Cancer Clinical trials Medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

How is it that in 2018 cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski is still preying on desperate cancer patients?

In the 1970s, young polish expat and cancer researcher Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski thought he had found a cure for many incurable cancers. He dubbed it antineoplastons (ANPs_. Unfortunately, he left the path of science and started treating patients before he had evidence that ANPs work. Four decades later, without ever having published compelling evidence for anticancer efficacy of ANPs, he’s still luring desperate patients to his clinic. Now he’s set to branch out to quack clinics in Mexico. Why can’t the law stop him?

Over the weekend, I started to get the feeling that I’ve never left the time period from around 2012-2014. I’ll show you what I mean by quoting from a news story I saw in—where else?—the Daily Mail, with a suitably overwrought Mail-esque headline, Devastated mother has race against time to raise £150,000 to take her 11-year-old daughter with cancer to America for potentially life-saving treatment:

A devastated mother is in a desperate race against time to raise £150,000 to fund potentially life-saving cancer treatment for her daughter.

Demi Knight, 11, from Louth in Lincolnshire, was given months to live in February after scan results showed her brain tumour is spreading.

The youngster, who has a Medulloblastoma tumour growing in her brain and spine, was given the all clear two years ago after her first battle with the disease.

But now her desperate mother Mel faces a race against time to get her to America for experimental treatment which could save her life.

She needs to raise £150,000 to pay for the crucial trip and has launched a fundraising and Facebook page pleading with the public for their support

Regular readers who’ve been around at least four or five years will likely immediately be able to guess what this “experimental treatment” is and where in American her Demi’s parents want to take her. It’s a depressing script that I’ve been writing about at least since 2012. Yes, Demi’s parents want to take her to The Burzynski Clinic:

‘Our latest scan results show that the tumour is going to be putting pressure on her movement and sensory functions soon,’ said Mel.

‘We need to get Demi out to the States now, before it’s too late.’

The NHS have said there is nothing more they can do to help Demi, but the specialist Burzynski Clinic in Texas offers customised treatment at £35,000 per session.

Unbelievably—no, strike that, all too believably—Stanislaw Burzynski is still in business. As it has so many times before, the Texas Medical Board, even after a long and involved investigation and nearly as lengthy legal proceedings, has failed to stop this quack, and it’s full steam ahead for Stanislaw Burzynski, whom I last wrote about a year ago when another family of another similarly unfortunate child with cancer was portrayed in a news story going to the Burzynski Clinic as their “last chance.” It’s as nothing has changed in all the time that I’ve been writing about the violations of science, medicine, and ethics routinely engaged in by Burzynski and his acolytes.

Consider: While writing this post, out of curiosity I did a search for my earliest mentions of Stanislaw Burzynski. My first mention of him was ten years ago, but it was a throwaway mention. I didn’t really discuss him in any great depth, but rather used him as an example of alternative cancer cures that an alt-med advocate was lamenting as having never been well-tested. Then, in 2010, I wrote about a case that will have echoes of Demi Knight’s case in a post I called Harnessing the generosity of kind-hearted strangers to pay for woo. In this case, the patient was not a child, but an adult named Rene Louis, who was seeking out Burzynski for her metastatic medullary thyroid cancer. Depressingly, the date on my post is May 5, 2010, almost exactly eight years ago. Yet, here I am, writing about Burzynski preying on the vulnerable, giving false hope to the parents of a child with a deadly brain tumor.

It was more than a year later that I undertook a detailed examination of Stanislaw Burzynski’s antineoplastons. The reason was that a woo-friendly director named Eric Merola had released a propaganda film disguised as a documentary about Burzynski. At the time, I asked whether Burzynski was a pioneering cancer researcher or a quack. Rereading that post, I now think I was far too kind. Given what I know now based on the last six and a half years, my opinion is now firmly in the “quack” camp to describe Burzynski. But what are antineoplastons?

