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As Josh Duhamel shills for the Burzynski Clinic, Eric Merola prepares to carpet bomb the blogosphere with nonsense

About a week and a half ago, I noted that the FDA had apparently paid every skeptic’s favorite cancer doctor who is not an oncologist, Stanislaw Burzynski, a visit, while taking notice of a particularly credulous piece of puff journalism that portrayed Dr. Burzynski as a “brave maverick doctor” fighting The Man, who (of course) is trying to keep him down because he has The Natural Cure For Cancer “They” Don’t Want You Sheeple To Know About.

Burzynski, as you recall, is the Houston doctor who claims to have much better results curing incurable cancers than conventional evidence-based treatments, so much so that he either commissioned or cooperated in the production of a movie, Burzynski The Movie: Cancer Is Serious Business, that served basically as one long infomercial for the Burzynski Clinic, with all the distortions, salesmanship, and exaggerations that a typical late night infomercial uses. The movie was made by a man named Eric Merola, a guy whose day job involves making commercials and promotional films; so he was apparently the right man for the right job at the right time, much the way that Leni Riefenstahl was, the main difference being that Merola doesn’t have anywhere near the talent that Riefenstahl did. I then looked into what the Burzynski Clinic does and what Burzynski claims, reading the chapter in Suzanne Somers’ book Knockout describing what he claims to do, reading his papers, watching his promotional videos, and investigating what really happens to his patients compared to what is claimed for them. I found his “personalized gene-targeted therapy” to be more akin to “personalized gene-targeted therapy for dummies,” given his arrogance of ignorance about cancer genetics and biology. It turns out that what happens to a lot of patients at the Burzynski Clinic is truly appalling and that the patients held up as success stories by Burzynski and his sycophants, toadies, and lackeys are not convincing evidence for the efficacy of his treatments, particularly given the lack of published clinical trial evidence.

Over the weekend, I sensed a disturbance in Burzynski shill force, and, sure enough, on Sunday I found out why. First, I became aware of a new PR move on the part of the Burzynski Clinic. I’m not sure when it appeared, but the other day I became aware of a new video on the Burzynski Clinic website:

This video appears to be the result of Burzynski’s new PR man, Wayne Dolcefino. Sadly, when questioned, he doesn’t seem to be up to speed on Burzynski Clinic operations. Either that, or he’s a slicker operator than he first appears.

And, yes, that’s Josh Duhamel the movie star in that video. I guess he’s making a play to be the next Jenny McCarthy, only instead of vaccines he’s going to say stupid things about cancer. Certainly, his level of scientific knowledge and know-how leaves a lot to be desired, as he blathers on at the Burzynski Clinic Christmas party about how “the evidence is there” (it’s not) and gushes about Burzynski as a genius saving lives and being unjustly criticized. At one point Duhamel points to a seven year old girl, Kelsey Hill, saying, “You can’t tell this little girl right over here that this stuff doesn’t work, because nothing else works and she’s still with us.” Actually, yes I can. Hill was featured in the first Burzynski movie, and I deconstructed her case in my review. Given the timing of the administration of the antineoplastons, it’s far more likely that conventional therapy (surgery and other treatments) cured Kelsey Hill than it is that Burzynski’s concoction did anything positive for her. Look to see Josh Duhamel appear in more Burzynski propaganda pieces.

In the meantime, I realized that seeing Josh Duhamel stick his proboscis firmly up Burzynski’s posterior was not enough to explain the disturbance that I was feeling. Then, sure enough, yesterday, our old “friend” Eric Merola sent out a notice that his Burzynski sequel, Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business, Part II, is going to be released direct to DVD on March 5, and you—yes, you!—can preorder it for a mere $19.99 plus $4.65 shipping and handling (in the US). Merola was also kind enough to release a new trailer:

Looking at the trailer, I see a whole lot of stupid right from the very beginning. In a way I’m relieved because I’d hate to think that Merola was anything but predictable. The same old gambits play out, in particular the hoary old chestnut favored by cancer quacks the world over, namely the claim that pharmaceutical companies don’t want a cure for cancer but rather want drugs that patients have to take for a long time. One can’t help but note that, even if Burzynski’s therapy, known as antineoplastons, demonstrated significant anticancer efficacy, this description would describe antineoplastons perfectly. After all, if you look at patient blogs, you soon find out that Burzynski’s antineoplaston protocol involves huge doses of his sodium-rich antineoplaston concoction that constitute nearly a 24 hour continuous infusion and that the treatment lasts 18 months, sometimes longer. I don’t know of too many cancer drugs pushed by big pharma that are given over such a long period of time. Tamoxifen, perhaps, which is given for five years (although tamoxifen is long out of patent protections), and aromatase inhibitors, too. Even the very expensive drug Herceptin is usually only given for a year, and there are multiple clinical trials currently ongoing to determine if it can be given for a shorter period of time and produce the same benefit, something I don’t see Stan doing—ever. Later in the trailer, it is direly proclaimed that “in 2013 the industry retaliated—again,” referring to the FDA’s most recent visit to the Burzynski Clinic.

