Respectful Insolence

One of the more bizarre bits of cancer quackery that I’ve come across is that of an Italian doctor (who, like many cancer quacks, appears not to be a board-certified oncologist) named Tullio Simoncini, who claims that cancer is really a fungus and has even written a book about it, entitled, appropriately enough for this particular quackery, Cancer Is A Fungus. The first time I encountered Simoncini, about five years ago, I was floored by his arguments, not because of how bizarre they were (although that was part of it) because of their sheer stupidity. Seriously, Simoncini’s reasoning—if “reasoning” you can even call it—has to be the dumbest ever.

How can Simoncini reject all those decades of science, genomics, and painstaking study of cancer cells? For those of you who have forgotten how Simoncini justifies his claims, I’ll remind you with this video:

You can get an idea of just how dumb this video is by listening to Dr. Simoncini less than two minutes in as he opine that whenever he sees a cancerous tumor in the body, the lumps are “always white.” Simoncini emphasizes this amazing observation several times, so apparently important is it. Yes, that was the observation that supposedly led him to his idea that tumors are in fact due to fungus. He even shows images of thoracoscopy, pointing out that the tumor deposits are white, and of bronchoscopy of lung cancer, again marveling at how the tumor deposits are white. Of course, at the time, I pointed out that many fungi are not white; some are even brightly colored. Simoncini also must not have seen very many tumors, because not all tumors are white. In fact, many are not. Melanoma comes to mind, most of which are black. (Although some melanomas can lose their pigment and appear white, or amelanotic, this is less common.) Many tumors that I’ve seen personally as a cancer surgeon are reddish-colored, tan, or even greenish. Simoncini’s argument is, at its core, spectacularly stupid. There’s just no other way to put it that doesn’t involve breaking our NatGeo overlords’ strong suggestion that we avoid profanity, particularly the f-bomb, which should precede the word “stupid” in describing Simoncini’s quackery. Even worse is Simoncini’s proposed cure: Direct injections of sodium bicarbonate into the tumors, a treatment that has resulted in at least one death.

The reasons I’ve briefly revisited Tullio Simoncini are two-fold. First, a reader e-mailed me arguing that I shouldn’t be so dismissive of claims that cancer is a fungus, and, second, there’s a more “sophisticated” version of this same old cancer quackery that’s recently appeared on DrSircus.com in both an article entitled New Cancer/Fungus Theory and a video that is less obviously nonsensical on the surface but at its core just as silly as the five year old interview with Tullio Simoncini that I posted above:

The same video can be found here, along with more elaboration.

Yes, it’s the same guy, Doug Kaufmann, who interviewed Simoncini five years ago. I’m really sorry I hadn’t checked him out five years ago, because his Know The Cause website and video series are examples of pure quackery because, to him—or so it would seem—practically every chronic disease is caused by fungus. Diabetes? Fungus, of course! Malnutrition? It’s the fungus among us! Allergies, arthritis, heart health, women’s health? Fungus, of course! Just read his book! Asthma? Mold, of course! To get an idea of the “quality” of Kaufmann’s argument, let’s look at one of his citations ane how he describes it:

We will address those concerns, but let me start by giving you a “hot off the press” headline that my friend, Luke Curtis, MD, just sent me. It deals with 27 lung “cancer” patients who were later diagnosed with lung “fungus” instead of lung cancer. Mind you, this paper was just published. But the confusion that it confirms has been going on in medicine for as long as disease has been in existence. Doctors do not know what causes the majority of human diseases.

FUNGAL INFECTIONS MIMICKING PULMONARY MALIGNANCY RELEVANT SENTENCE
“Fungal infection can present with clinical and radiological features that are indistinguishable from thoracic malignancy, such as lung nodules or masses.”

TO YOU AND ME
It is impossible to tell lung fungus from lung cancer.

MY TAKE
Unfortunately, the doctors who diagnose lung cancer are unaware of the fact that cancer mimics fungal infections. Unless one of the researchers who wrote the above paper are present during your lung cancer diagnosis, 100% of “lung nodules or masses” are diagnosed as “cancer” and 100% of you will begin invasive cancer treatment. I would certainly recommend that you tell your doctors to “fully rule-out fungus” as a causative factor before cancer therapies are initiated.

First off, this was not a study. This was a letter to the American Journal of Roentgenology entitled Fungal Infection Mimicking Lung Cancer: A Potential Cause of Misdiagnosis. Second, did Kaufmann or Sircus even read the letter? It’s only one page long; so it’s not that much to ask. In it, the authors, Marcos Duarte Guimariles, Edson Marchior, and Myrna Cobos Barco Godoy were commenting on an earlier article examining a variety of conditions mimicking lung cancer on CT imaging, citing a study of 2,908 patients with suspicious lung lesions who underwent biopsy that found that 37 (not 27) of them, or 1.3% ended up with a final diagnosis of infection, of which fungi were the most common pathogens, making up 46% of the 1.3%, or 0.6% of the diagnoses. In other words, the veyr article cited is not strong evidence that fungi are a major cause of lung cancer. Moreover, remember, it’s not as though doctors don’t know this. Certain fungal infections have long been known to mimic the appearance of lung cancer on CT, and in areas where such pathogenic fungi are endemic ruling them out is always on the differential diagnosis of lung masses. That’s why we biopsy tumors before instituting definitive treatment! It is not, as Kaufmann claims, “impossible” to tell lung fungus from lung cancer. It is quite doable. All it takes is a biopsy plus a culture. True, the culture can sometimes be tricky, and it can sometimes be difficult to get an adequate specimen, but “impossible to tell”? Not so much.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s entirely possible to misdiagnose malignancy when in fact a patient has a fungal infection. Indeed, that is what appears to have happened to Suzanne Somers, who, if her book Knockout is to be believed, was apparently misdiagnosed with metastatic cancer when in reality she had disseminated coccidioidomycosis (also known as Valley Fever), which is endemic in many areas of the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America. It’s also a common cause of fungal pneumonia, although usually it only causes relatively mild disease. Around my neck of the woods, histoplasmosis is the fungal infection that nearly everyone’s been exposed to. Whatever really happened in Somers’ misdiagnosis—and we have no medical records, just Somers’ account—it seems likely that the oncologist consulted to treat her was a wee bit too eager to start treating with chemotherapy without a tissue diagnosis. In oncology, tissue is king (and queen). Rare is the oncologist who will begin cytotoxic chemotherapy without a tissue diagnosis. True, in rare circumstances it might be necessary, but these situations are the exception rather than the rule. Perhaps the most common of such exceptions include malignancies of the brain. Sometimes biopsy of these masses is too risky, and they have such a characteristic MRI appearance that treating without a tissue diagnosis is sometimes necessary. Indeed, it’s very likely that false positives for cancer on imaging could explain many of Stanislaw Burzynski’s “success stories.”

But back to the video. Perhaps the most hilarious part is the introduction, where Kaufmann states how fascinating 60 and 70 year old books about cancer are. He’s actually correct about that, but not in the way he means in the video. I find the history of how diseases were treated to be incredibly engrossing. For instance, I have a 1938 Marine Corpsman Manual that I inherited when my uncle died in the late 1980s. Reading how blood transfusions were administered back then in battlefield aid stations and hospitals near the front lines, how various common diseases seen in Marines were treated, and even how corpses were dressed for transportation home is of enormous interest to me from a historical standpoint. Similarly, reading about how cancer used to be treated and what doctors and scientists thought were its causes 70 years ago ais also fascinating from a historical standpoint. But to use such books to argue that what we know about cancer now is wrong? Not so much. Yet that is exactly what Kaufmann is doing when he holds up an old text and asks, “What did these texts know that today’s medical textbooks really didn’t know?”

