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  Invisible Enemy Faye Hueston  
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Dr. Stanislaw R. Burzynski is a Polish-born doctor who has over forty years' experience in treating cancer. He earned both his medical degree and a Ph.D. in biochemistry before he was 24—a rare achievement—and graduated "with distinction" at the top of his science class in Poland.

While doing research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, he discovered "antineoplastons." These are components of biochemical defense against cancer that act as "molecular switches" to turn on tumor suppressor genes and turn off oncogenes. In 1977, he resigned from the college to establish Burzynski Research Laboratories in order to manufacture his discovery, which he patented.

Why has this brilliant doctor/scientist incurred the wrath of the entire cancer establishment? Because his antineoplastons cure terminal cancers that his colleagues have said are incurable—and they do so without the harmful side-effects of drugs, thus threatening the billion-dollar profits of a medical monopoly.

To give but two examples:

David Emerson was 34 when diagnosed with multiple myeloma in February of 1994. He underwent induction therapy of 5 rounds of VAD (Vincristine, Adriamycin, Dexamethasone), 2 rounds of Cytoxan and an autologus bone marrow transplant, all in 1995. In October of '96 he relapsed, underwent local palliative radiation to reduce the pain in his bones, relapsed again in September '97, and was told "nothing more can be done for you."

On learning that the Burzynski clinic was holding clinical trials for brain tumors, he went to Houston. Burzynski wanted him enrolled in the trial, and because he had an atypical form of multiple myeloma, the FDA made an exception for him on the grounds of "compassionate use."

David began intravenous antineoplaston therapy in November of '97. Radiological evaluation was required every 8 weeks—either CT scan or MRI—as were monthly visits with his local doctor and periodic visits to the clinic about every four months. By April of '99 he had achieved complete remission and remains cancer-free to this day.

His only suffering has been from the long-term, late-stage side effects of his conventional cancer treatment. These conditions include chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, radiation-induced lumbosacral plexopathy, chemo-induced heart damage resulting in chronic atrial fibrillation, irritable bladder and "chemo-brain" (post-chemo cognitive impairment).

Tori Moreno was born in 1998 with a tumor occupying her entire brainstem. Inoperable diffuse intrinsic pontine (brainstem) gliomas (DIPG) carry the worst prognosis in the oncology field. Told by their oncologist the tumor was inoperable and the child would not see her first birthday, the distraught parents asked if he knew of any other option they could try. He said he did not.

Turning to the Internet, they discovered Dr. Burzynski and applied to him as a last resort. When she was brought to the clinic Tori had been given only one month to live. Dr. Burzynski told the parents he had never treated a child that young so he could make no promises, but the baby was given his antineoplastons and the tumor began to shrink.

At the end of eight months Tori was in remission. Today she is a healthy young girl of seventeen, one of many children with terminal cancer whose lives "Dr. B." has saved. Incidentally, her parents later learned their oncologist knew about Burzynski when he denied knowing of another option.

In the 1980s and '90s, the FDA launched—and lost—three litigations against Dr. Burzynski, for which a significant number of his cured patients travelled to Washington to testify on his behalf. (See the documentary Burzynski, Cancer Is a Serious Business.)

In FDA-permitted Phase II trials for inoperable brain tumors, Burzynski's antineoplastons achieved more than five years' survival in 122 cases—all of whom had failed standard treatments. Despite this proven success, he was still required to go through a Phase III trial to obtain FDA approval. Since he received no grants, however, he lacked the forty million dollars needed to fund it, and without FDA approval his treatment could not be covered by insurance. Moreover, the patients would first have to go through "standard of care" treatment and fail chemo and radiation before they could have antineoplastons. In other words, their immune systems would have to be destroyed before Burzynski could try to cure them.

The persecution of Dr. Burzynski began in 1983, when the FDA filed a lawsuit against him in the federal courts in Houston. The Texas Medical Board (TMB) began its action in 1984. It asked Burzynski to present 20 cases of cancer patients treated with his antineoplastons. If it found they had received any benefit, the Board would leave him alone. Burzynski presented not 20 but 40 cases, each one showing remarkable improvement. The Board then reneged on its agreement and has harassed Burzynski ever since.

In January of 2009, a group of physicians and scientists at the Food and Drug Administration wrote a letter to John D. Podesta at the Department of Health and Human Services, charging rampant corruption at the agency and pleading that it be reformed.

"There is an atmosphere at FDA in which the honest employee fears the dishonest employee, and not the other way around," they wrote. "Those committed to integrity and the FDA mission cannot act without fear of reprisal."

Citing examples of "shocking managerial corruption and wrongdoing" throughout the agency they wrote that "The long-standing FDA practice of secret meetings and secret communications between FDA managers and regulated industry must be strictly prohibited."

The whole Agency was riddled with conflicts of interest, they claimed, with many of the FDA's advisors working as consultants for the drug companies!

A case in point: Of the six members of the advisory committee that in 1999 recommended approving Vioxx—the arthritis drug that had to be withdrawn in 2004 because it caused heart attacks—four had received waivers from the conflict-of-interest rule.

Yet nothing has been done.

In 2007 Marcia Angell, a physician and former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, wrote in an article for the Boston Globe, "It's time to take the Food and Drug Administration back from the drug companies."

Pointing out that in 1992 Congress passed the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, which authorizes drug companies to pay 'user fees' to the FDA for each brand-name drug considered for approval," Dr. Angell observed, "In effect, this put the FDA on the payroll of the industry it regulates. Last year, the fees came to about $300 million, which the companies recover many times over by getting their drugs to market more quickly and charging exorbitant prices.

"The FDA now behaves as though the pharmaceutical industry is its user, not the public," concluded Dr. Angell.

And still, nothing has changed.

Our Constitution forbids any law that impinges on the rights of its citizens, yet a group of bureaucrats in Washington, beholden to the pharmaceutical industry, has assumed the power of life or death over us all. We should remind the Agency that the initials FDA stand for Food and Drug administration—not Food, Drug, and Doctor administration. It should be stripped of its dictatorial power and confined to the job for which it was formed: to ensure the purity of our food and the safety of our drugs. That is all.

The issue is not just Burzynski or any other innovative doctor who challenges the status quo; it concerns the right of every patient to have the treatment he desires and of every doctor to practice his profession without government hindrance, as long as he does no harm.

Let the results speak for themselves!

Benjamin Rush, a physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, warned, with far-seeing wisdom:

"Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to one class of men, and deny equal privileges to others, will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic. …. The Constitution of this Republic should make special provisions for medical freedom as well as Religious Freedom.

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