Cancer Clinical trials Medicine Politics

A little bit more shameless self-promotion in the service of an important message about Stanislaw Burzynski

As regular readers know, I was quite happy that Skeptical Inquirer (SI) agreed to publish articles by Bob Blaskiewicz and myself about the highly dubious cancer doctor in Houston known as Stanislaw Burzynski. Indeed, Bob and I have been busily doing our best to promote it, appearing on various podcasts, including Point of Inquiry and, most recently, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, where once again we’ve called on skeptics to help us put pressure on our elected officials to prevent Dr. Burzynski from continuing to take advantage of desperate cancer patients, many with incurable disease, particularly incurable brain cancers. It’s in this spirit that I write this uncharacteristically brief post.

My only disappointment thus far was that SI is still largely print-only, which meant that I could only expose our article to subscribers and urge nonsubscribers to pick up a copy (which, by the way, you can still do, as I believe the issue with Bob’s and my articles is still on the stands). Given that my article was designed to be a primer on Stanislaw Burzynski for skeptics, while Bob’s article was intended to make suggestions about what you as supporters of science-based medicine can do to try to protect cancer patients, I’m now happy to announce that SI has published both of our articles online:

Read. Learn. Enjoy. Comment. And thanks to Frazier Kendrick and all the kind folks at SI for publishing our articles online as early as they could.

Thus enlightened and fortified with knowledge, then head on over to to find out what more you can do to help. Bob also has a petition. As I mentioned not too long ago, I’ll be in Darrell Issa’s neck of the woods in San Diego from April 5 to 9, where hopefully I’ll get to meet with some of the skeptics there to help in any way I can while I’m not attending the AACR meeting.

Finally, another reason why I’m happy that these articles have been published online is because it allows my readers who don’t subscribe to SI to have a chance to read them. It also gives you a chance to comment on them, and I hope you’ll do so below.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

8 replies on “A little bit more shameless self-promotion in the service of an important message about Stanislaw Burzynski”

Well Bob, of course you did 🙂

I have been following the saga through Orac’s posts for ages. I hope to see some spirited commenting on the other side with enlightenment possibilities.

I subscribe to the Si, awesome articles. I signed the petition and donated to the worthy cause to put this charlatan out of business. I say we bring back taring, feathering and riding him out of town on a rail!

Most excellent work, gentlemen.
Even though I know the story well, others don’t.

Kudos to CSI for putting it on this side of the paywall. Now I can send a link to my friends in Houston.

“While it must be conceded that it is possible that in some patients ANPs might exhibit antitumor effects”

If a patient asked you whether there’s a chance that ANPs work, would you phrase this the same way? It seems to me that most desperate patients would take that answer and think, “AHA! So there IS a chance! By gum, I’ll take it!”

If nothing else, I want my healthcare providers to be precise, so I appreciate that you have to acknowledge that there might be a chance ANPs work, since there is no published definitive evidence that they don’t. But if I understand what you’ve been writing about Burzynski correctly, essentially, there’s no chance ANPs will work, and it’s certainly not worth the effort (regardless of whether patients get ANPs from Burzynski’s clinic or elsewhere). Do I have this right?

Sort of on topic,a beautiful little girl has died of cancer.

I haven’t researched the details, but her odds were probably not good.
But, instead of wasting a huge amount of money on a probably futile “experimental” treatment, she and her family found a way to fill her last months with special joy, inspire a college basketball team, and leave a special memory for thousands.

R.I.P. Lacey Holsworth

Also, the basketball dunk video on the page is great.

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