Chol.
LDL/HDL Ratio

3. coagulation study
PT
PTT

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15 responses to “The Burzynski Clinic misleads prospective patients

  1. Pingback: Burzynski blogs: My Master List | Josephine Jones

  2. Wow, still far less money than Avastin or any other new drug on the market (Avastin alone costs $18,000.00 per month, and it alone hasn’t cured anyone!). Not only is Burzynski curing incurable cancer, he’s doing it by undercutting the rest of the “Cancer Industry” costs. Nice job Dr B!

    • Dr Burzynski has been using antineoplastons for over 35 years and others researched phenylbutyrate (more or less the same thing) long before he did. We aren’t talking about a new drug here. I don’t dispute that cancer treatment can be expensive but Dr Burzynski does charge over the odds. Antineoplastons are not comparable with Avastin.

      It is not possible to say that Dr Burzynski is ‘curing’ incurable cancers. He has presented no reliable evidence of this. Supporters of the clinic will cherry pick a small number of people who appear to be getting better or who have got better after treatment at the clinic. To assume they are getting better or got better *because* of the treatment would be foolhardy, given the lack of real evidence. It is also worth bearing in mind that Burzynski has a history of misleading patients, for example by misreading MRI scans. Supporters of the clinic choose to forget about all the patients who didn’t get better.

      There is a bit more detail on this here: http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/if-the-media-care-about-burzynskis-patients-they-must-pull-their-heads-out-of-the-sand/

  3. Funny that all the information that the clinic needs to decide whether the patient is eligible for the “gene targeted therapy” doesn’t seem to include any genetic information. Doesn’t sound very “gene targeted” to me!

    • Precisely. What this chap said. Trying to target a tumour with ‘gene targeted therapy’ without genetic analysis of a tumour biopsy AND normal somatic human DNA to check for genetic abnormalities such as Li Fraumeni syndrome is ridiculous. It is also not that expensive to carry out the actual testing (which im sure the patient would be charged for anyway).

  4. Pingback: The 21st Floor » Blog Archive » Antineoplastons: Not gene targeted. Almost certainly not curative.

  5. Thanks so much for these very interesting documents. Some questions for consideration:
    1. p. 6, Information for the Layman, has a list of “Doctors at the Burzynski Clinic.” 2 such “doctors”, Szymkowski and Acelar, are not licensed to practice medicine in the state of Texas: http://reg.tmb.state.tx.us/OnLineVerif/Phys_NoticeVerif.asp?
    Are any of folks listed licensed to practice in Texas?
    2. Also on p. 6 of the same document, it says people (purportedly) participating in Dr. B’s clinical trials must have a local physician who is willing to fill out & sign Form FDA 1572, Statement of Investigator. Here is Form FDA 1572 from the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Forms/UCM074728.pdf
    Additional information about Form FDA 1572: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/RegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM214282.pdf

    Inter alia this form asks for the name of the institutional review board (IRB) or research ethics committee to which the local physician-investigator will submit the trial protocol for review and approval. In the case of a UK patient, this would have to be a research ethics committee in the UK since the Burzynski Research Institute IRB has no authority to review & approve proposed research outside the US. Has this requirement been met for UK patients enrolled in Dr. B’s trials?
    3. p. 2, Introduction states that international patients enrolled in Dr. B’s trials must have permission from their ministry of health in order to receive ANPs by mail shipment. In the UK my guess is this would be the MHRA. Has such approval been granted for UK patients enrolled in Dr. B’s trials?

  6. Just noticed that the four year case against Burzynski has been dismissed so wonder how you all feel about that JJ? Looks like you might have some of that yolky stuff on your fizzog, not getting very far are you, WHS telling you to sling it like a loon. Wonder how the septic tank is taking that one? On the chin or up the bahoomah?

    Do you make chocolate eggs for easter or suck humbug?

  7. Pingback: Anticipating the Burzynski sequel | Josephine Jones

  8. Pingback: My Review of Anticipating the Burzynski sequel | Didymus Judas Thomas' Hipocritical Oath Blog

  9. Pingback: Critiquing “Bad Argument Special: Inexpertly sown doubt” | Didymus Judas Thomas' Hipocritical Oath Blog

  10. Pingback: Burzynski: the false promise of antineoplastons | Josephine Jones

  11. So how many patient are getting better by chemotherapy?

    • Ask Dr B. He’s the one selling untested chemotherapy, and refusing to report the results. Wonder why he’s so secretive about it…

  12. @Santo – lots of them. In fact, I have several friends that have gone through conventional Cancer treatments (including chemo & radiation), who are all alive today – either cured or in remission.

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