The detailed story can be found here, but the CliffsNotes version is that, back in the 1960s as a young medical student in Poland, Burzynski came up with a hypothesis that the body produces endogenous proteins or peptides that inhibit carcinogenesis and the growth of cancer. Of course, in 2018, we now know that there are such proteins (also that the biology is far more complex than Burzynski could ever have imagined), but in the 1960s this was a fairly novel concept. We also now know that what Burzynski discovered are not, in fact, anticancer peptides. Be that as it may, in the 1970s, having fled Poland and landed in Houston at the Baylor College of Medicine, he got the chance to test his hypothesis. By the mid-1970s he had published results claiming to have discovered peptides found at different concentrations in the blood and urine of cancer patients compared to normal patients. He fractionated blood and urine and isolated 39 fractions, of which some had anticancer activity. The two main fractions he dubbed AS-2.1 (also known as Astugenal or Fengenal) and A-10 (also known as Atengenal or Cengenal). As Saul Green and others have reported, AS-2.1 is the sodium salt of phenylacetic acid (PA), a potentially toxic chemical produced by normal metabolism and detoxified in the liver to phenylacetylglutamine (PAG). To boil ANP chemistry down to its essence, AS-2.1 is primarily a mixture of PA and PAG, and AS-10 is primarily PA. Of note, PA had been studied as a potential anticancer agent years before Burzynski discovered it and, although it has been studied intermittently for fifty years, has shown little promise against brain tumors.

In any event, in the late 1970s Burzynski thought his ANPs ready to test in humans, but he had trouble convincing the Baylor Institutional Review Board.IRBs tend to be rather harsh on the ethics of studying compounds that are not fully chemically characterized, and at the time Burzynski had not yet fully characterized his ANP fractions. It also didn’t help that Burzynski almost certainly didn’t have sufficient preclinical data to justify a clinical trial at the time. None of this deterred Burzynski. Brave Maverick doctor that he viewed (and views) himself, he shopped his trial around other hospitals. After he left Baylor, he began treating patients in his own clinic with ANPs, which at the time were isolated from copious quantities of urine. Eventually, Burzynski developed a process to synthesize them, but in those days he could quite rightly be called the pee doctor. Since then, Burzynski has managed to continue to keep treating patients, despite periodic attempts by the Texas Medical Board or the FDA to shut him down, demanding huge “management fees” on the order of what Demi Knight’s family is being charged. By 2012, he had branched out, still selling ANPs but also billing himself as offering “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy,” which is more accurately characterized as “making it up as you go along,” although Burzynski goes to ridiculous extremes in describing himself as a medical genius doing gene-targeted therapy 20 years before anyone else. Basically, though, what Burzynski does is to use commercially available gene sequencing and testing (e.g., Caris) and then picking a witches’ brew of highly expensive targeted therapies, many of whom have never been tested together and some of which are highly toxic based on, again, making it up as he goes along, and requiring patients to buy the drugs from a pharmacy that he owned. Later, he eventually figured out that a legitimate drug for other indications, phenylbutyrate, is metabolized into PA and PAG (i.e., antineoplastons) and started using the drug as an “ANP prodrug” and “epigenetic therapy.”

The template of the story of Demi Knight is a template that I’ve seen and written about a depressingly large number times. The script is always the same, with minor variations. A patient is found to have an inoperable brain tumor or a different cancer that’s metastasized and is now incurable. The patient and/or the family search online, understandably desperate for other options. They then come across Stanislaw Burzynski’s ANPs (or his other dubious treatments), most commonly through the propagandistic documentary Burzynski The Movie: Cancer Is Serious Business and/or its sequel Burzynski: Cancer Is A Serious Business, Part 2. (Truly, Eric Merola has a lot to answer for, his work having lured cancer patients to death and bankruptcy.) Next, the fundraising appeals ensue, through Facebook, GoFundMe, and other sites. These fundraising appeals reach the press, and someone, somewhere, will publish a credulous “human interest story” on the cancer patient’s and family’s “brave desperate campaign” to save their loved one’s life. The British tabloid press and the Daily Mail in particular, have much to answer for in this respect, and, as the example of Demi Knight shows, the Daily Mail has learned nothing—or, far more likely, its editors just don’t care. The reason is that seemingly a disproportionate number of these sad stories and fundraising campaigns appear to come from the UK.

