Mistletoe: From Basic Research to Clinical Outcomes

By Mathias Kröz et al., May 2014

The importance of integrative medicine in oncological care is increasing in accordance with growth of its evidence base. In central Europe, white-berried mistletoe (Viscum album) preparations not only are among the most common types of treatments used in integrative medicine but also have been among of the most commonly prescribed cancer treatments in Germany per se in 2010.

By 2017, mistletoe preparations will have been used in the treatment of cancer patients for 100 years. The first recorded use in oncology was by the Dutch physician Ita Wegman who used a mistletoe extraction for the treatment of a breast cancer patient following a recommendation by Rudolf Steiner. 

The PubMed database alone lists more than 1,200 citations for “mistletoe,” with approximately 50 new entries each year. There are a multitude of laboratory-based studies demonstrating immune stimulation, cytotoxicity, proapoptotic effects, antiangiogenesis, and DNA stabilisation; animal experiments have found tumor-reducing effects. Recent observations of a potent anti-inflammatory effect of Viscum album via selective inhibition of COX-2 protein expression provide a further rationale for an antitumor role of mistletoe in view of the close relationship between cancer and inflammation. More recent research focuses on new mistletoe extracts that contain lipophilic components, that is, triterpenes, shown to have strong cytotoxic effects in mouse models.

Recent years have seen growth in the number and quality of clinical research studies on mistletoe therapy reporting improved patient outcomes, including studies of its coadministration alongside chemotherapy to reduce adverse effects and to improve quality of life in breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer patients. Its clinical efficacy regarding tumor control and survival has been contested; other systematic reviews have been more positive, particularly with regard to health-related quality of life outcomes. A 2013 randomised-controlled trial reported an increase in median survival time for patients with pancreatic cancer. Further similar well-designed clinical trials on other cancer types are warranted.

Original publication: Matthias Kröz, Gunver Sophia Kienle, Gene Feder, Srini Kaveri, and Steven Rosenzweig, “Mistletoe: From Basic Research to Clinical Outcomes in Cancer and Other Indications,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2014, Article ID 987527, 2 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/987527

Read the full article: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/987527/

All news in this category

Waldorf Work in Progress - lecture series

The International Campus Waldorf (ICW) is an academic network of universities and institutions worldwide that offer Waldorf teacher education in... [more]

The Waldorf Institute: a new training course in England

Since September 2021 Sven Saar and Alan Swindell have been leading the new seminar in Ringwood, South England, the largest course for aspiring... [more]

In memory of Dirk Randoll

It is with great dismay that we at the Pedagogical Research Centre have learned of the sudden death of Dirk Randoll on 8.12.2021. He was 64 years old... [more]

International Campus Waldorf

The International Campus Waldorf (ICW) is an online platform for students of Waldorf teaching programs and Waldorf teachers around the world. It... [more]

A eurythmy education project comes to an end

For 16 years there was the school practical qualification Eurythmy Teacher Bachelor of Dance/Eurythmy in Education as a one-year international... [more]

School closures are not evidence-based and harm children

An editorial by Sarah J. Lewis, Alasdair P.S. Munro, George Davey Smith and Allyson M. Pollock entitled »Closing schools is not evidence-based and... [more]

Eurythmy Webinars and Eurythmy4you Self Help Kit

Due to the corona crisis shutdown,  Eurythmy4you  has been offering free online webinars with eurythmy since 23 March 2020 to strengthen body... [more]

Declaration of the Asian Waldorf Youths

From all participants of the First Asian Waldorf Youths Conference at Panyotai Waldorf School, Bangkok, Thailand. [more]

Whither Waldorf?

Special issue about the future of Waldorf education. Translated for our english readers. [more]

Every cloud has a silver lining – the future of Steiner Schools in England

Many Steiner schools in England have come in for serious criticism of their practices in recent inspections by the schools inspectorate Ofsted.... [more]

Displaying results 1 to 10 out of 130

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Next >

Follow