Two Studies of Iscador

(Iscador is rendered from Viscum album or mistletoe which has been shown in studies to help boost immune response).

The European Mistletoe (Viscum album): New Studies Show Significant Results for AIDS and Immune System Problems.

The European mistletoe has been used for a wide variety of therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Mistletoe preparations have been used for epilepsy, infertility, hypertension and certain connective tissue disorders. It was Rudolf Steiner who first advocated a special preparation of mistletoe to be used as an injectable in the treatment of cancer patients. In the early 1920’s in lectures to doctors, Rudolf Steiner mentioned the immune system as an important defense mechanism against cancer. Daily, in our body, hundreds of cells degenerate because of viral infections or because of genetic changes, and can become cancerous. The function of special white blood cells, natural-killer cells among others, is to recognize these deteriorating cells and destroy them. This is how the immune system defends the body against the formation of tumors.

In cancer patients this function of the immune system has obviously been weakened and cancerous cells are no longer being eliminated. According to Rudolf Steiner, the mistletoe, when prepared in a special way and then injected, enhances the immune system by killing off cancerous cells and cells which are damaged by a viral infection or toxic influences from the environment (for instance, ultraviolet light).

In many countries, including the countries within the European Union, Iscador® is a licensed medication for monotherapy and as an adjuvant therapy in cancer treatment. Iscador is made from plants growing on different host trees, like oak, apple, pine and fir, and is administered in different kinds of cancer therapy. Iscador is manufactured by the Verein fuer Krebsforschung (Cancer Research Association), a non-profit organization in Arlesheim, Switzerland).

Since 1984, clinical observations have suggested that Iscador might have a beneficial effect in HIV infection, both as monotherapy and in combination with Retrovir® (AZT). Through collaborative efforts with Professor Maria Linder of the California State University in Fullerton, we received permission from the Food and Drug Administration to conduct a first clinical trial with Iscador® in HIV positives, in healthy non-smoking individuals and in cancer patients (a phase I/II trial).

This study was completed in October of l994. We were able to document the following:

  1. Iscador® is well-tolerated; no toxicities of any significance were seen.

  2. In most patients (and in several healthy individuals) the quality of life increased remarkably.

  3. The clinical condition of the HIV positives stabilized as well as their T4 helper cell counts. Also, other laboratory tests suggested that the progress of the HIV infection was inhibited.

  4. In a three-dimensional collagen matrix, directly under the microscope, we could document and videotape an increased action against breast cancer cells and colon cancer cells (increased natural killer cell activities) by the white blood cells of the study participants.

At the moment, in Europe, two large international, multi-centered trials in women with cervix dysplasia and in HIV positives will be performed to document the efficacy of Iscador® in these two groups.
These studies are in part financially supported by the government of Germany, and by non-profit corporations and foundations.

The effect of Iscador® will be compared to the effect of Iscador® plus Retrovir® (AZT) and to the effect of Retrovir® alone.

For more information: call the Verein fuer Krebsforschung, 011 41 61 701 2323 or Prof.Dr. Robert Gorter, Institute for Oncological and Immunological Research, 011 49 303 976 3420 (FAX 3422)

Mistletoe Effective for Chernobyl Children

Research on Immune-Suppressed Children following the Chernobyl Accident.

M. Lukyanova, P. Chernyshov, I. Omelchenko, I. Slukvin, V. Pochinok, G. Antipkin, V. Voichenko, P. Heusser, G. Schneiderman. Ukrainian Institute for Pediatrics, Lukas Klinik, Switzerland.

Clinical and Immunological Investigations.

To determine the clinical and immuno-stimulating efficacy of whole Viscum album extract (Iscador) in immuno-compromised children with recurring respiratory infections.

Design: 15 month observation study, starting March 1991.

Setting: Ambulatory treatment in the Ukrainian Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kiev

Patients: 25 children, aged between 3 and 15 years, from the 30-km Chernobyl zone with recurrent respiratory infections, 5-12per year and one or more of the following immunological findings: CD 3+ lymphocytes below 50%, phagocytosis below 60%, NK cells below 10%, CD 8+ lymphocytes above 28%.

Intervention: twice weekly subcutaneous injections of Iscador type M during 5 weeks in doses rising weekly (from 2 X 0,001 mg complete Viscum extract to 2X 5 mg, final dose with known content of mistletoe lectin activity). 4 children received a 2nd treatment course.

Assessment: Documentation of the frequency of infections, subjective symptoms, and clinical examination findings before and directly after treatment, and after 3-4 months and l5 months. Determination of lymphocyte subpopulations phagocytosis, immunoglobulins and serum complement factors before and after the treatment and after 3-4 months.

Results: 19 out of 25 children completed the study. A considerable reduction in incidence of respiratory infections was noted in 14 out of 19 children. Before the treatment, in the 25 children, frequency of infections was above 6/year in 24 children. During the l5 months of observation, in the group of l9 children, only 4 children had new infections, and improvement of general well-being and appetite, reduction of fatigue and pains were noted. A significant increase of levels of T lymphocytes (CD3+), phagocytosis, lgM, lgA, sigA in the saliva and complement factor C4 was observed after the therapy and in 3-4 months.

Conclusion: The Iscador therapy proved to be clinically and immunologically effective and well tolerated in immuno-compromised children with recurrent upper respiratory infections, due to the Chernobyl accident.

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Written by Robert Gorter MD

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