I’ll answer that question for Kaufmann: A lot of information and beliefs about cancer that were later shown not to be true, that’s what. Sure, there is information in those books that has stood the test of time, and that information can still be found in modern cancer textbooks like DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. I’m talking about things like how Gompertzian growth, chemotherapy kill curves, radiation sensitivity, and a whole lot of other science about cancer cells, to which modern editions add new understanding developed by science over the decades of why cancer cells behave this way.

Apparently the bulk of this video comes from a talk that Kaufmann gave at the 41st Annual Cancer Convention of the Cancer Control Society, held August 31 to September 2, 2013 in Universal City, CA. It advertises:

LEARN ABOUT THE PREVENTION & CONTROL OF CANCER THROUGH NUTRITION, TESTS & NON-TOXIC CANCER THERAPIES SUCH AS LAETRILE, GERSON, HOXSEY, KOCH, ENZYMES & IMMUNOTHERAPY FROM MEDICAL DOCTORS, CLINICAL RESEARCHERS,NUTRITIONISTS & AUTHORS.

IN ADDITION, LEARN ABOUT CHELATION, DMSO, OXYGEN, HERBAL, CELLULAR & ELECTRO-MAGNETIC THERAPIES.

It also featured movies about Hoxsey cancer therapy, and the Cancer Control Society hosts bus tours to Tijuana Cancer Clinics. The Doctors’ Symposium part of the program includes talks on laetrile, high dose vitamin C therapy, insulin potentiation therapy, ultraviolet blood irradiation, live blood cell examination, and a whole panoply of cancer quackery. The main program itself reads like a who’s who of lesser-known cancer quacks, like Lorraine Day.

Right off the bat, Kaufmann claims that “it’s no longer’mycotoxicosis’; we now call it ‘cancer,’” claiming that if we inject fungus into laboratory animals they all get cancer. Really? That’s a new one on me. Be that as it may, I love how Kaufmann delves into false equivalency, first saying that some “believe” or “claim” that gene mutations cause cancer. Well, yes, but it’s more complicated than that, as any discussion of modern ideas of carcinogenesis would reveal. Next up, Kaufmann says that some claim that “gene fusions” initiate cancer growth, referencing a Cancer Cell article from 2010. I believe he means this article, in which gene fusions contributing to prostate cancer are described. Then Kaufmann says that “I say” that fungus “mimicks cancer” and that “cancer” is a misdiagnosis. That’s nice, but where’s the science? There is none, at least none that isn’t grossly cherry picked and misunderstood. In fact, he does the same thing as he did with the article about fungal infections being misdiagnosed as lung cancers and cites a textbook from 1957 in which pulmonary coccidiomycosis is “suggestive of metastatic malignancy” (shades of Suzanne Somers!) and that cutaneous blastomycosis is frequently mistaken for skin cancer. Wow! To me all that means is that the perils of misdiagnosing a fungal infection as cancer were well known 57 years ago. Hilariously, he even cites a quote in which it is noted that disseminated histoplasmosis is found to coexist with hematologic malignancies at a rate much higher than would be expected by coincidence. Gee, you don’t think that might be because patients with hematologic malignancies might be immune-suppressed, do you? Yes, Kaufmann appears to be confusing the chicken and the egg. Even Dr. Sircus’s drone acknowledges the issue, although he uses scare quotes to make you doubt:

“Fungal infections cannot only be extremely contagious, but they also go hand in hand with leukemia—every oncologist knows this. And these infections are devastating: once a child who has become a bone marrow transplant recipient gets a “secondary” fungal infection, his chances of living, despite all the anti-fungals in the world, are only 20%, at best,” writes Dr. David Holland.

So what is Kaufmann’s “theory”? It seems to be that fungal DNA fuses with human DNA and causes cancer:

According to my hypothesis, cancer begins when the DNA from Fungus and the DNA from our white blood cells merge to form a new hybrid “tumor, or sac.” This hybrid attains a life of it’s own now, bypassing our immune defenses because it is 50% human, and therefore just enough to be recognized as “self.”

Critics argue that simply because our white blood cells fail to gobble up fungus, this would be almost insignificant compared to what would occur if our cancer tumor suppressor gene (p53) became inactive during cancer cell invasion. The critics are correct!

Along with phagocytosis, our p53 gene plays one of the most important roles in protecting us against cancer. It not only stops cancer invasion, but it also kills tumor cells, thereby preventing cancer from even starting. But in over 50% of all cancers, scientists have discovered that the patient’s p53 gene was mutated and unable to stop cancer from initiating. According to the American Cancer Society, the p53 gene is the most studied of all genes because damage to this gene allows cells with damaged DNA, like cancer cells, to proliferate.

You know me. After hearing those dreaded 3 words, “you have cancer,” my first question would be, “doctor, what caused my p53 gene to mutate? Why didn’t it protect me? Of course, most doctors would respond by saying, “we don’t know what causes the p53 gene to mutate.” He may not, but now you will.

This is silly in the extreme. If this had happened, given today’s genomic technology scientists would have identified the fungal DNA sequences in human tumor cells a long time ago, probably back in the 1990s at the latest, and would have figured out that this was not due just to contaminants. And, if fungi were so promiscuous at causing mutations in p53 (formal name TP53), don’t you think there would be some serious evidence of it by now? As Kaufmann himself concedes, TP53 is one of the most highly studied genes in the genome. Although we certainly don’t know everything about it, we sure do know a whole lot about it. I mean, seriously. Kaufmann dazzles the rubes by asking whether they know that fungus has DNA like human DNA because fungi are eucaryotes, too. Gee, I think scientists figured that out…oh, decades ago! So he asks: If DNA from the two [fungus and human] should merge inside our bodies, what would the end result of that blend be?

It was at this point that I almost had to stop watching. Kaufmann was citing articles by someone named M. W. White in that woo journal to end all woo journals, Medical Hypotheses. His idea seems to be this:

Facts also support the conclusion that plant bacterial conidia (spores) derived, under duress, from one of the several groups belonging to the Ascomycete family or from the Staphylococcus aureus coagulase positive micro-organism are present intracellularly. It is this group of conidia, when formed, that survives as a primitive oval, spheroidal type of a unicell. They are identical in all respects to the various carbohydrate, protein, and fat molecules. Although these conidia have lost their original outside cell wall and all their enzymes and metabolites, they survive none the less as bacteria by retaining within their cytoplasm a genetically viable anion acceptor complex (oxidant), and their asexual procreative unit. It is this oxidant factor that survives within a sac or cell, as long as it is free of the atmospheric environment. Ultimately, with an ensuing circulating but compatible flow of blood by the host, there develops an annealing process whereby the genes of each species unite to form a plant animal intracellular hybridization. This somatic association accounts for the origin of the metabolic and respiratory anaerobiosis and also for the subsequent growth and pathophysiology that occurs in those living human beings suffering from the various malignant diseases.

