Mistletoe and Cancer Therapy
Recently, the plant-based cancer therapy Iscador has been gaining increased media attention. But Iscador has been known for its therapeutic benefits for over eighty years. As early as 1917, Rudolf Steiner suggested using injections of mistletoe extract for the treatment of cancer. His recommendations were taken up and put to clinical use by Dr. Ita Wegman, a Dutch physician. Wegman, who founded a clinic that later became the Lukas clinic, also first developed Iscador in 1917.
In this book, Christine Murphy gathers together some of the work of doctors and clinicians who have been using Iscador today. Dr. Richard Wagner, a German physician, answers many of the questions about Iscador asked him by his patients during his many years of practice as an oncologist in general practice, treating cancer patients with both conventional and alternative therapies. Dr. Thomas Schuerholz, a medical doctor specializing in cancer, offers an overview of the terms, procedures, and different approaches to cancer.
Reviewed by Beatrice Trum Hunter, October 2002
This book is a collection of articles, contributed by various writers. Unfortunately, the book is long on many topics allied to mistletoe therapy, such as how cancer arises, self-help in cancer treatment, painting therapy for cancer patients, etc.; but short on the actual subject of mistletoe. The most valuable portion of the book is a section on the clinical applications of mistletoe with cancer, written by Richard Wagner, MD. The resource list may be helpful, because it lists physicians in the United States who use mistletoe. There are also lists of groups using anthroposophical therapies, hospitals, and clinics in Germany and Switzerland, books, articles, and videos that might be useful for patients as well as professionals.
Mistletoe has been used medicinally for centuries for an array of ailments. During the 1920s, Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, advocated its use as a cancer preventive. Iscador, as the mistletoe preparation is known, is a licensed drug in Germany and Switzerland, where over half of all cancer patients use it or one of its variations as part of their treatment. Yet it has only recently become known here, in part because actress Suzanne Somers used it to treat her breast cancer. A compilation of mostly previously published works by physicians and clinicians, this work acts as a primer on Iscador, integrative cancer treatment, and anthroposophical medicine. Murphy, who also edits the anthroposophical medicine journal Lilipoh, explains the process of making Iscador and provides an extensive resource section that cancer patients may find especially useful. Because this is the only English-language book on Iscador for the lay reader, it would make a good addition to hospital consumer health collections and larger public library health collections.