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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019 Jan 23. doi: 10.1007/s00432-018-02838-3. [Epub ahead of print]

Mistletoe in oncological treatment: a systematic review : Part 2: quality of life and toxicity of cancer treatment.

Author information

1
Klinik für Innere Medizin II, Hämatologie und Internistische Onkologie, Universitätsklinikum Jena, Am Klinikum 1, 07747, Jena, Germany.
2
Klinik für Strahlentherapie und Radioonkologie, Franziskus Hospital, Kiskerstraße 26, 33615, Bielefeld, Germany.
3
Klinik für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Südharzklinikum Nordhausen, Dr.-Robert-Koch-Straße 39, 99734, Nordhausen, Germany.
4
Klinik für Innere Medizin II, Hämatologie und Internistische Onkologie, Universitätsklinikum Jena, Am Klinikum 1, 07747, Jena, Germany. jutta.huebner@med.uni-jena.de.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

One important goal of any cancer therapy is to improve or maintain quality of life. In this context, mistletoe treatment is discussed to be highly controversial. The aim of this systematic review is to give an extensive overview about the current state of evidence concerning mistletoe therapy of oncologic patients regarding quality of life and side effects of cancer treatments.

METHODS:

In September and October 2017, Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PsycINFO, CINAHL and "Science Citation Index Expanded" (Web of Science) were systematically searched.

RESULTS:

The search strategy identified 3647 articles and 28 publications with 2639 patients were finally included in this review. Mistletoe was used in bladder cancer, breast cancer, other gynecological cancers (cervical cancer, corpus uteri cancer, and ovarian cancer), colorectal cancer, other gastrointestinal cancer (gastric cancer and pancreatic cancer), glioma, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, melanoma and osteosarcoma. In nearly all studies, mistletoe was added to a conventional therapy. Regarding quality of life, 17 publications reported results. Studies with better methodological quality show less or no effects on quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS:

With respect to quality of life or reduction of treatment-associated side effects, a thorough review of the literature does not provide any indication to prescribe mistletoe to patients with cancer.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM); Mistletoe; Patient-relevant outcomes

PMID:
30673872
DOI:
10.1007/s00432-018-02838-3

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