Timecode: 34:57-48:13 (this is the updated/correct timecode)

Transcript: The Texas Medical Board vs. Stanislaw Burzynski, MD, PhD

DR. STANISLAW BURZYNSKI – on camera interview::
Before I started, I asked my lawyers for their advice: “Can I use an experimental treatment—which was the treatment of Antineoplastons—can I use this in my private practice, and can I be involved in cancer research, as simple as any private company?”

NARRATOR (reading along with highlighted portions of a legal opinion letter from his attorneys dated June 21, 1977):
Dr. Burzynski’s attorneys investigated both state and federal law to find out if it was legal for him to start his own biomedical research company, making Antineoplastons, and administering them to his patients within his private practice. They found that according to both the Taxes state and federal law, the use of any drug, or new drug, can be used to meet the immediate needs of the patients of a licensed doctor—particularly when there was no other available option for them. The law stated that such activity was not governed at the time by the Texas Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and is not otherwise unlawful in the state of Texas. However, Dr. Burzynski would not be legally allowed to introduce or deliver Antineoplastons into interstate commerce. Which means, he had to keep his activity only within the state of Texas to avoid breaking any federal laws. As long as he did this, his actions were not within the regulatory authority of the FDA.
However, once word began to spread that Dr. Burzynski was successfully treating what was once considered terminal incurable cancer patients—people began traveling from all over the country to receive Antineoplaston treatment.

DR. STANISLAW BURZYNSKI – on camera interview::
For a long time, I didn’t have any contact with the Texas Board of Medical Examiners, until around 1984, some of my patients told me that they were approached by the agents sent to them by the Texas Board of Medical Examiners who were trying to convince them to file complaints against me. This was shocking to me. What is surprising is that they were using the state money, they were using taxpayer’s money to travel long distances, like from Houston to California, to convince our patients who live in California to file complaints against me. This was completely irrational.

But nothing else happened at the time until I met, by coincidence, the Vice President of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Hickey, who informed me that I will have problems with the Texas Board of Medical Examiners. And obviously the problems began. I was called to the Texas Board of Medical Examiners, they began investigating me. However, there were no complaints from the patients, the patients were happy, we were treating patients who were very advanced, for whom there was no treatment available, and they were getting good results. So, apparently, there was no justification for such action.

This was a very unpleasant investigation, they were trying to convince me again to stop my research and to stop treating patients. After about two year of going back-and-forth and being called to the board—finally, they proposed to me that I should present to them a number of cases of patients who benefited from my practice. They informed me that such medical records would be reviewed by their expert oncologists and if they are satisfied that I am not harming patients and the patients are benefiting from my activity then they would leave me in peace. I was very happy with this, I believed that the Texas Board would do an objective review of our results and finally they would leave me alone—because we had amazing results in the treatment of very difficult cancer cases. I supplied to them twice as many medical records which showed without any doubt great results in the cancer treatment. Incurable forms of cancer completely disappearing, with patients going into complete remission and patients who were cured and living a normal life after that.

NARRATOR (reading along with highlighted portions of a notarized agreement between Dr. Burzynski and the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, and various legal related complaints served to Dr. Burzynski by the Texas Medical Board):
In 1986, Dr. Burzynski agreed to present to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners forty cases of various types of cancer he had successfully treated using Antineoplastons. In patients ranging from breast, bladder, lung, liver, brain, head and neck, and lymphoma. After submitting these cases to the medial board, he didn’t hear back from them, leaving him to assume that the board was satisfied and would leave him in peace.
However, two years later, the board came back again, pretended that the cases he submitted were not successful, and claimed he was violating a law that didn’t exist, which was grounds for the board to cancel, revoke, or suspend his license.

DR. STANISLAW BURZYNSKI – on camera interview::
It was a shock to me. I believed in justice, I believed in the high ethics of the board, but this was just a lie.

NARRATOR (reading along with highlighted portions of various legal related complaints served to Dr. Burzynski by the Texas Medical Board):
It was abundantly clear that the medical board had no case against Burzynski. Which prompted the board to file their first amended complaint in 1990 – —still the board had no case—which prompted them to file a second amended complaint in 1992. The medical board kept coming back each time with the same argument, practically making Xerox copies of their prior claims, changing the titles and simply resubmitting them. After about five years of this, sixty of Dr. Burzynski’s patients petitioned the board to stop harassing their doctor. The board then tried to ignore these petitions by attempting to strike them from the record. Finally in May of 1993, this case went to trial.

Their tumors will grow, they will lose their vision, they will be paralyzed and they will die. Because there is nothing else in this world that can save these patients lives.

You intend to continue treating patients until somebody is able to stop you is that not true?

I am going to do what the law will allow me to do. I will do whatever is necessary to bring my medicines to approval in the United States and everywhere in the world, and bring you to justice for causing the deaths of 200 patients. And it will come back here to haunt you until you are dead. 

Are you threatening me Dr. Burzynski?

I am not threatening you, I am telling you what will happen in the future. 

Well, I think that’s something that remains to be seen.

I had never heard of Dr Burzynski, I did not know anything about him. I never understood what the medical board’s problem was. The medical board did not bring any expert witnesses to contest  Dr. Burzynski. Without an expert opinion to give an opinion in certain areas, I can’t give any credit to an opinion raised by a layman. And Dr. Burzynski brought in Dr. Nicholas Patronas.

