Is There a Role for Homeopathy in Cancer Care? Questions and Challenges.
Curr Oncol Rep. 2015 Sep ;17(9):43. PMID: 26210222
Patients with cancer commonly use complementary and integrative medicine, including homeopathy. Homeopathy has grown in popularity with the public but is viewed with skepticism by medical academia and is still excluded from conventionally prescribed treatments. In recent years, homeopathy has been used in cancer care in Europe and other countries worldwide. This use raised the question if there is any benefit in utilizing this type of care with cancer patients. The purpose of this manuscript is to explore the evidence related to the benefit of homeopathy in cancer care. Limited research has suggested that homeopathic remedies appear to cause cellular changes in some cancer cells. In animal models, several homeopathic remedies have had an inhibitory effect on certain tumor development. Some clinical studies of homeopathic remedies combined with conventional care have shown that homeopathic remedies improve quality of life, reduce symptom burden, and possibly improve survival in patients with cancer. The findings from several lab and clinical studies suggest that homeopathy might have some beneficial effect in cancer care; however, further large, comprehensive clinical studies are needed to determine these beneficial effects. Although additional studies are needed to confirm these findings, given the low cost, minimal risks, and the potential magnitude of homeopathy's effects, this use might be considered in certain situations as an additional tool to integrate into cancer care.