Homeopathy Papers

Iscador Therapy for Cancer

An article giving the general background of Anthroposophy and Anthroposophic Medicine, elaborating on Iscador Therapy for cancer – therapeutic applications and what one can expect from the treatment.

Cancer has become one of the most feared ailments since the last century. Conventional medical treatments are aimed at killing the cancer cells, but this is in no way proving effective enough. The many-headed monster often rears its dreaded heads again within a short while.

Alternative systems of medicine take a more holistic approach. With this approach, one realises that the cancer cells themselves are not the villains. They are just the manifestation of something going wrong within the defence mechanisms of the body. It is now known that tumour development is preceded by a pre-tumour phase, that may persist for years if not decades. There is a gradual failure of the immune system, with the system becoming unable to distinguish between self and non-self. A healthy organism with a fully functional immune system identifies malfunctioning cells as alien and destroys them. Plenty of such cells arise from time to time in every individual. Failure of the monitoring system may result in de-differentiation of cells in certain organs, which are then no longer under central control. These cells begin to program their own ‘circuit diagram’ and it is then possible that they may proliferate without any control. The code of those deviant cells no longer connects with the ‘human being’ program. This is the view now taken by modern molecular biologists and it confirms the statements made many years ago by Rudolf Steiner*, the founder of Anthroposophy.

In the early part of the 20th century it was Rudolf Steiner, PhD., an Austrian natural scientist and philosopher, who established Anthroposophic Medicine as one of many developments he gave the impetus for. The word anthroposophy is derived from the Greek words anthropos=man and sophia=wisdom. Anthroposophy represents a way of dealing with science and life issues in general, in a holistic way. It incorporates all fields of modern science into a spiritual and comprehensible approach. Rudolf Steiner was not a physician. Therefore, he founded Anthroposophical Medicine and the Medical Section at the Goetheanum (in Dornach, Switzerland) in association with the Dutch physician Dr. Ita Wegman (1876 – 1943). As early as 1917, Rudolf Steiner suggested the injection of mistletoe extracts for the treatment of cancer. It was Ita Wegman who in the early 1920s introduced the mistletoe preparation Iscador into actual cancer treatment.

Anthroposophic medicine is based on the spiritual-scientific view of a healthy human being who is in close harmony and interaction with the different levels of creation, and has lost this when in a state of ill health. This involves a holistic approach and hence is compatible to other holistic systems of medicine. Training in Anthroposophic medicine is available only to doctors already trained in conventional or alternative systems of medicine. The substances from which anthroposophical medicines are prepared are essentially natural and taken from the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms. Medicines are prepared according to homoeopathic principles and hence anthroposophic medicine and homoeopathy easily go hand in hand.

Iscador is the trade name of a group of anti-cancer treatments, all prepared from different types of mistletoe extracts. Treatment with Iscador aims at intensifying the body’s own forces against the cancer cell’s tendency towards autonomy. Iscador is a complementary rather than an alternative medicine. It is frequently prescribed in Europe by medical doctors including oncologists in addition to the conventional cancer therapies, radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. Nowadays in Europe, mistletoe is a key component in conventional cancer therapy. In Arlesheim, Switzerland, there is a specialised clinic, the Lukas Klinik, available for the treatment and after-treatment of tumour patients. In this clinic, apart from the medical therapy with Iscador, treatment of the whole person is also carried out for cancer patients and for at-risk persons. Art therapy, sculpture therapy and Eurythmy are all part of the process of holistic healing.

Today there are doctors in many countries who treat their patients with Iscador. In India, following training in anthroposophic medicine, homoeopaths have begun to use Iscador for cancer cases. Iscador is available in the US under the brand name Iscar. It is manufactured mainly in Switzerland and Germany and is then exported.

There are about 1400 mistletoe species around the world. One thing that they all have in common is that they do not root in the mineral soil but live on other, generally woody, plants. Only white-berried mistletoe (Viscum Album) is used to treat cancer.

