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Dubious Egyptian Hepatitis C Detector Pops up Again

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Today I was surprised to see a lot of visitors from Egypt on my blog. A closer look learned that they came for a blog I wrote almost a year ago about a very dubious detector for the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). It looked quite like the bogus bomb- and drugsdetectors which led to a big scandal and courtcases in the United Kingdom.
I didn’t hear anything new about the Egyptian detector until today. Apparently a spokesperson for the Egyptian Armed Forces announced that they were to present a new device for detection (and treatment) of HCV.

A press conference was scheduled for this afternoon, but I could not find anything specific about that. I did find however the following YouTube video which was uploaded yesterday and confirms that is about the same bogus device. Google Translated the video is titled Device for the detection and treatment of viral hepatitis C and AIDS gift from the Egyptian army to the people of Egypt. 

If someone who understands Arabic reads this blog and can summarize what is told in the video in the comments, that would be great!

Image of the(?) C-FAST detector from the patent application
Image of the(?) C-FAST detector from the patent application

This ‘detector’ had caused a little row in articles of the Guardian last year. In my blog from April 2013 I wrote about the poster presentation the researchers (dr. Gamal Shiha in particular) held on International Liver Congres in Amsterdam (EASL 2013) a couple of weeks later.
They presented some incredible figures, but also showed a different device: Egyptian hepatitis C detector changes shape. Where’s the dowsing rod?

Of course today I tried to find some more information on what happened after these events. I noticed that the Egyptians had managed to get their research published. The article is titled: A Novel Method for Non-Invasive Diagnosis of Hepatitis C Virus Using Electromagnetic Signal Detection: A Multicenter International Study by Shiha et al. (International Journal of Medical, Pharmaceutical Science and Engineering Vol:7 No:12, 2013). The publisher of this journal can be found on Beall’s list [mirror] of questionable, scholarly open-access publishers, which isn’t a good sign at all.

What becomes clear from the article is that they indeed used the dowsing rod like device which we saw Shiha use on the picture in the Guardian article. It has international patent number PCT/EG2010/000044, which can be viewed here in detail.

So they did not use the barcode scanner like machine they put on their poster at the International Liver Congress!

The new C-FAST prototype?
The device on their e-poster is not the C-FAST device they used for the research described in the article.

Were they afraid that other visitors to the congres might ask them some awkward questions as some would probably remember the images of the dowsing rod from the Guardian article? Anyway, to me this looks like a clear example of scientific fraud.

But how about the results which were obtained using this dowsing rod? The article mentions only very briefly what kind of procedure they followed:

The study throughout its three phases was done blindly. Each time; the desired subjects were prepared as negative and positive for HCV proved by RT-PCR. Meanwhile, each subject was tested by C-FAST device and results were recorded as positive or negative by the operator who was unaware of the results of the PCR. Thereafter, the results of HCV-RNA by RT-PCR and the results of C-FAST device were sent for the statistical analyses to compare the two methods regarding sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values. Again, the statistician was external and unaware of the study purpose.

The blinding is not convincing at all. The researchers selected (probably HCV positive) participants from a couple of research institutes and  hospitals and the controls were picked from army recruits. So most likely almost all participants knew their HCV status and could have easily given off signs of that to the operator. As we can see from the video above, there were no screens to obscure the participants from the operators view.

This is a terrible mess. Unfortunately the Egyptian Armed Forces seem very convinced they now have a reliable and quick method to detect viruses without the need for blood samples. Also presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi praised ‘the breakthrough made by the armed forces engineering department to help detect and cure Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS patients’ today. What?? So they even think it can cure AIDS!? This is so … %^$%

Update: press release Armed Forces achieve scientific breakthrough – President Adly Mansour and Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi were presented with the first system for discovering and treating Hepatitis and AIDS patients.

Update 25-2-2014: English spoken news item from CCTV News Africa

Follow up in Update on #KoftaGate – Egyptian Miracle Detectors and Cures for Hepatitis C and AIDS

 

41 thoughts on “Dubious Egyptian Hepatitis C Detector Pops up Again

  1. Why should the article be retracted? Absurd proposition by RW. I would suggest to build a foundation by reading some good books on epistemology and the philosophy of science. Dr. Mario Bunge’s monumental work would be a good place to start.

  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDvInUrUrDs#t=11 this is quick review and analysis of both the devices by Islam Hussein, Ph.D. Virologist & Research Scientist @ MIT

    it is in arabic however but some of the main points of the video are excerpts from the aforementioned research paper and also the patent request which are in english.