Trust me on this. We have much better explanations now as to why cancer cells are so good at running on anaerobic metabolism, even when oxygen is available. Even Otto Warburg, who discovered the effect in 1928, had better ideas as to why this tumor cell characteristic might be.

My brain is hurting now. Basically, Kaufmann’s “hypothesis” seems to come down to:

  • Fungi can produce lost of human diseases
  • Fungi can cause inflammation, which can contribute to cancer
  • Fungus is in our food
  • Pathogenic fungi can make Aflatoxin b1, which commonly contaminate the grain supply and is a potential carcinogens

Therefore fungi can cause cancer!

Overall, the hypothesis is so confused and makes so little sense that it’s hard to believe anyone can take it seriously. None of this is to say that fungal infections might not predispose to cancer. We know that various chronic infections can do this, most likely due to chronic inflammation. However, Kaufmann’s take on this issue falls under the category of “so wrong it’s not even wrong.”

I will, however, give Kaufmann credit for sounding a bit more “science-y” than Tullio Simoncini does, but that’s about it. Barely.

Comments

  1. #1 Becky Weaver
    January 3, 2014

    Where do you find the time to write all this? Oh, yeah.
    IT PAYS BIG BUCKS TO WRITE A BLOG DEFENDING THE PHARMACEUTICAL / ONCOLOGY INDUSTRIES, SO YOU MAKE THE TIME!)

    So many words, to say ONE THING:

    1 death?

    CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE IS THE #3 KILLER IN AMERICA, killing 250K+ people annually!

  2. #2 MikeMa
    January 3, 2014

    I’m guessing that without conventional medicine that number would be significantly higher.

    Pharma Shill
    ALL CAPS

    Well done Becky!

  3. #3 Vicki
    January 3, 2014

    Becky, that goes both ways: where do you find the time to write your comments, and how much are you being paid to do so? Who are you working for?

    Alternatively, you might consider the idea that Orac is writing blog posts when someone else might be playing golf or watching television, two time-consuming activities that millions of Americans do and almost none of them are paid for.

    If you say you’re not being paid to post these comments, I’m prepared to believe you: after all, nobody is paying me either.

  4. #4 Shay
    January 3, 2014

    Dear Becky, please peruse the CDC’s tables showing the leading cause of deaths in the US…conventional medicine doesn’t even make the top 10.

    Oh wait…that would require you to actually look something up at a reliable source, which is kind of against your beliefs, innit?

  5. #5 AnObservingParty
    January 3, 2014

    Ok, so let’s say all tumors were white (and conveniently forget liquid tumors)….not all fungus is white, bro. Dude fails mycology forever.

  6. #6 Gray Falcon
    January 3, 2014

    I’ll never understand some of these conspiracy theories. They no have no way of explaining why someone doesn’t simply make a lot of money by selling out everyone else, or even more likely, everyone revealing the secret knowing that they’d lose badly if they didn’t.

  7. #7 Chuff
    January 3, 2014

    What’s weirder than that is that, as far as I am aware, you guys across the pond have a whistleblower policy that gives the whistleblower a percentage of any fines levied. Imagine how many millions of dollars that would be if someone revealed the truth about all the suppressed cancer cures and hidden vaccine trial data.

  8. #8 Darwy
    Røde grøde...wait...no... Noo Inglind
    January 3, 2014

    People as paranoid as Becky simply can’t be functional in society – it just isn’t possible.

    I pity her, to be honest.

  9. #9 Dangerous Bacon
    January 3, 2014

    I see lots of tumors in my work. Some are white, some gray, some tan, some brown, some black, some other colors.

    Guess that shoots the fungus theory to hell.

    Hurray! I just made $50 for this post. Not as much as Becky makes, but not bad.

  10. #10 Cory Westgate (Saint Baal-MAŠ)
    Under the Bed
    January 3, 2014

    Having worked in a Deer Processing plant, I had the chance to see many tumors that had grown in the wild. Usually they were Absinthe-louche colored (almost white, slightly greenish) or black. They were most definitely _not_ fungus.

    Also, Big Pharma as a business concept is a terrible thing. Pharmaceuticals generally, however, are reliable and effective.

  11. #11 Johanna
    January 3, 2014

    I really want to know when I’m going to get my filthy pharma-lucre. My cats have expensive tastes and need to be kept in the style to which they’re accustomed…

  12. #12 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 3, 2014

    Wait, is cancer really fungus, does fungus cause cancer, or does the fungus merge with human cells to create a human-fungus hybrid that we call cancer (but which would, I’m sure, if allowed to grow in the correct host become a new and superior species)? I lost track somewhere along the way.

    I, for one, welcome our new fungal overlords. But my allegiance remains with Lord Draconis.

  13. #13 SkewedDistribution
    January 3, 2014

    I first encountered the aptly-named Sircus when he recommended “lynching” scientists who promote vaccines. I would like to dismiss him, but that kind of rhetoric is dangerous. As is the “cancer-fungus” nonsense.

    If anyone would like to read more about the lynching episode, I humbly submit the link below to my blog.

    http://skeweddistribution.com/2011/11/14/anti-vaxxer-threatens-scientists-with-lynching/

  14. #14 Skeptical_Canadian
    January 3, 2014

    Wow. First comment in, plenty of CAPS and just as quickly, gone in an instant. All the typical troll gambits in just one email:

    - The Conspiracy Theory
    - Using all CAPS, (because it makes the comment more valid and truthful)
    - Quoting wrong/incorrect/bogus stats
    - In and then…, out.
    - Add in other nonsense, irrational, unreasoned drivel.

    Becky, in the best words from Sam Harris, you’re intellectually dishonest. As Darwy (#8) commented, how you function in society is beyond us. If you think your beyond useless post sways or helps society, it doesn’t.

    Another great article from Orac for the rest of us to learn and grow from – Thank you sir.

  15. #15 Orac
    January 3, 2014

    You know, you just reminded me that I forgot the obligatory Doctor Who The Seeds of Doom reference, which might give insight into what sort of thing might happen if a plant or fungus fused with a human being. :-)

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

  16. #16 Orac
    January 3, 2014

    I had forgotten about Sircus’ cry of “Let ‘em dangle!” but I had written about it too:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/11/16/barbara-loe-fisher-cries-intimidation/

  17. #17 Rich Woods
    Out there
    January 3, 2014

    All I want to know is what a cancer fungus would taste like, sliced and quickly fried in butter, served on a piece of rye toast.

  18. #18 Rich Woods
    Still out there
    January 3, 2014

    @Orac #15:

    And let’s not forget the classic Quatermass film, where an astronaut merged with a cactus:


    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049646/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

  19. #19 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    January 3, 2014

    When you combine plant and human, you get THE THING

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044121/

  20. #20 JustNuts
    January 3, 2014

    Fungal infections are incredibly easy to dx microscopically – What do these yahoos say about NO fungal elements visualized in the pathology sections?

  21. #21 novalox
    January 3, 2014

    @darwy

    I don’t know whether to pity such a stupid troll like becky, or to laugh at her utter ignorance.

    Since she keeps spouting her ignorance here, I ‘ll just go ahead and laugh.

