This study was conducted in four outpatients` centers: the Medical University of Vienna (General Hospital of Vienna), Department of Medicine I, Division of Oncology; the Otto Wagner Hospital, Department of Pulmonology I, Vienna; the Hospital of Lienz, Department of Medicine, Tyrol; and the Elisabethinenspital, Department of Medicine, Linz, Austria. This study was published in a respected conventional cancer journal, called “The Oncologist,” which is the official journal of the Society for Translational Oncology.
In 2020, a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, three-arm, multicenter, phase III study evaluated the possible effects of additive homeopathic treatment compared to placebo in patients with stage IV advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with respect to Quality of Life (QoL) in the two randomized groups and survival time in all three groups (Frass, Lechleitner, Gründling, et al, 2020). Treated patients visited the university teaching hospital every 9 weeks: 150 patients with stage IV NSCLC were included in the study; 98 received either individualized homeopathic remedies (n = 51) or placebo (n = 47) in a double-blinded fashion; and 52 control patients without any homeopathic treatment were observed for survival only. The control group (the third group) were patients who refused participation in the randomized trial, but agreed to observation of their course of disease without any homeopathic intervention.
The study found that QoL as well as functional and symptom scales showed significant improvement in the homeopathy group when compared with placebo after 9 and 18 weeks of homeopathic treatment (p < .001). The median survival time was significantly longer in the homeopathy group (435 days) versus placebo (257 days; p = .010) as well as versus control (228 days; p < .001). Survival rate in the homeopathy group differed significantly from placebo (p = .020) and from control (p < .001). The symptoms (nausea, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, etc.) were also rated significantly better in the homeopathy group.
The researchers concluded that homeopathy positively influences not only QoL but also survival and that further studies including other tumor entities are warranted.
According to the best standards of clinical research, this study level is deemed to be at highest level (RCT, multicenter, three-arm design, 150 patients).
All homeopathic prescriptions started with Q1 potencies (also called LM potencies) of the selected remedies for 3 weeks, and continued in ascending order with Q2, Q3, of either the same remedy or a selected alternative (3 weeks each) toward Q30. Where the study substance was changed, whatever the reason, the new cycle started from the beginning with Q1. A primary reason for changing the study substance was disease deterioration.
NOTE: Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women, as well as the leading cause of cancer‐related mortality in the U.S. , accounting for 29% of all cancer‐related mortalities in men and 26% of those in women . More than 85% of lung cancers are non‐small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) , for which surgery is the preferred therapy in the early stages. Unfortunately, most patients are diagnosed at stages III or IV, by which time NSCLC is inoperable . Chemotherapy is the standard treatment for unresectable NSCLC , but its adverse reactions frequently prevent completion of the recommended number of cycles . Additional approaches to reduce chemotherapy’s toxicity and enhance its clinical efficacy are, therefore, warranted.
“Non-small cell lung cancer” is a group of lung cancers that behave similarly, such as squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Symptoms are a cough that won’t go away, shortness of breath, weight loss, or coughing up blood. Treatments typically include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The 5-year survival rate for non-small cell lung cancer is 24%, compared to 6% for small cell lung cancer.
Frass M, Lechleitner P, Gründling C, Pirker C, Grasmuk-Siegl E, Domayer J, Hochmayr M, Gaertner K, Duscheck C, Muchitsch I, Marosi C, Schumacher M, Zöchbauer-Müller S, Manchanda RK, Schrott A, Burghuber O. Homeopathic Treatment as an ‘Add on’ Therapy May Improve Quality of Life and Prolong Survival in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Three-Arm, Multicenter Study. Oncologist. 2020 Oct 3. doi: 10.1002/onco.13548. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33010094. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33010094/