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Zamboni is incapable of doing or unwilling to do legitimate research into his own “CCSVI” and “liberation” fantasy

Posted by Colin Rose on December 19, 2010

Dr. Alain Beaudet is President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and has been trying to navigate between the incessant demands of politicians pressured by desperate MS patients to authorize “liberation” on demand while doing “trials” and the scientific evidence to date showing that “CCSVI” doesn’t even exist.

Apart from exposing more of this political pressure in the Committee hearings, the testimony of  Dr. Beaudet revealed the true nature of Zamboni’s mentality. It is very interesting that Zamboni has effectively dissociated himself from large controlled studies of “CCSVI” diagnosis in Italy by demanding that only he can interpret the images and that he hasn’t received ethical approval or funding for a controlled trial of “liberation”. If Zamboni can’t get ethical approval for “liberation” now, why did the University of Ferrara approve the ethics of Zamboni’s initial testing of “liberation”, even on his wife?  It seems that Zamboni is incapable of writing a successful grant application and that even the Italians are getting a little suspicious of his hypothesis and techniques. I doubt that Zamboni himself will ever do a controlled trial of “liberation”. Why should he? He has gained transient fame and probably fortune by generating world wide hysteria with the tantalizing mirage of an instantaneous surgical cure for MS supported only by YouTube videos of anecdotal miracles. He was very fortunate that his only clinical publication on his hypothesis, an unscientific  concoction of hallucinations, was published, albeit in an obscure journal. He has indirectly compelled real scientists, like Dr. Beaudet and many other legitimate researchers to divert their time and money into dealing with the scientific absurdity of “CCSVI”. So why should Zamboni risk proving himself to be a fraud? When he is proven to be so he will be liable for compensation for the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on his scam by patients, doctors and granting organizations. Zamboni will eventually  join the ranks of the great medical con men of history in the company of the likes of Dr. Walter Freeman, the ice pick lobotomist.

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Subcommittee on Neurological Disease – Evidence from Alain Beaudet – December 7, 2010

Dr. Alain Beaudet:

I think this is an important point. First of all, Dr. Zamboni was originally part of the very large association studies that involved I think around 20 sites in Italy, and he withdrew from the study. The scientific director of the Italian MS Society told us that he withdrew because he asked that all the images from all the sites be vetted by his own laboratory, which obviously the committee didn’t feel was appropriate. Dr. Zamboni, however, is also applying for a therapeutic trial, a trial this time to investigate the treatment. As far as I know, the study doesn’t have all the funds necessary to be fully carried out. He did receive a bit of money from the province where his lab is, but I don’t know about the status of the ethical approval of this study. He was supposed to receive ethical approval at the beginning of December. I don’t know whether he did receive it.

Do you know? We don’t know.

The last time we spoke to Dr. Battaglia, the scientific director of the Italian MS Society, Dr. Zamboni still hadn’t received the ethical approval for his studies. It was pending, and we were told the beginning of December. What we know, however, is that right now the funding from the province that he’s receiving for that study is not sufficient to carry out the type of study that would be necessary to prove or disprove the efficacy of the treatment.

7 Responses to “Zamboni is incapable of doing or unwilling to do legitimate research into his own “CCSVI” and “liberation” fantasy”

  1. chiefumtaga said

    For anyone who still thinks there is any legitimacy to CCSVI and Liberation Therapy this item should put the final nail into this bizarre coffin. I am appalled by the behaviour of Dr. Zamboni by refusing to participate in the study being conducted by the MS Society of Italy. (I hope W5 will do a story on this particular news item, it is a blockbuster, much more important than their initial story on CCSVI.)
    This seems to indicate that Dr. Zamboni realizes now that the theory of CCSVI does not hold water and by not participating in a legitimate study of it he can set the stage( when the inevitable negative results emerge) and say something along the lines of “Of course the MS Society couldn’t find evidence of CCSVI because I did not have input into the study and they did not use my special protocols.”

    But this type of action is typical of pseudoscience, a big announcement of a breakthrough and the “discoverer” saying how the establishment needs to follow up on it. Then when other researchers try to set up rigorous studies to replicate it, the “discoverer” refuses to cooperate. Finally when the studies refute the initial story the “discoverer” claims the follow up research was flawed since it did not follow his special methodology and was done without his input. Recall the story of cold fusion and how that story collapsed.
    But this won’t stop the CCSVI true believers (ie Joan Beal, Ashton Embry, Lorne Brandes, etc) and the various Liberation Therapy Clinics from pushing their own agenda on this line of nonsense. And provincial governments, goaded on by the desperate and vocal, will waste money and resources on doing clinical research into CCSVI (witness Alberta spending $1 million on this nonsense). Just spend an hour or two reading some of the credible research on CCSVI and apply some critical thinking.

  2. chrishadms said

    I don’t get how you people who have no medical specialty in this field can knock something you don’t understand.

    Who knew AIDS could be controlled with an ablation and stem cell transplant? I mean c’mon Colin. Your such a smart doctor. You could have thought that up for AIDS easy.

    Why aren’t you curing MS and Cancer instead of knocking everyone who is trying?

    • Colin Rose said

      Zamboni had any any expertise in MS? He is a varicose vein surgeon. Other than standard medical school knowledge he didn’t have any expertise in MS until his wife developed the disease and he convinced himself that the cause must be in the veins like the ones in the legs he had been looking at for years. That makes him an expert in MS?

      Please explain the connection between AIDS and MS.

      Am I “knocking everyone” who is try to cure cancer or MS? Only charlatans who deceive and scam desperate patients with pseudoscience.

    • moreconcerned said

      Who knew AIDS could be controlled with an ablation and stem cell transplant?

      This isn’t necessarily true. The bone marrow donor had a rare genetic mutation which made him immune to the HIV. I think that may have something to do with the outcome.

      http://www.aolnews.com/2010/12/15/stem-cell-transplant-cures-leukemia-patient-of-aids/

      One twist though:
      Quote:
      Brown’s donor was not only a perfect match for his blood and bone marrow type but also happened to have a rare, inherited genetic mutation that makes carriers virtually immune to HIV.

  3. http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/12/07/multiple-sclerosis-veins-ccsvi-cihr.html

    Researchers themselves had issues with the panels to determine if trials should proceed. Then we fault Zamboni?

    The MS Societies have a long history of research- but overwhelmingly with drug trials. The relatively paltry money that was allocated to CCSVI research in the US and Canada hardly warrants a mention. Frankly, Zamboni does not owe the MS Society anything. Can’t say I blame him.

    • chiefumtaga said

      Therealboobear have you read the MS Society of Italy information on their research into CCSVI,(see http://www.aism.it)? It has nothing to do with the Canadian ministry of health or the MS societies in Canada or the U.S. The research protocols the MS society of Italy are following appear very robust,credible and well blinded. Which Dr. Zamboni’s research is not.
      I say Dr. Zamboni owes the MS society an explanation as to why he has decided to back out of this research and an apology to MS patients for the way he over-hyped the “Liberation Therapy” without reliable evidence. His behaviour recalls how Richard Nixon refused to cooperate with the investigators looking into Watergate.

  4. chiefumtaga said

    For more information that demonstrates the faulty research of Dr. Zamboni, I suggest one reads the letter from Dr. Jay Requarth published in The Journal of Vascular Surgery (Vol.52, No.6, page 1748).

    Dr. Requarth points out the two papers that Dr. Zamboni published ( in the Journal of Vascular Surgery and the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry) report on the same patient pool. Also of the 65 patients, 28 (43%) were not receiving medical treatment during the time of their evaluation. As Dr. Requarth states “…some, if not all of the response to angioplasty is due to initiating medical therapy- not angioplasty”

    Also discussed is the fact that MS patients treated for CCSVI had a relapse rate of 0.8 to 0.7, but patients given interferon have a lower relapse rate (0.55). Better (and safer) to avoid “Liberation Therapy”

    Dr. Requarth finishes his letter by describing angioplasty for MS (or “Liberation Therapy” as it is commonly called) as an urban legend desperate MS patients will cling to and unscrupulous physicians will gladly provide for an expensive price.

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