1/2012 – Sonali Patil, Ph.D., Research Scientist at The Burzynski Clinic
So you, you, you’re a scientist here ?
I’m a scientist here
And, and you work, just with antineoplastons ?
This is our cell biology lab, and in molecular biology we do basic research on the antineoplastons
Sometimes we also study it in combination with the other, uh, medicines that Dr. Burzynski is interested in
So, but mostly antineoplaston
This is looking at mechanism for action
Trying to understand how it treats the cancer cells, is able to kill the cancer cells without damaging the other cells of the body
So mostly antineoplaston is the target here
And what do you think about
We have found, uh, very interesting, uh, molecular pathways targets that antineoplaston is targeting, working very effectively to kill the cells, um, probably better than many other drugs, because, um, it has multiple targets, and so attacks the cells from many different angles, and is able to kill the cancer cells, more effectively
So, can I ask you, how did you come to work in, th, the Burzynski
the institution ?
Through an advertisement, it was
My position was advertised
I started 8 years ago, and
So it was advertised
So when you applied for the job, were you aware of the controversy of, (comments to self: learn to talk)
So when, when did you find out ?
Uh, eh, as soon as I joined (laughing)
Oh yeah ?
Few months later
I thought, it’s easy to find
It’s not hard
It’s not even, uh
Wha, what about any of you other colleagues, that prior to coming here ?
I mean, did they say anything to you, like, you know ?
Well they brought something up
(?) in, uh, uh, being there for him during this trial, my boss, my previous boss was here before me
Uh, so I have a very open picture of it, and it doesn’t bother me
He came up against it and won
So that’s a good thing
An, and why do you think, it kinda hasn’t been, kinda lost the word, hasn’t taken off, you know ?
Has the scientific community hasn’t really embraced ?
Well anything that is non-traditional always, you know, takes its own time to get to people
Besides, the traditionalists don’t want it coming out because, uh, it affects, a lot of other things, um, finance, in, in the big Pharma
that is affected by this
So, um, if it, if it were, um, a medicine already with another big company, it probably would already be out in the market by now, but, uh, it’s because it’s one man’s show
He’s fighting against, uh, traditional medicine, big, big centers like M.D. Anderson right here in Houston
So, most people want to believe, uh, what the other doctors, the oncologists, are telling them, because that’s what everybody does
So very few filter out of that and come looking for him, because they’ve lost hope there, and they’ve tried everything else, and they come because; which I wish they wouldn’t, come here as a last resort, you know
and, by then, sometimes, uh, enough damage has been done that is sometimes even he cannot cure
It’s not magic
There’s a logic to the way the medicine works
The science behind it is not, it’s not just a magic bullet
So, and you have to target it at the right time
Catch cancer at the right time
So I have a, friend of my mother’s at home, whose spent, her whole, academic career, 20, 30 years, researching, astrocytomas
And, uh, you know, I did my research, and, I was no doubt that we were coming here
My, my research was more based on people
Talking to people who had been treated, and seeing the results, and then looking at the research afterwards, and she was just saying that “I’ve spent all my years, research, and research, and research, I can’t find anything, that validates, this, this treatment”
Now I’m not asking you to comment on what she said, but,
No, validation, validation basically means, uh, proof in scientific community
If you’re not accepted into the scientific community, you’re not going to be able to present that truth, and we go and present at conferences all the time, eh, when it comes to publishing papers, uh, we haven’t been very successful
Dr. Burzynski has published, uh, a lot of data of his patients
So it’s out there
If you, if you want to believe it, and you’re looking for it, you’ll find it
It’s just, um, it’s not in the mainstream places, because it gets rejected out of there
Um, it’ll probably take some time to get into those spots where everybody else is publishing, and everybody else is talking about it, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not true
So obviously you’re here on a daily basis
So when was the 1st
So the last 8 years
When was the 1st time you actually saw, was it in the dish where you actually saw it ?
Well we see it, we’ve seen it for years before I came here
Yeah, but when was the 1st time you saw it, when you came here yourself and you saw ?
Well we see it every day
Um, we have cancer cells in the lab, that we treat, with the medicine
We see them dying
We see them undergoing a necrosis, which is the cancer deaths, pathway, that most people study and talk about
So, it’s happening, it’s happening in front of our eyes everyday
So, we have proof for it
you know (?)
We just have to get it out there, and there’s a, there’s a system to all that
and were trying to, get it through the system, and get it out there
So what, when you 1st realized there is something here, did you not just feel like just shouting from the rooftops and telling everybody?
