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 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).
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.
Keywords: Cancer; Cholangiocellular cancer; Glioblastoma; Homeopathy; Lung; Metastasized sarcoma; Pancreatic carcinomas; Renal cell carcinoma.
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