  22. #22 sheepmilker
    Glad not to live near Becky
    January 3, 2014

    Wow, Becky has infested SBM too, where she accuses a certain Dr. Gorski of wanting women to keep cellphones in their bras so that he can cut off more breasts and make more money – or something like that.

  23. #23 kruuth
    January 3, 2014

    Orac;

    Best Dr. Who episode ever. It was also the first one I ever watched. Been hooked ever since.

  24. #24 herr doktor bimler
    January 3, 2014

    Since [Becky] keeps spouting her ignorance here, I ‘ll just go ahead and laugh.

    She seems to be a drive-by troll, leaving her flaming bags of dogcrap on the doorsteps of threads but not coming back to defend any of her absurd claims.

  25. #25 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 3, 2014

    @Rich Woods,

    All I want to know is what a cancer fungus would taste like, sliced and quickly fried in butter, served on a piece of rye toast.

    It tastes amazing. However, as Orac points out above, you eat it at your peril. Life as a Krynoid is no picnic. Not even a picnic where you can eat cancer fungus.

  26. #26 herr doktor bimler
    January 3, 2014

    It tastes amazing. However, as Orac points out above, you eat it at your peril.

    Attack of the Mushroom People!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matango

  27. #27 Stu
    January 3, 2014

    According to my hypothesis, cancer begins when the DNA from Fungus and the DNA from our white blood cells merge to form a new hybrid “tumor, or sac.” This hybrid attains a life of it’s own now, bypassing our immune defenses because it is 50% human, and therefore just enough to be recognized as “self.”

    This alone is just so gobsmackingly, sophomorically moronic I could barely get past it. Please, nobody show this to PZ — I think he’d have an aneurysm on the spot.

  28. #28 Stu
    January 3, 2014

    Oh God, oh dear sweet Jeebus, I hadn’t hit the second (White) quote when I wrote that last comment.

    Oh dear sweet tapdancing Adonai. I’m used to reading idiotic things that make you go “Umm, NO” after every sentence or so, but that… just about every word. I can’t… I don’t even…

  29. #29 herr doktor bimler
    January 3, 2014

    “ONE MANS HYPOTHESIS ON AN UNKOWN CAUSE OF CANCER”

    Perhaps the missing ‘n’ in the title of Kaufman’s video is intended to distract us from the missing apostrophe.

    but that… just about every word. I can’t… I don’t even…
    I was left wondering what language White’s abstract had been translated from, and why it was done so ineptly. Tempted now to download the rest of the paper from Med.Hypotheses and see if it’s all like that.

  30. #30 Narad
    January 3, 2014

    Wait, MB “Becky” Weaver came back? Anyway,

    Pathogenic fungi can make Aflatoxin b1, which commonly contaminate the grain supply and is a potential carcinogen[]

    I’m kind of disappointed that this hasn’t been extended to St. Anthony’s Fire and Pont-Saint-Esprit somehow.

  31. #31 Jeff S. M.
    January 3, 2014

    #7 “Imagine how many millions of dollars that would be if someone revealed the truth about all the suppressed cancer cures and hidden vaccine trial data.”

    They would be swiftly killed, of course. Everyone knows that those “in the know” (like the cabal that killed Kennedy) know the risks of loose lips, right?

    Seriously- Take HIV- now that disease was one helluva payday for Big Pharma to milk forever and ever…a virus that produced secondary diseases (like cancers) like crazy! Yet conventional medicine and science, while not conquering the disease, has relatively contained it to the point of rendering it chronic as opposed to a death sentence 30 years ago?

    Stupid, stupid BP!

  32. #32 Mrs Woo
    January 3, 2014

    As Devil’s Advocate, I must point out that keeping people alive forever with a chronic disease can be much more lucrative than curing them. Not that we don’t seem to mind curing people (though geez, with all the antibiotic resistant diseases cropping up, we might regret that one day, too).

    I am probably displaying my absolute microbiology ignorance here, but the quoted paragraph, “Facts also support the conclusion that plant bacterial conidia (spores) derived, under duress, from one of the several groups belonging to the Ascomycete family or from the Staphylococcus aureus coagulase positive micro-organism are present intracellularly. It is this group of conidia, when formed, that survives as a primitive oval, spheroidal type of a unicell. They are identical in all respects to the various carbohydrate, protein, and fat molecules. Although these conidia have lost their original outside cell wall and all their enzymes and metabolites, they survive none the less as bacteria by retaining within their cytoplasm a genetically viable anion acceptor complex (oxidant), and their asexual procreative unit. It is this oxidant factor that survives within a sac or cell, as long as it is free of the atmospheric environment. Ultimately, with an ensuing circulating but compatible flow of blood by the host, there develops an annealing process whereby the genes of each species unite to form a plant animal intracellular hybridization. This somatic association accounts for the origin of the metabolic and respiratory anaerobiosis and also for the subsequent growth and pathophysiology that occurs in those living human beings suffering from the various malignant diseases.” doesn’t even make sense to me. Can fungi even do what is asserted here?

  33. #33 Mrs Woo
    January 3, 2014

    (no offense, BTW to our Evil Overlords or anyone else. Sometimes, though, it is prudent to admit the obvious – a high-priced treatment for an incurable illness can bring more profit than a ten-day, one set of antibiotics cure)

  34. #34 Beth
    January 3, 2014

    Potatoes are also white. OMG, cancer is potatoes! Or possibly cream cheese. Definitely one of those.

  35. #35 Mark
    January 3, 2014

    @ Dangerous Bacon #9

    Of course tumours are not fungi. They are very small bathroom suites. They change colour with age, but the newer ones tend to be white (I believe those from the 1970s are “avocado”).

    Where do I claim my $50? From Becky?

  36. #36 Spectator
    January 4, 2014

    “What did these texts know that today’s medical textbooks really didn’t know?”

    Ol’ thyme books knew there weren’t in ‘em no sentience, and being writ from old times they knew today’s didn’t be in the past, not yet.

    Wiser than Doug Kaufman, those inanimate pages are.

  37. #37 Militant Agnostic
    January 4, 2014

    it is 50% human, and therefore just enough to be recognized as “self.”

    And yet the immune system has to be whacked hard with pharmaceuticals to prevent it from attacking bits of other humans when they are transplanted.

    OT Show your spare tire some love and give it some air if it needs it. If it lives under your vehicle, take it off once in a while and spray a little anti-seize on the bolts that hold it in place. Also. when washing your coat after rolling around in a salt-sand-slush slurry while fighting the above seized threads, make sure you know where cell phone is before starting the washing machine.

  38. #38 Dr. M
    United States
    January 4, 2014

    This is ridiculous and worth nothing but a good laugh. I was most interested in the “lung cancer is a fungus” part, because in veterinary patients, fungal respiratory infections can definitely appear like metastatic lung tumors, although disseminated fungal infections fairly rare. Generally the clinical signs and history of the patient point one in one direction or another.

    Oh and I’d love to see someone cure cancer with oxygen therapy. Nevermind we breathe it all day and night. Into our fungus-cancer filled lungs.

  39. #39 Narad
    January 4, 2014

    there develops an annealing process whereby the genes of each species unite to form a plant animal intracellular hybridization

    Somebody has heard of the Metropolis algorithm and badly misunderstood it. (And I speak as someone who has specialty, industrial metallurgy in the family. “Annealing” does not mean what you think it does, M. W. White.)

