Iscador - European Mistletoe

Chemotherapy kills tumor cells and thereby slows down the progression of cancer. However, as you know, most conventional chemotherapy has significant toxicity leading to severe side effects. In many countries, doctors question the efficacy of chemotherapy for solid tumors of the colon, lung, pancreas and breast. It has been observed that for these types of tumors, the usual chemotherapy regimens are much less effective than for blood or lymph types.

An alternative and nontoxic therapy now widely used in Europe is Iscador, a medicine made from the lacto-fermented extract of fresh sap of the plant known as mistletoe (viscum album). Mistletoe has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years, especially by the Druids. Its first use as a cancer medicine came from the indications of Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. Steiner pointed out the remarkable similarity between the life and growth patterns of mistletoe and cancer. Both are characterized by very primitive and undifferentiated cell types. Mistletoe is probably one of the oldest flowering plants on earth. It proliferates in an undifferentiated way, growing in a ball bigger and bigger, always with the same cell and tissue types without any regard to its host, to up or down or even to the seasons, much like cancer grows as primitive cell types, in undifferentiated forms, without any regard to the form or shape of the organ in which it lives. The Druids were awed by the fact that the plant was so liberated from normal earthly rhythms that it flowered and fruited at Christmas, the time of the winter solstice. They saw this as a sign that this plant was a gift to mankind from the heavens.

Mistletoe is a saprophytic plant meaning that it derives nourishment from its host just as cancer derives its nourishment from the host, even eventually directing the blood supply into feeding the tumors. Viscum preparations made from certain species of host trees are therefore utilized to treat specific types of cancers. The most commonly used variants of Iscador are viscum mali from apple trees which is used for cancer in female patients, viscum quercus from the oak tree for cancers in men, and viscum pini from the pine tree which is given a mixed use, but is most famous for breast cancer.

Iscador is most often administered only by qualified physicians. Since Iscador is produced from extracts of the entire plant, an experienced medical practitioner is required to safely administer mistletoe extracts. Scientific research indicated that Iscador may have at least two major mechanisms of action. A portion of the Iscador material seems to improve immune function. In particular, there is evidence that Natural Killer Cells, which are immune system cells thought to fight cancer, are increased in activity following the administration of Iscador. Another interesting potential effect of Iscador is to enhance the activity of Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha, also implicated in natural anti-cancer activity by the immune system. Another portion of Iscador extract may directly change the way cancer cells function. Evidence from scientific studies suggest that Iscador may modify the internal metabolism of malignant cells in beneficial ways, including interfering with the growth of cancer cells.

The common route of administration is by injection of the viscum just under the skin. As each day of therapy progresses, a more concentrated version is administered. After reaching the highest concentration of Iscador, the injections are often continued for a week or longer, depending upon the clinical situation. The side effects of Iscador therapy can include low-grade fever, and redness and irritation at the injection sites.

What results have been observed in patients treated with Iscador? The earliest and most famous medical report of results from Iscador therapy was published by Dr. K. Koeller in 1962. His report detailed the case histories and positive therapeutic responses of six of his patients treated with Iscador. More recent medical research has indicated possible benefit to patients with many types of solid tumors. Iscador is now one of the most widely used alternative cancer therapies. It is not surprising that as people from all walks of life, including celebrities such as Suzanne Somers, seek the leading alternative cancer therapies, they come upon Iscador as a famous and promising choice. The application and dosage of Iscador IM for the treatment of specific cancers vary. We at ICTC include Iscador in our protocols depending on the type of cancer the patient has.

 


"Use of Iscador (European Mistletoe) in Cancer Treatment,"

Reports on the results of an extensive, long-term, prospective trial involving over ten thousand cancer patients in Germany. It appears in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a respected, journal and the largest-circulation peer reviewed CAM journal.

The study's abstract reports that the results are "Survival time of patients treated with Iscador was longer for all types of cancer studied." The conclusion: "Iscador treatment can achieve a clinically relevant prolongation of survival time of cancer patients."

David Riley, MD, editor of the journal, commented "Mistletoe is the most commonly used cancer drug in Germany today. There is mounting basic science and clinical evidence for the efficacy of mistletoe. This is a far-reaching, landmark study with significant results."

According to the study, "The primary question was as follows: Does Iscador treatment influence the survival time of cancer patients?" The answer is clearly that it does. The study ran from 1971 through 1988 with follow-up on patients through 1998.

In the first part of the study, 396 patients who had been treated with the mistletoe extract were matched with 396 individuals who had not received mistletoe treatment. The difference in survival time overall was "highly significant," with mistletoe-treated patients surviving for a mean of 4.23 years after inclusion in the study versus 3.05 years for the control group — a difference of 40 percent.

Despite the generally negative comments about mistletoe by sources like Cassileth and others since its use by Somers became known, the journal article (which was completed before March 28 and does not mention Somers and mistletoe) notes, "The described [positive] results of mistletoe treatment confirm the results obtained in earlier clinical studies on mistletoe; in most of these studies, the survival time of mistletoe-treated patients are superior to that in (usually historical) control groups."


"Survival time of patients treated with Iscador was longer for all types of cancer studied."


The final conclusion of the study: "Mistletoe extracts, which contain a complex of oncologically relevant active substances and exert a variety of anticancer effects, appear to prolong survial times in patients with various tumor types.

The study findings support the claim of anthroposophical medicine that mistletoe therapy is generally effective for treating cancer, irrespective of tumor type."

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