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Additive homeopathy in cancer patients: Retrospective survival data from a homeopathic outpatient unit at the Medical University of Vienna

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Current literature suggests a positive influence of additive classical homeopathy on global health and well-being in cancer patients. Besides encouraging case reports, there is little if any research on long-term survival of patients who obtain homeopathic care during cancer treatment. Data from cancer patients who had undergone homeopathic treatment complementary to conventional anti-cancer treatment at the Outpatient Unit for Homeopathy in Malignant Diseases, Medical University Vienna, Department of Medicine I, Vienna, Austria, were collected, described and a retrospective subgroup-analysis with regard to survival time was performed. Patient inclusion criteria were at least three homeopathic consultations, fatal prognosis of disease, quantitative and qualitative description of patient characteristics, and survival time. In four years, a total of 538 patients were recorded to have visited the Outpatient Unit Homeopathy in Malignant Diseases, Medical University Vienna, Department of Medicine I, Vienna, Austria. 62.8% of them were women, and nearly 20% had breast cancer. From the 53.7% (n=287) who had undergone at least three homeopathic consultations within four years, 18.7% (n=54) fulfilled inclusion criteria for survival analysis. The surveyed neoplasms were glioblastoma, lung, cholangiocellular and pancreatic carcinomas, metastasized sarcoma, and renal cell carcinoma. Median overall survival was compared to expert expectations of survival outcomes by specific cancer type and was prolonged across observed cancer entities (p<0.001). Extended survival time in this sample of cancer patients with fatal prognosis but additive homeopathic treatment is interesting. However, findings are based on a small sample, and with only limited data available about patient and treatment characteristics. The relationship between homeopathic treatment and survival time requires prospective investigation in larger samples possibly using matched-pair control analysis or randomized trials.
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Author's personal copy
Complementary
Therapies
in
Medicine
(2014)
22,
320—332
Available
online
at
www.sciencedirect.com
ScienceDirect
j
ourna
l
ho
me
pa
g
e:
www.elsevierhealth.com/journals/ctim
Additive
homeopathy
in
cancer
patients:
Retrospective
survival
data
from
a
homeopathic
outpatient
unit
at
the
Medical
University
of
Vienna
Katharina
Gaertnera,b,
Michael
Müllnera,
Helmut
Friehsa,
Ernst
Schusterc,
Christine
Marosia,
Ilse
Muchitsche,
Michael
Frassa,d,
Alan
David
Kayef,
aMedical
University
Vienna,
Department
of
Medicine
I,
Clinical
Division
of
Oncology,
Waehringer
Guertel
18-20,
1090
Vienna,
Austria
bInstitute
of
Complementary
Medicine,
Medical
University
Bern,
Inselspital,
3010
Bern,
Switzerland
cMedical
University
of
Vienna,
Center
for
Medical
Statistics,
Informatics,
and
Intelligent
Systems,
Vienna,
Austria
dWissHom
(Scientific
Society
for
Homeopathy),
Köthen,
Germany1
eAustrian
Chamber
of
Pharmacists,
Department
Vienna,
Austria
fDepartment
of
Anesthesiology
and
Department
of
Pharmacology,
Louisiana
State
University
School
of
Medicine
Health
Sciences
Center,
New
Orleans,
LA,
United
States
Available
online
8
January
2014
KEYWORDS
Homeopathy;
Cancer;
Glioblastoma;
Lung;
Cholangiocellular
cancer;
Pancreatic
carcinomas;
Metastasized
sarcoma;
Renal
cell
carcinoma
Summary
Background:
Current
literature
suggests
a
positive
influence
of
additive
classical
homeopathy
on
global
health
and
well-being
in
cancer
patients.
Besides
encouraging
case
reports,
there
is
little
if
any
research
on
long-term
survival
of
patients
who
obtain
homeopathic
care
during
cancer
treatment.
Design:
Data
from
cancer
patients
who
had
undergone
homeopathic
treatment
complementary
to
conventional
anti-cancer
treatment
at
the
Outpatient
Unit
for
Homeopathy
in
Malignant
Diseases,
Medical
University
Vienna,
Department
of
Medicine
I,
Vienna,
Austria,
were
collected,
described
and
a
retrospective
subgroup-analysis
with
regard
to
survival
time
was
performed.
Patient
inclusion
criteria
were
at
least
three
homeopathic
consultations,
fatal
prognosis
of
disease,
quantitative
and
qualitative
description
of
patient
characteristics,
and
survival
time.
Results:
In
four
years,
a
total
of
538
patients
were
recorded
to
have
visited
the
Outpatient
Unit
Homeopathy
in
Malignant
Diseases,
Medical
University
Vienna,
Department
of
Medicine
Corresponding
author
at:
Department
of
Anesthesiology,
Louisiana
State
University
School
of
Medicine,
1542
Tulane
Avenue,
Room
656,
New
Orleans,
LA
70112,
United
States.
Tel.:
+1
504
568
2319;
fax:
+1
504
568
2317.
E-mail
addresses:
akaye@lsuhsc.edu,
alankaye44@hotmail.com
(A.D.
Kaye).
1www.wisshom.de.
0965-2299/$
see
front
matter
©
2014
Elsevier
Ltd.
All
rights
reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2013.12.014
Author's personal copy
Additive
homeopathic
care
in
cancer
patients
321
I,
Vienna,
Austria.
62.8%
of
them
were
women,
and
nearly
20%
had
breast
cancer.
From
the
53.7%
(n
=
287)
who
had
undergone
at
least
three
homeopathic
consultations
within
four
years,
18.7%
(n
=
54)
fulfilled
inclusion
criteria
for
survival
analysis.
The
surveyed
neoplasms
were
glioblas-
toma,
lung,
cholangiocellular
and
pancreatic
carcinomas,
metastasized
sarcoma,
and
renal
cell
carcinoma.
Median
overall
survival
was
compared
to
expert
expectations
of
survival
outcomes
by
specific
cancer
type
and
was
prolonged
across
observed
cancer
entities
(p
<
0.001).
Conclusion:
Extended
survival
time
in
this
sample
of
cancer
patients
with
fatal
prognosis
but
additive
homeopathic
treatment
is
interesting.
However,
findings
are
based
on
a
small
sample,
and
with
only
limited
data
available
about
patient
and
treatment
characteristics.
The
relationship
between
homeopathic
treatment
and
survival
time
requires
prospective
investigation
in
larger
samples
possibly
using
matched-pair
control
analysis
or
randomized
trials.
©
2014
Elsevier
Ltd.
All
rights
reserved.
Introduction
The
use
of
homeopathy
to
enhance
wellness
in
society,
as
well
as
in
clinical
settings,
is
increasing.1—4 Yet,
home-
opathic
methods
are
often
considered
controversial,
and
their
effects
have
not
been
tested
adequately
by
conven-
tional
study
designs.2,5—8 Nonetheless,
there
are
suggestions
that
the
use
of
complementary
and
alternative
medicine
(CAM)
and
homeopathy
in
particular
is
especially
high
in
patients
with
chronic
diseases,9such
as
cancer.
In
Europe,
unlike
in
the
United
States,10 homeopathy
is
one
of
the
most
common
CAM-therapies
used
in
cancer.
It
is
reported
to
be
used
in
12—24%
of
cancer
patients.11,12 Studies
have
documented
relief
of
adverse
drug
reactions
and
better
health-related
quality
of
life
in
cancer
patients
with
addi-
tive
homeopathic
treatment.13 These
conclusions
are
based
largely
on
case
reports
and
limited
data
regarding
patient
survival
is
limited.14—17
The
present
study
was
prompted
by
anecdotal
impres-
sions
suggesting
that
glioblastoma
patients
provided
sup-
plemental
homeopathic
treatment
experienced
extended
survival
times
at
the
Outpatient
Unit
for
Homeopathy
in
Malignant
Diseases
at
the
Department
of
Medicine
I,
Medical
University
of
Vienna,
Austria.
To
determine
whether
these
impressions
were
reliable,
a
retrospective
data
analysis
was
performed.
The
specific
aim
was
to
test
the
predictive
value
for
forthcoming
trials
on
survival
time
of
cancer
patients,
treated
complementarily
with
homeopathy
compared
with
average
life
expectancy.
Alongside
the
analysis
targets
a
description
of
patients
attending
the
Unit.
Materials
and
methods
The
study
was
approved
by
the
Ethical
Committee
of
the
Medical
University
Vienna.
Recruitment
involved
ret-
rospective
manual
data
collection
from
patient
records
at
the
Outpatient
Unit
‘‘Homeopathy
in
Malignant
Diseases’’,
Medical
University
of
Vienna
and
the
university
hospitals’
documentary
system.
Data
were
processed
in
three
steps:
Characteristics
(e.g.
name,
age,
sex,
and
tumor
entity)
and
dates
of
homeopathic
consultations
from
all
patients
with
the
first
consultation
between
March
2004
and
March
2008
were
noted
in
Excel
tables
(group
1;
n
=
538).
In
a
second
step,
data
from
the
patients
with
at
least
three
homeo-
pathic
consultations
(group
2;
n
=
287)
were
completed
with
exact
time
of
diagnosis,
start,
times,
and
kind
of
conven-
tional
treatment
as
well
as
date
of
death,
if
recorded.
They
were
grouped
and
statistically
described.
Those
patients
with
fatal
tumor
prognosis
and
a
sample
size
of
at
least
5
patients
were
analyzed
regarding
their
survival
times
(group
3;
n
=
54).
Follow-up
time
was
54—66
months.
Conventional
anti-cancer
care
was
administered
by
cancer
experts
at
the
Medical
University
of
Vienna.
At
the
time
of
treat-
ment,
all
cancer
patients
received
up-to-date
therapy
for
their
disease
process.
Homeopathic
treatment
consisted
of
a
first
consultation
of
90
min
and
follow-up
meetings
of
30
min
every
8—12
weeks.
Individualized,
Q-potentized18
dilutions
were
prescribed
by
a
licensed
homeopath
in
accor-
dance
with
the
method
of
homeopathic
cancer
treatment
developed
in
the
Clinica
Santa
Croce,
Locarno,
Italy.16
In
case
of
acute
conditions,
patients
received
addition-
ally
C-potentized18 single-doses.
All
homeopathic
remedies
were
prepared
at
the
Maria
Treu
Apotheke,
Vienna,
Austria
according
to
the
German
Homeopathic
Pharmacopeia.18,19
Briefly,
Q-potencies
are
prepared
by
rubbing
substances
used
as
remedies
in
a
time-consuming
process
until
a
CH3
is
reached
equivalent
to
a
106potentiation.
Depending
on
its
nature,
the
original
substance
is
triturated
in
lactose
(milk
sugar)
or
its
components
were
extracted
in
ethanol.
The
first
stage
is
followed
by
step-wise
dilution
and
succes-
sion,
changing
every
time
from
a
solid
medium
(lactose)
to
liquid
medium
(ethanol-dilution)
and
back.18
Group
3-data
were
included
for
survival
analysis,
if
the
following
criteria
were
met
(Fig.
