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Cancer Diaries

Part Three: Burzynski

The Modern Prometheus

Written by Rick Archer
July 2013

This is the story of a cancer researcher named Stanislaw Burzynski.  Based on what I have read, it looks like this man has found a cure for cancer.  His treatment doesn't work all the time, but when it does work, the results are spectacular. 

You would assume this would be a celebrated man, but he isn't.  Like Prometheus who brought fire to mankind and was punished by the Gods for his hubris, Burzynski has been chained to the mountain many times and clawed at by eagles. 

This is a remarkable and deeply disturbing story.  Let's go.

Stanislaw Burzynski

I will get right to the point.  Stanislaw Burzynski presents the most serious threat to the Pharmaceutical Drug Cartel in history.  Why?  Not only does it look like Burzynski has a cure for cancer, get this:  he owns it! 

Assuming his treatment fulfills its promise, left unchecked, this man could destroy the entire rotten cancer treatment system.  Not surprisingly, the drug industry, the NIH, and the FDA absolutely hate him.  Not only that, they fear him. 

Assuming you read my previous story, you will recall that the Medical Establishment appears to have successfully quashed several promising cancer cures in the past. 

In Burzynski, it seems like 100 years of Bad Karma has come back to haunt the forces of evil.  Dr. Burzynski is the modern day successor to Essiac, Hoxsey, Gerson, and Laetrile all rolled into one.  Stanislaw Burzynski is now the chief renegade. 

Into the Abyss 

Burzynski presents a huge threat to the Medical Establishment for several reasons.  First, like Max Gerson, he is the graduate of an accredited medical school in Poland.  This gives him the right to treat patients.

In addition, Burzynski holds a PhD in biochemistry.  Since he began his career as a cancer researcher for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Burzynski is no stranger to the world of research and its intricate games.

Far from it. Burzynski appears to be a crafty player who knows how to play the research game inside and out. 

That means that like Max Gerson from my previous chapter, Burzynski is simultaneously both an Insider and an Outsider.  However, despite his profound brilliance, Max Gerson did not appear to have a fighter's instincts.  That is where Burzynski and Gerson differ.


Instead, when it comes to the rough and tumble hardball tactics of propaganda, disinformation, harassment, and legal intimidation used by the Cancer Drug Cartel, Burzynski is clearly much better prepared to fight fire with fire than Gerson ever was.  In the tradition of Harry Hoxsey, an alternative cancer figure from yesteryear, Burzynski is a fighter.  He doesn't back down.

If there is one statistic that says it all, that would be the fact that the U.S. Government at both the State and Federal level spent 14 years continuously fighting Burzynski in the court of law.  That's right, there was an endless series of cases that stretched all the way from 1983 to 1997. 

I may have my math wrong, but by my count, the State of Texas brought Burzynski into court in 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, and 2012... the State of Texas lost every single round.

The FDA took Burzynski to court at the Federal level in 1983, 1985, 1996 and 1997.  The FDA lost all four of those rounds.

14 years!  And each time Burzynski won a case, the government came back with another fight.  Although Burzynski ultimately won every showdown, it never stops.  He just lives to fight another day.

It helps that Burzynski is media savvy.  Perhaps the best thing that ever happened to the man was when filmmaker Eric Merola showed up at his doorstep in 2008 and offered to help.  Since that time, Merola has produced two documentaries that do a persuasive job of bolstering Burzynski's reputation and counteracting an ocean of negative disinformation on the Internet.

However, ultimately, none of this means a thing if Burzynski's cure doesn't pan out.  Fortunately, it appears that Burzynski has a winner.  He is far from perfecting his cure, but there is ample clinical and anecdotal evidence to suggest he is on to something.

So far, Burzynski has found a way to beat the American Medical Establishment at its own game.  No wonder they are petrified of the guy.  Unless the dark forces find some way to stop him, Burzynski might one day flip the entire industry upside down.

What terrifies the Cancer Drug Cartel the most is the fact that Burzynski owns a PATENT to his treatment. 

That patent symbolizes the stake through the heart of the vampire. If he wins, it becomes lights out for the Game as it is currently played.   Burzynski is dangerous because he is poised to find a cure for cancer and upset the money train all at the same time.  He has to be stopped at all costs or else.

There doesn't seem to be any middle ground surrounding this man.  People either believe in what he is doing or absolutely detest the guy and his work.  It takes about five seconds of reading an article to guess which side the writer favors.  For example, I am sure you have guessed I am on Burzynski's side.

No matter what side of the fence you are on, after reading this story I am sure you will agree that the Medical Establishment has gone to extraordinary lengths to shut him down.

So far they haven't succeeded. At every turn, Burzynski seems to give the Cancer Industry a bitter taste of its own medicine. 

Now isn't that ironic?   Paybacks are hell.


A Quick Look at Stanislaw Burzynski
(from the Burzynski Clinic Web Site located in Houston, Texas)


Stanislaw R. Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician and biochemist-researcher who pioneered the development and use of biologically active peptides in diagnosing, preventing and treating cancer.

In 1967, at the young age of 24, S.R. Burzynski graduated from the Medical Academy in Lublin, Poland, with a M.D. degree with distinction, finishing first in his class of 250. During the same year he identified naturally occurring peptides in the human body which he concluded control cancer growth. He found that there is a marked deficiency of these peptides in cancer patients.

The following year, 1968, he earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry as one of the youngest candidates in Poland ever to hold both an M.D. and Ph.D.

From 1970 to 1977, while a researcher and Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, his research was sponsored and partially funded by the National Cancer Institute. At Baylor, he authored and co-authored 16 publications, including 5 concerning his research on peptides and their effect on human cancer. Four of these publications were also co-authored by other doctors associated with M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, and Baylor College of Medicine.

In May of 1977, Dr. Burzynski received a Certificate of Appreciation from Baylor College of Medicine, commending him for completing five years of dedicated service and acknowledging his contributions made to the "Advancement of Medical Education, Research, and Health Care."

That same year, Dr. Burzynski founded his clinic in Houston where he has since treated over 8,000 patients.

Read more

 


What do the Detractors Say About Burzynski?

If I were to pick one word to describe the naysayers, it would be 'virulent'.  The Internet criticism of Burzynski is bitterly hostile and borderline hateful. 

All I can say is there are two sides to every story. 

According to Wikipedia, a whispering campaign is a method of persuasion in which damaging rumors or innuendo are spread about the target, while the source of the rumors seeks to avoid being detected while spreading them (for example, a political campaign might distribute anonymous flyers attacking the other candidate).

It is generally considered unethical in open societies, particularly in matters of public policy. The speed and anonymity of communication made possible by modern technologies like the Internet has increased public awareness of whisper campaigns and their ability to succeed. This phenomenon has also led to the failure of whisper campaigns, as those seeking to prevent them are able to publicize their existence much more readily than in the past.

To date, there have been two documentaries put out about Burzynski.  Both were made by Eric Merola.  In the second documentary, Merola claimed that the drug industry has gone to the trouble of hiring people to deliberately discredit Burzynski on the Internet.  

Merola states that the drug industry has orchestrated a group of "information hit men" to pollute all channels of public information in an effort to confuse the public over the truth about Burzynski.  These people engage in the intimidation and harassment of prospective and current terminal cancer patients under Burzynski's care.  By masking the true sponsors of a message (e.g. political, advertising, or public relations), these people give the appearance of being a disinterested, grassroots participant. In other words, by withholding information about the source's financial connection, this increases the credibility of their message.

Let's use myself for example.  Since my message is sympathetic to Burzynski, one might wonder if I am on his payroll.  After all, Burzynski operates right here in my hometown of Houston.  Perhaps someone got to me and persuaded me to write something positive about the man.  Since I am a retired dance teacher, on the surface I don't appear to have any vested interest in Burzynski.  That gives me the much-needed appearance of neutrality and seemingly bolsters my credibility.

Maybe someone will ask what my motives are for writing this extensive article. 

If I am not being paid, then I must truly believe in Burzynski, right?  But if it turns out I am being paid or have a hidden horse in the race, then my word loses all value. 

I will save you the effort. For the record, I am not being paid a cent.

Got that?  No one approached me to write this article about Burzynski. 

In Chapter One I documented what got me started on this journey -
my daughter Sam's Texas 4000 commitment, the sharp 2012 rebuke from Mr. Skeptical, and the 2013 death to cancer of my brother in law Neil.

What I write here was created by the anger I feel over what I have learned in my research of the cancer industry.  

As for Eric Merola and his opponents the Skeptics, I will not tell you who to believe.  But I will say that if Merola's claim is true, then this modern Internet crusade against Burzynski is reminiscent of Nixon's famous "Dirty Tricks" campaign used to smear his opponents.  They worked - ask Edmund Muskie. [ source ]  

Or for that matter, I remember the story of how a rumor was spread before a 2000 South Carolina primary that John McCain had fathered a black baby.  The trick worked - McCain had been the frontrunner until that story broke.  [ source ]  

Some will say the famous Swift Boat ads used to destroy John Kerry was also a smear campaign.  That devastating ad campaign turned a close election into a rout. [ source ]

Whatever the truth, there can be no doubt the political fortunes of Muskie, McCain and Kerry took an immediate nosedive.  

Disinformation campaigns are very powerful and very difficult to counteract. I cannot prove or disprove Eric Merola's claim, but I can say the negative information he refers to is extremely damaging to Burzynski's reputation. 

Although medicine is finally getting the upper hand in certain cancers, generally when it comes to Cancer, almost everyone dies within five years.  As a result, one has to learn to get excited when anyone claims to "save" even one person in five.  Since so many people die no matter what the treatment, it is impossible for people like me with little medical experience to ascertain which doctor or which treatment is the most effective. 

Consequently, with all these dead bodies, it is pretty easy to use scare tactics to destroy the reputation of any cancer treatment. 

Burzynski is the perfect example.  When I first read the negative articles, my confidence in Burzynski plummeted to zero.  In fact, I felt a genuine contempt for the man after reading what the naysayers had printed.  My attitude changed later, but only after a great deal of research. 

Tell you what. I will give you a taste of what I am talking about. 
 

Burzynski's Wikipedia Profile

For starters, let's visit our friend Wikipedia.  One hint - Wikipedia clearly does not like this guy.  No surprise there.  Burzynski doesn't even rate a profile under his own name... it was apparently deleted.  Instead, Wikipedia has substituted a profile of his clinic.

I have offered some of the highlights, but please be advised there's much more if you wish to read it all.

Burzynski Wikipedia Listing

The Burzynski Clinic offers unproven cancer treatment.

The clinic is best known for its "antineoplaston therapy", a controversial chemotherapy using compounds it calls antineoplastons, devised by the clinic's founder Stanislaw Burzynski in the 1970s.

The clinic has been the focus of much criticism due to the way its unproven antineoplaston therapy is promoted, the exorbitant costs for cancer sufferers participating in "trials" of antineoplastons, significant problems with the way these trials are run, legal cases brought as a result of the sale of the therapy without board approval, and for other causes.

There is a scientific consensus that antineoplaston therapy is unproven and of little promise in treating cancer.

Clinical trials initiated in 1993 and sponsored by the National Cancer Institute were closed due to inability to recruit qualifying patients, and a Mayo Clinic study found no benefit from antineoplaston treatment. 

The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has stated: "Bottom Line: There is no clear evidence to support the anticancer effects of antineoplastons in humans."

FDA warnings

Burzynski's use and advertising of antineoplastons as an unapproved cancer therapy were deemed to be unlawful by the U.S. FDA and the Texas Attorney General, and limits on the sale and advertising of the treatment were imposed as a result.

2010 film, Burzynski – Cancer is Serious Business

The 2010 film, Burzynski, Cancer is Serious Business, directed, written, edited, and narrated by Eric Merola, an art director of television commercials, describes Burzynski's use of antineoplastons and his legal clashes with government agencies and regulators.

The Village Voice commented that the movie "violates every basic rule of ethical filmmaking" and that by interviewing only Burzynski's supporters, the film's producer "is either unusually credulous, or doesn't understand the difference between a documentary and an advertisement".

Variety described the film as having the qualities of a "paranoid conspiracy theory" and likened it to the National Enquirer, adding that the film's explanatory diagrams are "simplistic to the point of idiocy". The review concluded that "despite its infotainment look, Burzynski ultimately proves convincing."

Houston Press correspondent Craig Malisow mocked the film's lack of objectivity, characterizing it as "a puff-piece paean that cherrypicks facts and ignores any criticism", and criticized the project for presenting only Burzynski's side of the story.

Read More: Burzynski Wikipedia Listing

 

Rick Archer's Note:  I found it curious that the Wikipedia listing saw fit to criticize the movie for presenting 'only Burzynski's side of the story' when Wikipedia itself doesn't have a clue about presenting both sides of any alternative medical issue. 

This Wikipedia write-up made no attempt whatsoever to present a single positive word about Burzynski.  This is what is known as a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Now let's read some of the many 'less than complimentary' comments that can be found on the Internet.  They are not hard to find.  I got each of these from Page One of Google. 

Put your seat belts on; things are going to get rough.


Stanislaw Burzynski and the Antineoplaston Scam

By Bob Blaskiewicz from Skeptical Humanities

November 10, 2012


Over 10 years ago, a friend of mine whose son had spent the better part of the past year fighting a brain tumor called me and said that her boy was too sick to be included in an experimental trial at St. Jude’s. She was truly disconsolate and desperate. She told me that she had heard of a doctor “out West” who was treating cancer patients with an extract of human urine and was reported to have cured all sorts of cancers. With a very heavy heart I had to destroy the last hope for a cure for her son; if he had really cured cancer, he would have multiple Nobel Prizes for curing one of man’s most universally feared scourges. She was devastated, but she saved her son the trial of a last long trip, and he died peacefully at home a few weeks later, which I guess is worth something.

I never forgave that doctor for putting me in that position, and only last year I found out who he was. His name is Stanislaw Burzynski. He works out of his clinic in Houston. He is the discoverer, manufacturer, prescriber, and dispenser of what he calls “antineoplastons” (ANP), which he first extracted from human urine in the 1970s but now produces synthetically. I learned his name because an occasional employee of his had sent legalistic threats to bloggers who questioned the validity of his treatments, which he has given for over 30 years under the guise of “clinical testing” with staggeringly unpromising results. What brought Burzynski back to the attention of the blogosphere was the way that Burzynski’s shill and occasional hired help, Marc Stephens, not only threatened teenageer Rhys Morgan’s family with legal action but also sent them a picture of their house, the unmistakable message “we know where you live.”

