Aspirin and cancer trial doomed to failure?

Hailing it as the “world’s largest clinical trial to investigate whether taking aspirin every day stops the recurrence of some of the most common cancers”, the NHS and Cancer Research UK are taking more than 11,000 patients from 100 centres across the UK.

The study will run for 12 years and involves different groups taking different doses of aspirin

Somewhat bizarrely, the dosages will be 100 and/or 300 mgs.

What is odd about this is that the original discovery of the aspirin effect, John Vane (who won a Nobel Prize and a Knighthood for his efforts, showed clearly that the dose need be no more than 75 mgs. This research was confirmed by the Mayo clinic who felt the benefit came from a small dose (81 mgs).

Further large studies from Oxford University and The Radcliffe Hospital, and from the Francis Crick Institute in London have confirmed that aspirin can reduce inflammation throughout the body (a precursor to cancer), can greatly reduce cancer spread and increase survival times, and can even prevent the cancer from hiding from the immune system.

Prof Ruth Langley, the chief investigator at the Medical Research Council’s clinical trials unit at University College London, said: “There has been some interesting research suggesting that aspirin could delay or stop early-stage cancers coming back, but there has been no randomised trial to give clear proof. This trial aims to answer this question once and for all.

“If we find that aspirin does stop these cancers returning, it could change future treatment – providing a cheap and simple way to help stop cancer coming back and helping more people survive.

“But, unless you are on the trial, it’s important not to start taking aspirin until we have the full results, as aspirin isn’t suitable for everyone, and it can have serious side-effects.”

And this is a real problem. CANCERactive has consistently informed of the increasing research on the benefits of aspirin, but in the small dose size. Even then we have known patients develop serious side-effects like stomach ulcers.

We are extremely concerned that patients taking the higher 300 mgs dose especially will show a greatly increased risk of stomach ulcers, with the whole trial having to be curtailed.

We predict high levels of side-effects and publicity saying aspirin is dangerous, when at the smaller dosage it has already-proven significant benefits.

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Australian review slams homeopathy

I have always had this complete puzzlement over homeopathy. I used to receive e mails all the time in the early days of CANCERactive asking why I didn’t cover it. I also received a lot of e mails from cancer patients – usually breast cancer patients – telling me their stories how it really made a big difference to their orthodox treatment programmes and helped them through their times of trouble. Grown sensible men I respected switched from being Doctors to becoming Homeopaths. But.

I tried to get articles written for icon. Over the last ten years there have been two areas I have consistently failed on. Homeopathy and Radiotherapy. I get lots of people interested in writing an article for our magazine and our website, but then when I mention the ‘R’ word, they back off, never to be heard from again.

The ‘R’ word? We have a little requirement at CANCERactive that if you write an article and make a claim, you have to give a clue about the research that supported the claim. References are good, but readers find them boring and unnecessary – a decent clue will do. In the case of Homeopathy and Radiotherapy, would be writers run away.

Yet still I got protests from patients. So, I made light of it. I remember Henry Ford’s quote about advertising – ‘Half my advertising budget is wasted. I just don’t know which half’. I borrowed it for Homeopathy.

I tried to find research. I was sent some by third parties, sporadically. A report by WDDTY about Indians and MD Anderson – the link to MD Anderson’s website no longer works, although the research was there for a while.

Then there are famous scientists who say water has a memory. It’s possible, of course. But.

Then there’s research about the German football team all using homeopathy not drugs to treat their injuries. And the Swiss approving Homeopathy. But.

But – the fact is that Homeopathy has been around for a very, very long time – too long not to have any decent research about it. (Although, yes, I did find a couple of clinical trials, but I looked very hard).

I made the same point to Charlotte Gerson when I met her. If you want someone to believe your claim, get some numbers. The Block Centre for Integrative Medicine in Chicago do it – they monitor everyone who comes through their door and they can then show the survival rates of people on Integrative Therapies vs only Orthodox and the improved survival.

But, Gerson, Homeopathy? Numbers? It’s either lazy, or incompetent or the truth is, ‘it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny’.

And I know I am going to be attacked by ladies in Leicester who used homeopathy with their breast cancer, or women in the Wirral who used Gerson for saying this. And I am sure that some people do get a benefit, just like some women do have their breast tumours shown up correctly on screening mammograms. But.

Here is the news.

The Australians have researched Homeopathy extensively and there’s nothing in it. Sorry homeopaths – you only have yourselves to blame.

The report concluded that there was NO reliable EVIDENCE that homeopathy can treat health conditions. The review came from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

They looked at reviews and research covering asthma to eczema, never mind the complicated stuff like cancer and diabetes.

Sure, the report is only a draft and homeopaths are now working hard to discredit it. But.

“There is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective for treating health conditions”.

”People who choose homeopathy instead of proven conventional treatment may put their health at risk if safe and evidence-based treatments are rejected or delayed in favour of homeopathic treatment.”

I’ll go along with that. It’s been exactly what I have thought since 2004. But, I did try. Promise.

The draft is now open for public consultation until May 26.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/homeopathy-dismissed-by-national-health-and-medical-research-council-review-20140408-36b9u.html#ixzz2yS9DZG6H

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What’s in your Vitamin Supplement??

People simply do not realize the rubbish that can be in cheaper vitamin supplements. And by ‘people’, I mean not just the sick, but doctors, researchers and even the scientists who prepare reports praising or condemning them.

Synthetic, deficient and dangerous?

The cheaper versions are often simply synthetic, and deficient versions of the real thing, like Thai copies of Gucci handbags. Should you be surprised when the handle drops off?

But this is your health you are messing with. And matters can get worse when you realise what ‘fillers’ and even toxic ingredients can be incorporated in the tablet.

