Categories
Cancer Clinical trials Medicine Popular culture Science Skepticism/critical thinking

MuTaTo: Is an Israeli company within a year of a “complete cure for cancer”?

MuTaTo, a technology hyped by an Israeli company, was all over the news a couple of days ago as the “complete cure for cancer.” But is it? There are so many red flags in the news reports as to raise serious doubts, and the media’s science communication in this case has been an epic fail.

I not infrequently write about science communication fails on the part of the mainstream media—more than I would like to have to, in fact. Much of the time, those failures tend to be due to false balance, the most common example of which is a press report having to do with vaccines or autism giving “false balance” by including the comments of an antivaxer alongside the comments of real scientists or physicians, as though the antivaccine view had validity enough to merit being cited this way. Fortunately, this form of false balance seems to be less common than it was when I first started blogging. This time around, though, I’m going to address another form of science communication fail, and it’s one that, quite frankly, leaves me scratching my head over how so many media outlets could have fallen so hard for such obvious self-promotional bullshit. I’m referring to the press reaction to a story in the Jerusalem Post about how Israeli scientists will have a “complete cure for cancer” within a year with their new technology, MuTaTo. (You’ll learn why it got that weird name in a moment.) It’s a story about Dr. Ilan Morad, CEO, and Dr. Dan Aridor, chairman of the board, of Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies, Ltd. (ABEi), a company founded in 2000 in the in the ITEK Incubator at the Weizmann Science Park in Rehovot.

It didn’t take long after the Jerusalem Post article appeared for headlines to appear like this all over the media, starting with my local news:

I read the article. It was a credulous take on the aforementioned Post article. I’ll explain what’s so horribly wrong with it, and so much of the other reporting about this “cure for cancer” that isn’t

It wasn’t long after that that I started noticing similar headlines appearing all over the news media,. They seemed to start with a New York Post article, We’ll have a cure for cancer within a year, scientists claim, and then to metastasize all over the media, from national to local news outlets. Here afre a few examples:

You get the idea. It’s as though reporters, seeing the Israeli newspaper’s breathless reporting about the promise of a “complete cure for cancer” within a year, turned off all critical thinking abilities. Although I’ll explain in my usual inimitable fashion why Morad and Aridor’s claims are not credible, anytime you see someone claiming a “complete cure for cancer within a year,” you shouldn’t need a detailed understanding of the science involved to realize that it’s hype (and risibly overblown hype), not hope, particularly if the “cure” isn’t even in clinical trials yet.

Hyperbole about an early experimental cancer treatment

There are so many red flags in the original Jerusalem Post article; so let’s begin by looking at some of the hyperbole:

“We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer,” said Dan Aridor, of a new treatment being developed by his company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), which was founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator in the Weizmann Science Park. AEBi developed the SoAP platform, which provides functional leads to very difficult targets.

“Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market,” Aridor said. “Our solution will be both generic and personal.”

That is the message that most of the articles, including my local news, ran with. The message above was then followed by propaganda so outrageously optimistic and misleading that it’s hard to believe scientists would actually utter such nonsense, other than perhaps to raise venture capital.

Before I explain why, in fairness, I feel obligated to note that a few of those articles let some some skepticism in, but you’d never know it from the headlines shared widely on Facebook and other social media (e.g., surprisingly, the FOX News story), and it was a day or two before headlines started to indicate any skepticism, such as Israeli scientists say cancer cure close; doctors are skeptical:

This story interested me because it gave me just enough information to be pretty sure that ABEi’s claims are unadulterated bullshit. I’ll start out with the reasons I gleaned from the story and then go on. First, ABEi’s claims are based on mouse experiments, nothing more, although the company claims to be ready to start a round of clinical trials. Anyone who’s read this blog before knows just how many results that look promising in mice end up failing in human clinical trials. (Hint: It’s by far most of them.) Indeed, the issue is such that there has been concern (often overblown, in my not-so-humble opinion, but legitimate nonetheless) that there is a problem in preclinical science. Unfortunately, the high failure rate of oncology drugs that pass preclinical studies is an issue that science denialists and quacks often use to attack conventional science. Yes, we can do better, but that doesn’t mean that pseudoscience works. It does mean, however, that any claim for an imminent “cure for cancer” based solely on preclinical studies in cell culture and mice alone should be viewed with extreme caution and skepticism.

Another issue that got my skeptical antennae all a’twitchin’ is that apparently ABEi’s results have only been presented to their scientific peers as presentations at “three separate drug discovery conferences.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, of course. It’s how scientists often first present new results being prepared for publication, but what non-scientists often don’t know is that presenting an abstract at a meeting is the least rigorous form of peer review, particularly if the work is a poster presentation. The American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), for instance, accepts literally thousands of posters for its yearly meeting, with very few, if any, being rejected during their peer review process. (I know. I’ve done a fair number of poster presentations there.) That’s why, until a scientist’s results are published in the real peer-reviewed scientific literature where other scientists can take a close look at it, I always reserve judgment. Publication as an abstract at a scientific conference, even a prestigious one, is not enough. Then, even publication in a peer-reviewed journal is not always a guarantee. After all, there are a lot of dodgy, bottom-feeding journals out there, and even top tier journals publish dubious science from time to time, particularly when it’s “frontier science.”

A third aspect of the story that caused my skeptical antennae to start twitchin’ so fast that they threatened to lift me up, as helicopter blades to a helicopter comes from the specific claims being made by the scientists involved with ABEi:

The CEO of the company behind the research told The Times of Israel on Tuesday that it has not published its research in medical journals, as is the norm, because it “can’t afford” to do so, but that the results of its pre-clinical trials have been “very good.” Several Israeli experts contacted by The Times of Israel declined to comment on the claim, some precisely because they were not familiar with the research.

There is only one facepalm big enough for such utterly obvious nonsense:

Godzilla facepalm

Can’t afford to publish the research? Seriously? Presumably the experiments have already been done and the data analyzed; so there should be no additional expense there to publish. Multiple stories say that the company already has patents in the works; so delaying publication based on a patent application is not a valid reason. All it should thus take is for the scientists to write up their results and submit them to appropriate scientific journals. Even if you allow something like a $3,000 publication charge for an open-access journal and that many standard journals don’t require page charges, is Dr. Morad saying that his company can’t afford a sum less than that to publish his results? That doesn’t speak well of the financial health of his company! Alternatively, maybe he knows that the results he has now won’t stand up to peer review and that he needs to do a lot more experiments, which would cost a fair amount of money. (Stay tuned.) In that case, I would be concerned about both the scientific basis of his claims and the financial health of his company! I would also point out that, if he doesn’t have the data to publish and needs to do more experiments, he needs to do those experiments anyway.

MuTaTo: The cure for all cancers?

So let’s take a look at the claims made in the Jerusalem Post story. (I also looked at the ABEi website.) First up, what is this strangely named technology:

Aridor, chairman of the board of AEBi and CEO Dr. Ilan Morad, say their treatment, which they call MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) is essentially on the scale of a cancer antibiotic – a disruption technology of the highest order.

The potentially game-changing anti-cancer drug is based on SoAP technology, which belongs to the phage display group of technologies. It involves the introduction of DNA coding for a protein, such as an antibody, into a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria. That protein is then displayed on the surface of the phage. Researchers can use these protein-displaying phages to screen for interactions with other proteins, DNA sequences and small molecules.

In 2018, a team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for their work on phage display in the directed evolution of new proteins – in particular, for the production of antibody therapeutics.

I hate silly buzzords like MuTaTo. (I say Mu-Tay-To, you say Mut-Tah-To!) I know, I know, the press and investors love them, but come on! Then, of course, because phage display led to a Nobel prize must mean that what this group is doing is equally impactful! This is all marketing, not science.

None of this is to say that phage display isn’t a cleverly designed and highly useful technology that took an existing technology to new heights. Bacteriophages were discovered decades ago and are, simply put, viruses that infect bacteria. Long ago, scientists learned to insert genes into these phages and use them to drive the production of the protein coded for by those genes by the bacteria infected. This is how recombinant insulin, for example, was first developed. Back in graduate school during the early 1990s, I used a precursor to phage display technology, basically a phage library, to look for proteins that bound a specific DNA sequence we were interested in. (Suffice to say, we have much better methods of accomplishing this goal today.) The difference was that the phage simply induced infected bacteria to make the protein, not to display it on its surface. In brief, phage display involves making a library of phage with different consisting of fusions of DNA sequences coding for the desired proteins or peptides with a gene for a protein that makes up the protein coating of the phage. When the phage is reassembled in the bacteria, this recombinant protein leaves the desired peptide sequences “displayed” on the surface of the phage, where they can be more conveniently screened for activity.

In the example of the Nobel Prize winning work, the power of evolution was harnessed to make phage display even more useful. Random mutations were introduced into the gene for an enzyme, after which the mutated genes were packaged in bacteriophages. The altered enzymes were then tested, and those most efficient at catalyzing the desired chemical reaction selected for a new round of mutagenesis and testing, thus “evolving” a more efficient enzyme over several rounds of mutation-phage display-selection. The same process was used to “evolve” stronger antibodies with stronger and more specific attachment to the desired antigen. In the case of ABEi, it sounds as though the company is using this technology to evolve peptides (very short protein molecules) that more avidly and specifically bind to protein targets in cancer cells. It’s clever, as far as it goes, but nothing particularly novel, as a number of groups have been using phage display to develop peptides and antibodies targeting cancer cells for a number of years now, and there are a number of peptides discovered by phage display in clinical trials now. Indeed, adalimumab (Humira) is an antibody-based drug that was discovered using phage display with a “guided selection” method. As Steve Novella noted, there are hundreds of articles indexed in PubMed listing the use of phage display to develop peptide-based cancer therapies going back nearly 20 years.

So, according to ABEi’s scientists, what is the novel and “disruptive” idea behind their treatment? Their first idea is not so novel, namely to link a “strong peptide toxin that would kill cancer cells specifically to their peptide” in order to guide it to the cancer cell and have it not poison normal cells. This is an old idea, and I’ve read more papers and grant applications about such a strategy than I can remember. Of course, a lot depends on the specific antibodies and linked toxins. The very strongest toxins, for instance, can still poison normal cells even if only a little of the peptide to which they’re linked binds to noncancerous cells, even nonspecifically. The specificity has to be quite high for this to work without a fair amount of collateral damage.

More is better? Maybe. Maybe not.

ABEi scientists also appear to have fallen for the “if one target is good, more must be better” line of thinking. In fairness, this is true to some extent; cancers do develop resistance fairly rapidly in most cases to drugs targeting a single protein. However, the more proteins you target, the more problems arise, something that ABEi doesn’t seem to consider:

For starters, most anti-cancer drugs attack a specific target on or in the cancer cell, he explained. Inhibiting the target usually affects a physiological pathway that promotes cancer. Mutations in the targets – or downstream in their physiological pathways – could make the targets not relevant to the cancer nature of the cell, and hence the drug attacking it is rendered ineffective.

In contrast, MuTaTo is using a combination of several cancer-targeting peptides for each cancer cell at the same time, combined with a strong peptide toxin that would kill cancer cells specifically. By using at least three targeting peptides on the same structure with a strong toxin, Morad said, “we made sure that the treatment will not be affected by mutations; cancer cells can mutate in such a way that targeted receptors are dropped by the cancer.”

“The probability of having multiple mutations that would modify all targeted receptors simultaneously decreases dramatically with the number of targets used,” Morad continued. “Instead of attacking receptors one at a time, we attack receptors three at a time – not even cancer can mutate three receptors at the same time.”

Again, this is nothing novel. Combination therapy is a very, very old idea in cancer. Oncologists have long postulated that targeting different molecular mechanisms or different biological aspects of cancer cells can help prevent the evolution of resistance. That’s why nearly all modern cancer chemotherapy is multi-agent. For example, the standard chemotherapy regimen for breast cancer involves three drugs, each with a different mechanism of action. Not surprisingly, in the era of targeted therapies, in which each drug targets a single protein or pathway, simultaneous targeting is also the rage. Indeed, out of curiosity, I did a few PubMed searches and found a whole plethora of articles related to simultaneously targeting two or more molecular targets on cancer; e.g., simultaneous targeting of EGFR/VEGFR and Cyclooxygenase-2 and targeting DNA repair pathways and their backups. Then there are other forms of combined targeted therapy involving targeted therapy plus chemotherapy, targeted therapy plus immunotherapy, targeted therapy plus other targeted therapy. The list goes on and on.

Synergistic activity often equals synergistic toxicity

Here’s probably my biggest question about ABEi’s technology: I’m highly skeptical that anything ABEi does will be as nontoxic as its officers are claiming. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about combination therapy it’s that the toxicities tend to increase more than linearly as more drugs are added to the combination, not that they decrease. Targeting three receptors is far more likely to cause “collateral damage” than targeting two. Then there are off-target effects. No targeted drug, peptide, or antibody is perfectly specific. All will cause effects that are due to something other than the interaction of the drug with its target; i.e., “off-target effects.” The more drugs you add, the more likely off-target effects will be and that the combination of them will result in unexpected toxicity. ABEi’s thinking on this whole issue strikes me as hopelessly simplistic at best:

Morad said their discovery could also reduce the sickening side-effects of most cancer treatments, which stem from drug treatments interacting with the wrong or additional targets, or the correct targets but on non-cancerous cells. He said MuTaTo’s having a combination of several highly specific cancer-targeting peptides on one scaffold for each type of cancer cell would increase the specificity to the cancer cell due to the avidity effect. In addition, in most cases, the non-cancer cells that have a protein in common with the cancer cells do not overexpress it.

