Homeopathy can help cancer patients with skin irritation and mouth sores, according to a review involving 664 participants published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (online issue 2, 2009).
Sosie Kassab, MD, director of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital’s Complementary Cancer Service, and colleagues reviewed eight studies on homeopathic remedies.
In one study with 256 participants, researchers found skin irritation from radiotherapy was less in patients who used calendula ointment as opposed to the topical agent trolamine. In another study with 32 participants, the hemeopathic, Traumeel S, relieved mouth sores caused by chemotherapy better than placebo.
There is no convincing evidence to support the use of homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments other than skin irritation and mouth sores, Dr. Kassab said. “But very little research has been undertaken and more is required,” she said.
Most physicians are unaware that major, federally funded clinical trials on alternative medicine are currently underway (Arch Intern Med 169:670-679, 2009).