Dr.Burzynski, the inventor of the most promising
cancer therapy around was honored in a moving tribute from his patients and
former patients last Saturday night. Still the FDA refuses to allow wider use of
this amazing breakthrough. as a first line therapy for
Please contact your Representative and Senators and
ask them to co-sponsor and promote among their colleagues The Thomas
Navarro Patienrt's Rights Act which was not enacted at the end of the
last Congress, and therefore has to be re-introduced this
In addition Mail a letter to: Representative Billy
House Commerce Committee
Representative Michael Bilirakis, Chairman
Health & Environment Subcommittee of Commerce
Senator James Jeffords,Chairman
Senate Health Committee
HoustonChronicle.com -- Section: Local &
March 12, 2001, 10:32AM
Controversial cancer doctor,
patients have celebration
500 honor Houston cancer specialist
Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle Science Writer
gathered from around the world Saturday night in Houston, a community of
survivors who don't care one whit that their hero is some people's pariah.
To mark the 25th anniversary of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski's alternative
cancer treatment -- treatment the federal government did its best to stop four
years ago -- the Houston doctor and some of his former and current patients and
their families threw each other a party. It was billed as "25 Years of Medical
Melissa Phillip / Chronicle
A crowd of 500 came to honor Dr. Stanislaw
Burzynski for his cancer treatment Saturday night.
"This is a great day, a chance to celebrate Dr. Burzynski's discovery of the
cure for cancer, the most important scientific discovery of the century," said
Julian Whitaker, a health consumer advocate who led off the evening's speakers.
"And people in this room aren't survivors -- you're thrivers."
or thrivers, one after another lined up to tell their story and pay tribute to
Burzynski. The patients or their parents, in town from Australia, Europe, Canada
and all corners of the United States, described the diagnosis of all manner of
advanced cancers, failure to respond to conventional treatment and then success
under Burzynski. They said they or their child would be dead without Burzynski.
The stories and tributes were not unlike those that many gave in the
mid-1990s, when federal authorities sought to put Burzynski in prison for using
an experimental cancer drug he developed called antineoplastons. It consisted of
synthesized versions of human peptides found in blood and urine.
November of 1995, the Houston doctor was charged in a 75-count indictment with
contempt, interstate commerce of an unapproved new drug and mail fraud. The mail
fraud involved submitting false claims for payment to health insurers, according
to the indictment.
The doctor become a cause celebre for those who saw
him as a hero. But many saw him as a scam artist.
Some patients formed
an organization that protested in support of Burzynski outside the courtroom.
Government lawyers had relatives of patients who died testify against Burzynski
at the trial.
In March of 1997, Burzynski was acquitted of all 75
counts. Still, a condition of the ruling was that he may prescribe
antineoplastons only in FDA-approved trials. And he remains unpopular in most
conventional medical circles.
Saturday night at the Adams Mark Hotel,
Burzynski was decidedly popular among the roughly 500 in attendance. Thomas
Elias, author of the newly published The Burzynski Breakthrough, said the
controversial doctor deserves the Nobel Prize for Medicine. The patients' group
gave him what it considered the next best thing: a plaque it called The Noble
"To us, you represent the highest standards of dedication to the
most effective breakthrough in medicine's age-old struggle to conquer cancer,"
read the plaque, which compared Burzynski to St. Luke, Louis Pasteur, Linus
Pauling, Madam Curie and Jonas Salk. "For many of us, your titanic effort has
defeated death, not only restoring us to good health and to life itself but with
an awakened appreciation of their infinite beauty and opportunity."
plaque said it precedes the awarding of the Nobel Prize.
after the program about the praise, Burzynski smiled and said that "helping
these people is what's important. The rest is not that crucial."
Starr, co-chair of the patients' group, said members initially planned the
evening as a tribute to Burzynski. But when Burzynski and his wife, Barbara,
heard about it, they wanted to make it a tribute to the patients. Starr
estimated the formal-attire event cost $30,000 to $35,000.
who estimated that he has treated 5,000 cancer patients with antineoplastons,
announced a new site for an FDA-approved trial of the drug: the Hyman-Newman
Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Beth Israel Medical Center in New
York. It will be tried there on patients whose brain stem glioma did not respond
to chemotherapy and radiation.
Burzynski said his clinical trials are
going well, despite an unfavorable FDA report four years ago. The report, which
supposedly was based on Burzynski's data, said that only 36 of 828 patients
treated with antineoplastons responded partially or completely. That prompted
Burzynski to accuse the FDA of lying about antineoplastons' effectiveness.
Burzynski said Saturday night that he hopes to publish his own report in
a professional journal soon.
Tributes to the Polish-born Burzynski
Saturday night came not only from political allies in Congress and Canada's
Parliament but also from the Vatican secretariat of state, who sent Pope John
Paul II's greetings. (Burzynski has met with the pope twice, but he denies
rumors that he treated him.)
The evening was not just high praise for
the doctor. Barbara Burzynski waltzed and tangoed with a U.S. ballroom dance
champion. One former patient, now 19, sang. Another, 8, performed a ballet. And
film clips of patients protesting during Burzynski's legal struggle were shown.
Still, it was the patients' stories and the occasional adolescent voices
behind them that provided the night's most emotional moments. One such was
4-year-old Sophia Gettino, diagnosed with brain cancer at 2 but tumor-free now.
Lifted to the podium microphone by her parents, she sang, "I love you,
you love me, we're a happy family."
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