An under-reported item – USA Today seems to be the only source even mentioning it: the Food and Drug Administration has lifted restrictions on a clinical trial run by Stanislaw Burzynski of the eponymous clinic.
Burzynski — hailed as a maverick by his fans but derided as a snake oil salesman by mainstream doctors — has long claimed to have achieved dramatic success in hard-to-treat cancers, especially brainstem tumors that are usually considered fatal. According to the National Cancer Institute, however, Burzynski has not produced proof that his drugs save lives by publishing a randomized, controlled trial in a peer-reviewed journal.
But now the FDA says all is forgiven, because Burzynski answered all their questions.
Some cancer specialists say they’re disappointed by the FDA’s decision and concerned for the safety of young patients. Critics also say they’re concerned about the financial impact on dying patients or their families, who often organize elaborate fundraising efforts to obtain the $100,000 or more needed to pay for Burzynski’s experimental treatments, which are not covered by insurance.
“This puts patients at risk,” says Peter Adamson, chairman of the Children’s Oncology Group and chief of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Research has shown that antineoplastons can cause serious and even life-threatening side effects. “Exposing patients to ineffective therapies does not offer a meaningful prospect for benefit and only exposes patients to risk.”
Also, charging for them is not the usual way of doing things, as I understand it.
So a shitty piece of news that’s almost completely ignored by the news media.