Respectful Insolence

It’s been a while since I’ve done this, but somehow now seems to be the right time, particularly after doing such a long post yesterday on the intellectually dishonest promotion of “brave maverick” cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski. Unfortunately, dubious clinics like the Burzynski Clinic are not the only place where I find highly questionable medicine. Sadly, as I’ve discussed many times, there is a phenomenon known as “quackademic medicine,” in which quackery is administered and studied in actual academic medical centers. Indeed, it’s hard for me to believe that it was nearly years ago that I came up with what I like to call the Academic Woo Aggregator, basically a list of centers of quackademia, along with a description of what each center offers in the way of quackademic medicine. It’s been a really long time since I’ve taken a look at academic medical centers that offer “integrative medicine” programs, or, as I like to call them, “integrating” quackery with scientific medicine. Oddly enough, this time around, the quackademic program that I became aware of wasn’t even on my Academic Woo Aggregator.

I’m referring to the University of Kansas Medical Center and its Integrative Medicine Program. The first thing I noticed when I perused its website was this:

Nourishing the whole person — body, mind and spirit — and stimulating the body’s natural healing response, is our mission at KU Integrative Medicine. We combine the best therapies from conventional medicine with our integrative medicine approach, to form a comprehensive system of biomedical care.

From a patient’s very first visit with us, we attempt to uncover the underlying story that set the patient on their journey from wellness to disease. We listen. Based on our findings, we tailor a plan for each individual patient based on their lifestyle, their needs and their preferences. We consider the patient an integral part of the treatment team, and encourage patients to take control of their medical care.

Practitioners at KU Integrative Medicine include physicians, a naturopathic doctor, nurses, certified neurofeedback technicians and registered dietitians. We hope that you want to learn more about us, our services, and how we can help you forge a new path to healing and wellness.

Because Integrative Medicine attempts to dig deeper, very specialized lab work is often ordered. This also enables us to personalize your care and cater to your biochemical individuality.

Yes, it’s the same old tropes. KU claims to combine the “best of both worlds. Unfortunately, whenever I hears that phrase, there’s another “best of both worlds” that I can’t help but think of, and it involves assimilation. Sadly, in this case the assimilation appears to involve science-based medicine being assimilated by quackery. After all, there’s a naturopath there, and naturopathy is nothing more than a cornucopia of pretty much every quackery imaginable under the sun, be it homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, “energy healing” modalities, and, of course “detoxification.”

However, it isn’t the fact that there’s a naturopath based at an academic medical center promising to “listen” and provide “individualized care.” That’s pretty much par for the course. In fact, it’s probably hard to find an “integrative medicine” program that doesn’t claim to “listen” and provide “personalized” or “individualized” care. Nor was I particularly surprised to see “healing foods” or neurofeedback. Nor was I even particularly surprised to see that KU offers detoxification. No, what caught my interest was the fact that KU offers “oral and intravenous vitamin and mineral therapies.” What further caught my interest was exactly what sort of “oral and intravenous vitamin and mineral therapies” that are offered there. Here’s something that will give you a hint. The director of the KU Integrative Medicine Program is Jeanne A. Drisko, MD, and she is the Riordan Endowed Professor of Orthomolecular Medicine.

Orthomolecular medicine? Yes, Orthomolecular medicine, a form of quackery that posits that if the body needs some vitamins and minerals that more, more, more would be better. Indeed, it’s the quackery espoused by Linus Pauling that features, in particular, high dose vitamin C as one of its favored modalities, as I’ve written about on multiple occasions before (for instance, here, here, here, and here). So let’s see… Dr. Drisko is a believer in orthomolecular medicine, and she’s head of the integrative medicine program at KU. So what do you think that KU offers to its patients?

You’ve got it! High dose intravenous vitamin C, baby:

The infusion clinic, designed to accommodate 10 infusion patients at a time, includes two isolation rooms where infectious patients can receive treatment. Oncology patients are frequent visitors to the clinic where they receive intravenous ascorbate (vitamin C), which works as a pro-oxidant in cancer treatments.

In addition to vitamin C infusions, our clinic also provides IV Magnesium and Glutathione. Magnesium infusions are a beneficial therapy being used for muscle pain, anxiety, headaches as well as to correct mineral imbalances. IV Glutathione has a large range of benefits for individuals struggling with neurologic symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease, metal and environmental toxicity, and impaired liver detoxification.

I couldn’t believe this when I read it. In a post a long time ago, I discussed a couple of studies that were represented by supporters of vitamin C therapy as a “vindication” of Linus Pauling. However, as I described at the time, it was totally a long run for a short slide, requiring huge doses of vitamin C to achieve equally huge concentrations of ascorbate in the blood, all with at best very modest effects in mouse xenograft models. Overall, it’s very unimpressive, needing huge osmotic loads even greater than that produced by Stanislaw Burzynski’s antineoplaston therapy to achieve even the modest effects that it achieves. Even if that effect is real and reproducible, it’s so unimpressive that even if vitamin C were a new, patentable drug no drug company would bother with it, so unimpressive have the results been whenever tested by reputable scientists. Yet still people keep testing it. Why the fascination with high dose vitamin C, I’ll never know, but apparently Dr. Drisko shares it.

What’s really scary, however, is this:

How do I know if the intravenous vitamin C therapy will work for my cancer? (-)

Each individual responds differently, and we can’t predict how different tumor types will react. A PET scan is usually a guidepost. If the PET is positive, the tumor usually responds to the vitamin C. If the PET is negative but there is active tumor present, the vitamin C is less effective in most cases. Vitamin C works best in the early stages of cancer when used in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiation. They will only consult patients who are also following along with a traditional oncologist.

And on what evidence does Dr. Drisko claim this? None that I can see. It’s even said that there is “no contraindications to giving intravenous vitamin C with any chemotherapy when proper protocol is followed” and that the only chemotherapy that intravenous vitamin C doesn’t work with is methotrexate. She states that at the doses used ascorbate is a pro-oxidant, not an antioxidant, and that it therefore increases the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. On what evidence? Again, none is presented. It is mentioned that there are studies by Dr. Drisko looking at intravenous vitamin C in cancer, but no links are provided.

Regular readers know that whenever I encounter such a situation, with claims made but no references or links provided to literature to support those claims, I try to see if I can find out what the evidence base is. The first place to look, of course, is PubMed. So I searched for Dr. Drisko’s publications on PubMed, and was shocked at how thin her publication record is, just seven publications. One of them was a publication on the design of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy. (Remember TACT?) I could only find three studies by Dr. Drisko. One study examined on intravenous vitamin C. It was an in vitro and xenograft study (i.e., preclinical), and Dr. Drisko wasn’t even the corresponding author. Another study was a case series involving two patients. The third was a review article. None were particularly impressive.

Next, I looked on ClinicalTrials.gov for studies for which Dr. Drisko is the principal investigator. I found a study of bioidentical hormones in menopaus, a terminated study of high dose vitamin C to treat hepatitis C, and a couple of studies involving combining vitamin C with chemotherapy, one a phase I trial in pancreatic cancer and another a phase II trial in gynecological cancers. It’s truly sad to see such a dubious therapy apparently so prominent at KU that there is a whole infusion center devoted to it and research money that could be used for treatments that might actually be efficacious being used to support such useless and uninformative studies.

But that’s not all.

It turns out that Dr. Drisko has a rather dubious honor (dubious, at least to me; no doubt she doesn’t consider it so). I’m referring to her title of Chair of the Alliance for Natural Health USA. Yes, ANH-USA is one of the premier “health freedom” organizations in this country, “health freedom” in reality meaning advocating for freedom from pesky government regulation that might interfere with the selling of supplements. She’s also an advisory board member for the Institute for Functional Medicine. Functional medicine, a nebulously defined “specialty,” is pure quackery, as has been described before. Perhaps the most famous practitioner of “functional medicine” is Dr. Mark Hyman, who promotes it under the title of “Ultrawellness.” In fact, the sad thing is this:

Dr Drisko teaches a fourth-year medical student elective in integrative medicine along with other teaching duties to 1st and 2nd year students, nursing students, and practicing physicians. A fellowship program in integrative medicine for primary care physicians began in 2008 under Dr Drisko’s leadership. She was nominated by the University of Kansas Medical Student Assembly to receive the Rainbow Award for Excellence in Teaching the Art of Medicine.

Dr Drisko serves the School of Medicine at KU Med by sitting on multiple committees, provides guidance for the State of Kansas on topics in integrative medicine, and participates at the national level on CAM initiatives. Dr Drisko is a member of the Kansas Cancer Research Institute and an advisory board member of the General Clinical Research Center at the University.

