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This site won the prestigious Anus Maximus Award in the 2013 Millenium Awards. The citation read:
Dr Burzynski came close to winning the Anus Maximus award in 2000, and it could almost be said that he won it by proxy as the winner was an advertising site using a dying child. Dr Burzynski still likes to use dying children in his advertising because they are good for extracting donations out of people which can be used, for example, to buy polish for the gold initials on the front gate of his home. He has expanded his advertising lately to include video productions featuring anecdotes from people who have been miraculously cured, although he has yet to publish details of any of these cures in the medical journals. As he has been doing the same thing for decades it took something exceptional to get him to the winner's podium, although his problems with the FDA during the year would have qualified him for an Encouragement Award. What brought him over the line was an image proudly displayed by one of his acolytes showing that brain cancer had been healed. As the "before" and "after" scan images were obviously not of the same part of the brain it was obvious that Dr Burzynski had been lying to the patient. This production of fraudulent "evidence" followed the revelation that he had systematically destroyed patient records showing their conditions at the start of treatment. Put plainly, with no evidence that the patients had cancer in the first place he was claiming cures, and when he had some evidence of a prior condition he lied about the outcome of his treatment. A true champion of medical fraud.
Dr Burzynski has been informed of his success.
Dear Dr Burzynski
Congratulations on winning the Anus Maximus Award in the 2013 Millenium Awards. There is always tough competition but the production of so blatantly obvious scans of different sections of a brain as evidence of a cure shows chutzpah that is not seen every day.
The award citation read:
Please feel free to publicise your award and display the award logo on your web site. If you wish to collect the physical prize (a tube of haemorrhoid cream and a wire brush applicator) you can do so at your own expense, but please give me sufficient notice so that I can organise the location for the public application of the cream and the accompanying media coverage.
You can see the other winners at http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/history/2013/2013awards.htm.
Speaking of cancer quackery ... (23/11/2000)
Here's what I think about another "cancer curer", Stanislaw Burzynski. Here is a web site where the tragic illness of a young boy is being used to create sympathy for quacks. Here is another advertisement for Burzynski which, even if true, preys on the grief parents could expect if they lose a child. Pardon me while I throw up.
A cure for cancer? I doubt it. (10/6/2000)
Someone wrote to me recently and, as part of convincing me that I am "full of shit", he mentioned the "72 FDA-approved clinical trials" being conducted by the Burzynski Research Institute into treatment for terminal cancer. The Institute seems to be investigating the same treatment in all 72 trials based on a theory that all cancers are the same thing and all can be treated by the same medications.
The Burzynski trials are often offered by supporters of "alternative medicine" as examples of the imminent acceptance of the theories underlying the trials. That is, the fact that trials are being done is offered as some form of proof that the medical establishment accepts the principles on which the trials are based. This is nonsense. The FDA really doesn't care about clinical trials as long as certain ethical and legal requirements are met - you can't purposely harm people and there has to be a degree of informed consent. Those hated pharmaceutical companies are conducting thousands of clinical trials at any one time, but the proponents of quackery rarely suggest that this confirms the validity of science-based medicine.
A brief examination of the 72 trials suggests that there is really one trial, repeated 71 times for different cancer locations. (I did not say "types of cancer" because it seems to me that Dr Burzynski believes that there is only one form of cancer but it shows up in different places.) The method of creating a new trial is to pull the documentation for one into a word processor and change every occurrence of, e.g., "breast" to "adenoid" or "epiglottis".
I looked at one of these trials in conjunction with somebody who is a specialist in the area. The particular trial was "Patients With Carcinoma Of The Uterine Cervix And/Or Vulva" (see Note 2), and the person I spoke to was someone who has been working in the area of the detection of cancer of the cervix for the past 20 years (and had, in that time, never come across the word "antineoplaston"). He is an international speaker on the subject and is in the process of producing a book to be used in the training of laboratory technicians examining pap smears. Some things we observed in this particular trial were:
Another peculiar aspect of the Burzynski trials is that people have to pay to be experimental subjects and the amounts of money are not insignificant. I recently heard of a young boy whose parents who were trying to raise $14,000 just to get him into the program and were expected to find $4,000 a month to keep him there and I know of another case where parents were trying to raise $125,000 so that their young daughter with a brain tumour could receive "experimental treatment". (See Note 1) Normally, clinical trials are paid for by the person or organisation producing whatever it is to be tested.
It seems that Dr Burzynski cannot legally offer antineoplastons as a cure (or even a treatment) for cancer, but he can offer them to people as part of clinical trials. After the number of trials that have been conducted, and the number of years that the research has been going on, and the number of dollars that must have been collected over the time, it is surprising that the medical literature is not full of success stories and the intensive care wards empty of cancer patients. Unless antineoplastons don't cure cancer and the continuation of patient-funded clinical trials is just a scam.
Dr Burzynski is very welcome to enter the Millenium Project's Cancer 100 Challenge, and nobody would be more pleased than I to see him nominated for a Nobel Prize. Only if he can cure cancer, of course.
1. I had a link to a site with an appeal to raise money for this case but I removed the link out of respect for the girl's parents, who thought that the site had been closed after their daughter died. They did not need that sort of reminder of their heartbreak. I could not bring myself to ask the parents whether the full $125,000 had been paid for the unsuccessful "treatment".
2. Update 1 August 2001 - All clinical trail information and protocols have now been removed from the Burzynski web site and it openly talks about treatments. It seems that the farce of pretending to conduct trials has now been dropped. Burzynski's research, however, did not detect the excellent Wayback Machine.
More sadness (8/12/2001)
George Harrison was not the only famous person to die of cancer lately. On 19 November Thomas Navarro finally succumbed to medulloblastoma. Thomas was a five-year-old boy whose illness had been ruthlessly exploited in an advertising campaign for a fraudulent cancer curer. While this campaign was principally on behalf of one quack, many other cancer quacks were prepared to get on the bandwagon and use Thomas to try to get the law changed to allow them untrammelled access to the lives and savings of desperate people. After all, while they may all pretend to be offering different, competing cures (see below), they are really all in the same business. If they can get the law changed and remove restrictions on claiming cures then the whole market expands and everyone wins. Except people with cancer, of course, but since when have the problems of the victims worried any bunch of lying criminals? To show their compassion for Thomas, at the time this is being written (17 days after Thomas died) the people running the advertising web site have not yet updated it to tell the world of his death. They are still asking for money, though. And almost certainly looking for a replacement sick child to use in the next campaign.
... and some just fade away (12/1/2002)
The site that won the Anus Maximus Award in 2000 no longer exists. It was an advertising site for a cancer quack and featured a young boy dying of medulloblastoma, complete with tear-jerking appeals for money. The real objective of the site was to have the law changed so quacks could get at people with cancer (and their money). Thomas Navarro died on 19 November, 2001. For six weeks this site stayed there still asking for money, but now it is gone. Thomas is of no further use to the promoters, so the web site has been abandoned without even posting a memorial page. Why pay for hosting when the star of the campaign has gone? Expect a new dying child to start appearing on TV chat shows (and at Rep Dan Burton's disgusting committee hearings) real soon now.
Thomas Navarro died on 19 November, 2001. For six weeks after that, the advertising site exploiting his tragedy was still asking for money and saying how alive he was. Now the site has gone completely - there is nothing at http://www.cancerbusters.com at all. The people who were using him to advertise a quack cancer cure have no further need for him now and haven't even bothered to put up a memorial notice.
Wanted - small child with terminal cancer to use in an advertising campaign. Must be cute and look sick. Hillbilly parents an advantage. (I'm sorry but we cannot accept applications from fictional children at this stage as there is not enough time to rehearse an actor before Rep Burton's next circus.)
A quack is defended (4/12/2004)
An objection. My responses are in italics:
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2004 14:12:47 -0500
From: IKRA_Centre_de_Sant√© Optimale
It seems that you hype the conventional ways of treating cancer. Please have a look at www.ouralexander.org.
This is an advertising site for Dr Burzynski. I was surprised to find that someone would use his own dead son in an advertising campaign until I found out that Michael Horwin was doing the PR for murderer Alan Yurko (he withdrew when the money ran out).
Alexander went through the conventional way of surgery and chemotherapy for brain cancer.
The last time I looked at the site it said that the Horwins were on Burzynski's doorstep six weeks after Alexander had been diagnosed. There was no possibility that he could have undergone all the claimed treatments in that time. Put another way, Michael Horwin was lying. Remember, this site was probably paid for by Burzynski, and you should not always believe what you read in advertisements.
His parents wanted to go the alternative way with Dr. Bryzynski and the FDA denied them this.
As it should. Burzynski's "treatment" had shown no effectiveness in the 20 years that he had been pretending to run clinical trials.
The parents were promised the latest in chemotherapy drugs, which some of turned out to be over 30 years old.
So what? I did a radio interview this week with someone who runs a school of complementary medicine. One of her claims for effectiveness of the pills and potions was that some had been in use for thousands of years.
The father put together this site to warn parents about conventional treatments which have been proven over and over to be useless, toxic and mortal for children (look at the the quoted oncology studies on the site).
The father put the site together because doing publicity and advertising was what he did for a living.
Before you start putting others down, check and see what conventional chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation offers children, absolutely nothing.
Other than an up to 80% chance for a complete cure. Burzynski claims to have treated more than 8,000 patients, but his supporters have told me that he does not claim to have cured any of them.
The mail keeps coming and I love a challenge (29/3/2008)
From: "Dee Dee"
Subject: I notice...
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 22:49:26 -0500
You've still got the name Stan Burzynski in a rant about cancer frauds. Given the fact that the AMA and ACS, and even MD Anderson Cancer Institute in Houston (his major haters) have been sucking up to him for a LONG time now, maybe you ought to amend that so people Googling him don't run onto your Y2Kish rant about a man who has been vindicated.
Just a FYI.
So the old fraud has cured someone now, has he, after 8,000+ failed attempts?
There is one and only one mention of the quack on the AMA web site (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/13638.html) where, in 1997, they said:
Some methods proposed for study and further dissemination have been associated with proponents using questionable methods and possibly fraudulent research. Several of these are cancer therapies, including "antineoplastons," popularized by a physician named Burzynski who claims he can "normalize" tumor cells by shutting off their undifferentiated growth using peptides extracted from urine. A review of this method in JAMA concludes that no objective evidence exists to support the experimental claims.
That's some "sucking up". And so recent too.
There is one and only one mention of the quack on the ACS web site (http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Antineoplaston_Therapy.asp?sitearea=ETO) where they say:
Although some proponents of antineoplaston therapy have suggested that the reviews of this treatment by conventional cancer specialists are biased by mistrust of alternative therapies, even some prominent figures in alternative medicine have reservations about antineoplastons. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, author and physician, founder and director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona ,"Over the years, Dr. Burzynski claims to have treated more than 8,000 patients, but his success rates are unknown. His Web site states only that he has helped "many" people. If antineoplaston therapy works, we should have scientific studies showing what percentage of patients treated have survived and for how long, as well as evidence showing how Dr. Burzynski's method stacks up against conventional cancer treatment. … Until we have credible scientific evidence showing what antineoplastons are, how they act in the body, and what realistic expectations of treatment with them might be, I see no reason for any cancer patient to take this route."
That's some "sucking up" And note how a supporter of quackery is quoted by the ACS. Even quacks think that Burzynski is a fraud.
