FondsGoetheanum: Mistletoe

Pharmaceutical developments in the Association for Cancer Research

Among the main aims of the Association for Cancer Research, which was founded in 1935 and is based in Arlesheim, Switzerland, is the development of new natural drugs for the integrative anthroposophic treatment of cancer. The Association has a research department which is one of only a few organizations worldwide that develop natural preparations for complementary cancer care. Its best-known product is a mistletoe preparation that is manufactured and distributed in Switzerland.
Other natural medicines are currently being developed. They include an ointment which contains a liposoluble mistletoe extract. This product has tested very well in individual cases of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis (a precancerous lesion). The aim of these developments is to come closer to an effective and tolerable natural treatment for cancer. The Association for Cancer Research is funding its research and development activities with donations and revenue from royalties. However, the latter only cover a very small percentage of the research and development needed for new drugs. The Association is a recognized charity and considers its activities to be in the public interest. Donations to the Association are tax-deductible in Switzerland.

Dr rer. nat. Gerhard Schaller

Mistletoe strengthens the powers of self-healing

Intensive research is increasingly coming to the conclusion that cancer develops over years due to the failure of a complex control system. A combination of conventional and complementary medicines can counteract this process effectively.

Much progress has been made in recent decades in the development of effective therapies that destroy or inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in the body. One of them is chemotherapy which has serious side-effects, however, because it damages healthy cells too and weakens the powers of self-healing. These side effects, which include diarrhoea, fatigue, sleep disorders and increased susceptibility to infections, can impair the patient’s quality of life and diminish the benefit derived from the treatment.

Cutting down on undesirable side-effects

In the daily care of cancer patients, it can be seen time and again how undesirable side effects are reduced by combining conventional and complementary therapies (= integrative cancer care). Most commonly, anthroposophical mistletoe therapy is used. Its strengthening effect on the immune system and the body’s ability to heal itself makes it a worthwhile complement to chemotherapy. Side effects are lessened; bodily rhythms such as temperature, sleep and digestion are improved. And owing to the body’s improved ability to tolerate it, the chemotherapy’s effectiveness is thereby often increased further. Mistletoe also contains proteins which promote the production of endorphins. They alleviate pain and improve the mood. This in turn reduces the need for other medicines.

Mistletoe as the therapy of choice

Seven years ago a 55-year old patient was diagnosed with a rare malignant tumour in the abdomen that had unfortunately spread to the lungs. The tumour in the abdomen could be successfully removed. The surgery was followed up with abdominal radiotherapy as a preventative measure. In addition, some of the pulmonary metastases were surgically removed. The oncologists recommended that the best way forward was a CT scan every three months and the surgical removal of any new metastases.
Because the passive waiting times involved in this regimen were very difficult for the patient, she decided a year and a half ago to start with intensive mistletoe therapy. She learned how to inject herself with a mistletoe preparation three times a week and was given anthroposophic medicines to support her metabolism. She also managed to adopt a lifestyle with plenty of exercise, healthy food and relaxation. The following check-ups did not reveal any new metastases. The last of the old metastatic tumours were removed in two stages. Each time it was remarkable how fast the patient recovered and how physically and mentally fit she remained. The intensive mistletoe therapy has been continued and there has been no new metastatic growth. The patient has been in remission for the last nine months.
There are many experiences which prove that the powers of self-healing are strengthened and the patients’ general condition improved by the expert application of mistletoe in addition to the standard cancer treatments.

Dr Hannes Graf MD