Investigators at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center reported the results of a trial of acupuncture for xerostomia (dry mouth) secondary to radiation therapy for head and neck cancers. It was a negative trial, but investigators still tried to spin it as positive, but with a twist. There was a large difference between results found at M.D. Anderson and the second site in China. What could be going on?
The ethics of pay-to-play clinical trials are a minefield. Last week the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) stepped into that minefield. Are "pay-to-play" clinical trials ever ethically acceptable?
This week, JAMA Internal Medicine published a clinical trial purporting to find that acupuncture helps stable angina. Here's a hint: It doesn't. It's a bait-and-switch study that used "electroacupuncture" instead of acupuncture with poor blinding and lack of consideration of prior plausibility.
"Dr." Anthony Pellagrino is a chiropractor who fancies himself a scientist. Unfortunately, his touting a dubious study of chiropractic for stroke shows that he doesn't know a crappy study when he sees it.
In May JAMA published a negative study of acupucnture and in vitro fertilization. Dr. Carlo Giovanardi, a physician and leader in acupuncture in Italy, was not pleased. As acupuncturists frequently do, he is now making excuses.
Australian researchers have carried out another randomized clinical trial on acupuncture for in vitro fertilization. Unsurprisingly, it's completely negative. Also unsurprisingly, acupuncturists are not happy and are furiously making excuses.
It's been a bad week for homeopathy. First, the NHS in the UK has stopped funding homeopathy in London. Then, news stories appeared about research fraud and a retracted clinical trial of homeopathy for cancer in which the investigators had already been arrested. So sad!
Dr. David Brownstein is a "holistic" family practice physician in my area. Consistent with being "holistic," he is antivaccine to the core. That's why he's unhappy with the recent CDC recommendation that adults over 50 receive the new shingles vaccine. He thinks he's found a clever argument to show it doesn't work. Unfortunately, his argument only reveals his bias and misunderstanding.
A recent systematic review has been touted as demonstrating that "mind-body" practices like yoga can reprogram our DNA. There are several reasons to doubt these claims, not the least of which is the history of bias in past studies on this topic.
There's a new clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing a beneficial effect due to cannabidiol, a chemical isolated from marijuana, on drug-resistant seizures due to Dravet syndrome. Medical marijuana advocates are crowing, "I told you so!" As is usually the case, the real story is more nuanced.