Category: Clinical Trials

Macular Degeneration and AREDS 2 Supplements

Four years ago I wrote about the premature marketing of a diet supplement for macular degeneration before the results of a trial to test it were available. Now that we know the results of that trial, a follow-up post is in order. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness. The incidence increases with age; it affects 10% of people...

/ June 10, 2014

Of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy, Bayes, the NIH, and Human Studies Ethics

An experiment is ethical or not at its inception; it does not become ethical post hoc—ends do not justify means. ~ Henry K. Beecher A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Josephine Briggs, the Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), posted a short essay on the NCCAM Research Blog touting the results of the Trial to Assess Chelation...

/ May 30, 2014

In which Dr. Gorski is taken to task by an eminent radiologist for his posts on mammography

Introduction: An unexpected e-mail arrives One of the consequences of the growing traffic and prominence of this blog over the last few years is that people who would otherwise have probably ignored what I or my partners in blogging write now sometimes actually take notice. Nearly a decade ago, long before I joined this blog as a founding blogger, if I wrote...

/ May 26, 2014

What’s in a name?: NCCAM tries to polish a turd

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, And for that name which is no part of thee Take all myself. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2...

/ May 19, 2014

More Dialogs

There is no alternative medicine. There is only scientifically proven, evidence-based medicine supported by solid data or unproven medicine, for which scientific evidence is lacking. JAMA Just just because there are flaws in aircraft design that doesn’t mean flying carpets exist. Ben Goldacre Wiser heads than I have commented on “Invitation to a Dialogue: Alternative Therapies” in The New York Times. So...

/ May 16, 2014

A formal request for retraction of a Cancer article

I am formally requesting that Cancer retract an article claiming that psychotherapy delays recurrence and extends survival time for breast cancer patients. Regardless of whether I succeed in getting a retraction, I hope I will prompt other efforts to retract such articles. My letter appears later in this post. In seeking retraction, I cite the standards of the Committee on Publication Ethics...

/ May 12, 2014

CureCrowd – Crowdsourcing Science

A new website came to my attention that promises to “Discover what truly works.” The idea is to essentially crowdsource anecdotal reports about what treatments work for specific conditions. This is an interesting idea, that can harness the power of information flow over the internet to do what is essentially an observational, uncontrolled, and unscientific study about treatment effects. At its best,...

/ May 7, 2014

Cochrane Reviews: The Food Babe of Medicine?

There are two topics about which I know a fair amount. The first is Infectious Disease. I am expert in ID, Board Certified and certified bored, by the ABIM. The other, although to a lesser extent, is SCAMs. When I read the literature on these topics, I do so with extensive knowledge and, in the case of ID, 30 years of clinical...

/ May 2, 2014

The Compassionate Freedom of Choice Act: Ill-advised “right to try” goes federal

Not too long ago, I expressed alarm at a series of bills that were popping up like so much kudzu in various state legislatures, namely “right to try” bills. Both Jann Bellamy and I warned that these bills gave a false illusion of hope to patients with terminal illnesses. Basically, these laws claim to grant the “right” of patients with terminal illnesses...

/ April 27, 2014

Curing Hepatitis C: A Success Story and a Price Tag

Previously incurable, hepatitis C now has a treatment. A very, very expensive treatment. But there is hope for acutely and chronically infected people.

/ April 22, 2014