|By Dylan Morrill, Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
DOES IT WORK?
Supporters claim Burzynski has found a cure for cancer but the medical establishment has been fighting to squelch it for more than three decades to protect conventional cancer treatment profits. They argue that because antineoplaston therapy patients don't purchase traditional medicines, there is little money to be made by anyone other than Burzynski.
"It's all big pharma and that's all there is to it," said LaFountain. "It's all money."
LaFountain has heard multiple accounts of children with his granddaughter's rare DIPG cancer who have survived longer than their prognosis, thanks to Burzynski's therapy
He says he heard of a little boy named Noah, who survived for 40 months with DIPG under Burzynski's care.
He tells about
And he cites the case of a nine-month-old infant in
But none of these examples of the treatment's effectiveness have been subjected to scientific or clinical verification.
Skeptics say Burzynki's readily available success stories are the result of other variables, such as incorrect initial diagnoses, delayed chemotherapy responses, and naturally occurring shrinkage of tumors following treatment-induced swelling, according to a USA TODAY article published earlier this year.
Still, to people seeking help for a terminally ill loved one, these success stories serve as an undeniably impressive counterweight to the red flag that is Burzynski's battles with the
At the same time that LaFountain and the Lowe family were researching these Burzynski success stories, oncologists were telling them that accepted treatments had little chance of curing McKenzie's cancer.
The family began to see antineoplaston therapy treatments as a ray of hope and began petitioning the
They created a Change.org petition, which attracted nearly 70,000 signatures. A
The family's desperate quest to lobby the
Finally in March of this year, after about four months of lobbying by McKenzie's family and supporters, the
"It doesn't seem like rocket science," Bennett said. "It's a 12-year-old girl. She's beautiful. She's cute. It struck me as a no-brainier. 'Please how can I help?' "
But there was something Bennett didn't know.
Bennett's decision was based, in part, on a newspaper article that said Burzynski had agreed to donate the medicine required for McKenzie's treatment. But what Bennett didn't know is that Burzynki planned to charge the family for the clinical costs associated with the therapy.