Like water for chemo

Like water for chemo
In March 2012, WDDTY published one of its most irresponsible and widely criticised articles: Much more than placebo: Homeopathy reverses cancer, by Lynne McTaggart’s husband, Bryan Hubbard. In the November 2013 issue he revisits the claim.

We’ve already shown that the promised “new research” is no such thing, now it’s time to take a deep breath and dissect the larger story – in reality largely a recycling of the earlier article’s arguments.

There are numerous issues with the article, most serious of which is that it represents a case series submitted under the OCCAM Best cases series, as an independent research validation by NCI. It is no such thing, and OCCAM make this extremely clear. It is pay-to-play, not independent, and this program explicitly does not validate the case series it publishes.

This supposed independent validation is the lynch pin on which WDDTY builds its entire case – and it is just one of many wilful misrepresentations of the facts in this execrable paean to exploitative quackery.

like-water-for-chemoLike water for chemo

Bryan Hubbard

Doctors call it “nonsense on stilts”, and professors of medicine have been bullying government and health authorities to stop offering it on the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), while scientists say it is implausible, if not impossible, as it breaks every law of science they know.

Off to a cracking start. Nobody is “bullying” (apart from HRH Prince Charles), the job of government advisors is to advise government on the state of the evidence as it stands. The purported “bullying” is exemplified by the interview with Professor sir John BeddingtonW as outgoing Chief Scientific Advisor:

Sir John said the provision of homoeopathic remedies on the NHS was the only occasion during his five years as chief scientific adviser that his views had been “fundamentally ignored” by the Government.

He said “The only one I could think of was homoeopathy, which is mad. It has no underpinning of scientific basis. “In fact all of the science points to the fact that it is not at all sensible. “The clear evidence is saying this is wrong, but homoeopathy is still used on the NHS.”

So he presented the best current scientific understanding to the government, and was ignored – largely, as it appears, due to special pleading by interest groups embedded in the House and in Clarence House. In the topsy-turvy world of homeopathy, this makes the scientist the evil one.

Scientifically, homeopathy is not controversial, in the same way that flat earth theory or Velikovskian catastrophism are not controversial. They’re just wrong.

Homeopathy is everyone’s favourite whipping-boy, and if it does clear up a snuffly cold or minor headache, it’s all due to the placebo effect: it’s just mind over matter, and people merely think it’s making them better. Any active ingredient in a homeopathic remedy is diluted sometimes thousands of times, so any effect must be entirely in someone’s imagination.

You would have thought that someone setting out to write about a treatment scientifically understood to be a placebo, in a health magazine, might actually have taken the trouble to understand what the placebo effect means.

No, the placebo effect does not clear up a cold. It merely makes the patient think they are better, and that engages a whole series of cognitive effects such as looking for evidence of improvement rather than evidence of illness. This happens with every health intervention and is precisely why medicines have to be tested against placebo.

That makes perfect sense, assuming our understanding of physics and human biology is complete. But judging by how it is used in India — where doctors routinely use it even for life-threatening diseases like cancer — we perhaps have a little way to go yet.

This is a fallacious appeal to mystery. Homeopathy being bunk does not require our knowledge of science to be complete: it is sufficient that its doctrines are refuted, that it is inconsistent with all current scientific knowledge, that it has been contradicted by each new relevant finding as it arises, and that it has shown no explanatory power – no observations of homeopathy have provided any insight into the real world.

Imagine a man says he has a unicorn in his back garden. This excites interest: people start looking and see no unicorn. He claims tat they cannot see all of his garden, and the unicorn is there in the bit they can’t see. So they build taller towers and eventually the area of garden they can’t see is about the size of a postage stamp, but the man simply claims the unicorn is not visible to the naked eye. So they buy field glasses and telescopes and still see no unicorn but the man claims that it does not reflect the normal visible spectrum and instead has to be seen via its aura.

Sooner or later, you have to conclude that the man is deluded. That is what has happened in the last ten years or so with homeopathy.

The Indian doctors have found an unlikely ally in the US government’s National Cancer Institute, which has been so impressed by the way cancer patients have responded to homeopathic remedies that they want to see more research carried out. Its attempts have foundered, though, for lack of funding. Most research is paid for by drug companies, but as they have nothing to gain from the results of these studies — other than perhaps a loss of revenue for its chemotherapy drugs — the NCI can’t find anyone prepared to pick up the tab.

This is disingenuous. The National Cancer Institute shows, as far as I can tell, no interest whatsoever in homeopathy. It has a quackademic offshoot, the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative MedicineW (OCCAM), claimed to be the body which refuted Gerson, Hoxsey and laetrile to name but three busted quack cancer remedies.

OCCAM have a “best case series” programme, which allows proponents of alternative therapies to put their best cases forward for review in order to facilitate debate in the scientific literature. Anyone can apply, there is no funding attached, it’s pure pay-to-play. And most importantly:

Does the NCI Best Case Series Program evaluate CAM therapies for their effectiveness as a cancer treatment?

No. An evaluation of a treatment’s effectiveness is generally done by analyzing the results of well-designed and well-conducted clinical trials. Rather, the goal of the NCI Best Case Series Program is to provide an assessment of the quality of available data and its utility as support for the justification of NCI-initiated research. (OCCAM best case series FAQ)

So publication in the OCCAM best case series explicitly is not validation, carries no promise or implication of funding, and is not in any way a formal expression of interest by anybody.

OCCAM can fund trials, as can the National Center for Complementary and Alternative MedicineW, arch champions of research into nonsensical medical claims, but they have stopped funding trials of homeopathy and say there’s no reason to believe in it.

The most likely explanation is that the Banerjis, fired up by their zeal for their faith, have read much more into the communications with the various groups than is warranted. but we don’t know, and it’s not even likely that an FOIA request would reveal it, as it may well be commercially confidential.

Crucially, there is no evidence that Hubbard even tried this. Perhaps he was scared of the possible result?

Everyday miracles

Everyday miracles are carried out at several homeopathic clinics in Kolkata (Calcutta) in India, and it was there that American researchers went to see the work for themselves. One member of the research team, Dr Moshe Frenkel, who was at the time working at the MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) in Houston, was astounded by what he witnessed. “I saw things there that I couldn’t explain. Tumours shrank with nothing else other than homeopathic remedies. X-rays had shown there had been a lesion on the lung and a year after taking the remedy it had shrunk or disappeared.”

“Miracles” is the language of religion, not science.

Moshe Frenkel is, by all accounts, a decent doctor, but he is an “integrative medicine” practitioner – in other words, he already accepts claims that are not backed by robust scientific evidence and is likely to be more accepting of any “alternative” claims. This is not, as it is represented, a Damascene conversion of a skeptical doctor, it is a doctor who went at least prepared to be persuaded.

For comparison: if someone held up a former unbeliever as a witness of a miracle at Lourdes, and you later found that the unbeliever was indeed not a Catholic, but was a priest in the Church of England, would that change your perspective?

Still sceptical, or perhaps fearing he was the victim of a medical variant on the Indian rope trick, Dr Frenkel went back to his laboratory at MDACC and decided to test the homeopathic remedies on a culture of breast cancer cells. The protocols were as rigorous as they are for when Frenkel and his researchers test a new chemotherapy drug.

There are several ways that this kind of test can turn up a false positive.

Most importantly, if a remedy at some dilution did have an effect on cells in vitro, it would not validate homeopathy, for reasons we already discussed.

The US government’s National Cancer Institute has been so impressed by the way cancer patients have responded that they want to see more research carried out – Bryan Hubbard.

No credible evidence is presented to support this claim. “More research is needed” is the polite scientific code for “come back when you have better science”

Eight scientists from MDACC tested four remedies — Carcinosin 30C, Conium maculatum 3C, Phytolacca decandra 200C and Thuja occidentalis 30C — on two human breast-cancer cell lines. Around 5,000 cells were exposed to the remedies and to a placebo — the solvent without the active ingredients of the remedies — for periods of between one and four days. The experiment was repeated three times. Two of the remedies — Carcinosin and Phytolacca — achieved as much as an 80 percent response, indicating they had caused apoptosis, or programmed cell death. By comparison, the placebo solvent achieved only a 30 percent reduction, suggesting that the homeopathic effect was more than twice that of a placebo.

A 30C “remedy” is diluted one part in 1060, which is equivalent to a 1ml drop in a sphere of water over 130 light years in diameter. To say this stretches credulity is an understatement: the most important question is how carefully the investigators then went back to check their apparatus, since experimental error is far and away the most likely explanation.

Also, as Dr. Matthew Lam points out, it’s not placebo. It’s a vehicle control, not a placebo – they are cells in a dish.

Also, the effect was strongest with the greater dilution—which in the contrary world of homeopathic medicine means greater strength — and for longer periods of exposure.

