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Author Topic: Cancer quack loses medical license  (Read 670 times)


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Cancer quack loses medical license
« on: November 08, 2008, 12:20:48 PM »

Consumer Health Digest #08-45
November 4 2008

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by
Stephen Barrett, M.D., and cosponsored by NCAHF and Quackwatch. It
summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement
actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and
nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer
protection and consumer decision-making.


Quackwatch and Dr. Barrett need your help. If you haven't already
done so, please read and
send a contribution to support our work.


Quack device manufacturer issues FDA-prompted "recall."

In response to FDA pressure, Vibe Technologies of Greeley, Colorado
has issued a Class I recall of the Vibrational Integrated
Bio-photonic Energizer (VIBE) Machine Multi-Frequency Field
Generator, a device marketed with far-fetched claims that it can
improve health and cue a long list of serious diseases by correcting
alleged problems with cell vibration. [Barrett S. QuantumPulse
(V.I.B.E.) device marketed with far-fetched claims. Quackwatch, Nov
4, 2008] The
recall notice stated that "Class I recalls are the most serious type
of recall and involve situations in which there is a reasonable
probability that use of the product will cause injury or death." (FDA action was
triggered in part by the death of a patient who relied on the device
rather than effective treatment.) All purchasers of the device were
sent a certified letter stating that they should stop using or
promoting the product as a medical device and to destroy any VIBE
literature making medical claims. Class I recalls involving quack
devices are rarely done. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether the
recall will actually benefit consumers because the device can still
be marketed and used as long as claims that the FDA can detect are
kept vague and do not explicitly promise to prevent or cure diseases.
The company's Web site still has a practitioner directory. Some are
licensed as health professionals; others are not. Some operate salons
where the device is used to "mobilize toxins" and an "ionic foot
bath" device is claimed to take the toxins out of the body.


Cancer quack loses medical license.

The Georgia Composite Board of Medical Examiners has revoked the
medical license of Todata R. Shanthaveerappa, M.D. (also known as
T.R. Shantha, M.D.). For several
years, Shantha operated a clinic in Stockbridge, Georgia under the
names "Integrated Medical Specialists" and "Integrated Chemotherapy
Specialists." The treatments he offered included dinitrophenol (DNP),
Ukrain, and hyperbaric oxygen, none of which have any value against
the conditions for which they were used. DNP is also extremely
dangerous. In 2005, Shantha was indicted for allegedly
misrepresenting the nature of his treatment on insurance claim forms,
and the board summarily suspended his license.The suspension order
also expressed concern that he had treated cancer patients
inappropriately. In
2007, Shantha pled guilty to one count of health care fraud, agreed
to pay a total of $650,000 in asset forfeiture plus restitution, and
was sentenced to serve five years' probation followed by three years
of supervised release. For additional
information on DNP and Shantha, see


B-vitamin supplements fails to decrease overall cancer incidence.

The Women's Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study has found
no effect on cancer incidence among women ages 40 or older who took
daily supplements of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12. The data
involved 5,442 women health professionals who were at high risk for
heart disease and received either the vitamins or a placebo for 7.3
years. The study was done primarily to evaluate heart-disease
incidence, but other outcomes were tabulated. A decrease was noted
among women age 65 and older. The authors thought this was worth
further study, but noted that many subgroups were tabulated, subgroup
analysis might make something appear significant due to chance alone.
[Zhang SM and others. Effect of combined folic acid, vitamin B6, and
vitamin B12 on cancer risk in women. JAMA 300:2012-2021, 2008]
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