The claim that homeopathy has a role in oncology does not seem to go away. Some enthusiasts say it can be used as a causal therapy, while others insist it might be a helpful symptomatic adjuvant. Almost all oncologists agree that homeopathy has no place at all in cancer care.

Who is right?

This systematic review 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.

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.

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 included single and combination homeopathic remedies (used systemically or as mouth rinses) of various dilutions. The outcomes assessed were:

  • the influence on toxicity of cancer treatment (mostly hot flashes and menopausal symptoms),
  • the time to drain removal in breast cancer patients after mastectomy,
  • survival,
  • quality of life,
  • global health,
  • subjective well-being,
  • anxiety and depression,
  • safety and tolerance.

The included studies reported heterogeneous results: some studies described significant differences in quality of life or toxicity of cancer treatment favoring 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 had low methodological quality.

The authors concluded that, the results for the effectiveness of homeopathy in cancer patients are heterogeneous, mostly not significant and fail to show an advantage of homeopathy over other active or passive comparison groups. No evidence can be provided that homeopathy exceeds the placebo effect. Furthermore, the majority of the included studies shows numerous and severe methodological weaknesses leading to a high level of bias and are consequently hardly reliable. Therefore, based on the findings of this SR, no evidence for positive effectiveness of homeopathy can be verified.

This could not be clearer. Some might argue that, of course, homeopathy cannot change the natural history of cancer, but it might improve the quality of life of those patients who believe in it via a placebo response. I would still oppose this notion: there are many effective treatments in the supportive treatment of cancer, and it seems much better to use those options and tell patients the truth about homeopathy.

50 Responses to Homeopathy for cancer? Unsurprisingly, the evidence is not positive.

  • I am more interested in what is NOT said or reported on in this article. For one instance…

    As a result ofthe important study by Frass (2020), theAssociation of the Scientific Medical Societies (Arbeitsgemeinschaft derWissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften, AWMF) of Germany includedreference to homeopathic treatment as a part of the guidelines forcomplementary medicine in the treatment of cancer.  The AWMF advises on matters and tasks offundamental and interdisciplinary interest in medicine, developsrecommendations and resolutions and represents them at the institutionsoccupied with such tasks.           

    The AWMFregularly organizes the best-known cancer institutions in conventional medicinein order to define the state of the art for the treatment of cancer fortherapy.  Here’s a link to their recent guidelines for complementarymedicine in cancer treatment…in German, link to PDF – 630pages).          

    This highlyrespected conventional medical body expresses support for homeopathy inoncology: “There are data from an RCT on the use of classic homeopathy…. due to the strongly positive results of this study, the use of classichomeopathy (initial anamnesis in combination with individual prescription) toimprove the quality of life in oncological patients in addition to tumor therapycan be considered.”

  • It is also interesting that the researchers chose to avoid referencing a study published in the journal CANCER. And yet, instead, they chose to reference a replication study that was not randomized (is it any wonder that it found some of the results of the previous study but not all of them?).

    The homeopathic medication Traumeel S® may significantly reduce the severity and duration of chemotherapy-induced stomatitis in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation (Oberbaum, Yaniv, Ben-Gal, 2001). Thirty patients between the ages of 3 and 25 years who had undergone allogeneic (n=15) or autologous (n=15) stem cell transplantation were randomly assigned to either a Traumeel S® group or a placebo group. Patients in the homeopathy group were instructed to rinse their mouths with Traumeel S® 5 times daily for a minimum of 14 days or until all signs of stomatitis were absent for at least 2 days. At treatment conclusion, mean stomatitis scores were significantly lower in the homeopathy group than those in the placebo group (P<0.01). Five patients (33%) in the Traumeel S® group did not develop stomatitis compared to one patient (7%) in the placebo group. Stomatitis worsened in only 7 patients (47%) in the Traumeel S® group compared with 14 patients (93%) in the placebo group.

