Happy Birthday, Dr Burzynski… and goodbye, antineoplastons

In  honour of Dr Burzynski’s 70th birthday, a group calling itself Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients (SPCP) has delivered a $13,000 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research hospital, asking Dr Burzynski to match the donation.

And in other news, the Burzynski Clinic appear to have stopped promoting antineoplastons altogether.

According to the SPCP, St Jude’s is a well-respected, compassionate institution that does real research into childhood cancers. And as we know, the Burzynski Clinic has never produced the results of a single large scale peer-reviewed clinical trial in a reputable journal in over 30 years, despite apparently having treated thousands of patients with so-called “antineoplastons”.

In a letter sent together with Burzynski’s birthday card, the SPCP challenge Burzynski to counter some of the harm done in his name and  “acknowledge the generosity of cancer survivors, their families and their communities around the globe by matching the total amount contributed to St. Jude, thereby doubling the total gift toward childhood cancer research.”

SPCP founder, Robert Blaskiewicz said:

The most compassionate thing Burzynski could do would be to close his doors for good, but we’re asking for the next best thing: to open his pocketbook and fund legitimate cancer research for once.

The SPCP press release is here and the full letter is available on request.

Is it the end for antineoplastons?

Blaskiewicz has already proved unpopular with Burzynski supporters. In December 2012, Eric Merola emailed Bob’s employers informing them of…

extra curricular activities on the internet in regards to an FDA-sanctioned and approved cancer therapy called Antineoplastons

He went on to claim that this article, written by Blaskiewicz, contains “levels of defamation and libel punishable by law”.

I don’t think so. And I’m not sure where Merola got the idea that antineoplastons are FDA approved. According to his film Burzynski The Movie – Cancer is Serious Business, the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA have spent decades suppressing antineoplastons.

Antineoplastons have never received a marketing authorisation from the FDA and are still considered to be new and investigational.

In October 2012, the Burzynski Clinic were told by the FDA:

Promotion of an investigational new drug is prohibited under FDA regulations at 21 CFR 312.7(a), which states, “A sponsor or investigator, or any person acting on behalf of a 1 sponsor or investigator, shall not represent in a promotional context that an investigational new drug is safe or effective for the purposes for which it is under investigation or otherwise promote the drug.

They went on to give several examples from the Burzynski Clinic website, including press releases, video clips and testimonials which contained claims that antineoplastons are safe and/or effective. These were swiftly removed from the site.

And now, a few months down the line, the Burzynski Clinic have quietly removed almost every reference to antineoplastons from their website. Scour the site and you will only find them mentioned by name as part of their list of publications.

After having spent more than half his life researching antineoplastons and failing to publish any evidence of benefit, has Burzynski decided to abandon them? Has he decided to turn over a new leaf? Or is this simply part of a rebranding exercise?

Time will tell.

Further reading

PRESS RELEASE. BURZYNSKI CRITICS HAND CONTROVERSIAL DOCTOR A “BIRTHDAY PRESENT” The Houston Cancer Quack, 23/01/12

Burzynski Filmmaker Contacts My EMPLOYER?!?! Bob Blaskiewicz, Skeptical Humanities, 07/01/13

Stanislaw Burzynski: Slapped down by the FDA once again Orac, Respectful Insolence, 07/11/12

Burzynski blogs: My Master List Josephine Jones, 29/11/11

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39 responses to “Happy Birthday, Dr Burzynski… and goodbye, antineoplastons

  1. Time will tell.

    I, for one, will not be holding my breath.

  2. It could be coincidence, of course, that mention of antineoplastons is removed from Dr B’s website not long after being warned by the FDA about illegal promotion of an unlicensed drug, but it’s also possible that the FDA are actually starting to do their job and have actually made him stop his illegal promotion. Let’s hope so.

    • You guys aren’t fooling anyone. If you and your big pharma pals were worried about Dr. B….. suck it up boys. There’s an even bigger challenge coming for you. And you won’t be able to stop it. The days of big pharma are over. It’s no longer the big that eat the small. It’s the fast that eat the slow.

      • sebastianarmstrong

        Excellent, 36 years with no evidence ther is no one slower than Dr B so he will be gone under that system. As it stands I have no conenction with Pharma big or small, so I don’t see any challenge for me on the horizon.

  3. Well – It is not totally impossible, that some day we will find use for histone deacetylase inhibitors in oncology (see for instance http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341130/ ), but Dr. B. isn’t among the researchers who are going to provide the evidence.

