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Directory of Clinical Mistletoe Studies

Mistletoe for Cancer

Introduction

This compilation is an attempt at an organized directory of all the published and available clinically relevant studies on mistletoe use for the treatment of cancer. I have not attempted to dismiss any negative study. I have made comments where the title is not self-explanatory and in some of the more important studies I have quoted from the results or conclusions. I have included case series and case reports. I have not included all bench trials but have included some I felt noteworthy. Several studies have been left out that were not reviews and did not focus on a particular cancer type.

My database was pubmed and search terms were “viscum album cancer” and “mistletoe cancer”.

Updated October 3, 2018

Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis

Viscum album (L.) in experimental animal tumors: A meta-analysis.

“The quality of the studies was satisfactory and the majority reported positive outcomes. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of methodological heterogeneity among the studies, which precludes conclusive comparisons. Based on these results, the present authors strongly suggest developing guidelines for reporting in vivo mistletoe cancer treatment experiments.”

Cancer Patients’ Experiences of Using Mistletoe (Viscum album): A Qualitative Systematic Review and Synthesis.

A qualitative review: “Patients reported demonstrable changes to their physical, emotional, and psychosocial well-being following MT, as well as a reduction in chemotherapy side effects” “Given the variation in context of MT delivery across the articles, it is not possible to ascribe changes in patients’ quality of life specifically to MT.”

Cancer therapy with phytochemicals: evidence from clinical studies.

Based our literature search, Allium sativum, camptothecin, curcumin, green tea, Panax ginseng, resveratrol, Rhus verniciflua and Viscum album had satisfactory instances of clinical evidence for supporting their anticancer effects.

Safety of higher dosages of Viscum album L. in animals and humans–systematic review of immune changes and safety parameters.

Important systematic review of safety of mistletoe therapy. “Application of higher dosages of VAE or ML is not accompanied by immunosuppression; altogether VAE seems to exhibit low risk but should be monitored by clinicians when applied in high dosages.”

Review article: Influence of Viscum album L (European mistletoe) extracts on quality of life in cancer patients: a systematic review of controlled clinical studies.

“VAEs seem to have an impact on QoL and reduction of side effects of conventional therapies (chemotherapy, radiation) in experimental trials as well as in routine daily application. The influence on fatigue especially should be investigated further.”

Survival of cancer patients treated with mistletoe extract (Iscador): a systematic literature review.

“Pooled analysis of clinical studies suggests that adjuvant treatment of cancer patients with the mistletoe extract Iscador is associated with a better survival. Despite obvious limitations, and strong hints for a publication bias which limits the evidence found in this meta-analysis, one can not ignore the fact that studies with positive effects of VA-E on survival of cancer patients are accumulating. “

Efficacy and safety of mistletoe preparations (Viscum album) for patients with cancer diseases. A systematic review.

“Supportive ‘mistletoe therapy’ seems safe and beneficial for QoL in adult patients with solid tumours”

Viscum album L. extracts in breast and gynaecological cancers: a systematic review of clinical and preclinical research.

“19 randomized (RCT), 16 non-randomized (non-RCT) controlled studies, and 11 single-arm cohort studies were identified that investigated VAE treatment of breast or gynaecological cancer. They included 2420, 6399 and 1130 patients respectively. 8 RCTs and 8 non-RCTs were embedded in the same large epidemiological cohort study. 9 RCTs and 13 non-RCTs assessed survival; 12 reported a statistically significant benefit, the others either a trend or no difference. 3 RCTs and 6 non-RCTs assessed tumour behaviour (remission or time to relapse); 3 reported statistically significant benefit, the others either a trend, no difference or mixed results. Quality of life (QoL) and tolerability of chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery was assessed in 15 RCTs and 9 non-RCTs. 21 reported a statistically significant positive result, the others either a trend, no difference, or mixed results. Methodological quality of the studies differed substantially; some had major limitations, especially RCTs on survival and tumour behaviour had very small sample sizes. Some recent studies, however, especially on QoL were reasonably well conducted. Single-arm cohort studies investigated tumour behaviour, QoL, pharmacokinetics and safety of VAE. Tumour remission was observed after high dosage and local application. VAE application was well tolerated. 34 animal experiments investigated VAE and isolated or recombinant compounds in various breast and gynaecological cancer models in mice and rats. VAE showed increase of survival and tumour remission especially in mice, while application in rats as well as application of VAE compounds had mixed results. In vitro VAE and its compounds have strong cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.

