How Macchiarini was recruited to Karolinska

How Macchiarini was recruited to Karolinska

In September 2010, the trachea transplant surgeon Paolo Macchiarini was basically at the end of his career of fraud and patient abuse, found out and unwanted by everyone, because of his psychopathic tendencies. Except by Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden, which pushed the recruitment process through in just 3 weeks, despite negative references and known lies in Macchiarini’s CV.  Thanks to the emeritus KI professor and KI scandal chronist Johan Thyberg, I now share below some documents which Thyberg received from a confidential source, after KI told him those very documents were missing.

The central document is a report by the KI pulmonologist Sven-Erik Dahlen submitted to the Karolinska University Hospital investigator Kjell Asplund on 26 April 2016 (read here the Asplund report), as well as some of the attachments Thyberg obtained so far. KI were warned from colleagues by Florence, Barcelona and Hannover not to employ someone who was basically a lying psychopath. Yet the rector Harriet Wallberg and lead clinicians Lars-Olaf Cardell and Li Felländer-Tsai were desperate for some positive academic reviews to push the professorship through. They finally got one from London, from Macchiarini’s partner at UCL, Martin Birchall.

Totally kept under wraps so far: another London institution was apparently involved in Macchiarini’s recruitment at KI: the Great Ormond Street Hospital, a children’s clinic with big plans for trachea transplants. Swedes were quite worried to anger GOSH by rejecting Macchiarini and thus lose the collaborative opportunities. Just some months before the recruitment process started at KI, Macchiarini performed at GOSH in March 2010 a trachea transplant on a child (now one of just 2 or 3 survivors of what otherwise became basically a killing spree). That GOSH operation was another Lancet paper in the making (Elliott et al, Lancet, 2012), yet when it was finally published, Macchiarini ‘s friendship with London surgeons abruptly ended over a patent fight and the Italian was thrown off the paper. But back in 2010, a “boss at GOSH” is mentioned by Cardell as someone whom KI approached for a reference, this boss was likely the medical director Martin Elliott, who performed that trachea transplant together with Macchiarini. Continue reading “How Macchiarini was recruited to Karolinska”

Cancerous Statistics, by Alla Astakhova

Cancerous Statistics, by Alla Astakhova

Russian officials found an ingenious way to cure cancer and to impress their autocratic president Putin: they simply rig statistics. More people die of cancer than actually officially suffer from it. Elsewhere, dead patients disappear or, according to statistics, live forever. This was reported by the Russian independent health journalist Alla Astakhova on her site, Status Praesens, based on an open letter by the oncologist Vakhtang Merabishvili she published. My site now brings you a translation of a related Astakhova article, which covered last year’s lecture by Merabishvili about the rigged Russian cancer statistics.

And these are truly impressively false. While Europe shows for stage IV cancer sufferers a one-year mortality rate of between 30 and 40 percent (in some countries over 50%), Russia achieved a medical sensation: less than 20% die! Also for stages I and II cancer patients, Russian bureaucrats were able to show excellent health improvements. The current Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova proudly announced to Putin that the early cancer detection rate in Russia is amazing 70%. Yet even the rigged official data shows actually 55% on average (and is higher in more corrupt regions of Russia). In reality, once one does the counting properly, according to international standards, the early cancer detection rate lies between 30 and 35 percent. Same minister Skvortsova recently promised  to raise the life expectancy of Russians to 120, which is impressive given that the current one is around 70. Maybe just for Putin (65), to make sure someone watches over Russia for the next 50 years. It is also a quite convenient excuse for the Russian government to raise the entry into pension age. If you are promised to live till 120, don’t complain if you are told to work till 70 or longer (Russian life expectancy with men is 67).

Russian officials, while promoting their so-called “family values” in a desperate attempt to raise the rapidly declining child births, pretend in their cancer statistics that the population is not ageing at all. Which is convenient, because if you don’t expect an increase of age-related cancers, you do not have to invest in oncology care.

