Review of The OTHER Burzynski
Patient Group website
My answers to its accusations
about Dr. Burzynski and Antineoplastons
by Gavin Phillips
I took a brief look at the OTHER Burzynski Patient Group (OBPG) website about
8-months ago. Recently I had more time to conduct further research.
The main accusations of this website are:
- Dr. Burzynski is a fraud who sells a worthless medicine (Antineoplastons) to desperate cancer patients
- Antineoplastons is toxic
- Antineoplastons is expensive
These are the worst things you could accuse any doctor of and should only be stated alongside a high standard of supportive evidence. Lets turn a critical eye to the evidence that this website produces to support its claims, what it is saying, and whether there is any truth to it.
The person who maintains and does most (if not all) the writing on the OBPG website is Robert Blaskiewicz. Blaskiewicz is part of the Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients. I have no idea who this organization is, as there is no information about it on the website. It simply states that the website is sponsored by 'the Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients'. Blaskiewicz's email is given as the sites contact person. This website is also condoned and supported by at least one doctor, Dr. David Gorski.
Given the involvement of Dr. Gorski, one should have the reasonable expectation the OBPG’s website would have the highest standards of professional ethics and codes of conduct.
The OBPG website is primarily made up from cancer patient stories who had supposedly been treated by Dr. Burzynski at some time. But where did Blaskiewicz get his information? Let's take a closer look.
The first story I read was Hannah H's story. The main link for the story was a website that is now dedicated to raising money for conventional treatment. There are only the briefest few paragraphs about Hannah, saying when she was diagnosed with two brain tumors.
There is nothing on there about Antineoplastons (ANP). When you click on more links in the story you are diverted to a Yahoo Group supposedly about Antineoplastons.
There is an enormous problem with this. Anyone can start a Yahoo Group and anyone can join one of them. And of course you have no idea who these people are or even if they exist. These groups are usually used for chatting about your hobbies.
However, you would never use what anonymous people say on those groups as a person's true account of their cancer experiences (or their child's), without verifying it first. Because just as I mentioned, you do not know who is posting those comments.
This kind of so-called 'research' is repeated through-out all of the patient stories I reviewed. Links are provided to websites that do not exist (the first link in Keith G's story leads to a blank page) or to generic messages on Facebook in which you cannot identify anyone.
Most of the websites have not been updated in many years and have long been abandoned. The link for Laurye L's story is to a website in French with a great deal of missing information and no way to tell if Blaskiewicz has translated it correctly.
Trying to use postings from unsubstantiated internet sites and trying to use this as evidence of anything is totally without merit and cannot be trusted.
One example of how incredibly unreliable it is trying to obtain information in this manner would be to examine a recent “twitter” posting. At first glance it appeared to actually be a “tweet” by Dr. Burzynski’s as it had his name and picture on it. The posting made Dr. Burzynski appear as if he was making fun of himself profiting from the deaths of cancer patients. Twitter was contacted and the fake account removed.
It is interesting to note that the response immediately after the fake Tweet was from Dr. Gorski. Do you think that's a coincidence?
The main point being is that anyone can open Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo accounts etc. and claim to be anyone they want, and post any junk they want. We would never know who they really are or if what they saying is a true account.
Now if you are willing to plough through the sea of worthless links to non-existent websites and/or anonymous internet message boards, you may actually find something worthwhile.
There are some links to newspaper articles. There are a few links to legitimate looking websites. One of these is for the story of Kyla F. However, there is no email or other way to contact anyone on this website.
The way the Blaskiewicz website goes about collecting his so-called evidence for the OBPG website does prove one thing; very little on this website can be trusted as being accurate, due to the unverified sources (for the most part) he has used.
Obviously Blaskiewicz needs a lot of help in how to conduct proper research. So let's get him on the right track.
First, these Yahoo Group messages, Facebook postings and websites could be used as a starting point to research a story. Then you email that person and ask if they will talk to you. You then talk on the phone, and check to make certain that they really are who they say they are (there are ways to do this), amongst other things.
The whole point to conducting careful research with verified sources is so that you know who you are talking to. And also so that other people can check
I interviewed Anthony Stout (can be read here) about his experiences with mainstream medicine and with ANP regarding his son's terminal brain cancer. You can see their website, email Anthony or Michelle to check for yourself that Noah (their son) actually has cancer (DIPG) and is taking ANP.
As unprofessional as Blaskiewicz's so-called 'research' is, it is nothing when compared to the next thing I found out. To properly understand this, you need to know how cancer patients can gain access to ANP.