CONCLUSION:

VAE shows some positive effects in breast and gynaecological cancer. More research into clinical efficacy is warranted.”

Immune modulation using mistletoe (Viscum album L.) extracts Iscador.

Paywall

Preclinical investigations with mistletoe (Viscum album L.) extract Iscador.

Paywall

Mistletoe Extracts (PDQ®)

PDQ US Government Review of Mistletoe

Preclinical and clinical effects of mistletoe against breast cancer.

Retrolective studies on the survival of cancer patients treated with mistletoe extracts: a meta-analysis.

Positive survival noted but difficulty with data/methodology also noted.

Quality of life and related dimensions in cancer patients treated with mistletoe extract (iscador): a meta-analysis.

Positive effect on quality of life.

Mistletoe therapy in oncology.

Cochrane review. “The evidence from RCTs to support the view that the application of mistletoe extracts has impact on survival or leads to an improved ability to fight cancer or to withstand anticancer treatments is weak. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that mistletoe extracts may offer benefits on measures of QOL during chemotherapy for breast cancer, but these results need replication.”

Mistletoe for cancer? A systematic review of randomised clinical trials.

Written by a biased researcher (Edzard Ernst), this review in my opinion shows how not to do a systemic review more than it shows anything conclusive. There have been numerous critiques of this review. “Rigorous trials of mistletoe extracts fail to demonstrate efficacy of this therapy.”

Mistletoe in cancer – a systematic review on controlled clinical trials.

“Among 23 identified studies evaluated for clinically relevant outcome measures, 12 studies showed one or more statistically significant, positive results, another 7 studies showed at least one positive trend, 3 showed no effect and 1 had a negative trend. All studies, however, suffered from methodological shortcomings to some degree, and many of the studies are not conclusive. As several reasonably well conducted studies indicate beneficial effects, further properly designed trials should be encouraged.”

Safety and Interactions

Adverse Drug Reactions and Expected Effects to Therapy with Subcutaneous Mistletoe Extracts (Viscum album L.) in Cancer Patients.

The results of this study indicate that mistletoe therapy is safe. ADRs were mostly mild to moderate in intensity and appear to be dose-related and explained by the immune-stimulating, pharmacological activity of mistletoe.

Interaction of standardized mistletoe (Viscum album) extracts with chemotherapeutic drugs regarding cytostatic and cytotoxic effects in vitro.

“VAE (mistletoe) did not inhibit chemotherapy induced cytostasis and cytotoxicity in any of our experimental settings. At higher concentrations VAE showed an additive inhibitory effect.”

Anaphylaxis to viscotoxins of mistletoe (Viscum album) extracts.

Anaphylaxis is rare but possible. A case report.

Anaphylactic reactions after therapeutic injection of mistletoe (Viscum album L.).

3 cases of anaphylaxis. Case series.

Complementary Treatment with Mistletoe Extracts During Chemotherapy: Safety, Neutropenia, Fever, and Quality of Life Assessed in a Randomized Study.

Subcutaneous mistletoe use safe. Significant impact on quality of life and less chemotherapy side effects. No observed impact on recurrence noted- mistletoe again only used during chemotherapy in this trial.

Safety and effects of two mistletoe preparations on production of Interleukin-6 and other immune parameters – a placebo controlled clinical trial in healthy subjects.

No induction of pro inflammatory CRP or IL-6 in healthy volunteers with subcutaneous dosing.

Immunomodulatory effects of Viscum album extracts on natural killer cells: review of clinical trials.

Quality of Life

An exploratory study on the quality of life and individual coping of cancer patients during mistletoe therapy.

“patients experienced an improvement of QoL during MT. This therapy seemed to offer a platform for an integrative coping with the disease, which might be important in reconciling the perceived shock of an existential illness with a good QoL.”

Mistletoe treatment in cancer-related fatigue: a case report.

Mistletoe treatments for minimising side effects of anticancer chemotherapy.

A review noting evidence for increased quality of life with mistletoe in breast cancer. Not conclusive about protection from toxicity.

Development and validation of an instrument to measure the effects of a mistletoe preparation on quality of life of cancer patients: the Life Quality Lectin-53 (LQL-53) Questionnaire.

Impact of complementary mistletoe extract treatment on quality of life in breast, ovarian and non-small cell lung cancer patients. A prospective randomized controlled clinical trial.

Improved quality of life demonstrated.

Brain Cancer

Adjuvant Therapy Using Mistletoe Containing Drugs Boosts the T-Cell-Mediated Killing of Glioma Cells and Prolongs the Survival of Glioma Bearing Mice

Iscador Qu used with conventional treatment extended mouse survival in glioma.

Fermented mistletoe extract as a multimodal antitumoral agent in gliomas.

An important review of benchside and mouse models of mistletoe and glioma treatment.

Extract from mistletoe, Viscum album L., reduces Hsp27 and 14-3-3 protein expression and induces apoptosis in C6 rat glioma cells.

Rat study showing positive effect of mistletoe in glioma.

Paediatric medulloblastoma cells are susceptible to Viscum album (Mistletoe) preparations.

Bench test

Complete remission of a diffuse pontine glioma.

Young boy used Iscador and Helleborus without conventional treatment and had complete remission of diffuse pontine glioma. Abstract does not mention therapies but paper available at this link:

http://dna2162268.typepad.com/blog/2012/02/complete-remission-of-a-diffuse-pontine-glioma.html

Anthroposophic supportive treatment in children with medulloblastoma receiving first-line therapy.

Appears safe, effectiveness needs more studies.

Survival of glioma patients after complementary treatment with galactoside-specific lectin from mistletoe.

Mistletoe doubled survival in treatment group.

Pediatric

Safety of high-dose intravenous mistletoe therapy in pediatric cancer patients: A case series.

A case series for pediatric use of intravenous high dose mistletoe. Paywall

Lung Cancer

Overall survival of stage IV non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with Viscum album L. in addition to chemotherapy, a real-world observational multicenter analysis.

Positive effects on survival in stage 4 Lung cancer in patients using mistletoe. Median survival was 17.0 months in the CTx plus VA group (95%CI: 11.0–40.0) and was 8.0 months (95%CI: 7.0–11.0) in the CTx only group (χ2 = 7.2, p = .007).

Mistletoe (Viscum album) extract targets Axl to suppress cell proliferation and overcome cisplatin- and erlotinib-resistance in non-small cell lung cancer cells.

Paywall

Combined cytotoxic action of Viscum album agglutinin-1 and anticancer agents against human A549 lung cancer cells.

Bench trial.

Apparent response of small cell lung cancer to an extract of mistletoe and homoeopathic treatment.

Long 5+ year survival in a patient with small cell lung cancer treated with subcutaneous iscador (no chemotherapy).

Mistletoe as complementary treatment in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer treated with carboplatin-based combinations: a randomised phase II study.

Only effect noted in this trial was that mistletoe group tolerated more chemotherapy.

[Prevention of recurrence of bronchial carcinomas after surgery by means of the mistletoe extract Iscador. Results of a clinical study from 1969-1971].

Positive findings of prolonged survival.

Pleurodesis

Efficacy and safety of Viscum album extract (Helixor-M) to treat malignant pleural effusion in patients with lung cancer.