Yes, Dr. Drisko is intimately involved in the education of the next generation of doctors in Kansas and has started an “integrative medicine” program for primary care physicians, the better to “integrate” woo into real medicine. A lot of these developments must be new, as I don’t recall KU showing up so prominently in the annals of quackademic medicine the last time I updated my Academic Woo Aggregator, admittedly too long ago. Seeing that reminds me that I really need to revisit the Aggregator and update it. The problem is that I fear what I will find.

Comments

  1. #1 lilady
    April 16, 2013

    What a coincidence Orac, that you are posting on the University of Kansas cancer treatment protocol. :-) *Somewhere* recently, *someone* on a science blog, mentioned the University of Kansas’ Vitamin C IV treatment protocol.

    I was *so impressed* the (unsolicited) advice offered up to another poster, by this respected oncologist, that I perused the University of Kansas website. Imagine my surprise I to discover Dr. Drisko’s patient friendly explanations about the extraordinary benefits of IV Vitamin C therapies …versus the nasty cut, burn and powerful allopathic” chemotherapeutic agents that *poison* our bodies.

    So, I’ve “bookmarked” the link. You never know when you will diagnosed with cancer and you grow to dislike the options offered to you by uncaring allopathic doctors.///sarcasm.

  2. #2 thenewme
    April 16, 2013

    ACK!
    On the breast cancer patient support forums, IV vitamin C therapy is often touted as a miracle cure, along with lots and lots of recommendations for people to consult naturopaths and even “naturopathic oncologists.”

    It’s unconscionable that academic centers are selling out to bogus treatment to pad their bottom line. Just what patients need. Ack.

  3. #3 elburto
    April 16, 2013

    Bwahahahah! How timely this is.

    @lilady – I just laughed so loud at this coincidence that I woke my goldsharks. Fancy seeing the Kansas Quack Shack mentioned here twice in 24 hours!

    But whither the mention of vitamin C’s antivir… *chokes* nope, can’t do it, can’t keep a straight face.

    Got my popcorn ready in case world-renowned infectious disease specialist prn pops in. If we’re lucky, he might even attempt to deconstruct the Crislippian Pie Theory of ‘Integrative Medicine”.

  4. #4 Uffish Thought
    Not in Kansas anymore
    April 16, 2013

    I’m curious why she thinks Vit C is only effective in PET (+) tumors, what is the mechanism?

    Assuming she is using F18-fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) as the radio-isotope, it’s the most common and readily available for cancer imaging. It is rapidly taken up by cells with high glucose metabolism, more GLUT receptors, like adeno colon, most lymphomas, sarcomas and some breast cancers.

    I suppose if she’s treating early stage cancers with surgery, chemo, radiation, then it doesn’t matter what else you add into the mix, you’re going to be successful, and you will have pretty pictures to show the patients.

  5. #5 Andrew Dodds
    April 16, 2013

    I suspect that ultimately, the reason that Vitamin C is seen as ‘good’ is the whole ‘Sunshine=good, fruit=good, vitamins associated with sunshine and fruit = doubleplusgood, cancer = bad, therefore cancer is cancelled out by vitamin C’

    This is of course complete bunk, which is why the assorted quacks pushing it will dress it up with whatever terminology comes to hand.

    There’s probably another source of confusion whereby free radicals are seen as the Big Villain for ageing, cancer, et al, and antioxidants see as an antidote to this, despite a serious lack of solid evidence. If this were true than vitamin C would at least help to prevent cancer, even if it didn’t treat it. Unfortunately that doesn’t work either.

  6. #6 herr doktor bimler
    April 16, 2013

    If the PET is negative but there is active tumor present, the vitamin C is less effective in most cases.

    So it works better in the absence of an active tumour. OK.

  7. #7 Eric Lund
    April 16, 2013

    So I searched for Dr. Drisko’s publications on PubMed, and was shocked at how thin her publication record is, just seven publications.

    I haven’t seen anything about Dr. Drisko’s age, so she may have been hired at a time when standards were not as high as now. I’m also a physicist, not a biomedical type. But how did Dr. Drisko get a professorship, much less a directorship, with only seven publications? Particularly when some of those (like the TACT study design) are obviously LPUs. Scientists in my field generally have 3-5 publications by the time they earn the Ph.D. (some have even more), and of course they are expected to be productive as postdocs if they want to be considered for faculty positions.

  8. #8 Nick Theodorakis
    April 16, 2013

    Medical schools may have different “career tracks” for faculty that are teaching and seeing patients. For example, faculty may be rated separately in research, teaching, or practice, and may be expected to show excellence in one (or two) areas and just be satisfactory in others. I can’t explain how directorships are determined.

    Not to derail the thread, but is anything going on over at the Science Based Medicine blog? It doesn’t look like it’s been updated in a few days.

  9. #9 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 16, 2013

    Eric Lund – Dr. Drisko may have published in journals not indexed in PubMed. http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jeanne_Drisko/publications/ lists 13 articles and several datasets.

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    April 16, 2013

    Awhile back I participated in an alternative cancer treatment discussion online, in which a Drisko enthusiast was describing all the great studies she was doing on high-dose vitamin C. When I inquired what published evidence existed to show that her vitamin C protocols were effective cancer treatment, I was told that Dr. Drisko was far too busy doing studies and helping people (some of this research appeared to have been ongoing or dormant for years).

    I note that one of the links Mephistopheles provided is a Drisko single case study praising the benefits of antioxidant therapy in spongiform encephalopathy (apparently CJD). For instance, life span after CJD diagnosis averages 1-2 years, but her patient lived 22 months and was doing much much better until they died.

  11. #11 elburto
    April 16, 2013

    @Nick Theodorakis – It’s working. fine for me. Have you tried shift+F5 to refresh your browser? It’s probably just a cache issue.

  12. #12 Carolyn
    April 16, 2013

    I scared myself by reading “Neuropathy” instead of “Naturopathy.” My husband has peripheral neuropathy, and grasps at every woo treatment that offers some hope. My hope is in KU-32, which is being researched at KU. For a horrible minute, I thought it might see it in the post.

    Phew! It may not pan out, and it may not help my husband, but darn! It’s Real Science!

    http://archive.news.ku.edu/2010/september/9/ku32.shtml

  13. #13 Nick Theodorakis
    April 16, 2013

    @ elburto
    Yes, it was a cache problem (which had not been previously a problem for me on SBM). I had been given the tip about that earlier in the day by email from our favorite blogger/supercomputer.

  14. #14 Denice Walter
    April 16, 2013

    @ thenewme:
    @ Andrew Dodds:

    Correct you are!
    PRN is perhaps the epi-centre of vitamin C woo due to its host’s affiliation with Pauling in the 1970s at the Institute for Applied Biology. It has been suggested for hiv/aids, cancer, MS, what-have-you.

    Often, it is said chemotherapy/ radiation damage the body and decrease its ability to heal naturally. Thus, so-called therapies like IV vitamin C are considered to be the best choice and first line.

    -btw- in late November, I reported that my much older cousin had stage 3 NSCLC after he became ill with pneumonia. ( He lives very far away- communication is only by phone) Although he chose SBM, I felt rather pessimistic: I believed that it would help him but that he would have a long, difficult path ahead. I had faith but not enough.

    He had radiation locally administered and chemotherapy. Scans in January revealed 40% shrinkage. April scans revealed all clear. He worked during most of it ( part time job to relieve boredom); he wasn’t sick, only tired.

    I really didn’t think I would ever hear that the cancer was gone. Oh, ye of little faith.

  15. #15 JustNuts
    April 16, 2013

    Wouldn’t excessive IV vitamin C promote metabolic acidosis? Doesn’t one of the altie memes maintain too much acid causes cancer?

  16. #16 Captain A
    The high C's
    April 16, 2013

    It is ironic that Vitamin C (in the form of citrus fruit) was the subject of the what is believed to be the first controlled medical intervention trial when James Lind prospectively tested a daily citrus ration for the prevention of scurvy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Lind

    Dr. Drisco is no doubt aware of this experiment. Too bad she has not learned of the importance of actually running the trial before coming to conclusions.

    Check out my location…….

    Captain A

  17. #17 G.D.
    April 16, 2013

    But … Jeanne Drisko is surely a real scientist!!!!

    Otherwise, the Discovery Institute would surely not allowed her to sign their petition A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism

    (That places her in the company of scientific heroes such as abortion-leads-to-breastcancer celebrity scientist Joel Brind, non-materialist neuroscience luminaries Mario Beauregard and Michael Egnor, instigator of the Oregon Petition Arthur Robinson, or Flood geologist John Baumgardner).

  18. #18 elburto
    April 16, 2013

    @Denice – I’m so pleased for your cousin. I hope there are better days down the road.

    @Carolyn – That looks really promising, thanks for the link! I have PN, though I’m not diabetic, and anything that would stop the pain would be enough. The possibility of nerve repair would be amazing. It’s rained here for the last few days, and that increases my pain to the point that air currents hurt.

