Friday, April 8, 2011

Cheerleading Treatment of Advanced Cancers with Homeopathy's Psorinum - AANP's Naturopathic Medicine Journal, 2011-04

here, I cite from the official journal [NMJ] of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians [AANP] which shockingly presents as plausible and acceptable the hugely implausible and likely publicly harmful treatment of serious disease (cancer) with magic beans / unicorn tears (homeopathy) [see 002., below]; then, I visit the web pages of the ND who summarized the study, where he further promotes / cheer-leads, and his AANP affiliate which hugely mislabels / manipulates [see 003., below]:

001. first, about the homeopathic 'remedy' psorinum, which is the 'substance' that the AANP article says is used to treat cancer:

001.a. the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy states in "Psorinum" [saved 2011-4-07]:

"psorinum has been proved sufficiently to enable us to use it successfully in the treatment of disease."

Note: really! Nothing homeopathic has ever been shown to treat disease, in sum.  This is a homeopathic scabies remedy: made from somebody's scabies related ooze. It's what they call a nosode, but details are quite sparse.  Manufacturers state that the remedy's contents are itself, usually.  HOW can any future replication of a supposed therapeutic material / substance be done when it is completely undefined / unquantified / unstandarized?

001.b.  homeopath Morrell states in "Psorinum" [saved 2011-4-07]:

"a case begins to unravel under the influence of our remedies. It unravels in the general direction of the original cause [miasm], be it sycosis, syphilis or psora [homeopathy's imaginary 'causes'...] psorinum is the single most powerful remedy in the whole of medicine [...] the itch or scabies [psora] does produce a deep-seated and 'congenital' miasm [...] I have also noticed that single doses of Psorinum 200, 1M and IOM [in my opinion] used 3-4 times a year with infants and young children act as an excellent prophylactic against nearly all childhood illnesses [ah, homeopathic vaccination!...] do not give Psorinum in high potency first, over 200c. Appalling aggravations can occur, including the most ugly and inveterate skin eruptions, often all over the face and head and lasting for many, many weeks."

Note: really!  THIS is the remedy that skeptics SHOULD overdose with!  It would be PROOF homeopathy works, though you'd have a hard time publicly.  But, I dare anyone to find a case where someone ends up in the ER in such a state and the cause was this remedy.  This idea of preventing disease in children with something KNOWN TO BE INERT is sickening in-itself.

002. Johnson, C. (ND SCNM) states in NMJ's "Primary Homeopathic Treatment of Cancers of the Pancreas, Stomach, Gallbladder and Liver: Psorinum Therapy Shows Promise in Treatment of Advanced Disease" [vsc 2011-04-07; a study I can't get access to in its original form, that I can't find indexed on Medline either; my comments are in bold below]:

"about the author [summarizing the study]: Christopher Johnson, ND, is a naturopathic doctor in private practice in Alexandria, Va., specializing in homeopathy. He received a BA in religious studies from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences. He is vice president and legislative chair of the Virginia Association of Naturopathic Physicians [VANP]. Johnson writes, speaks, and teaches widely about homeopathy. His articles have appeared in Homeopathy Today and the Sharing Wellness Newsletter. His website is www.ThriveNaturopathic.com and his blog is http://WorldofHomeopathy.wordpress.com [...]";

homeopathy, homeopathy, homeopathy. By the way, SCNM claims that naturopathy and its contents like homeopathy are medical science: "the degree of doctor of naturopathic medicine requires four years of graduate level study in the medical sciences [...including] homeopathy."

"reference: Chatterjee A, Biswas J, Chatterjee AK, Bhattacharya S, Mukhopadhyay B, and Mandal S. Psorinum therapy in treating stomach, gall bladder, pancreatic, and liver cancers: a prospective clinical study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:724743 [...]";

a sCAM journal, apparently not publicly accessible.

"design: non-randomized, observational, single-arm trial considering psorinum therapy in treatment of advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma, gastric adenocarcinoma, gallbladder adenocarcinoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma [...]";

a very very weak study design.

"participants: 158 total subjects (44 with pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 42 with gastric adenocarcinoma, 40 with gallbladder adenocarcinoma, and 32 with hepatocellular carcinoma); 25% were diagnosed with stage III and 71% with stage IV disease [...]";

so, the subjects' pathologies, though all advanced cancers, were quite unfocused / diverse;

"inclusion criteria: histopathology / cytopathologic confirmation of malignancy, inoperable tumors, and no prior chemotherapy or radiation treatment [...]";

huh?  158? So many people were found in MODERN society so late in EVER getting typical treatment and then decided to forgo conventional treatments for magic beans instead?  Where are such patients?  Was this study in the third world? [India, actually, as ND Johnson revealed at his own web page 'analysis' below].

