My Review of Anticipating the Burzynski sequel

I await the release of Burzynski: Cancer is Serious Business, part II

“Sources quoted in this post are the new additions to the Burzynski Movie website, a new trailer and new interviews with director, Eric Merola, as part of Colorado Public Television CPT12′s Burzynski Movie night
(helpfully posted here, by David James of East England Skeptics)”

“Burzynski Infomercial on Colorado PBS 12
East England Skeptical Society”

“During the CPT12 coverage, Merola maintained that he is an independent documentary film maker and that he had to struggle to gain Burzynski’s trust

He neglected to mention that his cousin was a patient at the clinic who died less than two weeks after having been told that her tumour was diminishing”

As if THAT is relevant

“He stressed that his work is strictly factual and supported by documentary evidence

He didn’t mention that he only presents the evidence that suits his particular narrative”

As does the critic who posted re Burzynski:

“It is stated that it is a targeted gene therapy.”

Is that what it really states ?

“The text of the email reads”

“For patients with primary brain tumors, we may be able to offer Antineoplastons, an EXPERIMENTAL gene therapy”

So, it does NOT just state:

“targeted gene therapy.”

“Merola told CBT12…

One thing I’ve noticed about the so-called opposition to this project is that when they claim that it isn’t factual, and then I ask them, quite point blank to try to defend their statement by going through the entire film and trying to disprove or debunk anything in it, they simply sort of walk away at that stage, they don’t really defend what they mean by not being factual, frankly

Perhaps he had forgotten this post on the Anaximperator blog, which went through the original Burzynski movie in fine detail, reaching the conclusion that there is no evidence that the cancer of any of the patients presented was cured or even improved with antineoplaston therapy”

This is obviously NOT, go:

“through the original Burzynski movie in fine detail”

This blog ignores numerous documents available on the movie web-site:

One could correctly state that if the above someone allegedly went:

“through the original Burzynski movie in fine detail”

that the final results were “cherry-picked”

“And he must have forgotten this post, by David Gorski, which also looked critically and in detail at the movie and pointed out that there is no credible scientific or clinical evidence to support antineoplaston therapy”

Another blog that also “cherry-picked” its results:

“According to promotional material for part II, however, there are actually independent randomised clinical trials supporting antineoplastons

Hideaki Tsuda from Kurume Medical University says:

After twenty-seven years of independently testing Antineoplastons—including randomized clinical trials, we found that Dr. Burzynski was right

It’s obviously not anecdotal anymore

Following earlier promotions for the sequel, this statement was investigated by Keir Liddle on 21st Floor and was, to put it bluntly, found wanting”

“If there has been a good randomised clinical trial completed and published on antineoplastons, we have yet to see it”

I guess that is why we have the Internet:

Antineoplaston Therapy Doubles 5-Year Survival Rate Following Curative Resection of Hepatic Mets

2010 – Antineoplastons – Japan – Tsuda – Phase II

Randomized Phase II Study of Hepatic Arterial Infusion with or without Antineoplastons as Adjuvant Therapy after Hepatectomy for liver Metastases from Colorectal Cancer

Annals of Oncology 2010;21:viii22

Click to access 8774.pdf

Publication date: May 17, 2010
Category: Colorectal cancer
Publisher: ESMO
Y. Ogata; K. Shirouzu; K. Matono; M. Ushijima; S. Uchida; H. Tsuda

Abstract: 3558
Congress: ESMO 2010
Type: Publication
Topic: Colorectal cancer
Authors: Y. Ogata, K. Shirouzu, K. Matono, M. Ushijima, S. Uchida, H. Tsuda; Kurume/JP

Metastatic Colon Cancer:

In a Randomized Phase II Clinical Study, Antineoplaston Therapy Doubled the 5-Year Survival Rate Following Curative Resection of Hepatic Metastases

5+ year survival in recurrent diffuse intrinsic glioblastomas and anaplastic astrocytomas of the brainstem in a small group of patients

11. Antineoplaston Therapy Doubles 5-Year Survival Rate Following Curative Resection of Hepatic Mets

(May 27/09)

Positive results were borne from a phase II clinical study of Antineoplaston therapy (ANP therapy) in metastatic colon cancer following curative resection of liver mets

The study was performed in Japan

The study consisted of 65 colon cancer patients who had undergone curative resection of their liver mets and were randomized to one of the following groups:

1. infusion “X”

2. infusion “X” plus IV ANP therapy given
(a) daily for 7 days following hepatic resection, and
(b) ANP therapy given daily for one year

There was a significant difference in overall survival between the 2 groups, with the 5 year survival rate in the infusion plus ANP therapy arm being
63% vs.
in the infusion only arm

Recurrence rate also differed for the 2 groups, which were
34% and
69% respectively

Lead investigator claims that ANP therapy may find application not only in the treatment of brain tumors as reported previously, but also in the more common colorectal cancer

Click to access CCAC_Research_June_19_2009.pdf

“In any case, it could be that antineoplastons are a thing of the past

In January, the FDA stepped in and apparently stopped new patients from being given antineoplastons, which have now virtually disappeared from the Burzynski Clinic website”

That explains THIS:

“Of course, the Burzynski Clinic doesn’t just use antineoplastons

Treatment options currently described on their website include conventional chemotherapy and approved targeted therapies (which also come under the broad definition of conventional chemotherapy)

However, as with antineoplastons, I can no longer seem to find any mention of Burzynski’s “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy” anywhere on his website”

That certainly explains THIS:

“Identification of genetic markers enables our medical team to assess a patient’s response to different medications and select the most optimal treatment”

Approved Targeted Therapies

“Merola writes…

Since the mapping of the Cancer Genome, Burzynski has pioneered an expansion of his therapy which he calls, “Personalized Gene-Targeted Cancer Therapy”, where each patient’s Genomic Cancer Atlas is mapped and a treatment regimen is personally tailored for each individual patient—vs. the conveyor belt, “one-size-fits-all” approach that current oncology adheres to

The mapping of the Cancer Genome. Having your Genomic Cancer Atlas mapped

It all sounds rather impressive and technical – if you are so clueless as to believe that cancer has a genome, that is”

Do you mean like THIS.?:


CGHub falls under Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) policies on NIH site

This pioneering effort to map and analyze cancer genomes…

CGCI: CANCER GENOME Characterization Initiative
OCG: Office of CANCER GENOMics

“I don’t think Merola has the faintest clue what he’s talking about, but I’ll try to make sense of it as best I can

Firstly, there is actually such a thing as the Cancer Genome project, aiming to identify genes critical in the development of human cancers”

I am glad to see you figured this out

“Secondly, as mentioned above, some conventional chemotherapy drugs are targeted therapies”

Undoubtedly, like THIS:





Phenylbutyrate (PB) an analog of Burzynski’s antineoplaston converts to AS2-1

Treatment of Esthesioneuroblastoma and Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer with Phenylbutyrate
The senior oncologist at BC advised the patient to consider chemotherapy with etoposide and cisplatin in addition to retinoic acid, but the patient refused this
Tumor decreased 40%

Successful Treatment of Triple Negative Breast Cancer

a case study from Burzynski reports use of PB

Phenylbutyrate (PB)

Click to access The-Genetic-Approach-to-Cancer-Treatment-2008.pdf

Click to access Published-Studies-Sodium-Phenylbutyrate.pdf

“Thirdly, as described here

and here,

Burzynski had been making overblown and misleading claims for his version of “personalized gene-targeted therapies”, which seems to consist of screening patients, as in conventional use of targeted therapies, then prescribing untested cocktails of these drugs”

You must mean THIS:

Caris Target Now begins with an immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis

An IHC test measures the level of important proteins in cancer cells providing clues about which therapies are likely to have clinical benefit and then what additional tests should be run

If there is access to a frozen sample of patient tissue available, Caris Life Sciences™ may also run a gene expression analysis by microarray

The microarray test looks for genes in the tumor that are associated with specific treatment options

As deemed appropriate based on each patient, Caris will run additional tests

Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) is used to examine gene copy number variation in the tumor

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or DNA sequencing is used to determine gene mutations in the DNA tumor

“And finally, I must address the smear tactics used by Merola against those who have pointed out some of these issues

Of course I’m not part of a group formed to terrorize and misinform patients”


You just “misinform” patients

“Since no such group exists, I’m assuming that this is an attempt to discredit and intimidate bloggers like myself, who have written of the many and varied problems and controversies surrounding the Burzynski Clinic”

Amazing how you have NOT even seem the movie, yet through your “psychic” abilities you have concluded that no group exists

“According to the Burynski Movie website…

You will be placed into the turbulent journey of how the industry utilizes its now usurped regulatory agency to both block Antineoplastons’ Phase 3 clinical trial process—and orchestrate a group of “information hit men” to pollute all channels of public information in an effort to confuse the public over the truth behind Antineoplastons”

Like THIS ?

“This international group also engages in the intimidation and harassment of prospective and current terminal cancer patients under Dr. Burzynski’s care

Utter nonsense, of course”


Did you attend a seance ?

“It disgusts me that Merola and Burzynski are using patients as human shields – though not as much as it disgusts me that they are less than honest and open with patients in the first place”

So what is THIS form for ?

