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Tags cancer , homeopathy

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Old 15th April 2009, 01:48 AM   #1
big-E
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'Homeopathic' remedy found to work...

Fantastic science reporting by the BBC again...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7998884.stm

Under the headline "Homeopathy 'eases cancer therapy'" the article looks into a review of eight studies of (allegedly, and this is important) homeopathic remedies used in alleviating side-effects of conventional radio- and chemotherapy.

Unsurprisingly, the results, even in the high-quality studies, are marginal at best, except for one, involving "calendula - from marigolds - reduc[ing] acute dermatitis in breast cancer patients more effectively than the more conventional treatment trolamine"

Amazing - a homeopathic treatment that actually works and produces results in a high quality study? This will turn the scientific world upside down!

But keep reading... Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula Medical School, said there were "several problems with the body of evidence examined by this review.

"First, independent replications are lacking completely but would be necessary before we can accept any of these treatments in routine healthcare."
"Second, nobody doubts that undiluted remedies can have effects; and interestingly, the positive studies here seem to be on such medicines rather than on the highly diluted treatments which are a hallmark of homeopathy."
"In fact, the calendula cream found to be effective in one study is not diluted at all and thus it cannot, to all intents and purposes, be considered to be a typical homeopathic remedy." - typical?? It can't be considered to be a homeopathic remedy AT ALL!


"Finally, this review found hardly any high quality studies in the first place. So overall, this new piece of evidence simply confirms plenty of previous research demonstrating the unproven nature of homeopathy."

No doubt the homeopathy supporters will seize on the headline and bandy it around. Hopefully with their usual lack of attention to detail they will pass around the link too, and with luck people will read all the way to the end of the article instead of swallowing the misleading headline...
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Old 15th April 2009, 02:13 AM   #2
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Lecanardnoir has just blogged it:
http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2009...e-effects.html
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Old 15th April 2009, 02:16 AM   #3
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The CBC seems to have better reading comprehension: Homeopathic remedies offer little cancer-treatment relief: review.
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Old 15th April 2009, 02:24 AM   #4
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Is this the TRAUMEEL S study?
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Old 15th April 2009, 03:40 AM   #5
Mojo
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
Is this the TRAUMEEL S study?

Don't know - I haven't managed to find the review yet. I'd be particularly interested in tracking down the calendula paper. Remember all the fuss the homoeopaths made about the results of Shang et al. being unfair because of the inclusion of a particular paper in one of the analyses?
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Old 15th April 2009, 03:40 AM   #6
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Complain about the misleading title.

Here's the link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs...00/3955259.stm

Here's the article's URL to paste in the box at the bottom of the form:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7998884.stm
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Old 15th April 2009, 03:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by big-E View Post
"In fact, the calendula cream found to be effective in one study is not diluted at all and thus it cannot, to all intents and purposes, be considered to be a typical homeopathic remedy." - typical?? It can't be considered to be a homeopathic remedy AT ALL!

Actually, it probably could if the usual effect of calendula would be to cause the symptoms it was being used to treat (but as he said, not really typical). Have any "provings" of crude calendula applied to the skin been carried out?
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Old 15th April 2009, 03:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Actually, it probably could if the usual effect of calendula would be to cause the symptoms it was being used to treat (but as he said, not really typical). Have any "provings" of crude calendula applied to the skin been carried out?
If it did produce symptoms it was being used to treat it would be evidence that like cured like (Although I accept that it would not be anything like conclusive evidence that like cured like in all cases).

However it would offer an exciting opportunity to test the other tenet of homeopathy. If this truly is a working homeopathic medicine then the higher the dilution the more effective the treatment should be.
It should be simple to do a double blind experiment with different concentrations of calendula. We should see a clear difference in the results from Pure, 10X, 30C, and 200C remedies .

Last edited by Lothian; 15th April 2009 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 15th April 2009, 04:18 AM   #9
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendu...icinal_effects

Quote:
Medicinal effects

Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties. [3] Calendula in suspension or in tincture is used topically to treat acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding and soothing irritated tissue.[4][5] There is "limited evidence" that calendula cream or ointment is effective in treating radiation dermatitis.[6][7]

Calendula has been used traditionally for abdominal cramps and constipation.[8] In experiments with rabbit jejeunum the aqueous-ethanol extract of Calendula officinalis flowers was shown to have both spasmolytic and spasmogenic effects, thus providing a scientific rationale for this traditional use.[9] An aqueous extract of Calendula officinalis obtained by a novel extraction method has demonstrated anti-tumor (cytotoxic) activity and immunomodulatory properties (lymphocyte activation) in vitro, as well as anti-tumor activity in mice. [10]
Not even "like curing like".
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Old 15th April 2009, 06:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ivor the Engineer View Post
Complain about the misleading title.

Here's the link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs...00/3955259.stm

Here's the article's URL to paste in the box at the bottom of the form:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7998884.stm
Thanks for the links. Just gave them a piece of my mind.

"Dear Sirs

I wish to complain about the misleading headline of your story about homeopathy. The headline is, to put it bluntly, a lie.

Homeopathy is a fraudulent enterprise that preys on desperate people, and your headline will be bandied around as a legitimization of their claims.

I don't understand why a company like the BBC would jeopardize their good journalist practice to endeavour into sensationalist garbage like this, for the profit of proven charlatans.

Best regards"
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Old 15th April 2009, 06:51 AM   #11
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From the Quackometer: Here's the Cochrane review.

And here's the calendula paper. It doesn't appear to mention homoeopathy.
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Old 15th April 2009, 08:42 PM   #12
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Homeopathic remedies offer little cancer-treatment relief: review

Title: Homeopathic remedies offer little cancer-treatment relief: review

Link: [Homeopathic remedies offer little cancer-treatment relief: review]

Excerpt:
Quote:
There's little evidence that homeopathic remedies help to relieve side-effects of cancer treatments, but they also don't seem to cause serious interactions with conventional therapies, a new review concludes.



Blutoskitorial:

Also in the news: Sun rises in East, water determined to be wet, Pope poops in woods.
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Old 16th April 2009, 01:31 AM   #13
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But how would we know that inert treatments which use inert substances which have been known to be inert since Moses wore short pants are ineffective, unless we did superfluous and redundant testing to placate small but vocal groups of people who have been whipped into believing in something that is ridiculous by money-grubbing frauds? I ask you!
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Old 16th April 2009, 01:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rlr View Post
But how would we know that inert treatments which use inert substances which have been known to be inert since Moses wore short pants are ineffective, unless we did superfluous and redundant testing to placate small but vocal groups of people who have been whipped into believing in something that is ridiculous by money-grubbing frauds? I ask you!
Yeah! What he said.
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Old 16th April 2009, 03:24 AM   #15
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Mod WarningThreads on same topic merged.
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