[NOTE: An Internet entrepreneur and crank named Mike Adams has spent the last month posting near daily attacks on Dr. Gorski. We at SBM would like readers to know that these attacks are baseless. They consist of scurrilous lies (e.g., linking Dr. Gorski and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center to Dr. Farid Fata and his criminal activity), misinformation, and selective presentation of information (e.g., Dr. Gorski’s research into the drug riluzole). A brief discussion of Adams’ lies can be found below, and a list of links with more detailed discussions of Adams’ campaign of defamation is included at the end. We apologize for the necessity to address Adams here.]
DAVID H. GORSKI, MD, PhD, FACS is a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute specializing in breast cancer surgery, where he also serves as the Medical Director of the Alexander J. Walt Comprehensive Breast Center, Associate Professor of Surgery and Oncology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and faculty of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology. Additionally, he is co-director of the Michigan Breast Oncology Quality Initiative (MiBOQI), a statewide quality consortium dedicated to improving the care of patients with breast cancer in Michigan. An investigator whose primary research interests include the role of glutamate receptors in promoting the growth and metastasis of breast cancer, Dr. Gorski also runs an active research laboratory and has recently taken an active interest in the problems of breast cancer overdiagnosis and overtreatment. His research has been funded by the NIH, the Department of Defense, the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO, and others, and been published in prestigious journals such as Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Blood, Nature Reviews Cancer, and Nature.
Dr. Gorski first became interested in pseudoscience and “alternative” medicine around 2000, when quite by accident he wandered into the Usenet newsgroup misc.health.alternative and began critically examining the claims there.
More about the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center
Dr. Gorski is both a surgeon and a researcher, an unusual dual role that it is facilitated by his employer The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (NCI-CCC). NCI-CCC’s are chosen for their excellence in research, education, and patient care in cancer.
Criticism of and misinformation about Dr. Gorski (a note for potential patients Googling for information)
Because of his criticism of pseudoscience and quackery on Usenet, online discussion forums, and blogs over the last 18 years, Dr. Gorski has angered some supporters of dubious health practices and pseudoscience. As a result, there are a number of articles and posts online that repeat misinformation and outright lies about him. (A list of examples can be found here.)
Examples of the campaign of vilification over the last 18 years clearly designed to try to silence Dr. Gorski include an accusation of pedophilia by neo-Nazis for his work debunking Holocaust denial, a reference to him as being a “nipple ripper” by a man named Patrick “Tim” Bolen, and a false accusation in 2010 of a nonexistent conflict of interest by an antivaccine website that led to a campaign on the part of antivaccinationists to try to get him fired from his job, as documented here. False claims that he is secretly a shill for the pharmaceutical industry (known as the “pharma shill gambit”) are frequently used to try to discredit him.
Most recently, in response to Dr. Gorski’s criticism of an antivaccine movie directed by Andrew Wakefield and supported by Robert De Niro, Mike Adams, founder of the NaturalNews.com “alternative health” online empire, resurrected the false 2010 charge of an undisclosed financial COI and written a series of screeds (included in the list) making false accusations against him, claiming, for instance, that he sabotaged the entry for the movie on Wikipedia (he does not edit Wikipedia) and being in cahoots with a corrupt oncologist who bilked Medicare out of millions and gave chemotherapy to people who didn’t have cancer. Adams has posted fake patient reviews and even claims to have reported Dr. Gorski to the FBI, Michigan Attorney General, and his state medical board. Worse, in doing so, he has made similar allegations against his cancer center in an effort to pollute its Google reputation along with Dr. Gorski’s. These allegations were answered here and discussed here.
Dr. Gorski is dedicated to the best science- and evidence-based treatment of breast cancer that is currently available. If you want evidence of his commitment to providing patients with the best science-based care, look no further than his career, his position in a statewide quality consortium, and his standing up to the bullies on the Internet who want him silenced.
Dr. Gorski’s financial and conflict of interest disclosures
Dr. Gorski has been funded over the last decade by institutional funds, the Department of Defense, the National Cancer Institute, the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. He has recently held a small grant (€30,000) from Bayer HealthCare through its Grants4Targets program, a fact that will no doubt bring forth more criticism. Never mind that the grant expired in 2012. Before that small seed grant, so bereft of pharmaceutical funding was Dr. Gorski that before his talks, as part of his disclosures, he often joked that no pharmaceutical company was interested enough in his research to want to give him any money. For everything else, however, like most biomedical scientists in academia, Dr. Gorski must beg the NIH and other granting agencies for the money to keep his lab going. Currently, Dr. Gorski’s research is funded by the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program with two-year Breakthrough Award expiring in 2017.
Dr. Gorski’s opinions are his alone (and other disclaimers)
Because he is still a working academic surgeon and researcher (and hopes to remain so until he retires, which means—hopefully—for another 15 years or possibly even more), Dr. Gorski must emphasize that the opinions expressed in his posts on SBM are his and his alone and that all blog posts for SBM and elsewhere are written during his own time during evenings and weekends. Also note that e-mail relating to SBM sent to either of his work addresses will most likely be ignored.
Dr. Gorski’s opinions on ScienceBasedMedicine.org are most definitely not intended to represent the opinions or positions of Wayne State University School of Medicine, his department, or the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and should never, ever be construed as such. He doesn’t know how he can make this statement any stronger. Finally, his writings are for the purposes of commentary and general education only and are therefore not meant to be used as specific health care recommendations for individuals. Readers should consult their own personal physicians for advice regarding specific health problems or issues that they might have.
Appendix 1: Mike Adams’ campaign of defamation against Dr. Gorski and related commentary
A Word document with links to all of Adams’ posts thus far can be found here.
- Behold my power, quacks, and despair! Mike Adams publishes several defamatory articles about yours truly… (SBM)
- Mike Adams of Natural News – Nuclear stupidity about Gorski (Skeptical Raptor)
- David Gorski conspiracies – Mike Adams is wrong (Skeptical Raptor)
- Anti-vaccine harassment – Can you sue for libel? (Dorit Rubinstein)
- Natural News’ Mike Adams libelously attacks Science-Based Medicine’s David Gorski
- Weird Claim: David Gorski is the dark side of the force
- The price of opposing medical pseudoscience (SBM)
- How “they” view “us” (SBM)
Appendix 2: Who is Mike Adams?
- The Legend of Mike Adams and the Reality (HealthWyze)
- Meet The Internet Entrepreneur Profiting Off The Anti-Vaxxer Movement (ThinkProgress.org)
- Most ‘dangerous’ anti-science GMO critic? Meet Mike Adams–Conspiracy junkie runs alternative ‘health’ empire (Genetic Literacy Project)
- FBI turns up heat on Mike Adams as ‘Health Ranger’ fiasco widens, plus Adams’ archive (Genetic Literacy Project)
- Mike Adams: Called “everyone’s favorite über-quack”, runs “#1 anti-science website” (Genetic Literacy Project)
- Mike Adams, the Alt Medicine Purveyor Who Calls himself the ‘Health Ranger,’ Threatens to Sue Forbes and Writer (Collide-a-Scape)
- How “they” view “us” revisited: Mike Adams goes off the deep end (SBM)
- The “Health Ranger” Mike Adams engages in legal thuggery against a critic (Respectful Insolence)