Thursday, March 24, 2011

Burzynski Documentary

Recently a friend let me watch the documentary Burzynski.  Burzynski is a MD from Poland practicing in Texas that has been treating cancers the last few decades with a "new" type of approach.

While most drugs for cancer treat one gene.  Burzynski developed what he calls antineoplastons that treat hundreds of genes at once.  I copied this from his website as it does the best job of describing antineoplastons.

"Dr. Burzynski discovered naturally occurring peptides and amino acid derivatives in the human body that control cancer, not by destroying cancer cells but by correcting them. He observed that cancer patients typically had deficiency of certain peptides in their blood as compared to healthy individuals.  He named these substances antineoplastons. 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)."

Now here is the catch.  The therapy is FDA approved.  FDA has said that the antineoplastons are safe.  Wait for it....the FDA gets to say who can and can't be treated.

FDA has decided that only people that have failed chemotherapy and radiation can qualify.  The other qualifier, a brain tumor that is so beyond what can be treated by are "recommended protocols."

The FDA actually set up a few clinical trials and these are the results.

Clinical trials of Anaplastic Astrocytoma patients treated with chemo
5 of 54 patients  9% cancer free

Treated only with Antineoplastons
5 of 20 patients 25% cancer free  with no toxic side effects.

FDA trial #2
Childhood brainstem glioma
treated with chemo
1 of 107 were cancer free no one  lived 5 years 
 treated with antineoplastons
11 of 40 were cancer free and 11 of 40 lived 5 years.

Pretty crazy stats.  The overall statistics not in the clinical trials would be better, but the ones the FDA says can be treated have already failed lots of chemo.  Chemo kills, literally kills your immune system.  So they are in a much weaker state. 

One of the things that really struck me is that with all this new research on cancer, many of the chemo drugs that are being used are the ones developed in the late 70's and early 80's.  That's not to breakthrough-ish to me.  Just a thought that I could be way off on, just seemed a bit wrong to me.  

The documentary wasn't entertaining, as much as it was enlightening.  I don't want to turn it into Big Pharma vs Health, but he has been on trial in Texas for almost 10 years.  Every time they go to court, the accusations are thrown out.  It just seems wrong that the FDA can control your options of treatment in the United States.  

If your interested in this type of subject, I recommend reading through his patients website.  Very interesting stuff.  

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