Mistletoe therapy clinically verified

Mistletoe therapy clinically verified

23 November 2022 Dagmar Brauer 955 views

Scientific studies are available on the efficacy of Anthroposophic Medicine, for example on mistletoe therapy for cancer.


Research institutes at hospitals and universities are investigating the efficacy of Anthroposophic Medicine. They apply scientific and psychometric methods. This involves research into the efficacy, effectiveness, safety and costs of therapeutic interventions and treatment concepts.

In recent decades, research on mistletoe therapy in oncology has led to results that have been published in scientific journals with quality-assured, independent peer review. As part of this, the safety of the medicinal product, quality of life, combination with other therapies, survival and tumour response were taken into account. A multicentre observational study, for example, investigated the effect of mistletoe therapy alongside chemotherapy on the survival of patients with advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This was based on data from the clinical register of the Oncology Network, an accredited clinical register of German oncology hospitals, physicians in private practice and outpatient centres. Result: Overall survival rates after one year and after three years were significantly higher with chemotherapy plus mistletoe therapy than with chemotherapy alone. This suggests that adjuvant mistletoe therapy is positively associated with survival in patients with advanced stage NSCLC treated with standard chemotherapy.

A randomised controlled phase 3 trial investigated whether treatment of pancreatic cancer with mistletoe extract prolongs survival and improves quality of life. For this purpose 220 patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer, who received no other treatment apart from the best possible support, were enrolled in this study. Result: In the study patients, mistletoe therapy significantly improved quality of life compared to best supportive care alone. Mistletoe is thus proving to be an effective second-line treatment for this disease.


Further information about the scientific evaluation of mistletoe therapy can be found on the platform mistletoe therapy.
An overview of the state of research in Anthroposophic Medicine can be found at Anthroposophic Medicine.

Cover image Specialist Dr Marion Debus, Head of Oncology at Klinik Arlesheim, Switzerland, and team (Symbolic picture; photo: Medical Section at the Goetheanum)