Thus screams the headline at the website of the Alliance for Natural Health, a group who would normally hates pharmaceutical companies but for some inexplicable reason seems inclined to give Burzynski a free pass.
The Alliance for Natural Health is of course pimping its Action Alert round the quackosphere. They want their followers to write to their representatives demanding that Stanislaw Burzynski is allowed continued access to dying people.
Obviously that’s not quite how they present it: instead they plead for dying patients to be allowed access to Burzynski’s “lifesaving” treatment.
One small problem: there is no credible evidence it saves lives. Diligent investigation has failed to find a single person whose survival is beyond the limits of expectation of either an indolent tumour, prior treatment (surgery, radio and chemotherapy), or the natural course of the disease.
Burzynski begs to differ. He has registered 61 clinical trials, of which one was completed and has never been fully published. Cherry picked results are released through zero impact and predatory open-access journals. An “Independent” study from Japan (conducted by a research collaborator, so not independent) reportedly confirms the effect. Or rather, it doesn’t confirm it.
Overall survival was not statistically improved (p=0.105) in the AN arm (n=32).
But all is not lost!
Antineoplastons (A10 Injection and AS2-1) might be useful as adjunctive therapy in addition to HAI after hepatectomy in colorectal metastases to the liver.
Based on what? The fact that it doesn’t kill the patients but doesn’t cure them either, is a null result.
So why do the ANH support this pharmaceutical manufacturer in making his specious claims ? Actually the reason’s not that hard to see: Burzynski portrays himself as supplying a “natural” treatment (even though, as a synthesised analogue of a compound found in urine, it is no more or less natural than aspirin) – and of course he’s being oppressed by The Man.
Why oh why does the FDA hound Burzynski so? What has he ever done to deserve it? Other than selling an unproven treatment as if it was proven, setting up fake “clinical trials” in order to keep doing so, failing to report life-threatening adverse events for years at a time, changing the rules on a whim with the approval of an institutional review board run by someone with a vested interest in the clinic, employing unlicensed doctors, using propaganda in lieu of evidence, destroying vital original medical records, telling patients that progression is the cancer “dying form the inside”?
Oh, and and blaming parents for the deaths of children when they finally discontinue the toxic treatment in the last weeks of life to give the kid less misery at the end. What a prince.
Stanislaw Burzynski had an idea four decades ago. At the time, nobody knew if it was right or wrong. Convinced he was right, he was determined not to share the glory (and the money) so he set up in business on his own despite having no training in oncology and not even being board certified in internal medicine.
He started selling his treatment as safe and effective; after many years he was stopped from making this illegal claim, and forced to administer it only under clinical trials. His lawyer freely admits the trials were an artifice designed to allow business as usual.
Three times the FDA inspected his institutional review board and found a litany of ethical violations.
Eventually a boy died, and the scam was shut down for a while. And now it’s grinding its way through the Administrative Courts with the Texas Medical Board.
The easiest way out of all of this would be a bit of legislative alchemy: passing a law that says the treatment works, thereby exempting Burzynski from all the tiresome business of evidence and science that he clearly has no intention of pursuing.
And the ANH want to help. Because ideology is vastly more important than protecting vulnerable people from charlatans.