I was most active at analyzing these sorts of sad patient stories between 2012 and 2014, and the list of names of patients with cancer whom Burzynski has victimized and whom I’ve written about is a long and depressing one: Rene Louis, Shana Pulkinen, Jessica Marie Hahn, Kelli Richmond, Olivia Bianco, Billie Bainbridge, Rachael Mackey, Amelia Saunders (whose father actually wrote to me), Seán Ó’Laighin, Hannah Bradley, Laura Hymas, Sheila Herron, Christina Lanzoni (Fabio’s sister), Neil Fachon, Stephanie O’Halloran, Liza Cozad (wife of Sammy Hagar’s drummer David Lauser), and McKenzie Lowe. I’m sure I’ve probably missed a couple, but you get the idea, and, besides, Bob Blaskiewicz has chronicled many, many more stories of Burzynski’s preying on cancer patients. Through it all, I keep seeing horrible news stories about Burzynski, chock full of false balance.

As they say, every story needs a victim, a hero, and a villain. Burzynski’s stories always have all three. The patient, obviously, is the victim, and Burzynski, equally obviously, is the hero. In the case of patients from the UK, the villain is usually the NHS, which is portrayed as being close-minded and cheap, not wanting to spend money to send the patient to Houston for Burzynski’s treatments. Elsewhere, it’s the insurance companies, the medical profession, the hospital at which the patient was being treated, and, of course, always, always, always, the skeptics who dare to point out that the Great Man, the Emperor, has no clothes. We are routinely portrayed as not just wrong, but downright evil. Never mind that, contrary to Burzynski’s claims, his ANPS are toxic and have even resulted in a death of a child named Josia Cotto due to hypernatremia that led to a partial clinical hold on his clinical trials. Never mind that Burzynski’s “clinical trials” not infrequently land patients in the hospital, so much so that BBC Panorama reported that the staff at the pediatric ICU at nearby Texas Children’s Hospital dread receiving Burzynski patients.

Speaking of his clinical trials, I can’t do a post about Burzynski without noting a couple of other things. First, Burzynski’s clinical trials are a fraud. During legal proceedings against Burzynski for insurance fraud, a judge ruled that Burzynski could continue if his patients were all treated under the auspices of a clinical trial. So Burzynski cranked out 72 near-identical clinical trials and somehow got them approved by the FDA, thus shutting down the prosecution. Again, the details can be found here. Second, during the 1990s, Burzynski perfected a technique of weaponizing his patients against any attempt by the FDA or the Texas Medical Board to shut him down. It’s a technique he uses to this day.

This brings me back to Demi Knight. Her GoFundMe page describes her situation:

Demi was a perfectly happy, healthy and normal 9 year old little girl who, in December 2015, was suddenly diagnosed with a Classic Medullablastoma brain tumour.

She had full surgical removal, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy which finished in February 2017 and was having clear 3 monthly scans up until her most recent MRI scan this month (March 2018) which has shown that the tumour has returned in her spine and head. A further scan at 8 weeks later has shown the disease to be progressing.

As the standard treatment has failed, we’ve been told this isn’t going to get any better!

Since this news we have frantically been trying to find where promising treatment is available and have found the Burzynski Clinic in Houston Texas to offer us the best hope through using Antineoplaston Therapy, but, this is to come at a cost that on our own is impossible to pay for.
I’ve spoken to parents who have a child who was treated at this very clinic after being told their child’s brain cancer was also terminal and all hope was lost, this was back in 2008 and this child’s tumour is now resolved! And she is alive and well today

And based on other people’s personal experiences of visiting and being treated at this clinic, that’s why we’ve chosen it and are desperate to get Demi there.

We have been told that to get us going we need at least £35,000 but that costs will be ongoing and will end up costing upto around at least £150,000+ and this is to cover costs of everything that involves getting us out there including the treatment itself, flights, accommodation and additional tests, medication, follow ups etc.

We have the support of a fully qualified naturopath who is helping and guiding us with intergrated treatment. We have changed Demi’s diet dramatically and she is also having HBOT 5 days a week, our nearest centre is nearly an hour away.

This is a typical anecdote, so much so that I could easily have seen it and written about it in 2012. There’s the quackery, like hyperbaric oxygen, and the naturopath who’s involved. Then there’s the real big bucks needed to travel to Houston and be treated by Burzynski. It’s depressing to think how little has changed. Now, as then, my heart goes out to a family who’s suffering. Now, as then, rage rises in me as I contemplate how Burzynski is bilking this family out of hundreds of thousands of dollars (or pounds). No matter how many times the FDA temporarily shuts Burzynski down or the Texas Medical Board acts, somehow, again and again, Burzynski manages to slither away from justice to keep producing patients whose families desperately raise money for his quackery.