  3. Pepijn van Erp
    i am a trainee doctor in Abassya hospital where they tested C-Fast and CCD
    the video is old from 2011
    C-FAST which they use in tests from 2013 is the digital scannar

    i don’t know how CCD works but it really did cured HCV patients in section 6 of the hospital

    but i can give you an facebook address for one of doctors who testing it

      1. the pictures are old from tests in 2010 in pakistan and india and egypt

        put in consider a thing the old prototype was a handcape in publiching its full patent was that the micro controller was not allowed to be published because it will tell what is the specific EMF at which HCV is detected
        as i understood from one of my friends who is in the research

        so they replaced the prototype with a digital version which they show in the congress

        C-FAST and CCD are based on physics more than medicine and i don’t understand its physics till now but i can give you a facebook account for one of the developer to ask him if you have an email

      2. Hi, It’s not dubious not fake, the results is real. simply it’s secret science, I lived 10 years in the UK close to people working in bioscience research a professor in a reputable uni believes that science is business, and I confirm that more than 90% of those researchers are working for MONEY – WEALTH or personal objectives they don’t work to help people so it’s very likely to find fake results and cheating. but the Egyptian army is completely different they are working to help people I confirm to you the Egyptian army would never cheat or give false results, despite what you hear in European and american media it’s all about dirty politics, the device is working and invented to help Egyptians not to collect money

  4. Huge debate now in Egypt about it as the army forces put their weight behind this dubious rather dodgy device. M Zoel Nobel price winner for phimto tech was even asked to comment and due to political reasons he said ” no comment” . I guess your blog will be flooded with Egyptians again once more for truth

  5. Reports at the BBC and the New York Times

    Another (CNN) reports features dr. Shiha who has harsh criticism as well, which is a bit weird as he is so involved with the C-FAST

    Egyptian army’s AIDS-cure claim gets harsh criticism

    “What has been said is not scientifically disciplined. There is nothing published, and there is nothing in medical conferences, and there is no single eminent professor around the project,” Shiha told CNN. “Nothing scientifically relevant has been said.”

    So he doesn’t mention the article he published himself, maybe his comments only concern the CCD machine.

    1. Why unjustified attack from western sites

      Let’s wait and see after the manufacture of the device and see the results if handled it required

      And if it were not a high percentage, but has made progress in therapy thank them for their attempts

      1. You can’t “wait and see” results on human beings. If this is the wrong tool, negative results means death.

        1. Why we can not wait even see the full results

          Did you not hear or read about many of the medicines that have passed successfully posted all internationals test and then pulled from the market for serious harm to humans???????

          Or because they are manufactured in overseas you believe it immediately

        2. Let’s stick to the topic of this particular devices. If you want to start a discussion on dubious practices in farmacy in general, I suggest you look for another platform.

    1. Maybe the Egyptian Army got its ideas from sources like this, but I can’t find any reliable medical research on this machine. Looks like a scam to me. I see some Russian/Latvian sources on Whole Body Hyperthermia, which sounds a bit like this. This treatment has been investigated and it doesn’t seem like a good idea. From a 2011 Phd Thesis (link):

      Eight patients reached the primary endpoint of viral reduction of at least 90% at the end of treatment [PvE: sounds good!] None of these decreases were maintained and none of the patients achieved a sustained virologic response at 24 weeks[PvE: bugger] . Four hundred and one adverse events occurred, 42 of them serious. Four patients developed irreversible neuropathy and one patient developed acute liver failure that resolved spontaneously [PvE: oops ..] .
      Conclusions: Considering the non-sustained decline in HCV RNA, the high incidence of (serious) adverse events and the potential for liver damage, hyperthermia has no therapeutic potential in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection.

      1. I agree with you in saying that he did not publish its own research in scientific sites about the modus operandi of the device or component of adjuvant therapy device

        But my question for you?

        Can you tell me the installation and the modus operandi of drug Antivron the wizard for the bird flu virus????

        1. Never heard about a drug called ‘Antivron’, but I’m well aware that not all drugs on the market are as effective as the pharmaceutical industry likes us to believe and that they used to practice dubious methods. It seems that things are getting a bit better on that front thanks to initiatives like alltrials.net. But that’s quite a different matter than claiming that a machine can do ‘miracles’ without anything reliable to substantiate that claim.

        2. Until now the information is incomplete

          But through my follow up what has been said about the machine that the machine operator assistant beside medications and follow-up for a full year after therapy sessions

  6. Yes My friend, you got this right, the Arabic transcript claims of 2 break through, one in the detection of virus ( C & HIV, and all other viruses eventually) the other in curing the virus and cleaning the patient body from it!!! actually the so called armed forces inventor/researcher, said literarily his device takes the virus switches it back to Sheesh kebab then feeds it back to the patient :))) laughs only please no cursing!!

      1. My God I keep imagining what a non arabic speaker would be thinking when listening to this and cannot stop laughing. “I take the AIDS from the patient, and feed the patient on AIDS, then I give it to him as a kebab skewer to feed on” Nothing is lost in translation believe me that is exactly what he said whatever that means.

  7. Just to Keep You up to date , Essam Heggy called it “A Scandal ” in an article published today . and said president and marshal sisi weren’t informed about the device and that the device has no scientific basis .
    http://goo.gl/LiWji7

  8. I found some more newsitems. Seems like Presidential Scientific Adviser Essam Heggy has some doubts and has pushed for independent scientific confirmation: http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/president-orders-review-aids-detecting-device don’t pity him in his position these days, he must probably operate very diplomatically.

    And I found a tv programme, but cannot make much of it. Is it critical of the invention or is it an endorsement? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7nnuEPTXfY

    1. he is not talking any science , just endorsement .btw this is the health minister’s Assistant Secretary and he is also a hepatology consultant .
      there were also a couple of guests -on the phone – one of them is hepatology professor .both hailed the device .

  9. It is disappointing that the Junta are extending their deception trials into scientific area.

    From a communication/ signal processing point of view, this kind of antennas can not detect directions or the source of the signal (i.e the infected body.), simply a scam.

  10. I tried to do a quick translation/transcript of what was said in the video. We have real research in Egypt and unfortunately some people come and ruin the reputation of hard working brilliant researcher by publicizing this none-sense for political gains, I hope they get exposed quickly and get what they deserve to protect the other real researchers
    Sorry for the long post, any typos and not having the time to translate what was shown on the slides that were shown


    In case the same material is near the device, it creates a mechanical energy inside the device, compared to conventional ways this device have lots of value. Several tests were performed in and outside Egypt and the results surprised all research centers and academics who followed the results and they issued recommendations for wide use of the device.

    For practical use for the CFast, Experiments proved that its potential does not stop at detecting Hepatitis C but experiments proved it vast ability to detect other viral disease in humans and animals as well as detecting other medical materials. And with the same theory that the device uses to detect Virus C, the results of Experiments came back that the device can also detect AIDS. And with the same theory a device was designed that can detect H1N1 and was tested at the Military hospital and proved to be successful with a success rate of over 90%.

    And it was not scientific to announce this scientific leap without also developing a cure especially for Hepatitis C and Aids and the question that imposed itself on the scientific committee at the beginning was “Is there a cure for Heptitis C, without complication?” Is there a cure for AIDS without complications? “Is there a cure for another VIrus” and the answer was no, and the efforts continue for this elusive question to find a cure for Hep C and Aids and through the research over the last 10 years we achieved the new device that kills viruses CCD with taking medicines that help the immunity. And we completed some successful tests on patients with Virus C and AIDS. (A doctor talking to a patient) “Lab results are aback and you don’t have AIDS any more” The patient “Thank God”

    Then two patients first female claims to be an AIDS patient who was cured then a male claiming to be a Hep C patient who was cured make testimonies about how they were cured in the military hospital and how now the liver functions are now good and his lab results are clear

    And based on these results the ministry of health gave the military the approval the invention and the accuracy of the results to use the devices CFast and IFast to detect Hep C and Aids, and the cure/therapy system. And the devices has acquired the patent after the authorities were reassured that it cures diseases that were impossible to cure and that it has many advantages over other solutions and offer practical benefits.

    And it is now planned to make new devices that detects and cures H1N1.

    And now when we ask the same questions “Is there a cure to Hep C” , “Is there a cure for AIDS”, “Is there a cure for other Viruses” The answer is yes.”

  11. I saw your blog post about this ‘device’ when Dr Shiha’s poster appeared on April 2013. About 10 months passed since the EASL congress; why did the Army wait all this time to declare their great innovation to the public? The answer is a political, not a scientific, one. The Army chief, Marshal Sisi, is to run for president after his July 2013 coup d’etat and he has to present some ‘achievements’ to the people. Pseudoscience supported by overwhelming state propaganda can become inarguable facts. Anyone who raises doubts about this ‘achievement’ can be regarded as an enemy of the state who ‘does not believe in the Egyptian ability to create’. Sorry for the political details, but, as an Egyptian, I cannot see the return of this ‘discovery’ away from its political context.

  12. the video is talking about new device for treatment based on the first one, authorized by Egyptian health ministry with the title (evaluation of efficacy and safety of innovative electromagnetic signals treatment strategy for therapy of individuals infected with HCV ) and new patents are registered under names of (I-Fast) and (CCD) .they say the same principal are applied to most of major viral infections including HIV .they say they worked on the project for the last 10 years and the scientific papers will be allowed to be published separately by different participating teams

    the project got backing from notable Egyptian specialists in the field like Dr. Ali Monis

    personally i’m not convinced but if there is a bit of hope to be true it will be a major breakthrough and opening of a new field in medicine and if not which is probable it will be big scandal especially with armed forced officially backing the invention.

  13. Well done for spotting this! Am trying to spread the news and get some coverage of this nonsense to hopefully put an end to it quickly.

  14. If someone who understands Arabic reads this blog and can summarize what
    is told in the video in the comments, that would be great!

    OK, the video about the Egyptian army forces discover anew technology for discovering patients with hepatitis c and HIV, and and the treatment for the viruses as well also they said recent experiments have been made in India and Egypt and Pakistan, and USA and it was totally successful and now after the successful international academic they will start using the new device all around the world also a small comparable between if there is treatment for hepatitis c and HIV before the device or no and the answer after the new device is yes 🙂

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