The only people sucking up to Burzynski and his ilk are those who believe that any lie told to someone with cancer is acceptable as long as it assists the flow of money from patient to charlatan.
And you misspelled "exposed as a fraud". That is not what "vindicated" means.
Just a FYI.
In late 2011, Burzynski received some bad publicity when it was revealed that an appeal was being run in Britain to raise £200,000 to be stolen by the Burzynski Clinic while pretending to cure a small child's inoperable cancer. The response was typical - issue threats against anyone who dared to be critical of someone who had been "researching" for several decades, charging huge fees to participate in "clinical trials" but producing no actual published papers showing that anybody had been cured.
I received my first threat on October 28, but since then several other people have received similar ridiculous emails.
A quack issues threats (29/10/2011)
It's only taken him eleven years, but superquack Stan Burzynski has finally noticed that I had something harsh to say about him in 2000. I suppose that's consistent, though, as Burzynski has been researching a cancer cure for several decades and still hasn't managed to win that elusive Nobel Prize. Things just take their time in Texas. Apparently the Burzynski people were alerted to my comments because someone posted a link to my site in a discussion about the quack in a JREF forum. As my page about the quack comes up fourth in a Google search for "Burzynski" I have to assume that whoever looks after the corporate image at the clinic has something to learn about brand management.
The following appeared in my inbox like seagull droppings on a picnic table. I think I will take eleven years to answer. I also reserve the right to ignore threats coming from Gmail addresses. Surely someone working for Burzynski or a real law firm could use a corporate email address and a more professional email client than Windows Live Mail.
From: "MAS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 00:47:54 -0400
Subject: Demand to Cease and Desist and Removal of Webpage/Articles
Demand to Cease and Desist and Removal of Webpage/Articles
I represent Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, Burzynski Clinic, and Burzynski Research Institute. It has been brought to our attention that you have content on your website http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/burzynski.htm that is in violation of several state and federal laws. This is a legal complaint regarding the article you posted online titled "The Millenium Project Ė The fundaments of the Net Ė Burzynski Research Institute. This correspondence constitutes a demand that you immediately cease and desist in your actions defaming and libeling my clients. Please allow this correspondence to serve as notice to you that you published libelous and defamatory information.
Please be advised that my clients consider the content of your postings to be legally actionable under numerous legal causes of action, including but not limited to: libel, defamation, and tortious interference with business contracts and business relationships. The information you assert in your postings is factually incorrect and posted with either actual knowledge, or reckless disregard for its falsity, and with the actual and specific malice to injure my clientís business relationships in the community.
I am sure you are familiar with Defamation (Libel). If not, I will assist you.
What is Defamation (Libel)
Libel is a published or fixed form of defamation of character; a civil wrong that falsely impugns the reputation or character of a person or entity, opening the target up to public scorn or ridicule. Libel might appear in a magazine, book, newspaper, or in a radio or television broadcast. Signs, billboards or posters can also be mediums for libel. Online libel, or cyber libel takes electronic forms such as email, mailing lists, newsgroups, chat rooms, podcasts, vodcasts and Web pages. Although many citizens do not yet realize it, comments made to chat boards, newsgroups and even mailing lists are all forms of publication. Criticisms of companies or their goods can be a basis for libel charges if the poster misrepresents facts, or fails to qualify his or her post as opinion.
Every comment you made in your article is highly incorrect. I suggest you remove the article in its entirety or I will file suit against you immediately. I find it surprising for you to make careless statements without researching. You are highly aware of what you are doing, and I have court documents to prove this.
Although you try to disguise your statements as your "Opinion", Please note by law you are held accountable for posting incorrect information from a third party..including from the original source. I am not sure where you obtained your incorrect information, but you will be held liable for your statements. REMOVE ARTICLE IMMEDIATELY.
GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.
9432 Katy Freeway
Houston, Texas 77055
So here's the challenge ... (29/10/2011)
If Dr Burzynski is so good at curing cancer then he should join the long line of people who are taking my Cancer 100 Challenge. Well, it's not such a long line, actually, because exactly zero people with guaranteed cures have come forward since May 6, 2000, to ask for my help to get a Nobel Prize. Perhaps they are shy. Perhaps they don't need the publicity. Perhaps they don't want a Nobel out of some philosophical objection to the origin of the prize fund because of its foundation in the armaments industry. Or perhaps, like Burzynski, they can't cure cancer but are prepared to take money from desperate people.
What's that smell of decay? (5/11/2011)
Apparently it was a slow day in the Canadian cancer quackery business, so Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group put on his Gutless Anonymous Liar mask and launched the following noisome piece of flatulence into the world of Usenet. What is amusing is that Burzynski is a competitor for Mr O'Neill in the cancer quackery business, and if Burzynski is 1% right (which he is not of course), then Mr O'Neill's cancer "cure" is 100% wrong. But since when has such an inconsistency bothered anyone who is in the business of stealing money from desperate people?
As usual, he was too cowardly to put his name to it and had to use a remailer which hid his identity. Cowards are like that. They say things but make sure that nobody can talk back. I replied to the newsgroup even though I know his broad yellow stripe hangs over his eyes, but my reply is meant for other people who might come across the message in the various places that archive newsgroups.
From: Nomen Nescio <email@example.com>
Subject: Peter Bowditch: Convicted Felon to be sued by Burzynski
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 19:58:08 +0100 (CET)
Welcome back, Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group.
For those who came in late, you can read Mr O'Neill's acknowledged correspondence with me at http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/onews/onews.htm
and him trying to hide at http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/onews/gal.htm
No surprise that convicted felon ('80's charge, conviction and incarceration for aggravated assault) Peter Bowditch of Australia
Oh, I love this, and it makes me smile every time Mr O'Neill brings it up.
is soon be in front of the courts again. Bowditch has been noticed with a "Cease & Desist" order by in-house legal counsel for
There has been no "Cease and desist order".
the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas. In an unusual act of bravery (stupidity), Bowditch has boldy published the "Cease & Desist" demand letter on his hate site.
Of course I published it. The policy relating to publication of such emails has been there since 1999.
Seems he's following the good example of Stephen Barrett who is currently being sued by Doctors Data Laboratory for $10M US. Bowditch, like Barrett believe they are omnipotent in all matters of science and medicine, immune from recourse, and above the law. They are both about to find otherwise.
What was the first time you threatened me with legal action, Mr O'Neill?
Oh, that's right - February 17, 2000, when I was being dragged into the "World Court". The first of 111 such accusations.
With Barrett on the ropes and near death, Terry Polevoy bankrupt and missing, there is only Bowditch left. And no doubt Bowditch has the cash flow and reserves from his "ethical investments" of the recently defunct "dead organ" The Australian Council Against Health Fraud". But maybe not? Apparently Bowditch couldn't afford the annual upkeep of his pretend council...internet fees, filing tax returns....But then there's "Gebesse Computer Consultants"....Bowditch's pretend "employer". Certainly there are enough resources there defend the Burzynski action?
As there will be no action there will be nothing to defend.
For further information concerning development in this case see the facebook group "Burzynski vs Peter Bowditch"
It almost goes without saying that no such group or page exists at Facebook. After all, Mr O'Neill has never told the truth about anything else in all the time he has been pursuing his risible campaign against me so why should he start now?
Did I suggest that Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group does not tell the truth? I hope I did.
Burzynski's bully bounces back (5/11/2011)
The person supposedly representing that peddler of fake cancer cures, Dr Stanislaw Burzynski, was not very impressed by my complete failure to collapse in the face of last week's bullying attempt. He was also not pleased that I talked about the threat on Twitter. This has resulted in nine emails this week, although it was actually only three emails because each of them was sent to three email addresses in case I wasn't paying attention.
Here is the first episode. I have interspersed some responses, although I have no intention of replying by email.
From: "MAS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 19:58:57 -0400
Subject: Fw: Demand to Cease and Desist and Removal of Webpage/Articles
Iíve noticed you rather ignore my request for you to cease and desist your libelous statements about my client. I just read your "new" posted article on your website, and twitter statements. You appear to be a person with high intelligence, so itís surprising that you would resort to childish tactics. Most people would not entertain someone that appears to be detached from reality. Unfortunately, the reality of this situation is, regardless if youíre pretending to be mentally challenged or not, you are in violation of multiple laws.
Why would I be "pretending to be mentally challenged"? Or are you making a possibly defamatory suggestion?
I sometimes have a curiosity to confront and have some dialogue with individuals with big egos, or those that are slightly insane. So let me entertain you first before I decide to take you to court. Please note, I am fully aware that the only possible damages awarded from suing you would come from your petty cash account. So this is not about money Mr. Bowditch.
I'm glad it's not about money. I assume, therefore, that you will not mention money again.
So letís see Mr. Bowditch. What is your motive for defaming my client? Are you being paid to make libelous statements? I honestly believe your motive is for attention, but further research could prove otherwise. You gather attention from multiple organizations that has a financial interest in cancer cures and treatments. These organizations than give you more attention if you aggressively and successfully destroy the images of licensed medical doctors that discover, or provide better treatments than conventional medicine.
Oh, the old "paid pharma shill" gambit. That is so old that museums are planning to include it in archaeological displays. By the way, as it is a criminal offence to take secret commissions in Australia you should be very careful about making allegations of criminal activity.
I have come to this conclusion because your entire website does not provide one single reference/source supporting your libelous statements which involves calling my client a quack, a fraud, etc. Because you lack a real source this means someone is either telling you what to write in return for payment, or you find it upon yourself to manipulate the truth by incorporating lies disguised as your "Opinion". Mr. Bowditch, you have a long history of lying behind disguised opinions, which legally you are still accountable for.
Did I just see you calling me a habitual liar? Is that an advisable tactic if you are accusing someone of defamation?
Since you are apparently suffering from Munchausen Syndrome, which is usually diagnosed in females, so it is interesting that your first name is Peter, I would like to give you some attention. I hope you didnít get offended. I am only speaking the truth, supported by a reference. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/munchausen-syndrome/DS00965
"Munchausen Syndrome is an attention-seeking personality disorder which is more common than statistics suggest. Munchausen Syndrome, named after a German soldier renowned for exaggerated tales, is a predominantly female disorder in which an emotionally immature person with narcissistic tendencies, low self-esteem and a fragile ego has an overwhelming need to draw attention to herself and to be the centre of attention."
I hope that Dr Burzynski's diagnoses of cancer are better than your attempts at psychiatry.
So here is the plan Mr. or Mrs. Bowbitch. I read that you have no money,
Don't believe everything you read on the Internet, especially if what you are reading was written by a competitor cancer quack.
but you have a challenge looking for proof. Correct? So, instead of me obtaining a subpoena from the courts to obtain your personal information, by the way, itís already available online and through your web company business filing, I would like for you to do the following:
So you have been stalking me? I hope you have been looking at more credible sources than the ones which talk about my financial affairs.
1. Please confirm that 6 Caprera Road, Northmead, NSW, 2152, Australia is your home address, or provide correct address,
That is not my address, and as you claim that everything about me is "already available online and through your web company business filing" (web company?) you can just send stuff to where I live if you want to waste postage.
so that I can forward you official medical documentation showing A life-threatening form of cancer that had been diagnosed (by scientific means, not just by looking or asking questions) before treatment started, the patient had undergone some form of treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, combination), and the patient is alive and free of that cancer 5 years after the treatment had finished.