Despite the thuggery of some of his supporters (which included the creation of a website at the same IP as burzynskipatientgroup.org that defamed numerous skeptics, myself included, as pederasts), his decades-long failure to produce a single convincing study about ANP’s efficacy, and the fact that his medical license is under review for a host of alleged ethical violations, including “the failure to meet the standard of care, negligance, lack of informed consent, unprofessional conduct, and nontheraputic prescribing,” Burzynski continues to practice. The aggravating factors applied to the Texas Medical Board’s lawsuit include:

1 Harm to one or more patients;

2 Economic harm to any individual or entity and the severity of such harm;

3 Severity of patient harm;

4 One or more violations that involve more than one patient; increased potential harm to the public;

5 Intentional, premeditated, knowing, or grossly negligent act constituting a violation; and

6 Prior similar violations. (Source: casewatch.org)

From the position of an informed patient advocate, everything about the Burzynski Clinic reeks of medical charlatanry. He is not a trained oncologist, but he is treating cancer. He posits a novel mechanism for cancer (a patient’s lack of antineoplastons) that is unrecognized in the medical literature as a cause. His ANP is marketed as an alternative to chemotherapy, but he gives patients chemo cocktails mixed with “terrifying” doses of sodium phenylbutyrate, mixtures that have not been adequately tested for safety and which causes hypernatremia in his patients.

He has sold ANP not only as a cancer treatment, but also as an HIV treatment, an unjustified action for which he was severely disciplined by the Texas Medical Board. Checks for donations that are meant to go “toward the continuation of the Clinical Trials and Research” are to be made out directly to “S.R. Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D.” He has initiated over 60 phase II studies over the decades and seems to have completed exactly zero of them. Three independent investigations, published together in The Cancer Letter, concluded that his studies were “uninterpretable,” and that Burzynski defined successful treatment as “stable disease,” a lowered standard that no other oncologist or researcher accepts.

An important sign of quackery is the depiction of the doctor as a lone genius fighting against special interests trying to suppress crusading work. This is, of course, bunk. What is routinely cited as evidence of a vast conspiracy against Burzynski is the routine prosecution of a run of the mill repeat offender. Nonetheless saying that he has sinister forces arrayed against him gives Burzynski an excuse to never produce evidence of efficacy that could be tested by an outside group.

There is something distinctly aberrant about Burzynksi’s supporter base, and a cult of personality surrounds the man unlike anything that I have seen in other medical schemes. At the root of cults is a psychological dependence on the leader, and Burzynski’s cult nurtures his patients’ dependence on him by making them fear and distrust modern medicine, stripping away desperately ill patients’ hope in legitimate, tested therapies and substituting them with his “treatment”.

Abominable.

Bob Blaskiewicz

Read more

Comments from Science-Based Medicine (David Gorski)

FastBuckArtist
June 10, 2013

In the interviews with parents of the patients it becomes very clear why people choose Burzynski – he’s the only person who offered them some hope while conventional oncology offered them to wait while the child dies.

This is a failure of oncology counseling. Why were these patients not offered participation in the many ongoing clinical trials for brain tumors?

The BBC program is a free advertisement for the Burzynski clinic. Gorski might find it balanced, but a cancer patient watching this program will hear one thing only – someone in Texas is offering a cure for his kids cancer.


elburto June 10, 2013

A cure? Well I suppose if you’re dead then cancer’s no longer a problem. So yeah then, Count Scamula’s curing them. Of life.


mdcatdad June 10, 2013

The disadvantages of an oncologist’s honesty in the face of Burzynski’s feel-good patter is encapsulated in this exchange I read years ago between Polish (presumably atheist) Communist leaders observing a Catholic funeral:

Those damn priests have an advantage over us: they can promise their people eternal life.

All we can do is wave goodbye”.

Read More

 

THE DEATH CHART

Rick Archer's Note:

Bob Blaskiewicz, the man who wrote one of the reviews above, was also kind enough to create a web site listing the names of the people who have died under Burzynski's care.

Blaskiewicz death chart

 

For this chapter, I made a conscious decision to avoid defending the "efficacy" (effectiveness) of Burzynski's treatment.  Since I am not a physician nor do I have any first-hand knowledge, I have no business making any statements about "how good" the treatment is.

That said, if you want my honest opinion, I will simply say that if I were unlucky enough to be diagnosed with cancer, I would make an appointment with Burzynski. Let's leave it at that.

There is a very grim thing one has to understand about cancer treatment... depending on how serious the illness is, almost everyone dies no matter what the treatment.  And that includes many of Burzynski's patients as well. 

This grim reality assures Bob Blaskiewicz that he will have a field day finding names to add to his Burzynski Death Chart.

These kind of scare tactics are very effective.  My wife took one look at Blaskiewicz's Death Chart and stopped reading my article at this exact point. 

Why?  Because reading about cancer is very depressing and that death list hits right on top of a very raw nerve.  Most people would rather not even think about cancer, much less the death rate.  I don't blame them one bit.
 

STATISTICS

What separates Burzynski from the others is that SOME of his patients live while practically no one lives with conventional treatment methods. 

These charts were taken from the first Burzynski documentary. The first chart shows that Burzynski's batting average was 25% while conventional treatment was only 9%.

The second chart shows that Burzynski's batting average was 28% while the established treatment records showed that not a single person lived past five years. 

The reason that Burzynski terrifies the Medical Establishment is that even his so-so batting record FAR SURPASSES conventional cancer treatments.  Until Burzynski came along, NO ONE survived these types of cancer.  Burzynski doesn't cure everyone, but he does cure a few.  That suggests that he really is on to something. With time maybe he will do even better.

There is another important angle.  While conventional chemo-radiation-surgery cancer treatment causes overwhelming ADDED SUFFERING, Burzynski's treatment seems to be harmless to the body.  It causes no suffering and no further damage to the body. No one suffers due to antineoplastons.

Unfortunately, the Burzynski treatment is at best a possibility, not a sure thing.  You risk spending $100,000 hoping you might be one of the lucky ones... 1 in 3, 1 in 4, 1 in 5? 

It is easy for us to dismiss those odds until it becomes our turn.  When one is dying or the victim is a loved one, then the temptation to roll the dice becomes overwhelming.

No one ever claimed cancer was fun.  We all know it is an ugly nasty gruesome business.  The good news in cancer treatment is few and far between.   Some live, most die. 

While you or I might dismiss 25% as a pathetic result, people who are in the cancer field are actually AMAZED by that statistic. 

For example, Dr. Nicholas Patronas of the National Cancer Institute was particularly impressed with Burzynski's work. Patronas stated:

"So these particular individuals not only survived, but they didn't have major side effects.  So I think it is impressive and unbelievable."
 

Another researcher, Dr. Robert Burdick, agreed with Dr. Patronas that Burzynski's treatment had great value.

"Thus the response rate here is an astounding 33%, with a complete remission rate of 15%.

Such remission rates are far in excess of anything I or anyone else has seen since research work on brain tumors began.

It is very clear that the responses here are due to antineoplaston therapy and are NOT due to surgery, radiation or standard chemotherapy."

 

 

The Burdick Report

In 1995, Burzynski was indicted by a Grand Jury.  His story is covered later in this article.

At the time, Robert Burdick, MD, a Seattle oncologist and faculty member of the University of Washington Medical School, was asked to review Burzynski's work. 

Burdick analyzed the results of some of these patients

Dr. Burdick took the time to examine the case records of 17 Burzynski patients in preparation for Burzynski's 1997 Grand Jury trial. 

Burdick then sent a report of his findings to Sim Lake, the judge.  You can view the entire document on the Internet here: 
source I

However, since this report is seven pages long, for the sake of brevity, I have included just these excepts below.

 

"It is very rare, currently, to ever get a complete remission or cure in a patient who has a malignant brain tumor, using our standard modalities of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy…"

 

"As a rough estimate, neurosurgeons do well to cure one in every 1,000 brain-cancer patients they operate on. Radiation therapy slows the growth of adult tumors, gaining perhaps one month of life, and again may result in a cure in only one in 500-1,000 patients…"

 

"Similarly chemotherapy research, despite 30 years of clinical trials, has not resulted in the development of a single drug or drug combination that elicits more than an occasional transient response in primary brain tumors…"

(Note: Burdick then goes on make a detailed report on 17 different Burzynski patients that he studied.)

 

 

CONCLUSION ON FINAL PAGE

"The responses (with Burzynski's treatment) are far in excess of any prior series of patients published in the medical literature…"

 

"Thus the response rate here is an astounding 33%, with a complete remission rate of 15%.

Such remission rates are far in excess of anything I or anyone else has seen since research work on brain tumors began."

It is very clear that the responses here are due to antineoplaston therapy and are NOT due to surgery, radiation or standard chemotherapy."

You can view the entire document on the Internet here:
[ source I ]

 

Rick Archer's Journey with Burzynski

So why did I write about Burzynski? 

Although Dr. Burzynski's clinic is here in Houston, my hometown, I have never met the man nor do I know anyone who knows him personally.  Furthermore I have never read about him in the local newspaper nor heard about him on television. 

His story came as a complete surprise to me in the past few months (June 2013) when I began researching the Internet for my Cancer Diaries article.

In my previous chapter, I pointed out that the Forbidden Cures Documentary had upset me so much that I decided to visit the Internet to research the stories told in the video.  I wanted to ascertain for myself as much of the truth as I could.

During my Internet research of Gerson, Caisse and Hoxsey, Burzynski's name popped up from time to time.  However, so did Coley's Toxins, Royal Rife, Ernest Krebs, Luigi di Bella, Issels Treatment, and Johanna Budwig.  The only thing I noticed to separate Burzynski from this group was that Burzynski was obviously hated worst than the rest.

However, writing my stories had taken its toll on me.  I walked around in a perpetual funk.  Reading about cancer is about as depressing a topic I can think of short of studying the Holocaust. 

I have taken each new step on my journey with extreme reluctance.  The stories of Gerson, Caisse and Hoxsey were all I needed to convince me something was deeply wrong in the cancer industry.  After I finished writing about them in Chapter Two, I wanted to exit the cancer swamp and move on to something else.

As far as I was concerned, the less I knew about Burzynski, the better. 

I had just finished writing my article on Max Gerson and I was grouchy.  It was time to wrap up this cancer article and go back to my happy life of jitterbug dancing, jigsaw puzzles, Stephen Colbert and history documentaries. 

Then my conscience kicked in. I became aware there was some sort of video out there about Burzynski. Maybe I should watch that video.  I groaned when I noticed the damn Burzynski video was two hours long. No way.  I had about ten minutes of patience left, but definitely not two hours.

I was sick of writing about cancer!!

Just thinking about the disease put me a really bad mood.  The Forbidden Cures Documentary had been bad enough.  Consequently I did not want to invest two more hours watching another depressing cancer video. 

So I skipped the Burzynski video.  I had reached my limit.

However, I immediately got that nagging feeling I had done the wrong thing.  But I didn't have the energy for two hours.  So my conscience looked for a compromise.  That little small voice in the back of my mind suggested maybe I should AT LEAST READ some of what the Internet said about Burzynski. 

So I typed "Burzynski" into Google.  OMG!  Let me tell you, it was scathing!  It was the Gorski and Blaskiewicz criticism I posted above.  Ugh.

Gorski and Blaskiewicz weren't the only ones.  There was an army of naysayers. The first three pages of Google were full of Burzynski vitriol.  It is unbelievable how they hate this guy!  I read some of the negative reviews about the man and shook my head in disgust.  Not only was Burzynski hated worst than the rest, his treatment cost a lot of money.  This was money that would not be reimbursed by insurance.  Furthermore, most of his patients died and he had some awful cure derived from human urine.  Talk about quack!  After reading these guys, I figured no one would dream of throwing $100,000 down the drain just to be filled with urine extract and surely die anyway.

This guy had to be the worst ever.  I was ready to check out right then and there... just like my wife did when she read the BURZYNSKI DEATH CHART compiled by Blaskiewicz.

After reading that stuff, I was so disgusted that I really didn't want to know anything more about the man.  Based on all those nasty comments, I was ready to write Burzynski off.  Then I noticed on Page 4 of Google that Burzynski had been interviewed by Dr. Mehmet Oz. 

Doctor Oz?  Is that the same man with the goofy name that my wife watches on TV every day?   Sure enough, same guy.

Dr. Oz happens to be a man I respect.  Furthermore my wife Marla agrees.  She considers him to be a man of high integrity as well as someone who shares important information.  Marla told me she gets the impression Dr. Oz can be unconventional at times and that she likes his open-minded quality.

Before looking at the Burzynski-Oz interview, I decided to read up on Dr. Oz first.  Hmm.  I laughed when I realized that "Oz" was his real name.  I figured he made it up for TV. 

Then I noticed that Dr. Oz definitely has credentials.  Dr. Oz is a very bright guy... Harvard undergrad, MD from the University of Pennsylvania, MBA from the Wharton School. 

He also has enough talent to conduct two full-time careers at once.  When he isn't busy taping his two-time Emmy-awarded medical TV show, Dr. Oz is a top-flight heart surgeon affiliated with Columbia University in New York.  Impressive.

So I gave in to my conscience.  Okay. This is it.  I will take this one last step.

Let's see what Dr. Oz has to say about Stanislaw Burzynski.


Mehmet Oz Interviews Dr. Burzynski

I groaned when I found out it was not an newspaper article or a Youtube video.  It was a radio show.  Furthermore I could find no written transcript.  Darn it.  I didn't want to listen; I just wanted to read.  Oh well.  If I was going to do this, I had no choice but to listen. 

I saw that I had two choices: 10 minutes on Oprah Radio or 37 minutes on Youtube.  As tired as I was with the subject of cancer, I chose the 10 minute version. 

I smiled hopefully. In 10 minutes, I could be done with the subject of cancer and get on with my life.  All I needed was a single discouraging word about Burzynski from Oz and I'm outta here.

Once I began to listen, I realized this 10-minute condensed version was taken from the middle part of a three part Interview.  Like coming into a movie half-way, I was lost.  What I did gather was that Dr. Oz didn't know much more about Burzynski than I did.  He kept asking questions in a way that suggested Oz did not actually know the answer ahead of time.  This interview wasn't rehearsed. 

I got the impression that Dr. Oz was interested in Dr. Burzynski's work, but not totally convinced.  Dr. Oz implied that he had little insight into what Burzynski was doing because there wasn't much medical information about Burzynski being published.  Dr. Oz said that Burzynski is pretty much a mystery to most practicing physicians. He then included himself in that category.

I wasn't terribly impressed by the 10-minute interview.  When Burzynski spoke, his English was so garbled I didn't understand much of what he was talking about. 

Then something got my attention.  Dr. Oz said he was very impressed by Eric Merola's Burzynski documentary

Dr. Oz said the Burzynski Documentary is what raised his curiosity in the first place. 

That made me think.  Hmm, Oz says this is an interesting documentary.  Got it.

Dr. Oz made me laugh when he openly admitted his mother-in-law had bullied him into watching the Burzynski documentary.  It turned out to be a double-team.  After viewing the documentary, his wife Lisa saw her advantage and strong-armed Oz into conducting the radio interview... which Lisa also participated in. 

In other words, the mother-in-law set him up and the wife finished him off.  I found it amusing to learn that high-powered doctors have the same Achilles Heel as I do - a smart and persuasive wife.

