[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 16, 1988

Immunoaugmentative Therapy

Author Affiliations

Office of Technology Assessment Washington, DC

Office of Technology Assessment Washington, DC

JAMA. 1988;260(23):3436. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410230053020

To the Editor. —  Your recent DATTA report on immunoaugmentative therapy (IAT)1 mentions the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) case study on the evaluation of IAT, part of a larger assessment of unorthodox cancer treatments. We are writing to describe this case study. In mid-1986, when the IAT clinic was closed, a group of about 40 members of Congress signed letters asking the OTA to "conduct a comprehensive evaluation" of IAT. Based on a review of the published literature, information submitted to various legislators, and our understanding of Dr Burton's treatment records, it was our judgment that existing information was not sufficient to determine the efficacy or safety of IAT and that only prospective clinical trials could provide a valid basis for evaluation. In early 1987, we undertook development of a protocol for an initial trial that would be ethical, feasible, and credible to the medical profession, the alternative