Use of mistletoe in pleurodesis. Paywall

Acute pneumonitis consequent on pleurodesis with Viscum album extract: severe chest images but benign clinical course.

Stimulation of antitumour immunity by intrapleural instillation of a Viscum album L. extract.

Pleurodesis Using Mistletoe Extract Delivered via a Spray Catheter during Semirigid Pleuroscopy for Managing Symptomatic Malignant Pleural Effusion.

Mistletoe safe and effective for malignant pleural effusion.

Chemical Pleurodesis Using Mistletoe Extraction (ABNOVAviscum(®) Injection) for Malignant Pleural Effusion.

Mistletoe safe and effective for pleurodesis.

Mistletoe preparation (Viscum Fraxini-2) as palliative treatment for malignant pleural effusion: a feasibility study with comparison to bleomycin.

Mistletoe twice as effective as Bleomycin for malignant pleural effusion.

Targeted Therapy (monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs),and immunotherapy) and Mistletoe

Clinical Safety of Combined Targeted and Viscum album L. Therapy in Oncological Patients.

Addition of mistletoe to targeted therapy studied in a multicenter observational study. . Addition of VA to targeted therapy significantly reduced the probability of oncological treatment discontinuation by 70%.

Safety of Combined Treatment With Monoclonal Antibodies and Viscum album L Preparations.

Monoclonal antibody treatment reactions occurred 1/5th as often in patients concurrently using mistletoe.

Clinical safety of combined therapy of immune checkpoint inhibitors and Viscum album L. therapy in patients with advanced or metastatic cancer.

This study showed no evidence of interaction between mistletoe and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Interaction of a standardized mistletoe (Viscum album) preparation with antitumor effects of Trastuzumab in vitro.

No interaction found.

Lymphoma and Leukemia

Complete Remission and Long-term Survival of a Patient with a Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma Under Viscum album Extracts After Resistance to R-CHOP: A Case Report.

Homeopathic mistletoe adverse reaction mimics nodal involvement in 18F-FDG PET/CT performed for evaluation of response to chemotherapy in lymphoma.

Not clear this should be considered an adverse reaction but is an important consideration in mistletoe use.

A Natural Combination Extract of Viscum album L. Containing Both Triterpene Acids and Lectins Is Highly Effective against AML In Vivo.

Extract from mistletoe, Viscum album L., reduces Hsp27 and 14-3-3 protein expression and induces apoptosis in C6 rat glioma cells.

Bench trial showing positive results.

Comparison of Viscum album QuFrF extract with vincristine in an in vitro model of human B cell lymphoma WSU-1.

Bench Trial

Molecular mechanisms of mistletoe plant extract-induced apoptosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia in vivo and in vitro.

Bench Trial

The Viscum album extract Iscador P does not cause an autocrine interleukin-6 loop in B-Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cell lines.

Bench Trial

[Favorable long-term outcome with mistletoe therapy in a patient with centroblastic-centrocytic non-Hodgkin lymphoma].

Case report. Paywall.

Durable Regression of Primary Cutaneous B-Cell Lymphoma Following Fever-inducing Mistletoe Treatment: Two Case Reports.

2 patients treated with high dose mistletoe alone with total regression of cutaneous B-Cell Lymphoma.

Nodal anaplastic large-cell lymphoma ALK-1- with CD30+ cutaneous lymphoproliferation treated with mistletoe: spontaneous remission or treatment response?

12 year old girl with remission after mistletoe.

[Favorable long-term outcome with mistletoe therapy in a patient with centroblastic-centrocytic non hodgkin lymphoma].

Case report. Article not available.

Multiple Myeloma

Investigation of the proliferation, apoptosis/necrosis, and cell cycle phases in several human multiple myeloma cell lines. Comparison of Viscum album QuFrF extract with vincristine in an in vitro model.

Bench test. Mistletoe more effective than conventional chemotherapy.

Intratumoral Mistletoe Therapy

Durable clinical remission of a skull metastasis under intralesional Viscum album extract therapy: Case report.