Unfortunately, most research studies simply talk about ‘vitamin E improving your immune system’ (positive) or ‘vitamin E doing more harm than good’ (negative) without any sensible or responsible comment on the vitamin quality used.

Vitamin E is a classic example of confusion – even the mighty Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical School gets its commentary wrong on its website!

Vitamin E is available in nature in 8 related forms – 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. These cousins appear in foods from grains to greens. Memorial Sloan-Kettering refers to all the foods in nature you can find vitamin E within. However, Memorial Sloan-Kettering then refers to vitamin E as alpha-tocopherol, which it is not. Alpha-tocopherol is but one constituent. It certainly is NOT present in all those foods mentioned.

The same applies to UK high street vitamin E, which, thanks largely to EU ‘health’ restrictions is this same constituent form – alpha tocopherol – and, worse, invariably synthetic and made by the petrochemical industry. In a review of a number of research studies by the Nordic Cochrane Institute it was concluded that the ‘vitamin E’ was of little benefit and arguably did more harm than good. A similar issue is found with beta-carotene, which in nature is available in cis- and trans- forms, but in cheap varieties is just one synthetic copy.

To put this in context, experts are agreed that natural vitamin E is effective against ageing, cancer, oxidative damage, diabetes, eye problems and more. Conversely, synthetic petrol-derived vitamin E is an endocrine disrupter!

Unwanted additives

Next there are the ‘innocent additives’. Typically these may include cows’ dairy products, sugar (like maltodextrin), gluten, corn starch, soy products, hydrogenated vegetable oil and yeast.

Then there are warnings on bottles about contra-indications, some of which are relevant while others are little more than scaremongering clap-trap. Inconsistency rules. Sadly, the same doctors who advise patients not to take vitamin supplements whilst taking drugs routinely forget to mention that many drugs have contra-indications with grapefruit and its juice, or with dried meats and eggs.

Fillers and ‘excipients’

The American International Pharmaceutical Council has stated that, ‘Excipients are substances other than the pharmacologically active ingredients, which are included in the manufacturing process or are contained in a finished product. In many products, excipients make up the bulk of the total dosage form’ (Czap, AL, The Townsend Letter For Doctors and Patients, July 1999, Vol.192; pg.117-119).

And it should be noted that such fillers and additives in supplements can ‘cause allergic reactions, impede absorption, and have undesirable physiological effects’. Often manufacturers call such ‘fillers’ by words like ‘glaze’ or ‘natural vegetable coatings’.

Typical compounds include:

1. Magnesium stearate – used as a flow agent to keep manufacturing equipment working smoothly. Made from cottonseed oil. (Concerns have been raised about GMOs, pesticides, T-cell damage and inhibition of drug absorption, but all seem overclaims)

2. BHT (butyl hydroxyl-toluene) – laboratory made chemical, added to various foods and supplements, to prevent rancidity and oxidation. Supplements of it go with claims that it can treat lipid-coated viral disease. But Berkeley Wellness newsletter expresses concerns over safety – the Center for Science in the Public Interest lists BHT in its “caution” column. It may be harmful in high doses.

3. Boric acid – known to have anti-fungal and anti-yeast activities, it has been used as an antiseptic, insecticide and even a flame retardant. It is also connected to DNA damage.

4. Cupric sulphate – Green Med Info is concerned it can contribute to heavy metal toxicity. Can be used as a herbicide, fungicide and pesticide.

5. Sawdust – although you won’t find it on the label some tablets have been shown to contain sawdust.

6. Talcum powder – the same is true for talcum powder, which may have even been dyed.

7. Sodium benzoate – Used as a preservative to stop the presence of moulds and bacteria. Has a known effect against mitochondria.

You get what you pay for

While, there is ample evidence that the levels of the above are small and that they have no negative effects at those concentrations, the question is, ‘Why take cheap supplements containing them?’

In 2012 at The National Cancer Institute, Dr Young Kim produced a study on controlling stem-cell cancer tumours and their re-growth. In that study, Kim identified certain food compounds that could prevent a cancer re-growing, and went on to say, ‘All of the bioactive compounds could be found in quality supplements’.

So what is a quality supplement? The point is that many supplements simply do not fit the bill. Take common vitamin C. Research covered in Cancer Watch at the charity CANCERactive showed that supplementation with standard vitamin C did not increase plasma concentrations of anti-oxidant at all, whereas antioxidant activity from vitamin C from a squeezed orange lasted about 24 hours. According to research, only about 7% of vitamin C from a cheap supplement even makes it into the blood stream. Liposomal vitamin C (which can cost over 40 pounds a bottle) is a different matter. Natural vitamin E with all 8 tocopherols and tocotrienols can cost over 65 pounds.

The crucial questions then become, ‘How much are you prepared to pay for quality nutritional supplements?’, and, ‘Even at these high prices, are you clear you are not introducing chemicals of concern into your body?’

At least now you know what to look out for!

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One Great Fat Myth

As health experts like Mercola and Woollams have been telling you repeatedly, eating fat is not as bad for you as Health Authorities have led you to believe. There are certainly good fats and oils like fish oils, extra virgin olive oil, nut and seed oils, like flaxseed, coconut and walnut oil that clearly promote health. But is saturated fat and cholesterol so bad?

According to top American cardiologist Dr Chauncey Crandall, Director of the Palm Beach Cardiology Clinic, ‘No’. In his Heart Health programme he talks about the importance of cholesterol in your brain, as a precursor to vitamin D and hormones, to aid digestion and support the essential transporting functions of cell membranes. He lays the blame for heart disease on glucose and refined carbohydrates and preservatives in foods, talking of their role in chronic diseases from diabetes, to heart disease, to cancer.

