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by Thomas M. Sipos, L.A. Bureau Chief.  [January 14, 2003]




[]  A new medical magic bullet -- antineoplaston therapy -- is curing cancers at an astonishing success rate -- but amazingly, the FDA wants to suppress it!

That's the incredible charge of investigative journalist Thomas D. Elias, author of The Burzynski Breakthrough: The Most Promising Cancer Treatment ... and the Government's Campaign to Squelch It, as explained to the Weekly Universe in an exclusive interview.


* Burzynski's Antineoplaston Miracle


The key to this new miracle cancer cure are antineoplastons (Greek for "anti-cancer") which are peptide fragments formed by amino acids. Their major active ingredients include phenylacetate, sodium phenylbutyrate, and sodium phenylisobutyrate.

Explains Elias: "Antineoplastons are found in profusion in the blood and urine of healthy individuals -- but are virtually absent in cancer victims. The compounds were first noted in the early 1960s by researchers at Rockefeller University, but no one linked them to cancer until Stanislaw Burzynski in 1968 noted their absence in cancer victims."

At the time of his amazing discovery, Burzynski was a medical student in Poland. He came to America to escape Communist persecution -- just before the Polish army was to send him to serve as a medical officer for the Viet Cong! Coming to America in 1970, Burzynski became a researcher at Baylor University College of Medicine in Houston, where he continued his study of peptides with transplant surgeon Michael DeBakey. He left Baylor in 1976, with the rank of associate professor.

To date, Burzynski has identified 117 antineoplaston compounds, but his antineoplaston drug uses only the two "broadest-acting" compounds. But Elias adds that Burzynski "theorizes that if he had time and money to test the others, he would find one specific to every type of human cancer!"

In The Burzynski Breakthrough, Elias charts the clinical trial results of Burzynski's antineoplaston treatment against dozens of types of cancer. "All these figures derive from progress reports sent to the FDA, which are required of anyone who conducts clinical trials," says Elias. "But there is no other cancer treatment for which the manufacturer has ever made precise performance figures available.

"Overall, Burzynski's drug draws significant responses in about 65% of all cancers on which it has been used. This includes complete remissions, partial remissions (i.e., more than 50% reduction of tumor within six months of start of treatment), and stable disease (less than 50% tumor reduction, but no progression -- which can be a very significant result if you have a fast-growing brain tumor that's not responding to anything else).

"Burzynski's drug works via a chemical reaction that reactivates tumor suppresser genes -- specifically the p53 tumor suppresser gene -- which have been quieted, usually because they've been coated with methyl groups. About 60-65% of all cancers are associated with malfunction of the p53 gene, so Burzynski's numbers are apparently is no accident."


* Antineoplastons Tops Chemo & Radiation


Antineoplaston's astonishing success rate vs. standard treatments are starkest with brain tumors.  Burzynski has about a 65% response rate for all types of brain cancers, whereas chemo and radiation achieve five-year cures in less than 1% of all cases. Chemotherapeutic agents rarely reach the brain (because of the "blood-brain barrier") whereas antineoplastons do!

Antineoplastons have also proven dramatically effective against such cancers as lymphomas (Hodgkins and non-Hodgkins), renal cell (kidney), hepatic (liver), and breast. "Another major difference between antineoplastons and chemo is that antineoplastons are non-toxic," adds Elias, "so patients do not lose hair or become nauseous. Antineoplaston's relatively mild side effects include frequent urination and a fever in the early stages of tumor breakdown."



* Is He A Quack?


"Burzynski is frequently accused of being a quack," says Elias, "but no quack would publish negative results -- which Burzynski provided to me right along with the good ones.

"As the discoverer of antineoplastons, Burzynski holds the patents for them, and is conducting clinical trials at the moment against 72 types of cancer. My book reports both good and bad response rates for various cancer types. "A quack also would not send away patients, telling them he can't help or that some other treatment would be better for them, as Burzynski does with some patients. For instance, for childhood leukemia, he will tell you the standard treatments work pretty well."