  40. #40 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    January 4, 2014

    Narad,

    I know of the term ‘annealing’ from molecular biology, both in the sense used in molecular simulations (the one you refer to) but it refers to joining pieces of (ds) DNA. This help make M. W. White’s wider statements right, though.

  41. #41 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    January 4, 2014

    That should be “it also refers to” and “This does not help make”. Not sure what’s with my typing there, eh? Sorry.

  42. #42 Gonzo
    January 4, 2014

    Actually, the way you can tell it’s a human/fungus hybrid is when it gets humungous!

  43. #43 Narad
    January 4, 2014

    I know of the term ‘annealing’ from molecular biology, both in the sense used in molecular simulations (the one you refer to) but it [also] refers to joining pieces of (ds) DNA. This [not] help make M. W. White’s wider statements right, though.

    I was actually coming at it from the angle of the Traveling Salesman Problem, but now I have a glimmer of the intended sense, thanks.

  44. #44 Daniel Corcos
    France
    January 4, 2014

    Rather than paying attention to morons, you should better support innovative scientists. The first guy who had the silly idea that cancer was caused by fungi was William Russell, a Scottish physician who thought that the large inclusions he found in cancer samples were fungi. These inclusions (named now Russell bodies) were not discovered by him, but by another guy whose name has been forgotten. Today, it’s clear that Russell bodies represent immunoglobulin aggregates and not fungi.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19822901
    So, not only he was completely wrong, but he took all the attention, like a Burzynski. If all cancers were cured, there would be no more problems with quacks. It is really a pity to see sensible people more interested by quacks than by true scientists.
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel_Corcos2/?ev=hdr_xprf

  45. #45 Narad
    January 4, 2014

    Rather than paying attention to morons, you should better support me innovative scientists. The first guy who had the silly idea that cancer was caused by fungi was William Russell, a Scottish physician who thought that the large inclusions he found in cancer samples were fungi. These inclusions (named now Russell bodies) were not discovered by him, but by another guy whose name has been forgotten. Today, it’s clear that Russell bodies represent immunoglobulin aggregates and not fungi.

    So, not only he was completely wrong, but he took all the attention, like a Burzynski. If all cancers were cured, there would be no more problems with quacks. It is really a pity to see sensible people more interested by quacks than by true scientists.

    FTFY. “The worst thing is to be ignored.”

  46. #46 Narad
    January 4, 2014

    Rather than paying attention to morons, you should better support me innovative scientists. The first guy who had the silly idea that cancer was caused by fungi was William Russell, a Scottish physician who thought that the large inclusions he found in cancer samples were fungi. These inclusions (named now Russell bodies) were not discovered by him, but by another guy whose name has been forgotten. Today, it’s clear that Russell bodies represent immunoglobulin aggregates and not fungi.

    So, not only he was completely wrong, but he took all the attention, like a Burzynski. If all cancers were cured, there would be no more problems with quacks. It is really a pity to see sensible people more interested by quacks than by true scientists.

    FTFY. “The worst thing is to be ignored.”

  47. #47 Narad
    January 4, 2014

    Rather than paying attention to morons, you should better support innovative scientists.

    Either I’m going to have duplicate posts, or I’ve turned up a novel technique for generating the “Service Unavailable” message. Anyway, one more try:

    “The worst thing is to be ignored.”

  48. #48 Narad
    January 4, 2014

    Ah. Sorry about that.

  49. #49 Daniel Corcos
    January 4, 2014

    @ Narad
    With your multiple posts, how can I ignore you? ;-)

  50. #50 qetzal
    January 4, 2014

    Beth:

    Potatoes are also white. OMG, cancer is potatoes!

    Patient: “Give it to me straight, Doc! What did the X-Rays show?”
    Doctor: “I’m afraid you have a lung tuber!”

  51. #51 herr doktor bimler
    January 4, 2014

    A water-lily in the lung is another painful and often fatal condition.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Froth_on_the_Daydream

  52. #52 Andreas Johansson
    January 4, 2014

    Ok, so let’s say all tumors were white (and conveniently forget liquid tumors)….not all fungus is white, bro. Dude fails mycology forever.

    If you look up “fungus” or “mushroom” at Wikipedia, the first image they show you is a bright red fly agaric. I expect that’s a pretty fair reflection of most people’s instant image of a fungus, at least within the West.

  53. #53 Dangerous Bacon
    January 4, 2014

    I don’t think “true scientists” unilaterally announce that they’ve invented a “universal treatment for cancer”.

    Especially when all they’ve accomplished is to get a speculative journal article published (that, and spamming the comments sections of various websites).

    Is it possible to get the “Nobel disease” without winning a Nobel first?

  54. #54 AlisonM
    January 4, 2014

    I am trying very hard to view this topic with the appropriate level of gravitas. . .but OMG, these horrible jokes and puns! “Lung tuber”. . .

    I can’t imagine the level of self-delusion it takes, though, to assume that because two things are the same color, they are the same thing.

  55. #55 palindrom
    January 5, 2014

    Fun Gus is a Fun Guy.

    Interest in the topic is mushrooming.

    Sorry. I’ll shut up now.

  56. #56 Narad
    January 5, 2014

    Especially when all they’ve accomplished is to get a speculative journal article published (that, and spamming the comments sections of various websites).

    Corcos on “SciEP.”

    (I will note that the usual apologists at “The Scholarly Kitchen” have a point regarding Beall’s recent salvo, but I also have the “luxury” of being on the other side of the telescope.)

  57. #57 Daniel Corcos
    January 5, 2014

    Hello again Narad,
    For your information, the link you refer to relates to Daniel M Corcos, a distinguished scientist working on Parkinson disease.

  58. #58 Narad
    January 5, 2014

    Hello again Narad,
    For your information, the link you refer to relates to Daniel M Corcos, a distinguished scientist working on Parkinson disease.

    You mean Daniel M. Corcos, Professor of Kinesiology and Nutrition at UIC? What leads you to this assertion? Are linguistic comparisons really necessary?

  59. #59 Alain
    January 5, 2014

    Daniel M Corcos, a distinguished scientist working on Parkinson disease.

    Given your formation in kinesiology and nutrition (verified here), if given access to a petabyte supercomputer, how would you go around modelling kinesiology and nutrition advices for sufferer of parkinson disease?

    Alain

  60. #60 Daniel Corcos
    France
    January 5, 2014

    We are only two Daniel Corcos in science, and it’s not me ;-).
    But you’re right on this point, the guy could be not a scientist.
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel_Corcos2/?ev=hdr_xprf

  61. #61 Daniel Corcos
    January 5, 2014

    Alain,
    if you want to talk to Daniel M Corcos, you’d better try his mail address: dcorcos@uic.edu

  62. #62 Alain
    January 5, 2014

    Daniel Corcos,

    OK, I stand corrected but the question remain, what would you do with a petabyte supercomputer to model parkinson disease?

    Alain

  63. #63 Alain
    January 5, 2014

    Daniel Corcos,

    I stand corrected (you’re an MD, PhD), but the question remain, what would you do with a petabyte supercomputer to model parkinson disease on a mouse brain?

    Alain

  64. #64 Alain
    January 5, 2014

    Daniel Corcos,

    I stand corrected (you’re an MD, PhD), but the question remain, what would you do with a petabyte supercomputer to model parkinson disease on a mouse brain?

