The importance of clinical mistletoe cancer therapy and korean mistletoe pharmacopuncture preparation development and application possibility for oriental medicine

겨우살이 암치료제의 임상의학적 중요성과 한의학적 겨우살이 약침제제 개발 및 적용 가능성에 관한 고찰

  • Choi, Ok-Byung (Department of herbal medicine, Bio medicine Institute, Hoseo University)
  • 최옥병 (호서대학교 본초응용과학과 기초과학연구소)
  • Published : 2009.03.30


Objectives : Mistletoe extracts have been in use for around 85 years, predominantly in the area of cancer therapy. Today mistletoe preparations are among the most prescribed drugs in cancer medicine, thus constituting a standard biological therapy in the area of oncology. The purpose of this study is to analyze the practical implications of mistletoe cancer therapy, their clinical status, their preparation techniques and companies. Contents : Mistletoe therapy for cancer has been developed within the context of anthroposophical medicine. One major effect of mistletoe extract is that it stimulates the immune system and cancer defences. In Germany, a total of eight different mistletoe preparations are available, five developed by Anthroposophic Medicine and three evolved from research in phytotherapy. Therapy always consists of an introductory phase in order to test the patient's tolerance, find the right dosage and choose the most suitable preparation. This paper covers the background of mistletoe medical plant materials, mistletoe therapy for cancer, the anthroposophical medicine and clinical research, the practical regulation of treatment, preparation of mistletoe drugs. Result & suggestion : Mistletoe extracts are a complementary teratment of cancer, widely used in intergrative cancer care. The study of the integration of korean mistletoe extracts to oriental cancer medicine, its development and feasibility in Korea are urgently needed. The products, substances, compositions of european mistletoe drugs are very similar to those of oriental medicine theory. Applying the mistletoe cancer therapy and its preparation techniques to oriental medicine, the herbal acupuncture preparation should be modernized and korean mistletoe products are to be developed. To this end, government and herbal acupuncture society need to interact each other for the development of oriental mistletoe cancer medicine.


  1. Goebel, T., Dorka, R.: Zur Morphologie und zur Zeitgestalt der Mistel (Viscum album L.). Tycho de Brahe-Verlag, Niefern 1986
  2. Aymon, P.: Mistletoe in advanced Cancer. The Cancer Journal 3. 1990; 123, Suppl. 3
  3. Reinsch, P.: Neues Jahrbuch fur Pharmazie, Band 14, J.C. Mohr, Heidelberg. 1860
  4. Obata, Y.J.: agric. Chem. Soc. Japan 17 . 1941; 110
  5. Einleger, I., Fischer, J., Zellner, J.: Mh. Chem. 1923 ; 44 : 277
  6. Leprince, M.: ibid. 1907 ; 145 : 940
  7. Khwaja, T.A., Dias, C.B., Pentecost, S.: Recent Studies on the anticancer activities of Mistletoe (Viscum album) and its alkaloids. Oncology. 1986 ; 43 : 42-50
  8. Havas, L.J.: Effects of colchicin and of Viscum album preparations upon germination of seeds and growth of seedlings. Nature (London). 1937 ; 139 : 371-372
  9. Muller, E.A., Anderer, F.A.: Chemical specificity of effector cell/tumor cell bridging by a Viscum album rhamnogalactouran enhancing cytotoxicity of human NK cells. Immunpharmacology. 1990 ; 1 : 69-77
  10. Samuelsson, G.: Mistletoe Toxins. System. Zoology. 1973 ; 22 : 566-569
  11. Obata, Y.J.: agric. Chem. Soc. Japan 1941 ; 17 : 219
  12. Franz, H.: Inhaltsstoffe der Mistel (Viscum album L.) als potentielle Arzneimittel. Pharmazie Suppl. 2. 1985 ; 40 : 97-104
  13. Winterfeld, K., Kronenthaler, A.: Zur Chemie des blutdrucksenkenden Bestandteils der Mistel (Viscum album). III. Mitteilung. Arch. Pharmaz. 1942 ; 280 : 103-115
  14. Tabiasco, J., Pont, F., Fournie, J. J., Vercellone, A. Mistletoe viscotoxins increase natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Eur. J. Biochem., 2002 ; 269: 2591-2600
  15. Andersson K.E., Johannsson M. Effect of viscotoxin on rabbit heart and aorta, and on frog skeletal muscle. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1973 ; 23 : 223-231
  16. Schaller G., Urech, K., Giannattasio, M. Cytotoxicity of different viscotoxins and extracts from the European subspecies of Viscum album L. Phytother. Res., 1996 ; 10: 473-477<473::AID-PTR879>3.0.CO;2-Q
  17. Thunberg, E.: Phoratoxin B, a toxic protein from the mistletoe Phoradendron tomentosum sp. macrophyllum. Acta Pharmac. suecica. 1983 ; 20 : 115-122
  18. Boie, D.: Arbeitsbericht Nr. Verein fur Leuka-mie-und Krebstherapie, Rosenfeld 1977 ; 12
  19. Franz, H., Ziska, P., Kindt, A.: Isolation and properties of three lectins from misteltoe (Viscum album L.). Biochemical Journal. 1981 ; 195 : 481-184
  20. Franz, H., Ziska, P., Kindt, A.: A simple method for the preparation of the two different chains of the mistletoe lectin I. Lectins-Biology, Biochemistry, Clinical Biochemistry 2. Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin - New York 1982
  21. Bantel, H., Engels, I., H., Voelter, W., Schulze-Osthoff, K., Wesselborg, S. Mistletoe lectin activates caspase-8/FLICE independently of death receptor signaling and en hances anticancer drug-induced apoptosis. Cancer Res., 1999;59: 2083-2090
  22. Kienle, G. S., Kiene, H. Die Mistel in der Onkologie - Fakten und konzeptionelle Grundlagen. Schattauer Verlag, Stuttgart, New York. 2003
  23. Muller, J.A.: Arch. Pharmaz. 1932 ; 270 : 449
  24. Samuelsson, G.: Phytochemical and Pharmacological Studies on Viscum album L. - III. Isolation of a hypotensive substance: Gammaaminobutyric acid. Svensk. farmac. Tidskr. 1959 ; 63 : 545-553
  25. Chernov, W.A.: Trud. Akad. med. Nauk SSSR, Vopr. onkol. 1954 ; 7
  26. Buhl, S.A.: Zur Wirkung von Iscador$^{(R)}$ und eines aus diesem gezuchteten Bakterienstammes auf einen Mausetumor und den tumortragenden Organismus. Dissertation, Heidelberg. 1961
  27. Zschiesche, W.: Die Wirkung von Iscador$^{(R)}$ auf Phagocytoseaktivitat des reticulohistiocytaren Systems. Mber. dtsch. Akad. Wiss. 1966 ; 8 : 750-754
  28. Bloksma, N., van Dijk, H., Korst, P., Willers, M.: Cellular and humoral adjuvant activity of a mistletoe extract. Immunobiol. 1979 ; 156 : 309-319
  29. Rentea, R., Lyon, E., Hunter, R.: Biologic Properties of Iscador$^{(R)}$: A Viscum album Preparation. I. Hyperplasia of the Thymic Cortex and Accelerated Regeneration of Hematopoietic Cells following X-Irradiation. Lab. Invest. 1981 ; 44 : 43-48
  30. Khwaja, T.A:, Varven, J.C., Pentecost, S., Pande, H.: Isolation of bilogically active alcaloids from Korean mistletoe viscum album, coloratum. Experentia (Basel).1980 ; 36 : 599-600
  31. Vester, F., Bohne, L., El - Fouly, M.: Zur Kenntnis der Inhaltsstoffe von Viscum album. IV: Biologisches Verhalten einzelner Proteinfraktionen. Hoppe-Seyler's Z. Physiol. Chem. 1968 ; 349 : 495-511
  32. Stirpe, F., Legg, R.F., Onyon, L.J., Ziska, P., Franz, H.: Inhibition of protein synthesis by a toxic lectin from Viscum album L. (mistletoe). Biochem. J. 1980 ; 190 : 843-845
  33. Franz, H., Haustein, B., Luther, P., Kuropka, U., Kindt, A.: Isolierung und Charakterisierung von Inhaltsstoffen der Mistel. Acta biol. med. german. 1977 ; 36 : 113-117
  34. Koch, Fr.E.: Experimentelle Untersuchungen ber entz ndungs- und nekroseerzeugende Wirkung von Viscum album. Zeitschr. Ges. exper. Medizin 1938 ; 103 : 740-749
  35. Kiene, H.: Klinische Studien zur Misteltherapie karzinomat ser Erkrankungen - Eine bersicht. Sonderdruck aus: Therapeutikon. 1989 ; 3 : 347-353
  36. Selawry, O.S., Schwartz, M.R., Haar, H.: Tumor-inhibitory activity of products of Loranthaceae (mistletoe). Proc. amer. Assoc. Cancer Res. 1959 ; 3 : 62-63
  37. Giudici, A. M., Regente, M. C., Villalain, J., Pf uller, K., Pf uller, U., de la Canal, L.Mistletoe viscotoxins induce membrane permeabilization and spore death in phytopathogenic fungi. Physiol. Plant., 2004 : 121 : 2-7
  38. Agapov, I. I., Tonevitsky, A. G., Moisenovich, M. M., Maluchenko, N. V., Weyhenmeyer, R., Kirpichnikov, M. P. Mistletoe lectin dissociates into catalytic and binding subunits before translocation across the membrane to the cytoplasm. FEBS Lett., 1999b : 452: 211-214
  39. Hulsen, H., Mechelke, F.: The influence of a mistletoe preparation on suspension cell cultures of human leukemia and human myeloma cells. Arzneimittelforschung. 1988 ; 32 : 172-179
  40. Stumpf, C. und Schietzel, M.: Intrapleurale Instillation eines Mistelextraktes aus Viscum album (L.) zur Behandlung maligner Pleuraerg sse. Tumordiagn. u. Ther. 1994 ; 15 : 57-62

Cited by

  1. (Thunb.) Engl.) extracts vol.60, pp.3, 2017,