Watch Dustin and his parents from the documentary:
Refer to the sourced transcript for more on this part of the story, here.
Learn more about the director of this documentary series, here.
Jessica Ressel-Doeden was diagnosed with a diffuse, intrinsic, childhood brainstem glioma (DIPG) in March of 1996 at age eleven.
According to the available data there has not been a single case of a verified cure (5-year survival) with patients diagnosed with diffuse (inoperable) childhood brainstem glioma treated with radiation and/or chemotherapy in any FDA-supervised experimental clinical trial in the history of medicine. Dr. Burzynski’s Antineoplastons hold the only cures to date—with a cure rate in some studies as high as 27.5% [PDF of original report, table page 172] + [Chemo/Rad – PubMed 2005] [ANP – PubMed 2003] [ANP – PubMed 2006] [ANP – Cancer Therapy 2007]
Following her initial diagnosis, the Ressel’s were informed that the only method approved by the FDA to “treat” her condition would be radiation. The radiologist informed the family that radiation would be shot “through the ears, burning her healthy cells from the outside in—causing permanent deafness, all of the hair around her ears would be gone—never grow back, her ears would become deformed and burnt, her pituitary gland would be destroyed—the gland that allows a human to grow and develop, and if she survived the treatment she would become a vegetable and incapable of taking care of herself.”
Considering that radiation treatment has never been shown to cure a single patient with her condition, combined with the devastating side effects such a treatment would inflict on an eleven-year old child—her parents declined the radiation treatment offered by her oncologists and decided to have Jessica treated by Dr. Burzynski instead.
1. Diagnosis: Jessica underwent an MRI on April 10, 1996 at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital which revealed a tumor in her brainstem. Her diagnosis was also confirmed on May 7, 1996 upon initial consultation with Dr. Burzynski. She had multiple MRIs after she was admitted into the Burzynski Clinic. There is also multiple third-party confirmations of diagnosis by physicians from the Springfield Clinic and the Missouri Eye Institute demonstrated by letters written to the Ressel’s insurance company.
2. Recovery: On May 8, 1996, Jessica began antineoplaston treatment. Her tumor disappeared and reappeared multiple times throughout the course of 14 months after the start date of treatment. On June 27, 1997, her tumor disappeared permanently. She has had multiple MRIs of the brain since that time which have all been negative for tumor recurrence—with the last MRI being May 20, 2005. Read Jessica’s treatment summary here. Read Jessica’s tumor measurements here. After her full recovery, the Mid-Atlantic Open MRI of Springfield, MO confirmed her tumor-free MRIs from 11/97 to 5/98 [PDF all medical records and sources for this paragraph].
3. FDA-supervised clinical trial data comparing chemotherapy and radiation treatment to antineoplaston treatment in patients with diffuse, intrinsic, childhood brainstem glioma. It has been clearly demonstrated that of 107 patients treated with chemotherapy and radiation with this type of tumor: 0.9% of these patients were cancer-free at the end of treatment, with no patient surviving 5 years after diagnosis. Of the patients treated with antineoplastons with this type of tumor: 27.5% of them were cancer-free at the end of treatment, with 27.5% of the patients living at least 5 years after diagnosis. Therefore, Jessica Ressel’s recovery after being treated with antineoplastons is not a mere anecdotal case (See sources from start of this post above).
Most would assume that such results would be front page news across the world, or would be grounds for Dr. Burzynski to receive the Nobel Prize in medicine. Sadly, these peer-reviewed results have been universally ignored by mainstream medicine.
Raising the Money to Receive Her Antineoplaston Treatment
Unfortunately, most insurance companies will not cover antineoplaston treatment. The Ressel family had to come up with $6000 per month to pay for her treatment all by themselves. The high cost of antineoplaston treatment is directly due to the United States government’s refusal to allow any tax-payer money to be granted to fund the FDA-supervised clinical trials that Jessica participated in—while simultaneously granting PhRMA tens of millions of dollars to fund similar FDA-supervised clinical trials with inferior outcomes.