  4. So sad to see how difficult its been made for Dr Burzynski to save lives. He is only allowed to treat those who have already been through the health system and have been given no hope. The fact that he ever saved one life after doctors had given up on the patient is amazing but he has saved many many more than that. Anyone who slanders this man is obviously a very sick, nasty piece of work or just doesn’t understand that the patients he’s treated are those who have been totally given up on by mainstream medicine.
    Many of his patients are alive and well today ONLY because of Dr Burzynski. Most of them were close to death and poisoned BECAUSE of mainstream treatment and because the law says they have to go through this awful so called ‘treatment’ first before Dr Burzynski is even allowed to treat them.
    All of this boils down to money and the way the ‘system’ has so many conflicts of interests which won’t allow anyone else to get in on the money making business. If Dr Burzynski were allowed to treat patients ‘before’ mainstream medicine poisoned them, the success rate would be so high that people would purely refuse hospital treatment and opt for his.
    Instead, they have forced him into constant court battles, stating clearly that they are not interested whether his treatment is more successful and less toxic. It’s unbelieveable that people don’t actually listen to the words spoken in the courtrooms because they’ve already made up their minds!
    If anyone disagrees then they obviously haven’t done the research and found that there are many cures for cancer out there, ALL of which have been suppressed by our govts. Most cures and treatments are suppressed because they’re natural and can’t be patented, therefore can’t be ‘owned’ by large pharmaceutical companies. There are many many cures out there which are currently being suppressed by govt.
    This thing is about money and anyone who hasn’t realised this is totally deluded. The only reason this battle has gone on for so long is because Dr Burzynski was smart enough to patent his idea. I wonder if people are aware that during this battle, certain pharmaceutical companies have tried to steal part of his patented idea and name it as their own? If they had been able to get away with it, be assured that the stolen patents would be in full medical use by now.
    This is a movie called ‘cut poison burn’ and explains alot. It’s a shame that people are so pig headed that they feel they know it all. If only they knew that they were potentially risking the lives of their own family members by being so proud. I don’t suppose anyone will bother watching it, but anyone would be doing themselves a favour by at least watching the last few minutes, from about 1:24.

    http://vimeo.com/46543405

    It’s quite clear that this has been designed to prevent Dr Burzyski from ever succeeding. Drug companies are given help by govt for trials. Dr Burzynski will have to fund his own.
    If people had common sense, they would be DEMANDING that doctors work WITH him, rather than try to put him out of business, considering he has a higher success rate than mainstream medicine. (apply common sense there, he’s curing ‘the incurable’ according to mainstream medicine – that would suggest a higher cure rate)
    This is so sad. Even sadder is those who have helped to prevent him saving lives are willing to let their own children and family members die by preventing him from curing. What sort of a world are we living in when people put profits before patients and the public can’t even be bothered to look past the end of their nose to find this out?
    They would rather let their own children die than spend a few hours investigating it. Some people should be ashamed of themselves.
    There will NOT be a cure for cancer made public. Too much money is generated by cancer research and peoples ignorance. There is too much money at stake.
    Why can’t people work this simple fact out?

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/05/1061967/-The-Pink-Goliath-Falls?via=sidebar

    • In response to similar comments elsewhere, I recommended that you read the section on my Master List post (linked under “Further Reading”, above) headed “Cancer Treatments and Conspiracy Theories”. I suggest you read it. I don’t have time to keep reiterating the same points.

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

  6. Just one question Michele: why won’t Burzynski publish his results?

  7. You are idiots paid by large farma.

  8. That is, of course, untrue.

    But if it were true, it still wouldn’t provide evidence of safety and efficacy of antineoplastons. Nor would it explain why Burzynski has continued to use them for decades, despite a lack of reliable, published evidence of benefit. Nor would it explain why Burzynski has failed to publish results from clinical trials (if there is actually reliable evidence of benefit, why can’t we see it?) Nor would it explain all the many examples where the Burzynski clinic have misread MRI scans, misleading patients. Nor would it explain Burzynski’s pick and mix approach to prescribing chemotherapy. Nor would it explain why patients are wrongly led to believe that what Burzynski does is an alternative to conventional treatment; that antineoplastons are natural and with little/no side effects. Nor would it explain why antineoplastons have been dropped from the website.

    I could go on.

