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Lung Cancer: Mistletoe Therapy To Relieve Symptoms?

Lung Cancer: Mistletoe Therapy To Relieve Symptoms?


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Mistletoe extract suitable for symptom relief in lung cancer?

Lung cancer is one of the most common fatal cancers in both men and women. Various treatment options are available, but many of those affected can only delay the course of the disease. This is also about maintaining the quality of life of the sick as long as possible. A current study has now investigated to what extent taking mistletoe preparations can alleviate the symptoms of lung cancer.

The research team led by Christian Grah from the Havelhöhe Research Institute (FIH) took a closer look at the use of mistletoe preparations in lung cancer therapy in order to clearly determine possible risks or side effects and also the benefits. Their results indicate various positive effects of mistletoe therapy. A first contribution to the ongoing study was published in the current issue of the specialist magazine "Phytomedicine".

Lung cancer therapy has had limited success

Treatment methods such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy (with immune checkpoint inhibitors) are an integral part of the treatment guidelines for lung cancer, but they cannot help everyone by far. The chances of survival are correspondingly poor and the sufferers also suffer from a high symptom burden and significantly reduced quality of life.

Improved chances of survival with mistletoe extract?

In previous studies, there were already indications that the combination of established treatment methods with mistletoe preparations (Viscum album L. extracts) enables an improved overall survival rate in lung cancer, the researchers report. Therapy with mistletoe extract is known to have "immuno-oncological effects", so that a combination with immunotherapy offers potential for better treatment success. This is now to be checked in clinical studies.

Clinical study examines the application

For the current investigation, 60 lung cancer patients at the Havelhöhe Community Hospital in Berlin were selected and various treatments were tested. For example, the subjects received immunotherapy in combination with mistletoe preparations as the first treatment, or the same combination in the second treatment line or a combination of chemotherapy, immunotherapy and mistletoe therapy. Although the study has not yet been finalized, the initial results make the researchers hopeful.

No side effects and symptom relief

"The analysis shows no clinically relevant increase in side effects, but a reduction in symptom burden," reports the research team. A possible synergy effect of mistletoe preparations and immunotherapy is still being evaluated. Although the study does not offer the same informative value as randomized controlled studies with large samples, the results are comparable to those of previous studies and there are many indications of clear advantages of mistletoe therapy in lung cancer. (fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters

Swell:

  • Christian Grah, Klaudia Kunc, Burkhard Matthes, Annette Kurzja, Arne Müssig, Phillip von Trott, Friedemann Schad, Arne Eichberger, Hanna Wüstefeld, Ulrike Weissenstein, Marcus Reif: First prospective study of a combined immune therapy of checkpoint inhibitors ± CTX plus Viscum album L. in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in UICC stage III B-IV B; in: Phytomedicine, Volume 61, Supplement 1, page 6-7, 2019, sciencedirect.com



Video: Practicalities of managing pain and fatigue in lung cancer patients (September 2022).


Comments:

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