A Specific Mistletoe Preparation (Iscador-QuÃÂ®) in Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Patients: More than Just Supportive Care?Zaenker KS1*, Matthes H2, Bock PR3 and Hanisch J3
- *Corresponding Author:
- Kurt S. Zaenker, MD, DVM, PhD
Professor, Institute of Immunology and Experimental Oncology
Faculty of Health Science, ZBAF
Department of Human Medicine
University Witten/Herdecke, Germany
Tel: +49- 2302-926-159
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: July 19, 2012; Accepted date: August 20, 2012; Published date: August 20, 2012
Citation: Zaenker KS, Matthes H, Bock PR, Hanisch J (2012) A Specific Mistletoe Preparation (Iscador-Qu®) in Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Patients: More than Just Supportive Care? J Cancer Sci Ther 4: 264-270. doi: 10.4172/1948-5956.1000153
Copyright: © 2012 Zaenker KS, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Rationale: In 2009 we reported the results of a pharmaco-epidemiological, retrospective observational cohort study in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) patients UICC stage I-III, receiving chemo- and/or radiotherapy together with European Viscum album L. (“Viscum”) extract (Iscador®) as supportive care (n = 429) versus the conventional treatment (n = 375) after R0 resection (J. Soc. Int. Oncol. 7: 173-145). The endpoints have been therapy induced adverse effects, disease symptoms and disease-free survival (DSF). Objective: Here, we present the secondary and confirmatory analysis of this original data set with respect to the host tree specificity of Viscum. Results: Patients receiving the extract from Viscum harvested from oak (Quercus) trees, Iscador® Qu (Isc- Qu), in a supportive care mode simultaneously with chemo- and/or radiotherapy (n = 106) showed a significant improvement in therapy induced adverse effects, and, most remarkable, a significant delay of metastasis formation and longer DFS compared to conventionally treated patients (n = 212) (control). To make the analysis more robust, patients treated by the chemo- and/or radiotherapy protocols were also analyzed and stratified for the UICC I-III stages. Accordingly to the overall Kaplan-Meier analysis result, patients receiving Isc-Qu as supportive care presented significantly longer median time to distant metastases formation (metastasis-free survival, MFS) within the course of the observational cohort study (133+ months (Isc-Qu) versus 94 months (control), p (Log Rank) = 0.002. In the Cox regression analysis, the confounder-adjusted hazard ratio, HR, (95% confidence interval) came up to HR (metastasis) = 0.31 (0.13-0.711), p = 0.006. This result indicates an estimated 69% metastasis-hazardreduction in the Isc-Qu group relative to the controls. In summary, patients concomitantly treated by Iscador® showed fewer persisting disease- and therapy-induced symptoms and the DSF hazard ratio suggested a survival benefit. Clinical implication: This secondary and confirmatory analysis of the original data set suggests that a mistletoe (Viscum) preparation, harvested from oak (Quercus) trees (Isc-Qu), appears to be a naturally tailored molecular composition to target CRC patients by reducing therapy-related adverse effects, improving the cancerrelated symptoms and showing a potential to increasing the metastases-free survival. Limitations: The effect on prolonged survival should be interpreted with some caution because the applied study design shares some potential risk for bias common to all non-randomized observational studies. Also, potential biases were tried to minimize by systematic multivariable adjusting of end point criteria for baseline imbalance, treatment regimen, and other potential confounders.