The Burzynski Clinic and corporate intimidation

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I had never heard of The Burzynski Clinic until today, when I read this blog post by Rhys Morgan.

You probably haven’t heard of a man named Stanislaw Burzynski. He offers a treatment called antineoplaston therapy, which he claims can treat cancer, in a centre called the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas. That’s quite a claim, but the Nobel Prize Committee does not need to convene quite yet, because this treatment has been in non-randomised clinical trials since its discovery by Burzynski some 34 years ago. Moreover, no randomised controlled trials showing the effectiveness of antineoplaston therapy have been published in peer reviewed scientific literature.

It goes on to say that the clinic’s lawyer has been threatening Rhys with a libel lawsuit over some claims made in an earlier post about the ineffectiveness of the antineoplaston therapy.

Now, I don’t know any of the facts about the therapy, other than what I’ve read in those two posts. But assuming that the posts are accurate, I really want to see Rhys stick it to the man (in this case Burzynski and his lawyer, Marc Stephens) because it shows that being right beats being tough. When it comes to science, no amount of money or power gives anyone the ability to decide which scientific conclusions are correct and which ones aren’t. In particular, if antineoplaston therapy is not supported by evidence collected through proper clinical trials, then nothing demonstrates that it’s an effective treatment, and no amount of libel legislation or threats will change that.