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The Dismal Success of Anti-Cancer Treatments

عبدالرحمن حسن علي
مؤســس المنتدى
مؤســس المنتدى
ذكر
الجنسية :
عدد المشاركات عدد المشاركات : 16042
تقييم المشترين تقييم المشترين : 49
واتساب واتساب : 201289700022
معاينة صفحة البيانات الشخصي للعضو

في الإثنين 22 أغسطس - 18:45

A placebo is a term that describes the administration of a sugar
pill or dummy procedure in order to test whether a drug or procedure is
more effective than the power of belief. In an article in the Guardian
(Thursday, June 20, 2002), Jerome Burne reported that "new research
suggests that placebos work surprisingly well, ­ in fact, rather better
than some conventional drugs."
A placebo (which literally means,
"I shall please") is included as an indispensable element of every
scientific study conducted today. The placebo effect is purely based on
the subjective feelings of a person. Each person who is tested for the
efficacy of a medical drug believes in the drug in a unique and
unpredictable way. A certain number of people may have a hopeful,
trusting disposition and, therefore, a stronger placebo response than
others. Others may be suffering from depression, which is known to
affect a person's ability to respond positively to any kind of
treatment. As a result, one study may "prove" a particular drug to be
effective for, let us say, a certain kind of cancer. However, if a
repeat experiment is conducted with different subjects, this drug may
turn out to be ineffective when compared to the placebo response.
For
this reason, pharmaceutical companies instruct their paid researchers
to publish only the most favorable findings from these various
experiments. Those parts of the study where the drug has had no or only
an insignificant advantage over the placebo effect are simply omitted
from the study's final report.
The drug companies reporting their
findings to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only need to prove
that the tested drug has shown some benefit in some people. If the
researchers manage to recruit enough candidates with a positive
disposition that are likely to produce a good placebo response to the
drug treatment, they may hit the jackpot and produce a "convincing"
study, and a marketable drug.
This is a no-brainer for drug makers
since FDA approval is granted to anti-cancer drugs based on response
rates that are at best in the 10-20 percent. In addition, the "success"
of most clinical cancer studies is measured by tumor shrinkage instead
of mortality rate. In other words, even if most of the subjects died but
had their tumors shrunk through aggressive treatments, the study would
be hailed as a great success and a medical breakthrough.
Any such
attempt to treat the human body as if it were a machine that just
responds to mechanical or chemical manipulation is bound to have serious
setbacks. Such an approach is not only unscientific, but also unethical
and potentially harmful. For many cancer patients whose immune systems
are already compromised, just one dose of chemotherapy or radiation can
turn out to be fatal.
Senior cancer physician, Dr. Charles Moertel
of the famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, once aptly
summarized the modern cancer treatment dilemma in the following words:
"Our most effective regimens are fraught with risks and side effects and
practical problems, and after this price is paid by all the patients we
have treated, only a small fraction are rewarded with a transient
period of usually incomplete tumor regression."
The success record
of modern cancer therapy is dismal, significantly less than even the
weakest placebo response. On the average, remission occurs in only about
7 percent of cancer patients. Moreover, there is no evidence that this
discouragingly low 7 percent "success rate" results from the treatments
offered; it could just as well be in spite of the treatments. This is
more likely, since not treating cancer at all has a much higher success
rate than treating it. A drug treatment that promises temporary tumor
shrinkage in 10 percent of patients is not a promising therapy; rather,
it is a dangerous gamble with their life.




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