Articles by: Jerome BurneJerome Burne

How evidence based medicine is failing patients. What needs to be done to fix it

15 by / on 10 Jul 2015, / in evidence based medicine

It’s no secret that there are serious problems with the practice of scientific evidence based medicine (EBM). It’s obviously a good idea to have a system for ensuring treatments are safe and effective. But as a defence against dangerous or poor drugs, the working of our current one makes the pre-crash banking regulation look rigorous.

Pioneering clinic points to new directions in cancer treatment

9 by / on 9 Jun 2015, / in cancer

As anyone who is involved with cancer knows, you have two options. Follow the standard, scientifically validated route – variations on surgery, drugs and radiotherapy – supported by proper clinical trials or venture into the unapproved, unlicensed territory of complementary medicine frequently described as quackery.

Less is more: How to save the NHS. Spend less on unnecessary drugs

10 by / on 18 May 2015, / in evidence based medicine

Here’s a radical idea. Why not use drugs for cases where they are appropriate, safe and effective. And don’t use them when they aren’t. Wild eh! It’s an idea that could save the NHS billions. Three clinicians I know are thinking along exactly these lines.

Lazy and irrelevant research used to smear vitamins as dangerous. Not again!

8 by / on 28 Apr 2015, / in vitamins

Yet another round of media stories this week picking up on an “expert’s” claim that vitamins are ineffective and dangerous. They are the medical equivalent of blaming immigrants or single mothers for various social ills; scare stories that spin the data and draw totally unjustified conclusions.

Governments are spending hundreds of millions researching cancer genes. Is it all a big waste of time?

7 by / on 2 Apr 2015, / in cancer

There is a powerful myth, widely believed by cancer patients and their doctors, that soon a greater understanding of genetics will provide the tools to defeat cancer. Unfortunately this optimistic scenario is in serious trouble, yet few are aware of what has been happening.
The data coming out of the latest American genetic screening program, a 500 million dollar project called The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) launched in 2006 – has revealed that the gene changes within the cells of individual tumours are far more complicated and chaotic than anyone had anticipated.

Cuddly dietitians in cosy embrace of industry fat cats

9 by / on 16 Mar 2015, / in Vested interests

If this blog included cartoons, the one illustrating this post would show a small mouse-like dietitian held in the fearsome claws of a vast and grinning fat cat wearing a suit covered in brand names such as Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestlé, Unilever Foods and WK Kellogg Institute.
The dietician’s speech bubble would read: ‘It’s OK I’ve got it under control.’ It would be captioned: ‘The delusion of the dietitians’.

Keep statin supremo away from the missing side-effect data

31 by / on 19 Feb 2015, / in statins

The statin saga – do they help or harm? – took a fascinating new turn on Sunday when statin supremo Professor Sir Rory Collins confessed to the Express that he hadn’t actually done the analysis needed to uncover the true side-effect rate.

If you’ve been following this pharmacological soap, your response when you heard this was probably first amazed laughter, followed by outrage at the breath-taking hypocrisy and then, after a brief reflection, alarm at the implications.

Cancer and genes: Why we have got it wrong Part 2. Why the foetus holds the key

7 by / on 28 Jan 2015, / in cancer

Here are some heretical thoughts about the war against cancer.
“It’s unwinnable. We not going to cure it and we don’t need to.”
“Everyone thinks being diagnosed with cancer is a calamity. It’s not necessarily the case. We can transform cancer from a dreaded killer to something we can live with.”

Cancer and genes: Have we got it badly wrong?

19 by / on 21 Jan 2015, / in cancer

Professor Mina Bissell presents a fascinating challenge to the cancer establishment. She is a highly respected academic and leading authority on breast cancer at the University of California, where she is Distinguished Scientist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Life Sciences Division next to UCB campus.

Why high fat diet studies on rats and mice are not to be trusted

18 by / on 5 Jan 2015, / in low carb diet

Over the past year I have been wondering whether there is something deeply flawed about research into the effects of high fat diets on rats and mice, done presumably to clarify the effects on humans. The rodent work consistently tells us that high fat diets make you fat and diabetic, while research on humans finds they do the opposite. What is going on?

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