Mistletoe contains among other things, two groups of toxins: viscotoxins and mistletoe lectins. Viscotoxins and mistletoe lectins are proteins capable of being broken down in the digestive tract. The molecular structure and pharmacological actions of viscotoxins are closely related to those of snake venoms. They have cytolytic action, i.e., they dissolve cancer cells. The mistletoe lectins are related to castor-oil plant lectins. They have cytostatic properties, i.e., they inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS

  • Early malignancies. Here it has the greatest scope, especially in Stage 0, i.e. Carcinoma-in-situ.
  • Advanced malignancies. Here it is of considerable help in inoperable tumours, recurrences, widespread metastases and in terminal cases, it brings about palliation.
  • It is used as a prophylactic for malignant lesions in pre-cancerous states, where regression of the lesion takes place.
  • Benign neoplasms.
  • Surgery – Inoperable tumours become operable through delineation of the tumour by Iscador therapy. During the operation, it helps prevent dissemination of the tumour. Post-operatively, it hastens a smooth convalescence. Early follow-up treatment by Iscador results in a significant reduction in the incidence of recurrences and late metastases by about 30-40 %.
  • Concurrent with chemotherapy and/or radiation, Iscador prevents or reduces toxic side effects, promotes tolerance as well as dispersion of the tumour.
  • Cancer patients treated with Iscador and followed up for a long time with regular laboratory investigations show no toxic symptoms, apart from the desirable rise in body temperature, transient rise in leucocytes and rise in lymphocytes. No harmful side effects have been reported. Even if Iscador is given intensively for many years, there is no depression of the bone marrow, unlike with chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Iscador therapy stimulates the form-giving processes and forces in the human organism against the tendency to unregulated proliferation of the cell, which is seen in cancer.

Iscador preparations are classified according to the host-tree of the mistletoe used in their preparation. Depending on the localization of the primary tumour and on the sex of the patient, the type of Iscador preparation is selected. Metastases are treated with the same preparations as the primary tumour. Special metal combinations are used to increase and potentiate the action of Iscador on specific organs. Each preparation is available in a number of strengths. The different strengths permit variation in the intensity of the treatment, depending upon the clinical state of the patient. The route of administration is usually subcutaneous; only in the case of intracranial tumours is the oral route usually used. The time of administration is usually in the morning, which is the time of the physiological rise of temperature. The frequency of administration varies according to the type and location of the tumour and the judgement of the physician. The duration of the treatment is quite long, extending over a number of years. The changes in the type of Iscador preparations, dose, frequency, etc., are managed through the assessment of the clinical response and the laboratory data.

REACTIONS UNDER ISCADOR THERAPY

  • Inflammatory reaction with increased flow of blood and swelling in the region of the tumour is seen occasionally with usual subcutaneous injections. This passes off in a few hours.
  • Slight increase in body temperature occurs which is desirable as a curative process.
  • Transient increase in the neutrophil component of white blood cell count, which persists for some hours.
  • Immune stimulation as a whole and consequent inhibition of tumour development which leads to :
    1) improvement in the general condition
    2) increased appetite
    3) gain in weight
    4) improved sleep
    5) decrease in fatigue and depression
    6) stimulation of urinary and bowel functions
    7) reduction or disappearance of pain
  • Increased tolerance to irradiation and/or chemotherapy
  • Relief of pain and subjective improvement in the patient are most striking even in advanced stages of cancer and in spite of the progressive course of the tumour
  • Very rarely, allergic reactions or anaphylaxis are seen after administration of Iscador. In such situations, desensitization needs to be carried out before Iscador can be resumed again.

COURSE OF TUMOUR UNDER ISCADOR THERAPY

  • Stationary for some time
  • Occasional regression of the tumour
  • Slowing down or cessation of tumour growth
  • Reduced incidence of metastases or secondaries, or prevention of extension
  • Reduced incidence or recurrences after operation and/or radiation

Iscador medications are imported into India and are fairly expensive, though much cheaper than the costs of conventional cancer treatments. It should be remembered that Iscador has to be continued for several years, with gaps in between as suggested by the treating physician.