"treatment: psorinum 6X was administered, up to 0.02 ml/Kg body weight orally (as liquid drops under the tongue) [aka further dilution of the absurdly dilute] once daily for all participants [...]";

in other words, the absurdly diluted homeopathic remedy was even further diluted proportional to body weight.

"conventional [...] and homeopathic [...] supportive measures were also administered [so much for controls...like] Lycopodium 200C and Baryta carbonicum 200C [...] the primary limiting factor of this study is the lack of a control for the effects of the[se] supportive homeopathic measures [...] it is quite possible the outcomes were due in part (or in chief) to their influence [if they could work in this universe, that is...] caution should be taken, however, in interpreting these findings. Promising phase II trials [such as this] are notorious for disappointing in the phase III setting. Independent verification in a controlled context is needed before an unqualified recommendation can be made [such studies as these are ethically repugnant, so I don't think anyone will waste resources and victimize people in this way again, besides maybe, in India...]";

and there are the confounds / the uncontrolled befuddling factors that foul this study entirely even if we had plausibility of the primary therapy. 

"key findings: complete tumor response occurred in 33.33% of those diagnosed with stage III disease and 10.71% of those with stage IV. Partial response occurred in 41.03% and 33.93% respectively. Five-year survival rates were 38.64% (pancreatic), 38.1% (gastric), 37.5% (gallbladder), and 43.75% (liver) [...]";

we can't know that their treatment actually did this, and what 'remedy' [if] obviously.  There is no nontreated control arm [which isn't any different from a homeopathy treatment arm, in my opinion].  The natural course of these cancers may parallel these findings; the subjects may have particularities not accounted for.  Here's a guess at a major confound: exceptionally poor, mainly terminal cancer patients usually without access to medical care and adequate nutrition suddenly got hospitalized, or a lot of attention / support at least on an out-patient basis.  So, they got to eat better and be in less stressful circumstances, and / or got social supports that then aided their health.  With better health due to these improved circumstances, there was measurable effect on their tumors that wouldn't be seen in industrialized countries since such say 'Western' patients wouldn't be benefiting from beginning SO IMPOVERISHED and such.  Yet, homeopathy takes the credit -- when results could really be from improvement of life-quality circumstances such as malnutrition and psychological stresses. 

"no adverse effects of Psorinum were observed, though a few participants had mild oral irritation and skin itching [...]";

these are adverse effects, if even "mild."  Find me someone who praises such and then we'll talk about how such isn't adverse.

"results of this study, which demonstrate a 19-38-fold improvement compared to conventional treatment in five-year survival of non-resectable pancreatic cancer are, to put it mildly, intriguing [...]";

the authors' impression is that, specifically, for pancreatic cancer, this WORKS WONDERFULLY, in my opinion.  But why aren't, instead, alarm bells ringing in the head of the ND reporting this?  HOW, just exactly HOW, can empty remedies do this?  HOW can this study be trusted also based on its design?  Oh, I forgot, he's a homeopath and this all must be, to put it mildly, orgasmic for him.  While it is, truly, absurd.

"similar improvements in survival rates with Psorinum therapy were demonstrated in the other cancer types studied [...]";

details?

"considering the very poor response of these cancers to conventional treatment and the apparent lack of toxicity and potential benefit of psorinum therapy, it seems reasonable that clinicians with oncologic experience might offer this therapy to their patients on an individual basis [...]";

reasonable?  Empty remedies have potential benefit?  Are therapeutic?  To paraphrase Dr. Atwood from along time ago, 'just because commercial airplanes carry some risk [or can't do the things we'd like them to do], it doesn't justify magic carpets'.  But I'm sure the new Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians is pleased.

"the author is currently working [...on] the guidelines of the supportive homeopathic measures [...and the] execution of this protocol is therefore likely to be feasible for practitioners in the near future [...and] a phase III trial [...] is currently underway."

and observers thought that the Gonzalez regime and trial was heinous.  A phase III trial of empty remedies?  Meanwhile, in Konzentrationslager Dachau...  How is this permitted, after all that we now know about homeopathy? 

003. ND Johnson and VANP:

003.a. ND Johnson states:


003.a1.i. in "Homeopathy" [vsc 2011-04-08]:

"'homeopathy cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment and is beyond doubt safer and more economical and the most complete medical science' -- Mahatma Ghandi".

Note: well, I guess that makes it science then.  No it doesn't, but India loves it still.

