Severity of Radiodermatitis in Breast Cancer Patients with Preventive Treatment with an Homeopathic/Integrative Protocol Compared with a Control Group
05 February 2020 (online)
Background: To deal with the adverse effects of anti-cancer treatment, the Homeopathic Clinic of Lucca, in collaboration with the Oncology Department, has set up an Integrative Oncology Outpatient Unit in the Public Hospital Campo di Marte of Lucca (Italy).
Aims: To present the results of homeopathy and complementary integrative medicine treatment targeted towards reducing the radiodermatitis and other adverse effects of radiotherapy (RT).
Methods: This is a retrospective observational study conducted on 30 consecutive breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy from September 2013 to December 2018. The severity of radiodermatitis was evaluated with the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) scale. One group was treated with Radium bromatum 6 CH before RT, then Belladonna 6 CH after RT, and also with local application of an alkalinizing agent and Calendula ointment. The control group of patients undergoing RT without integrative treatment used only standard care – keratoplastic ointments to promote tissue repair and healing.
Results: The severity of radiodermatitis was evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the treatment; 17 patients with a homeopathic integrative protocol during RT were compared with a control group of 13 patients without treatment. Preliminary results show that 15 patients with integrative treatment had G1, 1 patient had G2 and 1 patient had G3 toxicity. In the group of patients who did not receive complementary treatments, 5 patients had G1; 2 patients G2; 3 patients G3, and finally 3 patients G4 (Mann-Whitney U-test: two-tailed significance p ≤ 0.01).
Conclusion: The integration of evidence-based homeopathy and complementary treatments allows for an effective response to the demand from cancer patients to reduce many side effects of anti-cancer therapies, in particular radiodermatitis due to RT, as well as to improve their quality of life.
Keywords: Homeopathy, radiodermatitis, radiotherapy, integrative oncology, breast cancer patients