Yes, but the difference between expression (making) of the protein in normal cells and overexpression (making a lot or too much of it) is often not huge in terms of fold-differences between normal and overexpressed, which raises the issue of inadequate specificity. If the toxin used is as powerful as Morad describes, then even a small amount of binding to normal cells expressing low levels of the targeted protein could result in significant toxicity. That doesn’t even take into account nonspecific binding; that is, binding not dependent on the presence of the target. There is always nonspecific binding.

I looked at ABEi’s own data in its “proof of concept” published on its website. Let’s just say that the data are promising in one way and completely underwhelming in another. Here’s what I mean. If only normal, cautious, realistic claims were being made, the data would be fine as early preliminary preclinical data for their treatment. However, in light of the claims of a “complete cure for cancer” within a year, these data are massively underwhelming. They show that at best, that there’s a 20-fold difference in uptake of one of its peptides in mouse tumors compared to liver after 24 hours or so. Is that good enough? Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. Unfortunately, the same graph also shows that initially its peptide rapidly accumulates in the kidneys and only falls to levels less than 20% of what’s in the tumor. It’s a not unresonable start, but nowhere near specific enough yet, I’ll bet. I also note from the data that the concentrations of the MuTaTo peptide required for killing cancer cells in a dish were not insignificant, requiring micro molar (μM). Here’s a hint: When you’re talking micromolar concentrations of your drug being needed to kill cancer cells in a dish, it is not that impressive. I know this from long personal experience writing grants that have kept resulting in reviewers telling me that my drug’s ability to kill tumor cells at micromolar concentrations is neither very impressive nor very promising.

Riding the hype of precision medicine

So, given that we know that ABEi’s ideas thus far are not particularly novel, what’s unique and revolutionary about ABEi? The news stories would have us believe that it’s this:

The MuTaTo cancer treatment will eventually be personalized. Each patient will provide a piece of his biopsy to the lab, which would then analyze it to know which receptors are overexpressed. The individual would then be administered exactly the molecule cocktail needed to cure his disease.

However, unlike in the case of AIDS, where patients must take the cocktail throughout their lives, in the case of MuTaTo, the cells would be killed, and the patient could likely stop treatment after only a few weeks.

First of all, this is precision medicine (formerly known as personalized medicine), which is not a new idea. Although I personally still think precision oncology based on a tumor’s unique gene expression has great promise, in practice realizing that promise has turned out to be a hell of a lot more difficult than originally predicted. I also can’t help but note that the press has portrayed precision medicine in terms as glowing as it’s used to describe ABEi for far longer. Let’s just put it this way. How one picks the three molecular targets from the results of a genomic profile of a given individual’s cancer will make all the difference in the world, and there is nothing I can find in this article or on the ABEi website that tells me how ABEi does that. I made fun of Stanislaw Burzynski for making claims for “personalized gene-targeted therapy,” and I see little difference here. The message seems to be: Trust us. We’ll know which molecular targets to pick for your cancer. Yet there’s nothing I can find that doesn’t suggest to me that they’re just making it up as they go along and pulling it out of their nether regions when it comes to picking targets based on genomic profiling. That assessment doesn’t even take into account the extreme heterogeneity of cancer, either. Different parts of a given cancer or the cancer and its metastases can have quite different biological characteristics. (It’s why cancer is so damned hard to eradicate.)

And how do Drs. Morad and Aridor know that treatment could be stopped after only a few weeks and the cancer will have been eradicated? They don’t. They pulled that out of their nether regions, too. Their comparison to AIDS therapy is specious as well. Tumor cells can go dormant and recur as new tumors, for instance. Come to think of it, maybe the analogy isn’t that specious. Part of the reason that combination protease inhibitor therapy is needed indefinitely for HIV infection is that the virus can “go dormant” and “hide” in certain tissues, to reactivate later.

MuTaTo: Real science and real promise for cancer or a big con?

Unfortunately, the reaction to the news stories about how “Israeli scientists are on the verge of curing cancer” has been widespread. I was perusing Twitter yesterday, and a friend of mine, a fellow physician, made this point:

Dr. Lipson is Jewish, and this news has gone especially viral among Jewish communities all over, thanks to the Israel connection:

I missed the news report on TV. However, I have seen the Local 4 news story, but oddly enough the video is not linked to it. If it’s anything like all the others I’ve seen, though, I’m guessing it was bad.

Elsewhere, Alison Bateman-House, whom whose acquaintance I made online through our shared activism on “right to try,” summed things up:

Meanwhile, cancer researchers and advocates scrambled to counteract the hype. For instance, Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the American Cancer Society, wrote A Cure For Cancer? Not So Fast, noting concerns with the reports and how it’s basically impossible for a treatment go go from promising preliminary mouse experiments to full-fledged cure in under a year. The NY Post seemed to backtrack a bit with an article Cancer experts react to claim about finding a cure within a year:

But Dr. Ben Neel, director of Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, told The Post that “cancer is multiple diseases, and it is highly unlikely that this company has found a ‘cure’ for cancer any more than there is a single cure for infections.”

He said that “more likely, this claim is yet another in a long line of spurious, irresponsible and ultimately cruel false promises for cancer patients.”

Neel added in an email: “Of course, curing cancer is the goal of everyone who comes to work every day at a cancer center — and if this company does, in fact, cure cancer, they will have my congratulations and thanks.”

Mine too. However, based on what I’ve read so far, I highly doubt that I’ll be giving ABEi my congratulations and thanks, at least not any time soon. As for right now, I’m calling them out for, at the minimum, massively excessive hype.

In Israel, the Times of Israel published the article I cited above in which ABEi scientists said they wouldn’t be publishing because it was too expensive. I left this next part out above because it is truly cringeworthy, saving it for the end of the post to drive the final nail in the coffin in which ABEi’s claims rest:

Morad said the team at AEBi chooses to use its scant funds to do more research rather than publishing its research in medical journals

The firm wants to focus on “advancing the research and developing more targeting peptides. It takes a lot of work and we are a small company,” he told The Times of Israel. “We can’t afford it. Publishing an article takes a lot of effort and a lot of funds, and this we can’t afford.

He added: “If we were a big company with a lot of funds, that would be the first thing we would do. If I have $100,000 what do I spend it on?” he asked. “Advancing the research and finding more and more targeting peptides, or doing many experiments to write an article? What would you do, if you had to choose?”

There’s only one thing to do here, and that’s to bring out Godzilla again:

Godzilla facepalm

Or maybe Picard and Riker:

Or maybe even…Jesus:

I laughed out loud when I read Morad’s excuse. The very experiments that “advance the research” would be the ones most interesting to publish. It appears to me that Morad knows his results are too preliminary to publish. However, that means that the research is far more preliminary and thus nowhere near clinical application, much less “less than a year from a complete cure for cancer.”

It’s hard not to wonder whether Morad and Aridor are just grandiose startup executives desperate enough to raise venture capital that they do a bit of creative massaging of the truth, which is all too common among those running startups, or outright con men. (Their excuses for why they haven’t published their results yet made me lean towards the latter.) Regardless of the answer, the best that can be said of them is that they are wildly exaggerating how far long their technology is in development and even more wildly overpromising what it is likely to be able to deliver. In doing so, they’re raising false hope in cancer patients. Let us be clear. Their technology, promising or not, is not a “complete cure for cancer” and will not be a cure for cancer. At best, it probably won’t be a cure for a cancer. (Remember, cancer is not a single disease, but hundreds of diseases, and each cancer can be multiple diseases as well.) It might be a useful therapy. That’s it. It sounds as though it’s worth developing further, but only if Morad and Aridor can show that they have a reliable method to pick their protein targets other than pulling them from their posteriors and that their treatment isn’t too toxic, but I fear that ABEi’s excessive hype might well have doomed it.

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]

221 replies on “MuTaTo: Is an Israeli company within a year of a “complete cure for cancer”?”

I saw the news reports, and I wondered what your take would be. I see one of your links was to a South African News website.
All I can say is, you’ve trained me well. I saw just the headlines and I thought “hogwash!”

I just saw Saturn this morning. He was looking good.

He says he is trying for 28 Earth years this orbit.

I missed Saturn (had already set) but the moon, Venus and Jupiter all in close proximity was cool this morning. Was bummed last week that the lunar eclipse was mostly clouded out here in Arizona.

“.. what non-scientists often don’t know is that presenting an abstract at a meeting is the least rigorous form of peer review, particularly if the work is a poster presentation. The American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), for instance, features literally thousands of posters at its yearly meeting, with very few, if any, being rejected in peer review…” I’m guessing, from context, that “rejected” should be “accepted”?

No, It reads the way I meant it. Very few abstracts submitted to AACR are rejected during AACR’s peer review process for abstracts. Basically any abstract not accepted for a podium talk will be accepted for a poster session, which is why some abstract submitters check “oral presentation” only and don’t check poster session when submitting.

Many thanks for the clarification. The ins and outs of medical/academic conference presentations are unfamiliar to this layman. Oh, and in recognition of MJD’s minion theme, “Banana!”

I was going to say that MuTaTo sounded like a boy band or a Marvel villain. What this company is doing is not comical though and shame on the media (yet again) for breathlessly running with the outlandish forecasts of Morad.

It reminds me of Homer Simpson’s tomacco, a plutonium-caused hybrid of tomatoes and tobacco.
Depending on how you pronounce it could also be game played on a grid with X’s and O’s.
In either case, Israel is flush with (real) scientists and physicians, and it’s not unreasonable to expect them to go after this shoddy excuse for actual science.

ORD: I read a great article once about a family that grafted a tomato onto a jimsonweed plant. Boy were they sorry after they ate a hallucinogenic tomato! (Butron Rouche’s The Medical Detectives)

MuTaTo sound like a fancy cocktail with an umbrella.

Any one who claims to cure a vast range of diseases with one drug immediately sounds like a crank or conman to me. It is possible but then maybe the horse will learn to speak.

I think your suggestion that they want to raise more venture capital is probably the reason for this propaganda.

It seems to be as popular as that spoof paper that said chocolate was soooo good for you but with a lot more potential for harm. How soon will we see them trying to market it in the USA under the “Right to Try” legislation as this company seems to be doing with a blood test for Autism Spectrum Disorder (Review by Dorthey Bishop http://deevybee.blogspot.com/)

Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times was one reporter that does not seem to have fallen for this story. https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-cancer-cure-20190130-story.html

“more venture capital is probably the reason”

Then it’s a poor reason, and they’d be fools for thinking of it. In my experience VC’s are among the mostly cynical creatures on Earth. From years of being burned their skin resembles armor plating. You could walk into a partner’s office, plonk a goose on his desk, have it lay a succession of (appraised) golden eggs and you’d still get your ass kicked. The trick is finding one reputable VC who’ll at least listen, because if you get the nod other VC’s will listen to them.

The problem with cancer is that laypeople very often don’t know that it’s not one disease, but a collection of common features shared by a host of different mechanisms. It’s a bit like dementia, with the difference that the name clinical dementia (not its use to describe craziness) came after the description of its multiple diseases (AD, Pick’s, etc). That makes it more difficult for laypeople to immediately recognize a “treat all” claim, since cancer is singular for them.

One hopes that this doesn’t turn into a novel form of anti-neoplaston. If they are small and cash-strapped, they may discover that starting a clinic and marketing an experimental cancer cure is lucrative.

I was just thinking the same thing, they would not be the first to try this, though I don’t know if Israel has the same lax regulations Texas and Mexico does, so they might not have the option to go down that hole.

My first thought was, “COMING SOON TO A TIJUANA STEM CELL CLINIC NEAR YOU!!! ASK ABOUT OUR GOFUNDME DISCOUNT PLANS!!! YOU CAN ASK, BUT WE DON’T GIVE NO DISCOUNTS TO NO ONE!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!”

Morad and Aridor may lay claim to the 2019 “Pons and Fleischmann Cold Fusion Phony Hyped Breakthrough” award.

Are they having an initial coin offering too? Let me guess, they’re not headquartered in the US and don’t have to talk to the SEC.

If I had a surefire cancer cure – “cures them all, and you won’t even feel sick!” – I’d get Science and Nature to fight over who got to publish it as a cover story. And that’s double if I wanted investment money. What better publicity; it would pay for the costs of doing it a billion times over (literally).

Oh for pity’s sake. There’s nothing novel about “personalizing” the targets of a cancer treatment. I went to a conference last year where the presenters were pretty evenly split between the super-individualized (sequence the tumor) immunotherapy treatments and the totally off-the-shelf (within cancer type) immunotherapy treatments. Nothing new there.

I asked one of the presenters how his company planned to conduct their “identity” release testing (where you show the FDA that your drug is what you say it is) and he gave me this terrible blank look and said “I don’t know. I don’t think we’ve even thought about that.” I’m sure the FDA is updating how they want these super-personalized immunotherapies to prove that they are what they say they are, but you still have to do it!

I just read the book about Theranos, the company that claimed that it could do dozens of blood tests from one tiny drop of blood taken from a finger stick. What struck me was how unlikely their claims were, and yet they got little negative feedback until a Wall Street Journal reporter was contacted by a company employee who blew the story wide open. Even then, it took quite a while for gullible investors to believe that they’d been had. I suspect that the difference in the two stories is that Theranos was extraordinarily secretive about its purported technology — even after the WSJ articles, it continued to bluff and to bs the public and its own investors. These guys don’t seem to have quite the same level of con in them.

This has to be the first time at RI that I’ve commented on a story that is not vaccines related….

Googling the reactions to these Isreali scientists’ claim about curing cancer, I see it’s wall-to-wall skeptimism. It leads me to wonder how much of this nay-saying is ego driven. Is it due to these scientists apparently working outside of the paradigm of standard cancer research, specifically testing, and making their findings known?

Sometimes I get the same impression with vaccination and that paradigm. Outside of whatever ‘material incentives’ there are to stay loyal to that program, is there also a situation of crushed egos? Is it a frustration of realizing that something you’ve invested so much time and resource in might be a failure, and the ‘slackers’ may be the ones with the better alternative?

