While you might be intrigued by mistletoe therapy and the natural healing option that it offers, it’s important to read up on what the experts are saying about it. So why not learn about mistletoe therapy from Johns Hopkins?
The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center has been running trials since early 2016, due to the hard work of Ivelisse Page, a stage 4 cancer survivor, and an advocate for mistletoe therapy.
Is Mistletoe Therapy Widely Accepted?
No. Mistletoe therapy is widely used throughout Europe as a complementary cancer treatment (chemotherapy is still most widely used), but it hasn’t received the professional backing in the United States.
While not dismissed by medical professionals, it has been relegated mainly to clinical trials in the United States. One such clinical trial is the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center trial.
The European trials suggest that mistletoe therapy may be providing benefits to cancer patients such as reduction of chemotherapy and radiation sides effects (lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, etc.), and can lower the pain from tumors. The quality of life of these patients seems to have been significantly improved.
In the United States, doctors are beginning to run trials of their own to verify these findings, and to find alternate treatments to cancer. At the current time, only complementary medicine practitioners can offer mistletoe therapy treatments (and only around 50 total in the United States), because the FDA has not approved it as a standard treatment.
History of the Johns Hopkins Mistletoe Therapy Trial
The Johns Hopkins mistletoe therapy trial began in 2016, due to the tireless efforts of Ivelisse Page, a stage 4 cancer survivor.
In 2008, at the age of 37, Page was diagnosed with colon cancer, and underwent surgery to remove part of her colon and some lymph nodes. 5 weeks later, the cancer had spread to her liver, and she underwent another surgery to remove 20% of her infected liver. Still requiring treatment after her surgeries, she and her husband elected to forego the chemotherapy and try an alternative approach: mistletoe therapy.
She received daily injections of mistletoe, thymus, and other homeopathic remedies, and lives today cancer-free.
In 2011, Page founded Believe Big, a nonprofit foundation that assists cancer patients and their families through the difficult process of diagnosis and treatment. Believe Big is the primary backer of the Johns Hopkins Mistletoe Therapy trial, and has actively worked to raise the necessary funds.
Through dinners, fees from walking/running events and donations, Believe Big has raised $100,000 of the $300,000 needed for the first phase of the three-phase trial, even though nonprofits don’t usually initiate clinical trials. The treatment, using mistletoe extract, is barely known in the United States. –Baltimore Sun
Her organization is continuing to push for FDA approval, which would allow cancer institutes to offer mistletoe therapy as a standard cancer treatment.
How Do I Learn More About It?
ALWAYS talk to your doctor first. There is no substitute for consulting with your oncologist, a cancer specialist who knows you and your situation intimately.
To find out more about the Johns Hopkins trial, you can read more on the trial’s website, about how to apply for the trial and frequently asked questions about mistletoe therapy. The exact purpose and scope of the trial (which can give you and your doctor a better idea of the efficacy of the treatment) can be found on their listing at ClinicalTrials.gov.
Believe Big also has information on the Johns Hopkins clinical trial, and they provide information upon request.
Are you interested in learning more about mistletoe therapy and cancer treatments? Contact Virginia Integrative Practice today to learn more!
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This web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a qualified licensed professional. This site offers people medical information and tells them their alternative medical options, but in no way should anyone consider that this site represents the “practice of medicine.” This site assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. Also note that this website frequently updates its contents, due to a variety of reasons, therefore, some information may be out of date. The statements regarding alternative treatments for cancer have not been evaluated by the FDA.