Use and safety of intratumoral application of European mistletoe (Viscum album L) preparations in Oncology.

“The frequency of ADRs to IT mistletoe injections was 3 times and 5 times higher than has previously been found for subcutaneous and intravenous applications of mistletoe, respectively. Nearly all ADRs were mild to moderate however, and no serious ADRs occurred. Furthermore, it is possible that immune-related ADRs such as pyrexia and local inflammatory reactions might be critical for tumor response.”

Intratumoral application of standardized mistletoe extracts down regulates tumor weight via decreased cell proliferation, increased apoptosis and necrosis in a murine model.

Mouse model demonstrating key concepts of intratumoral mistletoe injection.

Anticancer activity of a lectin-rich mistletoe extract injected intratumorally into human pancreatic cancer xenografts.

[Blood and tissue eosinophilia, mistletoe lectin antibodies and quality of life in a breast cancer patient undergoing intratumoral and subcutaneous mistletoe therapy].

Case report. Abstract only.

Intra-Peritoneal Injection

Reducing malignant ascites accumulation by repeated intraperitoneal administrations of a Viscum album extract.

Phase II study. Patients given mistletoe intra-abdominally needed less frequent removal of fluid than prior. No adverse events.

[Favourable course of persisting malignant ascites].

Case report of woman who received intra-abdominal mistletoe and improvement of malignant ascites.

High Dose Mistletoe

Immune-related and adverse drug reactions to low versus high initial doses of Viscum album L. in cancer patients.

Adverse effects were mild and anticipated.

Safety of intravenously applied mistletoe extract – results from a phase I dose escalation study in patients with advanced cancer.

Fever Therapy With Intravenously Applied Mistletoe Extracts for Cancer Patients: A Retrospective Study.

Generally safe with fevers reaching >38.5C

Safety of Intravenous Application of Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) Preparations in Oncology: An Observational Study.

Overall, patients were almost two times less likely to experience an ADR to intravenous compared to subcutaneous application of mistletoe. No serious ADR’s occurred.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

A 21-year course of Merkel cell carcinoma with adjuvant Viscum album extract treatment: A case report.

Rare tumor with poor prognosis held in check with mistletoe.

Breast Cancer

Implementation of an Integrative Oncological Concept in the Daily Care of a German Certified Breast Cancer Center.

Discusses a large German hospital that has implemented integrative concepts including use of mistletoe in cancer treatment.

Synergistic anticancer effects of lectin and doxorubicin in breast cancer cells.

Chemo plus mistletoe is better.

Five-year follow-up of patients with early stage breast cancer after a randomized study comparing additional treatment with viscum album (L.) extract to chemotherapy alone.

“Six of 28 patients in one of the VaL groups and eight of 29 patients in the control group developed relapse or metastasis within 5 years. Subgroup analysis for hormone- and radiotherapy also showed no difference between groups. Additional VaL therapy during chemotherapy of early stage breast cancer patients appears not to influence the frequency of relapse or metastasis within 5 years.”

Note that mistletoe group only used for the duration of chemotherapy (most experts would continue subcutaneous injections for a longer sometimes pulsed, duration.) Also, the study may be underpowered to “see” a significant result- there were fewer recurrences in the mistletoe group but this was not statistically significant.

Quality of life in breast cancer patients during chemotherapy and concurrent therapy with a mistletoe extract.

“the overall results point to a relevant stabilisation of Health Related Quality of Life during various chemotherapy regimes, possibly due to a reduction of chemotherapy caused side effects with an excellent tolerability of the mistletoe therapy.”

Randomised and non-randomised prospective controlled cohort studies in matched-pair design for the long-term therapy of breast cancer patients with a mistletoe preparation (Iscador): a re-analysis.

Consistent positive survival results and positive quality of life results.

Prospective controlled cohort studies on long-term therapy of breast cancer patients with a mistletoe preparation (Iscador).