1):
(1)
Fatal
tumor
prog-
nosis
and
a
sample
size
of
at
least
5
patients,
met
by
diagnosis
of
glioblastoma
grade
IV
(GBM),
non-small-cell
lung
cancer
stage
III
and
IV
(NSCLC),
small-cell
lung
cancer
(SCLC),
pancreatic
cancer
(PC),
inoperable
cholangiocel-
lular
cancer
(CCC),
metastasized
sarcoma
(MSARC),
and
metastasized
renal
cell
carcinoma
(MRCC);
(2)
At
least
three
visits
to
the
Outpatient
Unit
between
March
2004
and
October
2009
(GBM
and
MRCC),
March
2010
(LC,
PC,
CCC),
or
August
2010
(MSARC);
(3)
Availability
of
patient
descriptors
including
mean
age,
sex
distribution,
mean
and
median
survival
times,
and
one-to-three-year
sur-
vival
times;
and
(4)
Recording
of
relevant
outcome
data
including
stage
of
disease,
disease
prognosis,
and
time
of
death.
Survival
time
was
compared
with
‘‘expected
survival
time’’
in
each
patient.
Expectations
were
calculated
from
data
found
in
literature.
These
were
considered
as
such:
For
GBM,
12—14
months20;
for
MRCC,
18—35
months21—23;
for
CCC,
10
months24;
for
PC,
8
and
22
months
(locore-
gional
disease)25;
for
MSARC,
12
months26,27;
for
SCLC,
8—10
months
(extended
disease)
and
14
months
(limited
Author's personal copy
322
K.
Gaertner
et
al.
Records ide
nfie
d through
docu
mentary pr
ogram sea
rchin
g
(n = 538)
Screening
Included
Eligibility
Idenficaon
Records screened for
number of homeopathic
treatmen
ts
(n = 538 )
Records excluded
(n = 251)
Records sc
reened
for
cancer
type
(n = 287)
Paen
ts inc
luded
(n =54)
Records as
sess
ed for
eligibilit
y
(n=69)
Record
s ex
cluded due
to incomplete data or
chil
dren (n=15)
Figure
1
Flow
of
information
through
the
different
phases
of
data
collection.
disease)28;
and
for
NSCLC
8—10
months
(grade
IV)
and
15
months
(grade
III).29
Results
Patient
characteristics
During
the
first
four
years,
538
patients
presented
at
the
study
center
for
homeopathic
treatment
related
to
diag-
nosed
cancer
(group
1;
62.8%
women)
all
of
them
receiving
homeopathic
treatment
at
least
once.
Numbers
of
patients
and
their
proportioning
can
be
seen
in
Table
1.
Mean
age
of
total
patients
was
57
years
(29—77
years).
53.7%
(n
=
287;
group
2)
of
patients
had
at
least
three
homeo-
pathic
consultations.
Mean
of
appointment
frequency
was
4.6
in
all
patients
and
8.2
in
those
with
three
or
more
visits.
In
group
2,
time
from
diagnosis
to
homeopathic
treatment
was
17.4
months
on
average,
which
includes
patients
who
were
diagnosed
up
to
three
years
before
the
start
of
the
outpatient
clinic.
There
was
a
wide
range
of
cancer
entities
among
the
patients,
with
a
similar
distri-
bution
in
both
groups
(1
+
2).
In
particular,
32.8%
(n
=
82)
breast
cancer
patients,
13%
(n
=
37)
with
gastrointestinal
tumor
and
15%
(n
=
43)
hematological
neoplasms,
respec-
tively.
Any
other
type
of
cancer,
notably
lung
cancer
(n
=
18),
brain
cancer
(n
=
16),
PC
(n
=
10),
CCC
(n
=
8),
sarcoma
(n
=
17),
MRCC
(n
=
8),
thyroid
cancer
(n
=
3),
prostate
can-
cer
(n
=
2),
melanoma
(n
=
1),
and
other
(n
=
5)
was
found
in
less
than
10%
of
group
2-patients.
6
subgroups
of
malig-
nancies
with
fatal
prognosis
and
overall
10%
of
the
patients
(n
=
54;
group
3)
fulfilled
all
criteria
for
survival
analysis
(Fig.
1).
All
group
3-patients
received
conventional
treatment
immediately
after
diagnosis.
Across
the
tumor-specific
subgroups,
average
time
from
diagnosis
to
homeopathic
treatment
was
18—19
months.
Up
to
12
patient
records
(22.2%)
reported
patient
intolerance
of
conventional
treat-
ment.
The
characteristics
of
patients
and
interventions
are
shown
in
Tables
2
and
3.
Fourteen
patients
lived
longer
than
the
observation
period,
and
these
cases
were
censured
for
survival
analysis
(Fig.
2).
Author's personal copy
Additive
homeopathic
care
in
cancer
patients
323
Table
1
Patients
at
the
outpatient
unit
‘‘homeopathy
in
malignant
diseases’’,
Internal
Medicine
I,
Medical
University
Vienna.