Crandall argues that chronic inflammation caused by a number of factors from food additives to red meat and cows’ dairy causes inflammation in arteries, causing the fat to ‘stick’ to the walls. After calcium deposits collect on top of the fat, your fate is sealed.

Mercola has been talking about the importance of fat for 30 years; Woollams has been talking about the dangers of glucose and refined carbohydrates in the diet for a decade. CANCERactive has covered the dangers of glucose and the benefits of a Ketogenic Diet for almost as long. http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3117

If saturated fat is not so bad after all, what is the problem?

The FDA takes action on Trans Fats at last:

It would seem that the research often quoted by Mercola and Woollams on the dangers of trans fats has at last been heeded. Originally thought to have been so refined as to be inert, trans fats have increasingly been shown to be dangerous and even cancer causing. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., has studied the research and now announced that trans fats “are not generally recognized as safe for use in food.”.

Meanwhile Walter Willett, M.D., of Harvard School of Public Health has opined that the FDA conclusion is “strongly supported by massive scientific evidence that trans fat has many adverse effects on health’.

The benefits of Saturated Fat:

According to an article published in the prestigious British Medical Journal (October 22), saturated fat is NOT the cause of heart disease. In fact, the opposite is true. According to BMJ, : “The mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades. Yet scientific evidence shows that this advice has, paradoxically, increased our cardiovascular risks. Furthermore, the government’s obsession with levels of total cholesterol, which has led to the overmedication of millions of people with statins, has diverted our attention from the more egregious risk factor of atherogenic dyslipidaemia’.

Woollams in these columns and in his book ‘The Rainbow Diet’ (where he talks about the French Paradox – they eat more fat and consume more alcohol than many other natures but have less heart disease and less cancer) has talked about exactly this point and the mythology surrounding fat and the drive to get everybody on often unnecessary statins. Statins that can increase risks of diabetes and other illnesses by more than 30 per cent whilst reducing levels of essential coenzyme Q10 in the heart, muscles and brain. http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2027

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Burzynski – it’s all over now, surely?

A strange situation exists in America that is exploited by several top Cancer Hospitals: Take MD Anderson and Virotherapy or The Preston Robert Tisch Cancer Centre at Duke and Dendritic cell therapy. Both these treatments have some clinical evidence behind them to show there is potential. But, truthfully, that’s about all. So, when all other treatments fail, a phase III clinical trial is set up to give these therapies a whirl. And in some cases they have met with great success. Importantly, the ‘trial’ is well documented, even when people die.

The same ‘methodology and logic’ has been exploited by controversial Doctor Stanislaw Burzynski. The FDA gave some credibility to antineoplastons (complex peptides and peptide mixtures that seemed to be missing in cancer patients) and after nearly 20 years of fighting between the FDA and/or The Texas Medical Board and Burzynski, a lull in the storm saw Burzynski reach for the phase III clinical trial gambit, and continue to treat cancer patients at his clinic. The background to all this can be found here.)

But. Following a Panorama Programme where Burzynski refused to provide results to date saying the FDA forbade it, and the FDA saying he could provide data, I wrote several times to the Burzynski Clinic for clarification. Like Panorama, I received no satisfactory response.

Worse was then uncovered – An analysis of work to date seems to show that with several dozen phase II clinical trials started, he never published a completed phase II trial, although there have been a couple of preliminary reports.

A step change occurred in 2012, with an apparent treatment-related death of a child and this led the FDA to issue a partial clinical hold on the Burzynski Clinic, preventing him enrolling any new children on his clinical trials, although he could keep treating existing patients and enroll new adult patients.

This ‘hold’ was later extended to new adults when the FDA arrived to investigate the clinic. The result of the investigations? More bad news for Burzynski when he received a warning letter from the FDA. That warning covered issues such deficiencies in the Burzynski institutional review board (IRB), the committee responsible for making sure that the clinic falls in line with regulations designed to protect human subjects during ‘research’ (for example, by maintaining adequate documentation covering the functions and operations of the IRB.

This, to some, may just seem like a lack of red tape provisions. But these are supposed to be randomized clinical trials of human beings and the Burzynski clinic needs to be as meticulous as any drugs company, perhaps more so given previous controversies. What seems to have been happening is that the Burzynski has been using what are ‘expedited reviews’. However, taking single patient protocols for an investigational drug that is not FDA-approved does not fall into any of the categories for which expedited review is appropriate, particularly when so many of the patients involved are children.

But the question still remains – Let’s see the results.

And not just the positive ones; what about side-effects like hypernatremia? Again the FDA have presented two new reports and these include statements such as ‘Failure to monitor the progress of an investigation’ and ‘an investigation was not conducted in accordance with the signed statement of investigator and investigational plan’ and ‘failure to prepare or maintain adequate case histories with respect to observations and data pertinent to the investigation’.

All I can conclude from this is that we are very unlikely to get proper clinical trial data at all.

But it gets worse. The FDA noted that
1. ‘You did not have a QA monitor properly monitor CRFs [case report forms] and subject records’
2. ‘The investigator destroyed critical subject case history records (target tumor measurement worksheets) or misplaced case history records (original subject CRFs) for all subjects’
3. ‘Your MRI tumor measurements initially recorded at baseline and on-treatment MRI studies for all study subjects were destroyed and are not available for FDA inspectional review’
4. ‘You failed to monitor as required by Section 16 of your Monitoring Plan. The investigator did not report adverse events (AEs) experienced by study subjects, including 18 cases of hypernatremia’, and (worse still)
5. ‘You failed to protect the rights, safety, and welfare of subjects under your care – Forty-eight (48) subjects experienced 102 investigational overdoses between January 1, 2005 and February 22, 2013, according to the Weekly List of Hospitalizations/SAE [REDACTED] Overdose [redacted]/Catheter Infection report. There is no documentation to show that you have implemented corrective actions during this time period to ensure the safety and welfare of subjects’.

