Mistletoe extracts are of proven efficacy in various cancer types and improving the quality of life of cancer patients (such as: fatigue, pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and insomnia).
Mistletoe therapy, for cancer patients, improves the tolerability of conventional oncological therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The concept of integrative cancer treatment which is combining conventional therapies with selected complementary therapies has found Mistletoe therapy a force to reckon with. Mistletoe Therapy has occupied a significant space in the field of integrative oncology. The benefits of mistletoe therapy, for cancer patients, are:
• Improvement in the tolerability of conventional treatments;
• Improvement in the quality of life of cancer patients;
• Increase of patients’ compliance through reduced side effects of conventional cancer therapies.
Distinct non-fermented aqueous extracts of fresh mistletoe are available from the three subspecies of Viscum album:
• Viscum album subspecies abietis, which grows on fir trees;
• Viscum album subspecies album, which grows on deciduous tree, e.g. apple trees;
• Viscum album subspecies austriacum, which grows on pine trees.
The bioactive substances of mistletoe extracts are loaded with various pharmacological effects, which includes:
- DNA protection;
- Release of ß-endorphin;
- Cytotoxic effect on tumor cells;
- Inhibition of angiogenesis.
Several high quality studies have unbiasly shown the importance of mistletoe therapy for the improvement of quality of life, immune function and tolerability in patients undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy.