Meanwhile the doctoral thesis, which was announced in the Newsletter 01/22, has been finished. It was successfully presented and disputed at the University of Gießen. Ms. Dr. med. Dorothe Balser worked on the following topic to gain the doctorate degree in human medicine:
"Complementary medicine in palliative Oncology - A descriptive retrospective cohort study about survival time analysis"
For this the therapy results of patients of the Special Hospital Dr. Herzog, who had been treated with a combination of academic medicine and complementary treatments, were compared to survival times of patients who only had academic medicine. The questions were: What can complementary medicine provide to oncological therapies as an addendum to academic medicine according-to-the-standard-guidelines? Are there advantages or disadvantages in comparison to the survival times in current literature?
Scrutinization was retrospective from 2002 - 2016 (Follow-Up until 2019) on patients who had been treated with complementary oncological treatments in the Special Hospital Dr. Herzog. With 817 examined patients with 6 different kinds of cancers it is the largest study up until now.
The Survey was done on patients with metastasised
- Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
One subgroup was patients who had initially rejected therapies based on academic medicine and instead had chosen to be treated by alternative medicine alone.
The patients in the Special Hospital Dr. Herzog are treated with a multimodal standardized therapy system. This means that supporting infusions are given before chemo therapy to strengthen the immune system. The chemo therapy is being combined with Whole Body Hyperthermia or local Hyperthermia. After the chemo therapy infusions with antioxidants like Selen, Gluthation or L-Carnitin are given, as well as other therapies like Ozone Therapy and Magnet Field Therapy. Basic support measures like Physical Therapy, Sport and Mediterranean Diet are used, but also more direct support like Cannabis Extracts, Enzymes and Mistletoe Extracts.
In all groups the Median Survival Time showed a clear increase, whereat all groups had individual patients with extraordinarily long survival times.
Besides a possible extension of survival times the complementary therapies also might cause a decrease in side effects of conventional medical treatments, which might lead to a better process of chemo therapy cycles without lowering the dosage of therapeutics. The subgroup of initial therapy decliners had significantly worse therapy results over all diagnoses. This had already been elaborated on in the previous doctoral thesis of Mrs. Dr. med. A. Schleicherdt (as in Newsletter 01/2021).
The bottom line of the summary is the following:
- In the descriptive comparison equal or better survival times can be observed, compared to contemporary literature
- Complementary procedures can be used to optimise oncological standard therapies
- Comprehensive counselling of patients, as well as training of physicians in complementary therapies is urgently needed
- Prospective follow-up projects to further analyse complementary methods need to be planned
By chance the German Oncological Society (Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft) issued guidelines for complementary medicine at the same time as this doctoral thesis was presented. Thus complementary medicine has finally reached academic medicine. But until oncologists are suitably trained and these methods can be implemented widely it will surely still take some time.
Prof. Dr. med. Alexander Herzog
In complementary medicine, as in all areas of medical treatments, therapy results have to be corroborated by scientific study. As complementary therapies are usually not offered at university clinics, doctoral candidates of the University of Gießen have analysed and evaluated therapy results of integrative medicine in our Special Hospital Dr. Herzog in the course of their doctoral thesis.
The first of two doctoral theses has just been completed and analyses the reasons why women with breast cancer refuse conventional treatments such as operations, chemo therapy or radiation therapy. In her dissertation Mrs. Dr. med. (MD) Schleicherdt analysed 233 patients and also interviewed a number of patients. The complete dissertation has been published and can be found following this link into the GEB - Gießen Electronic Library (scroll down for an english abstract).
Summarised it can be said that it is not a good idea to decline an operation with operatable breast cancer and to completely refuse conventional treatments. Alternative methods do not keep what they often promise.
Depressing are the results of the interviews. Patients refuse promising conventional treatments mostly because they do not feel sufficiently elucidated by their treating physicians, and also not about the success chances of complementary / alternative treatments for the support of their convalescence. Treating physicians have it in their hand to guide a patient to a promising therapy and to fitting complementary treatment options by giving a good consultation!
Fortunately in the last years I am noticing a change in healthcare. More and more medical congresses have parts of their lectures about complementary treatment procedures, like for example about Hyperthermia, about treatment possibilities to strengthen the immune system, to reduce chemo-therapy induced side effects and to improve or rather to keep the quality of life of the patient.
A second doctoral thesis is shortly before being finished. It will analyse the survival time of cancer patients, who got complementary treatments in addition to conventional cancer therapy. We are expecting interesting results. Soon I will report them to you.
Prof. Dr. med. Alexander Herzog
01 May 2021 – One of the medical nurses of the Hospital Dr. Herzog, Mrs. Eva Maile, reports on the long time effects of her overcome Covid-19 infection, in an article of the BILD newspaper. You can find the article under the following link (german language): „No Taste 5 Months after Corona Infection: I can't distingiush between Water and Juice“ (BILD+: with costs | Author: o.V.)
21 March 2021 – Prof. Dr. Herzog gave an interview to the BILD newspaper regarding the indirect impacts of the Corona Pandemic on cancer patients. You can find the article under the following link (german language): „Onkologist raises the Alarm: More Cancer Deaths due to Corona – Many Patients find it harder to get Treatment and are afraid of Clinics and Medical Practices“ (BILD.de: no costs| Author: Kai Franzke Jr.)
In the german journal "Die Naturheilkunde", issue 03/2021, an article of Prof. Dr. Herzog was published. The article is on the state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment procedures of the Long-Covid-Syndrome and discusses two case studies. You can find this article as a PDF-file here (german language): "Das lange Leiden beim Long-Covid-Syndrom – Diagnostik, konventionelle und komplementäre Therapie"
Prof. Dr. Herzog held a speech at a congress in Sevilla (Spain) on the 22nd of February 2019 about complimentary treatment option for cancer. For this he created a PowerPoint-Presentation in the spanish language, which can be found following this link: "Terapias alternativas - Seville 2019"
The german naturopathy journal "Die Naturheilkunde" published one of Prof. Dr. Herzog's articles in her 01/2019 issue. In this article he discusses widespread alternative cancer treatments and how to identify frivolous alternative methods. You can find the german-language article here: "Falsche Hoffnung – gefährliche Hoffnung: Über das dünne Eis alternativer Therapien bei Krebs"
The german Naturheilkunde Journal published an article of Prof. Dr. Herzog in it's October 2018 issue. In it he introduces his readers to hyperthermia as a treatment option and discusses several case examples. You can find the german-language article as a PDF-file behind this link: "Hyperthermie in der Onkologie - Wann sinnvoll und wann verzichtbar"