There are also familiar themes from the first Burzynski movie, including claims that the FDA and NCI “gamed the system” because they wanted to shut Burzynski down as a threat to the “cancer industry,” but what really caught my eye was the part of the trailer in which it is claimed that “a group was formed to terrorize and misinform the patients for simply making their own treatment choices.” What follows is incredibly manipulative, showing a famous Burzynski patient, Hannah Bradley, and her partner Pete Cohen lamenting all these people calling Burzynski a “crook or a charlatan,” while Hannah cries at, apparently, just how horribly mean we are to her. Now, I’ve never seen any skeptic attack or abuse a Burzynski patient like Hannah, but clearly that is going to be one accusation that Merola is going to try to make stick.

But not the only one, unfortunately.

Taking the previous trailer and this one together, I know that Burzynski II will likely consist of four elements:

  • Testimonials (or anecdotes), including Hannah’s, of “success stories” coupled with the aforementioned “conversion stories” of oncologists who have become Burzynski believers. These will be contrasted with a rehash of conspiracy theories from the first movie about the “cancer establishment” trying to suppress Burzynski because he is a threat to their profits, as I mentioned above.
  • Attacks on skeptics and critics of Burzynski. If you don’t believe me that it’s probably going to be bad, just read question #12 in Merola’s FAQ), in which he states, “You will notice the ‘anti-Burzynski bloggers refuse to do that or adhere to reputable sources. You might say, they are preying on desperate cancer patients and families of cancer patients by carelessly misleading their readers about Burzynski and his invention.” One marvels at Merola’s amazing level of projection. However, every movie needs a villain, and it doesn’t take psychic abilities to guess whom Merola will portray as villains, particularly given the aforementioned scene of Hannah crying at her treatment by “skeptics.” Yes, I’m guessing that Merola’s going to portray me as part of the group that, according to the trailer, was “formed to terrorize and misinform the patients,” along with Bob Blaskiewicz, Josephine Jones, Keir Liddle, and other bloggers critical of Burzynski. Merola also direly accuses and threatens, “In the worst case scenarios, some bloggers intentionally publish fabricated information to their readers in an attempt to curb new patients from going to the Burzynski Clinic. These individuals are also responsible for ‘gate keeping’ the Wikipedia Page on The Burzynski Clinic. This issue, as well as the identities of those involved, will be covered in great length in the new 2013 ‘Chapter 2’ documentary.” I can hardly wait to see what sort of silliness he will try to represent as nefarious skeptics lying about Burzynski. Actually, I can wait just fine..
  • An attempt to reframe Burzynski’s enormous bills for his antineoplaston therapy and criticism that he’s making clinical trial subjects pay to be in his clinical trials. The new claim is that Burzynski isn’t making patients pay for his antineoplastons (see question #13 in Merola’s FAQ), just for “clinical management” (as if that weren’t incredibly transparent)
  • Vindication. A prominent mention of a supposed randomized clinical trial out of Japan plays prominently, but one wonders why these investigators appeared in Burzynski’s movie before they had published their results.

As I believe I’ve mentioned before, Eric Merola contacted me in December and asked me to appear as a Burzynski critic. After consultation with skeptics with more media savvy than I, not to mention the PR department at my cancer center (whom I thought it wise to give fair warning that one of their faculty might be featured as evil incarnate in a new documentary and to give the background on what it’s all about, in case there were press inquiries), I politely declined. However, from the video above, it is very clear how I and other skeptics will be attacked. While going on and on about how he thinks most of us have “good motives” and how we want to be the white knight riding in to save patients from quackery (a desire he somehow manages to convey with clear dismissiveness and contempt), Merola turns immediately around to claim that we don’t know what we’re talking about and we don’t read the literature. This, of course, is complete nonsense, as I’ve read many of Burzynski’s papers (such as they are), delved into to look at his clinical trials, examined the plausibility of his claims from a scientific standpoint, and examined the literature from others, both on antineoplastons and related topics. I’ve dissected Burzynski’s claims for antineoplastons based on science, assessed his “personalized, gene-targeted cancer therapy” claims and found them wanting, and pointed out how what he is peddling isn’t really anything new at all, all based on my knowledge, skills, and understanding of cancer as a breast cancer surgeon and researcher. No doubt that’s why Merola needs to discredit me. Other bloggers who have been critical of Burzynski might not have my scientific background, but they’ve delved deeply into his claims and the evidence for them, and, as I have, they’ve found them highly overinflated and wanting. They’ve also taken on aspects of the Burzynski phenomenon, such what I consider to be his questionable ethics and finding out what happened to a lot of patients who trusted Burzynski, far better than I have. Merola’s dismissal of Burzynski’s critics is, quite frankly, insulting to them and to me.

