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Cancer Studies

MANY CANCER STUDIES CAN’T BE REPRODUCED

After eight years, a project that tried to reproduce the results of key cancer biology studies has finally concluded now. Their findings suggest that the diseases research has a replication problem.

Cancer Experiments

The group tried to replicate 193 experiments from 53 top cancer studies papers published from 2010 to 2012. However, only 25% of those experiments were able to be reproduced. What’s more of the 50 experiments from 23 papers that were reproduced effect sizes were, on average, 85% lower than those reported in the original experiments. Effect size indicates how big an effect found in a study is. For example, two studies might find that a certain chemical kills disease cells, but the chemical kills 80% of cells in one experiment but only 30% in a different experiment.

“The report tells us a lot about the culture and realities of the way cancer biology works, and it’s not a flattering picture at all,” says Jonathan Kimmelman, a bioethicist at McGill University in Montreal. It’s worrisome if experiments that can’t be reproduced are used to launch clinical trials or drug development efforts, Kimmelman says. If it turns out that the science on which a drug is based is not reliable, “it means that patients are needlessly exposed to drugs that are unsafe and that really don’t have a shot at making an impact on cancer,” he says.

Cancer Studies On Nutraceutical

This lack of reproducibility in the field of cancer education invariably extends to other areas of medicine. Does this same situation pertain to the testing of vitamins and herbs? I would not be surprised. Sales representatives frequently come knocking on our clinic door extolling the virtue of a particular Nutraceutical, but in clinical practice these foods with “health-giving” additives often under perform in the cancer studies.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

Renaissance Health Centre in Las Vegas offers a comprehensive approach to healing the whole person in addition to Holistic Medicine and Homeopathy via a group of Mind-body practices, including: Acupuncture, Yoga, Meditation, and Hypnotherapy.

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