Cancer: Hope for Sale?
This is a documentary produced by BBC Panorama, investigating the treatment being provided by Dr. Burzynski.
Antineoplaston therapy is an alternative and controversial cancer therapy available in America, developed by Dr S R Burzynski in the 1970s. While some people promote antineoplaston therapy as being an effective cure for cancer, there is, to date, no scientific evidence that supports this claim.
Antineoplastons are chemical compounds found naturally in blood and urine. The are made up of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and peptides (molecules made up of two or more amino acids). It has been suggested that these compounds have anti-cancer properties.
Burzynski believes that antineoplastons form a natural part of our body's immune (defence) system and that people with cancer do not have enough of these compounds. The Burzynski clinic proposes that increasing these compounds will result in the body fighting the cancer and result in tumour shrinkage. Burzynski extracts antineoplastons from blood and urine and he can now make them in the laboratory. The antineoplastons are administered through tablets or injections into the body. There is currently no scientific evidence to support these claims.
Antineoplastons may not have been thoroughly tested to find out how they interact with medicines, foods or dietary supplements and full studies of interactions and effects are not often available. Therefore, any information on side-effects must be considered incomplete.
Page last reviewed: 01/2013
Next review due: 2016
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