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Burzynski Update: Texas Hearings End, Judges Sifting Evidence

ROBERT BLASKIEWICZ

August 2016 saw the end of arguments in the administrative hearing following disturbing allegations by the Texas Medical Board about Stanislaw Burzynski’s Houston cancer clinic. Burzynski, the discoverer, manufacturer, sole U.S. prescriber, and sole U.S. dispenser of a cancer treatment he calls “antineoplastons,” has been treating patients with his unproven therapy for forty years. For the past two decades, Burzynski has administered his drug under the auspices of dozens of FDA-approved clinical trials, none of which has been able to answer whether or not antineoplastons are effective. Participation in the trials, which are generally not covered by insurance, can cost patients hundreds of thousands of dollars. (See “The Burzynski Battles: Four Decades of Unproven Cancer Cure Claims,” SI, March/April 2014.)

A complaint was filed in December 2013 by the Texas Medical Board following an FDA investigation, which found the clinical trials in a breathtakingly poor state. The original complaint was expanded to some 200 pages of allegations in July of 2014, though they have since been pared down for concision. The Board staff alleged that Burzynski failed to meet the standard of care with nontherapeutic prescribing, abetted the practice of medicine by unlicensed personnel, denied patients informed consent, failed to disclose relevant pharmacy and lab ownership interests to patients, billed improperly and demanded retainers, practiced deceptive marketing, committed a host of failures to protect patients, kept inadequate records, and failed to adhere to protocols in his clinical trials.

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40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION PART II ODYSSEYS SCIENTIFIC SKEPTICISM NUCLEAR POWER and the Psychology of Evaluating Risk MICHAEL MANN and the Climate Wars Superstition Masquerading as Science

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Other Articles in this Issue


Editor’s Letter
We conclude our fortieth anniversary celebration of the Skeptical Inquirer
NEWS AND COMMENT
The news undoubtedly won’t faze committed “chemtrail” believers who long
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On August 5, 2015, contractors working for the U.S. Environmental
A young woman was killed in April 2016 outside of
A show that aired in February claimed that the Apollo
SPECIAL REPORT
Psychiatrist Makes Devilishly Weak Case for Demonic Possession
INTERVIEW
Physicist and CSI Fellow Mark Boslough interviewed noted climatologist and geophysicist Michael Mann, who will be speaking at CSICon Las Vegas
INVESTIGATIVE FILES
Joe Nickell, PhD, is a skeptical demonologist. His many books
PSYCHIC VIBRATIONS
Sheaffer’s “Psychic Vibrations” column has appeared in the SKEPTICAL INQUIRER
THE SCIENCE OF SCIENCE COMMUNICATION
Focus on Community-Based Strategies and Avoid Denigrating Parents
SKEPTICAL INQUIREE
Benjamin Radford is a research fellow at the Committee for
NOTES ON A STRANGE WORLD
Massimo Polidoro is an investigator of the paranormal, lecturer, and
ODYSSEYS IN SCIENTIFIC SKEPTICISM
I needed a work-study job, and the new physical anthropologist
I discovered the Skeptical Inquirer shortly after its name change
I was delighted to be invited to contribute to this
Recently, the science writer John Horgan took skeptics to task
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer are celebrating
Growing up in Salinas, California, during the 1970s, if you
When I was twelve years old, UFOs were real. More
For someone who may well be the only full-time skeptical
For the twenty-fifth anniversary observance of CSICOP (now CSI) and
ARTICLE
Could it be that opponents of nuclear energy contribute to worsening global warming by failing to evaluate its risk rationally?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Geoffrey Dean’s SI article “Does Astrology Need to Be True?
THE LAST LAUGH
November 4, 1936: After Richard S. Lambert was said to