    A newer study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Traumeel S in the management of radiation-induced oral mucositis in patients with head and neck tumors (Steinmann, Eilers, Beynenson, et al, 2012). The research team could not confirm any appreciable specific effect of Traumeel S on the primary endpoints; the limited reduction in pain for the intervention group compared to the control group was not significant, and the more frequent analgesia in the Traumeel S group most likely explained that reduction. Among the secondary endpoints, loss of taste and swallowing difficulty responded to Traumeel S to some extent.

    The researchers concluded that Traumeel S may have some potential in the treatment of radiation-induced oral mucositis, but its possible effects need confirmation by further studies. HOWEVER, the fact that this latter study was not randomized may also explain why this study wasn’t able to replicate the previous study’s findings.

    The above MISSING study is just one missing study. It is easy to predict that the researchers purposefully avoided references to others, especially since they HAD to know about the Oberbaum, et al study because it was a replication study of a study that this article referenced ("How convenient").

    Perhaps it is THIS article that should be retracted due to this evidence of "bad faith" in reporting.


    Oberbaum M, Yaniv I, Ben-Gal Y, et al. A randomized, controlled clinical trial of the homeopathic medication Traumeel S® in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced stomatitis in children undergoing stem cell transplantation. Cancer. 2001;92(3):684-690.;2-%23/full

    Steinmann D, Eilers V, Beynenson D, Buhck H, Fink M. Effect of Traumeel S on Pain and Discomfort in Radiation-induced Oral Mucositis: A Preliminary Observational Study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012 Jul-Aug;18(4):12-8.

    • Sweety, you should read their paper; the studies you listed fail to meet their inclusion criteria.

      • “How convenient!” A replication study becomes a part of the study (because it had a somewhat negative result), while the original study is not included (because it had a decidedly positive outcome). How convenient, indeed.

        What’s so impressive is the creativity here by people who use an electron microscope-level of critique to attack any study that has a positive result, while completely ignoring the glaring deficiencies of studies that have a negative result.

        How convenient indeed.

        • I am afraid you do not understand: the 2 studies you mentioned were not included because they did not meet the criteria for inclusion set by the authors of the review [sorry, if that is too complex for you].

        • What’s so impressive is the creativity here by people who use an electron microscope-level of critique to attack any study that has a positive result, while completely ignoring the glaring deficiencies of studies that have a negative result.

          Is this the same Dana Ullman who is happy to triumphantly and repeatedly wave around any risible piece of tripe that he imagines confirms his beliefs in the imaginary powers of shaken water? The same Dana who ignores or haplessly attempts to denigrate any work which shows magic water to have no effect beyond placebo?

          I believe it is!

          This, Dana, is yet another reason why nobody pays any heed to your words. Continue to shout into an unhearing void. We’ll keep laughing at you.

          • Yes, it is he indeed (
            In a 2017 class action against Green Pharmaceuticals, makers of the homeopathy remedy SnoreStop, Ullman was called by the company to testify as an expert witness. In response to his testimony, the court found that:

            Mr. Ullman’s credibility was undermined by his admission that he advocated the use of a radionics machine, whereby a physician puts a picture of his patient on one side, and a few medicines on the other side, and then sees which of the medicines the needle points towards. Mr. Ullman’s testimony was unhelpful in understanding the purported efficacy of the ingredients of SnoreStop to reduce the symptoms of snoring. Although he is familiar with the theory of homeopathic treatment, his opinions regarding its effectiveness [were] unsupported and biased.[11]

            The Judge noted:

            The Court found Mr. Ullman’s testimony to be not credible. Mr. Ullman’s bias in favor of homeopathy and against conventional medicine was readily apparent from his testimony. He admitted that he was not an impartial expert but rather is a passionate advocate of homeopathy. He posted on Twitter that he views conventional medicine as witchcraft. He opined that conventional medical science cannot be trusted.

