[8] – 1993 (10/26/1993) – Burzynski to Dr. Michael A. Friedman

This page is linked to:
Critiquing: Dr. Michael A. Friedman, Dr. Mark G. Malkin, Dr. Mario Sznol, Robert B. Lanman, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Public Health Service, Quality Assurance and Compliance Section, Regulatory Affairs Branch (RAB), Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP), Division of Cancer Treatment (DCT), National Cancer Center (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Stanislaw Burzynski: On the arrogance of ignorance about cancer and targeted therapies
[8] – 1993 (10/26/1993) – Burzynski to Dr. Michael A. Friedman
Dear Dr. Friedman,

In response to your letter of 10/20/1993, it is difficult for me to understand why the entire 1st page of your letter is used to discuss the simplest issue:

that adults should use a different dosage than that used for children

Since you agreed to the study procedure of Protocol BT-6 as recommended in my letter of 6/9/1993, we have not requested any changes in the structure of treatment which was accepted by Memorial-Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC)

As you confirmed in your letter of 10/20/1993, you know very well that since 4/1/1993 of this year my recommended dosage of Antineoplaston AS2-1 for adults is 0.4g/kg/24h

Again, I confirmed that this is the right dosage for adults in my letter to Dr. Shoemaker of 8/24/1993

Yet, for no apparent reason, you insist on using in the adult treatment protocol the dosage 0.6g/kg/24h which I recommend for children

It is generally known that a child’s body weight is much lower than that of adults

This should be reflected in the escalation of the dosages

My recommendation as to how to escalate the dosages for adults was submitted to the NCI on 6/4/1992

Yet, for no apparent reason the MSKCC protocol, which is designed for adults, escalates the dosages in the small increments recommended for children

The principle behind dose escalation is to accomplish the maximum dosage in 3 to 5 days, not 3 to 4 weeks, which would expose the patient to the unnecessary risk of tumor progression

I appreciate very much that you have finally decided to follow my recommendation regarding dosage and dosage escalation

Regarding the number of patients to be treated at MSKCC, the contradictory, incomplete, and inconsistent information is being supplied by you

The MSKCC’s protocol of 4/16/1993, 7/13/1993, and 8/30/1993 describe the treatment of 35,

Pg. 2

but not 70 patients

(please see paragraph 12.1, pg. 10 of the protocol, which is attached)

It was our understanding that 35 patients would be treated at MSKCC and at the Mayo Clinic

I never agreed for the treatment of 70 patients at MSKCC

Since I have to produce the medicine for the trial and pay for it, it is vitally important to me to know how many patients will be treated

The treatment of an additional 35 patients may cost up to 2 million dollars

Contrary to the information given by NCI that we received the money for the production of medicine, this money went apparently into a “black hole”

(“Black Holism,” The Village Voice, 7/29/1993, enclosed)

We have received none of the money which the Office of Alternative Medicine gave to the NCI for funding the trials with our medicine

Contrary to the opinion expressed in your letter, we see no reason for modifying Fleming’s Phase II clinical trial design and introducing more stringent than usual criteria for response evaluation

We request that Fleming’s original design be used, which calls for the initial treatment of 15 patients with at least one responder, instead of 20 patients and 2 responders

Given the fact that there is no existing treatment effective in this type of cancer, one responder in 15 is certainly significant and would be reason enough to expand the trial

I found your your requirement for 14 days to complete scans and laboratory tests prior to treatment very interesting

It is a very well known fact that glioblastoma multiforme is such an active tumor that if 2 weeks elapses from the time of the scan and the beginning of treatment, the tumor may increase by more than 50%

This means that even before the patient begins treatment, he can be classified as an increasing disease case

In most of the hospitals in the U.S., including out tiny clinic, all pretreatment tests including the scans can be done in one day

Therefore, I insist that the pretreatment evaluation, including brain scans, be done within 7 days from the time treatment begins

Regarding the Karnofsky Performance Status (PS), it is unclear to me why you have backed off from your own recommendation in your letter of 5/5/1993 (copy attached) that “patients with Karnofsky PS of below 70% should be excluded”

I am requesting that as recommended by NCI, the patient’s PS should be 70% to 100%

I agree that both scan data and neurological assessment can be described in the analysis of response, but the decision of how to classify response should be based on tumor measurements alone

All of these patients will have been extensively treated before

As the result of previous neurotoxic treatments, a number of these patients will deteriorate neurologically even if the Antineoplastons eradicate the

Pg. 3


The purpose of the protocol is to evaluate the antitumor effect, not to prove that Antineoplastons can repair brain damage resulting from chemotherapy and radiation

In this 1st independent study with Antineoplastons, in order to assure that patients will derive the most benefit from the treatment, it is critically important to schedule more frequent evaluations of the data than waiting until after the accrual of 14 patients, i.e. waiting 9 months

(Based on an accrual of 2 patients per month, if we wait until 14 patients are accrued and treated, 9 months will pass before the 1st evaluation takes place)

Therefore, I request that reviews of the studies be performed after the treatment of each group of 5 patients, i.e. after 6 months

I agree, however, that you will provide the Theradex printout to us as you receive it

In addition to patient welfare, there is another reason for more frequent patient evaluations

As you stated in your letter, I have no doubt that the investigators at MSKCC have extensive experience treating glioma

However, MSKCC is known to be biased against Antineoplastons

At least 3 researchers associated with MSKCC published willful misrepresentations and distortions about Antineoplaston research

Because of the controversial nature of the upcoming Antineoplaston clinical trials, it is essential that they are conducted in a manner beyond any suspicion of bias

Contrary to the opinion expressed in your letter, NCI is responsible for the trial’s delay

As you well know, the NCI selected an MSKCC investigator in 9/1992

In spite of our repeated requests, 8 months were waisted before the NCI produced the 1st draft of the protocol

As promised in my letter to you of 11/11/1992, the supply of Antineoplastons has been prepared and was shown to Ms. Mary McCabe of NCI during the site visit on 2/9/1993

The medicine was ready to be released pending final approval approval of the labels by the FDA and our final QC inspection

The medicine will be sent to you immediately once you make the corrections to the protocol that we have requested

Since you mentioned that patient recruitment has begun already, I would be glad to accept these patients immediately under my care and offer them free medicine as we wait for the protocol to be revised and the treatment at MSKCC to begin

The MSKCC protocol in its current form would threaten the welfare of these patients

In your letter you stated that your mission is to find and develop better therapies for cancer patients, and that your only obligation is to those patients

However, the way

Pg. 4

you proceed leads me to question that for the following reasons:

1) Out of numerous cancer treatment centers, you selected 2:

MSKCC and Mayo Clinic, which are known to be strongly biased against alternative treatments

In the past doctors associated with MSKCC have voiced strong opposition to Antineoplaston therapy and have published articles full of misrepresentations and distortions

2) The protocol approved by you will allow the disease to progress between the pretreatment evaluation and the beginning of treatment

3) Due to the slow escalation of dosages, patients will most likely have marked increase of tumor size beginning the treatment at the correct dosage level

4) In spite of my numerous requests (letters of 4/29/1993, 6/9/1993, and 8/24/1993) to proceed following the guidelines of the NCI’s Decision Network on 12/2/1991 to have a separate clinical trial for glioblastoma multiforme and anaplastic astrocytoma, you continue to combine both types of tumors together

Even in your most recent stratification strategy submitted to the FDA, you are planning to treat initially 20 patients without specifying whether those 20 patients are per each stratum (glioblastoma vs. anaplastic astrocytoma), or whether this initial group of 20 patients consist of a mixture of glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma

If the latter is the case, then we can expect that among these 1st 20 patients, most will have glioblastoma, which is more common and more difficult to treat

In case of treatment failure in these 20 patients, it will be easy to make the statement that Antineoplastons do not have therapeutic effect in both tumor categories

5) The protocol now states in paragraph 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4 that the objective decrease of tumor size is not enough to be considered a true response to treatment, that there must also be improvement in neurological function

As I explained in my letter of 10/13/1993 to Dr. Greenblatt, it is not unusual in my practice to see patients whose tumor has disappeared, but who have deteriorated neurologically as the result of delayed toxicity from radiation therapy and chemotherapy

Since these patients in the MSKCC study have been pretreated, and since there has been no indication that anything, including Antineoplastons, can repair brain damage caused by chemotherapy and radiation, I request that the criteria including restored neurological functioning be removed from paragraphs 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4 of the protocol

Pg, 5

6) Finally, by limiting our access to the data and not allowing review until after the 1st 14 patients have been treated, it would be easy to deviate from the protocol and supply inadequate treatment, and then claim that due to the the failure of the 1st 14 patients it would be a waste of the taxpayers money to proceed with further treatment

Your final statements that you are ready to proceed with the treatment with Antineoplastons without our participation caught me by surprise

It is hard to imagine that a Federal employee would consider patent infringement, thus infringing on the patent rights of thousands of our shareholders

Once again, I urge you to take our requests seriously, honor the guidelines of the NCI’s Decision Network on 12/2/1991, and make proper corrections to the protocol, so that objective clinical studies can begin immediately

In the meantime, I would be glad to treat for free all the patients presently recruited, and will submit progress reports weekly for the NCI’s review and evaluation



Senator Joseph Biden
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Tom Harkin
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Congressman Berkley Bedell
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Dr. Samuel Broder
Dr. Jan Buckner
Dr. Bruce Chabner
Dr. Daniel Eskinazi
Dr. Jay Greenblatt
Dr. Joseph Jacobs
Dr. Mark Malkin
Ms. Mary McCabe
Dr. David Parkinson
Dr. Mario Sznol
Ms. Dorothy Tisevich

1993 (10/26/1993) – SRB to [5]
1993 (10/26/1993) – SRB to [14]
1991 (12/2/1991) – guidelines of the NCI’s Decision Network [5 Pgs.]
1992 (6/4/1992) Burzynski to NCI
1992 (9/1992) – NCI selected MSKCC investigator
1992 (11/11/1992) – Burzynski to Dr. Michael A. Friedman
1993 (2/9/1993) – NCI Mary McCabe site visit
1993 (4/1/1993) –
1993 (4/16/1993) – MSKCC protocol
1993 (4/29/1993) – Burzynski to
to proceed following the guidelines of the NCI’s Decision Network on 12/2/1991
1993 (5/5/1993) – Dr. Michael A. Friedman to Burzynski
1993 (6/9/1993) – Burzynski to
to proceed following the guidelines of the NCI’s Decision Network on 12/2/1991
1993 (7/13/1993) – MSKCC protocol
1993 (7/29/1993) – “Black Holism,” The Village Voice
1993 (8/24/1993) – Burzynski to Dr. Dale Shoemaker
to proceed following the guidelines of the NCI’s Decision Network on 12/2/1991
1993 (8/30/1993) – MSKCC protocol
1993 (10/20/1993) – Dr. Michael A. Friedman to Burzynski


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