PACE Trial Gets Most Devastating Critique Yet

acer2000

New Member
My question now is, do you believe The Lancet will now publish an article on or print a retraction of the PACE study? Has The Lancet ever been in such a situation before?
Yes. They retracted the Wakefield study on Autism which was high profile and a long drawn out ordeal. I am sure they have retracted others. Retractions aren't all that common in scientific publication, but not unheard of. It does highlight the problems with peer review in it's current form – especially at the Lancet. I'm sure the editors are concerned about their image if they had another high profile study fail after it was published.

From a big picture perspective, I am somewhat ambivilent about retractions. In the case of clearly falsified or manipulated data/conclusions or conflicts of interests it is warranted. But in the case of scientists making honest mistakes it probably isn't. It essentially erases potentially useful data from the scientific record and forever tars those associated with the paper. What probably should happen is a follow up written explaining why the original conclusions were wrong, and then others can comment on it so the record stands corrected. That way, someone else can learn from the mistakes and take any valuable data and plan future studies on the same topic, but not make those same errors.

To be clear, I feel PACE is clearly in the former category, XMRV was probably the latter.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
@Cort, where you say...


...did you intend to say that they confused the median and the mean (which is what the article at stats.org says) ?


[Average and mean typically mean the same thing.]
Ha Ha!

Thanks for pointing that out. ...Five thousand views later - I fixed it :eggonface:

At least it got fixed...:shamefullyembarrased:
 
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Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Unfortunately I don't see the people who produced this dross rolling over easily. They have staked their reputations on the presentation of this data this and will do all they can to preserve that. This is the peer review system at its worst. Science self-regulates. I'm pretty sure that the UK medical establishment would be none too pleased for the Lancet to do anything about this. But lets see whether pressure can tell in the end.

This dodgy data and the ideas that it is used to support will be debunked by good, objective science. When we are able to investigate the detailed physiological status of those with ME/CFS/FM then we will be in a position to get honest answers as to whether these so called therapies help anyone significantly or are in fact potentially harmful to some.

We may have the answer to that question in mind but it has to be proven. That's the way science works.
I think the big question is how long will Lancet tolerate being called out in this matter? They do have a reputation to protect and that reputation is kind of getting shredded at least with regard to this paper.

It would be a huge blow to have an $8 million study retracted. The Brits who funded the study would be utterly appalled. Talk about egg on your face and I'm sure they are pressing Lancet not to do anything.

At some point, though, hopefully someone in the upper echelons of Lancet will say what the heck is going on that established statisticians are saying this study is too messed up to tell us anything...They have their reputation as a Journal to protect as well.

Gotta keep the pressure on...
 

tatt

Well-Known Member
I think the big question is how long will Lancet tolerate being called out in this matter? They do have a reputation to protect and that reputation is kind of getting shredded at least with regard to this paper.

It would be a huge blow to have an $8 million study retracted. The Brits who funded the study would be utterly appalled. Talk about egg on your face and I'm sure they are pressing Lancet not to do anything.

At some point, though, hopefully someone in the upper echelons of Lancet will say what the heck is going on that established statisticians are saying this study is too messed up to tell us anything...They have their reputation as a Journal to protect as well.

Gotta keep the pressure on...[/QU
After the autism thing they don't have much credibility with any real scientist so not much reputation left to protect.

The money and energy in Britain is going into funding research, the ME community is funding a rituximab trial. One decent treatment and PACE would no longer matter. http://www.ukrituximabtrial.org/IIMEUKRT News.htm
 

Merida

Well-Known Member
@choca
You hit on important points - researchers want dramatic results to ensure prestigious publication and future grants. Their very professional lives depend on this. My daughter is a researcher at a major university- medical institition. Just got a large NIH grant. I commented to her that I am grateful knowing she will publish honest results - regardless if they support or refute her hypothesis. She commented that I don't understand. Null results translate to no more grants. Terrible situation.

But also, I have a nagging feeling that should the actual cause(s) of our illness be defined it will take researchers and others down a path that "the Powers that be" do not want anyone to travel. Thinking of the vaccine and autism
debate and what happened at the CDC. That is : Dr. William Thompson came forward to admit that the head people at the vaccine division/ CDC 'requested' that the MMR data be manipulated in such a way that obscured the true results of the study. That is, black children had a very significant increase in autism with MMR vaccine administered before 36 months.

Now, the film by Wakefield and Hooker on this whole dilemma has been suddenly removed from the Tribeca Film Festival. Dr. Hooker is a research scientist with a vaccine injured son. Anyway, when this kind of overt scientific fraud shows up, there is big money and who knows what else at stake.
 
E

EYAKLLE

Guest
The xmrv-like discovery by Mikovits is the biggest thing to ever happen. Thanks to her true ME patients are getting clinical improvements for a clearly defined illness
 

Graham McPhee

New Member
Thanks for the kind words, Cort: the truth is that there is a whole army of people who have been working on this for some time. The PACE team like to portray this as a conspiracy, but the truth is that it is simply a measure of how many people are shocked when they take a close look at how the PACE team came to their conclusions. If there is a conspiracy anywhere it is in the medical/research hierarchy in the UK: time and time again I hear from people, in the medical world or working in universities, with ME but fortunately still able to work, who feel unable to say that they have ME or to voice criticisms of the current psychological interpretation of the illness.
 

IrisRV

Well-Known Member
It would be a huge blow to have an $8 million study retracted. The Brits who funded the study would be utterly appalled. Talk about egg on your face and I'm sure they are pressing Lancet not to do anything.
Are we looking at a "too big to fail" situation -- like the badly managed US auto companies? In some cases, authority would rather stick with a failed company, program, research project, treatment or whatever, than deal with consequences of acknowledging the failure. It's a weak minded and immoral strategy, but nobody said all authorities are strong and upright. :p
 

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