Researchers have developed a new drug for prancreatic cancer. And it’s said to have no side-effects. That would be the first drug without side-effects, so this makes me highly suspicious.
“A new drug that “wakes up” the immune system to attack cancer” A drug to wake-up the immune system? If doctors know that cancer is caused by a poorly working immune system, then there are loads of more obvious things to do than giving a drug. Think about basic things like good food, clean water, low stress and loads of sunshine. This is really not so hard to understand.
“powerful tool against the most intractable form” Actually, pancreatic cancer is pretty easy to cure. When doctors and scientists say say it’s “intractable” they mean that it can’t be operated and doesn’t respond well to radiation or chemotherapy. But there are hundreds of highly effective treatments for cancer and pancreatic cancer usually responds really well to them.
“is considered groundbreaking” The conventional cancer treatments are so bad and have so little positive results that pretty much everything is “groundbreaking”. A drug that keeps people alive for a few more months is considered a huge success. Sorry, but a huge success is a therapy that cures people, without making them horribly sick. But don’t expect that from cancer researchers. They wouldn’t have any idea how to find that cure.
“IMM-101 is not thought to have any side-effects” Not thought to? Red flag alert! Many drugs were brought on the market as “very safe” or “no side-effects”, but disappeared again when years later it appeared that they were very dangerous. Drugs like Vioxx and Celebrex usually don’t seem to have any side-effects, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone taking them, as they can easily be fatal. But with this drug such side-effects might not show up, as the patients are already dying anyway. If they die from the drug this can be attributed to the cancer. So if researchers think that a drug doesn’t have any side-effects they are either dumb and ignorant, or they are lying.
“Only 18% of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer are alive after one year and 4% after five years,” With advanced pancreatic cancer? And what for those who have early pancreatic cancer? And what happens when someone with this kind of cancer does nothing whatsoever? Statistics show that cancer patients who do nothing live on an average about three times as long as those who get conventional treatments. Maybe the treatments for pancreatic cancer are simply worse than for other types? Just a guess.”so new treatments for the disease are badly needed.” As I said above professor Dalgleish, those treatments already exist. You can stop your research.
“Its incidence nearly matches its mortality.” Professor, this goes for all cancers. From those who accept conventional cancer therapy only about 2% gets cured and that is most likely in spite of the treatment, not thanks to. You need a reality check, for you have no idea what you are talking about.
“it improved the lifespan of those whose cancer was metastatic” The trial group was only 110 persons. How big was the placebo group? I don’t read anything about a control group, so it sounds like there was none. Then this “fantastic result” is likely nothing more than a placebo effect, which is known to be very strong.
The article continues with some science speak, which is meant to confuse the reader. One thing is lacking: any knowledge of the human body. Professor Dagleish never seems to think about why all those things happen. Could it be that the body is smart and not dumb and that it does all those things for a good reason? It might also be a good idea to research why people get pancratic cancer in the first place. Correct the cause and with a few lifestyle changes the body can cure itself. You don’t need to be a scientist to understand that. Actually, it seems like understanding this is a lot easier when you are not a scientist.
“Those who had IMM-101 survived a median of 6.7 months compared with 5.6 months for those just on chemotherapy.” And this is considered a groundbreaking new discovery? Are you kidding? And without a placebo group this is most likely simply the effect of getting a new treatment. If you tell a patient who has only six months to live that this new treatment might give him another six months, then any kind of treatment is likely to work. If you see it from this angle the 1.1 month extra is actually a really bad result. It should be a lot more. It tells me that the patients didn’t believe in the drug and didn’t have any faith left in oncologists. Science nowadays is all about interpretation and the same results can be either fantastic or completely useless.
Conclusion: this was another piece of particularly crappy cancer research. Even manipulating the numbers doesn’t even remotely suggest that this is a good treatment. Considering the placebo-effect I would have expected at least 6 months extra, so it looks like the treatment only makes things worse. Oops. From the comments at the end of the article you can also easily figure out that everyone knows that this is crappy research with a useless outcome. But they can’t say that, as they all make a living with this kind of reasearch. And nobody wants to jeopardize their jobs.