We last amended the write up in CANCERactive on Antineoplastons and The Burzynski Clinic after the Panorama report. At that time we asked ‘Where are the results?’ We shall shortly be revising it all again.

At CANCERactive we do not believe it correct to ignore ‘alternative’ cancer treatments. We try to explain what they are and what they are supposed to do, with research when it exists, but pointing out clearly if none exists. But the fact is the NCI has a review on its website about antineoplastons and the review seems positive. Wikipedia, even today, is surprisingly balanced. So, we will continue to tell patients what this is supposedly all about, but we will now answer our own question: Where are the results? And the answer is ‘Nowhere’.

People touched by cancer who contemplate spending large amounts of money to go to the Burzynski Clinic need to be absolutely clear on this latest information and factor it in to their decision making process.

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Chemotherapy doesn’t work very well because you’re fat!

No, seriously. It’s your own fault your chemotherapy didn’t work very well. According to a September research study in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Journal of Clinical Oncology, the amount of chemotherapy drugs should increase with body weight.

The fatter you are, the more drugs you will need. At least that’s what Big Pharma is now saying ably supported by a number of top oncologists in America. Apparently, their concern is that as waistlines increase, people are being ‘under-treated’ by as much as 85 per cent!! No wonder the drugs didn’t work.

There’s a slight biochemical hic-cough with this view. You may be fatter, but it is unlikely that your tumour will be much bigger than a thin person’s, nor that it is growing any faster, and the organ it has attacked may be no bigger either. If it is growing faster, all the recent research suggests that this is because a fat person’s blood glucose levels are likely to be higher than those of a thin person – but that’s a different issue requiring a different solution. Conversely, Calorie Restriction seems to make chemo more effective as we covered earlier in 2013. But there again, as CANCERactive covered at the time, Big Pharma thinks doses of chemo should be higher with Calorie Restriction too (?).

So, what the heck?! Fat and high blood glucose, or, thin and low blood glucose? ‘Supersize’ them now’ is the cry from Big Pharma.

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Skeptic conspiracy – it’s no theory

When Professor David Colquhoun erroneously suggested in his 2012 blog that Chris Woollams was using the charity CANCERactive for ‘Private Gain’, it precipitated a chain of events that could be followed easily by anyone with a twitter account. Ironically, it has exposed the skeptic community. Some are shills, stooges, with interests in ‘action groups’ funded by big Pharma, while others are clearly using their anti-CAM websites as money making ventures, capturing personal data from innocent visitors – those coming through the attacks on Woollams, almost certainly with cancer. It’s a sorry, sad mess and only the genuine patient suffers. It begs the question ‘Dare any sensible person visit any of their websites’? To do so is to read a biased, sometimes absurd, inaccurate and even defamatory report at best, whilst potentially exposing your personal data and identity far more than you could ever imagine. The worst case scenario is that your data could even be sold on to third parties.

The claim by Colquhoun was clearly not an issue about science – Woollams took it as personal defamation. Some might call it a lie. Chris didn’t run the charity, he gives his many hours for free, the related ‘business’ he was claimed to be running was no such thing but a dormant company that had never even traded and used to park a trading company whilst a buyer was found. All this would have been scrutinised by Colquhoun’s expert lawyers. Worse for Colquhoun, the accountants for all the relevant companies provided evidence that Woollams took no funding from anywhere. Colquhoun’s lawyers told him to take his claims down – he then made a formal apology to Woollams, even at one point tweeting that the ‘research’ on which he had based his claims was flawed and he wanted to move on.

Most rational people would think that should be the end of the matter.

Selektive attacks?

But Colquhoun is a Skeptic, one of a gang of Skeptics totally focussed on rubbishing complementary therapies and their messengers. Colquhoun also has ‘form’. In the past he has called Patrick Holford, ‘Holfraud’ (more lawyer involvement) but more usually he likes to pick on little people; Dr Alan Lakin and his wife were another example of his ill considered claims. They just wrote to the Provost of UCL where Colquhoun is employed. Their complaint resulted in a formal joint statement with UCL saying that Colquhoun could carry on using the UCL website providing he stuck to being sceptical about science and didn’t attack individuals. Some while later, he was kicked off the UCL server. Attacks on individuals have never stopped.

It is a common theory that Skeptics are funded by Big Pharma. There is, of course, little evidence of payments to individuals. Only recently the attacks on What Doctors Don’t Tell You again focussed attention on Sense about Science, a Pharma-funded skeptic organization in the United Kingdom. At least 40 per cent of their funding in the years 2004-10 came from Big Pharma, according to detailed analysis by a consumer group, H:MC21. This amount increased when attacks were strengthened against homeopathy.

The orchestration of misleading and inaccurate disinformation

When Colquhoun was threatened with legal action by Woollams, the tweets flew. Twitter is a medium much used by Skeptics and trolls alike and it has been described as an ‘Echo chamber’ because it is often used by people who want to verbally pat each other on the back. It is not unusual for some people to send hundreds of tweets a day. The tweets are public.

Colquhoun was on record tweeting Simon Singh. Singh is a mathematician, writer, journalist and has been a leading light in Sense about Science. He had a squabble with some Chiropractors and ended up in the High Court where a judge correctly ruled the High Court was no place for a scientific argument and slung the combatants out. The Skeptics consider this a ‘win’ because he didn’t have to pay a hefty damages bill to the chiropractors. What they don’t want is a ‘loss’ and Colquhoun at this point must have looked rather a liability.

