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.