Some of the most dramatic testimony on Dr. Burzynski’s behalf came from Dr. Nicholas Patronas. A Georgetown University expert who is the member of the National Cancer Institute’s team that analyzed seven of Dr. Burzynski’s cancer cases. 

The basic conclusion was: in five of the patients with brain tumors, that were fairly large, the tumor disappeared. It’s amazing. The fact that they are living at all. It’s impressive and unbelievable.

JUDGE EARL CORBITT – on camera interview:
  He was quite a witness. He said he had never seen results like what Dr Burzynski could accomplish treating brain cancer with his Antineoplastons. There was a 12 year-old boy at this hearing, he was a tall boy. When he was 4 years old, he started Antineoplaston treatment, I believe his name was Paul.  Paul was given up on by his original doctor. 

When Mary Michaels took the stand on behalf of her son Paul, she pointed her eyes at the Texas prosecutor.

I have enough to worry about when I go to bed at night thinking about my son and my family. I do not need to worry that this therapy is going to be taken away. 

What do you think might happen if … never mind, no further questions. 

JUDGE EARL CORBITT – on camera interview:
For all I know the kid might be still alive.

Paul Micheal in 2011 at 25 years old he is still cancer free today

NARRATOR (reading from highlighted sections of “findings of fact and conclusions of law from this case”):
The judge ruled in Dr. Burzynski’s favor. Finding that the medical board did not introduce any evidence at the hearing that Antineoplastons are not safe and effective, nor did they introduce any competent or substantial evidence at the hearing that Antineoplastons are not generally recognized by experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate their safety and effectiveness. And, as far as the law goes, it does not apply to a licensed physician who manufactures his own medications and solely uses it on his own patients in the state of Texas.

Now, most would think that at this point the Texas Medical Board would stop wasting their time, Burzynski’s time, terminal cancer patients time, and the taxpayer’s money, pursuing a case they knew they couldn’t win.

JUDGE EARL CORBITT – on camera interview:
Then the Medical Board told me after the hearing that they were going to change my decision for this case, and take other actions against Dr Burzynski, and I told them that doing so would be very foolish.

Well, think again.

The state of Texas wants Houston doctor Stanislaw Burzynski to stop treating his patients with drugs that he produces at his own pharmaceutical plant. The drugs called Antineoplastons are non-toxic compounds of proteins and amino acids, often lacking in cancer patients. Even though the state of Texas acknowledges that the drugs may be helping some who are terminally ill, the state says the drugs shouldn’t be used. This is the state board of medical examiners, which licenses doctors in Texas, this is the agency challenging Dr. Burzynski in court. One judge has already told the board members that they don’t have a case.

MONTAGE (continued) DR. BURZYNSKI IN 1995:
All of this nonsense which is going on now should disappear. Because they should realize that I am right, okay? They are fighting a losing battle. I am saving human lives, and if they put me out of business, these people will die.

MONTAGE (continued) News anchor VO #1:
This is the brain of an eight-year-old boy with a huge tumor most thought would kill him. He used Dr. Burzynski’s drug. Images of his skull taken six years later show the tumor has almost disappeared.

MONTAGE (continued) News anchor VO #2:
Dr. Bruce Cohen is the director of neurologic oncology at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic.

The only explanation is that it shrunk because of the therapy Paul has received.

MONTAGE (continued) News anchor VO #2:
He confirmed Dr. Burzynski’s results on Paul.

MONTAGE (continued) Paul’s mother (MARY MICHAELS):
Seven years that we’ve had Paul and he’s been healthy, I owe it to this man, and there is no way I’d ever be able to thank him enough for what he’s done for us.

MONTAGE (continued) News anchor VO #1
Today that boy Paul Michaels and his anxious family sit in the courtroom with other patients.

Undeterred by the 1993 ruling, the Texas Medical Board took Dr. Burzynski to a higher, district court. Of course this time they knew that couldn’t raise any issues about whether or not his treatment was effective:

MONTAGE (continued) News anchor #1
The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, which has fought to suspend Dr. Burzynski’s license because his treatments have never been [FDA] approved, says quote: “The efficacy of Antineoplastons in the treatment of human cancers is not of issue in these proceedings.

MONTAGE (continued) ABC News, RICK JAFFE (Burzynski’s attorney):
It takes a bureaucrat to come up with that idea, because, to a layman, that would really be the question.

MONTAGE (continued) ABC News:
Well, Dr. Burzynski has won his latest round in court, the Medical Examiners order was reversed, but that is not expected to be the end of his trouble with the state of Texas.

The Texas Medical Board took this imaginary case all the way to the Texas State supreme court, where the judge issued an erroneous probation order against Burzynski, which Burzynski successfully served. But, again, leaving the Texas Medical Board completely unsuccessful in their efforts to remove his medical license. So if efficacy was not an issue, and Dr. Burzynski wasn’t breaking any laws, then why would the Texas Medical Board continue on with this empty pursuit? Well, it was eventually realized, even by the mainstream press, that the Food and Drug Administration had been pressuring the Texas Medical Board to continue trying to take away Dr. Burzynski’s medical license.

For this story we wanted to talk to the FDA about it’s policies and procedures. The FDA did agree to talk to us on background where it wouldn’t be quoted, but they repeatedly refused our requests for on-camera interviews.

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