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Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

R.I.P. David Servan-Schreiber

One of the very first themes I started hammering on in this blog, dating back to its very inception, is the analysis of alternative medicine cancer testimonials. One reason was (and is) that I take care of cancer patients and do research into developing new treatments for a living. Another reason is that, to the average lay person, most of whom don’t have much of an understanding of cancer, alternative medicine cancer testimonials can sound extremely convincing.

For example, if you didn’t know that breast cancer can have a highly variable course spreading out over years, Kim Tinkham’s claim to have cured herself of cancer using cancer quack Robert O. Young’s acid-base woo can appear very compelling. Of course, when it is pointed out that she probably had a relatively indolent tumor and that there were inconsistencies in her story that led me to believe that her tumor was perhaps not as advanced as she liked to advertise in her media appearances, suddenly her prolonged survival doesn’t seem quite so remarkable. And, of course, like so many promoters of cancer quackery who were true believers, ultimately Kim Tinkham appears to have died of her disease last December. No doubt, if it hadn’t been for blogs like mine her death would have gone the way of previous deaths of people who made the tragic mistake of choosing quackery over effective medicine, namely into the great abyss of the forgotten. Fortunately, we were able to let people know what happened so that her death, as horrible as it is to contemplate, will at least not have been totally in vain nor will her cancer quack’s role in her death be forgotten.

Unfortunately, there are many others, some of whom write books about their choice. Some, however, become famous simply for surviving and, rather than attributing their survival to the science-based medicine they underwent plus luck, they attribute their survival to whatever health regimen they decided to undertake. For if there’s one thing that’s axiomatic about alternative medicine testimonials, it’s that the person giving the testimonial attributes his survival to the woo, not to the science. Like David Servan-Schreiber, author of Anti-cancer: A new way of life.

Unfortunately, like many promoters of alternative medicine testimonials, David Servan-Schreiber too has passed away:

David Servan-Schreiber, a psychiatrist and best-selling author whose cancer diagnosis at the age of 31 compelled him to explore and then popularize the use of natural and holistic methods in dealing with cancer and depression, died on Sunday in a hospital near Fécamp, Normandy. He was 50.

The cause was brain cancer, which had recurred last year, his brother Franklin said.

Trained as a neuroscientist, Dr. Servan-Schreiber imbued his books with his own story of surviving cancer for almost 19 years, one of diagnosis, surgery, remission, relapse and redemption.

Servan-Schreiber’s story does indeed have several remarkable elements. The first is how his tumor was discovered. At age 31, when he was a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh in neuroscience, quite by chance he underwent an MRI of the brain for a research project after the intended subject, for whatever reason, didn’t show up. In other words, there were no symptoms and no clinical indications for Servan-Schreiber to undergo an MRI, but he did anyway for his research. Shockingly, the scan showed a tumor described as the size of a walnut.

After this, Servan-Schreiber’s story becomes a bit less clear. He had “conventional” therapy for his tumor, which included surgery, but I’ve had a hard time finding out what kind of brain tumor he had, at least from the material on his own website and in his own book that I can access without paying for it. However, looking around, I find that Servan-Schreiber most likely had glioblastoma multiforme, which is what I would have guessed as the most likely type of brain cancer just playing the odds given that glioblastomas are the most common malignant brain tumor. In any case, after the successful resection of his tumor, according to Servan-Schreiber, doctors told him to eat what he wanted because it “won’t make much of a difference.”

Five years later, Servan-Schreiber’s tumor recurred. This time around, he underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, during which time he became a convert to “alternative” therapies. Ultimately, he wrote his book and became a leading promoter of “integrative” medicine. To his credit, he always told people with cancer that they should seek out scientific medical treatment. Unfortunately, in the process, he also promoted the idea that diet could protect you from almost all cancers, that cell phones cause brain cancer, and that a number of other dubious health modalities could produces a “terrain” that was hostile to cancer, even though evidence supporting such claims was equivocal at best. Even so, his book Anti-cancer became phenomenally successful, being translated into 36 languages and spending several weeks high on the New York Times bestseller list in 2010, while Servan-Schreiber gave interviews in which he said things like this in describing his conversion to “natural” therapies after his cancer relapse:

Servan-Schreiber refused to simply accept his fate. He embarked on his own research and developed a method for helping his body protect itself from the disease. It drew heavily on natural defense mechanisms and a new lifestyle based on a changed diet and plenty of exercise and optimism. But it did not offer total protection, as he told Ode in an interview. “I’m not saying we can prevent cancer, because we may get cancer for reasons that are beyond our control. Even if you do all of the things I talk about in my book, there’s not a guarantee that you’ll prevent cancer. It’s about 80 to 85 percent protection, which is still enormous.”

And giving interviews like this:

One can’t help but note a few howlers in this interview, such as the claim that the reason that cancer is more common is not because the population is aging and must be something else. For one thing, cancer incidence rates, although they did rise in the 1970s, leveled off long ago and have been essentially flat since the early 1990s. In other words, there is no cancer “epidemic” currently detectable. Worse, Servan-Schreiber has been a major promoter of the myth that sugar causes cancer because cancer “feeds on raw sugar.” This is basically just a myth based on a misunderstanding of basic biochemistry. He also spouts misinformation about “toxins” and cancer-fighting foods that supposedly soak up those toxins. All in all, it’s depressing to read and watch him.

In fact, Servan-Schreiber went beyond that. Schreiber promoted a “Secret”-style wishful thinking in which he claimed that fatalism resulted in worse outcomes. In fact, there’s no good evidence that this is true. No matter how much we would like to believe otherwise, the latest research is consistent with the conclusion that patient attitude does not affect his chances of surviving his disease. That’s not to say that having a positive attitude doesn’t have numerous other benefits, but improving the odds of survival is just not among them. Dr. Servan-Schrieber has even gone so far as to write a book entitled Instinct to Heal, which advocates what he calls the “new emotion medicine” and methods that, he claims, can “cure stress, anxiety, and depression without drugs or psychotherapy.” These methods include obvious woo such as heart coherence, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and even what he calls the control of qi through acupuncture.

