Over twenty years ago, cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski pioneered the abuse of the clinical trial process as a marketing tool to sell his antineoplastons. Now, for-profit stem cell clinics are using ClinicalTrials.gov as a marketing tool for their unproven therapies by listing dubious and scientifically worthless trials in this government database. What can be done?
Two years ago we discussed the TicTocStop, a dental appliance that the inventors assured us would help mitigate the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome. In the intervening years things have...not gone well. This illustrates the need for skepticism regarding questionable medical claims, and the importance of initiatives like AllTrials to ensure the good, the bad, and the ugly research is available to everyone.
Three patients were treated with a slurry of stem cells and blood products, in both eyes, on the same day. Could the outcome, three patients becoming legally blind, have been foreseen? Probably.
Clinical trials must report on their outcomes, irrespective their results. Doctors and their patients need all the information, not just the good news stories, to make informed decisions.
Another Christmas has come and gone, surprisingly fast, as always. I had thought that it might make a good “last of 2014” post—well, last of 2014 for me, anyway; Harriet and Steve, at least, will be posting before 2014 ends—to do an end of year list of the best and worst of the year. Unfortunately, there remains a pressing issue that doesn’t...