With a smile on my face, I decided to study the Internet reaction to the Oz-Burzynski interview.  Someone should have warned me.
I was stunned by the anger! 

Scanning the Internet, I could not help but notice how bitter people were that Dr. Oz would lend his ample credibility to Burzynski's name.  The picture on the right will establish that fact.

I was interested in the extent of the negative reaction.  I realized I was actually more curious about Dr. Oz than Dr. Burzynski.  What did Wikipedia have to say about Oz?  Would it punish the doctor for his impudence in supporting this cancer renegade? 

Nothing was said about the interview.  Wikipedia gave Oz, "America's Doctor", little more than a rap across his knuckles.  Perhaps due to his popularity, the only criticism was a generalized sniff at his support for Alternative Medicine:

Oz is a supporter of integrative medicine, combining conventional medical treatments with alternative therapies such as hypnosis, prayer, energy healing, and homeopathy.  Oz's wife, Lisa, is described as a master of Reiki, a form of energy healing.

Some conventional medical practitioners allege that Oz is promoting unproven and harmful alternative medicine practices on The Oprah Winfrey Show and elsewhere.


From what little I heard in the radio interview, I gathered a major problem with Burzynski is that no one in the conventional medical field will touch him.  This man is so controversial that no one with a reputation to protect will say much of anything positive about him.  We only hear from the critics... and their roar is deafening. 

But now Burzynski had at least one ally - the dapper Doctor Oz.  Oz had stuck his neck out far enough to give Burzynski half a thumb up and the documentary a full thumb up.

I was reminded of the time I was about to dismiss Max Gerson until I read that Albert Schweitzer believed Gerson was "the most eminent physician of his generation". 

Interesting coincidence.
 Mehmet Oz had just done a similar favor for Burzynski.

Okay. With a sigh, I decided to break down and watch the Burzynski Documentary.  If Dr. Oz can survive watching it, so can I.

Good move.  I was absolutely stunned.  The documentary told a story so unbelievable I still have trouble believing it is true.  It told a tale of corruption on a scale I never thought possible here in America.  You should watch it yourself.  It is free on the Internet to anyone who is interested.

Burzynski Documentary I

When I finished watching the documentary, I decided it was time to share the story of Stanislaw Burzynski in my Cancer Diaries


Before We Begin...

Dr. Burzynski has led a fascinating and quite complicated life.  In a career that spans 40 years, there are enough twists and turns to write a whole book about him.  However, not everyone has the patience to read an entire book, so I will condense the story as best I can into one long chapter and show the reader where you can go if you wish to learn more.

My story draws from material found in six different places.

Michael Lerner, Commonweal

The first source came from a website known as Commonweal, an institute co-founded by Michael Lerner.  On the Commonweal website, one can read Michael Lerner's book on cancer research in its entirely.  The title is: Choices In Healing: Integrating The Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer

Lerner wrote an entire chapter on Burzynski (Chapter 21).  In addition to interviewing Burzynski personally, Lerner drew on several passages written by Ralph Moss in his ground-breaking book The Cancer Industry (Ralph W. Moss, New York: Paragon House, 1989).

If you are looking for an intelligent, middle of the road, penetrating look at Burzysnki, start here.  Lerner is not a hater nor is he a true believer.  No matter what you think about Burzynski, you cannot help but be impressed by the quality of the writing in Lerner's Chapter 21. 

I have a very simple suggestion.  If you are interested a lot about Burzynski quickly, skip everything else and read
Lerner's account first.  The only downside is that the information appears to stop around 1991.  A lot has happened since then.

Gavin Phillips

Gavin Phillips has a web site titled Cancerinform.

Mr. Phillips conducted a lengthy 2003 interview phone interview with Dr. Burzynski that I found quite useful.  This is the best source of information that I ran across about Burzynski during the 2000s. 

James Van Maanen and Eric Merola

James Van Maanen has a website titled Trust Movies

I found two excellent interviews on Trustmovies between James Van Maanen and Eric Merola.  Merola, of course, is the maker of two film documentaries about Burzynski.  After completing each documentary, Eric Merola made himself available as a spokesperson for Burzynski.  The conversations between Merola and Van Maanen were just as interesting as the documentaries themselves.

Interview: Documentary Part One

Interview: Documentary Part Two

Jeb Stuber and Thomas Elias 

I found a wealth of information at samaritanministries.org posted by Jed Stuber. 

From what I gather, Mr. Stuber relied heavily on information from a book titled The Burzynski Breakthrough written by Thomas Elias

Amazon Review of Elias' book written by Judith Katz (New York, NY, USA)

This review is from: The Burzynski Breakthrough

I picked up Thomas Elias's book with a skeptical mindset and came away utterly convinced that Dr. Burzynski is the real thing: a dedicated scientist and researcher who has discovered a powerful nontoxic therapy for cancer. Instead of honors and awards for saving lives, a status that is just now, finally, accruing to him, the doctor attracted animosity and worse from vested interests in the cancer "industry." His offices were raided, and he was threatened with imprisonment.

As Elias clearly describes in his beautifully rendered style, years of persecution became decades. Meanwhile, there was one group solidly behind Dr. Burzynski: his patients!

These were people who had been given up on by conventional medicine --men, women and especially young children, with aggressive, often end-stage brain tumors and other cancers. Dr. Burzynski treated them with his antineoplastons, they lived, in most cases even thrived, and, shockingly, their doctors had one word to say: "Remission."

Over and over again, this same denial by doctors cropped up, as people were told that what they could plainly see, feel and touch was not reality. But how could anyone deny obvious long-term remissions, cures, and good quality of life people experienced from Dr. Burzynski's medicine, as Elias faithfully reported!

After I read this book the first time, I went to the patient website that Elias described, [...] Now I know why these past and present patients, or patient family members, adore this man and will do anything to keep him out of harm's way. He has saved their lives! Someday he may be called upon to save yours. If that time comes, I hope you will have read this book. Bravo Tom Elias! And bravo to Dr. Burzynski, for his remarkable work.

Slowly but surely (and this gives me hope for a cancer-free world, someday) the rest of the cancer establishment is catching up with this intrepid pioneer.

If I or anyone I care about would ever develop any form of cancer, God forbid, I can tell you that I will be on an airplane to Dr. Burzynski's clinic in Houston the same day. I know what chemo and radiation do to the body. And now, thanks to Tom Elias, I also know there is an infinitely better, natural treatment where the cure will not kill you. This, to me, is comforting beyond belief. 

I have bought this book for everyone I know.
 

Eric Merola's Transcript

My fifth source was Eric Merola's transcript.  Eric Merola is the maker of two film documentaries about Burzynski. One of the unusual features of the first Burzynski documentary is that the entire movie has a written transcript of all 10 Chapters of the movie.  For purposes of creating my story, I found it very useful to watch the video on one screen and follow the transcript on another screen.  Frequently I would simply cut and paste their own narration into my own story.  

In his second interview with James Van Maanen of Trust Movies, Merola commented on his parallel transcript:

"The entire film - Part I - is backed up and sourced for transparent fact-checking by anyone.  That includes the patent situation.  Every document used in the film is available - in context - for anyone to scrutinize and fact-check for themselves. I knew I had to back up everything in this documentary since most people would find corruption of this magnitude simply too hard to believe at face value."

Transcript of First Burzynski Documentary

The First Burzynski Documentary - Cancer is a Serious Business

My sixth source was the Documentary itself.  The film detailed in gory, ugly detail how all kinds of institutions - the Texas Medical Board, the FDA, the National Cancer Institute, and Big Pharma - lined up to take Burzynski down... only to see Burzynski win in the end.

I wish to remind everyone that this movie is posted on the Internet for anyone to view themselves free of charge.

In the following story, you don't have to take my word on anything I have written.  You can go to the Documentary and watch the very thing I am reporting on with your own eyes.

Burzynski Documentary Part One


After drawing on the work of six different sources, I fully admit my story about Stanislaw Burzynski resembles a crazy patchwork quilt.

That said, you have my word I did the best I could to synthesize the different angles into a somewhat coherent narrative.

As you will see, I spent most of my energy concentrating on the politics. 

To explain the treatment itself is far too complicated for this story nor do I have the medical background to lend any insight. 

What I can say is that Eric Merola's SECOND DOCUMENTARY about Burzynski concentrated primarily on the treatment itself. 

The second documentary is not available for free viewing, so I purchased a copy for $14.  I can only speak for myself, but after the personal testimony of several of Burzynski's patients, I came away from the SECOND DOCUMENTARY completely convinced that Burzynski is on the right track.

Rick Archer
August 2013

   


The Saga of Stanislaw Burzynski

Forward

Much of the early part of this story is drawn from The Burzynski Breakthrough, written by Thomas Elias.  Elias believes that the U.S. government and the pharmaceutical industry have for decades used all the means at their disposal to quash the most promising cancer treatment in the world.

If this story sounds far-fetched, consider Elias’s background.  After taking a master’s degree from Stanford, Elias was the West coast editor for Howard Scripps news service for 15 years. His syndicated columns now appear in 70 newspapers.

Elias is a veteran journalist with a nose for a story. He questions everything. When he first heard about Burzynski, he wanted nothing to do with the story.

Elias explains, “As a reporter, I had been confronted on a regular basis by cranks claiming to have unique or scandalous stories. They virtually never pan out.”

Burzynski’s patients prevailed upon him though, and so Elias took another look and did a few stories.

He says he has published millions of words in his lifetime, but only two topics have ever compelled him to make sure a full book length treatment got into the public record: the O.J. Simpson trial and Dr. Stanislov Burzynski’s antineoplaston treatment for cancer.

Burzynski’s Background

Stanislaw Burzynski was born in 1943 in Lublin, Poland which was occupied by the Nazis during World War II and quickly turned communist in the years after the war.  His father was harassed and jailed for teaching Jews, and his older brother, Zygmunt, joined the resistance and died from a gunshot wound.  Young Stan always excelled in academic pursuits, especially science, and upon graduation from secondary school he was sent to medical school. 

Burzynski became an assistant to biochemist researchers working in the developing field of chromatography, which used chemicals to produce colors that determine the molecular structure of a substance.  They were researching peptides, a class of very small molecules which are building blocks for larger molecules such amino acids and proteins. [Peptides are chains of Amino Acids, so if you put together 2 Amino Acids, you have a Peptide.]

Burzynski’s teachers mostly yawned.  They were interested in agricultural applications, basically anything with the potential to develop better food supplies. However Burzynski was undeterred.  While it was assumed that these classes of molecules also had important functions in the body, exactly what those functions were was still being worked out, and in fact is still being researched to this day as the biochemistry of the human body continues to amaze scientists.

Burzynski had a natural talent for isolating the peptides using the tricky art of chromatography and had soon identified 39 substances that seemed to be uncatalogued. He’d later learn that some British researchers had noted a few of them, but nobody seemed to think these particular ones were significant, or worth studying further.

Burzynski needed an interesting topic for his doctoral thesis, so he kept working on the peptides.  One day he noticed that certain particular peptides appeared less frequently in the blood and urine of cancer patients.  This fortuitous observation got him thinking. 

What would happen if he put these same missing peptides back in the blood of cancer patients?  

He surmised that giving them to cancer patients might help them.  And if so, why was it helping?  These two questions intrigued him.

Burzynski was determined to explore the possibilities, not then understanding that this quest would become a calling and a lifelong battle with the medical establishment and government authorities.

Burzynski was one of the two youngest people in Poland to receive M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. He was recruited by the communist party and promised a prestigious university position, but he turned it down.  Authorities then sought to quash his independence by drafting him into the army to be sent to North Vietnam to aid the Vietcong, the fate of many Polish doctors.

An influential Polish scientist intervened; Burzynski mysteriously received a passport, which was nearly impossible to get. He left Poland hastily and the military police showed up at his home hours later. He carried just $20 and documentation about the peptides, arriving in New York in the fall of 1970.
 

Developing Antineoplastons

Upon arriving in the United States, it took Burzynski six weeks to land a job in Houston at Baylor College of Medicine.  This research center in those days was receiving large grants for its pioneering research in anesthesiology and heart transplants. Some of the money also funded research on peptides effects on the brain and memory. Baylor had some of the best equipment in the world for chromatography. Burzynski’s expertise was welcomed, and he worked out an agreement where he was allowed to spend half his time working on the peptides he’d discovered.

With a more sophisticated laboratory, Burzynski now was able to break down the substances even more precisely into 119 different molecules. The nearby MD Anderson cancer center had just begun receiving huge infusions of federal funding, and Burzynski managed to work out an arrangement with colleagues there to test the peptides on cancer cells grown in labs. Sure enough, they found a few that shrunk tumors. Burzynski began publishing the results in medical journals.

In these early years of research he met his wife, Barbara, a fellow Polish immigrant and medical doctor. They have been inseparable since, and occupy side by side offices to this day.

When President Nixon announced a “war on cancer”, Burzynski applied for a grant from the National Cancer Institute.  With the help of influential allies at M.D. Anderson, his research was funded from 1974-1977.  His understanding of the substances was refined, and he saw anti-cancer properties with some, while eliminating others.  An experiment on breast cancer cells produced very promising results.  Then he found a few peptides that seemed to work on every kind of cancer cell they encountered. He and his colleagues continued to publish results.  They were becoming convinced that the body had its own biochemical defense system against cancer.

A small group of polypeptides seemed to act as controllers that could simply turn off the malignant growth of cancer cells. Burzynski dubbed them antineoplastons because “neoplasia,” the Greek word meaning “new growth,” was the technical term for cancer.

Those were the days when Burzynski was the fair-haired boy of cancer research.  His work on peptides had everyone excited. He was on friendly terms with the top researchers over at MD Anderson and the FDA was more than happy to approve his experiments.  At this point, Burzynski was not only an Insider, he was on the fast track to the upper echelons.


The Turning Point

At this critical juncture, Marian Mazur, a Polish scientist who had helped Burzynski in their homeland, suddenly turned up in Houston and stayed at his house. Mazur suggested that if Burzynski's treatment was good, why not use his medical license to begin treating patients? Surely the income from patients would help support the work.  This made sense to Burzynski.  He could use both degrees and be a researcher and doctor rolled into one.

Then came the turning point.  In 1977, Burzynski was offered a coveted position in the Department of Pharmacology.  He turned it down for several reasons. 

First, Burzynski had just opened his small private practice and now he was being told to give it up to make the switch.  Thanks to innate suspicions about authority derived from his experience with Communism, he didn't like being told what to do and not to do.  Second, he expected far less freedom in the new laboratory.  Recalling how his Polish supervisors had largely ignored him, Burzynski had a theory that many of the greatest discoveries in medicine could be attributed to laboratory supervisors who ignored their researchers.   

Unfortunately, turning down the promotion would cost him dearly.  Things immediately began to go wrong.