            — Hon. Bryan F. Foster (J), Rosendez and others v. Green Pharmaceuticals, CIVDS 1108022, III. A.[12]

  • Homeopathy is the most frequently used complementary therapy in supportive care in oncology (SCO) in France today, and its use in cancer treatment is steadily increasing. Two cross-sectional surveys of French physicians were conducted involving (1) 150 specialist oncologists; (2) 97 homeopathic MD general practitioners (HGPs) and 100 non-homeopathic MD general practitioners (NHGPs) (Bagot, Theunissen, Serral, 2021).

    This survey found that 10% of oncologists stated they prescribe homeopathic medicine; 36% recommend homeopathic medicines; 54% think that homeopathic medicines are potentially helpful in SCO. Two-thirds of the NHGPs sometimes prescribe homeopathy in the context of SCO, and 58% regularly refer their patients to homeopathic doctors.

    The researchers concluded that homeopathy is viewed favorably as an integrated SCO therapy by the majority of French physicians involved with cancer patients-oncologists and GPs. Symptoms of particular relevance include fatigue, anxiety, peripheral neuropathy, sleep disturbance, and hot flashes. In such clinical situations, response to conventional therapies may be suboptimal, and homeopathy is considered a reliable therapeutic option. These surveys highlight the fact that homeopathy has gained legitimacy as the first complementary therapy in SCO in France.

    Certain people at Edzard’s website will claim that “popularity” does not mean that a treatment is “scientifically proven.” I will therefore say that for you so that you don’t have to say it a million times. HOWEVER, what is the meaning that so many French oncologists USE homeopathic medicines in their practice? What is the meaning that so many French oncologists REFER their cancer patients to homeopathic physicians? What is the meaning that so many French oncologists have SO MUCH RESPECT for homeopathic medicines?

    I will be curious what people here say about the RESULTS of this study…

    Bagot JL, Theunissen I, Serral A. Perceptions of homeopathy in supportive cancer care among oncologists and general practitioners in France. Support Care Cancer. 2021 Mar 24. doi: 10.1007/s00520-021-06137-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33763723.

    • Dana, you should have read the methods section:
      “Potential participants were invited and if agreeable recruited. The aim was to recruit a representative sample of 150 specialists from across these three principal oncology specialties, and recruitment ceased after 150 participants had agreed.”
      This method inevitably generates a huge selection bias; pro-homeopathy doctors tend to agree to participate, while the rest tends to refuse.

    • Dana that is not a piece of academic research. It is market research; a customer satisfaction survey of homeopathic practitioners. It is utter garbage and of no significance whatsoever. Only an idiot would consider otherwise. This has been explained to you previously. Why are you showing us again? You never learn, Dana. It’s why you are of no consequence.

      • no consequence?
        I wouldn’t say that – he makes me laugh a lot!

      • Are you actually saying (or suggesting) that there are not a large number of French oncologists who use and who refer to homeopathic physicians. NO ONE this stupid would deny this fact…but heck, you’re showing your true colors (or lack of them). Thanx.

  • For the record, it is NOT just French oncologists who use homeopathic medicines in their practice and that refer patients to homeopathic physicians, homeopathy is HUGELY popular amongst most health and medical professionals.

    A large survey of licensed health practitioners in France was conducted in 2011-12 drawn from the prescribing habits from the national health insurance database. A total of 6,705,420 patients received at least one reimbursement for a homeopathic preparation during the 12-month period, i.e. 10.2% of the overall population, with a predominance in females (68%) and a peak frequency observed in children aged 0-4 years (18%). About one-third of patients had only one reimbursement, and one-half of patients had three or more reimbursements. A total of 120,110 healthcare professionals (HCPs) prescribed at least one homeopathic drug or preparation. They represented 43.5% of the overall population of HCPs, nearly 95% of general practitioners, dermatologists and pediatricians, and 75% of midwives. Homeopathy accounted for 5% of the total number of drug units prescribed by HCPs. Allopathic medicines were co-prescribed with 55% of homeopathic prescriptions.

    Reference: Piolot M, Fagot JP, Rivière S, Fagot-Campagna A, Debeugny G, Couzigou P, Alla F. Homeopathy in France in 2011-2012 according to reimbursements in the French national health insurance database (SNIIRAM). Fam Pract. 2015 Apr 28.

  • So after all a group of homeopathy skeptics recognizes that there are good homeopathy trials (Frass 6/8, Jacobs 7/8, Perol 7/8, Thompson 6/8). Remember that many skeptics reject Jacobs’ essays because he is a “homeopath”, but when Jacobs publishes apparently negative trials then “they do count”. Do you realize the double standards of the so-called skeptics of homeopathy?

    Let’s not talk about the fact that Jütta Huebenr is an activist of the IHN Network, can Ernst explain why she is lying by not declaring a conflict of interests? And that’s no excuse, I’ve read other articles by Lübbers in which it seems that he was forced to declare his membership of the IHN as a conflict of interest. Perhaps Ernst could also tell us what happened to the alleged “fraud” complaint of the Frass et al essay. Could it be that for the first time it will be possible to win a battle against the censorship that the so-called skeptics have exercised against several authors who have had articles retracted without justification, suspiciously those who are always in favor of homeopathy?

  • What is going on with Dana? I have never noticed him waving his arms so desperately and making meaningless comments virtually every 15 minutes. The systematic review seems to have hit his ego very hard.

    PS: Why has not Heinrich Hümmer shown up yet to present us with his two case reports that homeopathy does work for cancer?

    Questions about questions! 🙂

    • RPGNo1 has obviously loves any strawman that he can create. For the record, it took me 15 minutes to cut and paste the four or so comments that I made ALL at one time, except for the couple of replies.

      I’m sorry that your daftness could only imagine how YOU work, not anyone else. My sympathy again, because you need it…but heck, even that isn’t enough for you.

      • Dana

        You might want to look up what a strawman is before using the term. Logical fallacies are yet another thing you don’t understand. You see us dissecting your facile arguments and imagine you can do the same in reverse. You can’t. To understand logical fallacies you first have to understand logic. And you wouldn’t recognise logic if it bit you on the pallid, hairy arse you use to talk out of.

        As on every other post on this blog, each and every point you have attempted to make has been ripped to shreds. Each supposed piece of evidence has been laughed at and shown to be the nonsense it is. And still you stand there crowing and shouting.

        What a strange little man you are.

      • Mr Ullman,

        Think how your credibility will be enhanced if you will kindly name a laboratory that can distinguish homeopathic water from other water, thus making good your branding of me as among “fools or liars”.

        Perhaps you imagine that your continued ignoring of my request – SIXTY-THIRD time of asking now – is in some way dignified. Certainly that would be further evidence of the spacious (and specious) nature of your imagination.

        • You’ve chosen to blind yourself to the answer that I’ve provided many times…but at least you’ve proven that you can count…but that is the only thing you seem to understand. Good luck making people believe you.

          • You’ve chosen to blind yourself to the answer that I’ve provided many times

            And there we have it. The proof in black and white that Dana Ullman is a bare-faced, shameless liar.

            “the answer that I’ve provided many times”

            You have done no such thing.

            You once mumbled about a university laboratory in India, but failed to specify which one of many. We asked you to clarify, and even provided a suggestion for the appropriate laboratory. You said nothing.

            You’ve been called out as a bluffing liar and have now proved it. You’re a pathetic bullshitter and you know it. You really are a pitiful little man, Dana. Your house of cards and tumbles around you. You are without a shred of credibility you hapless, witless, bloviating buffoon. If you had the faintest shred of integrity you would never post here again. But you will. You twat.

          • Mr Ullman, it is very evident that you have a curious relationship with Truth.

            Please read Lenny’s comments carefully. THEY are true.

            You have NOT answered my question even once.

          • in homeopathy, the truth is a very flexible concept.

