Throughout the 2000s, Anil Potti was an up-and-coming medical star. He promised cancer treatments with an 80-percent cure rate, and medical professionals believed that his discoveries could save 10,000 lives a year, but in 2015, this all changed. Potti was found guilty of including false data in a manuscript, nine papers, and a grant application, so the results of his studies were voided.
One woman who was particularly affected by this fraudulence was Joyce Shoffner, patient No. 1 in a July 2008 trial done by Potti. Under the guarantee that Potti’s therapy cured 80 percent of cancers, Shoffner eagerly signed up to join the study to help cure her breast cancer. She underwent a painful biopsy, in which doctors took tissue samples by inserting a long needle from under her arm and up into her neck. She then went through a regimen of Adriamycin-Cytoxan (AC) chemotherapy, only to be told two years later that the study’s results had been voided due to Potti’s involvement. Today, Shoffner does not have breast cancer, but she lives with the blood clots and diabetes caused by the AC regimen, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the trial itself.