Safety of Intravenous Application of Mistletoe Viscum album L. Preparations in Oncology: An Observational StudyReportar como inadecuado

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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineVolume 2014 2014, Article ID 236310, 10 pages

Research Article

Research Institute Havelhoehe, 14089 Berlin, Germany

Hospital Havelhoehe, 14089 Berlin, Germany

Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité-University Medical Centre, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Institute of Integrative Medicine, Witten-Herdecke University, 58313 Herdecke, Germany

Received 21 November 2013; Revised 2 April 2014; Accepted 3 April 2014; Published 15 May 2014

Academic Editor: Srini Kaveri

Copyright © 2014 Megan L. Steele et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Traditional mistletoe therapy in cancer patients involves subcutaneous applications of Viscum album L. preparations, with doses slowly increasing based on patient responses. Intravenous infusion of high doses may improve therapeutic outcomes and is becoming more common. Little is known about the safety of this “off-label” application of mistletoe. Methods. An observational study was performed within the Network Oncology. Treatment with intravenous mistletoe applications is described. The frequency of adverse drug reactions ADRs to intravenous mistletoe applications was calculated and compared to ADR data from a study on subcutaneous applications. Results. Of 475 cancer patients who received intravenous infusions of Helixor, Abnoba viscum, or Iscador mistletoe preparations, 22 patients 4.6% reported 32 ADRs of mild 59.4% or moderate severity 40.6%. No serious ADRs occurred. ADRs were more frequently reported to i.v. mistletoe administered alone 4.3%, versus prior to chemotherapy 1.6%. ADR frequency differed with respect to preparation type, with Iscador preparations showing a higher relative frequency, compared to Abnoba viscum and Helixor. Overall, patients were almost two times less likely to experience an ADR to intravenous compared to subcutaneous application of mistletoe. Conclusion. Intravenous mistletoe therapy was found to be safe and prospective studies for efficacy are recommended.

Autor: Megan L. Steele, Jan Axtner, Antje Happe, Matthias Kröz, Harald Matthes, and Friedemann Schad



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