So-called "right-to-try" laws have passed in 38 states. A cruel sham whose real purpose has nothing to do with helping terminally ill patients and everything to do with the libertarian war on FDA regulation, these laws claim to allow terminally ill patients to bypass the FDA and obtain access to experimental drugs that have passed phase I testing. They do nothing of the sort, which is why right-to-try advocates have "gone federal." A right-to-try bill has passed the Senate, and Vice President Mike Pence and Koch Brothers-backed groups are lobbying hard to pass it in the House. There is still …
One of the favorite tactics of cranks and quacks to silence criticism from bloggers is to threaten to sue for libel. Ex-naturopath turned science advocate Britt Hermes is currently living this reality, as a naturopathic cancer quack is currently suing her for libel in Germany. Given that Britt is a graduate student in evolutionary biology her means are quite modest and as is no doubt the intent, just defending this lawsuit could ruin her and her husband financially. Fortunately, you can help help her, and I urge you to do so.
"Integrating" naturopathic care with real medicine started out largely in academic medical centers. Unfortunately, the cancer of integrative oncology appears to be metastasizing to community hospitals.
Earlier this year, Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop held a quackfest in New York City. Well, the second in Goop Health quackfest is coming in January, and Goop is doubling down on the quackery by featuring Dr. Kelly Brogan, HIV/AIDS denialist and antivaccine and anti-psychiatry quack.
Earlier this month, the Society for Integrative Oncology published an article attempting to define what “integrative oncology” is. The definition, when it isn’t totally vague, ignores the pseudoscience at the heart of integrative oncology and medicine.
Cancer quackery, particularly the false hope it engenders in cancer patients, infuriates me. Earlier this week The Sun published an article suggesting that a form of quackery called the Berkson protocol allowed a mother with metastatic pancreatic cancer to survive unexpectedly long enough to see her daughter married. It almost certainly did nothing of the sort.
Adjuvant therapy after surgery, such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiation therapy, has contributed to a 39% decrease in breast cancer mortality since 1989. Unfortunately, a significant number of women decline evidence-based adjuvant therapy. A recent study suggests that distrust of the medical system plays a significant role in such refusal.
My skeptical analysis of Rigvir, a “Virotherapy” from Latvia being promoted by alternative medicine clinics as a cancer cure, caught the attention of the International Virotherapy Center (IVC). The result was a long and very telling e-mail exchange between its Assistant of Business Development and myself. I post it because the arguments used in the discussion are very telling about where the IVC is coming from when it comes to science. Hint: It’s not a good place.
Recently, the Hope4Cancer Institute, a quack clinic in Mexico has added a treatment known as Rigvir to its other offerings. But what is Rigvir? It turns out that it’s an import from Latvia with a mysterious history. Its proponents claim that it targets cancer specifically. Unfortunately, there is a profound paucity of evidence for its efficacy. The story of Rigvir is the story of an unproven treatment that, because of its origin in a small country, has flown mostly under the radar. Until now, that is.
Five years ago, IBM announced that its supercomputer Watson would revolutionize cancer treatment by using its artificial intelligence to digest and distill the thousands of oncology studies published every year plus patient-level data and expert recommendations into treatment recommendation. Last week, a report published by STAT News shows that, years later, IBM's hubris and hype have crashed into reality.