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12 Comments

  1. This is a good story for it tells of scientific and results-based discussions. We need more Jerry Cutlers sending these positive and evidence-based messages. Well done Jerry.

    1. Dear Vince
      Thanks for your comment. I’m delighted that you are so interested in these real life happenings. Yes, we need to hear additional positive messages.
      Many people are spreading false scare stories that are so harmful.
      Regards

  2. By the way, the lovely coastal area near Sendai that Dr. Cuttler visited in 2007 happens to be the area that has been most completely destroyed by the tsunami, and has suffered the largest share of it’s human loss.

  3. Did you note Figure One, the straight line data indicating a very low sample size, and the annotation, The differences are not statistically significant.

    1. Actually, you don’t have to look hard for any “indication” of the sample size. The graph expressly notes that each group started with 25 people.

    2. Some of us did note that, and it’s incredibly interesting. Just because the difference isn’t statistically significant and the sample size is small doesn’t mean that it doesn’t say lots. The first thing that I draw from it is that high doses of radiation aren’t that bad. 1.5 Gy in 5 weeks is a lot of radiation, and if you listen to many people this should have many serious health effects but this was not observed. The second thing is that LDTBI worked as well as COP, if not better, with fewer side effects. I’d call that a win, but cancer treatments have improved dramatically since the 1970’s so I’m not sure how it would go now. We have also improved hugely since the early 1990’s in case you look at fig. 2. Given that LDTBI works via a different mechanism to (most) chemotherapy it is quite possible that both therapies could be used concurrently for enhanced effect. There is more than enough evidence to at least continue research in the field, particularly given that the risks of further research are low and the rewards are potentially huge.

      1. @Australian Physicist

        Exactly. The whole point of the open letter is summarized in the penultimate paragraph:

        In consideration of the above evidence, and in order to facilitate the study of this less deleterious systemic treatment of cancer, we ask you to make a declaration that you encourage the study of LDTBI for systemic cancer treatment, and that the LNT model, which is a conservative approach for calculating potential radiation risks, not be used to discourage the study of LDTBI.

  4. Rod, thanks for your excellent blog, a much needed antidote to anti-nuclear hysteria.
    I think referring to the 1.5 Sievert dose of this systemic cancer treatment as “low dose” is not helpful. Yes, it is much lower than the dose in radiation therapy, but by any other standards it seems a whoppingly high dose. The message that needs to come across is that even at these doses, damaging side effects are to small to be observable. Which tells us a lot about the maximum likely harm from the orders of magnitude smaller doses members of the public or even emergency workers at Fukushima.

    1. The 1.5 Sv is the sum of ten fractions of 0.15 Sv each.
      Each low dose of 150 mSv up-regulates the adaptive protection systems (~200 genes) that and coping continuously with the endogenous DNA and other cell damage that is occurring at an enormous rate.
      After several days of recovery, another 150 mGy dose can be delivered, and there are no symptomatic adverse side effects.
      After six months, Dr. Sakamoto provided a “booster” of the same 1.5 Sv treatment to his cancer patients.

      1. Dr. Cuttler,
        Thank you for advancing medicine in the face of certain disparagement because you challenge firmly-entrenched beliefs.
        Your work brings to mind the “Hygienic Hypothesis” and helminthic therapy. The very thought of intestinal parasites as therapy seems like quackery — until one looks at the results.

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