STAT

The modern tragedy of fake cancer cures

In medicine, virality means false hopes, dashed dreams, and a whole lot of hype. We are desperate for a solution.

So it happened again. An underreported story about a half-baked advance in cancer medicine caught fire and scorched its way through social media, onto network TV, and into the minds of millions of people.

To start, no. There won’t be “a complete cure for cancer” in a year’s time, as the chairman of a small Israeli biotechnology firm predicted to the Jerusalem Post. The claim, absurd on its face, was particularly frustrating to those who

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT5 min readSociety
WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Health Emergency
The WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in the DRC a global health emergency, a move that is likely to escalate international attention on a crisis that has flared for a…
STAT5 min readSociety
Debate Over Whether To Test A Second Ebola Vaccine Turns Acrimonious
An aggressive push to use a second experimental Ebola vaccine to try to help stop the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may have backfired.
STAT3 min readSociety
An Experimental AI System Can Predict When Pancreatic Cysts Will Become Cancerous
Pancreatic cancer is often deadly because it is detected too late. A new AI system outdoes humans at diagnosing which cysts are cancerous.