          • @Dana Ullman
            You are a one trick pony, as your ‘answers’ are always the same: waving one-off positive studies around that are ridiculously bad and/or are simply statistical noise(*).
            Any more detailed questions or criticism are invariably met with silence, and no further answers are ever forthcoming, apart from some slurs about people who don’t believe in homeopathy being ‘fools and liars’. Which, incidentally, includes some 99.9% of the scientific world …

            *: Occam’s razor dictates that we should assume a simpler explanation over far more complex or implausible explanations. As homeopathy’s basic premises and principles are extremely implausible and go against several universal scientific principles, the far simpler explanation is that homeopathy doesn’t actually do anything, and that homeopaths are just medically and scientifically inept fools who consistently fail to recognize their own biases and fallacies – even when those biases and fallacies are explicitly pointed out to them. Your comments also support this latter notion.

          • Dana does not speak the truth but truthiness. 🙂

            Truthiness is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts. Truthiness can range from ignorant assertions of falsehoods to deliberate duplicity or propaganda intended to sway opinions.


          • “the answer that I’ve provided many times…”

            I am somewhat bemused by the blatant, barefaced nature of this lie. It is outrageous and absurd!

            Is it an attempt at ‘gaslighting’? Am I supposed to suddenly think “maybe he DID answer”?

            We could laugh, I suppose, if he didn’t take people’s money.

      • Easy, Dana. Take some valerian. 😀

        • @RPGNo1

          Perhaps Dana is better off taking 200C Sulphur?

          Sulphur – For Delusions Of Grandiose
          It is beneficial medicine for delusions of grandiose. Person needing it believes that he is a great person. He possesses much pride and is very egotistical.

          Dana is a Sulphur! according to Materia Medica.

          Bolding mine.

          It’s well known that Sulphur has an aversion to studying because he thinks that he is the smartest person on earth and that he knows everything.
          The problems for Sulphur begin when he tries to turn his ideas into reality. When Sulphur plans to do something, he does it with all his strength. It’s never only one concrete plan or idea. He will use his imagination a lot, which will give him many ideas and opportunities.
          He can be too petty, but he is very passionate when doing something and this characteristic enables him to leave his job undone. In this way, he is getting more and more entangled in the net and he can’t see anymore where it all ends.

          His passion and huge emotional strength might be the reasons for his inability to separate his visions from reality. He believes that everyone should share his opinion and see the world in the same way he does.

          Sulphur won’t face the reality for a long time.
          In order to keep his visions, he needs to close his eyes. By closing our eyes, we enable new visual information to penetrate our mind. Visions are beautiful pictures of the future. This means that everything that comes from reality distracts his vision. For this reason, he has to close his eyes for the reality and give in to his visions. Reality pushes him really hard sometimes, but he still has a lot of ideas for improving his status and solving his problems.

          Spot on, don’t you think? 🤣

          • Indeed – from

            “Sulphur are big egos; very intellectual selfish; ambitious; obsessive; curious.. ..they are the center of attention and tell people what they know because they want recognition. They come in, knowing what they want to talk about. Very selfish; no regard for others. Imagines himself a great mean though ignorant, despises literary men and education”

            Captain Sulphur he is!

  • Mr Ullman, you said elsewhere in this Forum that “only fools or liars” doubted that there was a difference between homeopathic water and other water. Thus you brand me as among fools or liars, for doubting.

    Will you please name a laboratory that can reliably perform this feat?

    This is the SIXTY-SECOND (62nd) time I have asked you in this Forum to do so.

    Some (including me) may find your lack of response highly suggestive.

    • Perhaps I can help and save you the trouble of asking Dana again. He’s quite right, it is very simple to differentiate ordinary water from homeopathic water.

      Ordinary water comes from a tap and is very cheap. Homeopathic water comes in tiny bottles and is very expensive.

      I’m sure that’s what you meant, isn’t it Dana?

      • In addition to being sold in tiny bottles, homeopathic water is blessed by Heinemann’s ghost and thus contains magical healing properties which cant be detected using any instruments know to science.

        • Reminds me of this exchange in Parliament:

          House of Lords Science and Technology Committee 21 February 2007

          Ms Chatfield: I am Kate Chatfield. I am here to represent the Society of Homeopaths and I am a senior lecturer in homeopathy at the University of Central Lancashire.

