Category: Clinical Trials

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
SnakeOilSalesmanWagon

Forget stem cell tourism: Stem cell clinics in the US are plentiful

It's generally thought that quack stem cell clinics are primarily a problem overseas because the FDA would. never allow them on US soil. As a new survey shows, that assumption couldn't be more wrong.

/ July 4, 2016

A systematic review about nothing

There is dubious content in PubMed that you won’t find unless you look for it, or stumble across it inadvertently. It’s the entire field of alternative medicine which is abstracted and complied along with the actual medical literature. In this world, the impossible is accepted as fact, and journal articles focus on the medical equivalent of counting angels on pinheads. I’ve been...

/ June 30, 2016
What's the harm? Stroke victim Jim Gass went from requiring a cane and leg brace to walk to being confined to a wheelchair, thanks to dubious stem cell treatments. There's the harm.

What’s the harm? Stem cell tourism edition

Stem cells have become big business. Offshore clinics claim to use stem cells to treat anything from aging, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and even autism, all without compelling evidence that these treatments have any meaningful effect. Unfortunately, the potential for harm, both financial and to health, is high, as the case of Jim Gass demonstrates.

/ June 27, 2016
Randomized controlled clinical trial

Whither the randomized controlled clinical trial?

With the rise of precision medicine and genomics, the conventional randomized clinical trial appears more and more outdated. Fortunately, clinical trials are evolving, but will it be enough to incorporate the numerous advances in "-omic" medicine in a rigorous scientific manner to benefit patients?

/ June 20, 2016