Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Yet another study of widely touted cancer “cure” retracted

with 7 comments

cancer immunology immunotherapyA third study of GcMAF, a protein being used to treat a variety of conditions from AIDS to autism to cancer, all without the blessing of health agencies, has been retracted.

Here’s the notice in Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy for “Immunotherapy of metastatic colorectal cancer with vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage-activating factor, GcMAF:”

This article has been retracted by the Journal’s Editors-in-Chief in conjunction with the Publisher (Springer) due to irregularities in the Institutional Review Board documentation.

The paper has been cited 28 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

As we wrote in another post about Nobutu Yamamoto’s work, we’ve

noticed that retractions for IRB documentation problems are often a bit like jailing Al Capone on tax evasion: They’re the easiest charges to prove, but they’re likely the least of a study’s problems.

A website,, continues to hawk the results of treatment:

The results from all the diseases we list are astonishing, but in late stage cancer the clinics achieve an average of 25% tumour reduction per week. (We get that reduction with pancreatic cancer too.)

The other two retractions for Yamamoto were in the International Journal of Cancer and the Journal of Medical Virology.


  • A October 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    It is natural to retract a paper because irregularities in the Institutional Review Board documentation are bad.

  • herr doktor bimler October 10, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    In the absence of IRB oversight, we only have Yamamoto’s word for it that the patients actually existed.

    • JATdS October 13, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      “GcMAF, a protein being used to treat a variety of conditions from AIDS to autism to cancer, all without the blessing of health agencies,” Just for clarity, is this statement referring specifically to the three Yamamoto papers? Is it referring specifically to Japanese health agencies, so the NIHS? Other issues worth exploring:
      a) A link to Dr. Yamamoto’s web-page.
      b) Questioning his department whether other studies using this and other drugs received approval from “health agencies”, i.e., is the problem restricted to Dr. Yamamoto’s studies alone?
      c) Is GcMAF itself problematic? Can someone please post the problematic issues surrounding GcMAF and the dangers or concerns about this “miracle” protein. How much exactly is marketing spin, are any companies benefitting financially from the sale of GcMAF, and are there are negative side-effects or toxicity caused by this protein?

      • Narad October 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm

        are any companies benefitting financially from the sale of GcMAF

        Yes. See also and, which can be verified as being Noakes’ through

        • Narad October 13, 2014 at 8:12 pm

          And That appears to be behind an anonymous registration (I only looked because it’s providing name service for, but it’s all the same operation.

        • herr doktor bimler October 13, 2014 at 11:51 pm

          According to, they have websites with that name covering Greece, Spain, Sweden, Russia and Poland, and other websites with the ‘firstimmune’ name for Italy and Germany.
          They also use the name Infiniti BioMed Pte Ltd for Asian distribution.

 mentions that there are “seven companies who have purported to manufacture GcMAF” and complains that “only two have ever published internal and independent live cell assay tests: Jim Tassano in California and ourselves.”

          (Tassano is a pesticide dealer who like Noakes was touting homemade DCA as the cure for all cancer; if he *was* selling GcMAF, he is now out of business).

          The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome websites reveal a lot of chatter about GcMAF and the various rival companies selling it. A Netherlands company was mentioned, BGLI, but warn against their unauthorised product.

          Then there is autism; I think that Bradstreet is the main person promoting GcMAF as a cure.

      • herr doktor bimler October 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm

        The commercial marketing of GcMAF is a whole separate kettle of red herrings, probably better-suited for Orac over at Respectful Insolence. As Narad has noted, part of it is the Ruggiero / Noakes Guernsey-based operation.

        Noakes was previously involved in marketing DCA as a cure for cancer. Then Yamamoto patented GcMAF and worked hard on promoting it through academic channels:

        Ruggiero became involved independently while pursuing Yamamoto’s claim that GcMAF could cure AIDS:

        There is also the Saisei Mirai clinic in Japan (run by one Dr Inui) which offers to treat various cancers with GcMAF, and is the source of most of the publications which didn’t come from Yamamoto. Ruggiero and Noakes warn against Inui’s products and warn people that he charges too much for materials of dubious provenance and no proven clinical value:

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