Continue reading “Cancerous Statistics, by Alla Astakhova”

UCL trachea transplants: Videregen sets lawyers on Liverpool academics Murray and Levy

UCL trachea transplants: Videregen sets lawyers on Liverpool academics Murray and Levy

The Science and Technology Committee of the British House of Commons opened in November 2017 an inquiry into Research Integrity. This prompted two University of Liverpool academics to submit a letter to the committee, describing the inaccuracies, misrepresentations and blatant lies which incurred in the course of the trachea transplants performed by the surgeons Paolo Macchiarini and Martin Birchall. The two academics were Patricia Murray, professor in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, previously a nurse on a Head and Neck unit, and Raphael Lévy, senior lecturer in nanotechnology and imaging. The two also notified the relevant UK authorities and Birchall’s employer UCL of their concerns, especially after even suspected data manipulations came to light. UCL representative gave as a reply an oral and written testimony to the parliamentary committee, other stakeholders provided their own written replies. The first Murray-Levy letter was followed by a second one, because UCL needed help recalling correctly what they did to which patient, and how many have died from the very similar trachea replacement technology which UCL still demands to be allowed to test on 60 more patients.

Now the most vile thing happened, as reported by The BMJ on July 12. Videregen, the Liverpool-based company which bought the trachea regeneration patent from UCL and engages Birchall’s services as advisor, deployed lawyers against Murray and Levy, precisely via their employer University of Liverpool. The main issue is the parliamentary submission by Levy and Murray, subject to absolute privilege. Yet Videregen also cites from the confidential notice of suspected research misconduct Murray and Levy submitted in good faith to UCL (which has not yet decided whether misrepresenting data and providing false information in applications for funding, ethics approval and regulatory permissions is serious enough to warrant an investigation). One wonders who forwarded Videregen this notice, which was confidential and absolutely none of their business? UCL, or their professor Birchall, or Birchall with permission from UCL? Another question is: is our tax money which the EU Commission gave Videregen for trachea transplanting now being used to threaten critics? Continue reading “UCL trachea transplants: Videregen sets lawyers on Liverpool academics Murray and Levy”

Macchiarini victim Zhadyra Iglikova is dead

Macchiarini victim Zhadyra Iglikova is dead

English version below

Умерла еще одна жертва Маккиарини – Жадыра Игликова

Еще одна из пациенток, которым  Маккиарини в прошлом проводил трансплантацию трахеи, умерла 9 июля 2018. Об этом сообщила российский медицинский журналист Алла Астахова, упомнув в качестве источника аккаунт в Instagram одного из членов семьи пациентки. Аккаунт содержит много ценной информации. Жадыра Игликова получила от Маккиарини обесклеченную трахею посмертного донора в декабре 2010 года. Эта операция была шоу своего рода и должна была привлечь чудо-хирурга в российский проект мегагрантов. Результатом стали до 6 смертельных трансплантаций пластиковой трахеи . Трансплантат был получен в больнице Careggi во Флоренции, где Маккиарини работал в то время, и доставлен в Россию. Операция была проведена в московской Национальном научном центре хирургии имени Петровского. Ведущим хирургом наряду с Маккиарини был Владимир Паршин . Сразу же после этого последовали осложнения, трансплантат развалился и сгнил, как сообщает  Дземешкевич 2015 .

К 2018 году состояние Жадыры критически ухудшилось, у нее была хроническая пневмония, трахеопищеводный свищ и весила она менее 39 кг. В феврале 2018 ее семья отправилась с ней из Казахстана в Москву искать помощи в клинике МГМУ имени Сеченова. Совпадение или нет, но руководит отделением торакальной хирургии в этой клинике Паршин, выполнивший первую операцию по пересадке трахеи Жадыре в 2010 году. Continue reading “Macchiarini victim Zhadyra Iglikova is dead”

“Me llamo Paloma Cabeza Jiménez”: Macchiarini victim speaks out

“Me llamo Paloma Cabeza Jiménez”: Macchiarini victim speaks out

English version, and a secret of yet another dead trachea transplant patient below.

