[18] – 1995 (5/16/1995) – 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
[18] – 1995 (5/16/1995) – Burzynski letter to Michael A. Friedman, M.D., Associate Director, Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP), Division of Cancer Treatment (DCT), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Thank you for your letter of 5/12/1995

You are correct in asserting that I raise issues of ethical misconduct, failure to obtain adequate informed consent and scientific misjudgment

To be exact, my letter points out specific violations of the clinical trial protocol made by the current investigators

I provided careful documentation of some of the most egregious violations, including the removal of a patient from the study who had no increase in tumor size and the inclusion of a patient with tumor pathology that did not meet the entry criteria

It seems possible that, in at least one one of these cases, failure to follow the protocol resulted in the patient’s unnecessary death

In this case, the patient was removed from the study following an MRI dated 5/2/1994

The conclusion of neuroradiologist Jim Cain, MD, is that this MRI shows that the tumor had not grown, and no new tumors are present

As you know, the protocol calls for patients to be taken off treatment if the tumor grows 50% or more, or a new tumor is present

This is, as you point out, a most serious matter, and I was hoping that you could allay my concerns by showing me where they are unfounded

However, your letter conspicuously fails to address them

You also make reference to “numerous factual misstatements” but fail to identify any of them, much less provide documentation to show they are false

Pg. 2

Contrary to another of your statements, I did provide “specific clinical data which support” my contention that patients with large tumors do not respond well to the current protocol

Let me repeat from here

In the 1991 NCI review of 7 brain tumor cases, the only 2 patients with tumor size greater than 5.1 cm were also the only 2 patients to have less than 50% reduction of their tumor

The correlation between large tumor size and failure to respond is obvious

I am happy to learn that the trials have been put on hold

I must insist that they not be re-activated until I am satisfied that new investigators have been found who are capable of following the protocol — the original protocol on which we both agreed

As you know, the protocol was changed without anyone bothering to seek my advice, and certainly without my consent

I am glad that you plan to “thoroughly examine the accusations” I have made

However, this review must not be done by the people responsible for the violations being investigated

This would amount to a whitewash of the whole affair, and is unacceptable

The review must be done by an independent body of experts acceptable to both of us

Otherwise it will be meaningless

I still have not received the complete data on the 1st 5 patients, which was promised in your letter of 4/3/1995

I hope to receive the data soon

I also eagerly await a substantiative response to the points raised in my letter of 4/20/1995


Senator Joseph Biden
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Diane Feinstein
Senator Tom Harkin
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Congressman Berkley Bedell
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Dr. Jan Buckner
Dr. Jay Greenblatt
Mr. Richard Jaffe
Dr. Wayne Jonas
Mr. Robert Lanman
Ms. Mary McCabe
Dr. Mark Malkin
Dr. Tony Murgo
Dr. Ralph Moss
Dr. David Parkinson
Dr. Edward Sondik
Dr. Mario Sznol
Dr. Dorothy Tisevich
Dr. Alan Trachtenberg
Mr. Frank Wiewel
Dr. Robert Wittes

1995 (5/16/1995) – Burzynski to [15]
(2 pgs.)
1991 NCI review of 7 brain tumor cases
1994 – 5/2/1994 – MRI
1995 (4/3/1995) – Dr. Michael A. Friedman to Burzynski
1995 (4/20/1995) – Burzynski to
1995 (5/12/1995) – Dr. Michael A. Friedman to Burzynski