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Current state of research on mistletoe therapy in cancer treatment
Mistletoe therapy can extend the lifespan of certain types of cancer and improve the quality of life and the tolerance of cytoreductive therapies (therapies that are intended to suppress malignant cells).
This is the result of an evaluation of the current state of research, which Dr. Gunver Sophia Kienle has made. As a result, the overall study situation gives predominantly positive results for the use of mistletoe therapy in accompanying cancer treatment. The research results were recently presented in the specialist journal "Phytomedicine".
Data speaks for the benefits of mistletoe therapy
In a recent article, Dr. Kienle, expert in mistletoe research, summarizes the current developments in clinical research on mistletoe therapy. The most resilient results are those that showed an improvement in the quality of life and the tolerance of cytoreductive therapies using mistletoe therapy for cancer. A study deemed high quality by Kienle also showed a "highly significant advantage" in terms of survival in advanced pancreatic cancer. The evaluation also confirms that mistletoe therapy is well tolerated. Overall, the current data speak for the benefits of mistletoe therapy.
Background: The mistletoe and its use in medicine
Many people know the mistletoe as a romantic custom at Christmas. In nature, mistletoe (Latin Viscum album) occurs as a half parasite on various host trees: it survives by removing nutrients from the tree. It has been used in medicine for thousands of years. Mistletoe contains a large number of active ingredients that can influence the immune system and cell growth. Mistletoe extracts have been used and researched in the accompanying, holistic treatment of cancer for around ninety years - however, the use of mistletoe therapy is still controversial; the study by Dr. Kienle could help change that. You can find more information on the use of mistletoe in medicine in our article "Mistletoe therapy: application, effects and experience".
Mistletoe therapy is often used to accompany conventional forms of treatment as part of a holistic cancer therapy. If you are interested in mistletoe therapy, it is best to speak to your doctor actively about whether this is useful and possible in your case. Under no circumstances should you stop or interrupt your conventional treatment without consulting a doctor. (kh)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Magistra Artium (M.A.) Katja Helbig
- Kienle, Gunver Sophia: Current developments of clinical research on mistletoe therapy in cancer care; in: Phytomedicine, Vol. 61, Supplement 1, page 2, 2019, Science Direct