The FDA demands that the vast majority (80/90%) of cancer patients must first have failed conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, before being allowed access to ANP.
At least 80% of all patients receiving ANP have already failed conventional treatments. These patients went to the Burzynski clinic after having endured the appalling side-effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation for months. Their immune systems are often destroyed along with other major organ damage common with these highly toxic treatments. Worse yet, they are suffering from advanced cancer. This fact is never mentioned on the Blaskiewicz website.
I reviewed at least 20 patient stories on this website. In every single case it is mentioned that the patient had been taking conventional treatment before taking ANP. But Blaskiewicz never mentions the critically important fact that those treatments were deemed a failure by the FDA, so, as a last resort, the patient was granted access to ANP.
Dr. David Gorski and Robert Blaskiewicz are well aware of this, but it is purposely omitted from this website.
If anyone visiting this website has the time to sort through the detritus of junk links, they will find some snippets of truth. But that truth will never find its way onto this website.
For instance, the OBPG's website references a story about Elena Koontz's in which there is a link to a newspaper article. In one part of the article it tells us how seriously ill this poor lady was after conventional treatment had failed, and before visiting the Burzynski clinic,
'Her cancer has now spread through her bones and liver. Doctors gave the mother of seven just six months to live.'
If you recall, one of the more legitimate looking patient websites referenced by the Skeptics talks about a little girl, Kyla F. Her mother states on the site,
'Kyla went through 5 months of high dose chemo, which almost killed her'
Unfortunately this is most patients' state of health when they visit Dr. Burzynski, but I never saw any quotes like this on the Blaskiewicz website.
Lets turn our attention to the allegations this website makes against Dr. Burzynski and ANP:
ANP is worthless and offers false hope to desperate cancer patients:
Answer: All of the patients that I have spoken to have told me that Dr. Burzynski never promises them anything, except to say that he has had success with his treatment for some patients. However, ANP has been most successful when the patient has never been through chemotherapy or radiation.
In 1996 Tori Moreno (age 3-months at the time) was diagnosed with a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) and Jessica Ressel was diagnosed with an inoperable brainstem glioma. Both of these brain cancers are always fatal. Using conventional treatment of radiation and sometimes chemotherapy, everyone with these types of cancer are dead within 6-24 months.
Tori and Jessica were diagnosed by several doctors. This is how their parents were able to receive the special compassionate exemption from the FDA to be able to access ANP, without going through radiation. Radiation is devastating to a child's brain, and at that time it had never cured anyone of an inoperable brainstem glioma. To this day it has never cured anyone of this type of cancer.
Tori and Jessica were fortunate enough to never have to go through radiation and possibly chemotherapy as well. Today they are both alive and well. Just as importantly, they are perfectly healthy. As I mentioned, radiation is the main conventional treatment for brain cancer and it causes permanent brain damage, which is particularly severe for children.
In addition to these two patients, ANP has also cured many more patients who were diagnosed with other types of terminal cancer. Many of these patients' information is available through www.ANPCoailtion.org website, and the www.Burzynskipatientgroup.org website.
It is also very important to remember that the FDA has only allowed a tiny percentage of cancer patients in the past 30-years to receive ANP.
The OBPG website says that Antineoplastons are toxic:
Although the Blaskiewicz website is littered with absurd claims, this one is the absolute worst.
Patients can experience a variety of short term side effects, the most common being high sodium. Skin rash is often reported, some patients experience fevers.
It is the patient’s themselves who make the claim that ANP is nontoxic. However, the Burzynski Clinic has always declared the potential side effects. Those side effects are listed in the Q and A section of this website, copied from the Clinic’s own literature.
What the proponents of ANP do claim is that based on all available research, ANP has no long term side effects. Once the treatment is terminated, any potential side effects disappear.
This is in stark contrast to highly toxic chemotherapy and radiation which often cause cancer, permanent major organ damage (including brain damage for brain cancer patients), serious and often permanent destruction of a patients immune system (leaving them open to other serious infections like pneumonia)
Another very misleading claim on the Blaskiewicz website is that ANP is virtually identical to chemotherapy. This is relying on peoples everyday understanding of the meaning of the word chemotherapy. Nearly everyone relates it to the use of cytotoxic drugs for cancer treatment.
The actual scientific definition of chemotherapy is far more loose, and actually means any drug to treat anything; so aspirin is chemotherapy.
