Category: Clinical Trials

Not even the Bocca della Verità can tell if a Chinese medical study is fabricated.

Chinese BioMedical Research: Sturgeon’s Law In Action

A Chinese government investigation has found that 80%, yes eighty percent, of Chinese biomedical research is fabricated. I bet that is an underestimate for Traditional Chinese Pseudo-Medicine.

/ January 20, 2017
nof1book2c

Myths integrative medicine sells us: “We never advocate alternative medicine without conventional medicine”

"Integrative medicine" (IM) effectively integrates quackery with real medicine. The main talking point by advocates of IM meant to deflect this criticism is that IM practitioners always use alternative medicine with conventional medicine and never advocate the use of alternative medicine alone. A new book by a prominent advocate of IM suggests that this talking point is at best self-delusion among academics...

/ January 8, 2017
scatter-of-acupuncture-needles

Acupuncture’s Big Myth

The great acupuncture myth? No spoilers from me. Read the entry or skip to the penultimate paragraph to find out.

/ January 6, 2017
Money down the drain

Son of (the unethical and unscientific) Trial To Assess Chelation Therapy rears its ugly head to the tune of $37 million

First, the NCCIH and NHLBI spend $30 million on a clinical trial of quackery for cardiovascular disease that produces predictably negative to at best equivocal results. Then that result, apparently, is enough to justify wasting another $37 million on a followup study—while dozens of other deserving studies go unfunded. Meanwhile STAT News lionizes the principal investigator of both trials as a brave...

/ December 28, 2016
When Dr. Oz met Donald Trump: Somehow this photo just seemed appropriate for this post.

Medical science policy in the U.S. under Donald Trump

The election of Donald Trump was unexpected. Given Trump's history of antivaccine beliefs and conspiracy theories, coupled with a fervor for deregulation (a fervor shared by the Republican Congress), it is reasonable to fear what will happen to medical science policy during the next four years.

/ November 14, 2016
Pauline Gahan in front of the Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic

German alternative cancer clinics: Combining experimental therapeutics with rank quackery and charging big bucks for it

You think that Mexico has the most quack cancer clinics? Don't be so sure of that. When it comes to clinics peddling a mix of snake oil and a dash of real medicine, Mexico's got nothing on Germany.

/ October 24, 2016

A Credible Placebo Control for Chiropractic Research

The research on chiropractic has been far from rigorous. One of the problems is that studies of spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) can’t be double blinded, and it is very difficult to even do single blinding. So most studies resort to non-manipulation control groups like “usual care” or “wait list” or “pain medication.” Those studies are practically guaranteed to lead to false positive...

/ October 11, 2016
hillary-clinton-donald-trump-presidential-debate

In which we are accused of “polarization-based medicine”

A little over a month ago, I wrote about how proponents of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), now more frequently called “integrative medicine,” go to great lengths to claim nonpharmacological treatments for, well, just about anything as somehow being CAM or “integrative.” The example I used was a systematic review article published by several of the bigwigs at that government font of...

/ October 10, 2016

Infectious Diseases and Cancer

With apologies to my colleagues, but infectious diseases really is the most interesting specialty in medicine. There are innumerable interesting associations and interactions of infectious diseases in medicine, history, art, science, and, well, life, the universe and everything. ID is so 42. A recent email led me to wander the numerous interactions between infections and cancer. There are the cancers that are...

/ September 30, 2016
The stem cell hard sell returns.

The stem cell hard sell, Stemedica edition

Stemedica Cell Technologies, a San Diego company that markets stem cell treatments for all manner of ailments, likes to represent itself as very much science-based. There are very good reasons to question that characterization, based on the histories of the people who run the company, as well as the company's behavior.

/ September 26, 2016