Iscador potentiates the action of Homoeopathic therapeutics, as both act on the immune mechanism. When understood and practised, these therapies become limitless in their possibilities for development and their power to treat the millions of sick people in the world.

(This article was published earlier at www.wiki4cam.org)

———

Footnote:

* Rudolf Steiner, PhD, an Austrian natural scientist and philosopher, was the Founder of Anthroposophy. He was born on February 27th, 1861, in what used to be Hungary at that time. He entered the University of Vienna at age 18 and studied natural history, mathematics and chemistry. He did extensive philosophical reading and attended philosophy lectures by Karl Julius Schroeer, a leading philosopher and scientist of that time. Through his professor, Karl Julius Schroeer, Rudolf Steiner began at age 22, to edit Goethe’s Natural Scientific Writings. At age 25, he wrote his Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’s World Conception. From 1890 to 1897, Rudolf Steiner lived in Weimar, Germany, where Goethe had lived a major part of his life and where most of Goethe’s writings had been kept in archives. In 1891, Rudolf Steiner received his PhD at the University of Rostock. His thesis was: Die Grundfrage der Erkenntnistheorie (The Fundamentals of a Theory of Cognition). Rudolf Steiner became a leading scientist in the field of Erkenntnistheorie (Theory of Cognition). In 1894, Steiner wrote his first “anthroposophical” book, “Philosophie der Freiheit”, or, as it is currently translated “Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path”. Also, in 1894, a series of personal meetings with Friedrich Nietzsche at his home in Berlin took place. Rudolf Steiner died in his small studio in Dornach, Switzerland, in 1925.

References:

– Introduction to Anthroposophical Medicine – Robert Gorter, MD.

– Directions to the use of Iscador in the treatment of Cancer – HISCIA and Lukas Klinik publication.

– Cancer as a Disease of Our Times – W. Bühler and R. Leroi. Translation by Dr. R. Goldberg, M.D., 1979.

– The Mistletoe Preparation Iscador in Clinical Use – Rita Leroi, MD.

– Iscador – Mistletoe preparations used in anthroposophically extended cancer treatment – Robert W. Gorter, MD.

– “The Essential Steiner” by Robert A. McDermott

About the author

Firuzi Mehta

Firuzi Mehta

Dr. Firuzi Mehta qualified in homeopathic medicine in 1997 and then completed her HMD from the British Institute of Homoeopathy, London. In 1998, she also attended an Introductory Course in Anthroposophic Medicine and Iscador Therapy for Cancer at the Lukas Klinik in Arlesheim, Switzerland now known as Klinik Arleshim. After working for over 5 years with an eminent homeopath in Mumbai, to gain work-experience, she started her own practice in 2001. She reviews homeopathic books as and when the opportunity arises and firmly believes that one's knowledge is always incomplete and needs to grow. She is currently enrolled with—and studying for—the 2 year E-Learning Programme offered by Prof. George Vithoulkas' International Academy of Classical Homeopathy. http://www.homoeopathie.in

58 Comments

  • Thanks for your paper.
    it a good job you done and also it will guide for us who are new in iscador users.
    from where did you get iscador injection.
    will i get it from you or what should i do to get it.
    thanks
    dr sanjay.

  • Dr Firuzi Mehtra,

    I attended a three-day seminar on Anthroposophical Treatment of Cancer in early 1990s – a very long ti9me ago. The entire lecture theatre was exclusively packed with many physicians, surgeons and oncologists.

    This was my first introduction to Iscador and since then, I have brought this Iscador treatment to the attention of many sufferers of cancer or pre-cancer condition. But, to my regret, I never found a single taker – including my close family members. The hold of allopathic treatment of cancer is so deeply ingrained that not a single sufferer was willing to try even along with allopathic intervention.

