Clinical trials

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Clinical trials

If there is one aspect of cranks that is almost universal (besides the aforementioned tendency to want to prove themselves through things like “live televised debates“), it’s a tendency to want to shut down the criticism of its opposition. True, such a tendency is a human trait as well and used far too often by,…

About a month ago, Eric Merola screened his second movie about “brave maverick doctor” Stanislaw Burzynski, Burzynski: Cancer Is A Serious Business, Part 2 (henceforth referred to as “Burzynski II”), a screening that Brian Thompson and an unnamed colleague from the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) attended, took notes, and even managed to ask a…

If there’s one thing that a certain subset of people who view themselves as reasonable and science-based don’t like, it’s harshness: Harshness in criticism, harshness in discussion, or—horror of horrors!—anything they view as “incivility.” That’s all well and good as far as it goes, but the problem is that sometimes there are things that demand…

One of the more depressing things about getting much more interested in the debate over how we should screen for common cancers, particularly breast and prostate cancer, is my increasing realization of just how little physicians themselves understand about the complexities involved in weighing the value of such tests. It’s become increasingly apparent to me…

I got a bit behind on my work yesterday, so I’ll be brief. Yesterday, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) announced its annual Pigasus Awards. Sadly, each and every year, there are far more “deserving” candidates than there are awards to give. However, this year marks something awesome, namely the first time the prize has…

When I wrote about the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) trial last week, little did I suspect that I would be revisiting the topic again so soon. For those of you not familiar with TACT, it was a trial designed to test a favorite quack treatment for cardiovascular disease, chelation therapy. It is, as…

Here we go again. Every time I think I can get away from this topic for a while, I get sucked back in. Indeed, it seems that hardly a week can go by when I don’t find myself pulled inexorably back to this horrible, horrible clinic and what I consider to be the abuses of…

R.I.P., Seán Ó’Laighin

This will be an uncharacteristically short (for Orac) post. A couple of months ago, I wrote about the sad story of a young man from Ireland named Seán Ó’Laighin diagnosed with an inoperable brainstem glioma at age 19. Even more sadly, this young man heard about the Burzynski Clinic in Houston and believed the claims…

Film producer Eric Merola seems to think that there is a conspiracy of skeptics (whom he calls The Skeptics) hell bent on harassing his hero, Brave Maverick Doctor Stanislaw Burzynski. According to his latest film Burzynski: Cancer Is A Serious Business, Part 2 (henceforth referred to as Burzynski II, to distinguish it from Merola’s first…

With very limited exceptions, chelation therapy is, as I said before in my somewhat Insolent opinion, is pure quackery. The sole exception is for real, documented cases of acute heavy metal poisoning that are known to respond to chelation, such as iron overload due to transfusion, aluminum overload due to hemodialysis, copper toxicity due to…

So I finally made it to the Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Symposium. Thanks to the snowstorm that apparently wasn’t (at least, I don’t see any snow around), my arrival was delayed by a day, as all flights to the Washington, DC area were canceled on Wednesday. But I did finally get here, and, although…

About a week and a half ago, I noted that the FDA had apparently paid every skeptic’s favorite cancer doctor who is not an oncologist, Stanislaw Burzynski, a visit, while taking notice of a particularly credulous piece of puff journalism that portrayed Dr. Burzynski as a “brave maverick doctor” fighting The Man, who (of course)…

Earlier this week, there was a very bad, very credulous story was broadcast. Now, I realize that this is not an uncommon occurrence. Indeed, I’m sure that this sort of thing happens pretty much every day somewhere in the country and even on national media, but on this particular occasion the story was about a…

The weekend was busy, and I was working on grants, which meant that I could only come up with one post of Orac-style length and depth. Sadly, it wasn’t for this blog. Fortunately, C0nc0rdance came to the rescue with a must-watch video about our old friend Stanislaw Burzynski. He’s the guy who claims to treat…

Three years ago, the influenza season was a really big deal. The reason, of course, is that the 2009-2010 flu season was dominated by fears of the H1N1 strain, so much so that it was a rare flu season that there were two recommended vaccines, one for the originally expected strains of flu and one…

While I’m using my blog as an announcement platform today, I would be remiss not to mention that tomorrow is Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski’s birthday, and the Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients are still raising money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in order to try to get Dr. Burzynski to do something good for…

As I contemplated how I wanted to start the blogging week, I thought that I should probably again plug Bob Blaskiewicz’s campaign to provide Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, the Houston doctor who for the last 35 years has been treating patients diagnosed with advanced stage and terminal cancers with something he calls antineoplastons (ANPs), with a…

I sense another disturbance in the antivaccine Force. Yes, I realize that it was just a couple of days ago that I sensed a previous disturbance rippling through the antivaccine Force. That’s when antivaccinationists brought David Kirby out of mothballs from whatever journalistic slime pit he’s currently residing in to use every trick at his…

More credulous reporting on placebo effects

Now that Trine Tsouderos no longer works for the Chicago Tribune, there aren’t that many reliable generalist medical/science reporters around any more. For example, here in the U.S. there’s Marilyn Marchionne at the AP, Gina Kolata of the New York Times, and then there’s Sharon Begley, who used to be at Newsweek but is now…

Everything Everything gives you cancer Everything Everything gives you cancer There’s no cure, there’s no answer Everything gives you cancer – Joe Jackson I don’t write about nutrition as much as other topics because I’m not as knowledgeable about it as I am about, say, cancer, vaccines, and what constitutes good medical evidence. (I am,…

About a year and a half ago, I applied a heapin’ helpin’ of not-so-Respectful Insolence to a a clueless article about the the “triumph” of New Age medicine. The article channeled the worst fallacies of apologists for alternative medicine. Basically, its whole idea appeared to be that, even if most of “complementary and alternative medicine”…

For all the worship of “translational” research that is currently in vogue, it needs to be remembered that a robust pipeline of basic science progress upon which to base translational research and clinical trials is absolutely essential if progress in medicine is to continue. Without it, progress in SBM will slow and even grind to…

Crank spin versus science on mammography

Sometimes when a study comes out that I’m very interested in blogging about, I don’t get around to it right away. In the blogging biz, this sort of delay is often considered a bad thing, because blogging tends to be very immediate, about being the firstest with the mostest, and the moment to strike and…

A response to the father of a Burzynski patient

If there’s one thing that’s difficult about writing about Stanislaw Burzynski, his highly dubious (nay, bogus) antineoplaston cancer therapy, his “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy for dummies,” and his shameless rebranding of an orphan drug as a miracle cure for cancer, it’s trying to balance a righteous anger at what he does to desperate cancer patients…