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J Ethnopharmacol. 1990 Apr;29(1):35-41.

Effect of a preparation from Viscum album on tumor development in vitro and in mice.

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Amala Cancer Research Centre, Trichur, Kerala, India.


The effect of Iscador, a commercial preparation made from Viscum album was studied on several cell lines using in vitro tissue culture as well as tumor-bearing animals. Iscador was found to be cytotoxic to animal tumor cells such as Dalton's lymphoma ascites cells (DLA cells) and Ehrlich ascites cells in vitro and inhibited the growth of lung fibroblasts (LB cells), Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO cells) and human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells (KB cells) at very low concentrations. Moreover, administration of Iscador was found to reduce ascites tumours and solid tumours produced by DLA cells and Ehrlich ascites cells. The effect of the drug could be seen when the drug was given either simultaneously, after tumour development or when given prophylactically, indicating a mechanism of action very different from other chemotherapeutic drugs. Iscador was not found to be cytotoxic to lymphocytes.

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