Course of mitogen-stimulated T lymphocytes in cancer patients treated with Viscum album extracts

Krebsforschung Herdecke, Department of Applied Immunology, Bochum, Germany.
Anticancer research (Impact Factor: 1.83). 07/2007; 27(4C):2903-10.
Source: PubMed


In a prospective observational study, the impact of two different dose regimes of a commercially available fermented Viscum album L. extract (VA-E, Iscador) on the function of T lymphocytes from cancer patients was investigated.
A total of 71 cancer patients were enrolled. These patients attended two different sections of a tumor outpatient clinic which are used to apply different VA-E escalation schemes. Our hypothesis was that a rapid dose escalation of subcutaneously applied VA-E may induce strong local reactions at the injection side (>3 cm diameter) and may have an effect on the functional competence of T lymphocytes (mitogen-activated interleukin-2 receptor alpha chain), which was recorded over an observation period of six month.
Within this observation period, a decline of stimulated T cell function was observed, particularly in patients with colorectal or prostate cancer; this decline was not seen in patients with breast cancer (who received lower mean concentrations per month) nor in patients with dose adaptation in response to too strong local reactions.
With respect to T-cell function, our results indicate that in patients without local reactions, a long lasting mistletoe extract application should be withheld periodically to allow T-cell reactivity to recover.

Download full-text


Available from: Wilfried Tröger, May 02, 2014

Click to see the full-text of:

Article: Course of mitogen-stimulated T lymphocytes in cancer patients treated with Viscum album extracts

0 B

See full-text
  • Source
    • "In addition, the level of C-reactive proteins was not altered in the treatment group. In 2007, Büssing et al. [115] hypothesized that rapid escalation of high VA-E concentration may impair the function of competence of T lymphocytes in cancer patients. The course of T-cell function was stable in 36 breast cancer patients who received moderate mean concentrations of VA-E, while other patients showed a decline in the stimulated T-cell function. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is among the most frequent types of cancer in women worldwide. Current conventional treatment options are accompanied by side effects. Mistletoe is amongst the important herbal medicines traditionally used as complementary remedies. An increasing number of studies have reported anticancer activity of mistletoe extracts on breast cancer cells and animal models. Some recent evidence suggests that cytotoxic activity of mistletoe may be mediated through different mechanisms. These findings provide a good base for clinical trials. Various studies on mistletoe therapy for breast cancer patients revealed similar findings concerning possible benefits on survival time, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), remission rate, and alleviating adverse reactions to conventional therapy. This review provides an overview of the recent findings on preclinical experiments and clinical trials of mistletoe for its cytotoxic and antitumor activity and its effect on HRQoL in breast cancer patients. Moreover, studies investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying antitumor activity of mistletoe are discussed in this paper. The analyzed trials provided evidence that there might be a combination of pharmacological and motivational aspects mediated by the mistletoe extract application which may contribute to the clinical benefit and positive outcome such as improved HRQoL and self-regulation in breast cancer patients.
    BioMed Research International 07/2014; 2014:785479. DOI:10.1155/2014/785479 · 1.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The active compounds in mistletoe treatment are the recently identified mistletoe lectins (ML I, II, and III) that consist of two polypeptide chains: a carbohydrate-binding B chain that can bind to cell surface receptors enabling the protein to enter the cell, and the catalytic A chain, which can subsequently inhibit protein synthesis, due to its ribosome-inactivating properties [155] [156]. Other pharmacologically relevant compounds found in mistletoe are viscotoxins and other low molecular proteins, oligo-and polysaccharides, flavonoids, and triterpene acids, which have been found to act synergistically resulting in the cytotoxic and apoptosis-inducing effects of the whole plant extract [157] [158]. One RCT showed that mistletoe preparations boosted the immune system in low doses, helping to improve the QOL and survival of some cancer patients by as much as 40% alongside cotreatment with chemo-and radiotherapy. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is a life-threatening disease among women worldwide with annual rates of reported incidence and death increasing alarmingly. Chemotherapy is a recommended and effective treatment option for breast cancer; however, the narrow therapeutic indices and varied side effects of currently approved drugs present major hurdles in increasing its effectiveness. An increasing number of literature evidence indicate that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) used in treatment-related symptom control and alleviation of side effects plays an important role in increasing survival rate and quality of life in breast cancer patients. This review focuses on the use of herbal medicines and acupuncture in palliative care and as adjuvants in the treatment of breast cancer. Herbal medicinal treatments, the correlation of clinical use with demonstrated in vitro and in vivo mechanisms of action, and the use of certain acupoints in acupuncture are summarized. The aim of this review is to facilitate an understanding of the current practice and usefulness of herbal medicine and acupuncture as adjuvants in breast cancer therapy.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 06/2013; 2013:437948. DOI:10.1155/2013/437948 · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In the reviewed studies and experiments, no pathological laboratory immunosupression was observed. Decreases were largely within the normal range and often with parameters whose downs as well as ups could both be considered favourable: For instance, an exploratory study (without a control group to differentiate from natural course and from influence of cancer disease) had observed a small decrease of CD3+T-cells expressing CD25 after mitogen (PHA) stimulation ("activated" T-cells) during 6 month VAE treatment in cancer patients; this decrease had been more pronounced in the group with initial higher baseline values, which was higher than normal controls [75] - a pattern typical for a mere statistical regression. Here, "downs" as well as "ups" of the CD3+T-cells expressing CD25 can be clinically interpreted in four directions: 1) spontaneous variation without major clinical relevance (statistical regression); 2) "normalisation" (towards normal values); 3) "suppression" (CD25+T-cells interpreted as "helper cells"); 4) "stimulation" (CD25+T-cells as containing CD4+CD25+ T-cells that comprise regulatory T-cells, which suppress an effective immune response against tumours [115-117]). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Viscum album L extracts (VAE, mistletoe) and isolated mistletoe lectins (ML) have immunostimulating properties and a strong dose-dependent cytotoxic activity. They are frequently used in complementary cancer treatment, mainly to improve quality of life, but partly also to influence tumour growth, especially by injecting VAE locally and in high dosage. The question is raised whether these higher dosages can induce any harm or immunosuppressive effects. Systematic review of all experiments and clinical studies investigating higher dosages of VAE in animals and humans (Viscum album > 1 mg in humans corresponding to > 0.02 mg/kg in animals or ML > 1 ng/kg) and assessing immune parameters or infections or adverse drug reactions. 69 clinical studies and 48 animal experiments reported application of higher doses of VAE or ML and had assessed immune changes and/or harm. In these studies, Viscum album was applied in dosages up to 1500 mg in humans and 1400 mg/kg in animals, ML was applied up to 6.4 μg/kg in humans and in animals up to 14 μg/kg subcutaneously, 50 μg/kg nasally and 500 μg/kg orally. A variety of immune parameters showed fluctuating or rising outcomes, but no immunosuppressive effect. Side effects consisted mainly of dose-dependent flu-like symptoms (FLS), fever, local reactions at the injection site and various mild unspecific effects. Occasionally, allergic reactions were reported. After application of high doses of recombinant ML, reversible hepatotoxicity was observed in some cases. Application of higher dosages of VAE or ML is not accompanied by immunosuppression; altogether VAE seems to exhibit low risk but should be monitored by clinicians when applied in high dosages.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 08/2011; 11(1):72. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-11-72 · 2.02 Impact Factor
Show more