    A life with the pain minimised, even if the impairment and disability remained, would be beyond fantastic. Give your husband a solidarity air-hug from me.

  19. #19 Militant Agnostic
    Where April showers just bring more snow.
    April 16, 2013

    Good catch G.D. – so Drisko is an IDiot as well.

    Crank Magnetism strikes again.

  20. #20 Krebiozen
    April 16, 2013

    justnuts,

    Wouldn’t excessive IV vitamin C promote metabolic acidosis?

    Yes, but they administer it as a salt, usually sodium ascorbate, although I have seen calcium, magnesium and even potassium* ascorbate mentioned. As you might imagine, although this is not acidic, supplying the body with vast amounts of sodium (or calcium or magnesium or potassium) is not without problems, not least the osmolarity issues Orac mentioned.

    Incidentally, I have seem liposomal ascorbate advertised as leading to blood levels otherwise only possible through IV administration. I have even experimented with it myself – you can make it (allegedly) using an ultrasonic waterbath, and a solution of ascorbate and lecithin. It did nothing for me, sadly.

    I used to be quite optimistic about large doses of ascorbate, and experimented with them several years ago, partly because I am a fan of Pauling’s earlier work (clinical biochemistry is my field). My optimism has steadily diminished as evidence of its benefits remains elusive. With so many alternative clinics administering it, I would expect some well-documented extraordinary results to have been published by now. We don’t, and I’m disappointed but unsurprised.

    * I have seen claims that specifically potassium ascorbate cures cancer.

  21. #21 prn
    Orac's anti-vax break
    April 16, 2013

    Before everyone jumps my case, let me thank Orac for stating just how insidious and implacable metastatic cancers are, several years ago. I heeded his warning.

    Initial dx was incomplete or incorrect for sometime, in part because of misunderstood, wide spread immune response and necrosis, and it took awhile for everything in the lungs, liver, mesentery / peritoneum and numerous periaortic LN to be fully appreciated for their true metastatic nature and extent including several 3+ cm features. Anything less than extraordinary measures would have been fatal sometime ago…a number of doctors scratch their heads.
    ——
    Orac beyond his normal windup, is quite mistaken in his vitamin C summary. Perhaps because there are so many layers of legend, distortion, errors, fabrication and bias in conventional medicine about it.

    Only in rare cases is solo (IV) vitamin C associated with cancer resolution. Pauling is also often misrepresented on this point, he states this rarity early on in his cancer book. If some of these are associated with the G6PD deficiency, that may make solo tx even more rare.

    One of the problems with vitamin C is the studious, often recalcitrant lack of research on the basic and clinical nature of high dose vitamin C that has persisted from the 1950s onward. Several nominal “disproofs” that are in fact erroneous, were from powerful individuals with very strong competing interests, and announced bias.

    Charles Moertel extended this embargo on basic knowledge when he categorically refused Pauling, then Cameron, to do the slightest blood assay work between IV and oral vitamin C. This alone was a 30-35 year setback on the blood concentrations, and other important information a more ept or neutral scientist would have gathered.

    The applied vitamin C compositions are more complex than commonly understood and are not a constant. Dehydroascorbate may be more useful than ascorbate for cancer. Redox couples with several nutrients with strong tumor effects are documented (e.g. see Poydock’s dehydroascorbate papers). In combination with chemo, they may succeed where refractory chemo resistance already exists. At least that what the tissue labs said with an experienced UCB postdoc, and actual bloodwork say.

    Pauling’s results were achieved with IV ascorbate, and what appears to be sorbitol solution with dehydroascorbate where sorbitol metabolites are also toxic to some cancer cells. Moertel grossly failed to control for, or replicate Pauling et al on over half a dozen items. “Disproof” seems to mean scientific illiteracy, innumeracy and experimental ineptitude in conventional medicine.

    I admit I haven’t compared osmols between antineoplasteons and ascorbate. I’m absolutely uninterested in ANP for mCRC. But I get the impression Orac must be talking about 500-600-700 grams per day of ascorbate, truly an unusual amount that would require full time chemistry, starting with potassium and calcium.

    What does IV vitamin C do?
    It is a good anti-inflammatory, important to cancer patients and helps stabilize blood results too.
    It neutralizes histamine, which triggers VEGF-A.
    It can be a good pain disruptor, because pain is mediated by oxidative processes. At least the morphine bag disappeared largely unused.
    It prevents or reverses a lot of chemo side effects like mucositis and other tissue break downs, allowing long term chemo, far beyond normal tolerable durations.
    Presumably IV vitamin C repletes cells and organs that store vitamin C.
    Patients may feel very good and energetic hours and days following IV vitamin C, after an initial sag and snooze. When they begin to run down after a few days or week, reloading might be a rational response, perhaps because of histamine re-buildup.
    Although mCRC patients on chemo are notoriously immune suppressed, illness and sepsis have been nonstarters, consistent with Drisko’s observations.
    The doctors, including the radiologist, thought post surgical wound healing was unusually fast and perfectly re-fused, perhaps especially for someone still on chemo.
    —-
    Although I’ll be the first to acknowledge that there is a dearth of good data on the other “big C”, Orac should hang the “Q word” up with the “N word,” because the other four fingers point back.

  22. #22 Susan Chapelle
    Squamish
    April 16, 2013

    May I point out that only 40% of allopathic medicine is “evidence based” or even informed. “In the current era of evidence-based practice, it is interesting to note in relation to musculoskeletal disorders that there is no evidence-based research supporting surgery for low back pain (Palmer & Patijn 2009) and that only 13% of all medical practice is considered beneficial with another 23% considered likely to be beneficial (BMJ Clinical Evidence Centre 2009)”

    As an owner of a clinic that uses the evil term “integrated”, we espouse to do research to back up our treatments. Funding is not available for mechanistic studies of most “natural” medicine. Manual therapy has been used since AD, and as our clinic fills up with cancer care, it is difficult to come up with good, solid evidence on ANY treatment. Our work focuses on post-surgical cancer care (based on our published, peer reviewed studies). I see women who are convinced to get “tummy tucks” at the same time as reconstruction surgery with tram flap surgery, and lat flap surgery. Who came up with that. No evidence, no long term outcomes, as in many surgical and wound healing protocol’s that are espoused by allopathic medicine. What I see in my clinic is much worse than IV therapy. I have never seen an IV overdose, but I have seen severe abdominal adhesions, bowel blockages, women unable to give birth due to mesh installations in abdomen in order to recreate breasts, that women cannot feel, and get severe restrictions (80% ROM problems and pain post surgery). I think before we have pots and black, we need to look at all of our practices, start assessing literature and bias, and make better informed decisions for our patients. Allopaths should “integrate” their practices better with specialties so patients can make better decisions on their care. If we move to integration before the research supports it, then we are not informed. I do not disagree with the sentiments of this article. In fact I have been lynched by cranial sacral therapists for pointing out the obvious anatomical and physiological facts. However, to say one is “bad” and uninformed and the other is not, does not move anything forward. We need to have better mechanistic studies, better research funding in universities so that all of us can be better informed on our outcomes instead of having to beg for funds. A better allocation of health care funding based on outcomes would serve all of us better.

    Thanks for the articles, I agree. Quackery has no place in health care. Medicine or the Alternatives.

  23. #23 Agrippina
    April 16, 2013

    You have to love the vitamin C for Hep C trial – opened and terminated in less than a month: http://clinicaltrials.gov/archive/NCT01250743/2011_02_17/changes

    Sponsor should be familiar by now as Dr. Grossman was a TACT investigator. His Frontier Medical Institute: http://web.archive.org/web/20090802085904/http://fmiclinic.com/healing_treatments/chelation.php

    The Riordan Endowed professorship has unfortunate baggage attached. The Riordan Clinic uses an in-house institutional review board, and FDA’s warning letter to the IRB indicates ignorance and utter lack of respect for persons: http://www.circare.org/fdawls/cihfi-irb_fdawl_20120703.pdf

    I’ve read some terrible warning letters but FDA’s finding that the IRB had been in business for 20 years and could produce one, and only one set of meeting minutes from 1997 is a new nadir.

    What is it about this holistic rubbish that engenders disdain for protection of the rights and welfare of research subjects? Maybe they’re allergic to both science and ethics.

    Oh … if ascorbate at high doses is pro-oxidant, maybe Dr. Drisko could chat with TACT PI Dr. Lamas, who proposes its anti-oxidant effect as a potential mechanism of action for edetate disodium & spices.

  24. #24 Dorothy
    Oz--the other one
    April 16, 2013

    @prn

    If any of your claims are true about cancer and Vit C therapy, don’t you think that a cancer surgeon would be at least vaguely familiar with such literature?