The OBPG website relies on peoples misunderstanding of the scientific definition of the word chemotherapy to then mislead them into thinking that ANP is the same as cytotoxic cancer drugs; when ANP and its biological mechanisms are obviously completely different. Is this websites agenda becoming clear to you yet?
The OBPG website claims that Antineoplastons treatment is very expensive:
Answer: Once again this is a deceptive argument, let's take a closer look.
Because ANP is considered an experimental drug, most insurance companies will not pay for the treatment. Some insurance companies do pay for all, or part of it.
The cost of the treatment is about $8,000 a month. There may be an approximate $20,000 initial payment for training in the first month, which includes a highly specific intravenously self-infused pump. For patients whose insurance refuse to pay for the treatment, this is more than most people could afford to pay.
Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery (many patients get all three) cost far more than this, and often exceed a $100,000 a month. But health insurance will pay for
However, depending on their insurance plan, patients may be liable to pay for 10% (or more) of their treatment. Most insurance companies have co-pays and caps on the maximum amount they will pay. So even patients with health insurance are often wiped out financially from the massive cost of conventional cancer treatment.
Dr. Burzynski employs oncologists, nurses, administrative staff, as well as the costs of running the clinic. These staff and overheads must be paid.
The Blaskiewicz website states that its purpose is to help cancer patients. But after having read through much of it, its transparently clear to me that this is definitely not his aim at all.
Cancer patients visiting the OBPG website looking for accurate information will never know that the vast majority of these patients had already failed conventional treatment. They will never know that they were in terrible health and with advanced cancer before getting access to ANP. They will never know that Dr. Burzynski's best results are with patients who have never taken the highly toxic chemotherapy and radiation.
Purposely leaving out critically important information is known as lying by omission. The Blaskiewicz website is the most appalling case I have ever seen of this. Its a carefully orchestrated mass deception, cobbled together with lies woven together by purposely omitting key facts. The so-called evidence produced to support it is, for the most part, unverified Internet postings.
Every patients story is twisted towards this websites blatantly obvious agenda, which is to enforce the malevolent lie that Dr. Burzynski is selling worthless medicine to desperate cancer patients. And that he is somehow responsible for their deaths. It is the most dishonest, unethical and downright cruel lie that I have ever seen.
Dr. Gorski, Robert Blaskiewicz and the Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients (whoever they are) are the main supporters and writers for this website. To say that they have totally discredited themselves is an understatement.
Dr. Gorski has been attacking Dr. Burzynski and his patients on different web blogs for many years. For a long time he was posting under the pseudonym 'Orac'. Based on the extent to which this group has been willing to go to deceive their readers, one can only wonder how many other ANP negative bloggers on the Internet are actually these same few individuals.
Dr. Gorski is the only doctor I know who's a full-time blogger. I wonder who's paying him to do this? The answer maybe found in Dr. Gorski's ties to the pharmaceutical business, as referenced in this article by Jake Crosby
A large amount of time and resources have been put into this website in order to totally mislead cancer patients about ANP. Its usually found within the first 5-10 places on Google when conducting 'searches' for ANP or Dr. Burzynski. I leave you to draw your own conclusions about who is paying for all of this.
Further insight maybe gained from watching a free and excellent documentary that covers the history of Dr. Burzynski's fight to get ANP approved, 'Burzynski: Cancer is Serious Business' by Eric Merola. You may also read Liza Cozad's story.
I urge you to visit the Blaskiewicz website and make up your own mind. Below you will find some contact information for the people responsible for it. Email them and let them know what you think of it.
Of far more importance are the cancer patients suffering with incurable DIPG's. They are not allowed access to ANP due to a recent hold imposed by the FDA.
These patients are literally facing a death sentence, as conventional treatment has never cured anyone with a DIPG. Antineoplastons has saved at least two with a DIPG, and many more that were diagnosed with incurable brain cancers.
Please help spread the word about what the FDA is doing to our fellow Americans, (read Liza's story) Please email Liza's article to all your friends. Please help make a difference.
I thank you for your time.
Highly recommended documentary for free viewing:
'Burzynski: Cancer is Serious Business'
Robert Blaskiewicz and Dr. Gorski information
The OTHER Burzynski Patient Group
Robert Blaskiewicz (Blaskiewicz is a representative for the skeptics for the protection of cancer patients and for this website)
Robert Blaskiewicz speaking at a James Randi Educational Foundation Meeting
Robert Blaskiewicz and Dr. David Gorski speaking at a James Randi Educational Foundation Meeting
Assistant Professor of Surgery Wayne State University School of Medicine