MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

The Journal of Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology states that it is devoted to the rapid publication of innovative preclinical investigations on therapeutic agents against cancer and pertinent findings of experimental and clinical oncology. In the journal you will find review articles, original articles, and short communications on all areas of cancer research, including but not limited to preclinical experimental therapeutics; anticancer drug development; cancer biochemistry; biotechnology; carcinogenesis; cancer cytogenetics; clinical oncology; cytokine biology; epidemiology; molecular biology; pathology; pharmacology; tumor cell biology; and experimental oncology.

After reading an article entitled ‘How homeopathic medicine works in cancer treatment: deep insight from clinical to experimental studies’ in its latest issue, I doubt that the journal is devoted to anything.

Here is the abstract:

In the current scenario of medical sciences, homeopathy, the most popular system of therapy, is recognized as one of the components of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) across the world. Despite, a long debate is continuing whether homeopathy is just a placebo or more than it, homeopathy has been considered to be safe and cost-effectiveness therapeutic modality. A number of human ailments ranging from common to serious have been treated with homeopathy. However, selection of appropriate medicines against a disease is cumbersome task as total spectrum of symptoms of a patient guides this process. Available data suggest that homeopathy has potency not only to treat various types of cancers but also to reduce the side effects caused by standard therapeutic modalities like chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. Although homeopathy has been widely used for management of cancers, its efficacy is still under question. In the present review, the anti-cancer effect of various homeopathic drugs against different kinds of cancers has been discussed and future course of action has also been suggested.

I do wonder what possessed the reviewers of this paper and the editors of the journal to allow such dangerous (and badly written) rubbish to get published. Do they not know that:

  1. homeopathy is a placebo therapy,
  2. homeopathy can not cure any cancer,
  3. cancer patients are highly vulnerable to false hope,
  4. such an article endangers the lives of many cancer patients,
  5. they have an ethical, moral and possibly legal duty to prevent such mistakes?

What makes this paper even more upsetting is the fact that one of its authors is affiliated with the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Family welfare my foot!

This certainly is one of the worst violations of healthcare and publication ethic that I have come across for a long time.

 

5 Responses to ‘Homeopathic medicine works in cancer treatment’ – this paper is seriously upsetting

  • A little off point here but was it originally written in, well, sort of English? Or is this some sort of horrible translation?

    Anyway, at what point does this become the equivalent of shouting “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre? I’m all for free speech but the fallout from this nonsense could be—almost inevitably will be—fatal. How is it not illegal to do this (and so many other things we see every day)? Rhetorical question, I know.

  • The paper describes experiments with the Banerji protocol. A critique of some of this work was published in Respectful Insolence: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2010/03/04/a-homeopathic-bit-of-breast-cancer-scien/

  • Yes, a paper which asserts that homoeopathic treatment ‘works’ for cancer is an oxymoron and might trick a gullible panic-striken person into a false belief that here is a nice easy way to treat a diagnosed cancer. Thus this publication is shockingly harmful.
    Even intelligent people grasp at straws in these situations. A friend of mine believed that he could ‘cure’ his wife’s stage IV breast cancer by feeding her wheat grass and putting her on an alkaline diet Not homoeopathy, but just as bad.

    • Yes, it is amazing what some people will do in desperation.

      My former father-in-law (a smart and capable man) came to me when his wife was dying and, with a tear in his eye, pleaded with me, “Please, Ron. You know people at the university. Can’t they do something?”

      Those of you who deal with these issues and people know full well how absolutely crazy that suggestion is. I think he did, too. But, in his desperation, he gave it a shot. People who fall for the woo woo aren’t necessarily ignorant or stupid. Many are just desperate. Like him.

      And THAT, my friends, is why I lash out at purveyors of this absolute and utter nonsense. If I wrote what I was really thinking, Edzard would have to give his blog an “Mature Audiences Only” rating.

      • Yes, a friend of mine was in the same position, desperate to save his dying wife and therefore ready to suspend all rationality.He expression real anger that the Royal Marsden wouldn’t agree to try these ‘cures’. She died having been subjected to crazy non treatments before death.

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