But I want to see details of people who have NOT had conventional treatment, just magic and snake oil.
2. Open up a public forum so I can upload the medical documents so the general public and your followers can view it on your websites.
Why not load all the material up onto the Burzynski Clinic site? Why should I pay to store your data? Also, this would prevent the inevitable accusations that I had somehow tampered with the data.
3. Post this request on your websites, link it to your twitter and other social networks.
4. After you notice that you are wrong about Dr. Burzynski, and that you are breaking the law with your libelous statements, I will request, and you will agree, that you immediately cease and desist from making any further unsupported, defamatory, libelous or harmful statements relating to my clients through any medium, including the Internet. You are remove existing and are not to post, host, or make available any libelous, false or defamatory statements against my clients via the Internet, television, radio, print or any other forms of media. You shall not create any new alias, nor use any old alias, to post, host, or make available any statement regarding my client via the Internet, television, radio, print or any other forms of media. You will provide a public apology to Dr. Burzynski and his patients and post it on your websites, and social media sites.
Here's an apology: "I'm sorry, I can't do that".
On your website, under Philosophy, you state the following: http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/files/about.htm
"This web site was created in March 1999 when I discovered that one of the most offensive (to me) sites on the Web had been reborn with a new domain name. I felt that there was a need to be rude to some people. The constant misspelling of the word "millennium" with only one "n" inspired me to create a millenium - that is, a collection of a thousand arseholes.
When I say that I am going to list offensive sites, that does not mean "adult" sites or even many of the more dim-witted hate sites. What really offends me is people telling lies to support a political agenda, or to exploit other people's ignorance, or to hurt and damage people with no good reason. Expect to see links to medical frauds".
Exploiting people's ignorance. That sounds familiar. It's one of the classic tactics of people peddling fake cancer cures.
1. Its great to know you created your website to be "rude", and that you are inspired by mispelled words. Rude means, Lacking education or knowledge; unlearned. So its shocking you are giving medical advice on your website.
If you had bothered to read further down the "About this site" page you would have seen that I don't offer medical advice. Perhaps I should remind you:
I am not a medical doctor, and there is no medical advice on this site. If you are sick or think you are sick, you should see a doctor. That means a real doctor, not someone who pretends to be a doctor. The only advice of a medical nature here is in the form of warnings against liars, charlatans, quacks, thieves and other vermin who claim to have cures for things for which there is no cure, treatments for non-existent ailments, or medical advice, products and treatments which have no scientific (or in many cases logical) validity.
You should also check your dictionary for other definitions of "rude", and I am sure that you will find the obvious use to which I put the word.
2. You are calling my client a Fraud. The proof, but not limited to, is the link to his clinic on your website.
I believe I also mentioned his ludicrous "clinical trials" that he was pretending to do for many years.
3. If you truly are offended by people telling lies to support a political agenda than please sign below in agreement to review the medical records that I provide, and afterwards you will cease and desist all libelous statements about my client. So let your followers see that you are truly against lies, scams, frauds, and political agendas.
I, Peter Bowditch of Ratbags.com, agree to the above.
Peter Bowditch, Owner of Ratbags.com 10/29/11
My lawyer advises me to never sign anything unless I understand it completely. I need more than you have offered here before I would agree to anything.
9432 Katy Freeway
Houston, Texas 77055
Round two. Note that this was sent about 20 hours after the first message and I'm in a different time zone to Houston, so even if I had wanted to reply I would not have had sufficient time.
From: "MAS" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 15:20:11 -0400
Subject: Fw: Demand to Cease and Desist and Removal of Webpage/Articles
WOW, donít tell me you are afraid of me? That is impossible! Iíve watched you take pills basically committing suicide on television. So you cant be afraid of me. Why are you running from the challenge? It obvious you are receiving my emails, as seen below.
Yes, I posted that message to Twitter. I don't see where any fear is suggested.
John Lennon once said "Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see". Why are you living with your eyes closed to Dr. Burzynski when I am willing to show you the 100% truth? Or do you already know the truth, but have a political agenda against the truth? I AM HERE TO CHALLENGE YOU MR. BOWDITCH. This is the FIRST TIME someone backed you into a corner and you are AFRAID. I know this is a fact based on your website you brag about it... http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/lawyersahoy.htm.
The first time I've been "backed into a corner", the first time I'm afraid, or both? Actually, it's neither, because neither has ever happened. That is what that page is about - vacuous legal threats.
Sign the agreement and the challenge is on. Lets go buddy. If you refuse I will make this public so all of your followers on twitter, youtube, etc will see that you are a fraud, a scam, afraid, a liar, and living with your eyes closed misunderstanding all you see. I represent Dr. Burzynski, the Burzynski Clinic, and the Burzynski Research Institute. I have full authorization to show you all documents. Post this on your website please.
Thank you Mr. Bowditch. Hey, if you do not want to fulfill the challenge than please remove the webpage. I am asking you with all due respect. As you mentioned, your webpage ranks fourth under "Burzynski". The webpage is false and affecting cancer patients around the world. You calling Dr. Burzynski a quack emotionally affect patients and in some cases their local doctors do not want to assist them.
Including patients at Westmead hospital, which you claim you support.
Patients from Westmead Hospital are wasting their money and lives going across the Pacific to a quack like Burzynski? I find this hard to believe, but I will advise the oncology department there of the claim. I'm sure they will want to provide warnings to patients that there are creatures out there who will prey on their fears.
This is all documented, patients talking about your webpage. Do the respectable thing Mr. Bowditch and remove the page. Thank you.
Round three, twelve minutes later.
From: "MAS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 15:32:05 -0400
Subject: Fw: Demand to Cease and Desist and Removal of Webpage/Articles
Please be respectable and remove the misunderstanding about Dr. Burzynski being a quack, a fraud, etc. on your webpage. I have shown many people the truth, as seen below. They respectfully removed their comments. http://www.labspaces.net/view_blog.php?blogID=304
Yes, but I like the way they said "Pending further legal advice we will be directing you to the Wikipedia Entry on antineoplasons which essentially says the same thing that this post did".
And for those who wonder about the "Arkell and Pressdram" I mentioned in the Twitter message, it refers to a dispute between a Mr Arkell and the publishers of Private Eye magazine, and is usually referenced as "an Arkell v. Pressdram response". You can see the exchange of correspondence between the parties here.
Burzynski bastardry continues (26/11/2011)
Things must be in a real panic at the Burzynski (can't cure) Cancer Clinic. Threats are now being sent to a wide range of people who have been commenting on the disgusting story that an appeal is being run in Britain to raise £200,000 to send a very sick child to Texas so that the money can be stolen by a quack pretending to cure the child's illness. In one particularly nasty attack, Andy Lewis who runs the excellent Quackometer blog had veiled threats made against his family. This has resulted in an explosion of the Streisand Effect, where bloggers all over the place have been commenting on both the harassment and also Dr Burzynski and his inability to produce evidence that the large amounts of money going his way have ever resulted in anyone being cured of cancer. I'll provide links to some of these blogs and web sites next week when things have settled down a little.
I received my first threat back in October, but now it seems that I am not going to be sued, just accused of being a fraud. That is a wonderful accusation, coming as it does from someone pretending to be a lawyer acting for Burzynski but actually being some sort of PR person working for a patient group. Traditionally the Burzynski Patient Group has ruin the web sites touting miracle cures, thus distancing Dr Burzynski himself from these outrageous claims. He just banks the money.
Here is the latest, sent to me twice in case I didn't understand it the first time.
From: "MAS" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 14:50:40 -0800
Subject: Re: Demand to Cease and Desist and Removal of Webpage/Articles
I still have not received your response to your own challenge. I am sure I will never receive it because you are a fraud. Wuss with a website.
What Mr Stephens wants me to do is sign an agreement to stop talking about the outrageous quackery and theft of money going on at the Burzynski Clinic in exchange for him sending me some patient reports showing miracle cures. For some reason he doesn't seem to understand that I will do no more than what I have been promising since March 2000 - to assist Dr Burzynski (or any other person with a guaranteed cure for cancer) to win their richly-deserved Nobel Prize. I know that Mr Stephens is aware of this because he keeps including the following screen shot in his emails.
I do, however, have a question for Mr Stephens. I have been posting this question to the Twitter user @BurzynskiClinic for some days now but for some reason they are too busy to answer.
In Dr Burzynski's CV posted on his company web site it lists the following qualifications and work experience:
You will notice that Dr Burzynski gained a PhD in a single year while being employed full-time at the Medical University of Lublin in Poland. This university does not have a doctoral program, so I wondered where Dr Burzynski did his studying, thesis research and writing, and his dissertation. The obvious place to look was University Microfilms, who have been documenting dissertations for 130 years. Here is what I found:
Do you see a Stanislaw R. Burzynski there? Neither do I. I thought I would check the qualifications of a couple of authors of books handy in my office.
Yes, that's Michael Shermer, President of the Skeptic Society and author of a whole shelf of books.
And there's Bob Park, author of Voodoo Science and Superstition and producer of the weekly What's New? newsletter.
Perhaps the records don't go back as far as 1968, so I looked for someone who I knew received a PhD earlier than that.
Yes, that's the infamous and late Hulda Clark, who had that best-selling book The Cure For All Cancers. What is interesting about this is that Dr Clark was also in the cancer quackery business as a direct competitor to Dr Burzynski. Unfortunately we can't ask her what she thinks of Dr Burzynski getting hs "PhD" by simply saying he has one instead of doing all the work that she would have had to do. We can't ask her because she died. Of cancer.
So, my question is "Where did Dr Burzynski get his PhD from?" Failing a verifiable answer I will just have to assume that he is lying about his qualifications. Or, put another way, being just as truthful as he is in his claims of having cured people of cancer.
But wait, there's more! (26/11/2011)
Just as I was about to upload this week's edition an absolutely wonderful email came in from Marc Stephens, spokesmouth for the Burzynski Clinic. It was addressed to a large number of people, some of whom had never heard of Dr Burzynski, and included some bizarre images (plus a YouTube video of my friend Darryl) with lots of red arrows. One of the people attacked in the email, Dr Saul Green, can't defend himself because he died in 2007, but since when has recognition of facts ever bothered anyone associated with Burzynski. It's a bit long for the front page, so I will just give the introduction here and put the full glory of the thing on a separate page. (Note: One of the recipients had been talking to lawyers about Mr Stephens' threats and had requested anonymity for the time being, so all mentions of him were originally redacted. His name is back in, and his web site is back on the air.)
From: "MAS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Andy Lewis" <email@example.com>,
Cc: "Azad Rastegar" <ar@Burzynskiclinic.com>,
"Renee Trimble" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fw: Cease and Desist
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 15:14:10 -0800
Just so you know that I am very serious. I copied Renee Trimble the Director of Public Relations, and Azad Rastegar the spokesperson for the Burzynski Clinic. You and your supporters can stop asking if I am an attorney. Again, I represent the Burzynski Clinic, Burzynski Research Institute, and Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. If your articles remain online I will pursue you in court to the highest extent of the law.
Threats to your family? You mentioned to me that you just had a child. I advised you to spend more time with your child instead of lying to the public. I also advised that you will be affected financially once a lawsuit is filed against you. Why would you be so selfish and inconsiderate to your family to go through the stressful and financial burden of multiple court proceedings knowing that you are posting lies and propaganda?