Below is a TV news footage montage from 1996-1997 covering Jessica’s story, fundraisers and more:
The Ronald McDonald House Charities®
During our interview with the Ressel family, Robin said that she “had called the Ronald McDonald House to see if we’d be able to stay there, because we were going to have to stay in Houston for a while, I was talking to a volunteer on the phone—when I mentioned we had an eleven-year old we were taking to see Dr. Burzynski and we needed a place to stay for a couple of weeks—you could hear whispering going on in the background, the volunteer was being prompted what to say, and The Ronald McDonald House refused to allow us to stay there because we weren’t an M.D. Anderson patient. I felt bad for the volunteer, you could tell she was being told what to say.” Dan followed up by saying “There are a lot of programs out there, but I will never give a dime to the Ronald McDonald House. We were in a desperate situation, and they refused us because we were a patient of Dr. Burzynski”.
Joining the Fight in Preserving Burzynski’s Freedom
Jessica Ressel was being treated by Dr. Burzynski in 1996, several months after the FDA’s 5th grand jury against Dr. Burzynski resulted in an indictment. “The government was more frustrating than the cancer itself.” The Ressel family traveled to Washington DC to meet hundreds of other Burzynski patients to speak out against the FDA’s attempt to remove him from society.
Jessica Ressel’s medical records are published by written authorization by Jessica Ressel-Doeden.
Sophia Gettino was diagnosed with a pinealoblastoma brain tumor on December 18, 1996—when she was 10 months old. 
Sophia was born in January 1996. In December of 1996, Sophia’s parents noticed that she was having trouble with her motor skills, displaying a decrease in appetite, and had noticeable swelling of the head.
After several visits to the pediatrician’s office, they decided to have an MRI conducted to see if anything was wrong with her brain. The MRI revealed a mass measuring nearly 3 cm in her brain. On December 18, 1996 a biopsy was performed by the pathology department at the Syracuse Health Center in Syracuse, New York—which diagnosed Sophia with a deadly pinealoblastoma brain tumor.
On December 20, 1996 surgeons at the Syracuse Health Center removed nearly all of her tumor, but were unable to remove it all without injuring Sophia any further.
In their evaluation report oncologists at Syracuse stated “Because of her age, short onset of symptoms and pathologic findings, her prognosis unfortunately is very poor. The option of chemotherapy was presented to the family.”
The chemotherapy offered to Sophia was a combination of thiotepa, etoposide, and carboplatine.
Thiotepa Chemotherapy was approved by the FDA on March 9, 1959. This drug was approved for breast, ovary, and bladder cancer primarily. To date, thiotepa’s “safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.” The expected side effects of this chemotherapy in non-pediatric patients are: low blood cell count, vomiting, infertility, hair loss, blurred vision, and being a carcinogen causes more cancer.
Etoposide Chemotherapy was approved by the FDA on November 11, 1983. This drug is used to treat people with testicular cancer or small cell lung cancer. In pediatric patients, etoposide’s “safety and efficacy have not been established”. The side effects in non-pediatric patients receiving this therapy include leukemia, nerve damage, inability to fight infections, and vomiting. There is limited evidence to verify whether or not this drug used alone causes more cancer, but there is sufficient evidence that when used with other chemotherapy that is does cause cancer.
Carboplatine Chemotherapy was approved in the late 1980’s and is primarily used to treat ovarian, lung, and head and neck cancers. “the most troubling effects of carboplatin tends to be damage to the bone marrow…” Other side effects include damage to the nervous system, mouth sores, loss of appetite, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and changes in vision.
After understanding that these chemotherapeutic drugs would not likely save Sophia, combined with the side effects this chemotherapy regimen could cause to their daughter, Sophia’s parents declined all chemotherapy treatment offered by their oncologists and decided to explore other methods of treatment. Upon this search for another option they found the Burzynski Clinic.
