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Behind a cancer-treatment firm's rosy survival claims

Reuters, March 7, 2013

When the local doctor who had been treating Vicky Hilborn told her that her rare cancer had spread throughout her body, including her brain, she and her husband refused to accept a death sentence. Within days, Keith Hilborn was on the phone with an "oncology information specialist" at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Hilborn had seen CTCA's website touting survival rates better than national averages. His call secured Vicky an appointment at the for-profit, privately held company's Philadelphia affiliate, Eastern Regional Medical Center. Vicky's cancer treatment was forestalled by an infection and other complications that kept her at Eastern Regional for three weeks. In July 2009, when she got back home, things changed. Despite Keith's calls, he said, CTCA did not schedule another appointment.