    As a secular humanist, I am not a believer of the spiritualist basis of
    Dr. Steiner’s philosophy. But one does not have to agree or sympathise with anthroposophical spiritualist philosophy to take advantage of Iscador.

    This is an excellent article by the author that could be read and understood even by a lay person.

    Dr Amir Cassam (Retd.)
    Dental Surgeon

    Dr Amir Cassam (Retd.) Dental Surgeon.

  • Wow this is an incredible article! Where can we get hold of this here in South Africa? Would Viscum album in tincture also work? Or in potency? What potency? And dosage?

  • Thanks, Katri. In South Africa, you can get Iscador preparations from Weleda. http://www.weledapharmacies.co.za/

    No, Viscum Album in tincture or in potency will not work the same way because the method of mixing and preparing the Iscador extracts is different. Also, the patient gets increasing strengths of Viscum Album, where the concentrations range from 0.001 mg to 20 or 30 mg, and in special cases, even go upto 50mg. As mentioned in the article, for organ affinity, certain metal combinations are also used. So it is not possible to substitute Iscador with our regular homeopathic Viscum Album.

    Hope this answers your question?

    Regards,
    Firuzi Mehta

  • Iscador treatment was the only treatment I received after a mastectomy 9 years ago . It has been an excellent treatment .
    After five years I decided to use fossil remedy (Fossil Cladoselache ) I enclose this table – CA 15.3 test done every three months .It is interesting to see the results .

    March 2002 18.08 Iscador
    December 2002 18.1 Iscador
    May 2003 16.8 Iscador

    November 2003 16.5 Iscador
    June 2004 17.1 Iscador
    February 2005 16.9 Iscador
    December 2005 16 Iscador
    July 2006 15 Iscador
    March 2007 14 Iscador
    September 2007 16.5 No remedy
    April 2008 15,9 U/ml No Remedy
    January 2009 15 U/ml No remedy
    November 2009 14 U/ml Fossil Cladoselache 1M
    May 2010 12 U/ml Fossil Cladoselache 10M

      • Dear Firuzi, Did Mrs Martine Mercy get back to you on the use of the fossil cladoselache (shark)
        after taking iscador. She was a breast cancer patient. I have tried researching it to no avail.
        Does it build the immune system?
        My husband is a melanoma patient who is about to start iscador
        Most grateful for your answer.
        Sheree Lawrence

  • It is an excellent article giving essential information about use of Iscador.The Central council Of research in homeopathy carried out research some years ago about the usefulness of Iscador in the treatment of various cancers. They made 3 groups 1. Where Iscador was used alone 2. where it was used along with indicated homeopathic medicine and group 3 where homeopathic medicines alone were used. The best results were obtained in group 2 followed by group 1. This has been published in Clinical research -3 by CCRH.

  • this article seems to give promising results for cancer and does create interest ..would like to know more about it ..
    as i do believe that other alternative sciences will also have something good to offer ,all what is needed a logical base and a sound philosophy on which they work or prescribe .

  • hello dr firuzi this is a good article,
    i want to know this same medicine is required for all patient of cancer irrespective of site and grade and if there are many types of medicine, may be according to dose or sth else so let me know how i get it ?
    if you can send me any litreature, so please as soon as possible send it
    i contacted mr navneet rastogi, according to him there are many types of iscador, you have to choose them according to type of cancer please give me full information.
    mail me as soon as possible

    • Hello Dr. Gupta,

      Yes, different types of Iscador are required for different types of cancer. According to the grade/spread, other anthroposophic preparations are used as well, in injectable form. There is a lot of detail one needs to go into and apart from selection of the type of Iscador, further management also needs to be monitored and regulated. For more info, it is advisable to contact Lukas Klinik in Switzerland and perhaps enroll for their annual Anthroposophic introductory course.

      Best wishes,
      Firuzi Mehta

  • Om!