  9. Pingback: Burzynski: killing without care? | Josephine Jones

  10. I was on the Respectful Insolence scienceblog until “Dr.” Orac; whom I affectionately refer to as “HerOrac” (“Hero” + “Orac” or “OracQuack,” booted me off for questioning his “Oracolytes” & his infallibility because of the “misinformation,” “disinformation,” “misdirection,” & lies that they post there. These are people who ignore that research has been done & published in other countries; up to & including this past year, in Poland, Russia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, ROC, & China. China & Taiwan’s research being published re CDA-II (CDA-H or CDA-2) 12/17/2012 – CDA-2 – China
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23284890

    http://file.lw23.com/f/f0/f07/f074852c-64a4-4b03-8595-47a5e6609a3f.pdf

    which is based on Burzynski’s work & has gone through Phase II & III trials in China & has been authorized for use in treating cancer since 2004 in Taiwan, ROC & China:

    http://fight4yourhealth.com/answers/taiwan-cancer-therapy

    His study also demonstrated the mechanisms responsible for anticancer effects of the human urinary extract ��CDA-2�� were majorly related to molecular targeting, such as induction of differentiation and apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, signal transduction inhibition, antiangiogenesis, and reversal of chemo-resistance, and radio-resistance. CDA-2 had been approved as a first class new anti-cancer drug by the SFDA of mainland China in 2004 through the effort of both sides of Taiwan Strait.

    http://faculty.nhri.org.tw/list_new2.php?indx=154

    http://news2.cjfu.com/supersite/?uid-43-action-viewspace-itemid-21

    http://file.lw23.com/f/f0/f07/f074852c-64a4-4b03-8595-47a5e6609a3f.pdf

    http://www.magnopro-usa.com/news/NFAM_update.pdf

    • Those of you who want to learn more about the connection between Burzynski & China can access the link below, under the section titled “Evaluating Antineoplaston Therapy,” there is a paragraph about 1/2 way through the article which describes this:
      http://www.commonweal.org/pubs/choices/21.html

    • Apologies for taking so long to approve this.

      I had heard that this person has been prevented from commenting on Orac’s blog after posting 40 comments in 12 hours. I am away from home at the moment with limited internet and limited time so would be unable to moderate such a situation.

      Because I’ve been away, I have also not had the opportunity to look at the studies linked, or into their relevance to Burzynski and antineoplastons. However, it looks like the same person has also been flooding the #Burzynski hashtag with similar comments (initially as @PDiddymus, which was suspended, now as @PDidymusJThomas). The issues raised in these comments have been addressed by Keir Liddle on 21st Floor:

      http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=7610

      http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=7724

      In short, we have still not seen reliable evidence of benefit for antineoplastons, from Burzynski or from anyone else.

      Those sceptical of Burzynski aren’t in denial, blinkered, or wishing to censor anyone. If anyone believes there is published research that supports Burzynski, we will read it and critique it objectively.

      But exaggerating what such research shows, posting multiple links over and over, while making untrue and possibly defamatory statements (such as accusing Orac of “misinformation”) seems to me like an attempt to deflect and to derail, rather than genuine and honest debate.

  11. I see. You weren’t accusing Orac of misinformation, but other people commenting on his posts. I got the impression that you were accusing Orac himself. It might just be me, but I don’t think that is clear.

    It is clear to me that Orac and other Burzynski critics have looked at what scant information is out there on antineoplastons objectively and intelligently and that others have not. I have read the Burzynski reply you posted and without supporting data, it is effectively meaningless.

    You have a problem with my tweet about Eric Merola. I take your point. You are quite right. Eric was saying that David is *either* part of a hate group or that he is on the skeptic payroll and paid to lie and not that skeptics are a hate group. It’s still a completely unsupported and ridiculous statement. In my defence, I only had 140 characters and I did link to the actual comment so that people could read it for themselves.

    Yes, the Burzynski clinic says that antineoplastons is an experimental therapy. They have to say that because they’ve never shown it actually works. And given the attention to detail you’ve displayed here, it surprises me that you can’t see where it says antineoplastons is a targeted gene therapy. Try using Ctrl + F then searching for “target”.

    You will find:

    It is a targeted gene therapy that does not harm healthy cells or other body tissues.