You have been here before. An argument is needed, not hype or rant .
I have worked in startups, and money will run out. Then you try raise more. A little hype a will help. I remember, too, days when you could raise money just being in mobile business. Those were the days …
As for argument, precision medicin and general cure are logical opposites. You can have a peptide that is specific to certain mutation in cancer cells, but you need lots of them to cover all cases. And what if patient have many mutations ? Not covered mutations will go on growing.

It’s not gone beyond some work with mice…

They’ve not published in any journal, let alone a decent one…

Those things alone should lead to some caution, rather than hyperbolic claims.

I was amused looking at the Wiki list of Einstein’s publications that Narad kindly provided.
Greggles falls flat on his face again. Gives me a warm feeling inside.

I remember a kid like you in grade school who just didn’t know when to be quiet about things he knew nothing about. I also remember how he kept getting swirlied in unflushed toilets which eventually taught the lesson.

I remember a kid like you in grade school who just didn’t know when to be quiet about things he knew nothing about

Don’t think I am so far off to muse that ego and emotions play a fair part in science.

Very well then, Aarno and others, please help.a lay person like myself understand the science behind these Isreali scientists’ proposal. Use anologies if you must.

Scientific journals were more lax in these days. That also did play a part in the physics revolution of these days.

Scientific journals were more lax in these days.

I presume you mean “those” days.
Whatever. At least he published. These so-called scientists have only junk excuses

Scientific journals were more lax in these days.

Annalen der Physik was “lax”? I mean, journals weren’t giant bureaucracies back then (Benjamin Apthorp Gould laid out the Astronomical Journal himself), but this doesn’t amount to laxity.

Switching instead to laxitives,

But was Einstein also a ‘slacker’, and look how things turned out!

Ignoring the broken sentence structure, I’m not sure where this “slacker” shit is coming from. Oh, wait, it’s Gerg. As for how things turned out (!), GR is incompatible with QM, and Einstein wasted the end of his scientific career trying to drive the train in reverse.

Einstein had the math! He showed his work!
These folks do not have any math and have not showed their work.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Peer review was different in these days.

I don’t know that Einstein’s tantrum is a useful basis upon which to base anything other than Einstein’s tantrum. Journals were smaller, sometimes simply issuing a monograph as an issue, leaving more room for idiosyncrasy. This is how you get people like Brouwer (AJ) and Chandra (ApJ).

I realize that I’m generalizing from the field that I know best,* but I suspect that other fields have comparable histories, such as JAMA.

*I want to say that it was ZfA that introduced the two-column format, but I’m tired and don’t really have a good explanation for why I’m doing this mental spelunking in the first place.

Guys why not help improve on the theory, personally id love to live in a time where we cured cancer not wrote blogs about “bad scientific claims”.

I am with you here Mike. Let’s assume it’s a 99% chance the claims are bogus, we would still have a 1% chance of hope. Instead of airing on the side of slamming these scientists — hell, and even if we were to do that– should the scientific community not also, nevertheless, extends its hand, if it can in anyway assist that 1%?

Good gods you are thick. That’s not how it works so why don’t you gain a better understanding of something before spouting off. It’s not our job to “educate” a smug turd like you who doesn’t have a genuine desire to be educated, just use what you’ve heard as more poo to fling.

A teachable moment, though not for the Greg specimen.

For the lurkers: you may feel vaguely that the picture that the fool paints of the scientific community is somewhat true. It isn’t. There is no cabal of Ruling Scientists that decide what will be taken seriously. No, submission to scholarly journals is the absolute minimum of credibility, and the fact that the firm in question has refused to do this is strong evidence that they have nothing.

Even if research is published in credible journals, that is not necessarily strong evidence that proposed therapies are workable. No; publication is step one, and this firm hasn’t even done that.

The 1%/99% locution only arises because of a false belief in a scientific cabal twirling their mustaches in smoke-filled back rooms. If there is a ‘1%’ chance that this firm has workable therapies, they should publish. The lack of funding excuse is laughable; if there is something there the firm will have no difficulty showing their work to some professors; if there is something there, it will be published in a top journal.

Whatever are the vices of peer review, it needs to be criticized with reference to actually true vices, not made-up conspiracy theories. If this firm has not published, the chance that they have an actually working therapy is not 1%, but 10^-12 %. Fraud and/or wishful thinking are far more likely, especially when there is money involved.

There are many Einstein legends out there, and while he did suffer some discrimination, his approach was entirely traditional and conventional. He had ideas; they were published, and they made a lot of sense in unifying troubling experimental findings. He was not an oppressed revolutionary sticking it to the Man. He was neither a slacker (publishing famous scientific papers that he wrote in his spare time) nor was he, per another false legend, academically poor in grade school.

Guys like the fool get it in their heads that science excludes the unconventional and the novel. [And usually guys; there definitely is an element of the macho there.] Whatever are the failings of science, my experience is exactly the opposite; unconventional and novel ideas have a much better chance to succeed than in every other institution going, including humanities and social sciences.

Here is an opportunity for a teachable moment, though not for the Greg specimen/bigot. The guy seems to honestly believe that he is open-minded and opposing closed-mindedness, whereas the reverse is true. So – this is for the lurkers, not for him.

The silly ‘1%/99%’ locution seems to arise from a very distorted picture of what the scientific community is. The fool seems to believe that there is a Scientific Cabal, twirling their mustaches in smoke-filled back rooms, that decide what work to take seriously. Lurkers may feel vaguely that is true even if they are no sympathetic to the fool. It isn’t.

The fact is that publication is step one to scientific acceptance. If this company is unable to publish, then there is no reason for anyone to take them seriously. The fool thinks that science is a coolness contest; “Look at me! My ideas are so cool they must be right!!” But really, no; until ideas are given in publishable form, they are not even science. Even then they must be subjected to criticism before they can be accepted.

If this firm has any real evidence for their claims they will publish, and it will be accepted to a top journal. If they have workable therapies, their ideas will be accepted quickly. But even publication in a top journal is no guarantee that the proposed therapies will work. Publication is where the serious conversation starts It’s not an arbitrary ‘established channel’ – its the means to share your ideas. Won’t share? Why should I believe anything you say? Opposite of arbitrary hierarchy.

The silly excuses the firm makes for not publishing are strong indicators of fraud and/or wishful thinking. The chance that they have a workable therapy is closer to 10^-12 %, not 1%. Because they are not behaving in a way that people behave when they have something; they are behaving like scammers.

Can we invoke cloture on those ridiculous Einstein legends? Einstein certainly suffered some discrimination, but he operated in an entirely traditional, conventional way. He was no ‘slacker’, writing still-famous and highly esteemed scientific papers in his spare time while working a non-academic job. He also was not a poor student in grade school contrary to another popular legend.

I think Greg is unreachable but anyone on the fence will need to check out the ‘Galileo gambit’, which the fool has invoked – with false information attached! – at least twice on this thread.

The way to improve on this potential method (not a theory) is for the scientists to run the experiments and show the data. They have not showed that it works in humans. They have not showed that it is safe in humans. They have not showed in mice that it works against every tumor type.

If they want to claim that it is a cure for all cancers they should at least show that it works against every single mouse model of cancer.

The way you develop new treatments for cancers is to get into the lab and into the clinic and do the work. There is nothing that we here could do for this company. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

Science Mom, I get it that these researchers are guilty of not going through the proper ‘channels’ with their research. It’s just with all the wall-to-wall bashings, I haven’t heard one- ‘Hey you losers, Isreali scientists. Despite thinking you’re full of crap, if I can help in anyway, let me know.’

PS: I still kindly ask that the knowledgeable folks around here assist me with understanding this cancer-peptides science. Some appropriate anologies would be much appreciated. Please and thank you!

The really sad part about all these bashings is the impression that many people are hoping these researchers will fail. It’s sort of like Orac secretly praying that a vaxxed/unvaxxed study never gets done. I imagine if within a year, these ‘mavericks’ were to prove the nay-sayers wrong, by solving, finally, the cancer scourge, there would be a lot of keyboards slamming in academia offices the world over.

If you read Orac’s commentary (tall order, I know /s), you will find lots of helpful suggestions for the Israeli “scientists” amidst the well-deserved insolence. If their fee-fees are too hurt to take advantage, well, tough.

I imagine if within a year, these ‘mavericks’ were to prove the nay-sayers wrong, by solving, finally, the cancer scourge

There is no such thing as “the cancer scourge,” you moron. Jesus Chirst, you’ve just screamed out yet again that you don’t read the blog. You just show up, spunk all over the comments for a while, and run away. Repeat after me: cancer is more than one fucking disease.

Turning to the previous Gergling,

I still kindly ask that the knowledgeable folks around here assist me with understanding this cancer-peptides science.

Here. “Begin at the beginning,” as the King of Hearts said.

Some appropriate anologies would be much appreciated.

“Analogies”? OK, how about this?

I still kindly ask that the knowledgeable folks around here assist me with understanding…

… how to competently use my mother tongue.

There, FTFY.

I get it that these researchers are guilty of not going through the proper ‘channels’ with their research.

If that was what you took away from Orac’s article, then no, you have’t “got it” at all.
The simple fact of the matter is, this startup is making claims about curing cancer that are, to put it politely, dubious. Orac points this out. You just don’t have the ability to grok what Orac is writing about.

It’s just with all the wall-to-wall bashings, I haven’t heard one- ‘Hey you losers, Isreali .[sic, sic, and sic again] scientists. Despite thinking you’re full of crap, if I can help in anyway, let me know.’

Get them on the blower, Gerg.

Grogger, I am not hoping these “researchers” will fail They have failed already.
Their approach to funding and their supposed inability to publish because they claim they can’t afford to are pretty clear signs of a con job.
Their concept walks straight into the blade of Occam’s razor.
Meanwhile, you suggest that no matter how implausible the claim, we should suspend all judgment to assist them because, hey, you never know.
The nice lady who calls you from “Credit Card Services” might just be on the level, so don’t forget to press “1” at the prompt so they can lower your interest for a modest fee.
And when they come around with material left over from another job in the neighborhood and they want to seal your asphalt driveway, be sure to let them. Maybe it won’t be done with diesel oil and wash away with the first rain and you’ll have gotten a real bargain.

Orac and choir, I think I’m having a The Usual Suspect moment. These scientists’ claim that they will have a complete cure for cancer in a year, on the surface, doesn’t sound very credible, because it’s so outlandish. What if it’s pricesly because it’s so outlandish why it’s credible?!

Wno would stick their necks out like this, and why? I could understand claiming they will have a discovery soon, but why give such a definite time?
Could it be that things are so positive that the time has come to make a bold claim, so no one will be confused who the heroes are. Related to this, by not informing of the trials, are they seeking to ward off competition as they dot the i’s and cross the t’s?

Also, how are we so sure that the research hasn’t been tested on people? Consider how desperate some cancer patients can be, and how they might be willing to try ‘anything’.

Maybe it’s a case that even a year is a conservative estimate. Perhaps the time is right now. Maybe these scientists will indeed have the last laugh — and right up to the podium to receive their Nobel Prize!

And maybe that Nigerian prince has millions of dollars that he needs to get out of the country.

You must LOOOOOVE getting your butt kicked.

You must LOOOOOVE getting your butt kicked.

“Engagement at any cost.” Then again, it’s some sort of mental Monopoly money for Gerg.

” Wno ( sic) would stick their necks out like this, and why?”

Someone who wanted you to believe that they already have had success so that you will support them?

Listen, I can relate numerous stories of “miracle cures” that I’ve heard over the radio ( PRN.fm) yet there has never been a RCT to show that there is any substance to the claims. Whenever they boast of “studies”, it is usually simpleton-friendly lifestyle change “research” with self-reported measures of results, e.g. change to a vegan diet, take myriad supplements and exercise an hour a day and report how you felt afterwards. Well, whoever doesn’t drop out will probably say that they felt great, even if it was to justify all of the adaptions that they had to make. PLUS, they report to whomever is promoting the study. Controlling the study is not taken seriously.

Often, they insist that soon, everyone will follow their lead and they will ride the crest of the incoming paradigm shift. Maybe even get the Nobel, as you hint. One of the greatest cancer alt med claims was by Dr Gonzalez with pancreatic cancer: when other scientists tested his methods well, the experimental group ( his therapy) fared worse than the control. They died sooner.
Yet woo-believers still tout his work,

We can’t prove that they have never tested their treatment on any human with cancer. However, if they really were doing legitimate clinical trials, they would have posted notices such as this one.

https://www.stjude.org/research/clinical-trials/pbtc47-pediatric-brain-tumor.html

And that is only a Phase I study. They need to get results from that and then do Phase II and Phase III trials before their method can be generally approved.

On a related note, I’m about halfway through reading Lilac Girls
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/247936/lilac-girls-by-martha-hall-kelly/9781101883082/

which is a work of fiction but contains some moderately graphic descriptions of the sort of medical experimentation that the Helsinki Declaration was designed to eliminate.

It would be especially sad if a group of Israeli scientists would choose to violate those principles.

It would be especially sad if a group of Israeli scientists would choose to violate those principles.

Sadness that is sure to be neutralized by extreme jubilation if they do indeed have a cure for cancer.

You have already been advised that the words “a cure for cancer” don’t mean anything. Fatass perseveration is not going to change this.

One more time, let’s ponder this again. If one believes that the truly have discoverd something so breathtaking, so earth shaking, so heavens falling as a cure for cancer, would it make sense to go through those ‘pesky’ little trials heirachies? What if when you’re playing with mice the hyenas arrive on the scene to snatch your catch? Instead, would it not make sense to really test the water to see if you’re indeed a hero? Hhmmnn!

Instead, would it not make sense to really test the water to see if you’re indeed a hero?

Could you provide an anology?

