Pitfalls of Meta-Analyses

A brief methodological commentary on the retraction of our homeopathy ADHD meta-analysis

We had rejoiced too soon. Last summer, I reported that we were able to publish a meta-analysis on homeopathy in ADHD, which showed a significant effect size of g = 0.6 [1]. It was recently retracted by the journal, not by us.

The background: We had made an extraction error, namely positively coding an effect size that should actually be negatively coded. This is one of the pitfalls in a meta-analysis that I have now stumbled across myself. Because you always have to ask yourself: Do the effects of a study point in the direction of the hypothesis, i.e. do they support the assumption that the difference speaks for the effectiveness of a treatment, or against it? In this case [2], the result was not only not significant in favor of homeopathy, but even pointed in the other direction. This should have been marked with a minus sign in the analysis, which I had simply overlooked. And my colleagues didn’t notice it either, so this very stupid mistake crept in.

Read more

Mistletoe Therapy And Quality of Life in Breast Cancer

Our new meta analysis is published

Mistletoe therapy is popular among patients in German-speaking countries as an adjunct treatment for cancer. This is due to the fact that Ita Wegmann, an associate of Rudolf Steiner, had introduced mistletoe into medical cancer therapy at his suggestion. Steiner used, besides the knowledge of old European healing traditions, mainly his intuition and the mistletoe’s signature: mistletoe grows parasitically on trees and feeds on the host tree, which slowly but surely perishes. So according to the ancient signature theory and its phenomenology, mistletoe should also work on humans for a similar disease, namely cancer, which is also a parasitic growth in the body.

Early studies

In the 1970s and 1980s, much basic research was done on mistletoe extracts. This showed that mistletoe contains an abundance of immunologically relevant substances, so-called lectins, which activate the immune system [1]. At that time, the first clinical studies began, in which physicians – especially those with an anthroposophical orientation – used mistletoe therapeutically in cancer patients. Initially, this was often done in rather severe cases with terminal cancer. Since then there has been a whole series of investigations. In 2020, my colleague Thomas Ostermann published in our journal Complementary Medicine Research a meta-analysis of all clinical trials in which a particular fermented mistletoe preparation, Iscador, had been used with all kinds of cancer types and in which survival was measured [2]. This publication was an update of a previously published study and included new studies, for a total of 32, both randomized and non-randomized comparative studies. The hazard ratio was 0.59, pretty much the same as in the earlier analysis.

The hazard ratio quantifies the difference between treatment group and control group (mostly normal treatment) over time. In this case, it means that patients treated with Iscador are 41% more likely to survive longer, meaning they live significantly longer. (It is not possible to estimate how long patients live longer overall in such analyses because observation durations vary widely. Therefore, one can only gain an estimate of the probability of living longer and a hedge on whether that probability is more than a random fluctuation.)

Read more

Self-Amplifying RNA Shots Are Coming: The Untold Danger

The truth behind RNA-based vaccine technology (Part 2)

From time to time, I publish contributions from other scientists and authors who seem to me to be appropriate to topics that are of current concern to me and on which I myself can provide less competent information. Prof. Klaus Steger is a molecular biologist and has published a three-part article on Covid-19 vaccines and the active principles of modRNA (nucleoside-modified mRNA) in the English version of “Epoch-Times”. I find these texts very informative.

Harald Walach

The original article is available at Epoch-Times (follow this link)

Read more

COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters Were Never Made With mRNA

The truth behind RNA-based vaccine technology (Part 1)

From time to time, I publish contributions from other scientists and authors who seem to me to be appropriate to topics that are of current concern to me and on which I myself can provide less competent information. Prof. Klaus Steger is a molecular biologist and has published a three-part article on Covid-19 vaccines and the active principles of modRNA (nucleoside-modified mRNA) in the English version of “Epoch-Times”. I find these texts very informative.

Harald Walach

The original article is available at Epoch-Times (follow this link)

Read more

Rethink – Redirect – New Data On Vaccine Side Effects…

…show that “Covid-19 vaccines” and the technology behind them are dangerous

I’ve referred to the study by Rockenfeller and colleagues before. It is now officially published in Royal Society Open Science [1]. It produces a careful estimate of mortality trends in Germany for each age cohort, and from this can calculate what the presumed excess mortality was during the corona years. In the first corona year, 2020, the result is undermortality of about 18,500 people. That’s how many fewer died in the evil Corona year than expected, without vaccination. That’s a finding that gives the lie to all the scaremongering at this time.

Then, as we all know, the “corona vaccinations” came to the “rescue”, which were, after all, supposed to prevent so many people from dying. What happened in 2021 and 2022? In 2021, there was a slight excess mortality of just under 7,000 people, and in 2022, there was an excess mortality of about 41,000 people.

If one looks at a longer period from 2016 to 2020, then one recognizes that in the years before a clear under-mortality is to be registered, which is compensated just in the years 2021/2022. This can also be seen in the cohorts: the excess mortality in 2021/2022 is mainly due to higher mortality among the elderly and compares well with the mortality waves of earlier influenza years.

Read more