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
And even more ... (26/11/2011)
I had just finished formatting Mr Stephens' crazy email above when this came in. At this rate I will have to update this site every five minutes.
From: "MAS" <email@example.com>
To: "Andy Lewis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Subject: Re: Cease and Desist
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 18:20:00 -0800
Are you afraid to post the images? You REDACTED the images exposing all of you weirdo guys. That is a sign of weakness, and a fraudulent cowardly move. You must make my email FULLY PUBLIC including the images. I can actually imagine you as a nervous wreck in the court room without a lawyer..or with your public defender who will file a template Motion.
Ratbag Peter Bowditch....you seem to be more competent with posting images. Can you please post my last email including the IMAGES..or are you afraid I exposed you all too much?
Done. See it here.
Its beyond defamation. You have a question for me? "I do, however, have a question for Mr Stephens. I have been posting this question to the Twitter user @BurzynskiClinic for some days now but for some reason they are too busy to answer"
So, are you going to answer the question? I didn't think so.
Ratman.....SIGN THE AGREEMENT. Iíve been asking you for WEEKS now. If you are so sure my client is a quack, fraud, and a criminal sign. I also reduced the legal language so you would not put your rat tale between your cowardly skinny legs, and hide behind your mouse by clicking on the X to close my email request.
I didn't click on the X. I published the email here in its entirety. That's the way things are done here.
My agreement is posted on your website you forgot?? Instead of signing a burzynski petition sign my agreement to disclose all Burzynski information to you, which by the way is already available to the public and you know it.
If it is available to the public why don't you simply provide a link? Why do I have to sign anything?
That is why you are not signing. Skeptics are afraid of the truth, which is why you are a skeptic in the first place. A Skeptic is someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs. Your network even had to create your own dictionary to hide from the true meaning..hilarious. The FDA, NCI all agreed my client and his treatment works, and is non-toxic. Sign the agreement and I will show you this in writing. Hint: Just look in court orders and you will find the answer.
PLEASE POST MY IMAGES.
We the undersigned wish to encourage the Burzynski clinic, which claims to have developed a radical new treatment for cancer, to release and make public all the trial data it has collected over the past thirty years into Antineoplastons. The failure of the clinic to publish the results of trials is nothing less than scandalous. If the clinic truly believes this shows the efficacy of the treatment than it is their moral and ethical duty to provide the evidence that this is the case. We would also like the clinic to make the trial protocols publicly available so the scientific community working to treat and cure cancer can truly critically appraise it's work.
This week's Burzynski news (3/12/2011)
Cancer quack Dr Stanislaw Burzynski finally noticed that people were talking about him. His response was to throw PR man Marc Stephens overboard and threaten to sue everyone who had being saying bad things about him. You can read his amusing media release here. It seems that Dr Burzynski's grasp of geography is right down there with his ethics and knowledge of medicine because apparently he thinks that only "UK bloggers" were bad mouthing him, but I know for a fact that at least one person in Australia thinks (and has said) that he is an outrageous crook and there were some prominent US bloggers expressing the same sentiments.
Here are the first few paragraphs of the media release, with my comments in italics.
The Burzynski Clinic is issuing the following public statement regarding recent internet activity between U.K. bloggers who have provided inaccurate factual information regarding the Clinic and Marc Stephens.
It wasn't just "UK bloggers" and no "inaccurate factual information" was provided about Marc Stephens. All anybody did was reproduce his foam-flecked, hysterical rants and threats.
Marc Stephens was recently hired by the Burzynski Clinic as an independent contractor to provide web optimization services and to attempt to stop the dissemination of false and inaccurate information concerning Dr. Burzynski and the Clinic.
That worked out well, didn't it?
We understand that Marc Stephens sent a google map picture of a blogger's house to the blogger and made personal comments to bloggers. Dr. Burzynski and the Clinic feel that such actions were not appropriate. Dr. Burzynski and the Burzynski Clinic apologize for these comments. Marc Stephens no longer has a professional relationship with the Burzynski Clinic.
Don't apologise to me, Dr Burzynski - apologise to the people you stole money from with your promises of a cure for cancer.
These bloggers will be contacted by attorneys representing the Clinic informing them of the specific factual statements contained in these blogs which the Clinic believes are false and defamatory, including the following:
A. Antineoplastons are made from urine. False- Antineoplastons are synthesized from chemicals.
So what? The very first synthetic organic compound was urea, which was originally extracted from urine but is now made "from chemicals" in factories. Most of us know that chemistry has progressed since 1828. Unfortunately the practice of selling snake oil to desperate people as a pretence of curing cancer has not.
B. That Dr. Burzynski falsely claims to have a PhD.- False ln fact, Dr. Burzynski has a Ph.D. from the Medical Academy of Lublin and a copy of an official affidavit will be put up on the Burzynski Clinic web site (www.cancermed.com).
Well, that isn't the current Burzynski Clinic web site, although it does immediately redirect to the real site. I assume the wrong URL was included to maintain the lie quotient. The obvious questions are "Why display an affidavit? Why not a copy of the testamur?" The answer is obvious - an affidavit is only evidence that an affidavit has been sworn: "I solemnly swear that I have a PhD. You can believe me". Perhaps while Dr Burzynski is thinking about his affidavit he might like to come up with an explanation of why he was only claiming DMsc in a grant application in 1973, five years after he now says he earned a PhD.
Even better would be something official from the university (who stated in 1996 that they did not grand PhDs in 1968). If you go to the Macquarie University Graduate Register you can find me in two places (1981-1990 and 1991-2000 lists). There is no reason why any reputable university should hesitate in confirming the status of someone claiming to be a graduate, but a friend of mine has been told by the Medical University of Lublin that they will only provide confirmation if given a copy of the degree testamur!
C. There are no scientific studies supporting antineoplaston treatment since 2006. False- below is a list of publications and abstracts providing the results of the FDA approved clinical trials since 2006 which demonstrate the treatment's efficacy on a wide variety of brain tumors.
I won't examine these claims myself because several people have bothered to check and nothing has changed. Apparently only one of the clinical trials that Dr Burzynski has been conducting over the last few decades has been completed but the results have not been published. Most of the papers in the list provided with the press release are either meaningless or irrelevant.
I'll wrap this up next week with links to a couple of sites that have been keeping track of all the things people have been saying about Dr Burzynski. Meanwhile I'll just keep watching my letter box for all those legal papers. They could come in very handy because I need to change the contents of the cat's litter box.
Did I mention that Dr Burzynski is a crook who makes a living stealing the life savings of desperate cancer sufferers and the parents of sick children? I hope I did. I also must mention that he has no cure for cancer and has never cured anyone. Apparently he is now branching out into the anti-aging quackery business, but that is a story for another day.
You have to be careful (10/12/2011)
A few months ago I wrote an article for Australasian Science about confirmation bias. That's the temptation to see what you want to see and is a constant worry for researchers. Anybody reading here for the last few weeks will be aware that there has been a world-wide attack on cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski, and we haven't just been fighting him and his manic PR man but also people who claim that they know other people who have been cured by the charlatan. Then during the week, I and several bloggers in different countries received the following harrowing tale of desperation and deceit. (The writer apologised for a large slab in capital letters. I have converted it to make it easier to read. No other editing has been done.)
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2011 09:20:19 -0800
From: Michael Amento
Subject: i AM A RECENT BURZYNSKI PATIENT OF 3 MONTHS
Hi I have been reading your blog.
I agree with you pretty much in everything.
I dont believe in his therapies but in my opinion he is definately a crook.
I am now back home in Florida and trying to sort through billing and all the particulars. There is so much I am getting overwhelmed. I feel that I have been physically harmed by them as well as financially screwed out of $100K.
I only wish I had been well enought before to do more reasearch on this guy before I went there.
Just to fill you in a bit I have this posted on a couple of other blogs today looking for some help.
I just came from the Burzynski clinical treatment. I feel I was defrauded. I was there three months (supposed to be 3 weeks)
I was given chemo. All kinds of drugs, pain killers, valiums etc. When I first called them they said no chemo.
Everyone I saw had chemo. They trained people in the infusion room to use the antineoplastons via ports they had in their body and then sent them home. Most were Europeans. Very few Americans that I saw.
I agree with most all assessments here and then some.
I would like to discuss further what can be done I want to shut this guy down. I befriended several people at the clinic who have told me things that are making my hair curl.
Unbelievable stuff. This needs to get out to the public.
Sorry for the caps the chemo makes it hard to type, read etch along with pills I am current taking.
He charged my credit card over $85,000 and in addition billed my insurance company. To me this is getting paid twice.
I am in dispute with cc company of course but my insurance is still paying claims he filed, several duplicates, wrong dates etc. Lots of misinforation I need to sort thru.
I saw the guy twice, saw my supposed doctor for a total of 18 minutes was given a dr who I found out was not even licensed in Texas to practice medicine.
I was given a prescription for $30000 that I was told I had to buy at the clinics pharmacy, then find out the clinic owns it. The drug was never aproved by FDA for my situation yet they gave it anyway. I was told they give it to everyone no matter what they have by the CFO.
There is so much to tell. I need help putting this all together. I filed police reports, complaints w/med and pharmacy boards in Texas.
I would love to put all the bills online for everyone to see
They refused me further treatment when the found about my dispute with credit card company.
I then went to md Anderson and you wont believe what they told me about Burzynski. I am now back home doing regular chemo and monitored by Anderson in Houston.
Please if anyone can offer some help.
All the evidence I heard and saw suggests the % of help is only with brain tumors in children.
But you have to remember he uses conventional therapy so you will never know what worked. The bad part in my mind is that he also used on me anyway drugs that had nothing to do with my situation but have horrible potential effects and one therapy he prescriped cost $30,000 for 60 pills alone
I am more than willing to hire an attorney to get this guy out of medicine."
If you have the time or an interest drop me a line. I susupect there are many like ,me out there who have been defrauded. Many may have passed on or be too embarassed to admit what went on but I think if people can come to together, pool their stories we can get this guy out of the medical/snakeoil business.
I saw a little 7 month old baby with a hole in her stomach have to put that poisin into her by her mommy who was taking her home the next day. It just about broke my heart escpecially when I understand now the chances for that baby being cured.
As soon as this hit inboxes there was a flurry of "Did you get this" emails between the main Burzynski critics. The initial reaction was "Wow! What a damning story", but then the reality of confirmation bias hit us. This was just the sort of thing we all wanted to read and believe, but the problem was that it is an unverifiable anecdote, or at least unverifiable without a lot of work. It is, in fact, no better evidence that Burzynski is really a crook than the laudatory emails from his supporters are evidence that his "cure" works. It is a data point, and while it fits what we know about Burzynski it could very well have been invented using things we had been saying about him for the last few weeks. I don't like to sound paranoid, but all it would take is one faked horror story getting wide publicity and then being exposed as a hoax to damage the entire campaign against Burzynski. Remember that true believers believe everything he says and are looking for their own confirming "evidence". Evidence that critics had been relying on a hoax could only work to his advantage.
I don't know whether to believe it or not, but what I am not going to do is say "Look, here's a victim".
