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.
Earlier this week, I discussed Clínica 0-19, a clinic "making DIPG history in Monterrey" whose doctors claim to be able to successfully treat the deadly brainstem cancer DIPG using intra-arterial chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This week, I discuss what I’ve learned since last week, specifically a lot more about just what it is that these doctors do, why it is scientifically dubious and unproven, and why I am becoming even more harsh in my assessment of this clinic, which shows every indication of being a predatory clinic selling an unproven treatment for a very high price.
Drs. Alberto Siller and Alberto Garcia run Clínica 0-19 in Monterrey, Mexico, which has become a magnet for patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a deadly brain cancer. Unfortunately, their treatment is an unproven combination of 11 chemotherapy drugs injected into an artery feeding the brainstem, plus an unknown and unproven "immunotherapy." Of course it all costs $300,000 or more for a complete course of treatment, and the good doctors are "too busy to do clinical trials" or even publish their survival and recurrence statistics, despite having used this protocol for 20 years. I say: If it quacks like …
Alternative medicine mavens like to promote a stereotype of cancer doctors as practically slavering to poison patients with chemotherapy. The TAILORx trial and its results would beg to differ.
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.
it's October, which means that it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means that it's time for dubious breast cancer case reports. Here's one about ketogenic diets that doesn't show that such diets cure cancer.
By definition, alternative medicine has not been shown to be effective or has been shown to be ineffective. Thus, alternative medicine is ineffective against cancer and can best be represented as either no treatment at all or potentially harmful treatment. It is thus not surprising that cancer patients who choose alternative medicine have a higher risk of dying from their cancer. A new study confirms this conclusion yet again.
Eleven years ago, Abraham Cherrix and his parents chose quackery over science-based medicine to treat his cancer, and Cherrix was one of the earliest cases of teens who chose quackery to treat a life-threatening disease that I discussed in depth. Recently, I learned that Cherrix is still alive. The reason? He finally realized the error of his original decision and underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
If you were to rely on much of what you see in the mainstream media and on social media, you probably have the impression that we are not doing very well against cancer. Indeed, a common trope I see in a lot of articles is that we are somehow “losing” the war on cancer. Just for yuks, I Googled the term “losing the war on cancer,” and it didn’t take long to find a lot of articles, both in the mainstream press and, more predictably, on alternative medicine-friendly websites making just that argument. Indeed, in 2011, which was the 40th …