          Q538 Lord Broers: I have a simple, technical question about homeopathy and drugs. Is it possible to distinguish between homeopathic drugs after they have been diluted? Is there any means of distinguishing one from the other?

          Ms Chatfield: Only by the label.

          • Thank you. I read that online ages ago, and was recently trying to find it again, for that very quotation.

          • Thanks for this interesting morsel of history, Alan.

            I looked Ms. Chatfield up and found her page at the U of Central Lancashire.
            In light of her homeopathist reputation the title of Deputy Director Centre for Professional Ethics seems almost tragicomic. Her list of publications contains several indications of homeopathic ventures including articles coauthored with shaken-water celebrities Matie and Fisher.
            But somewhat surprisingly she does not seem to flaunt her homeopathic vocation. Her “bio” and “qualifications” sections e.g. have no mention of Hahnemanns heritage. Maybe ethics have caught up with her faith in the memory of water?

          • It’s certainly interesting that Dr Chatfield (PhD in Bioethics, not an MD) seems nowhere nowadays to cite any connection with homeopathy, for all that she appeared before the Science and Technology Committee “to represent the Society of Homeopaths”.

            Her listed qualifications do not include any in homeopathy. Is it that she never had any homeopathy qualifications – in which case, why was she representing the Society of Homeopaths? – or has she had an honourable change of opinion as a result of which she disavows any former involvement with homeopathy?

            In her Select Committee responses, she does seem to indicate active involvement in practicing homeopathy, saying, for example: “In homeopathy we do not pretend to diagnose in the way that conventional medics do”.

            I am not meaning here to impugn Dr Chatfield’s professional standing in any way at all.

          • See:
            The School of Homeopathy
            Teacher biographies
            Kate Chatfield

            See also:
            Company information
            Kate CHATFIELD
            Total number of appointments 3

          • Hmmm, well, that’s interesting. I see that Dr. Chatfield is “FSHom”, Fellow of the Society of Homeopaths, which is a very different thing from MFHom, Member of the Faculty of Homeopath.

            To me, lecturing in Bioethics and in Homeopathy seems an uneasy mix.

          • any lecturer in bioethics addressing homeopaths must explain why it is unethical to practice homeopathy

          • I am a bit amused by the comment of Rachel Roberts, quoted on this page

            She says:
            “Homeopathy is a complex subject that is only just starting to be explored. From what we know so far, the evidence suggests that homeopathy could provide solutions to many of the challenges facing us today, we just need more good research.”

            To me, to be accurate this should say:
            “Homeopathy is a complex subject because there are practically as many theories about it and ways of practicing it as there are homeopaths. There are two hundred years’ worth of such theories and opinions. From what we know so far, the evidence suggests that homeopathy provides no better solutions than placebo to any challenge facing us today. No good research to date says anything different”.

            (And incidentally, I hate that she uses a Comma Splice).

          • The only intimation of any training or qualification in homeopathy that Dr Chatfield has, seems to relate to the letters MNWCH after her name. Her BSc(Hons), Masters, and PhD are not in homeopathy.

            The letters MNWCH appear to relate to the North West College of Homeopathy. Does the M stand for Member?

            On the “Recognition and Accreditation” web page of that College, I can’t see that any government or medical regulatory body provides the accreditation. It is accredited only by the Society of Homeopaths?

          • “Ms Chatfield: I am Kate Chatfield. I am here to represent the Society of Homeopaths and I am a senior lecturer in homeopathy at the University of Central Lancashire.”

            A search of the University of Central Lancashire’s website shows “No results found for homeopathy”. I guess they must have stopped running courses in homeopathy.

  • And – quelle surprise – Lying Dana disappears from the discussion.

    We’ll wait for the brass-necked halfwit to pitch up once again in another thread.

    • In which event, I shall be happy to offer gentle reminders……

    • Medieval rationalists, refusing to look through Galileo’s telescope, said: “If we see what is written in Aristotle, there is no point in looking. If we see what is not written in it, it cannot be true.” The same happens with the devotees of homeopathy.

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