Patients
Number
of
cases
(n
=)
Percentage
of
total
cases
(%)
Cases
with
more
than
3
homeopathic
sessions
(n
=)
Cases
with
more
than
3
homeopathic
sessions
%
Included
cases
(n
=)
Included
cases
%
Total
538
100
287
53.3
54
100
Female
338
62.8
186
64.8
23
42.6
Male
200
37.2
101
35.1
31
57.4
Breast
cancer
107
19.9
82
28.4
Haematologic
neosplasms
52
9.7
38
13.1
Small-cell-lung
cancer
+
non-
small-cell-lung
cancer
31
5.8 20
6.9 10
18.5
Gastronintestinal
neoplasms
36
6.7
24
8.3
Glioblastoma
grade
IV
26
4.8
17
5.9
7
13
Metastasized
sarcoma
24
4.5
18
6.2
16
29.6
Pancreatic
cancer
13
2.4
8
2.8
8
14.8
Metastasized
renal
cell
carcinoma
12
2.2
8
2.8
8
14.8
Cholangiocellular
carcinoma
7
1.3 5
1.7
5
9.3
Gynecological
neoplasms
12
2.2
10
3.5
Others
34
6.3
23
8
Not
reported
182
33.8
34
11.8
Survival
scores
Overall
analysis
showed
that
cancer
patients
with
fatal
prognosis
and
at
least
three
treatment
interventions
with
individualized
homeopathy
in
addition
to
conventional
anti-
cancer
treatment
had
longer
survival
times
compared
to
those
expected
by
oncologic
experts
and
to
those
reported
in
the
literature.
More
than
half
of
the
patients
(65%)
matched
or
exceeded
the
survival
times
reported
in
the
lit-
erature
for
only
20%
of
patients
of
their
cancer
type.24—33
Median
overall
survival
was
prolonged
in
all
observed
cancer
entities
(Table
4).
The
significance
of
these
latter
find-
ings
was
determined
using
Wilcoxon
tests
which
examined
numbers
of
patients
who
exceeded
the
median
survival
time
reported
in
the
literature
for
a
particular
cancer
and
numbers
who
did
not.
Results
of
these
analyses
yielded
significant
findings
for
all
groups
collapsed
over
cancer
types
(p
<
0.001),
as
well
as
for
the
CCC
(p
=
0.043),
GBM
(p
=
0.043),
and
MSARC
(p
<
0.001)
groups.
In
contrast,
find-
ings
were
not
significant
for
the
PC,
MRCC,
NSCLC,
and
SCLC
groups
(p’s
>
0.05).
Three-year
survival
was
higher
in
all
tumor
entities
than
suggested
in
the
literature
(1.5—55
months),
except
NSCLC.19—28 Longer
survival
correlated
pos-
itively
with
frequency
of
homeopathic
treatment
(Pearson
r
=
0.425,
p
<
0.001),
although
this
relationship
was
not
con-
sistent
throughout
all
groups.
Discussion
Compared
to
the
literature,
the
study
findings
indicate
longer
survival
for
patients
with
additive
homeopathy
during
cancer
treatment
than
those
with
conventional
treatment
alone.
Although
results
are
promising
and
suggest
the
need
for
additional
work,
several
important
study
limitations
are
noted.
The
sample
of
patients
is
small
and
drawn
only
from
one
clinic.
It
is
not
possible
to
assume
that
the
potential
effects
of
homeopathic
treatment
are
more
or
less
helpful
for
specific
cancer
entities.
However,
an
advantage
of
this
data
collection
was
to
provide
an
overview
of
seven
different
cancer
types,
and
findings
show
a
continuously
positive
cor-
relation
between
the
number
of
homeopathic
consultation
and
reached
survival
time.
Furthermore
external
validity
is
high.30
As
this
was
a
retrospective
analysis,
findings
may
not
be
replicated
using
a
prospective
methodology.
Conser-
vative
treatment
was
not
consistent
within
the
groups,
and
there
was
no
randomization.
Characteristics,
per-
ceptions,
hopes,
and
ideas
of
cancer
patients
choosing
homeopathic
care
likely
contributed
to
the
present
out-
come
though
were
not
reported.
Previous
data
suggest
that
these
patients
in
the
present
study
are
slightly
younger
but
with
a
poorer
state
of
health
than
those
patients
who
are
provided
with
only
conventional
treatment.31 Measured
Author's personal copy
324
K.
Gaertner
et
al.
Table
2
Treatment
of
analyzed
patients;
abbreviations:
sbl,
secondary
blastomatous
lesions;
bmt,
bone
marrow
transplantation;
IFN,
interferon;
IFADIC,
soft-tissue
sarcoma
protocol
with
administration
of
Ifosfamid,
Doxorubicin
and
Darcarbacin.
Tumor
type
Glioblastoma
grade
IV
(n
=
7)
Metastasized
renal
cell
carcinoma
(n
=
8)
Metastasized
sarcoma
(n
=
12)
Cholangiocaellular
carcinoma
Pancreatic
carcinoma
Non-small-cell-
lung-carcinoma
Small-cell-lung-
carcinoma
Stadium
I—III
0
Low
risk
(n
=
6)
9
0
3
3
Limited
(n
=
2)
Stadium
IV
7
Intermediate
risk
(n
=
2)
4
5
4
4
Extended
(n
=
1)
Metastasis/relaps
0
8
15
1
5
4
2
Surgery
7
8
14
2
3
2
2
Total
resection
3
7
11
0
0
0
0
Partial
resection
2
0
3
2
2
2
0
Resection
of
sbl
0
6
14
0
1
0
2
Chemotherapy
7
8
12
5
8
7
3
First-line
Temodozoline
(n
=
3)/Dacarbacine
+
Fotemustine
(n
=
4)
Cisplatin
(n
=
1)/Navelbine
(n
=
2)/IFN
(n
=
4)/Gemzar
(n
=
1)
Epirubicin
+
Ifosfamid
(n
=
5)/Doxorubicin
(n
=
2)/Gemcitabine
(n
=
1)/IFADIC
(n
=
1)/Cisplatin
(n
=
1)/IFN
(n
=
1)/Sorafenib
(n
=
1)
Gemcitabine
+
Oxalilatin
(n
=
5)
Gemcitabine
+
Oxalilatin
(n
=
1)/
Gemcitabine
(n
=
5)
Cisplatin
+
Gemcitabine
(n
=
3)/+Vinorelbine
(n
=
1)/+Navelbine
(n
=
2)/Carboplatin
+
Taxotere
(n
=
1)
Cisplatin
+
Etoposid
(n
=
3)
Second-line
Temodozolin
(n
=
1)/Endotecarin
(n
=
1)/Gefintinib
(n
=
1)
Capecitabine
(n
=
3)/Sorafenib
(n
=
2)/Gemzar
(n
=
1)/IFN
(n
=
1)
Taxotere
(n
=
6)/Doxorubicin
(n
=
2)/Gemzar
(n
=
1)/Epirubicin
+
Ifosfamid
(n
=
1)/Permetrexed
(n
=
1)
Capecitabine
(n
=
1)/+Irinotecan
(n
=
1)
Capecitabine
(n
=
2)/+Oxaliplatin
(n
=
1)/Irinotecan
(n
=
1)
Docetaxel
(n
=
1)/Taxotere+
Erlotinib
(n
=
1)/Navelbine
(n
=
1)/Gemcitabine
(n
=
1)/Erlotinib
(n
=
2)
Cisplatin/
Irinotecan
(n
=
1)
Third-line
and
more
Imatinib
(n
=
1)/
Hydroxycarbamide
(n
=
1)
Erlotinib
(n
=
3)/
Vinorelbine
(n
=
1)
Carboplatin
(n
=
1)/Taxotere
(n
=
2)/Yondelis
(n
=
2)/Dacarbacin
(n
=
1)/Etoposid
(n
=
1)/Doxorubicin
(n
=
1)/Sorafenib
(n
=
1)/Ifosfamid
(n
=
2)
Bevacizumab
(n
=
1)
Gemcitabine
+
Oxalilatin
(n
=
1)/Irinotecan
(n
=
1)/Capecitabine
(n
=
1)/Raltitrexed
(n
=
1)/Erlotinib
(n
=
1)
Taxotere
(n
=
1)/+Pemetrexed
(n
=
1)
Topotecan
(n
=
1)
Radiotherapy
7
4
11
0
1
7
3
Primary
7
0
10
0
0
7
0
Palliative
(sbl)
2
4
4
0
1
4
3
Other
therapies
1
4
2
1
1
3
0
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in
cancer
patients
325
Targeted
therapies
Imatinib
(n
=
1)/Gefitinib
(n
=
1)
Bevacizumab
(n
=
2)/Erlotinib
(n
=
3)/Sorafenib
(n
=
2)
Sorafenib
(n
=
2) Bevacizumab
(n
=
1)
Erlotinib
(n
=
1) Erlotinib
(n
=
3) 0
Immune
system
modulation
0
bmt
(n
=
1) 0
0
0
0
0
Homeopathic
treatment
7
8
15
5
8
7
3
During
conventional
treatment
4
6
13
5
4
7
2
After
conventional
treatment
3
2
2
0
4
0
1
Most
common
remedies
Nux
vomica,
sulphur,
thuja,
phosphorus
Natrium
muriaticum,
nux
omica,
phosphorus
Arnica
montana,
lachesis,
sulphur
Phosphorus,
sulphur,
lycopodium
Arsenicum
album Phosphorus
Natrium
muriaticum
Author's personal copy
326
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et
al.
Table
3
Patients
at
the
outpatient
unit
‘‘homeopathy
in
malignant
diseases’’,
Internal
Medicine
I,
Medical
University
Vienna;
abbreviations:
GBM,
glioblastoma;
MRCC,
metas-
tasized
renal
cell
carcinoma;
MSARC,
metastasized
sarcoma;
ccc,
cholangiocallular
carcinoma;
pc,
pancreatic
carcinoma;
NSCLC,
non-small-cell
lung
carcinoma;
SCLC,
small-cell
lung
carcinoma,
sbl,
secondary
blastomatous
lesions;
S,
one
surgery
performed;
C,
first-line
chemotherapy;
R,
one
session
radiotherapy;
BMT,
bone
mark
transplantation; 1
numbers
before
placeholders
(S,
C,
R)
indicate
the
numbers
of
cycles,
i.e.
operations,
chemotherapy
cycles,
radiotherapy
cycles; 2in
relation
to
conventional
treatment; 3
according
to
experts
assessments
and
literature-data.