His Anticancer website also includes dubious recommendations, such as describing these as “anticancer products“:

  • Natural deodorants without aluminum
  • Natural and organic cosmetics free of parabens and pthalates
  • Pesticides made from essential oils or boric acid
  • White vinegar or natural cleaning products (without pesticides) or the European Ecolabel
  • Glass or ceramic containers for use in a microwave
  • Flawless Teflon, or else non-Teflon pans, such as stainless steel 18/10

It is, of course, a myth that aluminum-containing deodorants cause breast cancer. The idea was first published in the crank journal Medical Hypotheses and spread and metastasized from there. That Servan-Schreiber fell for this story did not give me a high degree of confidence in his judgment. As for the rest, well, they’re, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy would say, mostly harmless. But neither is there compelling evidence that any of these items are powerful anticancer measures, either.

Like many advocates of “integrative medicine,” Servan-Schreiber’s advice is often reasonable. Of course, it’s a good idea to get more exercise. Of course it’s a good idea not to eat so much fatty food. Sure, it’s a good idea to take time to relax. None of this is “alternative” or anything but based on science, but science itself says that this isn’t the anticancer panacea that Servan-Schreiber suggests that it is nor that it is able to treat an already established cancer. Unfortunately, Servan-Schreiber “integrated” a whole bunch of woo into the mix, along with a philosophy that’s uncomfortably close to The Secret in that Servan-Schreiber is saying, in essence, almost that you can will yourself not to get cancer through a positive attitude and the right diet. The flip side of this is the same dark underbelly of much of alternative medicine: It blames the patient. If you get cancer, it’s your fault. Either you ate the wrong foods, didn’t eat the right foods, didn’t get enough exercise, didn’t think happy enough thoughts, or some combination of these. This belief led Servan-Schreiber to write:

This book is above all my testimony as a witness and fellow sufferer. I had cancer. I’m cured now, and I wanted to share what I learned with other people. Being a doctor doesn’t protect you from cancer. But because I’m a doctor and a scientist, I was able to take my knowledge to its limits and learn to look after myself. I wanted to write the book I would have liked to read – the book that, if it had existed, would have helped me to avoid falling ill, and that would have helped me learn very quickly how to give my cancer treatments the best possible chance of working.

Does Servan-Schreiber’s death mean his method didn’t work? Or did it mean that it did work and held his disease at bay longer than anyone would have thought possible. Or was Servan-Schreiber a man who was fortunate enough to have a less aggressive form of brain tumor that responded very well to conventional therapy and was very slow to relapse, taking this latest time 15 years before recurring and then leading to his death? Most likely, it was the latter, because there just isn’t any strong evidence that Servan-Schreiber’s methods are anywhere near as effective as he claimed they are.

One thing that needs to be understood is that glioblastoma is indeed a nasty cancer. Untreated, the median survival is on the order of three months. Even treated maximally, fewer than one in four patients with the disease survive longer than 2 years and fewer than 10% survive five years or more. However, it is known that there are types of glioblastoma with a prognosis that is not quite as grim, although it is grim enough. For instance, younger patients tend to survive longer, as do patients with methylation of the promoter of O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase. In the end, however, little is known that can accurately predict who is likely to survive long term after treatment of glioblastoma and why, much as little is known that allows us to predict accurately which women with advanced breast cancer will survive for long periods of time and why, other than very crudely and unreliably.

What this all means is that Servan-Schreiber, for all his scientific prowess, nonetheless ended up behaving like Suzanne Sommers, Lorraine Day, Hollie Quinn, and any number of other cancer patients who were successfully treated with conventional scientific medical therapy and also chose pseudoscience, after which they attributed their good outcome more to the pseudoscience than to the real medicine. Fortunately for him, he did very well and lived a lot longer than the average brain tumor patient. Unfortunately, during that time he promoted a profoundly misleading view of cancer therapy.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

366 replies on “R.I.P. David Servan-Schreiber”

I was always surprised that this guy went over to the woo side because it seemed that he was incredibly intelligent. I suspect that he may have had difficulty separating out his emotions from rational thinking. I guess getting diagnosed with a nasty cancer like GBM makes you desperate to find something that gives you hope, even if your rational side would reject it.

Ah, the confusion of nomenclature of gliomas. Unlike breast cancer, as an astrocytoma becomes more aggressive it changes its name. A glioblastoma is a grade IV astrocytoma. It’s not at all rare for low-grade astrocytomas to be almost asymptomatic for decades (for instance, when MRI became widely used, it wasn’t rare to find a patient who had a seizure as a young adult, then the seizures well-controlled with medication and by otherwise asymptomatic, with the tumor unrecognized until imaging finally became available). Later in life such tumors may convert to GBM.

A review, in the form of a case report, is here:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/303/10/967.long

Here’s a few more examples of “miracle cures” that in fact weren’t. The one that’s very similar to Dr. Servan-Schreiber’s is Dr. Anthony Sattilaro, the MD who “cured” his metastatic prostate cancer with a macrobiotic diet. It was a real big deal back in the early 80’s. He also wrote a couple of books. Unfortunately, he died in 1989. This of course was no big deal at all.

Adding another name to the list of alt med proselytisers who have died of their cancer unfortunately has a parallel in the world of HIV/AIDS denialism whose advocates select “poster girls”- usually attractive white straight women ( who can’t therefore, be gay men)- who are inveigled into eschewing HAART and then give testimonials of their vibrant health and happiness… until they sicken and die: most famously Christine Maggiore (and her young daughter), and most recently, Karri Stokely, who turned down SBM treatment despite her continuing decline. (Seth Kalichman documents them)

I sometimes think I should create a list of “Warning Signs that Someone You Love Is Considering Alt Med” as a PSA**.The late Dr Servan-Schreiber illustrates quite a few of them:

The person uses certain key words and phrases that should serve as an warning light: toxins, nutrition/ diet, positive attitude, ancient/other ways of knowing, “Science doesn’t have all of the answers”, energy, balance, synergistic, mentions pesticides/ vaccines/ power lines/ cell phones, return to nature, heavy metal contamination, strengthen immunity, mistrust of doctors/ pharma, iatrogenic death figures.

The person starts buying supplements by the bag full and ingesting suspicious-looking green powder-infused beverages. They e-mail you articles from Mercola or NaturalNews. Their book shelf/ Kindle includes authors like Sommers, Young, or any of the usual suspects. They try to get you to go vegan or meditate with them.

If you see several of these warning signs, it’s time to have that serious talk. Friends don’t let friends go woo.

** as part of a larger questionaire/ screening assessment tool. – btw- I’m not entirely joking.

One wonders what his survival time would have been had he not had the serendipitous MRI, but been diagnosed after the usual symptoms appeared.

