Burzynski: This changes everything

Burzynski shill account @BurzynskiMovie has, as with all Burzynski shills, always tried to obscure the real facts about the evidence for Burzynski’s treatment – for example, tweeting that the NCI have “finally come clean” about Burzynski when their pages on antineoplastons were last updated in August last year and still state in no uncertain terms that there is no credible evidence to support their use.

Amid the cherry-picked deep links, one page is rarely (read: never) cited: the overview of ANPs.

This summary contains the following key information:

  • Antineoplastons are drugs composed of chemical compounds that are naturally present in the urine and blood. They are an experimental cancer therapy that is purported to provide a natural biochemical substance that is excreted and therefore lacking in people with cancer.
  • Antineoplastons were first proposed as a possible cancer treatment in 1976.
  • Antineoplastons were originally isolated from human urine but are now synthesized from readily available chemicals in the developer’s laboratory.
  • Antineoplastons are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention or treatment of any disease.
  • No randomized controlled trials showing the effectiveness of antineoplastons have been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
  • Antineoplaston side effects can include serious neurologic toxicity.
  • Nonrandomized clinical trials investigating the anticancer efficacy of antineoplastons are underway at the developer’s institute.

According to the latest from the shill “bullet #5 is about to change”. Really? Here’s bullet 5:

  • No randomized controlled trials showing the effectiveness of antineoplastons have been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

There are currently 60 Phase II (nonrandomised) trials registered with clinicaltrials.gov and one Phase III (randomised) trial which has yet to recruit a single patient. The shill seems to think  that within the next 12 months, and probably before the next installment of the bullshit Burzynski  propaganda movie is released later in 2013, Slippery Stan is going to recruit patients, conduct trials, write up and get his work published in a credible journal.

Neat trick if he can do it.

What he might mean is that Burzynski is finally going to publish one or more of the Phase II trials. That’s good, but remember the following:

  • If he publishes with enough detail for others to replicate the experiment, which up to now he has not, then others will try exactly that, and that may not go well for him.
  • Even if he did manage to publish a Phase II trial in a non-CAM journal, that is a long way from approval – many drugs fail to get to market even after Phase II because they turn out to be less effective than the standard of care, don’t work out in RCTs or whatever.
  • Even if the treatment does, after 35 years during which nobody else has produced anything close to confirming results, make it to approval, that absolutely cannot excuse the way Burzynski has marketed ANPs as a proven cure when they are not proven, and the huge sums charged for participation in trials, many of whose patients died with nothing to show for their money other than side effects.

SCAM proponents love to cherry pick. They love to polish and highlight the one tiny fact that makes them look good, and try to wave away the vast array of evidence that makes them look like quacks.

Burzynski and his shills are no exception.