Singh then tweeted openly to the Skeptics and received responses from several, for example Josephine Jones and Lecanardnoir. An interesting tweet came from Alan Henness, a colleague of Singh’s and a ‘pal’ from Sense about Science, who tweeted ‘Poor Chris Woollams’, as plans for attack were drawn up. Henness, who has an IT background, runs the Nightingale Collaboration, an ‘organisation’ that attacks complementary therapists throughout Britain if he feels they make inaccurate claims. It is probably irrelevant to Henness that Florence Nightingale used complementary therapies, natural sunshine, herbs and homeopathy to treat patients. Instead, he and his cronies try to suppress complementary therapists with threats about reporting them to the Advertising Standards Authority and Trading Standards. Many supporters who meet in pubs are probably blissfully unaware of their new-found Pharmaceutical company connections.

Josephine Jones
is also a prodigious production line for complaints, but has already been politely told by the ASA to ‘limit’ her energies. ‘Josephine Jones’ is a figment of someone’s imagination – a nom de guerre. Jones is made out to be a ‘former scientist’. So ‘she’ could be a ‘he’ and could be Claire from Liverpool or Edward from California with a diploma in ‘computer sciences’ and IT like most of the key skeptics; ‘She’ could even be a Pharmaceutical company shill, we have no way of knowing. ‘Her’ writings have been inaccurate, misleading and even downright dangerous as we all saw in ‘her’ ridiculous critique of Woollams book and ‘her’ frightening ignorance over glucose. ‘She’ appears to have no serious credentials in medicine or the biological sciences.

With Lecanardnoir, and Guy Chapman it is simpler. They have definitely have none. Of course, that doesn’t stop them pontificating on the perils of homeopathy and other complementary therapies.

With many of the skeptic gang, there may well be inaccuracy or exaggerated claims, and even defamation and the occasional lie.

Sometimes their comment is absolutely factually wrong, for example: http://www.homeopathyheals.me.uk/site/skeptic-watch/3198-guy-chapman-waxes-lyrical-about-hahnemanns-aphorisms-and-gets-it-wrong. The title says it all.

Lecanardnoir turned up to a debate in Dartington where he was on a panel of commentators about ‘Integrative’ approaches to medicine. (http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3232&Title=Does%20Integrated%20Medicine%20make%20sense?) Who invited him when there are genuine experts all over Britain, goodness knows. According to another panellist, he had to be repeatedly corrected for his inaccuracies by Simon Mills, a Cambridge graduate and founder of the School of Complementary Medicine at Exeter University, Penninsular. But then, poor love, lecanardnoir is really Andy Lewis who works in computing. Not that this stops him from running a blog which features a ‘Quackometer’ no less, allowing him alone to decide who is a quack and who isn’t. The irony seems to be lost on him.

Guy Chapman is a self-confessed ‘computer nerd’ according to his LinkedIn site. He seems to write blogs 24/7. Why does he have so much time? He is an Affiliate Marketer by trade. What’s one of those? Well, Affiliate Marketers aim to capture personal data (for example, by using cookies), profile it, and then ‘groom’ people until they click on advertisements for products that might be relevant to them. The Affiliate Marketer then gets paid by click, and/or by commission from sales. It is business – and for some, very big business. So, apart from any personal convictions he may have, it’s Chapman’s ‘job’ to write blogs – they fuel his business with the replies they receive.

Chapman immediately wrote four blogs in three days on Woollams and CANCERactive. He became Colquhoun’s new best friend with the confused Colquhoun both apologising to Woollams while simultaneously providing links to Chapman’s verbose vitriol. Not that Chapman confines his defamatory comments to Woollams – you should see what he writes about Burzynski and Errol Denton (a blood analyst who accused him of racism). Four-letter words abound in uncontrolled rants.

But then this is also the case at RationalWiki, a website that seems to repeat many of the musings of Chapman almost verbatim. Chapman did originally ‘work’ for the real Wikipedia as an administrator but parted company with them in less than perfect circumstances. RationalWiki has been dubbed ‘Irrational Wacky’ and it is easy to see why. Just read their vitriol on the Daily Mail where every journalist merits a four letter expletive and you will instantly understand that this website is a spider’s web, there to trap innocent visitors erroneously thinking it might have sensible views on science.

Colquhoun took his rambling and inaccurate blog on CANCERactive down from the internet. It was replaced almost instantly by a similar load of garbage with the same title from Josephine Jones. The Skeptics try to build blogs which climb to positions right under the subjects they are attacking on Internet search engines so that, in this case, people with cancer will click on their website articles to read what they say by design or accident. This serves a double purpose – it aims to discredit the attacked (CANCERactive), whilst increasing the importance of the attacker’s website in the ‘eyes’ of the search engines. Thus the Skeptics use subjects like Burzynski, Denton, The Daily Mail and CANCERactive to power their own feeble websites up the Google rankings.

Next and unsurprisingly, after about a dozen positive 5-star reviews on Chris Woollams’ excellent book ‘Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’, there were suddenly two negative reviews by – you’ve guessed it – alias Jones and Chapman.

Woollams was even attacked by another ‘secretive’ website – the Daily Quack. This usually attacks a small healer in Yorkshire or an acupuncturist in Manchester, people who can’t afford to defend themselves. But the writers had a pop at Chris Woollams, also claiming he lived on a sprawling estate in Buckinghamshire (he lives abroad and has done for 20 years) and that he was their new lead writer, which he is not. Of course, again, some innocent followers of Woollams – people with cancer – will click on this website thinking they really will find words of wisdom from him there.

One of the, now devalued, Colquhoun’s recurrent attacking themes against CANCERactive was that they ‘repeatedly’ broke the 1939 Cancer Act and that Trading Standards were useless in doing nothing. This theme was then taken up vociferously by Guy Chapman. Indeed, the sceptics organised a number of formal complaints to Trading Standards. The Trustees of CANCERactive then asked Trading Standards for a once-and-for-all definitive ruling and the matter was referred to the Government body, the MHRA.

