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.
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:
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.