You are not using a standards compliant browser. Because of this you may notice minor glitches in the rendering of this page. Please upgrade to a compliant browser for optimal viewing:
Internet Explorer 7
Safari (Mac and PC)
Post Archive
2024 (0)2015 (3)2014 (1)2013 (4)2012 (5)2011 (20)2010 (13)
December (3)

The first step is the most important
Thursday, December 30, 2010

Have we really found a stem cell cure for HIV?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This paper saved my graduate career
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
November (3)

Valium or Sex: How do you like your science promotion
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A wedding pic.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

To rule by terror
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
October (2)September (5)

Hiccupping Hubris
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A death in the family :(
Monday, September 20, 2010

The new lab fish!
Friday, September 10, 2010

What I wish I knew...Before applying to graduate school
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stopping viruses by targeting human proteins
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Rate This Post
Total votes: 33
Blogger Profile

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
New York NY USA

Brian Krueger is the owner, creator and coder of LabSpaces by night and Next Generation Sequencer by day. He is currently the Director of Genomic Analysis and Technical Operations for the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. In his blog you will find articles about technology, molecular biology, and editorial comments on the current state of science on the internet.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

Blog RSS Feed
RSS Add to My Yahoo Add to Google
Recent Comments

Jaeson, that's not true at most places.  Top tier, sure, but 1100+ should get you past the first filter of most PhD programs in the sciences. . . .Read More
Jun 24, 2013, 8:39am

All I can say is that GRE's really do matter at the University of California....I had amazing grades, as well as a Master's degree with stellar grades, government scholarships, publication, confere. . .Read More
Jun 19, 2013, 11:00pm

Hi Brian, I am certainly interested in both continuity and accuracy of PacBio sequencing. However, I no longer fear the 15% error rate like I first did, because we have more-or-less worked . . .Read More
Feb 26, 2013, 12:13am

Great stuff Jeremy!  You bring up good points about gaps and bioinformatics.  Despite the advances in technology, there is a lot of extra work that goes into assembling a de novo genome on the ba. . .Read More
Feb 25, 2013, 10:20am

Brian,I don't know why shatz doesn't appear to be concerned about the accuracy of Pacbio for plant applications. You would have to ask him. We operate in different spaces- shatz is concerned a. . .Read More
Feb 25, 2013, 8:01am
Thursday, October 27, 2011

Watch where you step, you might be knee-deep in some bullshit son!

So I came across a movie about Stanislaw Burzynski and his controversial antineoplastons treatment. So I'm pretty sure you are scratching your head wondering what an antineoplaston is? Apparently Burzynski created this convoluted phrase to use instead of simply saying, its a peptide. But take it from top here gang. In 1968, Burzynski graduated from medical school at age 24 in Poland, at age ~25 he also received a doctorate in biochemistry, making him one of the country's youngest M.D., Ph.D. Are you kidding me, when did he start his MSTP training program at age 17? The claim to the Ph.D. is slightly dubious as the medical school at that time was not known to grant Ph.D.'s and faculty at the Medical Academy of Lubin report that Burzyinski only did one year of a lab research project while in medical school to receive this mystery doctorate. Also the guy never received any specialized training in cancer or cancer therapeutics. So flash forward to 1973, Burzynski has spent the past three years at Baylor COM working in a lab isolating peptides from rat brains. He receives his license and is able to practice medicine in the US and also gets a three year grant to study urinary peptides effect on the growth of cancer cells. This grant is not renewed and in 1976 Burzynski announces that he has found the cure to cancer in antineoplastons (peptides) which can "normalize" cancer cells and cause spontaneous regression of cancer.

So Burzynski goes on to treat folks with a derivative of one of his earlier antineoplastons. One of his peptides A-10, piperdine-2,6-dione (PAPD), which is treated to form phenylacetyl glutamine (PAG) which is a detoxification product produced by the detoxification of phenylacetic acid in the liver which itself is normal byproduct of metabolism, albeit toxic. Anywho Burzynski claims that A-10 can bind to DNA, however it has yet to be shown to bind to either the minor or major groove of DNA and Burzyinski himself claims that A-10 is ineffective against cancer.

So let me get this straight, we have a guy with some shaky credentials treating patients with unproven therapies of dubious providence. And to put a final nail in the coffin, the NCI, the Japanese NCI, and Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals have yet to be able to prove that any of Burzyinski's "antineoplastons" have an effect on cancer. And Burzynski claims to have treated over 8,000 patients in 20 years but does not release any hard data to support that his therapy is working.

Why is all of this getting my knickers in a bind. Because there is a documentary entitle "Burzynski Movie" out that seems to propagate the myth that Big Pharma and the government are out there holding back a man with the cure for cancer. The documentary is what some would call "one-sided" or as I would call it, a fucking piece of shit. The director only interviews supporters of Burzynski, allows the "physician" to slam chemotherapy and radiation therapy, two proven treatments while allowing him to provide no substantive evidence of his miracle treatment. All this does is incense the tin-foil-hat-wearing-conspiracy-theory-nutjobs and of course their slightly more educated cousins, the alternative medicine believers who dabble in pseudoscience. Don't get me wrong I believe in some alternative medicines, but they have to be proven by "scientific results" and held to the same level of scrutiny as conventional medicine (Tideliar, feel free to jump in and back me up). But what pisses me off, is he is playing with patients emotions and lives. I know all experimental medicines are experimental, but most of them have some decent science behind them and have credentialed and competent clinicians running these trials.

I predict antineoplastons will go the way of the Regenocyte. I've seen some snippets of the film but am trying to get my hand on a copy of the film to give it full critique. So if you have a copy, can I borrow it? I have no intention of paying for that piece of dross.

h/t: Saul Green

This post has been viewed: 23522 time(s)

Blog Comments
No comments recorded.
Add Comment?
Comments are closed 2 weeks after initial post.