Monday, November 28, 2011

The Burzynski Clinic: Truth or Fiction

There is an interesting piece of news making its way around the blogosphere: The Burzynski Clinic – Another Crank Tries to Intimidate a Blogger.

First and foremost, I'm appealed that anyone, especially a scientist (and I assume Burzynski wants to call himself that), would resort to intimidating anyone who voices his or her opinion on the Internet, especially when such an opinion is backed by rather solid facts. In case of a scientist, and a medical doctor, who wants to promote modern and possibly radically game changing therapies that could cure cancer, such an intimidation is not only out of place, but it is unthinkable.

I am somehow familiar with Burzynski's claims, even though I have not been following his progress for many years. As a person born and raised in the same country as him, I was "bombarded" with news of his amazing and revolutionary therapies, by the New York City's Polish community grapevine in the early 1990s. At that time it appeared that our war with cancer had just been won, and Burzynski had been the general who'd taken the final stronghold of the enemy. And then, slowly, it faded away. People kept dying of cancer and new, amazing discoveries were made, promising new cures for cancer (vilcacora comes to my mind, which hasn't cured anyone I know so far either).

So, going back to the news, I find it shocking that Burzynski and his people would go after those who question their ideas, data and methods. If you are a real scientist, who has solid data and believes in his or her outcomes, you should publish it, let the peer review scrutinize it, and reap the benefits, if there are any. From my previous experience with this topic, and from some of the more recent articles (The Burzynski Clinic – Another Crank Tries to Intimidate a Blogger, The False Hope of the Burzynski Clinic, Harnessing the generosity of kind-hearted strangers to pay for woo, Stanislaw Burzynski and "Antineoplastons") I remain very skeptical of his claims. I hope Burzynski can change my mind, but I would not bet my life on it.

In the meantime, trying to scare bloggers with some vague legal actions is not the way to win you supporters. It is also very educational to read comments under any of the negative articles on Burzynski's clinic. The "big pharma" conspiracy hounds come out not realizing that the clinic/research institute makes tons of money too.