First the background and update: The NIH is completing their seven year, 30 million dollar, double blind study of Intravenous EDTA Therapy for Heart Disease. On their web site, this study has been named the TACT study (Trial to Asses Chelation Therapy). The NIH says a summary of the findings will be available for release by mid summer.
Now back to the intriguing info and question in the title. Two years ago, 5 years into the study, these 3 major institutions listed above independently approached the NIH and asked to become part of the study. They then had their own in-house cardiologists go through the required training in chelation therapy protocols. Remember the NIH cardiologists teaching these cardiologists had been themselves trained by doctors such as myself. I did not do any of the direct training of the NIH doctors by the way. However, while on the Board of Directors of ACAM (American Academy of Advancement in Medicine), I helped create the teaching protocols the NIH cardiologists were trained to use. They in turn taught the protocols to the cardiologists from these very mainstream institutions now wanting to enter the study.
Why the sudden interest of these big three in being involved? I know of no public statement issued by any of these centers. Mayo, Scripps, and Johns Hopkins all have bypass and angioplasty units. In other words, they have the potential for a major loss of income from these units when any positive results in less surgical procedures being done. After all, heart surgical and angioplasty hospital based units are still the key economic engine supporting many such centers around the country. Also, actively participating in a study such as TACT is no ‘walk in the park’. One, a seemingly inordinate amount of medical and staff time is taken up by interval reports and documents and required interaction with the NIH. Two, keep in mind it is a double blind study on people identified as having life threatening heart disease. Therefore the doctor participating knows 50% of the people he or she enrolls receive no definitive treatment at all even if the end result of the trial should provide a less expensive and safer cardiac therapy for a much larger group of people.
A clue which may provide the answer for why they joined is in the interesting timing of their asking for involvement. Mayo, Scripps, and Johns Hopkins stepped forward and began to participate just after the NIH refused to stop the study two years ago. A consortium of paid medical lobbyists, cardiologists, and surgeons put enormous pressure on the NIH to stop the study just before the three above joined. Of course, all the objecting parties stood to lose income, clout, etc. were the study to be found to be positive by the NIH. The consortium was made up of some of the same groups who had fought for years to stop the NIH from doing the study in the first place. When the NIH reported that there were some deaths among the participants, the consortium thought they saw an opening stop the study. Their argument: by allowing the number of people dying while participating in the study to be deemed acceptable was an unconscionable action by the NIH. In effect, they said the NIH, by continuing the study, was allowing people to be denied proper bypass surgery and angioplasty which likely would have prevented their death.
This was the same argument some of the same groups had used for years to block any funding for this type of research by the NIH. Of course, this consortium of economic interests were and are still so well funded that they have managed to operate literarily and figuratively for decades without any of the objective accounting the doctors investigating and doing chelation have been asking for from the government/NIH!
The NIH had to make the call. After reviewing all the statistics about mortality of the 1700 people undergoing treatments, they concluded that there was actually no evidence thus far that these people were at higher risk of death because they were doing the study than if they were to have been receiving the standard surgical treatments. Therefore the trial could continue.
Obviously, allowing the trial to go forward in the face of the pressure applied was a huge statement in itself. The NIH could not say more directly. However, there are further conclusions a reasonable person can draw from simply studying the statistics. The number who had died while using the study protocol, placebo and actual chelation combined, as treatment was actually a smaller number than the number statistically expected to die had they all opted for current standard therapy.
Did these major international medical centers join once they “got it” from a practical point of view? These centers as business ventures are not naïve. Less deaths or even simply not more deaths, as the NIH reported, at end of testing will suggest volumes. Did they actually grab an opportunity to begin to position themselves as “leaders who have done the initial studies”? Possibly, but I do not know for sure.
The above information should make for an interesting summer.
Wishing you all the best in Health and Healing,
Paul Lynn M. D.
The San Francisco Preventive Medical Group