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Editor's Choice

Don’t beam me up just yet

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e2805 (Published 19 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2805

Re: Don’t beam me up just yet

Edzard Ernst, the first professor of complementary therapy in UK, made headlines when he termed the Prince of Wales as snake oil salesman for the Prince’s support for complementary and alternative medicines (1).

I wonder what Edzard Ernst would think of prostate radiotherapists using very sophisticated technology to adminster high doses of radiation, when there is definite evidence of harm without any evidence of overall survival benefit (2)(3)(4)(5).

References:
1. Edzard Ernst: the prince and me. BMJ 2011; 343 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d4937
2. Glatstein E. The return of the snake oil salesmen. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003;55(3):561-2
3. Jackson T. Don’t beam me up just yet. BMJ 2012;344:e2805
4. Dearnaley D et al. Escalated-dose Conformal Radiotherapy for Localised Prostate Cancer: Long-term Overall Survival Results From the MRC RT01 Randomised Controlled Trial. European Journal of Cancer, 2011(47), Supplement 2: 11-12.
5. Furlow B.US urology clinics overprescribe prostate radiotherapy.The Lancet Oncology 2011(12):122.

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 April 2012
Santhanam Sundar
Consultant Oncologist
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS trust
Hucknall Road, Nottingham. NG5 1PB