“Iscador shows a clinically relevant effect on breast tumor progression as measured by overall survival as well as by the time to recurrences, lymphatic or distant metastases.”

Gene expression profiles of different breast cancer cells compared with their responsiveness to fermented mistletoe (Viscum album L.) extracts Iscador from oak (Quercus), pine (Pinus), white fir (Abies) and apple tree (Malus) in vitro.

Paywall

Prevention of surgery-induced suppression of granulocyte function by intravenous application of a fermented extract from Viscum album L. in breast cancer patients.

Presurgical Iscador prevented suppression of immune system as compared to controls.

[Efficacy and safety of long-term complementary treatment with standardized European mistletoe extract (Viscum album L.) in addition to the conventional adjuvant oncologic therapy in patients with primary non-metastasized mammary carcinoma. Results of a multi-center, comparative, epidemiological cohort study in Germany and Switzerland].

“The results of the present study confirmed the safety of the complementary therapy of patients with primary, non-metastatic mammary carcinoma with a standardized mistletoe extract and showed considerably fewer ADRs attributed to concurrent conventional therapy, as well as reduced disease and treatment-associated symptoms, and suggested a prolonged overall survival in the mistletoe extract group as compared with controls.”

Improvement of DNA repair in lymphocytes of breast cancer patients treated with Viscum album extract (Iscador).

Mistletoe protecting the immune system. Only abstract available.

[Postoperative Viscum album therapy after surgery of breast neoplasms].

Abstract only. Iscador significantly improves survival in breast cancer (stage 1+2 studied).

Is Mistletoe Treatment Beneficial in Invasive Breast Cancer? A New Approach to an Unresolved Problem.

Paywall. No difference noted in treatment group.

Additional Therapy with a Mistletoe Product during Adjuvant Chemotherapy of Breast Cancer Patients Improves Quality of Life: An Open Randomized Clinical Pilot Trial.

Mistletoe improves quality of life significantly.

Quality of life and neutropenia in patients with early stage breast cancer: a randomized pilot study comparing additional treatment with mistletoe extract to chemotherapy alone.

Increased quality of life demonstrated.

Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis of Survival and Psychosomatic Self-regulation from Published Prospective Controlled Cohort Studies for Long-term Therapy of Breast Cancer Patients with a Mistletoe Preparation (Iscador).

Increased quality of life in Iscador group.

Impact of complementary treatment of breast cancer patients with standardized mistletoe extract during aftercare: a controlled multicenter comparative epidemiological cohort study.

Positive findings for quality of life with mistletoe.

[Adjuvant simultaneous mistletoe chemotherapy in breast cancer–influence on immunological parameters, quality of life and tolerability].

Paywall. Retention of quality of life with mistletoe.

Quality of life is improved in breast cancer patients by Standardised Mistletoe Extract PS76A2 during chemotherapy and follow-up: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre clinical trial.

Improved quality of life with mistletoe.

The standardised mistletoe extract PS76A2 improves QoL in patients with breast cancer receiving adjuvant CMF chemotherapy: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre clinical trial.

Influence of postoperative complementary treatment with lectin-standardized mistletoe extract on breast cancer patients. A controlled epidemiological multicentric retrolective cohort study.

Mistletoe improved quality of life and lengthened relapse free intervals.

Ovarian Cancer

Safety of herbal medicine use during chemotherapy in patients with ovarian cancer: a “bedside-to-bench” approach.

Paywall

Prospective controlled cohort studies on long-term therapy of ovarian cancer patients with mistletoe (Viscum album L.) extracts iscador.

Paywall. Positive survival and quality of life with mistletoe in ovarian cancer.

[What prospects of success does Iscador therapy offer in advanced ovarian cancer?].

Abstract only. Iscador improves survival in ovarian cancer.

Recombinant mistletoe lectin (rML) is successful in treating human ovarian cancer cells transplanted into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice.

Mouse study.

Cervical Cancer

Prospective controlled cohort studies on long-term therapy of cervical cancer patients with a mistletoe preparation (Iscador).

