Cancer research rife with “fake news”

Perhaps nothing is taken more seriously in medicine than cancer research. The government throws billions of dollars at it every year. Hospitals build lavish, comprehensive cancer centers across the country in an attempt to offer the best in research-based care. And we’ve all been told over and over again for the past 45 years that the next, new, big breakthrough leading to a cure for cancer is right around the corner.

That’s why it’s so disturbing to find out how much published cancer research is actually “fake news.”

The revelation came from my colleague and friend George Lundberg, M.D. — former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association and founding editor of Medscape. He just shared with me an important, new editorial service called Retraction Watch. It keeps track of articles that are written up by researchers, reviewed by medical journal peer reviewers and editors, and published in open literature — but then become retracted because it turns out they’re “fake news.”

Fake news in medical research includes outright fabrication of data, fraud in presenting results, and other fakery.

Dr. Lundberg regularly shares his concerns with me about the sales and marketing tactics of products claiming to cure cancer. Some of the claims and headlines that emanate from far too many in the natural products industry about natural cancer “cures” bother me too.

But, on the other hand, it also troubles me that the mainstream ignores so much real science that supports the effectiveness and safety of natural approaches to help prevent cancer, reverse cancer, and improve survival and quality of life in patients with cancer. I present all the science, in my new Authentic Anti-Cancer Protocol. You can learn all about this science by clicking here.

No excuse for fraud in medicine

Simply put — there’s no excuse for false claims about preventing and reversing cancer. And there is no reason for them, since the impressive, real science about it should speak for itself.

But according to Retraction Watch, hundreds of “fake news” stories about cancer have been recanted since 2010, when the tracking began.

Anil Potti, formerly of Duke University (known as the “Harvard of the South”), tops the list of fake news sources. He held out false hopes promising that toxic chemotherapy treatments could be individualized and fine-tuned using genetic information (more false promise for “genetic cures”). It was all a hoax. And Potti has had to retract 11 papers, which were the subject of at least 12 lawsuits.

Next, Bharat Aggarwal, formerly of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, had to retract 18 scientific publications. And at Ohio State University, there is a cancer researcher who has been under a cloud since the 1990s. He had to retract six papers, with another 20 under question and “red flagged.” The Ohio State researcher also survived several professional misconduct investigations, yet continues in his faculty position. He even continues to receive research funding and professional awards.

In my view, faculty overly rely on students to collect and report data. In fact, one researcher at MIT had to retract five papers due to misconduct by one of his graduate students. Apparently, the professor wasn’t aware of the misconduct.

Sometimes, the fake news involves an entire medical research journal. The journal Tumor Biology had to retract 107 articles at one time (typically the better — or not — part of a year’s worth of publications). They uncovered a peer-review, “back-scratching” scam where professional reviewers put each other’s papers through into publication based on fake, rubber-stamp reviews. Anything to secure those cushy, tenured positions.

Despite these reports and retractions, nobody can say how widespread this problem may be, or whether it’s worse in cancer research than other areas. But I can say this…

The “lame stream” media has learned repeatedly to sell fake news with fake headlines about supposed cancer “breakthroughs.” Funny how you never hear about the researchers’ retractions in the “lame stream” media, though, do you?

I’m certainly glad to see Retraction Watch on the lookout. It helps to hold the industry accountable.

But you should stay vigilant too. And keep this advice mind, especially when it comes to any cancer research or product…

If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is too good to be true.

Also, keep reading my Daily Dispatch and my Insiders’ Cures newsletter to arm yourself with knowledge about the real science. I will continue to separate out fact from fiction. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.