On February 27, 1997 Sophia was admitted for antineoplaston therapy in a FDA-supervised Phase II clinical trial. She discontinued antineoplaston therapy on March 7, 2003 due to a complete response. She is alive, healthy, and remains cancer-free today. (A residual, benign tumor is still left in her brain, but all signs of malignancy have disappeared and have not returned to date).
1. December 18, 1996 pathology report from Syracuse Health Center.
2. December 25, 1996 Syracuse Health oncology evaluation report verifying diagnosis, with suggested experimental chemotherapy regimen.
Baseline MRI of the brain on February 26, 1997 showing a massive tumor in her brain.
4. Sophia’s Phase II FDA-clinical trial treatment summary
5. Tumor Measurements from start of treatment to declaration of “complete response”.
6. A third party confirmation of complete response from J.C. Pleasure, MD of Oncoimaging, P.A. in Herdon, VA
7. February 3, 2003 MRI scan showing the residual benign remnants of the once malignant tumor.
Comparing the FDA clinical trial data for this type of tumor
In a group of Phase II clinical trials using only Antineoplastons, with 13 children ranging from one to eleven years old with PNET tumors: Six of those patients (46%) survived more than 5 years after treatment. Five of the six patients had not undergone any previous chemotherapy or radiation prior to being treated with Antineoplastons. Click here to read this study’s abstract.
In contrast, a chemotherapy drug produced by GlaxoSmithKline called Topotecan (also a gene-targeted drug), is undergoing Phase II trials for this type of tumor in children as well. Twenty-six children were treated, two objective responses were noted (7.6%), and these two patients managed to live beyond five years. However, this does not indicate the damage, if any, this chemotherapeutic drug caused these patients. Click here to read this study.
Therefore, in virtually identical Phase II gene-targeted clinical trials treating PNET in children: topotecan chemotherapy resulted in a 7.6% 5-year survival; while Antineoplastons resulted a 46% 5-year survival. It’s important to note that while Antineoplastons are free of harmful side effects, topotecan’s side effects generally include: hair loss, vomiting, and diarrhea—if you are lucky. If you are one that has a more severe reaction to this drug, the side effects can include: difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips and tongue; severe cough; painful urination, unexplained bruising, and stomach cramps. Click here more on this drug.
Sophia Gettino’s medical records are published by written authorization by her family.
To fully utilize this article, click on the blue text to link to the source being discussed.
Susan Hale was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV brain tumor (which measured the size of a golf ball) in May, 1997 at 45 years old. After all other treatment failed, she began Antineoplaston treatment on August 10, 1998 and four months later she was cancer free. Susan Hale has been alive and cancer-free ever since.
#1 Diagnosis – After suffering from severe weakness and headaches, Susan Hale was admitted into the Torrence Medical Center Emergency Room in May, 1997 and an MRI was ordered by the on-call ER physician. The MRI revealed a tumor in the temporoparietal region on the right side of her brain. A craniotomy (surgery) to remove the tumor and a biopsy was performed by the Torrence pathologists and they diagnosed her with Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV brain cancer. [read May 5, 1997 pathology report – PDF].
#2 Prior Treatment – After the first May 1997 surgery failed to remove all of her tumor, Susan underwent 6 weeks of standard radiation treatment from May 12, 1997 to June 27, 1997. After radiation treatment failed to affect the tumor, Susan underwent gamma knife radiation on October 28, 1997. A followup MRI in February 1998 reported no change in her tumor. Another MRI in May 1998 revealed the tumor was still growing. Surgeons and Oncologists recommended a second craniotomy (surgery) which was performed on June 3, 1998 at USC University Hospital—which again only removed part of the tumor. Within a month another MRI revealed that the tumor was still growing. Surgeons advised surgery a third time, in which Susan Hale declined and decided to investigate other “outside” therapies. Despite two surgeries, a full course of standard radiation and gamma knife radiation, Susan Hale’s tumor continued to progress.
