Adjuvant Cancer Biotherapy by Viscum Album Extract Isorel: Overview of Evidence Based Medicine Findings
Within the integrative medicine one of the most frequently used adjuvant cancer biotherapies is based on aqueous mistletoe (Viscum album) extracts. Tumor growth inhibition, stimulation of host immune response and improvement of the quality of life are the positive effects of mistletoe therapy described in several preclinical and clinical studies. However, cumulative results of the evidence based medicine findings on such treatments are rarely given. Therefore, this paper evaluates the evidence based findings describing effects of the Viscum album extract Isorel in cancer therapy with respect to the type of therapy, stage and type of illness. This study presents cumulated data for 74 patients with different types and stages of cancer treated by Viscum album extract as adjuvant treatment to different conventional therapies, mostly combined surgery and radiotherapy. The biotherapy effectiveness was evaluated according to the outcome as 1) no major therapeutic improvement (15% of patients), 2) prevention of tumor recurrence (47% of patients) and 3) regression of cancer (38% of patients). Notably, there was no obvious health worsening during the follow up period at all. Thus, the results obtained for conventional anticancer therapies combined with adjuvant biotherapy based on Viscum album extract seem to be beneficial for the majority of cancer patients (85%) without serious side effects.