Well I wasn’t the one who discovered
He did, in the ’80’s
and since then he’s been shouting from the rooftop
It’s just, nobody would listen to him
So, you know, we’re just doing the, uh, actually it’s backwards
People usually do, uh, pre-clinical research 1st, because the medicine
goes out and to the patients, and we, we are kind of doing it, the other way around
He already has patient data
He’s been treating people
People, survivors walking around, to tell the story, and now we are being made to understand how it works in the cells
So, it’s, it’s kinda doing, the research, after the trials
Just tell me
One more question
What’s it like
How would you describe Dr. Burzynski ?
I admire his, uh, passion, for what he does
He truly believes in what he does, and to me that’s, that’s a big thing
If you don’t believe in yourself, then nobody else will, and, his memory
He, he has tremendous memory, and, uh, uh, quick thinking
He’s able to piece together stuff, uh, research articles, papers, put together puzzle, come up with a theory
He does that every day, every time I meet him it’s, it’s interesting to me to see how his brain works
you say, in, in the purest sense, he’s a scientist
I think he’s a doctor 1st, but a doctor who’s very, very interested in science, and that’s an important thing, because a lot of, uh, doctors don’t care about the research, and he does
I think, I think his primary aim is to treat patients, mostly
So if there were any type of skeptic, research scientist out there, what would you say to them about what goes on here?
We do, we do, everything that happens in any other lab, anywhere else
I went to school at Houston, ah, so, I know exactly how the labs work
We do exactly what they do
Um, we try to write up our papers, and send them to the journals, just like everybody else does
Uh, present at conferences
We try to get our data out there
Um, we’re trying to do our best, just the way everyone else is
I, I suppise trying to do your best it, it, it’s fascinating because you actually have something
that really, really does work
I mean, it’s a cure, right ?
We believe it is
It’s a cure for cancer
Not for all cancers
I actually asked Dr. Burzynski
I filmed him the other day and said to him, why do you, specialize in brain tumors ?
Do you know what his answer was ?
What was it ?
He said it’s because it’s the most difficult type of cancer
Well it is if, if you think about it
I don’t think there are many doctors who claim to have survivors, eh, at least in the numbers that he has, to present
and, um, I hear that at conferences too when we, were standing around, they will look at the slides, eh, eh, which is a tumor, and they will say: “Well that’s not a tumor,” ye, “it’s just necrosis
It’s just a patch on the skin, and you just cured nothing, and”, uh, all the, “the patient was probably cured from, the therapy that he took elsewhere, you know, the radiation he got 10 years ago”
“That’s probably what cured him,” but, you know, th, those kind of patients will be rejected from other, hospitals, don’t survive, that far enough to, to tell a story
So what is it ?
Just people living in denial ?
Is it fear ?
Is it ?
Fear or denial
I’m going to do what everybody else does
Why, why should I go out and do something different, here ?
And, and lastly, you know the, the power the pharmaceutical companies have
Well of course
I mean, but I’m nobody to, comment about that
There’s, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that we are not even aware of, but this is just what, um, my experience is, when I talk to other doctors at meetings and conferences, and they, you’re immediately dismissed as, oh, you know: “What you’re going to say doesn’t really make any sense because you work for, Dr.”
His name has been tarnished
There’s a lot more, to that, than just, people playing politics, this, this, a whole lot of stuff going on behind there
So, I don’t think it’s, it’s (supression ?) as much, it’s just trying to tell your story, uh, so that somebody would listen and accept it, uh, maybe using, the right channels, going, presenting it in a different way, make it more convincing
All that, would help
So if it, if it was you, in his position, would you not have just given up ?
Or would you
We all talk about it all the time, that the amount of determination that he has, most people, would back off and leave, but like I said, he believes in what he does, and that’s what keeps him going
As far as publishing is concerned, ’cause a lot of scientist want to see
We, we, don’t get past the initial screening
We repeatedly send it back to other journals and that’s the process I keep doing all the time
Comes back, I send it back to another journal
Hopefully, one day it will get it
So, let, let, let, let me get this straight, ok ?
You write articles, right ?
and you submit them to, medical journals
and then what happens ?
They come back
Why do they come back ?
Sometimes, um, if they get to reviewers, uh, it’s not enough data, or, which I understand
We can work on changing, modifying papers, but, many times they come back, without any reason
They just get rejected, at the 1st, screen itself
So they come back without any reason
And why do you feel that is, in your own humble opinion ?
Wha ? (laughing) not humble opinion
It’s, it’s hard, um, publishing is a tricky game, you know ?
You have to publish once, to get your name in there, and then, they might publish you again, but, uh, with the negative publicity that we already had, and most of the community would look at the name and say: “Oh we, we just don’t want to, want to even read it”
So, it, it doesn’t even get past the 1st screen, because they don’t turn, flip the 1st page even
Ok, so, what you’re saying is that you see things that are published in these journals
And, you see ?
very similar stuff
We try to, we try to do research that is on par, uh, with what everybody else is doing, as far as the techniques, the ana, the data analysis
We, we try to do everything which is the standard for, uh, the research community, but, doesn’t get past
Um, how frustrating must that be for you ?
Mmm, it is (laughing), it is
So do you feel like you’re a party, or you’re trying to get into a party, and knocking on the door, and no one’s letting you in ?
I feel like that at the conferences too because, um, sometimes they come up to your, poster presentations, and, um, they’ll ridicule you right there, while you’re standing there by your presentation
Ok, just last thing, because one of the things I heard
recently, which were, that, uh, there’s some evidence that Dr. Burzynski has from, from the phase 2 clinical trials, showing people who have, uh, glioblastomas who’ve been alive for 10 years
and there’s something there that they want to try and get published
What you’re saying is, that might never get published ?
Well, Dr. Burzynski’s case is different
He has published some of his patient data
I’m talking about the research, uh, the pre-clinical research, the cell culture data, the molecular data
Um, we haven’t had success getting that out, but, he has, he also faces rejection a lot, but he doe, he has managed to get ta, a few publications in
So how does it work ?
If, if you submit something they can
What’s the process ?
They can submit it back ?
That’s not, there’s a review
There’s a whole review board
Um, you can select your reviewers
It goes through couple of cycles of review before it’s, agreed that they will publish it
And in case they say no to publishing it
do you, can you take it somewhere else ?
Yeah, you can take it somewhere else, but, um, but it’s, the peer-reviewed journals that are the ones that you want to get into, you can publish whatever you want, ah, that doesn’t count
That’s why when, somebody who’s of, uh, any significance in science would not even look at those articles if they’re not in a peer-review journal
So, they have to get into a decent place to make a mark
Do you think that will happen ?
What do you think has to happen in order for ?
It’ll happen, in, in time
They can’t keep refusing you
We, we try again and again
But in time they just want to, not focus on it, and just have’m, bring in more numbers, and keep doing this, and in the meantime keep treating, some number of patients
On, on, top of everything, my personal belief is, uh, brain tumors are not, uh, a money-raising factor, because it’s a, it’s a minority cancer
If this were treating, uh, mainstream cancers as they’re called, as, uh, breast cancer, maybe they would look at it more seriously, but the numbers, with the brain tumors, which is a good thing
I mean it’s a deadly cancer
You don’t want more people to have it, but, that puts it in the category of, um, you know, not so feasible, as far as the money-making
And so, the priority; even though, it’s the most vicious, and it should be looked at more seriously, but, it’s not the one that brings the big bucks
So, put it aside
So why would the FDA, haven’t closed him down then ?
Because they, they, uh, believe the data that he’s sending them so far, and they don’t have a valid point to, just say no, it doesn’t work, and put it away
They see effect, and so they want, more numbers, more data
Is it, it the phase 2 trial is finished ?
but they’re still accepting people ?
on more like a special ?
Special basis, and, um, sometimes compassionate grounds
That’s normal ?
(Yes I guess it is a funding issue ?)
(Like FDA, during the 2nd phase of clinical trials they found the data to be, real, real one, and they gave him the ok to go for 3rd phase of clinical trials, but just to go through this process you would probably need $100,000)
(?) and that’s stalling
(even more, millions dol, millions of dollars, to go through the 3rd phase of clinical trials, and)
(he’s a single doctor
It’s a 1st case)
(probably in American history)
(that single doctor is trying, to get a his job)
Whatever you’ve seen on that plant, everything came out of his practice
So he was the one who funded, literally the, the, research and development phase, but those installation, operation, all this big plant was built ?)
Yes, ’cause, uh,
one of the things I hear a lot, I’ve heard slot in the U.K. is that: “Why is he charging people for clinical trials ?
Well, uh, how else would you run this place ?
How will you run this place, and how else will people be on the trial, because
you know, there’s no pharmaceutical company involved here, right ?
It’s all out of his pocket
Every single bit
And what is stalling (?) is (?) again is, is funds
Yeah, I also heard that the phase 3 they wanna do radiotherapy with, with it
Hopefully, that will not be the case, but
we’re trying to
I think, uh, he is trying to fight against that, but, the FDA is the FDA, so
And what do you think about this case, he’s now got coming up in April ?
You know, he’s got this court case
Well there’s always something
He, he’s won before, so
Do you think he needs the support, do you think he feels the support from, from all of you ?
I think so, for sure
Nobody forced us to work here
We get paid, but, you know
I could always look for another job if I needed to (laugh)
So would you stay here because you really believe in what’s going on here ?
(Yes, that’s one thing that’s unique about our operation, and I’m talking about this location is, uh, whoever joined the company; and we have a guys who joined the company in the 80’s, 90’s
They stay with the company
Turnover is zero)
(Joined the company
Stays with the company
It’s a challenge)
(It’s a (?) challenge for us)