I was always surprised that this guy went over to the woo side because it seemed that he was incredibly intelligent. I suspect that he may have had difficulty separating out his emotions from rational thinking. I guess getting diagnosed with a nasty cancer like GBM makes you desperate to find something that gives you hope, even if your rational side would reject it.

Yeah, and it seems for the most part his recommendations weren’t completely crazy. e.g. it’s probably a good idea to use glass or ceramic (as opposed to plastic) in the microwave when possible, as there definitely are some types of plastic which will leach carcinogens if heated, and you might not always be sure you have the right one — not that we know for sure there’s a significant effect even then, but it’s probably a good idea. Similar with the Teflon thing. Not a big deal, but probably a best practice anyway.

The guy was clearly not entirely bonkers, just had his incredulity meter dialed down a bit too low after his harrowing experience with cancer. Too bad…

Adding another name to the list of alt med proselytisers who have died of their cancer

That’s pretty stupid when 550,000 die every year in the U.S. under conventional proselytiser’s care. You’re getting caught up in your emotions and not thinking about what you’re saying.

This post says REST IN PEACE and then goes on to disrespect this man in an attempt to further some skeptics agenda against anything that they perceive as opposing their intolerant views. Trying to use him as an example is tacky.

No doubt, if it hadn’t been for blogs like mine…

No doubt. You’re pretty important. You’ll make your mark in blogging. Not science. Not medicine.

The TMZ of scienceblogging. That’s big time science.

Like others, I am making my mark as a vocal blog commenter.

I never run out of opinions and it saves in hosting fees.

I may need to forgo a vaccine for SIWOTI syndrome, if one ever comes out, but it’s worth it. I’m doing it for all of you.

Seems to me that boring troll is advocating a study that everyone should avoid a doctor’s care for one year, then we’ll see how many people would have actually died, compared to, say, the year before?

Do you also believe it was the doctors’ fault when people come in to the ER with severe injuries (from a car accident, for example) & die? Would they have been better off if someone prayed over them instead?

Should people suffering a stroke or heart attack avoid seeing a doctor & take some ginseng instead?

You don’t seem to be able to provide any sort of guide as to what part of medicine you’re saying to avoid – what doesn’t fit in your particular vocabulary?

Since this thread is more recent and relevant, I’ll ask augustine here: What is your point? Why are you coming here? What do you believe in?

Orac, you need to sprinkle your skepticism with a bit of knowledge…
You say David sprouts misinformation about cancer fighting foods that ‘soak up toxins’…

He spoke specifically about broccoli and stated that the chemicals in broccoli help to clean up toxins in the body.

Have you heard of 3,3’-Diindolylmethane? It occurs in broccoli and other brassicas and is currently used in the United States to treat upper respiratory tract tumors and is currently under NCI clinical trials for many types of cancer.

Do you know what free radicals are? Sulforaphane in broccoli works as a potent catalyst to boost Phase 2 enzymes in the body. These detoxification enzymes trigger ongoing antioxidant action for at least 72 hours.

Conjugation reactions are something you should have studied in first year. Did you miss that class?

Parabens and pthalates are known endocrine disruptors…. join the dots.

Everyone I know who has teflon pans has eventually burnt the teflon on the pans…. this is what happens when things are placed on hot plates- they get hot. Experiment on yourself- get a teflon pan- heat it and breath in the fumes….

PFOA- a pyrolysis product from teflon is a carcinogen, liver toxicant, a developmental toxicant, an immune system toxicant, and also exerts hormonal effects including alteration of thyroid hormone level. Animal studies show developmental toxicity from reduced birth size, physical developmental delays, endocrine disruption, and neonatal mortality. PFOA causes liver cancer in rodents and also induces testicular and pancreatic cancer through induction of Leydig cell tumors and pancreatic acinar cell tumors…..

Ok, you go teflon, I will use stainless steel.

To state that avoiding pesticides is a ‘dubious anti cancer claim’ is pathetic. Are you trying to be funny?

Sprinkle your skepticism with a little knowledge and you might actually help a few people instead of simply being a mindless pawn of big pharma et al.

Orac, you need to sprinkle your skepticism with a bit of knowledge…
You say David sprouts misinformation about cancer fighting foods that ‘soak up toxins’…

He spoke specifically about broccoli and stated that the chemicals in broccoli help to clean up toxins in the body.

Have you heard of 3,3’-Diindolylmethane? It occurs in broccoli and other brassicas and is currently used in the United States to treat upper respiratory tract tumors and is currently under NCI clinical trials for many types of cancer.

Do you know what free radicals are? Sulforaphane in broccoli works as a potent catalyst to boost Phase 2 enzymes in the body. These detoxification enzymes trigger ongoing antioxidant action for at least 72 hours.

Conjugation reactions are something you should have studied in first year. Did you miss that class?

Parabens and pthalates are known endocrine disruptors…. join the dots.

Everyone I know who has teflon pans has eventually burnt the teflon on the pans…. this is what happens when things are placed on hot plates- they get hot. Experiment on yourself- get a teflon pan- heat it and breath in the fumes….

PFOA- a pyrolysis product from teflon is a carcinogen, liver toxicant, a developmental toxicant, an immune system toxicant, and also exerts hormonal effects including alteration of thyroid hormone level. Animal studies show developmental toxicity from reduced birth size, physical developmental delays, endocrine disruption, and neonatal mortality. PFOA causes liver cancer in rodents and also induces testicular and pancreatic cancer through induction of Leydig cell tumors and pancreatic acinar cell tumors…..

Ok, you go teflon, I will use stainless steel.

To state that avoiding pesticides is a ‘dubious anti cancer claim’ is pathetic. Are you trying to be funny?

Sprinkle your skepticism with a little knowledge and you might actually help a few people instead of simply being a mindless pawn of big pharma et al.

Orac, you need to sprinkle your skepticism with a bit of knowledge…
You say David sprouts misinformation about cancer fighting foods that ‘soak up toxins’…

He spoke specifically about broccoli and stated that the chemicals in broccoli help to clean up toxins in the body.

Have you heard of 3,3’-Diindolylmethane? It occurs in broccoli and other brassicas and is currently used in the United States to treat upper respiratory tract tumors and is currently under NCI clinical trials for many types of cancer.