Now, Burzynski is preparing to go international:

CHIPSA Hospital is a quack clinic located in Playas Tijuana, Mexico, conveniently a mere three miles south of the US border. It bills itself as the “The Original Gerson Therapy Hospital” and “on the forefront of advanced integrative treatments and immunological therapies for over 38 years.” I’ve written about the quackery known as the Gerson Protocol many, many times. Here’s a hint: Coffee enemas. Yes, that’s a major part of the Gerson Protocol, along with drinking freshly squeezed juices 13 times a day from up to 20 lbs./day of fruit and vegetables, plus (of course!) lots of supplements.

The only thing about this revelation that surprises me is why Burzynski didn’t do it years ago or, in particular, why he didn’t do it 2-5 years ago, when he was in real danger of being shut down by the FDA and/or the Texas Medical Board, which might have even taken his medical license away, and when his temporary clinical hold on his clinical trials put extreme financial stress on his clinic, to the point where it was in danger of shutting down. That’s when I expected him to make a move to Mexico, where the regulatory environment is—shall we say?—much less onerous. Instead, he appears to be making that move now. I wonder why. Either way, Burzynski remains a cautionary tale of just how ineffectual the FDA and state medical boards can be when it comes to blatant quackery.

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]

55 replies on “How is it that in 2018 cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski is still preying on desperate cancer patients?”

Burzynski is a master of spinning his story as a brave maverick doctor. Recently, British historian Norman Davies (who’s been interested in Poland and writing about Polish history for many years now) published his new book “Beneath Another Sky”. He devotes a section to Burzynski, which is full of false balance and telling both sides of the story. Well, it’s true that when writing about history you usually have to listen to both (or all) sides and even then it’s often hard to be objective – but medicine is not history and being a respected historian does not mean that you are an authority in other sciences. A pity, really.

Burzynski was born in 1943, right as the Holocaust was gearing up for its final, bloodiest phase and right in the country where some of the worst atrocities of the Holocaust were committed, not to mention the country where the largest concentration/death camp (Auschwitz) was located. So it’s an interesting beginning right there. Then when he was a child, his older brother was killed resisting the puppet Communist government the USSR installed in Poland after the war ended. So that’s another interesting bit. He also started out as a promising medical student and medical researcher in the 1960s and early 1970s. Then something happened. I’ve always suspected that it was Burzynski’s arrogance. He thought he had found a cure for many cancers and had to be the one to do the clinical trial—or he’d have no one do it. He then became so convinced that it worked that he couldn’t abide doing the proper research to prove it. By the time the 1990s rolled around, he was so invested in the cult of personality he’d built around himself and so convinced that only he had a cure for cancer that he could never look back. A story told that way could be interesting, as long as the false balance were left out.

Yes, I know that story. However, there’s one thing that seems a little shady to me – official “Polish Science” database claims that he graduated medicine at the medical university in Lublin in 1967 and he was awarded a doctorate in 1968 (although the title of his doctoral thesis is missing). Unfortunately, the database is currently in Polish only but here’s the link:
Well, if Burzynski managed to study medicine, although his brother was killed as “an enemy of the communist state”, it’s entirely possible that he was so brilliant that managed to write his doctoral thesis and get through the whole administrative process in just a year. But still it looks a little suspicious to me.

Urine enters the Burzynski story in more ways than through his antineoplastons.
Woo fighters are pissed off.
Desperate patients whose prospects are piss poor have their hopes pissed on.
And their money is pissed away.

(Orac: please note the change in email address.)

Actually the change in email address could help. I don’t know why you always went to automoderate. I’ve actually been trying get to figure it out. Just changing your email address will hopefully eliminate the problem.

The address I changed from,, is a forwarding service I started using when I used desktop email clients and changed my ISP from time to time. It has become increasingly unreliable, hanging up all deliveries for days, weeks, and, memorably, one time for months, all without explanation or apology. I am now switching everything over to online clients.