  25. #25 Crazy Chris
    Washington
    April 16, 2013

    I agree with Orac that Vit C IV’s seems extreme especially without solid evidence that it works. Some of those other things are very questionable as well.

    What really disturbs me the most is that Orac included Traditional Chinese Medicine under the “quackery of naturopathy.” This shows that Orac is not interested in looking at actual research, but is only interested in his bias. Naturopathy is more or less as he described. However Traditional Chinese Medicine has been practiced for thousands of years. It is the oldest medicine that is in widespread use. If you think in a simple scientific nature consider natural selection; if acupuncture didn’t work it would have been selected out a long time ago. Yet instead it has grown world-wide and faster than any other medicine.
    Now as to modern day research, the fact that he groups it together with naturopathy shows his lack of scientific evaluation, understanding, and search for good research. Everyone likes to tout RCT’s as the ‘gold standard’ yet ‘systematic reviews’ are really the gold standard. Just search the Cochrane database (google it) and only look at systematic reviews related to acupuncture and see what you find.
    Also, they now have found biological mechanisms of how acupuncture affects hormones, the immune system, and more. (they have even found biological mechanisms of how herbs used in TCM affect the osteoclast and osteoblast activity; relating to the bone matrix)
    Calling Traditional Chinese Medicine (which includes acupuncture) quakery shows ignorance and arrogance. For someone who ‘evaluates’ research to include it as quackery shows they are only open to research that confirms their bias, not open to research that is actually good. Honestly I can’t believe that Nat Geo would support someone who has written so much about quackery medicine but hasn’t actually done legitimate research. Embarrassing…
    Which is to say before I read this article I had no idea how ridiculous these “integrative medicine” clinics are. If they were integrating effective medicine they would utilize research to inform their decisions. Looks like they are more influenced by political bs and not by real information.
    By the way; research shows that if you are receiving cancer treatment which normally severely hampers the entire immune system, getting acupuncture during the course of treatment will keep desirable WBC’s at their normal levels. An integrated medicine clinic that was informed by research would not be doing IV’s of vitamins, they would be getting regular acupuncture treatments. Which also mitigates the side effect of nausea during chemo (look it up).
    If anyone would like citations I can post them later.

  26. #26 prn
    April 16, 2013

    Dorothy, not in my experience. Supra RDA nutrients are such a castigated, misunderstood subject that no conventional MD is going near them unless the rest of the herd is too. There seems to be very little middle ground between “regular” MDs and alternative MDs on nutrients. A lot of alternative MDs come from once “regular” MDs who had refractory medical problems not solved by conventional means.

    All of my “claims” have precedents scattered through the medical literature. My experience is merely consistent with earlier papers, sometimes dramatically so.

  27. #27 Politicalguineapig
    April 16, 2013

    Well, I suppose Kansas had to do something for the local population after they shot all the *real* doctors. (Too soon?)

  28. #28 Waxonwaxoff
    kansas
    April 16, 2013

    I am a medical student at KU. I am happy to say that integrative medicine is not the first consult to come to mind with any of my attendings. I have only seen integrative medicine come around 2 times in the past year. One was a pt requested consult (iv vit c did come up on my heme service so this topic is very much on my radar) and the other they just showed up.

    Unless you have good insurance their tests and services are not covered.

  29. #29 ARD
    April 16, 2013

    Crazy Chris:

    Your defense of acupuncture is an example of the Appeal to Antiquity logical fallacy. Just because something was used for a long time doesn’t mean it actually worked–the most notorious example, of course, is blood-letting, which was used for a long time in Europe before science proved it was doing more harm than good.
    If Traditional Chinese Medicine is supposed to work because it’s been in use for thousands of years, then surely the European notion of the four humours is also valid? That’s got two millenia of history behind it–surely the Europeans wouldn’t have continued bloodletting if it were harmful? Surely the Chinese would not have continued to spend any money on buying ground-up rhino horn if it weren’t actually an aphrodisiac, as TCM claims?

    Furthermore, Mr. Orac and others have reported on acupuncture in the past–search this blog for previous acupuncture posts, or search Science Based Medicine–this article in particular is an interesting summary of the many myths associated with acupuncture, and has a nice set of references.
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/puncturing-the-acupuncture-myth/

  30. #30 AdamG
    April 16, 2013

    However Traditional Chinese Medicine has been practiced for thousands of years

    Sure about that?

    http://easts.dukejournals.org/content/2/4/465.abstract

  31. #31 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 16, 2013

    @Crazy Chris

    Here are a couple logical fallacies to look up: argument from antiquity and argumentum ad popularum. Your comment fell prey to both. You may also want to look into the history of acupuncture. The version you see today stems from modern China (Mao Tse Tung’s reign, IIRC). The older version is, as ARD pointed out, more akin to bloodletting.

    While some herbal aspect of TCM may have some pharmacological effect, you may also want to learn a bit more about pharmacognosy and how herbal concoctions tend to have widely varying potency and purity.

    If you feel that acupuncture has validity, please feel free to post some links to high-quality research showing a clinically significant effect, preferably based on objective measures. Overall, in high quality studies, acupuncture does not appear to have significant, objective effects and instead acts as we would expect from a placebo. Of particular note are studies that have shown that a) it doesn’t matter where you stick the needles and b) it doesn’t matter whether the skin is actually punctured or not. Taken together, these suggest no specific effects from acupuncture, and the latter suggests that “real” acupuncture is actually unethical, since it poses greater risk than “sham” acupuncture with no additional benefit.

    getting acupuncture during the course of treatment will keep desirable WBC’s at their normal levels

    Citation needed. Please provide quality scientific evidence supporting this claim.

  32. #32 thenewme
    April 16, 2013

    Susan Chapelle;
    You said, ” ….as our clinic fills up with cancer care, it is difficult to come up with good, solid evidence on ANY treatment. Our work focuses on post-surgical cancer care ..”

    Are you really saying that despite having no good evidence for any treatment, you still (presumably) take money from cancer patients for your “treatments?” YIKES

  33. #33 herr doktor bimler
    April 16, 2013

    Funding is not available for mechanistic studies of most “natural” medicine. Manual therapy has been used since AD, and as our clinic fills up with cancer care,

    “Mechanistic studies”? Are these the ones soullessly designed to give solid yes-or-no answers?
    “Funding is not available” seems to translate as “no-one is willing to pay me to authenticate my claims”.
    Imma guessing that “manual therapy” is “massage” but with the addition of ‘therapy’ to make it all medicatious and scientifical. For people who don’t like science, quacks are strangely determined to steal its mantle.

  34. #34 Pancreas
    April 17, 2013

    The real rate of help of all chemo combined in achieving 5 year survival is a stunning 2.1% of people. The author makes it looks like they are writing for National Geographic. Personally, I am hearing of deaths and people getting worse under convention chemo and even surgery. Even after surgery, it comes back worse. The author is basically committing a kind of crime by attacking what works for some people too. Riordan has documented complete (100%) remissions of various cancers on intravenous vitamin C. ScienceBlogs LLC says it all. Out to make money on your body.

  35. #35 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    April 17, 2013

    Quackery at KUMC. I’m a sad, sad Jayhawk.

  36. #36 Militant Agnostic
    Where we take a dim view of tormenting bears based on "Ancient Wisdom".
    April 17, 2013

    @Crazy Chris

    For someone who ‘evaluates’ research to include it as quackery shows they are only open to research that confirms their bias, not open to research that is actually good.

    Use the “Search this Blog” function and you might just discover that the research that confirms your bias is not as good as you think it is.

    Enabling superstitious nonsense that is bringing the Rhinoceros and Siberian Tiger to the brink of extinction and that results in bears being kept in cages too small to turn around in so their bile can be extracted through an open wound disgusts me. Even if you are not personally peddling rhino horn, tiger penis, or bear bile, your pseudoscience is giving credibility to those who do.

  37. #37 Militant Agnostic
    April 17, 2013

    @Susan Chapelle

    As an owner of a clinic that uses the evil term “integrated”, we espouse to do research to back up our treatments.

    WTF does “espouse to do research to back up our treatments.” mean?

    I am sure you find billing for alternative treatments much more lucrative then the payments you get from the provincial health care program.

  38. #38 elburto
    April 17, 2013

    I thought I’d seen everything in my 18 years online. I assumed that I had been desensitised to all sorts of horrors and idiocy, thanks to YouTube comments and Yahoo! Answers, then this steaming pile of cloacal discharge was squeezed out into the world:

    ”, Orac should hang the “Q word” up with the “N word,” because the other four fingers point back.

    Really? REALLY? The “Q word”? Wow. Yes, pity the poor quacks. Marginalised from birth due to a characteristic that they can’t hide or control. Enslaved, killed, brutalised, and relegated to that status of non-human animals. Lynched*, segregated, impoverished, and criminalised.