Do you know what free radicals are? Sulforaphane in broccoli works as a potent catalyst to boost Phase 2 enzymes in the body. These detoxification enzymes trigger ongoing antioxidant action for at least 72 hours.

Conjugation reactions are something you should have studied in first year. Did you miss that class?

Parabens and pthalates are known endocrine disruptors…. join the dots.

Everyone I know who has teflon pans has eventually burnt the teflon on the pans…. this is what happens when things are placed on hot plates- they get hot. Experiment on yourself- get a teflon pan- heat it and breath in the fumes….

PFOA- a pyrolysis product from teflon is a carcinogen, liver toxicant, a developmental toxicant, an immune system toxicant, and also exerts hormonal effects including alteration of thyroid hormone level. Animal studies show developmental toxicity from reduced birth size, physical developmental delays, endocrine disruption, and neonatal mortality. PFOA causes liver cancer in rodents and also induces testicular and pancreatic cancer through induction of Leydig cell tumors and pancreatic acinar cell tumors…..

Ok, you go teflon, I will use stainless steel.

To state that avoiding pesticides is a ‘dubious anti cancer claim’ is pathetic. Are you trying to be funny?

Sprinkle your skepticism with a little knowledge and you might actually help a few people instead of simply being a mindless pawn of big pharma et al.

@Gustav

Obviously you’re new here. I’ve written about many of this issues before. For example:

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2010/05/the_presidents_cancer_panel_steps_into_i.php

The point is that the risk of cancer due to many of these so-called “cancer causing chemicals” is either not strongly supported by evidence and/or overblown, for example the claim that cosmetics containing paraben or phlalates cause cancer at the concentrations used in cosmetics.

I suppose I should be happy you at least appear to acknowledge implicitly through your silence on the issue that aluminum-containing antiperspirants do not cause cancer as far as we’ve been able to tell.

Gray Falcon @10

augustine has a mission to spread ignorance, misinformation and hate wherever he can.

Coincidentally, I am just getting ready to travel out of state to my mother in law’s funeral, who died of a glioblastoma on Friday. She followed a lifetime relentlessly strict health code that would make Servan-Schreiber proud. I mentioned before that my chiropractic brother in law died needlessly from a highly treatable kidney cancer because he wanted to cure himself. Sadly, alt-med people just don’t seem to make the connection that despite diet and exercise, pills and nostrums, they are prone to suffer from the frailties of the body just like everybody else. Not to put down diet and exercise; but it doesn’t do everything they think it does, and it’s amazing how they don’t open their eyes and see that. Maybe it takes a tragedy such as mine bring it home.

Thank you, ORAC, and other scientists, for your work on cancer.

“Servan-Schreiber refused to simply accept his fate. “ (quote from an interview with Servan-Schreiber).

That’s the most idiotic and vile statement to appear in the article. Not only does it perpetuate the canard that positive thinking is essential to “beating” cancer, it suggests that you must go on a pilgrimage through the world of quack cures, otherwise you’ve given in and “accepted your fate”.

Gustav: “Parabens and pthalates are known endocrine disruptors…. join the dots.”

Science doesn’t accept “connect the dots” as proving a theory, no matter how appealing it is to a particular mindset. If “connect the dots” was a viable strategy, Michael Moore would already have won the Nobel prize in medicine.

Try sprinkling your assumptions and conspiracy theorizing with a little skepticism, and you can avoid being a pawn of bogus cancer cure promoters and the supplement industry.

Nothing wrong with eating plenty of fruits and veggies, though. Whether that can overcome genetic predisposition to cancer is questionable.

Science doesn’t accept “connect the dots” as proving a theory, no matter how appealing it is to a particular mindset.

Apparently science doesn’t accept skeptics and science bloggers either. They claim Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield have killed babies throught the “connect the dot” game.

No evidence. No science. Just bloggin.

Sciencebloggers don’t apply skepticism very evenly.

@ Gray Falcon: No point, Troll comes here just to annoy and has no beliefs…with the possible exception of his narrow xenophobic brand of “christian beliefs”.

@ Hackmauler: mighty long on accusations and deplorably short on basic knowledge of cancer. Please read the link that Orac provided and if you are not a troll, we expect you will be man enough to thank Orac for the linked blog…and for this one.

I strongly suspect that Servan-Schreiber quite deliberately omitted the type and staging of his brain cancer. Now he could have written a brilliant book about the serendipitous finding of the tumor while it was in a very treatable stage and the re-ordering of his thinking processes once he was given a chance of long term survival…versus…the one steeped in woo; he didn’t.

He has planted some seeds for the naively susceptible by blaming the cancer patient for not eating certain foods, for cell phone use and for “wrongful” thinking, while destroying his own reputation for posterity…sad.

@augustine
By encouraging people not to vaccinate their children, thereby exposing them and others to highly contagious and potentially deadly diseases…

They have.

linxy

augustine has a mission to spread ignorance, misinformation and hate wherever he can.

I spread facts and skepticism of skeptics and pseudoskeptics. In the end the skeptic doesn’t have the answers he portrays to have. He just has his beliefs, opinions, and values of the way he thinks things ought to be.

Augustine:

“I’ll keep trolling threads, even year-and-a-half-old ones, until Chris shows up and tells me that my gender dysphoria is not something to be ashamed of.”

By encouraging people not to vaccinate their children, thereby exposing them and others to highly contagious and potentially deadly diseases…

They have.

See what I mean? No evidence. No science.
Do you just stare at clouds all day and come up with figures that you see? I know. You really do see objects. But it’s just clouds.

augie doggie @ 19

I spread facts

No you don’t. You spread lies and ignorance and call them “facts”. The only part in question is if you are lying, stupid or both. My bet is on both.

He just has his beliefs, opinions, and values of the way he thinks things ought to be.

You say this because you’re too stupid to understand the resources constantly linked to that show the evidence. That or you’re lying. Or both.

Your other post @21 shows how frequently you’re full of nothing, but word-salad. The only way there’s “no evidence, no science” is when you close your eyes, plug your ears and scream, which seems to be how you get through the world day to day.

You should be embarassed to parade your bigotry, ignorance and lack of education, yet you show up every day to remind people the deleterious effect Fox and the rest of the Right-Wing propaganda machine have had on society.

with the possible exception of his narrow xenophobic brand of “christian beliefs”.

What are my stated “christian beliefs” lil ole bitter lady? Are you even certain I’m a christian?

Lilady: “well uh, uh, well….”

I strongly suspect that Servan-Schreiber quite deliberately omitted the type and staging of his brain cancer

Projection thy name is LILADY.
You are a psuedoskeptic. Your loud opinionated arrogance is your coping mechanism for your insecurity about your limited, out of date formal education in which you claim to be an expert in. The times have passed you lilady. You were just “that lady” who gave shots down at the free clinic. A techy can do that. If you were more humble about your expertise and knowledge then maybe I would give you the benefit of the doubt. But since you know it all and you know it right then you’ll be treated as such.

Gustav Hackmauler:

Have you heard of 3,3′-Diindolylmethane? It occurs in broccoli and other brassicas and is currently used in the United States to treat upper respiratory tract tumors and is currently under NCI clinical trials for many types of cancer.

I don’t have the time to address your entire post (I have a meeting in five minutes) but I would like to say one thing.

Have you heard of paclitaxel? It occurs in Pacific yew, Taxus brevifolia, and is currently used in the United States to treat many types of cancer including breast, lung, ovarian, and Karposi’s Sarcoma.

Yet strangely no doctors recommend using Pacific yew to treat their cancer. This is because the concentrations found in the bark of this tree are too small to be useful. It has to be highly concentrated. You’d need to eat an entire tree. The same tends to be true of most useful plant compounds.

@Gustav Hackmauler

There’s a difference between a food containing a chemical known to have certain effects (either in vitro or even in vivo), and the consumption of said food being capable of producing that same effect. Among the many factors to be considered is whether the food contains that substance in sufficient quantity to produce any clinically relevant effect (would you have to eat 10 pounds to get enough of the chemical) and also whether the form of the substance and method of ingestion are conducive to producing the effect. (Is it the right form of the substance, does it get destroyed by the gastrointestinal tract before absorption, etc?)

Also, as to the toxins, the dose makes the poison.

Try not to join the wrong dots together, you tend to get the wrong picture.

-Karl Withakay

Linxy Minxy

No you don’t. You spread lies

Prove it!
Ruh Roh!
You can’t!
Thank you for your opinion. Another emotional blogger letting her opinion get in the way of facts.

Definitely not a Christian.

Boring troll is simply a contrarian, with some Objectivist tendencies.

Boring troll is simply a contrarian, with some Objectivist tendencies.

Don’t forget the misogyny and anti-intellectualism.

Augie doggie @26

I’ve already stipulated several times that you might not be lying, you might just be incredibly stupid. I’ve also stated that I think you’re both lying and stupid, but I can’t prove which of the three conditions it is. Funny that you didn’t dispute that you spread misinformation or that you parade your ignorance and hate for all to see. I suppose those are too obvious to dispute.

As for facts, you are frequently demonstrably wrong, you refuse to listen to evidence and you refuse to state what your credentials are even while disparaging those of others.

For an example, see this comment of yours last time there was a vaccines post

The general population has a 99.999999999999+% chance of NOT getting meningeosnufulufugus as complication of the childhood infection called chickenpox.

I’m willing to bet this one is entirely stupidity on your part.

ok, ok calm down . Yes, join the dots on the pthalate/
parabens issue is a bit of a long shot if your mind is not able to operate freely.

It is also a minor issue…. the levels of these chemicals in cosmetics is a minor issue, however, these chemicals have been shown to cause actual bodily HARM. Cumulative dose is a concern.
If you have a choice to avoid as much as possible a known health risk, why not avoid it? Especially if you have cancer.
The major route of exposure is environmental anyway- unless you are eating certain ‘health’ medication in which case your pthalate levels can be 50 times the average.

The European Union, the USA and Canada has banned pthalates in childrens toys because they cause HARM. The permutations of the combined risks of endocrine disruptors are difficult to predict and expensive to test. Nobody is funding this testing because there is only money to be lost in proving the dangers of these things.

Orac you wrote -The point is that the risk of cancer due to many of these so-called “cancer causing chemicals” is either not strongly supported or overblown…

Come on lets be honest- there is very little funding going into the risks of toxic chemicals in general. Big business(the government) has lots to lose and nothing to gain by funding the research into these chemicals. Until such time as they actually reliably test the tens of thousands of chemicals they put into our water, air, environment and bodies I will try to avoid as many of them as possible.

Anyway you can not really believe everything the FDA, EPA, NCI, tell you…. ;]
However a side issue it still is.

lilady you wrote that I am –
mighty long on accusations and deplorably short on basic knowledge of cancer.

Where am I short on basic knowledge of cancer. I want some specifics. Please. I reckon your chances of providing an acceptable answer are close to zero… Go on- give it a bash anyway.

orac… aluminum chlorohydrate, it seems that David may have been wrong on that one.
Aluminum is still something you want less rather than more of in your body.

Do you agree that it is reasonable to avoid pesticides when possible? If so why ridicule David for recommending this?

And teflon cookware? Is it really needed in the light of the potential harm it can cause versus its supposed benefits?

dangerous bacon- I am a skeptic, just not your type.

Gustav Hackmauler:

Where am I short on basic knowledge of cancer. I want some specifics.

It might help if you provided some cites instead of just arguing by blatant assertion.

Aluminum is still something you want less rather than more of in your body.

Do you only eat food from soil without aluminum, the most common metal element on this planet’s crust? And if you, how do you do it?

Gustav Hackmauler:

The European Union, the USA and Canada has banned pthalates in childrens toys because they cause HARM.

Actually, it would be more accurate to say they were banned out of an abundance of caution. We know phthalates at high chronic doses can cause serious problems; we don’t know that normal childhood exposure through playing with and using products with phthlates causes problems, though its’ reasonable to expect they’d be smaller than what is observed with the laboratory doses used in test animals. Also unknown is whether the alternatives are safer, it’s worth noting.

You seem to be alleging a government conspiracy to suppress research into toxins — yet you acknowledge it was *government* agencies which banned phthalates in children’s toys. So does the government really suppress research — or did the government make that decision without really studying what levels of phthalates are actually toxic? That seems to be a contradiction in your argument.

Did you notice my post about paclitaxel? You had suggested that eating brassicas would be beneficial to people with cancer because of chemicals found in them with chemotherapeutic properties. I pointed out that these chemicals tend to be far too dilute to be of much use when simply eating the plant — you normally need to extract, purify, and concentrate the substance, especially given that levels of the chemical can be wildly variable, and in chemo it’s very important to give a consistent dose. (Otherwise you risk breeding a resistant tumor.) Eating broccoli is good for you (and tastes excellent, I might add) but as an alternative to chemo? That I doubt.