Dammit. You’re still getting hung up in automoderation with the new address. I really don’t know why or what to do about it. I’ve checked to make sure that no part of your IP address is in my filters. I double checked that the first part of your email address isn’t in the filters, left over from the Fendelsworth days. I’m stymied.

Sceptical residents of PlayasTijuana unhappily tell Burzynski:
” Oh no! I’m disgusted that urine town !” ?

The gullibility of the parents in cases like this is understandable. They don’t want to watch their daughter die, and are desperate enough to go to such lengths in an attempt to avoid that outcome, overlooking the ways in which Burzynski acts like a scammer.

For an honest journalist (a species that may be as rare as unicorns) to fall for the hype is another thing altogether. As you point out, we’ve been hearing versions of this story (the names and a few other details change, but the broad outline is the same) for at least a decade, and probably further back if somebody were to look. Where are the follow-ups on those earlier stories? If there were anything to ANPs, it should be possible to find a survivor who can tell a story. Couple that with the cash-up-front demand, which is not just a red flag but a bright neon sign proclaiming that the “Good Doctor” is up to no good, and you wonder why any self-respecting journalist would report such a story uncritically.

Then again, maybe the problem is that there are no heroes in the real story. They are correct in their identification of the victim, but the alleged hero acts like a cartoon villain, and the people who have the power to do something about it don’t.

@Eric Lund

Believe me any “honesty” or “journalism” you may find in the Daily Wail is there purely by accident. This is the “news”paper that has been publishing the printed equivalent of clickbait since before there was an internet and the web site has been known to make devices used to access it to self destruct out of pure shame.

I completely agree with you regarding the parents.. having been the relative of the person dying of cancer I can totally understand the blinkered desperation that would make you willing to try almost anything which of course is precisely the vulnerability that wallet-sucking parasites such as Burzynski rely upon.

The Daily Mail has an agenda: it has long been very anti-NHS and pro-market/private healthcare. It has been one of the main sources in our media of anti-NHS propaganda, of which this is just the latest example.

An honest Mail journo would be an oxymoron.

The girl with DIPG that you wrote about last year died–with her family having wasted time they could have better spent doing other things instead of going to Houston to see that predatory quack Burzynski. Perhaps Demi’s parents should look at that clear failure of Burzynski’s snake oil on Anna Ortega rather than buying into the bullsh*t of Burzynski’s ads.

You are one of the few doctors willing to call Burzynski for what he is. What I don’t get is where in the heck are any other doctors out there who have to know what a menace Burzynski is to patients. Given there is one of the best cancer centers (MD Anderson) and children’s hospital (Texas Children’s) in the world, where are those physicians who ought to be picketing the Texas Medical Board demanding termination of Burzynski’s license. Crap like this–the realization that so many of my colleagues don’t care– makes me sad to be a physician.

I’m afraid the reason this slimeball isn’t getting noticed is just that people don’t know about him. I’m not sure why the media won’t pry into this landfill. It sounds like excellent shock material that’ll grab eyeballs. “Victim (Adam M.) drinks 12 liters a day and still is excreting more than intaking while being charged a fortune!” If Joe Arapaio can grab the media attention with risible activity, why can’t Burzynski?

Maybe Eric Merola’s role as a legal thug has a part to play?

You can be sure the oncologists at MD Anderson and the Peds ICU doctors at Texas Children know who Burzynski, that is where Burzynski’s victims wind up after he mauls them with his snake oil as Burzynski sure as shoot isn’t going to fix them after he breaks them.

Is it normal protocol to tell doctors what clinic you were previously in, or do doctors keep records of what clinics you go to?

My brother-in-law is currently at a quack clinic (naturopath) in Arizona and to add injury to that insult, his doctors here have agreed to receive and interpret test results from the quack. Their excuse might be that they just want to be kind to terminal patients or some such, but I find this reprehensible and hightly unethical. Worse yet, it could be that they might actually believe that this quack can help their patient!

Why does anyone believe that suddenly changing one’s diet to massive amounts of veggie smoothies (or whatever) will cure cancer? This place in Arizona is basically a spa–for over $30k/month.

Anthro – There’s a chance that the real docs are waiting for an opportune moment to tell your brother-in-law that the quackery isn’t doing anything for him.