    Oh wait, that’s only happening in prn’s diseased little skull cavity.

    There’s already a “Q word”. We’re persecuted against, denied rights, beaten, killed, subjected to corrective r*pe, labelled as perverts, child molesters and deviants, and subjected to ongoing and disgustingly vicious religious rhetoric for the “crime” of not being attracted to the opposite sex. We’re not quacks. We don’t peddle bogus “cures” and prey on the desperate, profiting from their misfortune.

    I’d say that you’ve hit a new low, but you’d almost certainly be proud of that.

    *Susan – I have more for you later, but words have meanings. Using loaded words like that to describe intra-quack dissension is ignorant at best, distasteful at worst.

  39. #39 prn
    April 17, 2013

    Elburto@37. Yes really. I try to decypher the real science bases to some CAM issues here, but of course get a lot of pseudoskeptic abuse, jeers and trolls who can’t independently recognize a serious answer. Or simply won’t. Too bad for you.

    Prn’s razor: if you are bleeding all over prn you might be a pseudoskeptic or some other recalcitrant ignoramus. But you’re really Orac’s problem, for site and professional credibility.

  40. #40 Mewens
    April 17, 2013

    prn, I haven’t seen you post a single truly scientific thing in the years I’ve lurked here. You’re always quick to assume everyone else is too stupid or too blind to see what you see, though. Still, you’ve really outdone yourself in the last two days.

    Truly nasty to the core, prn. Everything else I want to say is just invective, so I’ll stop here.

  41. #41 Krebiozen
    April 17, 2013

    Susan Chapelle #22,

    May I point out that only 40% of allopathic medicine is “evidence based” or even informed. “In the current era of evidence-based practice, it is interesting to note in relation to musculoskeletal disorders that there is no evidence-based research supporting surgery for low back pain (Palmer & Patijn 2009) and that only 13% of all medical practice is considered beneficial with another 23% considered likely to be beneficial (BMJ Clinical Evidence Centre 2009)”

    As I wrote here not that long ago, it doesn’t seem to matter how many times this particular canard is corrected, but I will wearily observe, for the umpteenth time, that the figures from BMJ’s Clinical Evidence you are referring to include alternative treatments. The relevant page on the BMJ website states: ” Included within it are many treatments that come under the description of complementary medicine (e.g., acupuncture for low back pain and echinacea for the common cold),”.

    Funding is not available for mechanistic studies of most “natural” medicine.

    NCCAM has handed out $1.3 billion in awards and grants for research into CAM since 2000. Perhaps you should apply for a grant.

  42. #42 Krebiozen
    April 17, 2013

    Crazy Chris,

    If you think in a simple scientific nature consider natural selection; if acupuncture didn’t work it would have been selected out a long time ago. Yet instead it has grown world-wide and faster than any other medicine.

    I assume you are unaware that acupuncture was invented in the 1930s. Before that it was indistinguishable from medieval European bloodletting (that’s why acupuncturists take your pulse), and only itinerant folk-healers carried it out. We know that acupuncture is a good placebo, and perhaps has some effects due to counter-irritation which are reflected in some small effects on pain but, as I like to put it, stomping on someone’s foot also has counter-irritative effects, changes brain chemistry, stimulates endorphin production etc..

    Just search the Cochrane database (google it) and only look at systematic reviews related to acupuncture and see what you find.

    I’m with you on the value of systematic reviews. Let’s take a look at some of these Cochrane reviews of acupuncture (I’m cherry-picking a bit to make my point).

    Acupuncture for cancer pain in adults:

    There is insufficient evidence to judge whether acupuncture is effective in treating cancer pain in adults.

    Acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis:

    Sham-controlled trials show statistically significant benefits; however, these benefits are small, do not meet our pre-defined thresholds for clinical relevance, and are probably due at least partially to placebo effects from incomplete blinding. Waiting list-controlled trials of acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis suggest statistically significant and clinically relevant benefits, much of which may be due to expectation or placebo effects.

    Acupuncture for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome:

    Sham-controlled RCTs have found no benefits of acupuncture relative to a credible sham acupuncture control for IBS symptom severity or IBS-related quality of life.

    Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis:

    There is no evidence for an effect of ‘true’ acupuncture over sham interventions, though this is difficult to interpret, as exact point location could be of limited importance.

    Acupuncture for autism spectrum disorders (ASD):

    Current evidence does not support the use of acupuncture for treatment of ASD. There is no conclusive evidence that acupuncture is effective for treatment of ASD in children and no RCTs have been carried out with adults.

    Acupuncture for depression:

    We found insufficient evidence to recommend the use of acupuncture for people with depression.

    Auricular acupuncture for cocaine dependence:

    There is currently no evidence that auricular acupuncture is effective for the treatment of cocaine dependence. The evidence is not of high quality and is inconclusive.

    At this point I got bored, but in response to your claim that:

    [Acupuncture] also mitigates the side effect of nausea during chemo (look it up).

    Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting:

    Electroacupuncture reduced first-day vomiting, but manual acupuncture did not. Acupressure reduced first-day nausea, but was not effective on later days. Acupressure showed no benefit for vomiting. Electrical stimulation on the skin showed no benefit.

    This is the legitimate research that you accuse Orac of having missed? I think it’s you who should feel embarrassed, not Orac.

  43. #43 herr doktor bimler
    April 17, 2013

    Supra RDA nutrients are such a castigated, misunderstood subject that no conventional MD is going near them unless the rest of the herd is too

    Mileage may vary, but that is not true in my corner of the world — my erstwhile supervisor was able to try out IV vit.C with no hindrance.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/6286401/Vitamin-therapy-fails-to-deliver-for-Sir-Paul

  44. #44 herr doktor bimler
    April 17, 2013

    Calling Traditional Chinese Medicine (which includes acupuncture) quakery shows ignorance and arrogance.

    The Quakers are not happy with the comparison either.

  45. #45 Ahriman
    April 17, 2013

    Saddens me to say, University of Cincinnati now belongs to the superwoo list.

    Key course topics for Integrative Medicine elective at the med school:

    “Main Course Topics (Provide list of key words for major concepts covered)
    Natural Products, including botanicals, supplements and probiotics

    Mind-Body Medicine, including Qi Gong, Yoga, Meditation, and Acupuncture

    Manipulative and Body-Based Systems, including osteopathy and spinal manipulation

    Whole Medical Systems, including Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy and Naturopathy”

  46. #46 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 17, 2013

    @Pancreas

    The real rate of help of all chemo combined in achieving 5 year survival is a stunning 2.1% of people.

    Ah, lumping brain tumors and lung cancers in with leukemias and so forth, eh? Yes, when you look at all cancers combined, it’s a grim outlook. But when you look at specific cancers (e.g., some leukemias), you see that the success rate is spectacular! But it’s nice to know that there are still people out there who don’t get (or choose not to get) that “cancer” is a lot of different diseases.

  47. #47 Krebiozen
    April 17, 2013

    Pancreas,

    Riordan has documented complete (100%) remissions of various cancers on intravenous vitamin C.

    You mean his case studies of 3 cancer patients on IV ascorbate?
    The first patient had metastatic renal cell carcinoma that remitted after vitamin C therapy, but she later died of lung cancer, despite IV ascorbate. Spontaneous remission of renal cell carcinoma has been reported.

    The second patient had a stage T2 transitional cell bladder carcinoma that was surgically removed, a treatment that can lead to long-term remission, before starting IV ascorbate.

    The third patient had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and refused chemotherapy but received radiation therapy, before receiving IV ascorbate. RT used to be the only treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and can result in long-term remission. See this article for a more in-depth discussion of these cases.

    These are the best cases Riordan could find, collected over many years from several institutions; many more cases had poor outcomes despite IV ascorbate. These 3 cases are not as impressive as you suggest.

  48. #48 Dangerous Bacon
    April 17, 2013

    “Yes, pity the poor quacks. Marginalised from birth due to a characteristic that they can’t hide or control. Enslaved, killed, brutalised, and relegated to that status of non-human animals. Lynched*, segregated, impoverished, and criminalised.”

    Even worse is the fate of poor, abused antivaxers, subjected to a hate crime for even being referred to as antivaccine.

    http://nocompulsoryvaccination.com/2012/07/31/anti-vaxxer-the-new-dirty-word/

    There oughta be a law.

  49. #49 prn
    CAM that works
    April 17, 2013

    herr doktor bimler@43
    You’ve mentioned Sir Paul’s unfortunate CRC case before. I think his experience is probably typical – a fragmentary effort reinventing the wheel from scratch, like someone in 1950, with too little time and background to research and develop a result that flies. Those are very steep curves to climb, the twin peaks of “regular” medicine and CAM in real time, starting out untried, from the sea of bs that surround both. One hesitating, errant step won’t do it. Initial successes may require the moonshot failure-is-not-an-option approach with many steps, multiple technologies, redundant checks, and requisite skills.
    ——-
    My experience: Ascorbate or *any* chemo pair alone could not kill or even stop cells from a large, chemo hardened LN cluster once started. Surgery alone could overcome them (did) where the surgeon was surprised with a large cluster rather than a solitary or oligo met. However, mild chemo + C + several redox items + targeted off labels had stopped further metastasis, and has reversed the residuals and other lesions. For me, it took many real time experimental steps to steer directly onto target. Blood work shows even one item missing re-lights the fire. Literally, CAM or bust.
    ——–
    The greatest CAM problem is knowledgeable support – there’s no superior professional back up, medical services necessarily become a la carte, and the various disruptions and obstacles on supplies. For most people, the normal FDA obstacles would make this another certain fatality instead of a relatively zipless treatment.

    Both conventional and naturopathy are too lightweight.

  50. #50 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 17, 2013

    @prn

    Citation needed.

  51. #51 Lawrence
    April 17, 2013

    @Todd – I wonder why prn isn’t submitting grant requests to NCCAM? Seems right up his alley…..though I don’t know if even they’d take his “self-awarded doctorates” very seriously either.

  52. #52 Krebiozen
    April 17, 2013

    prn,

    For me, it took many real time experimental steps to steer directly onto target. Blood work shows even one item missing re-lights the fire.

    How do you know that the course of your illness wouldn’t have followed the same erratic course after surgery without your self-experimentation? You seem to be assuming that any changes are directly related to whatever experimental steps you had taken when you really have no basis for that assumption.

    It is extremely easy to fool yourself into believing that treatments are working when what you are really seeing are random variations, natural variability or even inherent errors in whatever you are using to measure progress or lack of it.

    You are basing your beliefs on an unrandomized, unblinded clinical trial with n=1, that has zero statistical power to tell you anything meaningful, on theoretical models that have not been tested, and on small studies that are generally inconclusive and equivocal. I find those peripheral gray areas of medicine, where proven treatments meet quackery, interesting too, but I think you grossly overstate the likelihood of many of them turning out to be clinically useful in the long-term.

  53. #53 Krebiozen
    April 17, 2013

    Lawrence,
    I think you may be conflating prn and passionlessDrone. IIRC it is the latter who has “self-awarded doctorates”.

  54. #54 elburto
    April 17, 2013

    Easy to conflate the two when the stench of arrogant superiority is making your eyes water.

    @Bacon- I am sobbing now. The plight of quacks and antivaxxers eclipses any persecution in history. I am ashamed of myself for ignoring and sometimes even mocking their plight.

    I might set up an NGO to help them.

  55. #55 JGC
    April 17, 2013

    The real rate of help of all chemo combined in achieving 5 year survival is a stunning 2.1% of people.

    Pancreas, that number comes from The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies(PMID:15630849) and Orac’s previously explained why this figure is inaccurate-indeed, the authors of the paper appear to have done all they could to ensure tehy’d under-report the effectiveness of chemotherapy. They deliberately excluded from consideration the types of cancers for which chemo is most effective (including cancers like leukemia’s, non Hodgkin’s lymphoma’s, etc., where chemo can in fact effect a cure), considered only 5 year survival values despite the fact that chemo is often given not to achieve a cure but to prevent or postpone relapses following surgery or radiation, and notes that the authors’ approach of lumping together all newly diagnosed adult cancers and looking at 5 year survival times , including patients for whom chemotherapy is not even indicated. they’ve guaranteed their study will under-report benefit. (Typing “2% gambit” into the “search this blog” box above will bring you to the entire post.)

    The author makes it looks like they are writing for National Geographic.

    Uhm, no: he doesn’t. You’re just confused by the fact Orac’s blog is hosted on scienceblogs.com, which is owned by National Geographic.

  56. #56 Krebiozen
    April 17, 2013

    elburto,

    Easy to conflate the two when the stench of arrogant superiority is making your eyes water.

    Thank you. I was trying to find a way of saying just that, but you put it much more elegantly than I could.

  57. #57 APC
    Missouri
    April 17, 2013

    What are the KU Program’s results?

  58. #59 Melissa G
    April 17, 2013

    Aaaaaaand I break the internet by forgetting to .

  59. #60 herr doktor bimler
    April 17, 2013

    I think his experience is probably typical – a fragmentary effort reinventing the wheel from scratch, like someone in 1950, with too little time and background to research and develop a result that flies.

    So it didn’t work therefore he was doing it wrong?
    I was explicit about mention Callaghan’s experience not as evidence for or against IV ascorbates, but to refute the claim that “no conventional MD is going near them unless the rest of the herd is too”.

  60. #61 Shay
    When CAM works, it's not CAM
    April 17, 2013

    A self-awarded doctorate? Does this mean I can self-promote myself to colonel (that’ll fatten the retirement packet some)?

    Melissa — this is why we can’t have nice things.

  61. #62 Melissa G
    April 17, 2013

    Shay– ROFLOL! Yes.

    Does your self-awarded colonel rank come with that Cremora-based flamethrower as a sidearm? :)

    I will now award myself a PhD in IT, just don’t ask me what IT stands for.

  62. #63 Narad
    April 18, 2013

    You’re just confused by the fact Orac’s blog is hosted on scienceblogs.com, which is owned by National Geographic.

    Nah, it’s still owned by Seed Media. NatGeo just has operational management.

  63. #64 Lawrence
    April 18, 2013

    @Kreb – I knew it was one of them who was pursuing “multiple self-awarded doctorates” and I’m surprised it wasn’t prn.

    I’ve always had a BA in BS…….lol

  64. #65 Narad
    April 18, 2013

    As an owner of a clinic that uses the evil term “integrated”, we espouse to do research to back up our treatments…. In fact I have been lynched by cranial sacral therapists for pointing out the obvious anatomical and physiological facts…. Quackery has no place in health care.

    Not that this stops Squamish Integrated Health, which you presumably mean by the phrase “an owner,” from offering just this service. Indeed, one might note that you have published exclusively in the Journal of Bodywork and Massage Therapies, one of the sponsors of which is the International College of Applied Kinesiology.

    Your avowed disdain for quackery does not to seem to run all that deep.

  65. #66 prn
    April 18, 2013

    How do you know that the course of your illness wouldn’t have followed the same erratic course after surgery without your self-experimentation? You seem to be assuming that any changes are directly related to whatever experimental steps you had taken when you really have no basis for that assumption.

    Although there are limits to certitude, perhaps more than you think. I started with my own literature survey, and found a number of promising off label lodes. I had half a dozen tissue biomarkers pulled in a research lab, and they were all lemons. They are targets to me.

    I have good time resolution and multiple biomarker series. By preturbation, I can zero in on good components with favorable data and reverse a normally unfavorable trend series like WBC, CEA and others.

    Once activated, the physical tumor growth and CEA have repeatedly shown a 30-40 day doubling time that is very hard to miss. You have to either kill/control it, or cut it, fast. Also based on foreign literature with the “nonstandard chemo” and successful experience with the LN cluster not lighting up like a Xmas tree, I have not worried so much about new metastases. I worry more about old inventory at different scale sizes, hiding out and re-emerging at the slightest chance.

    When treatments are in place, CEA trends are stable, small sigma, and trending down. WBC appears to titrate at will between chemo intensity and stimulus, so I keep platelets and WBC in the lower quintile of normal range after ~3 years of chemo. Twice, when 1-2 important treatment components were not available, CEA took off. Hard to miss a Nike launch at 6-7 sigma. The massive LN cluster needed to be removed anyway, getting a nonstandard surgery was more effort.
    With the other CEA event, restoration of the naughty treatment component yielded a CEA response that looked like a first order decay to slightly shifted baselines on several data series. So I have to figure something microscopic may have formed or gained ground. Ugh. However, the next images showed continued shrinkage of the largest liver objects toward extinction.

    Now, bear in mind this stuff is oxi-iri- resistant as well as fast growing, so there is nothing to lose here. At the start, some oncologists sneered at the parts of the chemo that they recognize, but their time estimates of MBTF response duration, even assuming favorable 5fu- oxi- iri- bev- cet- responses and tolerability, are long exceeded, without their tender agonies.

    I think you grossly overstate the likelihood of many of them turning out to be clinically useful in the long-term.

    Perhaps, too cheap with uncontrolled entries for pharma. I’ve had a soft invitation if I can afford the time and labor for a small funds trial.

  66. #67 prn
    April 18, 2013

    the reply above is for Krebiozen@52

  67. #68 JGC
    April 18, 2013

    <blockquote.When treatments are in place, CEA trends are stable, small sigma, and trending down. WBC appears to titrate at will between chemo intensity and stimulus, so I keep platelets and WBC in the lower quintile of normal range after ~3 years of chemo. Twice, when 1-2 important treatment components were not available, CEA took off.

