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: 1.87). 01/2007; 27(4C):2903-10.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

  • Source
    [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 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For along time cancer immunotherapy was overshadowed bychemotherapy and radiotherapy. Recently, "Science", one of the world's top scientific journals, named the stimulation of the body's own immune system to fight cancer cells as the "breakthrough of the year". In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, extracts derived from mistletoe (Viscum album L.) such as Iscador, Abnobaviscum, Helixor, Iscar, Iscucin and Isorel have been used in oncology for many years. These extracts have immunomodulating and immunostimulating properties, as demonstrated byexperimental studies as well as in clinical trials. The aim of our paper is to present immunological disorders associated with cancer, which can be counteracted bytreat-ment with extracts derived from mistletoe. Although these drugs cannot replace conventional cancer treatment, they may improve the patient's quality and length of life. (article in polish)
    Postępy Higieny i Medycyny Doświadczalnej (Advances in Hygiene and Experimental Medicine) 10/2014; DOI:10.5604/17322693.1126850
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract The widespread impact of cancer worldwide and noncurative treatment methods despite all developments drive patients towards investigating and using nonconventional treatment methods. Herbs, which have an important role in complementary and alternative medicine practices, may cause unfavorable results when used especially with chemotherapeutics in cancer patients due to the substances they contain and due to the properties of some, which still cannot be clarified. Further overshadowing the success of the treatments, patients do not talk about these issues with their doctors and physicians are unable to comprehend these properties of herbs. In this compilation we aimed to clarify the concepts of complementary and alternative medicine, to gather the properties of important and frequently used herbs, and to increase the awareness of physicians on this subject.
    Journal of palliative medicine 10/2013; DOI:10.1089/jpm.2013.0126 · 2.06 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014