Gustav – are you wearing that hat shiny side in or shiny side out?

Gustav–

“If you have the choice to avoid as much as possible a known health risk” contains at least three major assumptions: that you have a choice (not everyone can choose to move out of a polluted neighborhood or quit a job that exposes them to danger), that you have accurate information about the health risks, and that you can avoid risk A without incurring an equal or greater risk B. (For example, should I “avoid a known health risk” by avoiding radiation, when that means not getting dental X-rays that can help find small cavities so they can be filled? Bear in mind that, pain aside, untreated tooth decay and periodontal disease are a known risk factor for heart attacks.)

i used to drink soda from aluminium cans, but the Al dissolved into the aqueaous solution of carbonic acid turned me into a newt.

@Gustav Hackmauler

“… your mind is not able to operate freely.”

Beware not to operate your mind so freely that it is free of logic and critical thinking. Most things that operate too freely tend to fall apart in chaos.

“I am a skeptic, just not your type”

So you are not someone who questions and doubts claims and assertions, and holds the accumulation of evidence to be of fundamental importance?

-Karl Withakay

@7 Augustine- No,Orac is not “disrespecting” Servan-Schreiber, he is just pointing out the flawed logic in the hopes that it gets through to people.

As a cancer patient I have been looking for some posts on this very topic, just to remind us all again how dangerous some of Servan-Schreiber’s ideas are. Now,I know S-S did not say to abandon all evidence-based medicine with the hope that “life-style changes” will keep a patient in remission. But, that is what patients take to heart when they read Anti-Cancer. Most of us are frightened and gullible. We want to be able to exert some control over this damned disease. I see patients post-pone necessary treatment with the delusional idea that diet and stress management will cure cancer . And, I know a few who have lost their window of opportunity to actually treat their cancer.
I say BRAVO to Orac for blogging about this again.

Having seen and been acquainted with multiple individuals with cancer, luckily all of them went forward with conventional therapies – and I can say that each and every one of them is still alive today. Of course, as part of their treatment, they were all encouraged to eat healthier and exercise as part of the program – so anyone that thinks that this is strictly a “invasive” medical treatment has no idea what they are talking about.

One point here people, sorry if I come across as a know it all but almost all of you are telling me stuff I already know.

I appreciate this forum and the space to discuss these issues
but can we please look at the bigger picture and try to

Thanks Chris
Yes aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth. 100%
You still want less of it rather than more of it in your body.

“It might help if you provided some cites instead of just arguing by blatant assertion.”

The plot thickens, you see Chris this is an example of a mind forming cohesive ideas towards the general direction of the discussion. After a certain point knowledge simply becomes general knowledge. If you want to learn more about the side effects of taxol or broccoli overdose or any of the things discussed here- google them.

Calli in the USA they did not ban it – they limited it in childrens toys/products even when the evidence suggest it be completely banned. This is an example of a broken system. Further this is only one out hundreds of chemicals that are known to be carcinogenic but are still largely under regulated and untested.

Calli, 3,3′-Diindolylmethane is used in the USA to treat cancer. If you have the information about what levels occur naturally versus what is needed in the cancer treatment please let me know.
I did not say broccoli was used in place of chemo.
Broccoli may well be a good aid towards the prevention of certain illnesses. No controversy there … eat your greens.. generally an accepted health tip.
Please read between the lines to save us all some time. Let us try to look at the general picture. Generally I thought that David had a great deal of common sense health ideas.
Perhaps there was some woo in there. Let us try to separate the two.

That is why the presence of so many Macdonalds at hospitals across the USA is questionable. This is something else DAVID said- AVOID TRANS FATS.

I almost expect someone to jump up now and scream that trans fats are not so bad…

I do know about taxol and that certain herbs/plants have low levels of active ingredients.I also know that if I had cancer taxol would be the last thing I would want to consume.

For many types of terminal cancers chemo is still used and simply adds horrendous side effects to the last months of life in return for a few extra weeks of suffering….Not a good deal. Yes Karl the dose is the toxin.

As for joining the wrong dots etc Have you heard of marinol? THC exists in abundance in naturally grown cannabis yet is offered to cancer patients as Marinol- synthetic THC. It is more expensive, not as effective, not as easy to manage the dose and generally an unpleasant experience for most patients.

This is one example of Pharma working mainly for profit motives.

In other words, there were no symptoms and no clinical indications for Servan-Schreiber to undergo an MRI, but he did anyway for his research. Shockingly, the scan showed a tumor described as the size of a walnut.

Just a small correction. It isn’t that shocking to find a tumor in a healthy volunteer. There’s a respectably sized literature on clinically significant incidental findings in healthy volunteers for brain studies. For example see:
BMJ: Incidental findings on brain magnetic resonance imaging: systematic review and meta-analysis, Morris et al
http://www.bmj.com/content/339/bmj.b3016.full
0.7% of scans of otherwise healthy volunteers have a tumor and another 2% have some potentially significant brain anamoly. 0.7% is low, but, given the number of brain research studies, it happens often enough to not be shocking.

i used to drink soda from aluminium cans, but the Al dissolved into the aqueaous solution of carbonic acid turned me into a newt.

Did you get better?

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/168/21/2311

“In other words, the natural course for some screen-detected breast cancers may be to spontaneously regress.”

“Instead, our findings simply provide new insight on what is arguably the major harm associated with mammographic screening, namely, the detection and treatment of cancers that would otherwise regress.”

Imagine that. The body healing itself without the help of SBM and it’s bloggers.

Instead SBM says “cut n chemo them all”. If they live, they’ll think it’s because of us. If they die tell them “shit happens!”

We win either way!

And yet another example of boring troll trying to prove a point by attacking statements that no one here has made – and probably never has even had a conversation with an Oncologist regarding cancer treatments.

“What are my stated “christian beliefs” lil ole bitter lady? Are you even certain I’m a christian?

Lilady: “well uh, uh, well….”

Ugh Troll, Firstly, I’m not your mommy; I am a stranger that you identify with to work out your animus against the hapless soul that gave you birth. If your real mommy said that you are vaccine injured which warped your personality, made you unsuccessful in school and unable to pursue higher education, made you a useless pathetic excuse for a human being and on the dole…she lied. Man up, Ugh Troll you coulda, woulda, shoulda gotten some help for your personality disorder, worked things out with your real mommy and become a productive member of society.

