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Enema Study and Discrimination?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    A study testing a controversial pancreatic cancer treatment that uses coffee enemas should by all rights be nearly complete.

    But three years into it, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez has only 25 of the 90 patients he needs to complete recruitment for the trial.

    His clinical trial has been stalled by economics, logistics and outright prejudice against the twice-daily enema regimen, despite a promising pilot study.

    "I'm the first person to say it: In the oncology world I'm a very controversial guy," Gonzalez said. "But we're trying to do very serious research."

    Does this suck, or what?
    Just because he isn't popular and the method used is against some of the more basic studies the guy can't complete his study?

    See full story here.
  2. DSL Dan

    DSL Dan Registered User

    Here is the <u>real</u> reason his study is going nowhere--the same reason there is so little work done on nutritional supplemets and plant benefits. No big $$$ to be made.
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Bummer, no?
  4. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    The real reason he's having trouble completing his study is because his treatment regimen is scientifically unsound.
    He's not unpopular, or controversial, he's a quack and a fraud.
    Just my opinion!
    Of course, opinions are like....
    oh, never mind ;)
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    LOL! Thanks for the link. Certainly adds another good angle to the story.
  6. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    There's actually two problems at work here.

    There's a rather significant predjudice against Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in western medical research, and that will no doubt persist. Journals like the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine (from the link provided by joseftu) is one such watch dog that largely serves to debunk CAM therapies. Are they truly objective? Hard to say -- I would hope so, but I'm not entirely convinced. However, they sure seem to make a solid case against Gonzales' coffee enema research.

    But the public want CAM and there are many people out there willing to give the public what they want. A lot of CAM is based on traditional chinese medicine (TCM), which has typically proven efficacy not by randomzed clinical trials -- as all pharmaceutical drugs are required by the FDA -- but by centuries of practice. Acupuncture is a great example. And like acupuncture, many of these CAM therapies actually do work... problem is, why they work doesn't often jive with what our western medical textbooks are teaching.

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recognized this problem, and the need for giving the public what it wants, and so formed an institute dedicated to CAM (NCAM) in the late 1990's. It formed at an opportune time, the economy was still in good shape and congress had given NIH plenty of scratch, but NCAM proposals were slow to arrive. Consequently, they were awarding big bucks for even minor proposals... and I would eat my hat if this wasn't how Gonzales got his 1.4mil grant from NIH. Good timing, and a little creativity was all that was needed.

    I've had some dealings inside the NIH with respect to CAM therapies and they are more or less laughed at. I've also noticed that NCAM is tightening up it's boot straps alot since 1999 -- I recently heard their funding rate is now at about 10% (only 1 out of 10 proposals will get funded), a drop from about 40% when NCAM opened its doors. For most institues at NIH the rate is about 30% and has been for some time. This could be a consequence of a sour economy (it would come as no surprise that NCAM's budget would take the first hit), or perhaps they are taking a harder look at the proposals.

    In any event, it's people like Gonzales that are losing out. Perhaps he is a quack, perhaps he's not. I don't know enough about this research to say, and I'd want to take a long hard look at the CAM debunker journal to get a feel for whether it is biased against CAM. I think CAM is here to stay, but they'll have to fly by the rules of western medical practice if it's ever to be taken seriously.
  7. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    Just as a followup, I was curious about what institute at NIH Gonzalez received his 1.4 mil grant... (to see if I'd need to eat my hat or not) I checked from 1994 through to 2002, and tried Gonzalez (as it is spelled in the article) and Gonzales, and no project for a Nicholas Gonzalez, or Nicholas Gonzales, shows up. I know this database includes NCAM because I checked for another investigator I know is funded by NCAM and he shows up. This makes me shift a bit to the quack side if he's claiming to have a 1.4 mil NIH grant when in fact he clearly does not.

    I used the CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information
    on Scientific Projects) database search for NIH, available here if you want to check yourself.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Thanks Coriolis, most valuable posts. Will try my own research when my head is a little more clear.
  9. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    Yes, thanks, Coriolis, for taking this even deeper. The CRISP link is very valuable. I have a pretty significant bias against CAM myself. I try to still be objective, but my first response is always going to be suspicion. There are plenty of people who have the same first response, to western traditional medicine, too.
    As you say, if CAM can't fly by the rules of western medical practice, it's not going to fly at all. I have no problem with that.
  10. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    A lot of what is <i>called</i> CAM is pretty wishy-washy, no argument there. Quacky stuff like coffee enemas, and faith healing at a distance :rolleyes: is the reason journals like the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine exist.

