Home » Biology, DCA, Off Topic, Science » Doctor David H. Gorski doth protest too much, methinks

Doctor David H. Gorski doth protest too much, methinks

Get this from Orac (a.k.a. DH Gorski) at Respectful Insolence. Here’s a cutter/researcher who makes a living from cancer. A respectable number of research papers in chemotherapy and radiation bear his name and he’s a surgeon. He is, in other words, a fully vested member in the multi-billion dollar cancer treatment industry. If there’s a big breakthrough cure for cancer that consists of a $2 teaspoonful of a common chemical in a glass of water the good Doctor Gorski becomes like unto a horse drawn carriage maker when Ford started mass producing automobiles. He’ll be reduced to lancing boils for a living.

He’s wasting what seems an inordinate amount of time campaigning against DCA. He even dedicates a blog entry to ME of all people. Good lord, with all the reporting from big reliable sources you’d think he has bigger fish to fry:

Medical News Today
Top Cancer News
New Scientist
Newsweek
Science Daily
CBC News
and many others.

Yet Gorski has been consumed with pooh-poohing this potential wonder-drug on his blog writing many thousands of words about it in 5 (and counting) separate entries (titles paraphrased):

I’m not a Pharma Shill
Down with Blatant Promotion of Potentially Cheap Cures
I’m Not Over Reacting
Last Words (Yeah, Right)
More Last Words (DaveScot gets my big Cluestick)

What’s up with that?

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9 Responses to Doctor David H. Gorski doth protest too much, methinks

  1. Wow! I can’t believe how ticked off this guy is at DaveScot (loved on all Darwin friendly blogs) and at UD in general. You’d swear UD was Dracula’s castle or something.

  2. Gorski makes some interesting points, none of which really discredit the potential for the drug. Caution about pre-mature hype may be warranted.

    However, he makes one claim that I find interesting,

    DCA targets the tumor cells themselves, which are far more likely to develop resistance.

    Apparently, Gorski believes cancer cells will evolve resistance to DCA. I wonder how simple or complex such a mutation would have to be.

  3. DaveScot — kudos. I must admit that UD’s significance is emphasized by this response.

    I noticed that Gorski’s document doesn’t present any facts showing why DCA is doomed to fail, just a lot of energy. Sounds like the neo-Darwinian community as a whole.

    Gorski,

    DCA targets the tumor cells themselves, which are far more likely to develop resistance.

    Seems a total waste of time trying to find drugs to tread diseases because the diseases will just develop resistance. Does that mean that neo-Darwinian evoluton is the science stopper?

  4. “Seems a total waste of time trying to find drugs to tread diseases because the diseases will just develop resistance. Does that mean that neo-Darwinian evoluton is the science stopper?”

    One of my biologist friends (hardcore Darwinist) has been warning me for years about the impending disaster mankind faces from diseases rapidly developing resistance in a sort of runaway evolutionary doomsday scenario. I listen because I love a good story.

  5. Gorski’s response to DCA reminded me of the response to ID and for the same reasons – it threatens an established gravy train with financial ruin (although cancer treatment is a far, far bigger gravy train than evolutionary biology) and it makes a whole bunch of science establishment shills like Gorski appear incompetent. It’s not that DCA (or ID) is wrong, both are untested, it’s the consequences if they are right that cause all the bluster, so to avoid those consequences the things must be buried.

    If Gorski was really concerned about helping people, not personal aggrandizement and protecting his ego and livelyhood, then he’d be joining the vast majority of others who want to see clinical testing of DCA begin immediately (it’s already been delayed at least a year while the discoverers kept it under wraps looking for a way to profit from it) and make sure it doesn’t get buried by those with something to lose. Thus the subject line of my article, the lady doth protest too much.

  6. DaveScot said:

    “If Gorski was really concerned about helping people, not personal aggrandizement and protecting his ego and livel[i]hood, then he’d be joining the vast majority of others who want to see clinical testing of DCA begin immediately….”

    Dr. Gorski said (here – http://scienceblogs.com/insole.....preted.php ):

    “Michelakis [Dr. Evangelos Michaelakis, head of a team testing DCA] is funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), and Canadian Foundation for Innovation. He’s perfectly free to apply to the NIH and other organizations for funding. Given such compelling preclinical data, he would stand a very good chance of being funded.”

    My interpretation of the quote from Dr. Gorski is that he thinks clinical testing would be a good idea (“Given such compelling preclinical data…”), not that he wants to make sure DCA gets buried.

  7. jud

    Gorski also wrote this:

    4. Lastly, there was nothing stopping the investigator from patenting the idea of using DCA to treat cancer. I know someone who is doing just that for a use of a drug that’s FDA-approved for treating something totally unrelated to cancer. indeed, I sincerely hope that Michelakis has, in fact, done this, because now that his results have published it’s too late; the cat’s out of the bag. If he had done that, he could then have licensed his idea to whatever pharmaceutical company was interested, and that pharmaceutical company would then have had a patent on the use of this drug to treat cancer. If Michelakis hasn’t done that, well, I applaud his idealism (or curse his naïveté); he shot himself in the foot and made his idea less appealing to industry.

    Funny I, not involved in cancer research of any kind, found Michelakis’ patent in a matter of minutes from my original post (see here). Is Gorski incompetent or just not interested enough to spend a few minutes educating himself on the topic? Both is my guess.

    And since Michelaks’ has had a patent application filed since 11/04/05 it’s painfully obvious that Gorski is dead wrong about that helping him to get funding from big pharma.

    You’re certainly entitled to whatever opinion you want of Gorski but mine continues to be that he’s a supercilious bag of hot air who couldn’t make it as a surgeon and is now a sock puppet for moneyed interests in the cancer therapy industry.

  8. What has the FDA approved DCA for? Can you provide the FDA link to that approval? (all I could find was some orphan drug stuff, nothing that was approved)

    Also, should we ignore safety when approving a chemotherapy drug? There was at least one report where a study of DCA was stopped because of adverse side effects. What good is it if a cure for cancer melts your brain?

    On Orac’s blog there was a Mr. Robert Smith who echoed many of your sentiments, but failed to provide any documentation. Among these was that DCA was FDA approved (unverified), used routinely on babies (direct quote “They give it to babies all the time.” … unverified) and used routinely for lactic acid for malaria (direct quote “think we will see countries who use this drug all the time for lactic acidosis in malaria victims, from heart/lung conditions, etc.”).

    He decided to leave before answering some of my questions. Mainly where it is used routinely for malaria victims. Could you tell me where DCA is used routinely, with references, please?

    Thank you.

  9. HCN

    The FDA has approved DCA as an investigative drug for clinical trials in humans. It’s been used for years in that way in the U.S. It’s a designated orphan drug in Europe. I rustled up at least a partial list of uses and trials here.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ment-89175

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