Me llamo Paloma Cabeza Jiménez,

tengo 43 años y vivo en Alicante aunque nací en Madrid (España)

Con tan solo 10 años, tuve un accidente doméstico con un caustico.

En aquella época (1986) no se manejaban con buen acierto ni criterio las lesiones traqueales.

Mi lesión primaria era de tan solo dos centímetros de longitud y a causa de malas decisiones médicas y pocos recursos… aquellos dos centímetros degeneraron en una lesión que abarcaba la longitud total de la tráquea, lo cual me obligó a la colocación de una prótesis de silicona tipo “T” llamada Montgomery en 1992 (el verano que cumplía 18 años)

Tras años de múltiples recambios de Mongomerys para evitar la colonización por bacterias, se dieron cuenta que esas mismas manipulaciones (cada 3-6 meses) en quirófano estaban favoreciendo y provocando la aparición de nuevas bacterias por contaminación y sumada a esta realidad la propia manipulación destrozaba la regeneración natural de la mucosa traqueal.

Asi mismo, las reiteradas manipulaciones con fibrobroncoscopio rigido y aspiraciones…dañaron parcialmente mi bronquio principal izquierdo, quedándose con una estenosis estable de diámetro entre 6-7mm. Calibre compatible con una calidad de vida normal si no pretendes ser deportista profesional. Continue reading ““Me llamo Paloma Cabeza Jiménez”: Macchiarini victim speaks out”

Karolinska requests retraction of Macchiarini and Jungebluth papers

Karolinska requests retraction of Macchiarini and Jungebluth papers

Today the Swedish Karolinska Institutet (KI) will announce its decision about 6 papers of their former professor and surgeon, Paolo Macchiarini. This article will be updated accordingly. Update 14:00: a decision was published, all 6 papers are to be retracted, 7 scientists found guilty of misconduct.

The background: On 30 October 2017, Swedish Central Ethics Review Board (CEPN) requested that 6 publications by Macchiarini and co-authors, all authored while at KI, are to be retracted, in a press release and a statement I received, in English original. The decision was based on the expert review by Martin Björck, professor of surgery at University of Uppsala, and Detlev Ganten, professor emeritus of pharmacology and former CEO of the Charité university hospital in Berlin, Germany, their report is available here on my site. The two experts found Macchiarini and his former acolyte and right-hand man Philipp Jungebluth guilty of breaching the Nuremberg Code of 1947 and Helsinki declaration, which forbid unethical and dangerous medical research on humans. One of those papers set for retraction is Jungebluth et al Lancet 2011, where a patient from Iceland was tricked to subject himself to a deadly experiment with a never before tested plastic trachea (that issue lead to a major investigation in Iceland and now is even about to be addressed by the Icelandic parliament).

Judging from last week’s email by Jungebluth to KI which I quote below, a call for retraction is expected.

Continue reading “Karolinska requests retraction of Macchiarini and Jungebluth papers”

Karolinska gets taught German medical ethics

Karolinska gets taught German medical ethics

A most bizarre thing happened. In the aftermath of the scandal around the thoracic surgeon and regenerative medicine enthusiast Paolo Macchiarini, which left many patients dead, his former employer Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden, requested a retraction of one of his papers. It was not about a trachea transplant, but about unethical and painful medical experiments on a dying patient (actually, two of them). KI’s decision to request a retraction of the paper Jungebluth et al, “Autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells as treatment in refractory acute respiratory distress syndrome”, Respiration, 2015 was based on the investigation commissioned by Swedish Central Ethics Review Board (CEPN). The Swiss-German and family-owned medical publisher Karger and its journal Respiration however categorically refused to retract the paper and ordered KI not “to patronize the readers of the journal ‘Respiration’.

It gets much worse. The German Editor-in-Chief of this journal has a huge conflict of interest. It is better you just read on, because if I try to summarize it here, I might get sued by Macchiarini’s German friends and associates once again, and next time it might even be prison for me. In Germany, doctors have a very special status. Journalists or even patients do not, as I learned in court.

Continue reading “Karolinska gets taught German medical ethics”