Mistletoe Therapy

What is mistletoe therapy?

Mistletoe therapy is part of an extended and integrative approach to cancer care. It is based on the prescribed use of Mistletoe extracts by qualified doctors. Mistletoe used therapeutically is extracted from the European mistletoe, Viscum album, and prepared under strict pharmaceutical conditions. Used in cancer treatment for over 90 years, it has been widely researched and is subject to ongoing development. Mistletoe therapy is one of the most frequently prescribed complementary treatments for cancer in Central Europe, where it is available in GP practices, specialist cancer centres and hospitals.

Mistletoe therapy integrates with conventional cancer treatment, can be used for a wide range of cancers and may be started at any stage of the illness.

How can mistletoe therapy help?

Research, clinical observations and patient reports indicate that mistletoe therapy has a range of potential benefits:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Generally feeling better
  • Increased appetite and weight
  • Less tired/more energy
  • Reduced pain
  • Better sleep pattern
  • Feeling more hopeful and motivated
  • Reduced adverse effects from chemo and radiotherapy
  • Reduced risk of cancer spread and recurrence
  • Increased life expectancy

What does mistletoe therapy do?

Mistletoe extracts have been shown in studies to stimulate the immune syste, cause cancer cell death, protect healthy cells against harmful effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

On-going treatment

Most patients will be taught to self-administer injections under the skin at home as part of the treatment. Mistletoe therapy usually continues over a number of years. Exactly how long will depend on the type of cancer, its development and your response to treatment.

Is mistletoe therapy safe?

Mistletoe therapy has an excellent safety record, which has been confirmed, in a number of studies.

Where mistletoe therapy is combined with other medicines, interactions need to be considered. Mistletoe therapy should always be taken on medical advice and under medical supervision.

Mistletoe therapy is generally well tolerated with few significant side effects, but you may experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, or mild redness/soreness at the injection site. These indicate the immune system is responding to the mistletoe therapy. The responses will be monitored by the supervising doctor and advice given accordingly.

Mistletoe Therapy Research

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14710208  mistletoe and advanced hepatocellular carcinoma
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19519890   mistletoe and breast cancer
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/11/72  mistletoe and its immune stimulating properties
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23890767  mistletoe and its treatment in advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2407/9/451/  mistletoe and increased survival in cancer patients
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21733987  mistletoe and improved QOL in cancer patients
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23133496 Mistletoe and treatment of glioblastoma
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19003944?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=17  – immune stimulating effects of mistletoe
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23218588  Mistletoe and non small cell lung cancer

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