Cancer doctor Burzynski to testify today

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Stanislaw Burzynski, the Houston doctor who has treated thousands of cancer patients with unproven medications, is set to take the stand to defend his medical license today.

As I wrote for Newsweek recently, Burzynski is a celebrated figure in the alternative medicine world, and credited by some with saving their lives. The Texas Medical Board, however, says Burzynski overbilled, misled patients and made numerous medical errors – and the board’s expert witness said Burzynski’s use of untested drug combinations amounted to “experimenting on humans.”

The hearings started last November, when the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) heard the board’s case. Now Burzynski’s lawyers will bring their own witnesses, beginning with the doctor himself. A document filed with SOAH estimates that Burzynski’s testimony will take two days.

According to the document, Dr. Burzynski will testify about the standard of care at his clinic, the use of antineoplastons, compliance with the FDA and charges of false advertising, among other issues. He will reply to “allegations of non-therapeutic treatment,” “inadequate delegation,” and “the aiding and abetting of the unlicensed practice of medicine.”

A number of patients and Burzynski Clinic employees will testify on Dr. Burzynski’s behalf, as will several outside physicians who treated clinic patients, and Mark Levin, a board-certified oncologist.

The hearing resumes just weeks after the Burzynski Research Institute announced that it has started patient enrollment in an FDA-approved phase 2 study of antineoplaston use in diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma, a cancer that mainly attacks children.

The hearing is scheduled to run until May 12.

Hear more about the Burzynski story in my interview with the Point of Inquiry podcast.

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