Category: Clinical Trials

PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer

PSA testing is controversial. A new study finds that PSA screening for prostate cancer offers no survival benefits.

/ March 22, 2018

The Debate Is Over: Antidepressants DO Work Better Than Placebo

The idea that antidepressants are no more effective than placebo has been put to rest. They clearly work when used appropriately, although the effect size is not as large as the published studies have suggested.

/ March 6, 2018

Where Are We With the Replication “Crisis”

The replication problem is not as bad as the sensational reporting has suggested. But it is still a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed. 

/ February 28, 2018

The final push to pass a federal version of the cruel sham of “right-to-try” is under way

Right-to-try laws are a cruel sham that claim to help terminally ill patients by providing them with earlier access to experimental therapeutics, even though they do very little in this regard. Promoted primarily by the libertarian think tank the Goldwater Institute, in reality they are a strategy to weaken the FDA's regulatory power to assure that marketed drugs are safe and effective....

/ January 15, 2018

A Misguided Study to Test the Reliability of Traditional Chinese Medicine Pulse Diagnosis

Pulse diagnosis and tongue diagnosis are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. They are based on imagination, not on anatomical and physiologic reality.

/ December 26, 2017

I Was Wrong about Protandim

A seriously flawed Protandim study seemed to show that side effects were no more common than with placebo. Actually, they were almost twice as common. The researchers were looking at the wrong numbers and didn't even add correctly.

/ December 5, 2017

CAM use leads to delays in appropriate, effective arthritis therapy

A preference to use CAM before seeking medical advice may be harming patients with inflammatory arthritis.

/ November 16, 2017

Update on ASEA, Protandim, and dōTERRA

Multilevel marketing distributors of dietary supplements and essential oils point to studies that they think constitute evidence that their products work. They don't understand why those studies are inadequate.

/ November 7, 2017

ORBITA: Another clinical trial demonstrating the need for sham controls in surgical trials

Last week, the results of ORBITA were published. This clinical trial tested coronary angioplasty and stenting versus optimal medical management in patients with single-vessel coronary artery disease. It was a resoundingly negative trial, meaning that adding stenting to drug management didn't result in detectable clinical improvement. What was distinctive about this trial is that it used a sham procedure (i.e., placebo) control,...

/ November 6, 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