003.a1.ii. in "Naturopathy" [vsc 2011-04-08]:

"naturopathic doctors (ND's) are trained in all of the conventional medical sciences, and take additional hours in nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, and physical medicine [...] the following 6 precepts represent the official philosophy of our profession [...] vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature: this is what distinguishes naturopathic medicine most significantly from conventional medicine. The emphasis here is on the healing potential of the human body [coded vitalism...] ND's must pass both basic science and clinical board exams."

Note: how conventional is their science if it contains the science-ejected falsely labeled science?  Have you ever seen a profession that doesn't transparently explain its science-ejected premises and contents and instead falsely labels the whole context science?

003.a2. at his World of Homeopathy:

003.a2.i. in "2 New Studies Demonstrate Significant Effectiveness of Homeopathy in Treatment and Palliation of Cancer" [vsc 2011-04-08; my comments are in bold](2011-02-26):

"two important studies have recently been published concerning the use of homeopathy in cancer – one demonstrating greater effectiveness in certain types of cancers than any treatment yet assessed by modern research methods [...]";

 really.  A bullshit detector should be going off!  But not for this ND-homeopath.

"the first study looked at primary homeopathic treatment of cancer – meaning, treatment with the intent to cure without the use of conventional oncologic treatment. The second study looked at the effect of homeopathy on the quality of life in cancer patients receiving concomitant conventional care. Both studies had very impressive results [...showing homeopathy's] extraordinary degree of effectiveness [...]"; 

yes, people ONLY got homeopathy for their very serious cancers in the first study.  And of course, homeopathy was wonderful in both [same lead author, by the way; the Nobel committee I'm sure will be a-knocking!].

"the results of the first study are far and away the most robust of any therapy (conventional or holistic) yet assessed in treatment of pancreatic, gallbladder, liver, and stomach cancers [...it was] conducted at the Critical Cancer Management Research Centre and Clinic located in Kolkata, India [...]";

yes, sadly, India loves homeopathy and therein may be the source of a huge amount of confounding bias.

"the results were astonishing, with survival rates many times greater than that achieved with conventional treatment or any other type of rigorously assessed cancer care [...and] 'the therapy was effective in reducing their cancer-related pain, cough, dyspnea, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, constipation and improving appetite and weakness [...] no adverse side effects were observed from the drug Psorinum' [...]";

yes, TOO ASTONISHING for an empty remedy to do, an empty remedy falsely termed a drug -- actually VERY UNRIGOROUSLY tested.

"at the 2010 ASCO Annual Conference, Chatterjee and Biswas presented results of another similar trial – use of the same Psorinum protocol (and supportive homeopathic and conventional care) with 95 patients having inoperable lung cancer (non-small cell cancer of the lung – the most common type).  Outcomes in this trial were similar with a 5 year survival rate of 44%. This is compared to 16% with conventional treatment [...]"; 

some seriously fishiness alarms should be going off internationally.  Aren't their international accords prohibiting such patient ABUSE?

"taken together, data from these two trials demonstrate a very high level of effectiveness of Psorinum therapy along with supportive conventional and homeopathic care in some of the most difficult-to-treat common malignancies [...] though the trials were not randomized or controlled."

so, these very NOT RIGOROUS trials are still to be taken as accurate?  Empty remedies can have therapeutic effect?  No.


003.b. VANP states:

003.b1. in "Naturopathic Physicians Licensing" [vsc 2011-04-08]:

"NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for naturopathic doctors in North America. It includes 5 basic science exams [...] the clinical science examinations are taken following graduation after the fourth year of school. They include [...] homeopathy."

Note: yes, that is a claim that naturopathy is science-based and homeopathy is science.  Fascinating.  False. 

003.b2. in "Naturopathic Health, Medicine and Doctors" [vsc 2011-04-08]:

"naturopathic medicine is distinguished by the principles which underlie and determine its practice. These principles are based upon the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances [...] naturopathic medicine is a scientifically proven and tested system of (successful) healthcare [...] the naturopathic approach to diet and nutrition has been validated in many scientifically based professional journals [...] homeopathic medicine [...is a] powerful system of medicine [...] homeopathic medicines, when properly prescribed, affect the body's 'vital force' and strengthen its innate ability to heal."

Note: yes, they claim that their ideas survive scientific scrutiny.  Except homeopathy is so bunk further investigation of it is considered worthless, and a vital force is a figmentation that has long been science-ejected.  But, in naturopaTHICKland, such is "proven".  I'll hazard that they think their NMJ is scientifically based.

Naturopathy: the complete reversal of all values.
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