Why not tell him immediately? Because a) he wasn’t ready to hear it, and b) they didn’t have the hard data with which to make the point and make it stick. That may sound terrible, but if you were a doctor with a patient who was so emotionally invested in a quack that s/he was spending $30K a month to get quacked, you might do much the same thing.

Telling the patient immediately, might risk losing him/her entirely to the quacks. Better to keep the lines of communication open and wait for the moment when the patient is starting to question the quackery. Hopefully soon enough to save life & health.

Burzynski’s marks are laypeople and as such, rely upon oversight e.g. FDA, HHS, EMA, NHS to determine if one is a quack or not. They don’t get the nuances of oversight and how quacks are so adept at slipping through the cracks. As long as these charlatans are legally in business, they will get the business and we skeptics look like the bad guys for crushing their hopes.

As they say, every story needs a victim, a hero, and a villain.

“You must pay the rent!” If only one could get to “Curses, foiled again.”

Imagine my surprise to see the Daily Heil once again seizing the opportunity to profit from facilitating Burzynski’s scam. The journamalists and editors there know it’s a scam, but encourage their readers to throw their money down the rat-hole anyway, because, hey, more readers!

Thanks to the whole crowdfunding phenomenon, the victims of cancer parasites end up working on behalf of the fraudsters to befraud their families, and friends, and strangers on the internet. Crowdfunding lets the scammers outsource the scam. And the gutter press are an integral part of this process.

The thing is, this isn’t limited to the Daily Mail. “Normal” “mainstream” news sites are very sympathetic to Burzynski and they’re also happy to link to GoFundMe and other crowdfunding source. I assume goodwill but still. It’s nauseating to read their articles when they talk about “hope” when they really REALLY should go into how much of a scam it is, what kinds of misery the patients go through, and how people should set up a GoFundMe encouraging victims to go to actual qualified cancer clinics, not this money-furnace where they might as well treat you with a solution involving the ashes of the thousands of dollars and dashed dreams of getting a decent education.

Cali Scrub Jay – There’s this thing called “cry porn.” It consists of media stories that feature people crying and try to get the readers crying. Because crying is one of the few forms of primal emotional expression that hasn’t become controversial (violence) and isn’t prohibited or restricted in any way (sex). And because anyone who questions the media about this can be painted as heartless, so it’s sared cow territory. Yes they are that cynical. I asked someone, years ago, who was involved in local TV news, and s/he said yes, that’s what goes on. Sick sick sick…

A random note to you all: I always open the monthly, very widely-respected “Prescriber’s Letter” within minutes of it’s arriving in my mail. This month’s letter recommends trying “acupressure bands” like Sea Bands before considering Rx Bonjesta! What is this world coming to Orac??!!

I miss you guys. I’ve been busy.



P.S. I sure don’t like guys like Burzynski either!


SeaBands are a patient-applied placebo to address minor motion sickness by giving the patient something else to think about (gosh this is tight and uncomfortable!) (gee, I hope this works). Once nausea has moved out of the psychologically-controllable range the best use of a SeaBand is to hold back the patient’s hair.

I prefer to take my mal de mer advice from Spike Milligan:
“A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree.”

That’s a friggin’ hoot, Jay–you pissing and moaning about Burzynski in between ripping off your marks for $770 a pop for a “vaccine consultation” ( I’ll take it you’re only complaining because Burzynski charges even more than you do for his brand of quackery.

Nice to hear you open your monthly “Prescriber’s Letter”. Who reads it to you?

What a shock (not) to find out that Dr. FAAP believes in meridians, as well as homeopathy.

“David Colquhoun, Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology at University College London…gives this piece of advice to anyone considering buying a set of acupressure wristbands: “Save your money. It’s complete hokum.” He calls acupressure “an even sillier version of acupuncture, where you just press rather than sticking in needles.”

Colquhoun describes his own research field as “hard core biophysics.” When teaching, he “spent a lot of time trying to teach people which drugs work and which don’t.” Now retired, he continues to warn against quackery and scientific fraud through his blog, DC’s Improbable Science. “It’s upsetting to me to see the public being defrauded,” he says.”

Actually, Dangerous Bacon, I’m with you in being skeptical about these modalities. Not as dismissive as you, but very skeptical.

“skeptical” for Gordon = not sure I can make a lot of money from it.

