2. BURZYNSKI FACES U.S. PROBE
From The Cancer Chronicles #6
©Autumn, 1990 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
[INTERESTING IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT WAS TO COME--ED]
On July 2,  Stanislaw Burzynski, MD,
PhD, developer of antineoplastons, was called before the federal Grand Jury
to answer questions about alleged "mail fraud." "The investigation
is centered not on the treatment's efficacy but on how insurance is billed
by Dr. Burzynski's staff," according to Le Trombetta, director of public
information for the Burzynski Research Institute. It now appears the Grand
Jury will actually indict "Dr. B." The Polish-born scientist is
already fighting a "racketeering" (RICO) suit brought by the gigantic
Aetna insurance company.
Antineoplastons are naturally occurring peptides (small proteins) found
in human blood and urine. Burzynski has used them to treat cancer since
1977. In March, 1983 the FDA filed a lawsuit against him, alleging interstate
shipment of medicine. But U.S. District Court Judge McDonald ruled that
Federal law did not prohibit Burzynski from treating patients with antineoplastons
within Texas altough he could not ship them across state lines.
This was a setback for the FDA; soon another government agency, the US
Attorneys office, began a Grand Jury investigation. After some early activity
this investigation died down.
"In the meantime," says Trombetta, "in 1986, one of Dr.
Burzynski's patients sued their insurance company, Aetna, for payment of
treatment. Dr. Burzynski joined the suit and was then countersued by Aetna
and charged with racketeering."
On April 6 of this year Dr. B's lawyer moved to have Aetna's RICO case
dismissed. It was at this point that the Grand Jury investigation suddenly
became active again. "We have reason to suspect that Aetna has conspired
with the government in the current action against Dr. Burzynski," Trombetta
In June, Burzynski's attorneys, Abady & Jaffe, fought back with a
racketeering charge against Aetna, and "quackbuster" Grace Powers
Monaco, who has served as Aetna's consultant on their suit. They are hoping
that others who have been denied payments by the giant company will join
The same US Attorney, Henry Oncken, who brought the case against Dr.
B. was himself recently forced to resign because of his role in the growing
savings and loan (S & L) scandal. Eleven Houston attorneys sent a letter
to Sen. Phil Gramm complaining that Oncken was soft on big-time criminals.
"There seems so little being done to punish these mega-buck bandits,"
they wrote. But his office made sure to subpoena Dr. B. the day before Oncken
was forced out.
This trouble comes as Burzynski's scientific star is rising. The International
Journal of Tissue Reactions published a special supplement on "Antineoplastons:
Tissue Culture and Chemoprevention Studies". This peer-reviewed journal
has an editorial board with respected scientists from over a dozen countries.
The editor, A. Bertelli of Milan, has himself studied antineoplaston A10.
He observed "significant growth inhibition" on a human colon adenocarcinoma
cell line with no major side effects at all but the highest concentrations.
There is now intense interest in antineoplastons in Japan, China, Italy,
Poland, and other countries. Dr. B. was recently featured in a highly favorable
article in Oncology News, sponsored by Adria Laboratories.
In May a Houston federal judge ordered Transamerica Occidental
Life Insurance Co. to pay medical bills for a patient who received antineoplastons.
The patient benefited from the treatment, according to her attorney, but
died when she "stopped the treatment after she and her husband sold
their house to pay medical bills." The judge ruled that her bills were
covered because "they involved medical services made by a licensed
The establishment is not trying to put Dr. B. out of business for being a charlatan,
but precisely because he is one of the most respected doctors in the alternative
field. He is the one who publishes most regularly in the peer-reviewed
literature and doggedly fights for FDA approval. This shows that the quackbusters
demand for peer-reviewed studies is a "red herring": when you
do publish, they go after you with double force....
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