Adding Mistletoe Treatment to Chemotherapy Prolongs Lives in Lung Cancer

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BRUSSELS, October 04th 2018. Patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving supplementary mistletoe treatment in addition to chemotherapy were able to survive significantly longer than patients receiving chemotherapy alone, a new observational study has found.

The study looked at 158 patients stage IV lung cancer, the most advanced stage of the disease. Patients receiving only chemotherapy lived for 8 months while patients receiving both chemotherapy and additional therapy with mistletoe extract (Viscum album) survived for 17 months, a significant improvement. Of patients receiving only chemotherapy 14% were alive after 3 years compared to 26% of those receiving also add-on mistletoe. 

“We have known for a long time that mistletoe injections helps cancer patients to better tolerate other treatments and improve their quality of life,” said Dr Friedemann Schad, head of the oncology center at the anthroposophic hospital Havelhoehe in Berlin, Germany, the study’s lead author. “This study adds to the existing evidence that mistletoe treatment has the potential to prolong life as well.” 

The study did not include patients with the even more rapidly advancing small-cell lung cancer and patients receiving any of the newer immuno-therapies, which improve cancer survival rates. The authors recommend that further studies should look at survival benefits of combining mistletoe with emerging immunotherapies.  

More information:

The full study was published in PLOS ONE and is available here. More information on anthroposophic medicine and cancer care is available here

For further inquiries, contact:

Elisa Baldini, Secretary General of IVAA

About IVAA

The IVAA, or International Federation of Anthroposophic Medical Associations, promotes the recognition of Anthroposophic Medicine and its implementation in health care systems. Our vision is a world where the benefits of anthroposophic medicine are widely recognised, and where patients and doctors have ready access to anthroposophic medicines and treatments, in full integration with conventional medicine.