What if it’s pricesly because it’s so outlandish why it’s credible?!

I’m guessing that it will be quite “pricesly” should they start marketing it.

Narad, I have a confession to make. I always thought you come across as a really smart guy. Now I can’t help feeling a little sad how you’ve lowered your game by obsessing over my typos and spelling errors. Narad, who typed this?

Remember when Gerg made a habit of trying to invok(sic) The Warriors without realizing that Luther got stomped in the end? Good times.

It’s alright, Narad. We’re still good. Your typo doesn’t change my impression of you being a pretty smart guy. (Hee hee hee)

Now I can’t help feeling a little sad how you’ve lowered your game by obsessing over my typos and spelling errors.

They’re basically all the content that you have left.

“Maybe it’s a case that even a year is a conservative estimate. Perhaps the time is right now. Maybe these scientists will indeed have the last laugh — and right up to the podium to receive their Nobel Prize!”
And maybe monkeys will fly out of your butt.

Orac and choir

TINW, cyst.

I think I’m having a The Usual Suspect moment.

This doesn’t mean anything in English. I doubt that you even have an attention span long enough to have actually viewed the film.

Denice and choir, I am not denying that it may very well turn out to be another bogus claim about curing cancer. Still, there is sort of a different feel to this one — the fact that the proposed therapy is not so ‘quacky’; they’re giving dates and and making a bold claim about a complete cure, and not backing down; the scientists and research institution do not have a reputation as ‘quacky’. On the matter of the research not appearing ‘quacky’, I reflect on this from Orac….

“Let’s just put it this way. How one picks the three molecular targets from the results of a genomic profile of a given individual’s cancer will make all the difference in the world…..”

Seriously, is it possible that we may have some ‘Columbuses’ on our hands, having the last laugh by not falling off the earth?

Dude,

Denice and choir

Why are you trying to impose your personnality shaped perception on us? You have no right to call us a choir. Address us the way we (TINW) want to be addressed.

Alain

Better get your act together fast, Grogger. A preacher in Brazil says the Rapture is coming on March 1st. That should give you enough time to gift all your worldly possessions to me, since you won’t be needing them anymore and if the Rapture happens I will be going nowhere. After all, maybe this time someone has gotten it right.

If you want to pick up Greggles’ possessions, you should remind his mother to leave the basement door unlocked.

Thanks for the information, ORD!
Now all I need to do is figure out a way to get the godly well-to-do to sell me their pricey NY/ SF apartments/ houses for pittances**.
Because well… “money is the root of all evil”.

** and I know that most of the godly will assume that there are none of their crew in NY/ SF so that’s how I get in on the ground floor- no one will be looking

A preacher in Brazil says the Rapture is coming on March 1st.

It’s better than telling tenement dwellers that the water’s going to be turned off for five hours in the morning with less than 18 hours’ notice.

Time to ‘fess up – the Brazilian preacher is my invention, but has had plenty of real-life counterparts. I don’t know that there have been any mass transfers of deeds, cash, valuables, but there are people who have accepted payment for taking care of pets that will have been left behind.
Narad: Blow-up dolls are handy to have for the next big Rapture mania. On the big day take some out near a church of believers, fill them with helium, and let go. Should be good for a few laughs.

A question for the knowledgeable folks around here from this layperson…

Standard chemotherapy works by killing cells as they divide. Cancer cells are thus targeted and so too are fast dividing normal cells.

This peptides cancer therapy supposedly will target specific cancer cells, but closely related normal cells may also get harmed.

Which therapy is more likely to produce more collateral damage and greater harm?
Aggressive tumors have more differentiated cells. With this new therapy then, should we not expect less collateral damage for aggressive tumors that are targetted?

This is actually true. But generality is lost. A peptide working with one type of mutation probably does not work with others.

True — but as the scientist explained, it’s next to impossible that a tumor will mutate 3 receptors at once. So given a biopsy of a tumor, is it not possible to select 3 receptors that they all have in common to target.

It would also appear that this mutating issue leading to less effective treatment is more of a problem with chemotherapy drugs. Chemotherapy drugs work by targeting cells as they divide, but we should remember even the fastest dividing cancer cells do so in about 70 days are so. In essence then, chemotherapy is working two slow and giving the tumor a chance to beat the system. However, this 3-peptides targeting approach would appear different since cells would be destroyed right away. In fact, the scientists are saying the whole therapy would last a few weeks

given a biopsy of a tumor, is it not possible to select 3 receptors that they all have in common to target

Gerg, is there an antecedent to the personal pronoun in this emission?

“So given a biopsy of a tumor, is it not possible to select 3 receptors that they all have in common to target.” Maybe. Within a single type of cancer. But anything that is general to all cancers would most likely be general to all cells.
Also, it makes the manufacture of the treatment specific to each individual patient, which is shockingly expensive.

Another thing: mutation will still occur within the cancer (that’s why it’s a cancer in the first place) so while having 3 targets makes it less likely that it will evade the page treatment entirely, it is still possible. More likely is that the tumor will mutate and lose one or two of the targets, making the treatment less effective. This doesn’t have anything to do with the cell cycle of the cancer cell.

With this new therapy then, should we not expect less collateral damage for aggressive tumors that are targetted?

Gerg, just to make double-sure you’re actually trying to do a competent job of being interested in something (wait, didn’t I already deliver an OA review?), please type down a crucially related word that starts with ‘p’.

Gerg, is there an antecedent to the personal pronoun in this emission?

Narad, for all your obvious literary gifts, I think the time has long past when you could be considered more than a one trick pony. Narad, why don’t you stop speaking in code and share your understanding of the science involved in this research, and even if you’re conversing with a layperson. Surely Orac has other readers who may also not be so informed, and who could benefit from such a discussion.

Narad, why don’t you stop speaking in code and share your understanding of the science involved in this research

I’m not writing “in code,” you miserably evasive swine. I asked you directly what the “they” was supposed to mean.

Did you look at the review article and try to understand it? No? Gee, that would be a real fucking surprise.

Squirrelelite, I keep saying you guys are a cult and you keep proving it over, and over, and over again! What you’ve done there is similar to your approach of doing a keyword search for ‘vaccines’ and saying, ‘here Greg, don’t trust us, read all these mountains and mountains of studies on vaccines research’ . Surely Squirrellite you can share your take and answer some of my queries as they relate to this cancer-peptides research.

First, Greg, your own answer shows we are the opposite of s cult. Cults don’t point to hundreds of people around the world who are doing their own independent research and and advise you to review it and decide for yourself. Cultures have one to leader or a very few trusted associates and tell you to DIY what they eat and ignore everyone else.

Second, you in effect asked us to review all this research for you, suggest it into an understandable format and spin feed or to you. I am not qualified to do that and don’t have the time anyway, but if you really want to leave about this, there are several of those articles that are open access to get you started.

Third, to get back to the subject of the blog, lots of people have been researching this field for about 18 years and are just getting started on Phase I trials. Even if the Israelis are into something, it will take them a year or two for Phase I, 2 or 3 years for Phase Ii, and 3-5 years for Phase III to get results to see if their behind works, hhow well it works, and how well the 5 survival and recurrence statistics compare with current methods. If those results are good, then we’ll all be happy.

Third, to get back to the subject of the blog, lots of people have been researching this field for about 18 years and are just getting started on Phase I trials. Even if the Israelis are into something, it will take them a year or two for Phase I, 2 or 3 years for Phase Ii, and 3-5 years for Phase III to get results to see if their behind works, hhow well it works, and how well the 5 survival and recurrence statistics compare with current methods. If those results are good, then we’ll all be happy.

What about the possibility that it might be fast-tracked like Gardasil and thereby skipping Phase III. Seems it would have a better reason to be fast-tracked than Gardasil. We’re talking life or death medicine vs preventative medicine. Seriously, what are we going to tell people on their last legs are given a terminal diagnosis — this therapy is a no-go because it’s not safe? I can see some real ethical conundrums with this one.

This is a medication, not a vaccine. It takes 3 years or 5 years to find out what the 3 year or 5 year survival numbers are, so you can compare them with current treatments.

It’s only been 5 years since Gardasil 9 was approved, 13 years for the original Gardasil, and people are still arguing over how many cancers it prevents.

I suggest you read this for more information about cancer treatment trials

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj7nNnPsajgAhUD_4MKHZGaD_wQzPwBegQIARAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cancer.org%2Ftreatment%2Ftreatments-and-side-effects%2Fclinical-trials%2Fwhat-you-need-to-know%2Fphases-of-clinical-trials.html&psig=AOvVaw2pQo5Yy3xKf4k1liD7xVWx&ust=1549586481924731

I did state any number of times my opinion: vaccines do not cause autism, it is genetic. Google Search references were meant to be evidence.

Narad writing in code…

“Gerg, is there an antecedent to the personal pronoun in this emission?”

Narad not writing in code…

“I’m not writing “in code,” you miserably evasive swine. I asked you directly what the “they” was supposed to mean.”

Who would agree?

A special note: Although ‘miserable evasive swine’ is quite ‘colourful’, it’s meaning is not at all encriptic and can be easily understood.

And in case this is required to ward off another encryptic snark, it should’ve been the possessive ‘its’ in my last post.

So given a biopsy of a tumor, is it not possible to select 3 receptors that they all have in common to target.” Maybe. Within a single type of cancer. But anything that is general to all cancers would most likely be general to all cells.
Also, it makes the manufacture of the treatment specific to each individual patient, which is shockingly expensive.

Another thing: mutation will still occur within the cancer (that’s why it’s a cancer in the first place) so while having 3 targets makes it less likely that it will evade the page treatment entirely, it is still possible. More likely is that the tumor will mutate and lose one or two of the targets, making the treatment less effective. This doesn’t have anything to do with the cell cycle of the cancer cell.

Thanks so much JustaTech for your response! See Narad and Squirrel?! See how essy it is to shoot the breeze with me?

JustaTech, are you saying screening receptors specifically for the type of cancer (lung, breast, kidney etc) is not as likely to pickup receptors that are general to all cells, including healthy ones, than screening for receptors specific to cancer cells in general?

Although cost shouldn’t factor, how ‘shockingly expensive’ do you envision this therapy to be? With new technology do you not see this cost dropping over time?

You say it’s possible that a cell could mutate 3 receptors at a time but not likely, how unlikely would you say this?

When you speak of mutations and cancer cells dropping receptors, are you speaking of mutations that occur before the receptors were selected or after?

I keep hearing concerns of toxcity and collateral damage, but chemo is also toxic and has collateral damage, would you expect less harm from this therapy?

Thanks so much JustaTech for your response! See Narad and Squirrel?! See how essy it is to shoot the breeze with me?

Gerg, you’re an enema with a keyboard. There is not a sincere bone in your body. When you say “shoot the breeze,” what you really mean is “have a handjob exchange.”

This is not what transpired with JT’s response to you.

You can shoot the breeze with your horse while you lead it to the water, but you can’t make it drink from the firehose of available research.

No Greg, I am saying that the peptides chosen might be specific to the tumor in one patient. That is the direction that cancer treatments seem to be going. If anyone had ever identified any kind of receptor or surface protein that was specific only to cancer cells (from all cancer types) but no healthy cell, well, they would have a Nobel and we would all know about it.

Shockingly expensive means a quarter million dollars for the treatment alone, not including any hospital stays associated with the treatment. Or more. Probably a lot more.

Mutations in cancer cells happen constantly, with and without selection pressure.

I don’t work in chemo so I can’t and won’t speak to that.

Also, remember that everyone has other things to do beyond constantly refresh for new comments. You have been exceptionally rude and you should be gratified that I’ve taken the time to answer your questions. Please stop demanding answers.

Shockingly expensive means a quarter million dollars for the treatment alone, not including any hospital stays associated with the treatment. Or more. Probably a lot more.

This of course assumes that the technology would be new, and given ramped up production the cost would drop as it is with all new technology?

No. The cost of the treatment would not come down significantly over time because there are a lot of costs beyond the technology.
First and foremost, this is a individual product. That means you lose almost all the benefits of scale.
Second, all of these things are hard to make, which means you need really well-trained, educated people to make them. Those people are expensive to hire and retain.
Third, all of the ingredients must be human-grade, which makes them expensive. You can’t choose cheaper, and since you don’t get the benefits of scale, your cost of goods will always be an issue.
Fourth, the volume of quality control and quality assurance on something this complicated is also going to be very expensive (highly trained people, again, and a lot of systems) and is also not optional.

It’s the same reason airplanes are still expensive. When lives are on the line you can’t (morally, ethically, legally or economically) go for the cheapest option.

Greg, even if there was the possibility of skipping a Phase III trial, they still have to do Phase I and Phase II. They haven’t done those yet, therefore there is no way to know if the outcomes would be so amazing to warrant skipping a Phase III.

First you show that a treatment is safe (Phase I).
Then you show that a treatment is effective (Phase II).
Then you show that your treatment is safe and effective in the relevant patient population (Phase III).

Greg, even if there was the possibility of skipping a Phase III trial, they still have to do Phase I and Phase II. They haven’t done those yet, therefore there is no way to know if the outcomes would be so amazing to warrant skipping a Phase III.

Thanks again JustaTech. See again Narad and Squirrel?! JustaTech and I are still chilling and shooting the breeze about this proposed cancer therapy. Don’t understand why you were giving me attitude anyway. I was asking about the therapy, not calling you out about the mass poisoning of kids– ahhemm!– vaccination!

JustaTech, I hear what you’re saying about those phases, but, giving the severity of cancer, I can see this therapy completely upending things. JustaTech, the one year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is 20 freaking percent! You have an 80% chance of being done in a year! You’re telling me after Phase 1 proving the therapy safe, you’re going to tell a pancreatic cancer patient he can’t try it because it might not be effective?!

