Anticancer Res. 2008 Jan-Feb;28(1B):523-7.
Impact of complementary treatment of breast cancer patients with standardized mistletoe extract during aftercare: a controlled multicenter comparative epidemiological cohort study.
Beuth J, Schneider B, Schierholz JM.
Institut zur wissenschaftlichen Evaluation naturheilkundlicher Verfahren an der Universität zu Köln, Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 9, 50931 Köln, Germany.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the safety and efficacy of complementary treatment of breast cancer patients with the standardized mistletoe extract (sME) HELIXOR in routine practice during aftercare through a multicenter comparative epidemiological cohort study with 53 randomly selected hospitals/practices representatively distributed in Germany, including oncologists, gynaecologists and general practitioners. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data from 741 screened patients fulfilling the inclusion/exclusion criteria were checked. Of these, 681 patients were eligible for the final analysis of the study group (with sME n = 167) and the control group (n = 514). Efficacy (development of disease/therapy-induced signs and symptoms; quality of life) and safety (number and severity of adverse events) of complementary treatment in breast cancer patients treated with sME in the aftercare period were determined. RESULTS: Complementary treatment of breast cancer patients with sME during the aftercare period of approximately 5 years after terminating recommended standard therapies resulted in significantly fewer (p < 0.001) complaints of patients (56.3% study group versus 70.0% control group). The reduced number of disease/therapy-related sign/symptoms (e.g. mucositis, fatigue, pain, headache) correlated to a significantly improved quality of life. Adverse drug reactions to the sME treatment were mostly mild and self limiting. CONCLUSION: Complementary treatment with the sME HELIXOR proved to be beneficial for breast cancer patients since it significantly improved quality of life and significantly reduced persistant signs/symptoms of the disease/treatment during the validated aftercare period of approximately five years.