Influence of long-term mistletoe therapy on survival time and self-regulation of patients with cervical cancer – prospective, controlled cohort studies in matched-pair design

Grossarth-Maticek and Ziegler 2007 [145]

Patients and methods

This prospective, controlled cohort study in matched-pair design was part of a comprehensive long-term epidemiological study involving 10,226 cancer patients investigating various factors related to the course of the cancer disease. Therapy with mistletoe extracts was one of the investigated factors, since 1,668 patients reported using mistletoe extracts.

The influence of mistletoe therapy on psychosomatic self-regulation and survival time was analysed separately according to each tumour entity. The comparability of the two therapy groups (with and without mistletoe therapy) for the respective tumour entity was achieved by forming matched pairs. 

The prospective recruitment and long-term observation of patients with cervical cancer was carried out in three cohort studies: 

  1. In a randomised matched-pair study with 19 pairs, patients with distant metastases and without mistletoe therapy were matched according to the prognostic factors mentioned above. 
  2. By randomisation in pairs, one patient in each pair was recommended mistletoe therapy with Iscador, which was to be administered by the attending physician. 
  3. In two non-randomised matched-pair studies 102 patients without and 66 with distant metastases who had already received mistletoe therapy were matched according to the same criteria with patients who did not receive mistletoe therapy.

Results

In terms of overall survival, the randomised study only showed a trend in favour of mistletoe therapy (hazard ratio, HR = 0.46, p = 0.12), while the non-randomised studies both showed a significant result in favour of mistletoe therapy (HR 0.23, p < 0.0001 and HR = 0.37, p = 0.011, respectively).

After twelve months, the level of psychosomatic self-regulation increased significantly in patients without metastases in the mistletoe group in the randomised as well as in the non-randomised study compared to the control group (HR = 0.70, p = 0.014 and 0.25, p < 0.0005, respectively).

Conclusion

Mistletoe therapy may have a clinically relevant therapeutic effect on overall survival. As a short-term effect, the level of psychosomatic self-regulation increases significantly in the mistletoe group compared to the control group which received only conventional treatment.

 

Last update: June 11th, 2020/AB

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