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:


(Date:2/17/2017)... Verdes, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 17, 2017 ... ... emotional flow is Dr. Carol Francis' goals for each and every ... Conference, Dr. Carol Francis will demonstrate five different brainwave tools which help energize ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Qualis Health, one ... in the 8th Annual DecisionHealth Platinum Awards in recognition of its innovative healthcare ... is recognized across multiple award categories, highlighting four of the organization’s current programs:, ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... by fall 2017 season , Trinity Health and the U.S. Soccer Foundation announced ... Success program in underserved communities. Soccer for Success, the Foundation’s soccer mentoring program, ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Pharmica ... focusing on all facets of clinical trial planning and management. Pharmica discussed the ... and more. In addition, attendees stopping by Pharmica’s booth were able to demo ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... exhibitor at Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference February 20 – 22 in San Francisco. As ... showcase its anatomic and molecular pathology workflow solution, as well as its new ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. , Feb. 16, 2017 HealthInfoNet ... announced today it is partnering with Orion Health on the ... of all Maine residents, clinical information ... hospitals and over 500 ambulatory care sites. Pending ... deploy Orion Health,s Amadeus , a precision medicine platform ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...   Spectralink Corporation , the global leader ... manufacturing and hospitality industries, today announced the results ... support features of its PIVOT™:SC (8744) ... study, conducted by The Tolly Group, showed quantifiable ... with dedicated hardware scanners. Spectralink introduced ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... TEL AVIV, Israel , Feb. 16, 2017 ... company, today announced the appointment of Harvey ... and Chief Executive Officer of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., ... of Medinol US Inc., effective immediately.  Dr. Berger, ... areas of business development, global strategy, new business ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: