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:10/31/2014)... St. Joseph, Missouri (PRWEB) October 31, 2014 ... prepare for school, one Midwest optometrist feels they may ... vision problems to affect areas like concentration, school performance ... events may be too brief to identify progressive vision ... Options, St. Joseph, Mo., announces a new initiative: The ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... Oct. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity increases the ... black and Hispanic women, two new U.S. studies show. ... found being overweight or obese increased the risk for ... women. "We,ve known this for a long time ... also in Hispanic women," study author Esther John, a ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... Santa Barbara, CA (PRWEB) October 31, 2014 ... for holiday shoppers to find affordable but tasteful gifts for ... special 22nd Annual Early Bird Gift Giving Special , ... percent off when they purchase Wine Club Gift membership. ... to take advantage of this special. Besides offering discounts, Gold ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... 2014 Florida Air Academy, the ... in grades 6-12, is taking the lead when ... and concussions, becoming the first high school in ... Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) computerized assessment to ... lawsuit grabs the headlines, and the Centers for ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... 31, 2014 BCC Research ( http://www.bccresearch.com ) ... QUALITY MARKET , the U.S. indoor air quality (IAQ) market ... a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% over the ... grow at a CAGR of 7.4%. , Since 2012, ... mold, the outbreak of infectious diseases such as bird flu ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):Health News:New School Vision Initiative Announced by Dr. Rosenak’s Optical Options; Program Aims to Help Recognize Unseen Vision Problems That Impact School Success 2Health News:New School Vision Initiative Announced by Dr. Rosenak’s Optical Options; Program Aims to Help Recognize Unseen Vision Problems That Impact School Success 3Health News:Study Confirms Obesity-Breast Cancer Link for Blacks, Hispanics 2Health News:Gold Medal Wine Club now offering Early Bird Gift Giving Special for Holidays 2Health News:Florida Air Academy Tackling Concussions Head-On 2Health News:Florida Air Academy Tackling Concussions Head-On 3Health News:Global Market for U.S. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) to Reach $11.4 Billion by 2019; Equipment Market Segment Surging at 7.4% CAGR 2Health News:Global Market for U.S. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) to Reach $11.4 Billion by 2019; Equipment Market Segment Surging at 7.4% CAGR 3
(Date:10/30/2014)... , Oct. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - Atlantic Canadians ... agreement reached between Canada,s provinces ... Keon , President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association ... the comments while speaking at the Atlantic Summit on ... , which is being hosted by the Public ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... Stryker Orthopaedics, the Official Joint Replacement Products ... out its debut year of the relationship at the ... This marks the eleventh tournament stop along ... brand has activated on-site with the "Stryker Mobility Zone" ... the importance of joint health.  The ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... Oct. 30, 2014 WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (NYSE: ... and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and ... and the United States ... in the Tel Aviv area ... promote WuXi,s broad platform of integrated R&D services to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:Atlantic Canadians to Save $560-Million Through Unprecedented Three-Year Pan-Canadian Agreement on Generic Prescription Medicines 2Atlantic Canadians to Save $560-Million Through Unprecedented Three-Year Pan-Canadian Agreement on Generic Prescription Medicines 3Stryker Mobility Zone Makes Final Stop Of 2014 At Charles Schwab Cup Championship 2Stryker Mobility Zone Makes Final Stop Of 2014 At Charles Schwab Cup Championship 3Stryker Mobility Zone Makes Final Stop Of 2014 At Charles Schwab Cup Championship 4WuXi AppTec Launches Representative Office in Israel, Forms Strategic Collaboration with Pontifax 2
Cached News: