BBC’s Panorama to air Burzynski Documentary – Contact the Skeptics

Cancer: Hope for sale?

On Monday, June 3rd at 8.30pm, the BBC’s Panorama series will be airing a documentary about Stanislaw Burzynski and his Clinic in Houston, Texas.

The program blurb, taken from the RadioTimes website reads,

“Reporter Richard Bilton investigates a doctor’s controversial claims to have developed an alternative cancer treatment. Dr Stanislaw Burzynski’s methods have been dismissed by mainstream medicine, resulting in the US authorities trying to close him down. Why has he been allowed to sell an unproven treatment for 30 years?”

This is something many people who are openly skeptical of the Burzynski Clinic have been aware of for some time now. Rhys Morgan was interviewed for the program back in January and as well as Wayne Merritt (former patient) and Gary Marshall (currently fundraising to afford treatment). I would like to wish Wayne and Gary all the best for the future.

I am aware of a few other details that may or may not be included. Have no doubt that once the program has aired many of the big name bloggers will be putting fingers to keypad about the show.

Unfamiliar with Burzynski?

Welcome! I’m hopeful that this will be picked up by a few people searching google for more information having just heard about or just watched the show. I want to provide a little more detail about this subject that a half hour show just can’t manage and explain why this is an important topic.

Podcast – I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. David Gorski and Bob Blaskiewicz for The Skeptic Canary Show. You can find it on iTunes or you can listen to it online via the show’s page. It’s an hour long, but it covers in fairly good detail most of the basic information. It is worth setting time aside for a listen before or after Panorama.

Blogs – There are some ‘must read’ blog posts regarding the Burzynski Clinic.

I recommend this post by Cancer Research UK as a very good summary of the basic details, for starters.

Josephine Jones has produced one of the most comprehensive lists for anything, ever! This list has almost everything relevant that you could possibly want to read about Stanislaw Burzynski and the Burzynski Clinic. This is the link to the ‘Master List’. My personal recommendation would be to skip down to the ‘Overview’ section and start reading. There’s a lot to read.

A blogger of particular note on this subject, in my humble opinion, is Doctor David Gorski. David is a surgical oncologist, specialising in breast cancer surgery. He is also Associate Professor of Surgery and Oncology. You can find his posts on Burzynski on Science Based Medicine and on Respectful Insolence.

A little more familiar now? Then this Q&A by Adam Jacobs is also a very good overview.

Worth a separate mention is The Other Burzynski Patient Group. This site lists patient cases, from compiled details off of blogs, news sites and social media. It’s important in context and not for the fainthearted.

There are many, many more. This isn’t even my full list!

Another recommendation would be looking at the list of clinical trials registered by The Burzynski Clinic on the US Government’s Clinical Trials Database. Note that only 1 trial has been completed out of 61.

On twitter? – During the airing of “Cancer: Hope for Sale?” you will find a fair number of the Burzynski skeptics on twitter. There will be two hash tags worth following during and the show. These are #Burzynski and #BBCPanorama. For general info about Burzynski the #Burzynski hashtag is used all day, everyday by both supporters and skeptics, alike.

There are also some people who will be worth following. Due to the fact the show won’t be viewable outside of the UK during the show, this list is composed of UK skeptics:

Josephine Jones@_josephinejones
Keir Liddle@endless_psych
Guy Chapman@SceptiGuy
Rhys Morgan@rhysmorgan
Adam Jacobs@dianthusmed
Mike Ward@schroedinger99
Michael Ward – @badsciencemonk
David James@stortskeptic
Andy Lewis@lecanardnoir
Jen Keane@zenbuffy
Alan Henness@zeno001

Others worth following:

David Gorski@gorskon
Bob Blaskiewicz@rjblaskiewicz
Peter Bowditch@ratbagsdotcom

Again, there’ll be many more I’ve missed, but I image these will be among the most active. (If you feel I’ve missed you and you care, let me know).

Please ask us you questions!

Please ask us your questions on twitter. The list of people above will be more than happy to answer. Our aim is to explain the fairly complex story in as clear a way as possible.

Many of you won’t be on twitter. You can contact many of the people on the list above via their websites and blogs. Please use the links I’ve added to their names.

Well, I guess that about it. I hope the documentary opens a few people’s eyes to the dangers of scientifically unproven medical treatments offered by the Clinic and the direct effect they are having not just in the US, but here in the UK, too.