And here's the PhD. Or is it? (10/12/2011)
One constant criticism of Dr Burzynski is that he claims to have a PhD awarded in 1968 after one year of study. This seems to be at odds with the qualifications he claimed on a grant application in 1973, where he said he had earned DMsc in that year. Enquiries in the 1990s to the university which he attended elicited a response saying that the institution didn't grant doctorates in 1968. So he was either mistaken in 1973, although how anybody could forget having a PhD is a mystery, or he is lying now. His response to recent request is to promise an affidavit, not a copy of his certificate or details of his thesis. The affidavit has finally turned up (although the promised link from the front page of the Burzynski Clinic web site hasn't), and here it is.
The first thing I noticed was the date. If Dr Burzynski had this in 1990, why didn't he give it to Dr Saul Green in 1996 when he was querying Dr Burzynski's qualifications? The second is a legal question. In most places, a witness to a signature, particularly one on a legal document such as an affidavit, must be present and actually see the signatory add the signature. In this case the witness is saying that the signature looks like one he has seen someone sign before. Perhaps Poland has vastly different testimony laws than the rest of the world, but that would not be a valid affidavit in Australia and probably not in the US either.
So where's the certificate, Dr Burzynski? You can find out about my university qualifications at the Macquarie University Graduate Register, and here are pictures. Why can't you do the same?
In other Bolen news ... (14/1/2012)
Here is a statement about cancer from the book The Cure For All Cancers by the late and unlamented cancer quack Hulda Clark.
For many years we have all believed that cancer is different from other diseases. We believed that cancer behaves like a fire, in that you can't stop it once it has started. Therefore, you have to cut it out or radiate it to death or chemically destroy every cancerous cell in the body since it can never become normal again. NOTHING COULD BE MORE WRONG! And we have believed that cancers of different types such as leukemia or breast cancer have different causes. Wrong again!
In this book you will see that all cancers are alike. They are all caused by a parasite. A single parasite! It is the human intestinal fluke. And if you kill this intestinal parasite, the cancer stops immediately. The tissue becomes normal again. In order to get cancer, you must have this parasite.
Here is a statement from the web site of cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski:
Antineoplastons (ANP) are peptides and amino acid derivatives, discovered by Dr. S. Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D. in 1967.
Dr. Burzynski first identified naturally occurring peptides in the human body that control cancer growth. He observed that cancer patients typically had deficiency of certain peptides in their blood as compared to healthy individuals. According to Dr. Burzynski, Antineoplastons are components of a biochemical defense system that controls cancer without destroying normal cells.
Chemically, the Antineoplastons include peptides, amino acid derivatives and organic acids. They occur naturally in blood and urine and they are reproduced synthetically for medicinal use. The name of Antineoplastons comes from their functions in controlling neoplastic, or cancerous, cells (anti-neoplastic cells agents).
How do Antineoplastons work?
Antineoplastons act as molecular switches, which turn off life processes in abnormal cells and force them to die through apoptosis (programmed death of a cell). While they trigger the death of cancer cells, they do not inhibit normal cell growth. They specifically target cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
It is generally known that the cancerous process results from increased activity of oncogenes and decreased expression of tumor suppressor genes. Antineoplastons "turn on" tumor suppressor genes and "turn off" oncogenes restoring the proper balance in gene expression.
You don't have to have much command of science, or even the English language, to see that there is no area of overlap or compatibility between these two statements about the cause and cure of cancer, except that both treat all forms of cancer as the same thing.
Now here's the thing. Until her death, Tim Bolen was the spokesman and PR consultant for Hulda Clark, someone he described as a humanitarian who was suppressed and oppressed by the FDA and the orthodoxy. She had the cure. She was right. Everyone else was wrong. She was also his very best friend in the world. Tim has now announced that he is rushing to the defence of Burzynski who is apparently a humanitarian who is suppressed and oppressed by the FDA and the orthodoxy. He has the cure. He is right. Everyone else is wrong.
Do you see the problem? If Clark was right then Burzynski is wrong and vice versa. As we are talking altworld here, though, this doesn't matter. Bolen can go from one to the other without a twitch, as one lie is as good as another. Those of us with working consciences might suffer a little cognitive dissonance making the change, but when you work within a structure, cancer quackery, that is based solely on lies then that problem goes away. The dissonance is replaced by doublespeak, where two mutually exclusive ideas can be held to be true at the same time. The only thing that matters is the money.
Burzynski gets some bad news (20/1/2012)
Finally someone has decided to confront cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski about his useless, expensive cancer "cure". Here is a story published on January 19, 2012 in Courthouse News. You can read the original here.
Cancer Patient Says Doc Used Her as ATM
By CAMERON LANGFORD
HOUSTON (CN) - An elderly cancer patient claims a doctor used his clinics and pharmacy to bilk her of nearly $100,000 by persuading her to undergo a proprietary cancer treatment that "was actually a clinical trial," and charging her $500 per pill for drugs she could buy elsewhere for a fraction of that price.
Lola Quinlan sued Houston-based Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and his companies, The Burzynski Clinic, the Burzynski Research Institute and Southern Family Pharmacy, in Harris County Court.
"Ms. Quinlan is an elderly, stage IV cancer patient living in Florida who defendants swindled out of nearly $100,000.00 by using false and misleading tactics," the complaint states. "Defendants convinced Ms. Quinlan to under a proprietary cancer 'treatment' in Houston, Texas in lieu of traditional chemotherapy and radiation. Specifically, defendants failed to disclose information about the drugs used during the proprietary cancer 'treatment' with the intent to induce Ms. Quinlan into purchasing the drugs at a highly overinflated price."
She claims Burzynski also "provided false and misleading information about 'gene therapy' which allegedly lacked the negative side effects associated with traditional cancer treatments. In reality, the treatments were wholly ineffective and caused even more damage to Ms. Quinlan's body."
She claims that Burzynski and his companies "coerced Ms. Quinlan to purchase certain prescription from Southern Family Pharmacy Inc. at outrageous prices. She was not allowed to fill the prescriptions at any other pharmacy. Southern Family Pharmacy is owned by Stanislaw Burzynski, a fact also not disclosed to Ms. Quinlan."
Quinlan claims the pharmacy charged her $500 per pill, though she did not discover that until her "treatment" ended, and that the pharmacy charged it to her credit card without her knowledge.
The litany of complaints goes on: "The Burzynski defendants pushed a noninvasive yet effective cancer 'treatment' with antineoplastons that would last two to three weeks. The 'treatment' was actually a clinical trial, a fact never disclosed to Ms. Quinlan. The Burzynski defendants billed Ms. Quinlan's insurance carrier for some of the 'treatments,' but never told her a majority of the costs would not be covered by insurance.
"Treatment of cancer with antineoplastons has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In fact, leading cancer researchers have not found any beneficial effects of antineoplastons on cancer patients."
Quinlan says the treatments gave her a host of nasty side effects including "weakness, infections, vomiting, fatigue, mouth sores, dizziness, affected taste buds, joint pain and skin sores."
The complaint continues: "After 'treatment' with defendants with no sign of improvement, Ms. Quinlan sought reputable cancer treatment from M.D. Anderson. She was informed by M.D. Anderson doctors that defendants' 'treatment' prevented them from diagnosing Ms. Quinlan's cancer because defendants' procedures and drugs damaged too much of her internal tissue."
Quinlan seeks punitive damages for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, deceptive trade and conspiracy.
"All defendants conspired to defraud their customers, with an emphasis on defrauding the elderly and cancer patients," the complaint states.
Quinlan is represented by Jason Gibson of Houston.
I don't think this needs any further comment by me. I've known that Burzynski was a crook for more than ten years. I'm just sorry that it has to take theft from an old lady to get this criminal into a courtroom.
How desperate and clueless can you get? (11/2/2012)
One of the criticisms levelled at cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski is that he never publishes results of any of his "clinical trials" but instead relies on anecdote and advertising videos with actors playing the parts of cured patients. One of his supporters asked me where Einstein published the Theory of Relativity. After I got over the shock of finding someone comparing Burzynski to Einstein, I replied with the facts - both were published in Annalen der Physik, Special Relativity in 1905 and General Relativity in 1916. I got back a "Hah, hah, you're wrong" and was told that relativity was first published in an article in the New York Times, so why was I criticising Burzynski for not appearing in real scientific journals?
The New York Times? You are probably as surprised by this as I was, but make sure you are sitting down before reading any further.
The article in the NYT was tracked down, and there it is over at the right. You might notice that it was published in 1919, three years after General Relativity, and refers to an observation which confirmed that light could be bent by gravity, one of Einstein's predictions. Nobody could dispute that this was "one of the greatest ... achievements in the history of human thought". What the article wasn't, however, was publication by Einstein of anything at all. You can see the whole article here.
This is just one example of the desperation shown by quackery supporters when asked to provide evidence. Comparing their heroes to real scientists is a common gambit. I asked this particular fool when he was going to mention Marshall, Semmelweis and Galileo and he wanted to know what any of them had to do with anything. (Barry Marshall was offered the following day, but that conversation line disappeared when the big differences between Marshall and Burzynski were pointed out - Marshall was right and the "hatred" showered on him by other doctors included a Nobel Prize.)
Another fool then appeared in the forum saying that he didn't support Burzynski at all but people like me should act like real skeptics and wait until all the evidence was in. He kept shouting at me and refusing to understand plain English, demanding that I show him some evidence that Burzynski is a crook. I referred him to my page here about the charlatan and he thanked me. Then he found out that I wrote it and the idiocy restarted. His classic criticism of me was that I had said that Burzynski removed people from trials if they failed to improve, and this idiot went on to tell me that "excluded for failure" meant "included in the results". Conversation from then on was limited to him demanding that I show where he had used the exact form of words that I was using to illustrate his nonsense. (For example, I said that he had claimed that "excluded=included" and he demanded to see where he had said exactly that.) He stated that I wasn't aware of Burzynski's patents on antineoplastons (not that patents mean anything) and when I pointed out the 19 patents at the US Patent Office he said that those weren't the ones he was talking about so I was ignorant. He finally blocked me on Twitter and ran away, although he continued to talk about me behind my back.
I am prepared to accept that Stanislaw Burzynski can cure cancer using antineoplastons. All he has to do is publish some results from the 59 clinical trials he claims to be conducting (or even the single trial completed in 2006). He's had 30 years to get some results out and the only evidence coming from him over that time is that he is a thief, a charlatan and a liar.
The Burzynski fraud train steams onwards (24/3/2012)
On April 11, notorious cancer quack Dr Stanislaw Burzynski MD, not-PhD, is due to appear before the Texas Medical Board to explain his actions. His fans and supporters don't like to talk about this and whenever it's mentioned they go into full non sequitur mode and change the subject. Just to keep everyone up to date, here is some reading matter.
Burzynski and the TMB
Burzynski and fraud 1994
An investigator investigates
Here is a statement from the Burzynski Patient Group web site in 2000. (The patient group site is an advertising vehicle for Burzynski. By pretending that it is independent he can claim that it isn't him saying that he has cured anyone.)
The patient site listed 50 names of cured people in 2000. Here is something that was on the main Burzynski clinic web site in 2003.
So he had treated 5,000 patients in the three years in between. That is impressive, except that the patient group site listed only 57 cured people in 2003 but only 41 of the names had carried over from 2000. That means that nine people must have died in the three years and only 16 extra people had been cured out of the 5,000 new patients.
