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Mistletoe Extracts (PDQ®)

  • Posted: 12/21/2002
  • Updated: 04/23/2014

Table 2. Use of Other Mistletoe Products in Cancer Treatment: Clinical Reports Describing Therapeutic Endpointsa

Reference Citation(s) Type of Study Product Tested Type(s) of Cancer No. of Patients: Enrolled; Treated; Controlb Strongest Benefit Reportedc Concurrent Therapyd Level of Evidence Scoree 
[3]Randomized trialEurixorBladder, noninvasive45; 23; 22NoneNo1iiDi
[1,32]Randomized trialEurixorBrain, glioma; 74% of patients, stages III–IV; 26% of patients, no stage information47; 20; 18Improved survival, stages III–IV patients onlyYes1iiA
[43,44]Randomized trialEurixorColorectal, metastatic107; 38; 41Improved quality of lifeYes1iiA
[2]Randomized trialEurixorHead and neck, squamous cell, stages I–IV495; 235f; 242fNoneYesf1iiA
[34]Randomized trialHelixorBreast, stages I–III692; 192; 274Improved survivalYes1iiA
[35]Randomized trialHelixorColorectal, metastatic60; 20; 20Improved mean survivalYes1iiA
[13]Randomized controlled trialPS76A (Lektin)Breast352; 176; 176Improved quality of lifeYes1iC
[33]Randomized trialIsorelColorectal64; 50; 14Improved survival and tolerance to either adjuvant or palliative treatmentYes1iiA
[45]Nonrandomized controlled trialIsorelDigestive tract70; 40; 30Enhanced cellular immunity and improved quality of lifeNo2C
[41]Nonrandomized controlled trialabnobaVISCUM QuercusMetastatic colorectal25; 25; noneNoneYes2Diii
[21]Nonrandomized controlled trialViscum fraxini-2Hepatocellular carcinoma23; 23; noneImproved survivalNo2Dii

No. = number.
aRefer to text and the NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms for additional information and definition of terms.
bNumber of patients treated plus number of patients controlled may not equal number of patients enrolled; number of patients enrolled = number of patients initially recruited/considered by the researchers who conducted a study; number of patients treated = number of enrolled patients who were administered the treatment being studied and for whom results were reported; historical control subjects are not included in number of patients enrolled.
cStrongest evidence reported that the treatment under study has anticancer activity or otherwise improves the well-being of cancer patients.
dChemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, or cytokine therapy administered/allowed at the same time as mistletoe therapy.
eFor information about levels of evidence analysis and an explanation of the level of evidence scores, refer to Levels of Evidence for Human Studies of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
fThis trial was a four-arm trial; patients were randomly assigned to surgery only or to surgery plus radiation therapy, followed by a second randomization to no mistletoe treatment or to treatment with Eurixor; the resulting treatment groups contained the following numbers of evaluable patients: surgery only = 105, surgery plus Eurixor = 97, surgery plus radiation therapy = 137, and surgery plus radiation therapy plus Eurixor = 138; radiation therapy and Eurixor treatment overlapped; no treatment approach was superior in terms of disease-free survival, disease-specific survival, improvement in quality of life, or stimulation of the immune system; in the table, mistletoe-treated and nontreated (control) patients were grouped (i.e., number treated = 97 + 138 = 235, and number control = 105 + 137 = 242).


  1. Lenartz D, Dott U, Menzel J, et al.: Survival of glioma patients after complementary treatment with galactoside-specific lectin from mistletoe. Anticancer Res 20 (3B): 2073-6, 2000 May-Jun.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  2. Steuer-Vogt MK, Bonkowsky V, Ambrosch P, et al.: The effect of an adjuvant mistletoe treatment programme in resected head and neck cancer patients: a randomised controlled clinical trial. Eur J Cancer 37 (1): 23-31, 2001.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  3. Goebell PJ, Otto T, Suhr J, et al.: Evaluation of an unconventional treatment modality with mistletoe lectin to prevent recurrence of superficial bladder cancer: a randomized phase II trial. J Urol 168 (1): 72-5, 2002.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  4. Wetzel D, Schäfer M: Results of a randomised placebo-controlled multicentre study with PS76A2 (standardised mistletoe preparation) in patients with breast cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. [Abstract] Phytomedicine 7 (Suppl 2): A-SL-66, 2000. 

  5. Mabed M, El-Helw L, Shamaa S: Phase II study of viscum fraxini-2 in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Br J Cancer 90 (1): 65-9, 2004.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  6. Lenartz D, Stoffel B, Menzel J, et al.: Immunoprotective activity of the galactoside-specific lectin from mistletoe after tumor destructive therapy in glioma patients. Anticancer Res 16 (6B): 3799-802, 1996 Nov-Dec.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  7. Cazacu M, Oniu T, Lungoci C, et al.: The influence of isorel on the advanced colorectal cancer. Cancer Biother Radiopharm 18 (1): 27-34, 2003.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  8. Gutsch J, Berger H, Scholz G, et al.: [Prospective study in radically operated breast cancer with polychemotherapy, Helixor® and untreated controls]. Dtsch Z Onkol 21: 94-101, 1988. 

  9. Douwes FR, Wolfrum DI, Migeod F: [Results of a prospective randomized study: chemotherapy versus chemotherapy plus "biological response modifier" in metastasizing colorectal carcinoma]. Dtsch Z Onkol 18 (6): 155-64, 1986. 

  10. Bar-Sela G, Haim N: Abnoba-viscum (mistletoe extract) in metastatic colorectal carcinoma resistant to 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin-based chemotherapy. Med Oncol 21 (3): 251-4, 2004.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  11. Heiny BM, Albrecht V, Beuth J: Stabilization of quality of life with mistletoe lectin-1-standardized extract in advanced colorectal carcinoma. Onkologe 4 (Suppl 1): S35-9, 1998. 

  12. Sauer H: Quality of life stabilization with mistletoe-1-standardized extract in advanced colorectal carcinoma [Letter]. Onkologe 4: 1180, 1998. 

  13. Enesel MB, Acalovschi I, Grosu V, et al.: Perioperative application of the Viscum album extract Isorel in digestive tract cancer patients. Anticancer Res 25 (6C): 4583-90, 2005 Nov-Dec.  [PUBMED Abstract]