Category: Cancer

Complementary and Alternative Medicines and Cancer

Does complementary and alternative medicine offer any meaningful benefits to cancer patients?

/ October 5, 2017

Rigvir strikes back, or: A conversation with a Rigvir flack

My skeptical analysis of Rigvir, a "Virotherapy" from Latvia being promoted by alternative medicine clinics as a cancer cure, caught the attention of the International Virotherapy Center (IVC). The result was a long and very telling e-mail exchange between its Assistant of Business Development and myself. I post it because the arguments used in the discussion are very telling about where the...

/ October 2, 2017

CAM Promotion in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Programs

Cancer in the 18-39 age range is uncommon, but still occurs. When they should be dealing with school, friends, new jobs, and starting families, instead they must worry about medical bills, appointments, and infertility. Added to this are the costs of "integrative" treatments often foisted upon cancer patients, or built-in to the few adolescent and young adult-focussed centers that currently exist.

/ September 29, 2017

Ty Bollinger’s “The Truth About Cancer” and the unethical marketing of the unproven cancer virotherapy Rigvir

Last week, I wrote about Rigvir, a "virotherapy" promoted by the International Virotherapy Center (IVC) in Latvia, which did not like what I had to say. When a representative called me to task for referring to the marketing of Rigvir using patient testimonials as irresponsbile, it prompted me to look at how Ty Bollinger's The Truth About Cancer series promoted Rigvir through...

/ September 25, 2017

Rigvir: Another unproven and dubious cancer therapy to be avoided

Recently, the Hope4Cancer Institute, a quack clinic in Mexico, has added a treatment known as Rigvir to its coffee enemas and other offerings. But what is Rigvir? It turns out that it's an import from Latvia with a mysterious history. Proponents claim that it is an oncolytic virus that targets cancer specifically and leaves normal cells alone. Unfortunately, there is a profound...

/ September 18, 2017

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

Cancer, vitamin supplements, and unexpected consequences

Not only do B-vitamin supplements not protect you from lung cancer, they may significantly raise your risk of cancer.

/ September 7, 2017

Naturopathic Cancer Quackery

Naturopaths treat cancer with an array of implausible concoctions that are not based on clinical science, and then defend themselves with cease and desist letters.

/ September 6, 2017

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

Myeloproliferative neoplasms – an overview and my experiences

In 2014 I was diagnosed with a type of myeloproliferative neoplasm. Since that time I have sought many treatments, and experienced many setbacks. Science-based medicine has kept me alive to write this post. Here I pass along some of my knowledge and experience regarding these rare cancers.

/ August 18, 2017