Fast forward to 2012 and the patient site now lists 103 cured people. Take away the 31 survivors from 2000 and you have 72 people cured in 12 years. This is about the same rate (6/year) as for period 2000-2003, so it looks like it is consistent. Assuming that Burzynski was able to keep up the recruiting rate of 5,000 over three years he should have added a further 15,000 since 2003, giving a total of 28,000. With only 103 people still alive.
So, Burzynski gets about 1,700 new patients each year and cures six. That's not very good numbers, but as he is making it all up it doesn't really matter. The idea that he is getting 32 new patients every week is just too ridiculous, which is probably why he has stopped giving the number of patients to date on any of his sites.
Can Stanislaw Burzynski cure cancer? As he publishes nothing from all the "clinical trials" he is supposed to be running the only valid assumption is that he can't. And he knows it. The man is a crook.
Sneak preview (24/3/2012)
The next column by me in Australasian Science will be about Burzynski. The magazine won't be out for about a month but you can get a sneak preview of the article here. I didn't want to wait until after the Texas Medical Board cancelled his licence.
Anatomy of a quack (28/4/2012)
My latest Naked Skeptic column in Australasian Science magazine deals with cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski and how well he fits Bob Parkís "Seven signs of pseudoscience".
In his book Voodoo Science, physicist Bob Park lists seven signs of pseudoscience. They are:
I get more information (19/5/2012)
Back in April I had the following exchange with a reader:
Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2012 20:15:13 -0700
From: Bill Gross
Subject: Your web page is a joke and it only makes you look bad.
The good Doctor has already been through enough shit without your jealous ass spreading more crap. So do us all a favor and just go play in the busy street.
Thank you for your useful comments, which have been passed on to our editorial team for their amusement. The comments would be even more useful if I knew which "good Doctor" you were talking about
Bill has replied with a clarification:
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2012 11:24:41 -0700
From: Bill Gross
Subject: Re: Your web page is a joke and it only makes you look bad.
Well if memory serves me correctly, I could have been talking about the only doctor (Dr. Burzynski) that is actually trying to cure people of cancer, instead of the now conventional treatment of shooting you through with radiation destroying good and bad tissue all the while making return visits a must, as well as pushing "legal" drugs all in an effort to get all the money the person has before they are killed by the "treatment" that is designated as the conventional way to do things.
Your memory needs updating, because Dr Burzynski is not the only doctor trying to cure people of cancer. In fact he isn't even one of them, because to be one he would have to be doing something that might lead to a cure for at least one form of cancer. (There is no universal cure for cancer, despite what quacks like Burzynski claim, because there are many different forms of the disease.) Oh, and you do realise that Burzynski supplies real medicines (at outrageously inflated prices) from his in-house pharmacy and they look a lot like conventional chemotherapy drugs. As for return visits, patients have to keep returning to Burzynski, sometimes for years, generally until they either die or run out of money.
Yes that is most likely what I was talking about.... I'm so happy to have provided your editorial team with some amusement. You might try actually writing something that could help a child not be "practiced" on and told that this is his or her only treatment. Radiation in any form is not an acceptable treatment for anything other than murder. I as a parent could not torture my child in that manner especially when there are other safe and proven methods.
What are these "safe and proven methods"? Please don't say anything to do with Burzynski because until he provides some evidence there is no indication that what he does is either safe or works. In fact, the high sodium loads that he inflicts on patients with his antineoplaston treatment are probably harmful.
I am treating my fathers skin cancer and am doing so successfully with natural methods that don't cost a fortune and take every penny he has.
I feel sorry for your father. Skin cancer is almost always curable by real doctors but certain forms of it can kill quite quickly. Make sure his will is up to date.
With natural remedies you eliminate the middle man and get the nourishment that God provided instead of the fake man made cheap imitations that line the pockets of the "ones who rule". I do not claim to know everything but I am smart enough to see through the bullshit.
If I in any way ruined your day with my post I do apologize. I was pretty harsh, lol.
Why would you have ruined my day? I've heard all this before.
I am just sick of seeing people subjected to the treatment at hand with the medical society not making any efforts at all to find new safe ways to treat cancer.
There are thousands of researchers working to find cures and treatments for cancer. Have you any idea how much money could be made by whoever finds the cure for breast cancer, for example?
So with that said you may want to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRua3NLg-Z8
I have watched it. I'll have to say this for Burzynski, he is certainly putting a lot more money and effort into his advertising these days. Back when I first came across him he was just running lying web sites exploiting dead and dying children. Now he has lying videos like this one, a wide network of money-laundering web sites and a much more sophisticated program of scripted and almost credible testimonials. Some of the stories are so convincing that you could almost forget that you are watching actors and reading fiction.
Burzynski's "research" - Part 1 (21/7/2012)
Cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski has 61 clinical trials listed on the register at http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=burzynski. Here is an analysis of the progress so far:
|Not yet started||1|
His supporters love to point to evidence of his success and can become quite abusive when anybody questions them. One piece of evidence they continually offer is the fact that he has a Phase 3 trial listed, but unfortunately that's not really evidence of anything as it's the trial that hasn't even started recruiting subjects yet. My guess is that Burzynski has no intention of ever starting that trial and it is just there for advertising purposes. No results have been published for the single completed trial, although it was supposedly finished in 2006.
Over the last two weeks his supporters have been calling all his detractors liars for saying that he doesn't publish anything and therefore there is no evidence of him curing anybody of anything. Oh yes, there are countless anecdotes and many web sites begging for money to send terminally ill children to Texas for a miracle cure. As Burzynski has been using web sites begging for money to save sick kids as an advertising gimmick for years not a lot has changed. What we want to see are papers in reputable peer-reviewed journals reporting on the results of double-blind randomised trials. You know, the sort of stuff we expect everyone else to do.
Why we are liars is because he has actually published something and I have been given links to it on at least a dozen occasions so I assume it's the best they've got. (One surprising thing is that some of his supporters seem to think that PubMed is a medical journal. It's an index to publications, so saying "He's been published in PubMed" is like saying "He must be legitimate. He's in the phone book".) Here it is.
Integr Cancer Ther. 2006 Mar;5(1):40-7.
Targeted therapy with antineoplastons A10 and AS2-1 of high-grade, recurrent, and progressive brainstem glioma.
Burzynski SR, Janicki TJ, Weaver RA, Burzynski B.
Department of Internal Medicine, Burzynski Clinic, Houston, Texas 77055, USA. email@example.com
Brainstem glioma carries the worst prognosis of all malignancies of the brain. Most patients with brainstem glioma fail standard radiation therapy and chemotherapy and do not survive longer than 2 years. Treatment is even more challenging when an inoperable tumor is of high-grade pathology (HBSG). The objective of this report is to summarize the outcome of patients with HBSG treated with antineoplastons in 4 phase 2 trials. Patients: The following group of 18 patients was evaluable: 4 patients with glioblastomas and 14 patients with anaplastic HBSG. Fourteen patients had diffuse intrinsic tumors. Twelve patients suffered from recurrence, and 6 patients did not have radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Antineoplastons, which consist of antineoplaston A10 (A10I) and AS2-1 injections, were given in escalating doses by intravenous injections. The median duration of antineoplaston administration was 5 months, and the average dosage of A10I was 9.22 g/kg/d and of AS2-1 was 0.31 g/kg/d. Responses were assessed by gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography.
The overall survival at 2 and 5 years was 39% and 22%, respectively, and maximum survival was more than 17 years for a patient with anaplastic astrocytoma and more than 5 years for a patient with glioblastoma. Progression-free survival at 6 months was 39%. Complete response was achieved in 11%, partial response in 11%, stable disease in 39%, and progressive disease in 39% of patients. Antineoplastons were tolerated very well with 1 case of grade 4 toxicity (reversible anemia).
Antineoplastons contributed to more than a 5-year survival in recurrent diffuse intrinsic glioblastomas and anaplastic astrocytomas of the brainstem in a small group of patients.
So let's summarise that.
|All 18 subjects|
But wait -
|All 18 subjects|
|Progression-free 6 months||39%||7|
By remarkable coincidence, those numbers add up to 100%, despite the fact that the rows are not independent (each figure includes the one on the row below it). Also, as everyone in the 2-year survival group must have made it beyond six months this seems to indicate that nobody ever gets worse after six months. This seems highly unlikely. The numbers are also inconsistent with the numbers in the first table - surely "Complete response" should not be only half of "5-year survival".
If this is the best research that Burzynski can come up with then I would hate to see the worst. In summary, a cobbled-together paper published in a low-impact journal six years ago which aggregates the results of four non-blinded trials with a small total number of subjects and which includes suspicious statistics is not about to get anyone the trip to Sweden that a cure for cancer would guarantee. If I had to rewrite the conclusion section of the paper it would say something like this:
We tried to find evidence that the treatments we have been selling at very high price for many years actually have an effect on the progression of certain forms of cancer. None of the clinical trials (that we pretend to do to get around the FDA's ruling about unproven treatments) were good enough on their own to show efficacy so we cherry-picked some of them, put them together as if they were independent studies suitable for meta-analysis and then added some numbers to make things look good. We reported the numbers in two inconsistent ways, hoping that nobody would notice that we didn't actually find any evidence of a cure. We even included an outlier to make the numbers look better, but we know that most people citing this paper will not know what that means or why it might be a problem.
Burzynski's "research" - Part 2 (21/7/2012)
Another piece of published research thrown in everyone's faces by Burzynski supporters multiple times over the last fortnight was a paper titled "Phenylacetylglutaminate and Phenylacetate in Combination Upregulate VDUP1, Cause Cell Cycle Blockade and Apoptosis in U87 Glioblastoma Cells". This appeared in the Journal of Cancer Therapy. Here's the abstract:
Phenylacetylglutaminate (PG) and Phenylacetate (PN) are metabolites of Phenylbutyrate (PB) and are constituents of antineoplaston AS2-1. These are sodium salts of amino acid derivative and carboxylic acid that inhibit the growth of neoplastic cells without growth inhibitory effect in normal cells. The aim of this study was to identify molecular pathways involved in the anti-proliferative effect of antineoplastons. Using a total human genome microarray we have found that 1) Vitamin D3 upregulated protein (VDUP1) is significantly upregulated in response to PG and PN in the U87 glioblastoma cells; 2) Isobologram analysis shows that PG and PN act in an additive or synergistic manner to effectively suppress proliferation of U87 cells; 3) PG and PN cause cell cycle arrest, changes in expression of several cell cycle genes and suppress expression and activity of the G2/M checkpoint kinase, CHK1. The multiple cellular targets possibly make these compounds effective anti-proliferative agents. We propose that PG and PN in combination target important cellular pathways and upregulate VDUP1 leading to detachment-induced apoptosis in cancer cells.
Now that's a very sciency set of words. Let's do some evaluation.
So, in summary, it was found that an in vitro test of chemicals which when dissolved produce a significant concentration of sodium ions (enough to cause concern when preparing reagents) damaged cancer cells more than doing nothing to the cells did. No attempt was made to see if the effect could have just been due to the high level of sodium salts, but the ability of salt to inhibit cell division and kill cells has only been known since the first woman discovered salt as a meat preservative so why would the scientists need to worry about it in this experiment? Lots of things kill cancer cells in vitro, but I'm not about to start letting anyone inject bleach into me. The results were then published in a pay-for-publication journal that uses a meaningless "peer review" process.
