Antineoplastons are a group of naturally occurring peptides and amino acid derivatives that may have potent anticancer properties. It is a unique and controversial therapy that emerged in the 1970s.
This alternative treatment attracted attention as it could selectively target cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells. Therefore, it could potentially offer a more personalized and targeted approach to cancer therapy.
However, insufficient evidence proves it is an effective cancer treatment, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved it for any disease.
Continue reading to learn more about antineoplaston therapy, the underlying theory, and why people should exercise caution when considering this therapy.
Antineoplaston cancer treatment is an alternative therapeutic approach involving naturally occurring substances known as antineoplastons. These peptides and amino acid derivatives that occur naturally in blood and urine supposedly possess anticancer properties.
Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski first discovered and developed antineoplastons in the 1970s. He proposed that they work by targeting various biochemical pathways involved in cancer cell growth and survival. The theory is that increasing antineoplaston levels causes cancer cells to die or switches them off, so they behave like healthy cells.
- A10 (phenylacetylglutamine)
- AS2-1 (phenylacetylisoglutamine)
- AS2-5 (phenylacetylisoglutamyl-phenylalaninol).
Some people believe these compounds ultimately suppress tumor growth by:
- regulating gene expression
- inhibiting atypical cell division
- inducing cancer cell differentiation
While there is no full understanding of their exact mechanisms of action, proponents hypothesize that antineoplastons restore normal cellular functions and balance, promoting the body’s natural defense against cancer cells.
Antineoplaston therapy aims to provide a more targeted and personalized approach to cancer treatment by selectively targeting cancer cells and minimizing harm to healthy cells.
To gain FDA approval, a treatment must undergo comprehensive clinical trials demonstrating its safety and efficacy in treating specific types of cancer.
In addition, the FDA requires well-designed studies with sufficient sample sizes and statistically significant results to establish the benefits of a treatment. Currently, the available scientific evidence on antineoplastons does not meet the stringent criteria the FDA sets for approval.
Clinical trials of antineoplaston therapy have produced mixed results, with some studies showing potential benefits while others have found no significant improvement in cancer outcomes.
Some experts in the field criticize the design and conduct of early trials, making it challenging to draw definitive conclusions about the treatment’s efficacy.
Researchers have conducted studies on antineoplaston cancer treatment over the years to evaluate its effectiveness and safety. However, the overall evidence is still inconclusive.
Research in animals
Some studies involving laboratory animals have shown promising results, such as tumor regression, inhibition of cancer cell growth, and improved survival rates. However, these studies took place at Dr. Burzynski’s own clinic and do not meet the criteria to qualify as scientific evidence.
Although some studies have reported “remission” from cancer, independent research has not been able to replicate the results.
Research in humans
Human research regarding antineoplaston treatment is limited, and the available evidence is inconclusive.
Human trials of antineoplaston therapy have primarily taken place at the Burzynski Clinic, which offers the treatment as part of a clinical trial. This clinical trial has been ongoing for over 35 years, which is unusual as most clinical trials typically last only a few years.
Furthermore, participating in the clinical trial at the Burzynski Clinic involves significant financial costs. People must pay tens of thousands of dollars to access antineoplaston therapy, which deviates from the norm in countries such as the U.S. and the United Kingdom, where clinical trial participation is usually free.
The United States Congressional Office of Technology Assessment published a report in 1990 that assessed antineoplaston therapy.
The report concluded that despite a substantial number of preliminary clinical studies conducted by Dr. Burzynski and his associates, there was still a lack of valid information to determine the potential benefits of this treatment for cancer patients.
This suggests that the available evidence at that time did not provide a solid basis to judge the effectiveness of antineoplaston therapy.
Experts advise against using antineoplaston therapy for cancer treatment, mainly due to
People typically receive antineoplaston therapy under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional experienced in delivering this treatment type. The exact dosing and administration regimen may vary depending on individual factors such as:
- the type and stage of cancer
- the patient’s overall health
- overall treatment goals
A person may take antineoplastons orally or intravenously. Oral administration involves taking capsules or liquid formulations, while intravenous administration involves delivering the treatment directly into the bloodstream through a vein. People may require anything from 2–4 years of treatment, costing around $100,000 annually.
Side effects of antineoplaston cancer treatment vary among individuals and may depend on the following:
- the type of antineoplaston
- duration of treatment
Some individuals may experience mild side effects, which
- changes in appetite
- abnormal blood calcium
- high blood pressure
- irregular heartbeat
People should make informed choices about antineoplaston cancer treatment. Given the lack of FDA approval and limited scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness, it is crucial to thoroughly research and understand the treatment before making a decision.
A person should consult a qualified healthcare professional with experience and knowledge about antineoplaston therapy. They can provide valuable insights, discuss potential risks and benefits, and guide individuals in making informed decisions according to the person’s medical condition and treatment goals.
It is also worth considering the availability and accessibility of antineoplaston treatment. Antineoplastons are not widely available, and people may only access them through the Burzynski Clinic as part of a clinical trial. Therefore, people interested in this treatment should carefully evaluate the options and factors such as travel, costs, and the expertise of those offering the treatment.
Antineoplaston cancer treatment is a controversial alternative therapy that involves using naturally occurring substances to target cancer cells. Following development by Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, the treatment aims to correct supposed imbalances in the body’s biochemical processes.
While some anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies suggest potential benefits, the scientific community remains skeptical due to the lack of well-designed, large-scale clinical trials and FDA approval.
It is critical for individuals considering antineoplaston therapy to research the available evidence thoroughly, consult with their healthcare professionals, and make informed decisions. They should carefully weigh up the uncertainties surrounding the treatment’s effectiveness and safety.
People should also be aware of the financial implications, as participation in a clinical trial at the Burzynski Clinic involves significant costs.