Burzynski; an opinion.

Posted: March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Over the last 7-8 months I have had a lot of, sometimes heated, debates on the topic of the cancer treatment method being developed by Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. I suggest that you Google the name if you haven’t heard of him. I have always made clear that anything I said on the topic was my own opinion and did not neccesarily apply to anyone else. This did not have any effect on a  certain band of nay-sayers who viciously and persistently attack anyone who says as much as a positive word about Burzynski or his treatment. I am no longer interested in debating the topic with such ignorant people but just to make my position (as well as some facts) clear I am linking to the rough cut of an interview that myself and @mrs_Bopp gave on the topic.

Just click on the player icon below to play the audio.

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Comments
  1. It’s interesting that I’m noted as an aggressive tweeter, when, as I recall, it was Kate who first contacted me to chastise me (in a none too friendly manner) for mentioning Burzynski…

    • evertb says:

      “Buffy” (or whatever your real name is), at no point do neither myself or Kate mention your name or refer to you. As the song lyrics go “You’re so vain you think this song is about you…..”
      You should listen to the recording again but this time without bias or prejudice.

      • I am specifically discussed towards the end of the recording, when Kate is asked about the “zenbuffy” blog. Perhaps you should give it another listen yourself? My real name is Jennifer Keane, it’s noted on my website, as I stand beside everything that I say and have no need to use a pseudonym.

  2. evertb says:

    Jennifer, I actually did listen to it and it’s the interviewer who casually refers to you, Kate’s reply is dismissive and makes clear that neither she or I are referring to you.

  3. I would very much like to see the Burzynski email mentioned in the interview? Would such a thing be possible?

  4. Oh boy, here we go again; you’re entitled to your opinion, but the scientific consensus is that Burzynski is a self publicising fraud who has submitted zero new research documents since 2006, and no peer reviewed studies. This is not how science and medicine is conducted; if it works, SHOW it works. Testimonials, special pleading and hand waving do not suffice.

    I for one would love if there was merit to his research, but I suspect there is nothing; worse, it is unheard of to charge patients for clinical trials and the man has been convicted of fraud once already. If there is no data, and no plausible hypothesis, it seems crass to celebrate such a thing.

    If you WANT objective, I suggest you look on Pubmed or the medical literature; but that does not seem to be what you want, you want ‘balance’, which in scientific media circles we call ‘false balance’ – you cannot ‘balance’ the scales if all the evidence is on one side.

    • evertb says:

      David,

      Thank you for your comment.
      While your statements would be considered valid by some they completely miss the point that is being made during the interview.
      Let me re-itterate it for you: People should be allowed to choose the treatment they desire, scientifically proven or not, without being ridiculed or told they’re wrong.
      Simple; I decide what I want to do and you decide what you want to do. It’s called tolerance and mutual respect.

      The discussion on whether or not Burzynski has been proven wrong (or right) by traditional science is a completely different one.

      I didn’t think that this would be so hard to understand for some people.

      • They have the right to choose, sure but there’s responsibilities that go with rights – if you choose to go for a treatment that doesn’t work, then it is wrong to expect others to rally behind false hope especially when money is involved. Also, there is the argument that you can (with no malice) allowing fraud to be perpetuated.Skeptics feel this keenly and have to present the darker side, because an unchallenged patent problem like this grows in the telling.

        As for respect; I think everyone has respect for those with cancer, it touches all of us. But we should not automatically respect any belief, especially ones we deem cruel and those which exploit the suffering – the anger people feel is to Burzynski as the scientific view is he is betraying patient trust.

        To reiterate responsibility – people going to this man gives the impression he is doing some good, and this impression is not fair. The question any patient or potential patient must ask goes along the lines of “is this man exploiting my illness for his own benefit and what message am I giving to fellow sufferers?”

        • evertb says:

          David,

          A few more points:

          1) To my knowledge Burzynski has not been convicted of fraud in relation to the treatment he offers.
          2) Your statement, again, assumes that people who choose to go to Burzynskis clinic are ill-informed. This is wrong, arrogant and insulting.
          3) How do people, by attending Burzynskis clinic, “ones we deem cruel and those which exploit the suffering”?
          4) You state that “this man is not good”. That is a subjective value statement to which you are entitled. As entitled as I am to think the opposite.