If true, this would appear to violate the second law of thermodynamicsW. In scientific terms, that would be moderately big news. In reality it’s another pointer to a likely error.

The remedies triggered an ‘apoptotic cascade’ that interfered with the cancer cells’ normal growth cycle and yet the surrounding healthy cells were untouched, the researchers found. In other words, the remedies targeted only the cancer cells, whereas chemotherapy drugs attack all growing cells. And, say the researchers, the effects of Carcinosin and Phytolacca were as powerful as Taxol (paclitaxel), the most commonly prescribed chemotherapy drug for breast cancer.

Reference 1: Int J Oncol, 2010; 36: 395–403, Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells, Frenkel M, Mishra BM, Sen S, Yang P, Pawlus A, Vence L, Leblanc A, Cohen L, Banerji P, Banerji P. (full text)

And of course the first thing a responsible author or editor will do when faced with an extraordinary claim like this is to see if it has been discussed anywhere.

Looks like the science is not quite as robust as Frenkel made out.

Not believing the results, his colleagues insisted on an immediate second trial and in a different laboratory — and the same results came back. Now it was the turn of everyone else who read the results to disbelieve them, so Frenkel issued a challenge to critics. “If you come to a different conclusion, why not publish a paper saying it doesn’t work.” That was several years ago and still no paper has appeared.

This displays a total misunderstanding of the way science works. Skepticism is the default in the scientific method, a claim has to be proven by its proponents, not disproven by others.

Telling the Americans

The work at one of the Indian clinics, the Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation, first came to the attention of the Americans in 1995 when its two principals, Dr Prasanta Banerji and his son Dr Pratip Banerji, presented a study at the 5th International Conference of Anticancer Research of 16 cases of brain tumour that had regressed using only homeopathic remedies. At that time, they had been testing homeopathic remedies on cancer patients since 1992 at their Foundation, and they now say they treat around 120 cancer patients every day.

A conference presentation is not peer-reviewed, of course.

The number of patients being treated is worrying given the robust consensus that the therapy cannot work, and the near-religious approach of the Banerji family .It looks a lot like a cult of personality.

Dr Frenkel’s colleague at MDACC, Dr Sen Pathak, a professor of cell biology and genetics, approached the Banerjis and together they set up a trial to test two homeopathic remedies, Ruta 6 and Calcarea phosphorica 3X, on 15 patients with brain tumours. Six of the seven patients with gliomas — a type of brain cancer — achieved complete regression. In an accompanying in-vitro laboratory study, scientists noted that the remedies induced death-signalling pathways in the cancer cells.2

A couple of things:

  • Calcarea phosphorica 3X is one part per thousand, scarcely the kind of dilution for which homeopaths are known.
  • Ruta 6 is apparently a combination of the above and ruta graveolens 6C, a high dilution but still retaining some active ingredient.
  • 15 is a tiny number in a study.
  • Total remission of a glioma in half of all patients subjected to a treatment, even in a tiny study, would, if verifiable, be world-shaking. Unless it was junk science…

The reference:

Reference 2: Int J Oncol, 2003; 23: 975–82 Ruta 6 selectively induces cell death in brain cancer cells but proliferation in normal peripheral blood lymphocytes: A novel treatment for human brain cancer. Pathak S, Multani AS, Banerji P, Banerji P.

This is seven years before the paper that was used as a source to support the supposedly earlier findings. Are there any papers on this that do not have the Banerjis as co-authors? As in, are there any genuinely independent replications?

This result is astonishing. Gliomas are thought to be incurable; of 10,000 people diagnosed with malignant gliomas each year in the US alone, only around half are alive a year later and just 25 percent after two years. The scientists at MDACC were so impressed by the results that they began offering homeopathic remedies as part of their range of cancer treatments.

Reference 3: Stein R. ‘Kennedy’s Cancer is Highly Lethal’. The Washington Post, 21 May 2008 – not listed in PubMed. Oh, wait…

Notice how they are “scientists” at MDACC offering this, all of a sudden? They are doctors. Doctors have a scientific background but are not necessarily medical scientists.

We’re not told what form of gliomaW was treated (this is a class of cancers with several variants of differing aggression) but the really interesting thing is that the paper that apparently sparked this treatment being offered at MDACC was published in 2003, that’s ten years ago, so a good author would certainly get the standardised mortality rateW figures and compare them with other centres.

Why is this missing?

