Remember Patrick Holford? Well, he’s still going. Here is the latest post on his blog. There are some interesting comments on lifetime risk of cancer and on five- and ten-year survival rates. Let’s start with Cancer Research UK though. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, according to the headline in today’s Metro article they do. The Sun went for “Curry is a ‘cure for cancer’“, while the BBC were slightly more restrained – settling for “Curry spice ‘kills cancer cells’” – as were the Daily Mirror (with “Curry ‘kills cancer cells’ and other health benefits of the nation’s favourite dish“). Did scientists claim that “curry can cure cancer” as the Metro claims? Is curry a cure for cancer, as the Sun tell us? Read the rest of this entry »
In fact, I think that the only thing that is consistent about the mainstream media’s reporting of research (particularly research that relates to health) is that it is poor. Supplements are, alternately, life-savers and… deadly cancer-causing killer pills. We all drink too much – but then again red wine is good for us. The articles tend to be misleading, inaccurate or distorted whether they are pro- or anti-vitamins (or red wine and other forms of alcohol, or whatever other example you wish to choose). Read the rest of this entry »
Some fields seem to attract quackery. Energy production is an obvious one (I predict that the idea of perpetual motion machines will never die – the idea is too attractive and there will probably always be sufficiently gullible/ignorant people in the world), but there are certain fields which seem to attract medical quackery more than others. I thought I’d list a few of the apparent similarities between some of the areas that I see as attracting quackery or, at best, dubious claims. Read the rest of this entry »
Several sites cite a paper they claim was published in the Lancet in, variously, 1989, 1990, or 1991. All agree that the paper was written by Ulrich Abel and published in the Lancet. Read the rest of this entry »
This is something I’ve heard a few times now. Read the rest of this entry »
In 1998, Ian Podmore and others had a paper published in Nature. Read the rest of this entry »
The PolyMVA survivors website is advising cancer patients to ignore their oncologist, to refuse chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and to choose an alternative cancer treatment instead. Read the rest of this entry »
Following complaints I made to the FDA and the FDC, the myspace page and the homepage of the vendors of a dietary supplement, PolyMVA (that was being marketed as a cancer drug), were removed. I then found that the supplement was being sold on a website called “Only Nature Finest” – which was also selling supplements for heart attacks (Goji berries and CoQ10, since you ask) and hosting articles about treating AIDS with nutrition. And I quote:
If HIV-1 causes AIDS by depressing body selenium, cysteine, glutamine and tryptophan then the way to treat this disorder is obviously diets enriched in these nutrients
Yes, obviously. “The vile and exploitative scumbags [I was quite angry], they’ve not only circumvented the FDA’s action against their illegal marketing activities by switching websites – they are now also hand-in-glove with people selling food supplement pills to AIDS sufferers and Goji berries to heart attack victims”, I thought to myself. I promptly reported the website to the FDA’s special page: Reporting Unlawful Sales of Medical Products on the Internet and, I am delighted to say, the pages are no longer showing when I click any of the Only Nature’s Finest links I gave in the comments thread on this post. I hope this means they’ve been taken down by the FDA. If you see an American company advertising inappropriate medical- or pseudo-medical products for serious conditions on the internet, feel free to leave a comment here or (even better), report them to the FDA using the link I gave above. Personally, I will be scouting the internets looking for websites selling PolyMVA and reporting each and every one. I’ll keep an eye out for Only Nature’s Finest, too. And props to the FDA for taking prompt action against these dodgy websites.
On the Bad Science Forum recently, Deano posted a link to a business selling a dietary supplement Poly MVA (based on a chemotherapeutic Lipoic Acid-Palladium complex) as a cancer drug. I had a quick look at the FDA’s pages on advertising dietary supplements and promoting them to cancer sufferers seemed like a breach of the regulations to me. By law, manufacturers may make three types of claims for their dietary supplement products: health claims, structure/function claims, and nutrient content claims. Health claims describe a relationship between a food, food component, or dietary supplement ingredient, and reducing risk of a disease or health-related condition. The PolyMVA marketing seems to go beyond this. I contacted the FDA and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to check with them. Here’s [approximately, rather than verbatim] what I wrote to the two organisations:
Someone claiming to be based in San Diego is using the internet to advertise a dietary supplement based on a chemotherapeutic [LAPd – Lipoic Acid-Palladium Complex], here: http://www.polymvahealthclub.com/index1.html?lang=en-us&mid=zebra_400 and on social networking sites such as myspace: http://www.myspace.com/cancermedicine
There appears to be no study on the NIH’s Pubmed site that relates to Poly MVA and cancer [albeit there is some for LAPd], but this product is being sold as a cancer drug and there are claims that there is clinical evidence for it: “Poly-MVA, a dietary supplement that has been shown to be very effective in clinical studies conducted by a renowned board-certified oncologist, Dr. James Forsythe” and that it is “the first dietary supplement to be cleared by the FDA for use in a cancer study”.
I checked the FDA’s page on dietary supplement claims and it appears that the advertising for this product may not comply. I’m not sure if this is a matter for the FDA or the FTC, so intend to contact both organisations.
EDIT 7/7/09: Text from comment on another post copied here:
jdc, I’ve attempted to post the following comment to your PolyMVA thread, but it keeps saying “discarded”. I hope you will move this there:
Thank you for writing about this PolyMVA ripoff. I have had my own run-in with these PolyMVA snake oil pushers here:
Like you, I have also reported them to the FDA. Hopefully, the wrath of the government will eventually befall them all in the guise of an early-morning FBI raid.