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.
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.
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.
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 …
Stefano Montanari and Antonietta Gatti are a husband-wife duo of Italian antivaccine "scientists" who like to use the electron microscope to find particulates in vaccines and try to scare people over them. Recently, Montanari was punched by an unknown assailant after having addressed the fascist group Casa Pound. Naturally, he thinks it's part of a government conspiracy to silence him.
In 2014, the Society for Integrative Oncology first published clinical guidelines for the care of breast cancer patients. Not surprisingly, SIO advocated “integrating” dubious therapies with oncology. Last week, the most influential oncology society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), endorsed a 2017 update to the SIO guidelines, thus endorsing the “integration” of quackery with oncology and paving the way for insurance coverage. The advance of quackademic medicine in oncology continues apace.
The University of Northern Iowa is hosting a conference on facilitated communication, despite multiple warnings from academics that it's quackery and overwhelming evidence that it is the "facilitators" who are actually producing the claimed "communication" from nonverbal people and a history of producing false cases of child abuse. Why is UNI being so dangerously irresponsible?
Science is the most effective means of determining medical treatments that work and whose benefits outweigh their risks. Those who promote pseudoscientific or prescientific medicine, however, frequently appeal to other ways of knowing, often ancient ways of knowing from other cultures, and pointing out deficiencies in SBM to justify promoting their treatments. Do their justifications hold water?
Right-to-try is now the law of the land. Unfortunately, it's a law custom-made for the unethical who don't mind taking advantage of the terminally ill.