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Cancer Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Science Skepticism/critical thinking Uncategorized

We’ve heard this story before: Raising loads of cash for unproven treatments

Being a cancer surgeon, I realize that my tendency is to view my blogging material through the prism of cancer, particularly breast cancer, my specialty. it’s easy to forget that there are diseases every bit as horrible, some arguably even more so than the worst cancer. When I think of such diseases, it’s not surprising […]

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Autism Biology Cancer Clinical trials Medicine Politics Science

Deregulating stem cell quackery in Italy? A bad omen.

Stem cells are magical, mystical things that can’t be explained. At least, if you listen to what docs and “practitioners” who run stem cell clinics in various parts of the world, usually where regulation is lax and money from First World clientele is much sought after, that’s what you could easily come to believe. Unfortunately, […]

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Autism Clinical trials

Is a trial of stem cell therapy in autism scientifically and ethically justified?

Houston, we have a problem. Oh, wait. I’m not talking about Stanislaw Burzynski this time. But we do still have a problem, and it’s a problem that resembles the Burzynski problem I recently discussed. Specifically, it’s a problem of unethical clinical trials somehow winning approval from institutional review boards (IRBs). In academia, IRBs are basically […]

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Bioethics Medicine Quackery

Stem cell therapy for “locked-in” syndrome?

About four months ago, the skeptical blogosphere was abuzz about a tragic story. The story was that of a Belgian man named Rom Houben, who had been unfortunate enough to have been in a motor vehicle collision and suffered serious brain injury. That brain injury left him in a comatose state, which had been diagnosed […]

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