More details will follow as they become available.

UPDATE – I’ve added a couple more posts about this. The first covers some thoughts about the show and the other has some more details about the stories you can expect to see in the show.

Happy viewing!

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6 Responses

  1. SW says:

    OK Judy, I’ll answer your questions!

    How much is Big Pharma, FDA and others are paying to work so hard on trying to discredit the only person that is actually capable to treat cancer without the horrible side effects that chemo, surgery or radio does?

    Luckily for them, there’s no such person, so the amount they have to pay to discredit them is: zero.
    Even if you don’t trust sceptical bloggers and only rely on patient testimonials, you cannot seriously call Burzynski’s regimen a treatment without horrible side effects. The treatment causes nausea and fatigue; it also causes hypernatraemia that can lead to brain swelling and seizures. There are other side effects, too. You needn’t even go to the other Burzynski Patient Group to realise that, just read some patients’ blogs.

    and what’s more, that has actually eliminated every cell of cancer in some patients?

    Has he? Evidence please.

    How much for not talking about the EVIDENCE that the extense studies done by the Japanese about Dr. Burzynski’s treatment?

    No evidence has been provided, so again, “Big Pharma”, FDA and others have to spend: zero.

    How much for not telling the world about the patients who were told by the Doctors that they would die but they are alive years after Dr. Burzynski’s treatments?

    (You probably already guessed it:) Zero.

    I’d like to know who I need to contact as I’m unemployed and I bet the “salary” is good enough to make me “blind and deaf” to the fact that Dr. Burzynski IS saving lives..

    If it’s a fact you’ll surely be able to provide us with evidence. As a job perspective: why don’t you apply at the clinic to help them get their wonderful results published?

    I’m willing, like you, to set apart my values and spread a bunch of lies about a person that is doing nothing but saving lives, something that big Pharma, FDA, Cancer Researcg Institutions, should be doing but who’s GREEDY is far bigger than their conciousness.

    You do realise that Dr. Burzynski isn’t exactly impoverished? What makes you feel he does all he can to give as many patients as possible the opportunity to benefit from his treatment, when he hasn’t yet published a full report of any of his many (presumably) completed trials?

    So, please let me know who should I contact.

    Again, I suggest you contact the Burzynski clinic.

    Thank you.

    You’re welcome.

  2. Judith says:

    Hi, I have only one question: How much is Big Pharma, FDA and others are paying to work so hard on trying to discredit the only person that is actually capable to treat cancer without the horrible side effects that chemo, surgery or radio does?and what’s more, that has actually eliminated every cell of cancer in some patients? How much for not talking about the EVIDENCE that the extense studies done by the Japanese about Dr. Burzynski’s treatment? How much for not telling the world about the patients who were told by the Doctors that they would die but they are alive years after Dr. Burzynski’s treatments? I’d like to know who I need to contact as I’m unemployed and I bet the “salary” is good enough to make me “blind and deaf” to the fact that Dr. Burzynski IS saving lives.. I’m willing, like you, to set apart my values and spread a bunch of lies about a person that is doing nothing but saving lives, something that big Pharma, FDA, Cancer Researcg Institutions, should be doing but who’s GREEDY is far bigger than their conciousness. So, please let me know who should I contact. Thank you.

    • David says:

      Hello Judith

      I can’t really be bothered to answer the same old tired nonsense. I am not paid by anyone. I’ve still yet to have it explained how that would work. Surely a lot more people would do it if there was money on offer? How would people being paid actually effect Burzynski’s Clinic? I don’t get it. Your thinking makes no sense.

      I note that you’re a member of a pro-conspiracy group on Facebook. I know this because you have a fairly unique name, that is easy to trace… If I were you I’d be careful. You never know when the FDA will come knocking… Wake up, dude, wake up!!

  1. May 31, 2013

    […] BBC’s Panorama to air Burzynski Documentary – Contact the Skeptics David James, SKEPT!CAL blog, East England Skeptical Society, 25/05/13 […]

  2. June 1, 2013

    […] For those unfamiliar with Burzynski I’ve written down a few recommendations for reading material, people to contact, a good introductory podcast etc. This can all be found here. […]

  3. June 3, 2013

    […] If you want more reading, listening and contact details, I wrote briefly about this a few days ago. Details can be found here. […]

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