All posts by David Gorski

Dr. Gorski's full information can be found here, along with information for patients. David H. Gorski, MD, PhD, FACS is a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute specializing in breast cancer surgery, where he also serves as the American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer Liaison Physician as well as an Associate Professor of Surgery and member of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology at Wayne State University. If you are a potential patient and found this page through a Google search, please check out Dr. Gorski's biographical information, disclaimers regarding his writings, and notice to patients here.

Food and Drug Administration building.

Sen. Ron Johnson: Holding the bill funding the FDA hostage unless the cruel sham that is right-to-try is added to it

Advocates claim that "right-to-try" laws help terminally patients by allowing them access to experimental drugs before approval, when, in fact, such laws strip legal and regulatory protections from patients using such drugs and their purpose is actually to undermine and weaken the FDA. Now advocates led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) are making a new push to pass right-to-try by embedding it...

/ July 17, 2017
Cancer cell extravasation

Does chemotherapy cause cancer to spread?

Earlier this month, a study was published in Science Translational Medicine that showed how chemotherapy before surgery can stimulate breast cancer invasiveness and invasion under certain circumstances. Not surprisingly, alternative cancer cure mavens everywhere are spinning the study as "proof" that chemotherapy has no benefit and causes only harm (and so you should by their nostrums instead). Unsurprisingly, the actual results are...

/ July 17, 2017
CDC Headquarters

Trump’s new CDC Director is very pro-vaccine, but was she also at one time a quack?

On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price announced the appointment of Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald to head the CDC. Reassuringly, her record as Georgia Public Health Commissioner was pro-vaccine and relatively non-ideological. Not so reassuringly, a news report yesterday found that before entering public service she was peddling anti-aging quackery at her private practice. Where will her balance fall now...

/ July 10, 2017
emergency

Emergency acupuncture!

For whatever reason, acupuncturists and acupuncture believers think that acupuncture can be useful in emergency situations, be they in the field ("battlefield acupuncture," anyone?) or in the ER. They even do studies purporting to show that. This is yet another of such a clinical trial, albeit larger than usual. Guess what? It doesn't really show what it's advertised to show. I explain...

/ July 3, 2017
Yoga

Can mind-body practices “reprogram” our DNA?

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.

/ June 26, 2017
Cassandra Callender in 2015.

The sad but unexpectedly hopeful cancer saga of Cassandra Callender

I've frequently discussed the stories of teenagers with cancer who either refuse chemotherapy or whose parents refuse chemotherapy for them. The case of Cassandra Callender is the same, yet different, from many of these unfortunate and sad sagas in that she was older when diagnosed with cancer and that she realized her mistake. I can now only hope that it's not too...

/ June 19, 2017
If you were to believe antivaxers, you'd think that they're doing Cersei's walk of atonement (complete with a priestess chanting, "Shame! Shame! Shame!") every day. But is this true?

Does society try to shame and shun vaccine refusers and the vaccine-averse?

Antivaxers often complain that they are judged harshly, even shunned. A recent study suggests that, to some extent, they might well be. But are judging, shaming, and shunning parents who refuse to vaccinate their children wrong? More importantly, what about the children, who didn’t choose not to be vaccinated, and how likely is such stigmatization to change behavior?

/ June 12, 2017
The Terminator

The closure of major integrative medicine “Crown Jewels”: Terminating the Terminator?

When it comes to expansion and infiltrating medicine, "integrative medicine" has frequently seemed like the Terminator: utterly relentless. Recent setbacks at major integrative medicine "Crown Jewels" resulting in their closure cast that narrative in doubt. However, I never forget that after its seeming destruction, the Terminator always comes back.

/ June 5, 2017
Marijuana bud

Medical marijuana as the new herbalism, part 5: Turning herbalism into science-based medicine

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. Although there are a fair number of caveats, this is how you begin to turn the herbalism that characterizes medical marijuana advocacy into science-based medicine.

/ May 29, 2017
The editorial staff of The BMJ decides on its next systematic review.

Quackery infiltrates The BMJ

As quackery in the form of "integrative medicine" has increasingly been "integrated" into medicine, medical journals are starting to notice and succumb to the temptation to decrease their skepticism. The BMJ, unfortunately, is the latest to do so. It won't be the last.

/ May 22, 2017