Research Papers



A Selection of Research Papers on  Anthroposophic Medicine

Anthroposophical Therapies in Chronic Disease: the Anthroposophical Medicine Outcomes Study (AMOS), by H.J.Hamre and others, published in the European Journal of Medical Research July 30, 2004,

“In this prospective real-world outcomes study, 898 out-patients aged 1 – 79 years were enrolled before starting anthroposophically prescribed therapies including art therapy, eurythmy, massage, counselling and anthroposophical medicines for chronic mental, musculoskeletal and other disorders”  concluded that;

 “Anthroposophical therapies were associated with long-term reduction of chronic disease symptoms, improvement of health-related quality of life, and health cost reduction.”

A Model of Integrated Primary Care: Anthroposophic Medicine by Jane Ritchie and others, run and published by the Department of General Practice and Primary Care St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London, (Jan 2001)

“This is a qualitative study that takes an important first step in the rigorous evaluation of Anthroposophical Medicine in the UK. The research team have characterised its methods, organisation, delivery and impact on patients using in-depth patient and professional interviews, case studies and medical record analysis.”

Patient questionnaires before and after therapy charted their progress physically with the following  comments “less pain”, “ fewer headaches”, “ increased mobility”, “ better circulation”, “ less nausea” and psychologically “ less depressed”, “ more confidence”, “ less stressed” “ greater enthusiasm” and spiritually “ changed the way I think about life”,  “more creative expression”, “ felt a complete human being.”

International Prospective Outcome Study on the Prescribing of Anthroposophical Medicines by Michael Evans and Peter Zimmermann, published in Der Merkurstab (2005) pages 88 to 97,

“This study took place in primary care and specialist out patient settings in 8 European countries (including the UK). It documented the outcome following the prescribing of anthroposophic medicines and recorded the outcome of specific targeted problems, as well as the patients’ and physician’s assessment of the treatment’s effectiveness.” It concluded that;

 “The prescription of anthroposophic medicines correlates with improvement of patients’ symptoms in the majority of cases with a low rate of side-effects.”

Anthroposophical vs. conventional therapy acute respiratory and ear infections: a prospective outcomes study, by Harold J. Hamre and others, published in Weiner Klinische Wochenschrift (2005) pages 256 – 268.

This “prospective, non- randomised comparison of outcomes in patients, self selected to Anthroposophic or conventional therapy under real world conditions, set in 29 primary care practices in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, UK and USA.” concluded that;

“Compared to conventional treatment, anthroposophic treatments of primary care patients with acute respiratory and ear symptoms had  more favourable outcomes, lower antibiotic prescribing rates, less adverse reactions, and higher patient satisfaction.”

 Mistletoe therapy and Cancer – an Overview 2014

Mistletoe extracts (Viscum album L., VAE) are among the most widely used integrative cancer care treatments, particularly in Europe [1-5]. They are an old herbal remedy [6,7] and were introduced as cancer treatment in 1920 by Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman, founders of Anthroposophic Medicine [8]. Viscum album is a hemiparasitic shrub, growing on different host trees. Different preparations are available for the treatment of cancer (currently Abnobaviscum®, Helixor®, Iscador®, Iscucin® and Lektinol®). They are available from different host trees such as oak, apple, pine and many others. They are applied parenteral, particularly subcutaneous, but also intravenous, intratumoural, intrapleural, intraperitoneal and other sites.

Several pharmacologically active compounds have been isolated from VAE, such as mistletoe lectins (ML I, II and III) [9], viscotoxins [10,11], oligo- and polysaccharides [12,13], lipophilic extracts [14] and various others [6,7]. The most prominent properties of VAE are their cytotoxic and growth-inhibiting effects, in vitro, on a variety of human tumour cell lines, lymphocytes and fibroblasts [6,7] . The cytotoxic effects of VAE are mainly due to the apoptosis-inducing mistletoe lectins [15-17], while the viscotoxins induce necrotic cell death [16,18]. VAE are also recognized for their immune-modulating activity: In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated activation of monocytes/macrophages, granulocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, T-cells (especially T-helper-cells) and the induction of various cytokines [6,7]. VAE also possess DNA stabilizing properties, they reduce chromosome damage and improve DNA repair [19-22]. VAE show antiangiogenetic effects [23].

