Melissa Cline, Project Scientist in Cancer Genomics, Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, University of California at Santa Cruz, has reviewed Norsworthy's paper and has provided the following rebuttal....
First, let me summarize Dr. Norsworthy's paper, which amounts to a
literature review augmented by his own data. First, he says that the
connection between VAS and inflammation is a hypothesis, not a fact.
This doesn't surprise me, for two reasons. First, in the life sciences, nothing is called a fact unless it meets a pretty lofty standard of evidence. Second, the only parties who'd have the resources to do this sort of work are the vaccine makers, and they're
not going to publish work stating that their products lead to cancer.
Dr. Norsworthy also states that lumping all adjuvanted vaccines together is misleading, because there are many different compounds that have been used as adjuvants (he lists 35), and one cannot tell what adjuvants are used in any given vaccine because that's proprietary information. That's a reasonable and interesting point.
Then he cites work that suggests that there is a genetic component to VAS. I don't think anyone would disagree with that.
Next he cites some work stating that the rate of VAS has decreased dramatically since the mid-1990s. He bases this on mid-1990s estimates from Dr. Macy 22,000 cats in the US would develop VAS, contrasted against a 2002 study (Gobar et al), that estimated the rate of VAS to be 0.63 per 10,000 vaccinated cats. I have a couple issues with this Gobar study. First, it was based on results of veterinarians reporting the rate of VAS they saw in a web form. There are many psychological reasons why veterinarians wouldn't report their VAS cases, even if they could do so anonymously. Second, it turns out that the results came from just 40 veterinarians. There were 160 veterinarians who started in the study but dropped out along the way. That to me is another red flag. In summary, Dr. Norsworthy points to a difference between Dr. Macy's estimate of 22,000 cats likely to get VAS in the mid-1990s, and an estimated 2,000 that get VAS based on estimates from the Golub study, and uses those numbers to suggest that VAS is now a rare disease, probably due to changes in the vaccines.
Finally, Dr. Norsworthy goes on to report the results from his own practice. If I read his data correctly, in the past 11 years he's had one case of VAS out of a grand total of 61,352 vaccinations administered. If that's true, it's great, but it's also heresay.
In summary, he says that VAS is now a rare disease, caused by a rare genetic predisposition in a few cats, that it makes little difference whether or not the vaccine was adjuvanted, and that we should stop panicking so much about it.
That brings us to the Wilcock 2012 paper, which comes from a PEER REVIEWED journal, the Canadian Veterinary Journal. They report VAS rates studied over the past 19 years, as reported by one pathologist, who assesses biopsies from 800 clinics across Canada. They see no change in the rate of VAS over the past 19 years, despite changes in the vaccine technology. They have specific criticisms about the Golub study, the one Dr. Norsworthy uses to claim that VAS has become a rare disease. If What Dr. Norsworthy says is true, then it leaves a big question about why these authors didn't see a decrease in the rate of VAS, in their (much more respectable and weighty) article.
So, the recent, peer-reviewed article directly contradicts Dr. Norsworthy's review.