Antineoplaston therapy is a type of alternative treatment. There is not enough reliable evidence that it can help to treat cancer.
- Antineoplastons are found in urine and blood.
- There is not enough reliable evidence to use it as a cancer treatment.
- Antineoplaston therapy has side effects.
What are antineoplastons?
Antineoplastons are chemical compounds found normally in blood and urine. They are made up of amino acids and peptides. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Peptides are made up of two or more amino acids.
Why people with cancer use it
Dr Burzynski developed antineoplaston therapy in the 1970s. He believes that:
- antineoplastons are part of the body’s natural defence
- it can protect against cancer
- people with cancer don’t have enough of them
At first, he took these compounds out of urine and blood. It's now possible to make them in the laboratory.
Dr Burzynski’s clinic has studied different types of cancer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in America has not approved antineoplaston therapy as a treatment for cancer or any other disease. There has not been an assessment by a similar organisation in the UK.
There is not enough scientific evidence on antineoplaston therapy. So, researchers can’t say it works as an alternative cancer therapy.
How you have it
You take antineoplastons as a tablet or have them as an injection into the bloodstream.
In trials, antineoplastons have been found to cause some side effects, including:
- low numbers of red blood cells (anaemia)
- abnormal calcium levels in the blood
- high blood pressure
- irregular heart beat
- loss of appetite
- swelling, pain or stiffness in the joints
- feeling and being sick
- feeling sleepy
- skin rashes
- a high temperature (fever)
- fits (seizures)
- swelling near the brain
Talk to your cancer specialist before taking any alternative cancer treatment. Especially if you're having other treatments for your cancer.
Research into antineoplaston therapy as a cancer treatment
Most of the researchers that have reported positive results are associated with Dr Burzynski's clinic. These were case reports, and phase I or II clinical trials. Other researchers could not get the same results. So, they couldn’t show that this type of treatment helps to treat cancer.
Early phase trials test what dose of treatment people should have. It also finds out how safe the treatment is; and how well it works. Early trials only give the treatment to small numbers of people.
None of the studies at Dr Burzynski's clinic were randomised controlled studies. Randomised studies mean that there are at least two different groups in the trial. The researchers put people taking part into one or another group at random. A computer usually does the 'randomisation'.
Other researchers have criticised the Burzynski Clinic trials. Researchers feel the clinic has been researching this type of treatment for many years. But they have not done or reported any phase 3 trials. It is unusual for a clinical trial to last more than a few years. A large randomised clinical trial is the only way to properly test whether any new drug or therapy works.
How much it costs
Be cautious about believing information or paying for alternative cancer therapy on the internet.
A word of caution
It is understandable that you might want to try anything if you think it might help treat or cure your cancer. Only you can decide whether to use an alternative cancer therapy such as antineoplaston therapy.
You could harm your health if you stop your cancer treatment for an unproven treatment.
Many websites might promote antineoplaston therapy as a cure for cancer. But no reputable scientific cancer organisations support any of these claims.