* Growing Worldwide Acceptance


Research centers around the world are now studying antineoplastons -- including a few doctors in Germany, Sweden, Holland, Australia, and Switzerland.

"At the University of Kurume Medical School in Japan," says Elias, "Dr. Hideaki Tsuda heads a team that has had notable success against liver and kidney cancer -- including curing the University chancellor of a liver cancer for which he had been given a terminal diagnosis!

"But in the USA, Burzynski is the only doctor who acknowledges using them. "A second clinical trial site at Beth Israel Hospital in New York was to begin accepting patients about six months ago, but Dr. Fred Epstein (an Albert Einstein Medical School professor and pediatric neuro-oncologist) who wanted to head that study, was injured in a bicycle accident, and is not yet fully recovered. So that clinical trial is in abeyance, even though the Institutional Review Board at Beth Israel has okayed it."


* Endorsed by Julian Whitaker


One of the many supporters of Burzynski is alternative health expert, Dr. Julian Whitaker.

"Whitaker has written about Burzynski and antineoplastons on several occasions in his newsletter," says Elias. "He appeared on two television programs with me and Burzynski, and gave the keynote address in March 2001 -- when 500 cured Burzynski patients gave a testimonial dinner for him in Houston! " Whitaker has also written about the FDA's persecution of Burzynski -- which goes well beyond mere harassment.


* FDA Suppression


Despite the amazing success of antineoplastons, the Food and Drug Administration is trying to suppress them! " Yes, the FDA is trying to suppress antineoplastons," confirms Elias. "There also has been an effort to steal them, with the FDA cooperating with Elan Pharmaceutical Corp. in that effort.

"Elan now is in deep financial trouble, so I don't believe they are much involved any more. But I have copies of signed internal National Cancer Institute documents in which NCI official Michael Friedman stated as early as 1992 that 'the human brain tumor responses are real' but that it would be easier for the FDA to develop the drug through a large pharmaceutical company."

The Weekly Universe has also learned that the NCI now acknowledges Burzynski's research on its website. However, the NCI claims that at this point [May 20, 2002], "no definitive conclusions can be drawn about the effectiveness of treatment with antineoplastons."

Elias reports that Friedman went on to become deputy commissioner for operations at the FDA, then acting commissioner during the last two years of Clinton's term. He is now senior VP at Abbott Laboratories (a division of Monsanto Corp.).

"The FDA is on record as saying it has never, and never will, license a drug to a private entrepreneur," says Elias. "Instead, in 1997, the FDA put Burzynski on criminal trial, charging him with 75 counts of interstate trafficking of an unapproved drug, and with insurance fraud. Burzynski was acquitted on all counts. Since then, the FDA has merely harassed him and his patients.

But while one arm of the government is trying to stop Burzynski from saving dying patients, another branch is trying to steal Burzynski's work!

"NCI patent applications for drugs that precisely duplicate Burzynski's drugs establish that the government knows this drug works!" charges Elias. "It is clear from an NCI response to my FOIA request that the FDA prosecuted Burzynski in hopes of putting him away somewhere where he could not protect his patents!"


* The Chilling Timeline


Elias offers the following timeline to prove his chilling charges:


* 1989 -- Burzynski cures Elan founder Donald Panoz's sister-in-law of a brain tumor.

* 1990 -- Elan signs a letter of intent with Burzynski to hold clinical trials for antineoplastons, and bring them to market, paying Burzynski a substantial royalty.

* 1990 -- During the 90-day period in which either party can cancel the contract, Elan sends scientists to Burzynski's clinic & manufacturing plant (since 1980, all antineoplastons are produced synthetically) and learns he has not patented simple phenylacetate as a cancer therapy. Burzynski says he did not do so because plain PA is about one-tenth as effective as his more complex compounds. Elan cancels the contract.

