I came across this blog about a man, Eric Merola, who, a few years ago produced a documentary about a Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, who is treating cancer patients with compounds he calls ‘antineoplastins,’ apparently with significant success. The documentary “Burzynski: Cancer is Serious Business” is available for free on Vimeo.
It sounds very promising, but also very curious as it evokes that old conspiracy trope that big pharma, in conjunction with the FDA and other regulatory bodies, have found the cures for most diseases, including cancer, among well-known, cheap and non-patentable chemicals, but instead of promoting them, seek to suppress them in order to perpetuate their ‘indefinite treatment’ business models.
While that can be an attractive take on the matter, blaming everything on pure greed never really tells the whole story. Even among the wealthiest and greediest you’d probably find it powered by a desire to shape the world into that person’s version of ‘good’.
In any case, I came across this criticism of Burzynski’s work that seems to bring some perspective to the matter.
Here, ‘Orac’ describes how the compounds Burzynski is calling antineoplastons are phenylacetate, phenylbutyrate and metabolites of these. They are in use in medicine for other indications and they have been studied many times before for their anti-cancer effect. It seems that it is with Burzynski’s supposed poor methodology and loose experimental standards that they take umbrage at his work.
In any case, phase 3 trials are soon to be conducted, so it will be very interesting to see the outcome.