In 1999, the NCI independently evaluated the Banerji Protocol on 10 patients with different kinds of cancers. In four cases of lung and oesophageal cancer, the NCI researchers confirmed there had been partial responses to the homeopathic remedies. None of the patients had received any previous conventional cancer treatment.

Reference 4: Oncol Rep, 2008; 20: 69–74 Cancer patients treated with the Banerji protocols utilising homoeopathic medicine: a Best Case Series Program of the National Cancer Institute USA.

I need to say this quite loudly, because it is rather important.

The claim that “the NCI independently evaluated the Banerji Protocol , […] NCI researchers confirmed there had been partial responses to the homeopathic remedies” is an ABSOLUTELY, INCONTROVERTIBLY FALSE – and moreover this is TRIVIALLY VERIFIABLE.

The links are above but here you go again:

Does the NCI Best Case Series Program evaluate CAM therapies for their effectiveness as a cancer treatment?

No. An evaluation of a treatment’s effectiveness is generally done by analyzing the results of well-designed and well-conducted clinical trials. Rather, the goal of the NCI Best Case Series Program is to provide an assessment of the quality of available data and its utility as support for the justification of NCI-initiated research.

The publication says:

The objective of the present study was to have their treatment procedures evaluated and validated by the United States (US) National Cancer Institute (NCI) Best Case Series (BCS) Program

The BCS program explicitly does not validate treatments.

The authors are:

Banerji P, Campbell DR, Banerji P., PBH Research Foundation, Kolkata 700020, West Bengal, India.

What part of independent are you having trouble understanding?

The NCI concluded there was sufficient evidence of efficacy to support further research into the protocol, an historic decision as it marked the first time that any official health institute in the US had worked with an alternative therapy for cancer treatment. But now the wait for funding goes on.

There is no evidence that the NCI concluded any such thing.

Researching the improbable

Meanwhile, the Banerjis have been carrying on with their own research. In one review of the work at the Foundation, 21,888 patients with malignant tumours were treated only with homeopathy — they had neither chemotherapy nor radiotherapy—between 1990 and 2005. Clinical reports reveal that the tumours completely regressed in 19 percent — or 4,158 — of cases, and stabilized or improved in a further 21 percent (4,596) of patients. Those whose tumours had stabilized were followed for between two and 10 years afterwards to monitor the improvement.

See above for reference 1. It’s not independent.

This suggests that homeopathic remedies on their own may be reversing, or certainly stabilizing, 40 percent of all cancers treated, a success rate that matches the best results for conventional medicine—and without the debilitating effects of chemo and radiotherapy.

Yes it does. Which is why it’s a massive red flag.

But as Frenkel was quick to point out, the remedies don’t work for everyone, and the Banerjis’ own studies seem to bear that out.

I sense an escape hatch.

The Foundation’s homeopathic therapy — the Banerji Protocol—has been independently tested under laboratory conditions, and two of the remedies used, Carcinosin and Phytolacca, were found to be as effective against breast cancer cells as the chemotherapy drug Taxol.1

Reference 1 again. Not only does this not test the protocol (it’s in vitro), but it’s not independent either. Oh, and it’s rubbish.

All of the remedies used at the Foundation are available in shops, and Ruta 6 is one of several regularly prescribed. The Protocol reflects the Foundation’s use of high-tech screening equipment and a mix of remedies — two practices contrary to Classical Homeopathy, which attempts to prescribe one precise remedy that fits the given individual’s mind–body profile.

Miracle cure for cancer! All major credit cards accepted. Sciencey-sounding screening available! (additional charges apply).

Rooting for Ruta

Although Carcinosin and Phytolacca fared well in the laboratory, many of the Foundation’s patients are taking the Ruta 6 remedy with extraordinary success, according to one survey of 127 American patients with brain tumours, half of whom were at grade IV, the end-stage before death.

The tumours had completely disappeared, according to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, in 18 of the 127 patients taking only Ruta and no conventional treatment. Another nine patients saw significant tumour regression. The tumours were stable in around half of all patients scanned, but had grown in around 27 patients. Overall, around 79 percent of the brain-tumour patients surveyed enjoyed either great or more limited benefit from Ruta.

No source is cited.

In an earlier study by the Foundation of patient taking Ruta alongside conventional chemotherapy for brain tumours, 72 percent derived some or major benefit from Ruta and chemotherapy combined, suggesting that Ruta on its own may be more effective than — or as effective as — chemo, and without its debilitating side-effects.5

Reference 5: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Ruta6 – I kid you not, this revival meeting of Banerji patients is cited as a reference for the incredible claim that 72% derived benefit over and above chemo.

