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  Ovarian Cancer and Mistletoe Treatment

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By: Richard Wagner, M.D.
(Original title: Ovarial-Ca. und Misteltherapie. Der Merkurstab 19%; 49:152-3. English by A. R. Meuss, FIL, MTA)

In recent weeks, we have received an increasing number of inquiries from patients and their physicians asking if ovarian cancers can be treated with mistletoe preparations. This was due to Dr. Gabius stating on television that, in her view, mistletoe treatment of ovarian cancer was not acceptable as there was a risk of progression. She did not, however, say anything about the mechanism and number of progressions. The Society for Cancer Research (reg. charity) in Stuttgart, therefore, published the following statement:

Between 1990 and 1996, 36 patients with ovarian cancer were treated in Dr. R. Wagner's practice in Stuttgart. These were stage III tumors, i.e. involving peritoneal implants outside the pelvis and/or retroperitoneal or inguinal nodes. Superficial liver secondaries also suggested stage III. The tumor was always limited to the pelvis, though histology showed involvement of small bowel or omentum. All in all, this was a clinically well-advanced stage.

All 36 patients previously had had chemotherapy, as shown in Fig. 1: 20 had had one series of chemotherapy, 16 two different forms of chemotherapy. All of them had had all possible chemotherapy, with progression occuring during treatment.

Fig. 1 gives the results. Mistletoe treatment did at least achieve a "no change" status for 15 patients. Our definition of successful treatment was that this status had to be demonstrable for at least 6 consecutive months. This means that subsequent states of partial or full remission also had to persist for at least 6 months.

The tumor remained stationary in 15 patients as verified by sonography and tumor-marker analysis. 10 patients showed further progression of the kind seen with normal tumor development. In 8 cases, partial remission was achieved, partly by reducing ascites. 3 patients actually were in remission for 6 months, specifically with reduction in the size of peritoneal lymph nodes and of ascites.

Fig. 2 shows an attempt to present the actual survival periods. The normal prognosis for the patients was plotted first. According to this, the most one could ask for would have been 19 months' survival. The data came from the literature (see below). The second graph is for patients who had Iscador after chemotherapy. It shows that 3 patients still survive after 24 months.

50% survival was reached after about 7 months in the group who had

chemotherapy only and 14 months for patients who had Iscador after chemotherapy. Recent reports in the literature show that the use of newer chemotherapeutic agents, e.g. carboplatin and taxol, give better survival rates than earlier types of chemotherapy.

Extrapolation in Fig. 2 would mean that if the chemotherapy had been as effective as stated in the literature, our patients would also have reached 24 months' survival with it but at the cost of side effects such as alopecia, neutropenia, pyrexia, edema and allergic reactions.

The patients given Iscador had excellent quality of life. Side effects were limited to an area of redness the size of a large coin in the injection site.

Summing up, we can state that as these clinical observations show, patients with ovarian cancer who have had all possible chemotherapy would benefit from Iscador treatment. The efficacy of the preparation is immediately evident in the graphs. Improvements in chemotherapy, especially the introduction of taxol, have resulted in extension of survival with ovarian cancer, though not more than seen with Iscador given to patients who have had full chemotherapy.

Comparing the side effects, it is immediately apparent that patients given mistletoe treatment have better survival quality, with the survival period presumably the same. We would therefore always prefer mistletoe treatment in this particular situation.

It would be quite untrue to say that Iscador treatment of ovarian cancer cannot be recommended.

1 Zeiler WG, Zur Hausen H. Onkologie. Ecomed 1995.
2 McGumV/P.NEngl{MedW5;334:'l-6.

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