From The Cancer Chronicles #26
© Feb. 1995 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.



Dr. Stanislaw R. Burzynski, the controversial Houston, TX cancer doctor, has won a major political struggle against the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners (TSBME). On Friday, February 3, 1995, an Austin judge ruled that Burzynski, one of the country's leading alternative doctors, could continue to practice medicine in the state. This came as welcome news to the staff of the Institute, as well as to more than 200 people with cancer and AIDS who believe their lives depend on their continued access to antineoplastons.

Burzynski discovered these natural, non-toxic peptides in Poland more than two decades ago. They are currently under examination worldwide, including at the NCI, MSKCC, and the Mayo Clinic.The TSBME initiated this action several years ago, when it charged Dr. B with violating Texas law by treating patients with drugs that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Burzynski replied that Section 5.09 of the Texas Medical Practices act authorized him to treat patients with any necessary drugs. The law reads that "a physician licensed to practice medicine under this Act may supply patients with any drugs, remedies or clinical supplies as are necessary to meet the patients' immediate needs." Back in May 1993, a two-day hearing was held before an administrative law judge, Earl Corbitt. His ruling was to serve as a recommendation to the TSBME. Corbitt eventually ruled that antineoplastons were indeed necessary to meet the patients' immediate needs for survival. He received testimony from Dr. Nicholas Patronas, the chief of Neuroradiology at NCI, who led a site visit for the government in which it was concluded that Burzynski's treatment was in fact effective in the treatment of some cases of brain cancer.

He also heard from several patients who claimed to have greatly benefitted from the nontoxic peptide treatment. Corbitt concluded that the State had not offered any evidence to the contrary.

In August, 1994, however, the TSBME met again and emphatically rejected Judge Corbitt's decision. Astonishingly, they ruled that the mere survival of patients did not qualify as an "immediate need" under the law. Therefore, according to the Board, Dr. B. had been breaking the law by giving this treatment to his patients outside the context of FDA trials. In a decision that outraged defenders around the world, the Texas Board put this innovative researcher on probation for 10 years. This was a sword of Damocles over his head and that of hundreds of anxious patients.

Dr. Burzynski, through his veteran lawyer, Richard Jaffe, appealed the Board's decision to Texas District Court Judge Paul Davis. They expected a long and drawn out struggle. Thus, even his most ardent supporters were surprised when Judge Davis ruled from the bench (i.e., immediately) to reverse the Board's decision. He called their decision:

"In excess of the agency's statutory authority, not reasonably supported by substantial evidence, capricious or arbitary, and characterized by abuse of discretion."

It is now up to the Texas medical board to decide whether or not it will appeal this stinging rebuke. If they do, as now seems likely, Burzynski supporters say they are likely to be dealt an even more definitive rejection of the notion that Texas patients are too stupid to make their own choices in cancer care.

Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is director of the The Moss Reports for cancer patients. Dr. Moss is the author of eleven books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is or has been an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Urological Association, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the German Society of Oncology. He wrote the first article on alternative medicine for the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in Entertainment (as a film documentarian). This Web site does not advocate any particular treatment for cancer. We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems, especially cancer. Before consulting our site please read our full Disclaimer statement.

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