ID
Tumor
type
Specification
(localization
of
primary
affection
and
sbl)
Age
Sex
Conventional
treatment
Time
from
diagnosis
to
homeopathic
treatment
(month)
Time
of
homeopathic
treatment2
Number
of
homeopathic
sessions
Expected
survival3
(month)
Reached
survival
(month)
1
GBM
Grade
IV
occipital
77
m
S-C-2R
4
During
3
13
9
2
GBM
Grade
IV
temporo-occipital
52
f
S-2C-R
10
After
4
13
16
3
GBM
Grade
IV
temporo-parietal
62
m
S-2C-R
10
After
3
13
18
4
GBM
Grade
IV
temporal
43
f
S-C-R
4
During
3
13
19
5
GBM
Grade
IV
temporal
65
m
S-C-R
3
After
5
13
23
6
GBM
Grade
IV
temporal
49
f
2C-2R
0
During
6
13
41
7
GBM
Grade
IV
multifocal
54
m
3C-R
1
During
27
13
57
8
MRCC
sbl
eye,
low
risk
53
m
S-2C-2R
1
During
3
35
7
9
MRCC
sbl
uterus
+
ovar
low
risk
54
f
3S-C-2R
15
During
6
35
32
10
MRCC
sbl
lungs,
bones,
intermediate
risk
58
m
4S-3C
0
During
5
35
39
11
MRCC
sbl
brain,
bones,
low
risk
66
m
5S-6C
35
During
5
35
54
12
MRCC
sbl
abdomen
+
pulmo,
low
risk
47
m
2S-7C
49
During
4
35
69
13
MRCC
sbl
bones
+
pulmo,
low
risk
59
m
2S-2C
32
After
14
35
98
14
MRCC
sbl
pulmo,
low
risk
62
m
S-2C
54
After
13
35
114
15
MRCC
sbl
brain,
bones,
pulmo
intermediate
risk
63
m
2S-C
+
BMT
103
During
11
35
115
16
MSARC
Vertebral
spindle
cell
liposarcoma
74
f
2S-R
7
During
5
12
51
17
MSARC
Leiomyosarcoma
knee
45
m
3S-C
11
After
7
12
34
18
MSARC
Scrotal
leiomyosarcoma
62
m
5S-2R
87
During
4
12
73
19
MSARC
Clear
cell
sarcoma
left
foot
35
f
4S-C-2R
97
During
3
12
52
20
MSARC
Myxofibrosarcoma
retroperitoneal
64
m
S-C-R
9
During
3
12
21
21
MSARC
Liposarcoma
46
f
10S
81
During
22
12
144
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Additive
homeopathic
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patients
327
22
MSARC
Epitheloid
mesothelioma
multifocal
61
m
3C-R
11
During
4
12
25
23
MSARC
Myxoid
chondrosarcoma
extra-scelettal
30
f
2S-4C-R
2
During
3
12
57
24
MSARC
Giant
cell
synovial
sarcoma,
lateral
chest
29
m
4S-4C-3R
41
During
9
12
31
25
MSARC
Leiomyosarcoma
Uterus
high
grade
GIST
50
f
3S-7C-R
32
During
4
12
43
26
MSARC
Rhabdomyosarcoma,
prostate
35
m
3S-3C-R
0
During
10
12
24
27
MSARC
Myxoid
leiomyosarcoma,
femur
47
f
2S-2C-3R
53
After
18
12
55
28
MSARC
Spindle
cell
synovial
sarcom,
right
foot
55
m
6S-3C
72
During
6
12
119
29
MSARC
Synovial
sarcoma,
peritracheal
and
paralaryngeal
right
46
m
2S-2C-2R
1
In
between
7
12
8
30
MSARC
Leiomyosarcoma
ovaries
48
f
S-5C
No
data
During
11
12
99
31
MSARC
Retroperitoneal
leiomyosarcoma
34
m
2S-4C
1
During
6
12
26
32
CCC
Intrahepatal
46
f
C
0
During
19
10
39
33
CCC
Intrahepatal
55
m
S2-CR
3
During
3
10
36
34
CCC
No
data
33
f
C
2
During
4
10
16
35
CCC
Metastasized
65
m
S-3C
41
In
between
4
10
75
36
CCC
Metastasized
59
f
C
8
During
3
10
28
37
PC
Stadium
III
60
f
S-3C
4
After
4
22
15
38
PC
Stadium
IV,
metastasized
71
f
S-C
9
After
8
8
25
39
PC
Stadium
IV,
metastasized
77
f
2-C
10
During
3
8
19
40
PC
Stadium
I
59
m
S-4C
24
After
3
22
26
41
PC
Stadium
IV,
metastasized
77
f
None
1
During
5
8
1
42
PC
Stadium
IV,
metastasized
63
m
Radionucleid
embolization
?
After
16
8
36
Author's personal copy
328
K.
Gaertner
et
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Table
3
(Continued)
ID
Tumor
type
Specification
(localization
of
primary
affection
and
sbl)
Age
Sex
Conventional
treatment
Time
from
diagnosis
to
homeopathic
treatment
(month)
Time
of
homeopathic
treatment2
Number
of
homeopathic
sessions
Expected
survival3
(month)
Reached
survival
(month)
43
PC
Stadium
IV,
metastasized
59
f
C
6
During
3
8
14
44
PC
Stadium
II,
inoperabel
62
m
5C-R
2
During
3
22
20
45
NSCLC
Stadium
IIIa,
right
lower
lamb
54
f
S-C-R
5
During
17
15
41
46
NSCLC
Stadium
IV,
metastasized
55
m
2-C
1
During
10
10
22
47
NSCLC
Stadium
IIIA
55
m
3C-R
1
During
11
15
50
48
NSCLC
Stadium
IV,
metastasized
54
f
C-R
2
During
5
10
10
49
NSCLC
Stadium
IIIB
63
m
3C-R
0
During
15
15
15
50
NSCLC
Stadium
IV,
metastasized
67
m
S-2C-R
6
During
4
10
13
51
NSCLC
Stadium
IV,
metastasized
57
f
3C-R
3
During
3
10
8
52
SCLC
Extended
disease
42
m
S-2C-R
2
During
3
10
47
53
SCLC
Limited
disease
57
m
S-C-R
12
After
19
16
77
54
SCLC
Extended
disease
54
f
C-R
7
During
4
10
15
Author's personal copy
Additive
homeopathic
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patients
329
Table
4
Survival
time
of
the
analyzed
sample
compared
to
data
from
literature 1according
to
literature-data; 2reached
vs.
individually
estimated
survival
times
according
to
experts’
assessments.
