Dr. Mark Geier, a Maryland geneticist, was featured in a 2009 Tribune investigation into dubious treatments for autism. Experts said Geier's "Lupron protocol," which involves injecting children with high doses of a drug sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders, was risky and based on junk science.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation also indefinitely suspended Geier's license Friday based on Maryland's actions.
Geier and his son David had opened clinics across the U.S., including in Springfield, to promote treatment of autism with Lupron, an injectable hormone inhibitor, at a cost of up to $6,000 per month. Their unproven hypothesis was that many symptoms of autism stem from high levels of testosterone.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Lupron to treat precocious puberty, a rare disorder affecting very young girls and boys. Lupron is also used to treat prostate cancer in men and endometriosis in women.
The Maryland board determined that Mark Geier's conduct "constituted a substantial likelihood of a risk of serious harm to the public health, safety and welfare based on the physician's experimental treatment of autistic children with Lupron."
In July, the board found that David Geier had been practicing medicine without a license and fined him $10,000.
James Love, Mark Geier's attorney, said his client has been unfairly targeted because he has been outspoken in his belief that vaccines cause autism.
"He's one of the finest medical practitioners that this country offers," Love said. "But he's also very unpopular. The Geiers have a lot of detractors for their willingness to associate thimerosal use with the autism epidemic. They have created a lot of enemies."
The idea that vaccines cause autism has been widely discredited. Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, was once found in some childhood vaccines but now is included only in some flu shots or in trace amounts.