PS: Please answer the questions that I asked in my last post

Greg, the patient would be enrolled in the Phase II trial. Or they would request a “compassionate use” dispensation from the FDA (I don’t know what it is called in Israel).

But here’s the thing about safety. Let’s say that this treatment is for pancreatic cancer (we don’t know that, they haven’t actually defined what diseases it is for). And let us say that the patients that would be considered for this trial really do only have about a year to live. That’s not very long. But it is far longer than a week of excruciating pain before they die of cerebral edema. As happened to three patients in a Phase II study of a new and novel cancer treatment.

The risk when testing a new cancer treatment is not that it will not work and the patient will still die. The risk is that it will make the patient’s condition worse and kill them sooner or more painfully. That is a very real risk. So you need to have a lot of data showing 1) the risk of hurting the patient is low and 2) the chance of helping the patient is high. So far this company has provided none of this data.

Gimme a break! — freaking safety concerns about this therapy. Safety concerns are for freaking Stage 1 and 2 cancers. At Stage 3 and definitely 4, safety concerns are out the window. Then, it’s all about getting the cancer.

Seriously, how safe is it to lace someone up with chemo poisons for months on end? What about surgery? How safe is it to carve into major organs just to make sure you get every bit of cancer cells? Safety?! Right!

Safety concerns are for freaking Stage 1 and 2 cancers. At Stage 3 and definitely 4, safety concerns are out the window.

Having finally reached this inchoate entry, I am wishing that I borrowed the ball-peen hammer from the gulag* to bang my temples with.

*For crushing meds, between two paper bowls.

^I mean, is that glue talking again? You’ve just performed some sort of weird-ass freakout predicated on conflating “phase” with “stage.”

^I mean, is that glue talking again? You’ve just performed some sort of weird-ass freakout predicated on conflating “phase” with “stage.”

I see you’re back to typing 1s and 0s, Narad. Not sure what you’re not getting. Cancer kills close to 10 million around the world yearly. That could be your uncle Narad, your mother Squirrel, your wife Orac…

What, are we going to slowly and gracefully waltz through 10 years of phase testings to see if a promising therapy is a go? What about the 100 millions that would be dead by then — what would we say to their loved ones? Would we have a momentous day of silence for them?

Seriously, outside of the obvious threat to the ‘industry’ what else is it? Is it pride and ego, and you’re pissed that two Isreali scientists may’ve beaten you to the punch? Will your hurt pride now have you assail the merits of lacing people up with chemo poisons far months on end or carving them up on the operating table like they’re slaughtered meat?

If this therapy shows promise, we have absolute no choice but to expidite matters. Bringing it to market in any more than a few years would be totally unconscionable.

If this therapy shows promise, we have absolute no choice but to expidite matters.

“We”? Are you now imagining yourself to be part of sort of regulatory body?

JT or Aarno or anyone for that matter could you please answer the following?

Thanks so much JustaTech for your response! See Narad and Squirrel?! See how essy it is to shoot the breeze with me?

JustaTech, are you saying screening receptors specifically for the type of cancer (lung, breast, kidney etc) is not as likely to pickup receptors that are general to all cells, including healthy ones, than screening for receptors specific to cancer cells in general?

Although cost shouldn’t factor, how ‘shockingly expensive’ do you envision this therapy to be? With new technology do you not see this cost dropping over time?

You say it’s possible that a cell could mutate 3 receptors at a time but not likely, how unlikely would you say this?

When you speak of mutations and cancer cells dropping receptors, are you speaking of mutations that occur before the receptors were selected or after?

I keep hearing concerns of toxcity and collateral damage, but chemo is also toxic and has collateral damage, would you expect less harm from this therapy?

There are always choices, Greg.

There is the Burzinski choice: get everyone you know and all their friends as well to pony up their life’s savings so you can travel to Houston and pay to get experimented on in a badly done trial that won’t gain information to help anyone in the future. And then you’ll almost certainly die anyway in about the same time you would have if the treatment itself doesn’t kill you.

And there is the Gonzales choice: participate for free in a badly justified but at least well organized trial in which the patients receiving the experimental therapy die sooner than those receiving the standard therapy.

And these treatments have costs, Greg. Someone has to pay for them. How much money do they have and which treatments do they want to spend it on investigating?

Why don’t you start your own fundraiser for these Israelis?

I suggest you try to look for some answers on your own, click on the links that have been provided, read them and tell us what you learned from them. Also, try making a direct response to other comments.

Squirrel, I agree it’s wise to be cautious with these matters, but the degree of derision and ‘insolence’ around here appears to be a tad over the top. That is why I keep asking about these questions, to see if there are any obvious red-flags that would justify the bellowing. Surprisingly, I am not getting any indication that this 3-peptides targeting approach is a complete dud and definitely won’t be a breakthrough. Sure there is talk of toxcity and collateral damage but it also seems rather ‘sour grapes-ish’.

Yes, I do agree that we should wait for trials to see MuTaTo in practice (albeit, I have a hunch that these scientists are not revealing all their cards here), but is this a fully justifiable reason to crap so much on the proposal? Let’s be honest, we all want to see a cure for one of the greatest scourges of mankind — don’t we?!

And these treatments have costs, Greg. Someone has to pay for them. How much money do they have and which treatments do they want to spend it on investigating?

So, are you suggesting we might not want to pursue a cure for cancer (or cancers) because it might be too expensive for the average person? Isn’t it ironic that this never stopped car manufacturers from pursuing electric cars. Would you not agree that a person’s life is much more important than a car?

And, on the issue of costs, is it plausible that over time, and as the technology advances, MuTaTo would be more expensive than standard cancer treatments? Consider the claim that it would .cure cancers in a matter of a few weeks. Compare this to standard cancer treatments and the costs involved with patients having chemo or radiation therapy over months or more likely years; having regular follow-ups with an oncology team (doctors, nurses, assistants) over that period. Not to mention, expensive surgeries may also be involved. Hard to imagine it being more expensive.

No, I’m offering you a resource so that you can try to actually figure out something, anything, about what you are irritating the hell out of people with in a grotesque performance.

“carving them up on the operating table like they’re slaughtered meat?”

(imagining Greg indignantly turning down the surgeon who offers him an excisional procedure to remove a basal cell carcinoma, or laparoscopic surgery for impending ruptured appendicitis)

“I’m not a bunch of slaughtered meat to toy with! Bring on that untested experimental drug!!”*

*MuTaTo sounds much like Devlin MacGregor’s much-hyped heart drug Provasic, which the evil pathologist** in “The Fugitive” promised would be fantastically effective with absolutely no side effects.
**I love evil pathologists in the movies.

ACTUALLY I rather like the ‘evil’ pathologists who frequent these parts. ( At least two AFAIK)

(imagining Greg indignantly turning down the surgeon who offers him an excisional procedure to remove a basal cell carcinoma, or laparoscopic surgery for impending ruptured appendicitis)

“I’m not a bunch of slaughtered meat to toy with! Bring on that untested experimental drug!!”*

And it could go the other way also, Mr Bacon. Imagine you’ve been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given less than a year. Imagine also, you hear news of two Isreali scientists advancing this breakthrough cancer therapy, and early clinical trials for it are showing amazing results for treating terminal cancers. Would you then scoff at such a ‘quack’ therapy that hasn’t even made it to phase 3 testing, and saying, ‘no thanks, I will try my luck with proven cancer treatments’?

Greg, do you remember back in the late 90’s and early 00’s when everything would be cured through gene therapy? And then a bunch of people died or had horrifying side effects from an early gene therapy?

Lots of very promising techniques and treatments don’t work. This is very common in science. We learn from failures and move on.

Do you remember the whole thing with cold fusion? That might be a relevant cautionary tale here.

Or this could work. We don’t know because the makers haven’t done the studies. At the end of the day that’s the only way to end this debate.

@Greg Developing a drug costs a billion dollar. Muliple this with multiple drug therapy.
Every cancer cell has more than 3 mutations. Typically, you can see chromosome difference wiith a light microscope. Losing a part of chromosome is equal to hundreds of mutations.
There is no quarantee that a new treatment is safe. TGN1412 was good idea with successful animal testing behind it. And effectiviness is another thing, new treatment may not work. But if your patient is capable to give an informed consent, you may do things. And you absolutely should not make profits.
Surgery actually works with all types of cancer, targeted therapy would not.
Idea behind receptor screening is to find mutations specific to cancer. But you are right, difference with normal receptors may not be that big.

No, I’m offering you a resource so that you can try to actually figure out something, anything, about what you are irritating the hell out of people with in a grotesque performance.

Nice try, Narad.

Surgery works with all type of cancers? Including blood cancers, lymphomas?

Just curious, why would targetted therapy not work with all types of cancers?

Another point about MutaTo and collateral damage. If we’re targeting a certain type pf cancer that affects a certain organ, should the selected receptors not be unigue just to that organ? Even in that case of the tumor cells sharing receptors with normal cells, those normal cells should only be specific to the organ. In this way, is MuTaTo not better a reducing global collateral damage over chemo, with chemo involving targetting fast dividing cells all over the body?

And another point about MuTaTo and collateral damage. The proposal is cancer would be cured in weeks. The faster we cure the cancer (or cancers), the faster we stop the therapy and thus also stopping collateral damage. Again compare this to chemotherapy where treatment could last years.

That might be a relevant cautionary tale here.

Or this could work. We don’t know because the makers haven’t done the studies. At the end of the day that’s the only way to end this debate.

No JT, conceding that the therapy might work, you ended the debate right there. That was my issue all along. Reading Orac’s weaponized pessissm, or ‘insolence’, I thought he was arguing that MuTaTo was so theoretically flawed, making it an impossibility.

Yes JT, we’ve had cold-fusion and failed germ theory for curing cancer. JT, we have also had discoveries such as nuclear theory, the internet, cell phones, Huble technology, and so and so on.

Perhaps it’s best then if you guys learn to tell the full story. Discuss the ideas, the theories. Talk about their advantages and disadvantages. Talk about their potentials and limitations. Anything less does not create trust, and, worse, leads others to question your motives.

Greg, you were clearly not paying attention to the original post. Orac didn’t say the theory was flawed. He said that the theory was 1) not that new, 2) not tested, 3) unlikely to succeed in the ways the company claimed.

That’s the whole root and branch of the problem here. The company made claims beyond their evidence.
That is why I gave the example of cold fusion. That company made claims they couldn’t back up.

Either you have poor reading comprehension or you are not arguing in good faith. Considering how rude you are to everyone (don’t think I forgot the nasty things you said on other threads) it’s pretty clear you aren’t arguing in good faith.

we have also had discoveries such as nuclear theory, the internet, cell phones, Huble [sic] technology, and so and so on

How exactly are these things “discoveries”? I’m too tired after working in the shelter that I can’t even start with the ways this is a moronic attempt to salvage your gasbaggery.

I’ve identified one of Greg’s fundamental misunderstandings.

Greg seems to be under the impression that cancer treatments are a zero-sum game. That there can only be one treatment and every cancer researcher and cancer treatment company would rather see everyone die than let someone else make a successful treatment.

This is not true. Period. There are many, many, many different kinds of treatments for many different cancers. Some treatments are used against several different types of cancers. Some treatments are very disease specific. But almost every treatment is used in conjunction with other treatments. Some are combined, some are used sequentially. Many are only approved (and therefore covered by insurance) for specific cancer stages (ie, treatment Y is only used in people who have metastases and have failed hormone treatment).

Therefore new treatments are rarely replacements, they’re just additional tools for treating cancers. PD-1 inhibitors and CLTA-4 inhibitors are complimentary, not antagonists.

At the end of the day, cancer research and cancer treatment is a collaborative enterprise.

Gimme a break, JT! Sure cancer therapy is a collaborative practice, but who would deny that there is,nevertheless, not a comfortable ‘status quo’ in place? Would you deny that there are no concerns over how a revolutionary development as cure for cancer would affect things? Seriously, what impact would it have on a child proudly telling his friend that his dad is a surgeon that operates on cancer patients? What about the comfortable salary that affords that nice family vacation? Knowing that your career is one that involves saving people’s life also brings tremendous self-worth, how will that be impacted?
Indeed, maybe I could’ve put things differently. It wasn’t so much that I felt Orac was suggesting MuTaTo was a no-go, but that he was hoping.

Seriously JT, what’s behind the cold-feet here with answering my basic queries about peptides cancer therapies. Is it really so complicated that it doesn’t lend to straight answers? Also, why is Squirrel moaning so much about the potential cost of a cancer cure? We’re talking cancer here — one of the greatest scourges of humankind! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Squirrel wants anyone to die; it’s just s/he is only human and have other concerns.

The truth is Jt, this road is not new. We’ve been down it with the vaccination carnage. Indeed, I would also have to agree that the antivaxxers have it wrong in a key way. They’re looking for webfeet villains leading the the horror show. They don’t understand the horror show is led by regular folks pursuing their mundane concerns.

Truly incredible JT would have us believe that the experience of my chemo drug can work with your radiation and Mr Jones can even still have his surgery — and even here I am not convinced it’s entirely a kumbaya experience….
It’s incredibly that JT would compare this experience to — ‘Hello, I am MuTaTo, the new kid on the block. I won’t be needing you chemo, radiation and surgery.’

Would you deny that there are no concerns over how a revolutionary development as cure for cancer would affect things?

I’m pleased that the first entry in gear-change into a Big pHARMa variant says the opposite of what it presumably was intended to.

Well played, Gerg, very well played.