* 1991 -- Elan begins funding a 10-center clinical trial of plain phenylacetate against brain tumors.  Elan also begins funding Dr. Dvorit Samid's laboratory at the Uniformed Services Medical School in Bethesda, and continues funding Samid when she moves on to the NCI and later to the University of Virginia Medical School. Samid began researching antineoplastons in 1988 using materials supplied by Burzynski. There is correspondence to prove this.

* 1993 -- Samid signs the NCI patent applications.

* Spring 1995 -- NIH (National Institute of Health) receives patents virtually identical to Burzynski's.

* May 1995 -- Elan receives a license from NIH to develop the government's patents. How much Elan pays for this license is redacted from the contract copy sent to me in response to my FOIA request.

* June 1995 -- FDA agents, reinforced by gun-toting DEA and ATF agents, raid Burzynski's clinic, rousting patients from waiting room at gun-point, some in wheelchairs.

* Sept. 1995 -- Burzynski is indicted. He becomes the first scientist ever indicted for the use of a drug on which the FDA has granted him permits to conduct clinical trials.

* May 1997 -- Burzynski is acquitted in federal district court in Houston.

"The timeline pretty much establishes that while the FDA was trying to squelch this drug prior to 1991, it was in cahoots with Elan afterward to steal it," adds Elias. "The movement of individuals from the NCI to FDA, and then to industry (one key person became an Elan VP) facilitated all this.

"However, the FDA's legal effort against Burzynski began in 1983," says Elias, giving details in his Burzynski Breakthrough.

* Politicos, Good and Bad

In any story of big corporate lies and ruthless government coverup, there are heroes and villains.  The Weekly Universe asked Elias to name the good and the bad among "the people's" representatives. Those who are helping to bring Burzynski's life-saving therapy to dying patients -- and those opposed!

Says Elias: "The main hinderer among politicians is Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), my very own congressman! Were he still chairman of the House Commerce subcommittee overseeing the FDA, Burzynski would probably be out of business. This is because of Waxman's close alliance with the FDA, spurred by his fierce anti-tobacco stance.

"Among those who stick up for antineoplastons is Representative Dan Burton (R-IN), who held several hearings on the topic while chairman of the House Government Operations committee.  Others who have been supportive are Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA).


* Tantamount to Murder


Concludes Elias: "I believe the FDA's actions in keeping this treatment off the general market and out of general use are tantamount to murder of many thousands of patients who could still be alive if antineoplastons had been available to them.

"This is the best and most important story I have ever covered. What I've told you here is just a fraction of the story. That's why I had to write it in book-length." The Burzynski Breakthrough has been optioned for a TV movie. [In 2010, Burzynski's story was produced as a film documentary: Burzynski, The Movie: Cancer Is Serious Business.]

Thomas D. Elias may be contacted at:

Stanislaw Burzynski may be contacted through his Burzynski Patient's Group.


* Who is Thomas D. Elias?


Thomas D. Elias writes a syndicated political column appearing twice weekly in 70 newspapers around California, with circulation over 1.89 million. He has won awards from the National Headliners Club, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, and the California Taxpayers Association. He has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize in distinguished commentary.

His books include The Burzynski Breakthrough and The Simpson Trial in Black and White (co-authored with Dennis Schatzman). He serves on the national advisory boards of the Polycystic Kidney Research Foundation and the Center for Talented Youth, Johns Hopkins University. He has been honored for his volunteer work by the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, the National Kidney Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League.

He is working on a third book, about his experiences with kidney failure and later as a kidney transplant recipient. He was West Coast correspondent for the Scripps Howard Newspapers for 15 years before he began writing books. He is a regular contributor to Long Island Newsday and the national Cox News Service. He has appeared on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, the CBS Evening News, Larry King Live, Rivera Live and C-Span's Book TV.

He holds a bachelor's and a master's degree from Stanford University, has taught journalism at the University of Southern California, California State University at Northridge, and two other Cal State campuses.

Copyright 2003 by

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