"NHS branches out into mistletoe canc... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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"NHS branches out into mistletoe cancer therapy"

Graham49 profile image

I was surprised to read this headline in the Sunday Times on 23 December. It appears that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had referred 47, and NHS Lothian had sent 42 patients for Mistletoe therapy at the Centre for Integrative Care at Gartnavel hospital. The article also stated there were two clinics in England as offering treatment "with possible NHS funding". The article states "patients in Scotland are being treated with an extract of the plant in the hope it can boost the body's immune system...

"An assessment by the NHS specialist pharmacy service found that laboratory testing of mistletoe indicated potential benefits, but there is currently no compelling evidence to support the use of mistletoe extracts in cancer therapy."

"Stefan Gelder, of the Camphill Wellbeing Trust in Aberdeen, a charity that offers the therapy, said it had helped some people. Claimed benefits include more energy and better appetites. His experience was that mistletoe has with some people but not all - an impact on tumour reduction."

I found this reference on the hospital website:

Mistletoe treatment in cancer patients

Cochrane review April 2008. Preparations from the European mistletoe (Viscum album L.) are among the most prescribed drugs in cancer patients in several European countries. Proponents claim that mistletoe extracts stimulate the immune system, improve survival, enhance quality of life and reduce adverse effects of chemo- and radiotherapy in cancer patients. The review found that there was not enough evidence to reach clear conclusions about the effects on any of these outcomes and it is therefore not clear to what extent the application of mistletoe extracts translates into improved symptom control, enhanced tumour response or prolonged survival. Adverse effects of mistletoe extracts were reported, but appeared to be dose-dependent and primarily confined to reactions at injection site and mild, transient flu-like symptoms. In the absence of good quality, independent trials, decisions about whether mistletoe extracts are likely to be beneficial for a particular problem should rely on expert judgement and practical considerations. Authors' conclusions: The evidence from RCTs to support the view that the application of mistletoe extracts has impact on survival or leads to an improved ability to fight cancer or to withstand anticancer treatments is weak. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that mistletoe extracts may offer benefits on measures of QOL during chemotherapy for breast cancer, but these results need replication. Overall, more high quality, independent clinical research is needed to truly assess the safety and effectiveness of mistletoe extracts. Patients receiving mistletoe therapy should be encouraged to take part in future trials.

15 Replies

For those that have an interest---Amazon has a Mistletoe Extract---unknown to me how to use, in terms of dose, etc.


j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Nalakrats

"unknown to me how to use"

Easy just hang it over a doorway and pray a sweet young lady will stand under it....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Sunday 01/06/2019 12:18 AM EST

novatimo profile image
novatimo in reply to Nalakrats

During the first years after my diagnosis with Gleason 9/non-metastatic Stage 4 PCa, I chose to use Iscador brand mistletoe (the Quercum cum Argentum variety derived from mistletoe that grows on oak trees is best for male cancers) . One uses a fine insulin-type needle to inject the mistletoe liquid into the pelvic area surrounding the prostate. A slight skin reaction tells you that the mistletoe is stimulating your immune system. You start with very small doses and work up to stronger doses. Another popular brand is Helixor. Iscador, sometimes in combination with hyperthermia, is a very common treatment among cancer patients in Germany and Austria.

Graham49 profile image
Graham49 in reply to novatimo

Do you think it helped with PCa?

novatimo profile image
novatimo in reply to Graham49

I believe it was an important factor in helping to keep the PCa from metastasizing and aided an eventual downgrade from Stage 4 to 3b. Did it help? Well, six years after diagnosis I'm still alive with a low PSA (well under 1.0), no signs of metastasis and feeling wonderful. Of course, I can't expect my MO to use the word "cured" or "remission" until 5 years out from "definitive treatment". In my case, "definitive treatment" was in Dec 2015 when I had IMRT to prostate and pelvic nodes.

Myriammole profile image
Myriammole in reply to novatimo

Did you have positive results from it? Are you still taking it and if yes which dosage?

novatimo profile image
novatimo in reply to Myriammole

I responded positively to Iscador (ie, showed skin reaction to the injections). I gave it up after several years due to cost (about $900/year) and the difficulty in getting Iscador in the higher doses. It's not sold in the U.S. and one must either buy it online from the mfr. (Weleda in Germany) or a German pharmacy, or travel to Germany and bring it back myself in a cooler bag. Helixor is sold in the U.S., but not past a certain dosage. As far as I know, the main difference is that Iscador is fermented, which some advocates claim is a superior, more effective product.

Myriammole profile image
Myriammole in reply to novatimo

Interesting! What dosage did you take then?

novatimo profile image
novatimo in reply to Myriammole

I started with the lowest dose and worked up to about 20mg.

Nalakrats profile image
Nalakrats in reply to novatimo

Not a Homeopathic/Naturopathic Treatment protocol, I am aware of, or know of anyone doing this in the USA. Thanks for your input, I will archive your info.


