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General questions

How important is mistletoe therapy in the concept of integrative oncology?

Mistletoe therapy is an essential component of a holistic, i.e. integrative cancer therapy and is intended as an addition to conventional therapy. Surgery, chemo-, radio- and/or (anti-)hormone therapies are established standard methods for the treatment of cancer, which can be supplemented by complementary measures such as mistletoe therapy. The aim of mistletoe therapy is primarily to improve the patient's quality of life.

Since when have mistletoe preparations been available?

Mistletoe preparations have been used in cancer therapy for 100 years now. Today, they are one of the most prescribed complementary drugs in cancer medicine. More than half of all tumour patients in the German-speaking countries use mistletoe therapy.

Is mistletoe therapy scientifically proven?

To date, about 140 clinical studies on the use of anthroposophic mistletoe preparations in various types of tumours are available. Mistletoe preparations are therefore the best and most extensively investigated drugs in complementary cancer therapy. As a result, almost all studies show an advantage for mistletoe therapy. The alleviation of the side effects of conventional therapies such as chemo- and radiotherapy and an improvement in the quality of life are well documented. In some cases, the occurrence of metastases can also be delayed and an increase in survival time can be observed.

What active substances does mistletoe contain?

The mistletoe contains a large number of active substances. For some, such as mistletoe lectins or viscotoxins, the effect in cancer therapy is well documented. However, according to today's knowledge, the actual effect only develops in the form of a total extract of mistletoe plant, as the effects in a total extract are mutually reinforcing.

What are the effects of mistletoe therapy?

Mistletoe therapy leads to an improvement of the general condition. This manifests itself, for example, in an appetite and weight gain, normalization of sleep, improvement of the feeling of warmth and performance as well as mental well-being. The mood is rising again, you have more courage and the ability to take initiative increases. In addition, the tumour-related pain can be reduced. Thereby, therapy with mistletoe extracts leads to an improved quality of life for tumour patients. Recent study results also indicate an increase in survival time under mistletoe therapy. In cell experiments, mistletoe preparations also inhibit the growth of malignant cells without affecting healthy tissue and can reduce the risk of relapse. The body's own immune defence system is also strengthened, thus reducing the susceptibility to infections.

How does mistletoe therapy affect surgery or chemo-/radiotherapy?

Since mistletoe therapy has an immunomodulatory effect, it can be assumed that by administering mistletoe 14 days prior to surgery, the procedure is better tolerated than usual, because activation of the immune system in the preoperative treatment leads to a good and faster recovery. After surgery, mistletoe therapy inhibits the development of metastases and prevents relapses.

Mistletoe therapy can be used in addition to chemo-/radiation therapy, as it reduces the side effects and these therapies are therefore better tolerated.

Why are mistletoe preparations from different host trees used?

Mistletoe differs in its ingredients according to the host tree on which it has grown. In this way, mistletoe extracts from different host trees are used in cancer therapy to achieve the best effect with the best possible tolerability, depending on the type of tumour.

Are there differences between the individual mistletoe preparations?

Yes, they differ in the pharmaceutical processes used by the individual manufacturers and therefore in composition. This means that mistletoe preparations from different manufacturers are not directly comparable with each other. If you want to change to another mistletoe preparation, you must proceed in the same way as for a new setting.

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