    Alain

  65. #65 Narad
    January 5, 2014

    I didn’t say that UIC’s Corcos isn’t a scientist. In fact, I get my specialty care at UIC, and they’re terrific. But only one of you is “publishing” “datasetson Youtube.

    I have to be up there on January 8. Do you want me to see if I can arrange to ask?

  66. #66 Alain
    January 5, 2014

    Daniel Corcos,

    I stand corrected (you’re an MD, PhD), but the question remain, what would you do with a petabyte supercomputer to model parkinson disease on a mouse brain?

    Alain

  67. #67 Alain
    January 5, 2014

    sorry for the quad post. upon reloading the page, I didn’t see the newest version of my comments and I did reload 6 times.

    Alain

  68. #68 Daniel Corcos
    France
    January 5, 2014

    @ Narad
    Putting the youtube link as a data set is just a mistake due to the reseachgate website that I cannot fix. You can see all my publications in “conventional” journals in this site. If you come to Chicago on the 8th, you might see Daniel M Corcos, who, I say it again, is not me.

  69. #69 Narad
    January 5, 2014

    If you come to Chicago on the 8th, you might see Daniel M Corcos, who, I say it again, is not me.

    I didn’t suggest that you were Daniel M. Corcos, I suggested that you were the Beall commenter. Now, if you could set me straight, I will retract with apologies, but I saw nothing to suggest that the comment in question is attributable to the UIC professor.

  70. #70 Daniel Corcos
    France
    January 5, 2014

    @ Dangerous Bacon
    Read my publications in Blood, Current Biology, Oncogene, J Exp Med, and so on, before deciding whether I am a true scientist or not.
    By universal, I mean that it can be used in any kind of cancer, as opposed to targeted therapy.
    I understand that it’s easier to pay attention to morons and complain.

  71. #71 Daniel Corcos
    France
    January 5, 2014

    Narad
    OK, I am NOT the Beall commenter. If it is not Daniel M Corcos either, I will apologize to him for having thought it could be him (or better, if you meet him on the 8th, you will transmit my apologies to him).

  72. #72 Narad
    January 5, 2014

    Read my publications in Blood, Current Biology, Oncogene, J Exp Med, and so on volume 2 of “Gold OA” Wiley entry Cancer Medicine, before deciding whether I am a true scientist or not.

    Will the real Daniel Corcos please stand up?

  73. #73 Narad
    January 5, 2014

    OK, I am NOT the Beall commenter. If it is not Daniel M Corcos either, I will apologize to him for having thought it could be him (or better, if you meet him on the 8th, you will transmit my apologies to him).

    Oh, I see, there must now be yet another “Daniel Corcos” with an interest in OA publishing who is plainly a nonnative English speaker.

  74. #74 Daniel Corcos
    January 5, 2014

    @ Narad
    Yes,
    I wrote all these publications. There is no particular problem with Gold OA, as long as the journal is peer reviewed. I suggest you to have a look at the editorial board, and if you know something about basic cancer research, you should understand that it is trustable. But the best thing would be that you read the “cell inflation assisted chemotherapy” paper.

  75. #75 The Typical Pharma Shill
    NWO HQ - Denver, Colorado
    January 5, 2014

    This crap always reminds me of a pathetic YouTube channel where a conspiranoic old man with malignant melanoma in his neck and confederate flags speaks about chemtrails, Obama the Muslim Atheist Communazi Antichrist and his journey with cancer . His videos about cancer are an altie hugbox where commenters gush about quackery and do mental gymnastics to validate woo despite the contrary evidence: A disturbingly educational video playlist where he applies black salve to his neck while taking crap like laetrile, essiac, kombucha, etc. A commenter looks at his swollen neck full of corroded, exposed BLACK lumps and *some* whitish abscesses, and says “that white rim around the tumor must be the fungus dr simoncini talks about. Are you taking sodium bicarbonate?”

    The old man proudly said yes.

    *facepalm*

  76. #76 Daniel Corcos
    France
    January 5, 2014

    @ Narad
    I just had another look to the”Daniel Corcos” comments on Beall site, and actually It seems to me very unlikely that it could be Daniel M Corcos. The guy seems to have some interest in analytical chemistry. So please, transmit my apologies to Daniel M.

  77. #77 Narad
    January 5, 2014

    There is no particular problem with Gold OA, as long as the journal is peer reviewed.

    No, there are plenty of problems, and I say this as a critic of the likes of CHORUS apologists such as the brigade at SK. What you inexplicably don’t seem to realize is that you’re oiling your own noose. “No, that’s some other guy!” “Well, maybe it’s not.” “Whoever it is, he was right!”

  78. #78 Daniel Corcos
    January 5, 2014

    @Narad
    Maybe I should duplicate my posts as you do to say that the Beall commenter was not me?
    For the rest, you can read all my publications and what I think about the publication process on the research gate site. If you disagree on what I express, you can tell it here, I’m your man.

  79. #79 Narad
    January 5, 2014

    Maybe I should duplicate my posts as you do to say that the Beall commenter was not me?

    But the duplicate posts had nothing to do with that, and I acknowledged them. I’m also not the only one who has fallen prey to the new version of the “service unavailable” retort.

    For the rest, you can read all my publications and what I think about the publication process on the research gate site. If you disagree on what I express, you can tell it here, I’m your man.

    Except when you’re making baseless assertions about other academics and then inventing fictional characters in the process of demonstrating that the jig is well and truly up, that is.

  80. #80 herr doktor bimler
    January 5, 2014

    Will the real Daniel Corcos please stand up?

    I am quite happy to believe that the person using the name “Daniel Corcos” to comment at Beall’s blog in defense of a new faux-journal is in fact *stealing* the name. After all, the people running these scams are not noted for ethics or scruples about the use of other people’s identities.

    I would go further — they are quite capable of looking through lists of people who have previously fallen for the scam (i.e. published in a predatory OA journal), and thinking “that would be a plausible name to use when spamming Beall.”

    In the last few days my spam tray has included identically-formatted “calls for papers” from:
    the “American International Journal of Contemporary Research” (published by Center for Promoting Ideas, USA), chief editor Dr. Andrew Lessard (who uses a hotmail address), except the email comes from “Dale Taylor”;

    the “International Journal of Liberal Arts and Social Science” (published by Center for Enhancing
    Knowledge, UK), Editor In Chief Dr. Peter Hill, but the e-mail comes from the yahoo address of Taylor George;

    and the “International Journal of Arts and Commerce” (also from the CEK), Dr. Andrew Christopher Chief Editor (who uses Outlook), but the e-mail comes from the ymail address John Stewart.

  81. #81 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    January 5, 2014

    Caps in original:

    LEARN ABOUT THE PREVENTION & CONTROL OF CANCER THROUGH NUTRITION, TESTS & NON-TOXIC CANCER THERAPIES SUCH AS LAETRILE, GERSON, HOXSEY, KOCH, ENZYMES & IMMUNOTHERAPY FROM MEDICAL DOCTORS, CLINICAL RESEARCHERS,NUTRITIONISTS & AUTHORS.