This "experiment" proves nothing that couldn't have been predicted by a thought experiment and some knowledge of basic chemistry and biology. All the supposed science and graphs and statistics in the published paper are window-dressing to hide the fact that nothing new has been discovered and to provide yet another advertising tool for Burzynski and his supporters to use to snare more victims. Non-scientists referred to the paper will see all the big words and graphs and have no idea that it is all a smokescreen. There is no way this paper could get published in a reputable journal where proper peer review was conducted. It is a junior high school science project dressed up to look like grown-up science.
But here's the real question - if Burzynski has been researching antineoplastons for 45 years, why has he waited until now to see if they kill cancer cells in vitro? Surely that would be the first thing you do before you ever go near a human patient. Like I said, this is a smokescreen to hide the fact that Burzynski has no science to back up his claims. It's like the homeopaths that offer experiments purporting to demonstrate that water has a memory. It doesn't matter if antineoplastons kill cancer cells in a petri dish, what matters is whether they are an effective treatment for cancer. Until Burzynski starts doing real clinical trials, with adequate subject numbers and proper controls and blinding, running the trials through to their conclusion and publishing the results we are entitled to treat him according to the image he presents. The image of a charlatan who lies about science in order to steal the life savings of desperate, sick people. The image of a calculating crook who will do or say anything to get what he wants.
Burzynski update (18/8/2012)
While everyone is still waiting for cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski to produce some published results from the 61 clinical trials he claims to be running (60 actually, as one was supposed to start last December but recruiting of victims hasn't started yet) some interested persons did a bit of digging into history.
FDA Investigation 2001
IRB requirements 2009
So what did the FDA have to say in 2001?
Significant objectionable conditions/practices included but were not limited to the following:
I wonder if anything has improved by now. Somehow I think not.
And what did the FDA have to say to the chairman of the Burzynski Research Institute Institutional Review Board?
The fact that Burzynski manages to stay in business stealing large amounts of money from desperate people while pretending to do research is a disgrace and indicates the total inability of the FDA to act as a watchdog over medical fraud and quackery. If a social science laboratory in a university were to be found to be operating like this it would be closed down tomorrow, if not sooner, but this crook has been getting away with laughing at authorities for decades.
Burzynski has a group of anonymous supporters who work Twitter in shifts defending the crook. Some of them claim to be relatives of patients miraculously cured by the great man, but what they have in common is that they post on no other topics, only Burzynski. They absolutely hate being asked when Burzynski can be expected to publish results of all his "clinical trials", and are experts at abuse, non sequitur and ad hominem. (Apparently one of the reasons I can be ignored is my age. I have pointed out on several occasions that Dr Burzynski is older than I am.) Their reactions to the two documents above were wonderful. The 2001 FDA report can be dismissed because it happened so long ago and the FDA hates Burzynski anyway and will do anything to shut him down and deny people access to the only known cure for cancer. (They also claim that the FDA supports him fully and this is why it approved his Phase 3 trial - the one that was supposed to start in December 2011 but is not yet recruiting victims.)
The response to the IRB investigation was priceless. We were told that as it was addressed to a Doctor Hazlewood it could have nothing to do with Burzynski, otherwise it would have been addressed to him. Think about that for a moment. A letter to the chairman of the Institutional Review Board of the Burzynski Research Institute has nothing to do with the man who does the research and whose name is on the building and who pays the bills. This pathetic defence would be laughable if it wasn't so funny.
Meanwhile, the advertising to attract more desperate patients goes on. The gardeners and the man who polishes the gold initials on the front gate of Dr Burzynski's house have to be paid.
But wait, there's more and it's worse (18/8/2012)
I'm running a bit late with this week's update, but that gives me the chance to provide examples of the sort of filth that flows from Burzynski supporters.
Film director Tony Scott ("Top Gun", ...) committed suicide, apparently because he had cancer. I offer without comment the following Twitter messages by Burzynski supporters. Both of these original tweets were retweeted by a persistent anonymous shill going only by the name @BurzynskiSaves.
I am put straight - Part 2 (25/8/2012)
Jean also thinks I am mistaken about cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski.
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2012 19:18:23 -0500
Subject: Dr. Burzinski Cancer treatment
It appears to me that you are really ignorant. You want all to fail. What is the difference if the people pay out thousands for the standard Treatment that has no better then a 5 percent cure rate (that may be exaggerated) and if they die one day after the five year period it is called a cure. I say let all who think they may have the cure do their best without some idiot trying to demean them and without the FDA Or AMA trying to shut them down. At least the people are offered some degree of hope with the alternative methods when they know There is no hope with the present approved methods of Slash,burn and poison.
And speaking of Burzynski ... (25/8/2012)
Last week I mentioned that several supporters of cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski leapt on the still warm body of film director and suicide victim Tony Scott to promote their hero's fake cancer cures. To show you further evidence of the mentality (or lack of it) of these people, here is the response of one of them to my Twitter comment about how disgusting they were. I have no idea what this non sequitur means, unless it is that the writer can't distinguish a fictional film from reality.
Quackery desperation. (10/11/2012)
Speaking of Schadenfreude, it has been very entertaining to see the recent panic among the online shills for cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski. Stan employs a group of people to support him on Twitter using the hashtag #Burzynski. (Note, when I say "employ" I don't necessarily mean that they get paid. Maybe they do it because they really believe that a person who has been lying and stealing money for 30 years really is a good person who needs defending. They, of course, regularly accuse anybody who criticises Burzynski of being paid by Big Pharma.) These people post about no other topic than Burzynski, they do not answer questions and their response to almost anything is to offer either personal insults or references to meaningless publications that don't show that Burzynski's snake oil works. An example of insult is that one of them keeps going on about my age (calling me "grandpa", for example) despite the fact that I am several years younger than his hero. Many of the shills claim to be new to Twitter but they all seem to have had no trouble finding the correct hashtag to use.
There was a hiatus recently when they were all absent. We put this down to the need to develop a market strategy to replace the income from a victim who had died (a death which to this day has not been acknowledged by any of the shills - a dead victim immediately becomes a non-person), but then the news broke - the FDA had given Burzynski until November 1 to say that he was going to remove lies from his web sites.
As stated above, some of the above-referenced claims suggest that the drugs are "well tolerated," "work without causing side effects," and have demonstrated "remarkable" results. The totality of these claims suggest that Antineoplastons, investigational new drugs, are safe and/or effective for the treatment of the various types of brain tumors indicated above, when they have not been approved for these uses.
Since Antineoplastons are investigational new drugs, the productsí indication(s), warnings, precautions, adverse reactions, and dosage and administration have not been established and are unknown at this time. Promoting Antineoplastons as safe and effective for the purposes for which they are under investigation, by making representations such as those noted above, is in violation of 21 CFR 312.7(a).
Conclusion and Requested Action
For the reasons discussed above, the websites violate the FD&C Act and FDA implementing regulations. 21 CFR 312.7(a). These claims are concerning from a public health perspective because they make promotional claims about the safety and efficacy of investigational new drugs that have not been approved by the FDA.
OPDP requests that you immediately cease the dissemination of violative promotional materials for Antineoplastons such as those described above. Please submit a written response to this letter on or before November 1, 2012, stating whether you intend to comply with this request, and explaining your plan for discontinuing use of such violative materials.
You can read the complete document here.
As soon as this date came around the shills were back in action with diversion, distraction, insults, non sequiturs and outright lies. They were obviously desperate to show that the FDA really loves Burzynski, and they came up with a memo written in 1991 which they claimed vindicated Burzynski by saying that "The human brain tumor responses are real". The memo referred to Phase 1 tests and the shills never mentioned the rest of the paragraph:
Antineoplastons deserve a closer look. It turns out that the agents are well defined, pure chemical entities. They are relatives of Thalidomide with presumed good CNS penetration. We are working with DTEP on them. The human brain tumor responses are real.
So the drugs might have had potential to do something, but the shills would not respond to any questions about Thalidomide because as everyone knows it is a deadly chemical made by Big Pharma. The other thing they will not discuss is the hand-written comment:
Why not test them indeed? Burzynski has only had twenty years to get around to it. Maybe he'll actually publish something one day. You can see the 1991 memo here.
When it was pointed out that 1991 was a long time ago and the memo doesn't prove that antineoplastons cure cancer the response was immediate and loud. It didn't matter how old it was. A memo inside the National Cancer Institute at any time trumped an order from the FDA in 2012. Antineoplastons work and the NCI has said so in a ringing endorsement.
Sane people or those without a PR agenda might see the failure in this logic, but while we were being told that age of documents didn't matter (although my age does!) the shills were being pointed to a document produced by the Office of Technology Assessment in 1990. The title was "Unconventional Cancer Treatments". It was a quite comprehensive examination of various forms of quackery around at the time, many of which still survive today. You can read the whole thing here, but pay particular attention to page 91, where Chapter 5 starts with a look at Burzynski. Once you've noticed that nothing has changed in his operation in the 22 years since you might like to amuse yourself by looking at the other quacks and noting that they have nothing in common except a desire to steal money from desperate people. I am always amused when Burzynski supporters tell me about Gerson, because if one of them is 1% right about the causes and cures for cancer the other is 100% wrong. In reality, both are 100% wrong.
So, in summary, a memo written in 1991 is completely up to date and relevant and shows that antineoplastons work despite the suggestion that actual tests be done, an order made in 2012 means nothing because the FDA loves Burzynski and wants him to do Phase 3 trials (which cost $200 million so he can't start) and an OTA investigation in 1990 is meaningless because it's too old. And if you can reconcile all those statements there's a PR job going in Houston. You just need a Twitter account and a false name.
Burzynski has a win. Or does he? (24/11/2012)
Listening to the moans of ecstasy and the shrieks of delight coming from the supporters of cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski this week you could easily imagine you had stumbled upon the set of a really cheap porn movie, but it was all because the Texas Medical Board had dropped its case against him. Apparently this validates his thievery and proves that he really can cure cancer. The case had been meandering through the legal system since 2010, which was enough for one of his anonymous Twitter employees to declare that he had overcome "four years of intensive investigation". 2012 minus 2010 equals 4. (The AVO case against me started on September 5. Following the next scheduled court date there will have been three court hearings for a total of fifteen minutes over a period of more than three months and the real thing won't have started. The legal process is like this.)
In the world of reality, the Board had taken action against Burzynski himself but he was able to convince them that the questionable work that had led to the enquiry had not been done by him but by doctors he employed. Even though his name is on the door and these people are supposedly working under his supervision he takes no responsibility for what they do or don't do. Everyone should have a boss like this.
I'll have some more to say when I've had time to read the complete statement from the Board, but I think claims of total vindication are premature.
Burzynski gets audited (9/11/2013)
Friends and supporters of the egregious cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski love to tell us how the FDA love him and that is why they approved a Phase 3 clinical trial that he pretended he was going to run. Of course, on other occasions they told us that the FDA were out to close him down but couldn't because they had no evidence. That the FDA should both support and attack him might seem like a paradox, but lies and inconsistencies are just the way of going about daily business in the quackery world.
Well, the FDA have spent some time this year looking at Burzynski's operation and have released a report. You can see it by clicking on the image at right, but here is a summary, with my comments in italics.
An investigation was not conducted in accordance with the signed statement of investigator and investigational plan.
Why bother to keep records if you aren't planning on publishing in real scientific journals? People making advertising videos (called "documentaries" in the quack trade) don't need to know what you planned to do or how you did it, just what you said you did.
