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-woo in medicine.

BBC Panorama investigates Stanislaw Burzynski (David Gorski) The BBC has finally aired a long-awaited investigation of the Burzynski Clinic entitled “Cancer: Hope for Sale?” The documentary does a decent job of taking on Burzynski, but it could have been much better. They could have challenged him more aggressively in the interview and could have included other important information about his misdeeds. A link to the documentary is provided so you can view it and judge for yourselves.

Knee Osteoarthritis: Thumbs Down for Acupuncture and Glucosamine (Harriet Hall) The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has issued a 200 page report reviewing all the evidence for treating osteoarthritis of the knee with various medications, procedures, and modalities. They concluded that there is strong evidence against any efficacy for acupuncture and glucosamine. Also against arthroscopic lavage/debridement and hyaluronic acid injections. On the other hand, there is strong evidence that exercise is effective.


Don’t Text and Drive (Steven Novella) Cell phones, even hands-free devices, are a risk to drivers because of distraction and slower reactions to emergencies. The implications of recent research are clear: to minimize accident risk, avoid mobile devices and other distractions while driving.

CAM Docket: Kardashian Diet Products Klass Action (Jann Bellamy) The Kardashians promote “QuickTrim” diet products. Class action lawsuits in two states allege that the Kardashians and the company made false and misleading statements in violation of several state and federal consumer protection laws. Lawsuits are not the best way to deal with unscrupulous diet supplement companies, but they’re the best we can expect under existing laws.

Science-Based Medicine Site Upgrades (Joe Fulgham) Announcement of a complete makeover and reorganization of the website.

Two Viewpoints (Mark Crislip) Real medicine is based on reality. CAM practices are based on bias and unreality. Ethical evidence-based persuasion is impossible when there is no evidence but only “experience.” The systematic review system is not a reliable way to understand the therapeutic efficacy of treatments based on fiction.