    I’m curious–are these claim based on an N of 1?

  68. #69 JGC
    April 18, 2013

    so much for proper blockquoting…

  69. #70 prn
    JGC@68
    April 18, 2013

    n=1. With very unexpected results. Orac can probably tell you the resectability and expectancy of an mCRC case with ~2 dozen mets in lungs, liver, periaortic LN with incomplete removal from a heavily infiltrated mesentery seeding to the peritoneum. Presenting in the early stages of obstruction. Hgb<10.5, albumin130. 5FU resistant, 200-275 mg 5FU content without benefit of platinum or tecan compounds or targeted antibodies. With overexpressed, common, bad biomarkers for mCRC.

  70. #71 prn
    April 18, 2013

    typo, albumin < 3.5

  71. #72 Chris,
    April 18, 2013

    prn:

    n=1. With very unexpected results

    Outliers happen, usually covered the second or third week of a beginning statistics class. Which is why sample size is important, along with repeatability.

    Still wondering where that evidence is that your “advice” would prevent a measles infection.

  72. #73 prn
    April 18, 2013

    Chris, you misconstrue or misunderstand me, too much. Bye.

  73. #74 Chris,
    April 18, 2013

    Because you do not provide proper citations, you give unsolicited medical advice and you have a deep misunderstanding of statistics and science.

  74. #75 Krebiozen
    April 18, 2013

    prn,

    Although there are limits to certitude, perhaps more than you think.

    I think it’s impossible to be sure what is working if you are trying out various treatments on a single patient, which is why we need RCTs to determine this. We do see unexpected outcomes in cancer; some people survive longer than expected, some don’t live as long as predicted, spontaneous remission does sometimes occur. You can’t be sure if progression/regression is due to a treatment you used months ago, to the one you are using currently or is entirely unrelated.

    I spent several years working in a lab that measured a wide range of tumor markers, I know that they can fluctuate with or without treatment, but I have encountered doctors attributing clinical significance to variations in tumor markers that were within the variability of the method used to measure them. Even measurements of tumors using CT and MRI are prone to variations depending on the instrument used, the skill of the operator and the view of the tumor.

    I’m glad that you have beaten the odds, but I’m not convinced that this is due to the experimental treatments you have been using – I don’t believe you can reliably discern a signal among all this noise.

    I can understand how this must appear from your point of view, but from my point of view this looks very similar to the examples of cancer patients who had been treated with therapeutic touch and who had survived longer than predicted that Marg and Judith presented to us a few months ago. The treatments you have been using are very much more plausible than therapeutic touch, but I find the limited evidence equally unconvincing.

  75. #76 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 18, 2013

    prn reminds me of the father in My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding who uses Windex as a cure-all. Just the image the popped into my head.

  76. #77 JGC
    April 18, 2013

    n=1. With very unexpected results.

    So what you’ve labeled “evidence” is instead anecdote. Thought as much.

  77. [...] Naturopathy, functional medicine, and other quackademic medicine at the University of Kansas Medical… – with a nice summary of the pseudoscience of “orthomolecular” medicine and vitamin C injection therapy. [...]

  78. #79 steve
    April 25, 2013

    As always it is the “orthodox theory” and the prevailing research orientation, which have been the “block” and blocking of solutions to many pressing problems of humanity.

    Toximolecular agents could not increase the overall state of health in an organism; they could only plug one hole just to rip open another larger one, such as the familiar example of chemotherapy in cancer patients.

    The belief in the healing attributes of compounds alien and even poisonous to the body, have contributed little (nothing) to the overall solution so far. Interim, the “orthodox” theory of cancer treatment (Quackery) is defended with verve.

    and

    According to a 2011 study in the Journal of Medical Ethics,4 nearly 32 percent of retracted papers were not noted as having been retracted by the journal in question, leaving the readers completely in the dark about the inaccuracies in those studies

    Former drug company researcher Glenn Begley looked at 53 papers in the world’s top journals, and found that he and a team of scientists could NOT replicate 47 of the 53 published studies (Quackery) — all of which were considered important and valuable for the future of cancer treatments

  79. #80 Narad
    April 25, 2013

    Toximolecular agents could not increase the overall state of health in an organism; they could only plug one hole just to rip open another larger one, such as the familiar example of chemotherapy in cancer patients.

    Well, I suppose one doesn’t see an adherent of Hans Nieper every day.

  80. #81 novalox
    April 25, 2013

    @steve

    [citation needed]

  81. #82 Khani
    April 25, 2013

    #80 … I couldn’t read the page, he’s got quote marks around “Americans” all over the place. Why? I have no idea.

  82. #83 steve
    April 25, 2013

    Is this a case of people with Common theoretical understanding, similar approaches to problem-solving and no results?

    Infections, surgical mistakes, and other medical harm contribute to the deaths of 180,000 hospital patients a year, according to projections based on a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Another 1.4 million are seriously hurt by their hospital care. And those figures apply only to Medicare patients. Statistics like these make allegations against other forms of health care, all the more ludicrous.

  83. #84 herr doktor bimler
    April 25, 2013

    SO Steve is spamming and copy-pasting? Again I am surprised.

  84. #85 herr doktor bimler
    April 25, 2013

    Steve’s copy-paste #83 seems to come originally from a Consumer Report, but Google informs me that an ambulance-chasing legal firm “Grabb and Durando” have also plagiarised it (along with the usual woo suspects). You can’t make this up.

  85. #86 steve
    April 25, 2013

    ” ”
    ” ”
    Here you are – herr doktor bimler – some Quotation Marks above to make the presentation of the previous information more to your liking.
    However, it will make no difference to the facts.

    So could you now tell me, what is your personal contribution to the human perils? Organ removals, chemical cocktails, radiation, five year cancer cures, repeat prescriptions or Tuskegee Experiments?
    Do you feel the same way as me? Everything in allopathic medicine is just par for course, including death.
    You may keep the paragraph below to read to your grand-kids in due time. With or without the Quotation Marks, “”.
    What allopaths advance as “science” today is so snortingly laughable that could make your ribs hurt. People living in the not too far future will look back and question how we could have been for so long so delusional.

  86. #87 JGC
    You need to abandon your nirvana fantasy, steve
    April 25, 2013

    Infections, surgical mistakes, and other medical harm contribute to the deaths of 180,000 hospital patients a year, according to projections based on a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

    That’s only half of the story, steve. You haven’t provided any figures on how many people annually survive, are cured, or otherwise benefit due to surgery and hopsital care who otherwise would not. You do realize one can’t assess risk versus benefit by enumerating risks while completing ignoring all benefit, don’t you?

    Do mistakes happen? Yes.

    Is that a persuasive argument to continue to improve the delivery and practice of health care? Yes.

    Is that a persusaive argument against science based medicine or in support of alternative (i.e., not shown to be benificial) medicine? Not in the slightest..

  87. #88 Narad
    April 25, 2013

    Everything in allopathic medicine is just par for course, including death.

    From commenter “Fooch” at arthritistoday.org.

    Do try to freshen up your material, Steve.

  88. #89 Krebiozen
    April 25, 2013

    Everything in allopathic medicine is just par for course, including death.

    That would be much more convincing if life expectancy in countries that use modern scientific medicine had not been steadily increasing for the past 50 years.

  89. #90 herr doktor bimler
    April 25, 2013

    Given a string of assertions and allegations copy-pasted from some other source, I would prefer to go to the original source and argue with the organ-grinder.

  90. #91 steve
    April 25, 2013

    It is only improvement in nutrition and hygiene that bettered life expectancy to a point no your opinion. It is much to be said about about your iatrogenic disease manifesting efforts especially the last 50 years.
    If you could use your head and your eyes beyond to what you have been spoon fed, you may be able to understand what is going on. BUT, you rather focus on copy and pasting challenges.

    Absolutely anything that is outside allopathic medicine seems to trigger all kinds of allergic reactions for the foot soldiers of Big Pharma.

    You should rather ask yourself; Has our advanced modern medicine produced super humans in possession of great health? No. As a matter of fact quite the contrary.

    A little more food for thought

    “In a June 2010 report in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, study authors said that in looking over records that spanned from 1976 to 2006 (the most recent year available) they found that, of 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter-million deaths were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors.”

    I cannot help thinking. Was it the medication the practitioner or both?

  91. #92 Narad
    April 25, 2013

    BUT, you rather focus on copy and pasting challenges.

    Well, it is more amusing when you comment in your own voice.

    A little more food for thought

    Mercola, , 11 February 2004.

