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BMJ Case Reports 2014; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-203180
  • CASE REPORT

Tumour response following high-dose intratumoural application of Viscum album on a patient with adenoid cystic carcinoma

  1. Gunver Sophia Kienle1
  1. 1Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology at the University of Witten/Herdecke, Freiburg, Germany
  2. 2Medical Practice for General Medicine, Koblenz, Germany
  3. 3Faculty of Health, Chair of Theory of Medicine, Integrative and Anthroposophic Medicine, Institute of Integrative Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Herdecke, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Paul Georg Werthmann, paul.werthmann{at}ifaemm.de
  • Accepted 14 July 2014
  • Published 31 July 2014

Summary

Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare type of cancer that typically originates in the salivary glands. Surgical removal can lead to functional loss and psychological distress. Viscum album extract (VAE) is a herbal remedy with dose-dependent cytotoxic, apoptogenic and immunological effects. In some case reports, tumour regression has been observed following high-dose local applications of VAE. An active 88-year-old man with fast-growing ACC of the hard palate refused surgical removal and received high-dose intratumoural injections of VAE (alone) over a 10-month period. The tumour decreased in size, softened and loosened from its surroundings. A biopsy during the course showed inflammation. The patient remained well and without functional limitations during the therapy and follow-up period (5 months). VAE produced no reported side effects. This aged patient exemplifies a satisfying course of ACC under VAE resulting in good quality of life and partial tumour regression.

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