Why has this investigational site not been inspected by the FDA? I am going to write to the head of enforcement as follows:
Constance Lewin, M.D., M.P.H.
Branch Chief, Good Clinical Practice Branch I
Division of Scientific Investigations
Office of Compliance
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
Food and Drug Administration
Building 51, Room 5354
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA
Dear Dr Lewin
Re: The Burzynski Research Institute, 9432 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77055
The activities of this investigational site have attracted attention worldwide. For well over 20 years Dr Burzynski has been administering investigational drugs, which he calls antineoplastons, to patients with very advanced cancers. He charges extremely high fees for entering patients in what he claims are clinical trials. Hitherto none of these `trials’ has met internationally recognised standards of design. Of 61 protocols registered on http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, 34 are recorded as of unknown status, six have been withdrawn, and only one has been completed. There are only five publications from this investigator on PubMed indexed as clinical trials, but three appear to be reporting on the same study.
In 2009 The FDA issued a warning letter to the Burzynski Research Institute IRB, citing multiple violations. These violations implicated The Burzynski Research Institute itself in various breaches of Good Clinical Practice. Can you tell me please why the warning letter has not been closed out, and why The Burzynski Research Institute has not received a for-cause inspection by the FDA? In particular, I am wondering how approvals for phase I and phase II trials could have been issued over so many years, when the protocols were so obviously of no real scientific value. For example, protocol NCT00003533 states its objectives as:
- Provide treatment with antineoplastons A10 and AS2-1 for patients with incurable, metastatic, hormone-refractory adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
- Describe response to, tolerance to, and side effects of this regimen in these patients.
The first objective has no scientific aim or predicted outcome. Please explain how the FDA can consider this to be acceptable practice. I am aware that BRI claims antineoplastons to be orphan drugs, but that does not excuse abuse of the scientific method.
To illustrate the level of concern many people have for this matter, I would direct you to a digest at:
Here in the UK, the public is being asked to contribute to fund-raising efforts to pay for the treatment of children by Dr Burzynski. As a professional in clinical research, it is easy for me to see that there is no realistic prospect of success from this treatment. How does the FDA justify allowing this investigator to continue?
This will have to go via snail mail as I could not find an email for Dr Lewin. But her phone number is +1 301-796-3397. In any case a paper letter will be less vulnerable to the delete button. What if she got 50 such letters? Get writing.