In a separate study of brain-tumour cases — 148 patients with malignant gliomas and 144 with meningiomas — treated at the Foundation between 1996 and 2001, the 91 patients treated exclusively with Ruta and Calc Phos had an average survival time of 92 months, while 11 patients treated conventionally and who had used homeopathy only as a supplement lived for 20 months. In addition, 7 percent of the homeopathy-only patients had a complete cure, 60 percent were improved, 22 percent were stable — with the cancer getting neither better nor worse—and 11 percent saw their cancer worsen or they died.

Reference 6: Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation, www.pbhrfindia.org

Well, I’m sure that’s completely independent, but it doesn’t seem to be PubMed indexed.

The other clinic

There is a second homeopathic clinic in Calcutta that is, confusingly, also run by two P. Banerjis: Parimal and his son Paramesh. The clinic, the Advanced Homeopathic Healthcare Centre, has not attracted the same interest from the West; while its claims seem to be equally as impressive, they have not been independently verified.

But then, as we’ve seen, neither have the claims of the PBHRF. So basically the other Banerjis are just better at PR.

Paramesh’s grandfather, Dr Pareshnath Banerji, opened a homeopathic clinic in India in 1918, and his work was continued by his son, Parimal, who adapted Classical Homeopathy into the new approach he calls ‘Advanced Homeopathy’.

This is one of the weird things about homeopathy. Believers disagree on quite fundamental things – do combination remedies work or must it be the “similimum” as Hahnemann defined it, do germs cause disease or not, are imponderables valid, should provings be conducted with 30C dilutions or with much lower potencies with potentially toxic dose – disagreements that are real and substantive and would seem to an outsider to absolutely require rigorous testing to establish which is right – and yet thy all agree on one thing: homeopathy definitely works. Unless it doesn’t, in which case you’re not doing it properly. Whatever properly might be.

With this method, he uses homeopathic remedies the same way a conventional doctor would use drugs, by treating one presenting symptom at a time, so a cancer patient with pain, for example, would be treated for the pain first.

Who says doctors do this? The only people who claim that doctors only treat symptoms tend to be SCAM proponents – and it’s doubly ironic for homeopaths to make this claim as homeopathy is based on the idea that the symptoms are the disease!

Parimal claims the approach is scientific, based on around 14 million cases dealt with through past generations of his family, with results that can be replicated by any trained practitioner. The claims that the Banerjis make for Advanced Homeopathy are extraordinary. They say that 95 percent of their patients don’t need surgery, not even for major diseases like cancer. Although the Centre has not undertaken any clinical trials, its case studies draw an impressive picture.

95% sounds like a figure derived by proctomancy.

  • A 65-year-old woman with advanced pancreatic cancer and a tumour too large to be removed had refused all other conventional treatment, yet was still alive two years after starting Advanced Homeopathy.
  • A 35-year-old man had a malignant nasal polyp so large that it completely filled the left nostril. Initially, he had the polyp surgically removed, but it kept growing back. But since 2007 he has not had any surgery but, instead, has relied exclusively on Advanced Homeopathy, and the tumour has not returned.
  • A 14-year-old boy had an advanced glioma so severe that it was pushing against the eyeball. His only treatment was Advanced Homeopathy and within a year, says the Centre, all of his symptoms had disappeared; the boy had gone from a comatose state to running around and playing.
  • A 24-year-old man had a brain tumour that had spread to his spinal cord and could not be treated conventionally because of the risk of permanent paralysis. After treatment with Advanced Homeopathy and according to MRI scans, the tumour stopped growing and the patient was able to carry on with his life completely free of symptoms.

Where have I heard cases presented in these terms before?

Ah yes: Lourdes.

Other research

Outside of India, research into the effects of homeopathy on cancer is very limited mostly because it’s seen as being no better than a placebo and so is an unethical treatment.

Bingo! Nice to see the occasional accidental fact slipping through.

Because of this, most studies in the West have reviewed homeopathy as a palliative therapy to help patients cope with the rigours of chemo/radiotherapy. However, some French researchers have followed the Americans in assessing the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies as a cancer treatment. The Boiron Laboratory has tested highly diluted remedies of Lycopodium clavatum on cervical cancer cells in test tubes. As the Americans discovered, the remedy killed the cancer cells while leaving alone the surrounding healthy cells. Perhaps homeopathy could be used as a supportive therapy alongside chemotherapy or radiotherapy, say the researchers.

Reference 7: J Acupunct Meridian Stud, 2013; 6: 180–7 The potentized homeopathic drug, Lycopodium clavatum (5C and 15C) has anti-cancer effect on hela cells in vitro.

Just to get this out of the way: you can’t study acupuncture meridians because they don’t exist.

And if you really think that Boiron Laboratories are independent, then you’re a fool. But it does rather point out a flaw in one of the above assertions: Boiron is a large corporation, they have plenty of money. Why did nobody think to ask them to support the unfundable studies? Unless it was during the period when they were rather exposed to class actions.

Perhaps, agrees Dr Alexander Tournier, executive director of the London-based Homeopathy Research Institute, but perhaps not just yet. “This study is very significant, performed by a well-trained team with access to modern molecular biology techniques,” he says. “The fact that homeopathic medicines were shown to be effective at selectively killing cancer cells warrants further research, and offers the possibility that homeopathy could be useful for a wide variety of cancer patients in the future.”

Or it shows that they set out to find evidence to support a conclusion, rather than test whether it was true. But once again, the effect of liquid remedies in vitro is a very long way from a usable clinical treatment and a very great deal further from proving that homeopathy works.

However, he warns cancer patients not to ditch their conventional treatments in favour of homeopathy just yet. “Lycopodium is already available to the general public, and it would be very easy to purchase from a homeopathic pharmacy. However, I would not recommend taking Lycopodium for cancer, even for cervical cancer. This study does not provide evidence that the homeopathic remedy will be effective in cancer patients. More research is required before such a homeopathic medicine can be used routinely in cancer treatment.”

Yes, we wouldn’t want people to test it honestly and find it doesn’t work, while we have the opportunity to sell it over the counter as “supporting” cancer patients and make a fast buck from the desperate. That would be – er – wait, what’s the word?

Classical homeopaths—who follow the principles of ‘whole person’ treatment—are also hesitant about the work being carried out in India and the research by the Americans and French. To them, the model follows too closely to the conventional approach of one remedy for one disease. Instead, they view cancer, and any chronic disease come to that, as part of a much broader health crisis that needs to be treated holistically.

Not that this stops them trumpeting the “research” as support for their claims…

The idea that homeopathy is holistic is simply fatuous. If you go to a doctor, she will check your history and treat the root cause of disease where possible, otherwise help with symptomatic management. She will be able to use a vast range of modern diagnostic techniques and draw on the expertise of specialists. A homeopath will sit you down, listen to you, and guess what might be wrong. The vast majority of UK homeopaths have no medical training and the few who do, do not use homeopathy for serious illness. Those are the ones who speak out against homeopathic “vaccines” and other such nonsense.

The black hole

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently joined the chorus in the West that maintains that homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo effect.

Wrong. A French homeopath tried to slip one past the goalie, but it was saved at the last instant (warning: contains Benneth).

Responding to a Voice of Young Science (VoYS) network campaign calling for a ban on the promotion of homeopathy in the developing countries, the WHO stated that homeopathy is not a cure for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis or malaria. Welcoming the WHO statement, Dr Robert Hagan a member of the VoYS network, commented: “We need governments around the world to recognize the dangers of promoting homeopathy for life-threatening illnesses”.8

Reference 8: BBC News, 20 August 2009; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ 8211925.stm

Yet homeopathy is doing just that in India. In that culture, homeopathy is accepted as a genuine medical ;therapy and is governed by laws that ensure that homeopaths are properly trained and registered. ;It is perplexing why good medical studies — which are supported by the US government and leading American academics — are not being recognized, let alone discussed, in the West. Surely cancer is so serious a threat that every avenue needs to be explored with an open mind and not left to the drug and academic cabals? Conventional medicine does not offer any genuinely effective solutions and yet continues to block anything that might, especially something as “impossible” and “nonsensical” to their science as homeopathy.

Bryan Hubbard

There is no evidence that homeopathy is “doing just that” in India. In that culture, cows are sacred. Homeopathy, introduced by the Raj, has become a sacred cow. The studies are not “good medical studies”, and are not “supported by the US government” or “leading American academics”. Medicine offers genuinely effective treatment for many diseases, and it is not medicine but medical science that refuses to accept claims that are not supported by reliable evidence.

The idea that homeopathy “might” offer an effective solution is whimsical and speculative. The best available evidence shows that it doesn’t, nor is there any reason to think it should or could.

Why don’t doctors tell you that US government supported science proves homeopathy can cure cancer?

Because it’s not remotely true.

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