A new study has shown that patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer treated with a mistletoe extract doubled their survival time; In addition, compared to the drugs commonly used, there were few side effects. These are precisely the ones that make physicians and patients, on many occasions, renounce chemotherapy and opt for palliative care instead.
It is not the first time that mistletoe is effective in the treatment of cancer. Previous clinical and observational studies had already offered surprising results in the treatment of cancer of the breast, uterus, cervix, ovaries, stomach and colon, as well as melanoma.
This new Phase III randomized, open-label clinical study was developed with 220 patients, all of whom received palliative care. They were given subcutaneous injections with a mistletoe extract three times a week, with doses ranging from 0.01 mg to a constant of 10 mg after the 22nd dose.
In those patients who started the study with a good diagnosis, it was found that the survival time more than doubled, from 3.2 to 6.6 months, if they were treated with mistletoe extract. Likewise, patients with a poor diagnosis averaged 2.0 months of life if they were not treated with the extract, compared to 3.4 months if they were.
It should also be noted that the group treated with mistletoe only experienced 16 cases of adverse effects, compared to 53 of the group not treated with it. Furthermore, in the face of the adverse effects of drugs for chemotherapy treatments, treatment with mistletoe reduced the possibility of painful or undesirable effects by around 75 percent. In addition, none of the adverse events detected in the mistletoe group was caused by the plant itself.