An Insiders View of the Tact Trial

Gervasio Antonio Lamas, MD has released a blog post regarding the recently completed TACT Trial ( Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy) GA Lamas was the study’s principal investigator and is the chairman of Medicine and chief of the Columbia University Division of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach.

Here we summarise what we believe to be some important points.

Dr Lamas begins by saying

“Changing minds is difficult.  Unexpected results meet resistance. Out of the mainstream research is subject to heavy criticism.  I guess I knew all these truisms when we embarked on the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT).  Still, I thought we were answering an important clinical question.”

In a comment about wether he thought the whole trial was controversial he went on to say.

“To say that this trial was controversial is an understatement.  I had previously worked peacefully in other clinical trials, worrying about enrollment, about the DSMB, and about interpretation of data.  Not so, here.  In retrospect, I had always thought that the adversaries to this study would be the chelation practitioners.  After all, they were using an unproven therapy.  Why would they want us to show it did not work? The opposite was true.  The chelation practitioners and their main professional organization, the American College for Advancement in Medicine, helped us at every turn.  They felt they were doing good, and that bringing chelation to the crucible of a clinical trial would lead to many more patients being helped.”

“In fact, the principal obstructionists were groups of self-appointed anti-chelation “experts”, who had never administered chelation, had never designed or run clinical trials, but who knew how to make noise and recruit media to their dubious cause – that scientific thought should not be brought to bear on the question of whether chelation was safe and effective.  These groups used the Freedom of Information Act to get our protocols, spread hyperbole and twisted facts to recruit journalists, and even persuaded the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) to start an investigation.”

Initial Study Results

The study was positive. EDTA chelation reduced events by 18% in an optimally treated post-MI population.

“Uh oh.  More knives came out.  No, I won’t name names here. The gist of the objections was an outcry  because cardiologists believed that EDTA was quackery, the study had to be negative.  Therefore we had done something wrong.  Just imagine if this had been stem cells or a new anti-platelet: Kudos all the way, right?  Humble chelation got heckles and hecklers.  I told my dean at Columbia that people were very upset because they did not like the results.  He said “That’s why you do research.”

Chelation and Diabetics

“Diabetic patients derive a greater benefit from EDTA chelation than do non-diabetics.  They demonstrated a 41% reduction in combined cardiovascular events, including a 43% reduction in total mortality and a 50% reduction in recurrent MI.  There is nothing like this in diabetes.”

In summary why oh why do most mainstream medical professionals still refuse to accept that Chelation Therapy can be helpful in the fight against heart disease, why do they still think it’s so called quackery even when these positive results are laid out in front of them. What do you think?