#3 Recovery – Susan Hale began Antineoplaston treatment on August 10, 1998. [view 7/30/98 Baseline MRI image]. Within four months of Antineoplaston treatment her cancer was gone. [view 12/8/98 MRI image] [Feb. 2009 MRI showing no recurrence of the tumor over ten years later – image]
#4 Treating Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV without using Antineoplastons – In December 2010, some German scientists have admitted total defeat: “For patients with relapsed GBM [Glioblastoma Multiforme] there is currently no standard systemic therapy.”
The New England Journal of Medicine Published a study from 2005 stated: “Glioblastoma, the most common primary brain tumor in adults, is usually rapidly fatal. The current standard of care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma is surgical resection to the extent feasible, followed by adjuvant radiotherapy. In this trial we compared radiotherapy alone with radiotherapy plus temozolomide [Temodar®], given concomitantly with and after radiotherapy, in terms of efficacy and safety.” This is the same treatment Mr. Treadwell received prior to begin treated with Antineoplastons.
#5 FDA supervised clinical trial data comparing radiation, chemotherapy, and gene-targeted therapy (other than Antineoplastons) to Antineoplaston therapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV – Radiation & Chemotherapy in 798 patients = 0% 5-year survival; Gene-targeted drugs other than Antineoplastons in 671 patients = 0% 5-year survival; 368 patients treated with Antineoplastons = 5.25% survival. [Read the full report – PDF].
It should be noted that Senator Ted Kennedy died of Glioblastoma Grade IV brain cancer. Countless Glioblastoma survivors cured by Antineoplastons as well as many other people cured of other types of cancer due to Antineoplastons flooded Kennedy’s office to share with him the existence of Antineoplastons. Mr. Kennedy’s wife wrote the Burzynski’s Clinic requesting all communication from Antineoplaston treated cancer survivors stop contacting his office entirely. A year later, Kennedy was dead.
Susan Hale’s medical records are published by written authorization by Susan Hale.
To fully utilize this article, click on the blue text to link to the source being discussed.
Mary Jo Siegel was diagnosed with “Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Stage IV, low grade small cleaved cell” in February of 1991.
She underwent surgery to remove part of her small intestine and mesenteric lymph nodes. By September 1991, she was found to have involvement in her bone marrow. The treatment options given to her was chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant.
She refused all of these treatments and decided to undergo Dr. Burzynski’s Antineoplaston therapy on April 3, 1992. By December 1996 all of her cancer was gone. Mary Jo Siegel has been healthy and cancer-free ever since.
#1 Record of Diagnosis into recovery:
#2 Direct Third-Party Verification of Recovery:
#3 Additional Third-Party Verification of Recovery:
#4 Dr. Burzynski’s records:
Fighting for her life in Washington DC
Mary Jo and Steve Siegel were two of the leaders in the fight in Washington DC and around the country during Dr. Burzynski’s indictment. Not only were they busy trying to defeat her disease, but they fought equally as hard to be able to have the right to even have access to Antineoplastons. The Siegels turned their home into a centralized home base for the nearly $700,000.00 raised for Burzynsk’s legal defense through Dr. Julian Whitaker’s Newsletter “Health and Healing” in the 1990s.
Given their leadership roles, they were featured on CBS News’ “48 Hours” on April 4, 1996. Watch below to view the segment.
Continuing Their Activism Role
The Siegel’s attended the Newport Beach Film Festival Screening and participated in a Q&A on April 25, 2010.
