Mistletoe therapy for bladder cancer

Bladder irrigations with mistletoe
In a one-armed study [149] it was tested which maximum dose is still tolerable, safe and effective when an ash mistletoe extract (abnobaVISCUM Fraxini) is introduced into the bladder once a week in increasing doses for six weeks in order to prevent a relapse

36 patients with bladder cancer which had not yet grown into the bladder muscles were included. The tumours present in the bladder had previously been removed through urethral surgery and only a "marking tumour" had been left behind to check the reaction to the irrigation with mistletoe. This marking tumour was also removed twelve weeks after the start of mistletoe therapy and histologically examined. The six-week treatment phase was followed by an observation period of one year, which included a cystoscopy and laboratory examinations every twelve weeks, as well as an evaluation of the general condition.

No dose-limiting reaction was observed until the maximum dose of 675 milligrams of mistletoe extract per irrigation was reached. In addition to local reactions, fever occurred in some cases; all adverse events were well controllable. In more than half of the patients (55.6 percent) the bladder irrigations showed good response rates to the marker tumour after 12 weeks, so that the marker tumour was either reduced or no longer detectable.

After one year, 26.3 percent of the patients experienced a relapse. This corresponds to the expected rate that can also be assumed for standard-oncological therapies. You can read more about this study here


Last update: June 16th, 2020/AB

Follow-up study in progress

Due to the promising results in bladder irrigations with high-dose ash mistletoe extract in superficial bladder cancer, a prospective, multicentre, two-arm, randomized study has been initiated [150]. The study involves 31 urological centres in Germany and one in Cairo. An overview can be found in a publication of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Urologische Onkologie (working group urological oncology). The main study aim is to find out the time until a tumour occurs again. In addition, it is examined how safe and tolerable the therapy is, how likely a relapse is to occur or the disease is to progress after one year, whether the tumour changes in its aggressiveness and how quality of life develops.

Here, mistletoe therapy is compared to standard therapy (mitomycin). The follow-up period is 12 months. A total of 546 patients is to be included. If two thirds of the patients have reached the two-year study period (one year therapy, one year follow-up), an interim analysis is planned. If it is shown that one of the two therapies is significantly more successful than the other or that mistletoe therapy fails, the study will be terminated prematurely and the results will be published. You can read more about this study here


Last update: June 16th, 2020/AB

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