Review| Volume 42, ISSUE 3, P282-289, February 2006

Efficacy of homeopathic therapy in cancer treatment

  • Stefania Milazzo
    Department of Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Institute of Health and Social Care, 25 Victoria Park Road, Exeter EX2 4NT, United Kingdom
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  • Nancy Russell
    Integrative Medicine Program Education, Unit 147, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030-0049, United States
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  • Edzard Ernst
    Corresponding author: Tel.: +44 1392 424839; fax: +44 1392 427562.
    Department of Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Institute of Health and Social Care, 25 Victoria Park Road, Exeter EX2 4NT, United Kingdom
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      Many cancer patients use homeopathic approaches to increase their body’s ability to fight cancer, improve their physical and emotional well-being, and alleviate their pain resulting from the disease or conventional treatments. Homeopathy is highly controversial as there is no plausible mode of action for these highly diluted remedies. The aim of this systematic review is to summarize and critically evaluate the efficacy of homeopathic remedies used as a sole or additional therapy in cancer care. We have searched the literature using the databases: Amed (from 1985); CINHAL (from 1982); EMBASE (from 1974); Medline (from 1951); and CAMbase (from 1998). Randomised and non-randomised controlled clinical trials including patients with cancer or past experience of cancer receiving single or combined homeopathic interventions were included. The methodological quality of the trials was assessed by Jadad score. Six studies met our inclusion criteria (five were randomised clinical trials and one was a non-randomised study); but the methodological quality was variable including some high standard studies. Our analysis of published literature on homeopathy found insufficient evidence to support clinical efficacy of homeopathic therapy in cancer care.


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