POSTED MARK HANCOCK MD MPH
An intriguing case report has just been published of a 66 year old woman with metastatic melanoma who was treated with high dose mistletoe therapy.1 After two years she was in complete remission. Her cancer was confirmed with biopsy. She was treated with high dose intravenous mistletoe extract after declining chemotherapy. Doses of up to 2200mg of Iscador were used. Note that this is about one hundred times higher than “conventionally” dosed Iscador therapy. The patient also received a total of 26 intratumoral injections.
The following is an excerpt from the patient’s description of her experience:
“I realized that my own commitment to becoming healthy was needed, and learned to be grateful for everything that was healthy in me. This commitment to my own health also involved the development of an awareness of my life, including uncovering all those things which were sabotaging me from the inside.”
The idea that an individual can impact their own care and health has been almost completely lost in the field of oncology.
This case report is compelling because it shows a patient who responded in a time related and dose related fashion to the intervention (mistletoe). Cases where patients use only one intervention are important as they exclude the possibility that actually some other treatment was the cause of tumor response.
The physician involved in this case has published other such case reports using mistletoe.
The authors of this study, being the excellent scientists they are, wanted to add the following commentary:Our case report presents a very good outcome in this patient, a complete remission according to the PET-scans. This, however, does not mean that the patient is completely cured from her disease, relapses are not definitely ruled out. Secondly, the result in this patient cannot simply be transferred to other patients. Malignant melanoma has different characteristics from one patient to another, and it cannot be foreseen how other patients will react to such mistletoe treatment. One cannot and should not conclude from this case report that mistletoe could be an alternative to current standard treatment.1.Werthmann P, Hintze A, Kienle G. Complete remission and long-term survival of a patient with melanoma metastases treated with high-dose fever-inducing Viscum album extract: A case report. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017;96(46):e8731. [PMC]2.Werthmann P, Helling D, Heusser P, Kienle G. Tumour response following high-dose intratumoural application of Viscum album on a patient with adenoid cystic carcinoma. BMJ Case Rep. 2014;2014. [PubMed]3.Werthmann P, Sträter G, Friesland H, Kienle G. Durable response of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma following high-dose peri-lesional injections of Viscum album extracts–a case report. Phytomedicine. 2013;20(3-4):324-327. [PubMed]