The outcome? Both the MHRA and Trading Standards concluded that the 3600 page CANCERactive website was perfectly legal. Yet Chapman still has inaccurate blogs posted about CANCERactive breaking the law.

False identities aim to fool readers

A number of these skeptic websites are anonymous – Skeptics frequently use monikers. Why?

1. Some of the people have credible jobs and their employers might not like them using four letter words to rubbish people doing their best to help cancer patients for no personal reward.
2. Some of the Skeptics clearly lie about their subject. The legal word is defammation. If you use a moniker, hide your IP address with a proxy server etc, you are virtually untraceable if a lawyer comes looking for you. Hiding in rat holes somehow seems appropriate.
3 Some of the secret skeptics could well be paid directly or indirectly by Big Pharma. They could even currently work in a pharmaceutical company. How would any members of the public know?
4 A number of websites may be owned by just one person writing under several monikers. It was a tactic employed, for example, by Guy Chapman when at Wikipedia. If you have proxy accounts in false names, you can build a web of ‘people’ who seem to agree with you. This provides heightened credibility for your claims when in reality they may be devoid of evidence and complete trash.
5. You can also launch co-ordinated attacks. Chapman spent several weeks claiming Woollams was dishonest, while the message from Jones was that he used no research. Neither is true (Colquhoun took their posts down off his site after Woollams suggested he asked his lawyers for a view!)
6 No one knows which websites are linked. Affiliate marketers use a dashboard to see all their accounts in different names. It is possible that the fabricated Jones, Guy Chapman’s Blahg, Chapman Central (blahg.chapmancentral.co.uk), RationalWiki and more are all linked. An innocent cancer patient clicks on one website to read something about homeopathy and their data is collected by someone else.

This anonymity is supported by the use (abuse) of media contacts and of the word ‘experts’ and such-like. For example, ‘experts’ are appalled by the increasing use of complementary therapies in Britain. Actually real experts are not!

Collecting personal data for Private Gain

So, you visit a website mistakenly thinking Woollams is a contributor. The ‘secret’ owner captures your e mail address. They then put a ‘spider’ on this. A spider can profile you and provide basic information – age, male/female etc simply from the ‘secret’ information you gave when you signed up for an e mail account. BUT. Other spiders can use your e mail address to provide lists of all your contacts’ e mails over the years – all your friends and colleagues and their contacts. And they get profiled too. Some clever spiders cross-link all the social media websites and can thus provide data of your likes and far more about you. And this all goes into the Affiliate Marketer’s database and you are categorized by your age, interests, diseases, likes, whatever. All ready to then use the innocent ‘victim’ for personal gain.

How ironic that this all started because Woollams was accused of using a charity for personal gain.

Affiliate Marketers court controversy – if they write that Burzynski is a good man and raises money for the poor, no one will read their blogs. They need to write vitriolic attacks. Who cares whether it is true or defamatory. The newspaper, the Sunday Sport, showed the way with absurd headlines – so let’s hear it Guy … ‘Errol Denton ate my Hamster’. And that’s what the affiliate marketing skeptics are about.

Complementary Therapy is potentially big business

Complementary and Alternative medicine is a rich seam of leads for them. 80,000 practitioners in the UK alone; but of course blogs reach a worldwide audience, so the real figure is far higher. Also a staggering two thirds of patients now use a complementary therapy.

Even if a secret Skeptic is not an affiliate marketer, lists of profiled potential customers derived from their websites could be sold for approximately 8 pounds a thousand names. Some websites can accumulate a million names a year. It is not illegal to create and sell data lists.

Add it all up – it is huge business. So who is involved? Colquhoun, Singh, Jones, Jones, Henness, Chapman? Who knows? Maybe none apart from Chapman? Maybe the rest are just gullible innocents? Maybe they all genuinely think all CAM is quackery? But, really, in this secretive world of Pharma funding and false names and proxy websites, can you trust any of their websites not to collect and, even unwittingly, pass on your data?

Chapman is a top affiliate marketer. He gives speeches around the world. His website uses cookies which will become embedded into your computer to take data. He even sells spiders.

WARNING: VISIT A SKEPTIC SITE AT YOUR PERIL. THEY MAY CAPTURE YOUR DATA AND USE IT.

True scepticism and the emergence of non-drug therapies

What a sorry mess: Big pharma sponsoring ‘action groups’; lackeys and shills co-ordinating attacks on subjects like What Doctors Don’t Tell You and CANCERactive, while other skeptics simply fuel their own businesses capturing your personal details.

And, in all this, what happened to true scepticism? Where people with honest opinions could ask if Photodynamic Therapy (just going into Clinical Trials) was a genuine non-invasive alternative to drugs; or, similarly, Ablation (the use of energy from sources such as Ultrasound to heat up and kill cancers)? It has been used successfully with both prostate and breast cancers. Then there is the use of virotherapy and Dr Moira Brown’s successful clinical work with brain cancers. Or Dendritic Cell therapy and a few more coming fast.

It is easy to see why the skeptics are out in force. We could be witnessing the start of the last days of the Pharma Empire. The momentum of non-invasive alternative therapies (at significant savings both financially and in terms of patient stress) is almost too hard for them to stop.

Thank goodness.

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Beating cancer with chemotherapy and better drugs

The mythology of cancer sees many claims. One of which is that we are beating cancer due to earlier diagnosis and better drugs. Let us consider the available research on chemotherapy – for almost every cancer patient treated with drugs is still, inevitably, given at least one round of good old chemotherapy.

Available research evidence does indeed point to chemotherapy having a positive effect for some cancer patients.

