Burzynski Patient Christy M.’s Story

On June 25, 2011, Christy M. had a dull headache and was acting extremely tired. Her husband knew something was wrong and took her to the emergency room. She had a CAT scan and was whisked off to Portland to be treated for a 3 X 4 cm tumor sitting near the speech center of her brain. She was awake throughout the entire procedure to remove the tumor. Two weeks later, the diagnosis was in. It was a stage IV glioblastoma. It was not curable, and it had not all been removed.

According to a write-up of her story in her local paper:

Because it is in the brain, chemotherapy and radiation could result in brain damage and only offer her a couple of years at best. With those two treatments combined, she was told there would be a 5 percent success rate of living for five years or longer.

Without any treatment, her time would be only a matter of months.

This last point will be important later.

She was 36 and had two daughters and was working in a hospice as she put herself through nursing school. She was 9 months away from graduation. Two months after surgery, the tumor was growing again. She turned to the Burzynski Clinic.

According to the same article:

So she found Stanislaw Burzynski, a Polish doctor based in Houston, Texas, who is gaining notoriety for his nontoxic alternative cancer treatments. The treatments have a 40 percent success rate – not to cure it, but to allow her at least five years of life.

“That’s a whole lot better than 5 percent,” Jack Miethe said. By the time the Miethes reached Texas – “I made an appointment right away,” she recalls – the tumor had doubled in size.

Burzynski is completely unable to back that number with a single convincing study. Not one, and it’s damnable that this family believes this. She is likely on Burzynski’s inaccurately named  “gene-targeted therapy”.”  She receives some meds intravenously, which suggests ANP to me. And the rash could be from the steroids that Burzynski gives to patients, often in otherworldly doses. Working back from the date of the article, it seems that Christy started antineoplaston treatment around early September. She would have gone through the same training that all the other patients go through. In between the surgery and the visit to Houston, however, the tumor had doubled in size.

Seven weeks into treatment, the family reports:

The pills alone cost $20,000 per month. Combined with the airfare, office visits and other expenses required for Miethe’s trips to Texas for consultation appointments, the financial burden is weighing heavily.

“This new treatment plan, you have to pay everything up front. So, with us and my mom, we’re up to at least $65,000 out of pocket right now, and we’re hoping that the insurance will help,” she said.

Christy gets her scans every 6 weeks. And guess what first one on treatment has shown:

“They started me on treatments and I’ve been on their treatments for about seven weeks,” Miethe said. “The cancer isn’t a shock anymore. But for the first two months, it was. I think I was in shock because I was going to different doctors for different things and I felt like a number.”

Already, the MRIs have shown her cancer is liquefying. It’s not gone, but it is improving.

“That makes me very hopeful,” family friend Shanon Sporseen said, the team captain of the “Fight for Christy” fundraising event next week.

And there it is. Another Burzynski patient reporting that the cancer is “liquefying.” What this usually means is that a cyst or cysts have opened up inside the tumor, which has outgrown its blood supply. If that’s what happened here, it’s simply another one in an amazingly high percentage of patients who appear on this website:

Again, another patient believes that getting worse is getting better. Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. And it’s especially infuriating when we hear Christy’s husband saying:

“I guess other people have dealt with it and you have to learn to deal with it, and you obviously don’t want it to happen, but that’s why we went to Texas and why we didn’t do chemo and radiation. So hopefully they are as good as they say they are. But again, 40 percent over 5 percent, it’s still a lot better hope.”

No. It’s false hope. I am so sorry.  As one of the editors here said, this is exactly why we fight.

The next week, one of Christy’s best friends held a massive fundraiser for Burzynski. It netted $100,000.

Sadly, a month later, on New Year’s Eve, a mere six months after diagnosis, and after about 3 months on Burzynski’s chemo cocktail, Christy died. For all the money they expended, her life was not extended noticeably by Burzynski’s treatment.

For reliable information about clinical trials, visit to clinicaltrials.gov. Please contribute to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, which cares for sick children even if they can’t pay. Unlike Burzynski.