Tag: clinical trial

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

To unblind or not to unblind? That is the question about clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines

Antivaccine alternative health tycoon Joe Mercola claims that the unblinding of participants in the clinical trials of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines was intended to "blow up the trials" and undermine the science, making it impossible ever to identify long term adverse events. What he's really doing is deceptively oversimplifying complex ethical and scientific issues surrounding these trials in the middle of...

/ April 26, 2021

A Worthless Acupuncture Study in Cancer Patients

This study does not test the efficacy of acupuncture and was never designed to do so.

/ March 24, 2021

The effectiveness of zinc and vitamin C on the duration of COVID-19 infections

Vitamin C and zinc have been heralded as treatments for colds for decades, but how well do they work against COVID-19? A new clinical trial provides the answer.

/ February 18, 2021
Acupuncture for xerostomia

Spinning a negative acupuncture study: Same as it ever was

Investigators at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center reported the results of a trial of acupuncture for xerostomia (dry mouth) secondary to radiation therapy for head and neck cancers. It was a negative trial, but investigators still tried to spin it as positive, but with a twist. There was a large difference between results found at M.D. Anderson and the second site in China....

/ December 9, 2019

Clínica 0-19: False hope in Monterrey for brain cancer patients (part 2)

Last week, I discussed Clínica 0-19, a clinic in Monterrey, Mexico whose doctors claim to be able to treat the deadly brainstem cancer DIPG using intra-arterial chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This week, I discuss what I've learned since last week, specifically a lot more about just what it is that these doctors do, why it is scientifically dubious and unproven, and why I...

/ July 2, 2018
Clínica 0-19: False hope for DIPG

Clínica 0-19: False hope in Monterrey for DIPG patients (part 1)

Drs. Alberto Siller and Alberto Garcia run Clínica 0-19 in Monterrey, Mexico, which has become a magnet for patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a deadly brain cancer. Unfortunately, their treatment is an unproven combination of 11 chemotherapy drugs injected into an artery feeding the brainstem, plus an unknown and unproven "immunotherapy." Of course it all costs $300,000 or more for...

/ June 25, 2018
Acupuncture needles

PLOS ONE, peer review, and a “crappy” acupuncture study

Meta-analyses can sometimes suffer from the "GIGO problem" (garbage in, garbage out). The publication of a "crappy" acupuncture "network meta-analysis" for acupuncture and chronic constipation illustrates the GIGO problem on steroids and reveals a problem with peer review.

/ May 7, 2018

Does chemotherapy cause cancer to spread?

Earlier this month, a study was published in Science Translational Medicine that showed how chemotherapy before surgery can stimulate breast cancer invasiveness and invasion under certain circumstances. Not surprisingly, alternative cancer cure mavens everywhere are spinning the study as "proof" that chemotherapy has no benefit and causes only harm (and so you should buy their nostrums instead). Unsurprisingly, the actual results are...

/ July 17, 2017

Emergency acupuncture!

For whatever reason, acupuncturists and acupuncture believers think that acupuncture can be useful in emergency situations, be they in the field ("battlefield acupuncture," anyone?) or in the ER. They even do studies purporting to show that. This is yet another of such a clinical trial, albeit larger than usual. Guess what? It doesn't really show what it's advertised to show. I explain...

/ July 3, 2017

Medical marijuana as the new herbalism, part 5: Turning herbalism into science-based medicine

There’s a new clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing a beneficial effect due to cannabidiol, a chemical isolated from marijuana, on drug-resistant seizures due to Dravet syndrome. Although there are a fair number of caveats, this is how you begin to turn the herbalism that characterizes medical marijuana advocacy into science-based medicine.

/ May 29, 2017