I just assume Ugh Troll is a Christian…he keeps posing the question to other posters…that is, when he is totally boxed in and cannot defend his lack of knowledge postings with any citations.

“The times have passed you lilady. You were just “that lady” who gave shots down at the free clinic. A techy (sp?) could do that”.

Citations please and Ugh Troll provide us with the specific “qualifications” to administer immunizations.

It seems the last time Ugh Troll provided a citation was a government site that gave advice to the public to minimize the risk of medical errors, as a result of a recent (2000 ?) study conducted by the IOM…no citation was provided for the IOM Report used by the Troll. I posted, after having read the actual 2000 IOM Report, just three of the many PubMed citations from researchers who criticized the study design…then total silence from the Troll. When boxed in and called out Ugh Troll will never back down…just climbs off the petard and retreats.

Ugh Troll, we all think you are an ignorant and arrogant Troll; we are flabbergasted that you confirm that each and every time to post.

BTW, Remember we want specific citations about who can administer immunizations including the qualifications and licensing of persons who are qualified.

Poor Augie, so very, very, very far behind;

Oh, no. I knew you did a “piece” on it. And I knew you were going to say exactly what you did. You do it everytime you’ve already written something covering a subject.

Like I said cut n chemo ’em all. Let the treatment sort em out. Overtreatment is inherent in Science Based Medicine. And so is the damage that comes with over treatment.

Your only answer can be: “what else do you want us to do?” Or “we’re working on that”.

Boring troll – you’ve been owned, why don’t you climb back under the covers & pray at the alter of Ayn Rand like the good objectivist that you are – it is obvious that you’ve never had a conversation with any kind of Oncologist & haven’t a clue about what real cancer treatments are currently in use and recommended.

Boring uneducated ignorant nasty troll is still boring uneducated and nasty.

Rule # 14 Don’t feed the troll and Rule # 14 (a) especially if it is Ugh Troll

@ Marie: Thank you for your posting. I found it very enlightening and am delighted that you have honored us with your real life experience with cancer and continued good health to you.

Of course, augie’s real reason for posting here is the same as for trolls everywhere. He’s just yelling

“look at me! Look! … please, won’t someone pay attention to me? … Anyone?”

And even bad attention is better than no attention for him. Since he’s not bright enough to contribute to a conversation he settles for things people feel a need to correct.

Sad, really.

Number 48 was a true classic, though:

Oh, no. I knew you did a “piece” on it. And I knew you were going to say exactly what you did. You do it everytime you’ve already written something covering a subject.

Augie, don’t you know the proper response these days when you’ve been shown to be 180º from the truth is: “That’s central to my point!”? Seriously, aren’t you getting the Faux Noise newsletter where you live?

I know some people here might have great fun debating the trolls, but I honestly come here for information and debate about science. Derailing conversations and intransigence don’t really contribute to that. May I ask that we A) not feed the trolls in the slightest or B) implore our benevolent Plexiglass box of multi-colored blinking lights to moderate with a heavier hand?

I had to get that off my chest. Thank you.

My elderly parents are as woo-tastic as you can get, with one or two exceptions. I have chronic tonsillitis and a host of resulting complications, and my mother suggested that I needed more vitamin C rather than a tonsillectomy. I managed to politely excuse myself from that one, but it took great effort.

I am deeply appreciative that while my dad subscribes to Mercola.com, rails about how doctors don’t know anything about nutrition and about how much vitamins can help you stay healthy, he went and got surgery done on his prostate cancer. He doesn’t give the medical establishment any credit and insists that his good health is because of all of his vitamins. He refuses to believe me when I point out that his father lived to be 87, stayed active until he got ill, and was an alcoholic to boot, and did not have any vitamins at all.

I just really hope that they realize the limitations of what their little vitamin catalogue can do for them. I do not want to be in the position of having to talk them into seeing the doctor because they think the Health Ranger can cure them.

Gustav Hackmauler:

The plot thickens, you see Chris this is an example of a mind forming cohesive ideas towards the general direction of the discussion. After a certain point knowledge simply becomes general knowledge. If you want to learn more about the side effects of taxol or broccoli overdose or any of the things discussed here- google them.

So after asking for some cites instead of blatant assertion you answer with this word salad. It is obvious you are just making it up out of thin air.

Plonk!

If you give 1000 healthy people chemo, how many will die or get serious side effects like cardiomyopathy or cancer?

If you give chemo to 1000 unnecessary patients (just in case because you don’t know how it’s going to turn out) how many will have serious side effects or death from the therapy?

You can manipulate the 5 year survival rates but in the end the number of people dying from cancer hasn’t changed much. And don’t forget the people who unnecessarily are injured from treatment.

It’s what happens when you practice “box” medicine by the numbers.

When you live in a glass house you shouldn’t throw stones.

@ Kelsey:

While I *do* agree with you about debating trolls ( especially the regulars- I fear it may re-inforce their intrusiveness), there is an ulterior motive: SB commenters may argue in order to educate on-lookers (lurkers)in detail about *why* woo-ful ideas are wrong and to illustrate *how* to argue/ deal with the woo-entranced with whom you engage in real life. So, it isn’t *really* a conversation but a lesson. A few may be useful in providing a laugh – and I’ll never dispute the need for that!

Personally, I only converse with those I feel are misguided but educable. This doesn’t always work ( see Jake Crosby) but I see it as an extension of my counselling activities and ideas about education outside the classroom.

I think Augustine is a Trekkie.
For one thing, a doctor could only do a mistake by being incompetent, drunk, or both. After all, medical tricorders are never wrong.
For another, all scientists are emotionless Vulcans.

This last one, we can never win. If we use cold logic, Augustine will tell us we should be more connected to the world. If we show emotions, she will tell us that we are not perfect Vulcans anymore.

Could anyone check if there is an inverse correlation between the Star Trek series schedule on TV and Augustine’s appearances here?

Chris, thank you for the compliment- unfortunately I am not clever enough to make these things up- I actually have to learn stuff. I also do not have the energy to lie about these things.
However some of what I have learned has not been true. For example, 7 years ago I looked into the use of phenylacetates in the treatment of inoperable or poor outcome brain cancers.
A good friend had an inoperable brain tumor- a brainstem glioma. I searched the web for all the info I could find and came across websites similar to this one which basically all painted the same picture of phenylacetates and their creator Stanislav Burzynski. Basically that he was a fraud, a con man, and that his treatments did not work and actually endangered peoples lives. Bit of a joke when evaluating my friends condition as his doctors offered him more chemo and death or simply death as his options.

