Though it’s been a while since we’ve posted, we still hear from relatives of people who went to the Burzynski Clinic and realized it for what it is, a wallet biopsy with a snake oil chaser. The pain experienced by families reverberates for decades, a legacy of misery few men have sunk to. We have about a hundred of those stories here, and we have a thousand more names in the hopper. We will be starting up again since Burzynski was found to be sanctionable on over a hundred counts early this year by an administrative law judge. He can still practice, but he’s skating on very thin ice.
The story of Eduardo M. begins in Argentina, in May of 1998. It was given to me by Eduardo’s daughter in a series of emails. We’re putting the elements into chronological order, but if a quote is set aside, the language comes directly from an email from Eduardo’s daughter, who wanted her dad’s story told.
I am unsure why I am writing this email to you, after so long… but a deep sadness invaded me when I read after googling the dodgy Polish guy who called himself “Doctor” in Houston.
In the Spring of 1998, Eduardo, who was 58, had had three minor accidents while parking his car. His daughter tells the story:
He visited the ophthalmologist and found that he lost his peripheral vision. My dad was blaming his new glasses for his poor vision, but it was worse.
The ophthalmologist sent my dad immediately for a scan, which showed the tumour in his occipital area (of a size of a chicken egg). My dad had no other symptoms.
A week later [in late May] he had brain surgery in Argentina, with one of the best neurosurgeons (who was trained in the US). He removed 80% of it, but the rest was too deeply ingrained in an area that he could not get to.
The diagnosis was a glioblastoma, the same type of tumor that John McCain has been diagnosed with.
The neurosurgeon said the prognosis would depend on which area of the brain the rest of the tumour kept growing towards (inside or out).
The neurosurgeon recommended radiotherapy, but was not optimistic with the prognosis.
A second cousin of mine lives in Houston and his wife has a friend (a nurse I believe, who used to work at the clinic). She recommended that we [go] there because “she saw miracles”), so there we went!
My dad traveled to the US and started with this “treatment” probably around late June, early July (I would say 4 weeks after the surgery). He traveled with my mum and his brother to the US.
At the beginning we heard this “conspiracy theory” [Burzynski] probably told many people: “the FDA did not approve or support his trials because traditional medicine was going to lose heaps when he is successful…”
And we were so desperate, that you would do ANYTHING (in this case, we believed this guy, who said [he had] had so many successful cases!).
My mum had to go to the hospital with him every day in Houston, to be trained in the use of the machine and changing the bags in the machine. [He] received the antineoplastons treatment. I cannot remember if he had steroids, but he had these bags to be put in the machine constantly.
I remember my dad said there was a map of the world at the clinic then, with little flags everywhere! With his patients’ origin!
I know now for sure the world map with be probably covered in black flags if the guy was truthful…
This sounds pretty much like every other patient case where the patient was placed on antineoplastons. The regimen requires a visit to Houston and training on how to administer the drugs. It takes several weeks, and this arrangement, according to FDA inspectors, led to numerous overdoses over the years. The FDA also noted that Burzynski, the lead investigator, took no action to stop those overdoses from happening.
After the initial surgery he traveled to Texas with hopes of this “experimental treatment”, […] connected to that painful-noisy machine, who filled him up with fluids and made him thirsty until death… after six painful months he died, after being told by that charlatan “we will kill this tumour!”…
The agonizing thirst is a common thread running through the stories from the Burzynski Clinic. The amount of water that patients need to drink is unbelievable, and this in turn impacts their sleep and their quality of life during the treatment. See for instance the story of Burzynski Patient Adam M., who reportedly drank up to 12 liters a day and was still excreting more than he was taking in!
My dad lost four or five weeks in the states, came back with all the bags in coolers, and only worsened day by day.
Of course, Dr. Burzynski’s staff keep ringing us from the clinic in Texas to Argentina every three weeks, and when things started to go downhill very quickly for dad, all we will be told was: “increase the dose!”, we replied that he was TOO SICK to endure anything!.
Three days later after that, [I got a] phone call my dad died…
They called a week later from the clinic. I told them then that my dad died a week ago.
Response?: “Oh!… he died?” “YES, I told you he WAS TOO SICK!!! now leave us alone!” and hung up.
Of course, the bill back then (in 1998) was over US $120,000… They were paid by my uncle… but the question I had was:
Is this guy still around?
Is he still giving false hope to people?
My dad came back with his machine and false hope… He died on 18th October 1998, almost 6 months after he was diagnosed.
I can’t believe that after all these years this guy is still allowed to practice!!! Didn’t he have a timeline to present his findings? It’s been almost 20 years!
I was SO angry at the end when my dad died… but how can you take any action being overseas? When my dad died, we did not get an “I am sorry”, just the question regarding when we would pay the outstanding bill…
I sent the clinic a very angry email, which I never received a response to.
How many people from overseas wasted the last months of their lives suffering away from home, instead of sharing precious time with their loved ones?…
How many people lost it all financially to support this pain-merchant?
I hope he gets what he deserves… which is more than a revoked license.
If his trials were true, he would have cured cancer already!
It’s hard to argue with this logic. Thank you to Eduardo’s daughter. She was very kind to share her story with us.