          • To respond in order;

            “1) To my knowledge Burzynski has not been convicted of fraud in relation to the treatment he offers.”

            Commited medical insurance fraud AND was told to cease and desist by FDA for selling an experimental treatment, hence current ethics investigation

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burzynski_Clinic#Legal_issues

            “2) Your statement, again, assumes that people who choose to go to Burzynskis clinic are ill-informed. This is wrong, arrogant and insulting.”

            They are ill-informed; for starters, no one should be paying for clinical trials – they are trials for a reason. Secondly, if they were informed they’d know that his conduct has been appalling. I am not stating they should be mocked for being ill informed, but Burzynski is running his clinic on people who don’t know better and indeed, why should they be expected to ?

            But it is not wrong, arrogant or insulting to say trust in his method are, by the scientific yardstick, poor choices.

            “3) How do people, by attending Burzynskis clinic, “ones we deem cruel and those which exploit the suffering”?”

            Burzynski does exploit cancer patients – even if his method did work (unlikely, but always keep an open mind) his method of running trials is simply disgusting. People don’t go to Burzynski because they fancy a holiday – they go because they are in a terrible situation and he promises a cure. A promise he cannot deliever on at this point in time, but he charges richly for.

            “4) You state that “this man is not good”. That is a subjective value statement to which you are entitled. As entitled as I am to think the opposite.”

            Yes, you may think the opposite. But your opinion does not overturn the scientific / medical convention on the issue, and unless Burzynski gets the finger out and produces something, it matters little. Of course, if he produced evidence all would be forgiven. He has not, and at this juncture it is unethical to hold him up as anything other than a little devious.

            Now, before I leave, let me pose you a question – say Burzynski is exploiting patients, just as a though experiment. Now, to go there’s a big fundraiser. He is not cheap – 100s of people get involved, and are assured this is a miracle cure. They will likely be disappointed, and he keeps the cash. What does this do ? It means he never has to prove anything, and it re-inforces a false impression in the mind of those fundraisers that the man is correct or has some ‘secret’, foistering a distruct of conventional medicine in there to boot. Who wins ? Him. Who loses ? Anyone genuinely trying to help cancer patients with proven, and even new methods. Is that ethical ? I think not.

            • evertb says:

              You *still* do not get it do you?
              Do you think that all people undergoing Burzynskis treatment think it’s scientifically proven & that it will 100% cure them? No, they don’t. The angle that most people (including myself) are coming from is that chemotherapy is a destructive form of treatment and at worst one that doesn’t offer a solution and that they in some cases are willing to try an unproven form of treatment being fully aware of all the facts.

              Now let’s play the thought experiment game: Say you have cancer, you have had several rounds of chemo & radio therapy but the only effect that this has had that it has ravaged your body. Traditional medicine can offer no further hope for you. Should you be allowed to try out a form of treatment such as Burzynskis in that case?

  5. I get it perfectly well – it’s kinda in my job description to get it fairly well. Of course chemo and radiotherapy are destructive – cancer cells are wildly mutating uber aggressive growths. They are super quick to reproduce but unstable, hence the (usually good) gamble that such treatments exact a heavier toll on cancer cells. Does this impact patients? You bet. It’s sometimes painful, often exhausting and sometimes there is nothing we can do. But that doesn’t by default make his treatment ‘better’ – Burzynski isn’t just unproven, it’s not even plausible.

    And to answer your question, sure untreatable cases can opt for this if they really want. If they wish to fund it, and ideally are well informed (though ironically, they won’t go if they’re well informed for the most part) then they can and I wish them luck. But should they ask for donations to do so, or expect support for putting coins in the hand of a likely fraud ? I do not think so.

    And before you tell me “I don’t get it”, don’t feel so special; cancer touches everyone. And even in my own family, we’ve had choices to make. And the one made has often been to spend what little time there is remaining with family and friends. Anyway, that’s my 2c and I’m out of here.

  6. [...] Burzynski; an opinion (includes audio interview) by Evert Bopp (evertb.wordpress.com) [...]

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