    • JJ is quite right to point out the 2nd sentence re antineoplastons

      However, if one is going to post a statement re the same, the information should be read in its entirety, thus not disassociated the 1 st sentence from the 2nd

      So, in totality, the 2 statements together make it clear that antineoplastons are “experimental targeted gene therapy”

    • JJ is quite right to post concerns re EM’s statements

      I will withhold judgement until Part II of the documentary comes out on 3/5/2013, to find out if any information is provided in support of his claim

    • As I have posted elsewhere, my personal opinion re antineoplastons is that irregardless of what information has been published in what publication, Securities and Exchange filing, abstract, etc., that the FDA had the necessary documentation from Burzynski and were supervising all of the Phase 2 clinical trials, and they approved a Phase 3 clinical trial re brainstem gliomas in children based upon that evidence.
      It was posted in various sources that the process was in motion to set up that trial, do a feasibility study, that funding was still being pursued, that it was estimated that approximately 660 children in the U.S. had this children, and so forth
      Personally, I am waiting until 3/5/2013 to find out if more information is forthcoming re this, rather than speculating about it

      • Are you expecting results from clinical trials to be published on 5th March? Are you referring to the forthcoming Burzynski Movie, part II?

        Reputable scientists don’t report results in this manner.

      • @JJ – Didums believes that SEC 10-K and annual filings are scientific evidence……he is hopeless.

      • As far as I am concerned, the term “experimental” is in the clinic’s documentation, so the documentation is controlling, that, and I think we should all be able to agree that ALL drugs in the clinical trial process are “experimental” or “investigational” until such time as they might complete the FDA clinical trial process
        I have not conducted a review to see if any other drugs that have been, or currently are in, are always referred to as “investigational” or “experimental” by the businesses or individuals associated with them when they refer to their particular drug

      • I expect that Part 2 of the documentary may or may not address the clinical trial final publications
        I personally do not know the status of the process
        It may or may not depend on the particular publication, because I know for a fact from public information that Burzynski attempted to reply to an article re ANP’s in a well known peer-reviewed medical journal, and the publication would not publish it

      • Someone had pointed out to me previously that the Delaration of Helsinki, point 30., required the publishing of clinical trial data

        http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/

        I pointed out that 30. had no timetable associated with it, so it is open to interpretation as to exactly WHEN the final results be published

      • My definition of “misinformation” or “disinformation” applies to the post by Lawrence

        Unlike JJ, Lawrence makes no effort whatsoever to dignify his remarks with any reference, citation, or link to support his inaccurate post

  12. To all the big farma useful idiots. Please stop blocking medical research. You will go to hell. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J47EyUcPkmM

  13. @cobalt – well, seems like Dr. B will be in good company, since he’s blocked any and all attempts to find out if his treatments actually work by not publishing his own research for review.

  14. Pingback: Anticipating the Burzynski sequel | Josephine Jones

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

  16. THE SKEPTICS ARE PAID TO PUT THIS SHIT ABOUT BURZYNSKI…….MAYBE YOU SHOULD RESEARCH MORE INSTEAD OF LISTENING TO THESE SKEPTIC PIECES OF SHIT. I HAVE SPOKEN TO A FEW PATIENTS WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD…BUT FOR ANTINEOPLASTON TREATMENT…THEY ARE ALIVE AND WELL TODAY…NO BRAINER

    • Please provide evidence that people are being paid to write about Burzynski. The very idea is ludicrous.

      As far as saving lives is concerned – as I’ve explained already – Burzynski has never provided reliable evidence that antineoplastons work, despite having used them on cancer patients since the 1970s, and despite decades of “clinical trials”. Indeed, as I’ve also explained, Burzynski can’t advertise antineoplastons as safe and effective and can no longer give antineoplastons to new patients. Instead, antineoplastons seem to be promoted by word of mouth – by which I mean pseudonymous comments on blogs, online forums and social media.

      And if you’re going to accuse people of writing “shit”, please specify who you refer to and what your specific objections are. If you believe anything I’ve written is inaccurate or in any way misleading, I would appreciate it if you could let me know so I can take steps to correct or clarify.

  17. I suppose the doctors and nurses in this BBC documentary were paid as well? Nice try Sheila. More tin foil hat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdZf5_El1Pw

  18. It is easier to debate climate change than Cancer cures.

    http://www.ahealedplanet.net/medicine.htm

    This is a long read but one can skim and get a good gist.
    It could be a difficult read because it catalogues a medical racket that is deeply disturbing to anyone who is not yet aware it occurs.

  19. @Brian – actually very hard to read because it misrepresents a huge swath of medical science (and relates a bunch of known fallacies as well).

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