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Trends Mol Med. 2014 Sep;20(9):473-6. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2014.06.007. Epub 2014 Aug 20.

Clinical trials of integrative medicine: testing whether magic works?

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Michael and Marian Ilitch Department of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 3990 John R St., Detroit, MI 48201, USA; Molecular Therapeutics Program, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, 4100 John R St., Detroit, MI 48201, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Neurology, Yale University, 40 Temple St, Suite 6C, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Over the past two decades complementary and alternative medicine treatments relying on dubious science have been embraced by medical academia. Despite low to nonexistent prior probability that testing these treatments in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) will be successful, RCTs of these modalities have proliferated, consistent with the principles of evidence-based medicine, which underemphasize prior plausibility rooted in science. We examine this phenomenon and argue that what is needed is science-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.


Evidence-based medicine; clinical trials; complementary and alternative medicine; integrative medicine; science-based medicine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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