Is Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski still practicing? Where is he now?

By Chege Karomo — ON Jan 09, 2023
Michael Stravato/USA Today

Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski is the controversial doctor who championed the use of antineoplastons as treatments for cancer. Burzynski and his supporters asserted that antineoplastons worked, but his detractors claimed he was a con artist preying on vulnerable and desperate cancer patients. 

In an interview with USA Today, Burzynski referred to his critics as ‘hired assassins’ and ‘hooligans’. “Not all of them [former patients] are the greatest people in the world,” Burzynski said. “And many of them would like to get money from us. They pretend they got sick and they would like to extort money from us.”

Burzynski is no longer listed as a practicing physician on his clinic’s website

Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski is no longer listed as a practicing physician on Burzynski Clinic’s website. It’s unclear if he retired or his practicing license was revoked by the Texas Medical Board. 

Burzynski’s son, Gregory Burzynski, is one of the three doctors listed on the clinic’s site. “Burzynski’s primary clinical interest is the optimization of personalized medicine at the Burzynski Clinic,” Gregory’s profile reads. 

Burzynski told USA Today that history would vindicate him and that in the future, people would abandon radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery for antineoplastons. “There will be a time when people will see the light, and our treatments will be used by everyone,” Burzynski said. 

However, the outlet reported that doctors at the Burzynski Clinic mainly prescribe chemotherapy. Unfortunately, even when prescribing legal cancer drugs, Burzynski faced accusations of administering harmful, unapproved combinations. 

The Burzynski Clinic website alleges that the institution uses ‘personalized’ cancer therapy to treat the disease. It reads:

“For over 40 years, Dr. Burzynski’s cancer research and patient care has been inspired by the philosophy of the physician Hippocrates: ‘First, do no harm’. Therefore, our approach to treatment is ‘personalized’ in an attempt to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects for each cancer patient.”

Burzynski’s role in the Burzynski clinic is unclear – he might have retired from practice and picked up a management role. However, given his insistence that the clinic’s treatments work, it’s unlikely that the infamous doctor has stepped away from clinic operations. 

Burzynski exploited political support and legal loopholes to peddle his controversial cancer treatment

Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski synthesized antineoplastons from blood and urine. Despite lacking approval from the FDA, Burzynski advertised antineoplastons as safe, natural, and effective cancer cures. He even prescribed them as cures for lupus and AIDS. 

According to STAT, the FDA has cited Burzynski in many cases where patients reacted poorly or died due to antineoplaston prescriptions. Shannon Brownlee, the former senior vice president of the Lown Institute, a Boston health care think tank, said:

“If Burzynski’s concoction actually cured cancer, we’d know it by now. I’d be shocked if he’s actually conducting a real clinical trial, so I’m not sure what members of Congress think they are doing for their constituents.”

A mixture of political support, legal loopholes, desperation from patients, and staunch support from people who claim to have been cured by antineoplastons have complicated efforts to discontinue Burzynski’s practice. 

Burzynski has faced trial before many courts and tribunals but hasn’t been found criminally liable. In 1996, the FDA allowed Burzynski to continue treating patients, but only through an official trial. Richard Jaffe, Burzynski’s attorney, told USA Today:

“With one stroke of the pen, the FDA made legal what it had previously said was illegal. It was all an artifice, a vehicle we and the FDA created to legally give the patients Burzynski’s treatment.”

The ‘trial’ created a loophole Burzynski exploited to continue administering his controversial cure. According to STAT, many members of Congress petitioned the FDA to grant ‘compassionate use exemptions’ to their constituents so they could try Burzynski’s unapproved drugs. 

The Texas Medical Board tried for decades to revoke Burzynski’s license, but state laws protected his status as a physician. Despite the uncertain nature of the doctor’s supposed cure, desperate patients paid exorbitant fees to access it. As stated by the Texas Court of Appeals in a 1996 case between the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and Burzynski:

“Dr. Burzynski’s patients are extremely vulnerable. They will pursue any treatment which provides them with even a glimmer of hope because they feel it better to pursue every possibility rather than resign themselves to the fate that almost certainly awaits.”

Burzynski’s supporters claim the drug industry and the medical community unfairly persecute the doctor. “Why does a doctor who can produce such extraordinary results continue to be attacked today?” Mary Jo Siegel, who claims Burzynski cured her lymphoma, said. “The reason is because Dr. Burzynski and his patented discovery pose the greatest threat to an entrenched medical monopoly.”