Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Mistletoe Extracts (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Human / Clinical Studies

Mistletoe has been evaluated as a treatment for people with cancer in numerous clinical studies.[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20]

The mistletoe extracts and products studied in clinical trials were Iscador, Eurixor, Helixor, Lektinol, Isorel, abnobaVISCUM,[21] and recombinant lectin ML-1 (refer to the appropriate sections and tables at the end of this section for more information).

The findings from more than 50 clinical trials of mistletoe extracts in patients with cancer have been published, and several systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the results of these studies have been performed. Three of the most recent systematic reviews addressed quality of life (QOL), survival, and symptom relief in patients with various cancer types.[18,20,22] Most studies reported an improvement in QOL.

In one systematic review that examined 26 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 22 trials reported an improvement in QOL. All 10 of the nonrandomized controlled trials also reported the same benefit. Improvement in fatigue, nausea and vomiting, depression, emotional well-being, and concentration were reported. Some of the studies were well designed, while others reported weaknesses.[22]

Tumor response, QOL, and psychological distress were measured in a review of 21 RCTs of various cancers in which different mistletoe preparations were used either alone, with chemotherapy, or with radiation therapy.[18] Survival times were included in 13 of the studies. Most of the studies reported benefits for patients, although this review was limited by small sample size and methodological weaknesses. Thus, the authors were unable to suggest practice guidelines for the use of mistletoe.

The oldest of these three reviews investigated the results of 10 RCTs that used a variety of mistletoe extracts in patients with various malignancies. There was no difference in survival or other benefits for cancer patients who received mistletoe. Therefore, mistletoe was not recommended as a curative or supportive care therapy.[20]

A systematic review of all controlled clinical studies of mistletoe found consistent improvement in chemotherapy-associated fatigue as well as other QOL measures.[22]

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
 
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
Blog
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
colorectal cancer treatment advances
Video
breast cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
prostate cancer overview
SLIDESHOW
lung cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Actor Michael Douglas
Article