OK. I stil havent been able to sit through the whole thing but here’s my not so brief summary of the first 1/2 hour or so.
Father of young girl – Claims he has expertise in fraud but his expertise has nothing to do with medicine and his opinion is worthless. His greatest claim is that the FDA said his treatments are non-toxic but does not provide evidence. Claims his duaghter died from radiation treatments and was cancer free. Facts that can not be verified. Claims there is a governement institution that disseminates false information but provides no documentation to back up that claim
Julian Whitaker, MD. ( Whitakers Wellness Institute - http://www.whitakerwellness.com/) – This is an Alternative Medicine Organization. Not sure what the term Institute means in this case as many doctors put that word in the name of their business to make it sound bigger and grander than it is and often its a one man operation that does no legitimate research of any sort. He offers various quack therapis at his “institute” including Chelation therapy. All he provides as support is that he claims he went to the Burzynski facility and saw 7 charts of patients who were in complete remission. Again there is no evidence to support these calims and even so they are nothing more than useless anecdotal reports with no controls and yet he says he was “astounded”. He’s not exactly the most critical thinker is he? He’s a poor excuse for physician if this is how he approaches new research. He then goes on to state that it was “Obvious to me that Dr. Burzyski had made the most important discovery in cancer treatment EVER” Really? The most important discovery ever? And he makes this conclusion from 7 charts that were hand picked by Dr Burzynski.
Burzynski’s Theory – He found a strain of peptides that had never been seen before and cancer patients supposedly had lower levels of these peptides. This is a correlation not causation but he developed a theory that maybe the peptides could treat cancer. A reasonable conjecture. But Whitaker then goes on to say that the discovey of these peptides came as a big surprise and that he was “besmirched” as the urine doctor but as he is saying this he provides no evidence to back that up he mearly shows a letter from Aetna saying they wont cover this therapy because there are no studies validating the treatment in peer reviewed journals. And what does he mean when he says it was a bog surprise? Every new discovery is a surprise since by definition a discovery uncovers something you didn’t know was there before. He then goes on to contradict himself. After saying the medical community made fun of him for studying something in the urine he then admits that the same medical community is using horse urine to extract estrogen to treat menopausal women.
Burzynski tries to bring credibility to his treatment by claiming he is using gene targeted therapy and that there are now 25 such treatments that are FDA approved in the U.S. . The difference is that those other targeted therapies are all backed by placebo controlled trials where as there are no such trials of his treatments which I can locate in the literature.
The next claim is that “The FDA Permits cancer patients to be treated using Antineoplastins in FDA approved clinical trials”. That’s not really much of a claim. You can treat anyone with anything as long as its an FDA approved trial. It doesnt say that any trials have actually been approved and while they next claim that he “places a heavy focus on brain cancer in his clinical trials” they don’t actually reference any of those trials.
This is followed by an anecdotal report from another patient. She claims that Dr. Burzysnki “cured” her but we don’t know that because we dont know what would happen if she wasnt treated. Lots of talk of studies but all he does is provide anecdotal reports rather than actual studies. They claim she was palced into a trial with Dr. Burzynski but no mention of where the trial was published. No reference is given.
They talk about clinical trials supposedly comparing standard treatment vs Burzynski’s treatement. The comparison claims that 5/54 patients who underwent Standard treatment were cancer free at the end of treatment and 5/20 patients with Burzynski’s treatment were cancer free at the end of treatment. This is a very poor quality comparison. The studies were very small. The comparison was not double blinded and the patients were not randomly selected to get one treatment or the other. I wanted to look at his study to see what the treatment protocol was ie. Does he use standard therapy along with his treatments, but I can’t find the study he cites anywhere. Pub Med does not list it and when I looked up that edition of the Neuro-Oncology in their archives I can find no mention of him or the study in the table of contents (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/issues/177892/). Keep in mind also that Burzynski claims at one point that his treatment will cure ALL cancers but 15/20 patients were NOT cancer free at the end of the treatment. Later in the video he admits he can’t cure everyone.
This is followed by another anecdotal report from a very sympathetic family where they lay out a horrible set of possible side effects from standard treatment while showing a healthy girl who was treated “successfully” by Burzynski. The family claims that very few doctors were happy to hear that their daughter was seeing Burzynski. Of course they wouldn’t. He is doing something irresponsible. He is treating patients without any proof that his treatment works. Again this fmaily claims that Burzynski saved her life but we dont know that.
The video then claims that its one thing to provide anecdotal evidence and another to have studies showing better outcomes but all they do here is show you a table that is supposedly from some book on childhood drugs comparing studies done elsewhere to numbers that are supposedly from studies that Burzynski has done. No reference is given to these studies so I can’t look them up to see what the details are but again these patients were not randomly assigned and these were not double blinded studies so any comparison is of limited usefulness.
Then another anecdotal presentation of a cute little girl.
I’m not going to anotate every single one of these but you can see where this is going. I’m not saying his treatment is worthless but his approach is. The only way to determine if a treatment is safe and effective is to do proper studies and his presentation in this long infomercial is strangely devoid of any legitimate studies. Good researchers don;t do what this man is doing. They don’t start treatments and then look for evidence and very weak evidence at that, to support them.
I’ll look at the rest of the video later but so far I am not impressed.