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

Gaertner, Katharina; Müllner, Michael; Friehs, Helmut; Schuster, Ernst; Schuster, Ernst; Marosi, Christine; Muchitsch, Ilse; Frass, Michael; Kaye, Alan David (2014). Additive homeopathy in cancer patients: Retrospective survival data from a homeopathic outpatient unit at the Medical University of Vienna. Complementary therapies in medicine, 22(2), pp. 320-332. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.12.014

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Background: Current literature suggests a positive influence of additive classical homeopathyon global health and well-being in cancer patients. Besides encouraging case reports, thereis little if any research on long-term survival of patients who obtain homeopathic care duringcancer treatment. Design: Data from cancer patients who had undergone homeopathic treatment complementaryto conventional anti-cancer treatment at the Outpatient Unit for Homeopathy in MalignantDiseases, 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 ofdisease, 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 OutpatientUnit 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 glioblas-toma, lung, cholangiocellular and pancreatic carcinomas, metastasized sarcoma, and renal cellcarcinoma. Median overall survival was compared to expert expectations of survival outcomesby 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 butadditive homeopathic treatment is interesting. However, findings are based on a small sample,and with only limited data available about patient and treatment characteristics. The relationshipbetween homeopathic treatment and survival time requires prospective investigation in largersamples possibly using matched-pair control analysis or randomized trials.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of Complementary Medicine (ICOM)

UniBE Contributor:

Gaertner, Katharina

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0965-2299

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Martin Frei-Erb

Date Deposited:

07 Jan 2015 09:10

Last Modified:

17 Nov 2015 09:23

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.ctim.2013.12.014

PubMed ID:

24731904

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.61465

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/61465

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