State accuses Houston cancer doctor of false ads

HOUSTON (AP) — The state medical board is accusing a Houston doctor of falsely advertising his unlicensed cancer drug.

The Texas Medical Board filed a formal complaint against Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski over the advertising of his antineoplaston therapy, which has drawn fire from the medical profession for more than four decades, the Houston Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/1ikQFxD ).

A spokesman for the board, which can revoke a doctor’s medical license, declined to comment on the complaint.

But the doctor’s lawyer, Richard Jaffe, said the complaint was illegitimate and “based on a nonbinding, informal adversary letter.” Jaffe said the allegations would never make it to a scheduled December hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

Burzynski’s use of antineoplastons has incurred the wrath of the medical establishment since he first proposed their use as a cancer treatment in 1976. The drugs were allowed in trials approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but the FDA ordered a halt to their use in 2013 after the death of a 6-year-old boy.

Jaffe said Burzynski is using the therapy only with continuing patients. New patients receive approved drugs in ways not approved by the FDA, and most oncologists “aren’t comfortable with Burzynski’s maverick use” of the drugs, Jaffe told the Chronicle.

The state board complaint says Burzynski was notified by the FDA “that he must cease the dissemination of conflicting materials for antineoplastons, drugs that have been approved by the FDA only for investigative purposes,” the medical board said in its complaint.

Burzynski was acquitted after a 1995 federal indictment accused him of violating a ban on out-of-state shipments of an unapproved drug. The medical board suspended Burzynski’s license, then placed him on probation from 1994 to 2004 for treating cancer patients, as well as patients with HIV or AIDS, in violation of state and federal law.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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