  92. #93 Narad
    April 25, 2013

    (Naturally, Mercola’s link isn’t to the actual item, which is here, which averages out to 9051 deaths per year from 1979 to 2006. Oddly, if one looks at the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/deaths_2010_release.pdf [PDF] from the CDC, “complications from medical and surgical care” comes in at 2490. I wonder if a straight average or total over 27 years is really that useful as a metric.)

  93. #94 AdamG
    April 25, 2013

    You should rather ask yourself; Has our advanced modern medicine produced super humans in possession of great health? No. As a matter of fact quite the contrary.

    You should rather ask yourself: how has life expectancy changed over the last 200 years? How have the most common causes of death changed in the last 200 years?

    A perfectly healthy 101 year old man who runs marathons would certainly seem like a ‘super human’ to someone in the 19th century, yet stories of centenarian athleticism seem fairly commonplace nowadays.

  94. #95 prn
    April 25, 2013

    JGC@77: Anecdote is not necessarily information free, although my discussion here is limited. The more data, like biomarkers, staging, etc, the more assessable a case’s dataset becomes relative to a larger database of highly characterized cases. I’m pretty sure that highly measured and described cases are a consideration for future test methodologies as “reusable” data.
    ————
    I hope Orac feels a little better after the heroic “puke and purge” logorrhea with the mild strain of ad hominem.

    While I am not a fan of naturopathy per se, in the nutrition areas Orac does seem to favor the homeopathic approach to nutritional data in the supraRDA range.

    Perhaps this feeds denial, political agenda and other superstitions about the subject. However thin the supraRDA data and observations and data may be they do exist, many are easily repeatable for viruses and toxins, if one is not too squeamish about the controls. Orac seems to prefer castigation to investigation.
    ============
    About Orac’s innuendo with regards to early discontinuation of IV vitamin C for hepatitis: right at the start of the trial, the FDA caused the disappearance of commercial scale, injectable vitamin C sources in the US, again. Seems like they pull this sh!t every time. Apparently ignoring DSHEA and the 1938 grandfather clauses at different times, although I am sure the lawyers have lots of argey-bargey either way.

    The FDA and various institutional players have managed to suppress production of IV vitamin C, set ridiculous policies that affect trials, like the 2000 mg UL, and avoid or sabotage relevant tests for over 50 years. Where I count, at least from Viron-1 production ca 1960, and others might count from Jungeblut ca 1936-39, or Klenner ca 1950.

    Is Orac is an X Man is disguise? An (homeopathic) XX doctor?

  95. #96 Khani
    April 26, 2013

    #91: [citation needed]

    Seriously, can you back any of that up with actual research?

  96. #97 steve
    April 26, 2013

    You can only offer false promises and most often more harm and no results to those who are really suffering. They are sitting on line taking intravenous or oral deadly chemical cocktails. You can not restore health. You are lying not only to others but also to your self. Trying to persuade yourself that you are doing the right thing when all evidence for decades show other-ways its the worst kind of practitioner you can come across. Since you know BEST is of any interest to you taking some of your own medicine to improve your health?

  97. #98 Narad
    April 26, 2013

    Since you know BEST is of any interest to you taking some of your own medicine to improve your health?

    I may have to mambo dogface to the banana patch first.

  98. #99 Khani
    April 26, 2013

    #97 Oh, I do. I’m fully up on my vaccinations, as far as I know, and on a couple of prescription drugs too, to keep me nice and healthy. I haven’t died yet, so it must be working.

    That, or it’s all that delicious homeopathic water squirtin’ through the waterpipes in my house, shaken like mad on the way and having come into contact with just about every substance at *some* point.

    It could be that.

  99. #100 herr doktor bimler
    April 26, 2013

    Since you know BEST is of any interest to you taking some of your own medicine to improve your health?

    I begin to see why Steve prefers to copy other people’s words.

  100. #101 steve
    April 26, 2013

    Khani
    No, you have not died yet, I am please that you know that….and please make sure you are fully up on your vaccinations you should know. However, In due time a couple more prescription of drugs will help you to keep healthy from the effects of the first lot and as time goes on, you would need to keep a record of the order they should be taken to keep nice and healthy, You are already confused as to what is healthy and what is keeping alive. AND,
    since you mention homeopathic water I Google for more info and IF, only one percent it is truth or even if it is the placebo effect, you already need a daily shower in homeopathic water

    herr doktor bimler
    You seem to be so steadfast in allegiance with watching the web and point out copy and paste issues. It is very difficult to know what your believe about all these.

    I will post some more web info later without ” ” so you have something to contribute.
    It is very amusing to watch.

    JGC
    Sorry i missed your post
    Yes, mistakes do happen but also Incompetence, negligence, drugs that cause harm or offer no benefit what so ever. Harming or “killing” someone or thousands that is NOT half of the truth. It is the facts.
    Furthermore, on your comment,
    “…science based medicine”
    you do know the truth. There is not such a thing. To day’s evidence turn on their heads to morrow or next year. It is opinion or money based medicine. If now and again somewhere in the world you statement comes true nobody must hear about it is common practice.
    I personally have high regard for emergency medicine.
    also
    …in support of alternative”… comment.
    No and Yes. At least Yes for some form. Have you ever tried any? Having a good understanding of the science of Nutrition it works more often than not. Certainly not a cure all. it is especially potent in combination of “prevention better than cure’ approach and better than many drugs.

  101. #102 Lawrence
    April 26, 2013

    @Steve – I believe you might be trying to make some kind of point, but it is difficult to discern in that “word salad” you’ve been posting.

    As for me, I’m healthy as a horse, fully vaccinated, not on any prescription drugs (nor know many people who are on them, except for serious medical conditions).

    And how are “vaccines” not about prevention? Not to mention that diet & exercise are always the first thing my doctor brings up in conversation?

    You need to get out more and actually do some research outside of Quacksville….you might learn something.

  102. #103 Shay
    April 26, 2013

    Steve -

    Am sitting here enjoying breakfast with #3 brother ,coincidentally also named Steve. He is alive today because of several years of ingesting those “toxic cocktails” when he was a child.

  103. #104 steve
    April 26, 2013

    @ Shay – am happy to hear about your brother but this is not evidence that “toxic cocktails” work for others

    @- Lawrence You may need more than me to get out in the real world to understand what privation really is. However, you are entitle to your opinion.

  104. #105 steve
    April 26, 2013

    @ Shay – am happy to hear about your brother but this is not evidence that “toxic cocktails” work for others

    @- Lawrence You may need more than me to get out in the real world to understand prevention really is. However, you are entitle to your opinion.

  105. #106 Khani
    April 27, 2013

    #101 Actually, no drugs at all will be needed to keep me healthy from the first lot of drugs. Thanks for your concern, but they actually don’t have any side-effects for me.

    I’m pretty preposterously healthy, actually!

    And *everyone* bathes in homeopathic magic water every single day. It’s actually slightly more concentrated than the homeopathic water.

  106. #107 G
    May 1, 2013

    Hmm, could it be that the so-called “quacks” have actually studied science and medicine and actually have medical degrees? *gasp* Could it be that there are actual scientific studies providing true evidence that these so-called “quacky” treatments have some weight to them? Hmm, I wonder if people who have nothing better to do with their time than sit around calling people names and blathering on about their ignorant opinions have read any research articles that describe clinical trials and results in great detail from studies involving some of these “alternative” treatments (studies that are not funded by mega pharmaceutical companies with a marketing agenda by the way). Anyway, I was just wondering…

  107. #108 novalox
    May 1, 2013

    @g

    So, do you have any actual citations to support your assertions?

    Because I don’t see any in your post.

    Also, the old pharma shill gambit, a sure sign that you have nothing to support your viewpoint.

  108. #109 novalox
    May 1, 2013

    @g

    Also, JAQing off doesn’t make you look any better.

  109. #110 herr doktor bimler
    May 1, 2013

    JAQing off doesn’t make you look any better.

    Seems to be an ironclad law of the Internet that “Hmm” at the beginning of a comment is Nature’s way of warning the reader that the commenter intends to be a JAQass.

  110. #111 TBruce
    May 2, 2013

    G:

    The answers are, respectively:

    Some do. Unfortunately, they seem to have wasted their time doing so.

    No.

    Where are these articles? Just wondering…

  111. [...] that’s what we’d expect. Vitamin C infusions are generally well tolerated though the osmotic load (fluid shifts) from huge doses may be be problematic. There are also case reports of kidney stones [...]

  112. [...] that’s what we’d expect. Vitamin C infusions are generally well tolerated though the osmotic load (fluid shifts) from huge doses may be problematic. There are also case reports of kidney stones [...]

  113. #114 マタニティ 水着 激安
    http://www.swimshanghaiareas.info/
    July 12, 2013

    Naturopathy, functional medicine, and other quackademic medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center – Respectful Insolence

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