Tumor
type Expected
1-year
survival
%1
Reached
1-year
survival
%
Expected
2-year
survival
%1
Reached
2-year
survival
%
Expected
3-year
survival
%1
Reached
3-year
survival
%
Expected
median
survival1
(months)
Reached
median
survival
(months)
p-Value
corresponding
to
Wilcoxon-test
for
survival
data
in
months2
Glioblastoma
grade
IV
(n
=
7)
60
85.7 27.2
28.5 16
28.6 14.6 19
0.043
Metastasized
renal
cell
carcinoma
(n
=
8)
79—85.4
87.5
54
87.5
43—76.6
75
26.4
61.4
0.069
Small-cell-lung
cancer
(n
=
3)
<50
100
No
data
66.7
<9
66.7
9.8—13.5
47
0.109
Non-small-cell
lung
cancer
(n
=
7)
34.3
71.4
14.7
28.7
9
28.7
11.3
15
0.08
Pancreatic
carcinoma
(n
=
8)
8
87.5
5.8
37.5
No
data
12.5
6.6
17.5
0.262
Cholangiocellular
carcinoma
(n
=
5)
48.8
100
20—25
80
19.4
60
15.6
36
0.043
Metastasized
sarcoma
(n
=
16)
50
93.8
38.7
87.5
No
data
56.3
18
47
0.001
Overall
<0.001
Author's personal copy
330
K.
Gaertner
et
al.
Figure
2
Comparison
of
median
survival
times
(abbreviations:
gbm:
glioblastoma
grade
IV;
mrcc:
metastasized
renal
cell
carci-
noma;
SCLC:
small-cell-lung
cancer;
NSCLC:
non-small-cell
lung
cancer;
PC:
pancreatic
carcinoma;
ccc:
cholangiocellular
carcinoma;
msarc:
metastasized
sarcoma).
global
health
status
and
measured
subjective
well-being
of
cancer
patients
appear
to
improve
significantly
with
home-
opathic
treatment.13 It
is
known
that
well-being
can
be
an
indicator
for
longer
patient
survival,32—34 this
might
be
a
contributing
factor
to
our
findings.
Measurement
of
well-
being
would
enhance
future
work.
Active
participation
in
treatment,
such
as
choosing
treatment
options,
seems
to
be
another
predictor
of
longer
survival
of
cancer
patients.35
Homeopathy,
however,
is
thought
to
act
on
the
whole
organism,36,37 i.e.
evenly
on
the
nervous,
the
hormonal,
and
cellular
systems.38,39 Taken
in
whole,
these
data
suggest
a
CAM
mediated
or
modulated
positive
neuro-immunological
processes40 that
may
affect
the
growth
and
propagation
of
cancer.41—43
In
summary,
the
prolonged
survival
times
of
patients
in
the
present
study
are
encouraging
and
show
the
need
for
further
study
of
homeopathic
care
in
cancer
patients.
Such
work
could
include
a
randomized
controlled
trial
on
quality
of
life
and
survival
of
patients
who
use
additive
homeopathy
in
their
cancer
therapy
as
compared
to
conventional
therapy
alone.
Conflict
of
interest
The
authors
have
no
conflict
of
interest
to
declare.
Acknowledgements
Gratitude
for
the
contribution
to
this
project
is
given
to:
Dr.
M.
Kaiblinger,
Dr.
H.
Lasslesberger,
Dr.
N.
Szymanski,
B.Sc.
V.
Gaertner
and
collaboration
from
the
Medical
University
of
Vienna,
especially
to
Dr.
Th.
Brodowicz,
Dr.
Kornek,
Dr.
U.
Vogl,
Dr.
M.
Pirker,
and
Dr.
Chr.
Zielinski.
Significant
appreci-
ation
is
noted
for
Dr.
Patricia
B.
Sutker,
Ph.D.,
and
Albert
N.
Allain,
M.S.,
for
their
assistance
in
the
final
version
of
this
manuscript.
References
1.
Frass
M,
Strassl
RP,
Friehs
H,
Müllner
M,
Kundi
M,
Kaye
A.
Use
and
acceptance
of
complementary
and
alternative
medicine
among
Author's personal copy
Additive
homeopathic
care
in
cancer
patients
331
the
general
population
and
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... Six studies reported no side effects related to the intervention drug (Frass et al. 2015;Frass et al. 2020a, b;Freyer et al. 2014;Karp et al. 2016;Lotan et al. 2020;Pérol et al. 2012). Further four studies (Clover and Ratsey 2002;Gaertner et al. 2014;Schlappack 2004;Steinmann et al. 2012) gave no information on side effects of the study remedies. Because the studies assessed the homeopathic treatment during cancer care, it was often impossible to define the exact cause of the reported AEs. ...
... Further seven studies were included for side effects (Clover and Ratsey 2002;Forner-Cordero et al. 2009;Freyer et al. 2014;Gaertner et al. 2014;Schlappack 2004;Thompson and Reilly 2002;. Of these, two studies reported no information about AEs and were, therefore, mentioned in the listing above (Gaertner et al. 2014;Schlappack 2004). ...