Paywall. Positive impact on survival and quality of life.

[Role of immunomodulatory treatment with Iscador QuS and Intron A of women with CIN1 with concurrent HPV infection].

Remission from abnormal cervical pathology CIN1 and CIN2 with mistletoe.

[Iscador QuS and human recombinant interferon alpha (Intron A) in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)].

In Polish, abstract in English. CIN changes in cervix impacted favorably by Iscador.

Uterine Cancer

Randomized and non-randomized prospective controlled cohort studies in matched pair design for the long-term therapy of corpus uteri cancer patients with a mistletoe preparation (Iscador).

Increased survival and quality of life with mistletoe.

Mesothelioma

Minor regression and long-time survival (56 months) in a patient with malignant pleural mesothelioma under Viscum album and Helleborus niger extracts-a case report.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that typically has poor survival even with optimal chemotherapy. This response is remarkable. (I have seen a case with 9+ year survival with mistletoe as well).

Melanoma

Complete remission and long-term survival of a patient with melanoma metastases treated with high-dose fever-inducing Viscum album extract: A case report.

Patient used mistletoe treatment alone and had complete remission.

Mistletoe lectin-I augments antiproliferative effects of the PPARgamma agonist rosiglitazone on human malignant melanoma cells.

Bench trial.

Successful treatment of metastatic malignant melanoma with Viscum album extract (Iscador M).

Low dose iscador associated with complete remission 14+ year survival of metastatic melanoma patient.

Safety and efficacy of the long-term adjuvant treatment of primary intermediate- to high-risk malignant melanoma (UICC/AJCC stage II and III) with a standardized fermented European mistletoe (Viscum album L.) extract. Results from a multicenter, comparative, epidemiological cohort study in Germany and Switzerland.

“The long-term FME treatment in patients with primary intermediate to high-risk MM appears safe. Tumor enhancement was not observed. When compared with an untreated parallel control group from the same cohort, the results of the FME treatment suggested a significant survival benefit in primary stage II-III MM patients.”

Final results of the EORTC 18871/DKG 80-1 randomised phase III trial. rIFN-alpha2b versus rIFN-gamma versus ISCADOR M versus observation after surgery in melanoma patients with either high-risk primary (thickness >3 mm) or regional lymph node metastasis.

Iscador M compared to 2 other investigational drugs, compared to control. No difference in recurrence or survival noted. Paywall.

The Viscum album preparation Isorel inhibits the growth of melanoma B16F10 by influencing the tumour-host relationship.

Bench study.

Osteosarcoma

ViscumTT induces apoptosis and alters IAP expression in osteosarcoma in vitro and has synergistic action when combined with different chemotherapeutic drugs.

Mistletoe induces apoptosis and works synergistically with chemotherapy in this effect in osteosarcoma.

Case reports of sarcoma patients with optimized lectin-oriented mistletoe extract therapy.

Pay wall. Description of 6 patients with response to VAE therapy.

Ewing Sarcoma

Multiple Active Compounds from Viscum album L. Synergistically Converge to Promote Apoptosis in Ewing Sarcoma.

Bladder Cancer

High-Dose Viscum album Extract Treatment in the Prevention of Recurrent Bladder Cancer: A Retrospective Case Series.

High-dose Viscum album treatment may have interrupted frequently recurring tumors in individual patients with recurrent bladder cancer.

Prolonged cytotoxic effect of aqueous extracts from dried viscum album on bladder cancer cells.

Bench Trial with Iscucin

Antiproliferative effects of mistletoe (Viscum album L.) extract in urinary bladder carcinoma cell lines.

Bench Trial

Adjuvant intravesical treatment of superficial bladder cancer with a standardized mistletoe extract.

Pilot study showing similar efficacy to adjuvant BCG.

Evaluation of an unconventional treatment modality with mistletoe lectin to prevent recurrence of superficial bladder cancer: a randomized phase II trial.

No effect seen in treatment group.

