Mistletoe / Iscador

Widely used in Europe with a moderate cure rate. Any treatment with mistletoe needs to be supplemented with other alternative treatments.

Mistletoe Therapy Found to be Effective for Treatment of Cancer

A major 30-year-long study with more than 35,000 participants reports that extract of mistletoe (Iscador) greatly improves survival rate for a wide variety of cancers, including breast cancer. Study participants who augmented conventional therapy with mistletoe extract survived 40% longer compared with those who didn't use the plant therapy.

"This is a far-reaching, landmark study with significant results," says David Riley, MD, Editor in Chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the leading peer-reviewed journal on complementary and alternative medicine, which published the study in its May issue.

"There is mounting basic science and clinical evidence for the efficacy of mistletoe," says Dr. Riley. "Mistletoe is the most commonly used cancer drug in Germany today."

The study, Viscum Album in Cancer Treatment: A Systematic Epidemiology Investigation, followed 35,000 residents of Heidelberg, Germany over 30 years, identifying 5,000 who had cancer. Then the researchers matched more than 300 pairs of participants who had a similar type and stage of disease. One group took mistletoe extract in addition to conventional treatment. After comparing the length of survival, the study concludes that participants who added mistletoe extract to their treatment lived 40% longer than those who did not.

"This type of high-quality scientifically rigorous long-term study is costly and difficult, so this information is particularly valuable," says Dr. Riley.

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the leading peer-reviewed journal on complementary and alternative medicine, is also publishing abstracts of 10 other recent studies on the effectiveness of mistletoe extract for cancer.

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