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UK: Media complicity in cancer scam

November 28, 2011

The Quackometer

If it ducks like a quack...

If it ducks like a quack...

Yesterday’s Observer contained a full page, heart breaking story of a 4-year old girl, Billie Bainbridge, who has a inoperable and rare form of brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. The only option for this aggressive cancer on the NHS is radiotherapy which may reduce symptoms for a few months. Two year survival is less than 10%. It is difficult to think of anything more devastating for a young family.

But the family of Billie do not want to give up – quite understandably. And they are trying to raise £200,000 to send Billie to the Burzynski Clinic in Texas that claims success with many forms of cancer. To help in this aim, comedian Peter Kay announced on Channel Four last night that he was holding fund-raising gigs this week to help Billie get the treatment that may save her life. As he said, “I just couldn’t not do it”. Enlisted to help raise the funds in many ways are a group of performers, including Badly Drawn Boy, Michael Bublé, Cheryl Cole, Gorillaz and Radiohead.

The fund raising web site, The Billie Butterfly Fund, describes the family’s hope in the Burzynski clinic. We are told that Billie has already travelled to America for preliminary treatment and that now she “has been accepted for pioneering Antineoplaston Therapy at the Burzynski Clinic in Texas which has been conducting FDA (US Government) clinical trials”.

Antineoplaston therapy specifically targets cancer cells without harming healthy cells. Each patient has a personalised treatment plan determined by medical history and extensive analysis. Typically treatment lasts for 8-12 months.

In order to be ‘accepted into the trial’, the family need £200,000…

And there we have the money quote. Guess who trousers the 200,000 quid?

Dr Stanislaw Burzynski has been on trial for cancer fraud. He is not a stranger to the court room. In a trial in 1997, he was acquitted after a hung jury was unable to convict. An anti-health fraud organisation, NCAHF reported that interviews with the juror’s suggested they felt he “was guilty as charged of violating court orders not to distribute his unapproved “Antineoplastons” in interstate commerce”, but that due to the strong emotions of some of his patients, who believed in him, some jury members felt unable to convict, despite the judges warning to ignore such emotions…

 Earlier this month, an Irish newspaper reported the tragic story of Zoe Lehane-lavarde who also had a media campaign running to raise money for treatment at the Burzynski Clinic. The report says that Zoe ‘responded well to treatment’ at the clinic. She died, aged 18 months, a few weeks ago…

Dr Stanislaw Burzynski faces more problems. It appears that the Texas State Medical Board are holding a hearing next April to revoke his medical license.

And not one moment too soon. But it’s nice to see the British media rebounding so vigorously from the News of the World scandal. How many lives will they manage to wreck in the process of teaching cancer victims and their families to make rational decisions?

Update: Burzynski has ‘Internet lawyers’ on a leash.

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One Comment
  1. corio37 permalink

    Update: The media continue to assist Burzynski in his evil exploitation of desperate parents:
    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/us-treatment-hope-for-little-alexandra-3168094.html

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