Alternative Cancer Treatments

Anthroposophical Cancer Treatment

Are you recently diagnosed with cancer and haven’t decided how to move forward?  We suggest that patients in this situation consider attending one of our 2 week intensive sessions, Life Force Intensive Retreats.  That is a wonderful opportunity to step back, consider what is happening, have time for contemplation and discuss with our physicians the various options and time frame that would suit you best.  Many patients feel pressure to enter immediately into the system and have not had a chance to thoroughly consider their personal wishes in how the next steps happen.  We like to tell each patient that they are the ones who write their own story.

Our cancer treatment includes:

  • Mistletoe therapy, such as with Viscum Album
  • High dose Vitamin C according to the University of Kansas Integrative Medicine Protocol
  • Overwarming Baths (also known as Fever Bath Therapy)
  • Liver compresses for detoxification
  • Hepatodoron, Formica, Stibium (anthroposophic medicines)
  • Vegetarian diet
  • Supervised fasting
  • Regular physical activity
  • Social engagement
  • Therapeutic Eurythmy or Spacial Dynamics
  • Artistic therapy
  • Bowel cleansing
  • Standard therapy (chemo, radiation, hormonal treatment) when indicated and requested (these treatments are not done at the center)

Clinical effects of mistletoe therapy:

  • Fewer side-effects of chemo- and radiotherapy- DNA repair improved in normal cells preferentially
  • Improved resistance to infection
  • Improvement in the warmth organism
  • Better sleep
  • Less pain
  • New initiative in life

Administration of Mistletoe Treatment

A small amount of Viscum Album is taken in the morning, usually injected just under the skin in the abdomen or thigh. Measuring temperatures allows you to track the effects of treatment. Typically shots are every other day or MWF.Caution: As with any medication, there are certain risks associated with mistletoe treatment, though serious side effects are rare. Viscum Album is a prescription medication and must only be prescribed and supervised by an experienced anthroposophic physician. For a physician referral list, please go to Other Anthroposophical Doctors

Mistletoe Makes Further Gains

One of the most obvious differences in the practice of oncology in the United States and in Europe is the differing attitude towards mistletoe (Viscum album). European oncologists have used extracts of mistletoe for the past 90 years and such usage is no longer controversial there. By some estimates, 40 percent of French (Simon 2007) and up to 60 percent of German cancer patients receive this botanical extract (Schönekaes 2003). On the other hand, the use of Viscum Album and other mistletoe extracts is virtually unknown in the United States. Both Europe and the US have well trained and highly competent oncology communities, yet they differ profoundly on this, as well as a number of other issues concerning cancer treatment. This difference is a vivid illustration of the effects of cultural norms on medical practice (Payer 1998).Viscum Album is an extract of the white berries of the mistletoe plant, an unusual evergreen plant that grows as a kind of parasite in trees across Europe. Globular mistletoe is a familiar sight in Germany, especially in the winter when it stands out in the bare branches of various deciduous trees. Mistletoe has a fascinating history. According to Roman authors, mistletoe was used medicinally by Celtic priests, who gathered it using golden scythes (to avoid contaminating the specimens). Much later, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the founder of Anthroposophical Medicine, introduced as a cancer treatment (Steiner 1985).The key question is whether mistletoe has anticancer effects or not. If it does not, then European doctors should stop using it (or recognize it as a placebo). If it does work, then American oncologists should adopt it as a useful adjunctive therapy. (No one I know regards it as a cure).Earlier this year, I discussed several positive studies with mistletoe. Since then, several additional studies have added weight to the pro-mistletoe argument. Jessica Burkhart, Stephan Baumgartner, et al. of the University of Bern, Switzerland, investigated the effects of mistletoe on the adverse effects of the drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) in cell line studies. The article appeared in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine in May-June 2010. The experiment involved normal white blood cells (peripheral blood mononuclear cells, or PBMCs) as well as a T-cell leukemia Jurkat cell line. Cells were first pre-incubated with mistletoe extract. Then a form of cyclophosphamide was added. After that, mitochondrial activity and replication were both measured.The results were that mistletoe extract “strongly stimulated” healthy PBMCs but not malignant Jurkat cells. The level of activity of these cells was doubled by the addition of mistletoe (197 percent with the lower dose and 225 percent with the higher dose). In addition, mistletoe partially protected healthy PBMCs, but not malignant cells, from the damage inflicted by cyclophosphamide.This is further scientific confirmation of the purported uses of mistletoe to reduce the adverse (side) effects of a widely used form of conventional chemotherapy. Mistletoe exerts immune modulating as well as direct anti-proliferative effects. Mistletoe may also increase levels of various anti-cancer cytokines including tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha).

–Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

References and Websites about Mistletoe:

For further information and scientific studies, see

A basic overview of mistletoe can be found here:

Mistletoe Research Studies:

Grossarth Study: ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, MAY/JUNE 2001, VOL 7, NO. 3Major New Cancer Study is Published as Mistletoe Therapy is in the NewsApril 30, 2001

Mistletoe extract has been in the news since actress Suzanne Somers announced that she is using it as an adjunctive therapy to fight breast cancer following lumpectomy and radiation. Some medical experts have claimed that there is no scientific evidence to support taking this natural approach.

However, a major groundbreaking study was published in the May issue of the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. The study showed that individuals who took mistletoe extract in addition to their conventional medical treatment lived 40% longer.

