Complementary therapies in S3 guidelines for oncological patients, Germany

The guideline for the treatment of lung cancer refers to mistletoe therapy as a complementary medical method [248]. 

The current guideline for breast cancer assumes that up to 64 percent of patients use mistletoe preparations as a complementary therapy and refers to a publication by Horneber et al. [112]. 

The current melanoma guideline concludes that "after thorough consideration of possible risks (side effects and interactions), complementary methods can be given in individual cases at the request of the patient" [116]. The guideline states that a strong negative view of the attending physician to use complementary medicine reduces confidence in the patient-physician relationship, reduces compliance and can lead to the discontinuation of therapy  [120, 121, 122]. It is therefore recommended that complementary medical treatment be carried out by oncology specialists. According to the guideline, these complementary treatments represent a supplement to active anti-tumour and supportive therapies. They help patients to assert their own autonomy.

The gastric cancer guideline states that "complementary medicine is based on the principles of scientific medicine and assumes that evidence of efficacy can be provided and is used in coordination with conventional medicine as complementary integrative therapies". A publication by Cramer et al. is cited as the source [115]. According to this, a professionally based information about complementary therapy seems to strengthen the relationship between patient and physician and lead to mutual openness [113, 114]. 


Last update: November 3rd, 2021/AT1

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