Mistletoe Extract: Cancer Therapy?

By Dr. Mitchell Gaynor Founder and President, Gaynor Integrative Oncology Asst. Clinical Professor of Medicine, Weill-Cornell Medical College

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Based on review studies, the findings on the effects of mistletoe extract is a mixed bag of results because they include different study designs and variable plant extracts. And while most studies don’t report any serious side effects, other research has reported adverse effects, such as localized reactions at the site of injection, anaphylaxis, kidney failure and ulcerations.8

While some studies suggest that mistletoe can slow or stop tumor growth and improve survival in cancer patients, the design of most of these studies are weak. Without strong methodology, research studies are more likely to produce positive results. Consequently, independent reviewers have largely failed to support the efficacy of mistletoe extract use in cancer because of insufficient evidence.8

The verdict is still out on the efficacy of mistletoe extract and more solid research is needed to assess its use as an anticancer agent. 

In the meantime, let me impart some advice that I share with my patients about health and cancer – the most overlooked of all modalities is what you eat. Because your genes can turn “on” and “off” cellular signals that lead to cancer, eating more natural foods like phytonutrients (plant-based foods) will help to promote turning on the right genes that will lead to a healthier you.

Over the last 30 years, I have studied the mechanism of hundreds of bioactive nutrients on cancer-related gene expression, as well as signaling proteins and transcription factors that also effect these genes. These nutrients have powerful effects on inflammation, hormone regulation, toxin metabolism, cell growth and angiogenesis – all at the level of our gene expression. In targeted nutritional program for my patients, I focus on several areas:

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor

Article written by Dr. Mitchell Gaynor
Founder and President, Gaynor Integrative Oncology Asst. Clinical Professor of Medicine, Weill-Cornell Medical College