Research

Research on

Mistletoe (Viscum Album) Extracts in Cancer

Complementary cancer therapies are widely used. In Europe, 40% (depending on the country 15-73%) of cancer patients use complementary therapy, mostly herbal remedies. Mistletoe (Viscum Album) extracts are most commonly found in German-speaking Central Europe (Viscum album L., UAE). Even children with cancer often receive Mistletoe (Viscum Album) therapy. Registered doctors in Germany estimate that Mistletoe (Viscum Album) therapy is mainly helpful for the treatment of cancer patients.

Biological and pharmacological effects of Viscum album L. extracts (VAE) have been extensively analyzed. Various pharmacologically active ingredients have been isolated, for example, Mistletoe (Viscum Album) lectins, viscotoxins, oligo- and polysaccharides, lipids and several others. The most striking features of VAE are its cytotoxic and growth-inhibitory effects on a variety of tumor cell lines, lymphocytes and fibroblasts in vitro. The cytotoxic effects of VAE are mainly caused by apoptosis-inducing Mistletoe (Viscum Album) lectins, while viscotoxins induce necrotic cell death. VAE are also known for their immunomodulating activity. In vitro and in vivo, they activate monocytes / macrophages, granulocytes, natural killer cells (NK cells), T cells (especially T helper cells) and induce a wide range of cytokines. VAE also stabilize DNA, reduce chromosome damage, and improve DNA repair. In animals, VAE show marked antitumoral effects. Mistletoe (Viscum Album) lectin I, an important ingredient in Mistletoe (Viscum Album) extracts, is currently also produced recombinantly and tested for use in clinical oncology. Mistletoe (Viscum Album) lectin I, an important ingredient in Mistletoe (Viscum Album) extracts, is currently also produced recombinantly and tested for use in clinical oncology. Mistletoe (Viscum Album) lectin I, an important ingredient in Mistletoe (Viscum Album) extracts, is currently also produced recombinantly and tested for use in clinical oncology.