Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Jun;14(3):140-7. Epub 2007 Jun 22.
Prospective controlled cohort studies on long-term therapy of cervical cancer patients with a mistletoe preparation (Iscador).
Grossarth-Maticek R, Ziegler R.
Institut für Präventive Medizin, Europäisches Zentrum für Frieden und Entwicklung (European Center for Peace and Development, ECPD), Heidelberg, Germany.
BACKGROUND: Mistletoe preparations such as Iscador are commonly used in complementary medication for many cancer indications, particularly solid cancers. The efficacy of this complementary therapy is still controversial. OBJECTIVE: Does longterm therapy with Iscador show any effect on survival, tumor progression and psychosomatic self-regulation of patients with cervical cancer? PATIENTS AND METHODS: Prospective recruitment and long-term follow-up was carried out in 3 controlled cohort studies: In a randomized matched-pair study (19 pairs), cervical cancer patients with distant metastases and no mistletoe therapy were matched for prognostic factors. By paired random allocation, one of the patients was recommended mistletoe therapy by the attending physician. In 2 non-randomized matched-pair studies, cervical cancer patients without (102) and with (66) metastases, who already received mistletoe therapy, were matched with control patients without Iscador therapy. RESULTS: For survival, the non-randomized studies showed significant effects in favor of Iscador therapy: hazard ratio (HR) estimate and 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.23 (0.14-0.39) and 0.37 (0.17-0.80), respectively. An effect of long-term Iscador therapy on tumor progression was not seen. Psychosomatic self-regulation in the Iscador group improved significantly within 12 months compared with the control group in the randomized as well as in 1 non-randomized study (cervical cancer without metastases): estimate of the median difference and 95% CI: 0.70 (0.15-1.05) and 0.25 (0.15-0.35), respectively. CONCLUSION: Iscador may have the effect of prolonging overall survival of cervical cancer patients. In the short term, psychosomatic self-regulation increases more markedly under complementary Iscador therapy than under conventional therapy alone.