Merola also makes the unfounded claim that many of the bloggers critical of Burzynski are in the pay of big pharma or work for blogs that are in the pay of big pharma. I know exactly where he got that one from, at least with respect to me; so I’ll deal with it briefly right here and right now. I don’t know what sort of attacks on the UK bloggers who produce the bulk of the skeptical blog posts about Burzynski are coming in Burzynski II, but when it comes to me no doubt Merola is referring to this bit of yellow journalism in 2010 from an antivaccine propagandist named Jake Crosby. Crosby’s entire chain of logic can be summarized in a brief, blisteringly dumb thesis: My university has received grants from Sanofi-Aventis. I also work on the repurposing of a drug originally used to treat amyotropic lateral sclerosis that has anticancer properties that apparently Sanofi-Aventis markets. Even though I haven’t received a penny from Sanofi-Aventis to work on that drug, Crosby inferred that because my university apparently got a significant grant from Sanofi-Aventis my working on that particular drug must indicate a quid pro quo. (Never mind that I didn’t even know my university had gotten any funding from Sanofi-Aventis). Add a bit of conspiracy-mongering about how Sanofi-Aventis vaccines are apparently responsible for the “autism epidemic” and how I’m very much involved in countering the misinformation of the antivaccine movement, throw in a dash of Crosby’s paranoia, and the conspiracy theory writes itself.

it’s clear to me that in this movie, Merola plans to double down on everything he did in the first movie while adding alleged claims of a clinical trial that vindicates Burzynski. I’m referring, of course, to Dr. Hideaki Tsuda, the Japanese anesthesiologist at Kurume University Hospital, who is quoted as saying:

After 27 years of independently testing antineoplastons—including randomized clinical trials, we found that Dr. Burzynski was right. It’s obviously not anecdotal anymore.

In other words, the new tag line is: This time it’s peer-reviewed. Oh, wait. No it isn’t. Tsuda’s alleged trial has not been published in the peer-reviewed literature, which makes me wonder why he’s appearing in Burzynski II touting the results of his study when it hasn’t been published yet. The last study I see from his group is a study from 2005 examining breast cancer cell lines, although there is a case study from 2003 looking at colon cancer that shows mildly promising results. Burzynski’s been claiming he’ll publish the results of his clinical trials for decades now. Tsuda has been collaborating with Burzynski for over 25 years. Am I going to hold my breath waiting for him to publish the results of this randomized clinical trial he’s touting in the trailer? Not really. It’s time for Burzynski and Tsuda to put up or shut up.

It is not time for Burzynski to support films by propagandists like Eric Merola advertised by e-mails that say mind-numbingly idiotic things like:

For most patients undergoing Burzynski’s treatment, their advanced cancer itself runs secondary to the constant barrage of skepticism coming not only from their local oncologists, but also from friends and family who feel their loved ones are making suspect treatment decisions -—even though mainstream oncology has already left many for dead.

That’s right. Skepticism is worse than stage IV cancer because Burzynski is so awesome that the stage IV cancer will be cured! Merola has spoken!

The most hilarious thing in the e-mail, however, is this, which I noticed through Keir Liddle, given that I just skimmed the original e-mail when it came to me:

Since the mapping of the Cancer Genome, Burzynski has pioneered an expansion of his therapy which he calls, “Personalized Gene-Targeted Cancer Therapy”, where each patient’s Genomic Cancer Atlas is mapped and a treatment regimen is personally tailored for each individual patient—vs. the conveyor belt, “one-size-fits-all” approach that current oncology adheres to.

I once commented on the arrogance of ignorance that Burzynski routinely exhibits with respect to cancer genetics, but this takes the cake (unless, Merola came up with this copy, which I doubt—it smells of Burzynski). The “cancer genome” has not been mapped. There is no single “cancer genome.” There are thousands of cancer genomes in thousands of cancers. Right now the NIH has a project it’s undertaken called the Cancer Genome Atlas, which seeks to sequence as many genomes as possible of key cancers selected for poor prognosis and/or overall health impact. These genomes are now downloadable for researchers to study to identify mutations and chromosomal alterations that are associated with specific cancers, with response or resistance to therapy.

Merola doesn’t seem to realize that cancer isn’t a single disease, there isn’t a single “cancer genome,” and cancer is so damned difficult to cure because there are just so many mutations that drive its growth and they might not even be the same mutations in the same tumor. That’s why it’s so hilarious that Merola is implying that “the cancer genome” has been sequenced and that Burzynski is using that information to create his “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy.” Not only doesn’t Merola (through Burzynski) get the terminology right, but I’ve shown why what Burzynski does is nothing of the sort. Personalized medicine is hard, and Burzynski shows no sign of understanding the issues that make it so hard. Indeed, it’s not oncologists who use “one size fits all” therapies, as Burzynski dismisses conventional oncology. It’s Burzynski, who as far as I’ve ever been able to tell gives everyone antineoplastons. Even when he’s giving them “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy,” he appears to include in everyone’s regimen a heaping dose of antineoplastons.