    Can my pet (german shepherd_female dog) be treated with this Iscador theraphy? She has mammory gland tumor, operated thrice in 20 days. Now going to start chemotharaphy, in MHOw vet hospi. If it can be treated with then please guide me how and from where do i start with? We live in a spiritual gurukul, in Indore, MP.

    Please guide me.

  • Dear Dr
    We have called your clinic a few times but no response
    we wanted to find ISCADOR for my mother in law and looking for the same on mumbai.this has been prescribed by dr masters

    please respond urgently
    or you can call sirisha on 9765506872
    much apreciated
    thank you n best regards

  • hello Dr.Firuzi Mehta
    nice article,is there any institute which offers training in iscador in mumbai?. Where can we get these medicines in mumbai?

  • Living at the core of all of Rudolf Steiner’s work is his Philosophy Of Freedom. A new online “Philosophy Of Freedom Study Course” is available at http://www.philosophyoffreedom.com. Its free and includes videos, illustrations, observation exercises and diagrams to help study the book. In this book Rudolf Steiner gives his principles of free thinking and morality. It empowers one’s life through deepening scientific inquiry and living according to one’s highest ideals.

  • what is the approx cost of this treatment. my mother is detected with cervical cancer stage 4A. currently undergoing (radiation)treatment for the same.
    pls letme know

  • what is the approx cost, availability & process of this treatment. my Aunt (Mousi) is struggle with metastatic adeno carcinoma-(Liver)
    pls let me know. also plz suggest your opinion.

    Regards

    Imran Khan

  • I am unable to find a vendor that can supply me Iscador Quc Hg Sr1 injections. I tried weleda india but they do not have and suggested to look somewhere else. Can you help me with vendor where I can find these injections? I am based in mumbai

  • Dear Dr Mehta,

    Thanks for your informative article.

    My father has been prescribed Iscador QU Serie II for mouth cancer. He has previously taken Iscador Qu Serie 0 and serie 1.

    I did contact Weleda’s India distributor, Navneet Phamacy, but they say they don’t have Iscador serie 2, and are unlikely to get it.

    . Would you know of any distributor/chemist/phamacy who stocks these. It quite urgent.

    Regards
    Rupali

  • Just a comment or two.
    I have used Viscum Album in the lower potencies to balance
    the blood pressure in my dog.

    I made a remedy from a rock to cure a man of early alzheimer’s. His father died with alzheimers.

    I am now looking for fossils in South Africa to make remedies from. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Im very gifted so any help would be paid back many times over.

    Sherry Wood
    email: [email protected]

  • HULLO DOCTOR MEHTA!
    I AM UNDERGOING TREATMENT FOR MULTIPLE MYELOMA AT PUNE. MOSTLY IT IS CHEMOTHERAPY WITH AN ODD RADIATION THROWN IN.
    I HAVE READ ABOUT ISCADOR TREATMENT AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW YOUR VIEWS AND ANY ADVICE YOU COULD BESTOW ON ME. THANKS.

  • Hi Katri,

    I am curious to know if you could get hold of Iscador as I know that Weleda closed their offices in South Africa? My dad was advised to take this,but as far as we know it is banned in South Africa.

    Thanks,

    Yolanda

  • Sorry, but if it takes YEARS of administering, then the selection of mistletoe was the wrong remedy regardless of its potency.

    • Sorry, Sherry, I only just saw your comment. Your reply would be correct if anthroposophic remedies were chosen especially for the individual patient and based on homeopathic philosophy. But they are not. The philosophy and guiding principles are completely different. They only use remedies in potency. The Iscador type is based on the type of cancer predominantly. The patient’s individuality is however given emphasis in the other treatment modalities which get chosen based on the patient’s biographic work. Do read my article again, maybe you’ll get the point! 🙂

  • Dr. Mehta ~

    Your article is fantastic! I believe that Iscar is not available for purchase in the United States (just checked Weleda). Are you aware of viscum album preparations that are available for treating Grade I IDC breast cancer?

