Author(s): Kumar KB, Sunila ES, Kuttan G, Preethi KC, Venugopal CN
Homeopathy is considered as one modality for cancer therapy. However, there are only very few clinical reports on the activity of the drugs, as well as in experimental animals. Presently we have evaluated the inhibitory effects of potentized homeopathic preparations against N'-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) induced hepatocellular carcinoma in rats as well as 3-methylcholanthrene-induced sarcomas in mice. We have used Ruta, Hydrastis, Lycopodium and Thuja, which are commonly employed in homeopathy for treating cancer. Administration of NDEA in rats resulted in tumor induction in the liver and elevated marker enzymes such as gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase and alkaline phosphatase in the serum and in liver. Concomitant administration of homeopathic drugs retarded the tumor growth and significantly reduced the elevated marker enzymes level as revealed by morphological, biochemical and histopathological evaluation. Out of the four drugs studied, Ruta 200c showed maximum inhibition of liver tumor development. Ruta 200c and phosphorus 1M were found to reduce the incidence of 3-methylcholanthrene-induced sarcomas and also increase the life span of mice harboring the tumours. These studies demonstrate that homeopathic drugs, at ultra low doses, may be able to decrease tumor induction by carcinogen administration. At present we do not know the mechanisms of action of these drugs useful against carcinogenesis.