Houston Family Fights FDA For Experimental Treatment

This article was first published in The Times of Israel.

Refael Elisha Cohen (left), fights for his life as his parents petition the FDA. (photo credit: Courtesy of Yaakov Cohen)

Refael Elisha Cohen (left), fights for his life as his parents petition the FDA. (photo credit: Courtesy of Yaakov Cohen)

‘It’s hard to fight this war,” said Rabbi Yaakov Cohen of Houston, Texas, about the struggle to save the life of his six-year-old son Refael Elisha, who has brain and spine cancer. Grasping at any and every option to help their son, Cohen and his wife Devorah have launched a petition to  convince the US Food and Drug Administration to grant compassionate use exemption to Refael Elisha for antineoplaston therapy.

According to the American Cancer Society, antineoplaston therapy is a complementary, or alternative, cancer treatment that involves using a group of synthetic chemicals called antineoplastons meant to protect the body from disease. Antineoplastons are made up mostly of peptides and amino acids originally taken from human blood and urine. They were discovered more than 40 years ago, but published clinical trial results are available only for a relatively small number of patients, and there is no convincing evidence that they work. The FDA pulled its approval for this treatment in 2012 pending further clinical trials.

 

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