Thursday, June 25, 2009

Meditated manslaughter

Today I want to inform you of a recent occurrence, one of the most diabolical happenings in medicine I have ever been aware of, that has the capacity to negatively affect the life of anyone who has cancer and indirectly negatively impact the life of every man, woman and child in this nation, even abroad.

In the June 1, 2009 issue of Newsweek magazine there was an insert of the Syracuse (NY) Cancer Research Institute in the cancer care section, calling attention to the last blog on MedTruth, "If you have cancer, even advanced, studies show this drug may help save your life...." The drug referred to was hydrazine sulfate, developed by the SCRI, though the insert did not name the drug. The blog reviewed in detail the advantages of especially late stage cancer patients having a trial on the drug, based on controlled clinical trials performed in accordance with internatiionally authorized biomedical procedures, as well as the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) historical opposition to it. This insert appeared in Newsweek's New York state, Northern New Jersey and Washington, D.C's editions.

Those of us responsible for this insert thought that the potential for many cancer patients and their families to read this blog was high, and therefore we undertook to place comprehensive information on hydrazine sulfate on-line. To that end we published on Wikipedia--the Internet's encyclopedia--a full informational statement on hydrazine sulfate, inclusive of scientific background, clinical indications, clinical trials, side effects, drug incompatibilities, costs and a Reference list from the medical literature. We strived and hopefully succeeded in providing non-biased, 'even-handed' information, so that readers of this important statement might have a well-balanced idea of this drug and its expectations.

This statement lasted on Wikipedia only 24 hours. Approximately one day later, it was replaced by a totally new statement--not of our doing--which retained only vestiges of our original statement. The new statement was seemingly the work of National Cancer Institute (NCI)-oriented forces arrayed against hydrazine sulfate for many years and aroused by the Newsweek's insert appearance in the Washington, D.C. area, home of the NCI (Bethesda, MD).

But these NCI-oriented forces did not want readers to see the non-prejudicial and medically and scientifically correct material we originally published on Wikipedia. Rather they wished to publish their own statement, and to that end they convinced the editors of Wikipedia to remove our statement totally and substitute one of their own.

The new statement was startling in its content of misinformation, in its wholesale substitution of fiction for fact, as well as presentation of slanted innuendos, aspersions and outright fabrications.

The "new" Wikipedia piece states: "The California [Harbor-UCLA Phase III randomized, placebo-controlled clinical] trials saw no statistically significant effect on survival from the treatment." But what the California studies actually reported in their published, peer-reviewed paper was exactly the opposite: "For the PS [Performance Status] 0-1 patients [earlier patients] survival was [statistically] significantly prolonged with hydrazine sulfate compared with placebo (P = .05) [measure of positive statistical significance]. The survival at 1 year was also significantly increased (P = .05) for hydrazine sulfate compared with placebo (42% alive v 18%, respectively)" (Journal of Clinical Oncology 8:9-15, 1990). We e-mailed this direct quote of the California studies to Wikipedia twice. The result? Wikipedia continued to publish its statement that the California studies showed no statistically significant survival increase from hydrazine sulfate treatment.

In another example, the new, substituted Wikipedia piece stated:

"Later randomized controlled trials failed to find any improvement in survival, with some trials finding...poorer quality of life." These "later" trials are the NCI-sponsored studies of hydrazine sulfate. Those of you who read our previous blog referred to above will remember that these are the same studies found to be in violation of the "generally accepted standards" rule, Principle 1, of the Helsinki Declaration, by virtue of their use of incompatible medications (alcohol, tranquilizers, sleeping pills) in the presence of a test drug (hydrazine sulfate, an irreversible MAO inhibitor).

The Helsinki Declaration--an outgrowth of the Nuremberg Trials (Doctors Trial) following World War II which uncovered the heinous human medical "experiments" inflicted on helpless human beings by the Nazis--is a multinational ratification of principles governing human biomedical research, to which the United States is a major signatory, put in place to guarantee that no harmful procedures be used in patients undergoing experimental medical treatment. This document lies at the heart of all clinical studies and informed consent--and as such represents the international "law of the land"--and requires all human biomedical research to conform to its stated principles and to so state in all published studies and research protocols.

Principle 1, the paramount principle, of the Helsinki Declaration states: "Biomedical research involving human subjects must conform to generally accepted scientific principles...and be based on a thorough knowledge of the scientific literature." Most important of generally accepted scientific principles in the conduct of human biomedical research is that no incompatible agents (medications) be used in a drug trial, since such use can result in the grave illness--or death--of a patient, as well as cause a negative drug study. Use of incompatible agents in a drug study is virtually unknown in human biomedical testing.

By virtue of NCI's use of incompatible medications in its sponsored, "later" studies of hydrazine sulfate, the Helsinki Declaration declares that these "later" studies have no scientific standing and that the results of these trials are null and void. The Helsinki Declaration further states, regarding these studies (Principle 8): "Reports of experimenation not in accordance with the principles laid down in this Declaration should not be accepted for publication."

The new, substituted Wikipedia statement omits entirely any mention of the Helsinki Declaration, or of these "later" trials being in violation of this Declaration, or of the fact that in none of these "later," published studies or research protocols (#'s 8931, 89-24-51, 89-49-51) is there any statement that these studies were carried out, or to be carried out, in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration. Yet by allowing these NCI-oriented forces' assertion that these "later" trials failed to find any survival benefit and knowing that this assertion was incorrect, and in making no mention of the Helsinki Declaration, Wikipedia did not seemingly care that a startlingly erroneous impression was being made on the American public, with potentially very serious consequences.

The effect of misrepresentations such as the above is two-fold. Foremost, it promotes increased physical and psychological distress and ill-health in cancer patients by sending an incorrect signal to the lay and medical public. To doctors and patients alike it says that hydrazine sulfate is not effective and may even be harmful. Whereas the peer-reviewed medical literature in fact documents that controlled clinical studies, performed in conformity with the Helsinki Declaration, indicate--without exception--the efficacy and safety of hydrazine sulfate in cancer patients of all kinds and at all stages. These properly controlled clinical trials demonstrate that of every million late stage, unresponsive cancer patients given hydrazine sulfate, more than 500,000 would receive measurable symptomatic improvement, 400,000 would demonstrate a halt or regression in tumor growth, and some would go on to long term (>10 years) "complete response," i.e., survival.

The effect of the Wikipedia misrepresentations--by dissuading cancer patients (and their doctors) from a trial on hydrazine sulfate and thus a 50 percent chance of improvement in their status--is to promote increased suffering and death. As such--by acquiescing to NCI-oriented pressures (e.g., change of the actual medical literature from reading "statistically significant increase in survival" to non-efficacy)--Wikipedia makes itself a direct participant in the 'meditated manslaughter' of cancer patients all over the world.

Of perhaps equal consequence, misrepresentations such as the above send a message to the public that its institutions promoting and safeguarding First Amendment rights, such as Wikipedia, are susceptible and vulnerable to government-sponsored pressure to change truth to fiction, without an investigation of the merits of these changes. The presentation of false and/or misleading information as truth not only acts to dupe the public but, more importantly, to dilute the integrity and reliability of our public institutions.

What can be done to rectify this unfortunate situation? Undue, if not improper, government-sponsored pressure must be corrected at government levels. We can each contact our representatives and senators in Congress, calling attention to the sponsorship of governmental forces threatening to destroy what have become our free institutions, such as Wikipedia, and their dissemination of factual information to the American people, especially in regard to the public health. You will find that many of our Congressmen and Congresswomen will be responsive to this concern.