Burzynski was excited that it was time to start trying antineoplastons on people, but he soon encountered major obstacles. Two hospitals would not grant him permission to conduct a trial on humans, and his time was consumed filing paperwork and trying to work out legal issues related to treating patients.

At the same time, internal politics at Baylor caused some high level personnel changes.  Suddenly his projects were out of favor.

So Burzynski quit. It was time to take that small private practice and build it up.  At least he wouldn't have to answer to anyone.

Michael Lerner's account of this same period 

The Turning Point – Burzynski Refuses to Do Research in the Medical Establishment

Ralph Moss, author of The Cancer Industry, reports that Burzynski’s peptide discoveries were at first enthusiastically welcomed by fellow scientists and the media. He was invited to join the faculty of the department of pharmacology at Baylor.  This would mean leaving his position in the department of anesthesiology, where he had enjoyed complete freedom to conduct his research but where his work was obviously not closely connected to the department’s basic mission. In a critical decision, Burzynski refused the offer to join the department of pharmacology. As Moss reports:

It looked like a promotion. There was one condition, however: he had to give up his budding private practice. Others might have grabbed at the chance and been happily absorbed into the cancer mainstream. There were, after all, ample rewards for doing so. But Burzynski hesitated. Deep in his marrow, he feared institutionalization.

Like Max Gerson’s challenge to organized medicine, this was a critical turning point in Burzynski’s career.

Burzynski, a central European immigrant like Gerson, was being welcomed into the mainstream research establishment precisely because of his exciting findings regarding antineoplastons.  A man with Burzynski's talents would likely have thrived in the intensely political atmosphere of large-scale cancer research, where political acumen is often as important to success as research brilliance and scientific good fortune.

Nevertheless, for better or worse, Burzynski refused the offer.  Burzynski preferred to forge his own path.  He began to build a cancer research program entirely on his own.

The breakaway was made despite clear warnings from his superiors of the likely political consequences.  Burzynski later told Ralph Moss:

“Most medical breakthroughs,” Burzynski said with a sly touch of irony, “have happened because there was some lack of suppression by the supervisors of people doing innovative work.”

In addition, his private practice gave him financial independence.

“If I should join them,” he said, “I would do exactly what they were telling me to do, even though I would have a separate lab.”

When he refused their offer, these well-established cancer researchers turned against him and began to make life difficult.

Although he received an impressive certificate for meritorious service, his Chairman’s last words were not auspicious: “Just wait, Burzynski. They’re going to kick your ass.”

Because this was such a major turning point, I [Michael Lerner] asked Burzynski to review the reasons why he made this decision. Burzynski said that he was enjoying an ideal situation in the department of anesthesiology with a larger laboratory space than he would have had in the department of pharmacology; he had applied for a new $30,000 grant to continue his research; and, there was, he hoped, the prospect that he could develop a semiautonomous research unit loosely affiliated with the department of anesthesiology.

By contrast, he said the reputation of the department of pharmacology was that it was autocratically run. He feared he would be unable to pursue his research. Burzynski says that at the time he refused the department of pharmacology offer, he had no intention of leaving Baylor.  He fully expected to stay in his position with the department of anesthesiology. At a minimum, he misjudged the politics of the university. The situation “deteriorated,” he said; his grant was not funded and he had to leave.

Reviewing his decision to leave Baylor, Burzynski offered this perspective:

Regarding the issue of remaining at Baylor, I still believe that this would have led to disaster. One of the misfortunes of this country is that there is a big gap between basic scientists and clinicians. Contrary to the European situation, basic science researchers are despised by M.D.’s, and practicing physicians in medical schools are hated by basic researchers.

A number of breakthroughs in medicine were done through the combination of basic science and clinical research in the same person. Well known examples are Louis Pasteur and Jonas Salk. When I initially came to the United States, I did not have any intention of practicing clinical medicine. I dreamed of being involved just in pure basic science.

My enthusiasm quickly vanished after I noticed how biochemists are treated by clinicians. If I had stayed at Baylor after 1977, I would have had to rely on the mercy of proud clinicians using the same approach to Antineoplastons as to conventional chemotherapy.

Such an approach would never have worked and the whole project would have been destroyed after the first unsuccessful clinical trial.

I must admit, on the other hand, that it was my error to take “American democracy” too seriously. Coming from Poland, where everybody has a saintly opinion of the United States, I was convinced that this would be the country where democracy is everywhere. This may be true, but ultimately you have to prove this in court.
 

Out On His Own

In 1977 the doctor opened the Burzynski Research Institute and began treating patients with the chemicals he calls antineoplastons.

Just a year earlier Burzynski would never have dreamed of going into business for himself, especially since in Poland academics despised business people. However, after a hospital finally did agree to sanction Burzynski’s trial, he struck out on his own with only $5000, a pittance compared to the funding he had been receiving at Baylor. 

Money was necessary to do the extensive research he visualized.  So he set about making money.

Burzynski built his practice using antineoplastons, which he claims are a natural and nontoxic substance that constitute the body's own defense system against cancer and other diseases. Before he started his work, Burzynski took legal advice and was told he could practice in Texas where he could distribute antineoplastons to patients.

To obtain antineoplastons for treatment in Houston, there only two sources - human blood and human urine.  Burzynski joked that his friends began to avoid him because he kept asking for their blood, but it didn't take long to see that human urine was the only practical source for the necessary peptides he had originally isolated from urine.  So Burzynski began collecting urine any place he could.  That included his own, his wife's and even urine from public urinals.  Then he branched out to the hospital and several other sources where friends helped him out. Churches, seminaries, and convents in the Polish-American Catholic community contributed, and even the Texas prison system. To get the necessary peptides, about 10 gallons of urine for each patient for each day of treatment was needed. 

Today the doctor synthesizes them chemically, but there are suspicions that human urine still works better.

The majority of his first trial of 22 patients achieved either significant tumor reduction or stabilization. Four saw their tumors completely dissipate.  Burzynski garnered some national and international attention with the papers he continued to publish.

Encouraged by his results, Burzynski began patenting the antineoplastons in 1984.

Mass spectrometry was becoming more widely available in the early 1980s, making it possible for Burzynski to begin the difficult work of synthesizing the peptides so they could be manufactured instead of extracted from urine.

At first it was all funded by Burzynski’s part time job in private practice and various loans he secured.  As word began to get out, more and more patients came.

Dr. Burzynski has now been working on antineoplastons for four decades. He has been reversing cancers without side effect, refining the protocols for different kinds of cancers and the treatment methods for specific patient cases.  Simultaneously he has published studies that establish the validity of antineoplaston treatment.

Burzynski now oversees a 46,000 square foot research institute that employs five engineers, four chemists, three pharmacists, four medical doctors, and four researchers.
 

Burzynski Attacked by the Medical Establishment [ Michael Lerner ]

Ralph Moss describes in detail the extraordinary story which will become scientific legend if antineoplastons ultimately prove to be a significant scientific discovery.  It tells how Burzynski set out virtually alone to develop, test, and win FDA approval for a new anticancer drug. 

This is an effort that takes major pharmaceutical companies in good standing a decade and costs up to $100 million or more.

Burzynski undertook to do this with total assets of only $5,000 and with the cancer establishment pitted against him.

Historically, it is important to recognize the undeniable reality that he could have gone the other way, thus avoiding all of the massive opposition he has subsequently encountered. Whether the internal obstacles that the cancer establishment places before its own researchers would have proved greater than those Burzynski was to face as a maverick outsider, history cannot tell us.

My own instinct [ Lerner ] – based on the strength of the scientific evidence that antineoplastons have promise and the entrepreneurial skills that Burzynski has subsequently demonstrated – is that he could have done better inside the American scientific establishment than outside it.

Burzynski disagreed with me.  His assessment was that he would have been trapped by the bureaucratic and autocratic characteristics of the department and left without the freedom to pursue his research.

Having been forced out of Baylor, Burzynski faced a double-bind. Antineoplastons are largely species-specific. So, as Ralph Moss points out:

Thus Burzynski was caught in a classic catch-22 situation. If he tested Antineoplastons in humans, the FDA was sure to come down on him eventually. But if he didn’t so test them, he could never win FDA approval, since Antineoplastons, being species-specific, are not generally effective in animal treatment experiments [which the FDA was then using as a screen before authorizing human experiments].

His decision was thus to start treating patients, build up good records, let patient fees finance the future development of the drugs, and deal with the FDA later. It was a very risky gamble.

Ralph Moss also notes that, “Financial considerations could not help but play their part. It escaped no one’s notice that an effective treatment, locked up in patents, would be worth a fortune”.
 

Amazing Results

Some aspects of Burzynski’s work still cause general astonishment, and skeptical declarations that it couldn’t possibly be true.

Whereas chemotherapy and radiation treatments have severe side effects, there are no side effects with antineoplastons since they are a naturally-occurring substance in the body.

With conventional chemotherapy and radiation however, successful treatment protocols for childhood brain cancers basically don’t exist.  Doctors often recommend that patients with severe cases be sent to hospice care and given pain relievers as they wait to die, since the life expectancy is minimal even if the treatment kills the cancer and the suffering caused by aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment can be horrific.

On the other hand, Burzynski's antineoplastons have reversed some of the nastiest cancers, such as brainstem tumors in children that are known to be almost universally fatal.  Meanwhile Dr. Burzynski has much more than just a few anecdotal cases of brain cancer success.  Burzynski has published the data of his trials showing the high rates of success. 

Another amazing aspect of antineoplaston therapy is that it has been shown to be effective on every kind of cancer imaginable, again with unheard of rates of success.


Organized Opposition

Even though Burzynski’s success is well documented in the medical literature and press going back decades, he has been opposed by the government and powerful financial interests from several industries. This story is powerfully told in a recently released 2010 documentary.

According to the Burzynski Documentary, the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) first sought an injunction to shut him down in 1983.  When a judge rejected it, the FDA threatened that it would resort to harsher measures: seizing records, a publicity campaign, and criminal charges that could land Burzynski in jail.

Once the FDA had declared war on Burzynski, it would never stop.  Twice his facilities were raided and medical records were seized - endangering the patients’ lives.  Over the next 14 years, 5 grand juries were convened that failed to indict Burzynski.

However the prosecutors never could make the charges stick.

At first the justification for the attacks were allegations of the inefficacy (lack of safety) of his treatments, even though he had never had a single patient complaint.  Agents tracked his patients down all over the country, spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, but they still couldn’t find a single malcontent.

After the first grand jury, Burzynski applied for and received Investigational New Drug permits from the FDA to try to prevent more harassment, but to no avail. The charges were shifted to accusations that he was violating laws by shipping medicines across state lines.

Leaving aside the injustice of a law prohibiting someone from selling a product across a line drawn on a map, in the cases where Burzynski was shipping the medicines, he had received compassionate use exceptions from the FDA for patients in life threatening situations.

[ Michael Lerner ]  Having made his decision, Burzynski proceeded to experience, as his Baylor department chairman had predicted he would, the full-scale legal and regulatory terror of county, state, and national authorities. He was investigated by the Board of Ethics of the Harris County Medical Society on the charge of using unapproved medications; he was refused research money by mainstream funders who had previously funded him.

Subsequently, he was to have his offices raided by the FDA, which seized 200,000 medical files and documents, and he was placed on the American Cancer Society’s “unproven methods” list. He was sued by an insurance company and investigated by a Federal grand jury.  Burzynski became a hunted man.

 

The Outline of a Conspiracy

Rick Archer's Note: The Burzynski Documentary Part One does a far better job of explaining this bizarre period of Burzynski's career than I can ever hope to match.

Assuming the Documentary is telling the truth... the Skeptics would speak otherwise... we are led on a trail pointing to a profound and brazen conspiracy.

It is a story so extraordinary that it would be difficult to believe under ordinary circumstances.  But when you see people coming before the camera to lay out their interpretation of events, the conclusion is unmistakable that something is deeply wrong.

There are four sections to follow:

1) The mysterious 1990 defection of a lab employee who takes Burzynski's work to another research facility.

2) A hotly-disputed 1995 NCI trial using Burzynski's treatment that failed.

3) Allegations of copycat patents

4) A brutal series of legal actions taken against Burzynski.

 


Part One:  The Mysterious Defection
 


Rick Archer's Note:
the main source for this section comes from the transcript from Burzynski Documentary I


As the Nineties began, it looked like Burzynski's work was gaining wider acceptance. 

In 1990, Dr. Dvorit Samid, one of Burzynski's employees, brought serious attention to the clinic's work with a well-received presentation in Geneva.

In 1989, the clinic retained Dr. Dvorit Samid as a consultant. Samid did a lot of work with Antineoplaston’s ingredients.

In 1990 the FDA tried once again to indict Burzynski, subpoenaing thousands of documents and many of his employees.  Again the grand jury returned no indictment.

Meanwhile, Samid managed to present her work at an oncology symposium in Geneva, Switzerland.  This presentation landed her and Antineoplastons the cover story in the 1990 July/August issue of Oncology News was devoted to Burzynski and his antineoplastons.

This in turn led to what seemed like the breakthrough Burzynski was looking for.  Elan Pharmaceutical showed interest in sponsoring some of the FDA trials of antineoplaston.

Due to the enormous cost and time of the FDA Drug approval process, about 10 years and $200 million (today it’s about $400 million), Burzynski needed the help of a large pharmaceutical company.

In return, Elan would have unrestricted access to all of Burzynski’s research and methodology. Burzynski opened the door when he introduced Dr. Samid to Elan.  Samid had knowledge of antineoplastons based on the research she had done for him in 1989-1990.

Burzynski had patented some of the chemical identities of his antineoplastons.  However, he had not bothered patenting one of them, identified as the chemical phenylacetate, because when compared to the other antineoplastons, it was of little use on its own in treating cancer

Mysteriously, three months later Elan decided against signing a contract with Burzynski.  The stated reason was because the lack of patent protection for phenylacetate.

Unbeknownst to Burzynski, Dvorit Samid had become the recipient of a grant from Elan to research phenylacetate.

Source: Gavin Phillips

Dvorit's good news was followed by more good news.  The NCI asked to visit Burzynski's clinic to review the clinic's work.  This official site visit took place in 1991.

Dr. Nicholas Patronas of NCI was particularly impressed with the work. Patronas stated:

"So these particular individuals not only survived, but they didn't have major side effects.  So I think it is impressive and unbelievable."

Then in 1991 Dr Michael Friedman, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering,  stated that antineoplastons deserved a closer look and recommended clinical trials.

Since Friedman was considered one of the leading authorities on brain cancer in the world, his interest was important.  It signaled that the key players in the world of cancer research agreed Burzynski was on the right track. 

At this point, drug companies began making inquiries about teaming up with Burzynski.  This was a huge step because this would mean Burzynski would finally have the money he needed to enter the final stages of clinical drug testing.

However, just when pharmaceutical companies were beginning to show interest in funding his work, they backed off due to FDA hostility. 