Twenty years ago, Mary Jo Siegel received the terrible news that she had stage IV low grade non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I was told that I was going to die of the disease. I was stage IV, and the type of lymphoma that I had was always fatal,” she says. Siegel and her husband began researching the disease and traveled all over the country to see seven different lymphoma specialists. Because she lives in California, she chose a doctor at UCLA. After he told her that she would need a bone marrow transplant, Siegel and her husband went to the UCLA medical library to research the procedure (this was before the age of Internet accessibility). “We found out that one person out of ten died from the bone marrow transplant. I also knew from what the doctor was telling me that they would give me as much radiation as people who were within one mile of Hiroshima. I was also told that I would get high dose chemotherapy and that they would bring me as close to death as possible and then rescue me,” she remembers. “They also wanted me to sign a release that was about an inch thick. It said that within five years that there was a fifty percent chance that I would get another cancer and that it would affect my heart, lungs, kidneys – everything. So I would never be the same. But I thought that if this is the only thing that will save my life, then I am going to do it,” she says. “But we decided to search a little bit longer, and I heard about Dr. Burzynski. I was in a cancer support group and someone told me about a doctor in Houston, Texas who was treating cancer and having great success with lymphomas.”
“I met Dr. Burzynski, and I felt like I was in the right place immediately. I just felt so warm and hopeful,” says Siegel. She goes on to say that she did not feel this way about any of the hospitals that she visited. “UCLA, Stanford, USC – I went to all of the great learning and teaching facilities. I had even gone all the way to Dana Farber. So I felt like I knew what was out there and what was being offered.” After learning that Dr. Burzynski’s treatments were non-toxic, Siegel says, “I felt like I’d be a fool not to try this first.” She decided that she could always get the bone marrow transplant if Dr. Burzynski’s treatment failed. “So I started on his treatment against the wishes of my doctor at UCLA. When I told him about Dr. Burzynski, he has some very negative things to say. But I told him that it was my body and that I was going to do what I felt was best. He told me that I had better bring my checkbook because Dr. Burzynski was an entrepreneur and that he had nothing for me. And the truth is that you better have your checkbook at UCLA, Stanford or anywhere you go.”
Siegel admits that the medication was very expensive because Dr. Burzynski manufactured it himself at the time. “When I was being treated, it was about $5000 a month. I had to get a loan on my house. It wasn’t an easy decision because I had three children and certainly didn’t want to leave my family destitute. I didn’t want to leave them at all!” she says. She notes that the treatment was not covered by insurance.
She began Dr. Burzynsky’s Antineoplaston therapy which at the time was available in capsule form or as an infusion that was delivered through a catheter. Siegel was started on the capsules first to see if she would respond favorably. “I stared on the capsules, and I was on them for about a month. But the tumor on my neck was actually getting bigger,” she says. Although Dr. Burzynski explained to her that tumors can actually look bigger when they are breaking down, there was no way to be sure if that was what was happening. Because of that, Siegel chose to have a catheter implanted in her chest so that she could receive infusions of stronger doses of the medication directly into her bloodstream. Siegel notes that the only side effect that she experienced from the treatment was fatigue. “Nobody even knew that I was sick. My hair never fell out, I wasn’t nauseous, I drove all my carpools – I lived a normal life on this treatment. That is why I believe that everyone deserves this treatment if they want it.”
Siegel responded very favorably to the infusions. “I’m telling you, I think that I was on the infusion for less than three months and the tumor on my neck was gone. Gone in three months! One night I got up and my neck was kind of sore, and I looked at it and it was gone,” she remembers.