In animals, VAE displays potent antitumour effects when administered either directly into the tumour or systemically [6,7,24].

Clinical effectiveness of mistletoe extracts in cancer has been investigated in a great number of studies, among these 43 prospective randomized controlled trials [25-71]: They predominantly report significant clinical benefits. With regard to quality of studies and consistency of results, the best evidence concerning efficacy of mistletoe therapy exists for the improvement of quality of life and improved tolerability of cytoreductive therapies (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery) [72,73]. Regarding survival, a well-designed randomized controlled trial has recently shown a highly significant benefit in advanced pancreatic cancer [26]. Other studies showed similar results [74-77]. Effectiveness seems to depend on the duration of the mistletoe therapy, in addition to factors relating to dosage, host tree and choice of preparation. Tumour remissions have been repeatedly observed after local application of high dose mistletoe extracts. This finding is consistent with the preclinical research on cytotoxicity and treatment of tumors in animals. During customary low-dose mistletoe therapy, tumour remissions are rare exceptions. Tumor remissions have therefore been reported primarily in case series and single cases. (e.g. [24,78-87]) According to highly experienced practitioners much improved outcomes are possible, with highly individualized and comprehensive treatment schedules – individually adjusted and with selected dosage, preparation, host tree, injection site, rhythm of administration, and supplementation with other interventions.. This still needs to be investigated. [88,89]

Clinical application of mistletoe extracts is safe, even in high dosages [6,8,90-93]. 22.

August 2014 Gunver S. Kienle, IFAEMM Freiburg,

Exemplary literature on Mistletoe therapy and Cancer :

1. Tröger W, Galun D, Reif M, Schumann A, Stankovic N, Milicevic M:

Quality of life of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer during treatment with  mistletoe—a randomized controlled trial. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2014, 111:493–?502

2. Tröger W, Galun D, Reif M, Schumann A, Stankovic N, Milicevic M:

Viscum album [L.] extracttherapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer: a randomised clinical trial on overall survival. Eur J Cancer 2013, 49:3788–?3797

3. Mansky PJ, Wallerstedt DB, Sannes TS, Stagl J, Johnson LL, Blackman MR, Grem JL, Swain SM, Monahan BP: NCCAM/NCI Phase 1 Study of Mistletoe Extract and Gemcitabine in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors. Evidence–?Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 2013: 964592

4. Mabed M, El–?Helw L, Sharma S: Phase II study of viscum fraxini–?2 in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Br J Cancer 2004, 90:65–?69

5. Piao BK, Wang YX, Xie GR, Mansmann U, Matthes H, Beuth J, Lin HS:Impact of complementary mistletoe extract treatment on quality of life in breast, ovarian and non–?small cell lung cancer patients. A prospective randomized controlled clinical trial. Anticancer Res 2004, 24:303–?309

6. Semiglasov VF, Stepula VV, Dudov A, Schnitker J, Mengs U:

Quality of life is improved in breast cancer patients by Standardised Mistletoe Extract

PS76A2 during chemotherapy and follow up: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre clinical trial. Anticancer Res 2006, 26:1519–1530

7. Kienle GS, Grugel R, Kiene H: Safety of higher dosages of Viscum album L. in animals and humans –? systematic review of immune changes and safety parameters. BMC Complement Altern Med 2011, 11:72

8. Kienle GS, Glockmann A, Schink M, Kiene H: Viscum album L. extracts in breast and gynaecological cancers: a systematic review of clinical and preclinical research. Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research: CR 2009, 28:79

9. Kienle GS, Kiene H: Complementary cancer therapy: a systematic review of prospective clinical trials on anthroposophic mistletoe extracts. Eur J Med Res 2007, 12:103-119

10. Kienle GS, Kiene H: Influence of Viscum Album L (European Mistletoe) Extracts on Quality of Life in Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review of Controlled Clinical Studies. Integr Cancer Ther 2010, 9:142–157