A controversial cancer doc in Texas, Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, is in the news again.  His unconventional approach to treating cancer is widely known.  And while oncologists practicing more traditional cancer therapies might not agree with him, why he has been such a target for legal action by the Texas State Medical Board and the FDA is puzzling.

To be fair, oncologists that use traditional, Western chemotherapy worry that some patients may miss-out on using tried-and-true approaches that could extend a patients life without gimmicks.  I’m guessing most patients seek out docs like Burzynski as a last resort.

Anyway, I first heard of Dr. Burzynski on a Florida Public Radio broadcast last year–ironically on the way for my cancer treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.  But honestly, my eyes start to glaze-over when I delve too deeply into this combination of legal, ethical and petty politics.  And I see so many experimental cancer studies that after a while I have trouble taking any of them very seriously–at least until human trials are involved.

But just because I’m not that interested doesn’t mean you may not be.  So here is a summary of what has been going on with Dr. Burzynski I found on Dr. Joseph Mercola’s website:

  • After a 15-year long battle, the Texas Medical Board has officially ended its crusade to revoke Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski’s medical license in an effort to end the use of his pioneering personalized gene-targeted therapy for cancer
  • Evidence has shown in the past that the FDA has pressured the Texas Medical Board to revoke Dr. Burzynski’s medical license—despite the fact that no laws were broken, and his treatment was proven safe and effective
  • The Texas Medical Board (TMB) has a long history of harassing doctors. The entire Board was sued by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in 2007, citing an “institutional culture of retaliation and intimidation.” Legislation was also drafted in 2009 in an effort to clamp down on the abuses by the TMB, but the bill failed to be passed into law
  • Dr. Burzynski’s treatment also includes antineoplastons, which are peptides and derivatives of amino acids that act as molecular and genetic switches. They turn off oncogenes that cause cancer, and activate tumor suppressor genes
  • Once they’ve determined which genes are involved in the cancer, after extensive third-party genomic testing on both the cancer tissue obtained during biopsy as well as the patient’s blood, a custom formulation of FDA-approved gene-targeted drugs are then meticulously chosen to target that patients genes specially related to their cancer. Antineoplastons by themselves work on nearly 100 cancer-causing genes, while traditional gene targeted oncology agents like Avastin, are only proven to target a single gene. Typically, patients who participate in Burzynski’s personalized gene-targeted regimen also receive Phenylbutyrate, a metabolite of Burzynski’s original Antineoplaston invention.

Want to learn more?  Here’s a link to Dr. Mercola’s site, featuring several videos and supporting documentation:


It would not shock me to learn that one or more of these “outside the box” cancer therapies might make a real difference in cancer patient’s lives someday.  Is Dr. Burzynski’s approach one of them?  Now we may find out.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

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