Research Center Charged With Misconduct Re: Bone Marrow Transplants

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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison



THE LANCET 357, 2001, March 17

US newspaper charges research center with misconduct

A Seattle newspaper has charged that top researchers at the prestigious Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, including a Nobel Prize winner, failed to inform patients participating in bone marrow transplant trials that an alarming number of patients who had tried the experimental treatment had died and that other less dangerous treatments were available.

The Seattle Times also alleges that three researchers involved in the study, E Donnall Thomas, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in medicine for his pioneering research in bone-marrow transplantation, John Hansen, who has been the center's clinical director, and another lead investigator involved in the trial, Paul Martin, failed to inform the patients that they and the center had significant financial ties to a biotechnology company, Genetic Systems Corporation (Redmond, WA, USA), which stood to benefit from the trial results. ...

The paper reports that of the 82 patients who participated in the trial 80 have died "at least 20 from graft failures attributable to the  treatment". The paper says the consent forms "underplayed the risk of graft failure" and indicated that in the case of failure a second  transplant could be done, not mentioning that 95% of such repeat procedures failed. The five-part investigative report and extensive supporting documentation can be read on www.seattletimes.com. ...

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Here is another article. The PR in support of bone marrow transplants is highly questionable and not supported by the data.

 


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