03 December 2014

The award to the pseudoscientific project was canceled at the last moment

The panacea for cancer was left without a premium
The cancer panacea project almost received a grant from the governor of the Moscow regionNadezhda Markina, "Newspaper.

Ru"PANACEA J. universal medicine, a cure for all diseases, a potion of longevity, what alchemists have been looking for for their century (Dahl's Explanatory Dictionary).

So even this "miracle cure" should not be called a panacea, and a "panacea for cancer" is even more nonsense - VM.

The winner of the annual award of the governor of the Moscow region "Our Moscow region" almost became the author of the project, promising to cure any cancer by affecting the genome with the help of a miracle drug in two weeks. The Commission on Combating Pseudoscience of the Russian Academy of Sciences and scientific experts unequivocally assessed it as pseudoscientific.

In the list of winners of the annual award of the Governor of the Moscow region "Our Moscow region", published on the website of the regional administration, the project "medicines for optimizing the functioning of the human genome, allowing to treat type 1 diabetes in children, hematopoiesis, cancer of various localization and many other diseases" appears in the nomination "Step forward". The author of the development of a new panacea is a certain Sergey Murzin. And "Our Moscow region" is a contest of social projects.

What could be more social than a cure for cancer (anyone!) and diabetes, well, and at the same time from other diseases? Moreover, the panacea is not offered anyhow, but acting at the genome level – optimizing its work.

Super cool. Probably, this played a role in the fact that this project out of seven thousand sent to the competition was among the 1,260 winners selected for governor's grants.

The author of such an outstanding invention, in his own words, studies the work of the human genome and in the process of this study created nothing more or less:

  1. "A model of the functioning of the human genome", which explains the mechanism of development of various diseases;
  2. "Model of mammalian anti-cancer instruments";
  3. Substance "A" for optimizing the functioning of the human genome and the method of its manufacture, as well as the method of exposure.

Where and how all these discoveries were made is absolutely unclear, because the author has no scientific publications, no academic degrees, or even a scientific education.

It turns out that Murzin was the CEO of the company "Aquamed" LLC in Korolev, near Moscow. The company was engaged in the production of mineral waters, pharmaceutical products, cleaning products, medical instruments, wholesale and retail trade, as well as, among other activities, scientific research and development. Extremely wide range of activities. However, this is already in the past: Aquamed was liquidated on April 30, 2010.

At the same time, the task of the "drug project" itself is formulated more than ambitiously: "The certification of "substance A" as a medicine and its use in healthcare will cure cancer of any localization of the first or second stage with a 95% probability in two weeks."

As a result of the introduction of a miracle drug, the author promises to reduce the number of cancer deaths by half by 2020, and by 2025 - by another half. And gives the figures. Where they came from is completely unclear, because no studies of the substance have been conducted so far. The author asks for 24 million rubles. specifically for preclinical studies, including the study of toxicity, specific activity, pharmacokinetics and other studies.

Usually, pharmaceutical companies with first-class equipment, huge money and highly qualified specialists take years and years to do such things.

How does the miracle cure work? In addition to references to Solzhenitsyn and Porfiry Ivanov as examples that the human body can defeat cancer, Murzin mentions genome research within the ENCODE project published in 2012: "Most of the DNA is switch genes. Further studies of switch genes in the future will allow the development of drugs for diabetes, cancer, and so on."

A beautiful word, of course, should give the impression of a deep scientific project, especially for people who have never heard of ENCODE. So, as part of the ENCODE project, which is being conducted by a huge international consortium, thousands of genome elements that play the role of switches have been analyzed, maps of the location and interaction of these elements have been built, links between various diseases have been discovered, and many mutations associated with the development of cancer have been found in them. But in none of the fifty articles published on the draft, scientists do not propose to "repair" a broken regulator and cure cancer. ENCODE is a fundamental project, it is certainly of great importance for personalized medicine, but this is a matter of the future.

And with Murzin, everything is as simple as three rubles: "Substance A" is guaranteed to activate a gene switch that triggers this natural mechanism, which allows you to cure cancer of different localization and many other diseases." Which is the switch gene out of thousands? What does it switch, in which direction and what happens at the same time?

Probably, such questions did not bother the expert council of the competition, in which there is not a single specialist in medicine or genetics. But there is actor Sergey Bezrukov, musician Igor Butman, Alexey Weitz – one of the leaders of the biker club "Night Wolves". The only scientist – economist, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Ruslan Grinberg. It is very doubtful that any of them in 7 thousand projects read at least something other than the name.

The appearance of such a project could not fail to draw attention to the Commission on Combating Pseudoscience, which published information about it on its website. The chairman of the commission, Academician Yevgeny Alexandrov, sent letters with expert feedback to the organizing committee of the award "Our Moscow Region" and personally to the Governor of the Moscow region Andrey Vorobyov, but no response was received.

At the same time, the commission emphasizes that it does not criticize the Moscow Region grant competition as a whole, because it believes that social grants are a useful initiative. "However, it is important to pay attention to the competence of the expert council. At the very least, experts should know the limits of their competence so that grant funds are not sprayed on obviously unpromising research that does not find the support of specialists and specialized scientific organizations."

Two expert reviews on this project have been published on the website of the Commission on Combating Pseudoscience.

According to Svetlana Borinskaya, Doctor of Biological Sciences, a leading researcher at the Institute of General Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, "the promising statement of the author of the project about the possibility of curing "cancer of various localization and many other diseases" with substance A is obviously impossible. Statements are scattered throughout the text of the project, showing that the author of the project does not have the qualifications necessary for the design and implementation of such developments."

"Firstly, there is no universal mechanism for removing a cancerous tumor. Secondly, there is no "single switch gene" in the human genome that could be affected," Borinskaya emphasizes.

Cancer is a genetically heterogeneous disease, many genes are involved in the development of its various forms. Moreover, there is no single switch gene for cancer and other diseases at the same time. Thirdly, there is no information in the project about the effect of "substance A" on anyone's body, which would allow at least to assume that this substance has biological activity, she believes.

According to Alexey Moskalev, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Radiobiology and Gerontology at the Institute of Biology of Komi UroRAN and the Laboratory of Life Expectancy and Aging at MIPT, "the applicant does not have special terminology." It is enough to mention the vague idea of the author of the project about a wide group of tumor diseases, which for him merge into one word "cancer".

"Phrases like "Certification of substance A as a medicine" and "use in healthcare will cure cancer of any localization of the first or second stage with a 95% probability in two weeks," immorally play on the feelings of patients and their relatives.

The author promises to conduct preclinical studies of the effectiveness of the drug within 12-15 months, the result of which will be "receiving a report on the non–toxicity and treatment of cancer of different localization, hematopoiesis arrest, type I diabetes in children," forgetting that preclinical tests are conducted on model animals – rats and rabbits, and not on children," he concluded a scientist.

According to the terms of the award "Our Moscow region", monetary remuneration at three levels is 500 thousand rubles, 200 thousand rubles and 100 thousand rubles, respectively.

Neither for 100 thousand, nor for 500 thousand, of course, you will not conduct a study of a potential drug. But to get this money, as well as your five minutes of fame, is not bad at all for a charlatan who creates a cure for cancer "on his knee".

The award ceremony took place on November 28 – the governor of the Moscow region Andrey Vorobyov presented awards to the winners. As they said "To the newspaper.Ru" in the governor's press service, "there is no Murzin in the list of winners."

Perhaps the organizers of the award still listened to the opinion of experts.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru03.12.2014

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