Renal Cell Carcinoma

Misteltoe (Iscador) therapy in stage IV renal adenocarcinoma. A phase II study in patients with measurable lung metastases.

A phase II trial with iscador. No difference noted in treatment groups. All patients enrolled as stage 4. Nonrandomized study.

Colon Cancer

Disappearance of an advanced adenomatous colon polyp after intratumoural injection with Viscum album (European mistletoe) extract: a case report.

Targeting inflammation in cancer-related-fatigue: a rationale for mistletoe therapy as supportive care in colorectal cancer patients.

Iscador helped reduce cancer related fatigue

The influence of isorel on the advanced colorectal cancer.

Isorel (a mistletoe extract) beneficial for advanced colorectal cancer.

Systematic evaluation of the clinical effects of supportive mistletoe treatment within chemo- and/or radiotherapy protocols and long-term mistletoe application in nonmetastatic colorectal carcinoma: multicenter, controlled, observational cohort study.

Positive survival effects noted.

Abnoba-viscum (mistletoe extract) in metastatic colorectal carcinoma resistant to 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin-based chemotherapy.

No effect seen in tumor progression in resistant stage 4 colon cancer.

Gastric Carcinoma

Quality of life, immunomodulation and safety of adjuvant mistletoe treatment in patients with gastric carcinoma – a randomized, controlled pilot study.

Positive impact on quality of life in patients using mistletoe. Concluded to be safe.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Phase II study of viscum fraxini-2 in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Abnoba Fraxini showed survival benefit in HCC.

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Tumour response following high-dose intratumoural application of Viscum album on a patient with adenoid cystic carcinoma.

Pancreatic Cancer

Intratumoral Mistletoe (Viscum album L) Therapy in Patients With Unresectable Pancreas Carcinoma: A Retrospective Analysis.

Increased survival in mistletoe group.

Viscum album [L.] extract therapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer: a randomised clinical trial on overall survival.

“Median OS (overall survival) was 4.8 for VaL (Mistletoe) and 2.7 months for control patients (prognosis-adjusted hazard ratio, HR=0.49; p<0.0001). Within the ‘good’ prognosis subgroup, median OS was 6.6 versus 3.2 months (HR=0.43; p<0.0001), within the ‘poor’ prognosis subgroup, it was 3.4 versus 2.0 months respectively (HR=0.55; p=0.0031). No VaL-related adverse events were observed.”

Phase III randomized trial. Positive findings. Note that mistletoe was only given subcutaneously in this trial.

Molecular mistletoe therapy: friend or foe in established anti-tumor protocols? A multicenter, controlled, retrospective pharmaco-epidemiological study in pancreas cancer.

Findings of improved quality of life and survival with mistletoe.

Quality of life of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer during treatment with mistletoe: a randomized controlled trial.

Mistletoe improves quality of life in pancreatic cancer.

Sustained partial remission of metastatic pancreatic cancer following systemic chemotherapy with gemcitabine and oxaliplatin plus adjunctive treatment with mistletoe extract.

Case report

Head and Neck

Cytotoxic effects of mistletoe (Viscum album L.) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines.

Bench trial. Positive findings.

Influence of complementary Viscum album (Iscador) administration on microcirculation and immune system of ear, nose and throat carcinoma patients treated with radiation and chemotherapy.

“Adverse effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy on the microcirculation and the immune system were decreased and reconstitution processes were accelerated by complementary administration of a standardized mistletoe extract (Iscador).”

The case for mistletoe in the treatment of laryngeal cancer.

Case report with discussion. Paywall.

[Influence of ML-1 standardized mistletoe extract on the quality of life in head and neck cancer patients].

Paywall. No difference seen in quality of life.

The effect of an adjuvant mistletoe treatment programme in resected head and neck cancer patients: a randomised controlled clinical trial.

No difference noted in treatment group. Paywall.

Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Durable response of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma following high-dose peri-lesional injections of Viscum album extracts–a case report.

Bibliography

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