It's worth reading all the items included under Observation 1. There wasn't even a pretence of conducting proper research or patient treatment.
Failure to prepare or maintain adequate case histories with respect to observations and data pertinent to the investigation.
a. Your MRI tumor measurements initially recorded on worksheets at baseline and on-treatment MRI studies for all study subjects were destroyed and are not available for FDA inspectional review.
Say what? Burzynski destroyed any evidence of the existence of cancer before people started doing his "treatment". It certainly helps the cure rate if patients didn't have the cancer that you claim to have cured.
Failure to report promptly to the IRB all unanticipated problems involving risk to human subjects or others.
Perhaps all problems were anticipated, so there was no need to tell anyone.
The informed consent document did not include a statement of any additional costs to the subject that might result from participation in the research, as appropriate.
Costs like the thousands of dollars for prescription medications dispensed from Burzynski's own inhouse pharmacy at many multiples of the price everywhere else.
Legally effective informed consent was not obtained from a subject or the subject's legally authorized representative, 811d the situation did not meet the criteria in 21 CFR 50.23 - 50.24 for exception.
Who needs "legally effective consent"? These desperate people were dying of cancer and prepared to give Burzynski huge amounts of money. Surely assent can be assumed.
Investigational drug disposition records are not adequate with respect to quantity and use by subjects.
If you don't bother with patient records why would you need to keep accurate inventory records?
Burzynski was found to be doing what I and others have known he does for decades. He promises much, delivers nothing and charges a lot of money to do it. Maybe finally the FDA can close him down, although the PR exercise has already started, with stories in the British press about a lovely mother who has been cured of brain cancer in three years without the use of dangerous chemotherapy drugs. She appeared in a Burzynski advertising video wearing a bandanna, the universal sign of a cancer patient who has lost hair from chemotherapy and something designed to elicit sympathy. If she didn't have chemotherapy, why does she need the bandanna? If she did, why is she lying about only getting antineoplastons? Did she ever have cancer? Who would know, because the original MRI images have been destroyed? The article I saw said that she raised £75,000 to pay for treatment, but at one stage her begging web site said that she was already at £175,000 with a target of £275,000. I wonder which laundry washed the extra £100,000-200,000. Burzynski has been using dying (and sometimes even dead) "patients" in his promotions for years, so pardon me if I don't take this latest success story without question.
I have a suggestion for Stan. If he needs to move his operation to somewhere where he won't suffer so much interference, he could try this city. If he puts the name into Google Maps it will even tell him the best way to drive there, and he won't even have to pack the filing cabinets that he currently has for show.
More bollocks - Burzynski (16/11/2013)
I've been asked to write something for a magazine about Stan Burzynski's troubles with the FDA. It's an expanded version of what I said last week, with some background on the Burzynski story.
The very first article I ever wrote for my Millenium Project web site appeared in early 2000 and was an examination of the claims of a cancer quack Ė Stanislaw Burzynski. I looked at the documentation for some of the clinical trials he claimed to be doing at the time and it was obvious that he was doing nothing that looked like science. The reason for doing the trials was that the FDA would not let him sell an unproven cancer treatment but he could test it in trials. As of this moment in 2013 only one of these 61 trials has been declared finished (in 2006, the results have not been published) and Burzynski has never published anything in any scientific journal that matters.
His treatment is based on chemicals which he calls "antineoplastons". They were originally extracted from urine but are now synthesised. Nobody else in the world has ever shown any efficacy for these chemicals and like all cancer quacks they treat a wide variety of cancers. The preferred ones, however, are brain cancers in children because these are the best for generating public sympathy and also because the parents are desperate for a cure. He has always used sick and dying children in his advertising, although lately he has been using some adults as well, but only those with a good sob story to tell.
Unlike real clinical trials where all costs are borne by the institution doing the research and patients might even receive an honorarium to compensate for their time, Burzynskiís patients pay large amounts of money in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to participate in his trials. He lives in a house with a market valuation of $6 million. The front gate features a large golden set of his initials. Because of the amounts of money necessary, fund raising sites are set up with pictures of sick kids. I suspect, but canít prove of course, that some of these sites are just a way of gathering or maybe laundering cash. A red flag for me was that one prominent site claimed that the bank would not let them accept transfers from other banks, but PayPal or cash deposits at a bank branch were acceptable.
Burzynski also claims to have a PhD earned and granted in 1968 by the university he was at in Poland but in 1973 he claimed DMSc from the same university on a grant application, with that being earned in the same single year Ė 1968. In 2011 he came up with what purported to be an affidavit, signed in 1990, saying that someone knew he had a PhD, although he was unable or unwilling to provide a copy of an actual testamur or certificate. In 1996-7 he was investigated for insurance fraud and the university told the investigator that it did not award doctorates in 1968, raising the question of why he didnít produce the 1990 affidavit then to refute this. University Microfilms have no record of him earning a PhD in the US. He lies about his qualifications.
He currently employs a small team of people to defend and praise him on Twitter. They post on no other subject. Some claim to be patients but always refuse to say which of his "clinical trials" they are in. Two documentaries have been made recently about him. They were made by a true believer, feature several of the "patients" and are indistinguishable from paid advertorial. Any suggestion that the people in the advertisements might be actors playing a role is met with abuse and stories about cute children and lovely mums.
The rest of it is basically what I wrote last week.
Burzynski puts out smoke (30/11/2013)
A common tactic of crooks and frauds is to react to bad news about them by putting out a smokescreen of supposedly good news to try to distract attention away from the real story. I mentioned a week or two back that cancer quack Stan Burzynski had suddenly received some good publicity in the newspapers, coincidental with the release of an FDA report showing that the research he has claimed to be doing for decades met no known standards of quality or even propriety. The usual way is to send out some stories quoting cured patients, the sicker and more vulnerable the better. They like to use young children, but people like the bandanna-wearing "lovely mum" I mentioned before can garner just as much sympathy. (Why does she wear a bandanna, the universal sign of someone who has had chemotherapy for cancer, if she didn't have any chemotherapy? I can think of a couple of reasons, but apparently it would be unkind of me to mention them.)
Another thing they like is to show before and after radiographs of the cancer to show how it has disappeared. Most aren't as blatantly stupid as the Brazilian faith healer I dealt with a few years ago, but they usually rely on the fact that people don't understand what they see on x-rays or other images. Here is evidence of a Burzynski miracle cure offered this week. The yellow arrow showing the "cancer" on the "before" image was included by the person claiming the cure.
The first thing to notice is that the head is at a slightly different angle in both images. This probably wouldn't really matter, but I've had scans and the radiographer is usually very careful about positioning of body parts so that valid comparisons can be made over time.
You will notice that the lesion is approximately the same size as the eyeballs shown in the second scan. But those eyes aren't visible in the first image. What this means is that the two slices are about half the radius of the eyeball or tumor apart from each other. They are not scans of the same part of the brain. The image below shows the nature of this problem. Both the eye and tumor are the same size, but the red line showing the slice would show the tumor and not the eye in the top one and the reverse in the bottom one.
I don't know if this person had cancer to begin with (a single radiographic slice through the brain says little, although seeing that black spot can be frightening to a layman). There are a variety of reasons and conditions that can lead to something looking like that. What I do know is that the second image says nothing about whether that spot is still there. I have no reason to think that the person offering the images does not believe that he is cured. I do, however, think that he has been lied to.
You will notice that both images are printed on the same piece of paper. If Burzynski offered this to a patient as evidence that cancer had been cured then he is either incompetent or a lying charlatan.
Dr Burzynski. You've got mail! (21/12/2013)
Stanislaw Burzynski, a lying charlatan who has been pretending for decades to cure cancer has received a couple of letters from the FDA. It is interesting to note that the people who shill for Burzynski on Twitter (and nowhere else) have long claimed that the FDA likes what he does because they gave approval for him to start a Phase 3 clinical trial. The fact that he has never shown any intention of actually starting the trial but simply uses the fact that it might happen one day as advertising is something that his supporters ignore.
In the last few weeks he received two letters from the FDA. I won't quote them here because they are quite long, but you can read them on the FDA web site.
They both say similar things, with one addressed to Dr Burzynski personally as a researcher and the other to him in his capacity as the President of the Burzynski Research Institute.
Dear Dr. Burzynski:
This Warning Letter informs you of objectionable conditions observed during the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection conducted at your clinical site between January 7, 2013, and March 15, 2013. Mr. Joel Martinez, Mr. Hugh McClure, and Dr. Cynthia Kleppinger, representing the FDA, reviewed your conduct of the following clinical investigations of the investigational drugs Antineoplastons A10 and AS2, performed for Burzynski Research Institute, as well as your expanded access use of the investigational drugs Antineoplastons A10 and AS2:
This inspection is a part of FDA's Bioresearch Monitoring Program, which includes inspections designed to evaluate the conduct of FDA-regulated research to ensure that the data are scientifically valid and accurate, and to help ensure that the rights, safety, and welfare of the human subjects of those studies have been protected. At the conclusion of the inspection, Mr. Martinez, Mr. McClure, and Dr. Kleppinger presented and discussed with you Form FDA 483, Inspectional Observations. We acknowledge receipt of your April 5, 2013, written response to the Form FDA 483. We also acknowledge receipt of a progress update from you, dated May 15, 2013, regarding your response to the Form FDA 483. From our review of the FDA establishment inspection report, the documents submitted with that report, and your April 5, 2013, written response, we conclude that you did not adhere to the applicable statutory requirements and FDA regulations governing the conduct of clinical investigations and the protection of human subjects. We wish to emphasize the following:
You can read the rest of this letter at http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2013/ucm378237.htm and the letter to him as the President of BRI at http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2013/ucm378233.htm.
Burzynski believer bellows (4/1/2014)
For some reason, nobody noticed when Eric Merola, producer of advertising videos for charlatan and thief Stanislaw Burzynski, launched into an attack on critics of his hero last June, and this gem only came to light in the last few days. It is beyond ironic that someone who makes advertising films while pretending to be an independent producer should accuse others of astroturfing, which is "the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product, cause, etc., undertaken by people or organizations with an interest in shaping public opinion". Eric does it for a living.
Here is the title of this remarkable piece of literature.
It then goes on into a rant of epic quality, almost comparable to the craziness shown when Burzynski last employed someone to point out the faults of his critics. Here is what Eric had to say about me:
It's too long to put on a t-shirt, but I might get it printed on some mouse mats and hand them out at conferences.
You can read the entire serving of mouth foam here. Enjoy, but remember to put drop sheets down and wear a raincoat.
I write stuff (4/1/2014)
This is the second-oldest regular skeptical publication in the world, and again it is something you should subscribe to (it's not available on newsstands). Go to the Australian Skeptics web site and wave your credit card to get your quarterly ration of reason and common sense. In the latest issue I look at the tribulations of one of the world's most egregious charlatans.
Burzynski gets audited
The very first article I ever wrote for my Millenium Project web site appeared in early 2000 and was an examination of the claims of a cancer quack Ė Stanislaw Burzynski. I looked at the documentation for some of the clinical trials he claimed to be doing at the time and it was obvious that he was doing nothing that looked like science. The reason for doing the trials was that the FDA would not let him sell an unproven cancer treatment but he could test it in trials. As of this moment in 2013 only one of these 61 trials has been declared finished (in 2006, the results have not been published) and Burzynski has never published anything in any scientific journal that matters.