    Jeebus McCree! The one thing everybody knows from when Laetrile was a thing in the 70s is that it’s cyanide. Ask anybody on the street:
    “Quick! Name a poison!” and half of them would say “cyanide”. (The other half probably “arsenic”.) How can anybody, no matter how woefully ignorant, use “Laetrile” and “non-toxic” in the same sentence?

    OT: I’ve often wondered: Since almonds are the pits of a strain of apricots that have been bred to have less cyanide (N.B.: “less cyanide” is not “no cyanide”) if you ate enough almonds to half-kill yourself, would you get the same (non-) effect without having to go to Mexico or smuggle forbidden chemicals?

  82. #82 Daniel Corcos
    France
    January 5, 2014

    Hi Doktor Bimler
    Maybe you are right, and I should be concerned about another guy stealing my name. But, although I do not favor this hypothesis, it still could be Daniel M Corcos, as he is editor in an Open Access Journal. And I cannot accuse him of stealing my name ;-).
    http://www.jneuroengrehab.com/about/edboard/userprofile/1570481154022502
    @ Narad
    When do I invent fictional characters? Daniel Corcos is my real name. Is Narad yours?

  83. #83 Andy
    January 5, 2014

    Polar bears are always white, never brightly coloured. Hmmm. I think I feel a book coming on.

  84. #84 Dangerous Bacon
    January 5, 2014

    Somebody claiming to be Daniel Corcos:” I understand that it’s easier to pay attention to morons”

    You’re making it _very_ easy.

  85. #85 Stu
    January 5, 2014

    (OT) @Alain:

    what would you do with a petabyte supercomputer to model parkinson disease on a mouse brain?

    That should be petaFLOP. I could build you a petabyte computer for around $50000, but it wouldn’t be able to model its way out of a paper bag.

  86. #86 Daniel Corcos
    January 5, 2014

    @ Dangerous Bacon
    “You’re making it _very_ easy.”
    So do you!

  87. #87 Alain
    January 5, 2014

    @Stu,

    Thanks, I stand corrected.

    Alain

  88. #88 Andreas Johansson
    January 5, 2014

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge wrote:

    Jeebus McCree! The one thing everybody knows from when Laetrile was a thing in the 70s is that it’s cyanide.

    There’s a lot of us around now who don’t recall the ’70s. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of laetrile outside of RI, except I just looked it up on Wikipedia.

  89. #89 herr doktor bimler
    January 5, 2014

    Maybe you are right, and I should be concerned about another guy stealing my name. But, although I do not favor this hypothesis, it still could be Daniel M Corcos, as he is editor in an Open Access Journal.

    More likely, then, it is someone whose first language is not English, stealing the name of Daniel M Corcos. I’ll e-mail Beall, suggesting this possibility.

  90. #90 Daniel Corcos
    France
    January 5, 2014

    @ herr doktor
    From what I can judge, his first language is not English, since his English is even worse than mine. But Corcos is not a WASP name, and it may be Daniel M, after all.

  91. #91 Khani
    January 5, 2014

    #83 Or spraypaint. Lots of spraypaint.

  92. #92 herr doktor bimler
    January 5, 2014

    Polar bears are always white, never brightly coloured.

    I think my “tumours = Persian cats” theory is more plausible.

  93. #93 Chemmomo
    Antifungal
    January 5, 2014

    Andy @83

    Polar bears are always white, never brightly coloured.

    Except when they’re medicated, or exposed to algae: http://colliope.com/bear/index.html

    The San Diego polar bears have remained white since they got their new habitat in 1996: http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/cams/polar-cam

  94. #94 Narad
    January 5, 2014

    Maybe you are right, and I should be concerned about another guy stealing my name.

    Works for me. The language “tells” in those posts aren’t characteristic of the Francophone authors that I’ve worked with, upon a more alert review.

    But, although I do not favor this hypothesis, it still could be Daniel M Corcos, as he is editor in an Open Access Journal.

    The BMC stable is a rather more established operation.

    When do I invent fictional characters? Daniel Corcos is my real name. Is Narad yours?

    Setting aside the non sequitur, I was referring to the third Daniel Corcos that you hypothesized.

  95. #95 Denice Walter
    January 5, 2014

    @ Chemmomo:

    I’ve never seen a purple bear… ’til now.

  96. #96 Interrobang
    January 5, 2014

    Dr. Schwarzenegger proved that cancer isn’t potatoes in one of his publications: “It’s NOT a TUBAH!”

    /me ducks

  97. #97 Dangerous Bacon
    January 5, 2014

    Maybe there’s a _fourth_ Daniel Corcos who is quietly doing good cancer research.

  98. #98 Shay
    January 5, 2014

    @herr doktor:

    Tumors are nasty and so are Persian cats. That’s enough proof for me.

  99. #99 Arcanyn
    January 6, 2014

    Tumours are witches. They weigh less than a duck, which proves they’re made of wood, and are therefore a witch!

  100. #100 Daniel Corcos
    France
    January 6, 2014

    @ Dangerous Bacon
    Are all the Daniel Corcos white? Maybe they are mushrooms or tumors. They seem to proliferate.

  101. […] Respectful Insolence, skrevet av Orac på Science Blogs – man bør få med seg artikkelen om legen som mener kreft er sopp. […]

  102. #102 lina
    January 6, 2014

    So you’re saying I can cure cancer by juicing mushrooms and watering down the juice till it’s just water, right? (thus hitting the highpoints of multiple juicing quack cures, plus “cancer is a fungus” quackery, mixed with homeopathy quackery–triple win for me! or is that triple win for cancer?)

  103. #103 Andy
    January 6, 2014

    “I think my “tumours = Persian cats” theory is more plausible.”

    No.

    Polar bears are white. Cancer is white. Cancer kills. Polar bears kill. Cancer is polar bears. Do your research!

  104. #104 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    January 6, 2014

    [OT]

    This woman died, apparently as a consequence of using cesium chloride to treat her breast cancer:

    http://www.livescience.com/42266-death-alternative-cancer-treatment-cesium-chloride.html

  105. #105 LW
    January 6, 2014

    Don’t you guys see that you’re proving Simoncini right?

    Cancer comes in various colors including white. Fungus comes in various colors including white. Therefore cancer is fungus. QED!

  106. #106 Khani
    January 7, 2014

    Doesn’t that make cancer horses, then?

  107. #107 herr doktor bimler
    January 7, 2014

    Death comes on a pale horse.

  108. #108 herr doktor bimler
    January 7, 2014

    This woman died, apparently as a consequence of using cesium chloride to treat her breast cancer:

    From the linked article:
    Sessions said that complementary and alternative medicine therapies have a place in the treatment of disease

    – alas, he did not say *what* place, though I suppose controlled trials will always need placebos.

  109. #109 Krebiozen
    January 7, 2014

    Strangely, two themes in these comments resonate with articles I just read in last month’s Fortean Times (it’s more sceptical than you might expect). First was about Prof Bryan Sykes of Oxford University, who has found a DNA match for hairs supposedly from a Himalayan yeti:

    Prof Sykes found that he had a 100% match with a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway, that dates back to between 40,000 and 120,000 years ago – a time when the polar bear and closely related brown bear were separating as different species.

    Prof. Sykes has developed a method of extracting DNA from inside hairs, so any contaminants can be washed off very effectively. His sequencing of DNA from alleged hairs from North American sasquatch and bigfoot all turned out to be animals native to North America, mostly brown bears, perhaps not surprisingly. One hair sample from Siberia also turned out to be from a North American brown bear, which is odd as they don’t live there.

