Lawrence Burton

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Biographical Information

"Immuno-augmentative therapy (IAT) was developed by Lawrence Burton, Ph.D., a zoologist who claimed that it could control all forms of cancer by restoring natural immune defenses. He claimed to accomplish this by injecting blood serum proteins isolated with processes he had patented. However, experts have shown that the substances he claimed to use cannot be produced by these procedures and do not exist in the human body [1]. Burton did not publish detailed clinical reports, divulge the details of his methods, publish meaningful statistics, conduct a controlled trial, or provide independent investigators with specimens of his treatment materials for analysis. During the mid-1980s, several of Burton's patients were reported to have developed serious infections following IAT. Burton died in 1993, but the Bahamian clinic he founded is still operating under the direction of Dr. R. John Clement, a British-trained general practitioner who joined with Burton in 1978...

"In 1980, Burton received an enormous boost when CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" gave him favorable publicity. During the program, a prominent physician stated that one of his patients treated by Burton appeared to have miraculously recovered. The patient died within two weeks after the program was shown, but "60 Minutes" never informed viewers of this fact...

"In 1986, U.S. Representative Guy V. Molinari held a public hearing on IAT, after which he and 41 other congressmen signed letters asking the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to evaluate IAT. Subsequently, Representative John Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asked OTA to investigate unconventional cancer treatments with IAT included as a case study. OTA then appointed a working group composed of technical experts and representatives of Burton to design a clinical trial to evaluate IAT. According to OTA's report, a protocol was designed in which colon cancer patients would be treated at an accredited medical center in the U.S. However, communication between Burton and U.S. government authorities broke down after he insisted that a "pre-test" be conducted at his clinic. The OTA report concluded that "no reliable data are available on which to base a determination of IAT's efficacy." In 1991, after an extensive investigation, the American Cancer Society issued a position paper warning that it had "found no evidence that [IAT] was safe or resulted in objective benefit in the treatment of cancer."" [1]


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  1. quackwatch Immuno-Augmentative Therapy (IAT), organizational web page, accessed February 26, 2013.