Let’s start here:

(1) The Department of Oncology at North Sydney Cancer Centre in 2004 published a report evaluating chemotherapy over the years and concluded that ‘it only made a minor contribution to survival’. The figures they came up with were 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in America. In Britain there are 320,000 people diagnosed with cancer a year. About 60 per cent have chemo (although some of these people do not actually have cancer and were misdiagnosed by mammograms etc). Being generous and assuming no misdiagnoses, that would mean that chemotherapy had an effect on about 3,600 people. I cannot tell you from the research whether ‘effect’ means they were cured or whether they reached 5-year survival, or what. Sorry, I didn’t find the research very clear on that point.

(2) Somewhat alarmingly, last year we had the report from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle that concluded ‘Chemotherapy can cause cancer to return’. Note that they did not say, ‘we know cancer can return after chemo’, which is how Cancer Research responded to this study. They said CAUSE – apparently chemotherapy can cause healthy cells to produce a protein WNT16B and this is taken up by cancer cells – it helps them re-grow and even protects them from the next round of chemotherapy.

You may feel that all this misses an important point and that drugs have moved on – chemo is past it; old hat: Drugs like Tamoxifen, Aromatase Inhibitors and Herceptin are not really chemotherapy agents, and you’d be right. In 2012 a couple of reports shed some light on the current state of play.

(3) Firstly, one study (lead by Professor Carlos Caldas – reported in Nature) had Cancer Research all excited. A ‘landmark study’ from their Cambridge Institute showed there were 10 different ‘clusters’ of breast cancer types. ‘No longer does one size fit all’ they cried at CRUK. (It would be churlish of me to mention that CANCERactive have been saying that for ten years, but what the heck). In the future CRUK are suggesting they can more accurately develop treatments for each cluster. The problem at the moment is that there are only treatments for two of the clusters, the Tamoxifen/AIs one and the ‘HER-2 targeted therapy using Herceptin’ cluster. So here’s a real improvement: 2 out of 10 is better that 2.3 per cent.

(4) Unfortunately, the excitement was crushed somewhat when three research studies reported on the existence of Cancer Stem Cells at the heart of tumours. A couple of UK cancer centres (Bart’s Hospital and the Blizzard Institute, London) have even isolated these nasty little cells. Apparently, if you don’t kill them off, they can re-grow.

In one of the three studies (from the University of Texas South Western Medical Centre), there were statements such as ‘Cancer Stem cells are in charge of tumours’, and the lead researcher, Dr Louis Parada and the other researchers added, ‘In the past we have tried to get rid of the entire stew of cancer cells. But shrinking a tumour by 50% is irrelevant. No current drugs tackle cancer stem cells – but at least we now know what to go after’.

(5) We are by no means ‘against chemotherapy’ at Junk Science UK, we just think the mythology and the hype needs to be calmed down. Perhaps the final words should therefore go to Duke’s University Medical Centre in Carolina who in their 2012 report concluded that ‘Patients with cancer are largely being mislead into believing that the drug they are being offered is somehow going to cure them’.

Oh dear.

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Chemotherapy doesn’t ‘cure’ cancer shock! False hopes dampened

Mainstream medical researchers are finally starting to admit that toxic chemotherapy drugs do absolutely nothing to cure cancer, and often cause cancer patients to die much more quickly than they otherwise would apart from getting the so-called “treatment.” Dr. Deborah Schrag from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and her colleagues let the cat out of the bag in a recent study they published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which revealed that most cancer patients have no idea that their disease will never be cured as a result of chemotherapy.

According to the study’s findings, as many as 69 percent of terminally ill lung cancer patients and 81 percent of terminally ill colorectal patients have no idea that chemotherapy drugs are fully incapable of curing their cancers. Though they are said to potentially help some cancer patients live slightly longer lives, chemotherapy drugs admittedly do not stop the growth or spread of cancer cells and tumors, which means many of the patients who opt for the treatment are not being told the full truth about its major shortcomings.

“There is a lot of harm in not having patients understand the finality of the disease,” said Dr. Hossein Borghaei, an oncologist from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, who was not involved in the research. “[Chemotherapy drugs] are very powerful, they have a lot of side effects, the chemotherapy is going to harm you more than it helps you, and it can actually shorten your life. All of this should be taken into account.”

Dr. Borghaei’s statements are chilling because they affirm what we have been saying here at Natural News for quite some time — that chemotherapy is nothing but a sham “treatment” that puts cancer patients through needless pain and suffering while making the cancer industry rich. And perhaps the most disturbing part about this now-normalized form of medical quackery is that oncologists typically fail to disclose to their patients the fact that chemotherapy does not even cure cancer, which gives them false hope.

UK cancer charity, CANCERactive, has also covered several stories recently on the subject of chemotherapy – all can be found in Cancer Watch (http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2319&Title=Latest Cancer Research).

For example:

1. Chemotherapy can actually cause cancers to strengthen and return in the longer run.
2. Since Chemotherapy doesn’t kill off the cancer stem cells, the cancer will return.
3. Some bioactive natural compounds can kill off cancer stem cells.
4. Australian and American research studies show an effect in just 2% of patients since chemotherapy was regularly introduced.
5. the term ‘cancer management’ is rapidly replacing terms like ‘life-saving drugs’ and ‘cancer cure’ because pharmaceutical companies actually know that the truth is, chemotherapy doesn’t cure.

Both Natural News in America and CANCERactive in the UK regularly cover research on the Junk Science behind chemotherapy, which (for example) despite claims that new biologics are the weapons of choice, is still given to virtually every person with cancer at the present time.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037768_chemotherapy_oncologists_hype.html#ixzz2AyzKVgbs

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Questionable research, inaccurate conclusions, poor taste

Professor David Colquhoun of UCL has formally apologised to Chris Woollams for suggesting that he made money from his work for the charity CANCERactive. The apology will run on Professor Colquhoun’s homepage of the site ‘DC’s Improbable Science’, and will be communicated electronically to all his followers. This apology has avoided a libel case against Colquhoun with significant potential costs and damages.

