Thursday, September 30, 2010

International Scholars Issue Open Letter Supporting Xiao Chuanguo

Exactly one year ago, Hollywood celebrities were busy writing appealing letters on behalf of Roman Polanski, a movie director who was convicted for child rape. A couple of years earlier, a world-renowned scientist, William French Anderson, might have his sentence for molestation reduced because of supporting letters from his colleagues, including a Nobel Laureate.

Today, 31 internationally-renowned scholars, most of whom are accepting fundings for experiments on Xiao's Procedure, issued an open letter supporting Dr. Xiao Chuanguo, who had confessed to the hideous crime of masterminding two brutal attacks on an investigative reporter and a free-lance writer who had worked to expose his fraud.

The common thread of these letters is that their authors pay little or no regards to the horrible injuries caused by the perpetrators, in the name that the criminals or suspects had previous made valuable contributions to the society and therefore somehow should be judged more than mere citizens. Where are the moral standards?

In addition, this particular letter once again states the Beaumont Hospital result has confirmed that "[nerve] rerouting does occur," without even a mention of the critical comments by their peers published in the same issue of the Journal of Urology. Where is scholastic honesty?

To those protected elites who never fail to protect one of their own, where is the shame?

Below is the open letter, in its entire glory:

Open letter in support of Chuan-Guo Xiao, M.D. from the
International Academic Community

September 29, 2010

To all,

We have all had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Chuan-Guo Xiao for many years. He is an internationally respected surgeon-scientist who has made major advances in the development of neuroregeneration to restore voiding and bowel function. Dr. Xiao performed groundbreaking animal research in the United States, demonstrating that a motor nerve that innervates the leg can be used to reinnervate the bladder and bowel. This reinnervation allows for development of a reflex to initiate bladder function. The results of his studies were published in peer-reviewed journals and other scientists have replicated Xiao’s findings confirming these results.

Dr. Xiao eventually took the courageous step of moving from animal research to human studies and began performing the rerouting procedure on patients with spinal cord injury and spina bifida in China. Neurogenic bladder is life threatening in China due to a lack of both antimuscarinics and intermittent catheterization, and lessening the complications of neurogenic bladder would be considered a lifesaving success. Patients with neurogenic bladder and bowel suffer greatly and endure a host of issues such as urinary retention, incontinence, recurrent infections, renal insufficiency, fecal incontinence, constipation, and poor quality of life. For a procedure as complicated as nerve rerouting requiring nerve regeneration, one cannot expect normalization of bladder and bowel function to be the definition of success. What is important is that the benefits outweigh the risks of the procedure.

Dr. Xiao published his clinical results in peer-reviewed journals and was twice honored by the Jack Lapides Essay Contest, one of the most respected international awards given to scientists who make major contributions to the field of neurourology. In 2008, he was named the Kelm Hjalmas Memorial Lecturer from the International Children’s Continence Society for his scientific achievements. Many of us have traveled to China to examine patients treated by Dr. Xiao and/or have been trained by him in the nerve rerouting surgery he invented. Dr. Xiao is a very skilled surgeon who is passionate about patient care and works tirelessly to train physicians around the world in performing his nerve rerouting procedure.

In the United States, an independent and very rigorous pilot research trial was performed to test the safety and efficacy of this procedure. The one-year results were recently published in the Journal of Urology. At the 12-month follow-up visit, a cutaneous to bladder reflex was found in 7 of 9 spina bifida patients, confirming that rerouting does occur. This finding by itself is remarkable and Dr. Xiao should be commended. In addition, a number of patients demonstrated improvement in bladder and bowel function, which has continued to improve with longer patient follow-up.

The 36-month results are currently being analyzed and will be reported in the near future. The pilot data was supportive of Dr. Xiao’s procedure, and now an NIH sponsored clinical trial is being conducted to further study lumbar to sacral nerve rerouting in spina bifida patients. In addition, similar procedures have been done worldwide, with Dr. Xiao helping to mentor the surgeons at each site.

The Chinese people and government should be proud of Dr. Xiao for his dedication to his patients, his scientific achievements, and his willingness to train doctors around the world how to perform his surgery. The International scientific community was shocked to hear of Dr. Xiao’s arrest. Those of us who know Dr. Xiao well find it difficult to believe that he is involved in these attacks.

Dr. Xiao is a compassionate man who is respected worldwide for his integrity and his innovative scientific contributions to society. We implore the Chinese government and authorities to treat Dr. Xiao fairly and to protect his human rights as these charges are investigated. Please strongly consider Dr. Xiao’s scientific and humanitarian contributions to the world as facts are gathered in this case.


Kenneth M. Peters, MD
Professor and Chairman of Urology
Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, Michigan USA

Jack S. Elder, M.D.
Chief of Urology, Henry Ford Health System
Associate Director, Vattikuti Urology Institute
Department of Urology,
Children's Hospital of Michigan
Detroit, MI USA

Edwin A. Smith M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Urology
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia USA

Kevin M. Feber, MD, FAAP
Beaumont Children's Hospital
Royal Oak, MI USA

Ananias C. Diokno, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Executive Vice President & CMO
Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, Michigan 48073 USA

Juan José de Benito
Hospital Nacional de Clínicas
Córdoba, Argentina.

William E. Nantau B.Sc., CNIM
Clinical Manager
Clinical Neurophysiology Department
Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak, MI USA

Chief, Division of Pediatric Urology
Beaumont Childrens Hospital

Professor of Urology, Oakland University-William
Beaumont School of Medicine

Jacques Corcos MD.
Professor of Urology, McGill University
General Secretary of the International Continence
Jewish General hospital
3755 Cote Ste-Catherine
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2

Jose Gonzalez, M.D.
Department of Urology
Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, Michigan USA

Christopher Payne, MD
Associate Professor of Urology
Stanford University Medical School
Stanford, CA 94305-5118 USA

Kenneth I. Glassberg, MD
Director, Division of Pediatric Urology
Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-

Professor of Urology, Columbia University
College of Physicians and Surgeons
3959 Broadway, CHN 1118 NY USA

Earl Y. Cheng, MD
Associate Professor of Urology
Children’s Memorial Hospital
Chicago, Illinois USA

Darius J. Bagli, MDCM
Professor of Surgery
Senior Associate Scientist
Director of Urology Research
Divisions of Urology and
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
The Hospital For Sick Children
Institute of Medical Science
University of Toronto

FRCS(england) FEBPU
Paediatric urology unit
Hopital Necker-Enfants-Malades
149, rue de Sèvres
75015 Paris, France

Dr. Amrish Vaidya MS. MCh.
Consultant Paediatric Surgeon,
Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital,
4 Bungalows, Andheri W, Mumbai, India

Marc Cendron, MD
Associate Professor in Urology
Harvard Medical School
Children’s Hospital Boston
Boston, MA USA

Stuart B. Bauer, MD
Associate Director, Neurourology
Professor of Urology
Harvard Medical School
Children’s Hospital Boston
Boston, MA USA

Edmond T. Gonzales, Jr., MD
Professor of Urology
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston TX USA

Richard Macchia, MD FACS
SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor
Cleveland Clinic, Florida

Benjamin Girdler, MD
Urology Center of the Rockies
Fort Collins, Colorado USA

William C. de Groat, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA USA

Michael R. Ruggieri, Sr., Ph.D.
Director of Urologic Research
Temple University School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA USA

Stanley J Kogan MD
Chief, Pediatric Urology
Children's Hospital at Montefiore
Bronx NY USA

Anthony Caldamone, MD
University Urologic Associates, Inc.
2 Dudley St Ste 185
Providence, RI 02905 USA

Yves Homsy MD, FRCSC, FAAP
Clinical Professor of Urological Surgery and
University of South Florida
Children's Urology Group
5507 E. Longboat Blvd
Tampa FL 33615 USA

Dr. Enrique Turina
Professor of urology of the National University of
Buenos Aires
Chief of section Urology of Instituto de
Government of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Angel Ozón
Urologist of the Instituto de Rehabilitación of Buenos

Dr. Daniel Ekizian
Urologist of Instituto de Rehabilitación.
Professor Dr. med. Karl-Dietrich Sievert
Vice Chair

Prof. of Urology, Director - Uro-oncology,
Neurourology, Incontinence, & Reconstructive
Department of Urology University of Tuebingen
D72076 Tuebingen, Germany

Holly Gilmer, MD
Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery
Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, Michigan USA

Yegappan Lakshmanan, MD
Chief, Pediatric Urology
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Detroit, MI USA


Anonymous said...

You’ve managed to explain a really tricky subject well.

Anonymous said...

Truly do not understand how crazy Xiao was if he did it. (Sorry, there appears to be no daily clue…and the game is restricted to 18+ only.) Further intrigued by the 31 doctors’ signed open letter to defend Xiao but they seem to be without knowledge of Xiao’s confessions in Chinese. There is so much we don’t understand, perhaps we are just barely ‘scratching the surface’…?
Xiao started doing his very first nerve rerouting surgeries in China without any clinical trial. If American medical standard calls for Phase 1/2/3, then we have witnessed that Xiao had ‘super-fast-tracked’ his procedure. Or, another way to look at it, all the surgeries he had done in China was almost like the ‘animal lab’ for Beaumont. Maybe Xiao was encouraged to experiment, because China has population of 1.4 billion, life is cheap?
Beaumont was so quick to announce that the procedure has become a ‘Standard of Care in China’. We couldn’t help to wonder, what are the 31 doctors’ professional opinions on this deceptive labelling of ‘Standard of Care in China’?
Was NIH involved with Xiao’s experiments in China?
It is common knowledge that medical institutions of the developed countries are doing all sort of clinical trials in the third world. Learning from historical events, some very infamous and serious human experiments were conducted by one group of people to another group of people. One of the criminal events was:
The 1938 – 1945 Japanese unit 731 (
In more recent memory, genetic experiments conducted by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in rural China.
“…The experiments were co-sponsored by the US government and Millenium Pharmaceuticals and were conducted in Zongyang County, in East China's Anhui Province, (安徽,枞阳) the mid 1990s, on mostly illiterate Chinese farmers, who it appears were exploited and experimented on without informed consent—a fundamental, universally recognized human right….”
While not trying to draw any parallels, but to forewarn the Chinese: beware of potential exploitation and experiment without informed consent.

Anonymous said...

Before Xiao’s arrest, on many occasions, he was making jokes and laughing at his victim in public. In the police’s second release of his video confession on or about September 29, the only regret Xiao expressed was: getting caught. (It proves that it was a genuine confession alright 不是老外认为的屈打成招. ) Xiao is so arrogant that he is still claiming that it is justifiable to beat up Fang XuanChang and Fang ZhouZi; he also remarked that it was ‘a little bit too heavy-handed’ on Fang XuanChang. And, he said, in hindsight, he should have walked up to Fang and slaps Fang’s face a couple of times instead. Another word, Xiao maintains that he is entitled to beat Fan ZhouZi. He is above the law!

To the 31 physicians - our most prominent urologists and scientists in the field:

Do you find a man with Xiao’s quality, fits your description of ‘compassionate’?
Xiao lied and clowned around repeatedly after the violent attack. He has no remorse with his coward behaviours. You say: “ …Xiao is respected worldwide for his integrity …”; can you tell us, do you (31 prominent urologists and scientists) represent ‘worldwide’? And, what is your definition of ‘integrity’?

If any of you, would retract your signature from that letter, your courageous action would be what we humbly call: ‘integrity’.
If you believe that “…The Chinese people and government should be proud of Dr. Xiao…”. We don’t think the Chinese Government will cave in to your pressure ‘to be proud of Xiao’, though we cannot speak on their behalf. The people’s choice is another story: unfortunately, your guess of our moral standard is wrong; most of the opinions that I have read from China, do not agree with you. In fact, if you love Xiao so much, why don’t you take him away for good?


Anonymous said...

poor fang

Your just a lame thief which try to hide your dirty past with more dirty acts.

Only in china can happen this. In the western world you will be a public shame. You are a shame for the chinese ppl from the western world!! Shame on you and your parents which raise you in a such a dirty way!

Anonymous said...

to the person who wrote:
“…your parents which raise you in a such a dirty way!…”

If you would express your opinion in a logical and professional fashion, audience will appreciate it. I don’t understand why you just want to project yourself in such an image by writing only distasteful language.

Anonymous said...

You’ve assisted my understanding on what is usually a hard to tackle subject. Thank you!

AL said...

What is needed is for the blogger to append in English the associated material in the journal condemning the procedure as fraudulent, which weas referred to in the post.

Eddie Cheng said...

Thanks AL, link added.