His treatment might have some mild antitumor activity due to the HDAC inhibitor activity of one of his antineoplastons, as I discussed here and as has been discussed elsewhere. It’s not a miracle cure, no matter how much Burzynski’s acolytes and shills try to portray it as such. If it were, Burzynski probably wouldn’t need people like Eric Merola and, now, Wayne Dolcefino.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

168 replies on “As Josh Duhamel shills for the Burzynski Clinic, Eric Merola prepares to carpet bomb the blogosphere with nonsense”

They’re bringing in the star firepower of… Josh Duhamel?

Speaking as a film enthusiast – bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Yeah, that’s what the clinic needs, the star of Transformers, New Year’s Eve and Life As We Know It.

It’s funny how so many of these Burzynski videos have their comments disabled, or vigorously remove comments which don’t follow the narrative.

After 27 years of independently testing antineoplastons

I’m learning new meanings of English words everyday. If asked, I would have say that “independently” means “done on your own”. I didn’t realize it also means “done secretly, and you don’t show the results to anyone”.

Terribly sad that this effort will probably succeed in steering more business to the clinic.

OT & on a happier note, huffpo has an article up on 10 autism myths. Not too badly done but one of the 10 myths was not ‘vaccines cause autism’. A commenter added that and has so far been unmolested!

Well, when the “movie” comes out, all I can say is “Lawyers, start your engines!”

Leni Riefenstahl is vastly overrated. Ever tried to watch “Triumph of the Will”? Boring. Anyways just like Dr. Oz there are doctors trying to make a better buck. Pretty simple actually.

How sad. It looks like Josh Duhamel even attended University (Minot State, not ive league I grant you) and studied biology and organic chemistry. But has been pointed out time and again, education is no shield to nonsense belief.

Wayne Dolcefino rang a bell…he’s a former investigative reporter for KTRK Channel 13 in Houston. He left in December 2012 to go into consulting. So now we know who he’s consulting for–Burzynski. Maybe he should turn his vaunted investigative skills on his employer, no? Oh, that would be biting the hand that feeds him!

Terribly sad that this effort will probably succeed in steering more business to the clinic.

I’m not so sure about that; Merola’s infomercial reeks of desperation to me. The indoctrinated will feel vindicated of course but somehow I suspect that our host along with others are making Burzynski feel the squeeze and new patients may be declining.

You can deconstruct Kelsey’s case all you want, but she had no other treatment other than surgery to resect the original tumor. She had no treatment other than antineoplastons for the 26 lesions in her lungs.You are OBVIOUSLY nothing more than a mouthpiece for the traditional medical community.
I should know. I am her grandmother.

@Science Mom,
I appreciate the hope but I think it depends on the google search response and which things appear top of the list. If our esteemed host is high enough then good things will happen. More links!

Thank you Susan, but I am not a mouthpiece for anyone. But I am glad your granddaughter is doing so well.
Still doesn’t make the case for Dr. B. and that is what we are saying.

If Orac’s position is explained by his relationship to Sanofi, then so is mine, because my cousin shills for them, i.e. is directly employed by them.

OT- but are convoluted, solpicistic fantasies from alt med prevaricatpors ever truly OT @ RI? Didn’t think so.

Today MIke Adams ( Natural News) informs us that according to “Federal Law: Every living American can be arrested right now for felony possession of drugs made in their own brains”
Well, maybe his brain. At any rate, his finale includes a link to Terence McKenna.
We all somehow knew that this was coming, didn’t we?
Cheers, Mike.

@Denice: With regards to Mike Adams and others of his ilk, I keep expecting there to be a limit to hyperbole. Apparently not.

@Liz: I was pleasantly surprised with the (early) comments at HuffPo with so many adult autistics chiming in. Many had quibbles and ideas for writing in more depth. I’m glad the author will get a chance for further delving into what is a complex topic even without the pseudo-science.

@Susan: I am not going to argue with you. I am going to assume that you are absolutely correct and that antineoplastons and nothing else saved your granddaughter’s life.


How many other people who had cancer just like your granddaughter have died in the thirty-five years that Burzynski has been running his clinical trials and not reporting results? How many of them could have been saved by antineoplastons but didn’t know about the only clinic in the entire world that offered them? Or couldn’t afford the tens to hundreds of thousands that Burzynski demands as the price of saving lives?

If Burzynski had published his results — if oncologists all over the world had been able to study and replicate them — how many lives would have been saved?

You might object that the journals won’t publish his results because they’re in the pay of big pharma. Well, you know what? There are a lot of journals in the world. And if none of them will publish, there’s the Internet. He could prepare a complete report on each and every one of his dozens of trials, doing a proper job of preparing them just as he would for a journal, and then publish them on the Internet. He could get the word out. He could have been doing that for the past decade at the very least. And if his claims stood up, he wouldn’t be a multimillionaire as he is now; he’d be a multibillionaire.

Only he doesn’t publish. Don’t you find that odd? Don’t you wonder how many people just like your granddaughter have died because he hasn’t published?

Speaking of carpetbombing nonsense, it’s been fun watching an entirely new group of people tell DJT just how wrong he is on Twitter.

He uses the handle @PDiddymus. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of following him, I just use a web link to see his posts. Or you can follow the conversations #Burzynski. It seems like some people are actually trying to engage with him and converse like he was a normal human being.

How many other people who had cancer just like your granddaughter have died in the thirty-five years that Burzynski has been running his clinical trials and not reporting results? How many of them could have been saved by antineoplastons but didn’t know about the only clinic in the entire world that offered them? Or couldn’t afford the tens to hundreds of thousands that Burzynski demands as the price of saving lives?

That’s the thing about Burzynski his supporters never seem to get. If he’s wrong about his treatment, he’s either a quack who’s too naively arrogant to see what he’s doing wrong or a knowing fraud exploiting well-known quack and con artist methods to manipulate the gullible for profit. If he’s right about his treatment, he’s a monster suppressing a cancer cure for his selfish gain. I don’t see any alternatives to those evaluations.

Bronze Dog,

To be honest, I really don’t think a lot of those people really care about other people.

They only know “it worked for them” (or their granddaughter) so if other people aren’t as resourceful to do the same “research” they did, that’s their problem.

@Marc Stephens Is Insane: “To be honest, I really don’t think a lot of those people really care about other people.”

Diddy doesn’t, certainly. When you point out the Burzynski hasn’t published, he demands to know what law would require him to publish. Well, maybe there’s no law to that effect, but oncologists aren’t just going to take his word for it; if he wants his treatment used to save lives, as he pretends he does, then he has to give them a reason to believe it will. Which means he has to publish.

Burzynski’s defenders would be absolutely outraged, and rightly so, if Big Pharma did what Burzynski is doing. Somehow they’re okay with him doing it, though. That’s incomprehensible to me.

Today MIke Adams ( Natural News) informs us that according to “Federal Law: Every living American can be arrested right now for felony possession of drugs made in their own brains”

This is a particularly moronic entry from the ol’ Health Ranger. DMT is rapidly taken apart by MAO, which is why ayahuasa has B. caapi in it. I’d have to look, but I think the Axelrod work was in rats treated with MAOIs.

Well, maybe his brain. At any rate, his finale includes a link to Terence McKenna.

And what did McKenna die of? Glioblastoma multiforme. At least he didn’t go to Burzynski. Anyway, I’ve got a better McKenna link. Frankly, I thought Lilly was more entertaining.

I’m not so sure about that; Merola’s infomercial reeks of desperation to me

That’s because you are sane.

“much the way that Leni Riefenstahl was”

David, Hitler? Really??

Having a really bad day there?

Cheer up: The influenza season is ending owed a to vibrant national vaccine policy.

AND, I changed my Twitter picture to the one showing me getting a hepatitis A vaccine prior to my trip to rural Ethiopia!


@BronzeDog – I’ve asked that question several times as well – either Burzynski is the greatest medical researcher of all time (but denies the fame and fortune that would come with it by not publishing) or he is one of the greatest frauds of all time (hence his inability to publish, otherwise he’d be exposed)…..

Either way, he’s a monster, but for some reason, his fans just can’t wrap their heads around the simple logic.

“much the way that Leni Riefenstahl was”

David, Hitler? Really??

How many well-known propagandists for appalling subjects are there for him to choose from for the analogy?

“Cheer up: The influenza season is ending owed a to vibrant national vaccine policy.”

And, the five additional pediatric influenza deaths this past week to bring the total number of pediatric influenza deaths to 64, since the start of the 2012-2013 seasonal flu season…are “collateral damage”, eh?

AND, I changed my Twitter picture to the one showing me getting a hepatitis A vaccine prior to my trip to rural Ethiopia!

Yea for you Dr. Gordon! Let’s see, you give yourself a vaccine for a disease that you are at risk of contracting and complications of but tell your clients that their infants don’t need a Hib vaccine because it doesn’t need to be a universal recommendation. I suppose you thought we would be impressed with your pro-vaxx posing.

Well, maybe his brain.

I’ve only had time to skim the material, but it appears that endogenous DMT may exist in brain and function as a very low level neurotransmitter. It seems as though it would have to be mainly squirreled away in vesicles, though, as it’s going to be subject to oxidative deamination if floating around in the synapse.

@ Science Mom: At the risk of Dr. Jay labeling me as a meanie, for looking at his website for his vaccination recommendations/non-recommendations….

Dr. Jay is *very cautious* about recommending a vaccine that has been available for 13 years.

“The Prevnar vaccine is too new for me to recommend. The number of cases of Pneumococcal ear infections which could be prevented is very small and the number of cases of meningitis prevented is also small. I have no quarrel with doctors who recommend the shot or with parents who choose to get it. I have very strong objections to advertising this immunization to the general public on television. I don’t think enough information can be disseminated in 60 seconds.”