Fortunately, another drug company, élan Pharmaceuticals, decided to fund Burzynski anyway. The two parties quickly agreed to financing, licensing, and royalty arrangements.

The outlook could not have been brighter.  Money and professional acceptance promised great things to follow.

Then out of nowhere Burzynski's career took a turn for the worse.  The problems began when élan Pharmaceuticals terminated their licensing agreement, stating:

élan has significant doubt as to whether the active substances comprising of Antineoplastons have patent protection, thereby rendering an agreement meaningless.

About this same time, Burzynski discovered this same company had enticed Dvorit Samid to come work for élan.

Burzynski shrugged it off.  What was more important were the upcoming NCI trials promised by Dr. Friedman.

In Burzynski's own words:

Initially everybody was very excited about the trials, everybody wanted to proceed, the people who reviewed our results - the experts from the NCI - they did a very good job.

They were critical about some things, of course, but they were also highly complimentary for the way we treated patients and the results we got. It looked like everything should open up and move forward.

Then suddenly everything came to a stop.

And then we found that a few months later Elan received permission to do clinical trials with this particular ingredient.

Meanwhile our own trials were pushed back for four years.

This meant élan was allowed to proceed with their study ahead of us.  How could this be?
 

Burzynski sat in stupefaction at this turn of events.  First élan Pharmaceuticals had lured Dvorit Samid away from him.  Now he witnessed the National Cancer Institute recruit Dvorit Samid, his former researcher, to begin phenylacetate tests without him.

Samid was being allowed to run tests on the very materials she had learned about while working for Burzynski, but his own clinical test had been put on hold.

Furthermore, at the same time as the FDA was giving permission Samid to continue testing, the FDA was also busy taking Burzynski to court.

While Burzynski was facing continuous harassment from state and federal agencies, the earliest phenylacetate studies were published in April of 1992, authored by Dvorit Samid, hosted by the National Cancer Institute.
 

Li-Chuan Chen

Something deeply suspicious was taking place here.  Unfortunately, Burzynski was deliberately being kept in the dark.  Years after this incident took place, a man named Li-Chuan Chen stepped forward to explain what was going on behind the scenes.

Phenylacetate was one minor ingredient in some of the antineoplastons that Burzynski had not patented. 

Burzynski had failed to do so because his lawyers had counseled him that the ingredient was so common and so well known that a patent would never be granted. 

As events would show, they were wrong about that.

Elan Pharmaceutical took this phenylacetate ingredient to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and proposed testing.  Now Dvorit Samid, the doctor who had defected from the Burzynski clinic, was made NCI section chief. 

Working at the Johns Hopkins Cancer Center, Samid explored phenylacetate, the chemical compound that was known to be an ingredient in antineoplastons.

They quickly received FDA approval for trials while Burzynski continued to be stonewalled in his attempts to receive FDA approval for trials.

The National Cancer Institute pretended that they had discovered this phenylacetate miracle all on their own. Burzynski’s name failed to appear in the acknowledgments, or any of the references listed in this report.

Oddly enough, Burzynski wasn't worried.  He expected these tests would fail since he had already proven this in his own laboratory twelve years earlier.  But that didn't make it any easier to accept that people were trying to steal his treatment formula behind his back.

Abandoned by the National Cancer Institute, he sat powerless on the sidelines as the attempted high-jacking of his discovery unfolded before his eyes. 

Eventually the Hopkins researchers realized Burzynski was right - phenylacetate does not work on its own, a fact that was shown in their trials. 

The National Cancer Institute, Elan, and Dr. Samid had spent over four years and tens of millions of dollars testing phenylacetate, but had little to show for their efforts.

Disappointed after this failure, one would wonder if the FDA, the NCI, and Elan Pharmaceutical decided they needed to find another way to get the real thing.

 

The mysterious defector


 

Impressive and unbelievable.

Antineoplastons deserve a closer look


Dvorit Samid is everywhere!

the earliest phenylacetate studies were published in April 1992, authored by Dvorit Samid, hosted by the National Cancer Institute

Dr. Chen's comments are taken from the Documentary Part One

   


Part Two:  The Failed Tests at the NCI

 


Rick Archer's Note:
  I did the best I could, but this was a very complicated story. The Burzynski Documentary did a much better job of explaining this highly complicated issue of the failed NCI test than I did.

Therefore let me mention again the film can be viewed for free on the Internet.  For this section, scroll to 1:13:42 - 1:30:00.  Or, if you prefer, there is also an Interactive sourced transcript of the film that you can read to clear up any misconceptions.

One more thing - When I watched the Burzynski Documentary the first time, I was a bit confused about the big fuss over "protocols" because I was unfamiliar with the term.  So I looked it up.  A clinical protocol describes a method to be used in a clinical trial (e.g. of a drug or medical treatment) or a medical research study.

You will now read about a catfight between Burzynski and Michael Friedman.  Here is what I believe this fight boiled down to.  This was a major test to see if Burzynski's antineoplastons had any value.  He was allowing Outsiders to use his "secret cure" on patients with advanced disease, but Burzynski would not be allowed to supervise.  This was a lot more serious than just letting a stranger drive your expensive car... people's lives were at stake.

Therefore Burzynski insisted on doing things his way for the SAFETY of the patients and also to ensure his own treatment was given the best possible chance of showing its value.

 


Now that the National Cancer Institute’s Phenylacetate trials had failed, associate director Michael Friedman came back to Burzynski and offered to do trials with his antineoplastons.

So the question should be raised: Why was the NCI receptive to Burzynski again after deliberately pushing his work aside three years earlier and promoting Dvorit Samid's research ahead?

Thanks to the Samid debacle, Burzynski had his guard up.

Dr. Friedman made some unusual demands.  He said the test of Burzynski's antineoplastons would only go forward if Burzynski would agree to make major changes to the protocols that he’d spent decades developing.  

At first Burzynski refused.  Now Friedman threatened to find other sources for antineoplastons.

Dr. Michael Friedman told Burzynski,

"in response to your correspondence, one last time, we will revise the protocol with regard to dose and schedule in compliance, however, if you are unable or unwilling to provide the Antineoplastons in the near future, we will pursue alternative sources to procure the drug, or its active components, and will proceed."

Burzynski responded.

"I appreciate very much that you have finally decided to follow my recommendation regarding dosage. But your final statements that you are ready to proceed with the treatment with Antineoplastons without our participation caught me by surprise. It is hard to imagine that a federal employee would consider patent infringement."

The NCI finally agreed that Burzynski’s protocols would be followed. The protocols were simple and routine for cancer trials. Patients with very large tumors, multiple tumors, and metastases were to be excluded.  These protocols were designed to rule out complicating factors that can skew results. 

Confident that the NCI was finally on the right page, Burzynski released his medicine to them to be tested on patients. 

But then an entire year passed with no patients being enrolled.  Something was wrong.  Burzynski was suspicious.  Why were they dragging their feet?  

The NCI said it was having trouble finding patients, which was absurd because there were 16,000 people in America with the sort of advanced cancer needed for the trial.  Furthermore, any one of these people would have jumped at the chance to test a possible cure for their hopeless conditions.   

The NCI used their apparent inability to find eligible patients as a reason to justify ALTERING THE PROTOCOLS.  They deliberately admitted patients whose disease was far too advanced to benefit from Burzynski's treatment. 

Burzynski heard through the grapevine that the NCI had altered the protocols to include cancers that were more complex than had been agreed upon.  He was furious. 

This was wrong for two reasons.  First, for the test to succeed, it was important that the treatment be given to patients healthy enough to respond.  Second, Burzynski would have changed the instructions for dosages to treat such advanced cancers if he had known what was going on. 

In Burzynski's own words, the dosages would have had to have been increased at least three times.  But since Burzynski was being kept in the dark, there was nothing he could do for these patients.

Burzynski complained to Friedman. He warned of likely failure.  He insisted the NCI follow his protocols as they had promised.

The NCI brushed him off.  "The amendments have been approved."  They were going to do it THEIR WAY whether Burzynski liked it or not.

As the conflict escalated, the NCI quit sending data to Burzynski.  Burzynski had to resort legal means to get access to the results of the trial using his own medications.  He was furious when he found out what was going on.

When Dr. Burzynski finally got the data for the trial, he learned that there were only nine patients enrolled, a ridiculously low sample.  Every one of them had suffered from severe fluid retention, something that he monitored and was able to prevent with his own patients. 

Burzynski knew from experience that fluid retention was a sign that the antineoplaston level was too low.  He suspected that the antineoplastons were being diluted. The concentration must be far too low.

Burzynski wrote back that the patients were in danger, but no one listened to him. 

Then Burzynski went on TV and said that he had gotten the distinct impression that the NCI wanted the patients to die so the trial would be over as soon as possible. 

The NCI gave no reply.

Burzynski asked a question to the NCI: "There must be a reason why you are afraid to provide us with complete copies of medical records."

Burzynski answered his own question. He stated that the NCI had used different protocols and did not want to admit it.  Unfortunately, he had no proof since they would not send him any records.  Burzynski believed the NCI had deliberately sabotaged his treatment in an attempt to discredit him.

In Burzynski's own words: 
(taken from a
2003 interview with Gavin Phillips)

GP: When did the NCI eventually start clinical trials of Antineoplastons?   

SB: 
In 1994.

GP: I assume you gave the doctors running the trials all the information about correct dosages, is that true?

SB:  Yes, well, basically they used dosages that were 50 times lower than what we feel are effective dosages. We have some patient’s relatives who were present when the treatment was administered. Formulations of antineoplastons were badly diluted. This means that the patient was receiving very little antineoplastons and some of these patients were removed from the treatment after a short period of time because they were overloaded with fluid.

Well, normally we see fluid overload in perhaps less than 2% of our patients. So it makes sense that perhaps the formulations of antineoplastons were diluted and when the Mayo Clinic (1999) determined the concentration of antineoplastons in blood, we realize that it was something like 50 times lower than what it should be.

GP: Do you think the NCI purposely sabotaged your trials?

SB:  I have no doubt about it. They sabotaged the trial; they accepted patients who were too advanced. Their main effort was to give a low dose of the medicine for a short period of time and to stop treatment just for some minor problem, like if a patient developed a skin rash. They were trying to give the treatment only for a very short period of time, like for instance a couple of weeks or a month.

GP: And then of course the patient was dying after that. It was completely unethical, it was horrible.

SB: As you probably heard recently, a pharmacist who was diluting an anti-cancer drug, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. I think the same should happen to these guys who really were trying to use this for their political manipulations.

The NCI wanted to do things their way, but Burzynski said no.

It is hard to imagine that a federal employee
 would consider patent infringement.
"

Plenty of candidates,
but the NCI
could find only 9 people,
none of whom fit the protocols

NCI had altered the protocols

"The amendments have been approved."
- the NCI disregarded Burzynski's objections

Burzynski suspected that the antineoplastons were
being diluted. The concentration was far too low.

Burzynski warned that the patients were in danger,
but no one listened to him. 

Burzynski was reminded he would have no say-so
in how the NCI would conduct the trial

 

"There must be a reason why you are afraid to provide us with complete copies of medical records."
 

   


Epitaph:  Four Years Later

In a bizarre turn of events, in 1999, four years after the failed drug trials, Burzynski got the answer he had suspected all along.

It happened when the NCI published a report of its failed antineoplaston trials back in 1995.  The article stated that antineoplastons did not have cancer treatment potential.

One can assume the researchers were doing the American medical community a favor by showing proof that antineoplastons didn't work.  "No patient demonstrated tumor regression."

Of course what they didn't mention that the failure to follow protocols had likely doomed the experiment from the start.

However, someone made a serious mistake. Whoever was responsible for publishing this report was careless enough to also include the Antineoplaston concentrations detected in the blood of the nine dying patients during treatment.

The careless person included the actual figures from the trial.  These figures showed the actual antineoplastons in the blood of the patients were 3 times to 170 times less than the Burzynski clinic typically measured for patients of their own. 

Burzynski was incensed... he believed the trial had been sabotaged!  Even more sinister was the fact that all nine patients died.  Although it is unlikely they would have survived even if they had been given the proper dosage, they still were human beings who deserved to be given the proper treatment.

In Burzynski's own words:

And that’s what we found out from the patient’s husbands or the patients themselves. That’s what they were doing. So this was horrible. This was a criminal act.  They should be prosecuted for that.

Because obviously, they knew what they were doing, and they knew that these patients had really no chance to respond to any treatment, they were going to die. And that’s what happened. After we realized what they were doing, we decided to force them to stop the clinical trials. And since then obviously, The National Cancer Institute hates us, they do whatever they can but they do not cooperate with us anymore.

The NCI wanted to publicize the failure of Burzynski's treatment

No one got better...

   
   
   


Part Three:  Patent Infringement

 

 


In science, when it comes to patents, the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not the man to whom the idea first occurs.

Francis Galton

On October 4th, 1991, the NIH conducted an on-site visit to the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas.  You can see from the report dated October 30th that the visit went well.

"It was the opinion of the site visit team that anti-tumor activity was documented...."

You may remember that Dr. Patronas added his own thoughts:

"So these particular individuals not only survived, but they didn't have major side effects.  So I think it is impressive and unbelievable."

It was a feel-good visit.  Burzynski assumed that the headaches of the Eighties were past and this was start of a new era.

Well, he was right in one way. It was definitely the start of a new era. Unfortunately, it was an era of the most unbelievable harassment imaginable.

Seventeen days later, on October 21st, 1991, The United States of America as represented by "The Department of Health and Human Services", and "Dr. Dvorit Samid" filed a patent for Antineoplastons AS2-1. 

They even had the audacity to include Burzynski as a reference.  Of course Burzynski had no idea this was happening. 

This was just the start.  Over the next year, with Samid acting as the front man, the government filed 11 different patents based on her work with Phenylacetate, the one ingredient Burzynski had not patented. 

The patents stated the rights to manufacture, use, and license it belonged solely to the government.  Elan Pharmaceutical had their name on the patents too. 

Think about the date.  This meant had to be research going back several years for them to be ready to make this move.

No one had told Burzynski what was going on behind his back over at the NIH, but for some time now Dvorit Samid had been working feverishly in her laboratory trying to discover something that could be patented. 

One has to wonder if the NIH on-site visitors know what was going on in their own agency.  Probably not or they would have toned down their enthusiasm.

Dvorit Samid stayed busy. Over the next four years, she cranked out a total of 11 patents. 

NARRATOR:

Five months later, the United States of America and Dr. Dvorit Samid file their second extended patent on Antineoplastons. And, guess who else was in it? 

Elan Pharmaceutical Corporation.

One can only wonder what Burzynski's horoscope looked like for 1995, but it could not have been good. In June, 1995, the United States government filed its 11th and final patent.

Then a couple of months after the eleventh patent was filed, Dr. Michael Friedman, the same man who had obstructed Burzynski’s trials at the National Cancer Institute, left his position at the National Cancer Institute.  Friedman became Deputy Commissioner of Operations for the FDA. He was now working directly under Dr. David Kessler, the FDA commissioner who had declared war on Burzynski. 

One could make a case the forces of the dark were lining up against Burzynski.  This move by Friedman gave the appearance that the NCI, the FDA, the U.S. patent office, Dvorit Samid and Elan Pharmaceuticals were all connected. Sure enough, trouble was right around the corner. 

In November of 1995, after a decade of failed grand juries, the United States of America’s Food and Drug Administration finally managed to indict Dr. Burzynski.  Burzynski was going on trial.

This breathtaking chain of events took Burzynski aback.

All the foot dragging, all the blown protocols, all the excuses, all the back and forth letters and all the strange omens began to make sense when he finally learned the patents were being filed.  The NIH had been stringing him along to buy time.

In his opinion, all this harassment was meant to disguise the fact that powerful government officials and the pharmaceutical industry had been conspiring to steal his invention all along. 

By the year 2000, all eleven patents had been approved.  Burzynkski says he isn't worried about them, but these 11 copycat patents are still in play today.
 

STANISLAW BURZYNSKI - on camera interview:

And as we know, all of this was being done based on the fact that the United States, which is the National Institute of Health, together with a pharmaceutical company, which is Elan Pharmaceuticals, was trying simply to steal my invention.

That’s what they wanted. It’s not that we had a successful visit from the National Cancer Institute in which they determined that “this treatment works great” and they decided that we should go into Phase 2 clinical trials which would be sponsored by them. No.

This gave the idea of some high-ups at the FDA to conspire with the pharmaceutical company so that they could steal the invention from me and get it, because it was good.

That’s the whole story.

They knew that if I’d be still free, they won’t be able to do it. Because they knew that if I would sue them they wouldn’t have a chance in court because we have our patents before them.

So that’s why they attempted to wipe me out financially, to put me in prison, to attack me from every possible angle: FDA, which is the federal government, state government... to be able to steal my invention. That’s the real thing from the National Cancer Institute and Elan Pharmaceuticals.

They failed.  We survived, and we continue to move forward.
 

DR. JULIAN WHITAKER - on camera interview:

Now how could the U.S. Patent Office be corrupted to the point that they issue patents on medical therapies that have already been patented, and issue them to someone who had nothing to do with their discovery or use?  How could that happen?

And how could the patent office then assign these fraudulent patents to some of the most powerful institutions in American government?  And imagine, all of this was being done while these same government agencies were spending millions of taxpayers dollars trying to put Dr. Burzynski in jail so he could not fight the criminal theft of his discovery.

Well, what about the ten million patients who have died of cancer over the last twenty years?

The majority of them could have been saved if the government had not blocked the therapy that they knew could save them.

True progress in medicine has always, without exception, been violently resisted by medical authorities who cling to the beliefs of their time.

Now today we have the same kind of arrogant commitment to belief, but with cancer treatment we have a trillion-dollar business built on top of those beliefs.

The problem that we face however, is that a huge financial house has been built on the paradigm of purging the body of cancer cells.

Burzynski’s discovery means that the foundation, the walls, and the roof of that house, need to be replaced. Think about it, we’ve got thousands of doctors in oncology, and in oncology residency programs, we’ve got the pharmaceutical industry pumping out chemotherapeutic agents every month. There are all kinds of machines that deliver radiation, we’ve got all this stuff in the war on cancer, and it’s trillions of dollars

"It was the opinion of the site visit team that anti-tumor activity was documented...."
 

 

Source One

Source Two (

(hint use the "Find" function and type in 'Genotoxic')


Dr. Li-Chaun Chen

Rick Archer's Note:  To me, the appearance of this researcher, Li-Chaun Chen, is without a doubt the most provocative feature of the entire documentary.  And that wasn't easy - the whole damn documentary made me mad.

But to have this quiet, unassuming man sit before the camera and say the things he said was unbelievable.  It was the most incredibly brave thing I have seen since Jeff Wigand sat before the 60 Minutes cameras and exposed the tobacco industry in 1996.

Naturally I was curious about this man.  So I linked his name with Gorski and Blaskiewicz, Burzynski's two major critics.  I Googled their names together and came up with nothing.  Nada.  Nil.  I went through 10 pages of Googles and didn't see one post where Gorski and Blaskiewicz attacked Dr. Chen's credibility.

That's amazing.  Why?  These men criticize and attack  everything about Burzynski! 

But they won't touch Li-Chaun Chen.  Very curious.

There can be no doubt the man exists.  And there can be no doubt Dr. Chen knew Dvorit Samid personally. See the picture on the right if you don't believe me. 

To me, the boost this humble man gives to Burzynski's credibility on the issue of the patent theft and the deliberately sabotaged clinical trial is astounding.

Considering how easy it is to sue people, for this man to name names and say what he said is unbelievable.  But I saw no obvious challenge to his veracity.

Li-Chaun Chen is one of my heroes.  Very brave man.

 


Part Four:  The Legal Trials of Doctor Burzynski

 


Rick Archer's Note:
For the following description of Burzynki's legal problems, I relied primarily on the Documentary's Interactive Web Site concerning the doctor's legal problems.  Source: Burzynski Transcript Chapter Six.
 


Stanislaw Burzynski has been involved in a continuous Legal Fight that has lasted for the past two decades.

The Justice Department, the FDA and the Texas Medical Board of Examiners have been waging a campaign to stop Dr. Burzynski from treating patients with antineoplastons

Federal law, which covers drugs in interstate commerce, is clear enough - doctors can only prescribe drugs approved by the FDA although with its approval they can give patients experimental drugs as part of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy.

In his own words...
Dr. STANISLAW BURZYNSKI
- on camera interview:

In 1977 before I started, I asked my lawyers for their advice:

"Can I use an experimental treatment—which was the treatment of Antineoplastons—can I use this in my private practice, and can I be involved in cancer research, as simple as any private company?"

They said yes, I could."

NARRATOR (reading along with highlighted portions of this legal opinion letter from his attorneys dated June 21, 1977):

Dr. Burzynski’s attorneys investigated both state and federal law to find out if it was legal for him to start his own biomedical research company, making Antineoplastons, and administering them to his patients within his private practice.

They found that according to both the Taxes state and federal law, the use of any drug, or new drug, can be used to meet the immediate needs of the patients of a licensed doctor—particularly when there was no other available option for them.

The law stated that such activity was not governed at the time by the Texas Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and is not otherwise unlawful in the state of Texas.

However, Dr. Burzynski would not be legally allowed to introduce or deliver Antineoplastons into interstate commerce. Which means, he had to keep his activity only within the state of Texas to avoid breaking any federal laws.

As long as he did this, his actions were not within the regulatory authority of the FDA.

Law or no law, the FDA began its warnings to Dr. Burzynski in 1978.  The FDA informed him that he was violating Federal law by providing antineoplastons to patients outside of clinical trials.

The formal problems started in 1983.  The FDA obtained a permanent injunction from a federal district court prohibiting Dr. Burzynski and the Burzynski Research Institute from shipping antineoplastons in interstate commerce without first obtaining the approval of the FDA. 

The injunction, however, did not preclude intrastate distribution of the antineoplastons.  As long as Burzynski stayed inside state lines, he was free to go about his business.
 

Texas Board of Medical Examiners

1984

Burzynski said his first trouble with the Texas Board of Medical Examiners took place around 1984.  Some of his patients told him that they were being approached by the agents sent to them by TMB agents.  These agents were trying to convince them to file complaints against their doctor.  However, the agents couldn't get anyone to cooperate, so they went away. 

Shortly after that, Burzynski met a man who informed him he would soon have serious problems with the Texas Board of Medical Examiners. And obviously the man was right.

In his own words...
Dr. STANISLAW BURZYNSKI
- on camera interview:

But nothing else happened at the time in 1984 until I met, by coincidence, the Vice President of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Hickey, who informed me that I will have problems with the Texas Board of Medical Examiners.

And obviously the problems began. I was called to the Texas Board of Medical Examiners, they began investigating me. However, there were no complaints from the patients, the patients were happy, we were treating patients who were very advanced, for whom there was no treatment available, and they were getting good results. So, apparently, there was no justification for such action.

This was a very unpleasant investigation, they were trying to convince me again to stop my research and to stop treating patients. After about two year of going back-and-forth and being called to the board—finally, they proposed to me that I should present to them a number of cases of patients who benefited from my practice.

1986

Two years later, it started up again.  On July 28, 1986, the TMB began investigating Dr. Burzynski, even though no formal complaint had been filed.

Burzynski was able to get the TMB off his back by agreeing to send a list of 40 successful cases.  On November 18, 1986, a notarized agreement between Burzynski and the TMB was created.  Burzynski submitted double that number.  He never heard back.

1988

However, two years later, the board came back again.  It not only pretended that the cases he submitted were not successful, the TMB claimed the doctor was violating a law that didn’t exist and which, by the way, was grounds for the board to cancel, revoke, or suspend his license.

On September 6, 1988, the TMB convened a hearing to decide whether or not to revoke Burzynski's medical license.

Burzynski had cooperated with the TMB in 1986.  But now he was beginning to lose his patience.  He did not appreciate what he felt was a witch hunt.  In his own words:

It was a shock to me. I believed in justice, I believed in the high ethics of the board, but this was just a lie.

1990 and 1992

NARRATOR:

In 1988, it was abundantly clear that the medical board had no case against Burzynski. Which prompted the board to file their first amended complaint in 1990. 

However, the still the board had no case, so they decided to file a second amended complaint in 1992.

It was time for another Texas-style version of Kangaroo Court.  The medical board kept coming back each time with the same argument, practically making Xerox copies of their prior claims, changing the titles and simply resubmitting them.

So far everything had been a series of skirmishes.  Things began to heat up in 1993. This time the Medical Board decided to get serious. 

1993

In 1993, sixty of Dr. Burzynski’s patients petitioned the board to stop harassing their doctor.

The board then tried to ignore these petitions by attempting to strike them from the record.

Finally in May of 1993, this case went to trial.  There were several very bitter confrontations between Burzynski and the prosecutor. Burzynski clearly lost his temper.  

SB: "They will die! There's nothing in the world but my treatment that can save these people's lives!"

State Prosecutor: "You intend to continue just what you have been doing until someone is able to stop you, is that not true?"

SB: "I am going to do what the law will allow me to do. And I'm going to do whatever is necessary to bring my medicine to approval in the United States. And I am going bring you to justice for causing the death of 200 patients!  I'll come back here to haunt you until you are dead!"

State Prosecutor: "Are you threatening me, Dr. Burzynski?"

SB: "I'm not threatening you, but that's what's going to happen in the future."

State Prosecutor: "That remains to be seen."
 

Apparently the State of Texas didn't do a very good job of presenting its case.  In the words of Judge Earl Corbitt, he was never quite clear what the TMB's problem was. 

Corbitt said the State of Texas didn't put one expert witness on the stand.  Without someone to give an opinion, Judge Corbitt said he wasn't able to give credence to TMB's position. 

On the other hand, Corbitt pointed out Dr. Burzynski's lawyer had Dr. Patronas, a highly credible witness from the NCI, in court to testify.  

NARRATOR:  During this 1993 trial, one of the National Cancer Institute’s leading experts, Dr. Nicholas Patronas, decided to testify.

Patronas, a board-certified radiologist since 1973, professor of radiology at Georgetown University, and founder of the neuroradiology section of the National Cancer Institute, recognized the absurdity of the Texas Medical Board’s case against Burzynski.

So he put his own career on the line and flew himself to Texas to testify on Dr. Burzynski’s behalf.

Dr. Patronas testified under oath his role at the National Cancer Institute.

(Rick Archer's Note: You really should watch this trial for yourself.  The drama was amazing.  Start at 40 minutes. )

Richard Jaffe, Attorney for Burzynski, questioning Dr. Nicholas Patronas, NIH, at the 1993 Trial

Q (Jaffe): Basically, just in layman’s terms, you do all of the imaging work and interpretation for the National Cancer Institute’s testing of drugs?

A (Dr. Patronas): Exactly. That’s my job, to assess the effectiveness of the drugs that are given there.

Q (Jaffe): Did there come a time when you became aware of Dr. Burzynski?

A (Dr. Patronas): Yes, the National Cancer Institute asked me to join a group of other physicians and scientists, and come to Houston on a site visit to Dr. Burzynski’s Institute. I was called as an expert in assessing the images to evaluate the effectiveness of his treatment. The basic conclusion, was that in five of the patients with brain tumors, that were fairly large, the tumor resolved, disappeared.

Q (Jaffe): And that’s part of what you do at the hospital, is to evaluate treatments on brain cancer patients?

A: Well, since I am the neuroradiologist I see all brain tumors. And I see a large volume of them.

Q (Jaffe): You testified that five of the patients had their tumors resolved, they all...

A (Dr. Patronas): Disappeared.

Q (Jaffe): Disappeared? Can you give us some kind of context of that? How often does that happen? Just by spontaneous remission?

A (Dr. Patronas): I’m not aware that spontaneous remission occurs. The available treatments rarely produce results like that. The only medication, the only treatment, which I think is a last resort, is radiation therapy. Conventional chemotherapy is—provides very little, nothing, basically. So when this happens it is very rare. In these cases, all of the patients had already failed radiation.

Q (Jaffe): What happens with these patients, who failed radiation, with brain cancer?

A (Dr. Patronas): That’s it. They die.

Q (Jaffe): You are saying, that if someone has already failed radiation, there’s not much else?

A (Dr. Patronas): Nothing to offer, exactly.

Q (Jaffe): And there is nothing that you can do at the National Cancer Institute?

A (Dr. Patronas): Nothing we can do, not at this present time.

Q (Jaffe): What about these five patients? How come they lived?

A (Dr. Patronas): Well, it’s amazing, the fact that they are not handicapped from the side effects of any treatment, and the side effects of most aggressive treatments are worse than the tumor itself, so these particular individuals not only survived, but they didn’t have major side effects. So I think it’s impressive and unbelievable.

Q (Jaffe): How many times have you seen this in your experience? How often does this happen?

A (Dr. Patronas): I don’t. I have not seen it at any time.

Q (Jaffe): Now, let me ask you your opinion or advice. Based on what you have seen, what would happen, let’s say, for some reason Dr Burzynski’s brain tumor patients can’t get his medicine anymore, and have to go off treatment. What’s going to happen to them?

MR. HELMCAMP (prosecutor): Objection, Your Honor, not relevant.

MR. JAFFE (defense): I think it is relevant. That’s really the issue we are advocating in this case.

JUDGE: Overruled.

A (Dr. Patronas): I think these patients will die.

Judge Corbitt said that Dr. Patronas was quite a witness. 

Corbitt said Patronas was impressive. Corbitt specifically remembered when Patronas said he had never seen what Burzynski was able to accomplish using his antineoplastons.

Dr. Patronas: "The tumor disappeared!  It's amazing, it's impressive, it's unbelievable!"