“There is mounting basic science and clinical evidence for the efficacy of mistletoe as an adjunctive cancer therapy for solid tumors.” says David Riley, MD, Editor in Chief of Alternative Therapies, and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico Medical School. “Mistletoe,” Dr. Riley adds, “is the most commonly used cancer drug in Germany today.”

The study* followed 35,000 residents of Heidelberg, Germany over 30 years, identifying 5,000 who had cancer. Six hundred of these cancer patients were sorted into pairs. One member of each pair took mistletoe extract in addition to conventional treatment; the other, who had a similar type and stage of disease, received only conventional treatment. After comparing the length of survival, the study concluded that participants who added mistletoe extract to their treatment lived 40% longer than those who did not.

Research indicates that mistletoe extract is most effective when used in conjunction with conventional medical care for the treatment of solid tumors such as breast cancer, according to Dr. Riley. It does not appear to be useful as an adjunctive treatment for other cancers like lymphoma or leukemia.

*Grossarth-Maticek R, Kiene H, Baumgartner SM, Ziegler R: Use of Iscador, an Extract of European Mistletoe (Viscum Album), in Cancer Treatment. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine May 2001


Effects of Mistletoe Treatment

Research Study on Quality of Life improvement comparing anthroposophic and conventional care

Research Study on Pancreatic Cancer Molecular Mistletoe Therapy: Friend or Foe in Established Anti-Tumor Protocols? A Multicenter, Controlled, Retrospective Pharmaco-Epidemiological Study in Pancreas CancerH Matthes, W.E. Friedel, P.R. Bock and K.S. Zaenker

Mistletoe treatment induces GM-CSF- and IL-5 production by PBMC and increases blood granulocyte- and eosinophil counts: a placebo controlled randomized study in healthy subjects.Huber R, Rostock M, Goedl R, Lüdtke R, Urech K, Buck S, Klein R.Eur J Med Res. 2005 Oct 18;10(10):411-8.

Safety and efficacy of the long-term adjuvant treatment of primary intermediate- to high-risk malignant melanoma (UICC/AJCC stage II and III) with a standardized fermented European mistletoe (Viscum album L.) extract. Results from a multicenter, comparative, epidemiological cohort study in Germany and Switzerland.Augustin M, Bock PR, Hanisch J, Karasmann M, Schneider B.Arzneimittelforschung. 2005;55(1):38-49.

Efficacy and safety of long-term complementary treatment with standardized European mistletoe extract (Viscum album L.) in addition to the conventional adjuvant oncologic therapy in patients with primary non-metastasized mammary carcinoma. Results of a multi-center, comparative, epidemiological cohort study in Germany and SwitzerlandBock PR, Friedel WE, Hanisch J, Karasmann M, Schneider B.Arzneimittelforschung. 2004;54(8):456-66. German. Erratum in: Arzneimittelforschung. 2004;54(9):563.

Use of an extract of European mistletoe (Viscum album), in cancer treatment: prospective nonrandomized and randomized matched-pair studies nested within a cohort study.Grossarth-Maticek R, Kiene H, Baumgartner SM, Ziegler R.Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 May-Jun;7(3):57-66, 68-72, 74-6 passim

What prospects of success does mistletoe therapy offer in advanced ovarian cancer?Grossarth-Maticek R, Ziegler R.Arzneimittelforschung. 2007;57(10):665-78

Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis of Survival and Psychosomatic Self-regulation from Published Prospective Controlled Cohort Studies for Long-term Therapy of Breast Cancer Patients with a Mistletoe Preparation.Hassauer W, Gutsch J, Burkhardt R.Onkologie. 1979 Feb;2(1):28-36. German.

Randomized and non-randomized prospective controlled cohort studies in matched pair design for the long-term therapy of corpus uteri cancer patients with a mistletoe preparation.Grossarth-Maticek R, Ziegler R.Eur J Med Res. 2008 Mar 31;13(3):107-2

Antiproliferative effects of mistletoe (Viscum album L.) extract in urinary bladder carcinoma cell lines.Urech K, Buessing A, Thalmann G, Schaefermeyer H, Heusser P.Anticancer Res. 2006 Jul-Aug;26(4B):3049-55

Overheating Therapy (click to read more) 

“Give me a chance to create fever and I will cure any disease,” said the great physician, Parmenides, 2,000 years ago.

Fever is one of the body’s own defensive and healing forces, created and sustained for the deliberate purpose of restoring health. The high temperature speeds up metabolism, inhibits the growth of the invading virus or bacteria, and literally burns the enemy with heat. Fever is an effective protective and healing measure not only against colds and simple infections, but against such serious diseases as polio and cancer. In biological clinics, overheating therapies or artificially induced fever are used effectively in the treatment of acute infectious diseases, arthritis and rheumatic diseases, skin disorders, insomnia, muscular pain and cancer, to name a few conditions. Such giants of medical science as Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. A. Lwoff, Dr. Werner Zabel, and Dr. Josef Issels, recommend and use fever therapies extensively. Recently, a research team under the direction of Dr. David S. Muchles, from Oxford University, reported that the studies confirmed what ancient physicians and biological doctors knew all along – that fever is effective in combating many diseases, including cancer.

There are many ways to induce fever. Some doctors use certain vaccines (like BCG) or drugs to create artificial fever. Personally, I prefer a more natural approach. Although fever induced with BCG or drugs can have a beneficial effect by “waking up” and stimulating the body’s natural defensive and immunological mechanism, there is less stress on the body if fever is induced with an overheating bath. Schlenz-bath has been used for this purpose for nearly a century.

CSAM was founded in 1997 as a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing patient care, education and research inAnthroposophical medicine.