Homœopathic Links 2019; 32(03): 131-140
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1698827
Review Article
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.

A Systematic Review of Controlled Trials of Homeopathy in Adverse Effects of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy in Cancer

Purnima Shukla
1  Department of Materia Medica, Homoeopathy University, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Chaturbhuja Nayak
1  Department of Materia Medica, Homoeopathy University, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Mirza Qaiser Baig
2  Department of Radiotherapy, BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Purak Misra
3  Department of Minimal Access and General Surgery, ESIC Hospital, New Delhi, India
› Author Affiliations
Funding We received no funding for the project. The institution has no role to play in analysis of the study results and publication of the paper.
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
11 October 2019 (online)


Background The results of several studies indicated that conventional treatment based on surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy is often associated with adverse side effects. Recent studies suggest that patients with cancer (average 31.4%) used complementary therapy at some stage of their illness, and homeopathic medicines might be used to enhance survival and improve quality of life in cancer patients. The aim of this systematic review is to systematically review the literature on homeopathic-controlled clinical studies of adverse effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in carcinoma.

Methods Substantive research articles, conference proceedings and master and doctoral theses published between 1 January 1981 and 31 December 2018 were eligible. Methodology was assessed by Jadad's scoring, internal validity by Cochrane tool and model validity by Mathie's criteria.

Results Eight trials were eligible. Few trials were positive, especially those testing complex formulations. Methodological quality was diverse; five trials had ‘Unclear’ risk of bias. Model validity was compromised. Proof supporting individualised homeopathy remained inconclusive.

Discussion The trials were positive (evidence level A), but inconsistent and suffered from methodological heterogeneity, incomplete study reporting, inadequacy of independent replications and small sample sizes. Further trials are warranted.

Authors' Contributions

▪ PS: Conceptualisation; data curation; investigation; methodology; project administration; resources; formal analysis; roles/writing—original draft; writing—review and editing.

▪ CN, MQB, PM: Conceptualisation; data curation; project administration; supervision; writing—review and editing.