Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
The future of cancer therapy? (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-future-of-cancer-therapy/ CAM providers claim to provide individualized care, but only science-based medicine can offer truly individualized care based on fact. Genomics is a very promising route to individualization that has had a few stunning successes in cancer therapy. More widespread applications will have to wait for major advances to overcome technical difficulties and knowledge deficits.
Why Do They Do Studies Like This? (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/why-do-they-do-studies-like-this/ A recent study claimed to show that a mixture of two herbs improves sleep quality. It had such serious design flaws that its findings were meaningless; it didn’t even use a control group. Why are scarce research dollars being wasted on poor quality studies like this?
Obamacare and CAM (Jann Bellamy) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/obamacare-and-cam/ The Affordable Care Act has the potential to put a dent in the forced coverage of pseudoscientific health care. Evidence and cost effectiveness considerations will drive decisions about insurance coverage and state mandates. Mechanisms are in place that could remove CAM from essential benefits packages.
The Spirit of St. Louis Renault (Mark Crislip) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-spirit-of-louis-renault/ The Huffington Post constantly promotes false health care claims and alternative medicine nonsense, but in a show of hypocrisy, it professed to be shocked that alternative medicine was allowed to make false claims that led to murder. A schizophrenic went off his meds to follow a TrueHope treatment program of vitamins that have been called “Pig Pills.” His disease worsened and he beat his father to death and severely injured his mother.