We've documented the infiltration of quackery into academic medicine through the "integration" of mystical and prescientific treatment modalities into medicine. Here, we look at a pebble in the quackademic avalanche. Is it too late for the pebbles to vote?
An article published last week in the Nation likens wireless telephone companies to tobacco and fossil fuel episodes in their tactics of spreading fear, misinformation, and doubt regarding the science of cell phone radiation and health. To produce this narrative, the investigation's authors rely on unreliable sources and cherry pick scientific studies, ignoring the scientific consensus that cell phone radiation almost certainly...
We at SBM have written about German cancer clinics that offer a combination of cancer quackery, some real medicine, plus unproven experimental therapies, all at a high cost, both financially and in false hope. Finally, an exposé of these clinics has been published. What these clinics are doing is even worse than even we had feared.
Rattlesnake pills, another entry in a long line of bogus cancer cures, have been linked (again) to a potentially deadly Salmonella infection.
The integration of mysticism and pseudoscience with oncology continues apace in NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers
Last week, I commented on the inability of the Society for Integrative Oncology to define what integrative oncology actually is. This week, I note the proliferation of the quackery of integrative oncology in places that should be rigorously science-based, namely NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers.
Adjuvant therapy after surgery, such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiation therapy, has contributed to a 39% decrease in breast cancer mortality since 1989. Unfortunately, a significant number of women decline evidence-based adjuvant therapy. A recent study suggests that distrust of the medical system plays a significant role in such refusal.
Does complementary and alternative medicine offer any meaningful benefits to cancer patients?
Cancer in the 18-39 age range is uncommon, but still occurs. When they should be dealing with school, friends, new jobs, and starting families, instead they must worry about medical bills, appointments, and infertility. Added to this are the costs of "integrative" treatments often foisted upon cancer patients, or built-in to the few adolescent and young adult-focussed centers that currently exist.
Recently, the Hope4Cancer Institute, a quack clinic in Mexico, has added a treatment known as Rigvir to its coffee enemas and other offerings. But what is Rigvir? It turns out that it's an import from Latvia with a mysterious history. Proponents claim that it is an oncolytic virus that targets cancer specifically and leaves normal cells alone. Unfortunately, there is a profound...
Five years ago, IBM announced that its supercomputer Watson would revolutionize cancer treatment by using its artificial intelligence to digest and distill the thousands of oncology studies published every year plus patient-level data and expert recommendations into treatment recommendation. Last week, a report published by STAT News shows that, years later, IBM's hubris and hype have crashed into reality.