This poor child. If her parents are successful in raising enough money to drag her off to Texas, what are the chances that she’ll live long enough to eat another Jaffer cake or decent cup of tea. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it is to be this sick and then get dragged off to a foreign country with no friends and little family and none of the familiar comforts of life.

Worse, Burzynski’s prices are out of this world! I don’t think cancer treatment is normally this expensive, is it?? Even if the child recovers from cancer, those costs aren’t going away. Those treatments are basically a college career’s or a house’s worth of money. What does Burzynski do with all that cash? You think with that money, he’s more than capable of conducting a good-quality experiment with a meaty sample size.

Were there any victims who filed for bankruptcy? Were they compensated if the patient dies? I heard stories of families whose loved one died in the clinic and all they got was a call / letter requesting for payment. There was one of Eduardo M.

Money being put to great use. Using the tears, hides, and bankruptcy files of dead people, including children, to pave his road and leave a nice finish on his well-adorned mansion.

The blog post has some comments criticizing the nature of revealing this guy’s home and all. But I don’t think this guy should be held to a standard when criticizing him, and besides, this puts a question on the honesty of his treatments. You don’t see most brain surgeons living in these mansions despite being probably the most highly-thought-of professionals in most of the world.

Oh, and when I mean “shouldn’t be held to a standard”, I don’t mean it literally. Of course, no one should ever give death threats or anything of that nature. But I think it’s perfectly fine to drip with scathing contempt and talk about his brick-and-mortar conflict of interest he resides in.

I wonder if anyone has attempted to take a look at the survival rate of patients after, say, five years, of the Burzynski clinic and compare it against the rates at which people with similar terminal cancer cases who don’t receive his “treatments” survive. I’d gather that the rate at which people under his “treatment” manage to survive afterwards is at least the same, possibly even lower than the rate at which people who don’t undergo this “antineoplaston theory” and receive palliative care or treatment under conventional medicine. I suppose this bozo has done an excellent job of concealing the failures and advertising the successes. Burzynski’s successes might plausibly be attributed to the effects of prior treatment, regression to the mean, and any other number of possible other causes with at least as much likelihood as them being due to his “treatment”. That would be the perfect antidote to his propaganda.

I believe this has been done as far as is practical. Not a rigorous study mind you, because access to records etc. Bob Blaskiewicz’s site has a description of the outcome for those he could track down. The outcomes are mostly poor. Burzynski’s treatments fail to improve 5 year survival outcomes, but are hugely successful in filling his bank accounts.

So Jay Gordon is now “skeptical” about acupressure wristbands – only four posts after dropping into the discussion to smirk about how the Prescriber’s Letter supposedly endorses them.

Jay’s “skepticism” depends on which direction the wind is blowing at the moment, as does his support of publications like the Prescriber’s Letter, which has come out against use of supplements to prevent flu, including elderberry and homeopathic preparations (Jay has promoted elderberry instead of flu shots, which he denigrates*, and is on record supporting homeopathy, in which he is “self taught” 🙂

*Jay thinks coming down with influenza is a Good Thing, since we then get antibodies to protect us against a future Big Flu. Jay apparently dozed off during the infectious diseases class in which the lecturer discussed flu virus antigenic drift and shift.

Good morning, Dangerous Bacon–

Since I left here a while ago, I think you’ve lost your edge. And your sense of humor. The “Prescriber’s Letter” is great and usually quite conventional in its approach to medical care. The acupressure comment from them is an amusing aberration. I’m guessing you don’t read the “Letter” by the way.

Flu shots don’t work well enough and chip away at the public’s faith in medical advice from us. As long as we tell patients that we have a “great flu shot” the R&D for a real flu shot is slowed. I don’t know anything about homeopathy. My comments to contrary are old and were ignorant.

Yes, it’s possible that healthy people developing influenza antibodies is a good thing.

Good to talk with you again though.



Jay: “As long as we tell patients that we have a “great flu shot” the R&D for a real flu shot is slowed.”

I believe you know this is untrue. It is commonplace for infectious disease specialists and other evidence-based physicians to advise people to get flu shots even though they have limited effectiveness, since they’re the best prevention tool we have (and especially in the case of health care professionals, help protect vulnerable people (the very young, very old, debilitated and immunocompromised) from being exposed to serious and potentially fatal disease. Which reminds me, has Jay ever acknowledged the need to get flu shots himself to protect pediatric patients he’s exposed to in the office and on hospital rounds?

