HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Mistletoe is not an anti-cancer drug, say doctors

The belief that mistletoe can help treat cancer is a myth which can cause harm, warn doctors in this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ.

The warning follows the case of a cancer patient who attended hospital with a tumour-like growth under the skin induced by mistletoe.

Some patients with cancer inject themselves mistletoe extract in the hope of improving their condition, writes complementary medicine expert, Professor Edzard Ernst in an accompanying editorial. In continental Europe, at least 30 different mistletoe preparations are available and in Germany, the insurance system pays for this treatment. A Google search also showed that 145,000 websites promote or mention mistletoe as a treatment for cancer.

So, is mistletoe an effective anticancer drug and how safe is it?

The theory that mistletoe might help treat cancer is based on the fact that, like cancer, mistletoe is a parasitic growth that eventually kills its host, says Ernst. Despite the implausibility of this idea, studies have shown that mistletoe or its main constituents do have anticancer activity. However, many plants have some sort of anticancer activity, but in most cases the compounds cannot be used.

Proponents claim that regular injections of mistletoe extract improve the natural course of cancer by slowing down or stopping tumour growth and improve quality of life.

Yet a wide range of serious adverse reactions have been noted, such as anaphylaxis, breathing difficulties, joint pain and kidney failure. Some studies even suggest that mistletoe extract may enhance the proliferation of some cancers.

So the claim that mistletoe injections have no serious risks is misleading, argues Ernst.

Mistletoe has been tested extensively as a treatment for cancer, but the most reliable trials fail to show benefit, and some reports show considerable potential for harm. The costs of regular mistletoe injections are also high.

'"/>

Contact: Emma Dickinson
edickinson@bmj.com
44-020-738-36529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
21-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. New algorithm matches any tumor cells to best possible anti-cancer treatments
2. UCLA researchers develop new nanomaterials to deliver anti-cancer drugs to cells
3. Vorinostat shows anti-cancer activity in recurrent gliomas
4. Research says boiling broccoli ruins its anti-cancer properties
5. Northwestern chemists develop new method for synthesizing anti-cancer flavonoids
6. Erectile dysfunction drugs heighten natural anti-cancer activity
7. New litmus test could aid discovery of anti-cancer drugs
8. Derivatives of cannabis for anti-cancer treatment win Kaye Award for Hebrew University student
9. Risks outweigh benefits of shark cartilage as anti-cancer treatment
10. New method of administering anti-cancer drug may be more effective, safer
11. Innovative study finds way to bio-synthesize an anti-cancer compound

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Mistletoe not anti cancer drug say doctors

(Date:5/22/2015)... Combination therapy, or polytherapy, will ... obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) as the dominant companies ... as well as Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim compete with ... will market payers, clinicians and patients be disposed ... completely new ones? , In spite of recently ...
(Date:5/22/2015)... 22, 2015 Coordinating care for ... process. Historically providers have not been reimbursed or ... in 2015, Medicare has paved the way by ... to the launch of Oculus Health , ... systems using the platform will now be able ...
(Date:5/22/2015)... ZH Healthcare (ZH), a ... that Bill Lane, joins ZH’s Advisory Board. ... first of its kind, Freemium SaaS, Electronic Health ... Records (EHR) with an integrated practice management system ... portal, and more. Combined with its Revenue Cycle ...
(Date:5/22/2015)... 22, 2015 sweetFrog Enterprises, LLC. is pleased ... Texas. Jacksonville is now the 16th sweetFrog store located in ... listed as #22 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest ... and worked in East Texas for 20 years and love ... of the Jacksonville, and nearby Palestine, sweetFrog locations. “We are ...
(Date:5/22/2015)... AZ (PRWEB) May 22, 2015 In ... Olympics, Parker and Sons is offering to donate $5 ... installing an AC unit or water softening system. Customers ... behalf; Parker and Sons gets business; and the Special ... , The Special Olympics helps over 4.4 million athletes, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):Health News:Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder Therapeutics Market Discussed in In-demand FirstWord Report Published at MarketPublishers.com 2Health News:Oculus Health Care Coordination Platform Officially Launched 2Health News:Oculus Health Care Coordination Platform Officially Launched 3Health News:Oculus Health Care Coordination Platform Officially Launched 4Health News:ZH Healthcare Adds Bill Lane to Advisory Board 2Health News:sweetFrog Opens New Location in Jacksonville, Texas 2Health News:Parker and Sons is Proud to Support the Special Olympics with Their Everybody Wins Program 2
(Date:5/22/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/28m7nx/guide_to_prepare ) ... to Prepare Application Dossiers for Oversea Medical device ... report to their offering. The ... market of the most growth potentiality, which is ... and producers to penetrate such market. It is ...
(Date:5/22/2015)... 22, 2015 Research and Markets ... the "Latest Regulations on Pharmaceutical International Multi-Center ... offering. This is first time in ... on international multi-center clinical trials of drugs in ... to be implemented on March 1, 2015. The ...
(Date:5/22/2015)... a sweeping analysis assessing the current state of diabetes ... conclude that there remains considerable room for improving treatment ... but especially for adolescents and young adults. The analysis ... the need to address barriers to care and implement ... patients achieve optimal metabolic control. The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:China Guide to Prepare Application Dossiers for Oversea Medical Device Registration and Recordation 2China Guide to Prepare Application Dossiers for Oversea Medical Device Registration and Recordation 32015 Regulations on Pharmaceutical International Multi-Center Clinical Trials in China 2Study Reveals Poor Disease Control Among Adolescents and Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes 2Study Reveals Poor Disease Control Among Adolescents and Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes 3Study Reveals Poor Disease Control Among Adolescents and Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes 4Study Reveals Poor Disease Control Among Adolescents and Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes 5
Cached News: