Burzynski: A perfect storm?
By KEIR LIDDLE - THE TWENTY-FIRST FLOOR - WINDOW OR DOOR?
Added: Mon, 05 Dec 2011 16:36:48 UTC
If there is one thing you can safely say about the recent explosion of interest in the Burzynski clinic and its antineoplasteon therapy it’s that it has been something of a perfect storm for skepticism.
Firstly there was the issue of dubious evidence for the efficacy of the treatment itself not helped by a vacuum of reliable peer reviewed data on the subject. This raised concerns for me when it transpired that many families were campaigning to raise thousands of pounds to undergo a treatment they believed to be pioneering and revolutionary despite there being little scientific evidence published to support this in the thirty odd years it has been available.
Then there was the Marc Stephens affair, where high profile skeptical bloggers Andy Lewis and Rhys Morgan were threatened by a man claiming to represent the Burzynski clinic and unleashed a Streisand effect across the skeptical blogosphere. Now not only were there those who were concerned about the efficacy and cost of the treatment but it had become a rallying cause for those concerned about the use of libel threats to silence scientific criticism. The use of this tactic backfired spectacularly for Stephens and the clinic as it brought the issues and doubts surrounding the treatment out of the domain of skepticism and into wider public view.
Thirdly there is the suspicion growing that antineoplasteons may be a smokescreen for using unproven cocktails of chemo drugs that has been touched on here and also by ORAC. This is an issue that I would like to encourage other bloggers to look into as it hasn’t yet got the attention it deserves.
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