‘In the worst possible taste’

Chairman of the CANCERactive Trustees, Larry Brooks, said that any inference that Chris Woollams was making money from the death of his own daughter, Catherine, ‘beggars belief’, was ‘simply atrocious’ and ‘in the worst possible taste’.‘Chris’ daughter Catherine died from a brain tumour; no orthodox medicine cures this disease. But Chris and Catherine discovered a lot of natural compounds and treatments that could prolong her life. Catherine wanted a magazine in Hospitals that told people their options; Chris was asked by Doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital to write down what he had found out. Chris and Catherine founded icon; he wrote a bestselling book; the charity is ten years old and has a Medical Board of Oncologists and Doctors overseeing content. 3600 pages of possible causes, orthodox therapies and complementary and alternative options. Over 1.3 million people came to the site this year and the hits are growing all the time. A dozen or more Oncologists have written articles for us in the last few months – it’s all a tribute to Chris and Catherine’s efforts.

Chris’ own philanthropy, plus the profits from all of his books, writings and speeches, make a significant contribution to the charity, the magazine icon and the website for CANCERactive. Chris works tirelessly for no financial reward. While patients praise him for his efforts and generosity, ‘Skeptics’ like Colquhoun make crass and ridiculous accusations. In my view UCL should now give some serious thought to the future employment of Colquhoun. Is this really the sort of individual who should be setting standards for the young at our Universities?’

Chris was forced to threaten a libel action after Colquhoun posted the second of two potentially defamatory blogs on his ‘DC’s Improbable Science’ website. In 2006 he had suggested Chris had set up the CANCERactive site for personal gain but removed the offending comments when Chris explained he had set up the Charity in memory of his daughter. Chris explained then that he originally funded the site to the tune of 150,000 pounds so that all people with cancer might benefit. Colquhoun even replied at the time that he ‘did not have that sort of money’.

Repeated inaccuracy

The new attacks came after Charity patron Janice Day had pointed out numerous inaccuracies in the original DC’s Improbable Science blog. Rather than correct the inaccuracies, Colquhoun, a known ‘Skeptic’, chose to attack the charity again calling some of its claims ‘absurd’, and then referred his readers to the website of an “independent consultant” (who writes under an assumed name), whom Colquhoun lauded as being “very interesting” having supposedly looked into Chris’ business affairs. As a result Colquhoun suggested that Charity law preventing use of charities for private gain was being broken, which, if true would of course put the charity’s charitable status at risk. Despite Chris then detailing, yet again, that he had never taken a penny from the charity but made significant annual donations to it (which were a matter of public record), that a former ‘sister company’, Health Issues, was still in his debt, and that the ‘research’ into his business affairs was nothing of the sort, Colquhoun chose to run Chris’ comments but continued with his own wild claims. Chris threatened to sue for libel. Colquhoun appointed lawyers, the whole blog was removed immediately and he has now apologised to Chris.

Is this what we should expect from a Professor of Science at UCL?

Of the settlement, Chris Woollams said ‘Frankly, can anybody now trust a word this man says when he seems prepared just to quote any old bit of ‘research’ from someone with no relevant qualifications, takes no steps (so far as I know) to check its accuracy, including the most basic step of asking me to comment before publication and worse, uses it to draw completely ludicrous and inaccurate conclusions? Then when his mistakes are pointed out – as could have been confirmed if he had made proper enquiries – he continues to blindly run the original accusations!

In this instance he has been uncovered and had to apologise. But in other areas outside his expertise of pharmacology (the study of drugs) – like nutrition and oncology where he frequently pontificates – how can anyone now believe his claims there hold any credibility either? The use, and even praise of this type of ‘research’, extrapolated to draw false conclusions which he persists with even though his errors are pointed out to him – is this what we should expect from a Professor of Science?

But then isn’t this example true of almost all the skeptics? A cocktail of computer programmers, journalists, geologists with the occasional physics degree thrown in, all ‘judging’ the merits of nutrition, complementary and alternative therapies when they have neither qualification nor research expertise in the specialist field. Some even ‘advise patients’ through their websites and blogs. Many attack complementary therapies and therapists, often in a deliberate and concerted effort. When Colquhoun stood accused, several rushed, unthinkingly, to his defence, proclaiming that I was trying to stop a scientific debate through the law courts. They all missed the truth – but can they read accurately? Tweets gushed between Colquhoun, Simon Singh, Josephine Jones, Guy Chapman and others. One asked if the recipient could find inaccuracy in the CANCERactive website. Oh dear. So some then started writing verbose and inaccurate drivel about CANCERactive with others even contributing to Colquhoun’s defence costs on ‘Just Giving’! One wrote that she ‘didn’t always agree with what he said but she defended his right to say it!’ His right to inaccurately suggest a father was profiting from his own daughter’s death? This was never a debate about science but about decency. Shame on you all.

Skeptics proclaim they are somehow ‘protecting patients’ when in reality, many patients have now wised up to their misleading and potentially life-shortening and even life-threatening antics with ignorant claims against nutrition and complementary therapies. The American Cancer Society 2012 research report (now endorsed by the NCI in America) talks of an ‘explosion’ in research into complementary therapies since 2006, and the spokesperson talked of ‘overwhelming’ evidence that complementary therapies such as diet, exercise and weight control could increase survival times and even prevent a cancer returning. Is this really the sort of knowledge we should be keeping from people with cancer? When will Skeptics wise up to the potential harm they are doing?

Colquhoun’s apology is sadly yet more evidence of the misleading and vacuous opinions of skeptics at large’.

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