Can there ever be one thread on RI that doesn’t devolve into a vaccination thread? I propose a new blog law, like Godwin. Maybe we can call it a “Gordon”.

So… just for our curiosity, how old *does* a vaccine have to be before Dr. Jay feels comfortable recommending it to the parents of kids in his practice?

I feel the need to ask if he thinks it’s ok to roll out vaccines for 13 years on kids in OTHER practices, just not HIS. I’m trying to be nice here, but… I just really, really want him to examine his thinking to see how unethical it is to treat less privileged kids as any less worthy than the celebrity rich kids he sees.

Dr. Gordon, I am very concerned about your decision to get vaccinated against hepatitis A.

What are the risks of harm from the vaccine? Do you have enough personal experience with the vaccine to be able to say what the risks of harm are? After all, you’ve assured us many times that the work of researchers around the world to determine the risks of harm from vaccines are as nothing compared to your personal experience. It would be a terrible tragedy for the children of the world to lose the sole person capable of assessing vaccine risk to an ill-advised vaccination!

Is this a risk you would subject your patients to?

@ Narad:

Mike’s problems have nothing to do with DMT.
More likely an excess of dopamine and free time and lack of self-regulation through inner speech, leading to impulsive and compulsive writing- amongst other problems I shan’t detail.

AND, I changed my Twitter picture to the one showing me getting a hepatitis A vaccine prior to my trip to rural Ethiopia!

Are you on a mission to warn the rural population against vaccination?

How many well-known propagandists for appalling subjects are there
Tomás de Torquemada?

“The Prevnar vaccine is too new for me to recommend. The number of cases of Pneumococcal ear infections which could be prevented is very small and the number of cases of meningitis prevented is also small. I have no quarrel with doctors who recommend the shot or with parents who choose to get it. I have very strong objections to advertising this immunization to the general public on television. I don’t think enough information can be disseminated in 60 seconds.”

Last time he was here, he said he was going to change that. (Or is that the new wording?) As I recall, he got rather huffy, seemingly pretending that we haven’t been bringing that up every time he’s shown up for the last three years.

Jay is far too busy saving lives and being a Certifiable Lactation Consultant to worry about mundane things like updating a website.

Quoth Dr. Gordon, “I have very strong objections to advertising this immunization to the general public on television.”

I do not watch television, so could someone help me out? Is PrevNar or any other vaccine actually advertised on television, or is he referring to some kind of public service announcement advising people that it exists and recommending that they talk to their doctors?

“I don’t think enough information can be disseminated in 60 seconds.”

Since immunization is available only through a medical practitioner, I would think the necessary information would be disseminated by the medical practitioner, who should spend more tan sixty seconds on the question.

@ Dr Jay,

Would you be so kind as to extrapolate – in general terms-in our opinion, about which vaccines for useful for adults ( 5 separate groups), who-
– are reasonably healthy,
– over age 65,
– have asthma or another chronic condition,
– travel to Africa, India, China or South America on business,
– work in schools, offices or health facilities.

Thanks in advance.

Dr. Jay on his website, proudly links to his radio debate with Dr. Richard Pan, a pediatrician, who introduced California AB 2109 last year, that required parents to discuss the risks of not vaccinating, with their child’s doctors…before they “opt out” of vaccinations for their school aged children. Dr. Jay was in a snit about that proposed legislation and consulted his lawyer about it.

curing incurable cancers

I’m getting a semantic block here. If the cancer was cured, it wasn’t incurable, surely?

Or is this shorthand for “achieves a higher five-year survival rate for cancers of type X“? I understand what that means, but would like to see numbers. Surely after all these years of antineoplaston research there are numbers…

I do not watch television, so could someone help me out? Is PrevNar or any other vaccine actually advertised on television….

Per W*k*pedia, there appears to have been some sort of controversy regarding actual Prevnar TV advertising in Poland and Saudi Arabia. This appears to be a Romanian version. One of course ought to commend Dr. Jay for his global-media surveillance.

I’m prone to sinusitis. I’ve noticed that I get many fewer really horrible sinus infections than I used to, say, within the last ten years or so. The ones I get now seem to be the long-fuse ones that fester for a few weeks before finally becoming acute, whereas the ones I had before would come on like an avalanche and almost inevitably wind up spreading to my ears. I know the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but I really wonder whether that’s because people routinely have their precious little germ vectors get vaxxed for HiB, so I don’t catch it from them.

Today I got treated to a local talk radio host whipping up the local cranks into a froth regarding wind farms. According to these guys, EOLd carbon fibre is “toxic waste.” I’ve had it about up to here with flakes who know nothing about anything and fall back on “But we just don’t knooooow!!” rather than firing up Google for twenty seconds. Bah.

Sorry for derailing the blog. About Wayne Dolcefino, Burzynski’s new PR person…from his Linked In page:

An *unusual* talent set for a PR person who was formerly and investigative reporter and is now representing a cancer treatment clinic:

Crisis management , media training ,litigation support, internal investigations

It’s not uncommon for journalists to move over to PR. They are lured into PR because it’s more lucrative than working as a reporter. A lot of PR work is creating content with the intent of getting journalists to run it as “news,” so they know what sells. Journalists who’ve become PR people have a good network of former fellow journalists they’ve developed over their years in the business.

Futhermore, when he was canned at the TV station he probably signed a non-compete clause, which means he cannot go to work for a competitor for a set period of time. Since he already professed he wanted to stay in Houston (he said in an interview “I really give a sh*t about this town” or something similar) his only choice to stay in Houston was to find work in another line of business.

There’s yet another e-mail from Wayne to David James that was posted today. He’s getting a little more hostile.

David really hits the nail on the head re: ANPs/trials.

So he’s seems to be a spokesperson who is not able to answer any questions either. Looks like he has to run to Burzynski to check his answers before he goes public with them.

Orac, I’ve been following the Twitter discussion today and I don’t know how you put up with all that abuse.


In Wayne’s case he was probably making a HUGE salary, and that was likely one of the reasons he was let go. He’s been on-air for 27 years and was considered one of the station’s biggest stars, and a celebrity in Houston (not necessarily well liked, but a celebrity nonetheless.) Houston is a Top-Ten broadcast market and guys like him in markets like that make big money. I can only guess what he’s billing Burzynski, but I doubt it’s anywhere near his old TV salary.

There appears to be a contradiction between how Merola and Dolcefino are spinning the FDA visit. Merola spins it as persecution ordered by big Pharma while Dolcefino is saying this is routine – “nothing to see here”. I think they are getting desperate and starting to flail.

@Tom Herling – the term for this copy/paste a press release and alter it slightly is churnalism. There is a website where you can get a churnalism rating for news stories. Mike “Marsh” Marshall of the Merseyside Skeptics (a PR professional who organized the 10-23 campaign) uses it often.

When did Merola chime in on this? He’s been notably silent on the issue.

DJT (remember him?) thinks Orac blocked him simply because he was telling us we were wrong. He doesn’t understand it was the hundreds upon hundreds of identical posts (links), the abusive and juvenile insults, and the carpet bombing of comments (40 in 12 hours.)

From Twitter a few minutes ago, after Orac invited Burzynski supporters to comment here or SBM rather than on Twitter:


#Burzynski Why’d anyone want to reply on science based medicine? So you can block them when they show how many times you/the gang are wrong?


@MSII – from Orac’s post

Later in the trailer, it is direly proclaimed that “in 2013 the industry retaliated—again,” referring to the FDA’s most recent visit to the Burzynski Clinic.

I thought that was the warning letter in November, but it could mean the audit.

I’m not seeing any past investigative journalism from Dolcefino where he displayed any knowledge of medicine or science. His posts at David Jones seem to confirm that. And, yes, he’s getting frustrated and snarky when he attempts to communicate with Jones.

@lilady – I can take a lot of criticism, but getting my last name wrong… unforgivable!

From the Dolcefino Communications Facebook page: “He knows how to dig… and what to dig for”. This would go someway to explaining the person pretending to be my aunt and trying to friend me on Facebook!

I had a lot of trouble with my last reply to Wayne. While I want to carry on having an open discussion with him, if he can’t answer any questions then there’s little point.

Having spoken to him, he does seem like a nice chap. I hope he doesn’t but his journalist integrity on the line for the Burzyński Clinic.

I await his reply…

@David – thanks for “taking one for the team” and opening a line of communication there. I am heading over now to read the latest reply – but I would be interested to ask him, given his history as an investigative journalist, if he stumbled upon a major pharma company doing exactly the same thing that “Old Stan” was doing (not publishing results, charging outrageous fees, etc, etc) what would be his attitude…just curious….

@David – wow, so the “vast majority” of Stan’s patients weren’t part of the clinical trials? That’s doing to be news to a lot of people, since it seemed to be a precondition for just about everyone (at least over at TOBPG, to get care from the clinic…….

As I stated over there, there is a very fine line between PR & covering up massive fraud….

Haha! I’ve just read how poor my spelling is in my last comment… Whoops!

Hey Lawrence! I did something in my reply that I wish I hadn’t. I mentioned the issue with the Merritt’s and if he was working for the clinic. I shouldn’t have, because I don’t actually who represents the clinic if they can provide answers. I might have annoyed him enough to ignore me! Not my intention.

The comment about nearly all patients not being involved with the trials was interesting. But if I take a step back, I can see why Wayne would think this. If the trials did indeed finish in July and he started his consultation work for them in December, then he wouldn’t meet many ANP patients in the trials. He may have met people who were told they were on ANP or that he was told were. But they wouldn’t be in the trial. Do you see my point? I believe that some level of deception is going on, I just need to try and figure out where in the chain! And I do plan to find out…

I await Wayne’s reply… 🙂

@David – since he’s the PR guy now, I don’t think it would be a good idea for him to ignore you, since he’s already started a conversation with you. I would back away from the whole Merritt thing, since it really isn’t the issue here (and you’re right, will probably put him completely in the wrong mindset).

If he is serious, he does have a lot of explaining to do, based on what he has said already. I’m very curious to see if this stays on the “up and up” or if he starts off on the attack-dog routine.


Surely after all these years of antineoplaston research there are numbers…

Just one. Zero*. Of his 61 trials over 30-odd years, not one has been published. Nada, nyet, zip, nowt, nothing.

If GSK or Pfizer released completely untested drugs they’d be ripped to shreds by the StanFans. He does the same, charges hundreds of thousands of dollars for the “privilege” of being pumped full of them, and he’s a Hero! Maverick! Godsend!

So no numbers, no research data, no peer-reviewed journal articles. All we have is along the lines of :

“Allopathic cut/burn/poisoners said there was no hope for my neighbour’s cousin’s dog-walker’s co-worker’s baby. That was twenty years ago and now she has four doctorates, fifteen kids of her own, and x-ray vision!!! He can cure cancer with his completely non-toxic natural remedy, but Big Pharma want to keep people sick, so they’re attacking him”.

Any response along the lines of “That’s just anecdotal” or “What about kids like Luna, Amelia, etc?” will lead to accusations of being a shill, hating children with cancer, and attacking their families.

* Is zero a proper number, or is it lumped in with them, like black and white are with colours?

Zero is a proper number, elburto. If you’re a computer person, it can even exist in the negative. (Oh, the fun of discovering accidentally that the system you’re using has signed zeroes, such that 0 and -0 are not actually the same thing!)

Hmmm — suddenly I wonder whether -0 would be a better number to describe the quantity (and perhaps also the quality) of Burzynski’s published results….

(Watch for the lame excuse David James): It was early in the AM here in the United States when I posted and I was also *busy* posting on several other science blogs. 🙂

IMO, Dolcefino is vastly ill-equipped to be a spokesman for Burzynski…he has not a scintilla of science background or science reporting. Anything he posts is scripted for him, by Burzynski or some of his sycophants. I’m in agreement with Orac’s statement in reply to my post, “Oh, yeah. I’ve suspected that Dolcefino was hired to dig dirt on Burzynski’s opponents.”

Thanks Calli! -0 sounds like an interesting concept, but to certain right-brainers like me it’s a bit of a head-twister.

I can conjure up any number of fantastical fictional scenarios, pick languages up without trying, but any love of numbers was bludgeoned out of me.

Science is a passion of mine, but my childhood desire to be a pathologist or virologist (I was an odd kid) was stamped out by certain problems with the way we were “streamed” in secondary school. One test was administered, no other assessment, with the result that a lot of non-neurotypical people and several right-brainers were dropped into a stream designed for children with little aptitude for maths, or with learning difficulties.

I was eventually identified as needing to be in the ‘A’ stream rather than the ‘C’ stream. Sadly I never caught up with what I’d missed, and I’d internalised the message from teachers that I was “bad at maths.”, so it turned me off to the point where I was borderline phobic of the uni stats classes I took.

Here’s something else I don’t understand. Maybe Wayne can elucidate.

As we all know from the clinic’s own website, all donations are made out directly to Count Stan. When this was mentioned on Twitter, the response from #BurzynskiSaves was “As we’ve told you a thousand times, that’s the legal name of the clinic.”

But this is what the website says, below. How can that be the legal name? I’d understand if cheques were made out to BRI, or SRB Research, or some other corporate name. I doubt if #BurznyskiSaves has even looked at this page from the clinic website:

The Burzynski Clinic accepts monetary dontations toward the continuation of the Clinical Trials and Research. You donate by check or Money Order payable to: S.R.Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D. Please note that donations are not tax deductible.

Can’t Burzynski set up a paypal account or something? Cheque or money order are so last millennium.

(Not that I’d *want* to donate to Count Dra^H^H^HStan, but it still bugs me when someone makes it pointlessly hard to inflict one’s money on their for-profit enterprise.)

@MSII – Exactly. Nobody sends payment to Bill Gates for Microsoft products. When I get treatment at my local private hospital it goes to ‘X Health Ltd’ not ‘Doctor Phil Yabrains’.

@Andreas – I know, right? PayPal, Google checkout, and that most beloved of 419ers (Stan’s compatriots) – Western Union, sure, but cheques?

Oh wait, I know! All those decades of research and writing articles for submission to journals have been sooooo intense that he hasn’t been able to keep up with the latest innovations in financial transaction. That must be it!

Here’s something else I don’t understand. Maybe Wayne can elucidate.

Read the Research Funding Agreement. Scamley funds the “trials” for BRI.

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