We know that alternative medicine use is associated with poorer survival in cancer, but what about the use of so-called "complementary medicine," "complementary and alternative medicine," or "integrative medicine"? Bad news. There's still a negative correlation between the use of pseudoscientific and unproven medicine and cancer survival, even when used with conventional cancer therapy rather than instead of it.
Earlier this week, the New York Times ran a fascinating feature about Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop. In it, we learn—surprise! surprise!—that Gwyneth Paltrow does not like fact-checking. We also learn that the criticism of Goop's selling of pseudoscience and quackery has reached the point where Paltrow has given in and plans to hire a fact checker. Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that it will do no good and that skeptics will have as much work to do refuting Goop's quackery after the fact-checker is hired as we do now.
A few years ago, it was anthroposophic medicine. This year, it's homeopathy. Quackademic medicine at the University of Michigan marches on.
Dr. Michael Klaper advocates a plant-based "whole food" diet and water fasts as the cure for what ails you, with demonstrably overblown claims for the benefits of such practices and invocation of nonsense "detoxification"? Yet Penn Jillette gave him a friendly forum on his podcast. Where did the Penn of "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!" go? Here we examine Dr. Klaper's claims and find them weak on science.
Over the weekend, I came across a local news story from Toledo about Chris Tedrow, a patient who was treated at Dr. Mark Hyman's Center for Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Let's just say that it was, in essence, free advertising for functional medicine nonsense. The Cleveland Clinic should have had to pay the Toledo ABC affiliate to air it.
LifeDNA claims to use genetic testing to optimize a skin care and supplement regimen for you based on over...1,100 scientific studies! Let's just say that its claims are a lot less impressive when you look at them a little more closely.
A recent spate of articles over the last couple of days report that Elle Macpherson is dating an antivaccine "icon," disgraced antivaccine doctor and scientific fraud Andrew Wakefield. Given her love of "alkaline diet" woo, which she sells through her very Goop-like Wellco website, the attraction shouldn't be surprising. It is, nonetheless, troubling. It wouldn't surprise me if Macpherson is antivaccine herself, given that in "alkaline diet" lingo, vaccines are often viewed as "toxic acid" insults that "alkalinization" can reverse.
This is the conclusion of my series on Clínica 0-19, the cancer clinic where Drs. Alberto Siller and Alberto Garcia see patients with DIPG, a deadly brain tumor, whom they treat at Hospital Angeles in Monterrey Mexico with an unproven combination of intra-arterial chemotherapy with up to 11 drugs and a poorly defined dendritic cell immunotherapy. Some people have asked me: What’s the harm? In this concluding post, I attempt to answer that question.
My NECSS talk isn't done and something's got to give. So that means blogging will be sparse this week. Sorry about that.
It may be two days after the 4th of July, but it's never too late to deconstruct a holiday-inspired antivaccine rant about "zero tolerance vaccine laws" by the grand dame of the antivaccine movement.