Celebrated homeopathy study based on data manipulation and falsification

In 2020, a clinical trial of homeopathic adjunctive treatment for patients with advanced lung cancer was published in the prestigious medical journal The Oncologist. It seemed to reveal sensational results: Patients treated with homeopathy lived about 70% longer than placebo-treated patients, and also gained significantly in quality of life.

Now, an in-depth analysis by an independent German-Austrian working group has revealed numerous indications that the data could have been manipulated and falsified. Problems include:

  • The study protocol was only drawn up after the trial results were known, a fact that was altered in the published study
  • Exclusion criteria for patients were only defined after the data were available, i.e. a sign of possible “cherry picking” the desired results
  • The observation period for quality of life was reduced from two years to 18 weeks only after the data were available

The conclusion of the review of the study reads:

Several of the results can only be explained by data manipulation or falsification. The publication is not a fair representation of the study.

The full press release in English from Information Network Homeopathy can be downloaded here.

And the Golden Board 2016 goes to…!

The German-speaking skeptical society GWUP nominated three people/institutions for “the most bizarre, most outrageous, brashest pseudoscientific nonsense contribution” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland of 2016: Ryke Geerd Hamer (founder of the dangerous Germanische Neue Medizin), Roland Düringer (comedian turned politician who spreads lots of conspiracy theories) and Krebszentrum Brüggen-Bracht (alternative cancer clinic of Heilpraktiker Klaus Ross). The award is called the ‘Golden Board in Front of the Face’, to rebuke purveyors of pseudoscience who don’t see the harm they’re doing.

The award ceremony was held on 11 October in Vienna, co-organised by the Viennese regional GWUP group Society for Critical Thinking (Gesellschaft für kritisches Denken) and the Freethinkers League of Austria (Freidenkerbund Österreich). A side-event was held in Hamburg Skeptics in the Pub with a livestream of the Viennese ceremony.

Nominees for the Golden Board 2016

This year’s nominees for the GWUP’s ironic award Goldenes Brett vorm
Kopf (‘Golden Board in Front of the Face’) are:

  • Ryke Geerd Hamer – founder of the dangerous Germanische Neue Medizin (Germanic New Medicine);
  • Roland Düringer – a comedian who has entered politics and spreads all kinds of conspiracy theories;
  • Krebszentrum Brüggen-Bracht – the alternative cancer clinic of Heilpraktiker Klaus Ross, where at least three patients died recently after receiving fatal injections that have stirred up controversy.

The website www.zentrum-der-gesundheit.de receives the Golden Board Lifetime Achievement Award (Goldenes Brett fürs Lebenswerk).

The annually awarded Golden Board honours “the most bizarre, most outrageous, brashest pseudoscientific nonsense contribution of the year in German-speaking countries.” This year’s winner will be presented on 11 October in Vienna, Austria.

More information in GermanSamenvatting in het Nederlands