... Further seven studies were included for side effects (Clover and Ratsey 2002;Forner-Cordero et al. 2009;Freyer et al. 2014;Gaertner et al. 2014;Schlappack 2004;Thompson and Reilly 2002;. Of these, two studies reported no information about AEs and were, therefore, mentioned in the listing above (Gaertner et al. 2014;Schlappack 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose In this systematic review we included clinical studies from 1800 until 2020 to evaluate evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy on physical and mental conditions in patients during oncological treatment. Method In February 2021 a systematic search was conducted searching five electronic databases (Embase, Cochrane, PsychInfo, CINAHL and Medline) to find studies concerning use, effectiveness and potential harm of homeopathy in cancer patients. Results From all 1352 search results, 18 studies with 2016 patients were included in this SR. The patients treated with homeopathy were mainly diagnosed with breast cancer. The therapy concepts include single and combination homeopathic remedies (used systemically or as mouth rinses) of various dilutions. Outcomes assessed were the influence on toxicity of cancer treatment (mostly hot flashes and menopausal symptoms), time to drain removal in breast cancer patients after mastectomy, survival, quality of life, global health and subjective well-being, anxiety and depression as well as safety and tolerance. The included studies reported heterogeneous results: some studies described significant differences in quality of life or toxicity of cancer treatment favouring homeopathy, whereas others did not find an effect or reported significant differences to the disadvantage of homeopathy or side effects caused by homeopathy. The majority of the studies have a low methodological quality. Conclusions For homeopathy, there is neither a scientifically based hypothesis of its mode of action nor conclusive evidence from clinical studies in cancer care.
... This is the main reason for its popularity in the world 17 and it can be successfully integrated in supportive care integrative oncology service. [18][19][20] The overall well-being of a cancer patient can be achieved by homoeopathy; positive results for emotional, physical, psychological, and QoL have been reported, evaluated on the basis of different validated questionnai res. [13][14][15]21,22 Complications associated with the use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy may decrease the effectiveness of treatment by the need to reduce the dose or increase of the interval between cycles. ...
... Also, homoeopathy has a role in cancer treatment as supportive medicine, 14,21,27 with better survival. 20 Cancer is not only a burden to the society but also causes distressing symptoms and a huge socioeconomic loss to the patient as well as to the country. Though the treatment is comprises surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, the latter has been frequently advised to the patients as the mainline treatment until now. ...
... Palliative care is an approach that improves the QoL of patients (adults and children) and their families in which homoeopathy can play a key role, with minimum or no adverse effects. Homeopathy can be successfully integrated in supportive care integrative oncology service [18][19][20] for palliative care, for better QoL, and to increase the chances of survival in cancer patients. Homoeopathic remedies can alleviate chemotherapy and radiation therapy side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, radiation-induced mucositis, and skin complaints. ...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
The north-eastern region of India accounts for a total of 37,448 cancer cases reported from 11 population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) from 2012 to 2014. Studies suggest that with the holistic approach adopted by homoeopathy, not only the symptoms like cancer pain are alleviated, but also the overall well-being of the patient. Homoeopathy can be beneficial to minimize the treatment-induced adverse effects like radiation-induced mucositis, skin reactions, postoperative seroma, bleeding, and complications associated with the use of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. This study intends to provide homoeopathic services as an add-on to conventional treatment to the patients referred for homoeopathic treatment after their due consent. The primary objective is to study the usefulness of homoeopathic medicines for combating the suffering of cancer patients having complaints other than cancer. A sample size of 70 patients per group in two arms (Arm A: standard allopathic drug and Arm B: standard allopathic drug + homoeopathic treatment) will be recruited using simple random sampling without repetition. Cancer patients reporting complaints other than cancer itself and suffering from the after-effects of cancer treatment with chemotherapy and radiation therapy to any reputed cancer institute will be screened and will be recruited according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. After completion of the six months study duration, results will be able to predict the role of homoeopathic treatment as an add-on to conventionally treated cancer patients to minimize the suffering other than cancer and the after-effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. If found significant, this could prove to be a contribution in the health care system in handling cancer cases that are very difficult to treat. Further, the cost-effectiveness of homoeopathy will enable developing countries to manage such a disease effectively.
... The reflexology action mechanisms are probably based on energy channels theory, lactic acid theory, and neuromatrix pain theory [24]. A study indicated that self-foot reflexology can decrease peripheral neuropathy during chemotherapy, even though it is difficult to explain how it works [25,26]. ...
... This therapy is also used as palliative care as long as it is non-invasive and relaxing for endstage cancer patients [27]. There are also some unwanted effects such as fatigue, swelling and urination frequency at the application site [24]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Complementary and alternative therapies (CATs) are common practices in cancer treatments. This study aims to investigate the most common types of CATs amongst cancer patients and distinguish the most effective practices amongst cancer patients
... In addition, 95% confidence intervals for median survival are added for the comparison with results reported in the literature and used in the previous analysis. 1 It is important to note that patients who have died soon after cancer diagnosis were 'prevented' from trying the homeopathic add-on therapy. This so-called 'immortal time bias' was to be taken into account by adequate statistical methods. ...
... The re-analysis lead to similar qualitative conclusions as the previous calculation. 1 These results encourage performing a prospective study. ...
... Retrospective data regarding survival time of cancer patients who take homoeopathic treatment complementary to conventional anticancer treatment showed extended survival time. The patients who had serious prognosis of disease receiving at least three homoeopathic consultations along with conventional cancer treatment were included in study and data regarding survival time and demographic characteristics of patients were collected in the University of ~ 365 ~ Vienna [35] . However, a letter to editor said regarding the above study that the results biased and misleading because it is compulsory to apply a statistical model capable to handle the immortality time in control and active groups. ...
... used complementary therapy at some stage of their illness. Recent studies suggest that additive homoeopathic medicines to standard therapies might be used to enhance survival [6] and improve the quality of life in cancer patients. [7] Homoeopathic literature also suggests a list of remedies to counter the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. ...