Corbitt added:

"Another thing that helped Burzynski was that boy.  He had one young boy there, about 12. Strapping lad, good sized boy, his name was Paul. When Paul was 4, his doctors gave up on him.  His mother was furious with the State of Texas for bringing this law suit. She said she was scared to death this treatment was going to be taken away. Heck, for all I know, that boy might still be alive!"

After the withering testimony of Mary Michaels, Paul's mother, the state prosecutor completely caved in. 

"Oh, never mind. No more questions."

Not surprisingly, Judge Corbitt ruled in Burzynski's favor.  In his decision, Corbitt said the following:

  • The State of Texas did not prove that antineoplastons are dangerous.
  • The State of Texas did not produce competent testimony to show why the drug was no good.
  • The laws of the State of Texas do not prevent Burzynski from doing what he is doing.

How much clearer can that be?

One would assume the State of Texas would put down its cards, fold up its tent, and slink away.  Not Texas. 

Judge Corbitt stated on camera:

"After the trial, they told me they were going to rewrite my proposal or my decision and take adverse action against Dr. Burzynski.  I replied I thought that was kind of foolish."

1995

Sure enough, the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners came after Burzynski again in 1995. 

TV News footage of the 1995 trial stated this:

The state of Texas wants Houston doctor Stanislaw Burzynski to stop treating his patients with drugs that he produces at his own pharmaceutical plant.

The drugs called Antineoplastons are non-toxic compounds of proteins and amino acids, often lacking in cancer patients.

Even though the state of Texas acknowledges that the drugs may be helping some who are terminally ill, the state says the drugs shouldn’t be used.

This is the state board of medical examiners, which licenses doctors in Texas, this is the agency challenging Dr. Burzynski in court. One judge (Corbitt) has already told the board members that they don’t have a case.

The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners lost the 1995 round as well, but that didn't stop them. 

1996

They took the case to the Texas Supreme Court.  This time Burzynski was placed on probation... but he was still allowed to keep working. 

Not only did Burzynski successfully serve his probation, but again the Texas Medical Board was completely unsuccessful in their efforts to remove his medical license.

So if the safety of the drug was not an issue, and if Dr. Burzynski wasn’t breaking any laws, then why would the Texas Medical Board continue on with this empty pursuit?

People were starting to get suspicious that the FDA had been pressuring the Texas Medical Board to continue trying to take away Dr. Burzynski’s medical license.

ABC News clip:

For this story we wanted to talk to the FDA about its policies and procedures. The FDA did agree to talk to us on background where it wouldn't be quoted, but they repeatedly refused our requests for on-camera interviews.

With all options to stop Burzynski exhausted at the state level, at this point  the FDA decided to step in.  The Documentary suggested the following motive: 

NARRATOR:  

The FDA and PhRMA realized that if Burzynski’s discovery was given a fair review process, not only would chemotherapy and radiation dwindle into obscurity, financially crippling the industry, but it would also mean that for the first time in history, all of that income would funnel away from PhRMA and into the lap of one single scientist, who holds the exclusive patent rights.

The fiercest fight in FDA history was about to begin.

 

This ABC correspondent is saying the FDA refuses to answer
her questions on camera.

   


The FDA versus Doctor Burzynski

 


Rick Archer's Note:  
The main source for this section comes from the Chapter Seven transcript from the Burzysnki Documentary I ]


The Documentary states that at the same time the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners had been pursuing Burzynski, the FDA had been pursuing parallel measures again Burzynski as well.  

1983

In 1983, the American Cancer Society placed Dr. Burzynski's therapy on its "unproven methods" list.

That same year, the FDA sought an injunction to stop Dr. Burzynski from treating cancer patients because the FDA had not approved the drug.

At that point the FDA commenced a civil action to try to close the clinic and stop all patients from receiving the medicine.

NARRATOR:

In 1983, before the judge in this case had announced her ruling, the FDA sent her a letter. 

The letter warned her in advance that if she declined to grant the injunction sought be the government - thus permitting the continued manufacture and distribution of antineoplastons - then the government would then be obliged to pursue other less efficient remedies.

"actions for seizure" - code for raiding his clinic and home.

"condemnation of the drugs" - code for a propaganda campaign.

"criminal prosecution of individual" - code for doing everything in its power to throw Burzynski in prison.

[SOURCE: 1983 FDA letter to Judge pg 2]
.......

Federal Judge Gabrielle McDonald denied the FDA's request. Instead, she ruled that Dr. Burzynski could continue to treat patients in Texas, but she prohibited him from shipping the unapproved drug across state lines.

As the letter ominously predicted, the FDA indeed had "other ways" to stop Burzynski.  Dr. Burzynski would face numerous battles with the federal government over the next 14 years.

Between 1986 and 1994, he was subjected to constant harassment.  During that time federal officials raided his research clinic and confiscated his patients' medical records. 

On July 17, 1985, there was an enormous raid by the FDA of Burzynski’s office. They seized over 200,000 medical documents including hundreds of confidential patient files.

They literally went through every scrap of paper in his office. For Burzynski to gain access to his own patient files he had to install his own copying machine in the FDA’s offices and give them a day or two’s notice for them to find the file in question.

A laborious and time consuming process when peoples lives are on the line. On some occasions they “lost” or misplaced a patients files. One patient, William Cody, demanded his medical records back, which contained vital information to his recovery. Cody says the FDA’s Compliance Officer Kenneth Ewing told him “those records were no longer my property…” (“The Cancer Industry" p288)

Cody went to Ewing’s superior in Dallas and was told he could have his records if he applied to the FDA in Houston. When he did so Ewing told him they could not be found. But later, when Burzynski’s lawyer called Cody as a witness before a federal judge, his records suddenly resurfaced.

Source: Gavin Phillips

During those years, three federal grand jury investigations were convened without a single indictment ever handed down.
 

1995

In March 1995, Dr. Burzynski appeared on the CBS TV show "This Morning," accompanied by three of his patients.

That very same afternoon, the FDA raided his clinic again.  The timing hinted at retaliation for the TV interview.

Shortly after the raid, a fourth federal grand jury investigation got underway. 
 

Rick Archer's Note:  One of the dirtiest tricks the FDA played was to ask the judge to discontinue treatment to the children.  This happened on several occasions.

When one listens to the heart-rendering cries of the parents who are being threatened with the loss of the only thing keeping their children alive, it is very difficult not to feel intense anger at the insensitive bureaucrats.
 

Representative Joe Barton

With the threat of seeing their doctor potentially being thrown in jail and the possibility of his life-saving treatment discontinued, several of Burzynski's patients asked Joe Barton, their Texas representative in Congress, to intervene.

In 1995, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) questioned whether the FDA had used its power to retaliate against Dr. Burzynski.

"It is extraordinarily rare for a grand jury to fail to indict at the request of a U.S. Attorney," Barton told The Washington Times.  Barton noted that a grand jury's failure to indict someone after three attempts is "virtually unprecedented."

On July 25, 1995, Barton convened a Congressional Subcommittee hearing.

ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE: Rick Jaffe (pictured at right), Burzynski’s attorney - Congressional Subcommittee hearing, July 25, 1995 (continued):

... the judge in the 1983 case basically said Burzynski can treat anybody he wants in Texas, but he can’t ship his medicine in interstate commerce.

The FDA viewed that as a failure and told Dr. Burzynski’s attorneys at the time that “they have other ways to get him”.

Let’s talk about “the other ways”.

In 1985, the FDA convened a grand jury to hear evidence to try to indict Dr. Burzynski.

In connection with that they had a raid of his clinic where they seized 200,000 pieces of paper including all of his medical records of all patients. 

It’s a little difficult to practice medicine when you don’t have medical records
.........

 

Dr. STANISLAW BURZYNSKI - on camera interview:

Obviously they came armed, and they confiscated all of our medical records. It took us about 12 years, or 14 years to recover these medical records. In the meantime we were permitted to make copies of these medical records in their office. But it was also the neglect of human well-being, we were treating very sick people and they took their medical records, we needed these medical records to really fight for the lives of these patients. But they took this away, they didn’t care for these patients, the patients could die. The patients were not important to the FDA
...........

ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE: Rick Jaffe, Burzynski’s attorney - Congressional Subcommittee hearing, July 25, 1995 (continued):

In 1985, they presented the evidence to the grand jury, but there was no indictment.

In 1986 they came back and seized another 100,000 documents.  Again, no indictment.

In 1990, another grand jury, either the second or the third, they presented more documents, Dr. Burzynski testified extensively before the grand jury. Again, no indictment.

In 1991 to 1993, the FDA investigated Dr. Burzynski, we don’t know if evidence was presented to another grand jury.

1994, another grand jury, again no indictment.

In 1995, another grand jury.

This grand jury started in March of this year, on March 25th I believe it was Dr. Burzynski along with a few of his patients appeared on CBS Show This Morning...

[SOURCE: 1995 letter from AMPAC re: FDA raid]
.........

ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE: Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee Hearings 11/15/95; Hon. Joe Barton:

Hon. Joe Barton addressing the FDA:

In my opinion, you have every right to use the investigative authority and the judicial resources of the federal government to the justice department convene a grand jury. The first time, that’s very appropriate,  perhaps even the second time.

However, it becomes questionable the third time, the fourth time, and the fifth time!

It is not, I think, an illogical conclusion to think that the FDA has a vendetta against Dr. Burzynski, or wants to retaliate for some reason.

Now that’s my opinion.

How many grand jury investigations have to occur, that result in no finding of fault before you as commissioner of the FDA would encourage those within your organization to cease and desist?

Dr. David Kessler:
Mr. Chairman, how do you know that there were no findings of fault that were returned from that grand jury?

Hon. Joe Barton: There have been no indictments returned.

Dr. David Kessler:
Mr. Chairman, I’ll ask council to comment, but I don’t think those are the same—as a matter of law those are the same things.

Hon. Joe Barton: I’m baffled by the splitting of hairs here but...

Committee member: I am just trying to understand the exchange between the witness and the chairman. What I understood the chairman to say is that there have been four grand juries convened?

Hon. Joe Barton: At least four.

Committee member: I am left then, with rather strong inference, that if you convene four separate grand juries and there is no indictment returned, not withstanding that prosecutors tell us always that it’s possible to indict a ham sandwich—that probably there’s not much there.

[SOURCE: Letter from Congress to Janet Reno]


 

 

 

Dustin Kennari, one of the kids whose life would have been
endangered by the loss of Burzynski's medication

 

This is Burzynski attorney Richard Jaffe  and Mary Michaels.

Mrs. Michaels was the mother whose testimony flustered
the State of Texas prosecutor so badly he said,

"Oh, never mind. No more questions." 

These parents had every right to be upset at the
nasty games being played at their children's expense.

 


 

Dr. David Kessler: Mr. Chairman, how do you know that there were no findings of fault that were returned from that grand jury?

Hon. Joe Barton:  There have been no indictments returned.

Dr. David Kessler:
Mr. Chairman, I’ll ask council to comment, but I don’t think those are the same—as a matter of law those are the same things.
 

I am just trying to understand the exchange between the witness and the Chairman. 

What I understood the Chairman to say is that there have been FOUR GRAND JURIES CONVENED?
 

Hon. Joe Barton: At least four.

   

1996 - The Second Congressional Subcommittee Hearing with Joe Barton

Dustin Kennari

Barely a week after Barton's hearings concluded, on November 20th, 1995, Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski was indicted. Burzynski was charged with 75 counts of violating federal law and fraud. The charges were engaging in interstate commerce as well as insurance and mail fraud.

Specifically, Dr. Burzynski was charged with 40 counts of distributing a non-FDA approved drug in interstate commerce, 34 counts of mail fraud, and one count of contempt of court for violating the order against interstate delivery of Antineoplastons.

If convicted, Burzynski would face a maximum of 290 years in a federal prison, and $18.5 million dollars in fines.

ABC anchor:

On February 9th, 1996, Houston federal court judge Sim Lake ruled Dr. Burzynski’s treatments have been quote “illegal under Texas and Federal Law since 1984” and he ordered them stopped on all but a handful of patients.

Then he put a stay on his own order, a temporary stay of execution.

On February 9, 1996, US District Court Judge Sim Lake ruled that Dr. Burzynski cannot treat patients outside of clinical trials. In other words, he issued a death sentence for hundreds of Dr. Burzynski's patients.
 

Now the adult patients as well as the parents of the cancer-stricken children were terrified.  Judge Lake had come within inches of forbidding what they considered to be their life-saving treatment. They were really upset.  So they went to Joe Barton and asked him to intervene again.

Second Congressional Hearing, Joe Barton

Dr. Burzynski has benefited in his legal battles from the inevitable slowness of legal proceedings and from having supporters in Congress, like Representative Joe L. Barton, Republican of Texas.

Mr. Barton held three hearings in the last year on whether the F.D.A. had abused its power, where Dr. Burzynski's patients provided a poignant note by testifying that the agency wanted to deprive them of a lifesaving drug.

Source: New York Times, 1996
.............

NARRATOR:

In 1996, not only did scores of Dr. Burzynski’s patients return to Washington DC to protest his indictment, but many of them testified again before another Congressional Hearing headed by Congressman Joe Barton.
............

After Burzynski was indicted, Joe Barton conducted a second Congressional hearing in 1996.

This set the scene for the incredibly dramatic, tear-filled testimony of Mariann Kunnari, the mother of Dustin Kunnari, a 4 year old  cancer-stricken patient of Dr. Burzynski. 

ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE: Congressional Subcommittee Hearing 2/29/96:

Hon. Joe Barton: Our first witness is Mariann Kunnari, is that correct?

Mariann Kunnari:
Yes, that’s correct.

Hon. Joe Barton:  From Aurora, Minnesota.

Mariann Kunnari (with son Dustin at her side):

This is Dustin Kunnari and he is on Dr. Burzynski’s antineoplaston treatment. And this is my husband, Jack Kunnari. Now, in February of 1994 our lives were drastically changed. My son Dustin was only two and a half years old at the time—he has diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball.

The surgeon removed 75% of his tumor, and the remaining 25% was diagnosed from a biopsy as a malignant, very aggressive medulloblastoma brain tumor—one of the most deadly forms of brain cancer.

The doctors told us Dustin had only a few months to live. The first treatment offered us was radiation.  But the radiation doctor told us that at his young age, Dustin would become a vegetable, and it would only extend his life for maybe a few months.

The next doctor wanted us to enroll Dustin into an experimental chemotherapy, which was highly toxic. The side effects would include hearing loss, kidney and liver damage, bladder, stunted growth and a possible leukemia.

One question I’d like to ask is: would you do that to your child?

We weighed the harm these experimental drugs would cause against the fact that they would not cure Dustin, and decided not to subject him to these drastic measures.

But our oncologists told us that their opinion took precedence over us as parents. This put added stress to the already stressful situation we were in.