    However, despite my background in "western" medical research, I've learned to keep an open mind about some CAM treatments. Tai Chi and acupuncture are two treatments that are definitely worth taking seriously. Some good quality randomized controlled clinical trials (the only research design that <i>can</i> qualify to be taken seriously in a high impact sense) are finally starting to emerge which seem to indicate efficacy in these therapies for a variety of heath problems.

    For example, the National Library of Medicine database search engine (PubMed) yields 15 randomized controlled clinical trials for Tai Chi in recent years, and over 400 on acupuncture.
    (enter Tai Chi in the search window, and select Randomized Controlled Trial in the Limits options).

    This is one example where "eastern" medicine type CAM treatments are flying by the rules of "western" medicine, and passing with respectable grades.
  11. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Now I'm mad at my doctor. At my most recent physical, he asked a number of questions, including how much coffee I drank. I told him 4 to 6 cups a day. His response was that I should cut down as the only valid use for coffee was as an enema. Not that I bought it, as I still drink coffee. I hope he wasn't suggesting that I shove it...

    Next visit, we are going to have a little chat.
  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Guys, wasn't the Atkins diet a quack theory also, "to make money"?
  13. Sharondippity

    Sharondippity Sweetness and Light

    I'm thinking you need to see another doctor as well.:eek:
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Hell, there are lots of diets around that work. Try this one. It's better tyhan Atkins.


    Most diets fail because we are still thinking and eating like people.
    For those us who have never had any success dieting. Well now there is the new Miracle Cat Diet! This diet will also work on humans!

    Except for cats that eat like people -- such as getting lots of table scraps -- most cats are long and lean (or tiny and petite). The Cat Miracle Diet will help you achieve the same lean, svelte figure. Just follow this diet for one week and you'll find that you not only look and feel better, but you will have a whole new outlook on what constitutes food. Good Luck!

    DAY ONE Breakfast: Open can of expensive gourmet cat food. Any flavor as long as it costs more then .75 per can and place a cup on your plate. Eat 1 bite of food; look around room disdainfully. Knock the rest on the floor. Stare at the wall for awhile before stalking off into the other room.

    Lunch: Four blades of grass and one lizard tail. Throw it back up on the cleanest carpet in your house.

    Dinner: Catch a moth and play with it until it is almost dead. Eat one wing. Leave the rest to die.

    Bedtime snack: Steal one green bean from your spouse's or roommate's plate. Bat it around the floor until it goes under the refrigerator.
    Steal one small piece of chicken and eat half of it. Leave the other half on the sofa. Throw out the remaining gourmet cat food from the can you opened this morning.

    DAY TWO Breakfast: Picking up the remaining chicken bit from the sofa. Knock it onto the carpet and bat it under the television set. Chew on the corner of the newspaper as your spouse/partner tries to read it.

    Lunch: Break into the fresh French bread that you bought as your part of the dinner party on Saturday. Lick the top of it all over. Take one bite out of the middle of the loaf.

    Afternoon snack: Catch a large beetle and bring it into the house.
    Play toss and catch with it until it is mushy and half dead. Allow it to escape under the bed.

    Dinner: Open a fresh can of dark-colored gourmet cat food -- tuna or beef works well. Eat it voraciously. Walk from your kitchen to the edge of the living room rug. Promptly throw up on the rug. Step into it as you leave. Track footprints across the entire room.

    DAY THREE Breakfast: Drink part of the milk from your spouse's or roommate's cereal bowl when no one is looking. Splatter part of it on the closest polished aluminum appliance you can find.

    Lunch: Catch a small bird and bring it into the house. Play with it on top of your down filled comforter. Make sure the bird is seriously injured but not dead before you abandon it for someone else to have to deal with.

    Dinner: Beg and cry until you are given some ice cream or milk in a bowl of your own. Take three licks/laps and then turn the bowl over on the floor.

    FINAL DAY Breakfast: Eat 6 bugs, any type, being sure to leave a collection of legs, wings, antennae on the bathroom floor. Drink lots of water.
    Throw the bugs and all of the water up on your spouse's or roommate's pillow.

    Lunch: Remove the chicken skin from last night's chicken-to-go leftovers your spouse or roommate placed in the trash can. Drag the skin across the floor several times. Chew it in a corner and then abandon.

    Dinner: Open another can of expensive gourmet cat food. Select a flavor that is especially runny, like Chicken
  15. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    Hey...my cat, Lolly, invented that diet. She's getting Federal funding to research it. :)

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