Mistletoe in the treatment of cancer
The use of mistletoe in the treatment of cancer originated with Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. He compared the parasitic nature of the mistletoe plant to that of cancer, and believed that cancer represents a faltering of the body’s immune defences.
Thus, over the last 90 years, preparations of mistletoe in the treatment of cancer have been prescribed and used in mainly Central and Northern Europe. Currently, roughly 70% of all cancer patients in these countries receive mistletoe that are prescribed by their licensed physicians and paid for by the national health insurance systems, making mistletoe one of the most commonly prescribed anticancer medication.
The indication of R. Steiner that the European mistletoe (Viscum album) is the remedy for the disease of cancer, originates out of such insight into the connection between a plant and a disease process. In these indications he suggested definite preparations and ways of application. Subsequently, several groups of doctors and pharmacologists have further developed preparations known as ABNOBAviscum, and Iscador. Extensive experimental and controlled clinical studies with these remedies have meanwhile been done.
Mistletoe in the treatment of cancer at Medical Center Cologne (MCC)
At the Medical Center Cologne, approximately 85% of patients receive mistletoe. Anthroposophical mistletoe preparations are manufactured and available as Iscador® or ABNOBAViscum®. They are applied subcutaneously twice a week. For a number of reasons, at MCC, ABNOBAViscum®. is preferred.
Under the guidance of Robert Gorter, MD, PhD, Director of MCC, as their “Doktorvater”, six young doctors received their doctor’s title through clinical research with mistletoe at MCC and other collaborating academic institutions, showing great benefit in immune response towards cancer cells and improvement of NK cell function etc.