WXYZ123 profile image
WXYZ123 in reply to novatimo

We have lots of experience over the past two years with all this as well. John does subcutaneous injections of helixor along with infrared therapy. we also do high dose Fraxini IV's. No, it doesn't kill the cancer but it definitely strengthens the immune system and helps with QOL, well-being and can be thought of as an important support to the toxic cancer killing substances, ADT's and all that wear one down.

I am not sure, but I think Pres Reagan was ingocnito in Germany for treatment. And I think mistletoe was mentioned.

There is more information on this website: believebig.org/find-a-mistl...

John Hopkins is/was conducting a trial as she (lady at Believe Big). was a patient using Mistletoe.

My husband has been on it since the beginning of his diagnosis. We found a doctor that could start him up with weekly infusions (for stage IV) for about 8 weeks and now my husband is giving himself a shot in the belly every three days or so. His integrative oncologist at the time suggested it. M.O. is aware of him taking it, complimentary naturopath at Cancer Treatment Center of America gave us the doctor’s name to get the mistletoe. My husband orders it directly from a company in Germany advised by his doctor here. My husband is on 20 mg.

You have to find a doc to prescribe the needles and get you in contact with a legit company in Germany.

It’s costing about $360 every six months.

Hope this helps.

Graham49 profile image
Graham49 in reply to Advo__cate

Info on John Hopkins clinical trial

Mistletoe Clinical Trial

At this time, per the study design, only one patient will be enrolled every 4-6 weeks. Due to the high level of interest in the study, we are assessing eligibility for the study in advance of a visit to Johns Hopkins for patients that do not already have a Johns Hopkins' oncologist. Please provide your name, date of birth, and the name and contact number for your medical oncologist to phase1trials@jhmi.edu or 410-502-5140. The research team will follow up with you after we have received the information from your oncologist. We will keep a limited waitlist for the study and patients will be informed promptly if they are on the waitlist or if it is full at the time that we receive all the information we need from your oncologist.

While mistletoe is utilized in Europe there remain many questions about whether it is beneficial. This Phase I study is an important first step in helping us better understand the safety of mistletoe to patients with cancer. The Phase I study provides information on side effects and how high a dose of mistletoe is well tolerated.

Mistletoe Clinical Trial Now Open

To be considered for the trial, each patient will need to:

Be evaluated in person by a Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center physician

Have advanced cancer (solid tumor)

Cancer must have progressed on at least one mode of conventional treatment

No prior use of mistletoe (injections or IV)

Be able to come to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to receive infusions 3 times a week (for 3-4 hours) for as long as you benefit or choose to be on the trial. Scans will be done every 8 weeks to monitor the size and sites of your disease.

This is a Phase 1 trial. This means Johns Hopkins researchers are testing the drug in a small group of participants to evaluate safety, determine a safe dose, and identify side effects. This is the first step of many research steps before mistletoe may be considered for commercial use.

To learn more about who is eligible to participate, please visit the clinicaltrials.gov or email: phase1trials@jhmi.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mistletoe Therapy

Mistletoe is a plant that attaches itself to oak, pine, apple, and other types of trees. The liquid extract of the mistletoe plant has been used in Europe for close to a century to improve quality of life and improve survival in patients with cancer. Mistletoe injections are currently among the most widely used complementary cancer treatments in Europe. It is approved for palliative care use in several European countries but not yet in the United Kingdom or the United States.

How can mistletoe be used and will it be effective for my type of cancer?

Mistletoe (Helixor) can be used to treat many types of tumors and our trial is open to patients with any metastatic solid tumor. Small clinical trials completed in Europe suggested that mistletoe may provide benefit to cancer patients and improve quality of life by reducing the side effects of chemotherapy/radiation such as nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite, as well as diminishing tumor-related pain. Those trials were conducted using subcutaneous injections. Only limited evaluation of mistletoe has been conducted in the United States. Johns Hopkins trial seeks to explore whether intravenous dosing of mistletoe is safe with the hopes of advancing to future trials that would test the effectiveness of the agent.

Why is mistletoe not available at cancer institutions in the United States?

Until further clinical testing is done here in the United States, oncologists cannot offer this treatment as standard of care for cancer patients. Mistletoe is being administered in the United States by complementary medicine practitioners.

How is mistletoe administered and how often?

Mistletoe can be administered subcutaneously (an injection) or intravenously (IV) at a frequency determined by the prescribing physician based upon patients’ individual needs. In our trial, it will be administered as a 3-4 hour infusion, 3 times per week.

Advo__cate profile image
Advo__cate in reply to Graham49

Yes, I've read this before.

I was wrong about the price, with the euro exchange it's about $300.00 for six months. Personally, I think one needs to utilize a knowledgable doctor in pursuing the use of Mistletoe.

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