“Sure cancer therapy is a collaborative practice, but who would deny that there is,nevertheless, not a comfortable ‘status quo’ in place?”
Grogger, why don’t you talk to people who have actually treated cancer patients side by side with medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists? If you won’t respect Orac’s take, how about mine?
Have you ever gone to see a patient with an oncologist and seen him frustrated and tearful over his inability to save her? Have you ever had a late night talk with an oncologist and heard her talk about the loved ones lost to cancer that inspired her choice of field? Have you ever seen an oncologist unable to save his own brother, or sick with cancer himself, unable to get effective treatment? Guess what? I have. Repeatedly. I was in the trenches with oncologists and with HIV researchers, and if there was a “magic bullet”, they would dance barefoot over busted glass to get it for their patients. That is why they don’t waste their time on nonsense and fraud – they want to cure people and resent anyone who claims the attention without doing the work. It is the frauds who are motivated by gain, not the real practitioners and researchers.
Until you know what the f**k you’re talking about, stop maligning these excellent and dedicated people by assuming they are all cynical garbage with morals no better than yours, which I bet are pretty damn debased.
I can find no better signoff than you will find here: http://drikkes.com/wp- content/uploads/2010/07/tumblr_kvlr3gRNsf1qzmkiyo1_500.jpg

^ OK, I only realized right after seeing that comment that an anchor link to a link shortener is foolishly circuitous (except perhaps for NN). I blame society.

@Greg Surgery does indeed not work with blood cancer. This the only exception. Targeted therapy is targeted, so it would work only with a specific cases.
Before antibiotics, there were surgeons removing parts of lungs to cure TB. They could not prevent introduction of antibiotic therapy (and generally,. did not want either). Same would happen if somebody actually finds a cure of cancer.

Before antibiotics, there were surgeons removing parts of lungs to cure TB. They could not prevent introduction of antibiotic therapy (and generally,. did not want either). Same would happen if somebody actually finds a cure of cancer.

Thank you Aarno for agreeing with me that ‘personal concerns’ may lead some to spurn a revolutionary therapy. Perhaps you can help me get through to JT. I find his thinking is a little ‘immature’ in this regard.

Yes, I would also agree that even if there are reservations about finding a cure for cancer, ultimately that won’t be enough to prevent it. The reason for this is quite simply; cancer doesn’t discriminate, it also kills rich, powerful people. This is the ultimate defense to the conspiracy that scientists have a cure for cancer and they’re covering it up. If that was the case, Steve Jobs would still be with us.

This ‘skin in the game’ conundrum also applies in the vaccination war. Vaccine injuries also don’t discriminates and provaxxers too are threatened. This simply reality is also the ultimate reason why provaxxers will never win the vaccination war. Short of their wet-dream coming through with infectious diseases returning with a vengeance and striking down millions and leading antivaxxers to repent, the most they can hope for is containment. Still, as we can see with every passing day, even that is proving to be a steeper challenge.

PS: Aarno, I’m still not understanding how a therapy that target cells would not be good for all cancers. Isn’t that what cancer is — problem cells?

Different cancers, different cells, different ways to try to eliminate those cells, without damaging the healthy cells to much.

So you believe, because the current sellers of cancer treatments have a skin in the game, they are lieing? But a new seller, who hasn’t proven anything, but wants a skin in the game, speaks the truth and isn’t heavy exagerating the adventages of his unproven threatment?
Why distrust A who has proven to work at least in part of the cancers and trust B who hasn’t proven anything and just tries to convince us with a sales-pitch?

“They could not prevent introduction of antibiotic therapy (and generally,. did not want either).”
Grogger, since Aarno is not a native English speaker, although pretty good with it, it’s clear to me that what they “did not want either” was to prevent the introduction of antibiotics. People who are in medical fields want to see their patients cured, maintained, or at the very least, palliated, and wouldn’t be as amoral and suspicious as you are. That holds true even for the majority of people I dealt with who work for “Big Pharma.”
You really don’t have a clue what you are talking about when it comes to actual human beings who are doing the actual work of medicine with actual patients.
Stop pulling pronouncements out or your ass or go away.

“…provaxxers will never win the vaccination war. Short of their wet-dream coming through with infectious diseases returning with a vengeance and striking down millions and leading antivaxxers to repent, the most they can hope for is containment.”
Seems to me that vaccines did a pretty neat job of “containing” smallpox. Don’t you think it odd that poliomyelitis is “contained” to only those places where the men with guns distrust vaccination? Isn’t it strange that measles has recently made a resurgence in the US after being re-imported by unvaccinated people and transmitted to other unvaccinated people? It’s obvious that vaccination is a terrible thing that kills millions, unlike the much smaller number of deaths attributable to smallpox, polio, and measles.
Sometimes I think your head only contains two neurons joined by a spirochete.

Before antibiotics, there were surgeons removing parts of lungs to cure TB. They could not prevent introduction of antibiotic therapy (and generally,. did not want either). Same would happen if somebody actually finds a cure of cancer.

Thank you Aarno for agreeing with me. ‘Personal concerns’ may indeed lead some to spurn a revolutionary therapy. Perhaps you can help me get through to JT. I find his thinking is a little ‘immature’ in this regard.

I also agree with you, despite the reservations, ultimately they won’t prevent finding a cure for cancer. The simply reason for this is cancer doesn’t discriminate; it also kills rich, powerful people. We should reject the conspiracy that scientists have a cure for cancer and they’re hiding it. If that was the case Steve Jobs would still be with us.

This ‘skin in the game’ effect is also playing out in the vaccination war. Vaccine injuries don’t discriminate and also threaten pro-vaxxers. This is also the ultimate reason why pro-vaxxers will never win the war. Short of their wet-dream coming through and infectious diseases returning with a vengeance striking down millions (maybe I should add, in the developed world) and leading anti-vaxxers to repent, the most the can hope for is containment. Still, as we see with each passing day, even that is posing as a steeper challenge.

PS: Aarno I’m still not understanding why a therapy that target cells would not work for all cancers. Isn’t that what cancer is, problem cells?

Maybe a little pedantic, but lymphomas, which are counted as hematologic malignancies, often require splenectomy and lymphadenectomy.

Why distrust A who has proven to work at least in part of the cancers and trust B who hasn’t proven anything and just tries to convince us with a sales-pitch?

I repeat again: I am not trusting B, and my distrust for A only extends to him telling me not to trust B, and while using weaponized pessimism to boot.

Is your problem with reading comprehension selective or overarching? (The evasiveness is clearly the latter.) I’m pretty sure that Aarno’s “A” isn’t Orac, your desire for the ol’ switcheroo notwithstanding.

I was the person answering Greg. A would be the current cancer therapies, which have proven to work, but aren’t perfect. B would be Mu-Ta-To, which haven’t any proof, just a sales-pitch claiming it does everything one would want from a cancer-therapy, without any nasty side-effects (and it may give you a fresh breath as well).
I would like to know why I should distrust A, which has proven to work, and trust B which has no proof whatsoever.

No. The cost of the treatment would not come down significantly over time because there are a lot of costs beyond the technology.
First and foremost, this is a individual product. That means you lose almost all the benefits of scale.
Second, all of these things are hard to make, which means you need really well-trained, educated people to make them. Those people are expensive to hire and retain.
Third, all of the ingredients must be human-grade, which makes them expensive. You can’t choose cheaper, and since you don’t get the benefits of scale, your cost of goods will always be an issue.
Fourth, the volume of quality control and quality assurance on something this complicated is also going to be very expensive (highly trained people, again, and a lot of systems) and is also not optional.

It’s the same reason airplanes are still expensive. When lives are on the line you can’t (morally, ethically, legally or economically) go for the cheapest option.

I suppose this issue of cost is something that these scientists will have to speak to, and even if the therapy works in the first place. Still, whatever the cost or costs, it’s necessary to compare it to the cost of our current treatment approaches.

I recently came across an article where it was estimated that treating stage 4 breast cancer costs upwards of 175Gs (chemo and hospitalization costs). Obviously society is paying this, or atleast here in Canada where we have socialized healthcare.

You estimated MuTaTo to cost 250Gs. I suppose the pertinent issue here to consider is whether society would come out ahead ponying up this extra 75Gs that will save someone’s life, and, again, this is if the claim turns out to be true. Sticking with the current alternative and as statistics bear, in great likelihood will end in failure, and with society losing another potentially productive member. To me it’s a no-brainer.

Until you know what the f**k you’re talking about, stop maligning these excellent and dedicated people by assuming they are all cynical garbage with morals no better than yours, which I bet are pretty damn debased

What’s with the indignation and hurt feelings, ORD? Who is maligning oncologists, suggesting most are not professionals who are dedicated to their patients’ health. Who is denying most won’t move mountains to save their patients, and it bears heavy on their heart when they don’t succeed? I say most because like any job, complacency can set in for a few and then it’s all about collecting a paycheck and enjoying the perks.

ORD, you can be committed to your patients and still satisfied with the status quo. The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Also, being satisfied with the status quo and being wary of big changes that can rock your personal situation often is not a sign of moral bankruptcy. In anything, it’s a sign that you’re human.

Who is maligning oncologists, suggesting most are not professionals who are dedicated to their patients’ health.

Ahem:

Seriously, how safe is it to lace someone up with chemo poisons for months on end? What about surgery? How safe is it to carve into major organs just to make sure you get every bit of cancer cells? Safety?! Right!

The question of acting in good faith is settled. Let me give you an anology: The question whether you even understand this concept would only attract short sellers in penny-stock trading.

Your 1s and 0s aside Narad, I’ll protest that the second quote does not amount to maligning oncologists. Narad, that’s what they do to save their patients’ lives. For the most part, these decades old technologies are all we have to treat cancer. Having no other choice, many indeed –and often lovingly!– poison their patients and carve them up in hopes of restoring their health.

And ORD, this is what I mean by the status quo. Perhaps you’re dwelling too much on the ‘status’ in ‘ status quo’, considering that I am speaking of a nice job and with all its perks. I am referring to the education, training and practical experience involved in utilizing chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to help your patients. A revolution in cancer therapy may indeed obliterate this stable, predictable ground and leaving things in an extremely precarious position. Who wouldn’t naturally be concerned about this, and what does it have to do with not caring about your patients and only caring about yourself?

Well Greg, just because surgery and chemotherapy are used for decades, doesn’t mean they haven’t developped through time. The surgery and chemotherapy used a few decades ago are not the same as the surgery and chemotherapy used nowadays.

I’m wondering what us it is to answer Greg, because he seems to believe in some kind of nirvana fallacy, Either something works all of the time, without nasty side-effects, or it is worthless. Just because someone promises something has no side-effects, doesn’t mean it’s true. If something sounds to good to be true, be very, very carefull, because changes are very big there is something wrong.

I’m wondering what us it is to answer Greg

Indeed. When rebutted, he merely ignores it or changes the subject, and when he’s really on the ropes, he reverts to his most obnoxious habits, just as with the extended “person-years” exchange with Krebiozen et al. from several years ago.

“What’s with the indignation and hurt feelings?” You slander me and my friends and former colleagues, and then you ask me that? Don’t play that game with me. Do you recognize this quote – “And some, I assume, are good people.”? Look it up if you don’t. That’s just what you’re doing.
And, dear Grogger, you CAN’T be committed to your patients and still satisfied with the status quo. The two ARE necessarily mutually exclusive. Your knowledge of the human factors in medicine is nonexistent. When you toss around slanders like you do, it nearly always means that you are projecting your own level of ethics onto others. That’s what make you a moral bankrupt.
To quote (not precisely but definitely close after so many years) Larry Norton, “I wish I could be a dermatologist or something like that, but cancer would still be there.” You almost certainly don’t know who he is. Look him up.
Sure, there are lots of docs who are in it just for the income,or because their parents pushed them into medicine, plodders who put in the minimum effort and go home at dinnertime, but none of them can practice oncology, or any life or death specialty for very long. They will go on to do something less challenging somewhere out of the way. I genuinely never saw one of those in oncology, infectious disease, emergency medicine, or critical care in a twenty year career involving or working in tandem with many kinds of specialties (Retinologists too. Not life or death, but pretty high stakes.). The big awards and the fame come only to a select few. Some practitioners make contribution after contribution, yet two doors down the hall, no one knows their names.
THAT’S why the indignation.
If you still don’t get it, here’s another link that might explain it better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG6li2J6nXk

And, dear Grogger, you CAN’T be committed to your patients and still satisfied with the status quo. The two ARE necessarily mutually exclusive. Your knowledge of the human factors in medicine is nonexistent

No ORD, I think you’re the one showing ignorance here, and the kind marked by immature reasoning. Read my post above. As I explained, is it fair of change that could upend your ‘material’ circumstances and while neglecting how that change might benefit your patients, or is it just fear of change, period! I am explaining it’s the latter. I am also explaining that this latter has little to do with loose morals, and everything to do with human nature.

I was the person answering Greg. A would be the current cancer therapies, which have proven to work, but aren’t perfect. B would be Mu-Ta-To, which haven’t any proof, just a sales-pitch claiming it does everything one would want from a cancer-therapy, without any nasty side-effects (and it may give you a fresh breath as well).
I would like to know why I should distrust A, which has proven to work, and trust B which has no proof whatsoever.

Renate, my issue is not that we should trust B, but that we should not reject it out of hand. Sure the claim of a complete cure for cancer in a year sounds outlandish. Sure these scientists should be criticized for not publishing their mouse trials. Still, and after pulling teeth so hard here, it appears there is no theoretical fundamental flaw with this 3-peptides targeting approach that would torpedo the claim of a potential breakthrough. Credit should also be given here.

As to distrusting A, my issue is not about distrust but considering there is too much complacent acceptance of it. Whatever minor revolutions there have been with cancer treatments, we must still remind ourselves that for the most part we’re still utilizing the archaic approaches of poisoning and hacking people to health. We should never be satisfied with this, and we should strive to do better. Not trashing ideas that are promising also sits well with striving to do better.

“As I explained, is it fair of change that could upend your ‘material’ circumstances and while neglecting how that change might benefit your patients, or is it just fear of change, period! I am explaining it’s the latter. I am also explaining that this latter has little to do with loose morals, and everything to do with human nature.”
You make my point better than I do.You are showing us that the only place you have ever studied medicine is on Google.and the only place you have ever practiced it was playing Operation. Practicing medicine is not the same as other kinds of professions. Incorporating new methods or products takes time. Nothing works for everyone every time, and it can take time to work the bugs out in the real world and to preserve other practices for occasions when the new thing fails. When I worked in radiation oncology, we used to get patients other hospitals couldn’t treat. You see, nearly every radiation oncology department those cool new and superior linear accelerators, us too. Problem is, the linacs played holy hell with pacemakers. But we still had a cobalt machine. Cumbersome, inconvenient, difficult to safely operate, but there were patients who needed it. While much of what i had learned at the beginning of my career was outdated by the time I had retired, some of the old stuff still had its place. While none of my examination skills took the place of MRIs, X-rays, or other technology, younger practitioners were amazed at how much information I could gather about a patient with eyes, ears, hands, even my nose, and it guided my use of the technology in ways that at times made me more efficient and effective in choosing it.
Medical people are not weavers smashing the steam looms that threaten their craft. Keeping up to date is a necessity. There is never a shortage of other conditions to move on to. I don’t know how they do things on your planet, but here on Earth, serious people in the business of research don’t like to waste time and money on bullshit, and the flow of it is constant.
The Israeli thing that you put so much faith in is nonsense on its face. The Air Force is always looking for new and better aircraft. If you came around touting your antigravity technology that doesn’t yet exist, you would quickly learn what both sides of the door looked like, and rightly so.
When I talk about morals and lack of same, I have seen all too often that conspiracy peddlers and the like project their own character onto the imaginary conspirators. I have seen no evidence that you are any different.

You are showing us that the only place you have ever studied medicine is on Google.and the only place you have ever practiced it was playing Operation.

I think you’re being overly generous.

I probably am baffled as to why the good people of RI are gratifying Gerg with such a huge amount of attention.

^ In addition, although the aphorism “sitar picking never sent any steamboats up the Ganges” is little questioned, there’s still the matter of sending them down the river. Sinking the Bismarck and its custard payload is probably unattainable, but it spent a long time away before drifting back ashore here.

I probably am baffled as to why the good people of RI are gratifying Gerg with such a huge amount of attention.

Have you considered it might be a two-way street and they’re also gratifying themselves?

@ JP:

I imagine that there are quite a few reasons why RI’s regulars respond to Gerg:
– out of boredom
– to learn how an anti-vax mind works
– testing out their claws/ wits to see how sharp they are
– exercising said claws/ wits
– and most importantly, indirectly addressing lurkers and other readers who aren’t quite educated enough.
Thus , experienced minions use scoffers to consolidate their own realms of influence. They learn how to express their knowledge in better ways that can be used in other situations.

OBVIOUSLY, you’re a teacher- and know that learning is neither instantaneous nor easy. Sometimes it takes multiple repetitions or re-arrangements of presentations to get information across to someone. We don’t always get feedback from lurkers and other silent ones.

In addition, other minions benefit from the knowledge and creativity. I know that I do. I haven’t formally studied bio for decades but here, I get tasty tidbits that often lead me to articles and studies. Then, there’s the cultural stuff and comedy.
And cat stories.

There’s something else I just noticed, Julian:
we can point out their (lack of) abilities.Notice above that Gerg evaluates

ORD’s :”ignorance”** and “immature reasoning” **

To which I respond:
how could Greg tell anyway?
He mostly doesn’t understand or relate to most of what Dave says. He doesn’t know that he’s in over his head.

I often hear woo-meisters on PRN/ NN/ AoA discuss how “simple” and “unscientific” sceptics and SBM writers are. Wikipedia is edited by the “uneducated” and “non-professionals” in contrast to the “remarkable minds” they know – to which I also retort:
How could they tell?
They can’t tell because they have not had the benefit of a real education that allows them to see the overarching questions in a field, its history and how new advances proceed. They skip around an area blithely, picking and choosing whatever they like. For example, in mental health, they continue to present “research” that “shows” how nutrition “cures” serious mental illness. In truth, there is very little research along these lines because it is so 1910- maybe earlier. Research focuses on genetics, meds, development, training methods.
Similarly, in ASD “research” – It’s about food. Not in the real world.

One aspect of Dunning-Kruger/ fail is the “inability” to evaluate your own level of skill so that you are always in over your head without knowing it.
Similarly, you can’t evaluate others’ abilities well either. These reflect executive function- actually, its lack.

** I discovered that typing that nym and those characteristics in the same place in itself was difficult

@Denice:

Fair enough. I mean, I hate to say it though, it’s not very nice, but I’ve had a couple students who were real duds. Just saying there might be an analogy here.

(Of course I’m not talking about test scores or even grades; I’ve had students who didn’t pick up languages easily, say, but they were smart and worked hard. But then I’ve had a couple… other students.)

*personally.

To each his own, I guess. I am currently getting a bit soused and listening to the Red Army Choir. (The USSR was godawful, but the Red Army Choir is actually pretty great. The folk songs and war songs mainly, but also… I mean, come on, it was the best national anthem ever.)

Modification of a comment…

No ORD, I think you’re the one showing ignorance here, and the kind marked by immature reasoning. Read my post above. As I explained, is it (fear) of change that (that a new technology) could upend your ‘material’ circumstances and while neglecting how that change might benefit your patients, or is it just fear of change, period(?!) I am explaining it’s the latter. I am also explaining that this latter has little to do with loose morals, and everything to do with human nature.

In medicine, change for the better is always welcome. New therapies/drugs/techniques tend to make practice more efficient, and for those worried about income, failure to keep up with the new dooms them to obsolescence and practice on the fringes. Innovation and improvement are welcomed. Continuing education is mandatory in order to remain licensed. When James Holland was one of the first to cure a child with leukemia, nobody said that that was the end of their ability to make money. The reaction across hematology can be summed up as, “Thank god we don’t have to see every affected child die miserably, but we can offer them hope now.” When I worked in clinical HIV research the first useful AIDS drug, AZT, had just finished testing in our institution. I was assigned to review charts of patients who had received it and the controls. It clearly made a difference. It was clear that while it wasn’t a cure, it meant that drug therapy was possible and that newer and better drugs were likely on the way. Nobody but nobody said, “Well, that does it for infectious disease and immunology practice. We’re all going to have to suppress it to keep up our incomes.” It just doesn’t work the way you think. Even the creakiest, most hidebound old docs were delighted to see innovation, and their experience made the work of newer practitioners easier.There is always value in reaching back and learning from the past, but none in rejecting the future.
It’s a simple concept: keep up or fall by the wayside.
To turn things around, name just one innovation that threatened the incomes of practitioners to the point where they felt it necessary to suppress it instead of adopting it.

It’s a simple concept: keep up or fall by the wayside.
To turn things around, name just one innovation that threatened the incomes of practitioners to the point where they felt it necessary to suppress it instead of adopting it.

I took my bow and indeed wanted to flounce. Yet, here you’re whining and whining about how open-minded science is, and how welcoming it is of innovation and change. Very well then, I will respond to your challenge with the link below. ORD, you may have been a good radiation oncologist, but I think you would’ve made a terrible psychologist. Most people fear change, including scientists.

http://www.scienceforthepublic.org/science-issues/resistance-to-new-ideas

I took my bow and indeed wanted to flounce.

“Flounce”? No, you wanted issue a communiqué that summarized the position that you finally manage to wring out of pile of goo that comprises your performance.

You’re over.

My final wrap on this thread…..

The vaccination exercise and modern cancer therapies are example of two paradigms. Paradigms are renowned far the fierce devotions they spawn. The reasons for this loyalties may be numerous and diverse (incentives, habits, ignorance), but there is no denying their impact.– they make the paradigm resistant to change, and even when it’s proven to be deleterious or outmoded, and in need of being scrapped or replaced.

With the vaccination exercise, we’ve pretty much arrived at that point where that paradigm has proven to be deleterious, and in need of being scrapped. Regardless of what benefits are being achieved from vaccinating against mainly harmless diseases, it’s becoming quite clear that these benefits do not outweigh the price of having two percent of the population brain damaged,1 in 10 with ADHD, babies getting killed after their well visits, and so on and so on. The vaccination paradigm has effectively been exposed for its shortcomings, and change appears essential.

Yet, as explained, paradigms will ferociously resist change, and we’re seeing this. We have the relentless Wakefield bashings, unrelenting slammings of the ‘waco’ antivaxxers, push for mandates, measles hysteria, talk of Russian bots, WHO designations, growing up unvaxxed, and so and so on. As incessant as these sagas are, they’re to be expected. They’re the natural consequences of a threatened paradigm fighting back.

Unlike vaccination, current cancer therapies can not be seen as a failed paradigm. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are effective; they are beneficial; they save lives. Indeed a case may be made that they’re outmoded, but having no suitable replacement we have no choice but to stick with them.

MuTaTo, if it works, could possibly be such a replacement. Indeed that would be a superlatives defying achievement for mankind if we were to finally defeat the cancer scourge. Yet, even in that event, don’t expect the modern day cancer treatments paradigm to go out without a fight. As we see Orac and others here throw the first punch, that might be a harbinger of more to come.

Greg, each of has has various reasons for commenting here. One of my personal goals in replying directly to you is to attempt to entice you into seeing these things in a slightly different way and perhaps learn something about them. Your last comment shows why that is a fruitless exercise.

If you really think that an exercise is a paradigm, your understanding of the fundamentals of science and general knowledge is too mixed up to hope for communication. I have asked other people who toss out the word paradigm if they have actually read Kuhn. But it would be a waste of your time because the basic concepts are a foreign language to you.

I guess that is how you can simultaneously argue that a relatively cheap intervention that has been used for decades on billions of people which saves hundreds of millions of people every year from suffering the pain of disease and prevents hundreds of thousands of deaths with only a 1 in a million risk of long term harm is horrible and then claim that we should spend untold millions of dollars on a treatment that hasn’t even been tested for safety, much less been shown to be effective.

Science is about testing things to find out if they work, how well they work, and how they work so that we can get them to work better. I still think that’s a much better approach than merely accepting whichever claims sound the best.

That’s a pretty long winded way to simultaneously (again) beg the question and insultingly demonstrate that not a thing that people have taken the time to explain to you has penetrated your cranium or, if it has, drowed in the soup inside.

Grogger, you don’t even read the links you post. The article mentions medicine at the end, speculating that there may be resistance in medicine but offering no facts. It goes into Stanley Prusiner briefly, and resistance to his finding or prions as a cause for neurological diseases, but it does not do what I challenged you to do: “…name just one innovation that threatened the incomes of practitioners to the point where they felt it necessary to suppress it instead of adopting it.”
Let’s face facts. As a critic of anything medical, you’re a busted flush.

The choice of the article is also an interesting peek at the chooser’s reading level. The several examples are all cursory and simplistic and overlook a lot of relevant information. For instance, atoms were proposed by Dalton 40 years before Boltzmann was born and Avogadro proposed that equal volumes of gases have the same number of molecules in 1811. However, it took about 50 years for Avogadro’s hypothesis to be fully accepted. But, while atoms and molecules were quickly accepted in chemistry in the 19th century, they remained an important but somewhat theoretical construct until technology like the cathode ray tube and bubble chamber allowed experimenters to detect them directly. The disagreements between Boltzmann and Mach were part of a healthy competition of ideas as scientists, especially physicists, tried to figure out the fundamental nature of matter and energy. This is quite the opposite of a “cult”. The Wikipedia article about Boltzmann is especially interesting because it correctly uses the term paradigm.

And, as you noted, the example of prions does not meet your challenge, especially since we still don’t have an effective treatment for them and have to rely on isolation for prevention.

@Greg Paradigm shift does not mean that everything known before turned out wrong. Newton’s and Einstein’s planetary orbit are same, minus Mercury.

Cure for cancer?? Thats easy! call out the entire medical profession for what it is-clueless charlatans masquerading as healers, whores of the pharmaceutical industry! Then start again.

@ JP:

Of course, there are awful students in general and people are variously gifted with language skills, mathematics, etc. There are some who will just not get it no matter what.

BUT there are those who may have adequate cognitive skills who will not accept what’s being taught because it contradicts their worldview or is a personal affront to their cherished emotional needs.

For example, most- if not all- of the anti-vaxxers we discuss have college degrees. A few are lawyers or have graduate degrees ( MBA, other business). I ask myself: “How can they believe this tripe?”
In universities, you need to take science and maths to get a liberal studies degree. They should be able to understand.
( I don’t know if requirements of business degrees are that much different. They’re not primary school level)

Reading and hearing followers of woo/ anti-vax makes me wonder if there is a huge failure of general education if so many adults buy into such ludicrous crap. I listen to callers asking for advice from a charlatan who lords it over people who may have better general skills than he has. They ask, “Where should I live to escape the worst effects of climate change?” ” How can I conquer my addictions?” “How I help my mother who has cancer?” They can’t tell it’s a con game.

Sceptics can’t despair. We have to slog on.

-btw- Hope you’re alright with the snow. Only ice crystals here. They’ll melt.

Quoted from the link I provided….

Other new ideas that do not fit the prevailing mindset, especially in the fields of medicine and environment, may still struggle for recognition.

Yes ORD, let’s keep it real: Incremental changes that can improve existing technology are one thing; radical changes that threaten to burn things to the ground are quite another.

It goes into Stanley Prusiner briefly, and resistance to his finding or prions as a cause for neurological diseases, but it does not do what I challenged you to do: “…name just one innovation that threatened the incomes of practitioners to the point where they felt it necessary to suppress it instead of adopting it.”
Let’s face facts. As a critic of anything medical, you’re a busted flush.

