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Position statement

Beware the cancer quackThe [R:Burzynski clinic] is a controversial cancer clinic in Houston Tx. It is run by [W:Stanislaw Burzynski], a [R:Brave Maverick Doctor]. He has been investigating his “antineoplastons” for over 35 years and treating people with them for around 25 years, but has published only a handful of non-definitive results. The treatment is not [W:FDA] approved so can only be delivered in the context of clinical trials. Since clinicaltrials.gov went live and registration of trials became mandatory, Burzynski has registered 61 separate trials but has published data for none of them.

The jury is still out (just about) on whether he is a quack or just doesn’t get how the scientific world works. The benefit of the doubt took a massive hit when he collaborated with TV commercial art director Eric Merola to produce a farcical conspiracist propaganda film.

The problem

Burzynski’s treatment is hugely expensive, and he tends to take patients as a treatment of last resort. That leads to an awful lot of very sad, very desperate cases where families go through hell fundraising to send their child for the “miracle cure” which, it turns out, very often fails to produce anything other than false hope.

Burzynski also has a legion of hangers-on and supporters who save him the bother of making unsupportable (and thus actionable) claims by making them for him. These are the people who claim thet Burzynski has a non-toxic, gene-targeted cure for cancer. He has none of these things. There are websites promoting the fundraising of his patients. Many of these patients turn out to be dead or untraceable.

For this reason, many skeptics feel that the chances of Burzynski being anything other than a quack are, by now, negligible.

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