In April of 1994, we visited Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski in Houston. Dr. Burzynski made us no promises, but said, that he “often had good results with brain tumors, at worst it would not hurt Dustin” and it offered the best hope in a longer quality of life.

An MRI six weeks after we started Dr. Burzynski’s treatment revealed no tumor. We were very overjoyed.

Dustin continued Antineoplaston therapy, and one year later a tumor one-inch by one-inch in size was found on the MRI, that would be in April of 1995.

Dr. Burzynski immediately raised Dustin’s dose of Antineoplastons. There were still no harsh side-effects at all. The next MRI in September of 1995 revealed that the tumor had almost disappeared again.

To this day, it has not reappeared. If you look at Dustin right now, he’s a happy, healthy four-year-old, who has out-lived his prognosis. There is not a traditional treatment that would have kept him alive, with such good quality of life.

FDA Commissioner David Kessler loves to grab headlines as a man who loves children so much he wants to protect them from the ravishes of smoking.

If Dr. Kessler loves children so much, why have he and his agency been trying so hard to cut off my son’s last hope for life?  Without this treatment, my son will die.

................

NARRATOR (with photos of Dustin Kunnari):

This is a photo of Dustin Kunnari at four years old in 1996. This is photo of Dustin Kunnari at 18 years old in 2009.

Dustin's brain cancer never returned.

   


The 1996 Grand Jury Trial - Round One and Two

 


There was an ironic twist to Burzynski's indictment.  A
s part of Burzynski's bond agreement, federal judge Sim Lake ordered Burzynski and the FDA to agree on protocols for Phase II trials of antineoplastons — trials to measure the drug's efficacy.

So while the FDA, via a federal prosecutor, was trying to imprison Burzynski, it was also ordered to monitor his clinical trials.  The coming prosecution would mark the first time the FDA had tried to jail a scientist for using a drug on which he is concurretnly conducting FDA-authorized clinical trials. 

Dr. STANISLAW BURZYNSKI - on camera interview:

In 1996, because of pressure from the politicians and American opinion, the FDA agreed to accept all of the patients for whom we had at the time into a program of Phase II clinical trials. Basically we filed and received permission from the FDA to proceed with 72 different Phase II clinical trials which covered practically any type of cancer.

This was such tremendous work, that basically it was necessary for me to work almost around-the-clock, with six secretaries who were typing different protocols, and later I learned that the FDA had to create a special task force to review these protocols.

We have soft tissue sarcoma, there is a special protocol for that. You have breast cancer—a special protocol. For lung cancer, a few different protocols. For brain tumors, about over twenty different protocols for different types of brain tumors.

NARRATOR:

So, just a year before his trial facing life in prison, the Food and Drug Administration had finally authorized the very thing that Dr. Burzynski and his patients had ever wanted.

Even still, the FDA would not back down in making sure Burzynski’s criminal trial moved forward.
................

As the trial got underway in December 1996, the absurdities were never more apparent.

Why would the FDA try to jail a scientist for using a drug on which his conducting FDA-authorized trials?   How much sense does that make? 

Who on earth would prosecute someone for using a drug that they themselves concede has been saving lives? 

What is the purpose of hiding the fact that Burzynski's treatment saves lives from the jury? 

Perhaps never in the history of law has anyone uttered a weirder statement than Asst. U.S. Attorney Mike Clark.

Clark, terrified the jury might find out that Burzynski was actually successfully curing cancer, warned the judge against the sinister "thinly veiled effort to expose the jury to the specter of Dr. Burzynski in his act of saving lives."

Talk about a Kangaroo Court.  And this on the Federal level?

The trial began in January 1997 and lasted two months.  The jury was supposed to decide whether Burzynski is a fraud or a medical pioneer. 

The question one might raise is how are they supposed to determine he is a medical pioneer if the judge rules they can't hear testimony as to the power of Burzynski's treatment?

Now one begins to understand why the prosecutor was leery of exposing the jury to Burzynski's legion of supporters... there was no way he could win the case. 

Back in the Fifties, the FDA had managed to shut down Harry Hoxsey, an alternative cancer healer, because he had clinics in several states... and therefore had to transport his anti-cancer drug out of Texas to the other clinics. 

Here in 1997, the FDA was trying to use this same trick again.  There was only one problem - Burzynski was by nature a careful man.  As far back as 1977, Burzynski was well aware that he was not allowed to send antineoplastons across state lines.

But patients could come to his clinic from another state and take antineoplastons back home with them. This was legal and the FDA was well aware of it.

But the FDA had become so desperate after 3 previous grand juries failed to bring an indictment, this time they managed to convince a grand jury that a new interpretation did constitute interstate commerce.

Furthermore the FDA stacked the deck.  For example, during the trial, patients were not allowed to testify about how well the antineoplaston treatment worked or how safe it was.

In addition, Oncologist Robert Burdick, MD of Seattle, Washington, had reviewed Burzynski's patients and vouched for his treatment.  Burdick sent a remarkable letter to Federal Judge Sim Lake in support of Burzynski.  The letter explained how Burzynski had achieved impressive cure rates, but it was all for naught.  Judge Lake disregarded it, ruling the report irrelevant.

Despite the government's efforts to suppress evidence favorable to Burzynski, the best they could do was get a tie. The Jurors were hopelessly deadlocked 6 to 6.

On March 3, 1997, Judge Sim Lake declared a mistrial.

Even that didn't stop the government.  The FDA refused to back down.  Try, try again... literally.

NARRATOR:

The FDA took Dr. Burzynski to trial again.

They had even less luck the second time.  The FDA’s facade in trying to convince the world that Burzynski was a criminal was completely unraveling.

In an interesting twist, some of the jurors who voted not guilty in the first case decided to take time off from work to join the patients’ protest in front of the court house during the second case.

After apparently accepting the absurdity of their case, right before the second trial began on May 19th the FDA suddenly dropped 40 of the 41 remaining charges. 

They went forward on the last count.

[SOURCE: NY Times 5/18/97] [SOURCE: Court Document showing Dismissal]
.........

A second federal trial got underway May 19, 1997 to try Dr. Burzynski on the contempt of court charge for violating the order against interstate delivery of Antineoplastons. 

This was the government's last chance. The federal government claimed Dr. Burzynski violated the previous court order because he continued to treat patients who lived out of state, knowing they might ship the drug across state lines.

The defense, however, argued that Dr. Burzynski treated patients who lived outside Texas, but that he didn't ship the drug to other states.

The absurdity of this allegation was that the FDA had given Burzynski permission to send antineoplastons out of state as part of the clinical trials.  How could the government possibly win on this issue?

A federal jury acquitted Dr. Burzynski on May 27, 1997.

To this date, Dr. Burzynski has never lost a trial.

   

Dr. STANISLAW BURZYNSKI - on camera interview:

There were many patients who would have liked to testify on our behalf and convince the jury and the judge that without the treatment they would die.

But Judge Lake did not admit any statements which could show that the treatment is effective.  Nor did the judge allow the jury to visit our facility where we produce the medicine; they were trying to keep it away from the jury.

If this information would have been presented to the jurors, then this trial would have been finished very quickly.  [SOURCE: Washington Times 12/5/96]

And that’s what the jurors told us because after the trial we talked to the jurors, and they were shocked that such information about the treatment which was saving the lives of patients was not presented to them.

And I was sick listening to the lies of prosecutors from the U.S. Attorneys. It was not necessary for them to do it, they could tell the truth, they represented the biggest power, but they still were doing this all the time.

So they were trying to do it in a sneaky way, and that’s what is horrible, that’s what should be exposed because I think the United States deserves better.

CONSPIRACY

 

The 60 Million Dollar Man

After the smoke cleared and all the lawyer's fees were added up, a very remarkable statistic emerged.

The government spent $60 million dollars trying to put Burzynski in jail...  $60,000,000 for just this one Federal trial. 

The cost for all the trials put together is somewhere in excess of $200,000,000.  Burzynski's legal fees are equally staggering.

And what about those 11 copycat patents?

As they say, "Imitation is the highest form of flattery".

Source of Timeline Picture

Why??

Gavin Phillips:  So the FDA wasted many millions of taxpayer dollars trying to convict you on false charges of transporting Antineoplastons across State lines.  What was the motivation for this vendetta?

Stanislaw Burzynski: 
Well, it’s hard to tell, because why they did it was never properly investigated.  But we have some leads.

For instance, on one side you have a large pharmaceutical company, which was very interested in getting hold of our patents; this is Elan Pharmaceutical. It happened that I treated successfully a close relative to the CEO of Elan.

Elan became very interested in what we have. They came close to signing a final license agreement. But after they learned what we have, they decided to withdraw and then suddenly the FDA and NCI gave their full support to Elan, to do clinical trials with one of the ingredients of Antineoplastons, phenylacetate.

This was a large pharmaceutical company that was trying to appropriate my invention. On the other hand, within the FDA and NCI you have had people who were working closely with this company. For instance Mary Pendergast, who was responsible for the legal action against us, became Vice President of Elan.

Also Doctor Michael Friedman, who was initially in charge of NCI cancer research, and who knew that our treatment works, later became commissioner of FDA and he did whatever he could to put us out of business. Not only that, but to simply destroy me.

On the other hand, suddenly the government decided to file for the patents, which claimed the same thing that our patents did. Never in the history of the United States do you have the issuance of two patents for the same invention. It was really a breach of patent procedure. The patent office allowed them to patent something I invented, and which I patented. And dishonest scientist Dr. Dvorit Samid, who initially worked for us, was receiving funds from us and finally went for the higher bidder (Elan).

So you have a lot of leads, which indicate that there was something between the government, dishonest scientists like Dvorit Samid and the large pharmaceutical company, Elan.

It was in their best interests for them to get rid of me, destroy me, so they could appropriate my discoveries and benefit from that.

Source: Gavin Phillips Interview

 

PROFIT OVER PEOPLE


"It's time you learned the facts of life.

You see, there are really only two kinds of people in the world, the eaters and the eaten. You just have to make up your mind which group you're going to be in. 

When you have the power, you don't have to tell the truth.

That's a rule that's been working in this world for generations.  And there are a great many people who don't tell the truth when they are in power in administrative positions."
 

        Dr. Dean Burk, the NCI biochemist who never wavered in his support of Laetrile.


Rick Archer's Note: 
The unquestioned star of the Burzynski documentary has to be
Dr. Li-Chuan Chen.  It took a lot of guts for him to go on camera and vividly explain the corrupt behind-the-scenes practices at the National Cancer Institute. 

I got goosebumps watching Dr. Chen come forward and document with his own eyes that people were deliberately trying to steal Burzynski's work behind his back with copycat patents.

In addition, Dr. Chen backed up Burzynski's claim that people at the National Cancer Institute deliberately sabotaged tests that were meant to investigate Burzynski's work. He knew this because he saw it happen.  Chen's exact words:

"...when the NCI or its assigned entity conducted trials on alternative cancer therapies, they always altered the Protocol and let it fail in order to discredit the therapy."

Dr. Chen went on to say,

"Scientists never look at it carefully, because Papa is telling you something and you don't question him."

It was never spelled out in black and white, but I got the impression that the nine cancer patients who participated in the sabotaged trial all died thanks to the altered protocols.  Burzynski has commented on this himself:

SB: "Because, obviously, they [NCI] knew what they were doing, and they knew that these patients have really no chance to respond to any treatment.

They are going to die, okay? And that’s what happened.

After we realized what they do, we decided to force them to stop clinical trials. And since then, obviously, National Cancer Institute hates us, okay?  They do whatever they can to not cooperate with us anymore.

Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems Burzynski is saying those sick patients were deliberately sacrificed so the NCI could rig the clinical test and tell the world Burzynski's treatment didn't work.

Profits over people...let them die so we can discredit this guy.

Now the movie Coma doesn't seem quite so 'fictional' any more.  Those cancer patients were not 'lab rats'; they were human beings.  When doctors start sacrificing patients' lives just to rig an academic point, something is deeply wrong here. 
 

The Final Word

Burzynski's Documentary had a morbidly fascinating ending.

If one is to believe Dr. Chen, the U.S. Patent Office was in on the fix.  Dr. Chen was forthright in asserting the government deliberately filed copycat patents on Burzynski’s antineoplastons compounds This office issued 11 copycat patents on medical therapies that Burzynski had already patented himself. 

These patents were issued to Dvorit Samid, Burzynski's former lab assistant who had nothing to do with their original discovery.

Question:  Why would the U.S. Patent Office assign fraudulent patents to some of the most powerful institutions in American government? 

Possible Answer:  Because Burzynski already held the original patent.  All Burzynski would need now would be to plow his way through the excruciatingly expensive Phase III "efficacy" trials.

If Dr. Burzynski's antineoplastons are approved, it would mark the first time in history that a single scientist, not a pharmaceutical company, would hold the exclusive patent and distribution rights on an industry-shifting medical breakthrough.

When that happens, the game is over. Checkmate to Burzynski, Nobel Prize for Medicine certain to follow.

Note that all of this NCI patent chicanery was taking place while these same government agencies were spending $60 million dollars of taxpayer money trying to put Dr. Burzynski in jail.

Now ask yourself this:  Why would anyone spend $60 million dollars trying to put Burzynski in jail? 

If this man really is a quack doctor with an ineffective treatment, then he is a nobody.  Word of mouth drives his business.  If no one survives for long, then his business dries up automatically.

Did they spend $60 million to protect the patients? 

Hell, no. Even if every single one of Burzynski's patients were doomed (which they aren't), everyone agrees Burzynski's treatment is a dramatic improvement over chemo because it doesn't hurt anybody.  So that can't be the answer either. 

The most obvious conclusion is that if Burzynski was in jail, he could not fight the criminal theft of his discovery.

People ask me, "Rick, does Burzynski's treatment work?"

And I am going to say this again, "Why would anyone spend 14 years and $60 million dollars trying to put Burzynski in jail?"

There is your answer right there.  If Burzynski did not represent the greatest possible threat to the entrenched interests, then they would not go to these extremes. 

According to Dr. Chen, the absurd $60 million dollar, 14-year spectacle of one useless trial after another was nothing more than a smoke and mirrors attempt to muscle the doctor out of the picture so the NCI could steal his treatment.

"Under the capitalist sun, there is nothing  
  sacred.  Money talks."
 

Do these people have no shame?  Were they born without a conscience?  I cannot begin to understand how they turn a blind eye to the suffering of the people crying for a cure to cancer.

I have spent the past three Chapters attempting to illustrate that the United States cancer treatment and pharmaceutical drug industries are rife with corruption and conspiracy. 

The situation is so bad it seems like the industry itself has cancer. 

I rest my case.

Rick Archer
August 2013

 


Chapter Four: Royal Rife

Rick Archer's Note:  Of all the chapters I wrote for the Cancer Diaries, the story of Royal Rife was by far the most disturbing.  There seems to be ample circumstantial evidence that the work of a medical genius was deliberately sabotaged.

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By the way, if you wish to know more about who I am: Rick Archer

   
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