    Secondly, some of you are probably already aware of the hoax carried out by John Bohannon, in which he submitted over 300 versions of a badly flawed paper to open access journals.

    The “wonder drug paper” as he calls it, was accepted by 157 of the journals and rejected by 98. Of the 255 versions that went through the entire editing process to either acceptance or rejection, 60% did not undergo peer review. Of the 106 journals that did conduct peer review, 70% accepted the paper.

    This is worrying, but the situation in China is even worse, with a third of researchers admitting to plagiarizing or faking research in a 2010 survey. That’s yet another reason to treat Chinese studies of TCM with suspicion.

  110. #110 Andy
    January 7, 2014

    Cancer comes in various colors including white. Fungus comes in various colors including white. Therefore cancer is fungus. QED!

    Underpants come IN various colours including white. THEREFORE cancer IS underpants. QED!! – with random capitals and two exclamation marks.

    Do I have to include spelling errors to get my point across to you sheeple?

  111. #111 Woo Fighter
    January 7, 2014

    Andy,

    If cancer=underpants, and underpants=Step 3, Profits(!) (according to the economic laws of the South Park underpants gnomes) then it’s true what all the alties say about the “cancer industry” and its profits!

  112. #112 Mario Augusto Puga Valera
    https://twitter.com/mapugavalera86
    January 7, 2014

    Good evening, Orac:
    I love your work and your blogging skills. In times when quacks like Simoncini attack evidence-based medicine and risk people, you clearly show how to fight them. Thanks for your passionate work.
    I read your blog since 2011.
    PS: please, people, never feed the trolls.

  113. #113 JustNuts
    January 7, 2014

    #109 Krebiozen: You mention dodgy research coming out of China. I think a lot of research from India also qualifies – Specifically that cited related to homeopathy by “Dr.” Nancy Malik!

  114. #114 ?
    January 8, 2014

    What do you guys mean by “woo”?

  115. #115 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 8, 2014
  116. #116 Gemman Aster
    January 8, 2014

    For anyone who knows a little Golden Age SF, this topic brings vividly to mind the ‘doughpots’ that live on Venus…

  117. #117 bd2999
    January 9, 2014

    As a mycologist I will also say, and it will blow this fellows mind, that fungi are also a common and abundant part of the human GI tract. They even dwell within us!

  118. #118 Daniel Corcos
    January 10, 2014

    @bd2999
    I am a mycologist too, since I did some work on the myc oncogene, probably the link between mushrooms and cancer.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myc

  119. #119 Gregory
    United States
    January 26, 2014

    the proof is in the pudding-

    the patients that come out cancer free from Simoncini’s clinics in the Isle of Wight and in Japan – can not be ignored.
    or is he is sneaking expensive pharmaceuticals to them, eh?

  120. #120 Chris,
    January 26, 2014

    Gregory: “the patients that come out cancer free from Simoncini’s clinics in the Isle of Wight and in Japan – can not be ignored.”

    Citation needed. Provide actual clinical studies not random anecdotes. If the cures are real there would be third party confirmation and PubMed indexed case studies. You do have those, right?

  121. #121 Krebiozen
    January 26, 2014

    Gregory,

    the patients that come out cancer free from Simoncini’s clinics in the Isle of Wight and in Japan – can not be ignored.

    Where can I find the numbers of patients treated, the evidence of their original diagnosis, details of any conventional treatment they received and how many improved and how many didn’t and evidence of this improvement in the form of CT and MRI scans etc.?

  122. #122 sheepmilker
    January 26, 2014

    Ironically for a post that deals with “whiteness”, the current ad at the top says “Executive Spray Tan Parties”!

  123. #123 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 26, 2014

    “The proof is in the pudding” is a nonsensical phrase. The original was “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” This is, I hope you will agree, a much more sensible statement.

  124. #124 herr doktor bimler
    January 26, 2014

    “The proof is in the pudding” is a nonsensical phrase.

    It makes perfect sense if you are a mathematician whose cook has used your 200-page demonstration of the Goldbach Conjecture to line pie trays.
    A galley proof, so to speak.

  125. #125 Krebiozen
    January 26, 2014

    That begs the question of whether it’s the pudding that proves the rule.

  126. #126 Krebiozen
    January 26, 2014

    Since Mr. O’Brien mentioned nonsensical phrases, that is…

  127. #127 Narad
    January 26, 2014

    the patients that come out cancer free from Simoncini’s clinics in the Isle of Wight and in Japan – can not be ignored.

    They can until they’re shown to exist, as opposed to these former people.

  128. #128 herr doktor bimler
    January 26, 2014

    Simoncini’s clinics in the Isle of Wight and in Japan – can not be ignored

    It would also be more persuasive if Simoncini actually *had* a clinic on the Isle of Wight.
    (as opposed to the Shen Clinic, which does include sod.bicarb. therapy among its range of scams).

  129. #129 Krebiozen
    January 26, 2014

    The Isle of WIght is a weird place: Lucy Lightfoot, David Icke, and it’s a major node in the Illuminati matrix, apparently, which brings us neatly back to sodium bicarbonate and Simoncini (see the ad at the end of Icke’s article).

  130. #130 herr doktor bimler
    January 26, 2014

    Simoncini does not seem to be operating out of Albania any more. I am trying to imagine the level of incompetence and venality it takes to be thrown out of *there*.

  131. #131 John Doe
    Antipodes
    January 29, 2014

    Hey this is a laugh a minute forum. You guys are right so do not forget to take your prescribed medicine when you get cancer. I guess you all know the success rate is impeccable and the quality of life after using the Cut, Poison and Burn prescription is second to none. Nuff said.

  132. #132 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 29, 2014

    John Doe is wise (in a slimebucket sort of way) to choose sarcasm to argue his points.

    If he actually came out and said what he believes the answers are, then even the most naive lurkers would ask him to elaborate his claims and back them up. “Wait, you’re saying quality of life after FungusPill 3000 is better than QOL after conventional therapy? Doesn’t that depend on whether, you know, FungusPill 3000 actually treats the cancer that will otherwise bring painful death? What evidence do you have for FungusPill 3000?”

  133. #133 JGC
    January 29, 2014

    I guess you all know the success rate is impeccable and the quality of life after using the Cut, Poison and Burn prescription is second to none.

    Not sure what you would consider to be an ‘impeccable’ success rate, but conventional cancer treatments actually have quantifiable and known rates of success -to pick a topical example the standard chemotherapy protocol for the type of cancer Sarah Hershberger has (and which her parents are electing to withold from her) confers an 85% chance of long term remission/survival–while no alt med cancer treatments have any demonstrated succes rates.

    If they did, after all–if they could be proven to be successful–they wouldn’t be alternative medicine, would they?

    They’d just be medicine.

  134. #134 Shay
    January 29, 2014

    Herr Doktor — did a pre-NATO exercise with some Albanian military units many years ago. Would have to agree with you. How on earth does someone get kicked out of Albania?

  135. #135 Protho
    February 2, 2014

    “Hey this is a laugh a minute forum. ” Yes indeed it is. I get a huge laugh out of the squeals emitted by the quacks and the shills, every time their lies are exposed. Thanks.