  • I am a thymic carcinoma patient aged 36 in treatment for the past 7 yrs. I had chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Now there is metasates to d9 d10 and few plueral deposits. Now the oncologists wants me to go for chemotherapy for which there is no proved medicine for thymic carcinoma .since already my 6 chemo did not shrink the tumor.

    I had great releif in homeopathy for many side effects during homeopathy. Could fruzi take me as her patient for both homeopathy and iscador therapy . I live in india and not a problem to travel to mumbai. I a m a mother of two kids please help.
    Subha.

  • I am a Homoeopathic doctor. Just I want to know that is there any training or course for ISCADOR THERAPY in India.Please guide me.

  • My Mother is taking Iscador treatment but after taking the injections her skin got swollen and there is redness and hardness and impression like too many mosquito bites…is it safe for her to continue these injections?

    • Dear Apeksha, You have not indicated which series she is on, also how long has she been taking Iscador? Is there a recent change in series/strength? Has this reaction happened just with one ampoule or are you seeing it repeatedly?
      This probably indicates that the ideal dose for your mother has been crossed. A lower strength is the ideal dose. So that is the dose that needs to be given long term. However, the physician who is in charge of the Iscador treatment needs to determine all these issues.

  • Hi

    Mom has completed her fourteen ampules of M 0 series without trouble, now she is taking M 1 series in alternative days it was her fifth ampule of M 1 series when this itching occurred More than 3cmts and her Dr. said to give another ampule and said that itching will be fine in two days then i gave sixth ampule little down away from above redness and much swelling occurred in lower abdomen and skin is hanging as if water bag about 4-5 inches along with itching and redness, I might have given her deep injection also I give her 1 ml dose every time. Pls correct me if I am not giving it properly also Mom has her chemotherapy date due but I am afraid of any reaction should I delay her chemotherapy date due to this inflammation?

  • My Mother was detected with Ovarian&uterus carcinoma not clear where it occurred first. Doctor said it’s stage three and her surgery is done on 7th May 2015 now she has had 4 chemotherapies and two chemotherapies are due. Her tests were done after 3 chemotherapies all reports are good CA 125 afaftersurgert was 49 and now it is 5 point something. I have shared all this with my Homeopathic doctor. I am giving 1 ml injection to my mother in every alternative day , am I giving her over dosage? Afternoon this reaction I am too scared and took permission from my doctor to give Iscador after every two days now after chemotherapy right now I have discontinued giving Iscador and

  • Waiting for this swelling to get dissolve to get her chemotherapy done. I am also giving her ice pack to apply over her swelling after taking my doctor’s permission to do this. Is it a nice option or not? Should I delay the chemotherapy or not? I am too worried and unable to take my decision at this point. Please suggest.

  • seema dear dr. mehta, i operated left side of my thyroid gland for carcinoma in 2011. at the same time i have desmoid tumor on the right side of my neck. this is non cancerous tumor.. fiberomatosis. now this size got increased and get swelling on my right arms and on right neck due to interruption in blood circulation . can iscador benefit me?

  • Hi, Dr Mehta,

    My best friend has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma (stage 3) and as a conventional doctor/oncologist and now a naturopath, we have exhausted the list, and during my homoeopathic training I did go to a number of classes on the use of Iscador injections.
    I’d be so grateful if you could kindly point me in the right direction if:
    1) The Iscador injections in terms of research on possible efficacy for multiple myeloma patients;
    2)Where and how to obtain the Iscador injections.

    Many thanks for your time and interest.
    Yvonne

    • Hello….
      I do have ISCADOR P 1MG and ISCADOR Mc ARG Serie I.
      Actually I have imported for my mother but now my mother is no more.

      So do any1 require let me know.

  • Dear Madam,I would like to know if Iscador can be a substitute for Isorell A (injectable) and if so, in what form? My sister suffers from bone metastasis caused by breast cancer.
    Looking forward your answer !
    Kind Regards !

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