Category: Clinical Trials

“Right to try” laws create tremendous legal uncertainties; FDA expanded access preferable

The Goldwater Institute and the Kochs pushed "right to try" laws in an attempt to get rid of FDA oversight of access to investigational drugs. Instead, they created tremendous legal uncertainties, making the FDA's expanded access program preferable for all.

/ January 17, 2019

Vitamin D supplements do not reduce the risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease

Vitamin D has been widely touted as beneficial for preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease. A large, well-conducted clinical trial now show that it has no effect.

/ January 10, 2019

Osteopenia: When Does Decreased Bone Density Become a Disease Requiring Treatment?

Osteoporosis is routinely treated with bisphosphonates to prevent fractures. A new study suggests that osteopenia should be treated too. But questions remain.

/ January 8, 2019

Vertigo Voodoo: A Crazy-Sounding Cure That Actually Works

A sequence of positional changes sounds like voodoo, but is actually an effective way to cure benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

/ December 18, 2018

Are placebo effects genetically determined?

We frequently write about placebo effects here at SBM because understanding placebo effects is essential to understanding a lot of clinical trial science and, most relevant to the topics of this blog, how those promoting unscientific medicine misunderstand and misuse placebo effects to promote quackery. Last week, The NYT published an article asking if placebo effects are genetically determined. The evidence supporting...

/ November 12, 2018

A Nuanced View on Breast vs Formula

While there is strong evidence that breast is best, a new study suggests that the benefits have been overstated, and may be mostly due to non-specific factors such as better education and overall health care.

/ September 26, 2018

Acupuncture versus breast cancer treatment-induced joint pain: Spinning another essentially negative study

The investigators behind a recent clinical trial testing acupuncture to treat joint pain caused by aromatase inhibitors used to treat breast cancer are spinning it as a positive study. As is usually the case for acupuncture studies. It isn't

/ September 10, 2018

Bouffant caps versus skull caps in the operating room: A no holds barred cage match

Over the last few years, AORN and the American College of Surgeons have been battling it out over AORN's 2014 guideline that has increasingly led to the banning of the surgical skull cap in the operating room in favor of the bouffant cap. Lacking from this kerfuffle has been much in the way of evidence to support AORN's guideline, but unfortunately that...

/ August 20, 2018
Cerebral angiogram

Clínica 0-19: False hope in Monterrey for brain cancer patients (part 3 of 3)

This is the conclusion of my series on Clínica 0-19, the cancer clinic where Drs. Alberto Siller and Alberto Garcia see patients with DIPG, a deadly brain tumor, whom they treat at Hospital Angeles in Monterrey Mexico with an unproven combination of intra-arterial chemotherapy with up to 11 drugs and a poorly defined dendritic cell immunotherapy. Some people have asked me: What's...

/ July 9, 2018
Clínica 0-19: False hope for DIPG

Clínica 0-19: False hope in Monterrey for DIPG patients (part 1 of 3)

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

/ June 25, 2018