After a few days of reading up on Burzynski I came to the conclusion that he was indeed a fraud and a con man. Sites such as quackwatch etc basically created an image of a deceitful money grabbing con man… Ultimately the opposite is true.

The disinformation circulated in the media and on the internet by Pharma trolls and industry hacks has real world effects.

Bursynskis treatments are in phase 3 clinical trials
for the treatment of inoperable brainstem glioma and have been granted orphan drug status. His treatments do work and they do so without the horrific effects of chemotherapy.
The cancer industry is a multi billion dollar operation.
They do not want a simple cure.

My friend is dead and died without being offered this cure even though this has been shown to work for OVER 30 YEARS!.
Chris, am i still making things up? If you want to do some reading or watch a movie go to
http://www.burzynskiclinic.com/clinical-trials.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0ibsoqjPac&feature=related

-Karl Withakay re. I am a different kind of skeptic

‘So you are not someone who questions and doubts claims and assertions, and holds the accumulation of evidence to be of fundamental importance?’

The accumulation of evidence is not of fundamental importance. The production and definition and occasionally, the destruction of evidence is of fundamental importance.

I question the source and the nature of the ‘evidence’ accumulated, that is why I am a different kind of skeptic.

Mr. Hackmauler, when someone responds with the term “Plonk” it means that it has been determined that dialog with you is no longer considered possible. You do not provide cites, and I believe you do not even understand the term.

Burzynski has been discussed here and here. Since you have issues with Internet norms, the blue letters are links to other websites.

Now you make the claim that Burzynski’s methods have worked for thirty years and just go to his website. I suggest that if you wish to provide real discussion you find a third party independent review of the treatment in the real medical literature (usually found on PubMed).

this has been shown to work for OVER 30 YEARS!.
Sadly, it only works when administered by Stanislav Burzynski — no-one else has been able to show any effect.

Burzynski has been conducting his feckin’ trials for 15 years (start times in the mid-1990s). He’s been promising to publish the DEFINITIVE RESULTS since 2007.
He lied about his Ph.D.
He’s been convicted for fraud (claiming insurance reimbursement for an unrecognised therapy).

But this is all by-the-by. Curious minds are wondering why you have responded to scepticism about your theories on cancer risks by jumping to some completely unrelated quack cure for cancer. Focus!

I comment tonight from my hospital bed. I received an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant yesterday as continuing treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma.

I applaud Orac’s tenacity in fighting the woo. Modern scientific study is the way to battle cancer. Theories and practices are adjusted to fit available evidence, as always, but anecdotes do not equal evidence.

Oh; and Augie? Kiss my lily-white cancer-ridden ass, you lousy troll.

herr doktor bimler. Do not focus- the picture is much bigger than that.

Please could you let me know who else has tried and failed to show an effect with phenylacetates. Preferably not the same FDA criminals who tried to imprison Burzynski while at the same time were secretly trying to patent his discoveries…

If Bursynski is a quack why are his treatments in phase 3 clinical trials?

Again Bimler- please let us know who else has tried and failed to show any effect with phenylacetates.

‘Curious minds are wondering’…. ?
are you in some kind of workhouse for pharma trolls?

The same FDA criminals who deliberately under medicated 6 patients in an antineoplaston trial in the USA. The dose was up to 300 times less than the reported effective dose. All six patients died…
Now is this story fact or fiction? There must be a way to find out.

why are his treatments in phase 3 clinical trials?

Which ones? Looking through the list at Clinicaltrials.gov, all I can see are Phase-2 trials. Mind you, there are 63 trials there, because every time Burzynski hears of a new form of cancer he promises patients that he can treat it and sets up a new trial to enroll them into. Then he charges them thousands of dollars a month for his snake-oil injections, not to mention flat charges like $14000 just for the enrollment.

He really is a contemptible scumbag.

Please could you let me know who else has tried and failed to show an effect with phenylacetates.

If I do, will you admit you were wrong, and perhaps go away? Or will you simply change the subject and talk about some other charlatan? I need motivation!

Where are these Phase-3 trials?

Gustav, I’m sorry about your friend. Science makes changes as new evidence is presented. If your theories about Big Pharma were true then they would have been on your friend’s cure’s bandwagon long ago.

For the record, we lurkers do learn here..not just about the science but how to fight and argue, how to recognize a type of arguement (auggie I believe indulges in an ad hominem up there somewhere) and we get to play at-home psychologist by getting a glimpse into the minds of woo folk and trolls. That last one can get …ugly.

@ Tina S :”glimpse into the minds of woo folk and trolls”

Yes, it’s a frightening place but after many years I find myself feeling oddly comfortable there- like an explorer in a hostile, primitive environment who has learned how to adroitly avoid the obvious pitfalls and miasmas, armed only with graduate degrees and an adventuresome spirit, rather than a rifle and anti-malarials.

It can be done. Happy Trails.

If you show me who else has conducted failed trials I will not immediately admit I was wrong- It is no different to me showing you that Burzynski has conducted successful trials.
I want to see who conducted the trials and in what manner and in what circumstances.

Why simply believe one group of people you do not know working for a business you do not know over another group?

The reason Burzynskis treatments will be such a big deal if they work is because it will be the death of the industry.
No more cancer patents, machines, research, lobbying, chemicals, hospitals, staff,…. it is a huge system. People will pay everything they have for a cure. Once Burzynskis treatment goes off patent generic versions could be cheap.

It will help to broaden the debate and possibly provide a concrete answer if you can provide details of other trials.

If I am suspicious of big pharma it is only because of the way they operate, their track record and their obvious placement of greed and money before human life.

If Burzynskis treatments offer better outcomes than conventional therapies then they should be used. If not they should not be used.

The frustration here is the constant need to separate the crap from the candyfloss.

If I had a single product that could cause an industry worth
hundreds of billions of dollars to roll over and die I would be very cautious about the way I develop and market that product.

Gustav, I’m sorry about your friend.

I figure that someone who makes up bullshit about “phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of inoperable brainstem glioma” is equally capable of making up the dead friend.

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