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To obtain more information please schedule 10min phone consultation with Dr Orceyre by calling 202-833-5055.
We are happy to announce that we are now offering European Mistletoe (mistletoe) injections as a complementary treatment for individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer.
More than a popular romantic symbol of love and fertility, mistletoe has been used throughout history to treat medical conditions from arthritis to seizures, and was even thought to be a healer of all ailments in some cultures. In the early twentieth century, European physicians began treating their patients who were living with cancer with injections of mistletoe extract. Unlike it’s red-berried American counterpart, European mistletoe, Viscum album L., is a hemiparasitic plant with white berries. It contains lectins and viscotoxins, active constituents that have been shown to stimulate immune function and display anti-cancer properties in cell culture and animal studies.*1, 2
Many of the studies which investigate the efficacy of mistletoe as a treatment for cancer present mixed results regarding its potential ability to prolong survival and reduce tumor recurrence and metastases. However, many of these studies lack methodological validity. Despite the controversy presented in the available research, mistletoe treatment is commonly prescribed as a complementary cancer treatment in Europe.
The strongest current evidence for mistletoe treatment indicates its potential ability to improve quality of life and well-being in individuals who have cancer. Subcutaneous injections of mistletoe have been shown to improve appetite, sleep, weight maintenance, and overall quality of life in individuals who are receiving best supportive care as well as conventional cancer treatment. Moreover, this treatment has not been shown to interfere with chemotherapy and or commonly cause serious adverse effects. *3, 4
Randomized controlled trials have shown mistletoe treatment to improve quality of life in individuals with non-small cell lung, ovarian, breast, and pancreatic cancers. *5,6,7
Quality of life was not shown to be improved in individuals with head and neck cancers, however. Mistletoe treatment has not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and clinical trials are underway in the US to evaluate the safety and efficacy of this treatment.
The average cost of mistletoe treatment ranges from $100-200 per month. To learn more and decide if this treatment is right for you, please call the center and schedule a visit with Dr. Deirdre Orceyre or Dr. Mikhail Kogan.
For more information: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/mistletoe-european
- Estko, M et al. Tumour cell derived effects on monocyte/macrophage polarization and function and modulatory potential of Viscum album lipophilic extract in vitro. (2015) BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
- Cebovic T et al. Cytotoxic effects of the Viscum album L. extract on Ehrlich tumour cells in vivo. (2008) Phytotherapy Research.
- Weissenstein U et al. Interaction of standardized mistletoe (Viscum album) extracts with chemotherapeutic drugs regarding cytostatic and cytotoxic effects in vitro.
- Adverse Drug Reactions and Expected Effects to Therapy with Subcutaneous Mistletoe Extracts (Viscum album L.) in Cancer Patients.
- Piao et al. 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. (2004)
- Troger et al. Quality of Live of Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Cancer During Treatment With Mistletoe (2014)
- Troger et al. 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.