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Cancer Lett. 2006 Nov 8;243(1):32-7. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Interleukin-12 is associated with the in vivo anti-tumor effect of mistletoe extracts in B16 mouse melanoma.

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INSERM U681, Institut des Cordeliers, IFR 58, Paris, France.


Viscum album (VA) preparations consist of aqueous extracts of different types of lectins of mistletoe. VA exert cytotoxic and immunomodulatory properties that may be relevant for the inhibition of tumor growth. We addressed the effects of VA preparation VA Qu FrF on growth of B16F1 melanoma implanted in mice and on proliferation and cytokine synthesis of splenocytes. In C57BL6 mice, inhibition of tumor growth by VA was associated with an enhancement of splenocyte proliferation and with an up-regulation of IL-12 secretion. In IL-12-deficient strain of mice the inhibition of melanoma growth by VA and the splenocyte proliferation were abrogated. Results from the present study strongly suggest a crucial role of IL-12 in the anti-tumor properties of VA extracts.

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