Over the past few weeks, multiple media outlets have written about Kathy Bero, a 54-year-old woman who claims her breast cancer 12 years ago was ultimately defeated through a special diet and diligent use of reiki, an alternative medicine that purports to treat disease via healing energy channeled through a person’s hands. Her recovery was so miraculous, these articles have credulously reported, that Harvard scientists are gearing up to study how Bero’s diet saved her from cancer. But that’s not what’s actually going on.
Bero (and her genes) are indeed part of an ongoing study by Harvard researchers and others, led by Isaac Kohane, chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School.
The study, according to Kohane, is a excavation of sorts. They plan to look at the genetic makeup of people like Bero who have had rare, extraordinary recoveries following their cancer diagnosis. These subjects will mostly be people who have responded much better than expected to whatever treatment they were given. But the study will also include people like Bero whose cancer went away seemingly out of nowhere, a phenomenon known as spontaneous remission.
“The purpose is to look, in an unbiased way, across all different measurements, what might explain these exceptional responses,” Kohane [said].
Read full, original post: No, Harvard Isn’t Studying How to Cure Cancer Through Diet