Jay: “I don’t know anything about homeopathy. My comments to contrary are old and were ignorant.”

From “self-taught” to not knowing anything? That’s quite a change, and contrary to your previous claims.

As far as comments being “old”, you still have at least one promo for homeopathy up on your website.

“I treat ear infections with prevention (anti-allergy measures such as dairy avoidance, dust reduction and getting rid of feather pillows and quilts) and with herbal and homeopathic remedies. I have some formal training in these methods but nowhere near enough to call myself an authority. I have been trained by my patients’ actions and by years of experience watching the way children respond to gentler methods of healing otitis media and other infections.”

“I like to put mullein/garlic oil in the ears hourly for a day or two and give pulsatilla 6X or 12C (homeopathic strength–the range I have given indicates homeopathic ignorance… but it works) or lachesis homeopathically hourly for two days.”

Oopsie! I guess you’ll want to delete those ignorant comments right away. 😉

*note how Jay has vacillated over time between being “self-taught” about homeopathy, to having “formal training”, to “not knowing anything”.
**I despair at Jay’s not being sufficiently amused by my posts, but will endeavor to persevere.

Dangerous Bacon–If you crossed Eugene H. Krabs with Patrick Star and somehow got it through med school and a pediatrics residency, well, you’d have you know who.

6X is dilution by a factor of 10, six times. One part per million (10^6) then .12C is dilution by a factor of 100, twelve times, one part in 10^24 .So this doctor is comfortable suggesting meds over a range of solutions of 10^18 (a quintillion).

Sensible people recognize that some substances have an effect at dilution of one part per million. And homeopaths in their ridiculous fantasies think that a dilution of one part per 10^24 is really potent, way more than 10^6. So whether this doctor believes homeopathy’s tenets or not, that’s an uncommonly stupid statement. And ignorant.

Not sure about Burzyncki but Chipsa is a not a quack, juice clinic. Yes there are a lot of scam artists in this world but Chipsa is one of them. They are merging conventional with alternative and doing some cool things down there with real science. Endothelium based cancer vaccines, Car T cell treatments and collaborating with some big names. Franseco Marincola who has authored over 500+ NIH papers is working with them and recently did a facebook live.

Yes they believe in the dietary protocol as the nutritional foundation but they are doing so much more.
Patients are getting access to treatments that would take them forever in the states. In fact one of the treatments, Vallovax is in Phase 1 FDA trial right now.

I know there are a lot of quacks, but Chipsa is not one them…I implore you to rethink your stance.

I see nothing on their website to make me rethink my stance. Also, if the Gerson protocol remains the basis of Chipsa’s “nutritional foundation,” it will remain a quack clinic. If they stop using the Gerson protocol and renounce coffee enemas (and all the other quackery they offer) as quackery, I might reconsider. Maybe. I’d need to see a big change.

I also can’t help but point out that administering drugs that haven’t passed phase I yet outside of the auspices of a
phase I clinical trial is reckless in the extreme. It’s also highly unethical to charge for such a drug.

Fair enough. I can respect your objective stance, we need to be in this day and age.
I’m just speaking from personal experience.

I guess we have to stay tuned 🙂


blockquote>What we can assure you is that we have more experience combining the most powerful natural therapies with cutting edge immunotherapies and modern therapies than anyone in North America.

Yah, I’m sold.

Dear Doctor. Hello! I came to Burzynski clinic March 2017 with stage 4 prostate cancer and kidney carcinoma. I responded well to treatment and returned to work at the office in December. This week my CT PET scan results are good and we are concluding treatment. I find several of the comments above blatantly false based on my experiences in being treated meeting with Dr. Burzynski about once a week for over a year. And, I have met in our IV room several who have recovered when standard of care was to go home and die, too. That includes one gentleman from Canada that go over pancreatic cancer as I observed week to week as a co-patient. I have spent the monthly cost for investment and am happy with the results noted. Request: Would you please increase the respectful part of your dialogue? Including complying with your own guidelines for comments and eliminating some of the abusive vocabulary, please. Respectfully, Douglas Kruse Jr. Houston, TX.

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