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Evidence suggests that up to 90 percent of landmark cancer research may be false

dailyalternative | alternative news - Evidence suggests that up to 90 percent of landmark cancer research may be false

The vast majority of the published scientific literature on cancer and cancer research is inherently flawed and non-reproducible, reveals a new review published online in the journal Nature. Researchers C. Glenn Begley and Lee Ellis found that a mere 11 percent of 53 papers on cancer published in reputable, peer-reviewed journals was solid, while the other 89 percent could not be reproduced, implying that it may be false or at the very least misleading.

Preclinical studies are the basis upon which the scientific community at large determines how best to develop treatments for disease, including potential new approaches to treating cancer. But such studies, though sure to contain some minor flaws from time to time, appear to be missing the boat in major ways on a regular basis. And the end result of this intrinsic failure is a cancer treatment system that is not only outdated but potentially completely misguided.

“The scientific community assumes that the claims in a preclinical study can be taken at face value – that although there might be some errors in detail, the main message of the paper can be relied on and the data will, for the most part, stand the test of time,” wrote the authors about their findings. “Unfortunately, this is not always the case.”

Based on a review of 53 published papers on cancer, Begley and Ellis discovered that only six of them could be reproduced and confirmed in a clinical setting. And the worst part was that the 53 papers were considered to be “landmark,” which means they are generally recognized as having had a significant impact on cancer research due to presenting some new cancer treatment approach or novel therapy for targeting cancer cells.

“[I]t looks like the scientific literature is contaminated with a growing number of tainted studies, which may reach 89 percent, the results of which are not reproducible by any means,” writes Eleni Roumeliotou for GreenMedInfo.com about the shocking findings. “This means that to an extent, we have based our healthcare and clinical guidelines on fake studies that reported untruthful results in order to accommodate the interests of industrial corporations.”

Many cancer studies influenced by Big Pharma conflicts of interest

The fact of the matter is that a considerable amount of published scientific research is questionable at best due to influence from the pharmaceutical industry. A similar but unrelated study that looked at research funding found that at least 17 percent of published research papers in general were conducted with serious conflicts of interest, which more often than not stemmed from drug industry funding that steered the research in a pre-determined direction.

“Given the frequency we observed for conflicts of interest and the fact that conflicts were associated with study outcomes, I would suggest that merely disclosing conflicts is probably not enough,” says Dr. Reshma Jagsi, M.D., author of a University of Michigan (UM) study that found a considerable percentage of cancer research to be tainted by conflicts of interest. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that we need to look more at how we can disentangle cancer research from industry ties.”

 

dailyalternative | alternative news – Evidence suggests that up to 90 percent of landmark cancer research may be false

via Evidence suggests that up to 90 percent of landmark cancer research may be false.

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Health & Science

Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records

A controversial deal between tech giant Google and the National Health Service (NHS) will allow artificial intelligence units access to 1.6 million confidential medical records. Since 2014, Google has partnered with several scientists in an attempt to understand human health, but a new report reveals the data gathering goes far beyond what was originally anticipated.

According to documents obtained by the New Scientist, the data sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind and the Royal Free NHS Trust gives access to the sensitive healthcare data of millions of NHS patients. The chilling and wide-reaching deal allows DeepMind access to the medical records of the 1.6 million people passing annually through the three London hospitals owned by the Trust — Barnet, Chase Farm, and the Royal Free.

The Google-owned A.I. firm announced in February it was working with the NHS to build an app called Streams — intended to help hospitals monitor patients with kidney disease. However, the new information has revealed that the extent of the data being shared goes much further and includes logs of day-to-day hospital activity, records of the location and status of patients, and even logs of who visits them and when.

Results of pathology and radiology tests are also shared, as is information from critical care and accident and emergency departments. In addition, DeepMind’s access to the centralised records of all NHS hospital treatments in the U.K. means the tech company can access historical data from the last five years, all while receiving a continuous stream of new data.

At the same time, DeepMind is developing a platform called Patient Rescue, which uses hospital data streams to build tools to carry out analysis and support diagnostic decisions. The New Scientist explained how it works:

Comparing a new patient’s information with millions of other cases, Patient Rescue might be able to predict that they are in the early stages of a disease that has not yet become symptomatic, for example. Doctors could then run tests to see if the prediction is correct.

While the Royal Free has not yet responded to the question of what — if any — opt-out mechanisms are available to patients, the New Scientist suggests this is unlikely to be a straightforward process. Despite the agreement stating Google cannot use the data in any other part of the company’s business, many will be seriously wary of the access the online tech giant now has to the confidential data of millions of people.

As the New Scientist wrote:

Data mining is the name of the game in the burgeoning field of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and there’s no company in the world better at that than Google.

 

daily alternative | alternative news – Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records

via Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records.

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