Because of the type of cancer that Siegel had, the fact that her tumor disappeared did not mean that her cancer was gone. “Because non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a blood disease – it’s cancer of the lymph nodes – I had it everywhere. You can’t just remove a tumor surgically because the cancer is all through your body.” Nine months after beginning treatment, she was declared to be in remission. “I stayed on the treatment for another three months just to be sure,” she says. “I had these bone marrow tests which were very painful, and I wanted to have two bone marrow tests clear before I went off the treatment, and that is what I did.” Bone marrow tests detect the presence of cancer, and “clear” tests indicate that no cancer was detected. While being treated by Dr. Burzynski, Siegel continued to see her doctor at UCLA who she describes as a very well known lymphoma specialist. When asked what the doctor said when her tumor disappeared, she answers, “He said it was spontaneous remission. He saw my medical records, and he saw my CT scans because I did all my CT scans at UCLA. He saw them go from cancer everywhere, stage IV, to nothing. Every test that I had since starting Dr. Burzynski’s treatment showed a reduction in my tumor.” When asked why he would not acknowledge that Dr. Burzynski’s treatment was responsible for her remission, she says, “I’ve been asked this question a million times, and I believe that what Dr. Burzynski is doing makes what he is doing wrong. He’s an oncologist. He sees very sick people, and he’s giving them chemotherapy that most of the time doesn’t work.”
She goes on to tell of her experiences while waiting to see the doctor at UCLA. “When I would go there, there would be a waiting room filled with cancer patients, and it was never pleasant. But I would start telling people about Dr. Burzynski – there was always an hour wait by the way. Then, all of sudden they would come out and get me and put me in a room inside and let me wait there,” she says. By putting her in a private room, Siegel was no longer able to tell others about Dr. Burzynski. She still remembers the day that she met a nineteen year old girl who had just had a bone marrow transplant and probably weighed only about ninety pounds. “I couldn’t believe it that my doctor didn’t tell her that there was a doctor doing something else. My heart was breaking for this girl,” she says.
Siegel continued to get CT scans after she went into remission, and her 1995 scan detected enlarged lymph nodes. “My oncologist said that he wanted to give me a round of chemo to knock it out. Of course, I said ‘no way’. I called Dr. B. and he said that he would give me some capsules. He also told me that it could be the flu or something and that we all get enlarged lymph nodes here and there. He did not want me to do a biopsy. Conventional doctors will give you biopsies at the drop of a hat, but Dr. B. said that if you do a biopsy you disturb cells. That makes them move around, and you don’t want that. It just makes sense that cancer cells will travel. He suggested that I take the capsules and then get another CT scan, so that’s what I did.”
During that time, Dr. Burzynski was in the middle of an FDA trial. He was being indicted for distributing non-FDA approved drugs across state lines, and Siegel says that she was considered as an unindicted co-conspirator. She was actively involved in the trial and organized Dr. Burzynski’s patients to protest outside of the trial and also helped raise money for his legal defense. The television news program 48 Hours had heard about Siegel and followed her during the trial. “They interviewed my doctor at UCLA and said, ‘She thinks she’s cured, what do you think?’ My doctor said, ‘I think that she’s a spontaneous remission. She’s not cured.’ He made it sound like after I had the CT scan that it (the cancer) would be there,” Siegel remembers. 48 Hours continued to follow her as she had her CT scan and were with her for about a week. “My CT scan was clear,” she says. “It was so great. It made my doctor at UCLA look foolish because he was so sure that it wasn’t going to be clear.” 48 Hours wanted to interview her doctor after the CT scans results were read, but the doctor refused to be interviewed.
Siegel celebrated when the trial resulted in a hung jury and then again when the doctor was cleared of the charges in a second trial. She continues to travel to Houston to see Dr. Burzynski for her annual checkups. For the last twenty years, she has dedicated a great deal of time and effort to educating people about Dr. Burzynski and the work that he is doing. She notes that he has made many advancements and changes to his treatment methods over the years and that he is currently conducting clinical trials of his drug for patients with brain tumors.
Siegel created and maintains a web site, http://burzynskipatientgroup.org that includes patient success stories and treatment information. When asked why she does this, she answers, “I will be grateful to the day I die. There’s not a day that I don’t thank God for Dr. Burzynski. He saved my life. I was told that I was going to die, and he told me from the very beginning that he didn’t know but that he thought that he could help me.”
She acknowledges that there is a lot of negativity directed towards Dr. Burzynski. “It’s all lies,” she says. “He’s a genius.”