A journal paper claiming to show the success of a homeopathic treatment for cancer has been withdrawn by the publishers following a series of awkward discoveries – including the arrest of its two lead authors.
The paper, published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, was retracted in late February after readers voiced concerns and a formal investigation flagged multiple ethical problems.
The subject of the paper was “psorinum therapy” and its use in treating stomach, gall bladder, pancreatic and liver cancers. Psorinum is a peculiar favourite of homeopaths, described as a substance “prepared from the fluid of blisters from scabies infested skin”.
The lead authors of the retracted paper, father and son team Aradeep and Ashim Chatterjee, clearly thought differently. In 2001, the pair set up a trial of cancer patients, administering the scabies-fluid, along with other homeopathic substances, and a complete absence of conventional cancer meds.
Attempting to resolve these apparent inconsistencies, Hindawi sought to contact the lead authors. They were told Aradeep Chatterjee had been arrested for practicing medicine without the proper qualifications in June 2017. His father was reported to have also been arrested, two months later.
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