No ORD, the article squarely challenges your multiple personal anecdotes that amount to suggesting that science was always hungry for new innovations and ideas. You would have had us believe that outside of having no patience for BS, it was always an open arms affair. Yet, as the article made clear, despite scientists posturing about objectivity, often there is a lot of bigotry when facing new ideas. As I explained repeatedly throughout this thread, ORD, for all these Isreali scientists faults in making an ‘outlandish’ claim and not publishing their trials’ findings, Orac’s weaponized pessimism was particularly over-the-top, and implying this bigotry.

I consider ORD’s ‘naievety’ on this subject stems from him reflecting on his professional experience, and considering that if an innovation or technogy in science or medicine gets accepted then this serves as proof of no resistance, and with practitioners willing to put their personal, ‘material’ interests ahead of change. What this simplistic thinking is ignoring is what came before the acceptance. Of course when a new technology or innovation proves its worth in most cases there is no choice but to accept it. Still, this does not negate that there was no bigoted resistance to it initially, and especially when it was at the conceptual stage. This does not equate that the idea did not have to fight against the hostile, bigoted attitude to gain acceptance. Reading that article I linked, you clearly see this theme.

Your cited article is not about medicine but about science in general, and only slightly refers to medicine. Nowhere does it mention anyone’s livelihood being threatened by new theories. Yes, some academics may have found themselves behind the times, but physicists and geologists are on the whole not medical practitioners. You also have shown nothing that reveals any medical knowledge or experience you haven’t gained from watching reruns of “Doogie Howser”.
Before you criticize my psychological skills or ‘naivety’ (sic), you should go back to your third grade teacher and tell him he forgot to teach you about reading for meaning.
I stand by my assessment – you are a willful ignoramus, a not-very-artistic bullshit artist, and a projector of your own character flaws onto everyone else.

I did not say “science”, Grogger, I said “medicine”, and so did you until I pointed out that your article didn’t answer my challenge. You are a bullshit artist, and a not very artistic one at that.
You might have made a better, if still wrong, case for Ignaz Semmelweis or John Snow, but if you don’t know who they were ( and I’m sure you don’t) you have no business pontificating about medical history.
I repeat: Name just one innovation that threatened the incomes of practitioners to the point where they felt it necessary to suppress it instead of adopting it.

C’mon ORD man, I want to flounce, let me flounce! What’s with the whining, suggesting that you’re still peeved that I am ‘maligning’ your former colleagues? ORD, will you only be satisfied when I accept that medical practitioners are all Mother Theresa’s, selflessly sacrificing for their patients without absolutely no thoughts of material gains? Do you want me to say that the 5-star resort and that all expenses paid, metropolis conference that at some point over their careers they might find themselves enjoying (likely more than once), aren’t also motivators?

ORD, what’s wrong with enjoying that 5-star Caribbean vacation anyway? Hell- I only make it to the 4-stars ones, but, crap, have you seen the lavish, wall-to-wall buffets at some of those places? ORD, then there is also the to-die-for edenic seaside view from your second floor suite. (The first floor view is nice also, but my wife and I prefer the second floor suite since it’s quieter and more private). ORD, what’s wrong with also taking in those academic, you gotta go in town and checkout the nightlife after, conferences? Don’t they just get those research juices flowing?!

But Seriously ORD, are you listening to yourself? Yes Greg — you did provide that article giving examples of scientists in the past being resistant to new ideas and innovations, but, to be precise, that was the science field and not medicine per se. And Greg, so what if some scientists are reserved about change, you still haven’t provided one example of any medical practitioner suppressing scientific advancements for material gain, and at the expense of their patients’ health.

ORD, as I explained, resisting change and being bigoted about new ideas in itself amounts to this suppression. Yet, if you will still be holdout on this point, I will say, yes, there have been many cases where medical practitioners suppress science for personal gain and at their patients’ expense. In fact, there is actually a term in use for it. It’s called ‘medical malpractice’. I suggest you look it up, ORD; ti’s real. And ORD, I consider it would be rather embarrassing if you continue to be a stickler by asking for examples.

Pedantry: Gerg delivers horseshit, not bullshit, which is the playful exchange of ideas and a valuable commodity. Horseshit, on the other hand, is just downright crap.

@Greg Prions are a specific case. Claim that proteins can cause infection is an extraordinary claim. You need extraordinary evidence to prove this. Nothing bigoted here.

Begotry against new scientific ideas and innovation, and egregious outright medical malpractice are all examples of medical professionals or scientists willing to suppress science for personal gain. I imagine ORD will still complain, but let’s also consider the CDC Whistleblower saga. Here we have William Thompson suggesting that a significant link for timing of MMR and autism was found in a subset of the population, but they omitted reporting it. Seriously ORD, short of the ridiculous excuses (they had to control for other things, the link only occurred because autistic black boys were vaccinated to be eligible for special needs program; Hooker is an incompetent statistician; the protocol never called for them to report this finding; Thompson is crazy), what the hell is this but suppression of science for personal gain?!

Begotry [sic] against new scientific ideas and innovation

It’s not new, as you would know if you had read the resources that I provided you with. It is, however, vaporware.

Let’s also be perfectly clear ORD, because I see you motioning to claim the moral high ground, yet you too have entertained some of these ridiculous excuses about the Thompson affair. Doing so pretty much exposes you as the true fraud.

Let’s not consider the phony CDC whistleblower story.You are evading with irrelevancies once again. You can bring in your “butwhatabouts” until the sun goes nova, but you know very well it’s all off topic. I don’t intend to discuss any of it.
Let’s have some hard facts about practitioners of medicine conspiring to suppress an innovation in medicine, as you claim. Let’s even have an unproven assertion about a real person. Let’s even have a story about an unnamed person from a semi-reliable news source. No practitioners have, to your knowledge or mine, done so You can assert all you want to, but at the end of the day you are a busted flush.
Treating patients effectively is what medicine is all about; do that or get out. Besides, there really is no way to suppress an innovation for long. There are journals, seminars, lectures, and word of mouth, all part of the cooperative nature of medicine, that make that implausible.
One more thing: Show me one time when I have “entertained some of these ridiculous excuses about the Thompson affair.” To the best of my recollection, and it’s a pretty good recollection, I have never posted about it, but unlike you, I have always left it to those more knowledgeable than I am. In your case, that’s everybody.

Let’s have some hard facts about practitioners of medicine conspiring to suppress an innovation in medicine, as you claim

No ORD, that’s not how things went down. That was your claim. My claim was most science/medical professionals are loyal to a paradigm and fearful or resistant of change.

No ORD, I think you’re the one showing ignorance here, and the kind marked by immature reasoning. Read my post above. As I explained, is it (fear) of change that (that a new technology) could upend your ‘material’ circumstances and while neglecting how that change might benefit your patients, or is it just fear of change, period(?!) I am explaining it’s the latter. I am also explaining that this latter has little to do with loose morals, and everything to do with human nature.

You disputed this, saying in your experience medical practitioners were very receptive to new ideas and innovations, and you blathered on at great lengths on this point.
Finishing up, you moved to support your argument by asking me to give an example of medical practitioners suppressing an innovation for their own material gain.

In medicine, change for the better is always welcome. New therapies/drugs/techniques tend to make practice more efficient, and for those worried about income, failure to keep up with the new dooms them to obsolescence and practice on the fringes. Innovation and improvement are welcomed. Continuing education is mandatory in order to remain licensed. When James Holland was one of the first to cure a child with leukemia, nobody said that that was the end of their ability to make money. The reaction across hematology can be summed up as, “Thank god we don’t have to see every affected child die miserably, but we can offer them hope now.” When I worked in clinical HIV research the first useful AIDS drug, AZT, had just finished testing in our institution. I was assigned to review charts of patients who had received it and the controls. It clearly made a difference. It was clear that while it wasn’t a cure, it meant that drug therapy was possible and that newer and better drugs were likely on the way. Nobody but nobody said, “Well, that does it for infectious disease and immunology practice. We’re all going to have to suppress it to keep up our incomes.” It just doesn’t work the way you think. Even the creakiest, most hidebound old docs were delighted to see innovation, and their experience made the work of newer practitioners easier.There is always value in reaching back and learning from the past, but none in rejecting the future.
It’s a simple concept: keep up or fall by the wayside.
To turn things around, name just one innovation that threatened the incomes of practitioners to the point where they felt it necessary to suppress it instead of adopting it.

Essentially you posited a red-herring question to support your point that medical practitioners were welcoming of change and new innovations. Whether there are examples or not of medical practioners suppressing new innovations to the detriment of their patients that in itself does not prove or refute the claim that they’re resistant to change. ORD, you created this red-herring to win the argument. A red-herring that you’re now attempting to pass off as mine.

Also ORD, notice that the article that I linked where scientists showed bigotry to certain ideas was very much in keeping with my claim that they can be resistant to change. Definitely, there was no red-herring on my part.

Let’s have some hard facts about practitioners of medicine conspiring to suppress an innovation in medicine, as you claim

No ORD, that’s not how things went down. That was your claim. My claim was most science/medical professionals are loyal to a paradigm and fearful or resistant of change.

So, this has no effect whatever that you can demonstrate?

Here is another clear example of me trying to get pass ORD red-herring that no suppression equates to scientists/medical professionals being welcoming of change and innovation.

I consider ORD’s ‘naievety’ on this subject stems from him reflecting on his professional experience, and considering that if an innovation or technogy in science or medicine gets accepted then this serves as proof of no resistance, and with practitioners willing to put their personal, ‘material’ interests ahead of change. What this simplistic thinking is ignoring is what came before the acceptance. Of course when a new technology or innovation proves its worth in most cases there is no choice but to accept it. Still, this does not negate that there was no bigoted resistance to it initially, and especially when it was at the conceptual stage. This does not equate that the idea did not have to fight against the hostile, bigoted attitude to gain acceptance. Reading that article I linked, you clearly see this theme.

Finally, whether ORD’s suppression point was an intentional red-herring is irrelevant. The point is it is. I am inclined to believe he wasn’t even aware of it.

Maybe not ‘finally’ from me. Here is another important clarification that I made…

Quoted from the link I provided….

Other new ideas that do not fit the prevailing mindset, especially in the fields of medicine and environment, may still struggle for recognition.

Yes ORD, let’s keep it real: Incremental changes that can improve existing technology are one thing; radical changes that threaten to burn things to the ground are quite another.

Actually, ORD’s bringing up the ‘no suppression’ point to dispute my claim that scientists/medical practitioners are fearful of change, especially radical changes is not a red-herring but a strawman. It’s not irrelevant to the point of being fearful of change, but a reframing or distortion of it.

Let’s have some hard facts about practitioners of medicine conspiring to suppress an innovation in medicine, as you claim

No ORD, that’s not how things went down. That was your claim. My claim was most science/medical professionals are loyal to a paradigm and fearful or resistant of change.

So, this has no effect whatever that you can demonstrate?

And there you also go Narad attempting to buy into that strawman. Being resistant to change will not necessarily lead to suppressing an innovation, and I repeatedly made this point. Also, I have explained what being resistant to change often involves, which is setting aside objectivity and holding bigotry for new ideas and concepts. The article I linked did a fabulous job of providing such examples, and I will link it here again. Notice how the article also never made claims of how some concepts were SUPPRESSED even after they proved their mettle. No — they were all accepted. Still, this does not refute that they did not initially face a great deal of bias. I also argued that Orac’s over-the-top criticism of MuTaTo is in keeping with this bigotry and bias.

http://www.scienceforthepublic.org/science-issues/resistance-to-new-ideas

Then there is also what to make of this from ORD……..

LET’S NOT CONSIDER THE PHONY CDC WHISTLEBLOWER (caps mine).You are evading with irrelevancies once again. You can bring in your “butwhatabouts” until the sun goes nova, but you know very well it’s all off topic. I don’t intend to discuss any of it.
Let’s have some hard facts about practitioners of medicine conspiring to suppress an innovation in medicine, as you claim. Let’s even have an unproven assertion about a real person. Let’s even have a story about an unnamed person from a semi-reliable news source. No practitioners have, to your knowledge or mine, done so You can assert all you want to, but at the end of the day you are a busted flush.
Treating patients effectively is what medicine is all about; do that or get out. Besides, there really is no way to suppress an innovation for long. There are journals, seminars, lectures, and word of mouth, all part of the cooperative nature of medicine, that make that implausible.
ONE MORE THING. SHOW ME ONE TIME WHEN I HAVE ‘ENTERTAINED SOME OF THESE RIDICULOUS EXCUSES ABOUT THE THOMPSON AFFAIR.’ TO THE BEST OF MY RECOLLECTION, AND IT’S A PRETTY GOOD RECOLLECTION, I HAVE NEVER POSTED ABOUT IT, BUT UNLIKE YOU, I HAVE ALWAYS LEFT IT TO THOSE MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE THAT I AM. IN YOUR CASE, THAT’S EVERYBODY.

So is ORD saying he considers the Thompson story phony, but he has never given his opinion, leaving it up to people more knowledgeable than him on the affair? Is this not a glaring contradiction? Unintentional strawman, self-contradiction within the the same statement to boot….sometimes I find myself wondering what age is the ‘old’ in ‘Old Rockin Dave’. Are things on the cusps of lapsing into senility here?

Wow, Grogger, I really touched a nerve! You make an unfounded assertion and when challenged to give one example, you crumple like a wet paper towel. When we were kids we used to use the rejoinder “Oh yeah? Name two,” You can’t even name one. You can’t even do a web search and come up with the thinnest of evidence, You drag in academic science to use as octopus ink and then try to obscure your lack of firsthand knowledge or any evidence by then dragging in another irrelevancy, It’s still a butwhatabout.
You can rant all you want, but you are still a busted flush and you will be one to the day you die, maybe after if the clergy have it right.

Comments are closed.