“Informed Consent:”

Far from harrassing or intimidating patients, the overwhelming majority of Burzynski sceptics have been as tactful and sensitive as possible when discussing the issues

But then, I would say that



THAT explains THIS:

“The fact remains that even if Burzynski sceptics were an organised and paid group, mean and nasty and funded by pharmaceutical companies, that would still not validate Burzynski

It would not excuse or explain the fact that Burzynski has used a treatment for over 35 years without meaningful published data on efficacy and safety”

Like THESE ?

recurrent diffuse intrinsic brain stem glioma
Phase 2
phase II
antineoplaston A10 and AS2-1

6 months median duration of treatment

of all 12 patients
2 years / 33.3% – Survival
2 / 17% – alive and tumour free for over 5 years since initial diagnosis

from the start of treatment
5 years – 1 alive for more than
4 years – 1 alive for more than

Only mild and moderate toxicities were observed, which included

3 cases of skin allergy

2 cases of:

single cases of:

Protocol – recurrent diffuse intrinsic brain stem glioma
12 – Patients Accrued
10 – Evaluable Patients
2 / 20% – # and % of Patients Showing Complete Response
3 / 30% – # and % of Patients Showing Partial Response
3 / 30% – # and % of Patients Showing Stable Disease
2 / 20% – # and % of Patients Showing Progressive Disease

2004 – Phase II
incurable recurrent and progressive multicentric glioma

Drugs R D. 2004;5(6):315-26

Phase 2
Phase II
antineoplaston A10 and AS2-1 (ANP)

9 – patients’ median age

6 patients were diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma

4 with low-grade astrocytoma
1 with astrocytoma grade 2

1 case of visual pathway glioma, a biopsy was not performed due to a dangerous location

16 months – The average duration of intravenous ANP therapy

19 months – The average duration of oral ANP

1 patient was non-evaluable due to only 4 weeks of ANP and lack of follow-up scans

1 patient who had stable disease discontinued ANP against medical advice and died 4.5 years later

10 patients are alive and well from 2 to >14 years post-diagnosis

Only 1 case of serious toxicity of reversible tinnitus, of 1 day’s duration, was described

Protocol – incurable recurrent and progressive multicentric glioma
12 – Patients Accrued
– Evaluable Patients
33% – % of Patients Showing Complete Response
25% – % of Patients Showing Partial Response
33% – % of Patients Showing Stable Disease
0 / 0% – # and % of Patients Showing Progressive Disease

2005 – Phase II
13 children with recurrent disease or high risk

Integr Cancer Ther. 2005 Jun;4(2):168-77

6 (46%) survived more than 5 years

2006 – Phase II

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)

patients with inoperable tumor of high-grade pathology (HBSG) treated with antineoplastons in 4 phase 2 trials

Integr Cancer Ther. 2006 Mar;5(1):40-7

39% – overall survival at 2 years
22% – overall survival at 5 years

17+ years maximum survival for a patient with anaplastic astrocytoma

5+ years for a patient with glioblastoma

39% – Progression-free survival at 6 months

Antineoplastons tolerated very well
1 case of grade 4 toxicity (reversible anemia)

5+ year survival in recurrent diffuse intrinsic glioblastomas and anaplastic astrocytomas of the brainstem in a small group of patients

18 – evaluable
4 – glioblastomas
14 – anaplastic HBSG

14 – diffuse intrinsic tumors
12 – recurrence
6 – did not have radiation therapy or chemotherapy

Antineoplastons, A10 (A10I) and AS2-1 injections

5 months median duration

Responses were assessed by gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography

Protocol – high-grade pathology (HBSG)
– Patients Accrued
18 – Evaluable Patients
11% – % of Patients Showing Complete Response
11% – % of Patients Showing Partial Response
39% – % of Patients Showing Stable Disease
39% – % of Patients Showing Progressive Disease

“Or the fact that he has run large numbers of clinical trials simultaneously without publishing data”

So, that stuff above

“That he has charged patients vast sums to take part in clinical trials”

Do you mean because unlike entities like St. Jude, for example:

which received:

2/15/2012 – the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital $4,314,800 for a childhood cancer survivor study

The new federal funds will be distributed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)

and is:

Receives Federal Grants / Funds

and which

Donations to St. Jude are tax deductible as allowed by law

and according to FORBES:

CEO – $742,718

that Burzynski does NOT receive Federal Grants / Funds, is NOT TAX-Exempt, and if you donate to, you do NOT get to write it off as a Deduction on your Taxes

Or were you referring to THESE ?

Cost cancer

2008 – Cost cancer insurance

Cost cancer chemo up-front


Click to access Cost_of_Care.pdf





“That he has sent out misleading information to prospective patients, for example indicating that antineoplastons are gene-targeted with few, if any side effects”

Like THIS ?

Adverse effects of antineoplaston therapy

“It wouldn’t explain away all Burzynski’s legal scrapes (be they well known, or long forgotten)”

Like THESE ?

“It wouldn’t explain how or why so many patients have been misled and let down”

Do you mean THESE ?

“Nor would it explain why the Burzynski Clinic think it acceptable to recommend dubious and potentially damaging sites to cancer patients”

Like THIS ?

FDA Commissioner’s comments:

“The Burzynski Movie site, for example”

Nice try, JJ

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