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.

Rigvir

Rigvir: Another unproven and dubious cancer therapy to be avoided

Alternative cancer clinics have always claimed that their therapies "boost the immune system" to fight cancer. Recently, the Hope4Cancer Institute, a quack clinic in Mexico has added a treatment known as Rigvir to its other offerings. But what is Rigvir? It turns out that it's an import from Latvia, a purported oncolytic virus with a mysterious history that targets cancer specifically for...

/ September 18, 2017
Flu vaccine

The influenza vaccine and miscarriages: Much ado about nothing

A study published on Wednesday claims to have found a link between influenza vaccination and miscarriage, and antivaxers are gloating. The study itself suffers mightily from post hoc subgroup analyses on small numbers, so much so that even its authors don’t really believe its results. None of that stopped them from publishing the study, thus justifying "more research" that will almost certainly...

/ September 15, 2017
WatsonJeopardy

IBM’s Watson versus cancer: Hype meets reality

Five years ago, IBM announced that its supercomputer Watson would revolutionize cancer treatment by using its artificial intelligence to digest and distill the thousands of oncology studies published every year plus patient-level data and expert recommendations into treatment recommendation. Last week, a report published by STAT News shows that, years later, IBM's hubris and hype have crashed into reality.

/ September 11, 2017
Physician cosplay

Naturopaths are fake doctors cosplaying real doctors (even the ones running dubious stem cell clinics)

Naturopaths are fake doctors who, increasingly, are cosplaying real doctors. Not surprisingly, because naturopaths go where quacking takes them, they've started to open their very own dubious stem cell clinics, thus combining the worst of both worlds, their "natural" quackery with dubious unproven but "high tech" treatments being peddled by the worst of real doctors.

/ September 4, 2017
snake-oil

Naturopathy vs. patients: Patients lose

Over the weekend, there was a news story describing two cancer patients treated by naturopaths in New Zealand. Both died, one almost certainly unnecessarily, the other after enduring more suffering than she likely had to. These tragic cases and others reminded me of why it is so appalling that so many physicians are "integrating" naturopathy into "integrative medicine." In reality, they are...

/ August 28, 2017
SIDS

No, a Vaccine Court ruling does not show that vaccines cause SIDS

There was a rumbling in the antivaccine underground over the weekend about a recent ruling by the Vaccine Court compensating parents of a child who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In a confused and scientifically highly flawed decision, the Special Master Thomas Gowen didn't rule that vaccines cause SIDS, but did rule that they contributed to SIDS in this one...

/ August 21, 2017
Chemotherapy Patient

Alternative medicine kills cancer patients

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...

/ August 14, 2017
Compounding Pharmacy

Naturopathy and dubious compounding pharmacies: A deadly combination

In March, it was widely reported that a young woman named Jade Erick had died suddenly of a hypersensitivity reaction while undergoing an infusion of intravenous curcumin ordered by a naturopath named Kim Kelly to treat her eczema. The FDA investigated and found egregious problems with the injectable curcumin used. This tragic incident thus serves to demonstrate how dangerous a combination naturopaths...

/ August 7, 2017
Right-to-try

The cruel sham of “right-to-try” takes a giant step towards becoming federal law

So-called “right-to-try” is a cruel sham that holds out the false hope of survival to terminally ill patients and their families. In return, all they have to give up is patient protections and agree to pay to be guinea pigs to test a drug company’s product. The product of an ideology that uses the terminally ill as shields to hide the ideological...

/ August 5, 2017
Abraham Cherrix and his parents after learning the judge's ruling in 2006.

Abraham Cherrix is alive and well because of science-based medicine

Although I haven't discussed it here in depth, the case of Abraham Cherrix is an instructive example. Eleven years ago, he and his parents chose quackery over science-based medicine to treat his cancer. He's alive now because he finally realized the error of his decision and underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

/ July 31, 2017