Category: Clinical Trials

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
Sauna time

NCCIH funds sauna “detoxification” study at naturopathic school

It is no secret that we at SBM are not particularly fond of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIH; formerly, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine). We’ve lamented NCCIH’s use of limited public funds for researching implausible treatments, the unwarranted luster NIH/NCCIH funding bestows on quack institutions, the lack of useful research it has produced, and its...

/ September 15, 2016
The moon

The Cancer Moonshot: Hype versus reality

The Cancer Moonshot has been promoted as a strategy to break the logjam that seems to be holding up new, much more effective treatments for cancer. The key word is "seems," because in reality the Cancer Moonshot is more hype than promise.

/ September 12, 2016
Acupuncture

“Non-pharmacological treatments for pain” ≠ CAM, no matter how much NCCIH wishes it so

When it comes to pain, in the mythos of "complementary and alternative medicine" (CAM), which in recent years has morphed into "integrative medicine," anything that isn't a drug is automatically rebranded as CAM, whether it's in any way "alternative" or not.

/ September 5, 2016

Nada for NADA: “acudetox” not effective in addiction treatment

The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) teaches and promotes a standardized auricular acupuncture protocol, sometimes called “acudetox.” NADA claims acudetox encourages community wellness . . . for behavioral health, including addictions, mental health, and disaster & emotional trauma. I do not know what “community wellness” is or how one measures whether wellness has been successfully “encouraged.” In any event, in the NADA...

/ September 1, 2016
Right-to-try

The cruel sham that will not die: Right-to-try marches on in California and beyond

State "right-to-try" bills are springing up like kudzu all over the US. Their advocates promise that they would save lives by allowing terminally ill patients access to experimental therapeutics. This is a delusion; even the most fervent supporters of right-to-try have trouble pointing to a single patient who has benefited from such a law. In reality, right-to-try laws are a cruel sham...

/ August 29, 2016
3-BP: A "safe" and "nontoxic" cancer cure targeting the Warburg effect that quite possibly killed three cancer patients in Germany.

3-Bromopyruvate: The latest cancer cure “they” don’t want you to know about

Why is it that whenever naturopaths and other quacks embrace a new "cancer cure," somehow "they" (whoever "they" are) don't want you to know about it? In this case, it's 3-BP, an actual experimental drug that shows some promise but is by no means ready for prime time (or FDA approval) yet.

/ August 15, 2016

CARA: Integrating even more pseudoscience into veterans’ healthcare

The pixels were barely dry on David Gorski’s lament over the expansive integration of pseudoscience into the care of veterans when President Obama signed legislation that will exacerbate this very problem. The “Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016” (“CARA”) contains provisions that will undoubtedly keep Tracy Gaudet, MD, and her merry band of integrative medicine aficionados at the VA busy for...

/ July 28, 2016
"This patient's qi isn't flowing the way it should. Consult Acupuncture, STAT!!"

On the pointlessness of acupuncture in the emergency room…or anywhere else

As incredible as it seems, advocates of "integrative medicine" are on the verge of creating a new specialty, emergency acupuncture. I wish I were joking, but I'm not.

/ July 25, 2016

Acupuncture and Endorphins: Not all that Impressive

I was reading, and deconstructing, a particularly awful bit of advice for acupuncture by Consumer Reports. It was the same old same old, but it was the source that made it particularly awful. I expect more from Consumer Reports than the uncritical regurgitation of the standard mythical acupuncture narrative. The report included the quote One possible reason for the benefits of acupuncture:...

/ July 22, 2016